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The Startup Junkies Podcast

The Startup Junkies podcast is hosted by Jeff Amerine and the team at Startup Junkie. We’ll cover topics ranging from getting started, planning, growing your business, proving your concept, leadership, marketing, exit strategies and so much more. We’ll interview business owners, entrepreneurs, experts and people we think will bring value to our audience. Subscribe, and together we'll take your business to the next level.
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Now displaying: June, 2023

This is the Startup Junkies Podcast. These are the stories of the people that are afflicted with creating the next great products and services that are going to change lives - not just in America, but worldwide. We're going to tell the stories of the next great beer producer, products and apparel makers, and the stories of people that don't accept the status quo and that want to make things better. 

Welcome to the Startup Junkies Podcast.

Jun 26, 2023

Summary:

Welcome to another great episode of Startup Junkies!

On this episode, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Victoria Dickerson are joined by Josh Perry, founder of Lane Hero, a trip cost calculator app for drivers. Josh shares about his background being from a family of truck drivers as well as his passion for solving some of their everyday problems, like the pain point of calculating costs for a trip. He created Lane Hero to take some of the strain off the drivers so they can go back to doing what they do best: keeping America's economy running.

 

Show Notes:

(0:48) Introduction to Josh

(1:07) Josh’s Origin Story

(2:36) About Lane Hero

(6:42) Josh’s Background

(10:46) About the Lane Hero App

(23:29) Lane Hero’s Marketing Strategy

(26:27) What Success for Lane Hero Looks Like

(31:08) Advice to Younger Self

(32:11) Closing Question

 

Links:

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Josh Perry

Lane Hero

 

Quotes:

“At the end of the day, for the individual driver, and the owner operator model, which is seventy-eight percent of the entire freight movement in the United States, it provides such a value and eliminates such a burden of time on the accounting side and on the cost analysis side that [bigger player’s] opinions aren’t very valid.” - Josh Perry, (5:56)

“The service aspect of trucking is what I’m really attached to on both the customer side and on the driver side because if you focus on the people that are making your business run, whatever the case may be, you get so much additional benefit over the dollars. So that’s the feeling I pursue.” - Josh Perry, (7:50)

“Most people don’t understand that all the goods in this room are all transported by a truck. Same goes in any country you're talking about anywhere in the world. So the real vision and goal is to level the playing field and be the largest precursor to any economy anywhere in the world and have it in over fifty countries with over fifty thousand users in each country.” - Josh Perry, (26:38)

“It takes sacrifice. It takes putting in the time. I’ve sacrificed a lot of hours of time I could have been spending with my family in order to help families all across the world get more time with their dad or their mom or whoever that's out there driving a truck.” - Josh Perry, (30:26)

Jun 19, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Victoria Dickerson are joined by Anthony Constantino, co-founder and CEO of Sticker Mule, the largest e-commerce website for custom stickers. Anthony is also the founder of Stimulus, a new social media platform intentionally designed to make people happy. Throughout the episode, Anthony shares about building Sticker Mule from the ground up, starting a new social media platform that doesn’t incentivize negativity, and becoming a professional boxer at forty years old. 

 

Show Notes

(0:36) Introducing Anthony and Sticker Mule

(4:40) Stimulus, a Different Type of Social Network

(10:22) Creating Businesses to Solve Problems

(12:03) Content Moderation

(15:07) Anthony’s Background

(17:49) How Stimulus Gathers Feedback

(20:36) How to Get Verified on Stimulus

(21:52) Stimulus’s Ideal User

(23:53) A Simple Formula to Succeed

(31:24) Stimulus’s Giveaway Program

(32:33) Mule Sauce

(34:16) Anthony’s Boxing Journey

(39:34) Advice to the Younger Self

(41:10) Closing Thoughts 

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Anthony Constantino

Sticker Mule  

Stimulus 

 

Quotes

Stimulus removes a lot of the negative design decisions that were embedded in Twitter and replaces them with more positive ones. We have a number of innovations that are unique to us, the biggest one being [that] we replace ads with integrated giveaways. So if you want attention, [the] number one tool to get attention on Stimulus is [to] run a giveaway. Everyone wants attention. That’s a positive tool to get attention, and it’s an easy tool to get attention.” - Anthony Constantino, (8:09)

I suspected that if people operated [on Stimulus] using their own identity, that would naturally push people in a more positive direction, and you wouldn’t have the negativity. I suspected a few things: If you remove the incentives to be nasty and introduce incentives to be more pleasant, you would naturally have a better community.” - Anthony Constantino, (12:34)

[We have] a simple formula that we use to succeed [that’s] basically: Make the experience incredibly good so that people that encounter us are highly likely to buy. So, you know, as an experience gets better, your ability to convert customers goes up. As your ability to convert customers increases, you can justify a large ad budget.” - Anthony Constantino, (26:11)

 

Jun 12, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Victoria Dickerson sit down with Skylar Wallace, founder of Level Up Lenders, a company on a mission to create a positive impact through home ownership in rural America. Skylar earned his MBA from the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and has founded multiple businesses, ultimately gaining traction through the help of EOS in his current venture. Throughout the podcast, Skylar shares about his background and his passion for using home ownership to help rural communities improve their quality of life. 

 

Show Notes

(0:50) Introducing Skylar and His Origin Story

(6:13) Utilizing EOS

(8:31) Taking Action While Learning

(11:44) Leveraging Impact Vehicles

(20:10) Focusing On What You Can Control and Looking Toward the Future

(25:50) The Challenges of Scaling

(29:14) How Skylar Chooses Markets 

(35:14) The Visionary and Integrator Relationship 

(39:34) Skylar’s Thoughts on Traction and Other EOS Tools

(41:51) Advice to the Young Self

(47:16) Closing Thoughts

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Victoria Dickerson

Skylar Wallace

The Level Up Lenders   

 

Quotes

Now we know anytime we bring on a new [loan officer], we’re not going to sit around and talk about this. Day one, you go out and start taking massive action. And so our sales methods have changed, but that activity remains the same.” - Skylar Wallace, (11:28)

In the investment world, there’s these things called investment vehicles, which are different vehicles that you can invest in. There’s venture capital, there’s the stock market, and all those things. So I’ve been thinking about this concept of impact vehicles. A lot of [entrepreneurs say], ‘I want to create a positive impact in the world. I want to make a difference.’ But there’s actually a lot of different vehicles you can leverage to do that.” - Skylar Wallace, (12:40)

Our commitment is that it’s never a ‘no.’ It’s always a ‘how,’ because every file is a family. So if somebody comes in to our office, they’re not going to get turned down. They’re going to be shown—look, you can’t buy today, but here’s the steps that we need to do to fix your credit, to get you on the path.” - Skylar Wallace, (15:54)

I believe the number one skillset an entrepreneur should have is the ability to sell. If you can sell—that’s the thing because that’s how you create revenue.” - Skylar Wallace, (42:20)

Jun 5, 2023

Summary

On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Matthew Ward are joined by Mark Zweig, founder and chairman of Zweig Group. Mark’s entrepreneurial journey began in his parent’s front yard when he was only twelve. He bought and sold bicycles, motorcycles, and cars throughout his adolescence and time at university. After earning his MBA, Mark worked for a management consulting firm before leaving for a string of successful positions with other flourishing businesses. Mark returned to his entrepreneurial nature in 1988 by founding Zweig Group, which grew rapidly for over a decade. Since his return to entrepreneurship, Mark has founded Inc 500 and Inc 5000 startups, written a book, served on multiple boards, and is now teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas. 

 

Show Notes

(1:09) Introducing Mark Zweig

(2:00) Mark’s Entrepreneurial Origin Story

(16:12) Growing a Successful Business

(23:13) What Drew Mark to Northwest Arkansas

(28:15) Changing the Perception of Arkansas

(34:44) Designing Homes and Buying Back Mark’s Business

(44:31) What’s on Mark’s Plate Now?

(47:30) Advice to the Younger Self

 

Links

Jeff Amerine

Caleb Talley

Matthew Ward

Mark Zweig 

Zweig Group  

 

Quotes

“We grew by 30% a year, thirteen years in a row. And we were always profitable. We never had any outside equity. We did sell stock to key employees, and we would finance 100% of that. And that was really a strength. We just did a lot of stuff that we advocated our clients do.” - Mark Zweig, (19:00)

“Our business planning process was one where every year, each line unit manager had to come up with three new things to sell and three new ways to sell what they had. And that just sort of baked in the innovation.” - Mark Zweig, (19:58) 

“To me, entrepreneurship is about building value. It’s not just what you can suck out of it along the way. And so, that, to me, is a core tenant of it. And if that’s your goal, you do everything differently.” - Mark Zweig, (48:55)

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