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.

best nootropics

Prady Tewarie – Peak Performance in a Bottle: How Body Building & Business Systems Lead to the Best Nootropics Based Supplement (AoL 159)

When it comes to peak performance, most experts on the matter suggest that we learn how to care for ourselves, plan, and execute accordingly. However, even the most disciplined of us will have problems from time to time. Whether it’s a physical ailment or a mental breakdown, we all have issues from time to time. Thankfully, there’s some supplements on the market that can really impact your mental state. In fact, some of them contain some of best nootropics in existence.

If you’re not familiar with term nootropics, Veronica and I weren’t either before this interview. However, the way that our guest, Prady Tewarie, described them, it almost sounds too good to be true! Something better than coffee?! Blasphemy!

In today’s conversation, Prady shares with us his journey in starting his business Azoth, one of the fastest growing nootropic supplement companies today. What’s cool to me is that his entire journey in starting his business has been rather organic. He didn’t force it by starting a business first and then finding a product. In fact, he did it the way that it should be done.

If starting and growing a business based on your interests is something you’re wondering if you should do, let Prady’s story inspire you to give it a shot.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • After spending so much time going after a law degree and becoming a lawyer, what inspired Prady to become an entrepreneur? 9:32
  • How did he realize that fitness was essential to being in the right state of mind for his business, partners, and clients? 11:46
  • Where did the idea for Azoth come from? 14:56
  • How did Prady come to realize that systems were critical to building his business? 21:44
  • How did Prady find himself getting involved with Real Estate Investing? 33:10
  • What is he looking forward to in the end of 2019 and beyond? 40:40
  • If he could add one book, one song, and one film to the national curriculum, what would they be? 42:33
  • One thing under $100 that has changed his life? 44:07
  • What’s a believe, behavior, or habit that he’s started in the last 5 years that’s helped him improve his life? 46:16
  • What’s something he believed when he was 18 but now feels is inaccurate? 47:44
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 49:19

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Prady and Justin Hall on Having the Right Info on Supplements

Enlightened Millennial: Why Hard Work Is Not Enough!

Should I Quit my 9-5 and Start My Own Business?

The Reason You’re Not Achieving Wealth


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!

personal effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness – One of Four Important Topics Not Taught in School

When I first started New Inceptions, I had a ton of ideas of what I could help people with. At the time, I had learned so much during my time in LTD that I thought that it would benefit others that didn’t have the opportunity. One of the biggest things that I started learning about at the time, was how to increase my interpersonal effectiveness. 

All the way up through grad school, I always struggled to convey my ideas and build emotional connections with my peers. Many times, I felt like the odd guy out. Of course, a large part of that was that I grew up an only child. And as any only child can tell you, we learn to amuse ourselves in our own time.

So while I had friends in school who were a lot like me, I felt it hard to connect with people who weren’t. In fact, in high school, I remember getting incredibly anxious as I tried to engage with popular people.

I simply didn’t realize that there were all these self development books out there that could have helped me understand how to connect with others better.

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the things that we can get better at when it comes to Interpersonal Effectiveness.

What is Interpersonal Effectiveness?

There’s a lot of topics that aren’t taught in school these days. Even more so today than when I was going through junior high through high school. For example, I remember taking both home economics and shop classes. Heck, I actually got credit to learn how to drive a car.

Today, those types of classes simply aren’t available to your typical high schooler. Instead, most high schools are focused on teaching for their state’s standards test. And while this might be a metric to measure a students hard skills, their soft skills are left behind.

Interpersonal effectiveness refers to the skills which help us to:

  • Attend to relationships
  • Balance priorities versus demands
  • Balance the ‘wants’ and ‘shoulds’
  • Build a sense of mastery and self-respect

And wow, I have to admit there are a ton of skills that fit this description.

Skills to Help You Be More Effective with Others

So let’s take a look of this grocery list of skills. Here’s a list that comes to mind in no particular order:

  • General Communication and Conversation
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Civic Awareness (Government, Religion, Law, Volunteerism, Philanthropy, etc.)
  • Negotiation
  • Intimate Relationship Building
  • Digital Etiquette (including Social Media Safety)
  • Manners
  • Sales
  • Finding a Job
  • Marriage / Family Dynamics
  • Leadership
  • Networking
  • Entrepreneurship

Wow – just wow. Right? I mean, if you’ve been out of academia for any period of time, you probably realize how important many of these skills are. 

Personally, the two that have made the biggest impact in my life up to this point are emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship. 

As I mentioned, growing up I had no idea that others had different personalities and motivators. I didn’t even really understand what I should do when someone gave me a compliment. I was sooo totally awkward!

As I’ve learned more and more about entrepreneurship, I’ve realized a couple of things. First, and foremost, is that it’s what makes the US amazing. When done right, nothing beats the free market system. Another thing I’ve realized is that most of these skills actually play a role in some way or another. For example, if you’re a better leader, you’re a better business owner. Or, as another example, if you’re good at negotiation, you might be able to get more for less.

Action Steps

Anyway, I just wanted to point out some of these skills out as we continue going down this journey of life.

Personally for me, I feel I need to master sales and negotiation a bit more. Luckily, there’s all kinds of resources out there.

What are some skills you’ve already been developing? What are the ones that make you think “Oh, I should probably work on that a bit more…”? Do a bit of an inventory for yourself and list what you would like to know more about.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Other topics that aren’t discussed in school include Mindset (how you talk to yourself), Financial Literacy, and what I call “Ikigai Maximization”. We’ll be sure to go over some of these topics in the future as well!

non fiction writing

AoL 157: It’s a Book! No Nonsense Strategies for Non Fiction Writing and Publishing with Lindsay Whiting

People get involved in non fiction writing for a number of reasons. In the thought leader space, the number one reason books are created is for their ability to be a lead generator. Many times, they’ll be at the front of a sales funnel that leads to higher and higher priced products such as courses and live events.

However, sometimes the book is the end message. And for me, before I got into the content production world, I always thought that was point of a book. The point was to actually increase the awareness of your readers. The book was the end… not the means to an end.

But, as a good authorpreneur knows, you can have the best of both if you really care to make the effort. You can create something of value while at the same time using it as a tool to grow your business.

This session’s guest, Lindsay Whiting, is all about helping writers do just that. She finds joy in helping new writers write a good book while at the same time helping them navigate the publishing waters.

If writing a valuable non fiction book is something you’ve wanted to do and your goal isn’t to just be an Amazon Best Seller, then you’ll get a lot out of this interview.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Where’d Lindsay get her start in literary and publishing work? 6:31
  • What inspired her to start her first business? 15:14
  • How did she get the idea to become interested in the idea to help others with their book writing process? 20:30
  • What does she feel are the most common mistakes that authors make when they’re entering the publishing space? 28:30
  • What is Lindsay excited for in the not too distant future? 47:31
  • What are her top favorite books that she gifts or tells others about? 51:51
  • Is there a specific gift does she like giving others? 52:51
  • What would she like to see popular still today? 53:39
  • What’s something that every high school student must know? 53:55
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 55:00

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Lindsay on Selecting a Good Book Designer:

Lindsay on Finding Book Models for Your Book

Veronica’s TEDx Talk

Stories of Elders: The Documentary


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!

get stuff done

Focus at Work – Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing and Get Stuff Done!

In the last post, I wrote about how deep focus might be the key to actually get stuff done in your craft or industry. Focus on the 20% of the effort that makes you the 80% of your income. You simply don’t have the capacity to do everything under the sun.
Since that post, I’ve had a few readers of that post message me and ask why I was going against the traditional advice of building an online business.

And as I thought about it, I realized that while I might be going against the more traditional advice of building a digital business, there are examples in the real world that suggest that less can be more.

So in this post, we’re going to look at just a few such examples.

Is Less Always More?

Now you might be thinking, there are plenty of examples of businesses that have grown after they offered more products and services. One such example is Amazon. Without knowing their history, you might think that they’ve always sold all the products and online services that they offer today.

However, this wasn’t always the case. When the company first started, it was an online book store based out of Jeff Bezos’ garage. Did he know that it was going to become what it is today? Probably not. But as the company offered more products and brought more people on to help manage those products, it is definitely an example of “More is More”.

Sometimes Scaling Doesn’t Always Work as Expected

But for every Amazon who scales correctly from the beginning, there’s also going to be examples where adding more to the menu might not be the best course of action.

Example 1: McDonald’s

Take McDonald’s for example. I remember in the late 00’s when McDonald’s was losing out on customers because people started to get smarter about what they were eating. It was during this time that chains like Panera, Starbucks, and Subway grew like bandits. In fact, it was pretty common to hear about places in large cities that had a couple of Starbucks on the same street.

These companies were eating McDonald’s lunch. So what did the golden arches do in response? They grew their menus and model to include some competitive products to what these other places were offering. By 2013, it had 145 items on its menu.

This was nuts and completely unsustainable. It’s no wonder that they were losing money at this point.

In an attempt to right the ship, they hired their most recent CEO, Steve Easterbrook. What Steve ended up doing was removing the items that weren’t selling as well and went back to the basics of the business. This seems to have worked because in the last year or so, their stock has actually risen.

Example 2: Apple

While this might not be the best recent example, it wasn’t too long ago that Apple was the tech company to watch out for – as an investor and a competitor.

In the Beginning…

Personally, I’ve always been an Apple user. My first computer was one and currently I’m writing this on a Macbook Pro.

During that time, the company has seen its ups and downs. I remember when I was first learning about computers, I found out the hard way that Windows 95 would not work on my Mac. How could this be? I thought everyone was going to be able to use it!

Nope, I was in the minority. Windows based PCs were what everyone else had. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had in high school answering questions about why I had a Mac… even when Steve Jobs came back as the CEO!

As I got involved in the Purdue University Mac Users Group (PUMUG), I started to learn how awesome of a group Mac users actually were. I had found my people! But interestingly, we were still a small group. All the clones had been taken off the market by that point. Those of us who were still users were because we were creatives or simply loved the Mac.

The Epic Growth of Apple

However, it was also during this time that the iPod was released. And interestingly, this was about the same time that I started paying attention to the stock market. I remember in 2001 watching the AAPL stock rise almost 50% until 9-11. 

Of course, stocks were down for just about everyone at that point. But as new and better versions of the iPod came out, their stock rose. And then, the point where everyone became familiar with Apple was in 2007 when the iPhone debuted. Wow… I really should have got some shares then. (Unfortunately, I thought I had already missed the boat. Ha!)

But there’s a point in me telling you this personal story of watching Apple rise. No one would have believed it would happen when I first got my computer – an Apple Performa 575. Had they stuck around trying to compete directly with Microsoft PCs, I think the company would have folded. Even to this day, but especially back then, they were known to jack up the price on products that were matched by less expensive PC options.

But it was because Steve was able to focus on building the next best thing (as he originally did with the original Mac) that they were able to be as great as they did during his time as CEO.

On a Smaller Scale

So, there’s a couple of examples of large companies that righted their ships after bloating to try and be everything to everyone. But it’s not something that just companies that size have to deal with. There are much smaller companies that struggle simply because they don’t focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.

And because they often don’t have the necessary resources or connections to keep going, they tend to not have the time to get their act together in time.

Example 3: Marsh

One such example is a local grocery store chain here in Indiana which was named Marsh. Like many local groceries, it folded in the last couple of years. It couldn’t find its niche in the market. I believe the main reason is that they tried to be everything to everyone. Instead of focusing on having its stores in certain profitable locations, it kept trying to keep open stores that were underperforming due to local competition – no matter what the cost.

Even after the company folded a couple of years ago, there are still locations that have not been bought by other chains. When I see them, I’m reminded of the struggles they had before going belly up. 

Interestingly, though, the places that were bought by other chains seem to be doing pretty well if not better than they did while they were under the Marsh banner. Some were bought by Kroger while others were bought by a regional chain called Needler’s. In fact, the Needler store in downtown Indy is considered by many to be one of the best groceries around!

Had Marsh realized that they should just cut anchor and focus on these stores that were actually making them income, they might be around yet today!

Action Steps

So, hope that gives a little more perspective on why it’s important to focus. If you’re good at building sales funnels, do that until you can outsource it. But don’t try to do that AND build a Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) business AND build a podcast AND build a YouTube channel.

Pick one, get a handful of clients. Once you’ve done that, scale that business using ads on social media. Then from there, you can think about doing something else when the first job is sustainable.

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.

when life gives you lemons

When Life Gives You Lemons… – How Embracing Your Personal Niche Will Get You Through the Tough Times with Kim Trathen (AoL 153)

Life has a way of making us rethink the actions we’re taking. Whether it’s in school or on the job, in life, or even while we’re working on our business. That’s where the saying “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade!” comes from. Because it’s when we have these obstacles in our life, we often wonder if we’re doing the right thing. We wonder if maybe the universe is trying to tell us something.

This is why knowing who we are, what our strengths are, and how we can help others is so vital to our success.

It’s because we know how we fit in the world, that we’re able to justify doing the work we’re meant to do – even when it gets hard and we’re given reasons to not do it.

In this conversation with today’s guest, Kim Trathen, we learn about all the things she had to go through as she was developing her business in 2018. She had plenty of reasons to put her blossoming business on the back burner. However, because she knew what she was good at and how she could help others, it gave her the strength to keep pushing forward.

So join Veronica and I was we talk with Kim about this journey of hers and how you can apply it to your own life and business.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What was the process that Kim went through to start her business? 7:38
  • How has she been able to deal with life’s challenges as she’s been starting her business? 13:36
  • How does she address limiting beliefs with her clients? 25:35
  • In what way does passive income factor in her business? 31:08
  • How does social media come into play with her clients? 39:46
  • What is Kim looking forward to the rest of the year? 44:32
  • What is one song, one book, and one film that should be added to the national curriculum? 47:48
  • What’s the best advice that Kim has ever received? 50:58
  • Which social custom is Kim’s favorite? 51:24
  • What advice does she hear adults giving children she’d call BS on? 52:04
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 53:08

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

How to show up when you’re busy, tired, or just don’t feel like it…

The #1 Reason You Aren’t Where You Want to be In Life

How to Really Use Social Media as a MLM’er

#GirlsTalkBusiness 25 with Kristen Lynch


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