Skip to main content
Your First Million

Your First Million

By Arlan Hamilton
A podcast by Arlan Hamilton that goes behind-the-scenes and teaches you how to make your first million dollars, get your first million downloads, or find your first million customers. Arlan is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, has raised more than $10M, and has invested in over 100 companies led by people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


I acquired! + how you can make $1,000 this weekend
Here’s what you need to know about my newest side hustle and how it affects you!
September 09, 2022
My thoughts on a16z’s $350M investment in Adam Neumann (former WeWork CEO)
Quick episode answering the question I’ve been getting about my opinion of this staggering investment amount and second (10th?) chance for Adam. Backstage Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, and Ellen Pao all get a mention.
August 16, 2022
How studying Sebastian Maniscalco can help you make $millions within 10 years
I just recorded a quick thought about comedian Sebastian Maniscalco’s slow and steady and impressive rise to fame. Listen in if you’ve been feeling stuck and/or want to change your life over the next 10 years.
August 14, 2022
6mins to get you ready for August!
You don’t want to miss what I have to say here. If it resonates, pass this on to your friends and family who you want to win this month.
August 01, 2022
84. Hang w/15,000+ women in tech (and Arlan) at Grace Hopper!
Brenda Darden Wilkerson, the president and CEO of—hosts of the annual Grace Hopper event, and Mitra Best, the technology impact leader at PwC, sit down with Arlan to discuss the upcoming return to the in-person Grace Hopper event!
July 27, 2022
A hack for getting into any professional room you want!
Something I saw yesterday really brought this home. You’ll want to use this to get in the right rooms.
July 18, 2022
6 steps to a paid speaking career in 6 months!
This was one of my favorite episode to record! Take the next hour to change the game for yourself. You’ll walk away with 6 actionable steps to land you your first paid speaking gig in just a few months! Visit to hire a trustworthy fractional executive assistant, chief of staff, or COO.
July 16, 2022
My investment story in 10mins!
If you’ve always wondered how I invested in 200 companies in less than 7 years, or are just getting to know me, start here!
July 13, 2022
How being in the room could change everything for you!
In my never ending quest to help you reach your first million, I recap the past 6 weeks of travel and let you in on a few key meetings and events that have taken place. Watch what I say AND do. Let’s go!
July 09, 2022
Part 2 of my Backstage update
Adding more context to my update from this weekend since I’ve received a lot of love and a lot of questions. Here’s my statement:)
June 27, 2022
An important Backstage update + finding peace for yourself as a non-negotiable
This message was recorded for stakeholders and community members June 26, 2022 in London.
June 26, 2022
Surprise! You can now invest in Runner!!
Today, I launched Runner’s Reg CF (regulation crowd fund) on! Anyone 18+ in the US and several other countries can invest as little as $100 in my first brand new company since launching Backstage a decade go. Learn more!
May 16, 2022
Backstage at Backstage: Arlan’s annual stakeholder update!
Take a look behind the curtain to hear what Arlan revealed to nearly 7,000 stakeholders (including past and current teammates, a portfolio of 200+ companies, ~6,500 Reg CF investors, Backstage fund LPs, Studio investors, and more) at this year’s annual stakeholder event!
May 09, 2022
83. Going from $10,000 to $10,000,000 w/Rachel Rodgers
Rachel Rodgers is the founder of Hello Seven, a company dedicated to helping historically excluded people make more money. Her nationally bestselling book, We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide To Earning More, Building Wealth, And Gaining Economic Power, is a powerful guide to creating abundance in your life.
April 21, 2022
Omg! Too excited about The Valley
Listen to the first week of episodes at and wherever your favorite podcasts are found!
April 20, 2022
Introducing: The Valley (my new immersive, scripted podcast!)
Search for “The Valley” “Runner” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts or visit to hear the trailer and first episode of my new immersive audio soap, THE VALLEY! Brought to you by Runner💜🏃🏾‍♀️
April 18, 2022
Attention current runner talent!
One minute message about moving our April 1 call to April 4. Check it out.
April 01, 2022
Will Smith + Chris Rock…some thoughts
When a tweetstorm simply won’t do…
March 28, 2022
What happened at SXSW…
I’m back! Here’s a jam packed recap of my time at SXSW earlier this month, and some great lessons about adapting and catalyzing. Let’s go! Brought to you by:
March 22, 2022
Runner’s HR Specialist Consultant, Michelle Heng
Hear how Michelle, one of Runner’s first fractional teammates, is using the Runner product herself while positively impacting hundreds of other runners.
March 10, 2022
Runner’s Talent Success Manager, Andrea Weaver
Many of you are runners today or will become runners, and in doing so, will no doubt work closely with Andrea as one of the earliest members of the runner success team! Hear how she’s trying to get you paid and emotionally nourished at the same time.
March 09, 2022
Unearthed interview from 2018 that was never supposed to be heard!
Well, it’s official: you can call me consistent. On Oct 19, 2018, entrepreneur and journalist, Jonathan Allen, interviewed me before I spoke at the Vision Summit in St. Louis. This audio was meant to be used for reference for an article he was writing for his website. By his own admission, life got in the way and then he lost his nerve in writing it, so it sat dormant for 3.5 years. Today, he released the audio and more info at and I thought it was really interesting to hear how much has changed and how so much has not. You’ll want to hear this one! [note: Jonathan released the audio with my permission from 2018 so all good!]
March 09, 2022
Runner’s VP of Operations & Communications - Lauren Walker Reader
At Runner, we focus on matching trusted operations talent with inclusive companies. Internally, we have the honor of working with an Operations wiz, Lauren Walker Reader. She shares her unique path to Runner that helps inform everything she does here and explains why she’s so looking forward to helping to upskill and match her Ops peers.
March 04, 2022
Runner’s Recruiters - Aden & Antonio
Two of the first people runner talent sees when interacting with Runner are the amazing Aden & Antonio. Hear the behind the scenes approach they take to finding talented operator “gems” while offering what has been called one of the most “human-first” interview processes in the recruiting industry.
March 03, 2022
Runner’s Senior Product Manager - Anne Griffin
When you and I use Runner’s app once it launches on March 15, 2022, much of what we’ll see will have been coordinated and approved by Anne. She acts as a liaison and translator of sorts between our tech team and other departments. In this episode, she lets us know what makes for a great PM (product manager) and why she’s so optimistic about Runner’s future.
March 02, 2022
Runner’s Director of Customer Success - Melanie Jones
You may have worked with Melanie as a Runner customer or interacted with her as a community observer. She breaks down what makes Runner special and her favorite part of working in customer success.
March 01, 2022
New “Demystifying Faith” podcast is live!
Don’t forget to subscribe to catch new episodes…
February 27, 2022
Demystifying Faith — my new limited series podcast, debuts Sunday, Feb 27!
I'm Arlan Hamilton. I'm an investor, a founder, an author, a professional speaker…and an atheist. I wanted to find out what would happen if I sat down to have open and honest conversations with people from all walks of life and various degrees of faith, would my preconceived notions be debunked or simply reconfirmed? Maybe a little bit of both? Let's find out on Demystifying Faith, my limited podcast series, debuting Sunday, Feb 27!
February 26, 2022
Could Runner be your next side hustle?
Learn more about my new recruiting startup, Runner, as I build in public and share inside info along the way. Sign up today at !
February 19, 2022
I just raised $1.4M for
Arlan gives a quick update on her pre-Seed raise for her new recruiting platform, Runner, who you may have heard about in the last few episodes. How did she do it? Why did she do it? Hear from her now… (brought to you by
February 04, 2022
Earning money by working on causes close to your heart, w/Joshua Phelps, World Central Kitchen
Joshua Phelps is the former relief operations director at World Central Kitchen, a non-profit known for providing millions of meals for those right after or during catastrophic events like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. He lets us know how he volunteered his way into one of the most fulfilling gigs of his career to date, and how anyone can help others while making a living. Brought to you by — until we can clone you, hire Runner.
January 23, 2022
The #1 way I know if your startup will be successful
The last 6 years, I’ve invested in 195* companies and 25 fund managers. I’ve also reviewed and studied thousands of companies. I know if you’ll be successful through this one main tell. Brought to you by — for all of your fractional operations and HR needs.
January 09, 2022
How I made $100k in 6 months & only 8 hours per week
Take the next hour to get yourself in a great position for the next 6 months of your life. Brought to you by!
December 29, 2021
How ‘Insecure’ helped me become a better investor & founder
My *thoughts* on the Insecure finale (no spoilers) and empire that is Issa Rae. Brought to you by!
December 28, 2021
82. Arlan’s Covid intro + Key learnings on hiring, remote work, and mental health w/Brad Feld
This episode is brought to you by and Arlan going ham on Covid vaccines for 15mins:) Special thanks to Arlan’s peer mentor, Brad Feld, who has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.
December 23, 2021
Career Rehab w/Twitter Spaces phenom, Kanika Tolver!
A few days ago, Kanika Tolver broke all sorts of barriers and records by speaking to over 2,000 listeners across 6.5 hours on her impromptu Twitter Space launched to connect job seekers with employers. What has happened since is even more remarkable. [Powered by]
December 16, 2021
Top 7 ways to make more money for your company
Do I have your attention? Let’s go! Brought to you by
December 16, 2021
Metrics: first 100 days of my new startup -
Learn how much we’ve earned, what has gone well, and what hasn’t, in this 100-day recap! Be sure to follow along on Twitter at @hirerunner!
December 13, 2021
My impromptu Dean Cain interview - from Trump to Covid, no topic off limits
This is a raw recording of my chat with actor, Dean Cain (tv's Superman), that I had earlier today after running into him in an elevator. Trigger warning: frank discussion of Jan 6th, covid mandates, Trump, and police brutality.
December 09, 2021
Access my academy for free! - courtesy of
No strings. Courtesy of my new recruiting company, Runner. Visit &
December 03, 2021
Tour Day 4: NYC! The perfect closing to a wild week on the road!
Plus, investing in the new Broadway phenomenon, Thoughts of a Colored Man, more lessons learned While building my recruiting startup, Runner, and my message to Will Smith.
November 10, 2021
Tour Days 2 + 3: Energy and synergy in Austin and Atlanta!
On the road again! Listen in as I tiredly explain what the past 2 days have been like on our mini tour. And hope to see you in NYC on Nov 8, 2021!
November 07, 2021
Tour Day 1: Laughter, tears, and collaborations in San Francisco!
San Francisco, you were everything! Austin, Atlanta, and NYC, I’m headed your way.
November 05, 2021
81. Building wealth by working overseas w/Janeen Uzzell
Janeen Uzzell is the CEO of NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers. She previously served as Director of Healthcare Programs in Africa and Head of Women in Technology for General Electric and as COO of the Wikimedia Foundation.
November 01, 2021
Bay Area, Austin, Atlanta, NYC - I’ll see you Nov 4-8, 2021!
Presented by Runner -
October 26, 2021
What happened last night + behind the scenes details at Runner
Ebony Power 100 was a vibe, y’all + I go into details about what Runner is today and what it could become. Anyone launching or managing a startup should listen in.
October 24, 2021
I’m giving this teenage abortion rights activist a $30,000 college scholarship!
Paxton Smith turned heads and changed lives when she went rogue at her highschool graduation and gave a valedictorian speech about abortion rights that had NOT been cleared by admins. I’m thrilled to announce that I am backing her with a scholarship so she can continue her badassery, one speech and class at a time:) Plus, learn how YOU can do this type of thing in a short amount of time, no matter what your current circumstances are.
October 20, 2021
My recruitment company, Runner’s, one month stats and exact numbers!
It’s been exactly one month since I officially launched Runner’s pilot, and there’s a ton to learn from it. I share revenue amounts, customer numbers, first hires, and other metrics, as I continue to build in public.
October 15, 2021
From pilot to beta
It’s been 3 weeks since publicly launching Runner, and I have some exciting updates stats as we go into our beta. Brought to you by
October 07, 2021
80. Building a thoughtful, human-first company w/Aneela of Habitaware
Brought to you by Runner! - Aneela Idnani is the founder of HabitAware. HabitAware's mission is to raise awareness of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania), nail biting) and other behaviors.
October 04, 2021
What if I get close to burnout??
Runner is growing so quickly, how do I juggle all of my responsibilities? Find out!
October 02, 2021
$17.5k revenue in first 2 weeks since launch
Documenting Runner’s first $1M in revenue in real time. Let’s go! HTTPS://
September 29, 2021
My first flight in 18 months…
I just got back from the Saastr conference and it’s been quite a day!
September 28, 2021
3x’d paid pilot customers in 24 hours??
Something very cool has happened in the past 24 hours.
September 26, 2021
What is it like to be my assistant?
If you’re running a company of any size, a great assistant can be invaluable. My new company,, matches you to your next assistant seamlessly and affordably.
September 25, 2021
What would you do with an extra 40 hours next month?
Calling all solopreneurs and startup founders! Let’s free up some of your precious time to create more opportunities. Visit 👍🏾
September 25, 2021
How I launched a $10k project in 30mins
Quick behind-the-scenes look at an idea I had an hour ago, that is now live.
September 24, 2021
Investing Prep: Learn how to become an angel investor
Brought to you by
September 19, 2021
Backstage turns 6! + I have a new company called Runner!
Brought to you by:
September 15, 2021
Building the Future w/Akash
Special thanks to Felix Ejeckam at Akash and Cameron Wiese at Build the Future podcast.
September 12, 2021
You’re ok.
With so much going on in the world and at home right now, I wanted to offer a bit of comfort and direction.
August 16, 2021
Your First $100,000
Will this be you?
August 14, 2021
From zero to 7 income streams in 7 years??
August 08, 2021
How I scored a $6 million investment from Mark Cuban
It’s Mark’s birthday today, so I thought I’d give you the behind the scenes look at Mark Cuban’s $6 million investment in my company.
July 31, 2021
My hack for executing faster and farther!
Let’s talk MVPs (minimum viable product), failure tolerance, podcast strategy, and more!
July 29, 2021
How I psyche myself up when doubt creeps in
I need for you to hear these few minutes of impromptu recorded thoughts about how to battle self-doubt. Grab some headphones and lock in.
July 28, 2021
How to stay one step ahead of Covid chaos financially
Bonus episode discussing Covid, income strategy, and learning from last year.
July 26, 2021
Bonus: Chacho en español! (brought to you by http://Arlan.Capital)
Chacho's back for a surprise bonus episode! He joins Jully-Alma Taveras, founder of InvestingLatina. They talk about the Latinx experience with money, how and why Jully started InvestingLatina, and the last question is in Spanish. :) Brought to you by http://Arlan.Capital
July 19, 2021
Bonus: How research mastery can help you conquer imposter syndrome! Reposted with permission from Danielle Oberdier’s #datafemme podcast
July 14, 2021
79. Special guest host, Chacho - Optimal Solar is shining bright
Dr Reginald Parker is the founder of Optimal Technology. Optimal intelligently lowers energy costs by up to 60% by identifying, monitoring, controlling, and maintaining your key electrical equipment.
July 13, 2021
78. Special guest host, Chacho - Top Knot(ch) way to $1M in revenue
Arlan’s chief-of-staff and investing colleague, Chacho Valadez, interviews Claire Shorall, founder and CEO of Topknot. Topknot's mission is to provide intentional support to women on the journey to reaching their individual and collective potential.
July 06, 2021
77. Special guest host, Chacho - Yac remote audio for your team
Jordan Walker is a Co-Founder and COO of Yac, an app that enables communication within remote teams , making them more efficient. Invested in by
June 28, 2021
76. ShearShare - Are they the “Hairbnb” of the industry?
Dr. Tye and Courney Caldwell are the founders of ShearShare, a B2B app that matches licensed beauty professionals to unused salon space.
June 21, 2021
75. Spora - $4M raised to match Black patients w/Black doctors
Dan Miller is the CEO of Spora Health, a a primary care network for people of color (and Backstage Capital “headliner”). Spora Health, which recently closed a $1.2 million seed round, is a primary care provider for Black people and people of color. “Spora Health patients get access to its care delivery platform and care team that consists of doctors, nurse practitioners, nutritionists and more. Its machine learning-driven technology also can predict risk profiles for patients and look for chronic conditions like pre-diabetes, hypertension, emphysema and more.” - Techcrunch
June 15, 2021
Your First Million 2-year anniversary!!
Today marks 2 days since launching YFM. Thank you for hanging out for ~185 episodes!
June 08, 2021
74. Kara Goldin - Hint’s path to millions of customers
Kara Goldin is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint water, the leading unsweetened flavored water.
June 01, 2021
Why I launched a $15,000/year “All-Access” program
This episode will only appeal to 1 out of every 1,000 people who hear the first 60 seconds of it, but I think you should take notes anyway! In the last 5 years, I have raised $20M, bootstrapped another few million$ in revenue, invested in nearly 200 companies and 15 funds, and donated ~$500k to scholarships. I’ve been piloting All-Access with 8 members for the past 8 months, to share some of my learnings, and I’m ready to expand it. Listen to the entire episode to make sure this is for you.
May 30, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on ‘Friends’ reunion & Twitter addiction
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics at their dining room table.
May 29, 2021
Roundtable: Mandela, Monique, Candice, & Arlan!
A bonus episode featuring friends and peers, Candice Matthews Brackeen, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, and Monique Woodard in conversation with Arlan.
May 27, 2021
73. AJ & Simon - Millions of views by being themselves
AJ and Simon are an interracial, international influencer couple from the US (AJ) & Canada (Simon). They are known as "justfordeux" on Instagram and TikTok. The Quest with Justin Kan
May 25, 2021
June 1’s investing course 50% sold out!
25 of 50 seats in Cohort 2 of “Investing as a Catalyst” have already been taken. Learn more in this bonus episode and sign up today at Arlan.Capital!
May 23, 2021
72. Alex Williamson - Employee 3 at Bumble disrupting the insurance world
Alex Williamson is the CEO and co-founder of Asteya. She's also the former CBO of Bumble. The Quest with Justin Kan
May 17, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermangirl on winning Janet Jackson’s car auction!
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
May 16, 2021
71. Suneera - “Hard work is the shortcut.”
Stax processes billions of dollars in payments for its b2b customers every year. Founder & CEO, Suneera Madhani, is a payments innovator who is disrupting the industry.
May 14, 2021
70. Sekr - hitting the open road to $1M
Breanne Acio, co-founder of Sekr (fka VanLife) is making outdoor travel and recreation easier, safer, and more connected. + Listen to my friend Justin Kan’s new podcast, The Quest, at
May 10, 2021
New episodes & a June 1 launch
New episodes coming soon, and cohort 2 of Arlan’s “Investing as a Catalyst” course. Visit Arlan.Capital for more info!
May 07, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on Handmaid’s Tale, vacationing, and vaccinating
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
May 01, 2021
Use the next 5 years to set up the next 30
Spend less than 10mins with me to get you ready for the next 5 years, towards your first million and beyond.
April 26, 2021
69. The Juggernaut - investing in the South Asian diaspora
Snigdha Sur is the founder & CEO of The Juggernaut, a media company which tells untold stories of the South Asian diaspora. She grew up a voracious reader and likes having a pen on her at all times.
April 19, 2021 just $8.34/month!
12,000 students and counting in its first year! How to raise capital from scratch, how to bootstrap, forming an LLC, launching a crowdfunding campaign, demystifying crypto currencies, cracking b2b marketing, and more. All available on and taught by a diverse group of experts.
April 16, 2021
68. Lolita Taub on matching founders w/millions (feat. Chacho Valadez)
Lolita Taub is Head of Sales at Series A startup, Catalyte, and the Co-Founder and General Partner at The Community Fund where she invests in community-driven companies.
April 13, 2021
Gone Fishin’ - Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl
We’re chilaxin this weekend! We’ll be back in a week or two :)
April 11, 2021
67. Stacey Abrams (!!) on playing “spades, not chess”.
“Stacey Abrams is fighting to create a Georgia where all of our people can thrive and where all eligible voters can have their voices heard.” She’s also going to be President of the United States one day :)
April 08, 2021
My new 4-week investor course!
Thrilled to announce my new 4-week “Investing as a Catalyst” program happening April 11 - May 8. Visit for more info. See you in class!
April 08, 2021
66. Investing $ millions into immigrant-led startups w/Maria Salamanca
“Maria Salamanca, a former refugee who came to the U.S. from Colombia at 6 years old, has been promoted to partner at Unshackled Ventures, a firm that invests exclusively in immigrant founders coming to the U.S. She joins a very small group of Latinx female partners at U.S.-based venture firms.” - Crunchbase
April 06, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on Anna being “swole”, American Idol, & sound design
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
April 03, 2021
65. Coolhaus Ice cream founder Natasha Case on delivering deliciousness
Coolhaus is the leading women-founded and -led ice cream and frozen dessert brand creating premium cookie sandwiches and pints.
April 01, 2021
64. Bitwise founders on raising $50M to become the change they’ve been looking for
“By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.” -
March 29, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on their careers, “ComicCon roles”, & balancing expectations
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
March 27, 2021
63. Monique Woodard - her investment “cake” thesis & why Meghan Markle would be a great VC
Monique is the founder of venture capital firm Cake Ventures. Formerly led a $25M fund at accelerator 500 Startups, where she invested in black-owned businesses such as media startup Blavity and Court Buddy. Before then, she cofounded a network of black tech entrepreneurs, Black Founders.
March 23, 2021
Listen in while I get my first dose of the vaccine!
Recorded just moments ago...
March 20, 2021
You can now invest in my investment firm - Join Arlan as she speaks with her Backstage team — Christie, Brittany, and Chacho — the afternoon of March 15, to discuss their groundbreaking crowdfund.
March 16, 2021
HUGE news!
March 15, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on Peloton, Netflix, The Watchmen & Biden
In loving memory of Hollie Haggans. Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series, Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
March 13, 2021
SPACs, Meghan Markle, & multiple fund theses among underrepresented investors w/McKeever & Chacho
Join Arlan as she welcomes guest McKeever (Mac) Conwell—GP at Rarebreed VC, and Chacho Valadez—Arlan’s colleague at Backstage Capital—to talk about current events.
March 08, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on coffee, General Hospital, mask mandates, and the word (?) “sawl”
Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series where Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
March 06, 2021
NFTs - everything you were afraid to ask & more!
Join Arlan as she welcomes guests Tonya Evans—and IP lawyer & crypto expert, Joe Saavedra—founder/CEO, Infinite Objects, and Chacho Valadez—Arlan’s colleague at Backstage Capital to try to demystify NFTs.
March 02, 2021
62. Morgan DeBaun - Blavity, Afrotech, & the one thing Morgan wants Arlan to know
Morgan DeBaun is a multi-hyphenate running a powerhouse conglomerate. Blavity, Inc. is the largest network of platforms and lifestyle brands surfing Black millennials in the world.
March 01, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on Billie Eilish, Anna’s composing range, and (not) spotting celebrities
Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series where Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
February 27, 2021
5-months revenue earned in 2 days w/one line of code??
Let the experimenting begin!
February 26, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on ADHD, Ted Cruz, WandaVision, and handling negative feedback
Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series where Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
February 20, 2021
61. Abby Levy - $50M to fuel ages 60+ entrepreneurship
Abby Levy is the co-founder and partner of Primetime Partners, a venture capital fund w/Alan Patricof investing in companies run by people and/or addressing customers who are 60+.
February 15, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl on Bieber, FOMO & in-home bowling allies
Continuing their impromptu weekend morning series where Arlan and her wife, Anna, discuss multiple topics over their breakfast table.
February 13, 2021
My first million! + new themesong!
It’s an episode full of !! where Arlan breaks down the historic 8-hour $1M Reg CF raise from Feb 1 and tells you how *she* made her first million in personal capital.
February 11, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl talk about why they never fight + Arlan’s $1M raise
We had so much fun with this last weekend, we thought we’d do it again.
February 06, 2021
BIG announcement!
February 01, 2021
Arlan & @QueerGermanGirl (aka her wife, Anna) talk covid etiquette
Spoiler alert: wear a mask (or two), social distance, stay home when you can, save a life. Thanks!
January 30, 2021 special episode for YFM VIPs! use code: YFMVIP at checkout. Special thanks to all of the experts at the academy!
January 28, 2021
Arlan’s Academy behind the scenes w/Tonya Evans
Join Arlan and Tonya Evans as they discuss and Tonya’s course ‘From Cash to Crypto’. Hear more from Tonya on her podcast, Tech Intersect.
January 24, 2021
MLK Day replay - Dr. Pamela Jolly
In this special episode, we revisit Your First Million’s very first episode from the summer of 2019. Such a timely and important conversation then and today.
January 18, 2021
MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech [Oslo, 1964]
Martin Luther King’s Acceptance Speech, award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1964
January 15, 2021
Rachel and Arlan on Covid lockdowns in the UK and U.S.
An impromptu interview with my friend Rachel, in the UK.
January 08, 2021
While wearing a mask?? O Holy Night sung by Jaime Korkos
My dear friend Jaime Korkos sang this traditional Christmas song recently while wearing a mask. I dig masks and I dig Jaime, so wanted to share.
December 28, 2020
ASMR experiment - my new zen garden
My wife got me a zen garden for Xmas. I love ASMR—particularly the zen garden variety—so I decided to give it a whirl. This was recorded Dec 24, 2020 in my home office. I like to listen while I work on emails or if I can’t fall asleep at night. Give it a try!
December 25, 2020
If you’re feeling lonely or down during the holidays...
This one is for you:)
December 25, 2020
60. My Will Smith appearance + Diana Dimenna pt. 2
Catch my appearance on Will Smith’s Snapchat show Will From Home + Diana Dimenna becomes the first guest to appear twice on the podcast! She’s here to discuss her new Broadway co-production, Thoughts of a Colored Man.
December 16, 2020
Listen to the live webinar for Arlan’s Academy, Dec 13, 2020
Announcing: Arlan’s Academy! Brand new experts & courses w/a tuition price model! I take every single course before posting to ensure quality and I am learning SO much. Arlan’s Academy launched yesterday and already has more than $1,200-worth of value, 20+ hours of content, 6 experts, and more than a dozen courses in queue.
December 13, 2020
59. Mark Cuban on why he invested in Arlan & more
You know Mark from Shark Tank, the Mavericks, and his more than 250 startup company investments. Learn what he invested in Arlan, what his secrets to success are, and why he hates when people kiss his butt.
December 09, 2020
58. Avery Francis - How she bootstrapped her way to $1M!
Avery Francis is the founder and CEO of Bloom, a consulting agency in Toronto serving North America. She how she took two terrible work experiences and turned them into a service making the lives of countless employees better, while creating a thriving company with a team of 9...all without taking a penny in outside funding.
December 02, 2020
How I earned $100,000 in 6 months
My first course, How to Raise Capital from Scratch, has generated more than $100,000 in its first 6 months. My new
November 28, 2020
Audio from today’s Backstage office hours
At my investment firm, Backstage Capital, we have monthly office hours for entrepreneurs. This is the raw audio from today’s session ICYMI. Sign up for our next office hours with live Q&A at
November 25, 2020
57. Katrina Lake - Youngest women to IPO / Stitch Fix
My guest today was the youngest woman to take her company public (IPO) and the only woman to do so in 2017. She’s using that distinction, her influence, and her voice to make sure many more will follow and break her records.
November 23, 2020
My Weekly Recap - Friday, Nov 20
Thought I’d try something a little different. This is a 20min recap of my week, to give you a glimpse of what a *week in the life* is like. Let me know if you want me to keep doing these!
November 21, 2020
Special! Full audio of NEW documentary from!
Now you can *listen* to the brand new Backstage Capital documentary on a road trip, while working around your home, or while taking notes. For the full video, visit
November 19, 2020
56. Diana DiMenna - Broadway producer changing the game
Diana DiMenna is an award-winning theater and film producer and philanthropist. Her Broadway credits include the record-breaking play What the Constitution Means to Me, and the newly announced, Thoughts of a Colored Man, where she’s co-producing with others including Samira Wiley.
November 19, 2020
If you’re feeling stressed about the election...
I’ve got a few things that may be of help in this episode. [transcription coming soon]
November 04, 2020
VOTE! + New documentary + my 40th birthday /
November 02, 2020
Nora & Thea - Unconventional VC
GPS, LPs, angels, family offices, institutions—Listen in as Nora & Thea, partners at Nordic venture fund, give this fantastic presentation on the state of funding for women and POC in the Nordics and beyond.
October 07, 2020
Q&A pt.2 - Oct 3
More answers to your burning questions! Taken from
October 03, 2020
Q&A with Arlan - Oct 2
Your business, investment, and personal questions answered!
October 03, 2020
Bonus: Networks vs. Networking
Brought to you by:
September 28, 2020
My $6M fund with Mark Cuban
Bonus episode dissecting my investment partnership with Mark Cuban, ArlanWasHere Investments.
September 25, 2020
Behind the scenes-’s First Million!
In this episode, you’re a fly on the wall during a call I recently had as part of an interview series for print. This raw audio takes you behind the scene on my thoughts on my investment syndicate’s latest milestone (shoutout to Your First Million listeners!), as well as SEC regulations around accredited investing.
September 24, 2020
55. Jennifer Neundorfer - Finding the right investor fit for you
Jen is an operator turned investor who has backed over 50 early stage startups. She is a partner at January Ventures. As an operator, she launched and scaled media and advertising businesses at 21st Century Fox and YouTube. She is a mother to two young children and juggles the demands of being a working mom. She has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.
September 23, 2020
54. Sophia Amoruso - Upgrading Your Career to “Business Class”
Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of Girlboss and Nasty Gal. She’s also the bestselling author of Girlboss the book, and has been on the cover of multiple magazines. She’s also transparent about the times in between the headlines, and has just launched a business course to help you get through even the toughest challenges as an entrepreneur. Shoutout to the Zebra Movement and Black & Brown Founders. for more!
September 22, 2020
53. Tricia Clarke-Stone - Doubling Down on Entrepreneurship with “I Quit” tv show
Tricia Clarke-Stone is the co-star of Spotify’s new show “I Quit” on the Discovery Channel. The acclaimed show follows 6 small businesses as they’re mentored by 3 entrepreneurs at the top of their game, including Tricia. The episode is brought to you by Wheelhouse Productions &!
September 19, 2020
52. Christine Kinnear - Breaking barriers in the UK one Uni student at a time’s director Christine Kinnear has guided more than 100 Black teenagers through the daunting process of applying to top-tier universities in London. Listen in to see what personal event gave her the courage to embark on this journey, and why she thinks the next frontier is 1,000+ students!
September 18, 2020
PPP loan forgiveness info session
Backstage Capital x Revel CPA present a PPP forgiveness webinar info session. This is the audio from the live virtual webinar on Sept 11, 2020. Visit for the accompanying deck and video to follow along. Visit and for more.
September 15, 2020
Live Backstage virtual meetup, Sept 15
It’s our 5-year anniversary and we want to share it with you! Super casual hang. Visit to register!
September 11, 2020
Arlan’s $1B startup prediction comes true + PPP forgiveness webinar
Did you know I discovered the first hour it was live and even helped its founders search for investors early on? Here’s more of the story! Plus, want to know the latest about PPP forgiveness? Join us this Friday, Sept 11 for a free webinar. All brought to you by
September 07, 2020
51. SoulPopped - Soul food-inspired popcorn + a big surprise!
With over 100,000 bags sold, SoulPopped has come a long way from a last-stitch experiment to pay the bills born out of De J.’s kitchen in 2016. Relatable, humble, audacious, and inspiring, this episode will resonate with SO many of you. Can’t wait for you to hear this one.
August 21, 2020
50. Aja Volkman - Shine Bright Like a Diamond
Get to know Aja Volkman, lead singer of the new band TWO and former front woman for Nico Vega. In this super in-depth and intimate interview, We talk about organized religion, having a spouse who's in the same industry as you, raising a family while touring the world, and how Aja's new single "In This Rough" has been on steady repeat on my phone. (If you're an Imagine Dragons fan, you'll get something out of this interview, as well.)
August 21, 2020
Quick message about Hyper Curious podcast
3> min note to tell you to check out my new episode on Hyper Curious podcast by Roberta Lucca. :)
August 20, 2020
49. Aisha Tyler - It’s Her Line, Anyway
Aisha Tyler is an actress, comedian, director and talk show host. You know her from The Talk, Friends, Criminal Minds, Archer, Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, and video games Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, and Watch Dogs.
August 12, 2020
My thoughts on bandwidth and boundaries.
8mins, check it out. 
July 30, 2020
48. Ollen Douglass - Nobody's Fool
Ollen Douglass is the Managing Director for Motley Fool Ventures which launched in 2018. Prior to becoming the Managing Director, Ollen was CFO of The Motley Fool for 14 years. Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
July 20, 2020
Could Jennifer Carroll Foy be the U.S.’s first Black woman governor?
Jennifer Carroll Foy is a representative of Virginia's 2nd House of Delegates district. This year, she announced her run for governor of Virginia in 2021.
July 17, 2020
47. - ending police brutality
Brandon D. Anderson, Founder & CEO, founded Raheem after police killed his partner during a routine traffic stop. He is a U.S. army veteran, 2019 TED Fellow, and Smithsonian Ingenuity Award Nominee. Brandon graduated from Georgetown University in 2015. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
July 13, 2020
Jason Calacanis - the best startup syndicate investor of all time?
Join @ArlanWasHere and @Jason as they get into some #realtalk this Sunday afternoon about syndicates, Backstage Crowd, finding 7 unicorns (!!), and the one venture firm who Jason doesn’t get along with.
July 12, 2020
46. OMG! - General Hospital cast w/Arlan group chat
Join Arlan as she sits down--virtually--with cast members from her favorite TV show, General Hospital. It kicks off with a few mins 1-on-1 with actress Katelyn McMullen ("Willow"), followed by a mega group chat with cast members Chloe Lanier ("Nelle"), Sofia Mattsson ("Sasha"), Briana Henry ("Jordan"), Tamara Braun (fmr "Kim Nero"), Laura Wright ("Carly"), and Finola Hughes ("Anna")! Alternate description: "aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!" Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
July 11, 2020
If you’re new to this podcast, start here :)
Welcome! (Or just a refresher for longtime listeners)
July 04, 2020
45. Tanya Van Court - Goalsetter
Tanya Van Court is the Founder and CEO of Goalsetter. Goalsetter is a goal-based savings, gifting and financial literacy platform, made just for kids and families. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
July 03, 2020
Paige Craig on syndicate investing, “We could put together $1m in a day or two.”
Paige Craig is one of the most well-respected angel investors in the game, but he didn’t start his career in the finance world. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he started his own military intelligence company and sold it in 2009. Since then, he’s been at the top of the leader boards on AngelList, pulling together funds for a variety of startups like Lyft, Twitter, and Postmates. Paige shares some great insights on how syndicate investing works. We talk about his experience with investing, how he built his network, and the risks you should anticipate when investing with Backstage Crowd (or any other syndicate). If you want to get involved, visit Highlights 5:46 Paige tells his story about growing up homeless, and then joining the U.S. Marine Corps 10:02 I ask him about the early investments he made in some of today’s notable tech giants 12:39 He tells me how AngelList came to be and what early syndicates looked like 14:55 He talks about why he loves investing in tech 18:08 I ask Paige to explain how his syndicate worked and what people need to know about the investment process 24:07 We talk about some of the biggest syndicates he organized 28:20 I ask how his syndicate members react to investment losses 31:07 What is the right percentage of someone’s net worth that they should be putting into investments? 34:00 We talk about what we enjoy about contributing to a fund and being part of a syndicate 37:06 Paige believes diversity makes competition better Links Twitter: @paigecraig For founders in the South:
June 28, 2020
Syndicate deal for non-accredited investors - Fleeting -
Impromptu episode to announce Backstage Crowd’s first non-accredited investor deal, portfolio company Fleeting, on More than $750k raised and 3.5k+ individual investors, and has a cap of ~$1m. I didn’t want you to miss it so releasing this today!
June 22, 2020
1 solid hour of strategy for Backstage Crowd syndicate members
Grab a pen and paper to take notes! Here’s more context on the new investment syndicate that I have launched with my team. Great for anyone who has questions beyond our Q&A episode, who wants to think through investment strategy within the syndicate, or who is curious about our first deal. Accredited and non-accredited, inquire within!
June 20, 2020
44. Swati Mylavarapu - Moonshot Investor
Finding small gems, investing in them, building teams, getting other like-minded supporters involved, combining the right ingredients for growth… that’s what Swati has done her entire career. For starters, she invested in herself, getting degrees at Oxford and Harvard as a Rhodes scholar. She learned how great teams and companies are built from the inside at start-ups Quid & Square. Most recently, she learned how capital supports and amplifies entrepreneurs as a partner at KPCB. Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
June 17, 2020
Introducing - an investing syndicate
Hear the June 12 virtual Q&A about our new investing syndicate,
June 13, 2020
43. Blended Designs - How Black representation turned into $1m in backpack sales
Casey Kelley launched Blended Designs in 2017 after her son told her “I want a bag with my face on it.” Using her background in consumer insights and analytics, she did the research and confirmed that there was a lack of Black representation in school gear. Today, Blended Designs specializes in printing children of color on backpacks, but the product line has expanded into so much more. In this episode, we talk about the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision, how Blended Designs stays innovative, and the future of the company. I’m really looking forward to hear what you think - leave a message... just keep in mind that the recording cuts you off at 1 minute: And thank you Purple for sponsoring the show! Highlights 12:38 Casey tells me what makes Blended Design backpacks special 15:57 We talk about the COVID-19 masks protests and our observations as Black women 17:25 Casey talks about how Blended Designs earned their first million by listening to their customers 20:41 I ask her how the company pivoted during COVID-19 to make their second (!) million 22:40 Casey tells me what she was doing before Blended Designs and how her son inspired the business 25:30 She explains the importance of protecting intellectual property 28:53 I ask her about the future of Blended Designs 31:56 Casey Kelley tells me (unprompted) what she thinks about my book It’s About Damn Time as someone who primarily enjoys fiction books Links Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
June 10, 2020
1 year anniversary! + response to my last episode
June 8, 2019 I hit publish on my first episode of Your First Million. Hear about some behind the scenes thoughts on the first year of episodes and production🙌🏾
June 08, 2020
Who I was referring to in last night's viral tweet...
My opinion is you should listen to the whole episode or not at all...
June 04, 2020
Get $19,000 worth of business courses for $100 this week only
This episode is me selling you something. Only listen if you want $19,000 worth of online business courses for $100. Happens once per year and is insanely valuable. Get my fast track course + 70+ other business courses for $100 June 1 - 8. It’s ridiculous. Listen to the episode and visit for all the info.
June 01, 2020
42. T-Boz! From the best-selling U.S. girlgroup of all time, TLC (w/special guest @Janine)
Over 85 million albums sold. Record-breaking tours. A career that spans 3 decades. T-Boz from the best-selling U.S. girl group TLC graced us with her (online) presence in this amazing interview. We talk about staying true to yourself, how to do smart business, and speaking publicly about her health. Plus, I ask T-Boz something I’ve wondered for 20 years, and it leads to an unexpected realization. Special thanks to my brother Alfred ‘Rook’ Hamilton for creating the opportunity for this interview, and @Janine for co-hosting. Did you enjoy this episode as much as I did? Leave me a voice message: Highlights 14:30 T-Boz describes how to stay true to your sound and yourself in the music industry 18:10 Janine asks T-Boz how she balances discussions about social injustices with positive content on her social media 23:17 She addresses her choice to be public about living with sickle cell 27:08 I ask T-Boz about being the top selling girl group in America, what touring is like now, and whether she’d consider a residency 31:32 Does she feel she’s been taken advantage of in business deals? 37:39 What do she want underestimated entrepreneurs to take away? 41:26 Will Destiny’s Child and TLC face off on Verzuz? 48:10 I ask about how she got OutKast signed 49:55 T-Boz tells us about her company TLCBD and the benefits she’s seen from testing and using the products over the past few years Links Instagram: @therealtboz
May 28, 2020
Announcing the 8-week IADT mastermind (free!)
May 26, 2020
41. Chase Jarvis: What Richard Branson, a near-death experience, and missing out on $1B has taught him
Chase Jarvis disappointed a lot of people when he decided to become a photographer. While he’s still taking pictures today, he’s also the founder of CreativeLive, a platform for all kinds of creators, innovators, and hustlers to learn from each other. And he’s also the author of Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life. We talk about his choice to pursue photography, his near-death experience, and why he so passionately encourages people to create: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. You just have to see the first couple steps.” Let’s keep the conversation going. Leave me a voice message: Highlights 6:07 Chase talks about what it meant to “summon the courage to disappoint nearly everyone in his life.” 14:54 “The people we end up celebrating in our culture are the people who are willing to stand out.” 15:45 He tells me how he went from wanting to be a professional soccer player to a doctor to a photographer 18:12 I ask him what he means by “Right now is the riskiest time to play it safe” 24:41 Chase tells me how he became friends with Richard Branson 29:56 He describes his near-death experience that pushed him to build his legacy 38:30 Chase reflects on his shift from the world of photography to technology with his app The Best Camera 43:29 Does he feel fulfilled with his work? Links Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @ChaseJarvis Arlan’s Photos Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
May 23, 2020
40. Chris Guillebeau: From idea to income in 27 days
Chris Guillebeau is an entrepreneur, explorer, and New York Times-bestselling author. During a lifetime of self-employment, Guillebeau visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday.  He is the author of seven books, including The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, Side Hustle and The Money Tree. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
May 16, 2020
39. The one and only: KELIS! (w/special guest @Janine)
With hits like “Caught Out There,” & “Milkshake,” Kelis needs no introduction. We spoke candidly about entrepreneurship, artistry, and legacy during this live recording in front of an intimate online audience, May 8, 2020. Recent Your First Million interviewee @Janine joined the conversation as my special guest.  Did you enjoy this episode? What are your thoughts? Leave me a voice message: Highlights 8:01 A sneak preview of my book It’s About Damn Time! 16:37 Janine and I reminisce about our time on tour together  20:21 Kelis talks about growing up in Harlem 23:30 She talks about the Black music community in NYC in the 90s 26:36 I ask how she stays grounded when she started at such a young age 31:38 Janine asks Kelis what it’s like to balance herself as an artist and a person who needs to live 39:45 Kelis talks about making Milkshake and her fight to produce music that she wanted to make 43:57 I ask Kelis about the process of understanding her worth  47:15 I ask her about taking a break from music and attending Cordon Bleu in 2007 51:59 I ask Kelis to talk more about the Netflix Show Cooked with Cannabis Q&A 56:50 Do you have any other culinary plans for the future? 59:34 What is your advice when it comes to dealing with people dredging up your past  62:32 Kelis talks about stepping out of her artistry and building her wealth 66:33 She talks about the importance of owning land: “20-30% of America’s farms were owned by Black families. We gave all that up for an apartment.”
May 09, 2020
It’s. About. Damn. TIME!!
May 05, 2020
Timely insights for entrepreneurs and investors from the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association)
At the beginning of May 2020, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released some interesting and time-sensitive pieces in light of COVID-19. I want to share this information with you because I don’t think this is just about VCs. Entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses will be the ones to bring the world out of this pandemic - help them make it happen. You have an opportunity to write to your representatives about getting this stimulus package to the people who need it. How are you doing? Did you find this helpful? Leave me a voice message: Highlights 4:56 How the NVCA is encouraging the government to increase PPP funding 5:58 Why I see the world of VC as more than just the extremely wealthy 8:16 Statistics and numbers about how startups are affected 10:40 Why it’s important to help the VC industry stay afloat 15:00 How this affects underrepresented founders 17:48 How Backstage Capital is trying to provide opportunities for serendipitous relationships to happen between investors and entrepreneurs 20:08 Some companies that I see doing great work 29:00 VC-specific details and terms in the NVCA letter to the treasury Links
May 04, 2020
38. Leanne Pittsford - Lesbians Who Tech
In 2012, Leanne Pittsford created a Facebook event for lesbians working in the San Francisco tech industry. Now, Lesbians Who Tech has hosted six summits in addition to dozens of other events around the world. And in 2020, they will host the first virtual Pride Summit. It’s the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world. But it’s not just for lesbians – everyone is invited to support and attend the events! Leanne and I chat about why our community needs this, how she provides value to businesses, and the importance of reclaiming the word lesbian. Did you enjoy the episode? Leave me a message at: Highlights 7:17 Leanne talks about how working with the No on Prop 8 campaign inspired the concept for Lesbians Who Tech 10:38 She describes what the first meetups were like at bars 16:11 I ask about her branding choice, how intentional it was, and how it’s helped (or hurt) her mission 20:30 I ask Leanne about taking the leap from small gatherings to a large summit 26:04 Leanne tells me about reaching $1 million and how Lesbians Who Tech reinvests in the community 28:41 She talks about how the business still serves the community in light of the pandemic 33:00 Leanne reflects on what gives her optimism about the near future 35:02 I ask her why she brings politicians to speak at events, and whether she sees herself running for office Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
May 02, 2020
Arlan x Minda Harts live chat!
This audio is taken from a live virtual conversation that took place on April 29, 2020 with approx 100 in attendance. After reading Lean In, Minda Harts realized that, while some of the advice was helpful, no one was writing about the obstacles women of color face to achieve success. So in 2019, she wrote The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table. Now, she speaks at corporate events to give actionable advice on how to make the workspace better for everyone. I followed and studied Minda Harts’ work for a while before releasing my own book, It’s About Damn Time. In this episode, we talk about leaning in as Black women, calling on allies to show up, and sharing our truths with the people who need to hear it. What did you like about this episode? Leave me a message at: Highlights 6:42 What is the book about?  10:09 She describes her experiences in predominantly white spaces, and her decision to start these conversations with allies (and non-allies) 13:24 Minda talks about why this book is for everyone 15:21 We discuss the importance of being seen and the lack of diversity in the publishing business Q&A 20:40 You speak at a lot of corporate events. How does that go over when your book is critical of the corporate world? 22:31 What’s a good example of a takeaway from the book that someone could implement today? 24:21 Do you have a recommendation on books we can read to continue the conversation you established with The Memo? 26:37 Who are some other black women who inspire you? And what are you reading now? 29:23 If you could go back in time and give Arlan advice on writing her book, what would it be? 33:06 What is your take on the word 'feminist'? 34:16 How have you seen white women show up as allies since you put your book out? 35:57 How does this translate to our engagement with black men? 38:30 What advice do you have for anyone who wants to write a book? 41:05 Did anyone come back to you after reading this book and criticize what you said? 43:53 How has writing the book affected you? Links
April 29, 2020
37. Tara Reed: Creating Apps Without Code
Tara Reed founded Apps Without Code to help anyone build an app, even if they don’t have any technical knowledge. And in 2019, she generated $1 million in revenue from her online course. Ever since I started this podcast, I’ve wanted to interview Tara and share her story. Like what you hear? Leave me a message at: Highlights 4:17 Tara talks about how she built her business from her newsletter 6:37 She describes what her online program offers 9:47 She tells a story about a music teacher who developed an app in her course 12:04 What graduates can expect after completing the program, such as the potential to make revenue 17:56 The benefits of developing ideas rather than raising money 21:48 Tara talks about why her program is more than just developing apps Links use the code FAST10 when you’re ready to try the program!
April 24, 2020
Rerun! - Techish (UK) hot takes on Arlan’s new book
(Originally aired April 22, 2020) A special episode commissioned from the enquiring minds of Abadesi and Michael of the wildly popular UK podcast, Techish. “Arlan was extremely honest about what was going on in her personal and real life, and how all of those things impacted the decisions she made.” I commissioned this podcast episode to give a preview of my new book It’s About Damn Time. Abadesi and Michael discuss all things tech, pop culture, and life every week on Techish. In this episode, they talk about how they saw their own experiences in my stories, and how the book inspires them to leverage their underrepresented identities. What are your thoughts about the book? Let me know in a voice message: Highlights 9:22 The solid, actionable advice they took from the book 10:38 Abadesi and Michael reflect on my story of how I met Chris Sacca 13:14 How the book inspires them to overcome reservations about “throwing yourself in the ring” 15:13 How they appreciate reading advice about entrepreneurship from someone who has had their experiences 19:34 They talk about how they learned VC firms operate  20:44 They discuss why and how your network is your greatest asset
April 22, 2020
36. Sophia Bush: Using her voice for equity & equality
“It’s one thing to be an employee and make your salary…It’s another thing to be invested.” After years of running in similar circles but never crossing paths, Sophia Bush and I finally take a moment to get to know each other. We have mutual friends in the entertainment industry, and when I started Backstage Capital, I found out that Sophia is also an investor in her own right. You may know her from One Tree Hill, John Tucker Must Die, and Chicago Fire. But what you may not know is that she wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon, she’s successfully invested in multiple startups, and she encourages women to demand equity from the spaces they contribute to. Episode highlights 10:08 Sophia talks about growing up with the privilege of exposure 16:03 Why did she go to school to be an actress instead of a cardiovascular surgeon? 23:38 Sophia recalls the audition process for her role on One Tree Hill 29:33 Did she make her first million on One Tree Hill?  31:06 How attending conferences (for fun) and making friends led to investing in startups 33:55 We discuss our experiences of being underrepresented people who want skin in the game 40:34 Why it’s important to know your value in any industry 43:12 What Sophia is working on now, and how she’s finally achieving her dream to be a cardiovascular surgeon 45:21 What the film and TV industry might look like after COVID-19
April 21, 2020
How to raise capital for your company from scratch
I’ve got a new online course that answers the number one question I’ve been asked by thousands of founders over the years. Visit and click on ‘Arlan’s Academy’ to preview. And of course YFM listeners get a special discount at checkout by using code: yourfirstmillion
April 15, 2020
It’s About Damn Time: Special ad from Espree Devora
Hear Arlan’s new interview with Espree at
April 09, 2020
Live webinar: SBA funding for companies and individuals
Arlan held an info session with Revel CPA. Visit to access the PDF from the discussion as you listen to the session here. “When in doubt, apply.” Revel CPA is an accounting firm focused on clients working in the entertainment and creative industries. They are also our accountants for Arlan's companies, and they graciously took the time to talk to us about the Small Business Administration (SBA) funding opportunities for companies and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.  Please keep in mind that the information is changing rapidly. Did this episode bring you any comfort? Let me know in a voice message: Highlights 8:03 Gina tells us that the federal government has made COVID-19 testing free for everyone 14:29 Martin reviews minor but noteworthy provisions in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including student loans, employer social security tax, FHA mortgages, and HSA/FSA deductions 20:32 Martin reviews “medium-sized” provisions, including retirement account withdrawals, loan conditions for existing SBA 7(a) loan holders, expanded unemployment coverage, and rebate checks 28:58 How to qualify for the payroll tax credit 30:44 Information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program 33:54 Information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Q&A 41:35 Does the PPP benefit apply to payroll that includes employees based outside the United States? 43:11 If you are a startup that is pre-revenue, what resources are available? 44:36 Are the paid sick leave requirements additional or minimum? 45:50 How do you apply for the EIDL program? 47:34 If I applied [to the EIDL program] and I didn’t get a notice to re-apply, do I need to re-apply?
April 06, 2020
Mark Cuban live chat with Arlan
If you’re an entrepreneur looking for inspiration during the COVID-19 crisis, my conversation with Mark Cuban may bring you some hope. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, he still has some great stories to put a smile on your face. And in case no one has told you yet: please don’t be ashamed to accept assistance from social welfare programs. You’ve earned the relief you need right now. What did you think of this episode? Let me know in a voice message: Highlights 3:20 I ask Mark how he’s experiencing the crisis as a billionaire 7:17 Mark tells us why now is a good time to start a business (hint: it’s not for the money) 12:17 I ask Mark what advice he offers to people who were just laid off 17:54 When Mark thinks VCs may start investing regularly again 19:25 We talk about the network effect of raising people up 22:59 Why Mark recommends entrepreneurs look to their own community needs first: “You don’t have to be the leader to be a leader.” 28:37 We discuss why it’s important to continuously learn (especially now) 31:17 Mark talks about working from home while being a parent of three kids 34:08 Mark answers your questions  Visit for video.
April 04, 2020
Coronavirus: Dealing with anxiety in self-isolation
I interviewed my good friend and co-writer Rachel from her home office in Nottingham, England for another profile in courage during an unprecedented time. Relatable and real. Let me know if it helps you: Episode highlights 7:32 How the situation in Europe escalated over the course of Rachel's vacation in Budapest 12:50 Rachel tells me about what the lockdown looks like in the UK 16:00 She talks about going grocery shopping and trying to be socially responsible with anxiety 19:40 We reflect on how the anxiety she currently experiences in public and around the police is something that people of minority groups are very familiar with 23:34 She tells me how she gets through her day by chatting with friends (a lot) and avoiding the news 27:10 What we think the world will be like when we come out of this 30:04 We talk about the book release! Links Twitter: @rachellous
March 31, 2020
Coronavirus: Caring for a newborn, being pregnant, losing a loved one, and being over the age of 70
I interviewed my business partner Christie, coworker Brittany, apprentice Chacho, and mother Mrs. Sims to see how they’ve each been handling major life moments during social distancing. Episode highlights 2:27 Brittany talks about being pregnant for the first time, and how she’s preparing for motherhood 18:06 Chacho explains the circumstances around planning his tio's funeral 28:48 Christie tells me about having a newborn with a husband whose job is considered essential 38:22 Christie talks about the struggles of being a new parent in self-isolation, and the communities she’s turning to for support 44:14 My mother tells me about her experience self-isolating alone for over two weeks 54:15 My mother recalls her experience with a co-worker who had AIDS at the height of the epidemic, and how it relates to our crisis today Can you relate? Let me know if these stories help you:
March 29, 2020
Arlan’s thoughts on a new inflection point
Impromptu recording of my thoughts on coronavirus, Trump, and connection. Text #yourfirstmillion to me at 832-210-1276 if you listen to this podcast 👍🏾
March 29, 2020
35. Chloe Lanier: General Hospital, Gaga and more!
Born and raised outside of Dallas, Chloe Lanier moved to L.A. with just $200 to her name and no formal education in acting. Now she’s a Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress on General Hospital. But she still has a few things to check off her bucket list, like meeting Lady Gaga. Chloe and I talk about how she got started in television, the supportive community she’s found, and what she has planned for her future. And, of course, we talk about General Hospital.  Episode highlights:  11:05 Chloe tells us about growing up outside of Dallas and falling in love with acting  15:37 She explains how she pursued her passion for acting, even though her college loan for drama school was declined  17:05 Chloe talks about working at the YMCA while filming the show Army Wives  18:39 Why it’s important to find a strong, supportive community in the film industry  20:32 How does she feel about where she is in her career?  21:54 Chloe talks about how Lady Gaga has influenced her growth and well-being  26:29 What Chloe is working on for the future  28:34 I ask whether Nelle is going to stick around on General Hospital  29:33 We talk about the challenges of working on daytime television, including character development and growth  Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
March 27, 2020
Breaking: What founders should know about the new $300 billion stimulus bill for small businesses
On today’s episode, Arlan reads article by Jennifer Ortakales and Bartie Scott. We learn: “The Senate and White House came to a bipartisan agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package in an effort to recover and stabilize the American economy during the coronavirus crisis. More than $300 billion of the deal is earmarked for small businesses struggling to stay afloat and to keep workers amid nationwide closures and social distancing. Eligible businesses would be able to defer their payroll taxes until 2021 and receive small business loans to continue payroll.”
March 25, 2020
How are startup investors and WFH parents dealing with coronavirus?
On today’s episode, I interview Ed Zimmerman, who leads my companies’ legal team at Lowenstein & Sandler in NYC, and Amy Nelson, Founder & CEO of national co-working and online community The Riveter based in Seattle.  Episode highlights: 6:58 Ed tells us the what actions investors need to take now 13:00 Why this is different from the 2008 recession 19:40 What should founders expect at this time? 24:37 Should businesses apply for loans right now? 32:18 Amy talks about how her kids are managing through this crisis 36:51 Amy shares her reflections on her work-life balance 40:53 How should business leaders like us respond to a crisis like this? 45:45 We talk about perseverance: “It’s one day at a time, but it’s harder than that.” Ed Zimmerman: - @edgrapenutzim on Twitter - Ed’s law firm: Amy Nelson: - @amy_riveter on Twitter and Instagram - The Riveter’s online community and information:
March 22, 2020
Arlan’s Coronavirus update, Saturday March 21
I now listen to 16 daily podcasts about the state of the world and coronavirus, and am going to be breaking down some of my learnings in these episodes so you don’t have to listen to 16!! :) NPR, CNN, BBC, VOX, Pod Save, Politico, Trevor Noah, Maddow, WSJ, NYT, The Economist, all shaken up and stirred with my non-expert, non-journalistic takes.
March 21, 2020
COVID-19 - #7: Tuesday - Singer @Janine provides some positivity + your voicemail
Visit @Janine on Instagram and Twitter
March 18, 2020
COVID-19 - #6: Monday - Who’s taking care of the caretakers?
This morning I wanted to focus on the people who are not only their family’s caretaker, but are running a company at this time of great uncertainty. Let’s discuss how we take care of them and ourselves.
March 16, 2020
COVID-19 - #5: Sunday plea for social distancing + YOUR voicemails!
The facts don’t lie. We are putting others in danger if we don’t take social distancing seriously *now*. Let’s take care of each other. + you sent in your voice messages and I’ll continue to air some of them!
March 15, 2020
COVID-19 - #4: Saturday live phone call re: coronavirus with listeners
The experimentation rolls on. Today I tried’s feature that lets you add listeners to your recording for a dialogue. Quickly posted on twitter to join in, and had 3 amazing conversations that I think are super relatable in these times. Hear from Atlanta, Vancouver, and Abuja, Nigeria.
March 14, 2020
A special voicemail from Oxford!
These are the times for experimentation and getting back to basics. In this case my tinkering around with the app today helped me find a buried voicemail that made my day:) - Arlan
March 14, 2020
COVID-19 - #3: Friday Q&A about the Coronavirus
COVID-19 - #3: Friday Q&A about the Coronavirus
March 13, 2020
COVID-19 - #2: Thursday Q&A about the Coronavirus
Q&A about the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19. I answer 3 questions: 1. How are you personally affected by events being cancelled and postponed, and how are you preparing personally? 2. How does one navigate promoting their work during a crisis? 3. What have you heard from founders who are currently raising about how COVID-19 is affecting them? Is investing now scary or more appealing to investors?
March 12, 2020
COVID-19 - #1: Arlan's thoughts re: concern, hope, & opportunity
An impromptu episode about the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19. Let's virtual hug it out!
March 12, 2020
34. Nashlie Sephus, PhD - homegrown Jackson, MS millionaire
Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus sits down with Arlan in LA to discuss how she and her teammates—including YFM alum Jewel Burks-Solomon— turned their highly technical startup into a successful exit to Amazon in just a few short years. Today, Nashlie leads the Amazon Visual Search & AR team-Atlanta. She received her PhD from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology and her BS in ECE from Mississippi State University. Her core research area is Artificial Intelligence. This native of Jackson, MS, recently became founder of The Bean Path non-profit which assists individuals with technical expertise/ guidance. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
March 08, 2020
33. Yao Huang - Your revenue is your best investor
Yao Huang visited Arlan’s podcast space in LA from NYC recently for what turned into an impromptu interview. A highly entrepreneurial executive who works with businesses and start-ups in many industries with a focus on technology, Yao focuses on assisting with revenue and funding. She is the founder of The Hatchery, and has just announced a new debt vehicle for women founders. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
February 26, 2020
32. Janine - Indie (musician) and loving it
Arlan's former tour managing client, Janine, is a New Zealand-born singer, songwriter, producer, and actress now based in Los Angeles. She gives us the real on what it's like to go from signing a major label deal, to indie, and how doing things on her own terms with fewer resources has had a higher upside. This one is for creatives and tech entrepreneurs alike! Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
February 19, 2020
31. YelloPain - Viral song about voting is heard by millions
YelloPain is a rap artist from Dayton, OH whose new song “My Vote Don’t Count” has gone viral in the past few days. He joins Arlan in Los Angeles at her invitation to talk about how he feels the next 10 years can be drastically improved by our right to vote, and how the last few days have been life-changing. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
February 14, 2020
30. Jurnee Smollett: Birds of Prey’s Black Canary
Jurnee joins Arlan in Arlan's podcasting space in Los Angeles to discuss growing up in a family of professional actors, starring in one of the year's most talked-about blockbuster films, Birds of Prey, and becoming the family bookkeeper by age 11! Listen in for this story of creativity, resilience, and authenticity as activism. Links Twitter Instagram Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
February 08, 2020
Bonus episode 18 - Hear from Arlan’s apprentice Chacho Valadez!
In this episode, Arlan plays audio of her friend and apprentice Chacho’s first keynote speech in Detroit. Chacho starts by sharing an incredible story about how he went from working at a cell phone store to the investing business. Plus you’ll learn a lot more about Arlan, her fund Backstage Capital, how she and her team think about investing, building, and access to resources. Links Twitter Video Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
January 29, 2020
29. Henrik Werdelin: How making your four-legged BFF happy has earned BarkBox millions
Henrik Werdelin launched his career as a fearless executive at MTV Europe, before moving to New York to explore the U.S. startup scene. His companies Prehype and BarkBox have generated millions in revenue, with millions of happy customers. Hear why Henrik thinks success is a team sport, how being from Denmark has influenced his work, and how a vulnerable question he asks Arlan near the end turns into a deep dive on allyship.
January 19, 2020
Special presentation of "What the Fockery?"
On this special episode, Arlan tries something a little different for YFM! You'll hear the entire episode of another person's podcast. This time the tables are turned and it's Arlan who is in the hot seat being interviewed by Nadège August. Links What The Fockery? Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
January 12, 2020
28. Jameela Jamil: On activism, cancel culture, and being NSFW
On the premiere episode of Season 2 of YFM, Arlan interviews special guest Jameela Jamil (The Good Place)! They discuss Jameela’s activism, how she made her first million $, how she got her first million online followers, and what they don’t teach you in celebrity school. Links I Weigh on Instagram Twitter Instagram Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
January 01, 2020
Season 1 finale - Top 10 episode countdown!
The first season of YFM has been such a fun experience, and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got lined up for Season 2! As we countdown to the end of a year AND a decade, hear which of the 44 episodes made into the Top 10 (by plays). Thanks for listening! Links Gusto Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
December 28, 2019
Arlan's note 12/23/2019
A note from Arlan.
December 23, 2019
27. Ellen Pompeo: TV’s highest paid dramatic actor
Ellen Pompeo made headlines in 2018 when she re-upped her already record-shattering contract for the long running beloved show Grey’s Anatomy, and became the highest paid dramatic actor on television. In this incredibly candid and open interview with Arlan, she shares her thoughts on power, privilege, and purpose. And we hear what she’ll miss the most if Grey’s ever goes off of the air! Links Instagram Twitter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
December 15, 2019
Bonus Episode 17 - My thoughts on Away
Arlan gives her thoughts on Away. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
December 07, 2019
Bonus episode 16 - Arlan's new scholarship at Oxford University!
In this episode, Arlan announces Oxford's first scholarship for Black scholars. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
December 02, 2019
25. Melissa & Johnathan Nightingale - Sharing the mic
Melissa Nightingale has been a startup warrior since the first dotcom boom . She has held senior leadership roles in marketing, pr, and strategy at several fast paced startups, including Wattpad, Edmodo, and Mozilla. Johnathan Nightingale has built and operated organizations from 2 people to 250. He was the Vice President of Firefox for Mozilla during a period of intense turmoil inside Mozilla and out.  Both are founders and partners at Raw Signal Group. Links Raw Signal Group Melissa's Twitter Johnathan's Twitter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
December 01, 2019
24. Jaime Schmidt: Natural Supermarker
Jaime Schmidt is Founder of Schmidt's Naturals, the natural personal care brand that she scaled from her kitchen to acquisition by Unilever in 2017. Today, the brand is sold in over 30 countries and 30,000 retailers, and Jaime continues to support their global expansion. Since Schmidt’s breakthrough, Jaime has focused her efforts on enabling other entrepreneurs to pursue their own visions for a better future, and empowering the next generation of consumer brands. Through her inclusive investment firm, Color, Jaime invests directly in emerging founders, primarily women and people of color. Links Website Color Schmidt's Twitter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
November 24, 2019
23. Stacy London: Always in Vogue
Stacy London is an American stylist/fashion consultant, author, and magazine editor known primarily for her time as co-host on What Not to Wear, a reality television program that featured wardrobe and appearance makeovers. After graduating from Vassar College, London started her career as a fashion editor at Vogue and transitioned into being a stylist for celebrities and designers. She moved into television by co-hosting What Not to Wear with Clinton Kelly, and doing fashion reporting for Access Hollywood, The Early Show, and the Today Show. Links Instagram Twitter Stacy London's Midlife Renaissance The Riveter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
November 18, 2019
22. Jamila Souffrant - Her journey to 1 million podcast downloads
Jamila Souffrant is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), podcaster, blogger, money coach and founder of where she shares her journey to reach Financial Freedom and helps others do the same. Her mission is to teach, inspire and help others reach financial freedom. Links Journey To Launch Instagram Twitter First We Feast Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
November 11, 2019
21. Jodi Kovitz - Dial Mover
Jodi Kovitz is the founder and CEO of #movethedial, a global movement that she launched in January 2017 and is dedicated to advancing the participation and advancement of all women in tech. In 2017, Jodi was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women; and in 2018 as Women of Influence's one of Canada's Top 25 Most Powerful Women as one of Adweek’s Toronto Brand Stars. Links Twitter Move The Dial Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
November 05, 2019
Bonus Episode 15 - My book is now available for pre-order!
It's Arlan's 39th birthday and her debut nonfiction book, It's About Damn Time, is officially available for pre-order! Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
October 30, 2019
Bonus episode 14 - WeWork thoughts
In this bonus episode, I share my thoughts about WeWork. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
October 23, 2019
20. NeueHouse's Josh Wyatt: Phoenix Risen
Josh Wyatt is the CEO of Neuehouse, a boutique membership co-working and curated social club in Los Angeles and New York. He formerly co-founded and served as the Chief Strategic Officer of one of the fastest growing hospitality companies in the world, elevated hostel company Elevator, which sold for half a billion dollars. In this episode, Josh shares a deeply personal and shocking moment in his life that changed everything, gives his opinion of WeWork’s wild few weeks, and shares his holistic view of what working will mean in the future. Links NeueHouse Twitter Instagram Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
October 20, 2019
Bonus episode 13 - "My new podcast studio"
In this bonus episode, I talk about my new podcast studio. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
October 15, 2019
19. Gumroad's Sahil Lavingia: Weekend Warrior
Sahil Lavingia is the founder and CEO of Gumroad, a web platform where creators can sell products directly to consumers. He was previously employee #2 at Pinterest. Links Gumroad Medium article Twitter Evan Doll iPhone University course Evan Doll Twitter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
October 14, 2019
18. Tiffany Dufu - "I raised a million dollars to give women a space to help each other thrive."
Tiffany is a recognized national expert on women’s leadership and author of DROP THE BALL: Achieving More by Doing Less. She is the founder and CEO of The Cru, what she calls a "constellation of women" committed to helping one another thrive. Don't have a cru? Don't worry. They got you. Links The Cru Drop the Ball Twitter Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 29, 2019
17. Matthew Sniff - "Our company's culture has played a major role in our earning $1mil in sales."
Matt is a former software engineer (turned startup CEO) with a passion for developing products. His company Map My Customers is redefining what sales execution and territory management means for teams around the globe and is now one of the leading data visualization and geo-analytics tools used by thousands of sales teams across the world. Links Twitter Map My Customers Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 29, 2019
16. Delane Parnell - "My esports company has raised nearly $100 million in 2 years."
Delane Parnell is the founder of PlayVS, a fast-rising esports platform specializing in high schools. Launched in 2017, PlayVS is the official operator of esports in high schools in 15 U.S. states (and counting), and has raised nearly $100mil - half of that in their latest Series C round of a whopping $50mil. Investors include Diddy, Michael Ovitz, Science and more. Born and raised in Detroit, 27-year old Delane has been working since he was 13, was at one point the youngest Black venture capitalist in the country, and has owned and sold companies since he was a teenager. Links PlayVS Twitter Instagram Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 18, 2019
15. Mel Robbins - "My TED talk has been viewed 20 million times.”
Mel Robbins is one of the most booked women speakers in the world. She’s an inspirational speaker, a best-selling author, and now a daytime talk show host. The Mel Robbins Show, produced by Sony, debuts Sept 16, 2019. Listen in on this electric conversation recorded in Mel’s New York office. Links Mel Robbins Instagram The 5 Second Rule Mindset Reset Guide Audible: Get a free Audible book and 30-day trial at! Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 13, 2019
Bonus episode 12 - "My thoughts on Forbes’ innovators list, aka you gotta be kidding me.”
In this bonus...bonus episode, I give my 2 cents on recent Forbes Innovators list flub. You know I had to do it. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 08, 2019
Bonus episode 11 - “Therese Tucker, bootstrapped to a billion!”
In this bonus episode we travel back to late 2017 when I interviewed “unicorn” founder (meaning her company is worth more than a billion dollars) Therese Tucker. This pink haired, soft-spoken powerhouse has mostly flown under the radar but has a strong message for listeners: you can it, too. Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 08, 2019
14. Melissa Butler - "We were once called ‘clown makeup’, now we’re growing 300% year-over-year.”
Detroit native Melissa Butler is the founder of beauty brand The Lip Bar, which has become a nationwide phenomenon. Melissa obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from Florida A & M University before working on Wall Street as a licensed stock broker. In 2012 she made a life pivot and grew an indie upstart into what has become a multimillion dollar business. The Lip Bar has a flagship store in Detroit, and can be found in nearly 500 Target locations nationwide. Links Lip Bar Melissa Butler on the Today Show Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
September 08, 2019
Bonus episode 10 - "Pete Buttigieg in the hot seat with Arlan"
In this bonus episode, I have an impromptu conversation with Pete Buttigieg after moderating his town hall style Q&A session in Oakland on August 27th, 2019. I also speak with his Press Secretary, Nina Smith, about being a Black woman in one of the highest position on his campaign. *as of this recording I have not made a decision about a Democratic candidate Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 29, 2019
Bonus episode 9 - "Focusing on your hobby to sharpen your lens as an entrepreneur."
My take on doubling down on your hobby in order to strengthen your resolve as an entrepreneur. Links Twitter Instagram Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 25, 2019
13. Ryan Hoover - "The truth about money."
Ryan Hoover is the co-founder and CEO of the wildly popular startup platform Product Hunt. After selling it to AngelList, he remains at the helm of the company and leads a ~20-person remote team across the world. Product Hunt has helped give meaningful exposure to more than 50,000 companies and their tens of millions of product launches, and Ryan is regarded as one of the most influential people in tech. He now also invests in startups out of his Weekend Fund and recently relocated from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Links Ryan Hoover Product Hunt Weekend Fund Suzy Ryoo  Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 25, 2019
12. Paul Judge - "The money I'm spending today is the result of the hard work I put in 15 years ago."
Paul Judge is an entrepreneur, inventor and investor who has been based in Atlanta since 1995. He is a co-founder of TechSquare Labs, Pindrop (valued at $600million as of Dec 2018), Luma (acquired 2018), and Purewire (acquired 2009), and former Chief Technology Officer of CipherTrust (acquired 2006). He has invested in over 60 technology startups to date. Paul also briefly worked with IBM and NASA. His companies have gone on to exit for hundreds of millions of dollars cumulatively. Paul is featured prominently in Fast Company's September 2019 Atlanta issue. Links Instagram Website Fast Company article Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 18, 2019
Bonus episode 8 - "I'm Getting Married"
Description: So...some news:) + This episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a free book and 30-day trial at!  Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 11, 2019
Bonus episode 7 - “Office Hours: If a founder did this, I’d run the other way”
 In this bonus episode, I share audio from a recent video Office Hours series the co-working startup The Riveter held in partnership with my investment firm Backstage Capital. I address submitted questions around knowing when to fundraise, and what should send you running when considering an investor.  Links Backstage Capital Headliners  Original videos at The Riveter Fast Company article Credits Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
August 04, 2019
11. Justin Kan - "When I first heard that valuation, I fell to my knees and laughed."
Justin Kan is the co-founder of Twitch, a live streaming company that was acquired by Amazon for nearly $1 billion in 2014 and is currently used by more than 15 million people daily. He’s a former Y Combinator (startup accelerator) partner, and has invested in dozens of companies as an angel investor. Today he is the founder and CEO of Atrium, a legal startup for the modern age. Links: Twitter Instagram Website Atrium Twitch Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse Bullet Journaling Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4) 
August 04, 2019
Bonus episode 6 - How I conquered 30 years of stage fright in 6 months!
On this jam-packed bonus episode, I give a step by step account of how I conquered (for the most part) 30 years of stage fright in 6 months.    Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)  
July 28, 2019
10. Jewel Burks - "I sold my computer-vision company to Amazon for millions."
Jewel Burks Solomon is co-founder of Partpic, an Atlanta-based startup that was designed to streamline the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology. After Partpic was acquired by Amazon in 2016, Jewel became an angel investor and advisor to dozens of startups across the country. She is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a graduate of Howard University. Links: Twitter Instagram Side Hustle Pro episode Nashlie Sephus, PhD Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4) 
July 28, 2019
Bonus episode 5 - Getting closer to your 1 million goal in 24 hours
On this bonus episode, I discuss with you a common request I receive, and how you can be closer to your $1 million goal in the next 24 hours by doing something over which you have complete control.  Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4) 
July 21, 2019
Bonus episode 4 - Being your hella gay self
Pulling at the thread started in Irma’s episode (#8) of being your authentic self at work—in our case, hella gay—I chat about the decisions I’ve made to be unapologetically me and how that has translated to cold hard cash. Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4) 
July 12, 2019
8. Irma Olguin - She raised $27 million! Latinx LGBTQ
Irma Olguin is the CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries. She oversees the company’s operations teams, as well as tech-focused training program, Geekwise Academy, and custom software development firm, Shift3 Technologies. In June 2019, Bitwise announced a $27million Series A round of funding, making Irma one of the Latinx startup founders with the largest raises in history. Having trained and inspired thousands of boot camp students, she and her partner Jake Soberal have transformed downtown Fresno and forever changed the city. With their fresh intake of capital, they’re set to take the rest California by storm. Links: Bitwise Industries Geekwise Academy Shift3 Technologies Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4) 
July 12, 2019
7. Jeff Ullrich - "It was 1/3 vision, 2/3 luck."
Jeff Ullrich is a pioneer in the podcasting world. In 2010, he launched Earwolf, a leading comedy podcast platform that houses the shows of some of your favorite comedians. He later founded Midroll, an advertising platform that monetizes podcasts. This one-stop-shop of companies was acquired in 2015 for more than $50million. Because Jeff was not able to find any investors to believe in his vision early, he owned the majority of the company, thus making him a multi-millionaire seemingly overnight.  Links: Twitter Midroll Earwolf Stacey Abrams Fair Fight Campaign Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
July 06, 2019
Bonus episode 3 - Multi-hyphenate creative Anna Eichenauer
Anna Eichenauer is a writer, composer, actor, director, editor, Youtuber and SEO expert from Bavaria (Germany). She has more than 3 million combined views on her YouTube channels Why Stuff is Great and Queer German Girl. Her music compositions have been featured and licensed on games, podcasts, films and television shows around the world. She is the producer of the Your First Million podcast (this one!), and she is adorably engaged to Arlan (OK, Arlan wrote that part).  Links: Twitter Why Video Is Great YouTube Channel Website Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 29, 2019
6. Dawn Dickson - "I bridge the gap between venture capital and everyday people."
Dawn Dickson is the founder and CEO of rollable flats, Flat Out of Heels, and high-IQ vending machine hardware and software company Popcom. In 2019 she became the first Black woman to raise $1mil in a Reg CF (security token) crowdfunding offering. She sits down with Arlan to drop bars about charting your own destiny as a founder. Links: Twitter Medium PopCom Flat Out Of Heels BARS! Podcast Dawn Dickson on Forbes Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 29, 2019
Bonus episode 2 - Brian Grazer, prolific film & TV producer
Brian Grazer is one of the most prolific and well-known producers and writers in Hollywood.  Along with his producing partner of 30+ years Ron Howard, they formed Imagine Entertainment, which (conservatively) has more than 200 producer credits to its name—Splash, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Arrested Development, 24, and Empire to name a few. His movies have grossed billions, and he has a net worth of ~$400million.   Links  A Curious Mind   Credits Producer: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer and Editor: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 22, 2019
5. Roberta Lucca - "Money affords you the ability to fail forward."
Born in Brazil, Roberta Lucca would go on to study computer science before relocating to England. While there, she started companies—some that worked and some that didn’t —and as you’ll see some that may have just been ahead of their time. Her break came when she co-founded Bossa Studios, a massively popular, BAFTA-award winning gaming studio that has now generated millions in revenue and raised more than $11m in venture. Today Roberta releases Youtube videos that she hopes will empower women with her special brand of practical, actionable advice! Links Twitter YouTube Channel Instagram Bossa Studios Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 22, 2019
Bonus episode - Curiosity, quality, and communication
Enjoy this bonus episode recorded live by Arlan just for you. Credits Producer: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer and Editor: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 15, 2019
4. Sophia Bendz - "I was one of the first 10 employees at Spotify."
Named one of the most influential investors in the Nordics, Sophia Bendz is a Swedish angel investor and partner at Atomico. As one of the first employees at Spotify, she helped the company go from product idea to millions of customers within just a few years. Sophia has been a champion of founders, investing in more than 30 as an angel investor, and launched the Angel Programme at Atomico. This episode was recorded in London at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, where Sophia was a featured speaker. Links Follow Sophia on Twitter "How I Angel Invest" on Medium Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch.(To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Credits Producer: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer and Editor: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 15, 2019
3. Liz Fong-Jones "You *can* be successful as a trans person. I wish there were more of us."
Description Liz Fong-Jones is a Site Reliability Engineer and former high-ranking Google employee who used her talents as a coder and some strategic planning to take her out of a tumultuous early home life and into the life of a multi-millionaire. Arlan and Liz met up in New York City to speak candidly about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Links: Twitter Website Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Mentions Effective Altruism Transcript The transcript for this episode will be added shortly. Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additional production: Chacho Valadez Executive producer: Arlan Hamilton Music by Jeff Kaale (1, 2, 3, 4)
June 08, 2019
2. Amy Griffin - "I felt a calling to invest beyond philanthropy."
Description Amy Griffin grew up in the Texas Panhandle and became an athlete, sports analyst and philanthropist. It was while raising her four young children that she caught the investing bug, and launched her own venture fund, G9 Ventures. In this episode, Arlan visits Amy at her office in New York City, to discuss privilege versus entitlement. Links: Social Studies email sign-up G9 Ventures Sponsor This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. Apply for DigitalOcean Hatch. (To inquire about sponsoring the YFM podcast, please get in touch.) Mentions Impact with Wings by Suzanne Andrews. Transcript The transcript for this episode will be added shortly. Credits Producer and Editor: Anna Eichenauer Senior Producer: Bryan Landers Additional audio mixing and mastering: Alfred ‘Rook‘ Hamilton Additio