Fail To Learn: Teaching Stories From Business, Sales, Marketing, Coaching, Blogging, Freelance, & Entrepreneurs.



Success is found on a path of mistakes. Matt Fox from talks with those who have found success so you can learn from their mistakes and failures. You'll discover you're not alone on your path to a successful business. Don't repeat the mistakes others have made, you'll find new insights that will help you grow your business. Past guests include: Nate Kontny, Dov Gordon, Jason Leister, Mike Vardy,Tony Stubblebine, Tim Brownson, Barry Moore, Zephan Blaxberg, Nicholas Kusmich, among others. Marketing, business, automation, coaching, freelance, sales, entrepreneurs, outsourcing, selling, search engine optimization, building authority and trust, social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasting, eBooks, online marketing, productivity, management, leadership and more to help you better understand yourself, your business, and truly prosper and avoid failure.


  • FtL 52: How A Tax Coach's Business Succeeded Despite The Odds

    01/03/2017 Duration: 41min

    In this episode I talk with Diane Gardner from That's right taxes. A subject very few people are eager to discuss. But Diane loves it because she takes a slightly different approach. Diane is a Certified Tax Coach and a large portion of her business is coaching entrepreneurs to help them pay the least amount of tax that's legally required. Sounds nice. She's saved her clients over a million dollars in taxes over the past few years. She knows her stuff. Of course, we start the interview with her big mistake and the struggle she faced. You can listen to find out what it was. Here’s what else Diane and I discuss: Diane answers the question, "What exactly is a tax coach and proactive tax planning?" How she's saved her clients over $1 million with tax planning, nut just filing the taxes but actively planning. Why she bought her business' building in 2007, at the top of the real estate market. How she lost half her clients, because they went out of business, from 2007 to 2010. How she struggled t

  • FtL 51: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

    27/02/2017 Duration: 56min

    Jennifer Briney is host of the super fascinating Congressional Dish podcast. On it she breaks down congressional bills and gives you the dirty laundry hidden deep inside. It's not pretty. Before she found her success, she was floating through unsuccessful sales positions and jobs with zero responsibility. And that's the story she tells us in this episode. I couldn't help myself so Jennifer and I also discuss the presidential election, politics, and misleading news outlets. It's an educational and entertaining conversation. Here’s what Jennifer and I discuss: How she took a job as a salesperson just so she could get health insurance after college. She became a successful leasing agent for her apartment complex. How everything went downhill when she was promoted. Why she knew she could sell what she believed in. How she transitioned into another sales position and failed. What she thought about the product she was trying to sell. It's an odd one. How she want 9 months without selling one of these products. Wha

  • FtL 50: Routine Is A Sign Of Success

    23/02/2017 Duration: 34min

    Kevin Donlin has been involved with copywriting and marketing since the early 1990s. His experience is vast. Yet that didn't keep him from his mistakes along the way. Kevin shares some of these errors in this episode. Fortunately, each mistake was a stair step to elevating his business. Here’s what Kevin and I discuss: How Kevin started as a resume writer. How small classified ads attracted his first clients. Why looking at other people in your industry will screw you up when you make decisions on what to charge and how to run your business. Why people who pay more are better clients. How Kevin's hobby helping business owners turned into his copywriting and consulting business. How the 'sure thing' will always trip you up. Kevin's story about the importance of testing small before making a large commitment. Why a recurring revenue model changed his business. Why he said he has to get smarter each month to keep his coaching clients. What Kevin means when he said, "Routine is a sign of success." The neuroscien

  • FtL 49: How Do You Decide To Close Your Business?

    16/11/2016 Duration: 44min

    Jim Palmer, author of Decide, had a couple of successful businesses already running when he decided to partner with a friend for another. This idea, while great at the time, turned out to be an expensive learning experience for them. Fortunately, the partners had worked out the details beforehand. They planned for what would happen if everything worked well, or if it failed. And it failed. Are they still friends today? You’ll have to listen to find out. Here’s what Jim and I discuss: How Jim and his friend came up with the idea for their business. The smart things they did before taking the first step. How they spent a year building the necessary systems to give their distribution partners a turnkey system. How these turnkey systems can fail, when not implemented properly. What happens when two friends, with a lot of business experience, realize they’ve lost over $30,000 and months of their time on a losing business idea. The one defining key that makes every business work. Why Jim doesn’t regret the loss. H

  • FtL 48: Your Most Important Negotiations Will Be With The People Closest To You with Kwame Christian

    09/11/2016 Duration: 44min

    Kwame Christian discovered his passion for negotiation by accident. During law school he took a class on negotiation that sparked a fire inside of him. He’s a practicing business attorney and recently launched the American Negotiation Institute to help you get better deals and advance your career. I loved talking with Kwame about negotiation. This wasn’t a typical failure story because I went off track with my questions. Instead of a story you get some wonderful negotiation tips. Here’s what Kwame and I discuss: How Kwame realized he could make a business out of what actually interests him. How he built his client base doing free negotiation seminars. The 3 ways you can use negotiations. And it’s more than simply getting a better deal. How Kwame’s happiness played into his decision to launch this business, and begin transitioning his legal practice. The most difficult negotiations you’ll face. Demystifying the planning process for any negotiation. Kwame’s struggle to balance two startup businesses. How he st

  • FtL 47: Employee Relationships And The Challenges They Cause with Jessica Rhodes

    02/11/2016 Duration: 40min

    Jessica Rhodes runs Interview Connections, a company that helps match podcasts with guest experts. Her business is booming. And she’s running it with a team of virtual employees. Everything was running smooth. And then Jessica had to take time off for the birth of her second child. Jessica kept giving her assistant more control in the business. When Jessica came back and began reclaiming control, things turned bad. And it didn’t end well between them. Here’s what Jessica and I discuss: The big challenge we face with employee/boss relationships. What happens when you give someone too much control while you’re away, and what happens when you try to get it back. Why financial incentives don’t alway work to motivate someone. How tension grew between Jessica and her employee, and conversations that used to flow smoothly were now strained. How the feeling of distrust grew and ruined their relationship. What Jessica could’ve done that might have changed the outcome. How she fell into the trap of giving up control.

  • FtL 46: You Discover Your True Friends On The Way Down

    26/10/2016 Duration: 41min

    Steve Rodgers is the founder of The Alchemy Advisors and author of Lead to Gold: Transition to transformation. Not long ago, Steve was flying high as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway’s southern California real estate company. He was leading over 5000 sales people at 110 different offices. It was his dream job. However, he took control when the real estate market was at its worst. And he had to start cutting everything back. He had to layoff friends. He had to close offices. And then he was laid off. Steve took this blow hard. It knocked the wind out of him. Yet he was able to bounce back and start The Alchemy Advisors and pursue his calling. This rollercoaster ride is where Steve and I start our discussion in today’s show. What you’ll enjoy in this episode: How Steve chose to focus The Alchemy Advisors on productivity, profit, and purpose. Why Birkshire wasn’t behind him, in the way Steve expected, when the going got tough, and told him to start closing offices. How he stuck to his ideals and tried to grow the

  • FtL 45: The Challenges Don’t Go Away, They Just Get Different with Anthony Lee

    19/10/2016 Duration: 49min

    At an early age, Anthony Lee was told he wouldn’t make anything of himself. He grew up in a poor family and was taught a poor kid from lower-middle class Alabama couldn’t rise up. Unlike most, he found a way to lift himself out. He worked hard, struggled, and built a business, selling his products through Amazon. In this episode of FailToLearn we talk about Anthony’s struggles and how they helped him get where he is today. What Anthony and I discuss: How Anthony was looking for a way to make money and get more from life. How he started trading commodities, and why it didn’t work for him. Why he wanted to use his trading skills to get a job at a big firm. How he practiced and made imaginary trades to test his skills. What he went through to open his first brokerage account. How quickly he lost his entire savings trading, and what happened after. Why he wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Why he doesn’t compare trading in the market to gambling, even after losing everything. How Anthony view networkin

  • FtL 44: The 2 Communication Mistakes You’re Making At Work, And How To Fix Them

    12/10/2016 Duration: 33min

    George Bernard Shaw sums it up best with this quote: The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. - George Bernard Shaw We spend a big chunk of our life talking with other people but are we really communicating? This is a critical idea to consider. Even more so when you’re attempting to sell or influence others to do something. In this episode I share the two biggest communication and influence mistakes I run into on a regular basis. And how you can fix them. Here’s what I share: Why these two mistakes are the 80/20 of influence. But they’re the 20% that can destroy the working 80%. How multitasking overwhelms your ability to listen. This is not what you think about multitasking. Why we stop listening and how to catch yourself to listen better. How you can hear some of my listening mistakes in past podcast episodes. How talking about yourself triggers the pleasure center in your brain, and how that can reduce your income by 25%. Why you shouldn’t say, “I understand,”

  • FtL 43: From Dream Job, To A Hospital Bed, To A Business On His Own Terms

    28/09/2016 Duration: 44min

    I speak with Max! Rouzier from That Man Max! I wanted to call this episode, “What’s your excuse?” But Max said you shouldn’t listen to this and think he has it harder so you shouldn’t complain. But listen, relate to him, and learn. Max has gone from landing his dream job to working himself to a hospital bed, lucky to be alive. He now works his business on his terms. Something he didn’t think was possible a couple years ago. You’re going to enjoy this episode. Here’s what Max and I discuss: How Max landed his dream job at Google, and then realized it may be a dream for others but not for him. Why he put such an emphasis on getting the job that he didn’t appreciate the process, and what that mean for you. How he started producing viral content and YouTube videos. Why shipping a video once per week was the fastest way for him to develop his skills, and how you can do it too. How he discovered his secret to promoting his videos and how it made all the difference in their growth. How Max, and his partner, were ab

  • FtL 42: Cheap Pricing Disaster Shows You How To Raise Your Prices, And Keep Clients

    21/09/2016 Duration: 35min

    Joe Kashurba, from Agency Accelerator, manages 6 figure marketing budgets for some of the largest companies in their industry. Yet, it wasn’t always easy for him. He started off as a web designer. That’s where he made his money. As he watched the rise of Squarespace, and other website building providers (aka websites for dummies), he decided to build a competitor. Joe spent over a year of his time and money building and trying to sell this to local businesses. It was a disaster. But he learned a lot, and you will too. Because that’s what we talk about in today’s show. Here’s what Joe and I discuss: Why Joe thought creating the website builder was a good idea. How he divided it up for unique niches. Why he couldn’t give it away, even after building the sites for customers. How his niching strategy was a poor plan, and what he would do different today. Why he didn’t make the decision to quit when first realized it wasn’t working. How he targeted the wrong type of customer who didn’t value what he was providing

  • FtL 41: Personal Training Business Setback Leads To Technology Breakthrough with David Pitts

    14/09/2016 Duration: 39min

    If you’re a personal trainer, coach, consultant, manager of a team, how do you keep in contact with your clients or employees? How can you make it personal and keep them accountable? That’s the question David Pitts faced in his personal training business. As his business grew he lost his ability to manually deliver personal messages on a larger scale. And that was the catalyst for his business, Off Day Trainer Here’s what guest and I discuss: How David started his personal training business 15 years ago. Why it was easy for him to deliver value during the client session but hard to keep them on track when he wasn’t there. What he did manually to keep them on track. How he was able to keep in contact with clients after the training session. Why he wanted to keep in contact after the training session, and how it increased client renewals. Why text messages is the fastest way to connect with clients. Why he felt relief when clients would cancel their sessions. He had to figure out how to provide the best experi

  • FtL 40: Misunderstanding Willpower

    31/08/2016 Duration: 27min

    Willpower is misunderstood. It’s not something outside you. It’s not something you need to summon. It’s not something that fails you. Willpower is under your control. And you have more than you realize. That’s what I talk about in this episode of the Fail To Learn podcast. Here’s what I share: What is willpower? The 4 categories of willpower. Why you don’t have a limited amount of willpower, despite what many people think. How too many choices today depletes your ability to focus on the test at hand. How you can strengthen your willpower, like a muscle, but it doesn’t involve heavy lifting. The types of tasks you can do each day to strengthen your willpower. How to use 30 day challenges most effectively. How to unblock the flow of willpower in your life. Enjoy the show: Misunderstanding Willpower Mentioned In This Show: FailToLearn interview with Jason Leister Willpower by Roay F Baumeister The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz Barry Schwartz Ted Presentation on the paradox of choice Matt Cutts Ted pre

  • FtL 39: Why Most Business Ideas Fail, And What You Can Do About It

    10/08/2016 Duration: 20min

    I’m doing things a little different in this episode. Instead of the typical interview, I’m taking control. I’m not sharing my failures (I don’t know where to start). Instead I’m addressing the reasons why most business ideas die and never find life. And what you need to do to give your ideas a fighting chance. Here’s what I talk about in this episode: How commitment, and lack of commitment, drives both success and failure. Why you want to realize sunk cost quickly. And then forget about it. Why you don’t want to think of your business ideas as your “baby.” How your ideas keep you spread too thin. How we have too many choices is killing your progress. How business is like nature and natural selection is at play. Why you need many ideas to survive. How to find success by acting fast. Why diversity and evolution are the process behind every business idea’s success. How to put this all together so you can succeed. Enjoy the show:   Why Most Business Ideas Fail, And What You Can Do About It

  • FtL 38: Matt McWilliams Shares The Best Business Advice He's Received

    03/08/2016 Duration: 52min

    Matt McWilliams is the biggest name behind many of the biggest names marketing online today. Matt’s business runs affiliate programs for people like Jeff Goins, Michael Hyatt, Brian Tracy International, Lewis Howes, copywriter Ray Edwards, among others. While paving the path to success Matt had many struggles. He was fired from almost every job he’s had. He help start a company that went from 0 to over 50 employees, and was then fired. He ran for political office (that’s a failure whether you win or not). About 10 years ago he started working online. And in that time he’s become one of the, if not THE, best at what he does. And I had a fun time talking with Matt about when he’s failed and what he learned. Here’s what Matt and I discuss: How Matt started working online in 2004, while sleeping on his mom’s couch. What happened when his first consulting client asked Matt to start their affiliate program. The best advice Matt received when starting his consulting career… If you do any client work, you want to he

  • FtL 37: Want To Grow Your Service Business? Document Your Procedures Now with Carey Green

    27/07/2016 Duration: 41min

    Starting a service business wasn’t the first thing on Carey Green’s mind. He had been a pastor for the last 20 years but he felt a calling towards a different path. Carey left his church and wondered what he was going to do. He pursued ideas that went nowhere fast. He was editing a friend’s podcast and his friend said, “Why don’t you turn this into a business?” And he did. In 2013 he started Podcast FastTrack and has nurtured it into a profitable service business. But, shortly after starting he had his doubts. And that’s what we talk about in today’s show. Here’s what Carey and I discuss: How his friend convinced him to start a podcast editing business. How his quick growth led to simple mistakes, and how you can avoid these mistakes. What happened when he received an email from an unhappy client. How that took a toll on Carey and made him doubt he was doing the right thing. What happened when Carey began doubting he could make it as an entrepreneur. Why you need to have procedures and systems in place for e

  • FtL 36: Why It's Okay To Turn Away Business With Dan Crask

    20/07/2016 Duration: 38min

    I talk with Dan Crask, from Brand Shepherd today. When Dan started up their business they took on a client who they should’ve said, “No!” They were new in business. They wanted to build something amazing for this company because the company had potential influence for referrals. So they took the job. And it lost money, time, and energy. Dan and I talk about this struggle and how a company should approach branding, among other things. Here’s what Dan and I discuss in this episode: Why Dan now prefers working with tangible product producers. How they bootstrapped their business and built on their successes. How being a “generalist” kept him from progressing in ways he wanted. How he made his mistakes with the country club and worked to impress their board of directors. How he recovered from this setback. Why he said he should’ve declined the project when he first met with the client. How to do your homework before taking on a project. How he was able to still get referral business despite the crash and burn. H

  • FtL 35: How Failing At Sales Taught Ian Brodie How To Sell More Effectively

    13/07/2016 Duration: 47min

    In this episode I speak with Ian Brodie about his failures as a salesperson. He started off as a business consultant and was great at helping his clients with their strategies and making changes. But to progress in his company he had to sell. And that’s where the problems started. He didn’t like being a salesperson and everything with his clients changed. He was almost fired. Fortunately, he accidentally discovered a way to get in front of prospects that repeatedly worked. And that’s what we talk about. What Ian and I discuss in this show: Ian’s successful background in consulting. Why he couldn’t “be” a salesperson. What happened when his clients stopped taking his calls. Why he feared what people thought about him and how it stopped him from making calls. How people think about salespeople, how he thinks about salespeople, and how that label made him feel less credible. Why Ian didn’t want to be seen as someone out to just take people’s money (because he wasn’t). How his fears almost got him fired. How he

  • FtL 34: David Marquet Shares Surprising Leadership Secrets: Create Instant Results While Establishing A Long-Term Legacy

    06/07/2016 Duration: 48min

    Captain David Marquet is the author of Turn The Ship Around. The book documents his time leading the nuclear submarine, the USS Santa Fe. From among all the books I’ve read on leadership, Turn The Ship Around is one I remember and consistently think about when working with my team. The prescription he outlines is a very simple model empowering everyone to produce the best possible outcome. I decided to pick David's brain about the struggles he faced and how he came about the strategies listed in his book. Here’s what David and I discuss: How the top down, leader-follower model is not the most efficient way to run a team. Why we’re wired to create a leader-follower hierarchy. What happened when David took control of the Santa Fe, a submarine he wasn’t trained to run, didn’t know all the details about, and a ship with the worst performance in the US Navy’s fleet. Why he originally walked in with the mindset that he needs to give all the orders and know all the answers… but he didn’t. Why waiting for orders is

  • FtL 33: How A Professional Drummer Beat Business Odds By Playing To His Market’s Rhythm - Nate Smith

    29/06/2016 Duration: 48min

    What's working in your business? What's not? Are you relying on a technique or strategy that may be obsolete after Google makes another change? Or will it stand the test of time? These are some things that Nate Smith, from, had to ask himself as he abandoned business attempt after business attempt. Until he found something that worked. It works well now and he keeps on top to make sure it will work far into the future. As a professional musician, Nate had to make choices he didn't like. He looked for ways to build a business around music. And that's when things finally started to look up. Here’s what Nate and I discuss in this show: Why Nate said he's an entrepreneur who leverages his musical skills to build a business. What Nate learned building The struggles facing a professional musician in New York and the difference between musicians who make money and those who go the creative route. The business ideas he started, and quickly dropped. How he sat on his idea for

page 1 from 3