Jeff Steinmann: Hello and welcome to the show. Today, my guest is Jonathan Taylor. And Jonathan is the co-creator of the beginner internet podcast. A podcast that he has taken up into the top 30 of the internet marketing podcast on iTunes. And that is quite a feat. Jonathan’s going to tell us all how he did it today. And we’re also going to take a look at how he took what many would consider a very negative event in your life, which is getting laid off from a job, and he turned that into something awesome. And something that has given him a much better life than he would have otherwise. I am excited to have Jonathan on the show today because he’s got so much great stuff to share with us. Jonathan, welcome to the show.
Jonathan Taylor: Jeff, thanks for having me on today.
Jeff: Jon, I’m so excited to have you here because you and I, I think we met at an event out in California. And the thing that I think of so cool about your story is it’s very similar to mine. You were working in the corporate world before you started doing your own thing. Tell us a little bit about that.
Jonathan: Yeah. It seems like in a lot of ways, it doesn’t seem like too long ago, but then you think of the time.
Jeff: Time flies when you’re having fun. It drags when you’re working a full time job.
Jonathan: I graduated from college back in 1999, all the way back in ‘99. I got my degree in – of all things – speech language pathology. I was going to be a speech language pathologist. I had all my life all mapped out.
And I had a buddy that my freshman year in college taught me into—I was actually a marketing major to start with, in college. And I have buddy, a good friend of mine, who was a speech language pathology major who said, “Man, you’ve got to switch majors. This is awesome”. He said the ratio of girls to guys is like 90:10. So I’m like, “Oh, I’m there.”
Jeff: All the right reasons.
Jonathan: Yeah, exactly. All the right reasons. He started laying out the scenario of after college, “Hey, you can get a job in about 60k” and at that time to me, that was like six figure money.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s big money.
Jonathan: And so, I was excited. Again, I’ve switched for all the wrong reasons. Went through and finished that. But really, as I got through the end of my senior year and graduated, I realized that, really, to move forward in that field, I really need to move on and get a Master’s Degree.
And I got to tell you, I was burned out. I was ready to be done with college. I love the social environment of college but I did not like the – I was not a good student. I was a typical average student. I like to learn from life experience and get out there. And I wanted to make some money. And by that time, I have met my wife. We were dating and I was ready to move on with life.
So, to make a long story short, I decided I was not going to go that path. I was not going to pursue, move forward, and go through another two years of graduate school. I’m ready to get started in work.
So, I actually got a job working in—my first job out of college I worked as a – of all things – a probation counselor. I was working with the local, judicial, juvenile court, and what I would do is go in with kids that were on juvenile probation for whatever the case, theft or anything like that. And I have to go in as a counselor and make sure that they were following through with their probation.
And I did that for about a year and a half, and it’s just, was total burnout. It was not a good fit for me. I was just emotionally drained with dealing with kids inside of a system where it was just – nothing was meant to fix. It was just – it was a repetitive. You’d see a lot of same kids going back through, they get off probation and they get right back on, and do something stupid.
And I realized, no matter what kind of positive change I tried to be on these kids, I see these kids like two hours a week. And they go home, and they go back to these environments, where they’re around 80-90% of the time, where it’s just nothing but negativity and all of the bad things.
And I realized this is ridiculous. The system is just really not that great. I just really was discouraged. And my wife at that time said, “You really should change gears.” And about that time, she really thought, “You really should go into sales. You really got the personality for sales.” And so, I decided to go.
Jeff: And have you ever considered sales before that?
Jonathan: I had not. I really had not considered sales. I know I wanted to work. Early on, I thought I wanted to work with – I love working with kids and doing stuff like that. I’d worked in college. I’d worked some afterschool programs and things like that, some summer camps with kids and I just love being around and they were energetic and that was me, but I decided to do that.
I decided to take a personality profile test, one of these by my friend Dan Miller at that time, I just heard about him on the radio. I heard about his 48 Days to the Work You Love program.
I realized, that sounds interesting. I’m going to order his program and go to the personality test and see exactly what my personality profile is and really, what I am geared moving towards. Because I read through the book, the material, and understand you got to start with who you are before you make a decision about what you want to do.
So, sure enough, I went to the test and just as my wife had told me, I had a personality that was geared towards either starting a business or being out in sales working with people.
And so, I made that decision, that I was going to try my hand in sales and I put together a number of resumes, sent those out to companies. I put together about 20 resumes and cover letters. I did more or less a direct mail type approach, just picked and selected a number of different companies that I thought I might want to work for.
And really had a great response from that method of targeting. And ended up getting a job for a manufacturer in – a company that manufactured fiber glass application equipment like spray. They would spray fiber glass into molds and things like that.
Jeff: That sounds really, really exciting.
Jonathan: Yeah, it was like working for – to me, it was like “What?” I have no idea what but apparently, they like me enough to give me a try. It was working with a lot of boat manufacturers and things like that. A lot of manufacturers that—anything that you can think of that was made out of fiber glass or anything like that. It was mostly medium size to large manufacturers that I was calling on.
So, I started doing that. I started travelling. Then about 2008—I worked there for about five years. I’ll tell you, what was ironic was in 2007. I had one of my biggest sales, years ever. That was about almost a million dollars in sales. I mean, I was just killing it.
Jonathan: And then the recession hit. I just happened to be one of those sales people—the company that I work for had a pretty large sales force, a national sales force. They had to make a really tough decision to scale back big time when the recession hit. And because I was one of the younger guys, obviously, and they had to trim, I was probably in the 2nd line of people that they let go. And I was like “Oh my gosh.”
And it started dawning on me that even if you’re in sales – which I would think that for many professions, that’s got to be one of the most recession-proof because you can get out there and you can sell. You can do well at it. I mean, what company’s going to let you go?
But even in a tough situation, even in a tough economy, companies still have to make decisions. And especially this company that had a pretty large sales force throughout the country. They had to make some serious cuts, and so even though that year before – that’s just a lesson. Even though that year before, I had my biggest sales numbers ever with the company ever since I’ve been there. I still was on the chop block. So, that forced me into some serious thinking like, “Wow.”
Jeff: Yeah, I guess so.
Jonathan: Yeah, exactly. Nothing is safe. I had realized that – and I really had gotten – throughout the time that I was in sales, I’ve really changed a lot of my thinking just from listening and reading a lot great stuff, reading the Success Principles, listening to a lot of Zig Ziglar.
Jeff: I love the Success Principles. That was—
Jonathan: Yeah, listening to things like Napoleon Hill and listening to Brian Tracy and all of those guys. And I’d really changed a lot of my thinking in terms of really thinking of myself in terms of Me, Inc., not working for an Inc. Even though I was in sales, I thought of myself as being my own personal corporation that everything relied on what I do and get out there and do. It’s not about the company. Even though I worked for a company, I still had to look at it in terms of – look, no matter what the company does, I have to be responsible for me.
Jeff: That’s a huge shift because at that point, you’re saying, no longer does it have anything to do with the economy, no longer does it have anything to do with my education or my situation or anything like that. It’s all about me and what I do. It’s a huge shift that you made there.
Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely. I realized I was already making the transition mentally during that time. During that time I realized, I’ve got to have something. That no job really is safe. And I really need to have something on the side.
So actually, one of the things that I started doing, in addition to sales, during that time was doing career coaching on the side. I became a facilitator for the 48 Days Program that Dan Miller taught me. Actually, the system that I went through that helped me change my career path. I was such a huge fan of it that I decided to be one of the coaches for that.
So, I started working with clients locally in my spare time and working with individual clients that really, were at a crossroads in their life, that really they’re trying to figure out what they wanted to do in their life. And this is while I was still in the sales job.
One of the things I realized during that time was that, what was frustrating to me in working with the individuals was that, people wanted to talk about their past experiences and past issues that they’ve had, what’s caused them not to find their purpose or whatever.
And really, I got to the point where I started feeling like these people are talking to me like I’m a counselor. I’m not a counselor. I’m career coaching. I’m not career counseling. And I was trying to redirect them towards the future, what they wanted to do, what the game plan as far as mapping out what the next step was.
But I realized that so many people are just locked in to the past. I realized that after one of my last – the last coaching clients that I had, she was — it still stands out to me really well that she was just so locked in to things in her past and that she could not make the change. And finally, I came home after one coaching session, or after one of my last coaching sessions in my life. I really cannot work with individuals that have this kind of mentality, especially being in sales at that time, it was like, let’s figure out. Let’s work on a game plan.
And then I started, I really started analyzing that I really enjoyed the coaching process. I really enjoyed the consulting process or the teaching process. I enjoyed that. I just hated the part where people think of me as a counselor. So, I realized that maybe my focus needs to be on businesses instead of individuals.
Jeff: Okay. It sounds like the thing that was really giving you pause was having to listen to everybody’s excuses.
Jonathan: Absolutely. I hate that. It’s so easy for people to make excuses. And we all are guilty of that from time to time, but I would work with people who that was the primary focus and that’s all you heard.
And I realized that most people in business or most people that run a business or most entrepreneurs, they’re not excuse makers. They want to figure out the issue. They want to figure out how to improve the bottom line and get to that. And that’s what excites me. That’s what I enjoyed.
And so I realized during that time when I was still in sales with this company that maybe what I could do is start doing some small business coaching on the side. And that’s when I started really studying the whole marketing sales and marketing. And really just immersed myself. And I tell people, I’ve got more education out of college than I have in four years in college because I really became a student of sales and marketing.
And about the time that I had gotten fired from my job or let go or downsides, whatever you want to call it back in 2008, I had started doing some consulting works, some working with companies. And a lot of it was some of the companies that I had developed relationships in sales when I was in sales, some of my top customers and clients. And I started helping them with their marketing. I started talking to them about what they’re doing with their online marketing, with some of the offline marketing and realized, “Man, this is really cool. I love doing this.”
Subscribe in a reader
Listen to the Whole Episode Here
So when I got laid off, I really had to analyze things and think maybe this is an opportunity for me to really, to change directions and really think in terms of relying on myself completely and just saying “Okay. I am going to be completely Me, Inc. or You, Inc., how ever you want to put it, that’s going to be me.”
So, I launched my personal or my small business brand which is a brand new marketing and started doing consulting for businesses. And about that time, I met a guy here locally who actually started really doing kind of a meet-up group here locally in Knoxville. If you go to meetup.com, you can setup one of these local meet-ups in your area. And so, we decided to start a local meet-up group in the Knoxville area and this is back in 2008. We started doing this once a month.
And really, what we’re actually, he and I, he had his own digital marketing. He was doing digital marketing for small businesses. I had started doing that. And we just hit it off. We’d come to get together and we had a lot of great ideas together. And so, we decided to start doing meet-ups each month and we would do this for small businesses where we would do workshops and things like that.
Jeff: Were they free or did you charge the people that attend?
Jonathan: We charge a very nominal fee but it was basically just enough to cover the cost of the room or anything like that. I think the very first one, we were charging probably three or four dollars every person. And it was just enough to pay our monthly rent. This is five years later, and we still do those monthly marketing meet-up groups today. We still do them each month.
Jeff: Cool. And that’s the beginning of when you started to take. You and Russell got together and you started to take the knowledge and information that you have, and you sort of put it out into the community.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Yeah. And then, when we were doing the meet ups we thought, “Wow”. We started learning about podcasting and we thought, “Hey, let’s try this podcasting thing”. We’re a couple of guys that, we love talking about this stuff and I came up with the idea. “Well, maybe we could do a Saturday morning radio show on a Saturday morning, you get up on a Saturday”.
And we decided to use this service called Blog Talk Radio. I remember the first day, we were using nothing but our cellphones. We would call in to the – you set up an account with Blog Talk Radio. You call in to an 1-800 number and then you could both get on the line together. And you could occasionally have a guest that would come on the line. The audio quality was somewhat lacking, but it was fun.
It was new to us and it was completely free which was a big attractive part. And so we started doing that on a weekly basis. And this was back in January 2009. So, we started out and I will just remember the first three or four months, we had almost no one listening. I think maybe he and I were the only listeners. And whatever guest that we might have had on.
Jeff: Somebody’s mom was listening to you, right?
Jonathan: I think my mom, and I know my wife was listening, just to make me feel better. But we could’ve easily decided after about three or four months, “Hey, this is not working. Let’s just – let’s do something else. Let’s move on.” But I said, “Let’s just keep the momentum going and see what happens, see if we can just — just through consistency.”And that’s such a huge part of my life now is the importance of being consistent in what you do. But if we just keep doing this every week, come on, let’s just keep knocking at it, keep wearing it down and see what happens.
And so, and about six months rolled around and we started seeing some success. We started getting in listeners. We started getting subscribers to our podcasts and downloads. And it was just a process of sticking with it and staying with it. And after about two years – we stayed on Blog Talk Radio for about two years and built up a listenership of well over 70,000 listeners to that show. And that was on the Blog Talk Radio.
So, about that time we thought, man, this is great, but where do we go from here? What do we do from here with this? Because we’ve got this show on Blog Talk Radio and it seems like it’s growing, but something that I started – the more I learned about podcasting, the more I realize that if anything ever happened to Blog Talk Radio, we would completely lose all of the content and all of the podcast feed that we had ever done over a two-year-period.
And so, one of the guests that we had on, Cliff Ravenscraft, podcast answer man, I had talked to him and he had done some consulting with me. I’d picked his brain and he said, “If you really want to grow your podcast, you really need to have your own feed, and you need to have your own site dedicated to that podcast.”
So that got us thinking and we decided, you know what? If we’re going to continue to do podcasting, continue to grow, now’s the time to go ahead and make the change. So we went out and jumped on Libsyn which is an audio hosting for a podcast. And then decided to setup our own website over at BIB Podcast and started gradually moving a lot of the old episodes that we’d done with Blog Talk Radio over.
And I went out, I never will forget, I got around this time, I was like, wow, I want to invest in some equipment. But some of the equipment that I wanted to invest in, it was kind of high-end and I just happened about that time, a company. I mean, this is crazy, the timing of this that I got – a company up in Cincinnati sent me an email. They were wanting to purchase one of the domains that I had. I had probably about 30 or 40 domains in GoDaddy.
Jeff: You’re a domain hoarder. There needs to be a show about us. I’m trying to recover. I let a bunch expire this year because I was like, you’ve got to get over this.
Jonathan: That’s right. Are you really going to do something with that domain?
Jeff: Yeah, next time I’m going to have 15 cats in the house, and I’m going to be on Discovery Network.
Jonathan: You should start a show called “Domain Hoarder”.
Jeff: But anyway.
Jonathan: Yeah. But I had this one great name. I remember it was called Blackboard Marketing, and I thought, man, this is a really cool name. I’m going to add this as part of a brand to my digital marketing services. As a consultant, I had this plan to create these Screencast videos that were nothing but more or less like VideoScribes. I would have like a blackboard in the background and do all of this content. I was like, man, this is going to be cool. But obviously, I didn’t get around to doing that. There’s only so much time in the day. Sometimes you’re not grounded in reality.
Jeff: Yes. That’s the blessing and the curse of creative people. You get what I call “idea-rrhia” because they don’t stop.
Jonathan: I love that. Idea-rrhia, that’s awesome. So, I had a company that contacted me and they said—they offered me like $500, and I wouldn’t take it. Then they offered me a thousand, and I wouldn’t take it. And then finally I said, “Listen, if you really want this name, I’ll give it to you for 1500 bucks.” They said no. And I said, “Okay, fine, whatever.” About three days later, they contacted me back. They said “we’ve reconsidered. We’ll take it for 1500.” So, I let it. I sold it for 1500.
Jeff: You should’ve said “Now, it’s 2000.”
Jonathan: Yeah, there’s a penalty fee now. But I took that money and actually just went out and invested that into the extra money that I got from that, invested into a really nice sound mixer, a Heil PR-40 mic, just all the equipment that I need to get started, completely covered it, and that was just awesome. And so, I used that to set it up with the digital recorders and everything. We started just going high-end and really have created a nice brand over there and it just continues to grow. We’re pretty excited the way things are going over there.
And then, about that time, I had started brand new marketing. And that was going well. And not too long ago, Russell and I, we’re like, you know what? You’re doing your thing on the side. You’re doing your digital marketing over here. I’m doing my marketing consulting business. We’ve been doing a podcast for about five years. I think there’s a certain level of trust now that we — we work well together. So, we decided to come together as a strategic – under a strategic partnership, and we formed Buzz Mountain Media, and you can see that over buzzmountain.com.
Jeff: We’ll link that up on the show.
Jonathan: Yeah, that’s our digital marketing and consulting business. I’m a huge proponent of multiple strings of income. And my thing is we make money from the podcast through affiliate advertising, and we have our marketing business on the side.
There’s some other online businesses that we have that we make money from. We’re also involved in marketing for local veterinarians and we published a couple of books in that regard. And so, it’s something that we enjoy doing. It’s something that we’re passionate about. And to me, each week, getting on a podcast show and recording content each week and having guests is just easy stuff for us because it’s part of we do. And it’s fun.
Jeff: It is a lot of fun.
Jonathan: It’s fun doing what you love. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t—you look at most people in their 9 to 5 jobs. I started the day out today getting up, walking in to my office which is in my home, after I made some coffee, and firing up the computer. And I look out the window, and it’s beautiful. It feels like fall weather outside. I can raise the window up to my office, and you can feel the cool breeze coming in and it’s just pleasant. Working on your office, looking outside. And I don’t have to drive. There’s no commute for me. I don’t have to drive into an office or anything like that. And it is so fun. It’s just fun to do what you love.
Jeff: While we’re talking about that, tell us a little about how does this lifestyle that you’ve created in this business that you’ve created, how does it make your life better?
Jonathan: Well, I’ll tell you. To me, it offers me flexible time as to me, as I get older and it’s probably the same for you as we get old. In our younger years, we value money. It’s like, man, I got to get that paycheck. But as you get older, one of the things that you start to realize is, at least in my life, I start valuing time more than money because I’ve made money and I continue – I mean, I make money now, and I support my family. I have a great income. My wife, she doesn’t have to work. We got a nine-year old and a seven-year old.
And so, that gives us – I think it gives me the freedom and the flexibility of time. Money is a tool to me. Money is nothing more than a tool that allows me and affords me time that I need to just spend with my family and to do those things — the flexibility of being able to get up and go on — like occasionally, we’ll just say, you know what? Let’s go to– we live over in Knoxville, Tennessee which is right down the road is a pigeon forge and Gatlinburg which has Dollywood. My kids love Dollywood. We’ll just occasionally, we get season passes. And we’ll say, yeah, let’s go, and take the kids to Dollywood here in a couple of days.
And if I worked in a 9 to 5 job, I couldn’t do that but I can literally pick a day that I want to go, and we can just say, you know what? Let’s just take the kids. I need to take a break. I need to unplug for a little bit. Spend a little time with the family. Let’s go have a little fun. And we just do that.
And I think that’s the main thing. To me, it affords me time which is what I love most about this is flexibility and time. Now, I don’t want to paint a rosy picture to say that as an entrepreneur, you can do whatever you want. No, you got to work your—I mean, you still got to work your rear end off, but you can work your rear end off at the hours that you want, and you get to pick and choose how you set up your time.
Jeff: You get to pick and choose what you did, right? Because for you and Russell, the beginner internet podcast is a really key promotional thing for you. And if you hated podcasting, you probably would be doing something different.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Yeah, we would be doing something completely different. It gives us the opportunity to share some of the stuff that we know and we’ve built a following on that podcast. And we get people that’s sending questions to – it’s so rewarding when you get people from Australia and New Zealand and people over in Wales, really, all over the world. We’ve gotten emails from all over the world. People just sending us questions and saying, “Thank you for your podcast. It’s great. We love tuning in to your show. You guys offer a lot of great tips on there.”
And to me, I read something like that and it’s just like, man, this reaffirms if I wasn’t making a dime from this, I would be doing it. Because I enjoy doing that. I enjoy helping other people and making – sharing what I know. If I can share what I know with others that will help them, that to me, that’s a lot of fun because I think it goes back to the old Zig Zigler quote, “If you help enough, other people get what they want.” It’ll come back to you.
Subscribe in a reader
Listen to the Whole Episode Here
Jeff: Yeah. Now, that’s awesome. So, you mentioned you have two kids, they’re 7 and 9 years old now. Two things I’m really curious about. And the first thing is, based on the math I’m doing in my head, I’m thinking, when you got laid off from your job and started your business, you had at least one small child, right?
Jonathan: Yeah. Absolutely.
Jeff: So, how on earth do you have a small child to support, and then go off and say, you know what? I’m going to give up my corporate. I’m going to give up my corporate income.
Jonathan: Yeah. And not only that, too. Jeff, at the time, we just bought a new house.
Jeff: Oh, wow. So, it’s even harder.
Jonathan: Yeah, even more pressure. Yeah, we had just moved into a new house about the time that I got laid off and you’re right. My seven-year old at that time was, what, two? I guess around two. So, that was crazy times. There was a lot of stuff going on during that time.
And it was one of those things where I had to realize, whatever I did, if I go back, if I get a 9 to 5 job, or if I get a corporate job where there’s all of this pressure, you can go that route, but there’s no – to me, there’s no such thing as security. That totally changed my mentality.
I was pretty much changing my mindset during that time anyway, but it just reconfirmed that there’s no such thing as security in this world. Security is the ability to go out there and to produce. And if you’re going to rely, if you’re counting on a job, a job out there as your security, I think that you’re more in danger than someone who’s out there just doing it on their own because it’s like I say, if I have multiple clients, it’s like having multiple employers because when you work for a company, you got one single client. And that’s more less than that. You’re hanging on to that one single client. To me, that’s not security.
Jeff: No, no. And you know what fascinates me to know – and I went through that exact same mental shit – is there are so many people that keep working their corporate jobs because they feel as though they need the security that comes from that job. But then, as soon as people quit their corporate job for whatever reason, their mindset completely changes. And they feel like, oh my gosh, I am so much more secured now than I was in that single client “situation”.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Yeah, because you got them – it’s like going back to the multiple streams of income you got. How cool is it to have streams of income coming in from – I have streams of income coming in not only from my clients, but also from my online podcasts and my business and we do training webinars and things like that. And all kinds of cool stuff that we can get, and sell digital products and things like that today.
One of the things I worked on today was a digital product, a digital audio product. This is fun stuff. That’s what I spend most of my day doing today is creating a new audio report for clients. And stuff like this is a lot of fun but it goes back to – it’s just like you said, I’m not tied to one entity anymore. If I have a client that no longer uses my services, then guess what? That’s okay.
Jeff: Just once, it’s just one little thing.
Jonathan: Right. Exactly.
Jeff: Well, Jonathan, we talked about, you have a seven- and a nine-year old. What do you think their life is going to look like? And how is that different than if you would have stayed in a corporate world?
Jonathan: Well, I tell you what. I have more time. One of the great things is, I have more time to be around them. My office – I have an office here in my home, and that doesn’t always mean that I get a lot of privacy. Because even when the door shuts, my kids will sometimes – they know usually when dad’s got the door shut, that means that he doesn’t need to be disturbed. But occasionally, I hear a little knock on the door. And sometimes, if I’m not on a podcast, if I’m not on a phone conference, I’m okay with letting them come in and chat. It’s just that, that flexibility of saying, you can come in. And one of the things that we do, Jeff, we actually home school. So, my kids are around me all of the time.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Jonathan: I’m a big proponent of teaching. They get – my wife grabbed home school then, and she does a lot of their education, but on my end, I actually – I’m one of those out-of-the-box thinkers, so I like to teach them. Listen. I don’t want you guys thinking in terms of a 9 to 5 job, or anything like that.
When there’s stuff to be done, I say well, here’s a great way you can do that. In fact, you’ll think this is funny because we talked about this earlier and I’m glad you asked this question because my kids, they happen to be on a – my wife happens to be on a gluten-free diet. And she had been tested and they have some of the same sensitivities. So, you could lament the fact that my kids – your kids are like, oh, they have to – they can’t eat gluten or anything like that.
But I told them. I said, you know what? Why don’t you guys have fun with these, and get a video camera out, and start creating your own little video show for doing gluten-free recipes for kids? Make it fun and do stuff like that. And so, they started doing their own little video show even though they aren’t quite old enough to upload videos to youtube yet. But they can create videos. I want them to get in the process of learning how to create content.
And I say, you create your show and so, they actually started doing all sorts of video. They get up the video camera and they will do a – in one of their school lessons, they’re learning about weather. So I told them, I said, create some videos about weather. So, they actually did. They are actually dressed up and got like a weatherman, put on the weatherman’s outfit. And started putting up a globe, and started teaching about the – actually got a whiteboard up and started showing about how fronts are, the cold front moves in, and she started teaching all these stuff.
And to me, teaching is a great way to learn. So, when they can get up there and teach on video, I think that that’s just reinforcing everything and just teaching them. I showed them how to edit stuff for me. I don’t give them all of the big stuff, but I do, when I’ve got some editing work, I teach my kids, especially my nine-year old, the oldest, how to get down and how to edit a video or an audio.
Jeff: Oh, that’s awesome.
Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. He’s learning to do – learning technology. He’s learning to do some things and if he does an editing job for me, a simple editing job, I’ll pay him. I’m actually paying for that, so he’s – I don’t know. We’re not on salary around here. My kids are on commission, so.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s awesome. I was going to ask you, how much interest do they show in what you do?
Jonathan: The oldest, which is nine, he’s very creative. He has a very creative mindset. And he’s very – he likes what I do. Because he’s much like his dad. He’s very creative and likes a lot of digital games. He likes a lot of games. He likes to play games. A lot of things like that online, I have to keep up with what he’s into.
But he’s also big on he loves to create. He loves to create video. Just like what I was saying, he loves to create video shows, I mean, he loves to get in front of the camera and create video shows and send them off to his grandparents so they can watch and anybody else that will watch. And so, he loves to – he’s got that creative side that loves to put stuff like that together. And I think that that’s going to be his – he’s going to be geared towards my mindset. My youngest is more kind of he likes to see how things work. He’s got that engineering mindset where he likes to reverse engineer things but hey, I think that’s a great personality.
Jeff: We need lots of different people in this world.
Jonathan: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I teach them. I said, you know what? Listen guys, you don’t have to – one of the things I emphasize, too, is you don’t have to – I’m never going to pressure them to go to the traditional route like Dad did, and go four years in school. Unless you know exactly what you want.
There are things that you can learn. If they want to go to college, that’s great. But if they want to get some technical degree, if they want to become entrepreneurs, I want to encourage them to do their own thing and not rely on a four-year degree. Because in my lesson, I teach them, listen guys, I can’t do anything in terms of what I went to school for in college, so.
Jeff: And one of the things that I like to ask folks is – and I think you already answered – but how much of what you learned in college do you use in a daily basis?
Jonathan: I tell you, I wish I could say one thing just to say I’ve got some kind of value, some kind of financial value. But honestly, I really can’t and it’s really sad. I think it’s a sad state of education, of a college education to say that I really can’t think anything of value other than the fact that if I’d gone into degree that I worked in, or that I was going to school for at the time. And there were would have been obviously some value there, I would have learned some things towards that.
But given the fact that I didn’t end up going into that field of study, I can’t say that I learned a whole lot of – I didn’t take anything of value away other than the fact that maybe getting some, a little bit of discipline as far as establishing that discipline in getting up, going to classes and preparing for tests and things like that. But even now, it wasn’t super disciplined.
Jeff: Well, and you certainly probably could have gotten that much cheaper somewhere else.
Jonathan: You’re absolutely right. Yeah, yeah, I think at that time, 30, 40 thousand dollars, I mean, that’s for an in-state school, too. And I just – I tell, if you ask me if I would have done that all. What I would have done if I had that to do all over again.
My easy answer would be, I’ll take that $40,000 and use that to jumpstart a company early on. I don’t hesitate in that because I just – and that doesn’t – I’m not bashing anyone that want to go. I think if you got a legitimate reason, or if you got something specifically in mind, but I am totally against going to school if you don’t know what you’re going to do. I think it’s just a waste these days.
Jeff: It’s good to be so exciting to see when people of your kids’ generation grow up because I think we have more and more people now who are looking at college from a much more realistic standpoint.
Jonathan: Right. And there’s so many more. I think as they get older, too. And more kids today, as they get older, there’s going to be more and more online opportunities and online options to get your degree without spending a fortune online. You’ll be able to, I think – I’m a huge fan of the Con Academy that’s on YouTube where you can literally get on and – I mean, get just all kinds of education for free from a guy that teaches kids, helps kids how to – through algebra, through geometry, calculus, you name it. I mean, it’s just got a library, enormous library full of videos that shows kids that help kids. Maybe having math problems. And I think you’re going to see more options like that for universities, more online university option over as time goes.
Jeff: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Jonathan, I want to ask you real quick. Because you probably have a lot of listeners out here who are trying to grow an audience and grow a platform around something. And what are some of the key lessons that you learned and some of the key pieces of advice that you would have to someone who’s trying to grow an online show or a podcast.
Subscribe in a reader
Listen to the Whole Episode Here
Jeff: I tell you, my biggest thing would be to niche. If possible, niche as much as you can. People sometimes are afraid to get real specific in what they focus in on. And I tell you from experience because our show could be – we have a large audience but I’m sure it could be a lot bigger if we were more – we have a broad – we’re in a broad market.
Jonathan: And a competitive one.
Jeff: And a very competitive one. Online marketing. I’ll say the only thing that’s helped us grow is our consistency. We do a show week in and week out. And that’s helped us because a lot of guys that do these shows, even in the online marketing, they’ll do it here and there and we just made a commitment to say, no matter what, rain or shine, guest or no guest, we’re going to have a – we’re going to be recording a show this week. And we’ll get some content out there, and we’ll answer some questions and share some thoughts.
But I would say that if you want to tackle podcasting, I think it is an awesome way to create an online business. I just think that if you can pick a niche. If you can really pick something that you really enjoy. Something that you’re focused in on. And it doesn’t even have to be business related. It could be a podcast about some TV show or some movie that you’re big in, I mean, that you could create a brand around.
I mean, I think there’s a ton of podcasts out there that focus on some movies, some of the latest movies and they discuss. Especially if it’s one of these movies that is an ongoing type series of movies to come. You can really create a huge platform out of that. And then leverage a lot of those listeners into other shows that you do.
But that will be the biggest – I think of all things, I would recommend at the top of the list is be focused on the niche. Don’t be afraid to get narrow because you’re going to find that there are a lot of people out there. And there’s a lot of fans of what you like.
Jonathan: And you said something really interesting. You said you have a very large following on at the beginner and then at podcast. But you said that you think it would be larger had you niched more.
Jeff: Yes. I absolutely believe that. I think that if you’re not – we even tried to – even in our podcast, we tried to use that beginner internet business to separate us from not just being an internet business podcast, but this one’s for beginners who are getting started with online marketing.
But even that, we are still – because of the categories that we qualify for in iTunes and things like that, it’s really, we’re just lumped in there with a lot of other marketers. And I think right now, we’re in the Top 30 of podcasts for internet business podcasts and things like that. And there’s a lot. There’s a ton of them on iTunes that are listed on there.
But I just think that if you can narrow your market onto something, you’re going to find that there’s very little competition. As the narrower you go, the competition gets less and less. And you’re going to find that people will find you. And it will be very easy to rank online especially for keywords and things like that if you’re in a much narrow niche, and people will find you and spread the word.
Jeff: So, then once you picked your niche, how do you get people to listen?
Jonathan: Once you get started, you’ve really got – there’s going to be a period of time, and you got to be, you got to tell people just add us sometimes. There’s going to be a period of time where you’re like, “Really? Is this working?” because you’re not going to – even if you launched a weekly episode, you’re not going to see success until you really start getting out consistently. And you got to – I would say for everybody that does a podcast, please by all means, give it at least a year. Give it 12 months. Commit to whatever you decide to do. Commit to that one thing. To that podcast or if you’re going to launch a blog or whatever it is. Commit to it for 12 months. And be consistent about it and I promise you, if you commit to something like that for 12 months, you are going to see some great results.
But the problem with most people, and I’m going to say, the problem would be – flat out honest, most people, the problem is that they get discouraged after about four months. And say, you know what? I’ve really tried at this and it’s really not working and I’m not seeing the results. Well, you’re not going to, in four months. Really, I mean, we could have easily given up when we first started our podcast. Because after about three to four months, our listenership was not very good.
Something happened along the way after we hit that six month, things start changing. And I think the people have to see, people that are going to become fans of your podcast, they’re going to look at you and they’re going to see, is this person – are they here to stay? Are they committed to these? Because there’s so many people out there that start and stop and so.
If you could just pick something and commit to it, and be consistent about it. When I mean consist and see, that’s a big keyword with Russell and myself is consistency, is making sure that each week, you’re posting some content. It doesn’t have to be – you don’t have to post a podcast three or four times a week. If you can do a show once a week, and maybe make a blog post in addition to that, I think you’re fine. If you post more than that, you’re probably grow even faster but we just got into the habit of posting at least, at the very least one show per week that we get out there. It’s not always the same length of time, sometimes we have a guest, it’s a 90-minute show. Sometimes we don’t have a guest, it’s a 30-minute show.
Jonathan: So, really, there’s no set length as long as you’re getting content out there, people will – people overlook a lot. If they can see that you’re consistent about something. But you don’t have to be perfect, just be consistent.
Jeff: Cool. You said something really interesting which is, it’s not about the length it’s about the quality of the content.
Jonathan: It’s about the quality, And I tell you, consistency – I’ll say this, consistency sometimes trunks quality. Because we put out some shows that have not been the greatest shows, but we get emails from people that say we really appreciate you guys show because you guys get it out there each week and I know – and they don’t say this, but I know some of our shows, I sometimes think, man, that was just not worth putting out there.
And for the audio quality, we’ve had some interviews in the past where the audio quality – for some reasons, the Skype quality was just, it just turned out terrible. And we don’t know what happened. I don’t know if it was on – sometimes it’s been on a – we’ve had people that are – some of our guests have showed up on the call and they didn’t have headphones or microphones or anything like that. They’re just speaking in their computer and it sounds like they’re trashy. Sounds like they’re in this big 55 gallon drum and it’s like, oh man, it’s so awful but we clean it up as much as we can and get it out there.
I think that if you want to strive for awesome quality, you want to get good stuff, you want to create good content that people will enjoy, but you’re not going to knock it out. You’re never going to bat a thousand baseball. You got a great average if you’re batting about 300. 275 is pretty good.
So take that analogy. But you have to be consistent. You have to get up to the play there every time, at least swing, and try and get some content out each week but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I think that’s a fatal flaw that most people, they want things to be just right, and they want things to be so perfect that they don’t do anything. That kills so many people is that this perfectionism of trying to get things just right. I’ve been an understudy of Dan Kennedy, a marketer.
Jeff: He’s amazing.
Jonathan: Brilliant marketer. And he’s like, you know what? if it’s good enough, it’s good enough. Get it out there. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Get your content out there, get your stuff out there to people. Because they’re going to overlook a lot. If you give good content, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Jeff: Definitely, definitely. Great advice and that’s not just for podcasting, that’s for everything you do.
Jonathan: Oh, for real. Yeah.
Jeff: Yeah. So, Jonathan, what is the biggest piece of advice or the biggest thing you would want to say to somebody who wants to create a lifestyle business like you have?
Jonathan: I would say, be prepared to – it’s not all rosy. Especially when you’re first getting stated. You’re going to have to put in some hours. It’s kind of like, I think of the rocket ship analogy where most of the fuel on a rocket when the spaceship was going out to space. Most of the fuels burned up when just getting off the ground. Once you get in the outer orbit, you don’t need that much fuel at all. Once you get past, once you pull away from the gravity, but you have to burn up a whole lot of fuel just to get off.
And it’s like that when you’re starting a business, too. So, I don’t want to paint a picture that says, you might go switch, and it’s all going to be great. You’re going to have to work, you got to put in some hours when you first get started to make that life, to make that change.
But I’m going to tell you, it’s worth every waking hour at night, it’s worth – when you’re sleeping, there have been many, many nights when my wife and kids are sleeping in bed and tucked away in bed, and I’m up until 2 or 3 in the morning working on a project. That’s not uncommon.
But I love – it’s going back to that flexibility, knowing that I can work on things when I want to work on them is great, but I think the lesson is, to not be discouraged early on when you’re first getting started out. But you understand, you got to put some work into anything to get off the ground. But once you do, once you put in that effort, after so long you can let off the gas.
I’ll give you a great example is, not only our podcast, but we’ve had – one of our guests that we had on our show recently who had created a YouTube channel. And his first year, he had launched 250 videos on YouTube. I mean, just putting out a massive amount of video in his first year getting off the ground. But his second year, what’s interesting, after one year of putting out 250 videos, he had a million views and about 12,000 subscribers which is pretty good.
Jeff: Quite respectable.
Jonathan: Yeah, that’s very good. But I’ll tell you something that’s interesting, it happened because I had a follow up interview with him a year later. In his second year, he did 250 videos his first year on YouTube, his second year, he only did 30.
Jeff: Oh, wow.
Jonathan: That was it. So, he scaled down quite a bit but what was interesting, Jeff, that happened was even though he only did 30 videos on his second year, his second year he went from a million views to four million views and from 12,000 subscribers up to 40,000 subscribers.
Jeff: Oh, wow. Wow.
Jonathan: And so, even though he scaled back, even though he let his foot off the gas that first year. That’s why it’s so important to put in that – like the rocket ship, put in all that energy in the first year because in the second year, he was able to let his foot off the gas, and he was able to coast so little, and even though he didn’t post near as many videos as he did the first year, the phenomenal thing is his traffic tripled.
Jeff: That’s amazing.
Jonathan: So, that’s just a lesson. Just how that worked. That initial drive when you’re first getting started. And if you really put your time and effort in that first year. That’s why I tell everybody, if you’re going to start something, you got to commit to it for 12 months and commit really hard to it, and work it really hard for 12 months. And I promise you, I don’t – there’s rarely, you’re going to not see success if you really commit to something for a year and really put your best effort into it.
Jeff: That’s one of the most awesome pieces of advice that we’ve ever gotten on the show. That’s amazing. Thank you very much for that insight. That is hugely, hugely valuable. Because that’s what everybody on the show wants to know about it is how can I get to that point where I can lift my foot off of the gas. Well, Jonathan, it’s been an absolute pressure having you on the show. You have brought a lot of insight and a lot of experience and a lot of great stuff to our listeners.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Thank you Jeff. Thanks for having me.
Jeff: Thank you. And where can we go to get more information about you?
Jonathan: Well, you can visit us. Our podcast is bibpodcast.com. There, you can find our weekly podcast and we – as I mentioned earlier, we try to get out a show. And then, I try to at least post a midweek blog post on there. So, we’ve got a lot of content. I think we’re up to about 243 episodes on that website, so you if you go to that site, there’s a lot of content.
And you can do a search for all sorts of different things. And that’s our podcast site. And then, of course, we have – Russell and myself, we have a company, Buzz Mountain media and marketing – digital marketing and media, excuse me. But that’s over at buzzmountain.com and that is our local marketing company. And that’s two places where you can find us.
Jeff: Excellent! Well, we’ll link those up below the show. And I thank you so much for being here. And I look forward to staying in touch, and best of luck with everything.
Jonathan: Thanks Jeff. I enjoyed it so much, as always, love to do it again some time.
Jeff: Definitely. This was probably one of the most jam-packed-with-information episodes of the show that we’ve ever had. I want to emphasize the really, really important thing that Jonathan taught us on today’s show. And that is that, it’s less about quality and more about consistency. This is something that I’ve seen time and time again in my business, and I’ve struggled with it in my business. And many of the guests on the show have said it’s about consistency, consistency, consistency. Consistently creating that content day after day, week after week, as Jonathan and Russell have done on the beginner internet podcast.
So if you would do me a favor, if you’re on the website, please scroll down and leave a comment for me, and let me know, what do you think of the show? What did you like about it? What did you not like about it? Also if you’re in iTunes, leave a rating. You can leave a rating between 1 and 5 stars, and I’d love to hear what you think, and I’d love for everyone else on iTunes to know what you think. So until next time.
For more information about Jonathan, visit:
Self-Help resources we discussed:
- Success Principles (http://www.thesuccessprinciples.com)
- Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich <please link to: http://www.amazon.com/Think-Grow-Rich-Napoleon-Hill/dp/1612930298/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378687401&sr=1-1%3E )
- Zig Ziglar (http://www.ziglar.com)