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Salt of the Earth

We talk with gritty, hilarious people who run successful small businesses.
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Oct 29, 2015

Nonpoint is a heavy metal band that originated in Fort Lauderdale,  Florida. Robb Rivera is the drummer and founded the band in 1996 when he heard Elias Soriano singing "happy birthday" at a restaurant and convinced him to join his fledgling band. Almost 20 years later, Nonpoint is still going strong.

We met up with Nonpoint before one of their shows and talked about how their first record deal ended with them owing money to their label, how much revenue a band makes from Spotify (not much), and how they steadily grew a metal band into a multi-million dollar business. Robb even gives us some of his highly secretive Facebook tricks.

Nonpoint is no stranger to the work it takes to build and run a successful band. They've survived the big record labels, the Napster years, and the iTunes era by managing their band like the business that it is, and never losing sight of their product: the music.  

Check out our newsletter for extra stuff from each episode. This week we've got a clip from their show John attended. 

Many thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this episode. 

Oct 22, 2015

Amy Simmons is the founder and president of Amy's Ice Creams in Austin, Texas.

She opened her first store in 1984, picking the location after seeing a croissant shop next door stay busy all day. Amy now does over $10M in revenue across her 15 locations.

We talked with Amy about her evolving view on success, how she chooses locations, and the janitor who was her first investor. Check out Amy's old name tag from her first job at Arby's!

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This week's episode is sponsored by our friends at MailChimp.

 

Oct 15, 2015

Fred Forsley is the co-founder of Shipyard Brewing Company, which in 2014 sold over 18 million bottles of their Pumpkinhead Ale. His story starts at a brewpub in Kennebunk, Maine. Fred was managing the restaurant, booking bands, and bouncing people at the door when he and Alan Pugsley began making beer together in 1992.

As Shipyard grew it caught Miller Brewing Co.'s eye and they purchased part of the company in 1995. Miller's capital and distribution helped for a while though when Miller slowed their promotion of Shipyard, Fred decided to purchase Miller's shares back. He's since expanded Shipyard rapidly with the help of a growing craft beer market and hits such as Pumpkinhead.

We had fun talking with Fred about getting on tap lines at bars (pro tip: send friends to repeatedly order your beer) and how he racked up over $400K in credit card debt (!!!) while starting Shipyard.

Check out our newsletter for extra stuff from each interview.

This week's episode is sponsored by our friends at MailChimp.

Music: Lady Luck by Richard Swift

Oct 8, 2015

Jim Andaloro is the owner and CEO of Metal Tronics in Georgetown, Massachusetts. They make sheet metal products and generate over $10M annually.

He started the company in the 80s and operated out of an old middle school before eventually taking a small business loan to build his own manufacturing facility. In 1994 he sold the company then went on to work odd jobs for fun, including a part-time position as a CD and TV salesman.

In 2010 Jim purchased the company back and has since quadrupled its revenue. We talked with him about sales strategy, hiring, and selling the same company multiple times.

Check out our newsletter for extra stuff from each interview.

This week's episode is sponsored by our friends at MailChimp.

Music: Lady Luck by Richard Swift

Oct 8, 2015

Joe De Sena is the co-founder of Spartan Race, a military-inspired obstacle race series. At 13 he started a pool cleaning and construction company in Queens, NY. After selling that company he went to work in finance, spending his free time training and competing in adventure races. In 2007 Joe moved to Pittsfield, Vermont and created Spartan with Andy Weinberg.

Craig met up with Joe in Pittsfield during the trial run of Spartan's Agoge, a 60 hour endurance challenge that included a segment where participants were chased up a mountain by dogs. In addition to explaining his rationale behind the Agoge, Joe talks about how he's grown Spartan to reach over 20 countries and 1M participants in 2015.

Check out our newsletter for extra stuff from each interview.

This week's episode is sponsored by our friends at MailChimp.

Music: Lady Luck by Richard Swift

Oct 1, 2015

We talk with gritty, hilarious people who run successful small businesses.

Season one will feature conversations with loggers, ranchers, electricians, manufacturers, musicians, brewers, and more.

Subscribe to our newsletter for photos and all the stuff that didn't make it into each episode.

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