Bootstrapping to 7 Figures (with Ray Blakney of Podcast Hawk)

Ray Blakney of Podcast Hawk talks to us about his experience bootstrapping multiple software and brick and mortar businesses.


“If you want to bootstrap a business, you better like learning and you better like making mistakes.”

“The difference between a successful frugal premier and an unsuccessful one is the successful ones just kept going while the unsuccessful ones quit.”

Ray Blakney is the founder and CEO of Podcast Hawk, a platform that helps you get booked as a podcast guest on autopilot. He is also the founder of Live Lingua, a successful online language school.

This is Ray Blakney’s story…

Ray Blakney is a software engineer who quit his high paying job to start multiple businesses. He is the founder and CEO of Podcast Hawk, which helps you get booked as a podcast guest on autopilot. He has also bootstrapped multiple seven figure companies..

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. How Ray Blakney bootstrapped multiple seven-figure businesses without any money

2. How Ray Blakney’s first business became profitable almost immediately

3. How Ray Blakney’s second business was born out of necessity during a global pandemic

Chapter Summaries:

[00:00:00] – Sarah St. John is the host of the Frugalpreneur Podcast. Ray Blakeney is the founder and CEO of Podcast Hawk, a platform that helps you get booked as a podcast guest on autopilot. Ray quit his job as a software engineer and has bootstrapped multiple seven figure companies.

[00:00:23] – After studying computer engineering in Silicon Valley and working in Fortune 500 companies, he quit his job and moved to Mexico to start a business. He sold his house, car, condo and all his possessions and started a chocolate factory in Southeast Asia. Now he’s writing a book about his life.

[00:03:45] – In 2008, he launched a Spanish school in Queretaro, Mexico, for $2000. And it was profitable from day one. He didn’t know how to build a website and he didn’t do the front end very well. He was a computer programmer. He is currently doing a course called Podcast Pro. Before he wrote his first business, he had launched two successful businesses. He owned a chocolate factory in Southeast Asia and a language school in Tulum, Mexico. He read two business books a week. He’s been trying different business models since 2008. He doesn’t want to do it again. There was a pandemic in Mexico and the borders were closed for 30 days. This affected the business of a language immersion school. The school had to cancel all the bookings and refund all the money. It took them seven years to get to seven figures. Most people will never have a seven figure business if they stick to it for seven years. If you’re 25 and listening to this, at 32, you have a 7 figure business. Even if you’re 40 or 50 listening to it, you can still have a business.

[00:15:01] – In his opinion, starting an online business is easier than running a brick and mortar business. For example, for $100 you can have a professional looking business up online in a month. Brick and mortar businesses are usually run by older people who want to retire and are sold for a profit. Idea is to buy an existing business and turn it into a profitable one. He would like to buy a dry cleaner, a locksmith, plumbers or a storage unit business. He doesn’t want to buy the brick and mortar business yet, as he wants to be location independent. You can buy a business with other people’s money. The business pays off itself in the next two or three years and you just ride it for the rest of your life. If you want to scale it up, you hire someone to scout out all the businesses and you show up once every three months to sign the check. He wants to write a book about the process.

[00:24:37] – Ray is a software engineer and a serial entrepreneur. His main business is Live Lingua, which is the online language. He wants to get on more podcasts. He spent a weekend building a database of all the podcasts in the world. He booked four shows a month for $4000. Pat Flynn and Jordan Harbinger are both advisors and investors in Podcast Hawk Podcast Hawk has a database of every single podcast out there. It updates every 24 hours. They stay in your account, and when you have a new one, you kind of move it. It’s not tied to John Smith. When John Smith leaves, you just deactivate that, and then Jane Smith comes in and you retake that seat. It just can make it easier for you to manage.

[00:39:50] -Talked about the lazy man survival mindset. According to him, lazy people are efficient people who don’t want to do any more work. He likes the Peretta principle of 80% of the work. In the first 20%, 20% of work will produce 80%.

[00:41:50] – Ray Blakney is an entrepreneur who believes in frugal business strategy. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on perfecting his product. He travels a lot and he likes the freedom he has. He drives a Mazda and doesn’t care about fancy cars.

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