All Star Panel: Pivotal Moments and Q&A
All of you have really successful businesses. And but obviously all started somewhere on dh. I wanted to know what was the thing? Kind of the revelation or the thought that you had the thing that clicked in place that turned that over for you. All right. Let's, let's, start let's. Back it up this time. David, you go first on this. So something like what? They kind of like what you got over the successful for something like that? Yeah. Like what? Like what? Either kind of a head space change or something you did that changed your circumstances. Let me let me elaborate on l a, because this is really close to one of my questions, but basically, you can also talk about your original idea and how you kind of rich that point from just struggling and not really know if anyone is paying attention to started getting some traction and had the tipping point of I am onto something. This is going to turn out something. Really? I had that first I started, like, like you said, pure scratch. So I mean...
, like, I didn't know it like it was me hitting refresh my mom getting refreshed and like I think she liked maybe had one of the dogs like hitting refresh all the computer that was my hits to my sight for a long time, you know? I mean, when I started and also I didn't come from any background of a lot of training in this like I don't come from a marketing background or media background, anything like that so really I totally resonate with the coming from scratch right there, she everyone up here can for sure. So what's interesting a flipping point for me is my business model completely changed, completely changed when I started to rise the top, my goal was to create basically a tv show, you know? I mean, like, it was gonna be an interview show a talk show and we're going to make money and revenue through sponsorships and, you know, I guess that some point there was world domination was part of the plan, I guess that was in there somewhere, maybe right off into the sunset I'm not sure if it was somewhere in the game plan, right? And I struggled for years of doing this, you know, I struggled and I couldn't place exactly what it wass so what I did was whenever I'm kind of struggling as I looked to people that are successful that I resonate with not like where I want to kind of be aware maybe I don't want to be there but I just want to learn from them and I like what they're doing and so I looked at more people kind of in the internet space a lot actually people up here and I realize and I just get sound so simple but it was the biggest shift right was I realized that the success the long term success of my business I was not going to be through sponsorships and ads and doing a show but it was positioning myself as kind of media preneurs and a teacher and a mentor and selling my own products and programs to people in creating those you know that was a massive shift from because realized I was in this sort of media world of creating tons and tons of free content and creating the show and trying to spread it and I shifted mohr toe what we kind of call the media pre war the expert model or what everyone has appear and I think that one of the big things that I had to kind of get over is that you know what I was good enough and that I yes I did know stuff that I could teach and yes there would be people that would pay for this and also that I was going to make a lot more mistakes along the way so that was kind of the shift from sort of media to media print your for me and that was one of the major things that kind of changed my business and if I was to do one more and I'll pass it down is that I try to focus way too broad early on it was about entrepreneurship and you guys know entrepreneurship is the broadest category of all time the attorney out on his own mom and pop on the corner silicon valley I mean it's all it's all entrepreneurship so over the years I became more and more specific about the type of audience that I loved that I wanted to serve because there's billions of people out there you get to choose fun fact do you want you know what I mean if you want if you wantto whoever it wants if it was the people that only have blue hair go for it right? You know I'm saying there's you get to choose who it is and so I narrowed and narrowed and narrow down and the more specific that I got and the more specific I got with their issues the more my business grew as opposed the other way around so that's kind of a two I would I would share its really great choosing which audience you would want to serve because you're going to interact with them a lot you're gonna be stuck with him you don't want to choose an audience this is going to be boring that you just I don't want to talk to you don't want to hear from your audience can be the most, you know should be the most fun and engaging, you know thing about your business, so I like the idea of who do I want to talk to? Who do I want to connect myself, right? Not just like who I should are, who I think I should or who's got the most money, you know? I mean, whatever, you usually start that money point, right? And I think that's that's very important that I see people fail, whether it's like, you know, I want to work with these types of people, I don't really like him that much. They got some wallets going here, and I like the wallets and I think that's a strategy for very short term, if anything, and I think, you know, everyone here, everyone watching this wants to be in this for the long run because that's, the cool thing about this business, it really is a lifestyle that you can scale up over time. Yeah, you burn out if it is boring and you don't want to engage, you won't want to create great content for because you don't feel like you owe them anything it's there not really given anything of value back to you, yeah. How about you, mel? What do you got amazing and just to kind of talk about a little bit more before I talk about my one big kind of ah ha moment david's the one that taught me about how important it is to be specific and when I first started coaching, uh, entrepreneurs and business people, I want to be really general really broad and the most I narrowed it down was women on michou kale target women? Uh but I the stuff I was putting out there just wasn't getting a lot of traction people didn't really know if my courses or my coaching was for them and when we work on courses now you always tell me tell people exactly who it's for and tell people exactly who it's, not for like even more importantly, let them know because ah lot of times I think we tell we were like, oh, well, it can be for everyone but it's for everyone that it's really for no one because that qualified candidate can't look through it and identify whether nuts for them. So that's something I started doing a lot when I'm writing copy or trying to, you know, do a sales page or something or even just talking about a program this is who it's for this is who it's not for and that's been really effective for us ah, but my one big aha moment actually comes back to when I started teo try to coach and create programmes online, and I created all this amazing material, or at least I think it was pretty good for my experience, and I put it all behind a locked paywall, and I didn't do any blogging I didn't dont podcast e I didn't really have any free content, I thought, well, my stuff, you know, I'm already are. No, these things are really proven strategies, they're worth a lot of money, so I shouldn't have to tell anyone anything for free, and nobody was buying my stuff. Nobody was joining my programs, and I couldn't figure out why it was actually this kid right here. We're like one big happy family. Uh, this kid that first got me to start doing webinars and he's like here's, what you do is you got to get people together. You've got to go through at least forty five minutes to an hour of really good content, not just, you know, random stuff or not. Just trying to, you know, talk about what you sell he's like, but really give them something good. And then at the end talk about what you have for sale and I thought okay, you know whatever actually had my pinterest program it was when I first launched it and I was sending traffic to a sales page or telling people about this sales page for this product and it was doing ok but lackluster results and on my first webinar I did over two thousand dollars in sales and this was with a very small audience to start with it was not with a lot of people and I was like oh my gosh the cia took us out to dinner like this is amazing but that was just part of and I started putting a lot more time into doing videos and blogging and webinars across the board of course but I think a lot of us have that internal struggle of how much to take away for free versus you know what we keep on ly for our paying customers and for my experience and maybe other people can speak to this as well there's honestly not there's no limits to how much you can give away for free it does not decrease your sales it increases your sales uh you know, even some of your best strategy I think a lot of people think I'll put the mediocre stuff out there for free but I'll save the really good stuff for my clients and customers but the thing is you don't get access to amazing clients and customers until you can really prove that you've got the goods and the good stuff to give you really like that especially for we talked about last session uh for brian and rachel talking about how you from blood from since you guys are in branding and graphic designing showing the process you might say I don't want to show that I don't want people to steam ideas right processes, but I think it would really help you relate I need an audience to relate to you and position you as an expert to show that there is a lot of work that goes into it you're not just, you know, throwing some stuff against the wall and bell looks pretty but like the creative process and all the steps that actually go into it cause that could especially help justify higher price point clients. Absolutely now I'm going to pick on you a little bit more, melanie, because I want to hear about luxury monograms let's relate to the e commerce owners out there because I know james the name you're gonna talk about the experts space even more so you talk about luxury monograms, we'll do james name and then I'll talk about custom greek threats so the starting point, the trials and tribulations they ran into and then the tipping point which I know is going to be getting press related because that was a big tipping point for like yeah, that was pretty big the big aha moment for me with luxury monogram so we have a home to corps company and this is after we had custom greek threats already had kind of the facilities and the employees to do this and I thought host is perfect like we'll do a personalized home to core because even at that point which was a couple of years ago we knew there was always a market for personalization and products like people want to have something that is special and, you know, one of a kind and unique to them and so I thought this is a brilliant idea and as with every single one of our businesses I thought we'd you know, put it that website and just the orders would just come flowing I mean it's such a good idea how can this not? I mean, you're the only person that I e I think I get angry when it doesn't write doesn't happen fast and that and so I remember and I want to prove to you too like no, this is a good idea it's my first time going off kind of independently with, you know, with the business idea and wherever we got that one order remember the first night we got one order and I was like, okay, watch out this is gonna blow and I think that was the only order we got that weak like it was just that one first order. Probably my mom or your mom or something. Yeah. So then everyone told me, oh, you know, you gotta go get pressed, you've got to get press. I went. Okay, you know what I tried to figure out. I contacted some pr people, but it was above what we could afford to spend at that time. And so I tried to put together a press kit. I think I googled it and you put together images and I conta I went to every big home decor magazine and try to find an email address somewhere on the page, which can be a little tricky because e mails did you send out atleast one hundred? Yeah. Hey, here's here's my stuff. Can we get featured? Yeah. And how many? Just in the studio audience? How many replies to think I got back? I got one e got one, but it was actually, I think, like, four, five months later some some really sweet editor and she's just like, oh, I just came across this or I don't know what happens, I'm so out of office, but didn't you know, that didn't work out, I even it was a part of a really big trade show in new york and we set up a booth kind of actually, yes, I didn't learn my lesson from custom rick drives trying to still do that what kind of the old world style marketing so I set up a booth and I paid to be an exhibitor and stood there for three days and it's over done that at a conference it's exhausting on that really didn't generate a little bit of, you know, buzz, but nothing really substantial, so I reached out to the online community and I knew one or two bloggers and I reached out to them is harder to do give away. So I said, hey, I'll either give you or give your audience you know, one of our best selling products if you'll just write a little right a little story on our website and also link back to us because I knew at that point about seo and so I knew is important to get our link across the across the web and that was very successful, so we started getting tons of bloggers and if you get usually the tipping point within a lot of other areas you get one big person online to write about you and then it gets picked up by tons of other smaller because good kind of goes down the food chain but that was really helpful because that then parlayed into the neighborhood show contacting us and abc is good morning america and all of these companies that originally these out media outlets that I couldn't get through the old way or the way that everyone told me to dio but then I reached out to some people online, and then they started contacting me, so my home was, oh, my gosh, all of these people kind of in their ivory towers there online looking for new products, new businesses do people the feature I'm so that was huge that once we started getting the press, then we had the online community behind us. A lot of other things just fell into place. That's great. I took up more time than ever when you had two companies that way drooling lost in your eyes. All right, james let's, uh, let's hear about your story and kind of success tipping point. So, uh, when people ask question like rachel did of, like, trying to discover this one ah ha moment or, you know, uh, switch that was flipped in your brain that changed everything. I can only speak for myself, but I've never experienced this one big shift. In fact, if we look at our journey from where we weren't, where we are, where we're going you know it's a journey of a thousand steps each one of steps to me has been a different shift a little mini shift and I think the first many shift happened in nineteen ninety eight I was fifteen years old and my dad had just bought me on someone watching lives going to know what this is a nineteen, seventy two honda c t seventy it's a little mini motorcycle these things are classic and I love this thing more than anything and I crashed it on get it had all chrome fenders and really nice stuff and and I bet the whole front fender just destroyed and this bike's thirty seven years old now so where do you get parts? And, uh I google was not around at the time I don't know what it was like askjeeves or something on I googled fender chrome fender nineteen seventy two hundred eighty seventy and I found a little sight. This is nineteen ninety eight called ebay dot com and I had never heard of ebay and no one else at this time I never heard of ebay and there was my fender selling for like one hundred forty two dollars I paid five hundred dollars for the bike my dad help me pay for it and there's the fender painted like a third of the price of the bike on ebay with three days left and I had thought this was like a crossroads for me where I could either spend the money and buy the fender or the second option, which is what I ended up doing, which is completely dismantled my bike sorry and sold the whole thing on ebay on made, like two thousand dollars, and then that turned into my first business on the internet, uh, which I was as a fifteen, sixty year old high school punk, I was making two thousand dollars a week selling old, classic motorcycle parts, and so for me, that was that for shift of getting out of the consumer mindset of like being marketed to versus saying, like, wait a second here's a problem and I can find see, this is an opportunity, or you can sit there and be, like ninety nine percent of everybody else who was just like, oh, don't pay for this two hundred dollars thing, we're going to complain about it, and I think looking at all of us up here, one common factor that we have is that we see opportunities where most people don't, and that was the first step in a lot of steps, and I just wrote a block post about this, and I think we can all say the same thing where when you look back and you remember there were all these moments was like, wow, this was just preparing preparing me for this which was preparing me for that and so whether what if you learn something here over the next couple days and you fail miserably added or it doesn't work out the way you want it you have to understand they're just preparing you for that next thing that next thing and the next thing and we've just been had more skin in the game that's all comes down to is a timing thing so yeah, I love that it's so true a brief failure is a stepping stone to your to your success it's so true and all the failed businesses millie that we've been a part of you trying to get to our successes and all the failures in between the successful businesses just because you finally figure out how to make one business successful doesn't mean every business from then on every idea is gonna be success it's all about coming up with the idea and getting the idea tested see if it'll work this fast and she plays possible and then scrapping it if it doesn't pass is pass a certain threshold of success and not let it crush you emotionally I know that's something a lot of people do like they have this one idea everything is invested into it you know their time, their money and I know that happens for some people uh, but if you can, like, I would kind of urge you to not have that mindset because it's very likely that, you know, you're one idea or one of your ideas will fail, and I think, like you said, like, we've just tried more stuff like, we've just bounce back faster. We've always tried to launch businesses it's lean and as mean as possible so that when they don't work, you know it. It's it's, not the end of the world, you just kind of go, okay, you know, maybe that stung a little bit, but let's, get back up and try the next thing. I don't believe that these two don't make mistakes, amy. Amy, do just kind of piggybacking off of that thing. It's such an important point really fast is that, you know, when we sit up here and we can go backwards, right? You know it's sometimes so much easier and clear to do it. We're just like, you know, this made sense why do this? Oh, I can see why this one failed, but in the time, right? And this is kind advice going back to people. You know that are more the beginning stages of trying to figure this stuff out it's really like playing a game of clue that's just going to continue you know, it's very unclear that it was devon in the library with the wrench right now we're not we're not one hundred percent sure right? I think it is though, but but the thing is each thing that you do starts to get you a little bit closer to that goal so like you know, kind of backed out of question about what I mentioned kind of getting more specific over time I didn't know that like that took me years to keep getting my audience a little bit more specific and then I kind of made a mistake and decided I'm gonna go extremely broad and it's good for everyone that was horrible then I went mohr and more so it was it wasn't this such a clear path of sitting there on day one and say you know what? I need a very, very specific audience and I need to figure that out by tomorrow because sometimes it's just gonna be an evolution over time do you want to elaborate a little bit more on your story? You know, you talked about it it kind of in your last presentation but I think we could move on I talked about it a lot yeah, thanks for the stories I think I don't know if your baby me to be like, move on, amy, move on, you know you want it, lord, I will share one quick thing, and that is so I come from a very corporate background where I know a lot of you have you have more entrepreneur spirit in your background than I do, so I know a lot of people are watching that they're in jobs right now, and they're thinking I want to go out on my own, and I will share one quick thing where I had the privilege when I work with tony robbins to be around some amazing people, and with that, he had a meeting one day where he wanted to go online and do more online. So we invited all these internet marketing gurus really was what they were called at the time in these big shots to sit around a table and tell them what to do in the online world, and they told their stories, so break current evan pagan, brendan, rashard, I mean, some pretty amazing people were there and each of them winter on and told their story, and tony was like, what you're making, how much money? And you're doing what online? Like he was blown away, but I was like in the corner, taking notes kind of thing and thinking. What the heck this is like life changing these stories they were telling but the word I kept hearing more and more from these guys was freedom I've got the freedom to do this I have the freedom to do this and that's the word that I wanted so working for tony robbins was great and he is this you know, he uh huge personality and a really ego booster to think you work for someone great, but he was still a boss and I had no freedom whatsoever so I just say that because in that moment this is the worst part about the whole story was I thought to myself and I told my friend who was sitting next to me I know nothing that I can teach by myself I don't know anything to go on my own and start a business and that was probably about nine months before I left started my business and now it's been huge success so there's always those limiting beliefs that we have and it's really, really scary especially when you're in a cushy corporate job that pays your insurance and pays your bills but if you have that nagging feeling but behind you saying like you want that freedom you want to get on out on your own that was like my moment like I know it can be done but I still had all those fears so going out there and talking about the job changing, I did consulting my first year out, I took clients, I had big brand small brands and hated it hated taking consulting, I thought, where is the freedom in this? This still feels like I have a bunch of bosses, so I had to completely change my whole company around a year into it so it would be more online marketing programs and product. So I just say that because I know there's a lot of fear behind kind of jumping off and going for it. Great, great. So I know our online audience has been patiently waiting. Let's, let's finally address a couple of their questions. We've got a question spanning from what do you wear when you work at home? Tio really in depth business is a lot of weight do you wanna do? Is only one person answers questions? Yeah, taken zip through a couple and then we can come back and elaborate on any one, any good ones if we we have a lot extra time. All right, so here's a great one from mega shes are meg says, how do you not let intimidation stop you in your tracks, for example, that other people are way ahead and you don't know everything first, where does this concept thing about this one people always say these things like like someone come into my one of my products of courses and the like post in our private group like hey guys, I'm a little behind right now behind what like where was the race? I had no idea so everyone starting at their own pace and that's the problem is they're comparing themselves to someone who's been in the game longer which is the biggest mistake look I'm gonna show you right now how to compare yourself to other people because you're gonna do it someone else is going to be divisive don't ever compare yourself to other people you're gonna do it anyways we do it all time you have to compare yourself to someone else who is you know way ahead apparently you just compare yourself to who they were uh you know if you've been in to get in the game six months and they've been in ten years, you just compare yourself to them when they were in six months and you're going to find out you know that an overnight success is ten years in the making and that if you found out where they were in there for six months they will probably weighed more behind then you are now and that's all it comes down to otherwise you're gonna get in your head you are going to feel intimidated, you're going to feel overwhelmed and find those excuses to stop so andrea, what a design says seeing that you all are friends did that happen because you've formed an end an intentional mastermind group or did you form friendships based on your partnerships? And I think the bigger question for a business person or anyone kind of venturing out there is how dio we form relationships like that teo push our our businesses forward as well so amy, you talked a little bit about this topic with connecting with influencers and how to have someone introduced did you want to kind of elaborate on that with well, you know, one thing that comes to mind what that question is an example I haven't I started a podcast I mentioned I started this podcast cause I wanted to go beyond facebook but I also knew it would connect me with new people so there's a lot of really successful podcasters out there that are now my really great friends and that would have never happened if I didn't put myself out there start asking for advice following their models really learning from them so one way to you know all of us came together because we have similar interest and there were like devon and I met devin and melanie because I wanted to promote their programs I knew it would fit well with mind so there's always these different ways to come together but putting yourself out there and saying okay, I see a connection here I'm gonna actually put myself in front of that person whether you do something for them or you, you know, reciprocate something but the point being is being scared and kind of living behind that the computer will get you no connections whatsoever david, you do a great job with connecting with a lot of influence or is because of your interview show and you've connected with some great people accept goten into paris yeah, I mean, you know, when I again when I started that's what I did like when I started all I had was an interview show I didn't have any previous relationships I didn't have any business connections and I could really tap into but over the years it just kind of doing it and just kind of being aware that it was important you know what I was like I don't know exactly where everything is going to go here it wasn't like I was, you know, try like head with all set up, but I was like, there's a lot of people that are interesting in my space I want to get to know them what? And I don't really want to go pay them for consulting right now so I'm going to invite them to come on my interview show and helped them promote something very important that they were doing like, you know, a book or something that was coming out and that kind of compounded over time is you start tio see people that you relate more to so every single person on this on this stage for the most part I initially met actually by interviewing them one way or another over the last several years is that the only way of doing it? No, but that's the way that I kind of approached and the overall kind of idea of relationships the way that kind of look at it why we've all become close we have matching tattoos right? Amy when you know you show okay, so anyway, uh is that, you know, one it was over time, but I'm always a big believer you want to spend time with people that are hopefully doing as good or better than you and this was so important because I realized if I was made, you know, and it's not just always about revenue let's just say I was making this much I want to be like around people that are making that plus ten percent or that plus eighty percent twice as much because then I could feel like there was value there but still similar enough because you don't wanna be the person that's making zero and you're like, you know, I only want to hang out with the millionaires and because it's a two way street so I think you want to go at least one level up from where you're at and hang out with people around there I think is a is a great kind of overall concept forgetting that we didn't think about pain for master minds in the beginning are you a fan of it I mean where I got my start with masterminds in general is I actually paid to be in kind of a high level mastermind with a bunch of women entrepreneurs and to me that was amazing so it really really work for me but I know other people have kind of different take on that but to me it allowed me I was brand new allowed me to have new connections figure out what other people were doing and then from there I've branched off and now get into those free masterminds with my peers but just curious wait you already have an idea of something you wanted yes I went in there with business yeah already left robin's already had started my business it just wasn't where I wanted to be right yeah he already had a business and a clear direction and just improving and I think that's where masterminds are most such a great point official you don't go and going I don't know what I want to do we really want to do something help it's not a brainstorming group and there were some women in that group that did that and they still don't have a business so yeah great point great good I wanted to just do one more little strategy we were talking about how to connect with influencers that is really really simple that everyone khun d'oh s so when I first started out kind of in the online marketing space and I wanted to meet more people I was just really supportive of their content so if there were somewhat because probably a lot of us like we read the comments in our videos we read the comments on our block post below our interviews and so if there was someone in particular really wanted to connect with I would make sure not in a stalker way but I would make sure that I would comment on their post and I just say like oh that's awesome but say something really specific that I enjoyed about it and did that consistently and I would meet people conferences and I introduced myself and they'd be like oh you read my block and you know, some people are afraid to do that because they go oh, I only want to be on like a peer to peer level but I think that we all like appreciation and we all enjoy praise and um I mean, I've made some ridiculous connections like falling people on instagram and commenting on the instagram photos you know, friending people on facebook kind of out of the blue and just, you know, liking certain stuff that they do like people say see that guy? And you know, it depends on the person, but a lot of us. We still see the people who are commenting. If there's a really specific e mail they sent, and it's really it's, just a great a great testament to our work. We positively associate that person with, and you mentioned live events. I can imagine this earlier, but I think that's huge, getting yourself out there.