Think Different Theory

The Making of Josh Forti – Part 2: The 7500+ Hour “Failure”


This is Part 2 (of 3) of “The Making Of Josh Forti” and it picks up right where we left off in the last episode, which is around the age of 14-15. It will take us to when I was about 20 years old – my post-high school years.

I’m going to tell the story of how I worked basically 80-90+ hour weeks for a year and a half on my business that ultimately failed and I’ll share what I learned from that and how I just kept going.


Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned came from this period of my life. I worked harder than I ever had before, and when I experienced failure in my businesses, I had to make the decision to learn from those mistakes. Hopefully you will, too.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Making below minimum wage (5:00)
  • A common misconception about starting a business (6:30)
  • Starting a chicken and egg business (9:00)
  • The first business tragedy (13:00)
  • The second business tragedy that ended it (18:00)
  • The key takeaway from this episode (19:45)


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Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, or Stitcher.

Instagram @joshforti




February 27, 2019


Be sure to follow me on Instagram @joshforti

You can find the transcripts and more at

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(00:00) Part two of my story that I’m telling so that you can get to know me better and there’s some really good fun stuff in this episode. Like for example, did you know that one time I called Instagram, “A stupid app that simply had filters on it for pictures that was a waste of time”. Yeah, that was me. That’s pretty crazy. But anyway, let’s dive in. Part number two of creating Josh Forti – let’s go.

(00:29) I want to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti, @joshforti on Instagram, and I ask life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do know and understand on this podcast. We think different, we dream bigger and we live in a world without limits. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.

(01:14) What’s going on guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti, and we are on episode number 31.  Welcome back to the podcast and we’re on part number two of the story of Josh Forti. And the story of me as I kind of built this life that I’m living now and how I got started. And so in the last episode as kind of a recap, I went through and I talked about how I got started from the very, very beginning all the way back to nine years old. My first “business” that I ever did was lemonade and then chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate and uh, then, uh, bread and then shovelling snow and then my first job that I ever got and a gun club. And uh, that’s kind of where we left off as I moved across country to Indiana.

(02:01) And started that whole process there. And so I want to pick up right where we left off. And so if you haven’t listened to the last episode yet, episode number 30, I really highly recommend that you go back and do that cause it’s gonna bring a lot of context to this and really get you to know me better and a little bit more of my backstory. And there’s some funny and some humor stuff in there. And basically what I’m doing right now and the purpose of this podcast episode and the last podcast episode is to really give you some context around my story and how I became who I am today and the struggles that I went through and the things that I did and how I really shaped my mindset and some of the things that I went through.

(02:42)  Because a lot of people are like, you know, Josh, how did you get so good at sales? You know, you seem like you’re naturally good at blah and you know, I’m a naturally friendly person, but really everything that happened in my life today is a result of things that I did in my past. And so we’re getting ready to announce or kind of unveil a really cool life podcast series. And I, I’m not exactly sure how we’re gonna what we’re gonna call it. Yes. The first time I’ve ever doing this. But basically I want to go through and with my podcast I want to like break it down into like sections. So it’s like six episodes on how to do X and how they all build off of each other and like different parts in different like building blocks of it to kind of keep you guys more interactive and engaged, uh, with that and to really teach you guys life lessons that build off of each other.

(03:29) Because I understand that, you know, at 20 – 25 episode is a good amount to listen to and anything longer than that kind of really drags on. But I also know that it’s really hard to get together a complete process in just one episode. And I know that, you know, we like to multitask a lot and so I think audio is a really good way to, you know, do these messages and, and get things across in that way. So we’re going to dive in to part number two of this story and a kind of continuing to build off of me and my story or whatnot. If you could do me a quick favor though right now, just pause the episode and go to Instagram, go to my Instagram profile @joshforti and send me a message. Just do it right now and just say, “Hey Josh, I’m listening to episode 31 right now and I’m answering your question”.

(04:15)  I typically listen to podcasts in blank, at work in the car, in the gym, wherever it is that you typically listen to podcast episodes. If you could just go right now, pause the episode… Pause… And send that over, that’d be awesome. Uh, that would just help me give you some feedback there so that I can make these podcasts even better and more customized for you and for your listening. Okay, let’s dive back in. So we left off. I was 14 years old, I got my first job and I worked at this gun club, right? And so I’m 14 and now 15 years old. I’m walking three miles to work each day. And I’m very, very focused on really just learning as much as I can and saving as much as I can. Now, in Indiana at the time, minimum wage was $6 and 75 cents an hour.

(05:02)  I was getting paid $6.25 an hour, so $0.50 under minimum wage because I guess that was the law. Like you could do that at like a conservation club or something, I don’t know. But my job was not a glamorous one and it was literally reloading, big shotgun, a trap shooters and picking up shells and keeping score. And basically I was the grunt. I was the one that people, I did everybody’s errands and tasks for them. And uh, I got paid accordingly from that. And this opened up my mind to an entirely new world of just how people interacted and, and, uh, how people spent their money. And, you know, some of these guys would come in and drop hundreds of dollars every weekend. And I was fascinated by this because I didn’t realize that people were willing to do that and that there was lots of people in lots of people that had money that we’re willing to do this.

(05:52) And this blew my mind because I grew up in a very scarcity money home. Money was not abundant. We never went without, but you know, it was not the greatest money mindset home when you’re constantly, you know, worried about, you know, saving every single dollar and not sure where each dollar is going to go. And so this really opened up my mind and I thought, you know what? I want to learn as much about making money as I possibly can. But right now I know that I don’t have money to start a business and so I just want to keep working and saving as much money as I possibly can to go start my own business. And in my mind, I didn’t know that you didn’t have to have money to start a business. I thought it took tens of thousands of dollars to start a business. I had no concept of social media or the internet or consulting or anything.

(06:42) In my mind, you had to have tens of thousands of dollars. And how many of you have ever thought that, let me ask you something. Have you ever thought that? Have you ever been told that it takes a lot of money to start a business at some point in your life? If you did let me know on Instagram, I’d be curious to know because I was told this, I, you know, I thought that it was a lot of overhead and a lot of different things and that’s simply just not the case anymore. But it, you know, back then I that that’s what I thought it was. And so I saved up as much money as I possibly could and you know, every paycheck was like 50 bucks or 100 bucks or whatever. And I’m putting into my bank account, put it into my bank account. And I remember the first time that I ever had $1,000 in my bank account and I literally thought I was the richest kid ever.

(07:18)  Like it was so great. Times have changed, but that was a key, a key job in my life is my first job that I ever happened. And I really proved my worth there. And The lady that hired me was an elderly lady by the name of Judy and I, I still remember her first name, her last name, her what she looked like everything. And as she gave me the chance and I was the hardest working person there, I showed up, I swept the floors. If I had to sweep the floors, I stayed late and I did whatever I possibly could to earn my keep and to learn as much as I possibly could through that. And then from there I went and my first ever real business, all right, the business that I actually invested money in, I took a risk in. And actually, you know, I thought that I was going to build a business around this.

(08:03)  I had like a business plan, like a whole business model around it. And I was asking my dad what I should do and I was asking like business people at my church, what I should do, um, was when I was 16 years old, I started raising chickens. And so I was fortunate once again, I had to get creative. I was fortunate enough to live on a farm where my parents allowed me to use some of their farmland and I was used to, at this point going door to door and knocking on people’s doors and collecting money from them. I wasn’t used to having to raise something or create something and then sell it. But the only thing that I knew how to do, and I think it’s funny, right? Pausing a moment here. I think it’s funny how some people have the mindset of, Oh man, I only know how to do this.

(08:51) I can never make money. And some people go, this is all I know how to do. So this is all what I’m going to do. That’s, that’s the mindset, different guys right there. That that mindset is when we talk about the mindset of success, like take out quantum physics for a second and everything that we talked about on past episodes and you know how we’re all interconnected, that simple mindset there of like, this is all I know, so gungho, let’s go for it. That’s a really defining point and defining mindset that so many successful people have that so many other people don’t. And Damond John Talks about that in his book, “The Power of Broke”, and what you can do when you’re broke, how you can get creative. That was me. You know, I didn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t have a lot of opportunity.

(09:32)  I didn’t have a lot of people around, but I was like, well, I’m broke. I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s go for it. And so the only thing that I figured I knew how to do, or that I could make any money with was raising chickens. So my family is a very health-conscious family and I love it. That’s awesome. And unfortunately, I wish I would’ve listened to my mom and dad’s advice about eating healthy a little bit earlier on in life, but I am where I’m at today. But my parents and a lot of my parents’ family friends, they eat organic and they only eat like grass-fed beef, free-range chickens eggs and you know, things of that nature. And so they’re willing to pay a little bit more for that. And so I was in this farm community, and in this community – thanks to my parents – where I knew that there was people at my church that would pay for eggs and they would pay enough.

(10:22)  I did the math out and I would, I would go down, there was a little feed store where I actually ended up working. It was called Solder Feeds and I called them on the phone and I would research like, how much would these birds be and you know, how much would this feed be and you know, how long would it take to, you know, do this and this whole like process. And, uh, I did the math and I thought, you know what, I can do this. I think that if I invest my money here and I buy these pieces and I get these chickens that this can actually work. And so that’s what I did. I ended up getting a, what we call the chicken tractor, which is basically, uh, eight feet long by eight feet wide by about two and a half to three feet tall and has a tarp over the top of it.

(11:00)  And it’s covered on one side and it’s on wheels. And so you can kind of move it from place to place and that’s where the chickens would go and would eat the grass. And, uh, we tried to keep them off grain as much as possible and you know, let them do free range stuff. So anyway, um, I bought chicks, little little chickens, like little baby chicks that had just hatched and I raised them and took really, really good care of them. Every single day I would go out there and I, you know, get them in the brooder and put the heat light over him and all this stuff. And I started literally a business taking almost every single dollar I had working, at the gun range and doing odds and ends jobs for people. And I started growing chickens and I started with eggs and realized that it was going to be a process to start raising eggs, that it was going to take a lot of time before they actually started producing.

(11:45)  And I wanted money faster. So then I started raising meat chickens and I took the rest of my money and I split like half of my chickens were egg chickens and half of my chickens were a meat chickens. And I raised him up and it was about an eight week to nine-week process from the time we got the chicks to the time they were ready to be butchered. And I, and I apologize if anybody’s gored out or it doesn’t like the whole butchering of animals thing. But I butchered hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, thousands of chickens. And we did it an a really humane way and we flipped them upside down. And I’m not going to go into details, but we did it in the most humane way possible. We studied that and it was really a really, really good experience. But I worked hard. I worked really, really hard and all this time I was designing my life and I went out there and I was like, I’m gonna make it happen.

(12:33)  I don’t know how, but I’m going to take advantage of these resources that I know that I can and I’m going to go do that. And I ended up raising thousands of chickens and selling thousands of dozens of eggs, uh, right from the farm, the right there. And I would go out and I hired my brother to help me butcher and I hired my sisters to help me wash eggs and dry eggs and package them up. And I had an entire operation. And, during that time, I’m not going to go into this too too heavily, but the, the biggest failure that I had during that timeframe was one night we were going to have a big storm. And so I went out and I covered all of the chickens housing with tarps to protect them from the wind. And I covered them all with it.

(13:14)  And I went out the next morning and half of them were dead because they got overheated. And it was like the most heartbreaking thing. I was so, so sad. I lost tons of money and you know, these birds had died and I had to bury them all. And it was just, it was just devastating. And so once again, it was a mindset thing though. I had to, you know, I lost hundreds of dollars, which we’re going to basically all my profits for that round. And I had to go and overcome that and keep on going and keep on focusing. And so my whole entire life I went and was now at this point was on the farm for five or six years and had done this and had learned a great deal. Got a job working at a Solder Feeds that, that feed store part-time while I was still in high school, uh, to, to keep getting money in there as well and to keep saving up because in my mind, once again, the real business that I wanted to start was down the road and I needed money for that.

(14:03)  And so everything that I was doing right now is just to make more and more money, money. If I could just get, you know, $10,000 in the bank, then I’d have enough to get a loan or start a business or you know, start farming or you know, doing things of that nature and, uh, I was going to do whatever it took. And so, uh, fast forward two and a half years now at this point, after the, the whole chicken incident as I was going through and doing all that, I was getting ready to graduate high school. All right. And I have a point to all of this, so, so bear with me here. This is absolutely crucial and a key key turning point of my life and in success. And for those of you that are out there that are like, oh my gosh, like this is crazy.

(14:38)  Like once again, I was an average kid. I was not smart or not that smart. I just worked really, really hard and I was never going to give up. All right. So that’s worth two and a half years. I am, uh, almost 19 years old and because I was homeschooled, I graduated at a weird time. So my graduation party was like, actually in September. And so, um, I went, we had the graduation party and the day before I graduated I bought myself my very first vehicle. Um, it was my pickup truck and I was so, so proud of this thing. It was a 1998 Chevy Silverado. It was a deep green. It’s a 1500. I loved that thing to death. It had no muffler on it, so it was super loud and I just loved it. It was obnoxious, but I was determined I was not going to school.

(15:22)  College was not for me and I was gonna make it by starting my own business. And so I had enough money saved up. I had purchased the vehicle, I purchased the truck, I still had some cash leftover and I was going to go into business with my business partner. Now my business partner happened to be my neighbor and my neighbor, his name was Jeremy and awesome dude, still love him to death. And uh, he was married to a lady and they lived right around the corner from us, like two doors down, uh, I don’t know, about like a mile away or three quarters of a mile away. And we decided that we were going to go and do a farming business together. So one of the things that I didn’t go into a whole lot of details about cause it has nothing to do with real entrepreneurship, as I worked for my neighbor and I also volunteered at a horse ranch and I learned all about bailing hay.

(16:06)  I’ve bailed literally tens of thousands of bales of hay in my lifetime. And so we decided we were going to do custom farm work for these farms because we realized that a lot of these bigger farms, they had these big huge farm equipment. They couldn’t get into the smaller fields as well as we could with our smaller farm equipment. And so I borrowed my dad’s tractor and Jeremy had a tractor and I took all the money that I had and Jeremy took all the money that he had and we bought up farm equipment, we bought a baler and a rake and all sorts of really cool stuff. And uh, we got into this and I worked my butt off. I graduated high school, I took a job at Sauder Feeds as the night shift feed maker so that I could farm during the day. And I worked for a year and a half, 80 to a hundred hours a week.

(16:51)  And that is not an exaggeration. My family, my mom was literally scared for my health because they didn’t think I was sleeping enough because I was working so hard. I had no idea what I was doing when it comes to building a business. I didn’t know how much to charge. I didn’t know how much, how it was going to get new leads in. I didn’t know any of that, but I was dead set, determined to go and do this and to go and build this. And so I would go and I would work 40i hours a week at night, Monday through Friday nights at the grainery I would get off, it’s between seven and eight o’clock in the morning and I would come home and I would farm from eight o’clock in the morning until like five or six or seven o’clock at night.

(17:29)  I would sleep for about four hours from eight o’clock until uh, or I’m sorry, about seven o’clock until 11 or 12 and that would be back to work between midnight and two o’clock in the morning. Uh, actually around midnight back at the feed mill and I did this for over a year and I just worked and I worked and I worked and I worked and I worked, I worked and every single penny that I had, we reinvest into the business and we bought parts and we bought baling equipment and everything, like everything that I had and a year and a half went by a year and a half of this and we finally start to see traction. We were getting ready for our last cut of, of hay in for the year. And went to bed one night it, we got all the hay off the ground and it was just, it was gruesome work.

(18:13)  Like I can’t even, I cannot explain to you how many nights I cried myself to sleep. How many nights I was so exhausted. How many nights that I just wanted to quit. How many days I wanted to quit, but I was determined to keep on going even though I had no idea what I was like, what I was going to do. I just, this was the only thing that I knew. And I remember going to a bed, it was on a Friday night. We had just gotten done. It was supposed to rain on Saturday and it rained on Saturday and I went over to the farm on a Sunday morning and all the equipment was gone and I was like, what’s going on? And uh, sure enough, my business partner’s wife had divorced him and because we had nothing on paper and because I had no idea what I was doing, she sold all the equipment and took it with like took the money and ended up, well, he ended up selling the equipment to pay for court costs.

(19:05)  And basically everything that I had built in the business for the last year and a half was gone. I had no money to show for it because all of it was reinvested back into the business. We had no equipment. Now we lost all of our clients because we couldn’t fulfill on them. And I was stuck with less than 500 bucks to my name living in my parents’ house and wanting. I had just, I think I just quit my Solder Feeds job. I think I just quit my Solder feeds job and I was lost and I had no idea what I was going to do. And I remember being so angry at God and so angry at Jeremy and so angry at his wife and my parents, me and everyone and everything. And I was so mad and I was so depressed and I just cried and cried and cried and cried and cried.

(19:49)  I was like, what am I going to do now? If you’ve listened this far, you might be wondering, Josh, you’ve spent the last 40 minutes, two episodes telling us about this. And I know you said that, you know, you’re preparing to kind of lead up to something with the further episodes. But what’s really the point of saying all this and I tell you all this and in the next episode we’re going to get into how I transitioned into social media and how I ultimately got to where I’m at today and unveil kind of what we’re doing. But I got to this point and with the story and I share this with you for a very specific reason and to, to bring you to a key point that I want to make. And that is guys, I lacked something that was absolutely crucial when it comes to getting where you want to be at in life.

(20:41)  And that was, I had no vision and direction of where I wanted to go. I was working so hard and I learned so much through that time period, but it left me ultimately with nothing because I, I wasn’t building towards anything. I thought I was, I thought I was building towards this farm or I thought it was building towards something bigger or you know, but there was no real clear vision of what it was that I was trying to accomplish and there’s two parts to this story that I really want you to understand. The first is that even though I didn’t know what I was doing and even though I had no idea where I was going, I did not let that stop me. I just went out and did it. I just went and kept going and I just kept working and working and working, even though it left me with nothing, it taught me a very important lesson.

(21:35)  It taught me that, and we’re going to get to this further in tomorrow or in the next episode, but it taught me that if you just never give up, you’ll never stop learning and then you’re never disqualified from getting to where you want to be. I had worked literally since I was nine years old up until the point now where I was almost 21 at the time and I was 20 years old. So what, 11 years of my life and 11 years of my life of working and saving and reinvesting in everything and what did I have to show for it failed businesses and less than $500 to my name while still living in my parents house. But I didn’t let that define me. And because I lacked a vision because I lacked where I was going, that’s where I ultimately ended up. But I didn’t let my lack of skills or my lack of knowledge or my lack of resources hold me back from getting to that point.

(22:26)  And while at that point I was very depressed. That was a key defining moment for me again in my life because as I looked back at the time, I looked back and I was like, this is pathetic. This is ridiculous. I’ve worked for 11 years and I’ve got nothing. Right? But what that showed me was that it taught me the importance of having a vision and understanding where I needed to go. And as I look back now, I go and I went, oh, the thing that I lacked was a vision. The thing that I lacked was knowing where I was going. And I applied that in so many other areas of my life moving forward. And so as we go into the next episode and we talk about how I transitioned from that to dropping out of college to getting on to Instagram and social media, and ultimately to where I’m at today, I look back and I go, if I would not have gone through all of that, I would have never been able to get to where I’m at today.

(23:17)  Now, and many of you guys right now that are listening to this episode had been going through so many things and you have no idea what you’re doing. And some of you might now might be going and are lazy and are sitting around doing nothing because you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. And if that’s you right now, I want to encourage you to go out and try because even if you fail, you’re going to learn so much along the way. You’re going to get to the end of that journey and you’re gonna look back and you’ve made it. You are going to make it, it’s gonna be awesome. But if you don’t make it, you can look back and go look at everything that I’ve learned along the way. Look at the life experiences that I’ve had because guess what? Life goes on either way.

(23:57)  And when you wake up five years from now, you can look back at your life and whether you fail or one, you can look back and go, hmm, did I watch Netflix and do nothing with my life? The whole time clock in and out of a meaningless job that I’m not passionate about. Do something that I hated for the last five years or did I go and did I do things to increase my knowledge, to increase my wisdom, to increase my learning and actually learn from my mistakes? Because time is all you have right? One time runs out, it’s over. And those five years, those 11 years of my life, I could look back and go, those were wasted. Or I could look back and go, no, look at how much I learned. And this was a key building block for me because I sat down and I went, I don’t know what I want.

(24:44)  I don’t know where my next steps are. And it wasn’t until about a year or two later after I was in the social media space that I realized the importance of these lessons. And it might be a year or two or three or four down the road before you really understand the importance of the lessons that you’re learning now. But once you do, it’s gonna pay off and just heaps and dividends. And so I want to encourage you right now, if you’re just hustling away and you don’t see results or you don’t see progress and you’re like, ah, I don’t know what I’m doing, that’s okay. And we’re going to talk about in future episodes and I’m very excited for this thing. We’re going to kind of roll out and and unveil in the next episode that’s going to take place over the next six or seven episodes after that about creating this life and creating your dream life and what you have to do for that.

(25:26)  I’m going to show you how to create the clarity in the vision that you need. I’m going to show you how to design the life and and how to avoid the mistakes that I made, but right now if you’re like in that mode of like I’ve been working for a year, I’ve been working for two years, believe me, I get it. I did it for 11 years. All right, and if you’re like, ah man, I just not seeing results, I’m just not seeing this. You’re going to learn so much from that. So don’t give up. Don’t give up. Giving up is the only form of failure. That’s it. If you give up. So don’t give up. Continue to evolve, learn, quit things that aren’t working but never stop improving and learning and moving forward. I went from hot chocolate and lemonade to bread to shovelling snow to chickens to, to hay, to insurance, to social media to so many different things and it all paid off.

(26:11)  And I constantly evolved and tried different things, but I never quit. And if you haven’t started anything right now, if you are sitting there right now, spending your time on things that you know you shouldn’t be like Netflix or about not, you know, not improving your life, we’re not going out and living your dreams. Understand that while the road may be hard and you might be confused and you might not know what those next steps are, you can’t let that hold you back because you are literally missing out right now on not only the best years of your life, but the best form of education that you can possibly get learning and doing, and this is the best form of learning and education you can possibly get your hands on and do. And so I beg you to go out and just, it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to add to, to, to learn.

(26:52)  Failing isn’t failing if you use it to learn. So it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to, to fall down, get back up, learn from it and continue. I’m so excited about the final episode that we have here. Moving into the final episode before we unveil kind of uh, this, this new like mini-series that we have and I’m very, very excited about that. So if you learn something from this episode, if you resonated from it, hit me up on Instagram, let me know, uh, what you resonated with most and also let me know where and when you listen to podcasts most. That was super, super helpful. All right. As always, hustle, hustle, God bless. Do not be afraid to think different. That’s what this podcast is all about. Those of us that think different are going to be the ones that change the world.

(27:31) I love you all and I will see you on the next episode. Take it easy fam piece. Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call a new paradigm of thinking. And real quick, I got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow and that will spread this message of positivity and making the world a better place is if you leave a review or rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating and review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @joshforti or via email