James Eager is a bass guitarist, visionary entrepreneur and return guest to SuperFastBusiness. He built his online bass guitar membership from nothing and has doubled it at least twice.
After four years, James’s story is overdue for an update. Where is his business and life at present, what has he learned, and where is he headed? Tune in for some valuable inspiration.
In the podcast:
James Eager traces a lot of what he’s accomplished back to the online community inside SuperFastBusiness. [02:48]
When you become more comfortable with risk-taking, a lot of good things can come into play. [07:19]
Building team can be a big scary step for a visionary, but it’s vital to growth and so worth it. [11:00]
A membership is like a child – once it’s out of the nappy stage, magic can happen. [16:16]
Leverage allows a lot of things, among them a much better lifestyle. [19:58]
Wondering if a membership is worth it? James E. has this to say… [23:27]
The future holds more targets to hit, more areas to explore, and more music to play. [26:41]
The first time James Eager appeared on SuperFastBusiness, he was a year into his membership business and making a five-figure income. About a year later, he came back to share how he’d doubled that business – twice!
After four years, what new strides has James E. made, and what has he learned?
A community of good people
James wants to thank his guest, first of all, for being a long-term member of SuperFastBusiness, and for sharing his journey on the show.
James E. thinks he should do the thanking. So many of the contractors, friends and experiences that contributed to his success are traceable back to SuperFastBusiness. SFB, he says, has been a constant in the background of everything he does.
James Eager has worked with Will Wang, copywriter Peter Fadeyev and ads guy Jeremy, all from the community. Fellow musician Steve Mastroianni is a great friend of his. And of course, there’s always James, giving him the space to ask questions and providing the answers.
A better relationship with risk-taking
Community is one thing, says James, but in his long association with James Eager, he’s also seen a change in him.
He used to have a lot of resistance to James’s teachings early on. That’s now dwindled to where he just goes and does what James recommends. It speaks to a better relationship with the unknown, with risk-taking. What changed?
James E. thinks it was James who told him in the Maldives that 95 percent of the business game was mindset. And he put a lot of work into that, at a time when he was suffering burnout.
Burnout is a huge thing in this world, says James E., but you’ve got to learn how to deal with it. And we’re dealing with a long game, he says. When he realized how long a game, that’s when he could start working on it.
“Expect the unexpected, expect the unknown, it’s going to happen.”
He also learned to be less hard on himself, to accept the times when things don’t go to plan. It was James again, he thinks, who said, expect the unexpected, expect the unknown, it’s going to happen.
James thinks it takes a huge amount of pressure off, knowing things don’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be instant. You just have to keep showing up and playing the long game.
One thing he thinks James Eager has done well is build his network, getting the key player contacts. And SuperFastBusiness is a great network. James wouldn’t have so many members on the show if they weren’t so successful.
And James E. has learned how to roll through knowing there’ll be a way forward, even if you can’t predict everything. A lot of people sell step-by-step, but James doesn’t think step-by-step works in the general scope of the online business. You’ve got to just try the next best step and see how that goes and then go from there. But having someone guide you through and give you your best guess at the next step or show you what other steps people have taken can certainly help.
The big change that is team
One of the biggest changes James has seen since he and James E. last chatted has been team.
James Eager had the good fortune to work with Will Wang, who started urging him to hire. His first team member was great, but not quite right for the project manager he was after. It took a few months to sort out, but one of James E’s other team members stepped up to the role, with great results. The lady came via James’s wife’s company, VisionFind.com.
At this point, James Eager’s team is up to three and a half members, he says, and taking on a life of its own. They’ll come to him with targets in place, and huddle together in Slack and address technical issues without him. This frees him up to focus on a mainly visionary role and build network. He wishes now he’d built team earlier.
The one word that comes to mind is leverage, says James. Team is the difference between a six- and a seven-figure business. It’s the reason he can surf every day.
The magic of a thriving membership
Another thing that’s happened is James Eager’s membership is absolutely thriving. Can he talk about that?
It’s been five or six years, says James E., and he recalls James comparing it to having a child.
Is it out of nappies now, asks James? Can it talk?
It’s somewhere in adolescence, James E. would say.
It’s called the Bass Lab Plus, at ebassguitar.com. Over the last year or 18 months, it’s really started to gain momentum. And the child analogy is apt, because it’s growing a community of people.
“They come for the content, stay for the community.”
James E. was interviewing two of his members, and it’s just like James has said, they come for the content, and stay for the community. It’s crazy, he says, the way members forge bonds with each other.
And as the membership grows, James E’s focus has been not so much on selling and growing, though there is that, but on how to nurture these folks, how to give them more of what they want.
How does he spend most of his week, asks James? Obviously, there’d be interaction with team and with members, some involvement with suppliers for marketing, maybe agency…
That is how he spends his days, says James Eager. Reaching out to people, forging contacts, developing new products, looking at where the business is going.
Leverage and lifestyle change
And he’s getting more coaches involved. He now has a selection of coaches working for him on certain projects, giving value to members with different perspectives.
That is a huge aspect, says James, creating leverage, building capacity to deliver.
How is life for James Eager? James knows he moved at some point. When could he consider himself secure enough in the business that he could move further from the city?
From a rather shaky place, says James E., they did get to where the numbers were looking quite firm, where they could move house and upgrade their lifestyle. They’ve actually hit another revenue bracket and are looking at moving again, he says. The housing market is a bit nuts, but it’s good just to be able to consider it.
James E. now works about four days a week. He has plenty of time for his son, and lives just two hours away from his parents – he could easily take Friday off and see them for the weekend. It’s the freedom he’s always wanted from his business, and he feels fortunate to have it.
“The number one thing that your kid wants is time with the parent.”
The number one thing that your kid wants is time with the parent, says James. He would consider that the highlight of James Eager’s journey. And he’s seen how persistent James E. was, pushing through the difficult phase. It’s hard in the beginning, but it’s proof of concept.
Advice for those in the early stages
What advice would his guest have for someone in the first few years of a membership, questioning if the long term outcome could really be better than the gains of short-term plays?
If you’ve got a belief that this is worth it, that you want to run your own show, and you want to be in control of your own life, you’ve got to go for it, says James E. He always had that belief. And there were staggeringly hard times in the beginning. But he knew he had to push through to get to what he wanted.
It really came to fruition in the last couple of years, he says, when he saw the rest of his industry close down overnight. So many of his friends had to reinvent themselves, while he had a four-year advantage online.
A lot of what James teaches is disaster preparation. There’s redundancy, OwntheRacecourse, control and backups, two is one and one is none. Multiple team members, cross training – all that came into play when it was needed.
Enormous gains can be made in down markets – it’s just a matter of positioning and preparing. But the real differentiator between James E. and people who give up is James Eager himself. He had setbacks and pushed through them.
He’s now in a good spot – getting paid by multiple customers around the globe, with various products, and with a network and connections that can move him into the next iteration of his business, whatever that might be.
Some things to look forward to
What’s next for Mr. James Eager?
At this time, he says, he still has a lot of targets, things to tick off. eBassGuitar will remain his focus, but he definitely wants to venture into consulting and masterminds. He wants to help other business owners do what he does. And he does get approached for that, though it’s not something he can focus on just yet.
He also wants to play bass guitar again, attack new areas of the industry he never has. With the security of his online business, he can have the headspace to play great music again. That’s what the future looks like to him.
James can relate. He just recently achieved his first barrel, and talks about it in episode 901. At 50, to be as excited as a teenager about life, he says, is an incredible thing.
James Eager is doing great stuff, and James would love to have him back further down the track for another update.
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