How do you go from growing up when there was sometimes no power or food in your home, to self-made millionaire in your twenties, to losing it all and then climbing back to build a product that now ranks as one of the top 6,000 websites in the world? Well that’s the rise, fall, and then rise story of RJ Garbowicz. Hear how he built a Social CRM platform that just crossed over 6M members and has a business model that gives 50% of revenues back to the users - hundreds of thousands of dollars paid out already. Now he’s pretty sure he can create 1 million millionaires on the platform.
SPONSOR: SecureStartup (https://securestartup.com) - Securely and efficiently manage all of the documents between founders and investors. Opening: Allen and RJ discuss how long Allen has been following RJ’s platform webtalk and the exponential growth over the past few years, despite Goliath competitors in the space.
1:34 RJ explains his journey of getting webtalk to 6 million users and his 600k personal followers.
3:30 Allen talks about the comparison to LinkedIn and other social media platforms and RJ explains how webtalk takes those concepts much further (i.e. how about some basic CRM and contact management functionality); and rewards users for engagement.
5:00 RJ breaks down LinkedIn’s approach and business model and where that platform falls short.
9:20 Allen talks about a key incentive to using webtalk, the “sharing the pie” model.
10:20 How webtalk created massive growth utilizing a reward and revenue sharing system for engagement.
16:10 What is RJ’s message to entrepreneurs? It’s a long, hard road.
17:10 Opening Question: How determined and deranged must an entrepreneur be for success? What is the entrepreneur disease?
18:05 RJ says that entrepreneurs sometimes reach the end of their journey when they are too exhausted and need to exit. The bigger your goal, the more difficult. “How bad do you want it?”
19:25 RJ lists a plethora of negatives to being a startup founder when seeking different levels of success. Allen and RJ discuss how your decision to strive for achievement can affect your social life and those around you.
23:17 RJ talks about his history with entrepreneurship and when he knew he was an entrepreneur - it started in grade school!
24:42 Allen and RJ discuss the obsession that is making money while RJ talks about his struggle as a child growing up with very little.
26:00 RJ talks about his first established business in high school. He started a lawn care service through which he hired a couple of his friends to work for him.
26:40 The problems he experienced by being young and having expendable cash, were lots of dangerous vices. He attended military school shortly thereafter to help get his life back on track.
29:10 RJ lost his privileges to drive before he was even old enough to drive because he bought a car for cash at the age of 15!
30:20 Allen lists all of the jobs RJ worked over the years, and RJ learned he could do everything that the companies did and make more money. He harnessed his entrepreneurial spirit and grew ANOTHER business.
33:15 Allen referred to his previous interview with Steve MacDonald, and how some owners sell out too early and short-change both themselves and their investors. His suggestion is to strongly consider hanging on a little bit longer.
34:20 RJ took his check for selling his company and some time away in order to figure out what his next steps were. He learned through years of entrepreneurship, that the Internet and tech was the way of the future.
35:35 Started an online real estate business in 2005, where he was met with rapid growth but short lived success.
37:20 RJ tells how he survived his loss. “Do what you gotta do. I grew up so poor all I had to eat some days were condiments. I can survive this.”
39:10 RJ says “Once you realize you can survive with nothing. You are willing to bet everything”
41:00 He learned early to go after high cash-flow jobs to earn his capital to get some skin back in the entrepreneurship game even after a loss.
41:30 Allen questions RJ about when he created his local nightlife-to-Internet business, and how he monetized the platform.
42:52 The dangers you face when taking on investors (you can be kicked out of your own company) and how RJ navigated his negative experience.
46:20 The birth of webtalk. RJ explains how he came up with the concept, and what problem he wanted to solve for his lifelong journey.
54:10 Allen goes through a guided walkthrough of some of the services of webtalk with RJ.
59:54 RJ gives a brief overview of the roadmap for webtalk throughout the next year - including launch of the mobile app.
1:02:50 Allen asks RJ the final question: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”