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The Startup Story

The Startup Story

Author: James McKinney

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As we hear The Startup Story of some of the most successful companies in the world our focus is singular…
To give you the belief and courage to Start Your Story.
Every successful startup began with a single decision. It’s not about the dream, it’s not about the vision, it’s about having the courage to take that very first step -- to start.
How did UBER grow to $50 billion? How did Spanx become massively successful without one dime of venture capital? The stories are out there. But The Startup Story goes even deeper. What exactly did they do to go from idea to launch? What was that first step and how did they decide to take it?
Each week, hear from the courageous founders behind some of the most successful brands in the world as they share their Startup Story. We’ll unpack the early beginnings, and uncover those first steps that ultimately led them to where they are today.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the thick of it and not making much progress, or feeling stuck in the fear of failure, not sure if you have what it takes, this podcast was created for you.
39 Episodes
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I’d like you to meet Alina Vandenberghe, co-founder of Chili Piper and Gipsybot. (Yes, that’s right, she co-founded TWO startups.) Chili Piper is an incredibly powerful sales tool for enterprises. Her second startup, Gipsybot, is a productivity tool to help you prioritize what is important to you, not what others delegate to you. The reason I wanted to unpack Alina’s story is multi-faceted. First, she is running two startups at the same time, and I find that to be incredibly impressive, as well as quite uncommon. Oh, and one of those startups just closed on a Series A round of funding. Secondly, she is an immigrant from Romania. Immigrant founder stories have a unique layer to them that help frame all of our perspectives. Lastly, she is royalty in the mobile development space. Now, she would never say that about herself, but when you develop one of the first apps for the “yet to be released” iPad and Steve Jobs chooses to use your app from the Apple stage as he is revealing the all-new, never before seen iPad…that is quite a remarkable accomplishment.Alina’s Startup Story is fascinating and begins unlike any other founder we have had on the show, so let’s get started. This is Alina Vandenberghe’s startup story.In this episode, you’ll hear:* Alina’s early ventures (beginning around age 9!) featuring her entrepreneurial spirit and how she didn’t even realize it was entrepreneurship* Her frustration with the corporate world, how others recognized her skills/personality traits as perfect for a startup and encouraged her to begin that journey* The challenges of operating a fully distributed workforce and the benefits of being able to tap into a larger talent pool* How culture is managed with staff members in remote locations and the need for attendance on company calls and occasional meetings in person* The importance of managing mental health during the “founder’s depression” period and having a plan to avoid burnout* How GipsyBot was developed from a need to accurately manage priorities and goals to change the way people work so they can achieve their own goals and not just the priorities of others* The fact that managing two startups is possible * For businesses to succeed and meet future goals, a positive environment must be created for workers and clients so that customers can get the results they want and a big return on their investment“I know how hard it is to get back up when you’ve been completely knocked down, but it is at that moment in time when big things happen.” – Alina Vandenberghe, Chili Piper & GipsyBotResources from this episode:Our Sponsor Podcoin: https://www.podcoin.com - Listen to this episode to grab your special discount codeChili Piper: https://www.chilipiper.com/GipsyBot: https://gipsybot.com/Alina Vandenberghe on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinav/The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Alina Vandenberghe, co-founder Chili Piper & Gipsybot.
This week I would like you to meet featured founder, Anna Victoria. She is the founder of Fit Body App. The health and fitness app launched in January 2018; then in 2019, Apple featured it in their “Apps We Love” section. Since then it has become one of 2019’s best fitness apps. Just because numbers are impressive…when Apple featured the Fit Body App in the “Apps We Love” section it generated over 1 million impressions within 24 hours!I am really excited to share her story with you because of how relatable it is to each of us. In fact, Anna’s journey is one that we can all replicate today. Within a 2-year period Anna grew an email list of close to 1 million people, and most of them were because they purchased something from her. This episode is an opportunity to learn from someone who has done amazing things with creating a community and understanding how to deliver real value so they keep coming back.If you are wondering how her story is relatable to you, especially if you aren’t in the fitness industry; fitness was never a part of her life until her “aha moment” in 2012, where it all started to come together for her. The lesson? Your “aha moment” can come at any time. What you do with it, that’s simply part of your story. Oh, and fitness wasn’t the only thing that was new to Anna, so was entrepreneurship. Let’s find out how her journey began, this is Anna Victoria’s startup story. In this episode, you’ll hear:* Her early childhood, growing up with her father and learning an important life lesson that would serve her well later, “Don’t be a salesman, don't try to sell people.”* About her first job after high school in sales, taking her father’s advice to heart, and prioritizing the needs of customers and offering them beneficial solutions* How at a young age she had no real concept of what she wanted to do with her life* The importance of seizing opportunities when they arise, for Anna it included going to community college in Sacramento, soon after moving to San Diego, getting into University of San Diego, studying abroad in Rome, moving to China (that’s just to name a few)* How working out or eating healthy was not a part of her life and how and why that all changed in 2012* Her research on how to live a healthy lifestyle that's balanced and why she still hated living ‘healthy’ * Starting her Instagram account as an anonymous user, growing it to about 250,000 followers in 6 months, then finally posting the first photo of herself and what happened next, all the while she still did not have any plans to launch a business or app* And turning a corner: monetizing her Instagram page, launching an ebook, moving to a new Instagram account and essentially ‘starting over’* Building a community of encouragement and accountability and launching the Fit Body Guide in 2015, and how that led to the creation of the Fit Body App* Realizing that many times opportunities come from seeing a need that you have and addressing that need first“Don’t try to sell people. Just talk to people, figure out what they need, and provide them with solutions.” – Anna Victoria, Fit Body AppResources from this episode:Our Sponsor Podcoin: https://www.podcoin.com - Listen to this episode to grab your special discount codeFit Body App (use code: STARTUPSTORY for 20% off the already discounted price): https://bodylove.com/Fit Body App for iPhone (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fit-body-with-anna-victoria/id1281856473)Fit Body App for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bodylovegroupllc.bodylove&hl=en_US)Anna Victoria on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annavictoria/The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Anna Victoria, founder of Fit Body App.
I’d like you to meet John Paul Taylor, founder of Real Life Poets. Real Life Poets is a nonprofit that leverages the creative process of poetry and spoken word as a means to empower youth, that otherwise might find themselves in prison or on the streets. John Paul started Real Life Poets because writing saved him and he wanted to do the same for youth in situations similar to his.Real Life Poets is the very first nonprofit that we have featured on The Startup Story, as well as the only business out of Alabama that we have featured.John Paul’s journey is much different than mine, and I suspect much different than yours. But that is the beauty of entrepreneurship. While his journey might be different, his experiences are relatable. He had to overcome friends and family thinking he was crazy for wanting to pursue Real Life Poets. He had to push through personal challenges, including a dissolved marriage. And, he had to have 2-4 different side hustles to try to make things work until he truly understood what it was that he was supposed to be building. This episode is an example of the diversity of entrepreneurship and a true testament to following a passion and building a business for good. This is John Paul Taylor’s startup story. In this episode, you’ll hear:John Paul’s early childhood in Birmingham, AL and how being in foster care helped him find his gift for writingWhen he began to actually use writing as an outlet and how it helped himThe ‘having nothing to lose’ mentality and how it helped John Paul grow as a writerJohn Paul’s first corporate job, realizing he wasn’t going to conform to corporate life, getting fired and his shift into entrepreneurshipThat writing was his saving grace and how he processed that into something that creates a livingPerforming, creating CDs of his poetry, and what Pootie Tang has to do with it allStarting a nonprofit, learning the rules, following the rules, and building a nonprofit from the ground upThe 10 year anniversary of Real Life Poets and reflecting on the vision he had for the organization when it started, to what it is today“Once people started telling me that I could not do it, I became driven to prove them wrong.” -John Paul Taylor, Real Life PoetsResources from this episode:Our Sponsor Podcoin: https://www.podcoin.com - Listen to this episode to grab your special discount codeReal Life Poets: http://reallifepoets.org/Real Life Poets on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reallifepoetJohn Paul Taylor on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-paul-taylor-48a94835/The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: John Paul Taylor.
This episode marks our 35th episode since we launched in January 2019. When The Startup Story launched we had no audience. Yet, even with not having an audience, Larry Namer, founder of E! Entertainment Television, was gracious enough to share his Startup Story for our launch. There is a high chance that you have not heard our first few episodes. For that reason, we are going to bring our first two episodes off the shelf to ensure they make your podcast queue. This week is the first of those two episodes. I hope you enjoy this episode as it originally aired on our launch date of January 15, 2019.This episode of The Startup Story features Larry Namer, founder of E! Entertainment Television. When you think of E!, you may instantly think of the show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Now for the record, Larry had nothing to do with the Kardashians phenomenon. He did, however, have everything to do with the building of this media network giant, which eventually sold for approximately $3,000,000,000 in 2007. In this episode, you will learn how Larry maneuvered the early days of his startup and how he built his company with little to no funding. Larry also shares openly about how he constantly adapted his business to ensure success, regardless of the external circumstances he faced. Wherever you in your entrepreneurial journey, Larry's story will provide you with a fresh perspective to take into your own endeavors. In this episode you’ll hear:* Larry’s start, not in the limelight of Hollywood, but in the sewers of NYC * How he went from blue collar labor to management, negotiating with unions and how he began to develop a leadership mindset* How qualifying for pension at 30-years old eventually led him to the West Coast* His time at Valley Cable in California helping build the first two-way 61 Channel Cable System ever built* The start of “Movie Time”, the obstacles Larry faced and why he was so convinced to keep moving forward with his idea* How a leap of faith by an investor led to the launch of E! Entertainment Television’s beginnings and how he went on to build E!’s first studio on a freight train rail station* Selecting their first five hosts, like Greg Kinnear, getting coverage and establishing credibility as a network* The origins of E!’s first original content show, Talk Soup (a show that makes fun of other television shows) with host Greg Kinnear and later Joel McHale* Larry fondest memory from his startup story* Larry’s advice to entrepreneurs who may be struggling with getting traction or establishing credibility in their industryResources from this episode:Connect with Larry Namer on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-namer-18b6a/)E! Entertainment Television (https://www.eonline.com/)Yuzzl.com (http://yuzzl.com)Full Episode Transcript (https://www.thestartupstory.co/articles/larrynamer)The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Larry Namer.
This episode marks our 34th episode since we launched in January 2019. When The Startup Story launched we had no audience. Yet, even with not having an audience, Jason McCann, the Founder and CEO of VARIDESK, was gracious enough to share his Startup Story for our launch. There is a high chance that you have not heard our first few episodes. For that reason, we are going to bring our first two episodes off the shelf to ensure they make your podcast queue. This week is the first of those two episodes. I hope you enjoy this episode as it originally aired on our launch date of January 15, 2019.Today’s startup story comes from Jason McCann, founder and CEO of Varidesk. While Varidesk is a global company today, Jason's story is not one where you assume everything he has ever done has been a success. Today he shares his early beginnings from selling beach chairs all the way to the burst of the dot.com bubble and later, how Varidesk came to be. Jason’s startup story is one of resilience. You will learn that every challenge or obstacle has a key learning principle. In fact, Varidesk’s success is a result of Jason's ability to listen and learn. This episode is your opportunity to be mentored by a founder who has built a company with over 270 employees and ships product over 30 different countries daily. Get ready to learn and be inspired. Here is Jason McMann with his Startup Story. In this episode you’ll hear:* Jason’s early beginnings in Galveston, TX, including being introduced to the first entrepreneur/CEO in his life; his mom and how her energy, passion and leadership had an impact on him* How he started his very first business at the age of 14* His start in the hotel management industry and how it led to owning his first restaurant* Moving on from the restaurant industry to selling pogs while working on his Masters degree, plus his time at DSI Toys* Creating a dot.com business, recognizing the dot.com bubble was bursting, his mental space after the ultimate collapse and what happened next* How the idea of Varidesk started with a cardboard box* Prototypes, presentations and adrenaline rushes in the early days of Varidesk* Varidesk’s customer and employee relationship mentality and Jason’s vision for the futureResources from this episode:Share your Varidesk Story: Varidesk.com/startupstoryConnect with Jason McCann on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-mccann-varidesk/)Varidesk (https://www.varidesk.com/)Good to Great by Jim Collins https://amzn.to/2HgRID1Thrive, by Arianna Huffington https://amzn.to/2CYIiYy Podcoin code: startupstoryFull Episode Transcript (https://www.thestartupstory.co/articles/varidesk)The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Jason McCann.
Founders Depression

Founders Depression

2019-08-1300:13:02

This week instead of featuring a founder’s story, we are going to focus on part of a story that many founders go through — founder depression. Yes, founders can get depressed, very much so, and yet not too many talk openly about it. The catalyst for this topic occurred when I read an article, recommended to me by Kate Edwards, Co-Founder of Heartbeat, in which she was cited. The article was about founders’ depression. After I read it and reflecting on the past 32 episodes of this podcast, I recalled numerous founders that would talk about anxiety or significant self-doubt that impacted the way they related to their family members. This article struck a chord because I've been realizing that in our founders’ stories, some may have been battling founder depression, but it wasn't given a name, so it was easy to skirt the issue or just chalk it up to being stressed or overwhelmed. Some areas of a founder’s journey, like mental health, we may easily feel uncomfortable with and not want to discuss. But all facets of our journeys, especially mental health or founder depression, are so very important to talk about because it’s my belief that we can all learn from each other’s journey. And so this week, I’d like to bring attention to founder depression, what it is, how to spot it, and what you can do about it. In this episode, you’ll hear:* The difference between depression and founders’ depression* Why we isolate ourselves and back off from sharing our feelings* We are not meant to go through this journey alone* Not being afraid to identify founders’ depression if you think that is what you are experiencing* The importance of seeing the journey for what it isResources from this episode:Founder's Depression Article: https://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/1183-words-you-need-to-read-before-starting-your-first-business.html?cid=searchThe Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory
Brian Burke is the founder of SellYourMac.com, a website that helps you to sell your Apple products in a way that ensures you receive top dollar. Brian recently received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nomination. Ernst & Young is one of the largest firms in the world and since Brian’s firm was nominated, I definitely wanted to invite him to unpack his story on this podcast.Brian and his business have a very grassroots storyline, which we go through in its entirety. Why? It helps us understand what it’s like to grow a business without investment capital. Moreover, it allows us to see what it is like to startup a business that is so cash flow dependent. How do you recover from a situation that steals five years of profits from you? We’ll find out in this episode. Brian shares his encouraging journey, which I hope will give you enough strength to continue on yours, if you are already running your own business. His journey had very clear indicators from his early childhood that SellYourMac.com was going to be his destiny. But I will let him share it all with you and allow you to connect the dots. This is Brian Burke’s startup story. In this episode, you’ll hear:* Brian’s early childhood, how his father’s work ethic left an impression on him, and his early aspirations* Creating an income for himself through selling beaded jewelry as a kid and selling cellphones in college * Brian’s interest in the stock market and trading at a young age, his desire to work in an investment bank or for a hedge fund after college and what actually happened once he graduated* His start with selling items on eBay, how it happened, what he sold, and how it paved the way for his future business, SellYourMac.com* The importance of finding something you're passionate about and figuring out how to make a business out of it* Working to prove that his phone business idea was viable to his parents (who wanted him to continue to find a career in finance) * About the burden that debt can play when desiring to launch your business and how it is a ball and chain that will slow down anyone's progress* Getting kicked out of his parent’s after his phone business inventory started taking over their basement, what he learned, how it motivated him, and the eventual birth of SellYourMac.com* How and when his attention turned from phones to Apple products, from selling phones to Apple products on eBay, and what happened next“If you are building your business in response to your ego it will inevitably fail.” - Brian Burke, Sell Your MacResources from this episode:Connect with Brian on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianburke4/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianburke4/)Sell Your Mac: https://www.sellyourmac.com/ (https://www.sellyourmac.com/)Sell Your Apple Products at SellYourMac.com/startupstory (https://www.sellyourmac.com/?promo=startupstory) and receive an additional $10 bonus when you sell your item.The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/ (https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/)The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Brian Burke.
Meet Michael Littig, Co-founder of the Zuckerberg Institute. Their mission is to establish a community of entrepreneurs that encourage and inspire other entrepreneurs as they build their business or start their next venture. Sound familiar? It should because that's what I am hoping to build with this podcast, too.Michael's journey includes living among Shaman and nomads, speaking before the UN, and even performing in live theater. We're going to hear one of the more unique entrepreneurial journeys we’ve shared to date in this episode. While his story is incredible, you will hear some themes pertinent to all entrepreneurs that I want to highlight. First, the idea of community, even among entrepreneurs, is the key to survival. Additionally, you’ll hear all about the importance of our experiences, good and bad, and how they can be lifelong lessons which can bring incredible value to our entrepreneurial ambitions. Lastly, you will hear how critical it is to not walk this journey alone. Michael is a master storyteller and I am honored to get to share his story with you today. As always, we start at the very beginning. This is Michael Littig’s startup story. In this episode, you’ll hear:* His early childhood traveling between cities to spend with parents (who were divorced), growing up in a single-parent home, his early ambitions of wanting to be an astronaut, and his deep interest in forming disciplines* His growing interest in leadership in high school, how he entered high school wanting to be an astronaut and wanting to join the military, and leaving high school wanting to pursue acting and become a theater artist* Theater life and how he went from auditioning for a Broadway show to traveling to Italy to do theater, and how it shifted his life drastically* His time in Italy and how it shaped him for the experiences he’d go through when he returned* Following his passion to understand belief systems, rituals, performance, and how they all interact with a community. * Some lessons he learned while living and experiencing nomadic culture* Asking the question, “Where am I needed in the world?”* His experience speaking to the United Nations and teaching theater to a refugee camp on the border of Somali* How he went from a transformational period in Somalia to co-founding the Zuckerberg Institute“Most entrepreneurs are driven toward autonomy, yet community is an absolute key tosurvival.” - Michael Littig, Zuckerberg InstituteResources from this episode:Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-littig-150105179/Zuckerberg Institute: https://www.zuckerberginstitute.com/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Michael Littig.
I’d like you to meet Danielle Salinas, Co-founder of Maison de Papillon. Maison de Papillon is Danielle’s 2nd venture and it started when she lost her sleep mask during her trip at the London Olympics. Yes, you read that correctly and that is what I love about The Startup Story. Our businesses are birthed out of a need in our lives, yet pivot as we learn more about where the opportunities really lie.Maison de Papillon is not a sleep mask company but is a luxury clothing line with reach in most of the globally recognized resort brands, like Four Seasons.In this episode, Danielle gets incredibly vulnerable and shares her story openly and honestly. Her journey includes the loss of a son, something that many of us will never have to process. But for those of you that have, you may just find some encouragement through Danielle’s transparency. Today you will also hear just how incredibly hard one’s journey can be, but it is far from impossible. This is Danielle Salinas’s startup story. In this episode you’ll hear:Danielle’s upbringing in one of the poorest regions in South Texas, her long lineage of entrepreneurs, and how her father instilled boldness and empowerment for her pursuitsHow her father instilled in her to go to college and get a long term career, how she deviated from that plan when at the age of 18 she got married and decided to start a family firstAbout how after three months of motherhood and marriage, she realized she couldn’t do it anymore and started a new life, with her son, working in a pharmacy and going to schoolSome advice for single moms trying to start a business venture of their ownThe story of the loss of her second son and how it was such a difficult time in her life and also how it helped her put into perspective what was importantThe catalyst for her first entrepreneurial venture (a dentistry practice) with her second husbandHow the Olympics of 2012 and the need for a night mask led to the start of her second (and current)venture, a high-end fashion business called Maison de PapillonThe launch of Maison de Papillon, learning to work in the fashion industry, trials, tribulations, and successes along the way“Do not let anyone tell you that you are not able to accomplish your goals and dreams. It might be hard, but it is absolutely possible!” - Danielle Salinas – Maison de PapillonResources from this episode:Connect with Danielle on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielle-salinas-9b2a165bMaison de Papillon: https://www.maisondepapillon.com/The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: Danielle Salinas.
Our guest today is James Fratzke, co-founder of Fratzke Media. Fratzke Media is a digital marketing consultancy based in Southern California. What piqued my interest in Fratzke Media was that James and his brother are identical twins. That said…it was not long into our conversation that I realized James’s startup story is much deeper than the fact that his co-founder is his twin.What I appreciated most about James’s story was how well he articulated the challenges that come from comparison to those around you. The complexities and benefits of being raised by entrepreneurs, and the importance of looking out for family at all times. I think that last point is a unique byproduct that comes from co-founding with your family. The entrepreneurial journey will sometimes lead us to a place where the only people around us to help are those closest to us…and oftentimes that is our family.In this episode, you will hear what James thinks about seeking validation and affirmation from those around you and how you respond to their reactions. You will also learn the importance of staying focused and how it is key for any small business in the first few years of growth. I hope you find James’s story of value and benefit to you. And now, here is James Fratzke’s startup story. In this episode you’ll hear:James’s entrepreneurial origin story, how his mom was a visionary and his dad was a hard worker, watching his parents succeed and fail in their business ventures and when he first had aspirations to become a business ownerHis time with Disney and Brandify and when he began thinking of what his own venture might beHis transition from employee to entrepreneur and then later, co-founding Fratzke Media with his twin brotherThe difference between agency and consultancyWhat Fratzke Media does, who they serve, and how they helpThe importance of staying focused and not letting the outside noise come inUnderstanding that if any decision you make forces you to go into debt, you should think long and hard about that decision“I can be a visionary to a fault. I need to be intentional with staying focused.” - James Fratzke – Fratzke MediaResources from this episode:Connect with James on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesfratzkeFratzke Media: https://www.fratzkemedia.com/Book Recommendation:Daring Greatly: https://amzn.to/2JuXWy5The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!EPISODE CREDITS:If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory Special Guest: James Fratzke.
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Comments (2)

Carey Pott

Phenomenal podcast, excellent host and conversations, deep insights and very encouraging for us early-stage entrepreneurs. Keep up the good work James!

Jan 20th
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James McKinney

Carey Pott Thank you for listening Carey! Sorry for the delay in responding. With so many podcast platforms out there I just found your comment now. Thank you for your support!

Sep 17th
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