Episode-744- Building a Business to Create Economic Freedom — 37 Comments

  1. I imagine the financial shows such as this one are quite timely, with all the churn going on in the world, both political and economic.

  2. @Jack,

    I can’t really argue with the things you say about how the business world is changing–social media, etc. However, would you agree or disagree that a lot of what you say is based on the assumption that one must be good at “selling” oneself to succeed? You’ve got a background in sales and marketing, so that is probably second nature for you, but that is a very difficult skill for some people to master.

    Do you think that the variety of tools (like social media) can substitute for the salesmanship? Or is it like having a tool but still not having the prerequisite skill to use it? Tool = Social Media, Skill = Salesmanship?

    I’m not talking about dedication or drive, but something a bit more fundamental to one’s personality. OR do you think that dedication and drive is inherently linked to selling oneself?

    • @KAM no not even a little bit. Today you have to be good at what you do, good at documenting and sharing it and good at marketing it and relentless at doing it consistantly. You don’t have to sell anything though it does help.

      However with TSP I haven’t “sold” anything in the classic sense. I have never made a cold call, never directly solicited a sponsor, etc. Sales is a valuable skill but it isn’t necessary to build a business today, that in fact is a huge difference. Some very successful web people could not directly sell a bottle of water to a man in the middle of the desert.

      The good news is all of the above skills can be learned, none of them really rely on natural talent, intelligence makes a difference but that is true of all things. “All men created equal”, is often taken out of context. Equality is about rights not abilities.

      Honestly if you know how the system works you can take a random product set, build the system, set up drop shipping, buy traffic, rinse and repeat. It isn’t what I do but it is what many do successfully. The problem is when you do that with success you get a lot of emulation. Emulators are competitors and a drop ship product is easy to match, cut the price on etc. When you do something personal, well, that ain’t so easy to rip off.

      When I started there were zero survival/preparedness/homestead podcasts, I know, I looked and wanted to find them, they were not there so I made one. Lots of people today are in this space, some of their own accord and many as emulators of the space I created. I don’t see any of them as competitors because I am my product, survivalism is not my product.

      You may think that leads back to selling but it doesn’t it is simply about personalizing a brand, again a marketing skill. Marketing, specifically on the web is way easier to learn than the gut busting business of “sales”.

    • Thanks Jack,
      I’ve often been told that marketing and sales are two different things, and I sort of understand that. Lots to think about.

      • Marketing – as system that generates interest in a product or service

        Sale – the action of converting potential buyers into buyers

        Now then you add my personal definition of sales “transfer of belief”

        On the web done right you run the system “marketing” and the site converts the browser to buyer “sales”. Sites built to the right system answer all questions, take orders, send follow up sales letters, provide customer service, explain products. The site is the “salesmen” and he works for a slaves wage (hosting and programming) 24/7/365.

        Next week when I am in Estes Park for three days after the expo, will continue to do all the “selling”, while the marketer and content creator takes a well earned break with his wife. If someone wants to buy MSB, the site will explain it, take the order, set up the account, send a welcome email, collect the money and deposit it into my account. That is all the sales process.

        There is some blending and I do “sell” ideas on the show but there is nothing I do (skill set wise) a motivated person can become proficient in within 6-12 months, while building of course at the same time.

  3. Great show! Just “DO IT!” Is the best advise. I am sorry to say that you can NEVER have a business if you just sit on your butt. You will make “mistakes” they are learning experiences. Pick yourself up and press on. If I can open a 6 treatment room clinic with no “business” experience what so ever and make a go of it any one can do it. It’s all about taking action. One step at a time. Your business wont build it’s self you have to do it and yes it can take time. I would sleep at the clinic on an air mattress for 2 hours a night. Get up and get going I did that for several weeks so that I could get the doors open systems in place and the word out that I was here. I did all that 2 days after the Drs told me I should file for disability and have several surgeries on my elbows thumbs and wrists. I was also told I had Fibromyalgia. My profession Muscular Therapist / Massage therapy.

    Opening that clinic gave me such a boost that even though I had worked harder at that than child birth and the pain was even greater it was the best thing I could have ever done. 3 months after my drs visit I was working on bodies 35-40 hrs per week one day I even was able to do 12 hours with 1 hr break! Am I supper woman NO that business filled me up fed my spirit gave me hope. When you live your true dream it is such a high. You can’t even imagine.

    So get the but what if fear out of your head and just do it. If you wait to long to do it you will find yourself saying hey I was going to do that. I had that idea OR you will find yourself dead. Tick tock times up.

    Happy ventures

    Ps “Selling” not my thing then I realized I don’t ever have to “sell”. I share I educated I just pass on information and visit with people.

  4. Great show Jack! I love these shows because they always get my blood pumping about starting up my own business.

    What are your thoughts on getting pattens? is it something that needs to be addressed right away or can it wait? (FYI: my idea/design is a redesign of bullets)

    I know you have talked before about not being scared of someone “stealing” your idea and to just do it. The problem I have is the idea I have is highly technical and most would say to get a patent before trying to market anything about it, in fear of someone steeling the actual design. I have that fear also but I don’t know if that is just what others say weighing in or if it is a legit fear. getting pattens can be very expensive but I don’t know how to get around getting one and still have a reasonable expectation that my design will not be ripped off.

    Thanks for your insight and hard work!

    Art in VA

    • @ublinkd, didn’t you hear me say to not ask me what I think about your idea? What I think doesn’t matter you either believe in something enough to make it work or you don’t, you do or do not, there is no try.

      No one is going to “steal your idea”, someone is going to do it sooner or later if it is worth doing.

      • @ modern survival, I didn’t think I was asking you about my actual (the finite detail) idea (which is what I understood you to be talking about in the show). I was trying to follow the formula you said you like to have questions asked in which is question first back ground second. I guess I should have left the back ground off since it chose the wrong words. I am going to do this regardless of what people think! Believe me I have already had close friends poo poo on the idea so I stopped asking about thoughts on the actual idea long ago. I just wanted to know what your thoughts on getting a patent first were and if there was a cheaper alternative. I do believe I can surmise from you answer what you think about them. Thanks for answering.

        • @ublinkd, just do it. I can’t possibly give you thoughts based on what you told me other than that. I don’t care what anyone’s product is, I have no need of a new bullet, I really don’t but if you think what you have is better build one and prove it and sell the hell out of it.

    • I truly don’t mean to be rude or step on toes here. But what I hear you saying is you have a great idea that may never come to be because you are afraid that someone will take it? So it is better to keep the idea and design safe in your head than to let it out? How is that going to keep your “blood pumping about starting up my own business” If it bothers you to not move forward without a patten then get one and now you will have a new learning experience under your belt and the fear will be gone? Or just go for it and get the prototype done tested and all the other things you might need to do then get a patten if it is needed. Through the process of design and build you may come up with an even better idea or slight tweaking that may be different from your original patented design anyway. I say go for it. Don’t let fear hold you back or worse yet the fear others have.

    • @ublinkd,

      I know a BIT about patents. I think they are a good idea, because they theoretically protect inventors, however, I think they’ve become pretty much a joke in the world today.
      Two reasons: 1) Defending a Patent is very difficult for an individual inventor. 2) Patents are regularly granted for things that are really not inventions.

      In any case–having a patent to protect a true invention would be great, but it takes significant effort, and some expense to obtain, which might be better spent producing your product. I’m not saying that if you don’t have a true invention that you shouldn’t do it, but be prepared to back it up with more than the patent itself should you need to defend it.

    • The other thing I would add is if some big bullet maker comes along and sees your kick ass new bullet (assuming it is): 1. They’re not likely to attempt to steal your design unless you have kick ass sales to go along with it. 2. If they really think your thing is the next great thing, they’ll just offer you a buyout rather than trying to re-engineer your design. By the time you are to #1, you will have plenty of money & reason for a patent. By the time you are to #2, take the buyout and retire! 🙂 Just do it!

  5. Question for you Jack – I’m about halfway through the show, and it’s great, but I got thru the part where you said providing something free and then requiring people to pay for it is bullshit. I’m in the shareware software business, and as I’m sure you know there are typically two models for shareware: 1) you get to try the whole product, but for a limited time. 2) you get to use a limited version of the product forever, but if you pay, you get extra features. I can see arguments for and against both. I currently use #1 because in #2, the person never gets to fully try out all of the features of the software, and thus can never make an informed decision about whether it’s really useful & worth purchasing. I’ve thought about switching towards model #2, but have always been dissuaded for that reason. I understand that the downside of #1 is that after the time limited trial that prospective audience member might just say the hell with it & walk, and you lose an audience member whom you could have perhaps kept around using model #2 (feature limited). I like your approach w/TSP of using model #2 and adding in sponsors, perhaps that is something to consider. Anyway, just wondering your thoughts on this question in the particular area of shareware software. Thanks for the great (& timely) show.

    • In my opinion, that model of software is an exception. Why? because everyone *knows* that this is going to happen right from the start. It is what your customer expects. the got ya is that once your customer has bought your product, don’t put them through that again. If they have to reinstall or upgrade, let them “unlock” the program immediately.

      just my opinion.

    • @metaforge I am with Entity on this completely different and what you are saying is not what I meant anyway. What I mean would be say you had a lite version and a full version, you gave away the lite for 5 years, lots of people use it. Then one day you deactivate all users and say now the lite version costs X. That I would have issue with. Say facebook today says, to have an account you now have to pay a dollar a year? No real big deal from a cost standpoint but what do you think it would do to their popularity.

      • Ok, I figured it wasn’t the same thing & not a “bait & switch” since we say upfront you have 30 days to use the software and it is very clear. Just wanted to double check. Thanks for the feedback guys.

  6. Oh one other comment… on the part where you told us who we (the audience) are, what we want, and how we want it, you frickin’ nailed it man! I found my jaw dropped. I need to be able to start answering those questions about my own customers (audience) TODAY as well as you just did. Thanks again, great show.

  7. Great show today Jack. Really enjoyed it. I also wanted to say congratulations on losing so much weight – that is a serious accomplishment! Keep up the great work!

  8. Listened to this straight after hearing episode 740 (identity security) – was surprised you mentioned operating a phishing website… One second later I realized you said “Fishing” website. Funny how the mind works sometimes.

  9. Jack, Wonderful show. Going old school here Giving Value for time invested via listening? = Wonderful! keep it up as to Spiderman etal welcome to the “no prize”
    ala Stan lee, knowing something without getting Uber special about stuff; 🙂

    Great Job.

  10. Alf pogs??? How very random. You certainly pulled that out of some dark scary place.

    Anyway, great show. Lots of good info, even for us that have never really thought about starting our own businesses.

  11. OK, so I can now see my comments since I removed the website from the reply box.

    Heh Jack. I heard your podcast and decided to “just do it!”. I created a blog, to the domain registered, etc etc. Would you take a look and tell me what you think? Just kidding. Almost everyday, you make me laugh. That was the point in the last podcast. “I built this house, what do you think of it?” Ha!

    Anyway, great, great podcast. You have built something that is life changing, entertaining and saves me money. Mission accomplished brother! Keep it up because I know you inspired some of us today (and everyday for that matter).

  12. Thanks for a great show Jack.. I have my “I WILL BREAK RULES” sign up on my bulletin board! 🙂 I know the power of the web from my own experiences and the help that I’ve provided to others. I still have an old site up that even through the benign neglect it has suffered lately, it still pulls in a little bit of money each month. However, now that I have moved more to my c.c. site, I haven’t really taken a lot of time or put forth the effort to monetize it. I guess I’m still thinking small- and honestly I have fallen victim to the simplicity of communicating with my friends / fans on facebook and neglected my blog. This is something that I need to change and have some ideas to do so.

    I struggle with an issue that most people would slap me on the back of the head and say “That’s not an issue, you big dope!”. I have lots of people who want help with their websites, blogs etc.. and I help some of them in trade for services (like my accountant, who does my taxes in exchange for website services) and then there are other folks that I just help for free because they are struggling and I know how to make life a little easier for them. I guess the value I get is the good feeling of helping someone out, especially if they really don’t have the money to pay someone for professional web services. Of course, that doesn’t pay the bills. But I find real cash-paying clients annoying.. LOL.. and have lost patience with web development. So I’m still looking for a way to keep doing what I love to do, but avoid the annoyance factor, yet still make some money. Probably not gonna happen… 😉 but a girl can dream!

    Thanks again, always love your business building shows.

  13. Jack, I am looking forward to listening to this on the way to work tomorrow. You helped motivate me to finally start my own business.

    I was afraid of failure for so long… But working 12 hour shifts with a hour drive each way and listening to your show every morning finally made me take the plunge. I am doing something I am passionate about, and that has been a hobby of mine (I am a die hard DIY guy).

    So I started a holster business: White Dog Holsters (after my white German Shepard named Lakota) I am still working on a web site, but also building a brand locally and on facebook.

  14. Jack, thanks for this show. I am behind on the episodes and I almost deleted this one thinking it was not for me. I am so glad that I didn’t!

  15. I recommend the book the e-myth revisited. It talks about why businesses fail and what to do to avoid the pitfalls. Yes, you should go for it, but plan your course carefully before you jump in and be willing to re-evaluate your course often. If you don’t have a clear vision where you are going, you will not get there. One other thing I would say. If you are not doing it to make a profit, it is not a business, it is a glorified hobby.

  16. My son has been approached by a group of venture capitalists who want to fund him to start a new tech company. Biggest issue is that they would have too much control of the company including what the product will be. I understand they want to protect their investment, but it’d be sad to have your own company and not control its direction. Is this normal when involved with venture capitalists? He has many offers, thinking of working with the group that’ll put him in charge of a division of their company, quickly paying off debt etc, then bootstrapping his own company in a couple of years.

    • @txmom, yes it is normal if a venture capitalist is going to putting up millions of dollars at risk they are going to want 70-80 percent or more of ownership, they are going to want control, they are going to be like a boss not a partner.

      I actually have no problem with that, it is their money.

      When in this situation you have to ask what you really want and how much is enough. I mean if you get the right VC and they get 90% and you only get 10% many would balk at it, but hey I would love to have even 1% of Microsoft or Google or for that matter even something small by comparison like Dell.

  17. Thanks, this helps.

    Questions would be how much funding $, and the VC’s as controlling partners he’d have to check them out are they someone he’d like to be in business with? Most likely they have more experience getting a company off the ground, lawyers, accountants etc. Necessary parts with which he has no experience. He has the ideas, talent, knack for getting things started, attracts talent, ability to present so others understand. A quicker start than bootstrapping if they have a compatible vision. Things he isn’t willing to comprise on, he can tell them upfront. Possibly if they don’t agree another group may be more compatible.

    Offer caught him by surprise, he hadn’t thought of starting his own company yet. Intimating. He sees it as huge debt.

    Meanwhile others have flown in from halfway around the world with employee name your own salary, live where you want, doing what he loves and they need offer. Such are “safer” . He has always wanted his own company his whole life, we’ve had many such conversations. He has a 5 year old, 2 year old, wife, their well being comes first.

    Nice choices, many offers to choose from, he is very fortunate, challenge is comparison, and which will help him get where he wants quickest while spending most quality time with family.

  18. Pingback:SEO, Monetizing WordPress - WordPress 101 for BoomersWordPress 101 for Boomers