59 episodes

Get into the minds of breakthrough business leaders and entrepreneurs to explore their unique stories and ideas for the future. From devastating pitfalls to life-changing aha moments, hosts and serial entrepreneurs themselves Pete Sena and David Salinas push interviews past the surface for an in-depth, insightful glimpse at the future of business and brands. Take your seat at the table to hear guests recount their failures, re-live their midnight planning sessions, share their hopes & passions, and explain what’s next for their business, industry, and the world. Subscribe now and join us in becoming Forward Obsessed, and be sure to watch all the full video episodes on Youtube.

Forward Obsessed Pete Sena and David Salinas

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Get into the minds of breakthrough business leaders and entrepreneurs to explore their unique stories and ideas for the future. From devastating pitfalls to life-changing aha moments, hosts and serial entrepreneurs themselves Pete Sena and David Salinas push interviews past the surface for an in-depth, insightful glimpse at the future of business and brands. Take your seat at the table to hear guests recount their failures, re-live their midnight planning sessions, share their hopes & passions, and explain what’s next for their business, industry, and the world. Subscribe now and join us in becoming Forward Obsessed, and be sure to watch all the full video episodes on Youtube.

    • video
    We Are Taking A Summer Break

    We Are Taking A Summer Break

    As we approach the summer, the Forward Obsessed podcast is taking a brief but much needed break from creating new entrepreneurial content for you, our incredible listeners. We're grateful for the remarkable guests who have made season three a success, and we have some amazing stuff coming down the pipeline. During this hiatus, we invite you to stay engaged with us: visit our YouTube channel, subscribe, leave comments, and share your favorite episodes. Your feedback is invaluable and helps us shape future content - Don't forget to visit www.forwardobsessed.com to share your favorite moments and suggestions for future guests. We're committed to exploring all facets of entrepreneurship, and your support keeps us in this podcasting game.
    We also have an important announcement: this is the final episode with our executive producer, Robert Roche. Since day one, Robert has been instrumental in every facet of the production process, from finding guests, to the full production of the episode, clips, and articles, all the way through answering your questions and comments on our social channels. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors and hope to collaborate again in the future. Robert, thank you for your dedication, creativity, and passion. Your presence will be greatly missed. 
     
    From Robert: Please stay in touch! If you ever have a question about podcasting or content management, find Robert P. Roche III on Linkedin. 
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed Website: www.forwardobsessed.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/forwardobsessed/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@forwardobsessedLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/forward-obsessed/

    • 12 min
    • video
    Sam Parr: Founder Of The Hustle, Hampton And My First Million Podcast

    Sam Parr: Founder Of The Hustle, Hampton And My First Million Podcast

    Sam Parr, the founder of The Hustle and the host of the My First Million podcast, shares his entrepreneurial journey from his humble beginnings in St. Louis, Missouri, to building and selling successful companies. Parr's early hustles, including selling whiskey online and running a hot dog stand, laid the foundation for his future endeavors. Despite a setback with Airbnb, Parr persevered and started a roommate matching business, which he eventually sold to Apartment List.
     
    Parr's success with The Hustle, growing the company's newsletter to over 1.5 million subscribers, is a testament to his skills in hiring passionate people and his ability to "brute force" a company to success. He offers valuable insights on the emotional challenges of selling a company and the importance of focus and perseverance in building a successful business.
     
    This episode is a must-listen for aspiring entrepreneurs, founders, MBA students, and managers, as it provides practical advice and inspiration from someone who has successfully navigated the ups and downs of the startup world. Parr's candid discussion of his experiences, from cold calling to angel investing and growing a podcast, offers a wealth of knowledge for those looking to build and scale their own ventures.
     
    Episode Outline
    (00:00:00) Introduction of Sam Parr
    (00:01:28) Sam Parr's background and early entrepreneurial ventures
    (00:10:00) Building and selling a roommate matching company
    (00:14:02) Starting The Hustle and growing the newsletter
    (00:22:36) Hiring strategies and building a strong company culture
    (00:29:00) The emotional journey of selling The Hustle to HubSpot
    (00:35:00) Life after the acquisition and starting a new company, Hampton
    (00:40:45) Branding, positioning, and pricing strategies
    (00:44:49) The art of the cold call and its importance in business
    (00:50:00) Angel investing experiences and lessons learned
    (00:55:00) Building a community with Hampton and differentiating from competitors
    (01:02:04) The power of personal branding and visibility
    (01:07:31) Hiring and working with CEOs
    (01:13:57) The impact of fatherhood on entrepreneurship and personal growth
    (01:17:31) Strategies for growing a successful podcast
     
    Episode Links
    The Hustle (company): https://thehustle.co/My First Million (podcast): https://www.mfmpod.com/Hampton (company): https://joinhampton.com/Sam's List (website) - https://samslist.co/The Game (book) - https://www.amazon.com/Game-Penetrating-Secret-Society-Artists/dp/0060554738Glengarry Glen Ross (movie): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glengarry_Glen_Ross_(film)
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed Website: www.forwardobsessed.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/forwardobsessed/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@forwardobsessedLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/forward-obsessed/
     

    • 1 hr 22 min
    • video
    Hacking A Startup From Idea To Exit With Ben Lamson

    Hacking A Startup From Idea To Exit With Ben Lamson

    Ben Lamson is the Head Of Revenue at Paperspace, a GPU cloud and software stack for machine learning and artificial intelligence developers, which was recently acquired by Digital Ocean. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of WeDidIt, a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits that was acquired by a private equity firm. Lamson's entrepreneurial journey began in his early twenties, inspired by his parents, who were both successful small business owners despite not having college degrees. Growing up in a close-knit family in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Lamson learned the value of hard work and determination from a young age. In college, Lamson pursued his passion for wrestling, becoming a Division I athlete at American University.
    Lamson's career in sales began at Meltwater Group, where he met his future co-founder, Sisu Suh. Together, they left Meltwater to start WeDidIt, hacking their way through the startup process by entering business plan competitions, winning grants, and participating in accelerator programs. Through their scrappy efforts, they raised a total of $3.5 million for WeDidIt before successfully exiting to a private equity firm. After the acquisition, Lamson joined Paperspace as the Revenue Leader, where he implemented a product-led growth strategy that resulted in a 350% revenue increase in just 12 months. His success caught the attention of Digital Ocean, who acquired Paperspace in 2023.
    Throughout the interview, Lamson shares valuable insights and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, such as the importance of being curious, asking the right questions, and constantly learning. He emphasizes the value of resilience and grit, drawing parallels between the challenges of wrestling and the struggles of building a startup. Lamson also discusses the future of generative AI and its potential impact on various industries. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, sales, product-led growth, and the future of AI. Lamson's inspiring journey from college wrestler to successful startup founder and revenue leader is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and continuous learning.
     
    Episode Outline
    (00:00:00) Introduction
    (00:07:49) Discovery of wrestling passion and its impact
    (00:17:21) Service industry experience and lessons learned
    (00:21:58) Starting a tech company with a co-founder from Meltwater
    (00:26:29) Idea evolution and the aha moment for WeDidIt
    (00:28:46) Hacking the startup journey through accelerators and competitions
    (00:31:18) Raising funds and extending runway through odd jobs
    (00:40:45) Joining Paperspace and implementing product-led growth strategy
    (00:54:33) Paperspace acquisition by Digital Ocean
    (00:56:20) The experience of a successful exit
    (01:02:22) Advice for non-technical professionals entering the tech industry
    (01:04:00) Importance of curiosity in personal and professional growth
    (01:09:58) Mental models for success in wrestling and sales
    (01:12:35) Importance of repetition and constant refinement
    (01:14:17) Turning unhappy customers into happy ones
    (01:16:08) Transitioning from sales to product-led growth
    (01:20:55) Navigating the stressful acquisition process with Paperspace
    (01:24:30) Balancing ego and humility in leadership
    (01:26:36) Hacking the fundraising process through alternative methods
    (01:30:11) The moment the wire hit after the successful exit
    (01:33:54) Staying at Paperspace post-acquisition and future plans
    (01:38:02) Coolest use cases of AI seen in the past month
    (01:41:56) Concerns about big players in the AI space and the need for regulation

    Episode Links
    Paperspace: https://www.paperspace.com/Digital Ocean: https://www.digitalocean.com/Meltwater Group: https://www.meltwater.com/enBen’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjaminlamson/Jason Lemkin on having a mentor budget for VPs of sales: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-your-vps-have-mentor-budget-jason-m-lemkin-2c/?trk=public_post
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed

    • 1 hr 45 min
    • video
    Transforming Data Ownership Into A Connective Force With Aaron Lyles

    Transforming Data Ownership Into A Connective Force With Aaron Lyles

    Aaron Lyles is the Founder and CEO of CommonAlly, a company that builds two-sided marketplaces to connect organizations with hard-to-reach communities in a way that empowers people and gives them agency over their data. Aaron's entrepreneurial journey began at a young age when he started a snowboarding magazine in high school despite challenges with ADHD. This experience taught him the value of passion, perseverance, and creative problem-solving. After college, Aaron founded a photography firm called Pixel Lab, which later evolved into a video production collective called Multiple Mammals.
     
    The idea for CommonAlly was born out of Aaron's desire to create a more empathetic and less polarized world, especially for his young daughter, in the midst of the tumultuous 2016 election. He raised money from friends, family and dev firms to build the platform. Recently, CommonAlly was acquired by Small Great Ventures, allowing Aaron to continue pursuing his vision with the necessary resources and support. Throughout the interview, Aaron shares valuable insights and candid stories about the challenges of entrepreneurship, from difficult co-founder splits to navigating the acquisition process.
     
    This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in mission-driven entrepreneurship and the real-world challenges and triumphs of building a startup. Aaron's story offers an honest and inspiring look at the entrepreneurial journey, with lessons on resilience, adaptability, and staying true to one's values in the face of adversity. Aspiring founders and business leaders will come away with practical insights and wisdom they can apply to their own ventures.
     
    Episode Outline
     
    (00:00:00) Introduction
    (00:03:47) Growing up with ADHD in the 80s and learning to navigate life differently
    (00:05:12) Starting a snowboarding magazine in high school 
    (00:07:54) Overcoming academic struggles and getting into Emerson College
    (00:10:21) Founding Pixel Lab photography business and evolving into Multiple Mammals 
    (00:17:07) Inspiration for starting CommonAlly during the 2016 election to combat polarization
    (00:20:39) Challenges of being a solo founder and the importance of having the right partners
    (00:25:34) Building a creative collective model with Multiple Mammals 
    (00:31:02) Pivoting CommonAlly's business model to focus on a two-sided marketplace 
    (00:37:29) Navigating the acquisition process with Small Great Ventures 
    (00:47:11) The role of AI in enhancing CommonAlly's offerings 
    (00:48:42) Lessons learned and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
    (00:52:36) Fundraising challenges and the importance of strategic partnerships for growth
    (00:57:15) The evolution of CommonAlly's services 
    (01:02:54) The significance of CommonAlly's acquisition and the continuation of Aaron's vision
    (01:06:09) The importance of mission-driven entrepreneurship and staying true to one's values
    (01:11:42) Closing thoughts and how to connect with CommonAlly for potential partnerships
     
    Episode Links
    CommonAlly (current company): https://www.commonally.com/Multiple Mammals (previous company): https://www.multiplemammals.com/Small Great Ventures (acquired CommonAlly): https://www.smallgreat.co/Emerson College (attended): https://emerson.edu/
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed Website: www.forwardobsessed.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/forwardobsessed/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@forwardobsessedLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/forward-obsessed/

    • 1 hr 18 min
    • video
    Founding 21Seeds Tequila With Kat Hantas

    Founding 21Seeds Tequila With Kat Hantas

    Kat Hantas is the co-founder of 21 Seeds, an infused tequila brand that was acquired by Diageo for $160 Million after just three years in business, being the largest exit ever by a female-founded spirits brand. Previously, Kat had a 15-year career in the film industry, working at Creative Artists Agency and as an independent producer developing horror and music-driven films.
     
    In this interview, Kat shares her entrepreneurial journey, from starting her first business right out of college to pivoting to a film career focused on specific niches to launching 21 Seeds to solve her own pain points around finding an easy-to-drink, low-calorie alternative to wine and cocktails. 21 Seeds differentiated itself by targeting a specific customer - women and moms - with an elevated, all-natural infused tequila. The brand took off quickly, landing national distribution in under two years.
     
    Kat shares candid insights useful for entrepreneurs and business leaders, including the importance of focusing relentlessly on a specific customer, hiring people with complementary skills, building a culture of respect and results, and understanding the operational drivers in your business. This is a must-listen interview for anyone interested in consumer products, branding, entrepreneurship, and learning from a founder who defied the odds to build a category-creating brand and successful exit in record time.
     
     
    Episode Outline
    Here is a concise outline of the key topics discussed in the interview, with timestamps:
    (00:00:00) Introduction and overview of Kat Hantas' background (00:04:13) Kat's childhood in Peru and moving to the US with her mother(00:11:07) Impact of seeing her mother's work ethic and hustle (00:14:39) Early entrepreneurial ventures and lessons learned (00:22:06) Working in the film industry after college (00:38:49) Challenges and ultimate failure of the movie "Taking Five" (00:48:26) Stepping back from work to focus on family and early motherhood(00:54:20) Health issues leading to switch from wine to infused tequila (01:03:08) Recognizing the market opportunity for elevated infused tequila (01:13:06) Launching 21 Seeds with her sister and co-founder in 2019 (01:15:58) Choosing Diageo as the acquirer for 21 Seeds (01:21:58) The intensive due diligence process leading up to acquisition (01:24:10) The emotional impact of the exit and concern for the team (01:30:40) Advice for building an excellent team with separate swim lanes(01:34:40) Dealing with copycats and the importance of speed to market(01:38:13) Reflections on the 21 Seeds journey and future plans
     
    Episode Links
     
    21Seeds (company co-founded by Kat Hantas): www.21Seeds.com21Seeds Instagram: www.instagram.com/21seedsKat’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathantas/Kat’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kat-hantas-ba0621163/
     
     
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed Website: www.forwardobsessed.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/forwardobsessed/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@forwardobsessedLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/forward-obsessed/
     

    • 1 hr 32 min
    • video
    From Startup To Selling To Starbucks With Peter Thum

    From Startup To Selling To Starbucks With Peter Thum

    Peter Thum is the Co-Founder and CEO of Muse, an AI-powered website builder and collaboration platform. He was previously the Founder of Ethos Water, which he successfully sold to Starbucks in 2005. Thum has also founded Fonderie 47, a company that transforms AK-47 assault rifles from African war zones into high-end jewelry and accessories, and Liberty United, which employs a similar model to reduce gun violence in the United States.
     
    In this interview, Thum shares invaluable insights and experiences from his entrepreneurial journey, particularly the challenges and triumphs of building Ethos Water from a $10,000 startup to a major acquisition by Starbucks. He discusses the importance of bootstrapping, resourcefulness, and unwavering commitment to one's mission, even in the face of adversity. Thum also highlights the significance of strategic partnerships, as exemplified by his collaboration with Howard Schultz, which amplified the impact of Ethos Water and brought clean water access to millions of people in developing countries.
     
    For young entrepreneurs, founders, MBA students, and managers, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Thum's journey illustrates the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and the potential for businesses to drive positive social change. His experiences serve as a roadmap for navigating the complexities of building a mission-driven business while simultaneously making a meaningful impact on the world.
    Episode Outline
    (00:00:00) Introduction and overview of Peter Thum's background
    (00:05:17) Peter's childhood in Korea and parents' careers
    (00:09:39) Impact of losing his father at age 14
    (00:14:01) Playing college football and being a team captain
    (00:20:47) Early career at Gallo Winery and desire to move to Germany
    (00:27:56) Decision to attend Kellogg School of Management
    (00:32:39) Working at McKinsey & Company after business school
    (00:44:43) Inspiration for Ethos Water during McKinsey projects
    (01:03:21) Bootstrapping and launching Ethos Water
    (01:18:27) Getting Ethos Water into Whole Foods and Starbucks
    (01:32:13) Selling Ethos Water to Starbucks
    (01:43:40) The social impact of Ethos Water with Starbucks' reach
    (01:50:45) Founding Foundry 47 to transform AK-47s into luxury items
    (01:56:03) Creating Liberty United to reduce gun violence in the US
    (01:58:58) Co-founding Muse, an AI-powered no-code platform
    (02:05:01) Muse's vision to democratize tech for all skill levels

    Episode Links
     
    Ethos WaterStarbucksFonderie 47 (founded by Peter Thum)Liberty United (founded by Peter Thum)Muse (current company, co-founded by Peter Thum)McKinsey & Company (former employer)Gallo Winery (former employer)Kellogg School of Management (alma mater)
     
    Support & ConnectForward Obsessed Website: www.forwardobsessed.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/forwardobsessed/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@forwardobsessedLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/forward-obsessed/

    • 2 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

makaelajane ,

Breadth & Clarity

Forward Obsessed can help you expand your thinking and focus your thinking simultaneously - not an easy feat! I finish each episode with a nice balance of big ideas and small actionable tasks for myself. I trust it will do the same for you.

Broncos(-)365 ,

Inspiration for anyone

While the podcast is indeed about and hosted by those who are Forward Obsessed, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to enjoy it (although you’ll likely want to become one!). The information and stories found within are appealing to anyone lucky enough to give this pod a listen. Each guest’s backstory and career path is not only inspiring, but informative. The hosts’ questions not only dig in to provide better context and understanding, but exhibit how to be present and truly engaging. Much to be learned and enjoyed from this show, cannot recommend highly enough!

Navdoc13 ,

Refreshingly real

Listening to Pete and Dave talk with Topper in the first episode was so fresh, real, and actionable. Topper recounts his journey in a fun and often “melodic” way (you’ll have to listen) with actionable tidbits laced throughout. LOVE IT!

Top Podcasts In Business

George Kamel
Ramsey Network
The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway
Vox Media Podcast Network
The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network
The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
DOAC
PBD Podcast
PBD Podcast
Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network

You Might Also Like