passive income streams

Popular Passive Income Streams in Modern Business

Passive Income is a topic that many still struggle with today in 2019. And, I have to admit, while I understand why people aren’t too familiar with the concept, it still kind of blows my mind. Personally, I think it’s been 18 years since I first read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad and his second book, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant. Since then I’ve picked up the basics of developing passive income streams and understanding how it all works. In this post, we’re going to explore the top 8 methods of developing passive income.

Yes, it’s really that simple!

I Quadrant Opportunities

If you’re familiar with Robert Kiyosaki’s work, you’ll recognize his company, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Robert himself is a fan of all passive income opportunities, however, when he originally wrote his first book, his experience was via Real Estate Investing (REI) and Traditional Investing through Stocks, Bonds, 401k’s, Mutual Funds, etc.

Real Estate Investing (REI)

REI is probably one of the most well represented options out there. However, when most people think of REI, they believe that they can’t get in the game. In fact, I remember starting to read Robert’s book Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing when I was in college and thinking “When I get a real income when I’m out of college, this will be how I make my fortune!”

While I still haven’t gone that route, it’s definitely something I see myself eventually getting into.

If this is a track you might be interested in, I’ve had several REI success stories on the show:

Chris Prefontaine (AoL 155)

Damion Lupo (AoL 125)

Kevin Bupp (AoL 124)

Whitney Nicely (AoL 123)

Traditional Investing

Outside of REI, when most people think of passive income, they think of making money through stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 401k’s fit in this area as well.


While this isn’t necessarily a bad topic to think about, I will say that if you do the math, it takes about $1.25M to be invested in various assets to yield a comfortable $50k+ per year income.

Thing is, most people won’t ever smell that kind of lump sum amount in their career working a day job. However, there are tactics you can use to save a little bit here and there to eventually make that work out. Fortunately, you can read material by folks like Dave Ramsey to make this more of a reality than a dream.

Also, if this is an arena you’d want to play in, I’d also recommend checking out Tony Robbins’ book Money: Master the Game

B Quadrant Opportunities

If you’re already in the S Quadrant, you should definitely look at the B Quadrant!

In the I Quadrant, we’re mainly focused on making our money work for us to make more money. However, again, not everyone has access to that seed money to get up and running. So what’s one to do if they want to get in the passive income game?

They should totally look at the B Quadrant. The B standing for Big Business or Business Systems. These terms can be used interchangeably because you can’t have a big business without harnessing the power of business systems.

What’s great about the B Quadrant is that it’s the scaled up version of the S Quadrant. The main difference being that while in the S Quadrant you’re capped by the activity you can put in yourself, in the B Quadrant you can grow your business through fractal patterns or fractals. If you’re unfamiliar with fractals, a basic example is a tree in a forest. A tree has a trunk, limbs, branches, and twigs. They all are formed using a pattern of nodes and branches. Depending on the type of tree, however, the pattern might keep going. 

Most trees have a tap root that counterbalances the tree and keeps it in the ground. When the tree is growing, a lot of energy is put into creating that tap root.

However, Giant Sequoia trees have a network of roots that support the entire forest like a mesh. Sure, a tree can grow by itself and support itself, but Sequoias, being the largest trees in existence have evolved to support each other in this network. The trees themselves act as the nodes, while the roots act as the branches. 

So simply saying when it comes to fractals, the larger the network, the more potential for growth.

Traditional “Tried and True” Opportunities

The B Quadrant isn’t anything new. In fact, you probably already know of examples of people who are successful in this quadrant.

Insurance

As long as there’s been insurance, there’s been agencies. And insurance has been around a pretty long time.

When someone takes the leap from being an agent and starting their own insurance agency, then they’re taking a step into the world of the B Quadrant. Those agencies can continue to grow to a point where they train other agents and agencies. At this point they become a Field Marketing Organization (FMO). Their most basic role is to offer insurance products, services and possibly training to insurance agents or agencies.

An example of one here in Indiana is Gordon Marketing.

Franchising

Using the same idea as an insurance FMO, a business can eventually grow to the point where they franchise the model of their business.

Like insurance, the idea of franchising goes way back to the Middle Ages. However, the franchising that we’re aware of today didn’t really start until after World War II.

Of course, one of the most well known franchises is McDonald’s. And luckily for us, a movie was released about the man who built the franchise. The Founder is the story of Ray Kroc and his journey to create the business that we know today.

It’s easy to see that this method of creating passive income works. There’s more franchises today than ever! In fact, there’s so many suburbs of one city resemble those of another city.

Personal Franchising

When it comes to franchising, you can do it one of two ways. The first is the more familiar route we just talked about. However, one issue with this method is that it can take quite a bit of startup capital.

Most people don’t have a spare $10k+ just sitting around.

So they participate in the age old tradition of direct sales. Direct sales is defined as “The direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs.” With that kind of definition, you could say that just about any kind of sales outside of a traditional store or place of business is a form of direct sales.

Many direct sales companies today allow their sales associates or Independent Business Owners to sponsor other people to do what they do. One of the oldest companies that is set up to do specifically this is Amway. In fact, the reason  Amway was created, was so that anyone could have the capability to start their own business. At the same time, they’d also have the support from those who sponsored them as well as the company itself. 

If you’d want to know more about this form of direct sales, often referred to as multi-level marketing, you can check out our friend Robert Kiyosaki has to say on the subject. Interestingly, it’s how he met his wife Kim!

Like Robert, I highly recommend checking out this path if you’re stuck in the E Quadrant and want to quickly move to the B. Or even if you’re in the S Quadrant and don’t have enough to pursue the other options we’ve talked about so far.

Here’s a couple of folks I’ve had on the show who are experts in Direct Sales:

Mark Nathan (AoL 23)

Jeff Gamble (AoL 156)

Licensing

I’d be admiss if I didn’t cover the topic of licensing and what that means. Basically, it’s the sharing of Intellectual Property (IP) from one company (company A) to another (company B) in agreement that if the company B uses the company A’s IP, company A gets a commission. While it is similar to franchising, franchises differ in that they are in charge of how company B is actually ran. In licensing, while company A might have recommendations and regulations set, it’s pretty much left to company B to work out their own systems of operation.

As an owner of America Multi-Sport, I’ve had first hand experience to see how this can work out. While on the surface it might seem like a great idea since you’re skipping over some pretty hefty fees to actually make a franchise, there’s a good chance you’re going to fall behind. Since your licensees don’t have to operate to a certain standard, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Just with us, we’ve had a handful of licensees come and go in the last couple of years simply because they couldn’t do what we recommended to them.

However, just because it hasn’t been overly successful with us doesn’t mean it can’t be successful. The NFL got started the same way. Even though it’s had its ups and downs,  it’s celebrating 100 seasons!

Internet Powered Opportunities

Now that we’ve covered forms of opportunities that have been around 100 years or more, let’s look at a few things that have popped up in the last 20 due to the advent of the internet.

Scaled S Quadrant Work

If you’re more familiar with the podcast, you know that a number of the guests are simply people who have taken their service to the next level. They’ve found their Ikigai and have used technology to build a lifestyle that they’re proud of. Of the numerous hats I wear as an entrepreneur, one is helping people take their solopreneur business and scaling it through technology if they haven’t done so themselves. 

Of course, there’s different ways to capitalize on technology. You can become a digital nomad where the only work you do is through your laptop as you travel the world. Or you can start a brick and mortar agency that offers a service which can be executed online. Or perhaps you already have an agency and you’re up to your eyeballs in work and need help with all the work that’s coming your way.

There’s ways to do all of this. It really depends on what you want to do. Of course if you’d like help with this, shoot me an email. I’d love to help you get to the next level.

Affiliate Marketing

The internet has brought on another form of direct sales called e-Commerce or internet marketing. Today, most of us no longer go to places of business and buy something on the spot. We opt to do our shopping from the comfort of our own home.

Lots of online business owners get their start in internet marketing by pedaling other company’s products or services. Most of the reviews that you see on YouTube, have an affiliate link in their description that you can buy the product through them and they get a commission. 

In fact, Pat Flynn did pretty much this for years. However, as his platform grew, so did his need to create his own online products.

Influencer Marketing

When I first learned of Pat, I also learned of Brendon Burchard and his course called Expert’s Academy. Today I think he’s called it the Influencer Academy because more people are familiar with that term on Instagram.

The idea of Influencer Marketing is pretty straight forward. If you have an engaged audience, you have a list of potential buyers. The bigger the audience, the more potential buyers.

You make a product specifically designed for that audience, and there’s a good chance they’re going to buy from you. Why? Because of your influence on them through that engagement!

Typically speaking, those products take the form of digital products like courses and eBooks. That said, it’s not uncommon to see books, audios, and videos released by people in this arena.

Anyway, here’s the catch. It’s important that we never confuse three things. 

  • Don’t confuse your platform with your income. 
  • Don’t confuse your income with your career.

When people are getting started in the online entrepreneur space, many times they believe that they need to become an influencer way before they’re successful in making income. Problem is, you can’t really be an influencer unless you have some form of success in your career. They’re putting their platform ahead of their income.

To correct this, we need to learn how to separate the idea of these two. Sure your income will be multiplied as you become an influencer, but if you don’t have any income, you’re essentially multiplying by 0. 

So the next time you hear the phrase “become the next influencer” and think it’s a great idea, make sure that you already have a proven business based on the material that you want to help the masses with.

SaaS Platform

Finally, the last option I’ll mention because it’s the last category I’m personally familiar with is building a Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform. Now, doing this is just like building any other kind of business. You have to start small and in a well defined niche.

What I learned from Dane Maxwell (AoL 56) and his program called the Foundation is that if you’re creating something from scratch, you really need to do your homework up front. Find out what the people really want.

However, because it’s a product and not a service, you’re going to have to learn how to do a little bit of pre-selling the concept. Especially if you’re creating it without using your own funds. Why? Because hopefully, you’re going to hire someone to do the programming for you! 

Once you have the online tool built with the help and funding of your “champions” and early users, then you can market it and build your influencer platform like any other online business.

Action Steps

So, lots of information here! 

Hope that it provides some value and gives you a bit of clarity.

Again, if you haven’t, I really recommend getting started with reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the Cashflow Quadrant. Everyone should be financially literate and these are great starting manuals on passive income. 

From there, feel free to connect with me. We can do a strategy session based on where you’re at and what your needs are.

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.

business ownership

Jeff Gamble – Gaining Perspective through Business Ownership: How One Entrepreneur Survived the Ride of His Life (AoL 156)

Business ownership comes in many forms. The goal of this show has always been to expose the listener to as many ways to start earning 6 or 7 figures a year. In the last session, our guest, Chris Prefontaine, built his income generating machine through real estate investing. Then, in session 150, we had Corbett Barr on who told us about how he managed to make Fizzle from the knowledge he knew about monetizing traffic online.

In this session, I had the chance to speak with an influencer here in the Indianapolis area about his background in various businesses including multi-level marketing (MLM).

As you guys probably know, I’ve been a fan of properly ran MLM groups for years. For instance, way back in session 23 of the show, Laila and I had the opportunity to interview soon to be Amway Diamond Mark Nathan.

What he and today’s guest, Jeff Gamble, can tell you is that a large part of being successful in the network marketing arena is affiliating yourself with great people.

Pair this experience of his with traditional business and the result is someone that knows a lot about what it takes to be successful entrepreneur and leader.

But don’t think that this journey of his has been easy. He’s had more major setbacks than anyone I know.

Even if you’re not interested in getting involved with an MLM company, let his story be one of inspiration to you in whatever you’re pursuing.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How was Jeff initially exposed to the multi-level marketing industry? 9:14
  • What life event made him change his perspective and look at other ways of making income? 16:02
  • When it comes to network marketing, what kind of benefits does Jeff believe associates get? 44:14
  • What are some things that people should consider when getting started with a MLM company? 53:21
  • What’s Jeff looking forward to in the not too distant future? 58:57
  • Who are three influential people who have help get him to where he’s at today? 1:01:39
  • What job or business would Jeff like to try out for a day? 1:01:49
  • What’s the smallest decision he’s made that’s had the most impact in his life? 1:02:05
  • Is there something that every high school student should know? 1:02:25
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:02:45

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

How to Fix Your Credit:

John Maxwell’s Law of Leadership #20 – Explosive Growth

Going Executive Director Show Episode 78

Jeff Working Out and Getting Max Gainz!


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!

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

Cheers!

deep focus

Profit or Popularity? How Deep Focus Might be the Key to Your Success

Deep focus and work is a topic which is really popular these days. However, it tends to go against the prevailing advice on how to become an online entrepreneur/personality. Personally, I’ve seen a lot of benefit by incorporating it in my schedule. In this post, I’ll share with you how I learned the hard way about the benefits of deep focus as a creator.

Setting the Stage

If you’ve been following the blog and podcast, you’ve probably realized that I’ve cut back on how many of each I publish. For a few months now, I’ve been on a schedule where I post a blog post one week and then the next week, I publish an interview.


But that wasn’t how I did things when I first started my online journey. In fact, I posted a blog post and an interview each week.

Even though I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to do as a new entrepreneur/thought leader, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. But I kept pushing through for two years, believing I was doing what I was supposed to do.

However, towards the end of that two year period, I started hearing and seeing signs that I had to change things up.

And eventually those signs lead to the discovery of the M-6 Business Evolution Plan.

Signs to Change

So what were these signs? Here’s three I can definitely remember:

The Importance of Deep Work and Focus

One of the earliest signs I can recall is hearing Jordan Harbinger’s interview of Cal Newport discussing his book Deep Work. In the interview, they discuss why focusing on your work for long periods of time is the only way to create anything meaningful. The reasoning behind this is because it takes awhile for our brains to snap into the right gear to create. If our days consists a lot of checking email, posting to and checking social media, you’ll never get into this deep work or deep focus state.

I knew I wasn’t getting into that deep state because I was EVERYWHERE!

Profitability vs Popularity

The second sign I remember was when one of our guests mentioned that her coach constantly has to ask her a simple question: Do you want to be profitable or do you want to be popular?

It had never occurred to me that in the online digital space, there was a choice. I thought that the only way to create revenue was to be popular. The more people who knew of you, the more chances you had to make a sale, right?

Apparently, that’s not the total idea.

Even more interesting is that in another interview we had, our guest mentioned how there are plenty of popular people on the web who can barely afford to keep their own business doors open. In fact, there’s way more of them than there are people who have followers and have an income from that following.

Start Where You’re At!

The third big sign was during my research of this whole thing about having a Personal Mission.  This course of interest started when I heard David Anderson share about how important it is to him in his interview in session 92. I knew it was a piece I was missing. Uncover Your Personal Mission is the result of this 6 month study to figure out what my starting point should be. I now fully believe it’s imperative for someone to know where they’re at

Using the Right Road Map

So, it’s interesting how traditional online business advice suggests that you should be everywhere. I think it makes sense in the long run. But the market is so saturated with other entrepreneurs and thought leaders, that we have to realize we don’t have a chance in that game by ourselves. There’s just so much work we can do in a given day.

So what’s that mean for us? What’s our course of action? Well, this is where we need a new road map.

Road maps for entrepreneurs are nothing new. Fizzle has theirs, Pat Flynn has his in Will It Fly?, and then there’s the one featured in the documentary Generation: Freedom.

There’s a lot of good content in each of these. However, I think they get ahead of themselves a little in the beginning stages.

So, let’s look at this new road map:

The M-6 Business Evolution Plan

There are 6 parts of this new plan which can be used simultaneously with the previously mentioned road maps.

However, the main difference is that this particular plan, again, focuses on early growth and sustainability of your business. So, once you get to a certain level of success, then maybe it’s a good time to start “Being Everywhere” as Pat Flynn talked about way back in session 28 of the SPI Podcast. Because, remember, in today’s market, you have to have a team to compete with the other names out there because they probably have teams themselves! 

So, here’s the new plan:

Mastery of Self

The reason that I start with Mastery of Self is because there are a lot of examples of folks who jump into a business idea because the marketing of a specific course said they’d have the potential to make all kinds of money doing that particular business. All they have to do is follow a step by step method.

Problem is, many people get burned out of these half-baked businesses because they didn’t do the inventory on themselves or they didn’t have the right frame of mind starting the business. They might have expected awesome results in a week or month and now it’s way beyond that point.

Mastery of Self is important because not only do we need to figure out who we are, but where we and our skills fit in the world.

From there, as we naturally build on ourselves and our skills, we have the potential for amazing growth.

So, for example, if you didn’t know that you’re good at writing copy, then you wouldn’t know that you should be helping people do that. Without doing what it takes to figure out where you are in relative to everyone else, you might decide that your “calling” is to sell products on Amazon. At that point, any instructions sound like good instructions but they just don’t get you anywhere you want to be.

Monetize Your Natural Talent

Before we even think about hiring anyone else to help, scale in other ways, or saying our expertise is helping people do something, we need to make sure that we can successfully add that value while being paid for it.

If you do the homework on yourself, you already know what you’re naturally inclined to help people do. If you are just starting a business, instead of working for free, start at a monetary number you feel comfortable asking for your services. Then, as you get more clients, you can play with the numbers and find out what’s asking too much or just right for what you’re offering.

Here’s a secret: The longer you do things for free, the more people think you’re A.) Training Perpetually or B.) have a bad service or product.

Also, you’ll want to look into is a book called Win Without Pitching Manifesto. In this book, you’ll learn why it’s important to position yourself in a certain way and how you can successfully do that. If done right, you’ll become the buyer and your clients will have to prove to you why they need your help!

Another thing that makes this whole process even easier is starting to work on a script. It’s ok to use scripts while doing sales meetings/calls/webinars. That’s one of the biggest things that made Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, as good as he was! His team used the script he used to make calls!

Market for Sustainable Business

Let’s say that you have an awesome product and you just happen to be really great with getting the word out there – say a video of yours went viral.

Is that a good thing when you’re first getting started?

I’d personally say that it’s a “Hard no.”.

Why?

Well, let’s say that your offer goes viral. Sure, that might be great in a Kickstarter situation or with a course (which you shouldn’t have at this point…), but if you’re offering a service or real product, you’re simply not going to have the capacity to keep up.

So, you want to find those first 3-5 clients who are ok with a price point that’s been proven. Once you do that, then it should be time to take it to the big market! You should have enough extra money to put into advertising on social media.

Mechanize Your Process to Scale

There’s something to be said about systems when you’re moving to the big market. The better our systems are when we’re working on scaling, the bigger that scaling can get before we have to hire someone to help us manage it.

So, Facebook ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn ads, Google… wherever your clients are, make sure you keep track of all the work you’re doing. What ads work? Which don’t? What audience works? Which doesn’t? Where should you put in pixels in your funnel? How long should your funnel be? Etc. 

Make sure when you’re doing this work that you’re only changing small parts at a time and you keep track of those changes. Changing everything at once doesn’t get you the experimental data you need. For example, if you’re changing an ad, only change the copy, the audience, or the image – NOT ALL THREE!

Also, don’t go overboard with your systems either. There’s a fine line between being creative and creating chaos.

Make Use of Other’s Talents

There’s going to be a point where we can’t do everything in our business anymore. Eventually we’ll have to either hire someone to help as an employee or bring on a contractor.

This is when we have to do what John Maxwell says all the time: “Play to your strengths, and hire help for your weaknesses.”

Just as you know yourself and how you fit into the world, the ideal people that you bring on your team should have that figured out as well. This means, besides them taking over a job you don’t want to do (or have the time to do) anymore, that they also have similar values and are internally motivated to do the job as well as possible. 

You’re not doing yourself or them a favor if you feel like they’re not committed to the vision and mission of the company.

Multiply Your Business

As we continue to scale, this is when we can go out even further. We can find other ways to market ourselves and our team’s talents. 

There might be products that you couldn’t do on your own, but now that you have a small team, you might be able to start a video series on YouTube or a podcast that goes out 3 times a week.

Also, this might be the time to package your skills into a course if you feel the demand is there. That way you can still get paid for your skills, but don’t have to put in the time factor into it.

There’s all kinds of ways to multiply your business. But just so you know, you can’t expect to start here. You have to actually have a proven system of success. I wish I had known that before I started my podcast, but hey, at least you guys understand why only publish one session every other week now! 🙂

Action Steps

As a lot of my posts go, you fall somewhere into this list. You’ll need to figure out where.

Personally, I thought I was going to be a podcaster and be like Pat in a year or so. Well, that’s not going to happen. For one, even when he started his podcast back in 2010, he already had a fairly good number of people following him on his RSS feed for his blog (check this out for numbers at the top!). I didn’t have that when I started my show. Another thing is that there weren’t nearly as many online entrepreneurs in the market. Nearly 10 years later, the market has been completely saturated.

This plan consists of parts of the more traditional way of doing things, true. But, we have to realize that if we don’t start from the foundation of figuring out where we fit in the world, then we really don’t have much to build our future success on. 

We can’t scale from nothing.
So, put in that foundational work if you haven’t. Find out what interests you and how you can add value to others. Again, you can start with the guide if you need help.

lifestyle entrepreneur

Corbett Barr – The Story Behind Fizzle.co – The Basecamp for the Lifestyle Entrepreneur (AoL 150)

If you’ve been following the show for awhile, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of Fizzle. Personally, I think they’re one of the best resources I’ve seen out there for the lifestyle entrepreneur.

Why?

Well, there’s a couple of reasons for that. For one, their library of courses available to their members are geared for those who need an Entrepreneurship 101 or 201 course. They cover all the fundamentals.

But that’s not all that’s there.

In fact, the creators joke with the idea that people come for the courses, but stay for the community.

Which is so true. In fact, I’m still interacting with several people I met on there 4 years ago. Including Veronica.

In today’s interview with co-founder of Fizzle, Corbett Barr, Veronica and I talk to Corbett about the founding of Fizzle and what he thinks about the online entrepreneurial space 10 years after he started his first blog Think Traffic.

It’s my hope that you get a bit of an understanding of why Veronica and I both believe Fizzle is such a great resource.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Corbett originally get started in the tech startup world? 9:11
  • What was his initial plan in starting Think Traffic? 17:29
  • How have things changed online since the start of Fizzle? 22:24
  • Where did the idea for Fizzle come from? 28:51
  • What kind of advice does Corbett have for those who want to get off the fence and develop the business they truly want? 36:23
  • What’s the future for Fizzle and Palapa look like? 41:37
  • Who are three influences that have helped him get to where he’s at today? 47:20
  • Is there something he’s excited about that’s going to affect entrepreneurship in the future? 49:06
  • What topic should more people be talking about yet hardly anyone is? 50:54
  • What is something Corbett believed as a 35 year old that he’s changed his mind on? 52:41
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 54:53

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

7 Big Lessons about Entrepreneurship

Best Places to Work and Live around the World, FB Productivity, and Managing a Remote Team

4 Simple Productivity Practices and Apps

Chase Reviews the Evergoods CTB40


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!

Cheers!

reinvent yourself

Cross the Thinking Gap and Reinvent Yourself!

How do you reinvent yourself? For the longest time, I questioned how this is possible. Aren’t we are who we’ve always been? How do we get another identity than the one we’re so familiar with?

A book that I found during my years at Purdue, called Reinventing Yourself made me start thinking more and more about this. And I realized that I had started on this path early on.

When I was growing up, I understood competition. In fact, I remember the first time I “lost” in the real world. It was in 4H in a shooting sports competition. And frankly, I hadn’t practice – and apparently it showed. I ended up getting 7th out of 10 competitors in my age range.

reinvent yourself

I was pretty upset when I heard the news. Up until that point, I felt that I was good at about just anything I put my mind to. I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t do as well as I thought I was going to do.

I vowed that next year I was going to be better.

That next year, I made it a point to get up super early on Saturdays and go out to the firing range with the club.

That next year, I didn’t do much better. In fact, if I remember right, I got 5th place. Still not nearly as good as the champions and grand champion ribbons I was seeing in my other projects.

However, one thing did stand out to me. Everyone at this event, which was supposed to be highly competitive, got a small trophy.

This was the first time I was exposed to the idea of all participants get a trophy.

I remember being pretty ticked off. Why should they get something for not even placing? I worked at my loss!

So the next year I opted to focus more on Dog Club and left the shooting sports group all together.

Generation Entitlement?

Many argue that Millennials are the most entitled generation. In fact, there are all kinds of books and articles that suggest that the reason for this is because of the rampancy of participation trophies.

Whether that’s truly the case is unknown. However, a lot of Millennials have been told their entire life that they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it.

Well, that’s simply not the case.

What’s worse, is that when things don’t go a certain way, many blame others for their downfalls.

It’s my parents’ fault.

The professor screwed us!

The government needs to do something about that!

Society teaches us that using phrases like this are ok. Unfortunately, they’re only ok if we plan to stay stuck where we’re at in life and in our careers.

Owners Win & Victims Lose

You might have heard the phrase “Own up to it!”. If so, you know that this is slang for taking responsibility for one’s actions.

When you own up to doing something wrong or incorrectly, you’re acting in a space of courage. You say something like “This is my fault. I will do better next time”.  

When we’re denying that we didn’t do something we’re accused of, we’re shedding responsibility. We think “I didn’t do anything wrong. Why should I change?”

Here’s the thing. We can only get better if we acknowledge our failure. If we don’t acknowledge that failure, we’re setting ourselves up for that same failure in the future.

So, really, it’s not much of a stretch to say that what you say on the outside starts with what you think and feel on the inside.

Become an owner and reinvent yourself

If you’re tired of losing, then it’s time to turn things around. But how? How can you reinvent yourself?

Well, here’s a few things that you can become a bit more aware of as you’re living your daily life. Once you break your habit of doing these things and turn it around, you automatically set yourself up to win.

1. Life is Hard! It’s Me vs the Rest of the World!

No, it isn’t. It really isn’t. Life is what you make out of it. 17 years ago, I believed that the world was acting against me and my goal of graduating. It felt like all professors were conspiring against me.

Truth is, engineering is just super tough and I wasn’t putting in enough work to get it done. Once I realized that it wasn’t working out, I switched majors and life started getting better. I got into a study group and started making the grades that I knew I was capable of. Heck, I even had time to do extracurricular activities for once!

2. I’m Not My Fault. They Made Me Do It!

Here’s a phrase that you’ll hear in movies quite a bit. Often times, you’ll hear it from a villain who’s trying to get back at the government or some kind of company.

We as the audience know that while they might have gotten a bad rap, it’s their fault that they’re acting the way they are. They’re making active choices to take the actions that they are.

Soon after, the villain gets what he deserves and the hero rides off into the sunset.

In our own lives, while using this phrase might not involve high stakes as a building exploding or aliens from another dimension being released into our own, it does have the same effect.

It’s our job to realize that we can totally change our perspective of the world at any time.

For example, there are plenty of people out there who have lost a limb and think they can’t be their former selves. That might be true, but it’s also totally possible that they could now be a better version of themselves now.

Also, there are homeless people who are constantly miserable and there are others who are fighting to get out of their funk. I’ve interviewed two people fairly recently who were both homeless in high school and now, years later, are living their dreams.


3. Why Should I Take Responsibility of Something I Didn’t Do?

I’ve mentioned this before, but Andrew Luck is a great example of a leader. In all of his post game interviews, he always takes the responsibility of a loss. And when the team wins, he sheds the glory to his teammates.

We all should try to be this humble in our own lives. Take responsibility even if it’s not our fault. And when we’re awarded, give thanks to those who have supported us.

Action Steps

As far as additional action steps to reinvent yourself, it might be worth your time to listen to a couple of interviews from those who had plenty of reasons to be a victim.
David Anderson, Antonio Smith, Jr., and Kristian Aleixo.

Also, you can learn more about crossing the thinking gap by checking out the newest version of Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler.

internet business

Generation Freedom: Telling the Story of Online Entrepreneurs & Internet Business with Michael Hall and Chris Sakr (AoL 149)

For many, internet business is something that is pretty simple to understand. Create a digital product or service, get a couple of clients, and then scale. If done right, you can build yourself a great lifestyle.

The problem, however, is that the majority of the population doesn’t know that this opportunity is available. In fact, your own family or friends might still wonder about “that thing that you’re doing”.

Today’s subject and interview might just help people you know get a grasp on that thing.

In the documentary Generation Freedom, creators Michael Hall and Chris Sakr give us an overview of what it means to be an online entrepreneur.

Does it look entirely the same for everyone? Of course not. But there are certain ideas and concepts that we all have to know to comprehend the true powers of internet business.

In this chat, Harrison and I have the opportunity to chat with Michael and Chris and find out more about why they made the documentary, how they made it, and why they started filmmaking in the first place.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Michael and Chris get into filmmaking so young? 8:54
  • What kept them from giving up on their aspirations? 12:35
  • Is there anything they would say to their past filmmaking peers who have put their dreams on the backburner? 17:06
  • What’s their view on the current state of Hollywood? 19:38
  • What do they think about leveraging Netflix and YouTube to get films out? 21:50
  • How did Shohawk Media get started? What kind of work can we expect from them? 26:59
  • How were Michael and Chris able to distribute the Generation Freedom documentary? 29:29
  • What kind of advice would they offer someone who’s struggling to make money from their art? 33:31
  • What was the process like for putting together the documentary? 39:12
  • Where does Michael and Chris see Shohawk in the future? 46:57
  • What song, book, and film should be added to the national curriculum? 50:08
  • Who’s their favorite filmmaker? 54:45
  • Is there an issue that more people should be talking about? 55:52
  • Something that has cost under $100 which has changed their life? 57:36
  • Are there any pieces of equipment that up and coming filmmakers should look into? 58:33
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:01:04

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Generation Freedom Trailer

Who is Shohawk?

WhiskeyFest Northwest Promotional Video

Episode 1 of the Make This Movie Podcast


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!

Cheers!