#55 Making Better Decisions


Welcome listeners to episode 55 of Freedom Ocean. Super motivated James and Timbo are back to talk about building confidence, opinions and how to make better decisions.


Discussed in this podcast:

  • Tips to boost your confidence
  • Adding value versus sucking out value
  • Repackaging traditional marketing approaches
  • Become the master of your destiny
  • Being more honest about your motivation
  • How to make better decisions

You can choose your own path so relax and stay cool by taking a dip into Freedom Ocean.


Internet Marketing Products & Resources

Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.





Tim:               Welcome back listeners, very motivated listeners, I’m imagining, Jimmy Schramko, to FreedomOcean. Episode 55, in fact. How are you, mate?

James:                 I’m great. I’m invigorated, and it’s been good to get some great reassurance and feedback from our listeners. They’re enjoying the show, which is fantastic.

Tim:                       Well, so am I. So am I, and I hope you hear it in my voice. Mate, you’ve changed your Skype photo. As I said just before we hit Record, you’re an attractive beast and it’s just that close-up, that close-up image that’s looking at me right now.

James:                 You know, when I look at the fan page of ours on LikeFreedomOcean on Facebook, both of us look really fat, and I think we need to update that picture.

Tim:                       Man, I’ve got to do some serious updating of avatars and website headers and profile pics. This is the thing, you know, once it’s up on the Net, mate, all those nude shots we put up of ourselves, I mean, how do we get them back?

James:                 It’s funny you should say that, because I do actually have some nude shots out there from a long time ago.

Tim:                       Yes. Of course you do. What name were you going under, out of interest?

James:                  Ah, no, it was under my own name.

Tim:                       Good on you.

James:                  (laughs) That was actually one of the first reasons I got my own domain and started populating it. It was to overwrite all the references and stuff, because I did appear in a feature film once. And this is, I mean we’re talking in the 90’s, early 90’s, 1993 I think, so it was a long time ago, well before I knew about the Internet. It didn’t really exist.

Tim:                       Out of interest, what was that film rated, James?

James:                  The film was called “Muriel’s Wedding”, and it was a G-rating.

Tim:                       That’s a big film.

James:                  It was a huge, huge hit. Like a massive Hollywood hit. When I took on the role, I thought about what would happen later if I wanted to be a politician or whatever and I considered the G rating would be fine. And I do appear sort of nude in the film, but you don’t see any bits.

Tim:                       I so want to go down this path, and listeners are going, “Go down that path!” but it’s just going to distract.

James:                  (laughs) What we’re talking about is moments in time, locked in, and I actually think that kids now have no idea what they’re doing for their future because they put all these pictures of them vomiting at parties or – you know, they’re going to regret it. I look at pictures of myself as a kid when I’m in the garage, moving around files and stuff, looking at them and going, “Oh my God, thank God these aren’t on Facebook”.

Tim:                       Well, will they regret it? Everyone’s going to be in the same boat, that generation who are posting the spew pics. They’re all posting the spew pics, so it’s like, yeah, everyone’s got spew pics.

I was also in a feature film about ten years ago called “One Perfect Day”, and I’m dancing at a rave party. And I also did a scene – it was a bit of a weird scene. It is on the cutting room floor, thank God. A mate of mine was the director and a writer of the film, and that’s the only reason I was in it. Why were you nude in Muriel’s Wedding? It was rated G.

James:                  Well, I was doing acting classes to improve my confidence, and the acting class had an agency that put out acting jobs. And my director called me, he said, “We need someone who is American and prepared to go full frontal nude”. And I’m like, “Of course that’s me”.

Tim:                       Yeah, hello?

James:                  Hello? Obviously I can put on an American accent, and yeah, I’ll take off my shirt for a role. And I was about 23, something like that. Yeah, 22. So I was pretty buff and tan. If you saw it you’d think “Oh,wow”, I was really in great shape. And I even had a solarium back then at some point. Yeah, I took on the role because I wanted the experience, I wanted to be famous. The funniest thing is, like here we are, I think, what are we, twenty years later. I am now acting out close to what I envisaged being an actor would be. I’m actually broadcasting audios and videos, albeit with clothing, like a shirt or whatever. But I’m actually living a lifestyle that’s close to what I thought, where I get paid good sums of money to perform and to project and to create, but I just didn’t know how to do it back then when I was trapped in a job and just engaged to be married.

Tim:                       A couple of points there, Jimmy. One is, the idea of doing acting classes for confidence – I’ve often thought that is a great idea. Anyone listening who’s kind of lacking that confidence of putting themselves out there, putting their head above the trench, as I would say, go and do – I’ve never done acting classes. You can vouch for acting classes, I’ve done a number of public speaking workshops. When I worked in advertising they put me through one a year. Maybe, when I look back now, they were trying to tell me something. What I do know is while they made me a better public speaker, that was almost secondary. Once you get up in front of people, and once you share your message, it gives you a confidence that you didn’t know you had.

James:                  Absolutely. And in this case, I think the real power of doing acting school is watching yourself back on camera. That’s when you realize that you scratch your ear, or you have a lisp when you’re tired. You know, you actually hear yourself back, and you see yourself back – it’s totally different than looking at yourself in a mirror. Do not practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of a camera and watch it back, and you will be strong. And you can do this in the privacy of your own home. These days, every computer has a camera. If you want to be doing this Own The Racecourse marketing that I talk about, and putting yourself out there as an expert, just turn on the camera and film and film and film, and play it back to yourself until you’re ready to let it out in the wild.

Tim:                       That’s it. And have a laugh, you know?

James:                  Have a laugh, but you’ll learn so much. And you don’t sound like you think, and you don’t look like you think.

Tim:                       Yeah, you sound much worse and look much worse.

James:                  Exactly, you think, “Oh my God..”

Tim:                       “Is that me?”

James:                  I can’t stand the sound of my own voice, and I don’t think I’m as handsome as you think I obviously am. But I don’t care now, I’m past it. When I think about you, Timbo, I think you’re one of the most incredibly confident people up there on a platform, of all the people I know, so obviously you’ve done a lot of this, and I think time in helps.

Tim:                       Wow, well thank you, and time in does help. I call that “match fitness”. I’ve had about three weeks since I’ve done a speaking engagement, and I’m absolutely champing at the bit to get back on that stage and share. So it’s great, once you get into that zone. I was even thinking yesterday, gee, I’ve got a phone call from this agent fellow who helps get me some speaking engagements, and when I saw his name come up, I thought, “Here we go, he might have a booking for me to get up on a stage tomorrow”, but he didn’t. He just wanted to touch base on some contractual thing. But it’s nice when you get into that space.

Hey, this is a good leading, James, to a topic which I literally just shared on – I just recorded an episode of Small Business Big Marketing before we went on air with this. And I gave an update on – I don’t think I’ve shared this with FreedomOcean listeners – I’m trying to get Seth Godin onto Small Business Big Marketing. Alright?

James:                  Yep.

Tim:                       And we had some email dialogue. For those who don’t know Seth Godin marketing doyen and written a number of very, very fantastic books. Very strong opinions and points of view around all things marketing – interesting guy. I’m trying to get him on my show. He knocked me back. Long story short, he said, “No, I don’t want to appear on Small Business Big Marketing.” Very politely. And I kind of was a bit deflated from that. Subsequently, a listener of Small Business Big Marketing emailed me during the week, and pointed me to an episode of Six Podcast, in which he gives reasons as to why he knocked me back, and maybe a number of other people like me, although he didn’t refer to me specifically, and I don’t think I’m one of the people that he talks about. I’ll share what he said, because it plays into this discussion about the fact that twenty years later you are living out your acting dream, you’ve got your own shows, we’ve both got our own shows, individually and with Freedom Ocean. But I reckon you’ll have some points to say here. You’re with me so far?

James:                  Absolutely. I think you’re going to tell me something about only appearing somewhere where there’s a bigger audience than what you have.

Tim:                       That is his last point, actually. He makes a bigger point than that. I wasn’t going to cover that, because it almost goes without saying. But he looks for people with bigger audiences than him. And he says that unapologetically. He even refers to that being unashamedly, looking for bigger audiences. But here’s what he says. I’ve captured it shorthand. He says, “These days, everyone can have their own TV or radio show online. And I’ve been saying that for years. When I heard the first podcast seven or eight years ago, I remember a mate was in the same room, and I said “Paul, this is unbelievable. This podcasting, this means any small business can have their own show. It took me four years, five years after that to then get my own show, but I think that’s amazing. So everyone these days can have one, he acknowledges that. “It’s easy to be the invisible, no personality conduit.” Right? He said there’s a lot of people doing that. Just showing up every week, but adding no value. So he’s talking about these people who have now got their shows, who are interviewing experts. That’s what he’s referring to. And he’s saying, these people are trading off the equity of the expert that comes on onto the show to be interviewed. They don’t have the guts to have a point of view, he says. Feel free to interrupt, I’m sure you’re going to have a point –

James:                  No no, I’m loving this so far. I’m just thinking he’s used words that my mentor used to, like the word “conduit”. And then I’m thinking about people like John Carlton who say most people live boring lives and how that sort of fits with “you have to add some value”.

Tim:                       You’ve got to add value.

James:                  Not just suck the value.

Tim:                       Absolutely. Two more points. He reckons we need more people showing up with a point of view and worth following for themselves and not for who they’re speaking to. And at the end he summarizes it. He says he’s looking for bigger audiences or he’ll always say yes to bigger audiences, but he just says, “Become your own distinct voice”. And when I heard that, I thought “Geez”. Clearly, he saw me as someone who was just the conduit. I don’t expect him to have listened, so therefore my email to him was not a good email, because he’s based the decision of not coming on my show based on that email. I don’t expect him to have listened to the hundred and twenty or so episodes that I’ve done of Small Business Big Marketing, but if he had, I hope he would have gone, “Hey, this guy’s got very strong opinions about that small business marketing. He happens to interview experts, but with the expert coming on and my own opinions, there’s some marketing inspirations. So I think he makes some good points, and I’m going to continue to chase him down and see whether I can get him on sometime during this year.

James:                  It is really good. I mean, I crossed this line recently where we have one filter in place before I go and do a podcast with someone else. We want to make sure they’ve got an established show and an audience now. I think I’ve been donating people their first podcast, which has been great, but for the same return on investment if I can get a bigger audience or get out a broader distribution, then they’ve worked harder to earn that spot and I feel that it increases the value for both of us.

Tim:                       Yep, absolutely. I mean, it is. We’re seeing it. I’m seeing it, you’re seeing it, there’s plenty of people coming, jumping on the content marketing wagon, and so they should, it’s a bloody good wagon, but you don’t want to be creating content a hundred percent off other people’s knowledge. You’ve got to bring something to the game.

James:                  I love it. That sort of hinges off that last episode we did where I was talking about people who cut and paste my site, and how irritating that is, because they add no value, they just suck and leech from my value.

Tim:                       Absolutely. I think therefore, if people are listening to this and going, “Oh, wow, how do I come up with a unique idea, a brand new opinion, I don’t think it’s that severe. I’m not sure there’s that many new ideas in the world today. I’m willing to be challenged on that, but there’s so many new spins on it. It’s like that guy, Simon Sinek, who’s come up with this whole “Why”. You know, if you get your “why” then everything else falls into place. That’s not new thinking, I mean people who have been working on brand development, brand building, marketers have known that for years. But he’s packaged it up in a way that is really interesting. You’ve packaged up the idea of owning the racecourse. That whole approach to marketing, you’ve labeled “Own The Racecourse”. And likewise. It’s not necessarily brand new thinking, but you’ve packaged it up in a way that makes it really easy for people to get.

James:                  Yeah, and I just wanted to make the point to anyone who’s building out on Facebook or YouTube, in particular, because you see that a lot. They’re crazy. They are absolutely insane, and that’s my real hook or angle on Own The Racecourse, is the first word in that, “Own”, where you can have control and you can be the master of your own destiny instead of literally just building someone else’s platform, and any time that rug could be pulled.

I wanted to find a way to express that and I just hinged it from some things that my mentors taught me and this one guy in particular was such a control freak. He would even wait till I get the number plate of my dreams at the car dealership and then he would take it off my car and put it on his car. It was like he was pissing in my face, showing me how I don’t own anything there and I’m building on his platform. So it really spurred me on to create my own platform, and that’s why I can now grab back my life and move it in the direction I want. So I don’t have to go to casting auditions now to turn up in a film. I can just turn on my Canon and make a film. Because it’s here, I’m in the position.

If there’s going to be something inspirational for listeners, it would be that you can grab your life with both hands and make what you want of it and you don’t have to blame someone else, you don’t have to make someone else responsible for what you get, you’re going to get out what you want if you are prepared to do what it takes to get it.

Tim:                       Whoah, you are in the eye of the tiger right now, James.

James:                  I am. I’m in the best phase of my entire life. I freely admit it.

Tim:                       Beautiful. Love that. Now, I love also the fact that we didn’t plan this episode, but so far, so good. I gave you nothing.

James:                  You gave me nothing. No input at all. You like hit Record…But you know what, I actually prefer that. In 1991 I went to a recruitment officer, merely out of curiosity because she ran an ad for a similar job to what I was doing but for much higher pay, and I was wondering if it was our own company, and I said to her… She goes, “What do you want to do, what sort of things do you like?” I said, “I would like a job where I get a mobile phone, (and these were pretty rare in 1991, right? Not everyone had one.) where I would get a mobile phone, and it would ring, and I have to make decisions on the spot and I have to be instantaneous, because I think quickly on my feet. And she said, “You should be a stock broker. That’s what they do”. It didn’t pan out.

Tim:                       I could have seen you in that, a bit of a Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. You know? Sell, sell!

James:                  I wanted a mobile phone. That was the status symbol.

Tim:                       Isn’t that funny? It’s like, yeah, how many people kind of make massive decisions based on just simple little things like – you wanted a mobile phone. Go and buy the mobile phone. Back then, that would have been expensive, though.

James:                  It cost me seventeen hundred dollars, I think, my first mobile phone.

Tim:                       I reckon people are still making silly decisions based on, you know, as long as they get the mobile phone, whatever the mobile phone may be and the context of the decision.

James:                  There’s two points here. One is, half the time we’re not honest about our real motivation. Right? If we could just be more open about our real motivation…I mean for a lot of people, it’ll probably just boil down to more sex.

Tim:                       There it is.

James:                  Right? And everything else is going to get them more sex. They’ll be more pretty, more handsome, nicer car, better house, because then they’ll be more appealing to the opposite sex. That’s probably a fundamental driver for a lot of people. But if that’s not the case that’s fine, but I’m just using the example.

Tim:                       So more sex?

James:                  More sex. They’re not honest about it. That’s a big point. They really should tap into their real motivation when they’re doing things, and they can actually take a straighter path.

Tim:                       Well think honesty, I mean, think if people go back to, what are we talking…the last episode… 52, no? Episode 53 of FreedomOcean: Reloaded, Timbo and James Get Focused. I mean, that was an honest

episode. I went right back to Why. Why, what was FreedomOcean about originally, and just revisiting that.

James:                  And people don’t penalize you for being open in most cases. Because you’re human. And it’s that vulnerability, that exposure of…I mean, I’ve talked about things on this show that I probably didn’t talk about publicly for a long time, it just comes out when we talk, for some reason. You’ve got this soothing information extraction technique going on.

Tim:                       Look me in the eye, look me in the eye.

James:                  (laughs) Yeah, but it actually feels fantastic to be able to talk about it, and then people, instead of criticizing us, most of the time, although I have been called arrogant before, so deep apologies for that.

Tim:                       (laughs) Four days ago on an email from a listener

James:                  Yes, apart from that.

Tim:                       Hello to that listener.

James:                  Yes, Hello. But look, occasionally, and you know what, I probably was arrogant, so I’m ok with it. I have been called that before. But I think I’m just probably very confident that’s all. But for the most part, people are really supportive, and we got a lot of support for that episode because people would rather have the show than not have the show, and they’ll take it warts and all.

Tim:                       Well, you raise a really interesting question because every time that I have been – what’s the word? – not honest, because I’m always honest on my show, I like to think I’m an honest type of fellow, generally, but when I share stuff on this show and Small Business Big Marketing… A few episodes ago I talked about how I lost my mojo. In fact it was the last episode of 2012. I did it on New Year’s eve and I reflected back on the year and one of the points I made was that during that year, I lost a bit of my mojo. Pretty up guy, generally like to have fun, I laugh, but there was a point that I lost the mojo for various reasons and I’m continuing to get email from listeners who go, “men, I appreciate what you said then…” and that’s interesting and I go, “well, that’s cool” it was nice to be able to share that with you my listeners ‘coz I really love the fact that you come along for the ride.

Every now and then I ask myself, how much of yourself do you share? If you are going to put your head above the trench and I’m going to go down that content marketing route, have a video marketing strategy podcast, blog, whatever it is. How much of yourself do you share?

James:                  I think you can share whatever you want about yourself but you have to consider the people around you as well and there are probably some things that you shouldn’t share, like anything extraordinarily personal or private. You know words are like an arrow, once they’ve been released, you can’t get it back. You know we have this beadiest little buffers on with these recordings where we might be able to go back and edit something out but these days, my team are editing these recordings and have done probably the last six or seven episodes and they usually just let stuff flow. I did have to edit one thing back. I said something in one of my other podcast and I’m like, “no, they shouldn’t have let that go” because people might take it the wrong way. I was really cross with something and was really frustrated and I said what I felt like doing but I would never do it and so they had to edit that out.

By the way, I remembered that second item that was important and it’s somewhat ironic about people making decisions with short notice or for the wrong reasons? You don’t have to make a decision on the spot all the time and that’s something I learned later on is that you can use this magic pause button. Buyers do it all the time, they’re pretending to buy something and they say “I’ve got to think about it”. But in business, you don’t have to make decisions on the spot.

Like when you said to me you’ve lost the mojo, you understand if I have to stop the show or whatever. That doesn’t mean like it’s over right then and there. It just means ok, just stop, think, what are the options and then you can make better decisions with a little bit of a space and then come back and make the right decision and while we’re on decision making, I remember this classic piece from Peter Drucker who is one of my favorite, all-time super stars and he said that the power of the decision is not how long you take to make it or how much wait you put on this or that, it’s mostly in hindsight.

The best decisions are made when you are able to look back and make that reflective hindsight decision. Well based on everything that happened before, this is where I think the best choice is. Learn from the past. He said you won’t really know whether it’s a good decision or not until afterwards. And then the point is look back and was that a good idea so a lot of the strategic stuff I do in my business is that ok, I made the decision to not sell my front-end products for low prices based on the fact that bottom 40% of my sales generated 2% of my revenue. Then I go back three months later and I say was that a good decision or bad decision and to my delight, I discover that now 6% of my sales come from my bottom 40% of the customers and the total revenue from them is double of what it was before pretty much so I’ve realized that it was a good decision but if I gone back and found that it was a bad decision or a poor decision, I could reverse it and it would not be too late to make decisions for the next quarter.

Tim:                       Now Schramko, I think that’s been a good banter.

James:                  Yes, while we had some interesting topics, I did not know that you were in a movie in a dance scene

Tim:                       Well, hang on, that’s completely irrelevant because you’re on full-frontal in Muriel’s wedding, I know it’s going to be a shadow.

James:                  I was in a dance scene as well, we’ve both been in a movie in a dance scene and I did not know that until today.

Tim:                       There you go. I’ve been in an ad too. I’m not telling you though which one.

James:                  Which one Tim?

Tim:                       I’m not telling. So what I was going to talk about today which we’re going to save for another time, I was going to hit you with “you’ve got to have stuff to sell” headline and talk about more and more as I look around there are lots of people who are generating traffic with nothing to sell, that’s been me and there’s other people who’ve got wonderful things to sell but haven’t got an audience. So I thought that would be a really good topic which we will save for a future episode. I was going to briefly share the fact that I have got my Small Business Big Marketing forum open for business by the time this episode goes to where it will be and I’m excited by that also scared ‘cause I remember you saying to me once, and it’s ringing in my ear, “Having a forum is like having a young child”.

James:                  Yup.

Tim:                       But I’m excited by that, because I think –

James:                  But you’re social, Tim, and I think you’ll – look, is this a paid forum?

Tim:                       Yup.

James:                  Okay. The secret to this is it’s got to be worth your time and attention. Like with a baby, you’ve got to turn up for the next eighteen years, right? Until they leave home. It’s not optional. You can’t just sort of hand it over. So the thing is, with the forum, if it’s paying you enough, if you can see the return on your time and turn up, then it’s like an enjoyable child. But if it’s not rewarding enough, and you don’t want to turn up and you start resenting it, then you feel stuck with it. So the best thing you do is mention it. Tell people why they should join it, so that they can go along and find out about it.

Tim:                       Yeah, I’ve got a lot done. I’ve done an audio, and there’s a sales page, people go to SmallBusinessBigMarketing.com and click on the right hand sidebar, there’ll be a banner that says “forum”, and takes them to a sales page that explains, there’s an audio from me, and a video, explaining what it’s all about and what the value is. I just see there’s that gap, in fact one of our listeners identified, they kind of segmented you and I. So you’re the guy who’s kind of on that leading edge, online, internet marketing, business stuff, and that’s why your FastWebFormula is so successful, whereas I’m the guy who’s dragging, who is dragging that bricks and mortar small business signer, who knows the marketing landscape has changed, who listens to me as I say, “Hey, there’s never been a better time to market a small business”, and I’m kind of dragging them into the new age. That’s me versus you and it’s what my forum is all about.

James:                  That’ll be awesome. And you know, as I go out, and I’ve been buying a couple of things lately, I just went and grabbed a new washing machine the other day, there’s still so much that can be done in real businesses.

Tim:                       So much.

James:                  With customer service, and negotiation. I mean, I’ve just had unbelievable sales experiences lately. Really exceptional ones, and some pretty ho-hum ones that every small business who employs staff should be learning about. I hope it covers those sort of topics because that would be really, really good.

Tim:                       Well, I’ve broken it up into a number of different rooms, if you like, and absolutely. I just want to cover the whole gamut of marketing, online and off, and just keep people motivated. All those small business owners that I speak to when I give keynotes, presentations around Australia, soon to be the world, they’re all coming up and going, “Oh, I know all these opportunities are out there, but I’m still stuck running ads in the local paper or doing a letterbox drop, and those things may still be valid, but there’s the additional things that you could be doing these days, for less cost. Maybe a little bit more time.

You know, when you kind of reflect back on what where you and I are at with our marketing – and anyone listening to this show, I mean you’re ahead of the curve, guys. You are way ahead of the curve. Just by listening to a show like this and implementing some of the stuff. Take a look around and I bet your competitors don’t have video or I bet your competitors aren’t considering doing a podcast or whatever it may be, so it’s exciting times.

James:                  Well, Timbo, I think we’ll have to wrap it there. I was just trying to get in first. (laughs) You always end this show.

Tim:                       No mate, here you go, over to you. I’ve finished. See you.

James:                  Alright listeners, well it’s been awesome having you on the show. We’re in the new re-inspired, reloaded, re-invigorated, amazing, updated FreedomOcean. 2013 is our current year, whenever you’re listening to this. It’s been great having you on the show. Be sure to send in your comments. We do reply to emails, but also you can go to our website, and down at the bottom there’s this little Leave a Voice Message thing that takes you to a service called SpeakPipe, and you can use the recording equipment on your computer to leave us a voice message, and we may play your message and if you have a question we might answer it as well. And of course, if you love the show, head over to iTunes and leave us a five star ratings, we might do a little shout out I think to people who give us some ratings in the next episode. So thank you, listener, thank you Timbo,

Tim:                       You know the Grammy awards, when the speech goes for too long and they start playing the music?

James:                  Yeah, that just happened. (both laugh)

Tim:                       See you.

James:                  See you, buddy.


  1. “Muriel’s Wedding” AND “more sex” – what an episode!!

  2. Great episode Men – its great to have you both back firing on all cylinders..

  3. Peter Barnett says

    Hi guys – thanks for making these more regular! Confidence is something we struggle with so it was great to get some insight into how you both worked through it.

    James, how did you find ‘your voice’ in your early days when you were still new to internet marketing and SEO etc? Did you focus on curating content from experts and/or interviewing them, while establishing yourself over time as an expert in these areas?

  4. Mate I loved the rant in the middle. Perfect timing. A lot of what you are putting out lately seems to be ringing my bell. Cheers and thanks for the inspiration.

    Tim, loving your attitude and reinvigorated self.


  5. fat ist good. it’s wealth+wisdom!
    big: the ‘eyeofthetiger-theme’ fade-in…
    please don’t stop this, so good!

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