Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Scott Fox on the show. Scott and I met actually at Blog World Expo just a couple weeks ago where he was speaking and I was speaking and he was telling me how he was an author that just came out with a new book called Click Millionaires. It sounded perfect for you guys so I am really excited to have him on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on.
SCOTT FOX: It’s great to be here, Jaime. Thanks for having me.
JAIME TARDY: So let’s first start off with what is a click millionaire? I know I am an eventual millionaire but what is a click millionaire.
SF: A click millionaire is really an internet lifestyle business entrepreneur. If you break that down, there’s several components. One is an entrepreneur. So this is somebody kind of like you, I guess, who is aspiring to millionaire status. The second part is internet and that is where the click comes in and the internet I see as a great opportunity for people to build businesses and we can get into that obviously because that’s what the book is about, Click Millionaire, but you put those together and really the focus is on that middle phrase lifestyle business and that’s what I really am trying to present to the world with the book Click Millionaires.
It is about money. It’s about making enough money to not only get by but have a nice comfortable life but also to build a business around something that you actually enjoy and do the work that I think you were born to do.
JT: That sounds so much like my stuff. So an eventual millionaire is someone who wants to become a millionaire but on their own terms with an enjoyable life and enjoyable business. It sounds like you’re talking to the right people right now because we want to enjoy our business, you know what I mean? We don’t want to just work 60 hours a week and kill ourselves trying to make a million dollars. That’s not what it’s about at all. So tell me a little bit more about the book. What is this book and what’s in it? Why should we get it?
SF: Click millionaires is like a lot of music or art, whatever. It’s based on my personal story. I am a millionaire. I’ve done very well in several different industries and, of course, like a lot of people, I gravitated toward the internet over time because there’s just so much opportunity, right? How can you beat this basically free business software to reach the whole planet very inexpensively? It beats traditional bricks and mortar hands down.
What I’ve done is put into the book, I’ve been on the internet since about let’s see 1994 I guess. It’s pretty early. I was in graduate school at Stanford and got kind of sucked into that, right. Over time, I went and explored other industries but I kept coming back to the internet and made plenty of money and now I am comfortable enough, I am really doing with my book and this is my third book by the way, is really to share with other people how I have done this and not just me, the book is full of examples and interviews with other people who have done this with “this” being the idea that hey you can do something that you enjoy, make money and I’m not a get rich quick guy. This is not like read the book and shazam you’re a millionaire.
JT: Instant millionaire woo hoo.
SF: The idea is really that traditionally being a millionaire, kind of the same way you’re using it. It’s kind of shorthand for saying not necessarily that I have a million dollars in the bank or that I am a super rich person financially, but that you have the freedom and the independence, the ability to contribute creativity to your work, to do things that you enjoy and work with people you like, all the things that a lot of 9 to 5 folks are deprived of and so that’s the idea behind click millionaires and the book is that you can do work you enjoy, make money and build a lifestyle business that supports all the things that are important in your life, not just making your boss wealthier.
JT: A very good point. You have a whole community of people, right, online. So you’re teaching them how to build internet business. What exactly is internet business because there’s a very wide range of having like a retail store on the internet versus selling information products? What sort of stuff do you talk about?
SF: We talk about actually pretty much all of it. In reference, I’ve got a background. I was an investment banker, I was a lawyer, I worked in the entertainment industry and then I have been on the internet doing the digital side of all those businesses for more than a decade. Like I said, this is my third book so I have been doing this full time, for I don’t know, half a dozen years. So I actually have experience in a lot of these areas.
So at clickmillionaires.com we got a forum and we talk about everything from search engine optimization to pay per click to marketing offline businesses like restaurants or chiropractors to information products, downloads, email marketing. I mean really we try to cover it all, which doesn’t mean that I’m some magic guru and I have all the answers, but what it means is that we put together a community of friendly people who will help each other. In a sense, not just me, we’ve got a whole team. I’ve got a staff and we’ve got moderators and everybody tries to help each other and the forum is free to anybody that buys a book actually.
JT: Oh really? I didn’t even know that. That’s awesome. So tell me a little bit about what you think, because we see a lot of people going oh I want to start a business online, yes. And a lot of the people I get contacted with love hearing from regular business owners but they’re really intrigued by the internet business because it does seem easier. I live in Maine. I have more Facebook fans than I have people in my town, you know what I mean? We’re really lucky to be able to do that. But I see a lot of people getting into it and then failing and going oh my gosh this isn’t for me, I can’t do this. So tell me about what you see as the success traits of the people that do do it and do it successfully versus the people that try it and fail.
SF: Well there’s a lot of those. That’s what the books are about and my podcasts and everything too. But I think probably, let me pick two since we don’t have days to talk about this. One is to do something that you actually enjoy, because a lot of people are so focused on the money that they find some trick or traffic attraction technique or some guru sells them on some exclusive You Tube video package or an executive weekend retreat for $15,000 or some nonsense and they go whole hog into something that may be built on a temporary market inefficiency or something that they don’t actually enjoy that much, they’re just so focused on the money.
I think if you’re going to make money as a click millionaire anyway and frankly, in most of life, you need to focus on doing something you enjoy that you want to get up and keep doing it. That sounds kind of I don’t know wishy washy or airy fairy new age, you know, but it’s kind of that passion thing, right? You can’t go completely into the passion thing because if you’re passion doesn’t have commercial potential, you won’t make any money. But you need to find that overlap of things you’re interested in with things that other people are interested in enough to pay you for and that little overlap is where you need to spend your time.
The other thing is they give up too quickly. This is not an overnight success sort of thing. You need to, I like to talk about using your current job to fund your click millionaire business. Use your current income so you can afford to take some nights and weekends and a day off here or there and build something with your laptop from your kitchen table over time. Try a few things, fail a few times and build a business over time. This is not instant riches. Being a click millionaire is being a realistic adult, not chasing the next shiny object and sitting down and building something that matters both to you and to the audience.
JT: See I love what you just said. I just came back from the World Domination Summit. It sounds like a great title, right? We were taking over the world. But one of the speakers was named Cal Newport and he talked about this whole thing having to do with passion and I was really intrigued by what he said too is because we’re all told go find your passion, find your passion, find your passion, but there is no caveats next to that. People are like find your passion and they’re like okay let me do that. I’m going to sell knitted sweaters to 12 people and that’s not a business. So really trying to see where it overlaps makes a big difference. So how do you help people find that overlap?
SF: Well that’s actually a big chunk of the book. Like I said, it’s my third book and the first book was really about start up techniques. The second book was more social media marketing and Click Millionaires is literally the culmination of that. All the questions I got from the first two books was well how do I do that? Exactly what you’re asking and it’s full of exercises basically and there are PDF worksheets you can download at clickmillionaires.com if you join and they walk you through things that help you examine your niche interests and that’s the key the niche, right, because the big markets are kind of taken at this point. So you have to find a niche.
Just like I was saying, find something that doesn’t just interest you but interests other people. I was thinking this morning I think the key to being successful online and maybe everywhere is to find a need that’s greater than your needs and make money. You need to find a need to serve other people and that’s really what underlies a click millionaire’s philosophy is a real sense of service because the number one thing that click millionaires do, at least I try to do anyway, I should speak for myself I guess, is to be successful but then share their success with others. All of that comes together with this idea of service as the first number one thing, but I am a business guy so I couldn’t write a book just about service and sound like a new age guy.
I’m a former investment banker so the money comes first and I think that’s what is often glossed over by a lot of self-help books. They get into the personal side too quickly and the business books just do business and Click Millionaires is trying to do both. It’s saying you’re a person and your lifestyle should be involved with your work. Those are not separate things, unfortunately. Nobody just sits around anymore. You need a business to support your lifestyle but how about finding it’s two that fit together and that’s what Click Millionaires does and what we talk about in the forum all the time.
JT: I love this and this is actually the speech that I gave over at the World Domination Summit was called “How Millionaires Start Businesses” and it’s exactly what you’re saying. So apparently we’re doing the same research separately and it’s all coming together. So what you’re saying is really interesting and everybody should pick up his book because if it goes through all this stuff this is exactly what you guys need, when you haven’t started a business yet, but you really, really want to and you don’t really know exactly what to do from there.
So let’s say that someone has an idea, someone is ready to go. What do they do from that? So they have an idea, they know it’s going to go on the internet. They started evaluating their market and then what? Like get a website. What do you suggest sort of for the next steps for them?
SF: Well all that is intertwined with what the product is, right, because it comes down to a website. Pretty much everybody needs a website. I talk a lot in the book of there are different ways to implement ideas as well. So say you love, I don’t know I’m sitting out here in the garden, you love palm trees. So you want to start a business or something around gardening and palm trees. It sounds crazy but I bet that’s not a bad idea because palm trees sell for all prices and you can do a lot with that. Then you need to think about the format because you can implement a business like that in lots of ways. Yes you can be an ecommerce store, you can blog about it, you can podcast about it, you can start a video series, you can do information products that you sell by download, you could help other people somehow as an assistant with palm tree cultivation.
I mean all those different angles of format is also, in the later chapters of the book we try to figure out just having an idea isn’t actually enough. A lot of business books it seems to me and even internet marketing blogs they kind of say idea plus domain go. Well okay but there’s a lot of ways to implement that. So the answer depends not only on what you’re interest is but also what you like to do. I can say a blog about palm trees that’s it man, let’s do that, right on. But maybe you’re not a great speller. Maybe you don’t like to write. So that changes the whole game. So then you say well how about podcasting, you’re a good talker – totally different game and a totally different audience which means a totally different market opportunity for you.
JT: So tell me about one success story so that way we sort of have something to talk about. What’s one really good success story that you sort of seen go through the whole thing that you can give us?
SF: Sure. Well I am one of them right? The books are full of my stories I taught my mom how to do this. I think you met my mom at Blog World.
JT: Yes I did. She was awesome.
SF: So my mom runs, I mean she’s 70 years old. She has four different websites now. She thought she retired but now she’s not retired, she’s having a great time. Bought herself a new convertible. Just got back from Russia. I mean she’s doing great.
JT: I want to be her when I’m 70 getting a new convertible, yes, that sounds awesome!
SF: My wife runs a six-figure business in the knitting space believe it or not through PDF downloads.
SF: But that’s just me, right, so it isn’t just about me but I want people to know that I am the real thing. I’m looking at the book here. Well I just mentioned You Tube. A great story in here is Dave Powers who has got a real nice business on You Tube because his niche, you wouldn’t think this was a business, remote controlled airplanes. So he has a hundred million views on his videos on You Tube about remote control airplanes. I mean who thought that was a business, right? He used to be a personal trainer. We’re not talking about a guy who was a rocket scientist at Cal Tech.
He’s a very smart guy but he doesn’t have these credentials that people typically think about you have to be an expert. You can pick your smallest interesting niche hobby and if you do it right with the right format and appropriate search engine optimization, there’s a lot of steps along the road but you can reach an audience, just like you’re doing with your podcast here.
JT: So how does he make money? So he has a You Tube video with tons of stuff but how does he actually, what’s his business model?
SF: Well they’ve got several parts and you can check him out at RC Powers, RC Super Powers on You Tube. They have tons of views on their videos so they get a bunch of money from You Tube as a You Tube partner for advertising. But then they also use their videos to promote a product which is a downloadable eBook that tells about how to build remote control airplanes and they make even more money on that then they do from You Tube and then they’re expanding into several other areas as well all based on the cash flow from their remote controlled airplane videos. Who knew?
JT: I know, right!
SF: And the book has got dozens of other examples like that. There’s a podcasting flight attendant. There’s a guy who runs a website about backyard, raising chickens in your backyard.
JT: That’s exactly what I was going to mention. I’m like there was someone at Blog World that raised chickens in their backyard and had a huge thing, which is crazy. You don’t assume that something so menial, so small, woo hoo chickens, could actually create a lifestyle business. How do you know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work though because someone sitting going I love chickens. I love chickens, I would like to talk about chickens and you start getting out there and his, of course, just exploded but how do you know if it doesn’t just sort of magically take off whether or not it’s a good idea or not?
SF: Great question. The honest answer is you got to try it. But you don’t try it until you’ve done as much research as you can. So you really look at the competition. You do key word research. You bounce it off your friends and family. I’d even recommend running some pay per click ads to see how people react to the topics you’re suggesting, what kind of click through rate you get for different topics. All these sorts of things to test and then you got to put it up and that’s both the beauty and the curse of the internet I guess is it’s inexpensive and easy to put up a one-page website and see what happens.
That’s the beauty I think of the way entrepreneurship has changed with the internet is that it doesn’t cost a lot to fail. More time than money, right, but there isn’t a lot of capital involved. You don’t have to go and buy a bunch of inventory and open a store and advertising and insurance and parking and all that kind of stuff. You get online for $50 or $100 and you’re up and rolling and then you see what happens and you got to give it some time and work on it and see if you can grow it into something.
JT: I love that you said that because to me back in the day you’d have to take out like a $20,000 loan in order to start a business. There was a lot more that had to happen and here we don’t have to. You can do it as a side thing just sort of in your spare time but then of course the time to figure this stuff out does take awhile. You’re talking about SEO and I know quite a few people that listen to this podcast know what SEO is but some don’t and so that learning curve is really steep to try and learn SEO.
How do you think someone who is just getting into this especially doesn’t know all the internet marketing lingo and stuff like that, what sort of a time frame that it takes to sort of learn all this stuff have you seen, because you’ve been working with so many people. What is it before they actually start to understand where this is going and how they can use it and actually see some results from it?
SF: I’ll answer that question but I want to address something else you said which is all that lingo and the learning curve and all that. I think what’s interesting is that the lingo is important but it’s mostly lingo. The fundamental fact is the internet is getting less and less about games and tricks of how to trick Google into coming to your website and more and more about actually having valuable content. I mean that’s what Google is trying to do. It’s goal is to serve the most relevant results to people.
So if you actually are the most relevant on your topic about raising palm trees or whatever it is we’re going to talk about, increasingly your site will rise in the search engine rankings anyway which doesn’t mean you should neglect search engine optimization but my point is you should focus on doing the best job you can creating the most remarkable service you can to people so that they want to buy it and tell their friends. That’s like Seth Godin says, “To be remarkable that means people remark about you.” Like literally, you’re worth talking about.
If you focus on that, you can find fans and customers and that’s going to grow faster than you spending tons of time on administration and technical stuff and trying to get everything perfect technically but having a really boring and ugly website that nobody cares about or wants to pay you for. That’s a big mistake especially people who are attracted to internet business, they often have a semi-technical background and they’ll spend months, even years tweaking the website, tweak, tweak, tweak and skip over the fundamental strategy of does anybody care? Is anybody going to buy this? Do you care enough to keep doing it? Those questions, those fundamental strategic questions overwhelm all the technical stuff, at least in my opinion.
JT: It’s funny and I know we have that second question but I just want to say one thing. It’s funny because when I first started I have a technical background. I have a degree in IT and so when I started I was like ooh SEO, I can do that. I knew a lot of SEO and I even hired a guy that I knew that did SEO stuff. So I was sort of hammering on all the SEO stuff and then I sort of took a step back and was like I’m just going to create really good stuff and just work on that side of things, really spend my time on that sort of thing and I’ve seen myself rise through the rankings more for those same keywords even though I haven’t specifically done any SEO tricks or anything like that, which I think is really interesting. So that way I can still do both.
I can still rise in the rankings without having to spend hours of tweaking my site or trying to get link backs and all that sort of stuff. So I think that’s a really key point that you’re making. A lot of the times what I see and what you probably see too is people just assume well let me get the SEO up which means rising in the ranking so I can get the traffic so I can get the money out the other side. But it seems a little bit more than just that.
SF: I couldn’t agree more. I talk in the books about analysis paralysis. People go crazy doing all this research and research and read and read and administration and business plans and incorporating themselves and all this preparatory work. You can sharpen your pencils all you want but eventually you got to write something.
JT: I love that. So tell me about the length of time, like I was saying, for someone to actually feel like they sort of get an idea and know what they’re doing in all this.
SF: This is again, you know, one of those it depends answers unfortunately. As you know, you’re smart enough to know the answer. You know I don’t have a good answer.
JT: I know but I get this question all the time too so I feel like I have to ask it from someone else instead of me just saying stuff.
SF: Here’s the answer I give which is the truth but it depends. What it depends on is what are you putting into it? This isn’t like you plant a seed in the garden and water it and then you can kind of figure out over one season if it’s going to grow because that’s kind of the way the world works. This is like are you going to spend an hour a day, an hour a week or an hour a month. Those are very different trajectories. I think it might be better to think in terms of, I often tell people in the Click Millionaires forum, I say, “Don’t just think about the money here. The money isn’t really the issue. You got to think about your time.”
So if you’re thinking about this, I would think in terms of not just a financial budget for your exercise and exploring this but a time budget. How much time do you have given your job, given your family obligations, given the sick relatives, all the things that make up your life, because again this is about having a life. How much time do you have left over? If you then split that into pieces, say I’ve got whatever, I’ve got Tuesday nights for two hours and an hour on Fridays and all day Sundays so I got whatever, ten hours a week. Okay, ten hours a week. So if you do that for a year, you’ve got 520 hours. You’re going to take a pretty good swing at something after 500 hours. You’re going to certainly know in much less than that, probably half of that, you’re going to have a website up and getting some traffic or seeing if it’s not working.
I would think more that way in terms of how much time; a couple hundred hours I think you’re going to have a pretty good shot at almost anything, at least figuring out whether it’s worth investing more time in.
JT: I like that answer because a lot of the time most people don’t even put hours on it. They’re like well it depends but I really like how you sort of actually gave us some specific answers on how much, because a lot of the people have the wrong expectations of like okay, well, I do this and even if I put a ton of hours in it, am I going to have something at the end. So to give us sort of a time frame of going if you put this much in you should know whether or not it’s a good thing to go forward or to not. Like Seth Godin’s The Dip, right, do I keep moving forward or do I call it quits because this isn’t really the best thing. But like you said before, having the failures is okay too.
SF: Yes, that’s right. The other thing is if you’re going to do it, only the hours you’re actually doing it count, right? Just because you started in March and you did I don’t know ten hours then and then you stopped in April and May but you were just thinking about it, well that doesn’t count. April doesn’t really count. It’s actually the time doing it. Again, this is not magic. I’m not a genie handing you three wishes. You got to sit down and hit the keyboard man and that’s what’s going to work. So the hours that matter are the ones where you are actually doing not just sharpening your pencils but doing.
JT: Now do you suggest, especially people starting, to get a virtual assistant or someone to help them out? I’m sure you probably deal with a lot of people that are currently in jobs going I need to get out of my 9-5 job, what do I do? When do you sort of suggest people get a virtual assistant or do you?
SF: There’s a lot of answers to that question. I use virtual assistants all the time so I am a big fan. I think I’ve got five of them right now on different projects. I guess the people that come to me are the people who don’t want to spend any money. I really try to write and help people who don’t have a big enough job that they have extra cash to invest in this. They’re really trying to do it themselves and that’s really who I write for. I give the profits from my books to charity. I’m trying to help people who weren’t included in the internet revolution, you know, Silicon Valley is so proud of itself but it doesn’t really share a lot of the information it has and that’s what my books are about.
I think it’s a perfectly valid strategy to hire a virtual assistant to help you start. Most particularly I see application with somebody who has ideas but has no technology background and no interest in technology and you can outsource, kind of break that piece off and give it to somebody who knows how to build a website in word press cost effectively. You need a good logo and you’re not a designer. Well that’s a great place to outsource.
I definitely recommend outsourcing but I think of it more as task specific than as I don’t have time to do this. I’m going to have somebody else create this for me. That seems to me a little risky. I think you got to kind of be in there with your boots on the ground and put some sweat into it yourself. Otherwise you’re not going to learn the lessons that you need, even if you have the money to hire a bunch of people. I think doing it yourself is really important for anybody who wants to do well because, even if you’ve got the money and the thing grows, you need to manage people doing this and if you haven’t done it yourself they’re going to rip you off.
JT: Exactly!! I was going to say the exact same thing.
SF: There are way too many consultants in this world who are really salespeople right and you’ve got to be careful about that and you just give away your money because then you’ve got no money and you still have the job you didn’t like and you’ve got no new business on the internet either. So I am a leery about it.
JT: You’re like business on the internet sucks after all that and that’s not true.
SF: Exactly. That’s perfect, Jaime, because people come to me all the time and they say pay per click doesn’t work or blogs don’t work or this doesn’t work. I’ll say tell me what you did and you can tell after about 30 seconds they start backing up. Well I guess I didn’t really follow through on that. I blew a bunch of money without optimizing anything. You can see real quickly. It’s like it doesn’t work because you didn’t do it right. So come in, we’ll help you, read my book or whatever. Listen to Jaime’s podcast. There’s lots of free information on the internet but you have to invest something if you want to be an eventual millionaire or a click millionaire or any kind of successful person. You’ve got to put in some effort.
JT: Awesome. You talked about before like we don’t need to spend a lot of time with a business plan and stuff like that. What do you suggest as far as business plan stuff goes? I’ve done a lot of research with this too asking the same question to other people and I’d love to get sort of your feedback on it.
SF: I don’t think you should write a business plan. I think it’s a waste of time. Unless you’re raising money from outside investors where you need to justify what you’re doing because you actually need capital, I would get out there and do it. People spend so much time writing business plans and not doing that you can learn far more by putting up three bad websites in half the time that you’d spend writing one good business plan. I think that’s infinitely more valuable and I’m talking from personal experience here. I raised money for my first dotcom in ’97 I think.
The primary output of my first dotcom was a wonderful business plan. I wrote so many great business plans because I had been an investment banker and an attorney, right, and that stuff seemed to be really important. I missed all the stuff that I’m telling you, I’m telling you this is from personal experience. I kind of missed does anybody really care what the business is about? Is anybody going to buy it from you? Do you have real customers excited about this? But man, my business plans rocked. What good is that? I wasn’t selling a business plan.
JT: I love what you said just because I just interviewed a couple weeks ago a guy named Dustin Wells who had an award winning business plan and he quit his job, he was like yes it’s award winning, failed completely. Pivoted failed completely until he asked the market what they wanted he didn’t succeed and I think that’s exactly an illustration of what you’re talking about right now which is huge.
SF: That’s a shame. Again, people are trained. It’s kind of like a security blanket, right? They want to spend time writing business plans. They want to incorporate. They want to order business cards, design the logo 50 times. All that is just crutches because you’re afraid of failing and you got to get used to failing because on the internet it’s cheap and it’s quick and nobody is watching anyway. I mean come on, get over yourself.
JT: Nobody pays attention when it’s small. Come on. That’s great.
SF: I guess and I don’t want to be too negative here but there’s also a lot of people out there who make money by teaching you to write business plans, by helping you incorporate. There are all these service industries that want to use your investment in yourself to line their own pockets and I’m not casting specific aspersions on anybody but you don’t need that kind of help. You don’t have assets to protect. You don’t have a corporate structure needed. If you’re not raising money from outside investors, sit down and build a website and see what happens. It’s much more productive.
JT: I love that. I love that from your experience too. The fact that you have really good background, you know, you’re not just someone saying I didn’t do a business plan so you shouldn’t do one. But you’ve had the real hardcore business background and moving forward and you’re like okay that didn’t really work as much as I thought it was. That really gives us actual experience of going oh okay and it really helps us out.
SF: Guilty as charged. I’ve got scars up and down my back. But that’s why I am where I am I guess and I can do this because I earned those stripes and now I write my books in much more simple language for people who don’t have a business background. A lot of my audience is really insecure about their own business capabilities, you know, they don’t have an MBA or their technical capabilities, they don’t know what SEO is. I don’t think these people are stupid. I’m not dumbing down anything. I think they’re smart. They just spent their time doing different things than I have.
Everybody has a specialty, right? I don’t tell my gardener when to water the plants because he’s the gardener. Everybody has an expertise and my expertise is in business and building businesses and I try to help other people who have good ideas who want more flexibility in their schedules, who want to contribute their own creativity to the world and hopefully succeed and help other people. I help to give them the tools so that they can do that. That’s what Click Millionaires is about.
JT: I love it. It seems like we have such a similar philosophy so it’s really great to have you on the show.
SF: Yes, when you contacted me I was like I get this. This is great.
JT: This makes sense.
SF: Come to New York and have dinner.
JT: Perfect. So then I want to ask you a little bit about goals like how you do it and how you’ve seen people have done it, especially with internet business because the time frames are a little bit quicker. Like you were saying, you can do a website and find it and have it done. Do you do yearlong goals? Like I want this many subscribers by this date or do you do it really short term like a month, two months? How do you deal with goals or how do you tell people how to deal with goals?
SF: For me, I guess I don’t do much goals. I don’t have a good answer for that. I was doing fine until you asked me that. I guess I think, this is just me personally, so this isn’t like a recommendation from the book, I think about things I want to do and I research them a lot first and think about them a lot and talk to people and even talk about it in our click millionaires forum to other people, if this is a good idea. Then I set more task goals like get the site up by this date, try to have auto responder written by this date, create eBook by this date. More task specific I guess.
So that’s not a big thing for me. I’m a pretty self motivated guy. I always have worked real hard, even when I don’t have to work. So that hasn’t been one of my areas of focus to be honest.
JT: I think that’s a really cool difference because I have seen a lot of people deal with I call them action plans. So you’re looking at the next three months and go well I have this stuff to do. I want to do this, then this and then this and that’s what it more sounds like and that’s sort of what I was asking because in the internet world, it changes so quickly. I mean even with SEO stuff, with all the updates and stuff that have happened, you have to have such a flexible plan that it can’t be this whole year I am going to do this, this, this and this and these are all more goals. It’s sort of more or less like my plan is this many subscribers and I only know what the next two months might be and that might change as things go to get to that.
SF: Yes, that sounds a lot more like the way I organize. I guess you’re right. Because when you say action plans I perk up. I do have lots of action plans. I’ve got to do lists that are 50 pages long. It’s not that I don’t have goals I guess. I just don’t set specific time frames on them because I think you helped me figure this out. I think the feedback loop on the internet is so much quicker than what was in traditional business that strategic plans are kind of out the window. There’s all these words in startup culture ? flexible, agile, lean ? these are all ways of saying we’re going to work hard and react to incorporate feedback really quickly.
Then they talk about pivots or reboots. Startups are like oh that didn’t work, we’re going over here. All that is I think a real gift to the world and to entrepreneurial culture because it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to change and you got to be flexible and agile. I guess maybe that’s why, I guess I really do have goals, of course, but I am more about smaller steps and action plans and like let’s just get this to there and then we’ll see what’s next.
JT: Yes, because you don’t even know. You could have contacts like crazy, you know what I mean, and this one contact changes the whole part of your business and it’s amazing the way things work. But I love having more flexibility now. I remember, I was taught, my mentor, amazing guy, sold a million dollar business, very old school, like this is what you do, this is what you do and I am going but this isn’t, I don’t see that. It doesn’t work that way anymore.
It seems like we’re sort of evolving in all this which is an amazing thing and it’s great to hear sort of you with the business law all that sort of stuff background coming to the same conclusion, because it really makes us sure. Like even you, the guy that has the crazy degree and all that fun stuff is sort of seeing the same thing. It helps us too, definitely.
SF: And you just helped me figure it out too, thanks.
JT: You’re welcome. I know we need to wrap up in a little bit but I really want to sort of get into a little bit more about techniques or what you teach people as far as marketing goes. I know some of the people that are listening already have an internet business and are sort of looking for some cool advice or tips or tricks. What do you see sort of like as right now a current marketing strategy for an internet business might be?
SF: Well, a couple different things. Pinterest, you can’t ignore Pinterest. Who knew that was going to be so big, right? It’s kind of like Twitter came out of nowhere years ago. That’s real interesting. I haven’t figured it out yet but we’re going to be figuring it out. That’s one of the big topics in my click millionaires forum for the next couple weeks. I need to get everybody together and say what should we all be doing because I honestly don’t even know. It’s such a rapid explosion. Mobile, the other one, everything needs to be mobile now. Obviously we’ve all got these silly devices.
JT: I know.
SF: With increasing connectivity. The opportunities there or I should say the “apportunities” as people keep saying now. Haha
JT: Do they really? I haven’t heard that before. That’s hilarious.
SF: Yes, apps are explosive. The other one that I really like and this has been true in all my books and I have had a lot of success with it myself is communities. I think that a lot of the disruption that you’re seeing in the wider economy is about disintermediation of middlemen, right, and then also that people are having trouble competing on price because other people can sell lower and lower and lower and physical goods. It’s just very hard if you’re the low cost provider to make any money and yet, if you do information products, other people can copy them and download them and file share them. That’s leading the collapse of the music and film businesses.
So what’s left to me is communities and that’s why clickmillionaires.com, the community I built there and the other ones that I’ve built, getting people together I think is what is really interesting and your podcast obviously you’ve taken a strong swing at that. Get people together because relationships can’t be replicated. They can’t be downloaded. They can’t be copied and they offer real value to people.
JT: That’s a great technique. I love that. That’s awesome. So tell me about how you, like a couple tips for building a community, because it’s not necessarily just about getting people together and hoping that they mesh. So give me some tips.
SF: You got to start with a common interest and that’s what’s really interesting for niche businesses and we talk a lot about this in the book, in all my books actually, because I’ve built communities from, well my wife runs a knitting pattern community that we built. My mom runs a community about art fair artists. I built a multimillion dollar community for Bill O’Reilly at Fox News believe it or not ? billoreilly.com. There’s all kinds of different niches that you can tackle. There we got knitting, art fairs and politics. I do internet business and startups, almost anything.
There are people who want to get together and offering them a platform to exchange information and gossip and learn something is really a valuable service. So I look for places that are, especially business communities, are looking for people who can help each other make money, there’s a real need there. The bottom line, for us, has always been to be friendly. I’m the same guy that you see here is the same guy you’ll meet at clickmillionaires.com. We’re trying to help. You really got to lock down and moderate your communities so that jerks are not allowed and friendly people are rewarded and if you do that, I’m a firm believer that people do want to help each other and communities can allow that to cycle in a virtuous way, they can also make money.
JT: It’s so great. We’re talking about both sides of the coin. I mean lifestyle and business because that’s what we all want. We all want to have good lifestyle so that way we can enjoy our lives. One of the things that I say is the reason why I am an eventual millionaire is I worked at a job and I didn’t like it. I made great money and I could have been a millionaire much faster but it’s not about that at all. I can see you enjoying what you’re doing and I can hear all the stories of your wife and your mom and stuff like that and it’s really inspiring to see how they’ve built what they’ve built in business, because business is really where it’s at too.
Excellent. Awesome. So what I want to do is I know we don’t have a ton of time so I am going to ask the last question, maybe I’ll invite you to come back on the show at some point again because it seems like you have a lot of stuff and I want to say to everybody who is watching, Scott is the same person here as he was at Blog World, just chatting and going to dinner and stuff like that. I think that’s what we really respond to is people that are real. Funny, right, real people actually write. And the tag line of my podcast to anyone that listens to this can hear the beginning intro which says “Real talk with real millionaires” and that’s what it is. We’re just talking, we’re just real people.
Not a big deal. Trying to help other people learn. So, in the last question, I always ask every single week, is what’s one action that listeners can take to help move them forward towards their goal of a million? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
SF: Oh my. I guess my action would be stop reading books. That’s silly for me to say right because I got a book here and obviously I am here promoting a book but there’s only so much reading you can do. That’s the biggest crutch I see people do and blogs too. When they want to go and get started and build a business, they kind of made that decision and then they spend weeks, months, years reading, reading, reading and you got to do some research but we said it, I think this is the third time it has come up already in this interview, you got to get out and do stuff.
I see good people reading and it’s such a crutch. It’s along with incorporating and business planning and all this stuff. Reading, reading, reading. You need to take a swing and you’re going to learn so much more. Stop deciding on domain names. You’ve got a thousand different domain names. Pick one.
JT: Yes, pick one.
SF: It will cost you all of 10 bucks, give me a break. All right, spend $10, pick a domain name, put it up on word press or type pad or whatever photo platform you want to use. Start the podcast. Shoot those videos. Put them on You Tube. Nobody cares that your hair isn’t perfect and your makeup isn’t right. Just get on with it. That’s my biggest tip. That’s a little vague I guess but I guess the other one would be come and join the click millionaires forum and we’ll help you some more and listen to all of Jaime’s podcast.
JT: Thanks for the shout out for that, Scott. I just want to say too that I think that’s really important. I distinguish it between active actions and passive actions. Passive actions are all those things that you’re sort of doing that aren’t really helping and don’t get you out of your comfort zone whereas active actions are the things that kind of are harder and get you out of your comfort zone because I think a lot of the people that are having the issues have confidence issues. They don’t know that they’re a business owner yet so therefore well this guy told me to incorporate so I am going to incorporate and I see people going I just want to spend money. I’ll buy this thing, I’ll buy this thing, I’ll buy a book. I’ll do this instead of taking the action, like you said, the hard actions. They’re not hard. Buy a domain, picking a name isn’t hard but it feels uncomfortable trying to make that decision.
SF: That’s a great other one. You mentioned they’re buying stuff. That’s another big crutch, right? Like I’m going to start a business so I need a new printer, I need a new computer, I need 13 different books that I am going to order from Amazon. They’re going to show up in two days but I’m not really going to read more than maybe three pages of each one because I am too busy buying other stuff and reading more books. It’s like a circular.
JT: I love that. I mean it feels like they’re doing something. It feels like I am starting a business look I have the new printer. Look I have things to show for it but it’s not really enough. So I love that. I love having you don’t read anymore books oh buy his book though just so you know. Do that after.
SF: If there is one book you want to read.
JT: If you’re serious in trying to get an internet business started, I love Scott’s stuff and so I would highly recommend getting that but only, let’s say this, only if you’re going to read it. Don’t buy it if you’re not going to read it and then only the people that actually want to read it should buy it, definitely. So thank you so much for coming on today, Scott. I’d love to have you on again. It’s great talking to you. Thank you. Well actually why don’t you tell us the website we can go to and how we can contact you just in case.
SF: Oh sure, thanks. It’s clickmillionaires.com and I guess one of the interesting things about the book, I think we mentioned, is that if you buy the book you actually get free access to the forum. It’s only for my readers but that already means people from all over the world are in there and we’ve got a staff so there’s people in there 24/7 toward all stages of development. Some don’t even have websites, some just have ideas. Others are running full fledged big online ecommerce businesses or publishing businesses so there is a whole gamut of folks. There’s technical people, design people. It’s a fun group and really friendly like Jaime and I here and if you buy the book, you get in there free. So www.clickmillionaires.com.
JT: Awesome. That’s such a great opportunity. So I guess even if you don’t read the book and you just want the forum go buy the book and you’ll get the forum for free. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I hope you have a great day.
SF: Thank you. Hope to see you again soon. Bye-bye.
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