Last year, at about this same time, I discovered The Foundation podcast. I was vacationing in Mexico and stumbled on it via Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income—a hyper-popular online infopreneur. I downloaded and listened to many similar podcasts on online business, but The Foundation surprised me in the magnitude of its guests’ success stories. These weren’t the product of a few niche blogs, life coaching and ebooks, but six figures per month (and up) marketing and SaaS companies.
2013 was a very productive year for me working two jobs and writing books. My main employer, Storify, was going through some changes and was later acquired by the social media company LiveFyre. Although I accomplished more in 2013 than in any other year, I felt like I was spinning wheels compared to The Foundation hosts and guests. It made me upset in a good and motivational way… but for some reason, I got distracted by daily life when I came back and stopped listening to the podcast regularly.
It didn’t register in my mind—or I didn’t realize—that The Foundation was running a course: a six-month program in launching your online SaaS business from nothing. (The subtitle of The Foundation is Start From Nothing.) And in August 2014 they kicked off their new class. I’m a part of it!
The Foundation: Start From Nothing course consists of online videos, community, masterminds, live events, and webinars. But most importantly, it encourages the participants to act which, to me, is one of the best learning techniques.
For the past three years, The Foundation has been giving only one class per year. This August 2014 class is the most intimate since their launch. It has only 120 students—a startling contrast to the 600 participants in the fall 2013 class. So maybe it is a good thing that I didn’t get into that 2013 class after all… but I still wonder what might have happened if I’d discovered and joined their program a year earlier? I might have been closer to my long-term goals of building an online business! On the flip side (there’s always a flip side, right?), I’m proud of the work my team and I did on the New DocuSign Experience. There is a saying: “The teacher will show up when the student is ready”. I believe it’s better when something happens when the time is right, and a person is ready for things to materialize. I clearly remember my fear when I was contemplating quitting Storify and becoming a full-time entrepreneur again. My income from the books was meager. For those reasons, I joined a corporate gig—DocuSign.
But in 2014, my doubts have diminished. That’s partially due to the fairly decent success of my expert books, and partially due to inspiring examples from conferences (e.g., New Media Expo, Pioneer Nation), podcasts, and books.
The next six months will be a great learning experience in entrepreneurship. I’m determined to succeed… at the very least I’m sure it’ll bring a significant amount of fun and adventures!
PS1: The next class will be sooner than a typical year away—sometime in December 2014.
PS2: If you visit The Foundation’s website, its design might make you think it’s a scam of some sort. In my humble opinion, it’s a clever disguise from the rest of the world—only select people know its true value.
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
To contact Azat, the main author of this blog, submit the contact form or schedule a call at clarity.fm/azat and we can go over your bugs, questions and career.