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Founder Secrets with Taylor and Flaviu

Founder Secrets with Taylor and Flaviu

By Flaviu Simihaian & Taylor Trusty

Join Taylor (@ttrusty) and Flaviu (@FlaviuSim) as they interview inspiring founders, and discuss entrepreneur ideas, news, experiences, struggles and successes. This is Founder Secrets. Watch the episodes here: www.youtube.com/@foundersecretspod
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Flaviu and Taylor deep dive in service businesses, door-to-door, and C-Corps vs LLCs
Flaviu and Taylor deep dive in service businesses, door-to-door, and C-Corps vs LLCs
(0:17) How would you market a painting business? (4:54) How would you get the first customer? (5:27) Taylor’s attempt of going door-to-door (9:09) Flaviu’s process to getting a job as a waiter (13:33) Can service businesses scale 10x? (17:20) Thumbtack penalizing users that can pay more (22:15) No more free lunches (23:12) C Corp vs LLC Decision
25:36
February 04, 2023
Bryan Cush - Doctors spending $1 Million on Google Ads
Bryan Cush - Doctors spending $1 Million on Google Ads
Taylor and Flaviu speak with Bryan Cush of Tidal Health Group, a digital agency focused on companies in the healthcare space. We talked Bryan’s learnings from working on a cruise ship, to how Tidal helps doctor groups with key insights and SEO. (0:12) Living on a cruise ship for 3 years (7:41) From cruises to starting an agency (18:14) Doctors have 1 million dollar ad budgets
32:08
January 29, 2023
Adriaan Kolff - Starting and scaling a recruiting company in Ukraine
Adriaan Kolff - Starting and scaling a recruiting company in Ukraine
Taylor chats with Adriaan Kolff, co-founder of MatcHR and Pantala about starting his company in Ukraine, meeting his wife at Burning Man, and advice from past failures as well as a few successes. (0:43) How Adriaan met his wife at Burning Man (5:55) Starting a business in Kiev (8:37) Moving and building a business based on a spreadsheet (10:26) Early misconceptions of starting a recruiting business (12:24) Covid - a blessing in disguise (15:50) Lessons from managing a business fully remotely in a war zone (19:40) Learning from working at a big company (Unilever) to founding a startup (22:26) Landing large clients such as TikTok, Booking.com, and Revolut (28:13) What fuels Adriaan’s confidence and infectious positivity? (29:31) How is AI going to change recruiting? (31:10) How do you scale a people-intensive business? (32:37) How to apply sales skills to the biggest bang for the buck (34:58) How do you prioritize what to work on? (35:47) Adriaan’s experience finding a partner (39:30) Future of MatcHR (40:27) Don’t over think it! Ask for favors and advice.
41:12
January 15, 2023
Office Furniture - The Future (and Past) with Marc Schwartzberg
Office Furniture - The Future (and Past) with Marc Schwartzberg
Taylor and Flaviu interview Marc Schwartzberg about the journey of a family business from 1920 to 2022 and the many changes and restarts that had to happen to get Marc where he is today. We also talk about the office space industry, where things are heading and any tips Marc offers younger entrepreneurs Marc: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcschwartzberg/ Office Furniture Heaven: https://www.officefurnitureheaven.com/ (0:35) Dallek Office Furniture started in 1920 (1:45) Two brothers going in the family business (2:34) How did the 2008 recession affect furniture sales (5:25) EOS and Traction Systems for Entrepreneurs (6:10) What do you do after the family business closes? (9:13) Marc going out on his own (12:02) What’s the value in the name of a business? (Dallek, D2, 3D, Office Furniture Heaven) (13:35) How does a furniture business get customers? (14:59) WeWork and new players in Office Space (18:15) Buying another business (19:57) Sales vs Owning a business (22:12) Wisdom to pass down to an entrepreneur (23:54) Would Marc try the family business again with his kids? (27:57) Tips for how to change your office space (29:54) Tips for sales (33:25) Managing your time
35:50
January 06, 2023
Amina Abubakar - the American Dream is Alive!
Amina Abubakar - the American Dream is Alive!
Amina Abubakar was a delight this week as she inspired Taylor and Flaviu in this podcast episode. Amina represents the American Dream, and she is a stellar entrepreneur that is a leader in the pharmacy world in the US. She also finds time to give back to her home continent through rohovoyage.com , a way to travel with purpose in Kenya and beyond. Check it out! (1:26) How Amina raised the money to get from Kenya to America (4:18) Why Amina started a pharmacy (10:46) Mistakes in the process of figuring out a new business (14:12) How to apply learnings from a business conference (16:19) The journey of building a team starts with me (18:59) Investing in people development (25:02) The 10 voices every person has in their head (30:02) How Amina gives back to her roots through Education, Healthcare, and Purposeful Tourism (33:16) Optimism in Healthcare (35:04) Entrepreneurship in Kenya (36:25) Misconceptions about Kenya (38:41) How to choose which ideas to focus on Check out Roho Voyage to travel with a purpose!
41:00
December 23, 2022
How do you know if an idea is good, AI Avatars, LovesEternalFrame.com and more
How do you know if an idea is good, AI Avatars, LovesEternalFrame.com and more
Taylor and Flaviu have a lot of fun talking about AI and how to decide on a startup idea, a cofounder, and much more. (1:20) What is Chat GPT? (3:31) Taylor’s AI Poem Business Idea loveseternalframe.com (8:07) Book written by AI - What Makes Us Human: An Artificial Intelligence Answers Life's Biggest Questions (10:27) Avatar AI Apps Taking over; LensaAI reaches 13M installs , AvatarAI.me (13:59) AI Generated Business Emails on Twitter (16:10) Is AI all Hype? (21:53) How do you know if your startup idea is good? (29:02) Flaviu and Taylor disagree about the best type of cofounder
34:36
December 16, 2022
Kelly Faetanini on Leading the Bridal Industry
Kelly Faetanini on Leading the Bridal Industry
Taylor and Flaviu get to interview THE KELLY of kellyfaetanini.com - an amazing creative designer of wedding dresses, and an innovator in the bridal industry. So many insights below, from starting the business, to investor challenges, bridal industry secrets, and much more. (1:14) Kelly Faetanini’s origins in San Marino (3:58) Nature vs. Nurture in artistic talent (5:37) The leap from designer to entrepreneur (9:29) QR Code for Bridal (11:29) Early mistakes Kelly made (14:02) How Kelly found her investors (15:18) The vision for Kelly Faetanini (19:01) Finding a young partner that can grow with Kelly (19:55) Next generation of brides (21:00) Abusive relationship between designers and retailers (23:08) How much does a wedding dress cost? (24:33) 3D version of Paper Doll (26:50) Why it takes 6 months to make a dress (28:42) How Kelly gets customer feedback (30:05) 2 week shipping on wedding dresses! (31:26) How Covid changed the buying process (32:39) Why are bridal stores appointment-only? (33:25) Risks of naming a business after yourself (35:31) How do you keep the inspiration alive? (38:28) The Tudor Rose (39:10) What happens to dresses after their season? (40:07) How Kelly designs a new dress (41:22) Would you sell your name? (42:36) Instagram, FB, Pinterest or Google ads? (45:42) How do you manage creatives?
52:28
December 10, 2022
Globalization with Bryan Luoma
Globalization with Bryan Luoma
Flaviu and Taylor talk to Bryan Luoma, a half Filipino / half Finish entrepreneur who went from Civil Engineering in Minnesota to a rapidly growing business named Tahche in the Philippines. (3:15) Being on stage is better than being in the audience (5:43) Why Bryan became a Civil Engineer? (8:25) What made Bryan take the plunge to Entrepreneurship? (11:08) The Craigslist hack (13:48) Misconceptions about staffing in the Philippines (15:14) Is the pendulum swinging back to the office? (16:31) 50% of all nurses in the US are Filipino (18:43) How to manage 2 businesses, family, across timezones (20:33) Secrets to Bryan being happy all the time (23:52) Being a good communicator (29:34) Cashier with an outsourced person in Toronto (32:16) Does being a parent make you more efficient?
35:15
December 02, 2022
How we got our first customers, hacks, and some gratitude
How we got our first customers, hacks, and some gratitude
Taylor and Flaviu go over some tips, hacks, and stories of how they got their first customers and how they would get their first customer today. Also, covered some interesting stories of gratitude (Happy Thanksgiving!), how Wave Cars hacked Shark Tank, Bill Gurley giving some “advice”, alt lenders, and tax softwares that gave their customers’ data to Facebook (who does not want it). (1:13) Tip: Bilt.com (2:27) The Power of Gratitude [Twitter Link] (5:51) How to Hack Shark Tank (Link Mentioned) - Wave Cars (9:57) Bill Gurley talk and VC Advice (15:27) Alt Lenders disappearing (18:35) Intuit H&R Block sending private info to META [Link to Verge Article] (24:41) How did Flaviu and Taylor get their first customer?
36:50
November 23, 2022
Mona Patel - Reframe, Motivate, Creativity, and Talking to God
Mona Patel - Reframe, Motivate, Creativity, and Talking to God
This is the best episode of Founder Secrets yet! Flaviu and Taylor speak with Mona Patel, a creator, writer, founder, CEO, entrepreneur, and general amazing person. This is one you won't want to miss. (5:15) - How do you know who to trust? (6:36) - Writing "Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think" (8:25) - Pre-Frame (10:50) - Hiring your replacement (17:05) - How you listen better? (18:45) - Grey Zone, Sexual Harassment and Racism (22:40) - What brings Joy, Impact, Ease, and Abundance (27:15) - What Mona thinks of NPS, eNPS, Surveys, and Polls (31:25) - Mona on Negotiation (35:00) - How to be more creative? (40:20) - Talking to God - The Power and Importance of Psychedelics  (46:00) - Creativity without Pain
51:48
November 18, 2022
FTX + Twitter = Mt Gox, Motivation, Sales, and Unsexy Businesses
FTX + Twitter = Mt Gox, Motivation, Sales, and Unsexy Businesses
In this episode, Taylor and Flaviu go over some news with FTX and Twitter, then deep dive on how to get the motivation to start a company, sharing some of their personal stories, discuss whether founders should do sales. Then they talk about donations as a company, and a liquor business that’s (maybe) successful in South Carolina. (1:02) - FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried (5:35) What is the price of Bitcoin in 6 months? (7:01) Twitter Elon Fiasco (9:47) How to get motivated to start a business? (14:54) How Taylor found his cofounder (18:00) Should a Founder do sales? (21:56) How to handle donations (26:3) Unsexy Liquor Business
32:33
November 11, 2022
Fighting consumerism with Namu Park
Fighting consumerism with Namu Park
In this episode, Taylor and Flaviu talk to Namu Park about her journey to starting The-Sloth.com , a fashion tech startup fighting consumerism by enabling everyone to resell their clothes. (2:11) - Deciding to be an entrepreneur (3:32) - What is The Sloths? (9:18) - Why the name Sloth? (11:45) - Learning Product Design and Product Management (15:00) - To have or not have a cofounder (18:22) - What is the vision? (20:54) - How to acquire customers (23:47) - How does Sloth make money? (26:31) - The challenge of consumerism (30:11) - Why do people resell clothes? (32:44) - Fundraising is HARD
36:38
November 05, 2022
Other Parents Like Me (OPLM) - Liz and Casie on Mental Health
Other Parents Like Me (OPLM) - Liz and Casie on Mental Health
This week Taylor and Flaviu are back in the studio and brought a serial entrepreneur friend from EO, Liz Reitman. Liz and and Casie Fariello are the founders of Other Parents Like Me (OPLM.com). They took their personal experience and saw a big need in mental health for parents supporting their children struggling with addiction. It is an amazing story and a big challenge they are taking on. So much to learn from these two.  (1:26) - From Flight Attendant to Entrepreneur  (3:39) - Why start OPLM?  (4:49) - How Liz and Casie Met  (9:48) - What is OPLM?  (14:10) - Business vs. Non-profit?  (15:52) - Is it stupid to be 50/50 partners?  (18:38) - Liz - second time entrepreneur lessons  (23:01) - You can’t give everything 100%  (24:30) - Future growth of OPLM  (25:45) - How to have a business partner  (28:15) - What is the biggest challenge to scaling?  (34:55) - Would you sell OPLM?  (38:55) - Is success of this app for users to stop using it?  (41:21) - How to keep groups interesting as they grow?  (45:14) - A 4-letter .com domain name
47:20
October 29, 2022
Finance Job to Jamaica: Retta on personal and business growth on Amazon
Finance Job to Jamaica: Retta on personal and business growth on Amazon
Taylor and Flaviu sit down with Retta Abraham in Ocho Rios, Jamaica to talk through his journey from being second generation immigrant from Ethiopia and Japan, building a successful career in finance, and then leaving it all to find personal balance, growth, and freedom via entrepreneurship. In particular Retta focused on Amazon seller businesses in ecommerce, and he shares some very valuable tips from his journey. ( 4:12 ) - Selling Lollipops ( 05:25 ) - A kid’s vision of suit and tie and banking (50B in deals) ( 10:40 ) - A quiet period in Wall St when Retta decided to take the leap ( 13:01 ) - The search and learning the Amazon sellers businesses ( 15:33 ) - How and where to buy an Amazon ecommerce business ( 16:54 ) - Loans and financing over 100% of the business (not money down) ( 19:11 ) - Managing people in a startup enviroment ( 23:30 ) - What’s next? ( 25:07 ) - Making an impact ( 26:40 ) - How to give a hug - My first real hug - How to not wear the armor ( 28:30 ) - America Scores - a non-profit Retta is passionate about in NYC ( 29:30 ) - Is it still a good time to start an Amazon business?
31:27
October 22, 2022
Sam Lundin on owning 9 businesses, founder optimization, decision making, email, credit cards and more
Sam Lundin on owning 9 businesses, founder optimization, decision making, email, credit cards and more
Scaling Vimbly to 9 businesses Building intellectual property that can be licensed to other companies Fundraising to profitability Banking → Hedge Fund → Startup How to get traction, which products to double down on Finding a cofounder Minibet and how to try ideas that don't work out Keyboard shortcuts - email tips Optimizing your day - journaling (workflowy), reading, meetings, and thinking time Can people improve their judgement? Chase vs. Amex vs. Delta points (Amazing tips!) No 5 minute calls
50:43
October 15, 2022
Monthly Reflections, Biden's CTO problem, Zoom Hack, Apple products review
Monthly Reflections, Biden's CTO problem, Zoom Hack, Apple products review
Topics: Month in review - How to review the last year/month. Question-based project management Biden’s CTO problem Working out tips Zoom hack to focus better Apple review of current devices Being real vs. raising money Industries and startups succeeding though the recession
38:50
October 09, 2022
SBF vs Jack Dorsey, Fake LinkedIn Accounts, Cron vs VimCal
SBF vs Jack Dorsey, Fake LinkedIn Accounts, Cron vs VimCal
Topics covered in this episode:  Sam Bankman Fried vs Jack Dorsey  Why does everyone want to buy twitter?  Larry Ellison texting with Elon Musk  Fake Linkedin Profiles - CISO How Google gets around Linkedin Restrictions  HubermanLab Podcast Hubermanlab.com  Cron, VimCal - like SuperHuman for calendars
25:47
September 30, 2022