Jeff Steinmann: Hello, and welcome to the How to Quit Working show. Today on the show, we are going to be talking to Scott Fox. Now Scott is the author of a book called Click Millionaires. He’s also a serial entrepreneur and know that does not mean that he started a company that makes cereal, that means that he started multiple successful companies. And his mission now is to help other people who want to be just like him and create awesome internet-based businesses and he’s going to tell us all about how to do that and all about his story on today’s show. Scott, welcome to the show.
Scott Fox: Thanks, Jeff. I’m happy to be here.
Jeff: Yeah. Scott, you are a real interesting guy for the show because you’re all about lifestyle. Now, I saw when I read on your bio that you have a law degree and you’ve created several businesses. You’ve done a lot of really interesting stuff in your life. Tell us a little bit about how did you get from just being some kid in high school that needed to get a job to where you are today.
Scott: It’s a long and strange story which makes a lot more sense and anybody over about 30 knows when you look in retrospect, it makes a lot more sense until along the way. Today, well I guess it’s really been… it fits with the theme of the show. It’s been a search for a lifestyle.
I grew up in the inner city of Detroit without much money and when I got into college, I put myself through college and decided that money was what I needed and that is what I needed I guess, among other things. I went to Wall Street. I made a small fortune there. At a fairly young age, I did very well. Pretty much retired by the time I was 25 because it turned out that the lifestyle of an investment banker is brutal. And I enjoyed the work and found it stimulating and it paid very well but I just couldn’t see myself doing it forever. So I moved on from that.
As you mentioned, I went to law school. I tried being a lawyer because that was the other thing you were supposed to do if you’re a good student and check all those boxes and make lots of money. That’s right. I tried that for awhile and then I tried the entertainment industry, did very well there. I got into technology in Silicon Valley with start-ups and especially most of my corporate career was with the intersection of entertainment and technology and the internet. And that’s where I am today because all of those things, I had the corner office several times and everytime, I was making more money than I needed and was even less happy.
So, the punchline I guess is, it sounds like it fits pretty well with your show, Jeff. It’s that money is not everything. There’s a lifestyle that’s important and that’s what Click Millionaires and my website, clickmillionaires.com, we have a forum there. That’s everything I do these days. I’ve figured it out, at least 80 percent anyway. And I try to help other people figure that out, too.
Jeff: Well, that’s cool. See, you did a lot of different things and you said a number of the different things you did. Being a lawyers, working on Wall Street, working at the tech start-ups. It was all not giving you the lifestyle that you wanted but giving you more than enough money. What was the point at which you switched and said, you know what? I’m just going to look at this totally differently.
Scott: Yeah. I guess I couldn’t pick one point. I guess everytime I tried a new career, I thought, well this must be… you heard my story already. I had that point maybe five different times in five different industries and I guess I really gave up on trying to find happiness working for somebody else. Because when you work for somebody else, by definition, they don’t have your best interests at heart. And even if you have a good job and a good boss, in the economy these days, that’s still no guarantee of security. And oftentimes, bosses aren’t as good as you liked them to be or you have to work with people you don’t care about or you’re doing things you would rather not be doing, at least part of the time. And it can take you away from your friends and family. A lot of you have to travel or work long hours. I mean, it’s a long list of problems with traditional employment.
And after I experimented enough, I finally got it through my thick head that hey, I don’t have to work for somebody else. And in my personal case, along the way I had started writing books. Click Millionaires, this is actually my third book about e-commerce and how to use the internet to build your own businesses. And the first book was simply Internet Riches, it was called. It was just about how to build a website and make money. That’s literally the title, Internet Riches. I wrote the book on Internet Riches. Because I had made plenty of money online. As a matter of fact, I give the profits for my books to charity. This is a real effort to help other people figure this out like I have.
So Internet Riches was just about how to make money. And then my second book, e-Riches 2.0 was how you can use social media and modern online marketing methods to publicize the business that the first book taught you to build. By the time I got to the third book, I really realized—and this is where the light bulb really went on—what I’m really doing here is trying to build a lifestyle business, and that’s what Click Millionaires is about and I guess why you invited me to join you today. The lifestyle is—if you have enough money, I mean not having money sucks, of course, but if you can have at least some money, then the lifestyle becomes I think really important.
Jeff: Sure, sure. Well, tell me a little bit about what is your lifestyle like? What is it that you want out of lifestyle? Because lifestyle means something different to everybody. But tell us a little about what’s your lifestyle like?
Scott: Sure. That’s a great question, and you’re right. It’s not a cookie cutter answer and I guess that’s one of the things I’ve figured out. I was raised to think that having a big job for a big company, ideally with a big paycheck and hopefully with the power to boss other people around and all that combined to make you personally happy and at least for me, it didn’t. If anybody’s listening to this and they have a job they like, more power to you. I’m just not wired that way. So for me, I figured out eventually, it’s really about flexibility. So I just like getting up when I want to get up. I like going to bed when I want to go to bed. I like wearing what I want to wear. And I know that sounds trivial but this is my life.
So I just got tired of it and going to meetings with people who either wouldn’t listen or wanted to argue or you know, I mean, you’ve had a few jobs, I’m sure. There’s just lots of baggage with all that and for me, it was really a quest for independence. And I don’t mind working. I still work hard even though I don’t necessarily need to that much. I work a lot because I enjoy work. I’m actually wired to be a business guy. I like business. I’m not a writer. I’m a business guy who happens to write books. And I enjoy business so that’s fine. But doing businesses I enjoy is worth to me, at least to me, making less money than doing something I don’t enjoy for more money.
Jeff: Absolutely, absolutely. How did you figure out all of these internet stuff? Because a lot of folks are listening to this and they’re thinking, yeah, internet marketing is a discipline. It’s viewed as a separate thing and I think certainly where we’re going in the next couple of years and really, I think we’re kind of already there, it’s just a part of business, right? It’s not this big separate thing. But it’s really intimidating to people, right? Because they’re like, oh my god, there’s all this technology and squeeze pages and social media and blogs and podcasts and this cast and Google hangouts and you name it, all this stuff. How did you, Scott, wrapped your arms around all of that stuff? And I’d like to add that you did it back in the day when the industry was less mature than this today?
Scott: Yeah. And I think that’s the answer. That’s insightful of you. The reason I got into it was because I was in graduate school at Stanford University in the early ‘90’s. And as you probably know, if anybody knows the history of the internet, that’s when Yahoo and eBay and all these things started and those people were my peers, right? So I was lucky enough to be… I didn’t found eBay although one of my buddies did. So I don’t have a big name like that but I kind of grew up with the internet so it wasn’t as… honestly, it was such a small world 15 years, 20 years ago. Gosh, 20 years ago now that it wasn’t that hard. You learn a little bit at a time kind of like a language, right? If you grew up in France, then you speak French.
I kind of grew up in Silicon Valley there at a crucial time in my life so I learned the internet along the way, and I stuck with it, obviously. So it was not easy. But that can be discouraging perhaps to your listeners. I don’t mean it that way because obviously, you can’t wind the clock back and learn the way I did. But that’s why I wrote the books. Literally, that’s why I wrote the books because I kept having people ask me even 10 years ago, how do you do this? How do you do that? How do I raise money? How do I build a website? Blah, blah, blah.
And one day, I was on the phone with a good friend who was looking for answers like this and I talked—he asked one question and I talked for 45 minutes straight. And then there was dead silence at the end and I said, “Lucy, Lucy.” “Yeah?” I said, “Are you still interested?” “Yeah, you know, you could write a book.”
Jeff: And the rest is history.
Scott: I blew it right out. It was a 45-minute lecture so that’s why I wrote my first book. And that did very well and that led to the other books. But I write those books for non-technical people. I write them to share what I’ve learned because I think the internet is a big party and everybody deserves to be invited. It’s not an exclusive Silicon Valley club. I don’t think you need a Computer Science degree from Stanford or anywhere else. You don’t need a million dollars in venture capital anymore. Regular people can do this. And I don’t know your background, but you probably don’t have a Ph.D. in Computer Science either and it sounds like you’ve figured this out pretty well.
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It’s about becoming devoted to it and then just charging forward with the help of people like you who have all of the information down for us in a way that’s easily understandable. I look back and I wish, how I wish I would have just started a blog in 1998, right? But as the internet has grown and got bigger and bigger, there’s more people out there, more people trying to do it and it’s gotten harder and harder and harder. There’s more competition out there. There’s more people doing things. How do we get heard? And how do you make a name for yourself when there is so much out there?
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Scott: Yeah, yeah. Okay, great question. And that is the challenge, I agree. It was a big, green field 20 years ago and gradually, it’s become condominiums. So yeah, that’s the challenge. I think there’s a couple of answers. The one is the business, the answer which is a niche. You’ve got a niche, niche, niche down. And Amazon could start just a bookstore and now take over the books space. Today, if you’re going to start a bookstore online, good luck. It’s going to be tough, right?
But if perhaps you could find something—and this is where it starts to get more personal and to me, more interesting and for you and your audience, more lifestyle is what if it was a bookstore about something I really cared about? What if it was… I put a lot of myself into it? And I shared my personal interests. So maybe it’s a bookstore about—I’m just making this up—but scuba diving books. Because I love scuba diving and it turns into a labor of love a bit and you really share your passion for scuba diving and you sell some books but then you sell some gear and you get some advertisers. Ideally, you narrow it down. It turns out you like to scuba dive off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia so you make relationships with people in Queensland, Australia and you got something going there.
It’s really about niche-ing down but also sharing of yourself and your passions and hopefully getting some of that out there. And the key is to find where you have enough people interested that will actually pay you money with something that you’re interested in. And if you can find that—I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not a get-rich-quick guy. I wrote three books and I’m not done yet, right? I’m just trying to figure this out myself. If you can find that overlap between something you’re interested in and something other people need help with or are interested in enough, then it might be a pretty narrow niche. But if you can find that overlap, that’s where you find success today.
Jeff: So you advise overlapping something that you’re interested in with something that people want rather than maybe just figuring out where there’s a hole in the market and then filling that regardless of whether it’s something that you care about or not like pink scarves or orange elephants, right?
Scott: Yeah. Well, I do. But either way can make money, right? Your example there is, that’s how you make money. If all you want to do is make money, that’s fine. But lots of people write books about that. You can go to business school and lots of gurus want to teach you that and there’s lots of podcasts about just making money. You and I, I think, share an interest in the lifestyle that goes around in making money.
And that’s why I’d suggest something that interests you because if you put up a website and you just pour all your energy into something about—to continue your example, pink scarves just because that’s what your search engine keyword research suggested there was a niche for you to fill. Well, that’s great. Maybe we’ll make a bunch of money and sell a lot of scarves but you’ve created another job. And a job is not… I know you can find a job, at least I hope you can. But I’m here to help you figure out how to do something you enjoy and not just create another job for yourself. I’d like you to do something you enjoy that is sustainable and you get excited about doing so that you want to keep doing it.
Jeff: What if you don’t really know, Scott, what your interest is or what is really going to get you charged up in the business? How do you suggest figuring that out?
Scott: Yeah, that’s a tough one. I agree. We spend a lot of time on that in my books and in myself . The best way is to practice. A lot of people are trained to think that they’re only good at one thing. You have a job as a mechanic and you’re a good mechanic but that’s it.
But nobody’s that one-dimensional. Maybe you’re a mechanic and you’re also a dad or a mom or an uncle or an aunt or grandpa or whatever. You also went to school somewhere. Your family is from some place. There’s some religion that maybe you’re involved and you have hobbies. You belong to clubs. You have enthusiasm for sports or travel or restaurants or whatever it is. All of those things are different aspects of your personality that maybe up for sharing. Not all of them, right? It’s hard to make money if you just want to sit and play video games by yourself but all that content between your ears could be of help to someone.
And in the Click Millionaires book, I laid out seven principles that I’ve figured out from my own businesses and working with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years. And these seven principles talk about how to think differently and design a business instead of just building a business. But design a business that will make money and also fulfill your own lifestyle goals. And the first of those is number one, is help other people and that’s where the overlap is. How do you find your niche that helps other people? I’m sorry, I got away from your question.
Jeff: No, it’s fine. It’s good stuff.
Scott: How do you figure the niche? Here’s the answer to that. I was getting there. To find a niche takes practice. You need to look at all of the ideas that you have, the things you’re interested. And we actually… in the book, I have what’s called a niche business identification checklist. And in the book, there’s 15 or 18 questions and on the website, the clickmillionaires.com, there’s a longer version that my publisher wouldn’t let me put in the book as it is too long but it’s about 30 questions.
And these are the same questions I use myself. I’ve started dozens of websites. I have a dozen running right now, different niches I’m exploring all the time, making money. And this is the same checklist I used myself and you can come and get it for free. It’s called the Niche Business Identification Checklist and take any idle idea and run it through and it will help you score them. So there’s, like I said, 30 questions and each—you rank 30 different things on a scale of one to five and you can add it up and it gives you an objective tool to really think about this. Well, do I like pink scarves or do I want orange elephants? It’s hard to compare especially if you don’t have a business or a technical background. But this niche I.D. checklist can help you.
And then, the forum that we run there is where we support people and it’s free. It’s staffed by my moderators and myself and again, free. If you bought one of my books, you can come in and then we’ll help you. We’ll talk about it and say orange elephants, how did you do on the checklist? What score did you get for that? Well, maybe not. What are you thinking about this? We’ll actually dialogue with people. We’ve got thousands of members from all over the world helping each other figure this stuff out.
Jeff: Oh, that’s awesome.
Scott: Yeah, it is. It’s a lot easier when you don’t do it alone. I guess that’s what I was trying to make.
Jeff: Yeah. So if somebody has an idea, right, and they go figure checklist, they bought one of your books, they can actually go out to this forum and get real live feedback, talk to other people in the same situation and get input from your moderators.
Scott: Yes. Absolutely. And me too, I’m not there as much as my moderators are but I try to be.
Jeff: Cool. We’ll link that up below the show here.
Scott: Well, thank you.
Jeff: That’s really awesome. But Scott, what happens if somebody picks a niche, right? And I decide that I want to do… let’s say I want to do the pink scarves because I’m really just crazy passionate about pink scarves. What if it doesn’t work? What if nobody buys?
Scott: Yeah. Well, two answers to that. The short answer is, try again. The big scary thing about failure is really I think like 20th century education in business that has changed. In the 20th century, to build a business around pink scarves took a lot of time and money and energy and commitment. You had to buy a whole bunch of scarves. You had to warehouse them where you had to source them. Warehouse then get the money to buy them all, put them in a warehouse, open a store, do the advertising, ship everything, hire some people, maybe get insurance and parking and fax machines and all, da da da da da. It’d take you a hundred grand to even get—even to open your doors for business to sell the first scarf. It might take you a hundred thousand dollars. Today, maybe a $699 a month hosting plan, a bluehost and WordPress site, and you’re in business. Right?
If you’re over about 12 years old, you still have been raised to think of failure as the end. And in fact, it’s the beginning. In Silicon Valley, there’s this phrase, fail forward fast. Just try again! Okay. That website didn’t work. In fact, you don’t have to kill it for $699 a month, just maybe you were too early. Just let it boil along. Try something else. Either some offshoot of the pink scarf thing, maybe it’s purple scarves, maybe it’s pink hats, I don’t know, just to continue the metaphor on some other angle. Or by doing that you rise, hey that was dumb. I was just making this up when I’m really into this lawn furniture.
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And just trying again and experimenting is something that we’re just not taught to do or taught to get the A, get all the questions exactly right, check the boxes, color in the lines and it isn’t that important anymore. You can fail on the internet and if nobody goes to your website, nobody will even know you failed. Go figure, right? So it’s not as big a deal as it used to be. I understand people don’t want to fail. I don’t want to fail either but I have to tell you, I have failed more times than I’ve succeeded. But the trick is, that the successes outweigh the failures and you get to do that. You have to keep going.
Jeff: Awesome advice. One of the things that you said I thought was so cool is you said failure is not the end, it’s the beginning.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah. I hope so anyway, right? I mean, if you just take off your first shot, you found Facebook, wow! Fabulous! Good for you. The media loves those stories. They love these stories of the individual genius who changed the world. The Mark Zuckerberg, the Steve Jobs, Henry Ford. But that doesn’t really happen that often. Not many people have that kind of vision combined with all the execution and luck and become billionaires.
But the fact is, we don’t need to be billionaires. And that’s where the lifestyle thing comes back again. I think most people would be far happier with say, a hundred thousand dollars a year doing something they really enjoy than being a billionaire doing something that—well, billionaire might be a bit much. I think I’m going there—doing something they don’t like. And that’s the decision I’ve made.
Jeff: Yeah. Now, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Once you figure out… maybe let’s just roll with the pink scarves. I’m not even sure where I came up with that but we’ll roll with it, right? So we figure out that we wanted to start a business around these pink scarves. How do we know what type of business, right? Should we sell pink scarves? Should we consult with people about pink scarves? That’s almost kind of ludicrous. But I think you know what I’m saying, right? So what kind of business? What kind of businesses do the best? And maybe what if a lifestyle trade-offs of different types of businesses online?
Scott: Yeah. These are great questions. You’ve been thinking about this stuff.
Jeff: It’s what I do.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. Well, this is the decision and it’s a huge decision that’s part of the lifestyle business development process. And then the way I call it is format. So what’s the format you’re going to choose? Like you said, is it an e-commerce website where you’re selling the scarves or is it a blog, you’re blogging about scarves. Is it a podcast about scarves? Is it a YouTube channel about scarves? Is it a community about scarves, et cetera et cetera. So the format to me becomes—and this is where my advice gets even more radical, at least compared to traditional business school advice—business school professors would say, do the research, find the one with the highest profit margin and then put all of your resources at that. And again, financer, if all you want to do is try to make money.
But if you’re trying to design a lifestyle business like I do it, like we talk about all the time at clickmillionaires.com, you need to incorporate something they will never even bring up which is what do you want to do? What do you like to do? How do you want to spend your time? And it turns out for example, if you want to do a pink scarves blog but you’re a terrible writer, well, I don’t care how profitable it is. You’re going to be miserable, right? So how about a podcast, right? You’re a good talker, Jeff, right? Podcasting’s fun, why not?
Jeff: Like it’s a blast.
Scott: Or if you have maybe connections in China and they make pink scarves really cheap and you find that interesting to go to China, well then, go to China and source those scarves and you’ve created a different lifestyle for yourself in one shot because you get to go back and forth to China and the website is just kind of an offshoot of your lifestyle travels.
So there’s lots of ways to do this but I guess what I’m advocating is to design your business around what you want. It’s okay to say, this is what I want out of my life. This is how I want to spend my time. This is what I enjoy and what I’m good at. And as long as those factors overlap at least somewhat with the audience’s interests and needs that they’ll pay for, that’s where you start to find that sweet spot. So I think format’s a critical question. I don’t know if anybody’s ever asked me that before and it’s very insightful.
Jeff: Cool, cool. Great advice. What if I’m listening to this and I’m saying, Scott, this all sounds great. I’m totally onboard. I want lifestyle. I am crazy about pink scarves and I’m ready to go but I just don’t know where the hell to start.
Scott: Yeah. Well, this is unfortunately, I don’t have a better answer except one that sounds pretty self-serving. I guess the first would be to listen to all of Jeff’s episodes because I presume there’s good advice in every episode of the show. And then other than that, honestly, I go by my books that’s why I spent years writing these books and decades figuring out what to put in the books, right? Again, I’m not a writer. I just started writing because people like my advice.
So, Click Millionaires is about exactly this stuff. I tried really hard. There’s a 10-step plan to make yourself an expert even in the field you don’t know anything about. We’ve got the seven lifestyle business design principles that I mentioned, the niche, the business identification checklist and all of that’s backed up by coming to our forum where we’ve got thousands of people talking about this stuff all the time and you can join for free. I literally don’t know a better way to get started if you don’t know. That’s why I write.
I just have so many people and I see so many people being left out by this digital revolution. And I just don’t think it’s right. The progress that’s being made should not just be kept among the wealthy and the highly-educated. It should be out with the people. The internet is a huge platform for democracy. Literally, we’ve seen that in the Middle East with some of the uprisings and stuff. But here for business, the internet can democratize business opportunity. I would love all of your listeners to come and join me and help share this knowledge. It’s not rocket science. They can do this and I’d like to help.
Jeff: Yeah. The stuff that you’re talking about—and I’ve been on your website and the resources that you offer are some of the most really clear and actionable “how to get started” type resources that I think I’ve ever seen particularly in the online space. So it’s really, really great stuff.
Scott: Thank you. We try hard to make it clear. We’re regular folks, big plain English. The problem with so much advice out there is that it’s tainted by affiliate links or these people that are—they call themselves consultants are really sales people, right? And they’re always trying to… they make it sound harder than it is.
You can spend a fortune on search engine optimization when it’s really not that hard but the right keywords in the right places, at least for a niche website. It’s not rocket science. You don’t need to pay somebody thousands of dollars or all these guru online who sell $5,000 special video courses that you have to buy this weekend. I don’t do that stuff. We have some affiliate links and things like that on our sites so that we can pay the cost of paying the moderators, right? But the profits go to charity above that and maybe that’s why the advice is clear because we’re not trying to hide the ball.
Jeff: Okay, okay. I want to dive into something a little more specific because you mentioned search engine optimization. And I know that’s something that… that’s how you get your stuff found online. And the thing that we keep hearing is that it’s just getting harder and harder and harder to get ranked in Google. What’s your advice on that?
Scott: It is getting harder and harder to get ranked on Google, no doubt about it. There’s just a sheer amount of competition. But my advice is to stop trying to game it. Google’s trying really hard simply to deliver the most relevant content to its customers. Its customers are the searchers. They don’t care what’s on your website. They care what the person types in and if your website has the best answer, the highest quality, freshest content, then they’ll serve up your website.
So if your website is the best and you stop spending your time on secret backlinking strategies and hiring guys in India to spam the web with your links and blog commenting and outdated article, directory sort of searches and all these tips and tricks and schemes that have been developed over the past 10 years, you’ll rise to the top faster than by doing that stuff. They’re actively looking to devalue sites that are playing games and a lot of the people that teach search engine optimization, they want it to be hard so they keep making it look like all these schemes to work and they don’t. It’s hard in a very competitive area. Like if you’re selling cars or something, it’s just a really popular thing with lots of people bidding and stuff. It’s going to be tough.
But again, if you niche down to… you like Italian sports cars from the ‘70’s and that’s going to be easier. And if you have the best blog in the internet about Italian sports car from the ‘70’s, I think you are going to get found. And so, my point is, I would focus more on content and helping your readers rather than trying to beat Google. Because Google is smarter than you, they’ve got more engineers and then they have a company on the planet and probably smarter engineers on top of that. They’re trying really hard to just make this easy. And if you will just play the game they wanted to play, then create quality content. I think your site will rise.
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Jeff: And see, that goes back to what you said about niche-ing, right? Because it’s way easier to have the best content on the internet about Italian sports cars in the ‘70’s than about cars.
Scott: Right. Exactly. A lot of people, when they come in, they say, I want to do this. And they think that they’re going to start a big website and take over the world. Very common to have people come into the forum of clickmillionaires.com and say, I want to start a blog about women’s issues. That’s great but that could mean so many things. You’re never going to win, right?
Nobody goes to Google and says, I need help with women’s issues. People go in and they say, how to help my grandmother with diabetes or my daughter’s getting bullied at school in a real specific sort of stuff. And if you can match your content to those sorts of queries, then you’ll rise in the search engine rankings much faster than if you just try to do—cover all women’s issues all the time.
Jeff: Those two examples under the category of women’s issues that you gave are very, very different.
Scott: Yeah. Right, exactly. I’d rather I recommend—and this is but I’d rather see you be king of a small niche island than just a regular citizen in a highly populated city. That’s the kind of idea. Pick something and own it. And then you have a beach head to expand. So you do have the best blog about grandmothers with diabetes, then you could expand to grandmothers with other issues. There’s lots of different directions to take that but you need to get some traction first so that you have some audience and frankly, so that you have some income, right?
You don’t want to build real common problem I see with entrepreneurs, they have this grand vision and they can see how everything works when they have a million visitors a week but how do they pay the mortgage until they get there, right? You got to step one step at a time. What’s the niche? How are we going to get paid this month? Or maybe next week, give it a few months especially if you’re only doing it part time but start with the small, minimum product and something that will actually make you some money and then build from there. Don’t try to take over the world when nobody’s even heard of you yet.
Jeff: Sure, sure. What would you recommend, Scott, to somebody who is maybe has a couple of kids, working a full time 48-hour a week job, wants to get out of that job, wants to create a lifestyle but doesn’t have a lot of time? What are the most important things that they should be focusing on?
Scott: Yeah, that’s a big one. And I sympathize with those folks. I’m one of those folks myself at least in terms of time constraints. The importance of your family and existing job, protecting your current income is huge. I’m not a guy who says, hey you’ve got an idea, mortgage your house, borrow from your parents, whatever. Go and chase it. No. Be careful. You’re an adult.
I’m a big fan of books like the 4-Hour Workweek and things like that. But not everybody to your point, not everybody is young, male, went to Princeton and has time to run around the world all the time, right? I write my books for everybody else. And so, I usually start with a concept of a time budget. You hear a lot about financial budgets which we’re all familiar with but what’s really important when you’re an entrepreneur is to protect your resources and invest them as wisely as you can.
So if you’re a busy parent with a full time job and multiple kids and you only have two hours every Tuesday and every other Sunday, well then, I would put those in a budget. I’ve got… that adds up to say, 23 hours a month. Well, stick to that budget. Write it down and make sure that you have a list of tasks that will fit within that time budget. And that way, you won’t drive yourself crazy because it’s really easy to have a grand vision but with only 23 hours a month, it’s going to take a while to get somewhere.
So set your goals in small, definable steps. Celebrate the victories along the way but keep to your budget. Okay, it’s Sunday. That means I got to go and this week, what am I going to do? Well, I’m going to write four blog posts and set up a Facebook page, whatever is. Bang, bang, bang. If you give yourself a list like that in small steps, you’ll feel the progress and you’ll feel better rather than just saying, oh man, I’m just overwhelmed. I’m just going to watch the game instead. You don’t get anywhere. If you want different results, you got to do different things.
Jeff: And a great way to find more time to put into your budget is to shut the TV off.
Scott: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. As Gary Vaynerchuk used to say, stop watching Lost.
Jeff: Love it, love it, love it. So this isn’t… what you’re saying, Scott, you’re being real upfront with us here. This isn’t about “get rich quick”.
Scott: No, I don’t think that happens in real life, right? The media loves that and believe me, I love it too. But this is reality, right? You know who you are and you know your education, what you’ve accomplished. Let’s be realistic especially if you’ve already got a family and a mortgage, you got to protect those things. Like I said earlier, if you have an idea and you step out there and you hire a team in Estonia to build your website and suddenly, it takes off and you’re a zillionaire, that’s freaking great. I’m thrilled for you, really honestly. But the odds are small.
I’m much more realistic about this. I want you to see a way to create a path that you can change your life that is doable for a regular human. And then if you get lucky on top of that, fabulous! Excellent, right? But let’s… don’t be disappointed because you keep not winning the lottery, right? That’s not fair to you. You have something to offer. You only have one shot at this life, what are you going to do with it? You’ve got x hours available, how are you going to invest this? Stop wasting and spending your time but you still get to go to a movie now and then or whatever it is you like to do to blow off steam but invest what you’ve got. And if you do over time, you can build something. I firmly believe that and that’s why I try so hard to share this kind of approach with people.
Jeff: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So what you’re telling us is that it’s not too late to get involved with the internet.
Scott: No. I don’t think it is. It certainly could have been easier a while ago when there was less competition but the tools are actually easier and cheaper all the time. So you can complain or you can get busy. Now, you have some Chinese proverb but the best time ever to start was last year. The second best time? Right now. What have you got left, right? So you can complain or you can get busy. If you want to change things, you got it. You got to get busy or at least moderately busy in the right direction. And that’s what I encourage people to do.
Jeff: I love the concept of a time budget because I think that’s a way, it’s a real actionable way for folks to get started even when they’re in that really tough situation that makes it really easy to not get started.
Scott: Yeah, that’s right. And the other one is to not have to do it alone. Clickmillionaires.com, I call it the friendliest forum on the internet. We give awards literally every month through, people win an award that’s voted by the audience as who’s been most helpful this month? I mean, anybody who’s not helpful, we kick them out, right? It’s friendly and helpful. But it’s not the only forum on the web either.
Clickmillionaires.com is mine but you don’t have to do this alone. There’s lots of places you can go and in the real world too, you can meet people at local meet-up or whatever. If you try to do it alone, it’s hard. And I would encourage people, if you have an idea, don’t be so worried somebody’s going to steal it. That’s the other thing. I see people are so afraid that they’ve got the only idea and most ideas are good but what really makes them profitable is the work. And even if you gave five other people your idea, they’re going to implement it differently than you anyway. So, and probably not do the work.
So, I wouldn’t be so worried about sharing. I’d be more worried about taking care of yourself and to do that interacting with other people, getting support, getting advice to save your time and money, all those are good reasons to interact and get past doing this alone.
Jeff: Excellent. Scott, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on this journey of yours?
Scott: Let’s see.
Jeff: I love asking that question.
Scott: Yeah. Well, there’s lots of them. I mean, that one could paralyze me. The biggest mistake. Well, financially, I guess I have two answers. Financially, I was in early on a lot of big ventures and I probably could have been a billionaire if I had played my cards differently. I was in the right place at the right time and so there’s that. But that’s money, and I’ve done fine otherwise anyway.
But personally, I think the answer is the one that’s more important is that I would have done this sooner. I tried. I spent years, decades, trying to work for other people, trying to put a square peg and a round hole because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. And I did it well but everytime—sometimes it’s quick as a week and sometimes it’d take me two, three, four years. I realized this wasn’t what I should be doing and I think that my life has been a lot better since I realized that I’m the CEO of me even if I’m not the CEO of anybody else. And that’s a better place to be, I think, for anybody that’s like me and maybe you, Jeff. Being your own boss has its ups and downs but I’m just happier and I wish I’d done it sooner.
Jeff: So if you’re listening, don’t make the mistake of not starting sooner.
Jeff: Start now.
Jeff: Scott, what’s the biggest piece of advice you want to leave our listeners with?
Scott: You just gave it, I think. I really don’t think there’s much downside to getting started. You can at least go read one of my books or come into forum or listening more to Jeff’s shows. Whatever it is, however you like to consume your information, you have an opportunity to be more than you are. I think that’s true of everybody and I think internet’s a great place to explore and express that. And if you do it right, it can make you money and it can make you money with more fun and less stress than the way you’re making money now. So, you summed it up. Why not now?
Jeff: Awesome. Get started now. And Scott, if folks want more information about you, where can they go?
Scott: Clickmillionaires.com is where I’m at and that’s our free forum. And I’m there and my staff is there and thousands of other people from around the world that would love to meet you. And in fact, I won’t even make you buy one of my books. If you want to just put or you put in Jeff as your referral code and we’ll let you in anyway. We’d be happy to have you. We’re just looking for friendly people that want to work together and help each other succeed. So come to clickmillionaires.com, put in the referral code Jeff and we’ll let you in and hope to meet you.
Jeff: What a generous offer, Scott. Thank you so much for that on behalf of all of our listeners. We’re also going to have a link to all of Scott’s books below so you can order those off of Amazon. You can go to Click Millionaires and get more information about Scott. And Scott, it has been a pleasure talking to you. Love talking to like-minded people like yourself and I look forward to staying in touch. And thanks for all those great value you’ve provided our listeners.
Scott: No, that’s my pleasure, Jeff. Thanks for having me on and let me share that message. I appreciate it and I’m sure a lot of people appreciate what you’re doing, too. Nice stuff.
Jeff: Awesome, awesome advice from Scott and what a generous offer that he extended it to join his forum without even requiring a purchase, go to clickmillionaires.com and then if you click on forum off of on the right, you’ll see a place where you could enter that and when it asks for a referral code, enter Jeff. And get involved with Scott’s forum. There just aren’t other places that I know of that you can get that kind of individualized one-on-one support for free. And all from people who know what they’re doing and I know Scott occasionally is in that forum. He also has some moderators. But great, great resource there so definitely take advantage of that at clickmillionaires.com.
I always like to highlight some of the really good nuggets that we get from our guests. When I ask Scott what his biggest mistake was, he kind of jokingly said, oh I could go on all day about that. And the important thing to remember there is if you’re wanting to start a business and you’re sitting there thinking, oh gosh, what if I get it wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? What if it doesn’t… what if this idea that I have doesn’t work? Remember that all of the successful people on the How to Quit Working show, all the successful people, period, have had multiple failures before they got to success. And I know sometimes, that’s hard to hear.
But just like Scott said, failure is not the end. It’s the beginning. So if you haven’t failed yet, you haven’t begun yet. So don’t think of failure as a big negative, bad, awful thing that should be avoided, think of it as a step in the right direction. And you’ll be successful. So get out there, do that failing that you have to do. Nobody likes it. Scott’s even said he doesn’t like it but it is a fact of life and all you can do… you can’t avoid it. You cannot avoid failure. But you can reframe how you look at it. And that’s the piece that you have control of. So take control of that, get out there and fail.
If you would like more information on how to build an amazing lifestyle business just like Scott and all the amazing guests on the How to Quit Working show, go to howtoquitworking.com/program and enter your information. You’ll get a free video training series there which has all kinds of great stuff and is just chock-full of great information and really gives you the tools, attitudes, and habits that the successful people on the show have. So go to howtoquitworking.com/program and enter your information, and it’s completely free. Get that free training series and enjoy that and use that to get to the next level.
Thank you as always for joining us on the How To Quit Working show. I have a blast making the show and I have a blast talking to these guests and I hope you have a blast listening to it and I hope that you get out there and create your own, amazing life of freedom.