02:19 – Podcasting scheds and staying ahead
05:20 – How much communication is too much?
10:26 – Making your list count
14:33 – Media consumption preferences
22:09 – How to package your product
27:20 – Catering to a variety of audiences
32:11 – A decade of consistency
33:42 – Looking at the ROI
39:15 – Customer retention best practices
40:35 – Where the money comes from
42:36 – Celebrating lack of drama
44:57 – When the podcast isn’t the business
46:18 – How much info should you share?
48:16 – When people are generous
51:59 – Why scale to 10 million?
57:20 – Spotting and working with winners
58:46 – Some books worth checking out
James: James Schramko here, and welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is episode 672, and quite a special episode. This one will be broadcast on both SuperFastBusiness and Evergreenprofits.com. I had my friends Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier who have The Hustle and Flowchart Podcast share an episode with me, and boy, did we get into some stuff. It’s quite a long one but you will hear about the three incredibly profitable elements that make up a super successful online business. We delve into podcasts, we talk about memberships, and we talk about events. You’ll learn some of the backstory to SuperFastBusiness, and we’ll have a look behind the dashboard of my campaign-tracking tool, Wicked Reports, and you’ll see where some of the income comes from and what’s working really well in the online marketing. And importantly, we’ll talk a lot about the mistakes that we see marketers doing that you might want to avoid. So tune in as Matt, Joe and I have a great old chat over the next hour or so, and you’ll also find out what our future episode is going to be about as well. Enjoy!
Joe: James, James, from SuperFastBusiness. How are you?
James: Good, thanks. Yeah, we’re back with another simulcast on both our shows.
Podcasting scheds and staying ahead
James: For me, this will be Episode 672. And I don’t know where you guys are up to, but I can see you’re putting a lot of podcasts out.
Joe: Yeah. Where are we, Matt?
Matt: So right now, this is actually slated to be Episode 192. But I do kind of shift schedules around quite often. I never say the number at the top of the episode just because I may move it around.
James: Yeah, see, I like to paint myself in a corner. I just commit to the number. And for the first time in the history of my podcast, which has been going for about 10 years, I have a surplus of podcasts. I’ve like, 20 up my sleeve. And the only time I ever had anywhere close to a few in the can was when I was at episode recording with Tim Reid, and we had our Freedom Ocean podcast, and I think we’d do three, four, five or maybe six at once at my house, because he flew up from Melbourne. But since then, it’s always been published the next day sort of thing, like it’s on demand.
But I’m not even sure how I got to this situation, especially with a newborn. I think, okay, one clue is that I’m not traveling as much. I haven’t traveled overseas for about seven or eight months. So that’s the longest I’ve been without an overseas trip for the last decade. That would be definitely one. So routine is strong, and travel is an interruption to a lot of the routine.
And the second thing is, I’ve just found a nice flow of balancing out things that interest me, projects that interest me, and the timing just works. So with introductions and people I’m interested in having a chat to, or when a client has a success story and I want to publish a case study, I just say, “Hey, let’s chat about it on the podcast.” And then we make a booking and it just seems to flow at about the right rate now. And we’ve now found our optimal delivery is two episodes a week. We’ll publish 100 episodes in 2019. It gets about twice the traffic as one episode a week. But it doesn’t change much if I do three, four or five, from the experiments I’ve done.
Matt: Yeah, it’s interesting. So this show, we release twice a week also. I actually just counted, we have 18 episodes in the can. So we’re kind of on the same page with being pretty far out in front of them right now. But we actually release seven episodes a week, if you count our other show. We actually created a second show called Hustle and Flow Shorts, which is clips from these longer episodes. Because a lot of these podcast interviews, they’ll go an hour; we’ve even had some go upwards of two hours. I think that might have actually been you.
Joe: I believe it was, James.
Matt: But we, you know, we’ve had some longer episodes with this show. And so we actually hired somebody to break out the show into smaller, like, little 10-minute clips of like, golden nuggets of wisdom…
Joe: The best ofs.
Matt: …and we release that as a daily show. And we’ve kind of noticed the same thing is, you know, going from two episodes a week to going to, that one’s five episodes a week, you don’t really notice a huge bump in download number. At least we haven’t. So that’s really interesting that that’s what you’re seeing.
James: Also, I was speaking with Pat Flynn about this as well. And he had the same result as me.
Matt: So two a week seems to be about optimal for all of us.
Joe: I’m good with two.
How much communication is too much?
James: Well, I guess what I’m telling my clients is that from the data I’ve seen from my show, and from a few other clients, is that it is worth having more than one. But there is a limit to I think how much people can actually consume. And then you look to the daily shows, and I think there’s this crossover point. I’ll talk about this in two ways. One is I think, if you start sending, you know, three, four, five, six, seven, eight emails, now you might start to tip into the region of instead of going into the prime inbox, you might now go into the market as the look-at-later type box, or the newsletters box. So you might tip yourself into that. And there’s plenty of marketers who made it into that box in my inbox system. It’s like, you’re going to be sending me two emails a day; there’s absolutely no way I’m going to look at them every day. And it’s so extreme that even the daily surf picture ones, which I absolutely adore and love, I now put into a check-it-later folder.
Joe: Well, you just check it with your own eyeballs out in nature. So it’s okay.
Matt: You just look out your window, right?
James: Of course I do. And the main thing you do is you go for a surf and then you come back and see if someone managed to take a picture of you.
Joe: There you go.
James: There’s nothing more valuable to a surfer than someone taking a picture of you on a wave. Because it’s like, wow, it was captured.
Matt: Yeah, that brings up an interesting business idea. I should just go down to the beach with my DSLR, start snapping pictures and then charging surfers as they walk off the beach.
James: It is a business idea. Every single beach you go to, you’ll find there will be a local surf photographer. They will have an Instagram and possibly an email list, and they will send out a daily email. If the surfer is noticed in the picture, they’ll get in contact and they can usually buy the prints. So that is a business, for sure.
Matt: Yeah, smart.
Joe: It’s a pretty good lifestyle.
James: But you have to take reasonable photographs, of course.
Matt: Yeah, that’s where I would fall short, I’m sure.
Joe: Most people.
James: So the second one is when I was at an event in Colorado. I was at Buck Rizvi’s health summit, and he had someone there from Agora. And they had a massive amount of research data on sending out communications. But they found there was this sort of danger zone, where if you sent a communication it would usually sort of unhitch the apple cart; it would cause people to break or to stop their subscription. So they turn off all distractions and communications for a certain period during that dead zone where any interruption to the flow is going to cause the deal to shake loose.
“How much communication are people getting, and what sort of frequency?”
So I thought, that’s interesting. And when I’m looking at my clients’ retention statistics, I’m always looking for a pattern. Is there a certain point or a time where unsubscribes happen? For some clients, I found it. Like, it might be the five-month mark. Or we have a look at what communication is happening or what’s possibly causing that. And sometimes by removing something, you can actually assist the process. So it’s definitely worth looking at whether you’re publishing podcasts or sending out autoresponders, or you’ve got some kind of recurring program. It’s worth having a look at how much communication are people getting, and what sort of frequency?
And so my second podcast is the video show that we do. So we set up a SuperFastBusiness video iTunes channel. And that’s the daily short videos, one, two, three, four or five minutes, just little bite-sized chunks. And often, I’ll be talking about the same sort of tips that I would talk about in the long-form podcast, but as I record the podcast, I’ll actually put a line down the middle of the page, and I’ll write Q on the left-hand side and A on the right-hand side. And if someone asks a question, or we mention a topic that’s interesting, I’ll jot that down on the left. And then as I answer it, I’ll write the answers on the right. And I do this with my coaching calls as well. And I’ll end up with 20 or 30 little Q&A’s that can easily be repurposed into short videos that will make their way into that iTunes video channel. And with that one, we send a weekly email summary instead of daily, because I think daily might be too frequent, and since they’re already going to be able to see it wherever they subscribe, whether it’s YouTube, or Facebook, or iTunes, or my membership or our blog. There’s a lot of places they can receive this. LinkedIn is actually the hottest zone for me at the moment.
Joe: You said that last time we chatted and I think we talked earlier, was it with Mike Dillard or someone else?
Matt: No, it was Neil Patel.
Joe: Neil Patel, that’s right. Yeah. He said the exact same thing is LinkedIn, the video on LinkedIn is where it’s at.
James: Well, I keep seeing Neil Patel on there, so I’m not surprised.
Joe: There you go. We heard it from him.
Matt: We found the same thing with the mailing about podcasts, we’ve actually toned that way back, mailing about episodes. Because, you know, we have a Facebook group. And we have an online forum, which is actually something I want to talk to you a little bit more about in a few minutes here. But with our Facebook group, I’ve asked people, you know, do you even want to see these emails? What are your thoughts on them? I often try to get feedback from the community and see what their thoughts are. And the ones that listen are already subscribed either on Spotify, or iTunes, or Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. And so the ones that are subscribed are probably ignoring your emails about new podcast episodes. And then the people you’re actually mailing to, for the most part, are probably the people that have already sort of consciously made the decision not to tune into your show as often. So just based on that feedback, we still mail about episodes, but we only mail twice a week about episodes instead of all the time.
Making your list count
James: Yeah, that’s pretty much what we’re doing. And I agree with you. There’s a good chance, when that email comes out, our open rates are very good, because I’ve just whittled and whittled my list down to only the most active, so we get 25 percent plus open rates, but the click through rate might not be as high because I think they see the email, or they get a desktop notification, or they get an alert on their YouTube channel, their phone gets pushed the new episode, they don’t really need to open up the email to follow through to the blog to listen to it. It’s already going to be in their native environment by that time. And I think also, we tend to email out just a little bit after the podcast has been pushed out. So they’ve already been pinged wherever they’re subscribing to that, the hardcore fans for sure. So I noticed, of the first couple of thousand downloads, that will happen even without the email going out.
Matt: Yeah, yup.
Joe: That’s true.
Matt: We see the same thing.
Joe: We used to do a lot of mini chat broadcast, the chat bots. But we’ve kind of backed a lot off of that. Because I know a lot of people have done just way too much. It’s almost like being on a group text message chain a little bit. No one wants to be blown up on that all the time. So it’s just learning how to use the medium as well, in some cases.
James: Well, I get a desktop notification every single day from one marketer at the moment. And so the next one that comes through, I’m just going to switch it off. It’s too disruptive. So I think we have to take into account, you know, what is the optimal rate to communicate what we’ve got without pushing it to the point where it gets dismissed?
James: Like what’s the edge?
James: Where’s that edge for our audience? And there’s lots of proponents for the daily emails. You know, back in my early days, I would hardly send anything, like I could go a month or two without sending an email. I was definitely under-cooking it.
James: I think I’ve found my right balance. In fact, in the very early days, I didn’t even collect email addresses; the only email addresses I collected were buyers. My list was made up of only buyers. That was it. I didn’t even waste time list-building for prospects. It was like, of the stages of the funnel, I was only interested in the red hot bullseye in the middle. That was it. That was enough.
Joe: Was that strategic at that point for you?
James: It was pretty much, like I didn’t have that much time. I was doing this after hours. And I had a day job. And I was focused on converting people who were trying to buy software, I wanted them to buy it from me, and I wanted to give them a bonus. Inevitably, I had to get their email address to deliver that bonus. So it’s the first hundred and then 1000 people on my email list were all people who had purchased a couple of hundred dollar product. So it was a really high-quality list. And, you know, that’s why I blow every metric out of the water in terms of dollar value per email address or whatever. I have still got a tiny list. I mean at its peak. When I was on AWeber, I had like 35,000 contacts. But now these days, I’ve got about 7000 or 8000 in total in Ontraport. And that is after like, bumping off anyone who’s ever unsubscribed, bounced or has not opened an email for a couple of months; they’re off, they’re gone.
Matt: That’s interesting. We pretty much do the same thing. Our email list, I can actually tell you because I have it open, so the last email that I sent went out to 5,924 recipients. So, you know, we hover right around that 6000 mark for subscribers. And at our peak, we had over 100,000 subscribers on our email list. But just over the years, we’ve done the same thing, we’ve just whittled away and chipped away at just the highest quality people. And I think that’s been a big factor.
James: It probably makes no difference to your actual sales or profit.
Matt: No, our open and click rate actually is consistently going up because of it.
Joe: Well, it’s also kind of like a journey, customer journey thing/what medium do people really want to consume content and like you were saying, now, we live in a way that we can communicate in all these different buckets. And people can kind of self-select how they want to be communicated with as well, being subscribed to podcast chatbots, emails.
“It’s nice to have people in a distribution where they are seeing you in multiple places.”
James: And I call that a list guarantee. It’s like, just, you’re protected from any single-source failure. Rather than being the YouTube channel dependent person or the Facebook channel person or just having the podcast or just having an email list, it’s nice to have people in a distribution of that where they are seeing you in multiple places.
Media consumption preferences
Matt: Yeah, for sure. You know, I think with podcasting, one of the big issues that we run into, and maybe this is kind of one of the same things you run into, but might be an interesting topic, is just trying, I feel like with our list, I spend so much time trying to convince people that they should be listening to podcasts. It’s like, the people that are enjoying our shows, they’re converts already, right? They’re hooked, they listen, they subscribe on their app. I don’t need to be emailing those people because they’re automatically downloading it when a new episode goes live. So most of the emails I send these days about podcasts and podcast episodes is essentially me trying to convince people, if you’re not listening to podcasts yet, here’s one that might convert you kind of thing.
James: Interesting, yeah.
Matt: So I’m curious what your thoughts are, do you have a similar, like, sort of philosophy?
James: No, I’m not trying to convince people to change their behavior because I think that’s going to be hard.
Matt: Yeah. I think we’re running into some lag delay issues. Are you getting that on your end, too?
James: I think it’ll go away now, hopefully. I looked at my stats, and that probably took down the internet, which is a topic in itself. I’m an online marketer, and I have three internet connections at my house and they all suck.
Joe: It’s the same here.
James: Every person in my team has better internet than I do. I’m not kidding, I get like, 1.5 up.
Joe: I’m with you, man, like, you know, where we live, we’re stuck with one provider. And we all have the maxed out. And it’s still like, we had the highest plan, and we’re like, what is wrong? Can’t function.
James: You know, my Ontraport open rates are now in 33 percent range for broadcasts, and our client ones are very high, 65, 75 percent. So, you know, just to support what we’re saying here, if you only deal with people that are interested, I think the same is true for the way they like to consume. Like, here’s a fun fact. I don’t listen to podcasts. You know, that’s just not the medium that I use. I have occasionally seen something that might catch my interest, but it will be rare. And generally, I’ll only listen to it if I’m going to the airport or something for a longish drive compared to my regular route, and it will probably be a surfing podcast. It won’t be business related. And recently, I enjoyed listening to an audio book. But I generally consume Kindles. That’s my preference.
Joe: Yeah. That’s interesting. Because before starting this podcast, I think, Matt, you were way more of a consumer of podcasts.
Joe: And I definitely wasn’t. It was only if like, Matt sent me something, because I was more like you. And now I find myself just really attaching the things that catch my interest. I kind of pop around. It’s usually like when I work out, I’ll just have it playing in the background.
James: That’s the secret. There’s no portion of my life where I’m sitting around with nothing to do where I can listen to a podcast. That’s why I don’t listen to them, I think.
Joe: It’s totally true. Yeah.
James: If I was driving somewhere, or if I was in the gym, then I might be tempted to do it. But I don’t. I’m either surfing or off my computer. Like I’m just not in the office. I’m nowhere near my computer most of the day, every day.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Well, you’re doing it right, because you have your membership, and that’s something we wanted to kind of touch on. The inside workings of running a forum membership. I mean, you have all these different offers, and your content lives in all these places. So you know, it’s a really easy way to consume even if someone’s not on podcast as their preferred medium.
James: Well, I know a lot of my members like to read the PDFs. So when we do a monthly training, firstly, it starts as a video, I build out a keynote. So this is because that seems to be the easiest way for me to build a training, is I open up a keynote, and I just add slides to it, as I think of them. Certainly when I think of what the topic is, I open up a keynote, and I populate it with the first ideas out of my head. And then over the next week or two, I’ll just add a couple more here and there. And then the day before, I’ll rearrange them and then illustrate them a bit. And then that’s it. So I’ll deliver the keynote as a webinar. And then my team will extract the mp3 out of it. Because I know people like to listen to the audio because they are driving or they’re walking the dog or going to the gym. And we’ll then take every picture; I actually export the images. That’s my SOP. After the training, I export the images, and I load the video, saving it, GoToWebinar gives me into a Drive folder. And I give that to the team. They take the images then and they put them into a PDF and then transcribe every single word. And I think they start with Otter. So otter.. what is it, ai?
Joe: IO or AI. One of the two.
Matt: Yeah. Actually, I have a tool recommendation for you, too, if you check out a tool called Designer. You know Paul Clifford, right?
James: Yeah, I know Paul. I used to coach him in SilverCircle.
Joe: I thought so, yeah.
Matt: Yeah, that’s right. I knew you guys were connected. But Paul’s Designer thing, the newest version actually does that. You can upload an audio or a video file, and it will actually yank out the screenshots of each slide automatically.
James: Very good. That’s an excellent tool thing. So we’ve been doing that for the last few years; my team will be excited about that. No doubt, you’ve got a link for Designer on Hustle and Flowchart somewhere on your products recommendations?
Joe: Yeah, possibly. Might be correct, in the show notes.
James: Good. I’d be disappointed if you don’t.
Joe: I know. We learn from you, man.
James: So yeah, they put that PDF up. And that gets hit up a lot. In fact, my earlier sort of demographic of audience that I used to deal with, the people who were trying to build websites on Microsoft computers, like between 10 years ago, they would go to the printer and have them printed out. Anything I gave them, they would print out into physical form. There’s still a generation that does that.
Matt: We do that. So our process with our podcast, I actually don’t even know if we’ve shared this on any episodes yet, but our process with our podcast now is we record these podcasts, they go into a Dropbox, and then we actually have a note taker that we hired who listens to the episodes and takes notes on all the episodes. She actually worked with Tim Castleman, when he was doing the like, Traffic and Conversion summit notes and things like that. So same note taker who did a lot of those things. She listens to every single podcast we do, and takes, you know, about three or four pages of notes on every episode, all the sort of tools that we mentioned, the tactics, the resources, all that kind of stuff, she takes notes on them. So it’s not transcripts, it’s actual, like bullet point notes. And then that is our freebie giveaway for listeners of the podcast, is go opt in to get the sort of companion notes for the episode. And then our actual money maker piece of this is that we’ll actually mail all of the notes in the mail to somebody on a monthly basis. So you sign up for our monthly membership. And we’re going to mail you essentially a book every month of all the notes from all the episodes from the previous month. And then you also get access to our community and any sort of new training that we’re putting out and that sort of thing. But that’s really the whole flow, is that we convert every single podcast episode into a lead magnet that people can opt into. And then the sort of pooled podcast episodes, you know, eight or nine episodes in a month, get pooled into a sort of like a book that we mail people each month of, here’s all of the amazing takeaways we got from our guests over the last month.
James: Yeah, it’s a very good idea. We definitely do the notes part. And especially if there’s any kind of framework, checklist, or step-by-step content, which is always good to put into an episode. They make a nice PDF. And I think we have been using a tool to make those where it makes little PDFs out of it. That’s the PDF download. So they will get the transcript but they’ll also get, usually, almost every episode, we’ll have some kind of guide or cheat sheet. But we don’t print them out and send them off. That’s a great addition and a really clever one too. But for us, when people opt in for that extra value, the lead magnet or whatever you want to call it, content upgrade, that’s what starts our sequence for the sales funnel, I suppose you’d call it. I hate to use that word, but that’s the pathway that people will find out about coaching at SuperFastBusiness, is through that opt in. That’s my number one source of lead flow.
How to package your product
Matt: Yeah. Now, I’m curious, with your business, with the SuperFastBusiness membership and what you’re doing, how have you angled it over time? How has the angle in which you sell it sort of developed? Because one of the things that we’ve run into in the past is we’ve had like membership sites and even this newsletter we’re talking to now where it’s sort of general, right? The person who would be interested in subscribing to our newsletter or being a part of our community, you know, we talk about affiliate marketing, we talk about traffic, we talk about copywriting, we talk about video marketing, social media, SEO, you know, the list goes on and on. Well, we kind of cover it all. We ourselves are unapologetic generalists. We kind of love learning about it all. But it also presents challenges when it comes time to sell our content. So I’m curious how you’ve approached that?
James: Well, I’ve had long enough now to try a few different things, because it’s been going for 10 years. So in the beginning, way back, it actually started as a bonus. So the first positioning I ever had for my first community was, if you buy this course, there was a course called Arbitrage Conspiracy at the time, and it was $2,000. The problem with the course is you’re not going to be able to implement it easily. It’s high level. This guy’s making $100,000 a day as an affiliate. I’m a super affiliate, I understand his language. But I also want to help you. So you buy the course from me, and I will coach you during the course for the whole duration of the course, and make sure that you get success. And I took this bold move. So I picked a domain, it was SuperFastResults at the time. And I partnered with my most successful student at the time, who was a super affiliate. And we opened up this forum, and I put people on a 60-day (I think it was 60, it might have been 90, I can’t recall exactly) trial, and then billing at 67 per month if they stay.
So a few things there. I started my forum with absolutely no content. So that’s like the big myth number one, you don’t need any content to have a membership, because I’ve done it. Secondly, I had a very specific targeted audience and I had about 78 of them, from memory. Around about 80. I made somewhere around $70,000 or $80,000 from that campaign, because I got a thousand dollars commission. And so I had a full cohort of similar people going through the same experience at the same time that suited where I could add a lot of value. And to my surprise, almost all of them stuck. And that was the start.
And then the next thing happened after that was, I was sitting there in the desert in Baja, Mexico, with Joe Polish, and Yanik Silver, and Brad Fallon and Mike Filsaime, you know, really heavy hitters at the time. And I said, I’ve got myself a speaking opportunity, what should I sell? And they said, sell an event. So I did, I offered an event. I spoke at the Gold Coast. This was 10 years ago from now and I spoke at this event. And I offered a training, a workshop. It was a couple of day workshop. And I sold about 80 at $2,000 from stage. And I had over 120 people show up, because some of them brought partners. I got absolutely rookied. They’re like, oh, can I bring my business partner? It’s like, Matt buys the thing, and he goes, can I bring Joe because, you know, we’re in business together and we do everything together? And I’m like, okay. So 120 people. And all I was going to do (and just for context, this is 2009) I was going to get these people in a room, and in two days, I was going to teach them about online marketing, we were going to find a product that they could sell as an affiliate, we were then going to pick a domain name and register it. And then we were going to point it to my server. And then we were going to log into my page builder tool, and put in the domain name and keywords, our affiliate link, and image. And we were going to write the sales copy, the pre sell for the affiliate program. And then we were going to hit publish and push it up to the server live. Everyone told me I was absolutely insane and crazy, and it’s not going to be possible. These people had laptops, all but one. One guy brought his PC to the hotel.
Joe: He’s committed.
James: On lunch time on day two, we all hit publish, and there was like 100, or it’s like 80 or something websites, couples, all live at once. It was amazing. I will never run a laptop event ever again. Don’t do it. There’s a lot of tripping hazards.
Joe: Oh, yeah.
James: So it was ambitious. But then the point of this story is the back end of the event was, hey, you’ve come to the event, you’ve built your website, you’re in progress. Let me continue to help you. I’m giving you 60 days’ access to my membership. And I want to coach you as a gift to continue this workshop camaraderie. And then if you want to stick around, you can and so forth. So for the last 10 years, I’ve been using a campaign like that from my live events. So to answer your question, I’ve sold it as an affiliate bonus. I’ve sold it as an event back end, which by the way, is like the absolute highest conversion path you can ever have. If you spend a couple of days in the room with someone, they’re going to become a member. And then, I’ve sold it as a local business marketing support thing, because I was at the very early days, it was this wild thread in the Warrior Forum called the outsourcing gold. It’s kind of famous in the internet history.
Matt: Yeah, I vaguely remember that, I vaguely remember that.
Catering to a variety of audiences
James: So I had been selling to local businesses, like that’s how I quit my job in 2008. I signed up two clients at $5500 each, and quit my job. And I was right on the cusp of that outsourcing gold thread. And off the back of that, I built my website development business and my SEO business and the forum. So a lot of my members, initially they were affiliates, and then I had more local business marketers, and then when I ran the events, I would package up the DVDs and I’d sell them for $397 and I’d backend it with 60 days access to my membership. And that would sell. And then when I published TrafficGrab about 2012, maybe, it was 2500 copies sold of that and it backended my membership as well with a trial. And then, you know, as my partnership with Ezra became strong with ThinkActGet, we ended up with a lot of ecommerce customers from his audience. And now, I seem to have plenty of expert authors, membership owners. I did a Tribe bonus a few years back. I picked up a lot of ecommerce people. I found a fantastic audience in the blogging community when I spoke at Chris Ducker‘s event in Tropical Think Tank in the Philippines. I think almost everyone became a member of SuperFastBusiness. There wasn’t many people. There was like, I can’t remember if it’s either, around about 40. I think I had 25 or 30 members from that event. And then when I spoke at Darren Rowse‘s Problogger event in Queensland, I ended up with dozens of members from his audience, because my message is a perfect fit. It’s the glove for that hand. If you’re a blogger, you’re already working hard. You know, you’re doing the effort, you’ve probably got really good creative ability, or you can write or you’re artsy or you’re talented, you know, they’ve got lots of genius I don’t have. I’m not as talented as most bloggers, but I’m much better at making money than most bloggers. So if you add commercial sense to a blogging community, it’s like petrol in a bonfire. They’re my perfect fit audience.
“If you add commercial sense to a blogging community, it’s like petrol in a bonfire.”
So now, I bring a sales monetization tool to the blogging fight. So that’s a good audience. And I’m continuing to speak to those audiences. So I’m speaking at Problogger again. And I love that audience, they’re really into it. So once you find your market, what I’m saying here is my membership, because it’s like you, I’m a generalist, I just adapt to the audience that is in hand, and I’ve seen over 10 years, I’ve had probably five or six different audiences, but I will work with any of those audiences. So these days, if I had to say the bulk of my community would be agencies, like people who have services, whether they’re YouTube, Facebook, AdWords, content marketing agencies, they’re great clients for me, and they’re represented well in SilverCircle as well. And then there’s the expert author educators. I’ve got bass guitar coaches, learn-to-use-technology coaches, Microsoft, Google, Apple educators. I’ve got lots of teachers with coaching programs and memberships. That’s another strong representation. And then there’s a couple of SaaS and ecommerce and a few affiliates here and there.
Matt: So when you were going around doing all the speaking and stuff, you were kind of, were you creating, like, new presentations each time you spoke so that you were speaking right to that audience? Or did you have kind of a core presentation that you would sort of tailor to that audience?
James: Ah, so this is a great point. I was making a brand new presentation every single time I found a new audience. So even with the same promoter, if they, one audience might be of, at the time, it was Chris Howard NLP. So they were a personal development audience, so I spoke quite a few personal development audiences. They need a slightly more, I’ll say business opportunity style presentation. I don’t like that phrase. And I definitely don’t like that niche or market. Because there’s a lot of bullsh*t in that market. But I had to educate them more on what online marketing is and why it’s a great thing and so forth. And then they would also have a business audience. I actually tailored different programs for them. So to the personal development market, my event was called Underground Profit System. And that was sort of the hoodie-wearing work from home, on your laptop, or wherever you feel like it, and you know, do affiliate stuff.
Joe: Lifestyle kind of people.
James: Or sell your own products. Yeah. And then for the business community, I did a course called Business Internet Formula. And that’s more how to use the internet to leverage your business and, you know, go online. And again, the first event for that was probably in 2010. And it was at that event where I actually created and built the first version of what became my SEO business, I literally built it in the room. And if you log into SuperFastBusiness membership, and go down to the archives and pull up Business Internet Formula, I think you will be blown away at what we were talking about almost a decade ago, and how accurate that training has become in hindsight.
Joe: Wow. I’ll make a note of that because I want to check this out, this is amazing. Interesting.
James: That was good. And I ran a couple of those and I ran I think four or five Underground Profit Systems until we changed brands to FastWebFormula. And we had a good run of those. And then we became SuperFastBusiness Live.
A decade of consistency
Here’s an interesting thing – like what we’ve pulled out of this discussion, I’ve been podcasting for 10 years, I’ve been running membership sites for 10 years, and I’ve been running live events for 10 years. So those three pillars have been consistent, yet there have been definitely changes with positioning and angles. And I’ve tried selling the product with the membership as the backend. I’ve sold the membership as the front end, and then tipped all my products in. And a big reason for that shift was the change in the way that my membership was structured. Because initially, for the first four years, I had a partner. And then for the next six years, it was all mine. And I couldn’t tip all my products in when it was a joint venture, but I could when it was all mine. It just made sense.
Matt: Yeah, totally. So to this day, is most of your sales coming from doing live events and stuff? Or are you getting sales from, you know, a sales letter with driven by ads and that kind of thing?
James: Nope, neither. I don’t really run ads much at all. If the internet will bear it, I’m going to pull up an interesting stat for you because I know you’re going to like this.
Joe: Let’s not hold our breath too much. The internet might break.
James: I’m logging into Wicked Reports. So just bear with me, guys, because this is a discovery I made recently that was kind of telling.
Matt: Yeah, Wicked Reports is fantastic. Like once we got Wicked and started using it, it was kind of one of those things that we realized, how did we live without this tool?
Joe: It was like we had fog over our eyes beforehand. And all of a sudden, it’s clear, we could see what all the connections are now.
Looking at the ROI
James: Yeah, right. So I’m pulling a stat for since I was first tracking in Wicked Reports, right? So I don’t know how long that is. But let’s say that the cohort that I’m talking about, it’s well over a million dollars in revenue, right? So the lifetime value of my clients is two and a half thousand dollars. For Facebook, I’ve spent 11 and a half thousand dollars, and I’ve made $220,679.60 back from that.
Matt: That sounds like a good ROI to me. Not bad.
James: It’s worth 1800 percent, earnings per lead is $103. Here’s the interesting one, though. And this took me by surprise. Obviously, my email, I’ve made a half a million dollars from the email cohort. That’s very strong. Earnings per lead is $200. I don’t really do AdWords. I’ve made $200 from AdWords so far, because I only started that last month. And I’m just bidding on my own name. And from listening to you guys, that was just like, I can’t not do that.
Joe: Well, that was a Mike Rhodes thing, I believe too, right? I think you were in a thread and there was something. It was like, that is like the number thing.
James: I was definitely doing this a decade ago. There’s just some things I stopped doing for a while. I used to spend $3,000 a day on ads 10 years ago. I was advertising on Facebook in 2009. So I’ve basically done more and then stopped doing more than most people will start, which is why, you know, it’s interesting, having this little history lesson for myself in a way. What did I used to do that I stopped doing and I should do again? And Adwords is one. I think I stopped because I got banned. I think that’s the real reason.
Joe: That’s like most people.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
James: Yeah. Probably about seven years ago, I think I got banned, and only because, not from what I was doing at the time, but this is what happened. I was advertising on a URL, the campaign finished, I let the domain lapse, someone else got it, put something spammy on it. And then Google connected that with my historic account and slapped my account. That was, I think, a very unfair and unjust situation.
Matt: I had something very similar happen with Google AdWords, very, very, very similar thing. I had a domain, we did one thing on it, they actually penalized it for something that that domain once did before I owned the domain and got my account shut down.
James: So that’s what happened to me. And that’s why I’ve been banging on about OwnTheRacecourse so heavily for the last seven or eight years, because you can count on the big companies slapping you around, it’s just inevitable. Anyway, they’ve been pestering me and pestering me with this, you know, to start an account at SuperFastBusiness. So I did. Yeah, so I have that campaign, and I’ve made 200 bucks already. So I’m killing it. With the unpaid social, that’s the one that got me by surprise. Here’s some stats, right? From the videos that we publish out there, we do put trackable links near the video, like if it’s LinkedIn or Facebook, or I don’t care about taking them off the platform because ultimately, I’m not there to fatten up LinkedIn. I’m there to educate the audience there, and have them be interested in buying something from me. So I’ve had 17,966 clicks on these trackable links, which generated 2,187 leads, which generated so far 380 sales, earnings per lead $100. And the unpaid social traffic’s just about to tick over $220,000. That’s from those little videos, and I’ve been doing it for one year now. One a day for a year.
Matt: I remember that, like when you started.
Matt: Yeah, because we were doing a lot of those.
James: I remember, you loved that video training and you ramped things up.
Matt: We did, yeah.
James: So, you know, I was inspired by your AdWords, you know, bid-on-your-own-name reminder. Remembering to do what I used to do. But if you combine some Facebook ads, and you combine some little videos, and you get obviously the emails is my strong part, because that’s where they’re coming from those transcriptions and lead magnets and turning into a sequence that will eventually create a buyer from the right prospects. That’s basically what’s going down. I thought those stats might be interesting to you for benchmarking purposes, at least.
Joe: Yeah, now those will be perfect in these notes that we make. So it will be all super clear and drawn out.
James: You’ll have to pay the note taker more for this episode, that will be my dream goal.
Joe: That’s probably true.
Matt: No, I think right now, last time we checked inside of Wicked, we were making about $35 per lead. And we thought we were just crushing it at $35 per lead, because on Facebook and Google, we can buy leads for between five and $10. So you know, we thought we were killing it with that. But when I hear you, like, someone’s getting $200 per lead based on what Wicked’s saying that’s…
Joe: Or just $100 organically…
James: I should be making less per lead and buying a lot more leads. I mean, that’s the outcome that I’ve arrived at. So in my business, what I’ve been doing lately is, the start of the year, I had a big win back campaign, which just did so well. And I published that for members as training. If you’ve got existing customers, and you’ve got past customers, and you want to freshen things up, that is like the best campaign to run. And I caught back a lot of old customers. So I’ve got really interesting stats on that one, too. Since the time I’ve been tracking statistics for SuperFastBusiness membership, it’s now, that’s been seven and a half years, I’ve got that much data. And interesting stat, I’ll just pull this one up, because I know you like your metrics. One of you is a spreadsheet junkie for sure.
Matt: That’s me, yeah.
Joe: It’s Matt, but I appreciate all this.
James: It’s been going now for 86.9 months. And the average retention of active members is 36.6 months. And the average retention for non-active members is 14.4 months. And the average of all is 19.8 months. That’s over all time. What that means in simple terms is, I still have about 24 and a half percent of all the members I’ve ever sold in the last seven and a half years.
Customer retention best practices
Joe: Okay, you took one of the questions that I had written down here. Do you have a go-to way to retain these folks and keep it a sticky environment? You know, so they just don’t leave, or is it just your interactions?
James: Oh yeah, we got an entire training on retention. That is the gold, that’s the holy grail of retention of a membership, is to keep members so you don’t have to worry too much, like, if you’re not cranking out the traffic or finding; like all the discussion online is about getting your lead funnels and, you know, traffic and conversion. Like, what if you could actually just keep a customer for a really long time and have a fantastic relationship? That’s the goal. So there’s so much I do for that. I was looking at my churn percentage and we measure both. I look at annual churn and monthly churn. And I chart it. And I did lots and lots of things to help the churn, like everything from loyalty price lock-ins, where you give loyal, long-standing members a lower rate than what the public can get, whether it’s slipping away sequences, like paying attention as soon as people become inactive and helping them get back in and getting value. So a lot of clues come from the software as a service world. And some of the tools I use are the same that they use, like Intercom for example. Segmented geo specific messaging, local meetups, for example, are very powerful. We just had our Melbourne meetup, and Sydney meetup, and Brisbane meetup, all happened within a week’s space, and it happens pretty much every month. And that’s strong glue.
Where the money comes from
And to go back to your other question, which I don’t think we ever answered, do I make all the money from the events? Sort of, not from selling the event tickets. I do make a profit on the front end, I sell my tickets for a good price. And I get the best possible numbers. And I’ll get 150 to 220 amazing people at say an average of $1,000 or more. But then what we do is we capture and record content and put that in the membership. And that is giving me good strong retention. Because in the lead up to the event, people will stay a member to be a part of it and to interact with people coming to the event. And in the post event phase, they’re getting the content and the recording so they can recap and review and stay in touch with the people they met at the event. So there’s a good six-month retention sweet spot around an event if you do it right. So for me, if I have a high monthly recurring income, six months’ worth of retention is worth a lot more to me than trying to have a $97 ticket price and then jab everyone at the event with a $20,000 upsell, like a high-ticket closer, and all this stuff. I mean, I’m really against almost everything that’s happening in the event industry in the online space. I just don’t participate in 98 percent of it.
Joe: Yeah, I love that. I mean, I just like this approach because it’s a gradual build. It’s a compounded effort, the way you approached it for the last 10 years now. And yeah, I’ve listened to many wealthy, you know, business owners in all different spaces, and most are not saying they make their win off of a big launch or payday or sell the business. It’s this. It’s this approach. And it helps you keep that lifestyle too.
Celebrating lack of drama
James: Well, if you read Profit First, you discover that almost everyone’s businesses are absolute train wrecks. Like, you can have a fancy revenue number, but there’s a lot of pain and tears and heartache and denial behind the scenes. And I get under the hood of a lot of businesses and I’ve seen the carnage. It’s rare that I’ll find a business that’s ticking along sweetly. Because people get tricked. They’re overloaded and bombarded and confused as hell on Facebook. They got all these tricky bots and funnels and hacks and things tearing at them for leverage that’s ironically stealing their time and attention. That’s the big thing I noticed when I went from doing two or three grand a day in ads to not being a full paid super affiliate. My life has a lot less drama and less stressful. It’s hard to put a price on that. But as you get a bit older, I think you become more aware of the value of a drama-free life. Is it so bad to be content? And when is enough? So these are the things that I think are the challenges for the online world. And if you are obsessed about getting a big email list or building out tricky funnels and stuff, you can lose sight of the whole picture. So it’s kind of like a more minimal approach. But I guess, I talked about this in my book as well, that I’m prepared to leave some money on the table, as long as I can keep the life.
“As you get a bit older, you become more aware of the value of a drama-free life.”
Matt: Yeah, it’s funny. I kind of laughed when you said the drama thing, because I would say affiliate marketing, out of everything we do in our business, pretty much 90 plus percent of the drama comes from the affiliate marketing side of things.
Joe: Well, it’s out of our control too, yeah.
James: And that’s a nasty little world, that whole market. There’s some marketplaces with some filthy products out there, the hyped-up gold-sellers. And I left that world, I made a conscious choice. One day, I just logged out of one of those forums. And I still get checks now from one of those marketplaces that I can’t bank because it’s so expensive to bank the check, and the checks aren’t worth that much. And I can’t even log into one of my seven or eight accounts to change it to a direct debit, they’ll set a new threshold. So that’s quite funny. But I left that world, I just switched it off and didn’t go back because I wanted to level up. I wanted to be more professional. And I wanted to do good-for-human stuff. And I think some of that stuff, definitely the products that you and I sell, like tools and software, like shopping carts, etc., they’re fantastic and good for humans. So I’m not talking about that. But it can be a slippery slope when you think, oh there’s more opportunity to get. And it is a little more of an active model. I’ll say that.
Joe: Yeah, and that’s I think where the stress mainly comes from us is, it’s a very active model, the lack of control.
James: Right. So a less active model that’s still really fruitful and rewarding is to become an affiliate of the entire business or a whole product line where you take a rev share deal instead. That opens up doors that were closed before. Imagine if you could go out and help every other shopping cart affiliate to grow that shopping cart business instead of competing with them. That’s when those sort of opportunities flick the switch, and your skills can become really useful. And there’s more passive nature to that too, once you’ve got it set up right.
When the podcast isn’t the business
Matt: Yeah, you’re kind of speaking our language, because one of the directions we’re going down, and we haven’t spoken about it too publicly yet, but one of the directions we’re going down is to help people who have podcast but also have like, the podcast isn’t the business, but they have a podcast and they have a business, help them sort of bridge that gap a little bit, because that’s one of the areas we feel that we did kind of crack that nut a little bit, you know, sort of bridging the gap between podcast list. I mean, you have, too, and a lot of what we do is modeled after what you do. But that’s where we want to go with our business, is going directly to people that have good-sized podcasts and also a good business that we can help bridge their gap between getting the most out of their podcast, and then do it from an equity standpoint, as opposed to an affiliate standpoint.
Joe: Yeah, the rev share. Mainly with discoverability and monetization. Those are like, the big gaps.
James: It’s very funny, you say that. I’m literally coaching someone on the exact same thing right now. So I do think you’re onto a good idea. But I do think like, you need strong skills to make that work. So, you know, the person I’m helping has a team and has experience in shows and podcasts. And will do really well with this, as will you because you have skills in that. I’m just putting that out there for the 57 copycats who think I’m going to do that too.
Matt: And some of the stuff that we do for podcast, right now, we’re kind of sort of keeping under wraps a little bit, we’re not going out there and really publicizing a lot of our tactics yet.
How much info should you share?
James: I think that makes sense. You know, like, there’s an iceberg in my world, too. There’s things that I only talk about with my SilverCircle-level clients that I wouldn’t share on a podcast, I mean out of respect for their IP and how effective the technique is, that if everyone wants to do it, and let’s face it, online marketers have a terrible habit of destroying every platform or technique or tactic known to man. So there are things that should not be published or talked about. And often when I’m coaching, I actually point this out to a student, I might say, look, is this something you feel the need to share or educate others on? Should you just use the technique for yourself for a while and really grow it? You know, a lot of the things I share in private conversations, I wouldn’t publish on the podcast, because it just doesn’t make sense.
“There are things that should not be published or talked about.”
Joe: Well, there’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about in this regard is, you know, make the money, create the wealth, the passive income or the subscription, whatever the revenue is, and don’t teach yet, but like make enough where you can give it away for free, like give away some of these strategies freely on the podcast. It doesn’t have to be behind a paywall. It can be, but you know, it doesn’t need to become another info product that we rely on, you know, doing a launch around. It’s like, we ideally want to get to the point of, let’s just do it really well and help the people that are perfect, like a perfect fit for it. And then we can just freely share it, it’s fine.
James: Well, that’s the stage I’ve got to with affiliate recommendations. Someone asked me the other day if I still have BuyWithBonus, which was a fantastic and really profitable business model. But when I left that affiliate world, and the whole bonus world and the hyped-up world, it became less relevant to me. I’d rather share an amazing resource, you know, like Design or whatever, for free. And just mention it, and I won’t get a clip on that, but I am helping out a prospect. And they’ll probably feel good about their purchase and where it makes sense to have an affiliate product recommendation, I will, but I’ve certainly become a lot more generous lately.
When people are generous
And I’ve seen examples where generosity pays big. When Justin Brooke asked the question on Facebook, and Roland answered it, and then I chipped in, that thing really took off and got shared into the internet marketing. Super friends. And then, Roland’s putting it on his own page and I shared and then it’s gone to medium. And by adding a lot of value and generously digging deep like Roland did where he obviously he took some time out and either captured something he’d already done or did the effort to pull up some research, that is a classic example of a rich, deep share that most people would charge for that people will share and perpetuate. And it elevates.
And I actually broke down why I think that was successful on a post that I did, because people will see it on the surface, but it’s much deeper than that. I mean, so clever to put pictures of the Eiffel Tower and position himself as an OG and so forth, and take that idea and run it across multiple, I saw it in a boardroom group as well. I’ve seen that in multiple groups. And it’s taken me.
So what Roland’s done well, and I think I’ve had a good knack with this at times, is he’s seen what’s taking off and jumped all over it quickly. And I did that with the online gold movement, you know, a decade ago, was I knew that was going to be hot and big. And I built a million-dollar SEO business off the back of that industry from riding that train for a long time. But I won’t do it if it’s a five-minute thing. But let’s face it, the topic that came up of scaling, and the related subset of mindset, which is where I steered it a little bit, is a big topic that is not going away.
Joe: You literally brought up a conversation I was trying to tell Matt because he was on a vacation. And he saw the original Justin Brooke post.
Matt: I saw that original post from Justin Brooke and I literally posted it in Slack and told everybody on our team, read this post and read all of the comments. Because this is like, an education just in the comments here.
Joe: And then as Matt’s been gone, you know, the last four or five days, I was like, Matt, Roland’s been on a tear. And he’s just like, going crazy with the mindset thing and that and then I said that you, and I haven’t even been able to keep up with all the comments yet. But I know you had a massive breakdown in the comments there. You didn’t have a mental breakdown, I think.
James: Basically I identified the part that was missing was the mindset. And so I leveraged off the existing body of work. That’s the technique. And it was important enough that Roland then attributed me in his post. So I got, I’m not kidding, I had like 60 or 70 friend requests within 10 hours.
Joe: I believe it.
James: So that how it works. And we tandemed, we basically tagged team that, like I then shared his post more. So if you’re generous with other marketers, and you recognized, like him and I, I think we recognized in each other. We both knew this was hot. And it was Justin’s post. Let’s get this in context. Justin started it. Roland destroyed it. And then I just topped it up, I just tipped a little bit of fuel on top and the whole thing went bright. I did similar things with some early sort of sensors around products like when I helped James Dyson come up with OptimizePress and make that famous. And when I got up early in on LeadPages with Clay Collins, I knew that thing was going to blow up. I knew ThriveCart was going to be hot. I got in as an affiliate before the public program. Like, when I get my spidey senses tingling, and I know something’s going to be big, then I know it’s worth spending the attention, because that’s exactly what I did all those years ago when I started my forum. When I started that forum, I knew that affiliate product was going to be big. And I tipped all my energy into ranking everywhere for that, running ad campaigns for it, and doing the bonuses for it, and it turned into a business that, without exaggeration, has generated millions of dollars over the last decade from that initial seed.
Why scale to 10 million?
Joe: Yeah, I remember, and I just wanted to kind of close the loop on that Justin Brooke thing, because it’s, you brought up the whole thing of scaling a business and I love that multiple people, I think Ryan Deiss was one of them, you might have been one of them, Roland definitely did, was like, why do you want to scale to 10 million? Like, what’s the reasoning here?
Matt: Yeah, I mean, the motivation is a big piece.
“You cannot have 10 million without some other side effect.”
James: That is the number one mandate when I take on a SilverCircle client. Like, it’s an eight-out-of-10 chance, they’ll say, I want to make $10 million a year. It is a pre-programmed default for an entrepreneur who’s doing a couple of million bucks a year. And I said, like, be careful what you wish for. That was my actual words. Because if you know about Yin and Yang, and the black and white and the balance of things, you cannot have the 10 million without some other side effect. It’s impossible. So in his case, I imagine he wants the 10 million because the side effect will be significance, self esteem, feeling of OG, he’s the king of the jungle. That’s why we want this from a mindset perspective in some cases. I said, go back and look deeper into why you want it. Maybe you can find it in another way. I know in my case, it’s likely, if I was to, like Roland wants to be a billionaire, I think he stated that, if my goal is to be a billionaire, I have a feeling it would impede with my ability to surf every day. And then I think I’d be a less happy person.
Joe: Sure. I believe it.
James: So I think, where’s the limit? Is it okay to have a seven-figure profit without too much drama, and to live a little longer and to enjoy time with your baby? I’ve found my level. And the reality is, I’d say, a good chunk of the clients I’m coaching at the higher level have a higher revenue number than I do. But a lot of them, what they’re looking from me is not just more revenue, but most definitely to actually keep some of them and have profit, and I’ve gotten really good at taking money from my business and transferring it away from my business into personal investments. So I have that strength and that no-compromise rock to lean on. I could stop work and it wouldn’t be an issue. Whereas a lot of people, if they stopped work for even half an hour, they start to feel pressure, because like, the machine’s going to eat them up alive.
Joe: Yeah. Or there is no machine.
James: That’s the point, there is a trade-off. So it’s not for me to say what makes someone happy or what they should or shouldn’t do. Like, by all means pursue your goals and your vision, it should excite the hell out of you and you should want it. The more I get deeper into understanding myself, the more I realize that some people are chasing goals that probably don’t make sense, and they may get there and then not be happy. And the first time I heard about this concept, I think it was probably about 2001 when I went to some super high level training for Mercedes-Benz for future leaders. And it was like this dealer principal development program, and we had a mindset speaker, and he was coaching people who had climbed Mount Everest. And the biggest challenge they had after climbing Mount Everest was deep dark depression. Like, okay, they made the summit. What’s left? What is left for them now? They’ve reached the summit of the most difficult, highest peak in the world. And then they felt empty and lost and black and dark and sad. That was the first time I thought, huh, maybe pursuing… because I was very driven and very competitive and I was a winner, you know, in sales and management. I was in that pit bull mentality. I was like, I would demolish my competitors. We were strong. But I’m not that same person anymore. And it’s funny, I had a coffee yesterday with my trainee that I hired in that year 2001, who, you know, 18 years later, you know, him and I were just having a coffee, reflecting on then and the craziness of it all. And he’s out of the industry a bit now. And I’m well and truly out of it. And a lot of people from that era are still having, like, post-stress disorder type traumas and nightmares and stuff. It was deep and dark.
Matt: So I have a question, before we go too deep on this rabbit hole, because you just kind of opened a rabbit hole that Joe and I have been talking about a lot lately…
James: That’ll be maybe a future episode because…
Matt: I was going to say, how much time do you have available?
James: Man, I love talking to you guys. This is like, the most fun you can have. How good is it to find a way to enjoy your work where you can help other people at the same time? Like just from sitting in a chair and talking.
Matt: For sure, we love it.
Joe: It’s the dream.
Matt: Yeah, it’s interesting, because you touched on the topic of sort of depression and anxiety and, you know, once you get to the top, where do you go from there? And that’s a topic that’s come up on probably the last five or six interviews we’ve done. And so it might be an interesting rabbit hole to go down. But I know we’re kind of running on the long end of this episode.
James: Yeah, we’ll open the loop and don’t close that one. Because this is really the core of what I do. In SilverCircle land, it’s the dead set, at least a quarter of the conversation or more is around self-effectiveness, I’ll call that bucket, like literally did in my deep dive survey. And what I said in Roland’s posts on Justin’s thread, it’s the mindset aspect that is the constant thing as an entrepreneur. Like, you get a handle on that, you figure out that game, and that’s the difference between having a life of joy or a life of misery. And I think a lot of people cross it. I’m thankful, you know? Like, I never pushed it to the point where I went too far. But I could definitely tell when I was getting close. And I’ve made massive adjustments in my life, especially in the last six or seven years. I keep refining and tuning.
Spotting and working with winners
I’ve seen you guys go. I’m watching you from the beginning; I knew you were going to be hot and take off. I predicted that early. And I’m still backing that.
Joe: Thank you.
James: Because you’ve just had stratospheric growth and amazing feedback. And I love working with winners, like guys like Caleb O’dowd. His ROI tips, for example, I was right behind that rename, and the take off of that thing, and I’ve watched him just explode. I can tell when it’s going to happen. And to be fair, he was already incredibly successful before any of that. Working with winners like that is the best thing ever. And I think you’ve had those growth changes. And as you change your family structure and your business preferences, and you discover what you do and don’t like, you know, what a ride.
Joe: Yeah, it’s so fun.
James: Let’s have an episode on it for sure.
Joe: Let’s do it. Let’s open that loop. And yeah, because that’s a deep dive, I think we just want to bring that awareness, that there’s so much more than just the tactics and the, you know, the day-to-day screen time that we, but us as entrepreneurs feel lonely a lot of times, and there’s so many ways… Like, you do it with surfing, I watched one of your short videos the other day. It was like, are you actually living? And it’s like, plan for something in your day to go out and hike or, you know, surf, whatever it is. But get outside, get away from it all and get some white space to think or not think. That’s fine, too.
Joe: Yeah man, let’s open that up for another time.
Matt: We’ll put a pin in that one and definitely circle back around, because I’m sure we could probably talk a whole hour just on that mental game and sort of getting yourself out of ruts and that sort of stuff.
Some books worth checking out
Joe: Let’s do the typical like, what we do on ours. Any new books or resources that you just been referring to others are just all about.
James: You know, on this topic, I would say Profit First is a good read for that, realizing if your business is in deep trouble or not. That’s good. I’ve been rereading. I was rereading Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got, because I’ve been chatting with Jay Abraham a bit lately. And I just wanted to rethink back with my past and have a reflection, because I want to record a discussion with him about that. It’s always a classic, that book. Another one, on the topic of our next episode, is Wabi Sabi.
Joe: Hmm. Okay.
Matt: What is that? Can you spell that? I didn’t quite catch what it was.
James: W-A-B-I-S-A-B-I by Beth Kempton. It’s a captivating concept from Japanese aesthetics, which helps us to see beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity, and accept the transient nature of all things. And that is a pretty good description of how I run my life now compared to before.
Joe: Wow, okay, I’m going to pick that one up, now. Kindle baby, love it. And I’m going to throw something out there. I don’t think I even told Matt a lot about it. But Naval Ravinant has an amazing podcast that hits on a lot of these points you’ve been talking about. I think it’s just called The Naval podcast. It’s like a bunch of clips all put together, but it’s how everyone can be rich. He kind of purposely made it click baitey title, but it’s all about wealth in your business and life. I think that’s a perfect extension, you know, if people want to dive deeper in podcast form, and all these topics.
James: You know, my old crazy mentor that I had in circa 2001, he used to drill me with this. He’d say, what is success? And I’d say, what, you mean like owning a couple of houses? He goes, no not money. He’d like, snap at me. He goes, to be rich is not money. I know he had a really nasty divorce and an impaired relationship with his son and he had a lot of issues. And he was reflecting. Because he was rich in the money sense. He owned two franchises. He had millions of dollars. He had a Ferrari, a Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, big houses. He had material wealth, but he was emotionally broke, like bankrupt. And it made him a very difficult character to be around, but it was such a strong lesson for me.
Joe: Love it. Yeah. There’s a lot more than just the wealth. So your wealth can end and success is all over. But life, yeah.
James: Man, if I can get a barrel, that will be the richest moment in my life of any possible experience. And only a surfer would know that.
Joe: Yeah. It took me a second, I was like, wait, what kind of barrel does he want? A wine barrel? A whiskey barrel? Oh, surfing. That’s right. We’re talking to James.
James: That’s right. Being in the tube, that’s like, you can put a lot of energy trying to get that to happen. And it’s very elusive and difficult, especially if you start late. You know, it’s amazing when you have a reframe on what’s important to you. You know, life takes on a different dimension. You know, when we hang up, I’m going to take my little family down to a cafe and have a nice Friday relax. This is the first Friday I’ve worked in about four months.
Joe: Oh man, don’t blame us. Don’t blame us.
James: I’m not going to blame you. I actually really looked forward to this, get a little early morning session in.
Joe: Awesome. Thank you man.
James: It’s just been wonderful to chat.
Joe: Yeah, well let’s do it again very soon and we’ll be more active in the forum, I promise.
Matt: Let’s throw some URLs out there for anybody listening.
James: Yes, please.
Matt: So you’re at SuperFastBusiness.com. Is there anywhere else you want people to go check out?
James: I like it simple.
Matt: SuperFastBusiness.com. You can pretty much find anything there.
James: Check out our new design. We did a new design.
Joe: That looks good. I actually, I popped over there earlier today and I was like, hey this chooser is a lot more fancy-looking now.
Matt: Yeah, we were looking at it before we jumped on.
Joe: No, good work, man.
James: I did a new website design. I’ve got some new images just about to arrive, and new copy. So like, just a strengthening and doubling down of what’s really working well. Just enhancing.
Matt: Love it. Love it. And we’re at Evergreenprofits.com if you’re listening on James’s show.
Joe: That’s right.
Matt: That’s our jumping-off point where you can find our podcast and training and everything else we offer.
Joe: Yup, keeping it simple. Alright, James, appreciate your time, man. Go have some fun with the fam.
James: Thanks, Matt and Joe. See ya.
Joe: See ya.
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