In this episode:
01:55 – The continual launch trap
03:08 – Meeting James and what changed
06:50 – Is everyone going to leave?
09:45 – Like raising a child
11:18 – Retaining and getting members
16:06 – What things look like after a year
18:27 – The role that team plays
22:35 – Recurring product, recurring relationships
26:03 – Consider this mindset change
28:19 – Where to from here?
30:43 – The tech side of things
31:40 – Getting help versus venturing solo
Let James match you with your ideal business model inside SuperFastBusiness membership
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 688, and we’re having a chat with Austin from Texas. That’s confusing.
Austin: It is, it is. I do live in Austin, Texas now. So it’s been a funny transition.
James: Austin, you are somewhat of a god with ecommerce. Let’s be honest. You’re good at it. And I’ve loved watching your growth journey, from the time we got introduced. I think we sat next to each other at Ezra Firestone’s event, an ecommerce event in San Diego where you and I both spoke. And we’ve remained in touch since then. And you’ve had quite the journey with your own ecommerce consulting services, because I think you’d worked your way up to the point where you were a tremendous expert at Klaviyo and email campaigns. And people were seeking you out to come and help them with their campaigns. And you were often running high-level boot camps on a sort of semi-frequent basis, reasonably high ticket events with serious ecommerce customers. And that’s when you and I were chatting about your business model. And I’d love to sort of pick up the story and see what happens, because it’s fascinating and a great learnable case study that could apply to lots of people who listen to this podcast.
The continual launch trap
Austin: Yeah. No, that’s exactly where we met. I think at that point, I had a business that I’d been running. I transitioned away from having an email marketing agency, because I really wasn’t passionate about that. It wasn’t a good fit. But I was really passionate about doing live events and boot camps. So I’d been doing these kind of intensive workshop, email marketing boot camps around the country, and I was doing basically one every two to three months. And they were profitable events. They were good for my clients, they were good for me.
But the downside was that I was just caught in this rut of continually launching new events, continually selling, and then putting on these events that were really taxing. And if anybody’s put on a live event, doesn’t matter how big the live event is, it is exhausting. And I remember sitting by, there’s a thing called Barton Springs here in Austin, Texas; it was February of, I believe it was last year. And I was sitting by the springs, and I was just completely worn out. I was so exhausted. I had another event that was coming up. But I just been launching over and over and over again. And so, sales weren’t where I wanted them to be. And I just sat there and I was talking to my wife and I was like, you know, there’s got to be a different, better way to do this. Because I have an audience, you know, let’s figure out a way to transition.
Meeting James and what changed
And then we got in contact. And I reached out, I think, might have even have been like that next week. And we started sort of talking and working together. And that’s kind of the start of where my model changed from what I had, which was just launching events, to what I’ve got now, which is a two-tier membership coaching group, and I have my events as well.
James: Why don’t you mention your membership site so that people can look it up and get some context? And also obviously, if they have an ecommerce store, you would be a really good provider of coaching, specially high end. I recommend people go there these days, if they’re needing some help with ecommerce.
Austin: Yeah, so you can check it out. It’s called jointhecoalition.com. Coalition is my coaching membership. And that’s where you can join, get one-on-one help from me, and also go through a lot of the trainings, ecommerce trainings that I put together over the last four or five years. It was a really good way, you know, you helped me think about it a little bit differently, and put a lot of the stuff that I’ve been creating this content over years and years into one space. And then use that as a way to direct people to the right content at the right time, versus just putting out content continuously, which has been a learning experience in itself, going through this process of trying to evolve my business.
James: Well, I love when you evolved your business, I also learnt things as well, because what I got to witness was someone with a really good ecommerce and automation and email strength, applying a business model a little bit like mine to their field. But you actually innovated a few things that rolled out to my side as well. One of the memorable ones was the auto post for new members.
James: Just to get people started and to engage in the membership, I noticed that you had created the automation where when someone joins, it automatically post for them. So anyone in my membership in SuperFastBusiness, who’s had a welcome automated post to, you know, video from me, that was an Austin Brawner innovation. And, you know, I’m quick to see the opportunity in that and to roll it out. So thank you for that. And I guess in your case, you ended up with a business model like mine. So you’ve completely changed your business. So you’ve gone from this semi-regular, somewhat exhausting and draining events, getting in touch with me.
By the way, almost everyone who gets in touch with me is in, near, or has had some kind of crisis or event that makes them feel like they’re ready to change. It reminds me of the podcast I did with Nir Eyal, about why we do the things we do. And it’s almost always to avoid pain.
“Membership is hard at the beginning. That’s where all the work is done.”
James: Because we’re dissatisfied, or we’re not feeling like we’re in the right zone, so we’ll actually take action to get out of it. But the funny thing is, when we talked about the model, and we proposed the change, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, was it? Especially the mental game of adjusting to something that you hadn’t done before. It’s kind of like Tarzan, swinging from a vine in the jungle, you’ve got a pretty good grip on the current vine, and then so you got to go and get a new one. So it’s like, hope this one holds me; I hope it supports me. And you had some concerns at the beginning, especially because the membership is hard at the beginning. That’s where all the work is done. There’s usually the least revenue. You can jumpstart them with an initial offering, but then you’re not sure what’s going to happen after that. Talk me through that phase of what we did.
Austin: Sure. So you know, we kicked things off, I think, by, we talked about implementation and moving quickly. But you know, I think, February, I decided to make a change. We started talking in March or April. By like, May 1st, I decided that I was going to move forward with the membership site. Within 30 days, I had the membership site built. So it was from deciding to do it to actually launching was less than 30 days.
Is everyone going to leave?
But then at that point, I launched and I had these people signed up, but it was kind of like, All right, now I gotta figure out what the hell I’ve got. Because I had an idea and a framework based on some of the stuff you told me and I was kind of just drafting on some of the stuff that you’d done. But then I got, you know, 80 to 100 members in there. And we’re just trying to figure it out. And that was probably the most challenging part, was going from, you know, initially, the sales were great, and it felt really good. But then those first three months, every single day of waking up thinking to myself, is everyone going to leave? Like, am I going to lose everybody tomorrow? And I think that’s super common, right? It’s super, super common, because it is a totally new business model, at least for me. And, you know, I’m just kind of picking out the things that people are interested in, and also learning what people aren’t interested in, and trying to eliminate that from the membership.
So those, you know, I would say the first three months, it was nervousness around people leaving. Turns out, they didn’t leave, you know? Some people did, and that’s just normal. But, you know, people stuck around, and after those three months, it changed in my mind, and it was no longer, I’m worried about people leaving, it’s more about, all right, now this thing is still in its infancy. And it’s not generating enough sales really to justify the amount of time and energy that I’m putting into it. But I believe in the future it can be better than it is right now. So I’m going to double down and continue to work through this time where it’s a lot of work, not as much income as launching a one-off course, for example, or one-off live event. But I can see the future. And the future was that it was going to grow and get better. And then basically six months in, I realized I had an issue with, I was retaining people, but I couldn’t bring enough people in. I really dove in for about three months to figure out, how can I bring people in month over month and build a system for that. And that has been kind of a game changer for me and for the business.
James: Right. So a couple of points there. I’m like you – I care a lot about my members, and I definitely took it personally when people would leave. I’m like, oh, I’ve somehow failed. Not that many people leave my membership. And I’ve been blessed to have been running a membership now for over a decade. So I’ve got the hang of it. And it’s all about caring for your existing members.
And then of course, you need a way to fill the membership. For me, podcasts have been solid. Videos, of late, have worked well. Publishing a book really helped. The occasional speaking opportunity. There are things you can do.
“Product launches are a good promotional thing, but they’re not a great business model.”
And I agree that the slow burn of a membership, it really gets into your mind in the beginning, because you might wonder, is this going to sustain? You could have done a launch of a $2,000 product, and you would have had a lot more revenue. But then what you discover with launch math is, there’s payment plans; there’s costs that come back out; often there’s affiliates; there’s a lot of wear and tear, which you were trying to avoid from the launch model. So product launches are a good promotional thing, but they’re not a great business model.
Like raising a child
And the membership, if you can get through that first phase, and validate it, and you find your mojo and you pick up a culture in that community – which we can talk about more – it starts to take on a personality, a lot like an infant. I often equate a membership like raising a child. You know, you don’t know how the birth is going to go, it’s a bit scary, you’re in a bit of shock. When the thing’s screaming and can’t talk or eat by itself or change its own nappies, it can be hard work. But you’ve got to see the potential; you got to think, this will grow up one day; maybe we’ll have grandkids and it’ll be amazing or you go on family holidays. Like, the memberships get better and better with age. And I have membership now that’s gone over 10 years, and one that’s coming up to 10 years. And they’ve constantly innovated and changed.
And one thing that’s always amazed me is the culture of the people inside the membership. It shifts as you shift members gently over time. In any given year, you might have a third or a half of your members churn depending on how your churn rate looks. And you’ll have people coming in. And the general number, hopefully over time, is either static or going up. And as you improve your expertise, and you get more confident with pricing, your profitability can rise. And as you get better and better at running a forum and managing a forum, you can actually reduce the amount of time you put into it. So if you take a mature one, they’re an amazing business. And it would be a mistake to look at someone’s mature membership and think that you’re going to start like that.
“It would be a mistake to look at someone’s mature membership and think that you’re going to start like that.”
So you found your feet. You stayed out that first scary phase.
Retaining and getting members
James: You realized you needed to get members. I know someone listening to this would ask, Austin, how did you decide to generate members? So I mean, two things there, really. I’d love you to talk about churn and how you retain members. But I’d also love you to talk about how you get members, because these are the two major levers for a membership.
Austin: Sure. So I can start with churn. A couple things that I’ve learned around this over the last year and a couple of months that I’ve been running this. So, the more that I press for members, meaning the more I open up and do launches – you probably feel the same; probably the same experience, James – the higher the churn is going to be after. So if I ever do a launch – and I do a launch once or twice a year, it’s what I’ve been doing – I always will bump up a bunch of people, and then I’ll lose people with high churn rates right afterwards.
What I’ve been doing to reduce churn, a lot of what I’ve focused on has been implementing kind of some of the best practices that you told me, like making sure that you’ve got an email sequence, following up with new members, onboarding them to content, trying to get them a result right away. I try to send them a direct message through the private coaching thread, and follow up with people and give them some sort of a wow moment right away, through either a video message or just helping them solve a problem that’s really, really helpful right off the bat as far as reducing churn. Trying to get people to post, that is always my goal initially, is to try to people involved and posting.
There’s a couple of things I’m working on. My thought process over the last year has kind of been in quarters. Like, one quarter, I’ll work on growing the membership. And the next quarter, I’ll work on churn. Because I typically find ways to grow, and then as I grow, I realize I need to go back and work on retention. So this next quarter is going to be more focused on retention, and the previous quarter was focused on growth.
And a lot of what I was doing, you mentioned this earlier, a lot of my strength is in email marketing and marketing automation. So the big changes that I’ve made, one of them was, I put in towards the beginning of this last year, a really killer email onboarding sequence, as a free download with all these tools. And people could sign up for that. And then once they came in, I had about a 30-day email sequence that was extremely, extremely packed with value, even taking select chunks of things that I found valuable in my membership and putting them in an onboarding sequence, and then giving people results in advance, like trying to make sure that they felt like they were getting a ton of value from me before even signing up. And then pushing people to try out and see if it was a good fit for them in those emails. So that kind of got me to a consistent drip of people joining month in and month out. And then I could turn that up and turn that off by adding more people into that sequence.
And then like I mentioned earlier, I did an opening to my entire list with a complete rebrand in June and July. It was interesting – after about a year, I realized what we talked about, is that the culture had changed. Not necessarily the culture had changed, but just what people found valuable was different than what I initially was selling. And so with that, I needed to rebrand a little bit. When I say rebrand, change up my landing page, and change the copy on it. So I spent about a month and a half working on that, and re-launched it – with new copy, new sales page, everything – to my entire audience and added a bunch of members, upped the price to reflect the new value. And that’s kind of how I was able to gain some new members as of late.
Now it’s back to continue to focus back on retention, because it always comes back to continually providing value, and not getting too far ahead of yourself with adding members that you can’t service it, but you have to build your team. So there’s definitely a lot of facets. And it’s been really interesting and fascinating.
You being 10 years ahead, or I guess nine years ahead with these membership communities has been really helpful because a lot of these things you faced and have seen. And so it’s been helpful to kind of get some feedback on, Okay, this is what’s going to be coming down the pike around the corner here.
James: Yeah, it’s like, have confidence that it can work. And I’ve seen enough people set up memberships and run them now to get a sense of what is likely to work or not work and where they’re getting stuck. But I love how strong you are on the automation and the email game is good. A lot of the best trainings in SuperFastBusiness people love the most are the advanced email training, the cart abandonment training.
James: And so email is still consistently the number one performer for me in terms of turning a prospect into a customer.
Austin: A hundred percent.
What things look like after a year
James: And I can see how you’ve, you know, you’re using your own methodologies there. Tell me, what does business look like now? Like, you’re a little past a year down the track. Do you still have concerns about profitability or the success of the membership? And do you ever pinch yourself and realize that, you know, this momentum you’ve created is going to survive for a long time based on your current run rates of retention?
Austin: Yeah. I mean, my challenges have definitely changed over the last year. And I say that because I’m always an optimistic person; I usually am having fun doing this all the time. But what’s been interesting is that I’ve been shifting away from my challenge a year ago, which was Okay, can I can I sell an event? And am I going to be burned out, too? Now it’s like, well, what’s the right team member to add? What’s the right team member to add to help me sustain this? I’ve a very profitable business now, but I also am looking to now kind of sustain a lifestyle that I want. And I can continue to go in the direction that I’m going and it’s growing super fast, but it’s now a tradeoff of lifestyle and profitability. So it’s like, I got to pick the right person to add to the team to be able to help us grow and continue to grow, and allow me to also participate, help people as much as I can, but also not spend all my time working. Because the growth has led to me being in a position where money is now less valuable than time. And my thought process is, okay, you got to find the right person. And it’s a challenge, no matter what, because we do want to find a really, really good person who could be really helpful to our community. That’s what I’m struggling with now, versus a year ago.
It’s really, really great, going into a month having a really good idea of what you’re going to bring in. That’s a wonderful feeling. And for someone who’s run a business, you know, if you’re running a business right now, and that’s not something that you are familiar with, or you’re still in the position where it’s boom or bust, it really does take a lot of stress out of your life. It’s still there in different ways, right? You got to be consistent. And consistency is super important with a membership. But there is a huge difference between where I was at a year ago and where I’m at now. That’s the difference with recurring revenue and some of what I talk a lot about with my clients. It’s like, can you build something that is actually valuable and is recurring?
The role that team plays
James: Yeah, recurring revenue. And I’ve enjoyed a long time of recurring revenue. And I think it is helping me stay more chilled. People who know me now versus before, they know a different version of me. Because you’ve got that confidence; you can invest in team. My team members are actually coming up to 10 years as well, which is interesting. There’s a strong correlation between recurring revenue and having a good solid, stable team, because everyone knows that the job is safe, that the business is strong. I’d love to get a sense of what your team looks like at the moment, because that would be quite interesting, I think, to see where you’ve built your team over the last year.
Austin: Sure. Well, you’re going to be surprised. It’s not huge at this point, it’s still quite small. It’s just me. I have a project manager who’s full time in the States, when I say project manager, she does a lot. She posts in the membership with me, and also helps me with our events, emails going out. We have almost a full time, well, still part time, about 30 hours a week, executive assistant, who is highly skilled, based in the US. And she helps with managing my emails, my calendar, my schedule, as well as helps us send out the emails that we send out. We send a lot of emails, probably three a week, to different segments of my audience. And I have a podcast producer. And that’s it. And that’s where, you know, one of the things I mentioned is why I’m feeling the pinch is because the business has grown; the team has not grown yet to kind of match where we’re at. We’ve all adjusted our work, but that’s still kind of the next step. We actually just went through the whole hiring process, had somebody commit, sign a contract, we booked flights. And then the 11th hour, they’re like, Oh, I got a retention offer from my current company, where I’m going to go back to that company. And it was just, it was very frustrating.
James: Yeah, it can be.
Austin: It’s just the way that it works in hiring, you know? It’s just you, that’s part of the process.
James: Yeah. One of the popular training in SuperFastBusiness is how to recruit your next team member. And I broke down my whole hiring process from when I was running the Mercedes-Benz dealerships. I put the job ad, the skills and checklists, the methodology and the psychology behind how to get great team members. But team is really your asset. When you get a good team, they’re good. And sounds like we’ve got some overlap there. I’ve got my team helping out with emails and podcasts production.
Austin: Very much.
“You get a good team behind you, you’re away.”
James: I want them to do everything other than the bit that only I can do. Me talking to you on this podcast is an important role for me. My main role is content creation and delivery. I deliver on my coaching, that’s it. And you know, the rest is just like, finding opportunities, putting together revenue share deals, and managing investments and so forth. But the team are just phenomenal. You get a good team behind you, you’re away. And you really got to the point now in terms of your revenue and your profit where you can afford team. And you’ve got that stability, knowing that you can sustain it for a long time, because you can keep an eye on your churn rate. And you’ll have a pretty good indicator and predictor as to how your numbers look like in six months or a year from now. I mean, your membership, I imagine, is similar to mine, where you’re keeping people in excess of, certainly the whole time you’ve run it, I bet you’ve got members who have been with you the whole time.
Austin: A hundred percent.
James: Because I have members staying almost three years. So yeah, you know, you’re probably not even halfway through the customer lifetime value yet at this stage you’re at with the membership. So it’s pretty exciting to think about where that’s going.
And one thing that’s vitally important to mention here, and I can’t overstate this, but you have to have good product, or you’ve got to be good at what you do, if you expect people to stick around. The old membership model that was flogged about seven or eight years ago, was, you know, put up a sales page, sell people an autoresponder of information, and then they’ll last about three months. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a fully committed, leaning into your audience type service, where you are helping people get results. And you’re expecting them to be aware of their billing and you want them to stick around and they want to be there. In fact, they almost panic if they get locked out because of a billing failure or something.
Recurring product, recurring relationships
You know, that’s when you know you’ve got a strong product, when people miss it. And they remember the fun times. You know, we just did one of our monthly calls in SuperFastBusiness. And it’s just like getting back with old friends, like chatting to familiar faces. I love having that recurring relationship. How about you, Austin, where you’ve got the same people over and over again?
“You know you’ve got a strong product, when people miss it.”
Austin: A hundred percent. That’s one of the things that I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of the last year, is having a lot more in-depth relationships with people that I’ve worked with over the entire year. And the same thing, I have a call on once a month, and people will hop on and we’ll go through and troubleshoot issues right there on the call. It’s actually translated to is that my in-person events have become a lot more exciting, because the people that are showing up are people that I’ve been working with through coaching over the last year, and then they show up and I get to hang out with them in person. And the membership feeds the in-person events, the in-person events feed the membership. It’s a lot of fun to kind of combine all of them together. And I definitely feel like I have built relationships with people. It’s cool. All over the world – I got people in Sweden, Germany, in the Czech Republic that I’m messaging, and it’s cool. I was just traveling, and as I was traveling around Europe, there were people there that were messaging me and helping me go. Like, I was in Turkey, and somebody who has been a longtime listener sent me a list of all restaurant recommendations in Istanbul. And it was super cool to have that happen.
James: I adore my community. Just the best. And you’ve mentioned a really big tip there, is combining events. The events are an amazing opportunity to sell memberships. If you have a community who is strong and they represent well at events, if you have externally sold events, which I do, SuperFastBusiness Live is first available to members and then it goes to the public. And about, I think, somewhere between half and three quarters of the event will be members. And the others, they’re definitely going to be members after spending a couple of days with my members.
And I just got back from the Maldives, and I spent two weeks there with 20 entrepreneurs, two separate groups. And almost all of them are SuperFastBusiness or SilverCircle members. And they’re from all around the world – UK, USA, Thailand. They come in, they converge. We had Germans, Italian. It was really interesting. But they do become friends. And you learn from your clients, and you share experiences, and it just deepens your life experience. It’s so much better than doing a big launch of a course and having a flurry and then it’s finished. And then Okay, what’s next? And I see a lot of unfulfilled people. But also, it really takes care of another vital secret in business. And if you speak to any good copywriter, or anyone who’s good at their field, they’ll be doing a lot of research. That, how good is a membership for R&D, for getting to know your customers, what they like and what they don’t like and what their challenges are? And how does that help you solve their problems so much better when you get that close to them? And also, if you do local meetups, that can help.
Austin: One hundred percent. It’s a very interesting place. I find that a lot of my private coaching conversations have led me to be a better result as well, when I go and I meet with people in person for my workshops. I’m just kind of continuing to learn from that.
Consider this mindset change
I think that just the biggest takeaway from this whole process – we had a conversation a year ago, and I remember we were talking about my audience and where I was at, and you said flat out, you’re not earning what you should be earning based on the size of your audience. And a lot of that, I think, came down to just a fundamental difference between value capture, like there’s value produced, value captured. And when you are creating a lot of value and not capturing that value, it can be frustrating. It can lead people to capture a lot of value in a short period of time around a launch, when instead if you change up your thought process and say, Well, I’m going to be consistent and capture value consistently over time, then you can increase the amount of value that you capture, relative to the amount that you produce. And do it in a way that allows you to – I sometimes hate the word “scale”, because it’s like, overused, and people are like, always want to scale up everything. But really what it comes down to is, if you have the recurring revenue in your business, it’s really the first thing that’s going to allow you to be able to actually scale up your business, because you don’t think in terms of launches; you think in terms of investment. You think in terms of investing in the future. And that’s been just a huge, huge change in my mindset. I encourage anybody who’s thinking about it to kind of think about that mindset change.
James: Yeah, absolutely. The growth, the sake of growth thing, that gets a bit stressful.
Austin: Yeah, understatement there.
James: You know, you got a lot of these funded companies, on borrowed funds, trying to get the plane off the ground before the runway ends. The membership is almost the antithesis of that, where you’re getting paid along the way to grow and develop and learn. And it’s definitely not for everyone. I think you have to be very responsible. I think you have to have a good product or ability to solve problems. And you have to care, you really have to care about your customers. And I see one trend with experts is quite often they’re keen to set these things up, but try not to be involved as much as possible. And I think that’s almost a mistake. I think a membership works really well for someone who wants to be a bit involved, who doesn’t mind nurturing a community. That will be a point of difference, and it will be a strong selling feature if you’re able to offer that.
Austin: Sure. Hundred percent.
Where to from here?
James: Yep. So what’s next for Austin? You already have a very strong podcast as well. So I imagine that that, coupled up with your membership, it was the perfect way to capture the value of the amazing podcast you already have. Why don’t you mention the podcast so listeners can go and check it out.?
Austin: Yeah. So my podcast is The Ecommerce Influence Podcast. And we talk about kind of advanced marketing traffic and conversion strategies for ecommerce businesses. We’ve been doing it for, man, almost four and a half, five years; over 200 and something episodes, and it comes out every week. Again, it’s for the established ecommerce business owner or marketer. And yeah, James has been on it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s another way for me to learn from really, really smart, incredible guests.
James: So what are you going to do now with the membership? The next phase is Build Team, and dare I say, serve more people?
Austin: Yeah. No, I mean, that’s where we’re headed. I mean, like I mentioned, we go in terms of quarters and what we’re focused on, and this next quarter, it’s going to be continuing to dive back into systems to help people get more engaged. I think that’s the trouble, that anybody who’s starting a membership, it’s trying to build systems to help people, make it easier for people to get started, get engaged, and get what they want out of the business.
So my next step is building an onboarding process, that from the time somebody signs up, it goes through and gets all the answers to the questions that I need to best serve them, and also for them to have a better introduction to the community. So one struggle with the software that we both use is it requires people to go in there and fill out their information and add a photo and all those different things. But we can build some things. We’re working on building a process that once they sign up, we’re going to get all the information, photo, what they want to achieve, where they might be interested in meetups, all that information plugged right in to improve the community so they can be paired with the right people right away. And that’s my next step, is continuing to focus on building that and then continuing to grow. So that’s my focus right now. It’s something that I’m excited about, because I know it can be better. And that’s also one thing that I realized over time, like, you look back, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I launched with that. But it’s the right thing to do. You know, you have to launch at a certain point and then you just iterate over that.
The tech side of things
James: You got to launch. I mean, like, we’ve been using software that’s been around for a while. And we’ve had to put some bits and pieces together. And with your automations and some of the other innovations, I got a few from Kevin Rogers, and also from Dave Wooding, who’s been putting them together. I sat down side by side with my friend John Lint, and he’s created an even more perfect solution with 10XPRO that most of my members are using now. If you’re starting today, that’s the solution that I recommend, because it pulls in the picture automatically, and he can make it do all the things we wanted to be able to do but we’ve had to pull together bits and pieces.
James: It’s usually actually the first thing that people talk about, is tech. We got over half an hour before we even mentioned any tech, and that’s the beauty of what we wanted to talk about. I think the big story was the change in business model, the resistance at first and the uncertainty, and then getting through that to a point where I think you mentioned to me, at some point, business is actually the best that’s ever been in your life. That’s phenomenal.
Getting help versus venturing solo
So when you reflect back on the process, would you say that it was helpful to get some guidance in that early phase and to help set up and get up and running versus trying to figure it out yourself?
Austin: Yeah, I mean, I have been running a business for, I don’t know, five, six years now. And the longer that I’ve run the business, the less I mess around trying to do something and reinvent the wheel. Because so much of what is success comes down to just picking something and doing it consistently, picking the right thing and doing it consistently. So yeah, it was extremely helpful. We’re able to go through work together; you’re able to give me some guidance and just give me the confidence to be able to execute quickly and launch, and then iterate from there. And that’s the difference. It’s just having the confidence to push through the times where you’re going to have uncertainty changing up your business model. There’s no question, it’s going to be uncertain.
James: It’s such a mental game, isn’t it?
Austin: It is. And that’s what I’m dealing with right now. You’re right, the businesses is bigger than it’s ever been. And it’s growing, and it’s growing really quickly. And things are starting to break. I am feeling the inevitable, self-sabotage that can come when your business gets bigger than you’re comfortable with. And that’s the next step. Right? It’s continuing to go into the mindset game of, Okay, well, we’re going to reset all expectations about what this can be and go from there.
James: Well, I look at Austin, and I see a young man with huge talent, who’s only been in business a relatively short time and already kicking ass. I see massive things for you. If you pace yourself well, and you keep a level head on your shoulders, I’m certain that you’ll be growing this thing into something substantial. Because you’ve definitely got execution ability beyond the average person. I just want to point that out. Austin’s results aren’t typical, because he’s a very good executor, and he brought a really strong talent to the table. What we really found was a way better business model that has got long legs. You’re going to be doing spectacularly well in another year from now, but in three to five years from now, you know, we’ll look back at this episode 688 and have a laugh about Austin in the infancy days before he was a big timer. No doubt. I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it with Ezra Firestone. I’ve seen it with Ryan Levesque. I’ve seen it with Clay Collins. Like, I can see talent coming through. Watch out world, Austin Brawner’s on a tear.
Austin: Thanks, James.
James: Thank you for coming and sharing your membership insights, getting a little bit behind the scenes. I know you don’t have to do that. But it’s really helpful for someone on the journey. And I think there’s some really valuable lessons in there. And I wish you tremendous success on the next stage of your journey. And I hope we see you at a SuperFastBusiness Live at some point, because I think the world needs to hear what you got to say about ecommerce, which is your core specialty, of course.
Austin: A hundred percent. So it’s March – what’s the dates?
James: March the 12th and 13th in Sydney, Australia.
James: That’s the next one. Yes. Thanks, mate.
Austin: All right. Thanks, James.
James: There you go, Austin Brawner. And give out your website address again, for your membership.
Austin: Yeah. So if you want to go join the membership, you can go check it out at jointhecoalition.com. And you can check out my podcast as well, if you just want to listen in and see if it’s the right fit – ecommerceinfluence.com.
James: Thanks, buddy.
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