The amount of questions and stories we have sent to use via email is inspiring – there’s so much action being taken and thinking being done. We love it!
So this episode is dedicated to answering and sharing some of them, and boy, do we cover some ground!
We talk about:
- how to overcome clients wanting the 100% ‘will you get me on page 1 of Google’ guarantee when it comes to providing SEO services
- a Canadian couple shares there IM successes in the areas of Yoga, Real Estate and Car Sales
- we talk about whether QR codes offer a new business opportunity and muse over taking action versus planning.
Thanks to Marty, Tim & Melissa, Edmund, Scott and Dave for their great questions and contributions.
If you’d like to leave a question or comment then join us on Facebook or reply to any email you receive from us – we read them all. To get our emails, just join the Freedom Ocean tribe by registering on the right hand side of your screen.
You can access the complete Fast Web Formula 3 videos, audios, workbook and many other bonuses here.
Have you seen the Freedom Ocean Internet Marketing Products page? Everything we recommend lives here.
TIM: Welcome back, listeners, to the wonderfully warm waters of the Freedom Ocean podcast. I am one of your hosts, Tim Reid, and on the other side of the boat is James Schramko. Good day, James!
JAMES: Good day, Timbo! How are you going?
TIM: I am absolutely fantastic, thank you very much, following a great conversation you and I just had. (laughs)
JAMES: (laughs) We have our little chats, don’t we?
TIM: Yeah, it was a good chat. It was a good chat. So feeling in a good frame of mind and looking forward to cranking out another episode, following what has been a couple of different episodes of late. A live episode and a reflection of a live event that you held recently with Fast Web Formula 3. And now we’re back into the thick of it because we’ve got a load of listener questions banking up. Put aside any questions I might have, which still remain in the millions, we’ve got a lot of listener questions, James.
JAMES: Well you know, this whole thing about going off track a little bit and then coming back that is such a representative thing for most of our businesses. I say this again, I’ve just been to lunch with a friend of mine and I was talking about the event and how there’s an opportunity cost. If I didn’t hold the event, I would have been doing something else and I think that getting back to my routine as quickly as possible is the most productive thing that I could have done. And I think things like Christmas coming up, for example, will cause some people to drop the ball for entire months until they get back on to it, so I would encourage people to be very, very clear about their purpose and set a routine so that they can keep the momentum going. From the feedback that we’ve had, it sounds like people are actually achieving stuff from its cost.
TIM: Yeah, they really are! What’s your view on that? I mean, you got the ability to work through things like Christmas and weekends and public holidays. Is it to sort of establish a routine that does see your work constantly through all parts of the year or…?
JAMES: Yep. A lot of it is actually customer driven. I find some people go away at Christmas or this Friday, we have Black Friday in America, and the things will sort of drop down a bit, so even if I want to work, there’s really not much you can do. I noticed also on the weekends, the emails just drop right back. There’s very little happening on the weekend. So I actually work to those moments is where I’m most creative. I actually create products, I plan, I clean up old servers, I delete domains, I basically do spring cleaning every few weeks. And when the customers aren’t there, that’s when I can really get in there and roll up the sleeves. So I do have Christmas day off—
TIM: (laughs) I should hope so!
JAMES: Well, seriously, it’s sort of my Christmas present to the family. I turn the computer off and hang out with them all day. But you’re right, I can actually work anytime but I also like to keep a fairly consistent routine because you can achieve a lot when you just chip away at something on a gradual basis.
TIM: One of my observations or myths being busted for me, entering the internet marketing space is that I thought it was just a whole bunch of gurus sitting around in the hammock working 3 hours a day. And there may well be some, I haven’t met any yet. What I found instead was a whole lot of people who absolutely loved what it is they do and really get quite excited about their work, much more excited than anyone who’s working in an office job, stuck in a cubicle. And so the idea of actually sitting and working on the night time or on the weekend or even—God, heaven forbid—thinking of taking Christmas day off, I kind of get because it’s not like work to them.
JAMES: Or taking a computer on a holiday.
JAMES: You know, could normally be frowned upon to take a laptop to a tropical island, but in this business, it’s quite acceptable and it’s funny when you go and meet with a few other entrepreneurs and they’re hanging out and you might have a boardroom meeting to brainstorm or mastermind, and then people will check their computers and stuff. Really, the game is how leveraged can you make your business for what you want. So it’s totally up to you. If you choose to take on and build a team or you choose to assert a lot more customers, you will be taking on a bit more infrastructure, but managing it and getting it to the level that you’re comfortable with is the thing. And you’re right, people who worked very hard all day so that they can make money while they sleep at night.
TIM: It’s a nice way of putting it. They really are. So do you know many yourself who are actually who are the hammock –who are occupying the hammock for most of the day?
JAMES: I do not know many people who do that. Almost all the people that I know, we would class as addicted to the internet.
TIM: I agree.
JAMES: I think of all the people that I know, I probably have the most flexible routine because I work really hard at making sure I have no commitments to attend, very minimal. And if I do, I schedule them to one day a week or whatever. So being flexible is good. I mean, here we are at this time of recording, it’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and this is the start of my work for the day. I haven’t actually been near the computer until we scheduled our chat. And I will most likely spend quite a few hours this afternoon or tonight answering emails and posting in my forums and updating things with the team.
TIM: How would you then define passive income?
JAMES: A passive income is income that would come without you having to turn up. So taxi driving is not passive because you have to turn up to make the money. If you own a taxi company and you employ staff and they drive the taxis and they can still drive customers around and you get paid even if you’re not in the same state, then that could become a more passive income.
TIM: Yeah. So would you say your income is passive? Because you work hard for it.
JAMES: My income is both passive and active. I have passive income coming from information products that I have up online and recurring subscriptions for things. And affiliate income for websites that I may have built years ago, but I also have active income. So recently I started up my mastermind and I do have to turn up to make money in that. But it has byproducts so I get paid to turn up, I get paid quite a bit to turn up and that’s important the way that I structured it, but at the same time I’m also gathering some very good notes and I’m able to create information products from the notes that I take and the discoveries that I make and implement those things in my business and then create some extended passive income things. So I run quite a few different business models, which is unusual.
TIM: You would suggest to most people to identify one or two and focus on them?
JAMES: Well, I think always start with one and then when you want to protect your business a bit, you get a second one because one is a very dangerous number. But one gives you the most focus. So it’s great while it lasts. The thing is things eventually change ordinarily and what happens to a lot of business owners is the business model changes, they’re slow to react, and then they have to bet the house on red or black and if they get it wrong then they’re out of business, and if they get it right, then they just luckily moved to a new business model. You should have at least 2 legs on that table, preferably 3, but for most new people, they better ought to just dive into one, so if they’re working a current job, they should really put their effort under that first initiative and see through all the inevitable challenges because we don’t see all the challenges that they go through, these guys. There’s always challenges but we only see successes. People tend to bury their mistakes. It’s easy online to just ignore a site or turn it off or delete a website. So I would suggest focus very hard on getting that first one and find all the lessons and all the byproducts of it and start the second one, and if possible, do it in a slightly different area so that if one falls over, you’re okay.
TIM: Yeah, okay, mate. Well, let’s get stuck in because we have got—I’m going to start a bit of a feedback from one of our listeners, but we’ve got a whole lot of questions too. We’re going to cover a bit of ground in the next 30 minutes or so. So the first one comes from Dave Neugess. This is actually some feedback in response to Episode 23 where you shared your triple D strategy from smart decision making, James. And Dave, his comment is, “I need to tuck in and learn by my mistakes instead of trying to create or emulate the ever-perfect system.” And the reason that I printed this one out is it was really resonating with me when I was planning for this show, that whole concept of waiting until it’s perfect, waiting to find the perfect reference or the perfect plan or instead of actually just taking action. He then goes on to say it’s better to learn by doing that by standing at the back of the classroom and peeking over somebody’s shoulder. I just finished an audio book yesterday called Just Build It. Have you read that?
TIM: It was good. It was kind of basically, it’s pretty much saying what Dave talks about. Lukie, from my other show, put me on to that one. It’s a great audio book. It went for about an hour and a half and it was just kind of like take the action and you’ll be amazed at what comes from it. Dave goes on to say, “It’s okay to plan your actions as long as you action your plans.” Love that. Another great podcast. He then says that he chants of doing those every three days.
JAMES: Yeah, that reminds me of the General Patton quote about a good plan violently executed today, it’s better than a great plan executed tomorrow.
TIM: Yep. Yep. Action Jackson.
JAMES: And also, I can relate to what he’s saying. It’s very hard to learn to ride a bicycle by reading a book on the subject. It’s better to just to get on the thing and you might fall off occasionally, but that’s okay.
TIM: Yeah. In fact, there was a cartoon that I mentioned in this book called Just Build It. And it was something like—oh, I should have…if only I had it in front of me—it was like there were two doors. One was books on heaven and the other one was Heaven. And everyone was lining up for the books on heaven. Do you get that? People were much more inclined to read about it than actually—it wasn’t a religious comment, it was making fun of the fact that we’d much more inclined to go and read about stuff than actually being present amongst it. Anyway, you clearly didn’t find that funny.
JAMES: (laughs) No, it’s just I’m holding back! I don’t want to lose the majority of our audience with my thoughts on Heaven—
TIM: It had nothing to do with religion. It could have been books on cycling or a cycling track, you know? I think for some reason they chose the Heaven, the topic of Heaven instead of something else. Hey, Scott Pembry has got a question on QR codes, James. He said can you elaborate on QR code stuff? He smelled a good opportunity in that market and would be interested in hearing your thoughts. I don’t think we’ve done too much, given too much discussion around QR codes, have we?
JAMES: I don’t think so. I think they do interest me, though.
TIM: What interests you about them?
JAMES: Well, the fact that—I mean, I’ve used them a little bit, so that’s interesting. And I did travel overseas recently and saw them in shop windows in Switzerland. I saw them in mainstream magazines in news agent stands in the airports in America. And I have actually held up my phone to a QR code to see what’s there and I’ve seen them on workbooks and I put one on my own workbook recently at the event. So I think that because the phone is such an attached device to a human these days, I mean they’re really separate and we’ll be handling our payments from them.
We use SMS for our most intimate communications, as was pointed out in a couple of other podcasts lately. I think Ed and Danny pointed out that SMS, that’s where you contact your real mates. I just think phones and things that work with phones are quite clever and will be more important, something worth paying attention to. But also, don’t get dazzled by the opportunity trying to do something too early. Really, it’s very difficult and I learned that when I joined Vodafone when they arrived in Australia to sell digital telephones. It was really hard work convincing people that they needed a digital phone when they’re quite happy with their analog phone that worked perfectly. And it’s hard to educate a market to need what you have, so I tend these days to work with the starving crowd philosophy, the Gary Halbert thing. Look for the starving crowd and serve them up the hotdog stand because it doesn’t really matter if the hot dog is hot or cold or whether you got mustard or not. If you’ve got that hot dog cart at 3 AM in front of the nightclub when it closes, you’re going to sell hotdogs.
TIM: And it’s interesting not jumping on these things too soon, but look, I remember Mike Rhodes at Fast Web Formula 3 talking about the ability to use the Google AdWords functionality for mobile campaigns and it just reminded me just how much further we’ve got to go with the smart phones. We think they can do a lot these days, and while there might be a lot of QR codes out there, people are still probably –the masses are still probably unaware of how to actually use one or get the information from one. So there is a long way to go and there probably is a really good business opportunity, but it’s early days.
JAMES: Yes. So it’s good to be aware of it and to see what consequences it might have. And then when it becomes the invariable game changer in inverted commas, when you can no longer ignore it, when everyone is telling you about it, that’s when the opportunity will probably be ripe. So you want to be in that early majority part of the bell curve and then the late majority and then to jump off it by the time you get to the laggards because they’re just hard work. The ones who finally cave in and have no other choice, but being part of the innovator part is probably very expensive and time consuming for a little payoff.
TIM: We’ve got a question here from Edmond. Edmond bought Traffic Grab and very satisfied with it. He then says, “I have a question, though. How do you rank for your podcast site Freedom Ocean? I can’t seem rank for my podcast episodes on Google. Have you got any tips to share? Thanks in advance. Edmond.”
JAMES: Well, it’s pretty straightforward thing. We’re using WordPress as our framework. We do put a key phrase in the page title, which is picked up generally from the post headline. And my fabulous assistant who puts the content on the blog posts remembers to tag them and select the appropriate category. So once it’s up there (laughs) well, we also clean it up a little bit in the background. And then once it’s published, we get links to the posts from various places. We actually go and post it on Facebook and other sites that end up pointing back to it. There is a plugin as well on our WordPress blog which leverages each post a little bit.
So it does a little bit of automated bookmarking and back linking. I don’t want to get bogged into the technicals, but we do mention that inside Traffic Grab and if you follow the site lesson in Traffic Grab, it will definitely show you what plugins to use for a podcast and you should be ranking like crazy for all sort of phrases. And of course, above all, make sure your content is 100 percent original and that it mentions the sort of words and phrases that you would expect to see in something that relates to that topic. And then Google would be able to clearly understand what your subject is about.
TIM: Do you reckon where you’ve made hard work for ourselves by giving our show the name Freedom Ocean, which is much more of a brand name than it is a keyword, which name we could have called it Profitable Internet Marketing Podcast or something that people are much more inclined to search around. Have we’ve made life a bit more difficult?
JAMES: Not at all. We should be having it brandable because when I look at my website metrics, a good chunk of traffic to our websites is coming from people directly searching for that name. And if you go to Google and you type in Freedom Ocean, I think you’ll find that we absolutely dominate. So people recognize our brand as they look for that, they’re thinking about it, it makes it easier for them to find it on YouTube and Facebook and Google because there aren’t many people trying to optimize for the phrase Freedom Ocean. I mean, they’d be crazy to because there’s no point. There’s plenty of people optimizing for internet marketing training or internet marketing podcast, but you will find that we ranked for many of those phrases anyway.
TIM: Yeah. And it’s much more over the long term. It might be harder at the start to rank, but over the long term, it’s great having that brandable name. You can do so much more with them.
JAMES: Well, it gets you better conversions and it gets people to come along to live events when we offer tickets. But in saying that, do you know we have like 60 listings in Google.com.au which is where our primary customer base would be. And we’ve ranked for words like internet marketing event and local business online marketing, but that would be a crazy domain name for us to try and brand of. And you can’t trade mark and you can’t put a T-shirt out there and worry that somebody’s not going to counterfeit it so much. You want to be able to own stuff, so these brandables and nice.
TIM: Now James, a couple of great listeners over in Canada. Tim and Debbie West. Tim West has sent us a great note just recently talking about some of the results he’s been getting from listening to the show, which I thought would be great to share because it is nice to hear what other people are achieving as a result of listening in on the Ocean. He says, “As a result of implementing some of the basic things for your podcast, I can share that getting uncomfortable has been so rewarding.” Now, what’s he mean by that? Getting uncomfortable, trying new things?
JAMES: Yeah, it’s part of the step of growth. You’re going to have to go through some change like when you go to the gym, which I’m sure you do every afternoon. You lift up those weights and the muscle endures a scenario where it gets a little bit torn and a bit ripped and then it reacts by growing back stronger, in case it has to do it again. It just changes the whole system and rebuilds in a better way. So putting yourself under a little bit of change or some good stress can actually force a different outcome. And invariably, when you’re going through these business changes and you change your mindset or your approach, when you get a small win and things go well, then that is a irreversible change. Now you know are better way. You’re not going to go back to the old way.
TIM: Give some examples of what this discomfort has resulted in. And by the way, his wife is not Debbie. It’s Melissa. And Melissa’s been really kind to me of recent weeks. She’s a yoga teacher in Canada who’s sent me a couple of really nice comments and emails as a result of my neck operation. So thanks, Melissa! And sorry for getting your name wrong. But some of the things they’ve achieved, they’re off to Ireland and Italy with their daughter for Melissa to do yoga teachings to viewers of her online videos. They’ve got a new clothing sponsor for her videos and then Tim, he’s got real estate, some kind of a real estate business and beyond anything Melissa has done in her business, Tim has got real estate business partners. His real estate business partners have received a shock as he has mandated fewer in-person meetings, so he’s taking a bit of advice about utilizing go-to meeting. He’s even fired some customers, James. Do we take responsibility for that?
JAMES: Absolutely! That’s one of the most favorite things ever!
TIM: Yeah, well he’s a print broker as well. Tim’s got many bows to his—what do they say—
JAMES: We’re giving a Freedom Ocean implementation awards of 2011. These guys are good!
TIM: Man! He goes on to say he found some existing new clients begging him not to dump them. He started converting clients over to WordPress, he’ll have a hundred by December and he’s got something to do with car sales. Car sales! “I have a few cars on a lot. Have improved as I’ve gone out and found other locations to hold cars and advertise while splitting profits with the new location provider.” So brilliant! Brilliant!
JAMES: We should do listener interview.
TIM: We should. We should!
JAMES: We don’t do many interviews on the show.
TIM: We haven’t done any except—
JAMES: Well, we did last week at Fast Web Formula—
TIM: (laughs) Yeah, except that most recent episode.
JAMES: But I think that might be fun and the listeners could let us know if they’re interested in that. I think Facebook is probably where most people are commenting on the shows. They get along to that Like Freedom Ocean on Facebook and tell us if you want us to do some interviews, if you’re interested in that.
TIM: Yeah, that would be interesting! Normally, you and I are bantering, so it’d be great to hear what other people are achieving. I think that hearing this kind of stuff kicks other people along.
JAMES: Do you think it makes them feel sad that they’re not getting the same results?
TIM: Yep, absolutely it does! It does. I’ll put my hand up for that. It was the first reaction I had when I read Tim’s email, hearing what—
JAMES: What? Delete? Lucky, it gets copied to me as well.
TIM: (laughs) Yeah, that’s right! In fact it’s like, “Wow!” I mean, that is amazing! Here we are creating this content in the comfort of our lounge rooms and it’s having an impact on the other side of the world. And he also says he’s left a nice thank you, a nice listener review on the iTunes store. So I must say, people who did want to put their thoughts forward or leave a little thank you, doing it on iTunes is a very cool thing because it does help with our rankings somehow. It’s a bit of a secret, the whole iTunes thing, but we do know that listener reviews help. So thanks for that, Tim, and well done Melissa!
Now James, I’m going to keep moving through these. I’ve got a couple more. And I know you get a bit of a giggle out of this one because this one’s from Marty and it came through only today or yesterday actually. And he was talking about how do you overcome this problem of clients wanting a silver bullet? And he’s specifically talking about SEO, wondering if he was to take up some of your SEO products, whether you could offer the magic response—yeah, we’ll get you on page 1, guaranteed! Because that’s what his clients are asking. They’re all saying he’s got the ability to get them excited about online marketing, but they’re all wanting this guarantee. So what do you say to that?
JAMES: Right. Well, he’s just soliciting the wrong response from the people with—they’re obsessed about that. What he’s effectively doing is he’s saying could I please transfer all of the risk to you so that I don’t have any and can I draw upon your talent to pick keywords so that I don’t have to. And then if it all goes wrong, we’ll blame you and then you can fix it up. Therefore, he’s really not offering much value as a reseller. We might as well be dealing directly with the end user. If we want to take on the risk and use our talent, we have to increase our prices from being a lean wholesale supplier.
I’ll give you an analogy. It’s like he’s going into a grocery store and buying ingredients and then saying to the shop keeper, “If I take this home and cook it and serve it up to my restaurant customers and they don’t like the food, can I bring these vegetables back?” Of course that’s not fair and it’s not realistic. He’s got to add some value for his layer in the equation so that the customer is getting a good solution.
Now, he shouldn’t have to do business based on guarantees like that because we have hundreds of resellers who don’t. And here’s the key point: the customer is going to focus on what you show them is the most important thing. They might think that they need a page one guarantee, but if you say to them, “Sure we can guarantee it, but it’ll cost you $10,000 more or we could just give it our best shot and you could trust us to do the best we can because we’re good and we’ll charge you $10,000 less.” Then somewhere between that, the customer can make a decision.
So it’s not true that they will only do business with you if you could guarantee it.
And let’s look at reality for a second. We don’t own Google. We cannot say that they won’t announce a new Panda version 6 update tomorrow. We don’t ultimately know that. So unless you put in a margin or an insurance buffer on every deal to cover the setbacks, you can’t get to the level of pricing that you need to be to be able to allow people to add value. So the simple answer is get the talent, you do the keyword picking, you build trust in the customer and focus them on the result that they’re happy with and they’re happy to pay for that solves their problem, and then you go and get the good supply from wherever you need to get the supply, but don’t transfer the risk to them, but you won’t be paying for it either.
TIM: Yeah, well said. Well said. And you can only control so much. Guarantees have been a huge part of the internet marketing community for years and I know your view on guarantees is pretty much don’t give them because if your product is good enough and you give them enough access to seeing what they’re going to get and set their expectations that are at reasonable level that you shouldn’t have to offer money back. And I think you actually said you actually prefer to coach someone out of a hole than give them their money back, is that right?
JAMES: Yeah, I really don’t like sending someone’s money back when it’s invariably not our fault. See, when you have a very strong guarantee, then people cut corners because they know they can just bring it back to you as a problem and they could say, “I want my money back.” But if they don’t have that safety net, sometimes they actually implement better or they take full responsibility for what they’re going to do and that’s transferred to them. From a lot of my testing, I found that having a very solid guarantee doesn’t necessarily lift sales conversion but it definitely increases refunds. So it’s almost educating people that they should ask for guarantee.
TIM: I have got a really specific question about SEO, which Marty’s question kind of triggered. I’ve noticed when you get it on Freedom Ocean, I suppose most blogs get—I have not been getting it on the Small Business, Big Marketing blog as well where people just get these lame comments left, which is clearly just a guess to get a back link, yeah? The comment is completely unrelated to anything the blog post might have been about or the podcast episode might have been about. And all it does is make the post look a bit trashy. What’s my question there? It’s like I know what they’re trying to do. They’re just trying to get another back link and I just have to go through each day and clean it up. What’s your view on all that?
JAMES: Well, it’s just using spam software in most cases, like X Room or Scrape Box. And it will just go out and send off thousands of these things by the hour, so it’s like spam. It’s a strategy of getting back links for lazy blogger and those who don’t check them or order approved comments. So all you can do as a blog owner is make sure you turn off auto approved. You want to moderate comments so that you can ensure you have quality because they’ll automatically delete unapproved comments after a certain period. That will actually automate that process for you. Secondly, if you use this as a strategy for SEO, then you are kidding yourself. It’s not doing you any good to go and spam other people’s blogs. So with our SEO service, we do not offer blog commenting or forum commenting because it has to be done by a high level human and it has to be thoughtful and it has to be respectful and unless you’re going to do it that way, don’t do it at all.
TIM: Yeah, yeah. It’s quite annoying—
JAMES: On the flip side, as a strategy for SEO and for traffic, you should definitely be commenting on top blogs in the industry but thoughtful, relevant comments are hardly anything better than that for SEO from Google’s perspective to see a link back to your site from the Top 10 blogs in your industry that are [thematically] graded that have respect and trust and authority and your comment was approved, then that’s a really good SEO strategy. But doing it this way is a very bad way.
TIM: Is there any way to identifying the Top 10 blogs in your industry outside of using a bit of intuition and knowing what they are through word of mouth? Is there a ranking somewhere where you can find the rankings based on traffic?
JAMES: Well, I don’t think you’d be much of an industry expert unless you already know the Top 10. You would have a clue who’s in the industry. If you’re in the business-y space, you’d be looking at like Small Business, Big Marketing. You’d already be listening to it. You’d know that it exists. People know that my internet marketing speed blog is a great place for that internet marketing industry. I do get a lot of blog comments from people trying to suck bandwidth off it because it’s ranked #2 only behind Wikipedia for some of the top phrases, and #1 for many. And so they automatically find it using software tools or blog lists as a thing, but also you could type into Google your top phrase and see which sites come up that are actually blogs or that have some form of commenting ability that might give you a search engine benefit.
TIM: Yeah, that’s fair enough. I’m not sure that small business owners would necessarily know what the Top 10 blogs were in their industry, particularly those—
JAMES: They’d be going to forums like that flying solo and they’d see that you’re sponsoring or whatever and people will find them invariably and also when you’re in the podcast section, have a look at the other podcasts that people subscribe to, you might see all the other ones that might be relevant to your industry and a lot of them will probably have a site that they broadcast from as well other than in iTunes.
TIM: Hey mate, that’s the end of listener comments and questions for Episode—what is it? 29 of Freedom Ocean? Anything else on your mind? You’ve had a bit on you in the last few weeks since you’re back from Fast Web.
JAMES: So much, it’s not funny. I actually thought of you a little bit last week. Sort of hurt my neck a little bit—
TIM: Don’t even go there.
JAMES: Yeah, I just can only imagine how difficult that must have been for you with business.
TIM: Yeah, it was tough. Well, it was just hard to kind of play out through, particularly when you’re a one-man show. But anyway, I’m at the other end of it now and I’m actually doing this for my standup desk, which has got a little motor going up and down. I have been going up and down since we’ve been talking. Isn’t that theatre of the of the mind stuff? But it’s been fantastic!
JAMES: I don’t have a motor on my mantelpiece.
TIM: You have got to get a motor. This one has got a nice, quiet motor. Up she goes, down she goes and it’s been golden. So you have a lot, mate. Any keen sights or observations you can share from the last couple of weeks of business?
JAMES: Yeah, just be absolutely focused on what it is that you’re trying to do because there are so many potential distractions in the last week. For example, I’ve launched a mastermind community which I did a little mini sales launch for both internal and external, so always remember your existing best customers, they’re the best customers and then did a little open up for brand new members of the public. I’ve also got some software in beta test mode. I’ve got about 50 people using it and telling me what they like and what they want to change. I’ve started new members in the team who are doing press releases for a brand new service that we set up and launched yesterday. I have done a lot of work with my team planning for my next visit where we’re going to bring everybody into the central place and go through training in different sessions and really developed the business. And I’ve filled the whiteboard with action steps that I need to do to get a lot of the products that I have, the services that I have marketed better. So I’m putting a lot of effort into video sales letters, email sequences and shopping cart integration. And also got some new equipment this week, which is pretty exciting.
TIM: Oh here we go. What is it?
JAMES: Well I got a new pop shield for my microphone.
JAMES: I got a new microphone and I’m getting a huge whiteboard, which is about 3 meters wide because I want to map out my whole one week trip on the whiteboard and cover every aspect of what I want to discuss with my team and take a photograph of it and then I’ll just flip that up on the 42 inch plasma in the house that we rent. And we’ll basically work our way around that picture. So it’s like an infograph, if you like. An infographic, with just everything drawn out in advance. So that’s back to the point that I’m making. Be very clear about what you want to achieve and then setup all the systems and flow to make that fait d’acompli.
TIM: Do you know you can go to like a Bunning’s hardware store and buy whiteboard, is it whiteboard material? It’s like chipboard with a white laminate on it. You could do an entire wall in your spaceship. It could be a whiteboard.
JAMES: I’m worried that I might get overload or get high on the fumes of that. I like to take my whiteboards out of the room. I like to put them in the other rooms, like the boardroom. I’ve got a mantelpiece in there and then out the back we have the entertainment room with another mantelpiece. There’s a lot of wood fires here. And I’d like to be able to take that thing out to a different environment because you pickup different ideas in a different environment and just to freehand it and then bring it back and then crunch it in the computer. So changing your environment is a good way to shake up old habits. If you want to get some innovation, my top tip is go into a different workspace for the day or for a few hours and get some new inspiration.
TIM: I agree with that. In fact, I’ll raise you one as well and say if there’s a particular way our listeners go to work or a particular way you drive to get to somewhere every day, just shake it up a bit and change it. I read that. In fact, it was a podcast I listened to years ago. A guy called Phil McKinney. He has a podcast—I don’t think it’s around anymore—called Killer Innovations. And he took you through the process of actually becoming innovative and it was a great tip, just do things differently if you find yourself in the same room all the time, then move rooms. If you find yourself going to a place the same way, then go a different way. Just changes something in your mind and allows you to be a little bit more creative. Gives you that extra spark.
JAMES: Okay, now I read one more tip. I’ll just leave this one. It was in the Hugh McCleod book Ignore Everybody, or something. And he said, “The best artist uses the least amount of tools. Once you’ve figured out what things work well for you, strip away all the extra stuff and stop hiding behind things and get to the end tool that you use most that you’re most familiar with, like Picasso only had 6 colors on his palette, and certain artists only just use a pencil or a pad. Whatever works well for you, just get your tools down to a minimum and so that you can then use other things like your environment to find new inspiration.
TIM: I love that mate! What book you’re reading at the moment?
JAMES: Well, I just finished that one, Ignore Everybody. And I just got the Jobs book, which I’m going to rip through pretty quickly. I’m not expecting much. I know he was a tyrant. And I just want to fill in any gaps, but I’m not going to labor on that book, but I’ll get through it pretty quickly.
TIM: A large book.
JAMES: I’m still going to sit in a chair with some nice headphones—
JAMES: And get through the whole book.
TIM: Hey mate, thanks for sharing! That is another episode of the Freedom Ocean podcast. Go over to iTunes, guys, if you haven’t left a review, please do so. And get on to Facebook and tell us what you’d love to hear us talk about in the future because we do listen, as we just proved in this last episode by answering some listener questions. And thanks, James, for sharing mate! So until next time, see you in the Ocean!
JAMES: See you then, Timbo!
TIM: Cheers, mate!