Discussed in this episode:
00:38 – The harsh reality
02:58 – An email from someone who failed badly
04:42 – There is no step-by-step process
06:33 – An honest answer
09:15 – What SuperFastBusiness membership does offer
11:36 – Make this your focus
12:32 – An interesting Skype exchange
13:35 – The takeaways of this episode
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James Schramko here. Welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, I’m going to do something a little different. I want to share with you something that happened to me in the past, and also, an email that I got yesterday. I think it’s worth just having a little chat about this because it could be helpful to you wherever you’re at in your online journey.
There is no holy grail
Way back when I was running the Mercedes-Benz dealership, there was a gentleman who was doing really, really well in his business. I actually asked him about that. I said, “Do you mind if I come around and talk to you about your success?” He said, “Sure.” So I went around to his office, and he had this large boardroom table, and he put his feet up on the table, and he was puffing on a cigarette, and he said to me, “All right. So you’re here to find out about my success.” And I said, “Yes, I am.” He said, “There is no holy grail.”
I looked at him and there was a bit of a pause, and he said, “That’s right. That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it? The holy grail.” I said, “Well, I am interested in what you did.” He said, “It’s just that everyone thinks there’s a Holy Grail and a lot of marketers would have you convinced that there is one ultimate pinnacle secret that will make everything just right, but I’m here to tell you the harsh reality that there is no holy grail.”
I thought this was fascinating. After many, many hours, I took plenty of notes, I went home, and I later on got an offer to work for this gentleman, and I learned many, many things in that business. I even documented it in an information product that I put inside the SuperFastBusiness membership. If you want to find out what other things he taught me, that one’s called Lunatic Millionaire.
So I was grateful to have found that out. Since then, I think that’s when life improved for me; certainly income-wise and lessons-wise. It was very difficult working for this guy, but it was going through the challenges and the realities that there is no holy grail, so I’m really going to have to create stuff myself.
The thing that really sparked this podcast is the fact that I’ve had two conversations lately with people; one via email and one over a Skype call. I came to the same conclusion and I really want to share with you the conclusion. I’m going to share with you the one thing that really matters with your online business that most people seem to forget about or don’t realize is so important. We’ll come to that in just a minute.
“Forget the holy grail.”
An email conversation
Firstly, I want to share with you the email conversation that I had. It went along these lines, I’m not going to tell you who sent it, but I am grateful that I received this email because it was such a good topic to raise. The gentleman sending me the email said, “I failed badly in my service business, and now I’m back to trading time for money. I’m freelancing, and it’s been a couple of years since I quit my job. I had big goals in 2015, but they’re not happening. I feel lost because I’ve just reached nowhere. There’s two things I need. I need to build a stable income-generating platform for my family within the next 6 months, and I need to pursue service-based businesses or affiliate offers to make my business model work.”
That was interesting to me. He’s really starting with his needs, certainly not my needs, because I didn’t really need to be reading the email. There wasn’t anything interesting to me at this point. He doesn’t seem to be focused on customers, or serving people, or creating value. Some of the things I’d looked for in this sort of message aren’t there. So that was a clue.
He then says, “I am coachable but terrible at figuring things out if I do not have a step-by-step process to follow. I’m sure that I can thrive.” I’m thinking, well that’s unusual because if you’re terrible at figuring things out, it’s going to be tough out there in business. If you have to have a step-by-step process, it sounds an awful lot like you think there’s some kind of holy grail.
There’s no step-by-step process for success in life
I was thinking, every business’s success would probably be an engineer because they’re really good at following step-by-step processes, or mathematicians. Admittedly, some of the people at Google are very good at that stuff. But there certainly is no step-by-step process to follow for success in life. We’re so different. We’re uniquely different from each other and our circumstances change on a day-to-day basis. It’s far more like a roller coaster than a step ladder.
So he goes on to say, “I’m not in the mindset to consume tons of content anymore. What I need is a business model, a roadmap, or a system, and daily action steps to reach my goals and keep me accountable.” So that was interesting because it sounds a lot like sales letters that you would read. I get that he’s probably full of information. He’s been consuming and that’s really, really common.
Anyone opening their emails and buying courses on Facebook is getting bombarded. I get that. The reality is though, if you’re going to enter a new field or you’re going to master anything, you will have to consume tons of content. In the beginning especially, you have to be a sponge and soak it all up.
So he really wanted the holy grail. He ignores the idea that you’re going to have to customize according to his own skills and he lacks problem solving. He literally doesn’t want to figure things out. So I came to the conclusion that he’s not really prepared to do what it takes to get the job done.
He then goes on to tell me, “I’ve been reading and hearing about you for all these years and I felt you would be the only person to point me to the right direction. Waiting eagerly for your response.”
“A roller coaster, not a step ladder”
So that was interesting. After that entire email, there was actually no call to action. He didn’t ask me a single question. So I replied back and I said, “Hi there, such-and-such. I didn’t actually see a question.” And then he replies back, “Question: Am I the right person for SuperFastBusiness membership because I don’t have a business. I’m in the kind of mindset to follow a proven system and implement through instead of me figuring out things. Will it work this way? Will there be a process to figure out the right business model and to do daily step-by-step actions where I can look over your shoulder and build it?”
That was interesting because he’s half on the right track. But if he is the kind of person who can follow a proven system, that means only two things: one, he hasn’t got a good assessment of his abilities because he’s not successful yet, or he hasn’t found a proven system to follow, which is probably quite likely because it’s unlikely that there is a proven system that’s going to work for everyone every time.
I replied back and I said, “No, I don’t think SuperFastBusiness membership would be a good fit for you because it’s not as simple as having a step-by-step problem that you can overcome. I think that you will be overwhelmed, and I actually believe that a simple step-by-step system doesn’t exist. It is a holy grail that people sell because life is not linear.”
I mean the person reading the email today is different to the one this afternoon, or tomorrow, or next week, or in months from now. I said, “You will have to do things that you are not able or prepared to do. So it’s going to be tough for you. You will encounter overwhelm, you will require independent thought, you will have to make decisions, and that’s the truth.” So I guess you’d call that tough love, and maybe you think I’m not aware of some step-by-step system that’s out there that’s worked for you. But I would say this, there might be step-by-step systems or step-by-step processes for certain parts of the business equation but not the entire thing.
I’m still working on my one. I call that project stream, and that is taking an idea from the very, very beginning all the way through to sale. I’ve been running businesses through that, but I still think there’s a few things that take for granted people’s prior knowledge, or ability to have independent thought, or to roll up the sleeves and get through the tough times.
What you can expect from SuperFastBusiness membership
So he replies back, “How about I want to learn and focus on affiliate marketing and targeted traffic generation. Will I be able to learn how to be an affiliate inside the membership? Who is the membership actually for?”
And I replied back, I said, “Well ideally, it’s for an online marketer who wants to meet other online marketers. You’ll get access to good quality suppliers who are Adwords experts, Facebook experts, website developers, content writers, marketing experts, e-commerce experts. You’ll also get access to customers if you happen to be a supplier. If you sell anything in the online space, then there’s hundreds of qualified buyers in there. Qualified by the fact that they pay a membership. It’s not a free forum.
You’ll also acquire information and skills. You will be able to ask unlimited questions, which I think is possibly the most powerful element of the membership. You will have a daily accountability if you want. We have an action accountability thread. You’ll get new training every single month, which is the freshest and most up-to-date information that I’m aware of from all the people I speak to in all of the things I do in business. I document it and I deliver that once a month live. You can ask questions of me live. It’s not all step-by-step but there are certainly some step-by-step trainings in there. The Affiliate Masterclass for example is step-by-step. The Pay-Per-Click training is step-by-step. So it will bridge your learning faster than just about any resource on the Internet if you want to learn about how to make a profitable online business.” I also said I’m in there most days.
He replied back and said, “Well, it’s enough for me just to know that you are there. I would love to join a powerful community. Surely, it’s going to be a part of my future. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to use the skills I’ve acquired right now as an affiliate for the next 90 to 120 days, and then I’m going to join. I’m going to join and learn more about online marketing. I’m going to focus on affiliate marketing for now. So could I ask you one last question? What are the two most important things I should do as an affiliate to get traffic?”
And here’s the thing, and this is the part I really wanted to share with you, I replied back and I said, “You need to focus on finding an offer that converts. This is the key.” I’ll say that again because I think it’s so important. Forget traffic. Forget all the other stuff for now. First, you’ve got to focus on finding an offer that converts. It does presuppose that you will find an offer, that you’ll craft good writing or send to people that’s something well set-up for copywriting, but it also presupposes that you will drive traffic.
He replied back and said, “That is the best advice I’ve ever had James. Thanks a lot. I’ll start from here and I’ll keep you posted.” And then he sent me love, which is good because I wasn’t making it easy for him. I didn’t just say, “Oh yes, you should join. It’ll be amazing.” I made him work for it a little bit and I honestly believe that he’s better off for that interaction.
A Skype conversation
And then almost by a coincidence, I was having a Skype conversation with a friend of mine who I know has been in the business for a while, and he’s still struggling a bit. I said to him, what you’re missing is simply something to sell. You are missing an offer that converts. And he says, “Well, I’ve got an offer page up there.” I said, “Great. How many people have visited that page?” And he says, “I don’t know.” I said, “Why don’t you look it up in Analytics? Let’s have a look at site behavior and landing page.”
I the last 30 days, he’d had six visits to that page. So what was really going is he doesn’t know if the offer converts because nobody is seeing it. So I think that was very helpful for him too because as soon as you find an offer that converts, that is the game for the online marketing. It’s easy from there on because all you need to do is scale it, get more people to see the offer, improve the offer with testing, make related offers, change the pricing or the packaging.
So that is something that I hope you take away from this podcast. It is firstly, stop chasing the holy grail and protect yourself from some of those crazy offers that come in your inbox. You don’t really need another $2,000 or $3,000 product that promises you the holy grail. It doesn’t exist. It might be a key to it. It might be a pathway. It might be a step-by-step system that delivers one part of what you need, but if you step back and look at your life, there’s going to be so many decisions being made.
You will encounter overwhelm at times. You’ll have to go down a few avenues before you realize the right path for you and what’s right for your life. I really stress that because if you see some of those videos, “a day in the life of,” where someone’s working 19 or 20 hours a day and they think it’s really cool to be wearing a suit, and catching trains, and planes, and automobiles, and drinking buckets of coffee, then getting home at midnight, and crawling to bed exhausted; if you think that’s cool, great. Good for you. If that makes you happy, that’s awesome.
I’d rather have a surf, have a good meal, make a podcast, and get to bed early. But that’s what makes me happy. So that’s why I think we’re all different, and that’s why I think stop chasing the holy grail, and find an offer that converts. If you happen to be lucky enough that you already have an offer that converts, then go and focus on having it convert more. Work on your conversions, work on your frequency, see if you can put a subscription model there.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast. A bit of an experiment. If you liked it, let me know on the comments. Give the podcast a rating in iTunes. I’m very appreciative of that. I look forward to catching up with you in a future episode. If you want the PDF transcription from this episode, just opt in on the blog post and you’ll be able to have it delivered to your email address straight away. Thank you.
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