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The Early Days Podcast by DULO
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The Early Days Podcast by DULO

Author: DULO

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Welcome to The Early Days Podcast - a show about the hustle, the excitement, the doubts, the successes, the failures, the ups and downs of building a business from scratch.

We interview fellow entrepreneurs about their experience of starting businesses. As we are building our own apparel company and documenting our early days, we wanted to go behind the scenes with other entrepreneurs and find out what their early days, weeks, months, and years were like.
152 Episodes
Learning Facebook Ads, building an agency business, firing your clients and much more with Mojca Zove from Super Spicy Media THE DULO PERFORMANCE SHIRT: ▼ Mojca Žove is a Facebook ads expert and founder of Super Spicy Media - a digital marketing agency. In our conversation with Mojca we talked about what it was like for her to start a digital agency business, the realisation that a full-time job is never 100% a sure thing, and the biggest obstacles to starting. As an expert Facebook advertiser, we asked Mojca to share how she learned Facebook Ads, the resources and methods that helped her master the craft, and how she deployed this channel when attracting clients for her agency. We also talked about email lists, webinars, balancing content creation and client work, burnout, firing clients, and much, much more. Complete notes and links: Topics: 01:55 - Who is Mojca and starting Super Spicy Media 03:25 - Getting fired from a marketing agency 05:30 - Taking the leap to build her own business 06:30 - What was the biggest obstacle to starting earlier? 07:28 - Learning Facebook ads 08:37 - The best way to learn Facebook ads 11:33 - The biggest mistakes people do when starting with Facebook ads 13:07 - Learning to get clients 16:16 - The origin of the name "Super Spicy Media" 17:15 - Learning and doing outreach with cold emails 18:22 - Deploying Facebook ads to building a client list 19:42 - Working on retainer vs project-based projects 21:03 - Using content as a driver to earn new business 23:17 - Promoting content to drive awareness and grow an audience 25:11 - Building an email list 27:22 - How to host and promote a webinar 28:59 - Strategies for cleaning up and keeping your email list up-to-date 31:40 - Upcoming shifts in attention across social media and helping people online 34:48 - Balancing content creation and client work 37:14 - Sharing personal and professional content on Instagram Stories 38:18 - Firing clients and choosing what to work on 41:33 - How to deal with burnout and take a break 43:30 - Building an online course 46:40 - Future plans and projects 47:47 - Links and resources
Discussing how adding value, asking questions, and listening to the customer can help grow a business, with John D Saunders. THE DULO NON-IRON DRESS SHIRT: ▼ John D Saunders, founder of 5four Digital is an experienced serial entrepreneur who excels at marketing. After selling several online stores, and a career as an advertising executive for the automotive industry, John decided to start his own marketing agency. The need to learn more and provide more value to others were the main principles behind his decision to take the entrepreneurial route.  In our conversation we go through a variety of topics and John mentions a lot of resources which you can start using today in your own business. Some of the things we covered - working in a remote environment, constantly learning new things and sharing those with the world, building a business on core principles such as adding value, asking questions and listening to consumers. We also dived deep into strategies for social media marketing and growing e-commerce stores. Complete notes and links: Topics we cover in this episode: 01:35 - How John started his life in advertising 03:10 - Starting 5four 03:40 - Working with a remote team 04:13 - The transition from working on the side to full-time entrepreneurship 05:40 - Taking a leap of faith and having a contingency plan 06:30 - Finding 5four's first clients and the importance of networking 07:30 - Educating yourself and sharing everything new you learn 08:22 - Add value, ask questions, listening to your consumer 09:08 - Getting used to being your own boss 09:53 - Being a facilitator rather than a boss 10:25 - The process of self-improvement and self-education 12:37 - Balancing learning with execution 14:34 - Project and task management tools 16:40 - Starting 5four solo - the good and the bad 17:24 - Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and collaborating with others when scaling your efforts 17:56 - Having the confidence to hire your first full-time employees 20:22 - The benefits and disadvantages of working with a remote team 22:56 - Balancing time for internal marketing and business development 24:46 - Moving into a marketing manager role and out of the project manager role 25:37 - Social media platforms and content strategies with the highest ROI 32:40 - Tools and apps to have when starting an ecommerce store 35:34 - Recommendations for building out the Product Description Page on your store 37:10 - Documenting your life online 39:28 - Plans for the near future 42:10 - Links and handles
Discussing how to building a design agency from scratch with Matt Ellis, founder of Honcho Agency THE DULO NON-IRON DRESS SHIRT: ▼ Matt Ellis is the founder of Honcho, a design agency specializing in web design and development.  Matt’s built Honcho from scratch and without knowing much about the agency world. He simply learned to dive into new opportunities head first and figure out how to do things as he’s going along. It’s a piece of advice he shared a few times during our conversation. We also talked about hiring first employees, pricing strategies, finding clients, running a remote company and much more. It’s an episode rich on resources and tools that will help a lot of you to automate and facilitate processes around your own businesses. If you work at a small agency or run a remote team, this is a very useful episode to listen to. Topics we cover in this episode: 01:50 - Who is Matt Ellis and what does he do 02:34 - How Matt got into web development 05:49 - Saying "Yes" to things even if you don't know how to do them 07:23 - Learning to do web development properly 08:30 - From freelancer to founder of a design agency 10:30 - Learning how to build an agency 11:40 - Hiring the first employee at Honcho 12:55 - Freeing more time for learning and business development 15:40 - Finding clients in the early days and financial security 17:18 - Balancing a financial forecast with hiring 19:00 - Switching from a product focus to a sales and business development one 20:30 - Tools to help with automation to free up more time 23:30 - How to choose which prospects to approach 29:55 - Where does conversion happen 31:00 - Pricing strategies: project-based vs. retainers 35:00 - Providing more value to others by learning more about your own business 35:20 - Working remotely 36:20 - Running a remote company - the process and tools 40:10 - Fluid processes and trust 41:50 - Getting new clients 42:46 - Acquiring new clients through Adwords 44:10 - Future plans for the Honcho agency 48:05 - Links and handles FULL LIST of Useful Resources and Links:
Sharing stories and lessons from two decades of building startups with Diane Tarshis, founder of Startup Distillery (S3E3) THE DULO NON-IRON DRESS SHIRT: ▼ Diane Tarshis is an experienced startup consultant who started her career in the middle of the dot-com boom and is now the founder of Startup Distillery, where she works with companies to help them navigate the muddy waters of their early days. With two decades of experience from the entrepreneurial trenches, working with founders from all walks of life and industries, we wanted to talk with Diane about the messy beginnings of small businesses. We covered important lessons around launching a startup, such as the importance of having a roadmap and doing extra homework in preparation, we discussed the pros and cons of self-funding versus raising venture capital and when is it a good time to rely on each. We also touched on the topic of marketing and messaging - a topic near and dear to us, since we are in the middle of figuring out how to talk to our target audience. Topics we cover in this episode: 01:53 - Who is Diane and what she does 04:56 - How Diane approached her first clients 06:36 - How to figure out what to charge 09:20 - The most common problems startups get stuck on 11:05 - The importance of having a roadmap before launch 12:55 - How to convince a stubborn founder to change direction 16:00 - There's always another way 17:21 - Bootstrapping versus Venture Funding 20:32 - The argument against going all-in on building a business from the start 23:33 - The myth of stress and the blessing of constraints when bootstrapping a side-business 27:20 - The DULO journey so far 33:05 - What to do when your business plateaus 37:41 - Can you apply lessons from one business into a new one 43:27 - The need to appeal to the head and the heart when marketing your business 45:34 - The importance of a clear and succinct message 49:10 - Future plans and project 54:29 - Get in touch with Diane FULL LIST of Useful Resources and Links:
How to create content at scale with limited resources? Discussing clever content creation models with Kareem Mostafa of Tribetactics. THE DULO NON-IRON DRESS SHIRT: ▼ Kareem Mostafa ( is the co-founder of Tribetactics ( - a bootstrapped content creation company which helps businesses maximise their efforts in producing compelling content across a wide range of media and platforms. Naturally, our conversation gravitated towards the importance and value of having a solid content production and distribution processes. We went behind the scenes of how Kareem and his brother, with whom he co-founded Tribetactics, work to deliver valuable and contextually-relevant content to their clients. Furthermore, we touched on how one big piece of content can turn into multiple smaller pieces that can fuel your content plan for a month. We also talked about the importance of speed over perfection, financing the business, managing client expectations, business lessons from hip hop and much more. As usual, you can find a bunch of resources mentioned in this episode with links below, as well as the main topics we covered in the episode. When we asked Kareem if he had a question for you, he came up with this ask instead: “Create daily documentaries!” Topics we cover in this episode: 01:36 - Who is Kareem and what is Tribetactics 02:30 - How the Tribetactics content machine works 03:20 - What is the GaryVee content model 05:18 - Behind the scenes of the Tribetactics process 06:35 - How to know when it's time to do something fresh 07:30 - How Kareem and his brother decided to work full-time on Tribetactics 10:07 - Managing and setting client expectations 12:55 - Breaking down the asset delivery process 13:55 - Working with clients overseas 16:12 - Working with a co-founder who is also a family member 17:27 - Thoughts on funding and bootstrapping the business 20:18 - The biggest lesson Kareem learned since starting Tribetactics 21:23 - What's the biggest challenge Kareem is having at the moment 25:06 - Speed vs Perfection 27:50 - Deploying the content model to market the business 30:02 - How Tribetactics attract their customers 34:35 - Business lessons from hip hop 36:25 - Plans for the next 6-12 months 37:48 - Ask of the day from Kareem "Create daily documentaries!" FULL LIST OF SHOW NOTES AND RESOURCES: ▼ OUR SOCIALS▼ ▸Instagram: ▸Twitter: ▸Facebook:
Discussing growth marketing for entrepreneurs with Foti Panagio of Growthmentor (S3E1) Foti Panagio is the co-founder of Growthmentor - a platform that connects founders and marketers with growth mentors. We were first introduced to Foti and Growthmentor thanks to Julian who is an active mentor on the site. Growthmentor is Foti’s first attempt at entrepreneurship and in our conversation, we touch on a lot of topics around the early days. We go behind the scenes of the process of idea validation, transitioning from full-time employment to part-time entrepreneurship, the biggest challenges facing the business today, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and much more. As we go along, Foti shares a lot of useful resources, tools, and methods he uses to steer the growth of the business (check out a list with all the links below). We also gave Foti the opportunity to ask you, our audience, to answer this question of the day: "What is your biggest pain point in growth [marketing] that you have right now?" Topics we cover in this episode: 02:44 - Who is Foti and the origin of Growthmentor 05:20 - Previous startup experience 06:04 - Foti's first steps into solo entrepreneurship 08:40 - How Foti validated the idea for Growthmentor 13:50 - Transitioning from a full-time job to part-time entrepreneurship 15:00 - Balancing family and co-founder relationship with a spouse 17:15 - Splitting responsibilities between co-founders 18:50 - What's the current focus of the Growthmentor team 24:00 - Foti's current biggest challenge 26:40 - Timeframe to start monetizing 27:20 - What KPIs is Growthmentor tracking 28:22 - How are they tracking KPIs 31:15 - Plans for Startup Grind 32:36 - Nailing the elevator pitch 35:08 - Resources and techniques for starting and growing a business 37:27 - Delegating work to virtual assistants 38:00 - Following up with cold leads and personalized outreach 39:30 - Resources for growth marketing and performance marketing 40:22 - Future plans, targets, and ideas for the next 6 months 46:40 - How does Foti go around selecting mentors for the platform 50:00 - Foti's question to the audience: "What is your biggest pain point in growth [marketing] that you have right now?" Useful Resources and Links: Connect with Foti -  twitter, LinkedIn Check out Growthmentor  AdWords - Google's advertising platform, useful to run A/B tests instapages - quick landing page creation 2018 Marktech Landscape Plan - overview of marketing technologies for 2018 Trello - project management software Google Drive - document and cloud storage set of tools IndieHackers - a community of entrepreneurs - marketing content aggregation useloom - a browser extension that to share a recording of your screen with audio and video UpWork - if you want to look for virtual assistants - automated cold emails and follow-ups
Time to wrap up Season 2 of our podcast! We took the opportunity to have our 30th episode as the last of the year and the season. On this season finale, it's just us the founders (Julian and Marin) and we had a very informal conversation about the past year, the constantly evolving DULO brand, finding our purpose and how there are slight differences for each founder, as well as our plans for the next 12 months. Thank you to everyone listening! We really appreciate your time and attention. We hope you find value in the content we put out on this platform! If you have suggestions on how to make it better or you have requests for topics you'd like to hear more of, drop us a line on social @weardulo. Until 2019!
On today's show, we talk to Pat Walls, Founder of Starter Story - a digital hub where successful entrepreneurs share their experience of how they built a business. In fact, we first connected with Pat when we were asked to share the DULO story earlier in the year. The stories on the platform are inspiring and also provide specific advice and insight that help others get started. In our conversation, we talked about how Pat started Starter Story as a side-project which he eventually built into a full-time sustainable business. We also got into the details of how he approaches collecting interviews, his thoughts about content planning, frequency and much more. Make sure you check out Starter Story at and read some of the interviews by fellow entrepreneurs. Say "hi" to Pat as well on Twitter (@thepatwalls) and follow his entrepreneurial journey!
On today's episode, we have Jackie Fast - founder of Slingshot Sponsorship, REBEL Pi, and a participant on The Apprentice. Her first business – Slingshot Sponsorship – was started in her bedroom in 2010 with just a laptop and £2,000. Six years later, Jackie sold Slingshot for millions, having worked with notable international clients including Sir Richard Branson, the Rolling Stones, Shell, Red Bull and many more. Jackie is now the founder of REBEL Pi, an ice wine brand. Relatively unknown, ice wine production is the rarest and riskiest in the world. With this exceptional product and brand, Jackie is slowly conquering the world and is also a participant on The Apprentice! If that was not enough, Jackie is also a best-selling author with her book PINPOINT. In our conversation, we touched on the early days of Jackie's career as a founder of Slingshot, how she exited the business, took time off to decide what to do next, how she started REBEL Pi and her experience on The Apprentice. We also talk about the importance of asking for help, how to do sales, branding, and distribution, and much, much more. If you like this episode, please subscribe, rate us, and spread the word with your friends and colleagues! Together, we can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs!
On this episode, Marin and Julian (the DULO founders themselves) sit down and share their top lessons learned over the course of the past year. 12 months is a lot of time when building a business and mistakes are a normal part of the journey. Got questions for us? We would be happy to answer them, and hopefully, help someone else who is building a business. If you like this episode, please subscribe, rate us, and spread the word with your friends and colleagues! Together, we can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs!
This episode is part two of our conversation with Shane and David from C2P Strain. We really hit it off the first time and found a lot of common ground. So, we decided to invite them again and continue the discussion around starting a business. On this show, we went deeper into the specifics around how they started - mainly talking about the way they approached patents, how other entrepreneurs can take advantage of IP protection systems, and how to create initial demand and distribution channels for your product. Make sure you check out their business online on or say "Hi" on Facebook by looking for the C2P Strain page. Thank you for listening and if you enjoy this episode and find value, share it with a trusted friend or colleague. We would also appreciate your love and rating!
On this episode, we talk to Shane and David from Can 2 Pan Strain. Can 2 Pan Strain was specifically developed to solve dry paint stains and debris and is the only solution for a no mess strain from the paint can directly into the painting pan. While talking to Shane and David we found out there is a lot of overlap to how they approach business and how we at DULO do things. Some of the topics we touch on in this conversation: - working with a co-founder - what triggered them to jump into entrepreneurship - building a business when balancing a full-time job - product development & manufacturing - collecting feedback early on in the process - marketing strategies Make sure you check out their business online on or say "Hi" on Facebook by looking for the C2P Strain page.
On today's episode, we welcome back Nathan Kontny, CTO at Rockstar Coders, but also a blogger, vlogger, and a constant experimenter and learner. Nathan was our guest last year while being the CEO of Highrise - a popular CRM solution from Basecamp. In our conversation with Nate, we discuss his transition and life after Highrise, how he enjoys playing with multiple projects as a way to learn new skills and experiment with technology. In addition, we talked about content, branding, and how to market a new project. We also dived deeper on the topic of quitting and the importance of it when it comes to reinventing yourself and prioritizing your goals. You can say Hi to Nate on twitter @natekontny ( You should also check out his writing on Medium ( and subscribe to his vlog on YouTube ( Check out also Nate's latest projects: - Rockstar Coders ( - Summersault App (
On today's episode, we have David Michaels - senior vice president of the Daytime Emmy Awards at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. David is a top producer with a successful track record in both live event and television production. He has been instrumental in facilitating the transition from a network to a digital-first broadcast of the Daytime Emmys. I was introduced to David by one of our former guests from last season - Kent Speakman, founder of KNEKT TV - and if you enjoy this episode, I highly recommend you check out the episode with Kent. In this episode, we cover how David and the Academy think about new distribution channels, the benefits of avoiding traditional gatekeepers in content production, the effect of technology and social media on reaching a broader audience worldwide, and much, much more.
On today's episode, we have Dale Spoonmore from "From Seed To Spoon" - a platform that shows how you can grow your own organic produce economically, efficiently, and sustainably. Together with his family, Dale is the creator of the "From Seed To Spoon" mobile app, which is one of the top-rated apps in its own category! In our conversation with Dale we cover: - Creating a business out of a passion for gardening - Tools and systems for mental health to stay sane and fight depression - Transitioning from the idea stage to doing and building a business - How Dale taught himself how to build a successful mobile application (top in its category) If you want to learn more, head over to to learn more about Dale, the business he is growing, and to receive an abundance of great gardening tips! Search for the free app on the iOS and Google Play stores.
This week, we had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Adam Moore - a mental health specialist, counselor, and an entrepreneur. Adam is a licensed marriage and family therapist and co-owner of Sela Health, which operates mental health counseling offices across the US. We had a wide-ranging conversation with Adam about how he and his wife are building a sustainable business, at a slow, comfortable pace. We dive deeper into that topic and discuss the advantages and thinking behind such a strategy. In addition, we explored the thinking behind adopting a strategy of engagement on Instagram and online as a means to build deep, lasting relationships with people. We also covered the journey Adam has been through while transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship - for a long time maintaining a balance between a full-time job and building the business.
Our guest today is Vessy Tasheva - a career industry expert and talent scout at Enhancv. She also works as a career coach and writes regularly on her blog which you can find on We had a blast talking to Vessy on topics around employment, entrepreneurship, career change, and being fulfilled with your work.
Our guest on the show this week is Ryan Carson. Ryan is the founder and CEO of Treehouse - an education platform that makes it easy to learn code and find a job in tech. Fun fact - both Julian and I are students of Treehouse and the work that Ryan has been doing over the years has greatly impacted our lives. During our conversation with Ryan we covered many topics around entrepreneurship, education, and having a purpose. Some of the things we discussed in depth include: being mission-driven, knowing your why, asking for help, documenting your life and journey, becoming better at sales, and the importance of equality and inclusion in education.
On this episode, we have Hafeez and Chris who bring you "The Roommates" podcast - a late-night conversation taking you behind the scenes of "becoming" featuring all the people, conversations, and perspectives you’d experience on the way. This episode is a great continuation of our previous chat with Kevin Horek on the topic of how to start a podcast. This time out, we focused more on the distribution side. We went deep with Hafeez and Chris to understand how they think about distribution, quality, and value-creation, plus much, much more Make sure you check out The Roommates podcast and if you want to say "Hi" to the guys, you can do so @roommateshtx on social. Thank you for listening and if you enjoy this episode and find value, share it with a trusted friend or colleague. We would also appreciate your love and rating!
The Early Days Podcast S2E17 - Kevin Horek On this episode of the show, we talk with Kevin Horek - a radio and podcast host of the Building the Future Show. Kevin interviews startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and others helping to make our world a better place. With years of experience in the broadcasting world, we dug deep with Kevin on the topic of starting a podcast. More and more people are turning their eye to podcasts and with the adoption and advancement of voice, it seems that the format will gain further in popularity. But how do you start? This is a question a lot of beginners face, we included. This conversation with Kevin presented the opportunity to dig deep and feed off of Kevin's experience and provide a starter's blueprint for podcasting. We discuss the hardware a starter podcaster needs to record, then proceed to software for the editing process, and wrap up with popular approaches of distribution.
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