Many entrepreneurs start their company and launch their products because they want to implement healthy change in the world. Khierstyn’s guest for this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, UJ Ramdas, and his company Intelligent Change is doing just that - encouraging people to embrace healthy change and document positive growth through beautiful personal journals. Their conversation takes you through the company idea formation process, product launch, endorsements, and the importance of infusing excellence into every aspect of doing business. It’s a conversation that you don’t want to miss.
UJ recognized the fact that change is inevitable, and he was passionate about wanting to help people make it productive and enjoyable. He created Intelligent Change to make beautiful things that directly guide people through the change process in practical ways. The Five Minute Journal was born out of these core ideas. The six-month journal is based on leading psychology research that discovered expressing daily gratitude leads to a better overall quality of life and higher levels of positive emotions. UJ is passionate about his company and its products, and he tells his story in this interview in such a way that’ll leave you inspired and wanting more.
The Five Minute Journal began as a Kickstarter campaign but unfortunately, funding fell flat. Although their first crowdfunding attempt didn't succeed, UJ and his team successfully launched at Mastermind Talks in front of just 120 people. One of the guests in attendance was famed entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss. UJ explains to Khierstyn that in a stroke of “unbelievable awesomeness” Ferriss loved the idea of the journal and within just a few months ordered over 3,000 copies to be shared with his own followers. UJ exclaims that it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and a perfect testimony to the power of networking. Ferriss is now one of Intelligent Change’s biggest advocates. For more, be sure to listen to the full episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.
Since The Five Minute Journal was launched, Intelligent Change is now working on a number of different products that continue to encourage healthy change in people’s lives. Khierstyn and UJ spend some time on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut discussing the #1 problem in business - finding good employees. UJ could have never balanced external product launches and daily business operations without solid teammates by his side. But finding quality employees is the hardest struggle. He encourages entrepreneurs to prioritize their needs, seek out and hire the best people you can find, and move forward from there. For more of his advice, be sure to catch this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.
Intelligent Change has been met with such great success because of their stellar ways of doing business. Wowing your customers repeatedly within the first 100 days of a launch, gathering and maintaining 1,000 true fans, and systematizing excellence are all methods that UJ lives by. Without these strategies in place, it’s much harder to have a successful product launch. If you’re struggling with your crowdfunding ideas, or just want to hear a great success story, be sure to listen to UJ Ramdas on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.
On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, Khierstyn interviews crowdfunding success mogul Evan Varsamis, founder and CEO of Gadget Flow. He has built a platform that puts innovative products in front of over 25 million people per month, runs an international team remotely, and has some great advice for aspiring crowdfunding professionals. You don’t want to miss their energetic and informative conversation, so be sure to catch this episode.
What started in 2012 as a part-time project quickly grew into a crowdfunding giant that now hosts over 10,000 products across 140 categories. Gadget Flow is the third largest Indiegogo partner and they have successfully worked with over 6,000 customers thus far. Evan and his team recognized a niche market need for technology and design products that may not get picked up by large platforms such as Amazon and Etsy. They are able to host a wide spectrum of products and give backers exactly what they need to know (tech specs, images, brief descriptions, etc.) in a beautifully simple way. To hear Evan tell his engaging story, be sure to listen to this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.
Not every campaign or product idea that comes across Evan’s desk will be successful. Gadget Flow currently has an acceptance rate of 78-80%, and the team is highly trained to differentiate the gems from the duds. By using an internal evaluation process they look at the top campaign specs: funding time remaining, the quality of the presentation, and if the product’s team has been following established steps for crowdfunding success. Evan’s employees look for those unique teams that aren’t just shooting in the dark when it comes to marketing and campaign efforts. Their #1 red flag? If a campaign has less than 10% of their goal raised after five days of campaigning. Be sure to hear the full story behind the evaluation process by listening to this episode - your campaign can’t afford to miss it.
The current Gadget Flow team is comprised of 25 people in 8 countries. How does Evan manage to lead such a diverse team? And why did he choose to pursue remote teamwork rather than a traditional office setting? The answer is found in commute time - he was tired of wasting precious productive hours commuting to and from a physical workspace. He found that highly skilled employees and contractors often do their best work in their own environments. By allowing (and even encouraging) his team to remain in their hometowns and countries, and utilizing remote work tools such as Slack, Evan created a global team that is passionate about Gadget Flow. He tackled the issue of creating a strong company culture by implementing weekly video calls with each one of his team members. Evan’s desire was to encourage personal connections, even though miles and time zones separated each individual. It’s such a great story and a testimony to dedicated team members, you don’t want to miss it.
Few entrepreneurs are as unique, engaging, and great at creative networking as Sol Orwell, founder of nutrition advice empire Examine.com. He is also the creator of websites garnering over 200,000 visitors per day and a fanatic chocolate chip cookie enthusiast. On the first official Crowdfunding Uncut episode for 2018, Khierstyn interviews Sol and asks him key questions about his successful empire, why he thought to connect his love of cookies with creative networking events, and his top advice for entrepreneurs who want to do things a little differently. Their conversation will leave you intrigued, laughing, and wanting more so don’t miss this episode.
What started with a desire to know the facts behind nutrition supplements morphed into an independent analysis company with the sole goal of “reading the research, making sense of it, and putting it online.” From being the sole creator of the company to now being a consensus-building leader and visionary, Sol has built the most trustworthy source for accurate information on supplements - minus any hype, agenda, or ulterior motives. Khierstyn uncovers the human story behind a website giant, and it’s a story sure to inspire. You don’t want to miss it.
Sol’s current position as a leader of Examine.com allows him to have a clear picture of what works (and what doesn’t) when his team connects with their audience. By empowering his employees to do what needs to be done, he can watch them successfully interact with visitors via email and actual phone conversations - a rare phenomenon in today’s digital world. By trusting their niche market and the quality feedback they received over the years, they were able to organically grow into new market segments. They utilized Google Surveys, one of the most versatile and user-friendly tools on the market, to connect with what their audience was actually looking for. He found that if you expose your company’s personality more, people are more likely to engage with your content and communication. Be sure to listen to this episode for more of his stellar advice.
When Sol grew tired of predictable coffee networking meetups, he wanted to create an exciting new way to bring people together. That’s when #CookieLife was born. Rather than buying someone a simple cup of coffee, Sol started inviting people to try the "world's best chocolate chip cookie" with him. In just two years the idea moved from a small Toronto chocolate chip cookie shop to $30,000 fundraising and networking events. Khierstyn talks with Sol about how he discovered that people will come together for any reason that’s new and engaging. By simply encouraging people to follow their own unique passions, he has set a new standard for how people develop a comprehensive personal brand - rather than focusing only on one aspect of themselves. To hear more about #CookieLife, how it gives back to communities, and its expansive reach, give this episode a listen.
Being an entrepreneur should be about a few key ideas: intentionally create lifestyle freedom, give back while creating an impact, and pair fun with passionate hard work. In his interview with Khierstyn, Sol explains that there’s no single “right way” to build your career and that you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the steps along the way. When trying to create a network of influential friends, Sol recommends “Actually do something interesting - you don’t connect over business strategies you connect over personal interests.” One of his best pieces of advice is, “Do things that personally drive you forward, and don’t be afraid to let go of a project once it solves the problem you set out to eliminate.” To hear about Sol’s top 3 career tips, you’ll have to check out this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.