After speaking to a legion of businesspeople, we at Heart of Business discovered that success typically follows a pattern. Start, fail, maybe fail again, and build a hugely profitable, popular business that sets the world ablaze. So when Andrew Warner was on our podcast recently, we were shocked to learn that the founder of one of the biggest online business education sites not only failed at some point, but failed after he started a business that was bringing in more than $1 million a month.
Welcome to the life of Warner, who perfected the side-by-side Skype interview style that flipped the world of online business learning on its ear. From the time a college professor told him a business idea would never work to his current status as the most influential instructor on the ‘Net, here’s what we learned in our wide-ranging interview with the mind (and heart) behind Mixergy:
Sometimes failure is a (really) good thing
Picture this: Warner and his brother have built a hugely successful business that’s bringing in $1 million a month. After taking a break, Warner gets fired up and starts a new business: Mixergy. The problem? The first version of Mixergy fails. This forces Warner to close shop, rip apart his plan, reassemble it, and start over. For Warner, failure forced him to come up with a tighter, more disciplined strategy, so when he re-launched Mixergy, it became a huge hit.
When someone says you won’t succeed, work harder
When Warner was about to graduate, he visited the university professor who taught him entrepreneurship. After asking the professor to look at his business plan and tell him what thought, the professor brutally shot down Warner’s idea, telling him it was the worst he had ever heard. The professor then showed Warner a pile of plans for businesses that he felt had a real chance of success, all from friends and close colleagues. Guess what? Those businesses failed. Having his entire vision dismissed drove Warner to work harder, which would ultimately make him the #1 business instructor on the web.
Taking a break changes everything
Long before Mixergy, Warner and his brother started Bradford & Reed, an online greeting card business. This project made Warner and his brother wealthy, even though Warner’s brother was too young to even rent a car. Despite the flow of cash, Warner forgot something important: How to have a life. Business dominated almost every single thought. So Warner sold off his business in pieces, started socializing again, and took a lot of bike rides. Those two years reignited his entrepreneurial passion, cleared his mind, and inspired him to start Mixergy.
Although Warner has the street cred to boast constantly about his accomplishments, he was an honest, humble and inspirational guest. Instead of passing out platitudes, Warner showed us the more personal side of his success, and we look forward to having him on the show again in the future.
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