[36] Building a Business From Your Passion w/ Sean McCabe (seanwes)

[36] Building a Business From Your Passion w/ Sean McCabe (seanwes)

 
 
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Sean McCabe joins us today to tell us why, how, and what it means to build a business from your passion.

That’s exactly what Sean has done time and time again, most recently with his explosive success with his course, Learn Lettering, which teaches you how to create (and sell) beautiful hand lettering work, just like Sean has been doing for the past few years.

In this episode

  • How to brand yourself when you do so many different (awesome!) things
  • The details of Sean’s $90k launch day for his course and his lessons learned
  • Battling perfectionism and shipping by adhering to one two-digit “rule”
  • The practical, realistic way to pursue your passion by using Sean’s Overlap Technique.

Links

[35] Why Do an Info Product?

[35] Why Do an Info Product?

 
 
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Info products (or educational products).  Why create them?  Why buy them?  In this episode, we bat around questions like these and much more.

In this episode…

  • What is an Info Product, really?
  • Why create an Info Product?
  • Why do people buy Info Products?
  • The process (and lessons) both Jordan and Brian have learned / are learning as they create Info Products.
  • Can a beginner create an Info Product?
  • And a whole lot more banter…

Mentioned…

[34] Hacking Productivity by Leveraging Pressure

[34] Hacking Productivity by Leveraging Pressure

 
 
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Bootstrapped Web is now a 2-host podcast!  Welcome Jordan Gal, as the new co-host of the show.

Jordan joined me on two previous episodes (31 and 21) and we hit off so well that I thought, hey, why not make it permanent?

A lot will remain the same:  The show will continue to be focused around bootstrapping a business online, learning through case studies and lessons learned by doing.

But we’ll also focus more on the takeaways and stories from what’s going on in our businesses day-to-day, week-to-week, and hopefully extract some actionable lessons you can use in your work.

In this episode:

  • How setting an internal and external “date” to launch, helps you actually get there.
  • How to leverage financial pressure to get to where you need to be (faster)
  • How to use your competitive nature to push yourself further.
  • How to use your creative nature to do great work, while shipping on time.
  • How to be strategic about what to work on and launch in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • And a lot more…

Links

[33] Launch Your Product Business… By Getting a Job?

[33] Launch Your Product Business… By Getting a Job?

 
 
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If you’re making the transition from freelance to launching a product business, it’s a struggle.  That’s a long, and very challenging transition to make.

Take it from me, and also my guest today, Brad Tousnard.  We both made that transition and learned lots of things the hard way.

So we decided to share some of those lessons learned, to hopefully make your transition a bit smoother.  And here’s an idea… Why not get a job to pay the bills while you’re getting your product off the ground?

Not just any job.  What if your boss actually told you that from the day one, the goal is to design the position give you the flexibility to do exactly that.  That’s what Brad is offering in his latest opening at his company, DeliciousBrains.  They make the very popular DB Migrate Pro plugin for WordPress.  He wrote all about this opportunity in his blog post today.

By the way, Brad and I co-run a little conference / ski getaway called Big Snow Tiny Conf.  The next one is happening in late January 2015, so get on the list if you’re interested!

In this episode:

  • The concept behind Brad’s unique developer job opening
  • Why freelancing or working for an agency while you build your product is less than ideal.
  • The story of how Brad made his transition from freelance into products.
  • My story of how I did the same.
  • The huge mistakes we made (and how we still managed to do it in the end)
  • and more…

Mentioned:

[32] From The Verge to Niche Startups: Dann Berg talks Audience Focus

[32] From The Verge to Niche Startups: Dann Berg talks Audience Focus

 
 
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How do you find the right audience for your startup?  How about your niche blog?  Or for a large news organization?

Dann Berg has experience in all of these worlds.  He’s the co-founder of a new startup,  TripExpert, a travel site built around trusted reviews.  He runs NoviceNoLonger.com, where he writes and podcasts about helping you break into tech, specifically iOS development.  Before going on his own, he worked as a product review editor at The Verge, a well known tech news organization.

In all of these arenas, but especially on his site NoviceNoLonger, Dann has done a fantastic job of understanding who is core audience is, what are their needs, and how he can best deliver great content for them.

In this episode

  • How they came to the idea of launching a travel site, in such a crowded space with very large competitors.
  • How Dann found his core audience for NoviceNoLonger.com and why he even changed his domain name.
  • How Dann’s work at The Verge influences how he approaches his work today, like how he goes about pitching press about his newly launched startup.

Show Notes

[31] Mastermind Groups. What, Who, How, and Why?

[31] Mastermind Groups. What, Who, How, and Why?

 
 
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Returning champ, Jordan Gal joins me on the show today.  This is the mastermind episode.  Everything and anything related to masterminds, was talked about in today’s show.

Jordan and I are in a weekly mastermind group, where I’ve had the pleasure of watching him launch and grow his startup, CartHook from the ground up.  By the way, you may remember our previous episode when Jordan and I discussed tips to move your business forward, and get to the next level.

But today, it’s all about masterminds…

In this episode

  • What is a Mastermind Group?  Why must you (fellow business owner) join one?
  • What (exactly) do we get out of our weekly mastermind meetings?
  • How should you start one?  How did ours form?  Tips for finding (the right) people for your mastermind group.
  • Meeting structure, who talks when, and kicking it up a notch with “Gloves Off”.
  • Meeting schedule, frequency, and “rules”.
  • Tools and tech we use to run our Mastermind group.

Show notes

[30] Learn How to Systematize Like The Big Boys

[30] Learn How to Systematize Like The Big Boys

 
 
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What can a solo bootstrapped founder learn from the corporate world? Systems.  You may have noticed that systems, automation, and outsourcing have been a running theme here on the blog lately.  Well in my day-to-day work running my business, it’s more than a running theme.  Systems are everything. Today I’m joined by Kyle Brown, an expert when it comes to systematization.  He designed and managed large-scale systems operations for the corporate world before going on his own and doing the same on a small business level. He’s gearing up to release his book, Systematize, which will teach you the A to Z of systemization for a new small business owner.

In This Episode…

  • Why systemizing matters
  • When you should create procedures
  • What types of tasks can be systematized (and which one’s not to systemize)
  • How to get your team to adopt procedures and collaborate on them
  • Tools and tips for creating systems and procedures that actually help you grow your business

Show Notes

[27] Let’s Dissect This Email Marketing Automation Sequence with Daniel Faggella (Science of Skill)

[27] Let’s Dissect This Email Marketing Automation Sequence with Daniel Faggella (Science of Skill)

 
 
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This week I’ve been working on our sales funnel on Restaurant Engine, specifically our email automation sequence. That is — once a person enters their email on one of our opt-in forms, what happens after that?

I’ve been looking at upgrading from mailchimp to maybe Infusionsoft or one of these other tools, which would allow me to go beyond a basic autoresponder, and get into true “marketing automation”. A tag-based approach, where a new subscriber receives much more targeted and personalized messages, at just the right time.

That’s what I’m trying to learn and trying to implement in my business right now. And it’s funny because I didn’t plan it this way, but my guest today happens to be an email automation expert.

Dan Faggella joins me today to drop some knowledge on what this email automation stuff is really all about. And in fact, he was nice enough to share his screen and actually walk me through the back-end of his Infusionsoft account, actually showing us how he has setup the email sequences on his site.

Show Notes

[19] Selling a Web Agency to Focus on Products w/ Brent Weaver (UGurus)

[19] Selling a Web Agency to Focus on Products w/ Brent Weaver (UGurus)

 
 
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Today, Brent Weaver will be joining me. Brent is a co-founder of UGurus.com, a site that helps web professionals level up their business with tons of in-depth courses, and free content.

I first came across Brent when I read an article he wrote on SixRevisions, called “What it’s like to sell your web design company”.

This interview dives deep into that story… What led him to sell his web agency of 13 years, the process of finding a buyer and making the transition — and convincing his business partners and employees to make that transition with him. And the aftermath of the sale, focusing exclusively on products, and re-building his company with renewed energy and focus.

The keyword here of course is FOCUS. A quote from Brent’s SixRevisions article that really resonated with me was:

“I realized that focus was at the root of all major successes, and that most failures are due to a lack thereof.”

I kinda feel like right now, I’m hitting on that same moment of clarity in my business. I wrote about it in my last blog post, called “Stop Starting. Start Growing”. Basically, I’m finally coming around to the idea that can’t pursue more than one path — or one startup — at a time. When I lack focus, I feel like I’m just treading water. Exerting lots of energy, but not making any progress.

As I wrote about in that blog post, I pulled out of the agency I had started with my friend and office-mate, Clint Warren, because it distracted me from my primary focus, which is building Restaurant Engine, and sharing what I learn in the process here in my podcast and blog.

By the way – in case you were wondering why I kinda took a 4 week hiatus from this podcast – well, I had kid! My wife and I welcomed our daughter, Emma, to the world on March 2nd. She’s our first and I couldn’t be more excited, happy, and a little bit unsure of what the next few years have in store… Definitely a “learn by doing” experience, this being a Dad stuff. So I just wanted to share that with you.

Hit the play button above to hear the interview, then check out the key takeaways below.  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Key Takeaways

1. The mindset of web agency clients vs. customers of info products.

Many web agency clients tend to see hiring an agency as more of a chore than something they’re excited about. While the agency owner and team present exciting ideas and ways to leverage the client’s web presence, all the client is focused on is the price tag. They don’t share in the excitement of those possiblities.

Customers of an educational course, on the other hand, are hungry for that knowledge and they’re driven to better themselves and level up their business. That’s what makes creating and selling educational content so inspiring and motiviting — the customers place such a high value on it. Brent talked about how some of his customers would send him 6-page emails pouring out their feelings and aspirations related to his products. It’s hard not to get excited about running a business that has that type of impact.

2. “Bring content marketing to your target audience”

Not every business has the luxury of selling to an audience of web-savvy folks like us, who frequent blogs, Twitter, and podcasts. Brent’s advice to me, when I talked about how my product focuses on the Restaurant Industry, was to bring content marketing to them. In Brent’s case, he publishes interviews with his target customers.

3. The careful process of pitching the change in direction to partners and employees

It’s easy for a solo entrepreneur to shift gears and try a new direction. But when you’ve got business partners and employees who count on you, and count on the strength of your business for their paychecks, it requires a very delicate approach to pitch a drastic change in direction.

I like how Brent approached it, in a very methodic, step-by-step manor. Step 1: Lay it all out for himself. He described how he spent most of his trip thinking through it all first. Step 2: Present it (and convince) his partners. He described how this was a difficult process. Step 3: He spoke to each of his employees one-on-one to get their temperature and determine if they’re willing and the right fit to come along in the new direction.

Show Notes

[14] Consulting vs. Products (or both?) with Brad Touesnard

[14] Consulting vs. Products (or both?) with Brad Touesnard

 
 
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How does working as a consultant compare to working on a product?  Is the product world really as dreamy as it’s cracked up to be?  What are the benefits, the pitfalls, and the hidden pros and cons?

In this episode, Brad Touesnard, founder of Delicious Brains and the popular WordPress product, WP Migrate DB Pro, joins me to break all these questions down.

Brad and I are also organizing Big Snow Tiny Conf, a ski/snowboard getaway and mini-conference for web business owners.  It’s happening this January 2014.  Unfortunately, the house is basically full, but if you email me this week (like, now), we might be able to squeeze you in.  Otherwise, stay tuned this time next year!

Show Notes