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02:39 – Setting the scene
04:59 – Comparing world pictures
08:25 – Government developments
09:46 – Longevity and mastery
13:39 – Applying the 80/20
19:46 – Simpler and simpler
26:28 – Email management methods
29:47 – How do you choose your guests?
35:25 – A place called Cloudlandia
37:33 – The convenience trap
40:31 – A scourge on society?
44:23 – Taking time off the grid
48:44 – How much convenience is a good thing?
52:57 – Someone’s missing out
56:22 – Striking a balance
58:27 – Collaboration on a broader scale
01:01:08 – Remembering Peter Drucker
01:03:03 – Time and changing perspectives
01:09:17 – Thoughts before closing
01:09:45 – The book conversation
01:13:44 – On free plus shipping
01:17:33 – Podcasts and videos
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James: This is episode five of 25. Welcome to SuperFastBusiness. I’m James Schramko, your host, and today’s special guest, of course, is Dean Jackson.
Dean: Wow. Episode five of 25.
James: We’re getting there.
Dean: We must be closing in. Has there been a more frequent guest on the SuperFastBusiness podcast than me?
James: There has, I think Clay Collins.
James: I came across Clay when he had a video player that would skin YouTube videos. It was called Lead… Oh, gosh. This is a while back. Before he had LeadPages, he had LeadPlayer.
Dean: Oh, really?
James: And it would play a video and you could then pop an opt in. I thought, this guy is clever.
Dean: I vaguely remember something like that.
James: Yeah. He used to record little videos underneath his staircase.
James: He had a show, a marketing show.
James: And then it turned into LeadPages.
James: And he sort of went off onto this rocket ship journey. And I just kept documenting the journey as he went through.
James: I’ve now started doing the same thing with some other entrepreneurs. But the great strategy with that one was spotting talent early, then going through the journey. I remember introducing him to Ezra Firestone at T & C in San Francisco. We went across the road to a bar and after the first beer, Ezra confessed to me that he doesn’t even drink beer. He was just being social and polite.
Dean: That’s the best.
James: Clay came and spoke at SuperFastBusiness Live in Manly and yeah, just watching his success. They got some serious funding, I think something like $65 million.
Dean: That’s awesome.
James: Yeah. Now he seems to be into cryptos. There’s a couple of other guests have had a few shows. But I think if we stay the course, 25 will be the most.
Dean: I think this is great. And I love the longevity of it.
James: Yeah, starting with the end in mind.
Dean: Yeah. So, I’m back in Manly. We’ve been spending the week together here.
Setting the scene
James: We should set the scene. That’s the beauty of an audio program. You might hear cars driving past. You can probably feel the chilling cold of winter. We’re in a circa $3.9 million estate here down in Manly, which doesn’t really get you as much house as you might have expected. Isn’t that right, Dean?
Dean: You’re joking about it. This man. Oh, man. Yes. It’s like, I mean, it’s a great location.
James: Good location, right.
Dean: Anywhere in Manly is just beautiful. But the house is older. And I guess nothing has central heat or air and it’s you know, just right now, this week has been a little bit cold, so you’d notice it a little more. But yes. A little rustic. Not rustic. What’s the right word for this?
Dean: It’s an older house. Really, yes. But anyway…
James: It’s probably historically protected.
Dean: Oh, yeah.
James: It’d be one of the earlier little cottages.
James: It’s got thin glass. And typically, houses in Australia, we’re not geared for super cold. I mean it’s 16 degrees celsius. I’m not sure what that translates to in fahrenheit.
Dean: Right. I was thinking that two of the years that I’ve come have been particularly chilly. This is one of the chilly ones, because it’s been sort of rainy or overcast.
James: It has been overcast the whole time.
Dean: Yeah. But we’ve gotten, you know, we’ve discovered some new restaurants, because over on this side of town…
James: You’ve basically picked the, you know, we’re on the south side of Manly, southeast, so you’re getting a different range of food outlets.
Dean: It’s been delightful.
James: In the time since you came last, I moved just a little bit up the hill. But my entire ecosystem has transformed.
Dean: Right. You were right in the heart of Manly.
James: So, I would walk into the village every day.
James: Now, we drive every day somewhere. And that’s also opened up my surfing range, because instead of walking across the road every day, we’ll drive to the right place for the right conditions.
“It is amazing how just a small shift in geography, you can have a completely different life.”
James: We call it surf safari. We go every day for a surf safari, and grab a coffee. And we make a bit of an adventure from it. But it is amazing how just a small shift in geography, you can have a completely different life.
Comparing world pictures
Dean: Well, this is what I really love about traveling. Like, this is part of the thing what I love about… I’m setting up a very nice little life routine here of these places that I go to again and again, like between Toronto and London and Amsterdam, and here. At least, you know, going those places on an annual basis, we’ve got, you know, an established routine of going there. And I’m really enjoying getting those little slices of life, because they’re very different, it’s a very different life in each of those places. You know?
James: And I think if you’re doing that on repeat…
James: And I’m thinking the example for me would be going to the Philippines, three times a year for the last seven or eight years. That’s part of my world map in my head. When I get off the plane, I know exactly where I am in the airport, I know where to get the pickup, I know the roads. I’m going to have a house there. I’m fully becoming naturalized.
James: So,my world picture includes that. Your world picture, you have this familiarity with London, and Canada, and Amsterdam.
James: And Sydney.
Dean: Yeah, and I love that. That’s really like I really love… it’s equity. The equity that I have is I’ve spent, probably over the course of the last five years, I’ve probably spent, you know, 10 weeks or so here. And so that’s how I have a sense of like, belonging, you know? I mean, I know that when we arrived we go to the pantry. And like, it’s funny that you live here, but yet the time that you go to the Pantry is when I come.
Dean: And so that’s you’re a once-a-year thing.
James: It takes an outsider sometimes to look at your own locality with different eyes. So, I think that as much as it’s important to travel somewhere else for your own education, it’s good to have travelers come into your patch.
James: And it’s like when we were talking about the average house in Manly being over $2 million and you said, the place we’re in, I can’t even see it being worth a million dollars. And I said I think it could be probably worth closer to four.
James: That’s when you realize, like, if you were living in America, you can get a lot of house for a little amount of money. Same with cars.
Dean: I’d love to pick my house up and move it over here because then…
James: And then sell it?
James: Yeah. I mean, it used to actually frustrate me a little bit when I started online because when I see those people bragging about their things, like they get the new Lamborghini or whatever, thinking, you know, they can buy a Lamborghini for the same price as I can buy an AMG Mercedes. Like, the currency just turns into their favor. I think if you’re in that US market, it’s almost impossible not to have a reasonable quality of life if you have a reasonable income because the money goes a lot further.
Dean: Yes. I think just observing the people here… and I had the great treat of being here this time to see something that’s very rare, is the changing of leadership.
James: Yeah that’s right.
Dean: I arrived to an impending vote of no confidence in the government. So, I got to witness the voting day change of leadership, which has been, how many prime ministers? Seven prime ministers in the last… or six prime ministers in the last seven years or something?
James: Here, you don’t have to do much to get flicked.
Dean: You’re out! I have no confidence in you.
James: Seems over there, you could do just about anything and people still love you.
Dean: Madame Tussaud’s said they’re not going to recognize any more Australian prime ministers. It’s getting out of hand. They can’t afford to keep up.
James: I remember asking if you slept well, and you said you were too concerned about the government.
Dean: Of the government! No confidence.
James: But the funny thing is, when I went to a party on Saturday night, someone made a joke about the new prime minister and the person standing beside me said, “Who’s that?”
Dean: “Who’s that?”
James: “That’s our prime minister, he just got voted in yesterday.” I don’t think most people would even know who it is. It’s not such a dominating headline.
Dean: Yeah, that’s so funny.
James: Do you think it’s boring? Having the lifestyle you have? Because I think one thing when you look at your routine is, one highlight is that it doesn’t change much.
Longevity and mastery
Dean: OK. It’s an interesting philosophical question, right? Because I crave longevity like that. I think there’s something to that. But I also love novelty. And so my favorite thing is to establish a context with longevity that allows novelty to overlay on top of it.
So, what I look at it, we were talking about this last night on the ferry, that my idea of the eight profit activators is a universal context. That is a long term thing. If you back tested 30 years, they were there and present; if you forward go 30 years, they’re still going to be there. But what’s constantly changing is the ways that you can apply that, right?
I’m drawn to this idea of mastery. And there’s something, you know, like we saw a movie last night about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is, for our international listeners, is a US Supreme Court Justice, which is, the way that the justice system works in the US, is, it’s a very, it’s a big honor to be appointed. It’s a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court, and it’s a lifetime appointment. And so the justices very rarely change. There’s nine of them.
And when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed, she was early 60s, you know, and now she’s 84 years old, still on there, still vital, still, you know, an amazing presence, and has spent her whole life forwarding equality, particularly among women, but in all ways, equality. But just that, it reminded me of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, that movie about the sushi guy who spent his whole life just mastering sushi. And there’s something like, peaceful about that. I love that. I love that kind of thing. You know?
James: I think It’s, if I’m relating to this, the thing that I’m most interested in is surfing.
James: And any time spent surfing to me, is pure bliss. I don’t track the time or the ROI on it at all.
James: And I think it fits into that classification of flow. It’s where the circles of discipline meets surrender. It’s the overlapping area where you have the discipline to commit to it and do it on a daily basis. And to direct a lot of thoughts and energy to it. And at the same time, you let go of it, of worrying about it dominating or taking over. You just let go of that side of it. And when you’re in it, you’re just doing it.
Dean: And it forces you to be present. You can only do it in the present.
James: There’s no outsourcing surfing. You have to paddle into the wave yourself.
James: And what you do next determines what happens.
Dean: Yeah, and you can’t multitask.
James: It’s very hard. If you get distracted, or you’re in a conversation with someone or you’re thinking about something else, Mother Nature tends to slap you a bit.
Dean: Pay attention.
James: There’s so many lessons and metaphors in that. It has become a core and I think, even when I was looking at the app, which tracks how many days I’ve spent surfing, it really does add up. All the waves, all the time, but I’m not counting.
Dean: Are you on a streak?
Dean: You are? Of consecutive days?
James: Not quite. There are people who have done it for 40 years.
Applying the 80/20
James: However, at five years in now, I’m becoming a little bit pickier. I want to optimize experience. I don’t know if we’ve talked about this before, but I have a friend who’s a forex trader and a professor of psychology, who was my surfing buddy, but he picks the surfing opportunities like he would forex markets.
James: He will optimize it. Unless it’s the right direction, or the wind or size or time, it won’t happen.
Dean: That’s interesting.
James: So, he’s really 80/20ing this. Whereas when you begin, you just take any opportunity.
James: But I’m becoming more selective. And I will sit out if it’s just too small and I’m not going to develop my experience anymore. There’s always an underlying target. Right now I’m in the lead up to my Maldives trip. So, I’m working on fitness, so that I can capitalize on three surfs a day for a week, and also tuning my equipment, selecting which three that I would take. I’ve had an elimination contest running. I have a rack in my house that used to accommodate six, and I’ve have expanded it to eight, and I keep the rest downstairs in a locker. And from that I take detailed notes in a spreadsheet and I’ve been able to eliminate and eliminate. So, now I’ve selected the three, and in the lead-up now, just like an athlete at the Olympics, I’ll mostly just surf those three and get as comfortable as I can on them so that when I’m there…
Dean: You’ll only take three surfboards to the Maldives?
James: Yes. It’s like a golf club set – you have the putter and the driver. It’s big waves or small waves. Whether you’re feeling really fit and refined or whether you’re feeling a bit tired, you can go with something that’s a bit easier or lazier. So, with those three, I’ll have myself covered.
Dean: There you go. You have to use each one every day.
James: Well, that’s the thing. You know, it’s such a lesson there. I found last time I went for two weeks, I rode one at least, of the 27 surfs, I think I surfed it 16 times.
James: And then the other two much less. So, it’s like the 80/20. There’ll be one that stands out, and it’ll get the lion’s share. And then you have to decide the opportunity costs. Do I rotate and become reasonably good on each? Or do I have the absolute maximum prime experience on the very best that suits the conditions at the time?
Dean: You brought up the 80/20. What’s your further, you know, you’ve had more insights into the 80/20, I’m sure, over the last year since we talked about the…
James: I have. If we’re talking about my routine and life, I play this game. It’s like, how leveraged and how good can I get things running? And I’ve retreated from doing a lot of the things that I used to do. And I have the least business models running right now in the simplest scenario. So, ever since I made that chapter in my book, which was the 64/4…
Dean: Yeah, describe that, because I was just looking at that chart.
James: When I was reading the 80/20, Koch talks about it being fractal. And that means that you can apply it to itself. So, if you zoom in, it still applies to the portion. So, I started doing the calculations. And I thought, what if you 80/20 the 20? Like, if the 20 is getting you 80 percent, what’s the 80/20 of the 20? And that comes down to the 64/4. What it means is that 64 percent of your results are coming from a mere four percent of your actions or activities.
James: Or if you’ve got a wardrobe of T-shirts, if you’re normal, like, not doing the Steve-Jobs thing or the Dean-Jackson thing where you wear the same thing every day, there’s probably, in a normal person’s wardrobe, there’s probably a T-shirt or a pair of jeans or some shoes that are just getting worn two thirds of the time, that one item. So, I just think it is phenomenal that almost two thirds of your results comes from just four percent.
James: In other words, the common complaint that I see from the type of people who I coach is overload, overwhelm, confusion, frustration, fear of missing out, this constant pressure, but almost all of the things they’re worried about could just be dropped and forgotten about.
“What can we just remove and have no negative downside?”
James: And my whole role is not what can I add, or what are you missing out on that we need to introduce? What extra things do you have to do? Instead, it’s what can we just remove and have no negative downside? And that leaves us the things that need to stay. And when that’s all you do, then it’s so much simpler. And I’m getting huge, and I don’t mean to borrow this phrase, breakthroughs. I’ll probably pick a different word. I’m seeing extremely good results where I just help people simplify and say, “I just want you to do this…” And you do this really well in your material. You talk about one thing, one target market, one product for that target market. That’s something that I am helping people with, is remove it.
So I just see how does this apply to my life, and I’ve been letting go of stuff – letting go of activities, letting go of physical things. And I even went through a surfboard rationalization as well. When I moved, I let go of about 12 boards, just to slim them down. I went and looked at my spreadsheet and I figured, which are the ones that I’m unlikely to ever ride again, or need.
James: And it’s good karma to put them back into circulation, rather than hoard them in your garage. Let someone else ride them and get the stoke and the joy.
Simpler and simpler
Dean: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, that whole, I’ve been aware of that and looking at it in my own. I mean, it seems like I was sharing with you that things are just getting simpler and simpler and simpler for me as I really realize and get down to the core things. And I really see how much is driven from the really core activities, which is talking. And, you know, look, if you go to the root thing, is I essentially record one podcast a week, which goes out without fail. And from that comes three emails a week that deliver content from the podcast that we talk about. All including my super signature that invite people to whatever I’ve got going on. And it’s just so, it’s amazing how simple that is.
James: Well, let’s talk about what are the three emails you’ve pulled from the one podcast.
Dean: Yeah. So, the first I mail on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and podcast goes out on Sunday. Part of my rationale for that, choosing that day…
James: 60 Minutes?
Dean: Yeah, that’s all part of it, like 60 Minutes this year, the TV show, is, you know, celebrating its 50th year. And that has been such a staple of the way things go that forever, you know, Sunday night at 7pm, you would hear the countdown, you know that “tick, tick, tick.” That is the signal. I count that as the official transition from the weekend to the week ahead. That seems like the time where now, everything, you’re all settled, everything’s there, it’s all downhill from there.
You’ve peaked on the weekend. Now, it’s like, this is the line down, you’re going to get everything kind of organized, get ready for bed. And then you’re going to wake up Monday and the new week is off. And I just love the consistency of that context. We’re going to do a show on Sunday night. And we’re going to do three 20-minute segments on the most fascinating things that are relevant right now. And so that’s kind of a cool thing.
So, the podcast comes out on Sunday. And with it comes an announcement email. So, the Sunday email is always about, here’s the new podcast. And then the Tuesday, Thursday emails are all derived from things that I’ve said on, not necessarily this week’s podcast, but through previous podcasts. I have a writer who takes the transcripts and pulls out three to 500-word gems that get sent every week.
And the great news is, and perhaps the secret of it is that I don’t write a word of it. I talk for the podcast. And that’s it. And I don’t schedule the podcasts, I don’t do anything. You know, it’s all this self-fulfilling loop. Because each episode of the podcast, or each email that goes out, you know, encourages people to be a guest on More Cheese Less Whiskers. So we’ve got this non-stop backlog of people who want to be guests, who’ve told us a little bit about their business. So, Lillian is able to just reach out to them and slot the times that I’ve already chosen.
I record on a Friday, usually, and I do two episodes. So that’ll be my Friday. I’ll record one at 10 o’clock and one at noon and then we’ll go to the movies and hang out and have the rest of the day. But just to know that that’s what’s happening on that day and to have not had a thought in the world about who am I going to have on, and how am I going to organize this, and how am I going to record this and how…? I mean, I literally, I just have voice command to call into the conference center and I dial, you know, and I talk, and then I’m done. And as soon as I hang up, everything else falls into place. And it’s so, just, relaxing?
And I think about it, that’s what we were saying, like how little I could do if that was all I did? If you just take the 80/20, if you took out the podcast driving the Breakthrough Blueprint events and Email Mastery and 90-Minute Books. I mean, there’s just so much.
James: Certainly close to where I’m at. The podcast has been driving my business for years. Through that 80/20 process, I removed the affiliate program. I don’t really do paid ads. So, what I have is that weekly podcast, that again, I just drag the media into a file, and the team take over. They publish it, they syndicate it on social media, they send the email broadcast, which has the bullets. We’ve been doing that for a long time.
James: And that leads people to opt in for content upgrades or join my waiting list, and the waiting list moves people into the membership, which is really, there’s only two primary solutions people are going to find now, which is SuperFastBusiness membership or Silver Circle membership. And they’ll find them from my homepage quickly.
I do want to ask you about super signature, in case someone listening to this doesn’t know what that means.
Dean: Yeah. So, I just coined that phrase, “super signature,” for the inclusion in every email of the opportunity for people to take the next step. So, my format for the emails is all content, at the beginning is all the content, three to 500 words. Then a PS that will be something timely and topical, something like, I’m coming to Sydney for a Breakthrough Blueprint, and instructing people if they’d like to join us to just reply and put Sydney in the subject line. And then the super signature is below all that, and it always starts out, “Plus, whenever you’re ready, here are four ways I can help you grow your business.”
Email management methods
James: And you have someone else managing your emails?
Dean: Yes. Yeah. So yeah, I don’t do any of it.
James: Do you do any email at all?
Dean: I do, but I have two people manning my inbox, so the most of the stuff gets addressed, but then I get a sort of digest of the ones that are outliers that require my attention, anything that I might like to see.
James: And how do you receive that communication?
Dean: I have a separate email, so my [email protected] email is my universal email, it’s the one I give to everybody. They know that somebody is going to see that. I encourage people to email us there. And then I have another email address that is just for me, that is not a public email address, that my team and anybody that I’m communicating with, or friends or clients or whatever, that only bypasses the reception and comes straight to me. So that email is how I get notification of the things that I need.
We had been experimenting with using an “if this then that” for it, with you know, sending the, we have a star system that we use. We use Gmail. Like, an enterprise Gmail. And so we use a star system. So we could set up an “if this then that” of every day at 6 p.m., send me a digest of all of the emails that have a yellow question mark or a yellow exclamation point. And that can happen automatically. So, I get that as what happens.
James: So in our world, we have…
Dean: And I’m still terrible at replying to emails anyway.
James: Well, this is the thing. As you get more opportunities coming at you, it seems to happen when you poke your head above the line.
James: We have [email protected] And that drives into HelpScout, which is a very email-like experience for the customer, with the benefit that anyone in our team can log into that central place. And if my team need me to respond, because it’s unique to me, they can’t answer it, then they will use our little help channel in Slack.
James: And then I can answer it in Slack.
Dean: I’m not allowed on the Slack channels. My team uses Slack, and I don’t. Or Trello.
James: My team don’t man my inbox. So that’s our public way for people to deal with us. But I don’t log into WordPress or Ontraport. I’m one layer back from all of those things.
James: I’m pretty sure we talked about that last time we chatted or the time before that.
Super signature, it’s great. It’s an easy way to…
Dean: Yeah. It’s next steps, and it’s always leading to something some way that you can help. So, one that is always on there is the “Be a guest on the podcast.” It’s always the top one, be a guest, because that’s the easiest way that I can help somebody right away.
How do you choose your guests?
James: What’s the selection criteria that happens behind the scenes?
Dean: Well, we look, there’s a section where people tell us about their situation, about the business. People are usually very good at describing what they’re going through. But because the podcast is not an expert podcast, where we’re looking, how we weed people out that we know that they’re not a right fit for the show, is if they start out with, you know, I’ve done this and this and this. And your listeners will get a lot out of this.
James: So that’s cheese talk.
Dean: Yeah. All I’m looking for, the whole model for the podcast, is that we’re going to spend the whole hour focusing on your business and applying the profit activators to your business. That’s what it’s all about. So, it’s not about like, interviewing an expert about their new book or anything like that. That was something that, I wanted to have a very useful podcast. You know?
James: It’s one of the filters for us, too. I really don’t want people on the show who are trying to be on it, which is, everyday, we get these outrage emails…
Dean: I only want people who are trying to be on it, but not trying to be on it to get to the audience, you know, in a way. The way the podcast as I look at it is that they’re worth summing it up, that it’s, it’s not even as if it’s a podcast, it’s a conversation between me and them and about their business.
James: Well, it’s good because it’s very instructive for your audience.
“It has to be useful for the audience.”
James: And my prime filter for this podcast is it has to be useful for the audience. That’s why I’ve noticed in the podcasting world, some of the people who have big distribution numbers, they now charge three and a half thousand dollars per guest, for the guests to come on the podcast.
Dean: Oh, wow.
James: So immediately…
Dean: I haven’t heard of anybody doing that.
James: Oh, it’s happening.
James: And I think that tells me that the podcast doesn’t really care about the end user so much. Now, it’s become a product, and it’s commercialized.
James: I mean, we don’t run ads on this show, either.
James: Because I don’t think that’s nice for the listener.
James: And I am able to monetize this podcast by people naturally feeling like I might be able to help them.
James: So, it is interesting watching that, but I think that’s when you cross the line from being interested in the end user to being interested in yourself.
Dean: Yeah, and that’s the thing. It was never about monetizing the podcast. It’s about gathering the right people in the right conversation. And then whenever they’re ready, that’s what’s something magical about those words, too, “Whenever you’re ready.”
James: Well, one thing I know about you, Dean, is that you do pursue interesting conversations.
The ideas that excite Dean
James: You are genuinely interested in having a discussion, bouncing ideas back and forth. What sort of ideas are you excited about at the moment?
Dean: That’s a great question, because there’s so many things that I’m seeing. Like, the two big things that I’m really giving a lot of thought to are this apparent, full and total migration of us as a society to the cloud. And I’m fascinated by that. I’m seeing, like, now, everything, all the evidence that comes around that, of seeing… and what I mean by that is that, if you go all the way back, I’ve had these conversations, I have a great podcast with Dan Sullivan, called The Joy of Procrastination. And we have really great just conversations about stuff.
If you go back to 1997, in the United States, the internet was just sort of starting to make waves. AOL, America Online, was blanketing the country, delivering floppy disks and CDs to people’s homes to get everybody online. So, it was all about the migration to just getting online. And in the beginning, it was mostly like, about email, and the, you know, chat groups and things like that, that you can connect with people. And it was a nice sort of distraction from the real world, right?
And so, as it has become more and more prevalent, as we’ve gotten deeper and deeper, and I think that 2006, 2007, when Facebook and YouTube and all of these things became, all the real modern internet that we’re talking about is 10 years old, that we have slowly, smartphones was the big shift on that, right? That now we are reaching a point where in surveys, some crazy number, like 78 percent of people across all age groups surveyed about how often they’re online, answer “almost always,” as their quantity of time that they’re online. Almost always online.
James: Well I think that the average American is watching six hours of video per day.
A place called Cloudlandia
Dean: Yeah. I mean, that’s really, when you think about it, screen watching, right? That this, that thing, you start to see all these converging things that are happening right now, like, that idea that we’re all online, and we want to be there, that’s where we want to be. And that’s what allows things like Uber to be so popular, you know, where something like, the things that are winning online are the things that are the bridges, kind of between our home and Cloudlandia and our needs on the mainland. Like, our physical meat robot is still here on the mainland, right? We’re physically still here. But everything about the way we coordinate things is happening up in Cloudlandia.
“Convenience is the most underestimated power of anything.”
And when you look at that, there was a great article in The New York Times called The Tyranny of Convenience. And it was laying out how the proposition was that convenience is the most underestimated power of anything, that it drives everything that we do. Even when our preference would be something else, convenience will weigh, right? Like if people say they prefer to brew their own coffee, but it’s just so convenient to get coffee at Starbucks. That’s what we end up doing. And so, in saying how convenience is always ratcheting forwards, like we never go back. Like, once you’ve had a taste of something being more convenient, you can’t go back. And the way the article is written is just beautiful. Because they talk about how when, once you’ve had an experience of washing your clothes in a washing machine, compared to hand washing…
James: You’re not going down to the river.
Dean: You would never go back down to the river. Right. Exactly.
The convenience trap
James: I talk about this in OwnTheRacecourse. This is where the “convenience trap,” I call it, where they make it so easy for you to put your content on their platform. You could be tricked into not having your own platform.
James: Or like in my case, and your case, you have a website, I have a website. At least they can’t take that or tell me how it’s going to operate in the long term. Or my email list. It’s just hard work.
Dean: That’s exactly right.
James: That’s where I think a little bit of inconvenience is still good. And I think the daily surf, it’s inconvenient to get into a wetsuit and walk down in winter down to the water, which is a bit cold when you first get in. The joy and the experience that comes from that…
Dean: We have to fight gravity. You have to fight, it’s upstream to do these things like that. Yeah, it’s much more. You look at kids now that eSports is overtaking by a long shot, and you think about this gaming…
James: I do.
Dean: Gaming as a business is five times bigger than the entire movie industry. The gaming industry is five times bigger. And it’s largely invisible.
James: It taps into so many psychological factors that are ultra addictive. And I think that the research that I’ve seen now shows that the skill that the kids are missing that we had is resilience. They have very little resilience. There’s no ability to overcome the smallest resistance, because they’ve had this convenience from the day they were born.
Dean: Yeah, I think that that’s something. In that article, they talked about once you’ve experienced streaming television or content online, the whole thought of having to be in front of your TV at a certain time seems silly and a little bit undignified. It just seems a little bit undignified that I’m being forced to be in front of my TV at nine o’clock!
James: Look at the attendance rates on live webinars versus how many people expect the replay or an on-demand. And I heard an ad on the radio when I was driving the other day, and they said, you can download the radio app so that you can listen to your favorite station when you’re out fishing or doing other things.
Dean: That’s amazing.
James: They’re fighting a losing battle there. People like you and I can sit here with a phone and record a podcast, and publish it on our own platform.
Dean: Yes. I mean, that’s the thing, you know, our ability to curate our own listening, our own stuff. And you start to realize, man, there’s just so much, there’s no end. We’re never going to catch up in terms of, there’s so much more content.
A scourge on society?
Yet, even though more and more and more, we have this bounty of options, of content to watch. This is what’s amazing, is if you think about Cloudlandia as a place, if you migrate and you buy into this, and your smartphone is your passport to it, that your entry into Cloudlandia with your data plan or your Wi-Fi is that you have your own television station, and you have your own radio station, and you have your own printing press. It’s a complete level playing field.
All the smart TVs right now are just ancillary screens to our mobile devices that you just flick your finger and what you’re watching on the screen is now, you’re just watching it on a bigger screen. So, there’s absolutely no difference in the viewing area that you have access to. And competition from, that you’re dealing with Netflix now. You know, I mean in terms of, you want somebody to watch your video content, you’re competing with…
James: And the large companies, Apple and Amazon, YouTube, they’re all buying content. They’re paying for content to capture that.
Dean: It’s amazing, right?
James: I really think this is going to be the asbestos or nicotine of the future.
Dean: Say what you mean by that.
James: I mean that I think this is a massive scourge on society.
Dean: Well, I don’t know that I think…
James: Like Ready Player One.
Dean: Yeah, I think, and I want to see that movie…
James: Basically a scenario where people, the in-person live version…
Dean: I definitely see it.
James: …is opting out of living to go online.
Dean: But that’s where most of us functionally have already done that. Teenagers are already there.
James: Oh, I understand it’s happening. But I don’t think it’s good for people.
Dean: OK. Yeah. And that’s another question then, right? Like, that’s another thing, that it’s definitely against the norm to… Here’s a perfect example. So, I have a good friend in Winter Haven, and he just happens to be 69 years old. And, this was a guy that, I remember coming, sort of kicking and screaming into the smartphone world in 2006, getting the first iPhone. That was the big thing. “My flip phone’s fine. Why do I need that in my email and all that stuff?” Right? So here’s a guy. We were going to watch something on Netflix. He comes over to my house. He lives literally about a seven-minute drive door-to-door to my house. And we get all settled, we had some grapes and all the stuff, we get settled. And then right before we were about to start the movie, he’s like, patting himself, looking for his phone, realizing that, ‘Oh, I left my phone at home.’ Right? Now, he was going to go back home to get his phone.
James: Because he had separation anxiety.
Dean: That is exactly it. It’s like it’s an oxygen tank. But he went out to the car and it was in the car. But just that thing, that level, that low-level panic… Have you ever tried to leave your house without your phone? Like, even if you have the intention…
James: This is my point. Exactly. I do it every single day.
James: Like, I’m fed up with Facebook. I’m not interested in Twitter. I’ve been using those services since they came, in the beginning, and I’m not a regular person, as are you. And I’m saying, if I’m getting to the point now where I’m over it, I think normal people will be there in five to seven years from now. But I do think the research will come out, there’ll be more of a ground swell around how bad this is for you as a human.
Taking time off the grid
James: And I do leave my phone at home when I go out to a cafe. I do go down to the surf and spend a few hours analog-ing it. It just means…
Dean: Off the grid.
James: Off the grid. And I think that it is the most healthy, adjusted thing.
Dean: You really have to build that in. And it requires…
James: And I don’t think an average person has… Firstly, I don’t think they’re aware of the situation. And secondly, they may lack the ability to control it. So, my whole point is, I think…
Dean: And our brains, this is how we’re so wired into it. What I was saying was, when I try to leave the house without the phone, your brain is saying to yourself, it almost seems, we’re convinced that it’s almost irresponsible to leave the house without your phone, because, well, what if something goes wrong? What if I need to reach somebody?
James: It’s exactly what I was talking about. That discipline of going hardcore old school. I’m sitting here in winter in bare feet, right? I’m zagging away from the trap of getting lulled into this boots and all.
Dean: I have a friend that just came back from a four or five-day silent retreat, and this is just in the US. He went for a period of time where there’s no talking, no communicating, no screens, nothing. You get a journal, you bring your journal, you can, you know, read physical books. No electronics, no anything like that. He’s saying like, just the thought of it, you know, just that connection, that deep level, what you get from it…
James: Surely that is a sign, right?
Dean: …the words that he was using to describe it, because it’s something, you know?
James: The author talks about that in the book, 10% Happier, about how difficult it was.
James: I think you only need a detox if you’re doing something wrong in the first place. Like, if you have a healthy diet, you don’t need to detox. If you have a healthy relationship with technology, you don’t need to detox.
Dean: So, I was blown, he’s texting me after coming out of it. He says, “I was blown away again…” (because he’s done this before) “…by how connected it feels when you’re truly disconnected.”
James: That’s right.
Dean: This is a really interesting thing. He said, “No masks or labels to shade the light within. And I got so much work done. Good work, idea work, the stuff that flows when there aren’t any distractions. I know you know what I’m talking about. You feel it when you’re in the lab sometimes. Imagine shutting yourself for 72 hours, food left at your door, no phone or tablet, just you and the whiteboard and your moleskin.”
That’s really, that is… I’ve never done it. I’ve never done a silent retreat like that. But I’m intrigued by it. You know?
James: I’ve done a couple of weeks in the Maldives where my phone broke. I don’t take a laptop.
James: And it was great. But this is what I’m talking about. I would highly prescribe someone to have analog time on a daily basis.
James: When my wife and I went to Queensland recently to speak at an event, and we went to the breakfast every morning, the guy was offering me the paper. And I said, “No, thanks.”
Dean: I love a paper.
James: Well, the next day he offered me and I said, “No, thanks.” By the third day, he said, “Oh, that’s right. You two actually talk to each other.” So, we don’t have the paper or the phone. My wife and I, when we go to have a meal, we actually don’t use the phone. She will actually get angry if I have the phone.
James: And now I’m trained out of it.
Dean: Oh, wow.
James: But it’s so much better when you can go somewhere and actually talk to someone.
Dean: Something, right?
James: Well, it’s what used to happen in the old days.
Dean: Yeah. I look at that and think, you know, we’ve been fortunate that you know, you’re at the age too where you have a recollection of pre-internet.
James: BMX bikes, till the lights go on.
James: Out of the house.
How much convenience is a good thing?
Dean: Yeah. And so I think that that, just recognizing the macro trend of everybody migrating to the cloud, and you’re seeing how that’s happening, that every possible thing that is going to be more convenient to live through the apps is a win, like, I look at the things, I just observe and put them in the categories… Like, my Starbucks app is a wonderful thing, that I set it up, you’ve got it. As I’m arriving, I push the button for my order, walk into Starbucks, go to the counter and pick up my drink.
James: So you’re basically saying, “Just plug me in now. I’m done.”
Dean: I’m saying, listen, I’m saying that I see the value of access to these things. Like, I look at, so I’ve been all over the world basically, this year, if you think about, you know, three corners of the earth. And you know, in London and Amsterdam, and here and Toronto, and all over the United States, that I often tell people, like, they say, “Can you come meet me over here,” or whatever, “I’m going to talk to you,” “Oh, come on, let’s meet over here.” And I just tell people, “Of course.” I keep a whole fleet of cars on standby all over the world, just in case I might need one.
There’s something magical about the fact that no matter where I am, wherever I go in the world (and I imagine it’s almost like this everywhere now), that I can have a car at my feet in a maximum of three to five minutes. And when I say at my feet, I mean, to the closest possible place from where I’m sitting, that I can just keep my head in the cloud, the screen, and I only have to look up enough to just open the door and get in. And then when I get out, I look up enough to know that I’m here. And I get out and I close the door and I keep on going. That convenience, that little removal of friction, of paying for something… Same thing with the Starbucks app. You know, it’s like getting coffee like a diplomat. You know, you walk in, you skip the line.
James: A part of that makes me a bit sad. Because I think a life without friction is, like what’s the point?
Dean: I don’t know. Gary Vaynerchuk just said this the other day, that we kind of romanticize the past. Right. But only the first level, the last level past. So, nobody’s romanticizing the previous. What we’re romanticizing, is, nobody is romanticizing this previous generation. It’s just the transition, right? So, if you look at it from the coffee, like getting your Starbucks coffee with your app, that you can just walk right in and pick up the coffee.
James: I mean firstly, it’s tragic that you have to drink Starbucks.
Dean: I understand. But the whole thing, combined with what was your option before…
James: That’s the thing. I don’t mind a bit of stoic. I make my own coffee, but I also buy coffee out. And of course, I take a reusable cup where possible, these days. But I don’t know, I think for me, frictionless isn’t the goal. And if it is the goal, the cloud’s going to be very seductive.
Dean: It is.
James: But I don’t mind some stoic stuff. I don’t mind grinding beans and making coffee. I don’t mind walking somewhere.
Dean: I got it. But that’s because you like to feel like you’re better than people.
James: Not really at all. I think… He’s joking there, folks, just by the way.
I don’t think so. I just think I’m connected with the sense that we’re shifting and I’m not sure I like it. Not that I’m resistant to change.
James: I do like using Paywave to pay for things. I think that makes sense, because coins are just annoying.
Someone’s missing out
James: But someone’s missing out. This is the point. I imagine the tips have gone off, they forget about tips now, since the coins have gone. It’s pretty hard on service staff. And now that we’re pushing a button and the food comes to our door…
Dean: Yes, we’ve just had that happen right here, now.
James: Yes. But eventually, you won’t be able to go and sit in the place and eat it, because they can’t afford to exist after their 40 percent margin is cut. There will be a loser.
Dean: I’m sharing with you that there’s something that’s fascinating to me, is this concept of ghost restaurants, that there’s a brand in the US of group in New York and Chicago that started nine different restaurant brands that they operate out of the same commissary kitchen. And so they run, the Forbes or Fast Company article was nine restaurants, one kitchen, no dining room. Because they don’t have a physical location that you can go and eat at. The only place they exist is on Grubhub and Seamless. So, which is Cloudlandia. They only exist on Cloudlandia, and services like Deliveroo or Grubhub or Seamless will, they’re these transitional things. It’s largely positioning services for the mainland, because the only place that those delivery services operate is on the mainland. And it’s this whole thing, that there’s a real distinction between, are you going to be part of the Cloudlandia economy? Or are you going to be part of the mainland economy?
James: Well, that’s what I’m saying. I know where we got our lunch from today, they embrace delivery, they’ve actually set up a satellite place now to deal with that. They have to, or they will be out of business. We only have to walk around Manly and see a lot of empty shops, because Cloudlandia is dominating retail, as you know.
Dean: Well, yes.
James: In fact, some of the retailers are their own worst enemy. You go into a shop now and ask for something, they say, “You have to check on our website for that.” Well, that’s just the death knell.
Dean: Yeah, because anything you need to check on physical goods in the US, anyway, is going to be Amazon. That’s where people are going to go and they’re delivering everything, right?
And that’s the other thing is that, when you look at what we’re part of now, is that any physical good can be delivered to my doorstep at the very latest, tomorrow morning. At the very latest. And that’s really, I think, progress, right?
James: They used to do that with milk and bread.
Dean: Yeah, right to your door. That’s where we’re coming back to.
James: It was made out of food that wasn’t contaminated or…
Dean: But that’s where we’re coming back to now, is that the whole idea of that level of service again. Because I think that economically, the people who choose to embrace Cloudlandia and participate in the Cloudlandia economy are going to fare far better in the long run than the people who are sticking on the mainland.
James: I do too. But both of us are based there.
Striking a balance
Dean: But I think understanding that and being able to have the best of both worlds, where you can take part in the Cloudlandia economy by organizing people in the mainland, I mean…
James: I think that’s why there’s a good place for live events, those sort of things. People crave them more. I’m running an event next year, because my audience have been very vocal asking for it. They want it, they miss it. And that’s nice, because my whole business exists in Cloudlandia and these live events are just, apart from the Maldives mastermind, which is like Nirvana, you know, the live event component is still super valid.
I guess my whole point is, just watch out for the technology and make sure you’re not unconsciously moving into an area that is hard to get out of later. And I say this with context, I’ve got four kids, the oldest being 22, the youngest being 16, and I’m seeing the youngest one’s experience with online interaction has become past a point where I’d say is fair and reasonable. And I’ve seen what can happen if you just get too hooked into that. And I’m seeing the extreme example, and I think we should pull up a few steps prior to that level.
Dean: Yeah, so that balancing thing, it’s the irony of the things that get rewarded, even in Cloudlandia, are the consumption of things that take long effort, outside of that.
James: Same things as poker machines in the casino, you know, 15 times till you get a payoff and you need teamwork, collaboration, it’s still moving while you’re not there, you’re missing out, there are hidden surprises.
Dare I ask what the second thing you’re interested in is?
Dean: The second thing?
James: You said there was two things, and one was the cloud.
Collaboration on a broader scale
Dean: The other thing is the ability on a broader scale for collaboration, that the, you know, I’ve been really watching what’s been going on with Kylie Jenner, as one example of that. And, you know, Kylie Jenner has just now passed a billion dollars. She’s a billionaire in a very short period of time, less than three years, and starting with a capital investment of her own money, she spent $250,000 to start her venture. And this turned now into a billion-dollar net worth.
But the great thing is that she only has five full-time employees and seven part-time. So, when you look at this, that she’s got 350 million dollars in sales last year, with five employees, and seven part-time, that she’s collaborating with partners who can do all of the other parts. She has a manufacturing and distribution partner who make her lip kits and distribute them, package and distribute them. She’s partnered with Shopify, for all of the ecommerce, her website, all of that stuff to do with that.
Her mom’s management company runs the business side of the thing, and she just has the creative team, where she’s the ideas and I think that there’s never been a better time. And it’s only getting better for people who are true creators. If you really thought about it, if we thought about it, if our objective was to create a business that could do a million dollars a year without any employees or without any thing, just with partnering with other people that they’re all of the components of it, you can orchestrate putting all these together because you can essentially outsource everything now.
James: Well, a simple way is just to have 10 revenue share deals, making 10 grand a month.
James: Where you’re just using your IP intellect. That’s a one-person business.
James: Which is what I’m building on the side. And I’m about 40 percent there. And I think that that’s a clever business.
Remembering Peter Drucker
But then I think people like Peter Drucker were doing that in the 60’s, selling his brain and being the world’s best management consultant, in his living room.
Dean: I don’t know how he was doing it. I don’t really know anything about it.
James: He just had people come over to his house, and he’d sit opposite them and asked them compelling questions. And they’d come up with answers and discover things. And he was probably the best at it. And he really was the founder of the knowledge worker, which is almost what you’re talking about.
James: He said, in the future, traditional education would crumble, and we would be able to get paid for our knowledge wherever we are. And this was in the 60’s.
Dean: Exactly. He was saying that and here we are.
James: In the 60’s.
Dean: Yeah. I wonder if there’s a good documentary about him. I’d love to see it.
James: I wish there was. But I have indeed, and I would recommend, buy every Drucker book. The Effective Executive, The Daily Drucker. If you get The Daily Drucker, you read one chapter per day, and it’s just one page, it’s very easy to read. And after one year, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of strategy compared to the average person.
James: He was a genius. And some of the best things that I got from him, and I got to see him present live once via satellite before he passed away, was that it’s more important to be effective than efficient. And that’s really been a foundation. I see a lot of people trying to be efficient, but that’s not the goal. In fact, I’m often questioning what the goal is. Like Eli Goldratt, who’s sort of in a similar category. He had this great saying, “Don’t wish for an easy life, wish for a rich and full life.” That’s why I’m not chasing one-tap convenience on my app. I want to live. I want the experience.
Time and changing perspectives
Dean: Yeah. Well, it’s really, I mean, there’s so many things, I’m in a really, like, philosophical point in my life, because I’m really seeing this now, you know, like I have a different Vista, you know, having turned 50. It’s a different world. I have a context for what, I started my business career, you know, I’m 52 now. So, I started at 22, 30 years now, this November will be 30 years. And so I see, I have a context for what that is. If you take this another 30 years from now, I’ll be Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 82, you know, that amount of time now forward.
James: Well, I think the things that become obvious for me at my age of 47 is health.
James: I’m in a substantially better situation than I was five years ago. And because if you think about it, we might, depending on how radical your thoughts are on where we’re going, you’re probably at the halfway mark, you might not be there yet, if you’re lucky. Or you might be past it if you’re not. But if you are, things like health and relationships are coming up, we’re in a power position when you have time and money. But the health side of it, and I’m quickly experiencing this, you know, whenever I have a health issue, it’s really very important.
We may not get into the cloud early enough, before you can discard your bag of bones.
Dean: Right, right.
“To get health, you need some resistance.”
James: So if that’s the case, I think that the irony here is, it kind of supports my point – to get health, you need some resistance.
Dean: That’s true, there’s no convenient way.
James: You’re not going to push a button.
Dean: You’re absolutely right.
James: You need resistance.
Dean: Yes. That’s what I’m saying, is that the juxtaposition of it, right? That the society, we reward things that take time and a lot of effort.
James: If you were a kid, and you spend your entire time on the cloud, you’re going to end up with health problems and social interaction problems. I think it’s still valuable to be able to interact in the actual world. It’s like, really, we’ve spent a lot of time on this topic. We are at a crossroads in society.
James: Well, we have a unique window on it. You’re getting access to all the business visionaries. The Kurzweils and the Diamandes and the what-have-yous in your travels. And I’m seeing it from a family situation and observing my own withdrawal from the electron world.
I spent too long on the computer 10 years ago through to five years ago. And I’m going the other way. I see people like Elon Musk, and I think, that’s not heroic. Even Ginsburg. She’d work through till the morning and eat one meal a day. And they’d have to drag her… That’s kind of sad.
Dean: I get it.
James: But as long as she’s happy, is my caveat.
James: As long as she’s happy. I wouldn’t be happy with that. But it seems like every now and then there’s a person who has to throw their life to the wolves to give society a better go. If we’re going to go to Mars, someone has to give up their life for it.
Dean: I get it. You’re right.
James: But interestingly, Arianna Huffington wrote an open letter to Elon Musk.
Dean: Oh, really? I didn’t see it.
James: Yeah. It’s pretty much saying, dude, you’ve lost the plot. The science doesn’t back what you’re saying about these 120-hour weeks.
Dean: Oh, really? Well, that’s an interesting thing for her to do, because of her book and stuff.
James: Oh, yeah, she’s been reading the same research that I have, that you need sleep.
Dean: Yeah. Well, she has a great book called Thrive, and that sort of thing. That was her big realization is that, you know, because she was doing the same thing.
James: And I’ve reached it. And I know people listening to this are at the phase in their business where it’s a struggle and they’re in a crossover, and it’s a challenge. The message is, from my perspective is, and I’ve written a whole book on this topic, that you can actually pull back a bit down the track if you decide you want to. I think I’ve struck a better balance. But for me, it’s less time on the computer and less time with a device is giving me a better quality of life.
Dean: Yeah, I think that’s true. And that’s really like, when you get right down to it, you know, this is really the thing that we’re going to experience the next 25 years, only in the tidbit of today. And so your, you know, your daily joy of setting up the life that you really want for that day, that the majority of days are exactly that, very formulaic.
James: My money will come from the cloud, and I’ll be spending it on land. My goal would be that my daily surf routine isn’t impacted whatsoever, no matter which lunatic’s in charge of the United States or what store is selling the most ecommerce, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I have financial independence, I’ll be heading down for a paddle.
Dean: Yes. I love that.
James: That’s my daily measure. That’s the yardstick. And I won’t need to be going to detox anytime soon, because I detox every day. I let it out.
Dean: And you’re grounding every day.
James: Grounding. Yeah. And if people would stop dropping glass bottles on the footpath, I’d have a better transit to the surfing. I’ve got four glass cuts on my bare feet. But you know, it keeps you humble.
Dean: And it’s going to be amazing to see what happens over the next 20 years as we complete this series.
James: We may reflect back on Episode Five? That was the big…
Dean: The awakening. Really.
James: Well, it’s probably, we’re almost always in sync with philosophies, but then we’re probably on either side of the spectrum here with with the convenience one.
It’s good, though. It makes interesting discussion.
Thoughts before closing
James: So any final thoughts, Dean?
Dean: I really enjoy these conversations. I mean, I do. It’s like such a… it doesn’t seem like, we joked, you know, I arrived in Manly, but I realized I hadn’t seen you, physically, in two years.
Dean: But it wasn’t any, like, no time had passed.
James: Yeah, it’s like, I still feel like I know you.
James: Because we’ve had a Cloudlandia relationship.
Dean: Yes, that’s exactly right.
The book conversation
James: And I think that’s a good supplement, to have the physical and the online relationship makes it strong. I mean, going back, our first meeting in Detroit was a long time ago now, and I still use the advice you taught me then. And over the years, it’s been always a privilege to be able to have these conversations and to, I open up a little notes pad, I take a few notes, I’ve got a good idea that I’m going to use. And I also really enjoyed a discussion we had around about books in the marketing of said books. And I think we’ve resolved some of our diametrically opposed viewpoints through the process of education and debate.
Dean: Real experience! That’s right!
James: Because that’s one thing that has changed since then, you know, we joked about it second last time.
James: That it’s taking me a while to get my book out. I’m on the slow process. But we got there. And I might do some smaller projects as a supplement. And that will be interesting.
Dean: Which is great. That’s sick. I’m such a fan, you know, because realizing that, you know, in light of all the data, we still, our brains fundamentally are much slower to adapt than our minds. And that’s an interesting distinction, our brains and our minds, right? Our minds are in the cloud, and we’re there. But our brains are still, you know, they’re wired caveman brain. That’s exactly what we have, you know, so, we’ve got this sense that books for a very long time will always be viewed as an authority and a valuable thing. And so they’ll be desirable.
James: Even if no one even reads them.
Dean: Which they don’t.
James: Yeah. I could tell from the popular highlights, you know, in Kindles, they always run out after the first chapter or so.
Dean: Isn’t that interesting? Everybody gets all excited, this and that, they highlight that…
James: It’s like the collector mentality. I think having a lot of Kindles on your app probably makes you feel like you’re covered, even if you don’t read them.
Dean: And the majority don’t.
James: No. And to keep in theme with this, right now next week, I’ve got this and… Good truck action. Listen to that. That’s a big rig. Wow.
James: Oh, that’s impressive.
Dean: This is very impressive.
James: So I’ve got the joiner…
Dean: These $3.8 million windows.
James: Got the custom joinery guys installing a full floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that goes for about 16 feet along my wall.
Dean: Love that.
James: I’m going to put all my books up. It’ll be a fabulous backdrop for my videos, the difference being I’ve actually read the books.
James: And still the best, hands down, the best investment ever, physical books back in the day. But I think sitting down on a beanbag with a good book is still a joyful pursuit, even without the tech.
James: And I think though, you’re right. You talk about the elements that a book needs to have, and it was something along the lines of a title that conveys…
Dean: It’s three things. So, you got to have a title. Well, first of all, the first thing is you’ve got to have a book.
Dean: Second thing is you’ve got to have a title that upon reading it, the person that you want to be in conversation with says, that’s the book for me. And then you got to have a way for them to get it. Those are the three things that matter if you’re using a book as a conversation starter.
James: The way for them to get it, you’re advertising to people on Facebook.
Dean: I am.
James: You’re getting their details and you send them a PDF?
On free plus shipping
James: Free plus shipping – what are your thoughts?
Dean: It never feels like free. There’s no free element.
James: That’s my feeling. I think it’s a downright fraud.
Dean: Yeah, exactly.
James: It’s not free. Let’s face it.
James: Free plus shipping. It’s not free.
Dean: Yeah, and any amount, I mean, it certainly filters, you know, it will lower the number of people that will take your free book, compared to if it was truly free.
James: Well, you know, the quality of people I get coming through my book funnel, should we call it? I hate the word, but the people who buy my book for whatever it costs, I don’t know how much it is, let’s say it’s $19 or something…
James: They’re very good people for me to help after that, because they’ve already invested. And there’s not as many of them.
James: However, they’re fantastic.
Dean: Yeah, yeah. And I have no evidence that the people who buy a book with free shipping are any better long-term prospects than people who accept your gift of a free book with no payment.
James: It seems also the people who have the free plus shipping models, they’re often the most aggressive in the messenger bots and every other medium.
Dean: True, because they want to recoup that right away. That’s the whole thing. That’s why immediately, what drives it is, the free plus shipping, and you pay that and while your credit card is active, in that same session, But wait, this is a one-time opportunity for this $97 thing that you can do.’ And that’s how they pay for the advertising. You know, it’s an expense-based approach.
James: And when I was interviewing Scott Desgrosseilliers from Wicked Reports, a few episodes back, he said the average break even point of $1.5 billion worth of traffic was 45 days. It’s kind of an optimistic funnel to get the money back straightaway, or it might be too hard on the prospect.
James: You like to get someone a result before you ask them for money, don’t you?
Dean: I like that. I mean, I just feel like I know that the long term is where all the money is, that I know that, if you have a perfect example… So, I was in London, doing my Breakthrough Blueprint event. And there was a gentleman there from Germany, who has been on my list for seven years, never bought anything, never knew who he was. And all of a sudden, the first thing he does is he pays $5,000 to come to Breakthrough Blueprint after seven years of being on my list. Now, that happens all the time.
James: I love that. It also supports my dislike for the traditional ascension model, where he’s going to buy a cheap product and then a slightly more expensive one.
Dean: I’d rather give people cheap products. But valuable.
James: Yeah. This podcast.
James: I often have members join SuperFastBusiness saying they’ve listened to 100 hours of my podcasts.
Dean: Of course.
James: And here they are.
James: We’ve gone from nothing to $1,000 a year, in a heartbeat.
James: And 100 hours. But I wasn’t there for those hundred hours.
Dean: It felt effortless.
James: As it turns out, every time we upload an episode, at least a couple of thousand people listen to it in the first few days. And then over time, the episodes can get up to 10 or 15,000 downloads of that. And now we’re also uploading toSoundCloud and the whole episodes get put on Facebook. I’m not so precious about where they’re getting it right now, but they can get it. And it’s free.
James: There’s no shipping.
Dean: No shipping!
Podcasts and videos
And that’s like, the podcast is the perfect vehicle.
Dean: Because audio, I think, is the clearest attention that we can get. Because you’re getting the attention while somebody’s physical body is otherwise occupied. You know, that’s where the purest thing, when people are driving…
James: So, it’s a courteous medium. It’s not as attention-demanding as video.
Dean: Well, that’s the thing, a video requires that you have to be eyes on it, and you’re in, you’re locked in.
James: It’s more work for both parties.
Dean: And that way, that’s where I think that then, you truly are, you’re competing with Netflix.
Dean: Because if I’m going to be watching a video something, its majority is going to be kicked back watching something for entertainment.
James: One of my recent trainings was how to drive sales with eight minutes of video per week in social media. My videos are one minute each. So, it takes me eight minutes a week to record five one-minute videos, which I give to the team and they put across all platforms. And so, if you are going to do video, I know that almost everybody will watch a one-minute video the whole way through.
James: And you can get across one point in a minute and appeal to people’s very short attention span.
Dean: That’s great. I like that kind of thing.
James: Micro content. Like your movie reviews.
Dean: I was just going to say that. My movie reviews and my travel things, my travel logs, are a bit like that. They’re two minutes, a long one, you know?
James: And fresh and helpful.
Dean: Yeah, yeah.
James: Dean, here we are. episode five done.
Dean: Episode five. It’s fun.
James: Making our way through this.
Dean: Yeah, it’s all very exciting.
James: Till next time.
Dean: Maybe one day you’ll come to Florida.
James: Oh, I will. I’ve been before, but I’ll go again.
James: I was going to go sooner, actually. But I will go, perhaps next year.
Dean: There we go. The exchange program.
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