entrepreneurial finance

Real World Strategies in Entrepreneurial Finance

This past week I had another chance to go to a business accelerator event here in Indy. This one was hosted by Techstars, who helps sports based businesses with entrepreneurial finance here in Indiana.

As I was listening to the pitches by various companies, (some I’m sure you’ll be hearing about soon in your everyday life!) I started thinking about how some of them had seen such great success in fairly quick periods of time.

Not only were there founders from these various companies in the room, but they were joined by representatives from sports partners from around the city. This included the Pacers, the Colts, Indiana Sports Corp, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and others.

Soon I started thinking about a common connection of the talent I saw in the room. The success here was different than you hear about from the online entrepreneurial world.

The companies in the room were talking about sustainable growth and building opportunity and jobs in the community. Online, you hear more about “earn $5k in your first month doing…”.

In short, it’s looking at long term decisions yielding true wealth vs short term hustle.

And, really, I think successful online entrepreneurs are doing their followers and students a disservice. On top of how to create income online, they should also teach them how to leverage the funds they already have to keep growing!

The Hustle Approach to Finances

When we think of online business, many of us think of 24/7 hustle. We think if you’re not working, than you’re limiting yourself. Why hang out with friends and family when you should be out there making content or the next deal? It’s only when you’ve been successful doing these things that you’ll have your Ferrari and nice high-rise apartment. 

So go out and get it done!

Well, for one, that mentality doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone in business. There’s people who aren’t the best hustlers, but they’re great at making the hustlers around them more efficient.

And, two, this thought process suggests that you can always outearn any financial issues that you’re having. If you just bring in more income, you’ll be richer.

That isn’t necessarily the case.

In fact, I’d say that more often than not, when people earn more, they’ll spend more. And if your goal is to be wealthy in all aspects of your life, this method isn’t going to get you too far.

That said, there’s other bad financial decisions a business owner can make. So let’s take a look at those before we start improving our decision making.

Bad Entrepreneurial Financial Habits

When it comes to where people go wrong with their finances, there’s a few that are pretty widespread. Here’s a few examples:

No Personal Organization

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met first time entrepreneurs who don’t know anything about keeping records of their business. They don’t have a system for receipts, they don’t have a business banking account, and really, they’re not sure what their actual profit is.

No Tax Strategy

So, of course, because they’re not actively keeping track of their expenses and profit, there’s really no existence of accounting. So, everything gets cramped up to the last 2 or 3 weeks before the yearly tax deadline. And really, that makes things so much more stressful than it needs to be.

Money Is Earned to Spend

On the podcast, one of the questions I occasionally ask the rapid fire question segment is “What is something that all high school students must know?”. Often, the response is something to do with the management of finances.

We live in a world where we’ve grown up with media telling us to “Buy New, Buy Now”. Consumerism is king. If you don’t actively participate, you’re not part of the “in crowd”. So without financial education in schools, thinking that you have to keep up with the Kardashians is pretty prevalent.

As I’ve found out, wealthy people and successful entrepreneurs know how to create cash flow, but they also know how to manage their finances.

Changing Your Financial Paradigm

If any of the above sound like habits that you use in your business and life, it might be time to make a few tweaks.

Here are a few basic concepts I’ve learned about managing wealth.

Think of Money as Water

When I think about money, I look at it as a resource. In fact, I look at it like I would water in a post-apocalyptic world like you’d find in The 100 or Mad Max.

In that type of environment, water is more than just water. It’s a commodity. And because water is vital to life, clean water is going to be in short supply. Just like money is today for so many people.

If we had a way of providing clean drinking water in that world, we’d have the potential to be on the top of society.

Same thing is true with your business and its ability to make more money at will.

With that type of mindset, I think it’s easier to get a grasp on how money should be used. Here’s a couple of habits you can practice to be more successful in this arena.

Keep Track of It

If we’re looking at money as a resource that we have to be smart with we need to have metrics on where we’re at any specific time. In our analogy, we need to know how much is going out to the market. We also need to know if anyone is stealing any.

So with that in mind, it’s important that we get used to regularly checking our bank account. On top of that, we need to keep track of income and expenditures. 

Get used to asking yourself and tracking:

  • How much do we plan to make versus how much we actually did. 
  • How much do we predict to spend versus how much we actually did.

Cut things out when necessary.

Build Up a Reserve

If you’re the person in charge of delivering clean water to a community in this new world, you might want to consider something.

What if there’s a problem in getting the water? What if the rain doesn’t fall or the wells don’t work? How long does it take for you and the leaders of the community to start growing concerned?

If your business functions on the funds that you get directly from income, then you might have a potentially huge problem. Be prepared and build at least a month’s reserve of cash for emergencies. Or even better, perhaps 90 days or more. The bigger the reserve, the more insurance you give yourself to be able to dig yourself out of a bad situation.

However, just like water that sits in a reservoir or lake, if money isn’t moving, it’s not doing you any good. Naturally, if water is stagnant, then it tends to go bad. A great example of this is the Salton Sea in California. However, if there’s inflow and outflow of water such as a river, then the water is useful for sustaining life.

Same thing for money. If money is stagnate, then we tend to get overprotective of that money. Being frugal and smart with money is one thing. Being a miser and potentially those around you miserable, is another. You don’t want to be a Scrooge from a Christmas Carol.

Leverage Your Position

As this successful water provider, you’re doing your job well when everyone is getting an adequate supply. If people feel like this isn’t a problem, then it’s one less stresser in their life. Heck, the more they have, the less they think about it.

What if your community has such a huge reservoir of water that you can start using it to trade with other communities who might not be so lucky?

At that point, you’re leveraging your position with the excess of your resource to get things in return. Sure, you might not have as much water left over in your reserve, but you are gaining things in exchange for it. Which those might be more valuable in your own community than water.

In our business, it’s a bit more simple. The more money we have in reserve, the more options we have. We need to know the difference between liabilities (fancy cars, eating out, partying, etc.) vs assets (using better tools, hiring a team, etc) when it comes to making more money. The more assets you have, the greater potential we have for generating more income.

Action Steps

So, to help you make this transition, I have a few recommendations for you to start getting better at finance. 

The first thing I’d recommend is read or listen to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And really think about anything that the author Robert Kiyosaki has to say. He has a good enough track record that students at Purdue’s entrepreneurship department used his info in creating their own businesses when I was there.

Next, I’d recommend getting a business bank account. Keep business money separate from your personal money.

Also, I’d develop something (maybe even a spreadsheet) to monitor your cash flow. Again, how much are you forecasting yourself to earn? How much did you earn in comparison? Same thing with expenditures? Where can you cut out if necessary? This information is great to have if you ever hire an accountant to help.

Finally, I’d look into subscribing to Quickbooks and anything else that might make your accounting easier. If you don’t have a business credit card that you put all your expenditures on (which I highly recommend) then you’ll need to manually keep track of receipts. You can do it as you go with Quickbooks, but if you like waiting to the end of the month, you can use a service like Shoeboxed to do it all for you.

breaking into wall street

Relationships Are Everything – From Breaking into Wall Street to Capitalizing on Capital with Marc Davenport (AoL 143)

They say if you can make it New York, you can make it anywhere. In that same spirit, many people see having a job or a career on Wall Street as a way to launch themselves to success.

This is pretty understandable. Over the years, there have been some movies which illustrated a simple idea. That idea being you can start from meager beginnings and become wealthy beyond your wildest dreams if you make it on Wall Street.

I believe this is the case for this session’s guest, Marc Davenport.

Having started his career off on Wall Street, he learned a ton. But he also started to develop a network of influential people. That network has helped him get to where he’s at today.

In this chat, join Marc and I as we discuss what all he learned on Wall Street, why he started his first business after having that success, and some of the things we can all do to help ourselves in our own journey.



  • What initially spurred Marc to become a Wall Street investor early in his career? 7:36
  • Was there something that prompted Marc to start his own consulting business? 10:27
  • What prompted Marc to start RMI Capitol after having great success with his consulting company? 14:50
  • How do real relationships make things happen? 15:52
  • What kind of clients is Marc looking to service with RMI Capitol? 23:03
  • What can someone expect to learn about on his YouTube channel? 24:55
  • From Marc’s perspective, why is that people like our mutual friend Antonio Smith have the success that they do in business? 28:09
  • Why does Marc find it important to be involved in so many organizations in the community? 35:03
  • What’s some of the things that Marc is looking forward to in 2019? 39:48
  • What are 3 Favorite books that he gifts or tells others about? 43:57
  • What does he do when he becomes unfocused or overwhelmed? 46:02
  • Are there some things that he’s been saying no to in the last couple of years? 46:23
  • What’s the best advice he’s ever received? 47:58
  • How does one live a life of abundance? 48:47


Marc Online: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
Session Sponsor: Uncover Your Personal Mission
Lee Daniels
Saphire’s Story: How ‘Push’ became ‘Precious’
Antonio Smith’s Aol Interview
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Fact Sheet
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Why Should White Guys Have all the Fun? by Reginald Lewis
Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
As a Man Thinketh – Earl Nightingale

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.


The 5 C’s of Credit 

How to Double Your Revenue

Antonio and Marc on What it Takes to be Wealthy

How to Build a Network of Influential People

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


balanced lifestyle

Damion Lupo – Don’t Live to Work! Discover Your Own Balanced Lifestyle (AoL 125)

The saying goes, “If you can do it once, you can do it again!” This is especially true for us creative types who might see success with one project, but on our next, we might start seeing our metrics go down.

This session’s guest, Damion Lupo, once owned 150 single family houses as as a real estate investor. But in 2008, everything came to a grinding halt. He was no longer able to live the lavish lifestyle that he was pursuing at the time.

It was soon after that he started on a quest to put more meaning into his life.

In 2012, he coauthored a book called Reinvented Life, where he talks about many of the things he learned during that journey.

In today’s chat, we go over some of these concepts as well as some pointers that he’d give someone just starting in investing.


  • How did Damion become so resilient as an entrepreneur? 6:36
  • How does he see wealth and how can abundantly thinking people reach out to others? 10:22
  • What’s his thinking behind financial freedom and retirement? 12:23
  • Why entrepreneurs might not make the best investors. 20:20
  • If someone has a $5,000 – $10,000 to invest in something, what’s a good strategy to get started? 27:41
  • What’s the best way for someone to find great opportunities in REI? 33:28
  • What are the pillars of Yokido? 37:05
  • What does Damion believe about Elon Musk’s perspective on having a universal income? 43:45
  • Who are the three influencers that has helped Damion get to where he’s at? 51:21
  • What’s an issue that more people should be talking about? 52:01
  • If Damion woke up tomorrow as a 10 year old and all his memories were intact, what would he do? 53:17
  • Something he’d like to do in his lifetime that no one knows about? 54:18
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 54:54

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Yokido is Born

The Financial Freedom Formula

Damion on the Bigger Pockets Podcast

Damion Interviewed by Dom Brightmon

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


supply vs demand

Supply Vs Demand: Equal Factors in Innovation?

Back when I was actually studying entrepreneurship in school… I studied a lot of theory based stuff. But hey, that’s what you do in school – study theory!

One of the things that really opened my eyes about how politics plays a role in the economy was learning about John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich August Hayek. They were two prominent economists of the Great Depression era with sharply contrasting views. The arguments they had in the 1930s are revived whenever we have a global financial crisis (or every 10 years).

Keynes suggests that more spending is the answer to reviving an economy, while Hayek believes that artificially pumping the gas on the economy yields worse busts. He believed that stimulus packages were nothing more interference in a naturally occuring rhythm. 

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Stimulus Act of 2008. Recently, the Trump administration has been talking a bit about tariffs and trade wars. If any of it imposed, we might see some wild fluctuations in the stock market. So maybe it’s a good time to bring this subject up again?

On August 28th, 2011, I posted this piece about the Keynes and Hayek. If you look at the entrepreneurial space using both of their perspectives, then you can come out ahead regardless of what the government stimulates. Or, on a larger scale, you can see how companies like today’s Tesla create a market which other companies can support in the future. 

I have a chameleon personality by any definition of the phrase. Every source that hints to what my personality should be suggests that I have a gift in seeing the world in a balanced manner. Every personality test I’ve taken has jumped around with a result. When I took the Myers-Briggs test, one day I’d be an introvert – another day I’d test as an extrovert.

Heck, forget the sun sign of when I was born – the planets and moons were in alignment for me being a well balanced person too!

Missing out?

Funny enough, most people don’t have a chameleon personality. While mine is no means perfect (most of the time I’m too busy trying to please everyone!) most people are biased in one perspective or another and don’t consider the other side of the coin. The problem with this is that they’re probably missing opportunities.

Remember true intelligence can be defined by the ability to understand two conflicting points of view and make your own decision. So… QUESTION EVERYTHING!!

Case in point: I recently viewed a couple of videos regarding the current economy and two conflicting ways in how to solve it. Most people will see the problems in the economy from one perspective or another and thus the solution is as simple as doing what “is right” to one point of view.

Part 2:


Personally what I get from both of these videos and their perspectives is that demand (Keynes perspective) is just as important as innovation and providing the right supply (Hayek) to the economy. Without demand, income doesn’t exist. Without innovation and supply, then no one will buy anything because there’s nothing to buy. It’s a yin and yang sort of deal. Too much of one might give us results we don’t want. For examples, government subsidies have saved many farmers. However, because we’ve relied on it as much as we have, the soy and corn industries have a stranglehold on modern agriculture.

A More Practical Example

If you see both sides of the deal like what I’m talking about, you’ll realize that you can make your cake and eat it too.

One group of smart entrepreneurs are those that are marketing green technologies. Whether you believe Al Gore or not, there is a lot of interest in being green. Part of being green is producing Earth friendly fuels. So those that are building businesses in the green fuel sector are not only good for the environment, but they’re also smart in that they’re cashing in on a GREAT opportunity!!

Not only are they going the Keynes route by being supplemented by the government, but they’re also practicing a bit of the Hayek route in that cars with engines that can utilize the fuel will be created soon.

Action Steps

So now that you see these two perspectives, how can you use this knowledge in your own business? Is there a pool of money you can tap into before you start actual work? It doesn’t have to be government reliant. Maybe working with a nonprofit and doing their ads? (As an example, Google gives grants to nonprofits.)

Then, once that space is created, how might you be able to capitalize on it?

social innovation

Summer Edwards: Sustainable Fashion, Social Innovation, and Building a Portfolio Career (AoL 055)

Real talk: are you working your butt off trying to figure out what your niche is? So many business advisors on the web today are about finding one avatar that you can serve. For me, that never really worked. Nor has it worked for today’s guest – Summer Edwards.

Summer is another member of Fizzle (why haven’t you joined yet?) that I had the opportunity to meet. In a blog post a month or so back, she really hit the nail on the head when she brought up that women and especially women entrepreneurs, don’t “brag” about their success.

Summer’s success is multi-faceted. She’s a blogger, consultant, and leader who works with people in several niches. Those include sustainable fashion and social innovation.

In today’s talk, we discuss her success with these aspects of her, what she calls, portfolio career and what she’s learned along the way. We also dive into what made her made the transition in the first place.

Note: I didn’t know much about sustainable fashion going into this chat, so I’m kinda like a kid asking random questions in this one. But Laila was definitely on it.



  • What her post was about in Fizzle that inspired so many people. 5:43
  • Highlight of her successes she’s had and what kind of things she’s up to as a creative entrepreneur 7:06
  • Difference between working mom culture in the US and Australia 11:43
  • Did Summer always have the gene to start her own thing? 15:57
  • What is sustainable fashion? 20:51
  • Where the name for her blog came from and what are resources folks can use to educate themselves further? 31:44
  • How has leading with the mission in mind lead to her success as a social entrepreneur? 35:57
  • What are some examples of making a non-profit a social enterprise? 38:31
  • What a portfolio career is and how she’s been able to be successful with hers. 42:19
  • What are some of the things that’s she excited about coming down the line? 48:38
  • Name three influencers that have helped her launch her career. 53:13
  • Name favorite books she recommends to others. 54:32
  • One gift she likes giving others 58:02
  • Something believed as a 25 year old and doesn’t anymore. 55:48
  • When she’s thinks of success, who comes to mind? 59:53
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



A solution of a sustainable fashion industry – Fredrik Wikholm

The power of social innovation – Jeff Snell

Multipotentialite – Emily Wapnick

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!



escaping the rat race

Escaping the Rat Race by Achieving Financial Security

Our General Education on Money

Growing up, many of us were never taught about money and really where it comes from or really how to generate more of it. The only thing we were taught about it was that if we had enough we could buy something with it.

Later, when we got older, we’d find out that we could actually get paid to do jobs here and there, say like yard mowing. We learned that if we saved that money we earned, we’d be able to put it all together and get something we really wanted.

The older we got, though, the more expensive the things we wanted became. In high school for me, it was cars, gifts, and, apparel. The list continued to get longer and longer.

As we got older, we learned that if we could manage to get a college degree, we would be qualified to get higher paying jobs.

Oh, and if we wanted or needed something right now that we could use a credit card and then pay back the credit company back all at once or over time. The sooner we paid the companies back (monthly is best), the sooner that our credit went up. The higher our credit the more a company would risk on us to buy larger purchases – including houses. This is where mortgages come from.

Retail Therapy is an Addiction.

Obviously, the more expensive our tastes, the more money we need to support it. Even more so, the more that we want or feel we need something new – the sooner that we’re going to pay for it.

Doing this over and over just for the hell of buying things is definitely a thing. Why? Because there is a rush in buying something. And just like any other rush, it can get addictive.

There’s tons of people who don’t know when they’re getting out of control in their spending. Part of this can be put on the shoulders of not having a real education about money growing up. However, there’s another part. A part that is a little deeper and a little darker.

That part that is so common with other addictions. We’re using that addiction to fill a void in our life. The thing about voids is that we usually try to fill them with things that are detrimental to other aspects of our lives. “Retail Therapy” is really no different than gambling. Just throwing money out there on things that have no relevance in where we actually exist in life.

Righting the Ship

Hopefully you’re the type of person who can see where things are going wrong in your life. If you feel that you don’t have money to do what you really want to do with your life or you simply have a ton of stuff, but you still feel empty – then I want you to keep reading.

In a nutshell, what I’ve already talked about here is the extent of what I learned about money before I started educating myself on the matter. It came from what was taught to me at school and from what I learned from people in my life.

What I found is that life is actually NOT about going to work and getting paid the market value of what I’m worth. It’s not just about buying things that you need and what hoping that this new thing might make you happy.

What it is about is giving yourself as many options as possible to do things that fulfill you. And, as I’ve mentioned before, Financial Freedom is a big part of opening up those options.

Achieving Financial Security

So, the first step to reaching Financial Freedom is by first obtaining Financial Security. In this video, Tony Robbins discusses what that means.


So let’s say that finding Financial Security sounds like a good place to start? How would you get there?

Sure, you could seek out more of Tony’s info (and I recommend it), but I think the biggest name that’s out there in today’s world is Dave Ramsey. He’s on national radio and his main focus is to help people learn how to get achieve financial security.

Laila swears by Dave and his methods and I have to say that I appreciate the advice that he gives when I get the opportunity to hear him.

So here’s a really good video I found where Dave explains his steps his famous framework called The 7 Baby Steps.

For Maria and myself, this has been a good place to be at. Many people in our lives believe that we’re poor because we don’t spend our money on anything and everything. However, we know that eventually we’ll be able to do rather well on what we’ve invested in during the past 5 years.

Reaching for Financial Independence

After you’ve bought your home and have everything covered by Dave Ramsey’s method, you need to start thinking about the next level. Let’s bring in Tony again here so that we can see the next step.

Maria and I are working to be fully in this zone with our next house. We have a few more debts to knock out before we get there, but we believe we’ll be able to get there within the next year or two.

But really our secret has been to keep re-investing money into other baskets and not spending money from building our financial security phase.

Another step for us to start reaching financial independence was taken by me when I started focusing on New Inceptions. One of the things I heard in LTD back when was that you shouldn’t do something that you believe will never get you to your destination. Whether that’s more financially focused or purpose driven, you have to do something that will yield you the results that you really want. Not doing so will either drive you insane or send you into a constant depression.

Don’t do that to yourself!

Escaping the Rat Race – What Financial Freedom Looks Like

I know a few people who are already at this level. What’s interesting to me is that they’re as busy as the rest of us, but they live their lives in a world where they’re choosing what they want to do.

Mark Nathan is one of those people. And if you listen to his chat in session 22 of the AoL Podcast, you find out that just because you’re free – that you don’t actually want to sit on a beach somewhere. Check out that interview here.

My thinking is that once you’re used to working at peak level, you can’t stop. At this point, you’ve more than likely found meaning in your life and you know how to leverage your skill set. Stopping would probably yield insanity.
Chances are you’ve definitely built a business around this so it can’t ever be taken from you.

Oh, if you’re interested in finding some more of that Tony Robbins course, check out more of it here.

Your Turn:

I’d love to hear how your guys’ plans are going. Do you follow Dave Ramsey? If not, who do you follow for your financial advice? I’d love to hear one or two tips that you’ve learned on your quest in getting out of the rat race and reaching financial freedom.

Tying Heartstrings: The #1 Way to Increase Influence, Traffic, and Income

I know this is a little to the point, but I’m going to admit it. I’ve found the secret to building a successful business… and you might not like it. However, it’s worked for tons of people around the web. And honestly, if you want to make an impact on others doing something you love, then you’re going to have to do it.

What’s this big it? What’s this secret? It’s being your genuine self and setting on a journey to master yourself.

When I say that, what kind of thoughts come to mind? Do you think of being a skilled speaker? Do you think of someone that hustles 24/7? Maybe you think of mastering the skill of connecting people? Perhaps you think of becoming a great author?

Perhaps you think about all those things. Maybe, none of them come to mind.

When I say “master yourself” or as others might put it become the ideal you”, I don’t mean for you to change who you are as a person. However, I might be asking for you to change your perspective of who you are and what you’re capable of.

Everyone is Different

From school, we know that certain kinds of people tend to resonate with others who are like them. Generally speaking, introverts get along real well with other introverts and extroverts get along well extroverts.

However, while this all true, we’re all different even more than that. Some introverts will like sports just as much as some extroverts. Some extroverts will love meditating as much as some introverts.

There were the groups that were popular. There were the band geeks. There were those of us who were into science.

It’s simple to say that there are all kinds of people. Your way of presenting yourself and your interests will resonate more with some people more than it does with others. Just as an example, I’ve met people who resonate more with Gary Vee more than they resonate with Ramit Sethi – even though, both are very direct in what they have to say and teach very similar topics.

To simplify what I am saying is this: the ideal you is someone that is not only a master of themselves, but someone that can communicate that self to others that will appreciate it.

I believe that the more compassion you show towards others, the more others will return for more in the future, and quite possibly, help you out in the future as well!


So, How do I Communite Myself Better to Others?

To say it in one word, be nice. Be honest, responsive, grateful, and go the extra mile for your audience.

On Monday, I was reminded about this once again when I was watching Brian Fanzo on Periscope. In this particular scope he said, that in the next year that three things were going to be huge in being a success in marketing (specifically live streaming):

  • Community
  • Storytelling
  • Engagement

Ask yourself, why are these things important? I’ll give you a moment.

It’s because they’re all things that people can connect with. As the host of the scope, you’re being nice here.

  • When you welcome others that are like you into a community, they realize that they’re no longer alone.
  • When you tell a story, they can connect you to others on so many levels. Your audience can relate better to who you are. They can agree that you want the same things in life. And furthermore, stories can even help people realize that your life and theirs are similar.
  • When you engage with someone who takes the time to engage with you first, they’ll appreciate you even more. When someone emails you, be sure to email them back. When someone drops a comment on your post or wall, make sure to respond. When you do this, it shows the audience member that you indeed care.

Doing these three things will build influence with your audience. In all three, you’re showing a certain levels of being nice and courteous. You’re providing value because they feel valued.

What’s the Point of Giving Away Value?

Well, if it’s not too obvious, the more value you give to your audience, the more they’ll come back. In LTD, we called it tying heartstrings. The more you do something for someone else, the more loops of string you’re throwing around their heart. If you have enough heartstrings tied around their heart, they’ll never be able to leave. If they did, they’d essentially be leaving a small portion of themselves behind. Also, the more heartstrings that you tie, the more they’ll want to engage even more with you, and promote you to others. This, in turn, drives up your traffic.

There are five ways this can happen:

  • They’ll share something you posted on social media.
  • They can subscribe to your email list. Whenever you deliver an update, there’s the potential that they’ll come back. Or heck, they might even share that newsletter with someone else.
  • They can comment on your post. This promotes conversation. If you’ve ever been over at Reddit, you might have realized that sometimes the comments and the discussion it leads to is much more interesting than the post itself.
  • They can email you directly. If they need help, again, you’d give it to them. This increases your trust level and helps them remember YOUR website. He or she will then be more likely to refer to your website to somebody else. If you’re just having a conversation about whatever, who knows – that person may have a blog with thousands of readers. Develop a rapport with this person and you may have found someone who may….
  • They’ll make a link back to your site from their site. (This is called back linking and Google LOVES backlinking.)

Ok, So I’ve Tied Some Heartstrings. Now What?

Well, I’m sure what you might like me to say is that you can sit back and watch your numbers go up, but things aren’t that simple. You’ll need to keep stirring the pot. Gotta keep that momentum going.

What it is time for, however, is for you to put up that first product of yours (if you haven’t already). Studies show that someone is more likely going to buy from a particular source the more times they’ve had in contact with that particular seller.

What’s it going to be? The easy way would be to just come up with something that they might like. The better idea would be to listen to those who you’ve brought in and ask them what they want – then make it. Like me, at the time of this writing, you might have silent traffic (hi guys!) and might have to rely on interviewing 5 to 10 people who you think would actually be candidates for what you have to offer.

Then once, you feel you have enough overlap of their responses, make it, and then deliver them back to them. (For bonus points, you might be so good at getting into those people’s needs that they might just be your first customers and prepay before it’s made!)

Action Steps:

So this week’s action steps are for you to think about this process. Are you connecting with your audience? Are they connecting with you? What kind of problems are you running into there?

If you are connecting and thinking about that first or next product, how’s your research going? Are you having any major setbacks as far as creating some actual buyers? Let us know below!