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The Mystery of Mastery: 3 Secrets Behind The UK’s Top Founders

Guest Blog by the awesome Joe Binder.

Big moment.

The first ever guest blog on FounderON.

And who better to join forces with on this momentous occasion than a man that has worked with some of the most successful founders in Europe (as well as being a very successful founder himself I must add...).

From Dragons’ Den stars to Forbes 30 Under 30 to Europe’s Unicorn CEOs, his client roster boasts the lot. When you have such close proximity to something as sensitive as a Business Person’s reputation - you learn a lot more about the people behind the business success stories.

Drum roll please for Joe Binder, founder of WOAW and Workshops by WOAW.

Now on to the blog where Joe shares 3 secrets from working with the 0.01% of business leaders. 

1. Post-exit founders can never return to pre-clarity days

When I refer to post-exit founders, I’m talking exclusively about those who’ve sold their business for north of £2m post-tax. Once the final payout has been made, once they’ve splurged their fun money, once they’ve hired their financial advisers, they’re left with the most unsettling period of nothingness - often one of the most empty feelings to date. What follows this period - eventually - is weightlessness. 

Total, utter, bliss. Think of every time you’ve stressed about money in the past 7 days. The phone bill, the tutoring, the more expensive steak at the restaurant. Imagine never thinking about that. It’s gradual and then overnight the shackles of financial security disintegrate into the wind. Things feel different and they cannot do anything other than think different. 

Without spending their mental and emotional energy worrying about money, there’s a lot of room to fill. Often, this leads to incredibly sharp thinking and immense gratitude for the simplest of things in life. Once everything is on sale, you only want the one thing that you can’t purchase: More Life. 

2. The uniting trait of the 0.01%

They spend money, remove their ego and run experiments. Fast. Rather than simply making assumptions, they test these assumptions and learn from them quickly. The best founders do their best to remove as much of their bias as possible and focus on the outputs. Let’s use a real-life example from something I’m seeing right now. 

I’m convinced the next wave in business is the rise of the collective employee voice. In fact, I’m betting big on this by self-funding my next venture. Founders will hear the pitch - turn your biggest cost base (your employees) into a reliable and immediate marketing resource - and ponder. Do we? Don’t we? Do we wait until our marketing hire joins in April?

The top Founders will hear a pitch like the above - something truly new - and try to test it as fast as humanly possible. There’s a bias to action that is simply not found elsewhere. If the experiment fails it’s a win - didn’t cost a lot in cash or in time. If the experiment succeeds it’s a double down. 

3. The CEOs just want to kick ball and have fun

Humans are complex. What isn’t complex is the development of tolerance. Drink a one-shot latte every day and after a few months you might need two shots to give you the same kick. In addition to many of the weird and wonderful drivers of Top Tier CEOs, one is quite common: the pursuit of thrill. 

Once you’ve signed your client, you’re already onto the next one. Once you hit your first £10K month you’re looking towards your first £50K month. There’s almost a very raw and childlike enjoyment of the game that these people are playing and once they get better the stakes simply get bigger. 

Those who enjoy it the most, learn the fastest and are the most determined never want to stop getting better. With that motion comes bigger stages and bigger prizes. There’s a reason many of the most successful entrepreneurs couldn’t dream of kicking their feet up and retiring from work: for them, it was never work to begin with. 

It was a real pleasure to sit down with Joe and hear his views.

As a founder himself and someone who has worked with hundreds, his unique vantage point gives a different view to life as a founder.

If you enjoyed reading this collaborative piece, make sure to Follow Joe on LinkedIn and subscribe to the AlwaysOn newsletter. This is the first of many! 

Check Joe and his businesses out below:


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