Helping Brands Publish AI-Powered Email Newsletters that Connect and Convert with Joe Stolte – EP 160

Interview with Joe Stolte

Brian Preston

Helping Brands Publish AI-Powered Email Newsletters that Connect and Convert with Joe Stolte

Today, I’m talking with Joe Stolte. Joe is a former Inc 500 entrepreneur and 5-time technology founder with three successful exits, including, which went public for $526M, and GrowFlow, which sold for $62.5M.

Joe is now the CEO of, an AI company that helps brands and thought leaders publish AI automated email newsletters in less than 5 minutes per week, all without writing a single piece of content. produces AI newsletters for thought leaders such as Peter Diamandis, Joe Polish, JJ Virgin, Cameron Herold, Chris Voss, and 70+ other small brands in 20 different industries.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

✅ Joe’s entrepreneurial journey to starting, scaling, and exiting multiple 7, 8, and 9-figure businesses.

✅ How to get 40%-60% open rates with AI-powered newsletters.

✅ How I use to power my own newsletter – it’s amazing how this tool scours over 350,000 different sources to find the content that resonates the most with my audience – all on autopilot!

Featured on This Episode: Joe Stolte

✅ What he does: Joe Stolte is a former Inc 500 entrepreneur and 5-time technology founder with three successful exits, including, which went public for $526M, and GrowFlow, which sold for $62.5M. Today, Joe is CEO of, an AI company that helps brands and thought leaders publish AI automated email newsletters that produce 40 – 60% open rates in less than 5 minutes a week, all without writing a single piece of content. produces AI newsletters for thought leaders such as Peter Diamandis, Joe Polish, JJ Virgin, Cameron Herold, Chris Voss, and 70+ other small brands in 20 different industries.

💬 Words of wisdom: “I think that’s an under-recognized characteristic of entrepreneurship, especially when you’re younger. It’s just never giving up and then having that resourcefulness, that persistence to actually follow up and figure out how to get it, how to make it happen.” – Joe Stolte

🔎 Where to find Joe Stolte: Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

Key Takeaways with Joe Stolte

  • Cultivating an entrepreneurial drive from a young age
  • Embracing a persistent, never-surrender attitude
  • Philanthropy ventures with Bon Jovi and Korn
  • Turning failure into a catalyst for success
  • From 20 to 130 employees across four continents in 3 months
  • Having the guts to say, “This isn’t for me.” and pivot
  • Surrounding yourself with people who embody your aspirations
  • Innovating in AI before the era of ChatGPT
  • Revolutionizing email marketing with AI
  • The e-mail marketing mistakes most companies make
  • Setting new standards in email engagement and open rates

How to Get 40% – 60% Open Rates with AI-Powered Newsletters with Joe Stolte

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Joe Stolte Tweetables

“40% of the content that you put into the marketplace actually pushes a prospect away from the sale. Why? Wrong product, wrong price, wrong prospect, wrong time, wrong channel. Generative AI can solve that.” – @JoeStolteLive Click To Tweet “Everything in its excess becomes its opposite.” – @JoeStolteLive Click To Tweet


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Read the Full Transcript with Joe Stolte

Justin Donald: What’s up, Joe? So good to have you on the show.


Joe Stolte: Dude, it’s so good to be here, Justin. Thank you so much for having me.


Justin Donald: Yeah. This is going to be fun. Well, there’s all kinds of stuff that we can talk about because you are an expert and very knowledgeable in this new world of AI, artificial intelligence. So, we have to dive into that today because you are a founder and operating as a CEO of, I guess, you founded other tech companies, but specifically, this company that you’re running today as CEO with, it is an AI company and you’re doing some cool stuff and we’ve partnered on a bunch of stuff. So, I want to dig into that.


Joe Stolte: I love that. Let’s do it.


Justin Donald: Now, how did you get to, I guess, the place that you’re at today, where you’re an entrepreneur, running a successful company, you weren’t always an entrepreneur. I’m curious when that kind of showed itself in your life and you haven’t had the success necessarily in previous companies that you’re having today, although I should caveat that and say you’ve had plenty of successes. I’m sure there’s been adversity and failure along the way but this, to me, seems like it could be the biggest opportunity you’ve had yet.


Joe Stolte: Yeah, absolutely. So, generally speaking, I’ll just start with my kind of self-aggrandizing, mercifully short intro here. So, I’m a fifth-time technology founder. We’ve had three exits over the last 12 years. Actually, my origin story as an entrepreneur starts way back when I was a kid. And so, I was raised in the 80s and my father was in the military and instead of moving us around with him, he just moved around and would come in and out. So, I was like a typical latchkey kid which means I had a lot of freedom. And so, at a very young age, I was able to do things that I probably wouldn’t let my young kids do today. So, like fourth and fifth grade, I was walking myself to school and my mom worked two jobs and they didn’t have a lot of time so she would just give me money for lunch. And so, what I would do is I would stop at the market on the way to school as I walked myself to school every day and I would actually just buy all the candy that I could get my hands on and I would trade that candy for the best lunch stuff in the lunchroom because other people’s parents had time to make them things like lasagna and tacos and really good food. So, that was kind of the very first entrepreneurial thing that I did.


And then fast forward to the time I was around 10 or 11 years old, my father taught me how to mow the lawn at some point in time but I really did not like mowing the lawn. And so, what I did, I lived in a farm town. I grew up in a farm town of less than a thousand people, about 35 or 40 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon. And so, what I did is I had my friend that speaks Spanish go and ask some migrant workers, “Hey, you want to mow some lawns? And what I would do is go knock on doors and say, “Hey, I’ll mow your lawn for $10,” and then I would actually borrow lawnmowers from my friends and have other people do the work. And I didn’t know I really had a business at that point. I just knew that I really wanted to get like cool school clothes or actually what I really wanted was like Jordan sneakers at the time and there’s no way my family could afford that, right? So, from a very young age, I’ve always kind of had this like freedom resourcefulness thing going on. You know, fast forward, I went to college. I found a really, really great mentor who helped me get introduced to corporate America and the world of management consulting. So, I worked in that world for a few years, and then I spent a few years at Microsoft, and I was really blessed to be in rooms that, quite frankly, I had no business being in at a very early stage of my career.


So, I learned a lot about how big businesses work but that really wasn’t where – I just knew that’s not what I’m called to. That’s not what God put me on this earth to do was to do that but that was a necessary step in my journey. And so, around 2012, my father got cancer. I got married the next year, and then I moved from Seattle down to Los Angeles and built my very first tech company. And fast forward on company five and we’ve had some good wins and two spectacular failures that maybe we can get into. But, yeah, that’s kind of my background and how I got to where I’m at today. Two kids live in Austin, and when people ask me what I do, I usually say, “About what?” And then after we have a good laugh, I’ll talk about being a dad and a husband because that’s actually the most important work that I do today, aside from running a business. And it’s a whole another dimension to be on my fifth company and trying very hard to make family the priority. It’s a whole nother level of complexity in the game, if you will, but I’m enjoying it a ton and I’m really glad that I am where I am.


Justin Donald: I love it. I love your answer specifically, just how intentional you are with your family, being a husband, being a dad. I mean, this is why I love Front Row Dads so much. It’s being a family man first and a businessman second. And I just think that that is just so powerful. So, I commend you on that. I’ve seen it firsthand, and I think it’s just great that you can run this business that way. I had this memory that popped into my mind because you were talking about your Jordans. And I remember when I was in elementary school, I believe this was fifth grade. I wanted a pair of Jordans and my parents just didn’t have the money. Even if they did, I don’t know if this is an expense that they would have paid for because they’re so darn expensive but I ponied up my own money and I bought the pumps. I don’t know if you remember the one where you can literally pump the tongue.


Joe Stolte: Oh, yeah. Yeah, the Barclays. The Barclay is the Reebok pumps. Weren’t they?


Justin Donald: Well, these were Jordans, for sure. Well, you know what? Scratch that. Maybe they weren’t. I was thinking these were Jordans. Maybe they were Barclays. I was thinking they were Jordans but nonetheless, I hustled to make some money and I bought those 100% with my own dollars and they were expensive. And I remember, though, they were sold out of everything except purple. And purple wasn’t necessarily my color but I knew I had to get these shoes and I knew I had to be the first person at school to have them. And I was. And it was pretty fun and everyone wants to pump them. So, yeah, that just reminded me of a great series of memories I have from childhood in elementary school. So, thanks for that.


Joe Stolte: Yeah. There’s something really special I think about. One out of every 20 people actually make that commitment to not work and to go their own path and the other 90 ended up basically being employed for a very long time. I think there’s something really special about following your desires and combining that with resourcefulness to get what you want that unlocks that for a lot of people. And that certainly unlocked it for me. It sounds like that definitely had an impact on your journey. So, I think that’s like an under-recognized characteristic of entrepreneurship, especially when you’re younger. It’s just never giving up and then having that resourcefulness, that persistence to actually follow up and like figure out how to get it, how to make it happen.


Justin Donald: That’s right. That’s right. Not just giving up or saying, “Oh, I can’t find the money for this. It’s too expensive,” but to go out and actually make it happen. So, I love that. And, yeah, I do think that that has contributed massively to the success that I’ve had in business or investing or even just relationships in general because of how you show up and how I think it’s important to follow through on what you say you’re going to do. You make commitments. Sometimes they’re commitments to yourself, but sometimes they’re commitments to others and I think that’s important. Now, your first company, so this is your fifth startup. So, basically, you’ve had two successful ones, two unsuccessful ones. You’ve also had some big-name companies that you’ve worked for. And I think of like I think is one of them where you were the COO of that company and that was probably after your first tech company. So, walk us through kind of your career path, the different companies, the exits, what ones were exciting. You had a big $60 million exit from one of them but not all companies are made the same and not everyone running them is cut from the same cloth. So, I’d love to hear the ones also that didn’t go well.


Joe Stolte: Yeah, absolutely. So, the very first company that we started was a company called Rallysong, and we moved to Venice Beach, California on Electric Avenue, right behind Abbot Kinney. And this is right when “Silicon Beach” was becoming a thing. Google hadn’t even put their office in Venice yet. Snapchat was really coming into its own at the time. And it was a really magical environment. It’s like a lot of good environment for other tech founders and people working really hard but doing it kind of in an L.A. way, not necessarily a Silicon Valley way. We had a beach. We had Gold’s Gym. It was a little bit of a different flavor. And so, I left Microsoft and I went from making little over a quarter million dollars a year salary job that I had mastered like I was very good at my job, and I didn’t work that hard, to making basically nothing like 30K, just got married, moved into a house with six other people, two bathrooms, one shower. And it was where we worked and where we lived was the same place. And we had a lot of fun. That place became very famous in Venice and became successful. But our very first business was basically helping some of the world’s biggest musicians raise money for their favorite charities.


And so, we would basically do like a Kickstarter, like a managed Kickstarter that was like a raffle where every dollar you contribute is like a name in the hat. We pick one lucky winner and you get to have an experience with the band or the musician that we were working with, and then we got to raise a whole bunch of money for charity. So, we had a lot of fun. We did work with really cool bands, everybody from Bon Jovi to Jack Johnson and loads of people. One really cool campaign that we did is we worked with Jonathan Davis, the lead singer of the band, Korn, and his son has type 1 diabetes. The kid that won the experience also had type 1 diabetes and a kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience was to go make a song in his studio in Corona, California, and his kid could also play the guitar. So, we got to build a bunch of really cool stuff but here’s the problem. It’s like ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance is pain. What you don’t know can really take you out, especially in startups. And so, I had to bathe in the fire of speed. Like, a big company, we were working with huge budgets like you snap your fingers and it’s a $50 million or $100 million decision or sometimes far bigger dollars. In a startup, it’s like we need to go a lot faster. We need to make a lot more decisions and decisions without discernment. So, it’s just like go. Did it work? Nope. Try again. But the one thing that I didn’t know really too much about was raising capital.


And so, we got left at the altar on our Series A. We flew to Dallas with a billionaire whose name I won’t mention. We shook hands, we popped the champagne, and then he never actually signed the deal and he sweated us out until our burn rate was basically done. And then he bought one of our biggest competitors. And it was very intentional, right? And so, at the time, I didn’t know any of this. I’ve never raised money. We raise money very quickly on our reputation and our idea. And it came quickly. That seed stage came very easy to us. But that Series A, when you get to that stage for a startup, it’s like half art and half science. You got to have some metrics to show it but you’re still selling the team and the dream and the idea of it. And we learned some hard lessons. You know, I found myself at the Whole Foods in Venice Beach, hot day, hot bar, couldn’t wait to eat, went and grabbed the coldest possible drink. When you reached to the drink, that’s like four of them behind because it’s even colder. It was a really hot day in Venice. If you remember, there’s like huge droughts in California and they had that ice bucket challenge thing that was going viral on social media. So, it’s really hot. So, that was the day I had to like BK the company and like shut it all down.


And so, I’m like it really hit me. This sucks. And so, I go back and I’m checking out at Whole Foods. I’m kind of in a daze the whole time. And then what snaps me out of my daze is my credit card declines. And I’m like, “Uh-oh.” And so, I have to make some weird – I lie and I’m like, “Oh, I’ll just go get another card in my car. I’ll be right back.” I walked. I didn’t even have my car. That was the only card I had. So, it was like the walk of shame back to my place in Venice, like a 20-minute walk. It’s like the most embarrassed I’ve ever been as a man in my life. And I knew my mentors taught me early. It’s like, “Hey, if you have a really, really bad failure, give yourself 24 hours to sulk and mourn and complain and do all that stuff and then get up and keep going. And if you have a huge win, give yourself 24 hours to pat yourself on the back and then get back to work.” So, I was like, okay, either I’m going to apply what I know or it’s just going to be something that lives in my head. So, I was like, “Alright. Today is the day where I’m going to sulk.” But the very next day, my roommate was like, “Hey, man, let me take you out to eat.” We had a good laugh about it that night and we went out for tuna burgers in Santa Monica.


And at this time, we just came up with an idea. I was like, “Man, I need a rebound. Like, what could we do here?” And so, at the time, a lot of people’s parents were coming on to Facebook and a lot of the kids were going to Snapchat, but a lot of small businesses hadn’t made their way onto the Internet like from a social media marketing perspective. So, I was like, “Well, what if we built a tool that kind of like 80/20 getting brands’ content on Twitter and Facebook and whatever and help them?” So, he kind of came up with this idea. He’s like, “Cool. I’ll throw $1,000 at a VA to go get a list and then we’ll just start calling them.” So, the next week to kind of get away from, to take action and get out of this demolished emotional state that I was in, I just started cold-calling dentists and doctor’s offices and try to convince them to let us handle their social media. And, man, that business grew so fast. We didn’t raise a dime of capital and we’re very fortunate. And so, about a year later…


Justin Donald: That was GrowFlow, right?


Joe Stolte: No, that wasn’t GrowFlow. This was just an agency called Clinic Social. I don’t know if I told you about this. So, that was like my rebound company.


Justin Donald: No, I don’t think you have. Okay.


Joe Stolte: But also, I had such an ego. I had such an ego. I was like, I need to build a unicorn. I’m not a venture-backed unicorn. This company doesn’t matter to me. So, we had a multi-seven-figure business, a total lifestyle business, the kind of business I would kill for right now. And we ended up selling it to one of our biggest customers because I was like, I want to build a unicorn, I want to do tech. And so, I did and we made a little bit of money and it put me back on my feet. And this is before, you know, so I was looking for my next thing and my mentor at the time was also the mentor to a guy in L.A. named Rob Dyrdek. Rob’s pretty famous. He has a bunch of shows on MTV. So, I got introduced to Rob and I was fortunate enough to be involved in the early days of building his machine investment fund. And Rob is a genius on many, many levels, a very talented guy. And so, I got to work with him for a bit but after a short season of nine months of like driving to downtown L.A. and working at an office, I was like, “Hey, this isn’t for me,” and I decided to part ways. But funny story, I would drive to the Fantasy Factory if you know Rob and this whole show, and the Fantasy Factory had an office in there and it had a desk and these giant monitors.


And what I would do is I would sit on the couch in my office and put my feet up on the ottoman and work with my laptop on my lap, because that’s what I was used to doing because I’ve been doing that for the last three years of my startup or whatever. Anyway, after working with Rob for a season, a buddy of mine, same guy, sold the agency with was the head of growth for a company called AutoLotto. I think they’re like batch 14 or 15 out of 500 startups in Silicon Valley. And so, I ended up, he told me about them. I met the guys. They ended up joining and I became the Chief Operating Officer of that company for a few years. And we had a really good run with that I left before they went public but they ended up going public on a SPAC for over $500 million. And you know, I really got to test all the skills I wanted to test as an entrepreneur. We went from like 20 employees to 130 employees on four continents in like two or three months and completely virtual team long before COVID. So, it was awesome. Like, we could have a whole podcast just on the things I learned there but I kind of came to a place in my life at Lottery where I had another one of those moments where I was like, “This is not what I’m supposed to be doing.”


Like, my vessel’s almost out. The industry that we’re in, you know, you can buy lottery tickets on your smartphone. It’s gaming. It’s a regulated market. I just didn’t want to be in that space anymore. It was morally or otherwise. I’m not trying to make anyone that’s in that space wrong. Like, I love capitalism and I don’t want to knock anybody’s pursuit of that. Just for me, at that time, my wife was pregnant with our first kid and I felt like I needed a big gear shift. So, on a whim, I left. I mean, I transitioned out and we had our first kid and then again another guy calls me up. He’s like, “Hey.” It’s actually the same guy, Travis. He’s like, “One of these companies I’m advising is actually the CEO doesn’t want to be CEO anymore. He wants me to be CEO, but I said I’d only do it if you’d come with me. So, will you be my co-CEO?” And I was like, “I don’t like that.” That’s a thing for some Silicon Valley companies. Like, I don’t like co-CEO, I don’t like that title. I was like, “Why don’t I be the Chief Revenue Officer and I’ll kind of coach you as CEO. I’ll help you. I’ll support you as you grow into becoming CEO.” So, I did. We took that company from 900K and annual recurring revenue to 8 million in less than three years and we sold it for 62.5 right before we sold to the largest payment processor in the industry.


And it was very, very fortunate because about three or four months later, the whole fintech world kind of blew up. So, that was kind of the history and how I got to where I’m at today but certainly not a straight path. Lots of difficult moments and having the courage to just shift gears and just knowing when things are right for you, even if things are good, but they’re not extraordinary or outstanding. And I’m so thankful that I did that and had good mentorship and wisdom in my life to help me figure out that those are the right moments and a relationship with God to be able to say, “All right. Like, where do you want me next? Because this certainly doesn’t feel like the place you want me now.” And, yeah, so it wasn’t an easy or straight path but it’s just been my path. I had a lot of fun.


Justin Donald: Oh, I love it. I love that you could internalize and just make sure that this is where you’re supposed to be or recognize that it wasn’t. I think timing’s everything. And it looks like you timed that company just right and had a $62.5 million exit. That’s nice for the resume and nice for the confidence for whatever the next project is going to be, which at that time, I’m assuming you didn’t know what it was that you were going to do next. But I actually want to highlight the risk that you took that I think most people don’t take. Most people get comfortable in their job. You are making 250,000 a year. That’s a great income. I mean, that’s top 2%. And in some states, it’s pretty close to the top 1%. That’s just in the U.S. In terms of the world, it’s top 1% of the world. So, you think about that and you think about just walking away from it. Most people cannot do that. Most people have built a life that requires them to keep up with a certain amount of income, to live that life. You know, the golden handcuffs, it’s hard to leave the job that’s paying you well that you’ve built your life around.


Some people are afraid of pivoting or doing that if they have a family. And other people are just afraid of maybe the shift of safety and security because you basically eliminate that if you’re going to do it. And so, at the beginning, it seemed like maybe it wasn’t worth it. Maybe that tradeoff wasn’t on paper a win. But the experience that you got in the company that didn’t make it set you up for the big exit that you had, which I think is incredible. And now, you have a company that is literally a rocket ship and I’m excited to talk about that a little more as well.


Joe Stolte: Yeah, thanks. And to be honest, it took me a year to get there. Like I kind of knew I needed to leave but I kind of futzed around for a year. And I’ll just say, I think, part of it is courage and part of it is like I’m really motivated by association. Like, kind of like you, Justin, like I really enjoy meeting extraordinary people and surrounding myself with the best of the best in many ways. At that time, I’m just a small story that’s helpful for anyone that’s at a job and thinking like when is the time for me to go? The thing that really got me over the edge was just getting around extraordinary entrepreneurs who had much higher standards around what they wanted to do with their life, the impact they wanted to make in the world. You know, I got introduced to some folks at a place called Summit Series, and a lot of my friends were in Summit Series. So, I had this great job. I was traveling. I was remote. These guys are starting companies. They’re with a high degree of conviction, talking about they’re going to change the world. And I felt like, man, like that’s what I should be doing. And so, because I surrounded myself with people that were already where I wanted to be, it made it a little bit easier for me. That’s what actually got me off the fence.


And so, to the extent that you can get access to people that are two or three steps ahead of you and surround yourself with them, ask them questions, be helpful, kind of get in there universe, that can really be a huge accelerator for getting you from one stage to the next whether you’re leaving a job and starting a company or you’re a CEO and you want to become the owner or you’re an owner and you want to let go and just have complete freedom. For me, the biggest leaps have always come from hanging around people that are farther or not necessarily farther on a different level. It’s not always about a hierarchy. They’re just down the field where I want to go and I really appreciate that. So, that’s been a huge thing for me. And that’s the same thing actually happened with, which is the company that I’m the CEO of now. So, after GrowFlow, I knew the acquisition was going to take a bit of time to go through and I started asking around like, “Hey, do you know anybody that’s doing anything cool with email or AI?” And my coach at the time, business coach, was a guy named Brian Franklin. Brian Franklin, he’s coached like nine or ten different companies from the seed stage to the unicorn stage, including Reid Hoffman, a number of people we all probably know.


And so, he was like, “Yeah. Eben Pagan and Peter Diamandis have this sort of alpha thing that they’ve built that doesn’t really have any customers or market. There’s already a team around it. So, I got to re-meet Eben and re-meet Peter, and that’s how I found And at the time it was not called and it didn’t have a team. And so, while GrowFlow was being sold, I was kind of moonlighting and I was like, “Wow. I mean, I’ve been selling compliance software in the cannabis industry without the ability to write paid ads because it’s a regulated market. I’m pretty sure I can sell AI email stuff.” But this is back in 2021, right? So, like people didn’t know anything. Very few people knew about AI the way they do now. You know, like ChatGPT hadn’t come out, you know, Lensa. Just go back to last year, 2022, most people didn’t know about AI. And then we started seeing these pictures of astronauts and superheroes of all of our friends on social media. And then a month later, ChatGPT came out. It’s the fastest-growing digital product in the history of our species. But for a whole year and a quarter, I was talking about generative AI and machine learning. And even my tech friends would kind of roll their eyes a little bit but anyone else, you can just feel them going to sleep.


Then all of a sudden it was like, boom, game on. And we had a whole year of being in market with our beta product. And it’s great because what we do is we help thought leaders and small brands build AI-automated newsletters that get 40% to 60% plus open rates. So, we really solved a very difficult problem. One thing I learned at GrowFlow is that email is very powerful for engagement. It creates a halo effect that drives people to buy similar to a podcast, but it’s a lot of effort, right? Like 80% of brands use email as a primary acquisition or retention source but about half of them take multiple weeks to write an email or to write a marketing piece over email. Well, then along came ChatGPT and all these tools that anyone can create any content with AI. But the thing we figured out really early before everything blew up is like small businesses, when I say small biz, I mean business that had less than 100 employees. That’s most of us. They actually don’t want outputs. They want outcomes. They want opens, they want clicks, they want leads, they want sales, they want demos. And so, we saw pretty early that AI is good but it’s about as good as a really, really, really good intern. And very few people want to ship intern work to the marketplace.


So, we sort of came up with the solution that’s a combination of AI plus even that gets the people that we work with these extraordinary open rates. But now more and more bottom of the funnel, like we’re working with the people on our platform to get extraordinary outcomes when it comes to actually giving people offers, meaning getting them to buy, getting to book demos, getting them to actually move forward with the sales process. And so, it’s the first time talking about timing, we’re on the wave. We’re like on the surfboard in the peak of the wave. We can do all the moves we want to do on the board. It feels super good. Never before have I been at a company that’s growing this fast, that’s in one of the hottest markets, and we’re having a lot of fun. We’re helping a lot of our customers get a lot of great results. So, yeah, it’s been a super, super pleasure to be a part of this opportunity.


Justin Donald: Well, I love it and I love how mainstream AI is now because that is going to just help your company and many other companies. You know, I’ve been investing in AI and robotics. I mean, there are so many different layers of machine learning that are out there and it’s been years. So, it’s funny to me that the new craze is now because I started learning about it probably 5 to 7 years ago when it started getting serious about some of these companies that I thought were going to be industry leaders. And I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve invested in the three largest AI companies out there, the three industry leaders, and I think that there are going to be more. You know, I think this is an industry that is ripe for or we can say ripe for kind of exploding, ripe for disruption, ripe for innovation. And there’s going to be a lot of money that is made in this space. There’s going to be a lot of losers, too. There’s going to be a lot of companies that don’t make it or kind of ride on the coattails of maybe they build their business off of ChatGPT but it only kind of works in that season, the next evolution, the business doesn’t survive.


And I see a lot of these businesses that are kind of like pegging to the dollar and hoping that the dollar stays strong. But this space is just fascinating and I’d love to dig in. So, I remember listening to a message that Peter Diamandis gave a number of years ago, and I remember thinking, “Gosh, this guy is really smart. He’s very future-focused.” Like, he just thinks about technology at a different level. He thinks about even the applications of that technology at a different level. And I remember thinking he probably is going to do well as an investor or as an entrepreneur if he brings the right people in. He seems much more like an ideas guy and needs people to maybe fulfill some of that work. And so, when I heard that he was involved here and was kind of like ground level, I was like, “Okay. Well, that’s cool. Let me learn more.” And then after getting a chance to meet you, I was really impressed and just the whole concept, you know, I recognize the power of emails, email marketing. I think most companies do a horrible job of email marketing, so they might take forever to send an email, as you said, and then the email they send may be horrible. You’re seeing a lot of these companies with innovative marketing that’s just hysterical, right? Or innovative, you know, they’re using comedy. They’re using theater in a different way and I love it.


So, your company, though, you empower a bunch of other companies’ entrepreneurs in a unique way. And because of what I saw, I recognized early on, “Hey, I want to invest in your company. I see tons of growth potential,” but at the same time, part of what I see is the opportunity to partner with you and do some work with Lifestyle Investor because I think you can help grow our brand in our readership or viewership if you will. And it’s been really fun partnering with you.


Joe Stolte: Yeah. And you’ve been a really great partner. I think when we first met, I was telling you, hey, we’re very explicitly not looking in the early days for a venture capital partner. We’re looking for capital partners that will use the products that have an audience that has an affinity for what we’re doing. And so, we’ve really gotten to this where we are now in terms of growth through folks just like you. You know, you use it, we get great results for you, you tell people, tell your market, you tell the people that listen to you and then they want to come and work with us and we can help them, too. And that’s what we’ve done over and over. We run the newsletters, of course, for the AI email newsletter for Lifestyle Investor, the Lifestyle Investor Insider. We do newsletters, of course, still for Peter Diamandis, Joe Paulus, Chris Voss, JJ Virgin, Dan Martell, and on and on and on. And a lot of these folks are thought leaders or people that are publishing and in the marketplace. We have over 100 customers in 27 different industries. You know, everybody from registered investment advisors and VCs to real estate agents and coffee shops and the National Electricians Association of Australia.


So, it’s not just a thought leader thing. And that’s a question we got a lot, “Hey, does this work if I’m not a famous person or whatever?” “Yeah, of course it does.” We love our thought leaders because they help us market but this actually works even better for people that don’t have any email strategy, right? Like, our mission as a company is to allow every small business to do marketing without being a marketer. We believe that with AI, we can build an operating system that starts with your email that’s starting with a newsletter as the foundation that then perpetuates out and allows you to solve one of the biggest problems in marketing, especially for smaller organizations, which is this, 40% of the content that you put into the marketplace actually pushes a prospect away from the sale. Why? Wrong product, wrong price, wrong prospect, wrong time, wrong channel. Well, those are all things that with machine learning and generative AI that we can solve. Like, we can figure out if your audience is engaged and they’ve opened seven, eight, nine or ten of the last ten newsletters and they haven’t bought the widget and they’re clicking three or four times.


Well, we can write them a personalized series of emails at the right time, engage them in the way that they want to be engaged on the channel they want to be engaged, and actually present your offers to them in a way that gets seen and not just gets seen, but gets consumed and in a way that doesn’t require you to like understand how to be a world-class copywriter or go into active campaign or HubSpot or Infusionsoft and make some confusing sequence and all that. And that’s not to make any of those companies wrong. They’re fantastic. We’re standing on their progress in many, many ways. It’s just that when you’ve got less than 100 employees and you don’t have a marketing team like who’s going to do that for you? You’re going to have to hire an agency and then you don’t get any of the domain expertise. We just see a future where all of this stuff can be handled by machine learning through an operating system that’s trained on your data with your customers and your subscribers, your followers, and how they want to interact with you. And that’s why the vision we want to unlock for everybody because that’s the vision we want for ourselves, right? And so, everything that we sell, we test first on ourselves, right?


So, every single thing that we do, we go first and make sure that it works. We test it on our stuff and then we scale it out. But that’s really the vision. That’s what we have the passion for. I’ll say one more thing. I’m talking about this more and more, but one thing that we do is we’ve built a machine learning algorithm that we call the perspective engine. So, our newsletters don’t actually write AI content. We curate other people’s content, what we call top 1% content in areas that maybe you’re not a thought leader. And so, like Chris Voss is the guy in negotiating, but he knows his audience also loves things like slow state and accelerated learning and leadership and on and on. So, we’ll go grab content in those areas from top 1% of publishers, summarize it in Chris’s voice, and then put that with Chris’s content and his ads. But one thing we’re able to do is every time we curate other content, by default, we get rid of what we call negative news and clickbait, right? Because in the media, what you’ll often hear is if it bleeds, it leads. Everything is how negative can we make it to get your attention. Well, what we figured out is that everything in its excess becomes its opposite. So, if it’s all negative and we start serving you positive content, what we call future forward positive content, that actually so few people are doing that, that actually hooks them in and it creates something that we call hopamine. It’s like a mixture of hope and novelty and dopamine all mixed together.


And so, that’s what gets your subscribers coming back every week or every day to read your content is because it’s powerful. We strip out all that negative nonsense and we give them truly valuable content that aligns with your brand and makes you look like a superhero. And so, like, our kind of secret mission is to impact a billion minds with positive content every day. Like, that’s how we want to scale the company on top of helping people with marketing.


Justin Donald: I love it. Well, and that was one of the big selling points for me is I don’t like the whole negative news sells so I don’t want that. I don’t want the clickbait, I don’t want like let’s scare people into reading this. So, I love that for the Lifestyle Investor Insider, we don’t use any of that. And you guys scour 350,000 different sources or over that to find the content that resonates the most with me and with our audience, and that I get to kind of aggregate and populate the content that I already like, that I already read every day or every week as it comes out. And so, I love being able to provide a resource to my audience that is super positive, uplifting. Instead of focusing on doom and gloom and what’s going wrong in the economy, we can focus on, “Hey, here are the opportunities.” There are economic seasons and we’re an interesting one right now but there’s definitely a silver lining to whatever that season might be. And I like being able to speak from that standpoint rather than just trying to use fear and negative news to sell or to get attention.


Joe Stolte: Yeah. One thing that’s interesting, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach is also a customer of ours, and him and I are in a mastermind together, Joe Polish’s Genius Network mastermind. And he said something really powerful at a meeting earlier in the year where a lot of people talking about AI and some AI experts in there. And Dan said, “Hey, you know, as a species, as humans, we’re really bad at predicting the future. Some people are okay but on average, we’re pretty bad at predicting the future. But what we’re great at is assigning a meaning to things. We’re great meaning-makers. And so, anytime someone’s coming to you at the high degree of conviction on what’s going to happen in the future, they’re just trying to sell you on the meaning that they’ve attached to what’s happening right now.” So, that’s really important, is we get to choose that meaning that we attach to things. And I don’t think everybody takes time to appreciate that. But going back to the newsletter, the last thing I’ll say that maybe isn’t totally obvious is internally we call our newsletters interest letters. Why? Because it’s actually based on what your audience is clicking on and what they’re consuming. That’s the biggest driver of what gets curated in is what they’re engaging with.


So, it’s like having a little machine learning data scientist looking what everybody is reading every week or every day, then updating the next version of your newsletter to make it even better. And so, I think giving that power to smaller organizations is a huge opportunity combined with the positive news, combined with allowing you as a thought leader to shape kind of the meaning that people are attaching to things. I think that’s a really powerful positioning tool that very few smaller organizations are taking advantage of. And so, our goal is really how do we get that to them better, faster, and cheaper than I think we can?


Justin Donald: I love it. Yeah, it’s fantastic. So, how are we doing? What are our stats like? I’m curious if we’re, you know, dragging down the average, If we’re lifting up the average, how is the Lifestyle Investor Insider doing compared to your other clients and your other newsletters?


Joe Stolte: Yeah. It’s doing really great. So, I’ll say before I answer that, we advertise that we get on average 40% to 60% open rates but if you have high resonance with your audience, the open rates are even higher, right? And the inverse of that is true. If you have like a rented list or mailed your people in forever and they don’t want to hear from you like zero resonance times our multiplier is still zero. So, the Lifestyle Investor Insider it’s getting somewhere between 65% and 70% open rate. So, you’re like exceeding the upper limit. And I think that speaks to like how good you are in the marketplace and how much you resonate with your audience and you have good content. It’s honest. It’s great. And I think that your audience obviously loves it and when we do a good job with the machine learning of removing the content that they don’t like. What I like to say and this is I think is an important lesson for marketing is there are three forms of truth, right? There’s what you think your audience wants. That’s what your audience says they want, and then there’s what they actually click on. And those are almost always three separate things. So, we’re always trying to figure out the difference between those three and then double down on what people actually do. But I think in your guys’ case, you have great content, people want that great content and then we help calibrate it automagically in the background. So, yeah, you guys are doing really great.


Justin Donald: I love it. Well, that’s good news to hear and I just love having great quality content for people to check out. So, I love your company, I think you’re doing incredible work. I think you’re helping out entrepreneurs. I think you’re helping out businesses. I think you’re helping out clients and customers get quality content, education, whatever it might be. And I just think it’s a winning recipe. And you’re using AI in a way that’s just so productive. So, where can our audience learn more about you and about


Joe Stolte: Yeah. The best way to learn about the Is just go to And it’s really easy. Our site’s quite simple. It’s designed to do one thing, to convince you to book a demo so that we can help figure out if and how we can help you with your newsletter and your marketing. So, yeah, go to and check it out. In fact, if you’re a small business with less than 100 employees and you have a product or service that you’re actually selling that people want and you have people that you email as a result of that and you’re not actually mailing them on at least a weekly basis with value content, not buy my stuff content, then I’m fairly confident we can help you and I would implore you to go book a demo. Other than that, you can find me. The kind of main place I show up on the internet is on Instagram. Joestoltelive is my handle. You could just google my name and I’m sure it’ll auto-correct. Yeah. We’d love to help. I mean, we’re still relatively early in our journey and I think the benefit to people for us being early is we go out of our way to make sure people are getting extraordinary results. If you have less than a 40% open rate and you’re on our platform like you get put in a little red alarm list and we assign people to you to figure out like why isn’t this at 40%? What can we do to make it better? So, there’s a lot of TLC in the early days, so come on over. We’d love to help you.


Justin Donald: And for those of you that are unaware, 40% to 60% open rate is like unheard of, right? I mean, most people’s open rate is much lower than that. So, for those of you that don’t know this space, it might sound like that’s not as high as you’d expect. It’s actually really extremely high. Isn’t that right, Joe?


Joe Stolte: Yeah. Like, if you look depending on the industry, it varies by industry, a lot of variables that go into this but if you average it all out, like the best of the best of the best newsletters, top class are getting 20%. So, our goal was like, how do we double that? How do we make that better? At a minimum, that’s twice the number of your own subscribers that see your stuff. And imagine if you could double the number of people that saw your social media post without paying for advertising or double the number of times the eyeballs that you’ve got on your offer every day or every week. Like, what could that do to your business in terms of just growth?


Justin Donald: I love it. Well, I love what you guys are up to. Thanks for spending the time. Obviously, I’m a huge fan because I’m not just a client but I’m also an investor. And I just think you guys are going to take over the world in a very positive way. So, great to see what you’re building. And I like to end every podcast episode asking our audience just a simple question and that question really is the same each week. And it’s what’s one step that you can take today to move towards financial freedom and move towards a life that you truly desire that’s on your terms so not by default, but by design? What’s one step you can take today to move towards that goal and that dream? And is there something that Joe shared today that you can utilize to help you get there much faster? Thanks for joining us this week and we’ll catch you next week for our next episode.

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