Steli Efti

Josh Pigford on February 04, 2019

Table of Contents

 

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This week I talk with Steli Efti, Founder of Close.io! In this episode we talk about growing up as an immigrant kid in a factory town, discovering books at 16, starting a slew of businesses like a DVD rental company and a hypnosis hotline, discovering sales, building a remote team and more!

Show Notes:

  • 1:04- Childhood
  • 2:30- Early realization on conformity
  • 5:00- Single most important moment in his life
  • 7:43- Nature vs. Nurture
  • 9:20- Positive reinforcement
  • 10:37- School experience
  • 13:20- “I’m going to prove the world wrong”
  • 16:00- Turning point
  • 21:36- “Anyone can start a business”
  • 22:14- The interesting and exciting thing about stocks
  • 24:08- Ownership creates wealth
  • 27:40- Dropping out of school
  • 31:00- Loving people more than money
  • 32:40- 24 hour DVD rental business
  • 34:10- Getting DVD rental machines
  • 36:10- Learning the importance of Branding, Pricing, and Location
  • 37:40- Finding a hook to get his brothers involved
  • 40:28- Sold or gave away everything to buy a 1 way ticket to Silicon Valley
  • 43:29- Getting into hypnosis
  • 45:35- Hypnosis Hotline
  • 47:30- Monetizing something that you are passionate about
  • 50:20- Moving and starting a tech company in the US
  • 53:14- How I thought things would go
  • 54:24- Internal turmoil and stress
  • 55:00- Fundraising
  • 56:41- Pretending everything is ok when it is coming to a painful and slow end
  • 57:41- Three month vacation to reassess
  • 59:30- Getting out of debt
  • 1:01:15- SwipeGood
  • 1:03:58- Biggest struggle with startups- hiring salespeople
  • 1:05:36- Moving to outsourced Elastic salesforce
  • 1:06:36- Deciding to create own CRM service… close.io
  • 1:08:35- “The last thing I wanted to do was launch a software business”
  • 1:09:16- Love/Hate relationship
  • 1:10:42- Catalyst for getting out of services and pursuing software
  • 1:12:35- Team thoughts on the side project becoming more successful than the main thing
  • 1:13:57- Least scaling growth-hack of all time
  • 1:15:08- Having businesses as customers rather than consumers
  • 1:18:22- Transitioning to a fully remote team
  • 1:21:29- Pros and cons to building a fully remote sales team
  • 1:24:31- Balancing content creation with the responsibilities of being a CEO
  • 1:26:12- Personal process for recording a podcast episode
  • 1:29:45- Forsight on the next year- A lot of change!

How to reach Steli: TwitterThe Startup ChatClose.io blog

Josh Pigford