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Episode #25 Transcript: Seven Critical Lessons on How to Start Your Own Business From 25 Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs - How To Quit Working

Episode #25 Transcript: Seven Critical Lessons on How to Start Your Own Business From 25 Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Hello, and welcome to the How To Quit Working show. Welcome to a very special episode of the show. This is the 25th episode, and I’ve got a really special show planned for you today.

Before we get into that, I wanted to start by just thanking everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and for all of the folks who have subscribed and the people who have sent me such great email and great feedback and great comments and all of the things that you’ve said, and sharing with me how the show has helped and inspired you. And that is what makes this whole thing worth it.

So, first of all, thanks to everybody for all of your support on the show so far. You know, we have had in the first 24 episodes almost 20,000 downloads. And the number of downloads goes up at just about every single time we release an episode which has just made this amazing. So, a couple of other people I want to thank. I want to thank all of our guests who – the folks who appear on the show. They come on here and they share all of their knowledge and experience, and they don’t get paid, they just get a little bit of exposure through the show.

But the thing that I think is so awesome about all of the guests on the show is that they always come on the show with one purpose and one purpose only. And that’s that they want to share what they have learned by creating this amazing lifestyle for themselves. And they would want to make it easier for the next person who’s trying to do it. So, they’re always coming at it from a place of just wanting to help and just wanting to contribute.

So, I also want to thank my assistant Khalid who puts these shows together. He does all the heavy lifting and all the legwork. And he does it flawlessly every single time so when everything comes out and it just looks right and perfect everytime, always on time, that is because of him. So thanks, Khalid. And then of course, whenever there is something wrong, it’s always my fault.

Now, before we get into the content on this episode, I want to start by talking about why did I create the show. As you probably know, 80% of people in this country go to work every single day, 5 days a week. They go in, and they do something that they don’t like. And their entire life is built around that thing that they do, that they need to make money, and they don’t like.

So, it ends up that this huge portion of everybody’s life is anchored by this thing that they don’t like to do. I want to show that there’s a different way. There’s another way to do things. There’s a way to do things that lets you do what you want all the time. And I mean, all of the time.

If you listen to a couple of these episodes, you’ll quickly understand that the guests of my show live a life that truly lets them do what they want every single day. When they get up, they go wherever they go to do their “work” and they do something that they love and that they really care about and that they’re really committed to.

What I wanted to do with the show is, I wanted to pull back a curtain on that a little bit. I wanted to show you what goes into creating that kind of lifestyle. And I wanted to show you what that lifestyle looks like for the people who have successfully created it. And most of all, I wanted to show you that it’s possible.

Because unfortunately, our society tells us that it’s not possible. Our society tells us that there is only one way to make money. Go to college. Get a job that you probably don’t like, and then go to that job everyday until you retire. And then, that’s when you enjoy life. And unfortunately, when you retire, you’re too old to really enjoy life. Most of it has gone by already.

So, I wanted to show you another way. And I wanted to show you that another way is possible. And I figured the best way to do that is to show you people just like you who have done this exact same thing. No matter who you are or what your situation is. If you go through these 24 episodes, you will find somebody who’s in a very, very similar situation.

So no matter what you have to say, maybe you say, “Well, I can’t do that, Jeff. I have kids to support.” Well, I actually counted, 11 of the 24 people who’ve been on the show have kids. And there’s I think a couple more, too, we just didn’t talk about it on the show. So at least 11, almost half of them had kids. And in every single one of those cases, we talked about how they’ve actually done this and how they have managed to balance building a lifestyle business with the demands of raising children. And they all do it successfully. And not a single one of them has ever had a regret, or said that they wished they hadn’t done it. So, that’s an example of the type of things that you might be thinking that there’s definitely a guest out there who had that same challenge.

Another example is, a lot of people say, “Well, I don’t know how to do this stuff. I don’t know how to start a business. I don’t know how to get on line, or I don’t know how to do this.” Well again, most of my guests did not know what they were doing. That sounds terrible to say but they would all agree wholeheartedly that when they went into this, they had a lot to learn. They all brought something to the table. It’s another thing that they all share. They all brought something to the table. They all had some sort of a skill, knowledge, desire, passion, something that they brought from their previous life into their lifestyle business that made it work.

And then, there’s this huge body of knowledge that they had to learn as they went along, and that’s just something that we all go through. And it’s just part of the process. So you can’t let that stop you. So anyway, my point is, that no matter what you think might be stopping you, there’s a guest on this show, there has been a guest on this show that had that exact same issue.

So what I’m going to do for this episode – there’s actually no guest on this show, this is just going to be me talking the entire time. Never done this before so I’m not even sure how it’s going to work out, but I do know it’s going to be fun. I’ve gone through all the episodes, and I have pulled out the seven most important lessons. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

I spent the entire morning – it’s about 2 o’clock in the afternoon – I spent the entire morning with a giant pot of coffee going through all of my notes from all of the episodes, replaying certain parts and really getting down to what are the seven most important things that you needed to know. You’re going to get the best of all of that right here in this episode. We’re going to count backwards.


#7: Be One Thousand Percent Dedicated

Charlotte Erickson embodies this the most. Charlotte picked up, moved to a different city. She moved to a city that was more conducive for developing her music career, which is what she really wanted to do. The other lesson that Charlotte taught us was, burn your bridges. She said, “I’m so dedicated that I am going to torch these bridges so that I have absolutely no plan B, no way to go back.”

And Nick Quick also said that when we talked to him. He said, “You know what? You got to burn your bridges so that there’s only one way to move, and that way is forward. That gives you no excuse to move backwards, no excuse to go to plan B, no excuse – most importantly – to quit or to go back to a corporate job or something else that’s not going to give you the lifestyle that you want.

So, the bottomline there is, this isn’t a hobby, this isn’t a game, this isn’t something you do on the weekends. This is life. This is your lifestyle. And that’s the way that you have to look at it. That’s what a thousand percent dedication and burn those bridges, because when you burn the bridges, as in you’re definitely dedicated. And not a lot of people on any kind of a business show or a podcast are going to give you that advice, but I’m telling you right now, burn your bridges.

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#6: Fight the Fear Monster

Sami Blackford coined the term Fear Monster on her episode. And I thought it was really cool because that’s really what it is. It’s like this monster that chases after you as an entrepreneur as somebody who’s doing something different in carving their own path. You’ve got this monster that sort of chases after you. Not a real monster, but a figurative monster that Sami calls the Fear Monster.

Tonya Recla also talked a lot about this, and I think Tonya made an awesome point. And she actually coaches people who are dealing with some of these similar type of issues. And what she said is, the way that she coaches people through this is that she just keeps asking “What if?” Right? So, if you’re afraid, generally the fear, the first surface fear that anybody has when they are starting their own business and leaving the security of a traditional job is money. It always starts with money. Where will I get the money? What if I don’t have enough money? What if nobody wants to pay me for my product or service?

The key to getting over those fears and getting past those fears is the constant rationalization. So constantly using your mind to say, “Okay well, what if this idea that I have for a business doesn’t work?” And this is one question that I ask myself a lot. What if this whole idea that I have doesn’t work? And I’ve actually had a lot ideas that don’t work. What happens there is that you find another idea.

And that’s the shift that you have to make. That’s the shift from, “Well, if this doesn’t work, I’m not going to have any money. I’m not going to be able to buy food, and I’m going to die.” That’s not the way to think. The way to think is, “If this doesn’t work, I’m going to figure something else out. I’m going to come up with another idea. I’m going to change my idea. I’m going to modify it. I’m going to do it a little differently. I’m going to change the price point. Whatever it may be. I’m going to make changes and modifications until I get to something that works.” And that is the thought process.

Another thing that Justin and Tonya Recla recommended highly was creating a support network. So, creating a network of people who are there for you, who are like-minded, who are there to support and uplift you when you have those moments of fear. Almost every episode of the show, we talked with the guest about fear. That was always something that came up, always something that we all face when we’re doing this, and something that all my guests face, and something that all of my guests got past. So, you can get past it, too.


#5: Don’t Make Money Your Primary Focus

This is a really, really important one. And this one took me the longest to figure out. But it’s about not making money your focus. Jeff Gitterman was one of my early guests. He actually experienced a lot of financial success. So he had a very successful company. He had all the money that he wanted, and he had experienced that success. And he also experienced that financial success didn’t really give him everything that we think it does. And that’s why Jeff then changed the way he does everything, and he now focuses on the things that give him more satisfaction such as his not-for-profit that does work with autistic children and their families.

Jeff Wilson also taught us a lot about that, in that Jeff has really structured his life in a way that it’s not very expensive, right? So he did a massive rehab of his house and a deep energy retrofit. He actually wrote a book about that process, but a key piece of the design of that rehab of the house, there were two things that were really key to that is that it was designed to be very energy-efficient. So he has very low utility bills, so when him and his family want to travel during certain parts of the year, they don’t have to worry about paying a lot of money to maintain a house that’s really expensive to maintain.

And then, the other thing that they did was they actually designed the house in such a way that part of it is a master bedroom but that part, that master bedroom, actually has a separate door so it could be potentially rented out to college students in the college town where he lives. So that gives him an alternative. Another way of lowering his expenses. And just really living inside his means so that lifestyle can be the focus and taking the focus, and taking a lot of attention away from having to make money in order to sustain all of the stuff that we have.

So, really important lesson there. And Jeff Wilson also talked about the book called Walden by Henry David Thoreau and I actually just finished that myself, which is a great book that really helps us to look at what is important in life? And what do we really need to be happy? Do we really need a lot of things to be happy? So, again, money and things not being a focus.

Also, we’ll just call out Jordan Harbinger as well on his episode. We talked about how he actually was living a big, expensive lifestyle in New York City when he was working as an attorney on Wall Street. And he was going out and picking up multi-hundred dollar bar tabs, and he was driving a nice car and had an expensive apartment and a very expensive lifestyle which when he lost that job, when he was downsized from that law firm, it all went away. And what he found was that gosh, he didn’t miss it. He didn’t miss it.

He’s now built a very successful business. But what he has not done is he has not picked back up that need for and all of those expensive things that just make your life harder to sustain and create a bunch of extra stress for you. And I think the key with money is, it is perfectly okay to want money and to want things. And to pursue things. And to pursue money, and to pursue those things, and to have those things. The key is, to not need it. Because if you need it, then you’re trying to fill a hole with something that’s just not going to fill the hole up. A lot of my guests talked about those, but those were a couple of the main ones.


# 4: Never Regret Anything

I always ask my guests. What is the biggest mistake that you made? And almost every single one of my guests prefaces their answer to that question by saying, “Well, you know, Jeff, I don’t regret anything.” And that is a key mentality to have when creating a lifestyle and creating any kind of a business.

So you got to know upfront that whatever you do, you’re not going to regret it. Because if you’re worrying, you’re going to be subconsciously worrying about regretting a decision. So when you don’t have regrets, and you know that you don’t have regrets, you’re able to make decisions faster and more effectively. Because you’re not worrying about, “Oh, am I going to regret this?”

That’s actually one of the 13 decisions in my book is, never, ever regretting anything. Because no matter what it is, no matter how it turned out, it will contribute to getting you to the next level. Where people fail is when they let those things be negative. And they let those things be something that stops them, prevents them from taking action in the future. Got to be okay with saying, “You know what? I’m moving forward with this. And it might be a huge mistake. But I’m okay with that because I know that even if it is a mistake, it’s going to move me forward, move me to the next level.” So, never, ever, ever, ever regret anything ever.

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# 3: Consistency, consistency, consistency

Everything that you do, you have to do on a regular basis at the same time, the same way, every single time. For example, this show comes out every Monday. Every single Monday. Now, there have been a couple of times when we’ve had – it’s generally been technical issues that have caused it to be Tuesday morning. But it’s really important that particularly, when you’re publishing content, which no matter what kind of business you have, we are all content publishers today. But that content has to come out consistently and regularly time and time again.

Jonathan Taylor made a really interesting point. So, Jonathan and his partner Russell are the co-creators of the Beginner Internet podcast. And he feels adamantly that the secret to the success of that podcast – and it’s one of the top internet marketing podcasts which is a very competitive market so that’s really impressive – but he is adamant that one of the key reasons why that has been successful is its consistency. And he actually feels that consistency is even more important than quality.

Certainly we have to put out quality work. We all have to do that. But he feels as though the consistency is what has made that podcast successful because it has come out every single week. And he’s seen his competitors come and go. He’s seen his competitors come and go, he’s seen his competitors not be consistent, maybe put out content on a semi-regular basis or just kind of at random different times but the consistency was important.

And consistency is important for a number of reasons. One of them being, just practice. Just plain old practice. With this podcast, this is going to be episode number 25. We’ve got the process for this thing down path. There’s no if, ands, or buts about it. We know how to make this thing happen. So when you’re doing things, do them consistently, do them over and over and over and over again.

And the repetition is also important because we are in a world now where there is more competition for attention than there has ever, ever been. Because anybody can get a blog post out on the internet within the next 15 minutes. Every single person listening to this could have blog post in the internet in the next 15 minutes. Whether you have a blog or not, you can have one in 15 minutes, right? So getting information out there is really easy, which means there’s a lot of it out there.

The way to get people’s attention is to keep at it consistently, consistently, consistently, consistently. And Jordan Harbinger also echoed the importance of consistency when we talked about his Art of Charm podcast. So, whatever you’re doing, it’s less important than what you’re doing than it is that you’re doing it consistently.


# 2: Make It About Something You Really Care About

A couple of my guests, I have found their level of devotion that they have to what they’re doing to be unbelievable. And one of the best examples of that is Myrna Lou. Myrna loves palmistry. She can’t stop doing it. I mean, she absolutely loves reading people’s palms and helping people through the information that she finds in their palms. And she’s been doing it for well over 20 years, and she loves every second of it. And it’s what she does every single second that she can. And when you’ve got that kind of dedication and that kind of passion, it’s really kind of hard to fail.

Melissa Williams is another one who just loves what she’s doing. She’s passionate about literacy and she loves children so she writes children’s books. And she has a company that publishes children’s books for other people. She works a lot. But she loves every single second of it. And she doesn’t call it work.

Karen Koenig is another one who’s very, very – cares very deeply about what she does. She had her own struggles with her relationship with food. Now, she helps other women with their relationship with food, and to improve their relationship with food. So they’re not yo-yo dieting and all that kind of stuff. And she’s very, very dedicated to that.

Jordan Harbinger’s Art of Charm podcast, the really good thing about that is that started with just him and one of his friends, just starting a podcast for fun because they wanted to help people discover the things that they had learned about how to talk to women, and how to interact with people in a way that makes them react to you and the way that you want to. And that started from just something that they thought was cool and that they wanted to help other people with. And lo and behold, it turned into what it is today.



Listen to what people are telling you they want from you. So, if you’re trying to figure out what expertise you have that you can start a business with, start by asking yourself this question. When people ask me for my advice, when people call me up and they say, “Hey, Jeff, can you help me with this?,”  “Jeff, tell me what you think about that,”  Jeff, can you come over and look at whatever.”

What is that thing that they’re asking you about? And that is the starting place for your business because that is what people  –even though you don’t even have a business yet – that is what people are moving towards you. People are gravitating towards you around that subject area. So that is absolutely your starting place. And that’s not all there is to it. Because the next follow up question that you have to ask yourself is, when they ask me this, what did these people really want? And that’s very different – it’s a very different question from what did you want to provide?

One of the biggest mistakes that was mentioned by many of our guests on the show was that they went off and they created something without knowing what the customer really wanted. They created the thing. Bob Baker talked about this, that they created a thing that they thought their customers or their prospects wanted. But they were wrong. Their prospects did not want that thing. They wanted something different. So they wasted a lot of time creating something that nobody bought.

So, the next step is be very in tuned in listening to what is it that your customers actually want. What you want to provide is kind of irrelevant. It’s actually very irrelevant. Now, you keep it in a topic area that you’re interested in and that you enjoy talking about, but it’s got to be the thing that they want.

And the final piece of that listening equation is to get really specific. And that’s also referred to as niching down or finding a niche. And what that means is, not selling to everybody who maybe wants career help, but rather to lawyers in their 30’s who want to advance their law career as an example. So, getting really specific on who it is that you serve because when you get up, when you’re up with that really broad level, and you’re up with that really non-specific level, there’s a lot of competition and what you’re saying can’t resonate specifically enough with your potential customer.

Let me talk a little bit more about what I mean by that. And what I mean by that is that particularly in the online space, when you’re selling something to someone without actually speaking to them – which is one of the keys of lifestyle – you have to be talking to them in a very, very specific way. And in a way that resonates very, very clearly with them. They have to know that you are offering the exact solution that they want. They have to know that you are talking exactly and directly to them, not to everybody who’s looking for a job. Not to everybody who wants to start a business. Not to everyone who wants to lose weight.

Those are a couple of examples of very, very broad niches that yes, it’s absolutely possible to sell things to those niches. But you have to start at a smaller, more specific, more niche level. And every marketing guru – it’s not just online, it’s everywhere, they all say that. Niche down. Get really specific at what you offer. And the biggest objection to that is, “But won’t I have fewer customers and won’t I make less money if I niche down?”

And the answer to that is no. You will have more money and more customers if you niche down because you’re talking more specifically and more directly to them. So if you look at targeting a hundred thousand people in a large niche versus 10,000, your percentage of buyers or percentage of people who you’re really resonating with will be much higher in that smaller number. And probably be a larger number.

So, niche down and listen, listen, listen. Never, ever create a product until you’ve talked to the market and understood from that market what it is that they want. That is the most important lesson that our guests have taught us. They have repeated it over and over and over and many of them have said, and not only that it is the most important lesson that I personally have learned on my journey and working with my clients, and it’s also probably the number 1 piece of advice that comes from all the business experts and gurus. So, why would you not do that?

So, again, I can’t stress enough the importance of listening to what customers want and niche it down to something really specific by listening to what they want. That is the top 7 lessons that my guests on the show have taught us.

Again, I want to thank all of our guests for sharing all of the awesome stuff that you’ve shared and just letting it flow and letting us hear about your struggles, sharing so openly and candidly what has you’ve helped so many people to see that there is a different way. And to see that there is another way to live your life that does not have anything to do with going to some 9 to 5 job that you hate 5 days a week.

So, thanks again to all of our guests for sharing now and then. This is not the last episode. This show is going to keep on going. It is going to keep getting better and better and better. In fact, just yesterday, we booked the next group of guests and we’ve just got some amazing stuff coming up. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anything, but we’ve got some really, really great guests coming. We’re just going to continue to step up the level and the information, and it’s just going to get better and better and better everytime.

And to that end, tell me what you want. Just open up your email and shoot me an email over at jeff@howtoquitworking.com. And let me know what you want to see on the show. What do you like about the show? What do you want us to keep doing? And what do you want to see us do that we’re not doing? Or what do you want us to stop doing? I want to hear it all. So send me feedback, jeff@howtoquitworking.com so that I can keep making this better and better and better.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already subscribed in iTunes and subscribe in YouTube and leave a comment below. Let us know what you think, and how you’re using this information.

And that is it for this 25th episode of the How To Quit Working show. It is no longer a new show. It is now an established show. Almost 20,000 views. This episode’s probably going to push us over to 20,000. So thanks for joining us. Tune in next time. Don’t forget to subscribe so you get notified, and we’re going to talk to another amazing person just like you who has said, to hell with this silly idea of going somewhere every single day and doing something they don’t like and created a lifestyle of freedom.

Thanks for joining us on the How To Quit Working show. Tune in next time when we’ll talk to another amazing person just like you, who is now living the ultimate life of freedom and doing it on their term. If you want to learn how to quit working, and get these episodes delivered directly to you, visit howtoquitworkingshow.com.

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About Jeff Steinmann

Jeff wants to help you Live More. He is the author of How to Quit Working, A Simple Plan to Quit Your Job for a Life of Freedom. He hosts a weekly show called The How to Quit Working Show that features lessons from Freedom Fanatics who quit their soul-sucking 9-5 job and created a business that lets them live a passionate life of freedom. Jeff also writes for several media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Lifehack and Elite Daily. Most of all, Jeff is a Freedom Fanatic, fiercely devoted to finding a better way to “do life”.

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