Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Dane Maxwell on the show. Dane and I met at WDS, the World Domination Summit, and it was because he had the coolest T-shirt I think I’ve ever seen, so we had to become friends. He actually owns a company called Zannee and he actually does software for the real estate industry. Plus he is launching a really new cool thing called The Foundation, which teaches you how to create a software company. He got me really interested in starting my own software company, so I am really excited to have Dane on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on, Dane.
DANE MAXWELL: You bet.
JAIME TARDY: Let’s get into it and start talking about how you started that first software company and as quick as you can, because I know you’ve said it. You’ve been around the internet like crazy. I think anyone who is listening right now can probably go on and find you in a bunch of other places and get the whole storey there. I highly recommend people going there. But for now, give us all the short and sweet version of how you started your first software company.
DM: Well, the first software company started because I was scammed for $12,000. I was buying and selling websites back in the day and the first website I bought was resizepictures.com, this is back when MySpace was really big. The guy was selling the site for $600. Actually, if I backtrack even before that, which is even more interesting, it all started when I read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. I’m not a typically really super intelligent guy so I really appreciated the simplistic way that Rich Dad Poor Dad explained financial wealth. He talked about passive income and not exchanging time for money.
What I found in my life is that the amount of money I make lags about 12 months behind my mindset. My mind is like I want to be at 10 grand a month, it’s usually about 10/12 months before I get there. Now I am down to about six months, wherever my mindset is about six months it takes me to get to that financial level. But anyway, I read that book and I was like wow. I didn’t actually have any idea of a dollar amount that I wanted to make. I just knew I wanted to make passive income and it just resonated at a heart level with me.
Then I was browsing a site at point.com one day and I saw, in the bottom left hand side, I was looking at message boards and then on the bottom left hand side it said like pregnancyhelp.com; 5,000 visitors a month, $500 a month in revenue for sale for $5,000. I was like oh my gosh you can buy websites for money. My passive income right there. I’ve actually never told this story.
JT: Good, give me that! Yes, thank you.
DM: I really had a holy shit moment. I was like oh my. I had a euphoric. It was like, I don’t know how to explain it. It was super exciting. It would be like someone meeting their favorite movie celebrity or something is how excited I felt.
JT: That excited, wow. That’s impressive.
DM: Nothing was more important to me than passive income at that time. Later that actually imprisoned me to be pretty lonely because that’s all I wanted. So we can talk about how I transitioned out of that into not loneliness. But what I wanted was passive income and so I found this site Resize Pictures. It wasn’t making any money. It was back in MySpace time when MySpace would not even resize your photo when they uploaded it.
MySpace was actually pretty brilliant because they built that software in two weeks and then because of their marketing they became one of the top 100 sites in the world. They went to all the top celebrities and got the celebrities to promote the site for them. So the technology, the platform is really shitty but their marketing was out of this world and that’s why MySpace took off.
JT: I didn’t even know that.
DM: So that’s a really good illustration of how important joint ventures are, partners are and marketing is and how unimportant the product is.
JT: Well, MySpace doesn’t exist anymore so anyway, go ahead. I mean it does but not very well.
DM: That’s a good point. Now they could have existed if they weren’t, if they actually did a good job running it, but the way they launched it should definitely be replicated by people.
JT: Yes, definitely. And I want to get into, because you are sort of a master copywriter and marketer guy and I really want to make sure I get into that later when we talk about how you’re doing with The Foundation, but we’ll save that for later so keep going.
DM: Just reiterating the points to remember with Facebook are how they launched and what’s really important in the business in the beginning is marketing. What sabotaged them is continuing to just destroy the product.
JT: Yes, definitely.
DM: So anyway, resizepictures.com you could go and upload your photo, resize it, put it on your profile and then when it would go on the person’s profile, the site would just grow virally, so we didn’t have to do anything. I slapped Google ad cents on that site after I bought it and I started making, I went on spring break, because I was a sophomore in college, and when I got back down the mountain I was so excited to check my ad cents. In the first day I made like $1.50.
JT: That’s awesome! Passive income, while I was on the slopes, I made a $1.50.
DM: I literally cried I think. I had like tears in my eyes and I was like oh my gosh is this possible and I cried. I cried because it was like 10/12 months after I read the book. I started to not believe it. I started to think it’s not true. Now that $1.50 a day is more like $1,000 or $2,000 day passive.
JT: That’s huge. I just want to stop you too, because I think we don’t understand that, especially starting out. You don’t understand that $1.50 is important. You go that sucks. We hear all these amazing stories of oh I make $1,000, $2,000 a day from you but of course, way back when, you made $1.50 and you were excited about it and I think we sort of take away from that success. Even if it’s a small success, it’s still success. It wasn’t zero. I’m sorry, continue.
DM: It’s a good thing that you brought that up because, as I think about, I think I felt more excitement about telling you the $1.50 than I felt about the $1,000 or $2,000, internally as I’m just scanning my body for like emotional things. I’m not nearly as excited. Now I am kind of excited because I am sharing my emotions but the $1.50 was more exciting for you to share than the $2,000 a day and I told, I remember showing my parents. I said, “Mom and Dad, you’ve got to see this.”
I showed them the Google ad cents. Look at this. If you ever log into Google ad cents, the dollar amount is always in green. So I was like Mom check this out. And then $1.50 and then I sat seven days and then I showed them how much I made in 7 days. It was like $8.00 or $9.00 and I was like Mom, do you guys have any idea how much money I am going to be making in like 10 years?
JT: That’s awesome. You’re parents are really cool. It’s funny you say that because my best friend, who has never been online, went online this month and she emailed me today. She goes I made my first $11.00 affiliate sale today. She’s like it’s not much. I’m like that is amazing. You are awesome! That’s huge. That’s her first $11.00 that she made without really doing too much and I think that’s, you’re right, we really need to celebrate the small successes because they do get bigger. But still, even if they’re incremental and small, that’s what we need to be paying attention to. Awesome. So I didn’t know about that. So how did you lose $12,000 though?
DM: So I bought Resize Pictures for $600. I couldn’t afford that so I split it with a friend; $300 each. I chose not to afford it. I didn’t say can’t. I just did say can’t but you know, the language is important. I bought it for $300 apiece. We made about $3,000 with it on ads because I started to figure out how to optimize ads. So some days we’d make like $80 a day on that site. This was when I was in college. We’d just drink beer and we’d show the ad cents and I’d be like yeah!
JT: We’re awesome. That’s awesome. That’s good.
DM: So then I sold that site a year and a half later for like $3,000 or a year later for like $3,000. So we made like $6,000 on this $600 site. Then I bought another site for $4,000 and sold it three months later for $12,000 and I bought another site for $9,000, made $2,000 on it and sold it two months later for $10,000. So it ended up making like $12,000 by the time I graduate college.
DM: Every dollar of that $12,000 went into this other site for sale that just totally tanked. I signed a contract, guarantee earnings. I verified the income was legit and 22 days in or 20 days in or whatever it was Google emailed me saying they detected fraudulent earnings on a new site on my account and deducted all of the fraudulent revenue.
JT: You had thought at the time if you bought and sold and bought and sold and you were doing really well, all right I am going to up the ante and make it a little bit bigger stakes and then got screwed. So what in it, that decision making process or the site, could you have done differently so you didn’t get screwed over?
DM: Due diligence. Definitely due diligence. I got very good at doing DNS lookups to see the history of domains and that may sound really complicated but all you just do is go to WhoIs.SC and put in a domain and they tell you the who is history and see how many times they change servers and see how many other domains he had exactly like that one on different server farms.
JT: So he was just generating, generating and selling them and just scamming people?
DM: Yes, he sold a site that made $200 a day so that is $6,000 a month for $12,000. So I would have made my money back in two months.
JT: When it sounds too good to be true, right? But you actually said you verified it though. It was set up incorrectly. How else could you have done your due diligence really? You could have looked at the DNS lookup but in general, if you verified that the site was making such good money, would you have still made that decision anyway?
DM: Well, it’s interesting, because I took out the $9,000 site that I bought. I used OPM which is Rich Dad Poor Dad.
JT: Other people’s money.
DM: Yes. So Video Clip Library was for sale and I bought that and I bought that by getting a loan from the biggest foreclosure king in Iowa. He has like 500 foreclosures on contract and he’d actually be a good interview probably. Really boring guy but like just really interesting too at the same time. I can kind of say that because I am pretty sure he won’t watch this.
JT: I’m going to send it to him now.
DM: Well, to top it off, he’s like the most amazing dude I’ve ever met.
JT: Thank you, you have to say that, because I’m totally going to say Dane told me to interview you. Here, watch his interview. Go ahead.
DM: So I pitched him on investing in this website and I told him what it made. He was like I’m pretty nervous about it. I was like, you know what, if it bombs, I can work at McDonald’s and pay you off. So he gave me the money. I got it. I paid him back and then I showed him this site and he was like why does he want to sell a site like that. He wants to build a new deck. Like he’s studying to build a new deck for his daughter’s birthday or something. The guy that was going to give me it, goes that sounds pretty fishy to me.
I don’t want to do it. I was like okay well you’re retarded because this makes total sense to me and I am going to buy it. I didn’t say that to him but I thought it. So anyway, I was actually taking loans out to buy and flip websites, which is totally an awesome business model. Like you could go to flipit.com, look at great websites. Actually, you know what, I think it would be a great business model as I was thinking about it yesterday is I wish I could give like, I don’t know, two, three, four, five grand a month to someone to invest in those loans on prosper.com, keepit.com, take a percentage. That way my money is going to positively impact people and then they’re always doing the risk assessment and things like that.
But if I could take three grand, four or five grand a month into like those micro lending sites, that would be awesome if someone would do that for me, because I don’t have the time to do that. So that would be a neat little business. You don’t need money to buy sites. So I found Video Clip Library and I got a loan and I paid the guy back in 3 months and he’s used to getting paid back in 15 years. So he loved the internet. Still wouldn’t invest in this site. So I went ahead and bought it. Before I did, I gave him my Google ad cents ID and plugged him into the site and for four days I made $200. Just to show him. So I had $800.
JT: You’re like see!
DM: Then he put this pressure on me. He said four other people want the site. You got to buy it now otherwise it’s going to go away. I was like oh my goodness, $800 in my ad cents account. I have got to buy it. So I went and transferred the money and then what I found out later is that he was actually pressuring me because he didn’t want Google to say it was fraudulent earnings so quickly. Anyway, I figured out, I put together the greatest court case in the planet for him. I went to attorneys and still it’s pretty hard to sue. He had an attorney come back and say that I clicked on his ads so that’s why it was fraudulent.
To put icing on the cake, about a month later I was looking at sites for sale again and I saw a site for sale that looked very similar and then I saw, it was a different name but then I did a DNS lookup and I found out it was the same guy, selling the same fucking thing to another sucker. So I registered a Yahoo! account, created a new Google ad cents account. Like Lisa Diane was my name and I was like all right, before I buy it just send me your license so I can come down to your house and bomb you because I was so upset at him. He’s like I’ll get it to you later and he never got me the license.
But I plugged in my ad cents ID and he plugged it in and like three days later he was like we have four or five people that want this site, you better buy it now. I just ignored it and then three days later Google ad cents not only shut down, not only deducted the account but just banned me all together. So I had evidence that this guy was a totally scammer. He manipulated the hell out of me. He even said, “Oh there is something wrong with Google ad cents, we’ll switch you over to another ad network.” Three weeks went by and he never switched me to another advertising network. So three weeks in and I got really upset. I was like what the fuck is the deal?
I don’t usually drop this many F bombs. So what’s the deal? I want to make the $300 a day you say you’re making. I gave you 12 grand, you can’t, this is totally not right. Quit this or whatever. He replies back, oh, I just plugged the code into my site yesterday making $300 a day. Because you’re so rude to me I’m not going to do this for you. I was like how is this possible? Anyway, I went ahead and looked up the founder of that advertising company that the guy said he was making $300 a day for, told them my story. The guy was like oh my gosh who is this bastard, I am going to ban him. He banned him. I said oh tell me how much money did he make? He made like $0.25 on the account. So he wasn’t making $300 a day. I found him as a liar in three different places and still couldn’t.
JT: And you still couldn’t get any of your money back at all?
DM: It was at that point I was like wow this is negative energy. This is sucking way too much from life. I am going to drop this and move forward as a different man.
JT: I mean I can feel how crappy it feels for you and that’s why I actually feel really good that you told the story because I think there is so many people that sort of get into that and just want revenge and feel really crappy and feel like an idiot for doing stuff like that. So hearing you being able to say that too is really beneficial for someone who might even be going through that right now and to sort of see the other side of it, because that sucks. So how did you get past that?
DM: Well I was getting ready to move out of my parent’s basement.
JT: Yeah, moving on up!
DM: Well until I lost the 12k. And then I had $123 left in my bank account and some other 12 cents or something. I remember logging into my Wells Fargo and seeing $123 to my name was just like awful. So I had to stay with my parents. I told my mom and my dad and my girlfriend at the time. I told them all I had been scammed and I thought I was going to lose all their love and I was so humiliated. At that point, how could anyone ever do this to me and like I swear I will never do anything like this to anyone. It was at that point that I said, I’m not going to drop another F bomb, I said screw this.
Screw this I am going to stop trying to buy my freedom. I am going to stop trying to go for the easy button and I am going to develop my hard internal skills that I can build as a human, as an entrepreneur so that I could go out and literally create companies from nothing.
JT: That’s awesome. That’s what we talked about before. It’s funny that you said the niche site is sort of a good idea, because I know you sort of changed your view point completely. It’s not really about niche sites anymore, right? Especially if you can do this on your own then you don’t have to buy other people’s sites. What’s the point, would you ever buy another person’s site now or would you pretty much only stick with making your own stuff?
DM: Well now that you actually ask it, I think it would be pretty exciting to buy some sites. I haven’t even really thought about it for so long. But now that you’re asking, I could maybe buy some sites in like internet marketing/business opportunities/entrepreneurial advice space and then use that traffic to build The Foundation.
JT: That’s a really good idea. It’s funny, this is what I want to talk about too, really get into, because you have a tremendous amount of skills in copywriting and stuff like that. That’s why you’re able to buy a site and tweak it, get traffic, deal with the copywriting and make a lot more sales than any other site that was just sort of going on its own than someone who didn’t know how to do that. So let’s talk and delve a little bit deeper into that sort of stuff. What is that stuff that you learned having to do with copywriting and getting traffic? What are the essentials so that way we have at least some more information on that?
DM: On copywriting?
JT: Yes. First copywriting then traffic, because I know you know both of them.
DM: We just got featured on AppSumo today.
JT: I know! Congratulations.
DM: Thank you. Before that, our biggest lead day was 100 leads for the day. We really haven’t even started our promotions yet. Promotions are starting to ramp up. So far today, at about 2:00, we were at 350 leads. We’ll probably have over 400 today. So getting featured on AppSumo was a very good thing for us. We’re the featured deal on the homepage. The product sells for $10 on the homepage. It’s usually like 30 or 40. The reason I was able to get the deal is because I didn’t take any of the site deals. So actually AppSumo declined me.
We were like we don’t want to sell this. It’s called the copywriting checklist. It’s a 10-point checklist that you can just go through and instantly optimize your site. What happened was they’re like, no it’s not comprehensive enough. We don’t want this. We have products that are $30 that are three times the comprehension and we’re not sure if this will work with our audience. So those are my three objections. Being a copywriter, basically what you have is you have Point A where the person is at and Point B were the places where you want to them to go and in the middle are the objections.
Great copy, just kind of removes the objections to they are able to walk over to be. So in this AppSumo example, I was able to say well look comprehension is not where the value is at for this. People don’t actually want to read massive books, they just want to know what they need to do. They can pop in and pop out like an encyclopedia and get what they need there. That’s a value. Then in terms of like $30 versus whatever I said, sell it for $10. I don’t want any of the money, I just want the exposure. That cancels that objection.
Then the third one they don’t know if will work with the audience. I was like well this is the number one selling product on Mixergy, people rave about it. You have a very similar audience.
JT: So did you actually know Noah beforehand or did you know any guys at AppSumo or did you do like the little submit your thing and they got back to you?
DM: I emailed back and forth with Noah a little bit but we have not met face to face. I think he knows me and I know him but I have not got the chance to kick it with him yet.
JT: That’s sort of what I am wondering. It’s much different getting past objections from someone who is like I don’t even know who this guy is, who does he think he is comparatively to oh I know Dane, he’s really cool. Much easier.
DM: I wasn’t talking with Noah on this. Noah introduced me to his guy Sung Ho. I don’t know how to say his name. But Sung Ho is amazing and Sung Ho actually copywrited me today too because I was like how is the product doing? They have done over $6,000 in sales on that product today. I was like is it too late to ask for a percentage?
JT: You’re like you’re welcome.
DM: Shit! Is it too late to ask for a percentage? Like I know I want the leads and the exposure and this is wonderful, but is it too late? He said, you know, we probably wouldn’t have. This is what’s interesting is he was like we probably would not have run the offer. We probably would not have promoted it to our entire email list and we probably would not have put it as a featured deal if we were giving you a percentage. So it turns out that I got all this exposure because they didn’t give that percentage.
Now they could have just been pulling my leg, but then he went one step further and copywrited me like a pro. I was like damn that’s really good. He said in exchange for you letting us sell this product for free we’ll give you all the numbers in the subject lines we split tested, all the feedback and all the conversion and analytic status so you can make the product better and like know how to sell it better too.
JT: That’s awesome though. That’s valuable, especially because they have a huge list. They probably have some really good data.
DM: But look how he copywrited me!
JT: I know, he totally did. He totally did.
DM: There needs to be like a transference of value and he totally transferred value. The thing is I know what he did to me but it worked and I’m like damn!
JT: It was good and you respect him now. So it’s all good and you made him $6,000 so maybe they’ll do another deal with you later.
DM: There’s my third F bomb. There was $6,000 by like 2:00. It’s got to be like, that thing is going to 15 or 20k easy.
JT: That’s crazy. It’s funny because I got the email today and I saw copywriting and I was like that would be funny if it was Dane and then I looked at it and I was like seriously you really are everywhere. This is stupid. This is ridiculous. So congratulations on that. That’s huge though. Let’s go into that, because we’re already talking about this a little bit. With the copywriting stuff, you have to be really good at copywriting, but you’re also ridiculously good at connecting people.
Like at WDS, you and Andy were connecting with everyone and since then you’re on every single Rise to the Top, you were already on Mixergy before. You’re going around and doing tons of stuff. I’ve gotten emails from people that have interviewed me that were like oh my gosh, I just interviewed Dane and he knows you. He’s awesome. I’m like how in the heck did he, how did you guys do that? Seriously, I got three emails from three random people that had interviewed me before that emailed me about you.
DM: What did they say?
JT: They said you were amazing.
DM: Be more specific.
JT: Well seriously, that’s pretty much all they said. They were saying that they now interviewed you and thank you so much because they didn’t know if you got the information from me or whatever and I didn’t know. I don’t remember telling you about Chrissy and a couple other people. I was really impressed, especially because they didn’t know you at all and now they’re coming back to me saying oh my goodness, thank you so much, Dane was an awesome interview. So thank you, that builds capital that way for them too. You didn’t know that did you.
DM: You’re welcome.
JT: So tell me about how you’re making these connections and getting on these big shows, especially for this launch.
DM: Well it kind of comes down to copywriting.
JT: I just need to stop you because I really think every single time I’ve ever talked to you that it always comes down to copywriting. Like that’s your thing. It always comes down to copywriting. Keep going.
DM: I tell you what, like I need to study copywriting more. I feel kind of like a fool when it comes to copywriting. I teach copywriting and I’m like I really need to learn this stuff better. The more I learn about copy the more abundant my life is. I’ve actually been thinking about this scale of abundance. I’m thinking about it in the areas in my life that I don’t have abundance, what is preventing me from having it? So right now, I would say that while I do have women in my life, I don’t feel abundant in that area.
I was thinking about the scale of abundance and I feel like any area where it’s not fully there, there are a couple things in place. Usually I find myself clinging and grasping to an outcome and/or feeling lack and/or not giving 100 percent of my attention to that area aka not being present in that area. What I’ve noticed, if I see a very attractive beautiful woman, the kind that resonates with me, beautiful inside and out and you can tell by the way a woman carries herself if she’s this way, I can pick it up in an instant. I can read people’s energy pretty quick.
If it’s a girl in this kind of category for me, I immediately I will kind of freeze a little and I’ll start to cling or grasp to an outcome that I’d like to have. In that moment, I am not in a state of abundance. Now how can I ever approach a relationship with this girl even as a friend or even as more if I am totally clinging and grasping on that situation. So that prevents me from abundance there. This totally applies in business. If you’re clinging and grasping to percentages of your company, where you know you should be giving them away so you can focus on other parts of your company or, if you’re clinging and grasping to not giving percentages of your sales away as an affiliate commission to bring more customers in, because you want to keep more of your profit, how is that clinging and grasping keeping you from more abundance thereto?
Since taking the wealth dynamics profile test figuring out I’m a creator and that creators are supposed to give percentages to their company away so they can go and create more pies, because it really is an abundant world and you can create as many pies as you want. Anyway, so the scale of abundance I found what prevents me from doing that is clinging and grasping and not giving 100 percent of my attention and being fully present in that moment with that activity. Wrapping this back to copywriting, I really feel like my life has become really abundant. I don’t really have lack in any area of my life at all.
I really believe it comes from mindset and I believe that I have been able to have had that mindset before I think but I think I’ve even sharpened it more with copywriting. It wasn’t until I took the, I learned copywriting by going to a conference. Before I tell the story about how I learned about copywriting, I want to anchor it so you actually understand why I did what I did. But if you ever go to a country for longer than three months, you start to pick up the accent.
JT: Mine’s like three days. You go anywhere and I start talking like them but go ahead.
JT: Yes, it’s crazy.
DM: I’m so jealous. In about three months typically is what happens for me is you really start to pick up the accent. So I had a buddy go to Australia and he came back and he like walked like an Australian, he spoke like one. We all made fun of him.
JT: Wait, what? No, go ahead.
DM: We’re in high school and he’s different now. Since high school is all about fitting in, so you go and get made fun of, I had a rough high school. But who didn’t have?
JT: Who didn’t?
DM: Who didn’t. I’ll finish my thought. It’s the quarterback of the football team who is now the halfway overweight construction worker working late nights and this is actually the case for my high school. It’s the case for many others and not to say that because they’re overweight and drink beer and in construction they’re not happy, I know my, he’s a friend of mine and he is unhappy. It’s not that status makes him. I definitely to reiterate that because I definitely don’t believe that what you do is what you are.
Anyway, back to copywriting, what I did is if being immersed in the country helps you pick up the accent, here’s what’s interesting. You don’t even consciously try to pick up the accent. It’s not like you’re consciously focusing on the accent, I want to pick up this accent, I want to pick up this accent, I want to pick up this accent. Just being around that energy field, just being in that environment, you start to subconsciously pick it up. It’s effortless. That’s really a big point. What energy field are you hanging around with right now and what is that, if you’re picking up an accent for a subconscious, imagine what it’s like to hang around with millionaires with total freedom all the time, imagine what’s going to pick up in your subconscious there.
It happens effortlessly. So it’s that important you pick who you hang out with. If you divide your five closet friends by five, their income, if you divide their income by five that’s how much money you make. If you divide their happiness by five, that’s how happy you are. If you divide the number of times they complain per day by five, that’s how many times you complain per day. Energy you run with manifests. Sorry, did I interrupt?
JT: No, no, I was saying the same thing. Like it’s huge. One of the reasons why I wanted to interview millionaires and stuff like that is to really sort of get around them a lot more, get around their energy and it is, I was just laughing because it’s a total difference. It has been about a year and a half and my friend, Tawny, who I interviewed a little while just invited me to Greece to her friend’s mansion and I’m like that would be awesome.
Two years ago I would have been like wait, what, hmm? I’m going to stay in a mansion? It’s just sort of amazing just the mindset difference like it’s not a big deal to her. It’ll be fun and awesome but it’s sort of different. You know what I mean? It’s not that big of a deal. It’s a big deal, I really want to go to Greece, but you know what I mean. It’s not as big of a deal as it would have been before. It would have seemed impossible before and now it’s not that big of a deal. So just changing that, knowing that it’s really easy for somebody else to do makes it so it’s really easy for me to do it now too, which is really interesting. Sorry, keep going.
DM: You started off, you’re not a millionaire but you’re interviewing millionaires, right, so you didn’t have that complex. Not complex, you did not have that limiting belief that says oh I’m not a millionaire, why would millionaires, like people might think I can’t interview millionaires because I’m not a millionaire. But that’s a limiting belief.
JT: I actually got past that one though. I think that’s an interesting thing and I want to say one other thing besides that. I was like why would they say yes to me? And turns out it’s really easy to get them to say yes. You ask and they say yes. Wow, what a surprise. But I think the other thing that I want to say is that when I met you, I was like oh yeah I interview millionaires and blah, blah, blah. I was like net worth of a million dollars and you’re like I’m a millionaire. You didn’t even know and you’re like oh wow that’s really interesting, hmm, okay, cool, because it’s not that big of a deal.
You’re so busy building your life and moving forward and making yourself happy that adding up your balance sheet is sort of like oh, hey look at that, huh. Does that change anything? Not really but hey now you can come on my show, which I was excited about. But tell me about why you had never added it up before.
DM: It’s not, that would be a measurement that the ego would maybe like to measure. It may not be, there are guys out there that really like to measure their net worth every year. I have a friend who measures his net worth every year and he measures the growth. Oh I grew 35 percent in my net worth this year. It’s a game for him. That’s just not important for me. Freedom and happiness are how I measure my success, not revenue or balance sheets.
JT: Which is the whole point of Eventual Millionaire so I want to talk about that a little bit. It’s about living the life that you really want to live while you’re making the money, because that’s really important to me. So tell me about why that’s important to you and also how you’re doing that with software companies because it seems like if you’re starting a bunch of companies, it’s going to take a long time.
The guy I interviewed earlier this morning which, of course, his is going to come out later than your interview, but he talks about and many of the millionaires I’ve interviewed are like well prepare to work 70 plus hours a week, at least for the first few years, because that’s what it takes. But if freedom and purpose and having fun and that sort of stuff is really important and the money is not so much, I don’t know, are you working 70 hours a week? Maybe right now you are. Maybe I should ask that question. Go ahead though.
DM: When I built my software companies, I never worked more than six hours a day.
DM: Yes, because we have a specific belief structure that keeps us working less. Now, if we backtrack to the copywriting, I don’t really feel like we touch on copywriting completely but also the immersion of yourself into the environment. Shut up. Immersion of yourself into the environment to like actually absorb the language. In order to subconsciously, I just want to finish this thought.
JT: Yeah, go ahead.
DM: In order to completely subconsciously immerse yourself in copy, you want to study the great masters every day. So you don’t actually read books on how to do copywriting, you actually look at great copywriting and copy it out by hand and when you write out great copy by hand, you start to pick up things you would never see if you were just reading it. Just like a great artist will trace a dinosaur at a museum to learn how to draw a dinosaur, a great salesman will trace great sales copy.
I did that every day for an hour for three months and that’s when I really started to talk with a lot more certainty. That’s when I was able to ask for money a lot better because I saw how 100 different sales letters were asking for money and I was like wow I could totally embody this. My confidence just shot through the roof and I remember being at the Re-Max conference sitting with brokers who were the top brokers in the country and just closing them like crazy and having the guys be like you are an amazing salesman.
Because, again, copywriting is okay you want this end result, here are your objections, let me pull the objections away so you can walk to that end result. So this copywriting strategy is not something you can pick up in a day, but then the question typically is where do you go to copy great copy and that website is infomarketingblog.com. That’s actually my homepage infomarketingblog.com. That guy is the greatest cataloger of sales letters on the planet. If I can’t copy a sales letter, I’ll try to at least read it. What I find is that I copy by hand, I start to feel the copywriting flowing in my blood. I start to feel it embed into my DNA and it becomes a very internalized experience, head down as opposed to just something you logically understand.
JT: See, that’s really interesting. I wondered how you got so great at copywriting. Okay, you actually handwrote stuff for at least an hour every day for three months.
JT: We don’t do that anymore. I have a pen in my hand but it’s to write on the already printed out thing that I already have. That’s really an interesting way of doing it. Why do you think that was? Just because, like you said, you sort of embodied it or what does that change in your brain comparatively to just reading it on a screen?
DM: Well, I’m sure there are people out there that can explain the science better than me. I know there is something that said if you write your goals down they are much more likely or whatever. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. It was actually because Dan Kennedy, who is one of the greatest copywriters on the planet, he told the story about how he met Gary Halbert. Gary Halbert is also one of the greatest copywriters on the planet. He is actually called The Prince of Print, which is a pretty cool name. He dubs himself that name, but it’s still bad ass.
JT: You’ve got to dub yourself something.
DM: Yeah, I do. Right now I have something like the head honcho of The Foundation, which is kind of silly. I should figure something else out.
JT: You’re the copywriter. You should find something good.
DM: You’re right, I should. You’re totally calling me out on following copywriters. I was the grand puba of Paperless Pipeline. I really like that one. But that was Paperless Pipeline. That’s one of the software companies that I owned. But Gary Halbert is one of the greatest copywriters on the planet and Dan Kennedy was in college at the time and he was looking for an internship. So he goes into the career office and he’s like hey I’m looking for an internship. I don’t really have any skills or my degrees aren’t that good or whatever he says, but I really want to work somewhere.
They’re like well there’s nobody formal but I actually know somebody that’s probably looking for work right now that I could probably connect you with. So gave him the address. Dan Kennedy showed up and when he showed up, he came into a room that’s not a lot bigger than this. It’s like I’m in a 12×12 room right now, maybe 24×24 room is probably what the real size was. I’m not sure but when he walked in he had three, there were three tables in the room. Completely white walls, no culture, nothing.
On one table there were people stuffing envelopes with sales letters. On another table there were people pulling out money from an envelope from the orders from the sales letters and on the third table there were people processing the orders for the information products that he was selling. This is before the internet existed. Gary Halbert made hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. I believe that’s true. I know it was at least $100 million. This guy just totally made asinine amounts of money because he was a great copywriter.
I mean he would sell you something about your genealogy tree and like once you understand your genealogy tree then you’re understanding your life’s purpose and your success and let me sell you a product on how to understand your genealogy. I don’t know what he sold; tons of stuff. In fact, the more successful I become in business, the less I actually care what the product is. I don’t even care about product anymore. It’s like okay what are you doing to market your business? What are you doing to grow your team? How are you managing your culture? Product is like the least important part of the business to me now. It just happens to be what you do really well but it’s all the other things you do that are awesome about it. I do care about product but like it’s becoming less and less of a focus. It’s pretty interesting.
JT: I think that’s huge though what you’re saying in general is that you can do a lot with that one skill. A lot of the times we’re like I have to know everything. I have to know how to do traffic and I have to know how to do this. It’s so overwhelming, especially on the internet or with a software company of going I need to know technology. I need to know so many pieces of the puzzle. When in reality, what you’re really saying is you can sort of plug in all of the skills that you have into whatever the product is. Of course, it will be 100 percent, 110 percent kind of amazing product otherwise it would suck and maybe turn out like MySpace.
But in general, you can really feed that in and I think that’s a key piece that people need to realize. Having a skill set that they can take and replicate in where they are is huge, especially if you want to do more than one company. I interview a lot of people that are serial entrepreneurs. I mean you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. They are really good at building companies. Selling stuff, because that’s really what it takes. In order to have a good company, you actually have to sell stuff.
So being able to sell stuff and being able to do it, it’s really awesome that you sort of marketed all down to copywriter. I think that’s sort of a key distinction that nobody really has said so far. It helps you in sales. It helps you in your mindset the way you talk to yourself I’m sure too. So now everybody is going to be like I have to learn copywriting because that’s going to make me so much better. But it’s kind of the key. So why don’t you tell me some tips and tricks that you’ve learned in copywriting, from writing all those things down, that you can give us.
DM: Yes, yes. Wrapping up the Kennedy story quick.
JT: I know, I totally interrupt you like 1,000 times.
DM: I love it. I love all these open loops and tangents. We have like five unanswered questions at this point.
JT: Oh yeah. I’ll have you on again later.
DM: Cool. Like Dan Kennedy walks in and after working a week with him he sees all this money flowing through and Dan’s like, Gary I want to do what you do. So Gary is kind of eye-size him up like hmm. Kind of calls bullshit on him. Goes back to his back office, comes out with a stack of paper like this tall and goes (makes sound) and just like slams it on the table. He said copy every single one of these letters by hand and when you’re done, do it again. So Dan did it twice. It took him a year to copy it all by hand.
DM: Yep, but now he gets paid $100,000 a pop to write a sales letter. He’s kind of an unhappy guy which is why I only listen to his advice in copywriting but I am actually not associated with his energy field anymore because I just found it to be kind of draining. But it served me while I needed to be around that. But anyway, I heard that story from Dan Kennedy and I said holy crap I’m going to go do that now.
JT: I didn’t realize it was from Dan Kennedy. That’s really cool. So that’s number one. One of the things, the actions that people can do, if they want to get better in copywriting then is to go ahead and do that. But what are some things that you’ve learned from doing that, that you can give us, which I know we won’t embody until we actually write it down, but tell us it anyway so my we can get the idea of what we might learn.
DM: I would say it would be fascinating if you were able to embody what I call the instant clarity headline which is it’s a formula. It’s the desired end result the customer wants and a specific period of time, while addressing objections they have about getting that desired end result. This formula was used to create a billion dollar pizza franchise. Domino’s Pizza used it to say hot fresh pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free and hot fresh pizza is the desired end result, the time frame they want it in or it’s free addresses any objections.
It also creates it’s all BS. I’m going to try and call and see if I can’t get it to work. So it actually had the, while addressing objections, it also offered a guarantee and also caused like this challenge which is like total perfect but like savvy realtors use this to your home sold in 90 days or I’ll buy it. A lot of realtors are not the best with marketing and I kind of stutter as I say this because I don’t want to speak poorly of them but the case remains to be seen. A vast majority of agents really seem to struggle with marketing. It’s because you’re not embodying the desired end result the customer wants. The customer wants their home sold.
They don’t care about your 96-point checklist to sell their home. They just want to know their home is going to be sold in a certain timeframe and they want to trust you for that. If the 96-point checklist helps supplement that then that’s great, but don’t start with your 96-point checklist. Start speaking about the end result they have while addressing objections. So this works everywhere. So I use this to hire developers. I don’t actually use a total instant clarity headline although it would pretty interesting.
When developers are looking for work, for software, they’re looking for people who can, that don’t know everything but that are solving a problem that’s exciting to the developer and you can make any problem exciting to the developer. Paperless Pipeline is transaction management software. It couldn’t be more boring. The way I made it exciting is I said there is eight competitors in this space and they all do an ass piss poor ass backwards job and they frustrate customers. We’re going to be the first product that people actually enjoy using. That’s how we’re able to make that exciting for the developer. But you notice copywriting works to developers so you’ll see my job posts are like painful problem for customer X needs Y solution. Fast payment. Fast feedback. Ongoing work.
No one talks to developers like that. They’re like all focused. I need a CMS platform that does this, this and this. What’s in it for the developer? No, you have like CMS platform. You have fast payment, fast feedback, great work, great reputation; all the stuff that’s important to a developer – getting paid on time, getting feedback to their project, working on stuff that matters. So you see how copywriting is not just long-form sales letters, it’s actually communicating to everyone in your life, whether it’s your grandma about getting her to come to your place for Christmas. Grandma, I’d love you to come to Christmas and open six presents and smile really bigly. Even if you don’t have a car or have gas, we can schedule a bus ticket for you. It works for everything.
JT: See, that’s really cool. That’s something that we don’t really understand. I love that you can pull it into every single piece. Even on Facebook, the way you sort of do your Facebook posts. I don’t know. It’s just sort of you embody it and I think that’s why everybody is like oh my gosh Dane is the copywriting master, even if you don’t feel like you’re right there. If somebody wants to write one of these headlines, but doesn’t feel confident, right, what if you’re a realtor and you’re like I can’t sell it in 90 days. How am I suppose to put this guarantee on it when I don’t think I can do that? Or if you don’t feel confident in your work, how can you go ahead and make these claims?
DM: You would ask yourself what conditions would need to exist for this home to sell in 90 days and then it’s going to be like well the home has to be priced incredibly well. So you only do this 90-day things, if the homeowner agrees to price it at a fair market value. If you want it sold in 90 days it’s going to need to be 5 percent below all other homes. Or maybe it’s not and you just have a marketing system that has a track record of selling homes in 90 days. Now, if I was an agent just getting started, I would say I would skip all the learning and I would look for agents that are selling their homes in 90 days and I would call up and interview them on how they’re doing it and just model their success very quickly in my business.
JT: I love that. Call and ask them; do it. Okay, good. That works out well for me. So tell me a little bit more about that because I know you do, that’s something you actually do with your software stuff. You call. You ask people what they need and then you start working from there. So how do you do that in your software also? If you do that in that, how do you figure it out in your software business?
DM: If I do what and what?
JT: From realtors, right, if you were able to overcome that objection. So I just gave you an objection of going well I can’t sell it in 90 days. So what would you do? And you’re like okay well all I would do is call and make sure that these specific things made a difference to me. So when you’re dealing with a new, and I am totally jumping around on this, but when you’re dealing with Paperless Pipeline or a software company, how do you handle like those objections? Do you call?
So I’m starting a software company, right? You know this. One of the things I’m doing is I’m talking to a bunch of landscapers. It’s in the landscaping industry and I’m giving them a call and talking to them. I’m trying to figure out what their biggest pain is and what their objections are so I can start overcoming that. So how do you go ahead and do that? So you can give me advice on that sort of thing.
DM: That’s a pretty cool process you’re following. Where did you learn that?
JT: I know someone that’s really smart. It’s so funny. You’re stuff, the way you talk about it is so, you didn’t actually see my speech at WDS did you?
JT: Well, you say who you learned it from, it was mine. I’ve interviewed so many millionaires and one of the key things that I’ve found in the processes that I found is that millionaires don’t necessarily go on passion. They specifically go on finding a need. Everybody knows that, right. So you find this need but how do you find the need? One of the biggest things they said is call up your customers and ask and find a pain point. Find more pain, not just surface level pain, kind of like what you say. Not surface level pain.
You need to sort of get down deep, because people will say I don’t have enough time but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need a time management software or something like that. It could go a lot deeper. So that’s actually what a lot of the WDS speech was all about is how do you get feedback, what questions you need to ask. What I’m wondering is what’s different with your process. I don’t really know your whole process on this. What’s different in your process than is in mine so that way I can make sure I’m actually asking all of the good questions too?
DM: On the outset, it doesn’t sound like anything is. I would just need to sit with you and actually watch over your shoulder to be able to critique. What we like to do is we typically like to ask someone to walk through their typical day. You make it really specific. You say when you walk in at 9:00 a.m. what’s the first thing you do? Oh you open up email, okay, what happens next? What do your emails usually say? What kind of things are your emails asking you to do? You get really specific. What do you at 10? What’s next, what’s next, what next and then you ask them to rate on a scale what the most painful one of those activities is.
DM: Then they’re going to rate. You say what’s next. This one is less painful, this one is less painful, this one is less painful. Then you have this hierarchy of pain. Then what you do is you say this back to them. You say, “Okay, so I think I understand what you are saying is this is most painful then this, then this, then this and this.” Then something shifts on the phone. The energy completely transforms when that person feels entirely understood which the deepest human desire is to be understood, which is why, if you understand copywriting and you understand people, you can get them to do what you want.
The copywriting is nothing more than psychology. If you have any blocks about if copywriting can get you what you want, those are limiting beliefs. You need to reverse those quickly because great copywriting can really create a great life for you. Did I lose you?
JT: I got a little thing. I can still see you so I think we’re okay. So Skype and my computer has been sucking and I don’t want to hear any issues from Dane that I should buy an Apple because apparently I should. So Dane, keep going. First, before we get into asking the last question, what are you eating?
DM: The most delicious snack on the planet.
JT: Okay. Show.
DM: It’s gluten free. It’s like an animal cracker but it’s not an animal cracker. They are super healthy. You can eat like 40 of them and it’s only like 130 calories.
JT: Can you show one? Are they animal crackers? Are they animal size?
DM: Are you getting more interested?
DM: All right, this is copywriting.
JT: I knew you were going to do that.
DM: This is copywriting. Don’t you dare ever give away your thing right away. Build tension. That’s the point of this lesson.
JT: But I want to see, so come on, show me! Snicker doodles, really? They don’t have those in Maine, even at our health food store. Seriously?
DM: Oh my gosh, so good they’re almost gone!
JT: Building tension is huge. Something that you do in The Foundation and stuff like that too. We don’t have enough time to really get into it but give us a quick synopsis of what The Foundation is and then I’ll have to ask my last question before Skype screws up again.
DM: Is there like a set duration to your interviews? Do they have to be a certain length?
JT: No, sometimes depending on how important the person is it might be 20 minutes or it could be forever with you. Kidding.
DM: Where did we get cutoff at?
JT: I don’t even know anymore. But we’re calling this interview, so people will be like wow, this is really interesting. He’s eating and they’re chatting, it’s good.
DM: Well I want to know where we last left off so I can finish that thought for people.
JT: Well, if you don’t have the thought right now, we can’t really finish it, can we?
DM: No. It was something to do with copywriting but that sounds stupid since that’s all I’ve been talking about.
JT: But I asked you all about The Foundation. So I am moving on past this shitty big crappy Skype connection. We’re going to talk about The Foundation and then we’re going to wrap up before, because I have a feeling, Skype is just going to crap out again. So go ahead. Tell us more about The Foundation.
DM: The Foundation is a program that helps people reverse limiting beliefs and replaces them into empowering beliefs, especially in the world of entrepreneurship so that they can actually start successful companies. We find that people are actually not in need of more tactics. They’re not in need of strategies, which we give plenty of. They are in need of actually getting unstuck in their life. We help people get unstuck. It just so happens that we promise people that they’ll have a lucrative software company in six months with ten paying customers.
Notice the desire and end result. Even if they have no idea of what to build, even if they have no idea how to write software and even if their money or their funds are limited. We have a process that teaches you how to extract ideas for markets. We have a process that teaches you how to hire great developers and negotiate their pay down and we also have a network of investors, really savvy and amazing investors, that we’re bringing on to fund the development of your project, if it’s actually a good enough idea. If you follow our process, it should be.
So notice the promise and the end result and the objections. It’s all in the copywriting there, which we did cover. But really underneath the hood what I’m most excited about is helping people reverse limiting beliefs. Beliefs like I’m not good enough until [fill in the blank] or actually I’m afraid of being successful. We find a lot of people are actually really afraid of achieving success. They’ll sabotage themselves without even knowing it. They’ll get really close to a successful project and then they’ll bail on it for whatever reason, because they’re actually afraid of becoming a success in their friends or family’s eyes. Too painful for them.
So we really like to try and shift limiting beliefs. I’m not valuable until we really sucker punch a lot of people. Especially when part of the program is you will be talking on the phone with business owners asking them questions like what’s the most important activity in your business. They answer and then you say do you have pain associated with that activity. When you’re asking these kinds of questions, if you don’t feel like you are a value on the phone, if you don’t feel like you’re supposed to be there or if you don’t feel it, then that will sabotage you. So we reverse those limiting beliefs.
But the program at The Foundation is a six-month program and each month we focus on a different area of building a software company. So you don’t need to come in knowing anything. In fact, we think it’s a little bit better if you don’t know anything so you don’t have to unlearn any bad habits. Now I own Paperless Pipeline, the product does like $46,000 a month or so in revenue and it continues to grow every single month and I built the first version for less than $8,000 in six or seven weeks. Some people build software programs for $50,000 in six months.
We like to show people really the art and the science behind really reducing products with the minimum viable products so you can really get it out the door. If you have been building software, a lot of the things would be counterintuitive. So each month of the six months, we focus on a different area of the business and each month people get stuck. So that’s why we like to work with a small group of people so we can focus a high level of personal attention on them so that they can. This is a world-class program. We are reinventing education and this is not some sort of membership website. This is a full on amazing, engaging community of people that are really ready to just live an abundant life.
JT: That’s awesome. Very good copywriting through that whole thing. I think what they should actually do is probably go to visit TheFoundation.IO.
DM: Yes, T-H-E, TheFoundation.IO.
JT: So I will link that up to everything too so everybody can sign up and see sort of the case studies and all that fun stuff too. I think you’re going to be coming out with a lot more sooner as things go because I don’t want to have you reveal all your secrets right now because you never know what’s going to come out later. So let’s wrap this up. Skype is okay. So for the last question that I ask everybody, what’s one action that listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?
DM: Well I would start with getting out of their own way. A lot of people stand in their own way. They have their ideas or beliefs or mindsets around how becoming a millionaire actually looks. If those are aligned in truth, then you are probably on your way. If they’re not aligned in truth then you are not anywhere close. You know you’re not anywhere close based on the results you’re currently living. Now one of the things that I think that people can do to get out of their own way is to stop thinking that you have to be an expert.
You do not have to be an expert. At The Foundation, we believe not in being the experts but in being the experts at finding the pain, defining it better than anyone and then putting experts in place to solve that pain. So if you can liberate yourself from not having to be the expert but just finding the pain and defining it better than anyone that can, even the competition, and then putting experts in place to solve that pain because you have it defined so clearly. If you notice doctors don’t prescribe medicines unless they’ve really defined your symptoms and pain clearly before they ever go to the solution. You need to be able to be a doctor at finding and defining pain.
If you start doing this with your family members, with your friends, with your employees, coworkers, business owners or if you’re currently a millionaire and you’re serving a market and you start talking to your customers and you want to just say, “Hey, tell me about your day. Tell me about the most painful parts and you want to create a new product line to add it back into a business.” I’d say get out of your way first. Stop thinking that you need to be an expert second and then start finding the pain in market is three.
To kind of wrap this all up with icing on the cake, there are four levels of marketing mindsets you need to consider – the newbie marketer, the minor league marketer, the major league marketer and the all star marketer. If you ever see a minor league team, if you could ever picture a minor league football team playing the pros, the pros would slaughter the minor leaguer. It would be like 100 to 1. The same thing happens in business when minor league marketers play against major league marketers, they get slaughtered. The minor league marketers just complain. They don’t actually really try to compete, they just complain.
Likewise, the major league and then the all star, the all star might not slaughter them but they are going to beat them pretty well. The same thing happens when all star marketers compete against major league marketers. Now newbie marketers say things like I need an idea to get started. If only I can get on the front page of the New York Times, if only I can get on Oprah then we’d be successful.
JT: I get so many emails about that. I’ve been on the homepage of Yahoo! twice and I get emails from people all the time going like how did you do that? I’m like okay, keep going.
DM: And to the newbie marketer, this is the most important thing in the world to them. To the major league and all star marketer, they don’t really focus on that because they’re focused on lead generation. The newbie marketer is focused on getting their name out there. The all star marketer and major league marketer are focused on getting people’s names into them. They do lead generation. To make this concrete, a newbie marketer who is a realtor is going to go and try to get their name out there. They are going to put their face on billboards. They’re going to try and do anything they can to get their name out there.
The major league and all star marketer realtors are going to go do lead generation. They are going to niche themselves out. So they might say I’m going to be the official realtor for pet lovers. I will specialize in homes that have fenced in yards for pets. Then they’re going to go to the dog groomer, the dog trainer supplies and any pet store in the area and network and create relationships with them and say they want to bring dog owners into there and they would like to be the official sponsored realtor to help their pet owners find homes that are pet friendly.
Now that person is going to get leads and more leads than they ever could by getting their name out there. Getting your name out there is fine. It’s good. But it’s the last step in the process for the major and the all star marketer. The major league and the all star marketer treat getting your name out there as the very last step in the process. The newbie marketer treats it as the first. Now I wanted bring up these four levels because get out of the newbie category, move into the all star category, do that by getting out of the way.
Do that by stop thinking you have to be an expert because the major league and the all star marketers, the all star marketers they’re not experts at all. Think of Groupon. Think of AppSumo. Think of Mind Valley. They don’t create any other content. They’re not experts at anything. They are publishers. They are marketers. So this is what I’m talking about. Get out of your own way, stop thinking you need to be an expert and just start finding pain in markets.
JT: That’s awesome. Thank you so much for coming on, Dane. Hopefully when I have you back on, at some point, we won’t have so many issues. But why don’t you tell us where we can find you. I know you just said The Foundation, but where can we find you on Facebook and Twitter and stuff like that to follow you too?
DM: If you go to TheFoundation.IO, you’ll see a link to my person Facebook profile that you can add as a friend, a personal phone number that you can call me on and also a link to our Facebook fan page where you can ask a question as well and you can get me at any three of those spots.
JT: Nice. Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it, Dane.
DM: You’re welcome.
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