Dane Maxwell – The Foundation
Dane Maxwell – The Foundation
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It’s Dane Maxwell here — co-founder of The Foundation — the home for entrepreneurs starting from nothing. In a few moments, I want to share with you some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in business… Lessons that have allowed me to become completely financially free, before turning the age of 30.
Lessons that have freed my worries about money, and allow me now, to focus only on the more important things in life. Lessons that have given me complete confidence in starting profitable businesses from scratch, sometimes within just a matter of weeks.
Before that, I wanna give you some background about me, in case you don’t know my story…
Since 2005, I’ve started 6 profitable software companies, without writing a single line of code myself…
To date, the most successful software — Paperless Pipeline, is pulling in over $90,000/month in revenue. The best part is, my role in the company only requires me to check in one to two hours per month to review the numbers…while the company continues to grow month after month, almost completely hands off.
In fact, since 2012, the company has grown from $40,000/month to $90,000 /month with very little of my involvement — freeing me to pour all my time and energy into The Foundation.
In 2011, I spent three months traveling the world and, when I came home, I had more money in my bank account than when I left. I’ve done the Four Hour Work Week thing…and sipped Mai Tais on the beach, doing nothing all day…And I’ve surfed, sailed, and jet skied the freshest waves in the world…
That life sounds great, and I’m grateful for it…but I’ve found what really makes me happy — what really makes me fulfilled, is helping people escape lives they hate…and create lives they love.
That’s why I co-founded The Foundation with Andy Drish…because the work we do with budding entrepreneurs actually changes lives, as I get to see it happen year after year, in real time.
I’m in a really good place in my life now… However, things were very different when I first got started in business…
When I first started trying to build businesses, I fell flat on my face many more times than I’m proud to admit. By far, I’d say the “ugliest” part of my journey was back in 2006, when I thought I was hot stuff…buying and flipping websites off Flippa.com…making a couple grand here and there, with a tiny bit of hustle.
Then one day, after getting a bit too confident…and a bit too careless…I lost everything. My bank account emptied out to a whopping $123.20, after buying a website for $12,000. It was supposed to earn me a few hundred dollars a day on autopilot. Completely hands off.
But the dude who sold me the website was running some fishy stuff on it. Sneaky tricks so he could put the site up on Flippa for a high price.
When I bought it from him, and plugged my Google Adsense ID to get some cash coming in from ads… Google banned me almost instantly. For fraudulent activity.
I didn’t earn a single penny off that “investment”. And I lost all $12,000 I paid for the website.
It stung. A lot.
I remember breaking the news to my parents and girlfriend at the time.
I was so embarrassed. Because I was acting like such a hotshot just weeks before.
But I learned a lot from the experience.
I looked back and admitted to myself: Flipping websites was a magic bullet solution. It was my version of a “get rich quick” scheme. It was just a way to make fast and easy cash. I didn’t actually care about my customers. I didn’t care about anyone else. I just cared about making money.
After coming across the popular quote by Zig Ziglar, I switched up my game plan forever.
The quote went…
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
It was profound. I became determined to provide value. I’d help people. I’d provide solutions.
No more magic bullets.
So I started my very first software business for real estate brokers. The first iteration of Agent Care Centre. I came up with the idea after talking with my uncle who’s a real estate broker. I thought it was brilliant. So it was created.
I was sure brokers all over the world would love it. But they didn’t.
They hated it. Said it was useless. Nobody bought.
I made hundreds of cold calls trying to sell my software for months.
How many sales?
Rejection after rejection, I was ready to throw in the towel on entrepreneurship. I had enough.
I felt like I wasn’t cut out for running a business. I had so many nagging thoughts of getting a job. Just. Give. Up. … I thought. Then it all changed with one phone conversation..
Then it all changed with one phone conversation.
I was trying to sell a guy on Agent Care Centre through the phone. For twenty minutes he was unimpressed. He told me I was wasting his time.
But then a split second later, he found a part of the software he actually liked.
He said… “Hold on. Can I get JUST the recruiting portion of this software? That’s all I want.”
I told him… “Yes you can. But don’t you want the ENTIRE thing? Why just the recruiting portion? Is recruiting important to you?”
He replied that it was the ONLY thing he thought about. He obsessed about it. It was his most painful problem.
And it clicked. The lightbulb to change everything.
I realized that what I thought the brokers wanted was VERY different from what they actually wanted.
And you can find out what they want by talking to them. That’s REAL value.
It’s that simple. But I never did it before. Because I was too “me focused”.
I thought I had to be the smart one.
That was the beginning of “Idea Extraction” that has now become one of the core frameworks inside The Foundation:
Talk with your customer to find out what their biggest pain points are. Then use those pain points as business ideas.
The recruiting portion ended up becoming another piece of software called Recruiting Ninja.
It’s still making me money to this day.
Talk to customers. Focus on painful problems. Provide a solution they’re ALREADY dying to buy.
Idea extraction was the key.
With the help of a few books, like “Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes, and LOTS of idea extraction calls… my process became refined. Almost to a science.
After that, I took off and built six profitable software companies from scratch, in the real estate niche… without being a Realtor myself.
Idea extraction made the experience feel like a breeze.
I began to systematize the process so I could replicate it, and build businesses almost completely on demand. With no hesitation or doubt.
Since then, I’ve used Idea Extraction and the other principles I’ve learned from building businesses to help over 1500 people from 40+ countries get started in business.
And over and over, when I see people get stuck, it’s almost always because they’ve hit one of these seven obstacles that stop entrepreneurs from building their first business…
Obstacle #1 – I Don’t Have Time To Start Anything Else On The Side.
Do any of these problems sound familiar?
- I’m working a full time job and don’t have much spare time
- I have a family to support
- My schedule is already full… how could I possibly try to start a business on top of everything happening in my life?
If so, the story of Carl Mattiola might change how you think.
You don’t need to quit your job or give up your family duties to start a business. All you need to do is commit to two hours of action each day.
That’s what started everything for Carl. And that’s where it can start for you. Today.
Carl joined The Foundation in 2013. He was 33 years old and an employee of Tesla Motors, working directly under Elon Musk. (If you’ve read anything about Elon, you know how hard he works his staff.)
Carl was working 60-80 hours per week. And he wanted out. He was tired of the long hours, getting called into work on weekends and he wanted more time to surf.
He made a commitment to working two hours every single morning on his business. Two hours of focused action. After six months of focusing on his business every day, guess what happened?
He built a software business generating $3,000/month. A month later, he quit his job at Tesla. Now, two years later, his business is generating over $100,000/month.
All because he committed to just two hours per day.
The Bottom Line: You can create a business in as little of two hours of focused action every single day.
Obstacle #2 – I Don’t Have Any Good Business Ideas To Get Started
95% of students join The Foundation without an idea to pursue.
Esther was one of those people.
Esther was a 41 year old photographer who loved taking photos but, after so many years of it, she was tired of constantly being away from her family every single weekend.
She wanted more freedom in her business. But here was the problem: She didn’t have any other business ideas. She only knew her photography business.
When she joined The Foundation, she started started talking to photographers and asking them all sorts of questions about what pains they have in their businesses. She followed the Idea Extraction process.
And she saw a common pattern… Almost all the photographers felt unorganized. They had no software to manage all the weddings and everything in the pre/post production of them. Things would get lost and problems would happen along the way.
That was all she needed find her idea… She presold over $10,000 to help fund the software and, two years later, she doesn’t have to shoot weddings anymore.
She didn’t start with an idea… Esther knew that all she had to do was focus on the pains people experience and allow the ideas to come to her.
The Bottom Line: All you need to do is find pain. The best business ideas come from painful problems. So if you stop searching for ideas and start searching for pain, you’ll have an abundance of business ideas to choose from.
Obstacle #3 – I Don’t Know What I’m Passionate About
How are you supposed to start a business if you don’t know what you’re passionate about?
Daniel’s story about bacon might give you a hint of what to do…
Daniel Bailey was a 30 year old lawyer who hated the hours his firm required him to work. He was desperately searching for a way out. But like many people, he wasn’t clear on anything he felt passionate about.
Then one night he was craving bacon. And he half-jokingly posted on Facebook, “Does anyone else wish there would be a ‘bacon delivery service’?”
The next morning he woke up to dozens of responses. So he started following up with each of them…
He kept taking action, listening to his customers, and experimenting.
Now, less than a year later, he’s making over $25,000/month selling bacon caramel chocolates online. He shut down his law firm. And he’s living life on his terms. All because he kept taking action, even though he didn’t have a ‘passion’ in the beginning.
Daniel realized that his passion actually builds when he takes action and learns new things. He no longer uses that as an excuse for not creating the life he loves.
The Bottom Line: All you need to do is take action. You don’t need passion to get started. Just take action and the passion with naturally follow.
I thought I needed to be a credentialed expert in something before I could start a business around it. The Foundation helped me see there are opportunities everywhere that don’t call for any particular kind of certification. All that’s required is a desire to improve the lives of others, and the ways to do that are infinite.
Obstacle #4 – I Can’t Build A Software Company If I Don’t Know How To Code
How do you build a software business when you don’t know how to code a website?
Nobody felt this way more than Sandy.
Sandy Connery is in her forties and she owned a brick and mortar store for the past decade. She would cringe when she went into work and wanted a change. She spent her career as a podiatrist, helping people fit shoes for their feet.
She knew the industry was dying and desperately wanted the freedom that the recurring revenue of software provides… But she had no experience with anything software related.
That didn’t stop her.
Once she discovered her idea, she started looking around for partners to build the product.
Over ten months, she generated over $16,000 in presales for the software product and negotiated a deal with a business partner to develop the software for her for $0 upfront.
She gets to focus on what she loves (building the business and marketing) while her partner focuses on what he loves (the technical and design work.)
This was all possible because she believed in her own resourcefulness.
Sandy knows, as an entrepreneur, her only job is to solve the problem for her customers.
The Bottom Line: All you need is to focus on solving the problem… not building it yourself. You don’t need to ‘know’ software. You simply have to believe in your own resourcefulness to get the problem solved for your customers.
By following the content and letting the real me come out, I launched a product funded by $16,000 in pre-sales and now serve customers in three different countries.
Obstacle #5 – I Dont Have The Money To Invest In My Business
What do you do when you don’t have the cash to build a business? Or even worse, you’ve got a family on the line if things fall apart?
The fastest way to make money is by solving marketing problems for small businesses. Nobody does this better than our graduate John Logar.
John turned 3 hours into $18,000 by calling customer jewelers and selling them a marketing analytics package. In that package he helped them understand all of their data, put together a marketing funnel based on that data, and helped them grow their business.
John didn’t put together the analytics package, he outsourced it. And he didn’t put together the marketing funnel, he outsourced it.
All he had to was find the pain, and sell. In 3 phone calls he made $18,000.
Inside The Foundation, John talks in full detail on the step-by-step process he followed to do this. Anyone of you can use this process if you only follow the steps.
Here’s the bottom line: You don’t ever need to worry about money once you master the money getting skill of consulting, and outsourcing your solutions.
I’ve started 2 new companies created 5 software products formed a partnership on a new venture with a Foundation member.
Obstacle #6 – I Secretly and Silently Doubt My Ability To Create A Business
Doubt. The silent killer that hardly anyone ever addresses. We all have it. I have my doubts, too.
So how do you conquer your doubts and become the person on the other side of all that fear?
You follow a path that works.
Don’t go alone. Remember that action is the answer, and honesty is always the path.
When you couple that with deep identity rewiring and individual thought reversals, the doubt slowly starts to fade, and you become a happier, more confident individual.
Like Renata. An ex-lumberjack from new zealand. She doubted her ability to start a business.
Nobody knew doubt more than her. When she joined The Foundation eating meals in public was a challenge for her because she didn’t want to be seen.
Soon after joining and re-writing her identity, she began to go out in public to have dinners with her partner. She was so happy that she could go out in public again. Then… it began to escalate.
Today, she’s a traveling entrepreneur and owns a solid revenue producing business, she’s in public all the time. And a sought after accountability expert.
She joined with more doubt than anyone I’ve ever seen. And today, she’s a different person.
What did she do? She followed a path. Didn’t go alone. Took action, and was always honest with herself and others. She re-wrote her identity, and busted through the doubt.
We all have our own unique ‘beliefs’ that hold us back… Fortunately, one of the things The Foundation is best known for is our ‘mindset’ content.
Every entrepreneur has their own unique set of ‘limiting beliefs’ to work with.
And, when these core fundamental issues are addressed, often it is what unlocks exponential growth in people.
Here’s the bottom line: No matter how much doubt you have, it can be beaten. There is hope for you. You can be successful.
I thought my fate was sealed in that I was going to be chained to a desk for 40 years. I didn’t think I was capable of being an entrepreneur. The Foundation has taught me so much about how to start the path of entrepreneurship, how to fail fast, and how to celebrate those failures along with the successes. It provided me with the green goggles I needed to see business opportunities in the world and how to seize them.”
If any of those obstacles resonate with you, I want you to know you’re not alone.
Almost every single person who joins The Foundation struggles with one (or many) of those obstacles above.
The good news is: you can move through these obstacles like many other entrepreneurs have, regardless of your circumstances, to build a business you love.
And we can help you get there…
I get this question over and over. And the fact is, I’m already at a place in my life where I don’t have to work another day ever again. Actually, I reached this point many years ago…
When I reached that point, I spent a few months traveling the world with my girlfriend and, when I came home, I had more money in my bank account than when I left. We jet skied, visited the pyramids in Egypt, wakeboarded in Bali, and more.
I know what it’s like to live the 4 hour work week and do you know the truth about what it’s like?
It’s empty and depressing. It’s meaningless. It’s a selfish way of living.
After realizing this, I did a lot of internal work and, with the help of some amazing coaches, I realized that what matters most to me, is community and contribution.
It’s what makes really me happy, deep in my heart, and allows me to sleep soundly at night. That’s why I teamed up with my good friend, Andy Drish, to go on a mission to share the exact process of starting a business from nothing with the entire world and build a community of entrepreneurs who want to contribute more to the world.
That’s why I do this instead of building other software businesses. Its the work that feeds my soul and makes me come alive at the deepest levels.
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