starting a business: the resources

As you have probably noticed, I, along with one of the coolest people I know, have started a business.

Just yesterday we launched our full website (check it out!). The response was amazing and we’re unbelievably excited for the future, even if a little uncertain. Maybe it’s because now everything seems much more official (website = official); we’ve told the world (or at least the internet) our plan, loudly, and that means there are people who would ask questions to keep us accountable.

It’s been a bit of a process to get here.

You see, neither Aurooba nor I have any formal business education. That means we’ve had to learn the nitty gritty business stuff on our own (and we are still constantly learning, one step at a time). When I say ‘on our own’, what I really mean is we’ve been studying and learning from some really great people.

I thought I’d share with you some of the people that I personally admire and/or have learned a gigantic amount from.

And in no particular order whatsoever, with little blurbs that sometimes say why these people are on the list and other times say random cool stuff about them:

Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo is this superwoman of building a business and life you love. She’s smart, funny, influential, and always provides super useful and actionable stuff. In particular, I’m a huge fan of MarieTV, her YouTube series (every Tuesday, people). She does Q and A, tips, and interviews with some amazing people.


I can’t get enough. Especially of their podcast. There’s something about the way they mix experience, valuable information, humour, and actionable ideas with a touch of awkwardness and fun that makes it almost impossible not to feel inspired and ready to do something important.

I’ve listened to a majority of their episodes (usually on my commute to and from University, throughout my last year). They’re full of goodness! The idea behind Fizzle is to help online entrepreneurs grow a lasting, honest, and awesome thing. And that’s exactly what they do.

Elise Blaha Cripe

Elise makes stuff, and is unbelievably inspirational. She also manages to mix her personal life and business in the perfect kind of way. If you’re a fan of adorable small children (who isn’t?!), her little girl Ellerie is seriously cute.

This past year Elise spoke at WDS (World Domination Summit). Her talk was about starting, going for it, putting yourself out there and pursuing things. Watch it online. Really – do it, it’s great! This is the vibe you get from everything she does, and her passion radiates.

Paul Jarvis

Writer. Developer. Rat guy. One of the things I think is seriously cool is that Paul is always himself. His talent aside (his stuff is amazing), he writes a great newsletter every week. If I were to read one newsletter every week, it would probably be his. Honestly. I genuinely admire his work and his approach to business & life.

Jess Lively

What I’ve learned from Jess isn’t necessarily business based – it’s life based. She puts out a podcast called The Lively Show, where she’s interviewed some really cool people. I love it because, although it tends to focus on small creative businesses, it’s full of big ideas about life, journeys, stories, challenges, and successes. And in all sorts of contexts from all kinds of perspectives.

Zoe Rooney

Zoe’s blog is full of web development gems. I’ve learned a lot from the articles she writes – they’re great for people just getting started, yet still full of valuable information that even the greatest of web developers would probably find interesting. Her honest and helpful approach has been very encouraging.

Pat Flynn

When I wonder about the hard numbers and the exact processes behind building certain things, I tend to head over to Pat’s blog. He’s so open about everything, and provides detailed information about his business adventures. He talks real numbers, which is something a lot of people stay away from. It’s refreshing (even if a little intimidating – the guy is so good at what he does).

So much to learn from him about almost anything business related you could imagine.

Brennan Dunn

Freelancing. Being as that is essentially what we do, his stuff as been really useful. It’s all very actionable – not something you read, say “yeah that’s cool” and move on. It really clears a lot of things up about successful freelancing.

I haven’t read as much of his stuff as the other people I’ve listed, but when I do read something he’s written, it inevitably gets saved in my useful folder.


You should probably check out some of these people, they are all seriously cool.

And they’ve definitely shaped my ideas about business. In a great way, I like to believe.

Is there anyone online that you’ve been learning from? Let me know, I love discovering new and inspiring people.

And if you haven’t gotten around to it yet, check out the new PHOENIX|D website ;)

(Update: We’ve since changed the name + vision. You’re gonna want to check out instead.)