When to Quit Your Day Job and Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Dreams | When Money Isn’t Enough

When to Quit Your Day Job and Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Dreams | When Money Isn’t Enough

How Can I Leave My Job to Start a Business?

Man, if I had a nickel for every time something like that shows up in my inbox.

I’d still be doing what I’m doing but I certainly wouldn’t need to.

But I get it…

We live in an era where it has literally never been easier to quit your day job and go off to build you own company.

The internet was the game changer.

It leveled the playing field.

A complete and total democratization of the landscape.

No longer could the big boys just merely outspend you to keep their stronghold on the market.

New industries blossomed…

Truth be told, the industry I’m in wouldn’t even exist in it’s current form prior to the world wide web.

And my guest today, Marie Forleo, can resonate with that statement.

A life coach?

At 23 years old (err…young)?

Moreover, leaving a handsomly paying job on Wall Street and turning down a sweet gig to work at Vogue in the process?

Literally, that’s what happened.

Marie has now been dubbed the Oprah of our generation…from Oprah herself, and has built a media empire on YouTube and through selling information products.

Her program, B-School (short for Business School), has now been sold to over 44,000 people.

What’s more is she only offers it for sale once per year and for ~2 weeks.

That’s bananas, right?

The program costs $2,000 for lifetime access…

I’ll let you do the math.

But when she made this plunge of a decision back in 1999, I’m sure many people thought she had committed career suicide.

Thank God she pursued her gut, right?

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Okay, But That’s Marie, Not Me!

This one is also up there on my list of “things I hear that would make me rich for only a nickel.”

It’s as if one person alone owns the entire market.

Marie Forleo is the only person on the planet that can successfully sell information products and therefore you shouldn’t even try.

What’s more is usually on the flip side of that someone is telling me about their MILLION DOLLAR idea that NOBODY is doing.

Let’s address both of these quickly so we can move on to the juicy stuff.

At the moment I’m writing this, there’s an estimated 7.53 BILLION people on planet earth.

Having sold B-School 44,000 times, as staggering as that is, that’s only .0000058% of the total addressable market.

Yes, I know NOT every human, like infant children, are prospective customers. It’s still a ridiculous number.

It’s 2019, is there really a such thing as a NEW idea?

There are new mediums, platforms and iterations of concepts but we’ve pretty much dreamed up every core business concept.

Even Facebook wasn’t TRULY a new idea…sorry, Zuck.

It was built on the concept of human interaction and engagement, which is certainly nothing new, just a new platform to execute on that premise.

And I can on and on and on…

The iPhone?

Same thing.

Enhancing communication and giving you ease of access to information & entertainment.

So, my point is this…

This is a world of abundance and IT’S A BLOODY GOOD THING when other people are already selling what you want to sell.

It means they’ve quite literally validated it for you.

And what’s amazing is to see the success stories out of B-School.

Because at the end of the day, Marie continuing to sell her program heavily relies upon the results OTHERS receive.

How great would weight loss products be if NOBODY lost weight?

So then the question comes down to how and my guess is that’s why you’re here today.

It All Starts with Self-Reflection

I’ve built companies…big companies.

My tagline on social is I build and help people build big companies.

I’m involved with a Silicon Valley-based Accelerator Program for the Austin Chapter.

And our goal is certainly not to build little mom and pop’s.

That sounded like a super boastful statement so I apologize as that’s certainly not my intent.

I say those things because it’s LITERALLY my job to make you stretch.

You see, we are so conditioned to stay in our little boxes.

Think about it…

You wake up in your boxed little bedroom, talk a shower in your box little bathroom (hopefully), get in your boxed little car to go sit in a boxed little office (possibly in an even smaller box inside the boxed office) only to wake up and do it every single day.

When you were in school you were trained to help someone else build their vision.

You just didn’t know that’s what was happening to you.

Learn this by this date and then execute…

Depending on how well you execute we’re going to assess you and the person with the highest assessments “theoretically” will be more eligible to go do that for someone else.

A human factory in many ways.

And I’m not boo-booing on higher education.

So many skills I learned came from my years of schooling.

We’d all be Neanderthals running around pounding things on the ground were it not for our ability to intellectually enhance our minds.

But the trade-off is you sacrifice a bit of that child-like wonder in the process.

That part of you that said what’s possible and what’s not.

And that’s a dangerous mindset in the entrepreneurship space.

That’s the logic that leads to “Marie is selling it already, I need a market with no competition.”

It also leads to you playing it small.

And my job is to re-frame your mind.

I spend my days literally helping people do that.

Which brings me to my point on self-reflection.

If all things were possible, what would you do with your time?

For real…?

Just play this game with me real quick.

ALL things are possible, how would you live out your ONE life?

Working at some place you hate for a boss that’s an asshole while barely getting paid enough to not live paycheck to paycheck?

And we haven’t even mentioned the stinky co-worker or the one that is constantly gossiping and causing silly drama.

We haven’t even talked about that crazy commute you make every single morning, fighting through traffic for 2 hours, both ways.

And truth be told, if we lost that ONE job, then what?

That’s most people’s realities and it’s what drives me to do what I do…

Seriously…

To show you this amazing opportunity I’ve discovered as well as my dear friend, Marie.

Because now, more than any other time in civilization, you have MORE opportunity to actually do something about it.

You CAN go beat the titans of industry.

You CAN go launch a massively successful YouTube Channel that drives thousands, if not millions, of people to your website to buy YOUR product.

And most of you are DOING THIS WORK already…

Just for someone else!

So, self-reflection is everything because you have to make a decision and then never look back.

For real…

You can leave this blog right now and just write me off as some nut ball.

But if you’re truly meant to be an entrepreneur, my guess is you are now hooked on what I’m about to tell you.

Because every entrepreneur starts with one core foundation component…

They know in their heart and soul they were not made for the 9-5.

And once they know that the thought of working for someone else, anyone else, causes a physical reaction.

Just like Marie when she left Wall Street and was trying to figure out the next moves in her life.

Ask yourself that one simple question and then make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to do whatever is necessary to pursue the road less traveled.

But What Am I Going to Sell?

I just dropped by and hung out with a buddy of mine, Ryan Levesque.

Ryan is a #1 International Best Selling Author of the book, “ASK”.

And in his book, Ryan talks about knowing your WHO before your WHAT.

What does that mean?

Who do you want to serve?

For me, it’s people like you.

People like I was before I discovered entrepreneurship.

I was depressed, aimless and hadn’t a clue in the world about where I fit in.

When I discovered entrepreneurship as a viable option for me, it changed me instantly.

So, maybe you’re super passionate about gardening and you really want to help other people get those amazing results you’ve gotten at growing your own tomatoes.

Or maybe you’re like a student of mine that had a gun pulled on him by a police officer during the middle of a routine traffic stop and now he wants to create a platform where both officer and drivers can have a safer interaction.

Your WHO is usually strongly attached to your WHY so I need you to start a journal to jot down ideas.

You can even make two lists of WHO and WHY and then see how they overlap.

Because, truthfully, we give the brain far too much credit than it deserves when it comes to recall.

We expect so much of it but sometimes the physical act alone of intention makes everything clear.

It’s why the best counselors know to probe your mind and not just sit there with a monologue of advice.

Once you’ve established WHO you want to serve and WHY, the WHAT may and probably should come fairly easily.

For example: I knew I wanted to serve should-be entrepreneurs and help them live the life they deserve to create solutions the world desperately needs.

In order to do that, I need my voice to be heard.

I started a podcast and within two weeks it was trending Top 5 on iTunes under Business, Health and Education.

So we went from idea to reaching 10’s of thousands of people in about two weeks.

Because EVERYTHING aligned and I did my research.

The next step was coaching to really learn the intricacies of who these people were and what they needed.

So I used the Podcast and the blog to build a coaching business.

At one point I then felt I knew my target audience enough to no longer offer coaching but rather to take my efforts to selling information products so that I could serve thousands rather than just a few.

And the beautiful thing is this is a very repeatable process.

In fact, this is usually how I see things work in every single business.

The last part I’d recommend is to put your investigative hat on and do some lurking.

I do a lengthy competitive analysis to see what the trends are in the industry, how people are being marketed to and on what platform plus what I deem as what’s missing or who is being underserved.

This will instantly give you a solid idea on where you fit in the marketplace.

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Now How Do You Leave That Pesky J-O-B?

This is the motherload here, right?

The entire reason you’re here.

Maybe you already had an idea and have done everything I talked about.

Good for you!

Let’s not botch the execution of this part because it’s critical to nail it.

I have two methodologies for how to transition out of a job and into entrepreneurship.

  1. Be an side hustler
  2. Be a night & weekend warrior

That’s it!

Simple, right?

Let me further explain.

A side hustler is someone that wants to leave their job immediately.

They are repulsed by the idea of working for someone else and just NEED TO GET OUT!

I’m not going to tell you to stay, you and only you knows what’s best based on your financial situation.

BUT, I don’t want you living under a bridge in the meantime.

So, you’re going to need side hustles.

Apps like Uber and Airbnb provide an amazing opportnity to mae money on the side.

Live in a downtown area?

GREAT!

You can officially do both.

I did an entire podcast interview with Nick Loper, the side-hustle king, about people that are literally making six-figures on JUST side hustles.

You can check out that installment when you’re done here.

The dream dies when the bank dries…

I assure you.

Protect yourself, live with margins and be prepared for this to take longer and cost more than you expected…

Because it will.

We’re going for urgency here, not desperation.

Side hustles also allow you to work on your business FAR more than you can in a full-time job AND you can do them whenever with no schedule.

Night & weekend warriors are those that I want to stay in their current job and just suck it up for a while longer.

You’re going to work for an hour here and there on your business.

I want you carving out several hours every single weekend to put real work into what you’re doing.

These people are usually bread winners, people with kids, mortgages and REAL responsibilities.

Again, live by margins.

You don’t want to give yourself six months to make it happen, or else.

Don’t lose your home over this thing.

Also don’t jeopardize your marriage due to the crazy stress you put on yourself.

Again, urgency but not desperation.

You’d be amazed how much 1-2 hours per day can do.

Once you’ve grown your business to a certain point, and you’ll know exactly when, you can exit your job or dial back on the side hustles.

I say you’ll know when because it really is a personalized thing.

If you live in Manhattan and your rent is $3,500/mo you might be doing this charade a bit longer than if you live in South Carolina and pay a fraction of that.

For a point of reference, I usually want to see AT LEAST six months of expenses covered and in the bank before you take the leap.

Live below your means, readjust your standards and make sure the entire family is in sync with your plans to exit.

If you’re single, you are really going to need to insert yourself in entrepreneurial groups because this path is a lonely one.

Which leads me to my next and final point…

Entrepreneurship is a Lifestyle, Not a Career

Look, we talked about mindset already but this is the biggest part of it.

This isn’t something you just turn off at 5:00 everyday.

You LIVE this stuff.

You obsess over increasing conversion rates…

You spend countless hours binge watching information videos like Marie TV on YouTube.

You find every group you can in your local area to support your learning and growth as an entrepreneur.

This isn’t a trade.

It’s a transformation of the human spirit.

Your entire way of life is going to change.

The way you see the world is going to be altered.

You’re going to end up with all new friends.

And your old friends are literally not going to recognize you.

Your vocabulary will change.

You’ll drive people crazy with how much you utilize the word “Value.”

So, above all else, for the love of all things holy, surround yourself with the right resources.

And that’s where programs like B-School are simply EVERYTHING.

Marie has done this before.

And she’s helped thousands do it in the process.

You don’t hop out of bed knowing how to do…well, anything.

And takes total submersion and an investment like no other.

I’m seven years in and I still learn something every single day.

I look back and think what a terrible, stupid entrepreneur I was six months ago.

And I say that every six months!

Because I’m in constant pursuit of leveling up.

Now, let me just say you don’t have to have THAT level of tenacity and borderline masochism…

But I’ve rarely seen anyone that has truly succeeded in entrepreneurship without at least a touch of it.

It’s just part of being the breed.

And that’s what we are.

A weird, peculiar, obsessive (borderline compulsive), but oh so wonderfully driven bunch, hellbent on bringing (uh-oh, here’s that word!) value to the world in meaningful ways.

Welcome to the tribe, my friend…

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | Pandora | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Marie Forleo, Founder of MarieForleo.com and host of Marie TV, drops by the pod to talk about her amazing journey from leaving Wall Street to seven years of hustling and finding her true calling + when to quit your day job to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.

Today’s Sponsor: 99 Designs

Resources:

Grab your seat on the wait list for Marie’s B-School!

Watch and subscribe to Marie TV

To learn more about Marie, visit Marieforleo.com

When to Quit Your Day Job and Pursue Your Entrepreneurial Dreams | When Money Isn’t Enough

How Can I Make a Difference in the World as an Entrepreneur? | Politics and Entrepreneurship

How Can I Make a Difference in the World as an Entrepreneur? | Politics and Entrepreneurship

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Larry Sharpe, Former Candidate for Governor of New York & Former Vice Presidential Candidate + Successful Entrepreneur, drops by the pod to talk how I can make a difference in the world as an entrepreneur and how you can to.

Today’s Sponsor: Uber

Resources:

Larry’s Website

Larry’s Facebook Page

To learn more about Larry, visit larrysharpe.com

How Can I Make a Difference in the World as an Entrepreneur? | Politics and Entrepreneurship

Facebook and Instagram Marketing in 2019 (And Beyond) | Leveraging Social Media for Your Business

Facebook and Instagram Marketing in 2019 (And Beyond) | Leveraging Social Media for Your Business

Your Crazy if You’re Not Playing the Online Game

I talk to business owners and entrepreneurs every single day…

You know how many of them tell me they’re doubling down on their Facebook and Instagram marketing strategies?

Better yet, do you know how many are focused on ANY social platform at all?

Very few…

…but the ones that do are absolutely cleaning house.

That is, if they’re doing it right.

And there’s a HUGE, colossal difference between just boosting a post of Facebook and running a full fledged Facebook advertising campaign.

I’m not picking on boosting posts, just saying that can’t be your ONLY Facebook advertising strategy if you want real results.

Like the kind of results that put people on your email list and PAY YOU MONEY!

Recently, my wife and I had the privilege of attending a Business Intensive in Seattle, Washington.

If you’re an avid listener of my podcast, Entrepreneur Hour (you should be), you’ve now heard me talk about this trip, ad nauseam.

But I promise you it’s for very good reason.

We Tripled My Wife’s Revenues in just 60 Days…

You read that right…

60 days.

And I’m not talking about from $5 to $15/month.

And I’m also not telling you this to humble brag.

But to show you how REAL this online game can be.

I’ll get into the specifics a little bit later on…

I just need to give you a little context first because context is truly everything and I don’t want you to X of this blog, whip out your wallet and start making it rain on Facebook in ad spend to try and achieve these results.

So, let me catch you up to speed.

My wife, the amazing Kimberly Ann Jimenez, has been plugging away on her business for nearly six years.

Truth be told, she never intended to be an entrepreneur at all…

Until she started dating this crazy guy that had a brilliant idea to leave his job with zero money saved, having graduated just months prior and to throw everything and the kitchen sink at his startup idea.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I was that crazy guy.

We soon found ourselves in the thick of it, to say the least.

Despite the fact I had grown this idea while I was in college, it wasn’t generating nearly enough to support my livelihood.

Kim was still in college and was just trying to be a supportive girlfriend.

So, since money was tight, she decided to dig into Facebook and see how we could maybe start putting fuel to our businesses fire.

This was 2012 so the landscape was TOTALLY different than it is now…

But with a $400 investment we generated $23,000.

Later on that year, I quadrupled down on our blog (hyper-locally) and within months we received a request from a nationwide player that effectively exceeded our previous year’s revenue…

Something like a $60,000 contract.

We crushed that assignment and built a name for ourselves.

Soon thereafter, we had the attention of the industry, began working with 5 of the 7 major firms in the country and quickly had a multi-million dollar business.

Kim, on the other hand, was getting amazing feedback on the job she was doing with our social and began getting inquiries about her services.

In fact, it ended up landing her a job managing a $7MM marketing budget and managing an entire nationwide team that pulled her out of college before graduating…

All from helping us crush our social that one summer.

Long story short, Kim evolved into leaving that job, managing social accounts across the country for hundreds of clients and now runs an online platform to teach online business owners how to run a successful online business, which obviously still involves digital marketing.

Okay…Now we’re somewhat caught up.

From Service Provider to…Wow!

Making the shift from a service provider to a content creator is tough.

But it was also the next step on Kim’s journey.

It’s most certainly a story for another day but let’s just say I don’t want you to also X out this blog and go fire all of your clients (HA!).

After nearly losing Kim’s business, we finally discovered an offer that worked…

The Business Lounge is her online, membership community, where people pay a subscription to go through her 33+ online programs, thousands of hours of training and get her monthly advice in LIVE Q&A sessions.

Within six months of launching the program, Kim reached the 6 figure mark and effectively doubled her revenues from the service provider days.

But then we felt stuck…a bit.

You see, Kim had done all the work.

She knew her audience like the back of her hand because she had worked directly with them for so long.

She had pumped out over 100 YouTube Videos that were driving silly traffic to her website and had a subscriber count in the tens of thousands.

Her email list was growing organically and fast.

In fact, the six figure growth was mostly, if not completely, done organically.

We threw money at Facebook ads and got decent results but not the eruption we had hoped for.

But the bones were in place, most definitely.

The Email That Changed It All

We’re getting to our destination, I promise…

A few months ago (October of 2018), Kim approached me about a potential opportunity to go to a Business Intensive in Seattle, WA.

The cost was steep…Like deposit on a house steep.

But we knew it was the next step and we knew these people could serve as the mentors she needed to take those critical next steps.

We had followed Keith Krance (the host of this shindig) for years and you can check him out by listening to many episodes of the Perpetual Traffic Podcast (highly recommend, you should also listen to this).

As Kim’s Chief Advisor, I told her it was a NO-BRAINER…

And just a few short days later we were on a plane to the Pacific Northwest.

Now, without going into incredible details about what specifically we did and what they advised Kim to do for her business, let’s just say it was the missing piece.

And indeed, just a few short weeks later and we saw her business go from a multi-six figure company to now a company well on pace to break seven figures and beyond.

I knew I had to somehow put that information in a bottle and ship it out to you, my dear followers.

And that’s what we’ve done here today.

My guest, Traci Reuter, was one of Keith’s amazing advisors in the program.

She dropped by the pod to share her unbelievable knowledge and advice on what you should be doing in your business with Facebook and Instagram + all social media driven initiatives.

Definitely listen to that when you’re done here with me…

So, without further ado, here’s what I recommend for 2019 and beyond.

Start With Value Driven Content…

Okay, this isn’t groundbreaking or profound feedback, I get it.

But man is it important.

Specifically in 2019.

Because EVERYONE and their grandma is now trying to just sell you ish!

And the days where Russell Brunson could just directly sell a cold audience on potato guns has largely come and gone…kinda.

But seriously, as basic and fundamental as this is, if you’re not doing this then I don’t care about your ninja strategies to grow an audience…because it won’t matter.

The single reason we were able to grow Kim’s business so fast from that trip is not because Keith and Traci have magic wands or magic fairy dust, it’s because Kim has already DONE THE BLOODY WORK!

She’s been delivering value for years.

So it was just a matter of a few small tweaks and ramping up the volume.

Her audience KNOWS who she is and she knows who they are + what they want, need, desire, dream about.

For real, she knows them better than they know themselves in some cases…it’s scary.

So, what does your audience NEED to know, what do they WANT to know and WHY are you the person uniquely qualified to give it to them?

Think about it…

What do your customers ask you about more than anything?

That might want to serve as a tripwire offer (A tripwire offer is something you deploy to capture initial interest in your product or services and is usually priced as free, free plus shipping or usually between ~$7 to ~$19, for the sake of this conversation).

Apple doesn’t need to build this relationship with a tripwire offer.

Why?

Because they are freaking Apple.

You’re not…

So building rapport starts with you delivering value in the form of content.

You want to know what you’re reading right now?

VALUE DRIVEN CONTENT.

That’s right…

I don’t get paid for this blog.

Not directly.

But many of you are going to say “hey, this joker seems like he knows something I might need to know in order to grow my business.”

And thus, the customer journey begins.

But had I not pushed out this piece of highly rich and searchable content for you to discover, I’m just like the dude that has that amazing lemonade stand in his closet.

It doesn’t matter if he’s got the greatest lemonade recipe known to man if not a single person knows he even exists.

So you want to use content and social media to DRIVE people FROM social TO your website with content and opt-in options with something like a freebie download (again, focused on delivering VALUE).

What happens if you like this blog?

Heard of Facebook Messenger, DM’s on Twitter and/Instagram?

Ever have someone send you an article they’ve read?

That one-to-one exchange is a phenomenal way for your post to get redistributed, free of charge to you.

What’s more is the longer your post stays out on the world wide web, the more organic traffic it;s going to receive when people use that Google Machine (Again, topic for another day).

But taking this content and then re-purposing it on Social Media FREQUENTLY maximizes your chances of being seen by your audience or shared to someone outside of your audience from someone in your audience, like I mentioned.

Again, not life changing stuff here, just covering the basics…

Nurturing the People You Have and not Treating People Like a Number

Remember back to a time you had world class customer service.

Didn’t you feel important?

Didn’t you always reflect back on that company with positive emotions?

Well, when you jump straight to a sale or you’re extremely pushy without first building the relationship and establishing your authority, how do you think that is received.

Ryan Deiss, Founder of Digital Marketer, recently joined me on the show.

Ryan is a wiz…truly.

And I think one of the most impactful things he’s told me over the years is to treat people online like you would in the real world.

The example he gives, while humorous, is so true.

He talks about a guy wanting to approach a gal and ask her out on a date.

Now, you don’t just approach said person and try to jump right into amorous activity or run to the altar…

You play the long game.

You nurture the relationship and you go through normal, human cycles of getting to know one another.

And yet we get online and want to jump straight in the saddle with people.

Why?

Because we’re not treating them like actual people…

We’re just focused on our revenue goals, etc, etc.

So, let’s readjust your approach and start thinking about how I can make that right first impression to have the opportunity at a conversation.

Then how can I subtly show interest and express a desire for a first date.

With that first date, how can I really be my authentic self but not go so far that it’s like “whoa…TMI, buddy!”

And eventually, you get to where you close the deal and they become a customer.

The amazing thing is once you master this art, that interaction can happen in just a few short minutes and not the months or possibly years you went into courting your partner.

This is going to give you a massive advantage in 2019 because EVERYONE is just focused on making the money…

Play the long game, develop a winning strategy, get to know your people and eventually you’ll get so good at doing this you can hit scale with your strategy.

Commit and Be Consistent

Gary Vee is Gary Vee…

You may not be and that’s okay.

You may not really dig Instagram…that’s okay too.

I assume you do dig Instagram or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

But my point is not every platform has to jive with you.

Many people love podcasting because they don’t feel comfy on camera.

Some people really just aren’t all that interested in serving millenials and they know millenials largely dominate Instagram.

Personally, I love Instagram but I HATE the activity on Instagram.

I’m like, I don’t care what you ate for breakfast and I’m not about looking at your wads of money you claim to have made and done so in hours or your recent vacation you went on because of how much of a baller you are.

I’m obviously generalizing, there are plenty of legit people on IG…but you know you’ve seen what I’m describing.

And that’s not who I serve.

That’s the Tai Lopez people.

I don’t hire friends and scantily glad clothing and buy fancy cars to lewer you in with superficial nonsense.

My motto is I help good people do big things in the world.

If doing a big thing is buying 12 Lambos and having half-naked women watch you play basketball every night…to each his own.

Ps. I do respect Tai, he’s brilliant…just hate his message and what his audience is drawn to.

My Tribe cares about MEANINGFUL ish in the world.

And so Instagram is not my main focus.

BUT…

I know my Tribe does follow me on their.

And so we consistently put out content to serve them.

Here’s my point…

This is the sort of analysis you need to be doing in order to figure out what you’re doing on social.

And that goes for 2019 or any year you’re playing this game.

Features are going to come and go…

As these things tend to happen that way.

You may have noticed I’m not telling you how to hack IG TV or what the magic words are for a Story or LIVE.

Because I don’t believe in hacking results.

I believe in being authentic, serving your people, delivering value and creating incentives to get them TO YOUR WEBSITE!

Which Leads Me to My Next Point

For the love of all things holy…

I don’t care how many followers you have.

Is it important?

Sure…somewhat.

But again, don’t treat people like numbers.

I’ve seen people with tiny audiences rock a multiple six figure business.

But they don’t get rich on the platform…

Meaning, that Instagram post that got them 200 likes didn’t magically put $1,000 in their pocket.

But this is FAR too often the focus.

I need more engagement!

I need more followers!

Well, I’m never going to make it until I have as many fans as Lewis Howes…

LIES!

ALL LIES!

I can’t begin to tell you how often we see people with sometimes hundreds of thousands of followers and engagement through the roof…yet not making enough to pay the bills, if they’re making anything at all.

You win by using social to build your email list.

How can you get people to your WEBSITE!?

In all the noise you see on social, what can you do to get them off that platform and onto yours?

Some people’s social account I can’t even tell what they DO, let alone how I can find them on the web.

Further, some people don’t even HAVE a website.

Guys, social is rented traffic.

You operate under their rules…

And the minute the change an algorithm, guess what happens to you?

Seriously…

People lose entire businesses when this stuff happens.

You can’t build a business on sand.

Your website and your email list is owned real estate.

So from now and forever and ever, that’s the main focus I want you to have.

But What About Paid?

Look, there’s a reason I left this for last.

Because the people that have read this far are truly committed and not just looking for a quick fix.

I don’t do ninja stuff…

It’s just fluff and those people don’t last in the long run.

By the time you’ve finished reading this, they’re already done with this and trying the next get-rich-quick scheme.

But let’s talk about paid.

Once you’ve got everything in place and rolling as we’ve been talking about, and no time before, we can start throwing paid advertising into the mix.

And that takes me back to Seattle.

Remember what I said?

The reason Kim had such profound results was because what?

She had done the work.

She knew what offer would convert and she knew what people would pay for it.

She knew her people and what they were interested in.

She had a massive email list of customers and prospective customers that she could re-target on social and/or setup a lookalike audience.

At this point, you really don’t even have to be at a crazy level of sophistication to have success with running ads.

Seriously!

Now, I’m certainly not diminishing the work many like my guest today,  Traci, do…

But they operate at such a high level and play with BIG money for clients that expect an even BIGGER return.

Can you, a newbie to running Facebook and Instagram ads, get traction by just having the basics in place?

YES!

And then you can go off and invest in your strategy by learning from a Keith Krance and taking your own Seattle trip.

What’s more is you can even get to a point where you go direct to sale with a cold audience if/when you get really good at doing this.

That’s when you start seeing ridiculous figures like tripled revenues in 60 days.

But you have to do the work first.

Before I Let You Go

I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Honestly, most of these big brands you follow have entire teams behind them doing much of the work.

You’ll get there in due time.

So what I recommend you do is pick a few competitors in your space and start watching what they do.

Now, you’re more than welcome to pick BIG competitors.

But also pick out some folks that are just a few steps ahead of where you are.

And do an analysis on what they’re doing & how they’re using these platforms.

Are they even on Instagram?

If not, why?

What posts, LIVE streams, videos or any piece of content has good engagement?

What are those people saying and what does that say about their brand and business?

How can you do it better or serve an underserved segment of the market?

Because, at the end of the day, I can’t give you the magic wand treatment either.

Every business is different.

Every audience is different.

But the ones that do the investigative work, test and implement things while being consistent in delivering value + re-purposing and figuring out ways to get them on their website and email list are the ones that hit that winning formula.

And in the meantime, leave your “growth hacking” strategies for the suckers that actually believe in fairy tales.

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Traci Reuter, Author and Founder of Divine Social, drops by the pod to talk Facebook and Instagram marketing in 2019 (and beyond) + what you need to do to stay ahead of the curve.

Today’s Sponsor: The VIP Room

Resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising

Download the 3 Pillars to Facebook Advertising

To learn more about Traci, visit DivineSocial.com

Facebook and Instagram Marketing in 2019 (And Beyond) | Leveraging Social Media for Your Business

How to Validate Business Idea or Startup Concept | Customer Acquisition and Funding Methodologies

How to Validate Business Idea or Startup Concept | Customer Acquisition and Funding Methodologies

It Doesn’t Have to be Sexy, It Just has to Solve a Problem

In this pod episode, Ryan Fyfe and I talk about a ton of really cool endeavors he’s been involved with.

He’s had several BIG successes in his entrepreneur career and his advice is absolutely worth exploring once you finish this read.

In this post, we’re going to dive into the specifics as it relates to validating your business idea but before we even take one step further, let’s get one thing very clear…

…It’s not about how sexy or cute your idea is.

In fact, I’ve been involved with some of the most cutting edge startups you could imagine.

Most recently, I currently serve as an Advisor for a neuroscience startup.

This company can literally glean information from your brain and body signals to derive meaningful marketing data.

If I showed you a commercial while you were strapped up to their biometric tools, I could literally tell you if you liked the commercial or not, which elements you liked or disliked, the intensity by which you felt about it and the exact moments you had each of these responses.

So, imagine this…

…Coca-Cola intends to spend $100MM+ on a new initiative but our data confirms the majorioty of users are not responding postively at a neurological level.

In so doing, we save Coke $100MM by preventing the fire before it happens.

Sounds like a surefire win, right?

Like a “where do I open my checkbook,” play.

Well, we certainly thought so.

And we even got a meeting with that big company that sells brown sugar water.

At the end of the day, they opted to stick with their current methodologies and bypass our solution.

Now, could we have done a better job conveying our solution?

Sure…

Could we have just had bad timing and need to continue pursuing these opportunities?

Absolutely…

But I’ve never once in business gotten so many face-to-face requests that didn’t come to fruition.

And at the end of the day, our solution, when matched against the price of the current solutions, just wasn’t enough to tip the scales.

Our futuristic way of acquiring this data may have come across as a little too invasive for their liking…

Words like manipulation came up as objections.

When in fact we’re just reading data, not planting ideas in people’s minds.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Bottom line is we were a bit too far ahead of our time and largely the only people utilizing these solutions operate in some capacity in academia.

The day will come when this form of Market Research IS the solution but it’s not right now.

And that’s where the valuable lesson comes into play.

Because we spent months putting this together but we made one critical mistake.

We assumed it was a no-brainer before we sunk our teeth into it and analyzed if our market felt the same way.

We spent over a year trying to cram a square peg through a round hole.

When what we should have done is have some preliminary discussions before anyone even thought of the word “GO.”

Startups Don’t Work When You Don’t Do Your Homework…

I serve as an Entrepreneur in Residence for a Silicon Valley based, Idea Accelerator Program, called Founder Institute.

In this program, one of the very first things we do is challenge our aspiring founders to get out and have 500 conversations with potential customers.

From those conversations, it’s like they’ll be able to prove whether or not the idea is viable and worthy of pursuit.

We start with 250 applicants and accept ~50 students…we end up graduating about 7-10.

Of those 7-10, we know eight will still be in business in five years and two will go on to raise substantial funding and/or successfully exit.

But the reason, in many cases, we start with so many people and then only graduate a handful is because people often times just fall in love with the idea.

That, or they love the idea of entrepreneurship but once they see what it actually takes they quickly lose interest and drop the program.

To go a step further, I would say nearly ALL of the students we graduate have an acute understanding of their industry.

They’ve either worked in the space for someone else, grew up around this particular industry or had some unique experience that lent them a deep understanding of people’s wants, needs and desires in that space.

Very rarely do I see someone just wake up in the middle of the night with this idea and then turn it into a billion dollar concept.

**Side note: this is why I WILL NOT sign an NDA. For one, they are highly ineffective and secondly, the idea is trash until the right person comes along to make it happen. If you are so foolish as to think an idea can just be spawned into existence, that’s not a relationship I want to build anyways.

Your idea, if it’s a worthwhile pursuit, likely has been brewing for years.

That, or you have some uniqueness about who you are as it qualifies you for the pursuit.

So, in order to validate your business idea, let’s first examine who YOU are now that we’re determining that as the relevant origin point.

What do you do now and how is that space lacking?

Do you have a job and you’re constantly criticizing the ways in which things are done?

Or maybe you just see an entirely new opportunity in the space.

For example, maybe you work for a Blockbuster type of a company and realize a Netflix-type platform is the wave of the future.

Often times, the industry is just waiting for disruption and with the advent of the internet, it was so obvious Blockbuster was destined to fall if they didn’t change and/or acquess.

It’s the same reason retailers are getting whooped up the block by Amazon right now.

So, that’s first…analyze your experience to derive an opportunity.

Next we want to analyze your skill set.

Zuck wouldn’t have gotten far without his ability to code and eventually create what we now know as Facebook.

I’m not saying it’s a MUST that you have these skills.

In fact, there are many entrepreneurs that do not have the trade skills.

Steve Jobs is probably the most notable example of that.

So, would you need a Woz or can you get a BETA off the ground on your own.

At the end of the day, the trade skills aren’t nearly as important as understanding the opportunity and deep knowledge of the space.

You can find yourself the necessary counterpart…

…it’s more challenging, but certainly not impossible.

Now We Want to ASK!

Henry Ford said if he had asked his customer what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.

So the key to your ask if how you frame it.

And that starts by being specific.

This will really help you if you do indeed have a deep understanding of the industry you intend to play in.

In that case, your questions are going to be more about the difference in solutions and not general, high-level questions.

Here’s an example of what I mean by that:

Let’s go back to the Henry Ford example.

The problem with Ford’s answer starts with his questioning.

What his customers really wanted was faster transportation but that’s not their job to have the vision of this new solution.

That said, if he had asked something like “do you find it limiting to only have one passenger on your horse?”

Or “would you be interested in a transportation alternative that didn’t require being fed?”

Maybe you position the question about having a climate controlled environment.

See the difference?

We’re asking specific questions…

Not just “what do you want?”

And so your job is going to revolve around crafting the right questions and not just running around aimlessly chatting with people.

I see this far too often.

The other mistake I see quite frequently is people asking the right questions but then failing to listen properly.

They can’t handle people being critical about their ideas.

This idea has become their baby and any objection is a direct insult to them.

However, if you’re wise enough, you’re going to use those objections as an opportunity to not only further tweak your framing in the future but then craft your entire marketing message around that.

Here’s an example of what I mean by that:

Let’s say you’re trying to sell a weight loss supplement that you claim can help people shed those extra pounds without having to change their diet or exercise more than they currently do.

Now let’s say some of the responses you’re receiving are negative because people have gotten wise to what they put in their bodies.

They heard about the people that died because of chemicals like ephedra that are now banned.

Your natural inclination is going to be to interrupt them and exclaim how your product is 100% natural ingredients, etc., etc.

When in reality, your response should be to let them fully finish their line of thinking and then proceed to validate the objection.

Something like “are natural ingredients important to you and how aware are you about the things you put into your body?”

Because what we’re now doing is validating not just the idea here but we’re also working on defining your customer avatar.

From that question, rather than go into sales pitch mode, we can now learn more about the person in which we’re speaking to.

They may respond and say they really don’t pay much attention to what they put in their body but they saw something on the news about ephedra.

Or they may say they are extremely health conscious and are always reading the back of labels.

As you can imagine, that’s a massive fork in the road in terms of how you would proceed forward.

But most of us never get this far.

Why?

Because we either haven’t taken the time to have these meaningful conversations or we’re too in love with the idea for anyone to have an objection.

I see both mistake equally and often times at simultaneously.

You’re an Investigator, Not a Salesman

You need to PROVE these thing is worth pursuing, not sell yourself on doing it.

As an essentialist, my first reaction is always no, not yes.

And that may sound counter-intuitive to you at first.

But even when I have an idea that I know fills an underserved market, I’m STILL poking holes in the concept.

Why?

It’s not because I’m a masochist.

It’s because I want to first distance myself from falling in love and view it objectively but then I want to make sure I have the absolute BEST vision of what this thing needs to become.

I’m taking the information I received from my deep dive conversations and I’m now figuring out the best and most scalable way I can present this.

What are my challenges going to be?

What is this idea going to require?

Will I need funding?

If I need funding, how can I figure out how much?

And lastly, is this a business idea I actually want to dedicate all of my time and effort to for the foreseeable future.

Too many entrepreneurs go in with only the best case scenario in mind and with the exit in sight.

I’m not saying having an exit strategy is not important.

But if all you’re doing this for is the upside of a successful exit, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

I like to plan for things to take twice as long as I think and cost twice as much as I’ve planned.

If I’m still excited about it and there’s still something in my soul that wants to make this thing a reality, then I’m all in.

Because that’s what it’s going to take…being all in.

And I’ve never seen someone half ass a successful startup.

Nor do I think I ever will.

And it’s okay to admit to yourself this idea just isn’t what I thought it would be or I’m just not all that excited about it to not pursue other things.

Right?

We all know the type.

The person that has a new business idea every other week and you never take them seriously because…well, how could you?

And that leads to my final point on validating your business idea.

YOU are What Validates the Business Model

I bet on jockees, not horses.

You show me an entrepreneur that is hellbent on delivering value to the world and I’ll bet on that person way before the “great idea.”

Even if it’s a service play.

And that’s largely been my story.

I’ve been in businesses that I wasn’t all in with.

But when I am, look out!

There’s nothing that’s going to stop me from success.

And that’s why I built a seven figure, service based business from my college apartment.

It’s also why my online business has erupted in an even more staggering manner.

When I’m aligned with the idea and what it requires, there’s nothing that’s going to stop me.

I can screw up and not have my ducks in a row.

Not interview my target customers…

And not have any experience in the field I aim to serve.

When all else fails, I bet on me when the pursuit is meaningful to me.

Now, the idea may evolve and I end up serving in ways I didn’t previously anticipate.

But the pursuit of the idea, at a high level, always remained the same.

YOU are the validation.

YOU are what’s going to make this thing work or not work.

And YOU need to decide if this is the right time, place and play for this season of your life for all systems to be a go.

You get those right and I’ll stand back to watch you set the world on fire.

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Ryan Fyfe, Entrepreneur/Investor & Blockchain Enthusiast, drops by the pod to talk how to validate business idea or startup concept and when and how you should approach funding.

Today’s Sponsor: Onnit

Resources: Workchain.io

To learn more about Ryan, visit Workchain.io

How to Validate Business Idea or Startup Concept | Customer Acquisition and Funding Methodologies

How to Achieve Mental Breakthrough in Your Startup | Applying What’s Worked to Other Aspects of Your Life

How to Achieve Mental Breakthrough in Your Startup | Applying What’s Worked to Other Aspects of Your Life

 

Just One Breakthrough Can Change Everything…

That’s literally my motto and what I include at the end of every single one of my emails to my audience.

Why?

Because I believe it is the sole difference between success and failure in a startup.

Sure, having the right resources, funding, advisors, etc. around you and for you are all vitally important.

I’m not here to diminish the significance of any of them.

In fact, it’s often times they involve the breakthroughs I’m talking about.

Your advisor might challenge a way you’re thinking or approaching a challenge that leads to a breakthrough.

Making the decision to take on funding and hire the team you need to build your platform might be the breakthrough you need to get over your bootstrapping blues.

But the advisor doesn’t deliver the breakthrough, nor does the funding…

The breakthrough, in and of itself, is the game changer.

Without the breakthrough, the advice, knowledge, funding is all just futile.

And that’s why it’s so utterly important to get that RIGHT.

And we’ve all been there.

The moment of bliss when it finally hits us.

That idea we’ve been waiting for or the shift in our thinking.

We wonder why it took so long to arrive at this conclusion.

But we know our lives and businesses will never be the same.

I’ve spent countless hours examining the science behind this.

And not just the phenomenon that is a breakthrough but how we can reach these breakthroughs far more frequently.

Right?

What if you could have these earth shattering breakthroughs on a weekly or even daily basis?

Imagine how far you’d go!?

 

I Set Out to Speak With The Thought Leaders

Jon Acuff had been on my list of people to watch for some time.

In fact, my team (when it was just me) reached out to Jon a few years back.

I discovered his work and realized he could not only lend me the expertise I was seeking but also provide tremendous value to my audience.

Now, admittedly, this was within the first 15 or so episodes of my show so we were very much in our infancy.

Timing just didn’t align and Jon never did come on the show.

But when I had the chance to circle back around with him this time I was even more excited.

Because now I had some baseline knowledge to fall back on and have a REAL, deep dive conversation with him.

 

 

And Here’s What I Discovered…

We often try to find our “voice” in the shadows of someone else.

I’ll give you an example.

Let’s look at a Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk).

Gary has a very unorthodox way of communicating.

He can get up on stage and drop more F-Bombs than a Drill Sargent during INDOC (Boot Camp).

That works for him…but it probably won’t work for you.

Maybe that is part of your ethos and you yourself can also replicate, not steal, his approach.

But blindly just following down the path to becoming a mere Gary Vee minion probably won’t serve you or your brand well.

And this extends beyond influencer or personal brands.

In the New Media age, corporations are increasingly distrusted and people are looking to PEOPLE to do business with.

It’s why the Musk and Bezos types are putting their faces parallel with their brands.

It’s why THEY themselves are the ones to roll out a new product launch.

They can no longer hide behind the massive logo that is their corporate brand.

And you most certainly can’t as a startup founder.

So you’re going to need to put yourself, your story and your mission out there.

Why is what you do important to you?

Why should people care enough to buy it from you when they have more options than we’ve ever had in recorded human history?

YOU are the differentiator but it’s not YOU if it’s a Gary Vee rip-off…

Make sense?

 

Here’s Why That Matters…

Being your true and authentic self extends beyond your public or online persona.

It sinks much deeper into your psyche.

Here’s what I mean by that.

If you’re the Gary Vee rip-off, you’re most likely going to adopt a WWGD mentality…

A What Would Gary Do mentality.

Not a what would YOU do mentality.

Inward and introspective thinking is where we change the game.

Asking yourself questions like “Why am I doing this?”

“Does this align with who I am and what my goals are in life?”

You’d be amazed how many people don’t have answers to these seemingly and what should be obvious answers.

And it’s my opinion that we’ve gotten lost in the shuffle of what we’re expected to be or what we’re trying to be versus who we actually are and/or can become.

I recently saw a close friend and fellow influencer of mine post something along the lines of finding something to apply yourself to and then just doing it so much you become passionate about it.

As much as I love him, I absolutely HATE that advice.

Because the reason he himself is following that advice is because he wants what so-and-so has…

Not what he actually wants.

He’s chasing the successes of someone else.

He’s chasing the lifestyle of what he sees on Instagram.

And that’s never going to be enough.

EVER.

I’ll take someone that thinks who they are isn’t enough or has an idea that is stupid and help them turn it into a wild success.

How?

Because it’s deeply rooted into the core of who they are and what they’ve been uniquely designed to do.

 

So Chris, How is This a Post About Breakthrough?

Hang with me, I’m getting there.

When you go see a counselor, how do they help you?

Do they sit you down and give you an order of what you should do to resolve your issue(s)?

Not if they’re doing what they’ve been trained to do.

Their job is not to advise on your steps but merely to help you gather a better understanding of yourself and then you decide what those steps should be.

Personalized, meaningful and life-changing.

It can’t be someone else’s idea…it has to be yours.

Like my favorite movie, Inception, in which they use highly advanced technology to enter into a shared dream state and plant (or steal) ideas from others.

It’s like Corporate Espionage but in a Sci-Fi world.

But as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character explains in the movie, “if I told you to think about elephants, what would you think about?”

Elephants…of course.

But the subject knows where the elephants idea originated from.

Breakthroughs are somewhat the same.

You’ve probably heard the advice, read it in a book or even thought of the idea yourself at one point in time or another.

But in some way, in this very season of your life, it just happened to re-enter your brain in a way that resonated and triggered breakthrough.

This drove me crazy…

In fact, I’ve spent countless hours struggling and agonizing over a business or initiative and how to arrive at a conclusion only to realize the answer was there all along.

And so I go back go what I mentioned before…

What are you doing right not to be totally and uniquely true to who you are and what your purpose entails?

Where have you had success before that you’re not aligning with your current efforts.

Maybe you are great at losing weight and whenever that beach trip comes around you’re ready to spring into action for that perfect beach body.

What was it or what is it specifically that makes you so uniquely gifted at achieving those results?

Because losing the weight isn’t the breakthrough.

It’s your unique system and approach.

Maybe you have an amazing diet plan ritual that works for you…

Or maybe you just really thrive when you have deadlines, support, knowledge and resources.

Whatever it is for you, that same methodology needs to be applied to all other aspects of your life and business.

I’ll give you another example…

One of my own.

I know I operate in extremes.

When I can hyper-focus on something with little-to-know distractions I can absolutely move mountains.

But when I’m trying to do too much or I don’t create an environment that’s conducive to results for me, I dost my own fire and slow my results.

I take that hyper-focus ability and apply it to all areas of my life.

My marriage, my business, my health, etc.

And be being hyper-focused and giving myself the environment for my ideas to be nourished, the breakthroughs come piling in.

I usually read on the thing I’m trying to achieve breakthrough in.

So, I’m not just aimlessly reading business books but working specifically on an area I’ve indicated needs some improvement.

Now, please note…

When I say an area that needs improvement, I don’t mean there are times when I’m just being complacent.

I’m ALWAYS working on something.

That’s part of my goal.

I see time as the enemy.

It’s the only thing I can’t make MORE of.

And thus, it is the one resource I can’t replenish or replace.

Therefore, time (as I see it) is truly of the essence.

But I’m constantly working through each lever, if you will, of my life and working on ways to promote breakthrough and improvement.

But again, using the same (or at least similar) methodologies that I know work particularly well for who I am as a person.

 

 

Applying This Method to YOU

Look, at the end of the day, none of what I’ve said today or what Jon said on the podcast with me matters if you don’t take action and get results.

I don’t want this to be some article you occasionally reference only to realize your life has made no meaningful improvements.

So, here’s what I would do…

Make a list of all the major categorical areas of your life.

Underneath each one of those areas, highlight desired results…

Things you’d like to experience.

So maybe it’s happiness in your marriage.

Identify the reasons WHY you want happiness in your marriage.

Always dig a layer deeper than what meets the eye on this.

For each one of these deeper rooted WHY statements, you’re going to draw up some form of an action plan for how to achieve this goal.

In other words, how are you going to make this real, not theoretical.

Right?

Saying you want to have more intimacy and actually working on ways to be more intimate are inherently different.

Maybe it’s an online program…

Or maybe it’s a book on relationships and intimacy.

Be clear and specific on what you think that’s going to entail.

This could involve your aforementioned advisors, mentors, books, etc.

Once you’ve established the WHAT, the WHY and the HOW plus you’ve added in your own unique framework, breakthrough is inevitable.

That last part is a little bit harder to derive and I can’t entirely give you specifics on how to glean what works for you.

I’m not you…HA!

I recommend going back to other areas of your life where you HAVE experienced success and then determine why.

Do a post-mortem on all of your successes and look for patterns.

This is a great exercise to do with a trusted loved one, a friend or mentor.

Remember this…and this is my parting shot here today.

You are all that stands in the way of your breakthroughs.

Breakthroughs equal progress and results.

And just one breakthrough can change everything…

 

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

 

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Jon Acuff, New York Times Best Selling Author & Speaker, drops by the pod to talk how to achieve a mental breakthrough in your startup + what we can use from specific aspects of our life to translate to successes across the board.

Today’s Sponsor: The VIP Room

Resources:

Do Over: By Jon Acuff

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Jon Acuff, visit JonAcuff.me

 

How to Achieve Mental Breakthrough in Your Startup | Applying What’s Worked to Other Aspects of Your Life

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