MBA1287 Starting a YouTube Channel in a Competitive Market +Free Ride Friday!
If you’re not on YouTube, you’re not marketing.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, after Google. And just as every entrepreneur seeks to climb the ranks of the Big G, you should be putting content onto humanity’s favorite video platform.
The only problem: there’s a ton of people doing exactly that.
Today, we discuss how to stand out, find your niche, and claim your own corner of YouTube. There are way too many voices out there, especially for popular topics and industries. It’s more difficult than ever to be noticed — and more important.
We’ll explain how the YouTube SEO game has changed, and how to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. We’ll also share specific resources you can use to learn more about climbing the YouTube ranks.
Even if you’ve never posted a video, it’s time to learn how to build your YouTube presence. Click Play!
Social media is changing. So is social media marketing.
If you’ve seen the news, you know that Facebook, Twitter, and the rest are doing a walk of shame after failing to protect user privacy. And as the public generally gets tired of overexposure, the social media world is shifting to something more segmented, more clustered, and yes, more private.
Start adjusting your marketing strategy now.
Today, we’ll discuss how the shift to private groups and messaging will change the landscape. The days of funneling leads from the newsfeed are coming to a close. Customer acquisition will require a different skill set than it used to — and email will become even more important than it already is.
Let’s get ahead of the curve, together. Click Play!
MBA1285 Q&A Wednesday: How do I get reviews and testimonials for my product?
Social proof is a marketing must. So how do you get it?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener needs reviews and testimonials for their website. Whether it’s for your homepage, or just to get your credibility going on review-heavy sites like Yelp or Amazon, you need evangelists.
Otherwise, it’s just your word against the competition’s.
Today, we discuss how to get more reviews — the kind that actually spur interest, trust, and growth. We explain how to get your customers to share what you want them to, without blatantly “bribing” anyone for good reviews.
We’ll get into who to ask, and how to ask from your existing customer base. We’ll detail how to leverage great customer experiences into testimonials, so your social proof is as genuine as it comes. Plus, we’ve also got great tips on how to get reviews even if you don’t have many (or any) customers. Click Play!
MBA1284 Why You Would Want to Keep Your Business Small
Sometimes, a small business should stay that way.
Not everything has to scale. Entrepreneurship isn’t about creating the biggest company possible; it’s about creating the life you want for yourself. And if that life doesn’t involve making billions, or running a national business empire...you’re not alone.
Today, we discuss why one size (size L) doesn’t fit all. Independent business people around the world run permanently small businesses, and couldn’t be happier. Yes, there are downsides and challenges to being one of the little guys. There are also considerable advantages.
Whether you’re a solopreneur, in a partnership, or just running a small team or Mom & Pop shop, let’s consider keeping it small-time. Maybe you’re in it for the craft. Maybe you only want enough money to be independent. Maybe huge isn’t for you — it certainly isn’t for everyone. Click Play!
MBA1283 Must Read: Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips
We’re all great leaders when things are going well. But how does a great leader handle a crisis?
If you’re looking for an overall leadership model, you shouldn’t look any further than Abraham Lincoln. As President, he led his nation through the worst-case scenario: a necessary but devastating civil war. Along the way, he had navigate divisions in his own team that were almost as deep as those between North and South.
How did he pull it off?
In Lincoln On Leadership, author Donald T. Phillips takes us through Lincoln’s decision-making process as he sought to reunite a country. Lincoln didn’t just have to beat the Confederate army; he had to sell his viewpoint, and get his own side of the war to execute his vision without resorting to coercion.
Lincoln managed and balanced conflicting viewpoints and personalities, with no guaranteed outcome. In business, you’ll face similar (if less dramatic) scenarios. Learn how one of history’s greatest leaders got the results that counted when everything was (sometimes literally) on fire. Click Play!
MBA1282 Refining Your Messaging to Attract Your Ideal Customers + Free Ride Friday!
You don’t need to reach the most customers. You need to reach the right customers.
Big-tent marketing, reaching out to the widest audience possible, is a thing of the past. Modern marketing is all about targeted campaigns aimed at people who would love your product specifically. If you try to speak to everyone, you’ll speak to no one.
Rather than speaking louder, you’re going to speak the right language.
By choosing the right words, you’ll draw in the customers that stick around. By attracting the right people, you’ll reduce churn and maximize your chances of long-term success, not short-term attention. By blowing that dog whistle at the right frequency, you’ll bring in the keepers, not just the curious.
Learn how to articulate a message that inspires devotion from people who could really use your solutions. Earn lifers, not just clicks and exposure. We’ll show you how — Click Play!
MBA1281 Nail Your Value Metric and Make More Revenue
There’s a powerful number you have to discover: your product’s value metric.
The value metric is the exact measure, in dollars and cents, of what your product is worth to customers. It’s not what the product is worth in raw materials, or what it costs in overhead, or even its monetary ROI. It’s simply how much money a customer would gladly exchange to enjoy whatever your product does for them.
Yes, it’s a little subjective, but it can be translated into a cash amount. And it’s crucial to know exactly what that amount is.
Today, we explain how to figure out how much you can really charge, based on the value metric. It might take time, but it’s worth every minute you spend to find out where the ceiling is. By setting your price by the value metric (instead of other, less reliable metrics), you can maximize your revenue-per-customer, and widen those profit margins considerably.
We’ll show you how to calculate this all-important number, plus offer some examples of businesses that nail their own value metric perfectly. This might be the most profitable podcast episode you listen to all year. Click Play!
MBA1280 Q&A Wednesday: Can I start a business without being the face of it?
We talk a lot about the importance of personal branding. But do you have to be the face of your business?
Yes and no.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener has a great product idea but no desire to stand in front of the crowd. Think of all the brands that succeed in large part because of a charismatic founder. Is it possible to just let the product shine and take a behind-the-scenes role? Does every business need a human face?
Can you sell without selling yourself?
Today, we explore the drawbacks of avoiding the limelight. While introverts can run successful business, that introversion poses challenges. Adapting to and overcoming those challenges is doable, though, with the right strategies.
Unfortunately for the intro-preneurs, a business with a reclusive founder is no longer viable in our hyper-connected, Internet-driven marketing reality. That said, you can show the audience what they need to see without overexposing yourself. Click Play!
MBA1279 How To Get The Best Out of An Interview Candidate
Interviews can be tough...for the interviewer.
There’s nothing more awkward than struggling to find out if the person you’re interviewing is right for the job. Even worse, passing on the perfect fit because you didn’t get the information you needed is just plain tragic. So how can you make sure to draw out the very best of what the candidate has to offer?
It’s time to make an interview plan.
Even as our team has grown, we still conduct initial interviews personally. What we say and ask is very deliberate, designed to save us time and get right to the heart of the matter. By refining our pre-interview process, we’re able to hire with confidence, not question marks.
Tune in, and learn how to make the most of your time spent in interviews. Make sure you get a clear picture of each candidate’s true potential. Set them — and your business — up for success. Click Play!
MBA1278 Guest Teacher: Heather Saffer- PR Hacking: How To Score Free PR Without Hiring An Expensive Publicist
You can’t just sell the product. You have to sell your story.
Heather Saffer is the queen of DIY public relations. Without any help from high-priced professionals, she managed to tell a tale that built a narrative foundation for her brand. As an entrepreneur, author, and reality TV personality, she’s mastered the art of being noticed — on her own terms.
With her homemade PR strategies, Saffer launched and guided a frosting (yes, frosting) empire to success. Since then, she’s taken the media-swaying lessons she learned along the way to those in need of a branding boost.
Today, Saffer stops by to explain how she made a name for herself. By committing to standing out from the rest of her niche, she was able to get the positive media attention that explodes brands. By putting herself at the forefront, she convinced people to believe in her product.
Learn how to articulate your own value, and get an incredibly helpful bonus gift from Saffer. Click Play!
MBA1277 Does Your Business Have a Diversity Problem? + Free Ride Friday!
It’s time to put aside politics, and focus on business. Diversity matters. Monoculture is a weakness.
Diversity is just as important for your business goals as it is for anyone’s social goals. Today, we’ll explain why a team that looks, acts, and thinks the same has trouble innovating. We’ll also bust one of the ugliest, most backward myths in business: that prioritizing diversity means not hiring “the best” candidate for the job.
We’ll explain what you’re missing when you only hire people like yourself, and how to integrate diversity into your hiring metrics in a way that puts success first.
Diversity doesn’t just happen — it’s something smart entrepreneurs cultivate intentionally. Learn how: Click Play!
You’ll get around to it...right?
Of course not. Procrastination is a classic business-killer, one that’s derailed many an entrepreneurial dream before it even got anywhere. The road to independent success is littered with fallen entrepreneurs who just never got around to this, that, or the other thing.
If that’s a problem for you, it’s time to address it. Now.
Avoidance, conscious or otherwise, is a common problem. To beat it, you have to understand why you’re doing it, and develop a crucial skill: catching yourself doing it. With the system we discuss today, you can train yourself to get the ball rolling on anything, anytime.
Learn our step-by-step method to see procrastination coming, cut it off, and leave it in the dust. Get business handled, from the first minute. Click Play!
MBA1275 Q&A Wednesday: How do you get mentions and write ups on popular websites?
Our humble little business has been mentioned (positively) by some of the biggest dogs in business media. Forbes, HuffPo, and the like have kind words for us, and we’re proud.
So how the heck did that happen?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know how to replicate that positive attention. The obvious boost in exposure and credibility is no small thing, so what was our secret to getting the spotlight? Today, we fill you in.
Right off the bat, we’ll admit: we’re not talented schmoozers, or intentional press darlings. The reason we were able to dip our cup into the traffic flow of big-time outlets has more to do with how we manage our performance, not our public relations.
In fact, we’ve never spent a dime on PR. Hear how we got the nod from on high, and see if you can do it too. Click Play!
MBA1274 Why You Should Get Your Business Ready for Sale Now
It’s time to get ready to sell your business.
Even if you are nowhere near moving on from your current enterprise, it’s important to keep your business in selling shape. Keeping your business super organized is just good practice. Being sell-ready isn’t something you should do right before it’s time to sell — it’s a mindset you should maintain always.
By acting as if you’re ready to sell, you’ll keep your business at its most efficient and highest-performing. From your systems to your books to your assets, keeping the ship tight enough to sell means keeping it tight enough to excel.
Not to mention, you never know when your business will be audited by a potential investor, partner, or — yes — even a potential buyer. Why wait? Learn how to function on a sell-ready mindset, and your business will thrive. Click Play!
MBA1273 Must Read: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
It’s time to clean up your digital life.
Digital distractions are deceptive. Because they don’t take up physical space, it can seem like they’re not overwhelming you the way, say, laundry or tchotchke can. But if random websites, social media platforms, and online services are wasting your time, they need to go.
Seriously — digital distractions are stealing time from your business.
This week’s Must-Read will show you how to clean house, and bring calm, focus, and productivity back into your day. Cal Newport is the authority on focus, having led the crusade against distraction since his seminal Deep Work. Now, he’s taking another swing at the distraction demon with Digital Minimalism.
Today, we discuss the key takeaways from this book. Learn how to compartmentalize, reduce, and be free of the online tchotchke that’s slowing you down. Click Play!
MBA1272 How to Market for Free with Quora + Free Ride Friday!
You’ve seen it in your search returns. Quora is a massive online forum, where potential customers ask about anything and everything under the sun. It’s also a traffic crossroads that’s just waiting for you to tap in.
You can use Quora to drive your marketing for even less than you’d spend on more conventional marketing efforts. Your niche is waiting on this free website, discussing exactly the things you and your business can help with.
You simply have to introduce yourself.
By creating and maintaining a presence on Quora, you can earn the exposure and trust that ultimately turns into sales. You’re not going there to advertise (never go there to advertise), but you can go there to show an audience just how helpful you can be.
Then, Quora users will find your business on their own.
Today, we show you how to get into the Quora marketing game, and how to systematize your efforts for the long haul. We even have a special trick for outsourcing the job, so that Quora becomes a passive stream of interested users just waiting to be converted. Click Play!
MBA1271 What to Say To a Customer When You’ve Failed Them
It’s gonna happen. Whether it’s your fault or not, some customers will use your product and come away disappointed.
What matters is what you do next.
Customer satisfaction is your responsibility, even when dissatisfaction isn’t your fault. Planning in advance for how to address it can be the difference between a business that lasts and one that doesn’t. You’ve got to articulate your messaging ahead of time, so you can confront these failures head on.
When you approach dissatisfaction as your responsibility, you can turn it into an opportunity.
Today, we discuss how to own your shortcomings, and turn an unhappy customer into a source of growth. This can have a massive long-term impact on the development of your business, helping you win over dozens of customers for every one you lose.
With a healthy, proactive attitude towards failing customers, you can learn how best to delight them — and that’s worth more than any single cancellation. Click Play!
MBA1270 Q&A Wednesday: How much do I charge for my paid webinars?
You’ve used free webinars to build your audience and establish yourself as a trusted source of information. Now, you’re ready to take it to the next level and start charging.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know what a paid webinar should cost. Charging for webinars is a huge step forward, creating opportunities for more than just money. Real idea validation and the monetizing of your expertise can take you to the next level.
So what should it be worth for an attendee?
Today, we explain how different goals for your webinar will determine the price. We offer some examples, and discuss what factors to consider when establishing your baseline price. Whether you’re testing the waters of your own brand, or simply want to raise some dough, there’s a right price for your webinar. Click Play!
Are you charging enough?
Entrepreneurs can get a little nervous about raising prices. But there’s a way to find out how high you can go that’s low-risk, high-yield, and potentially eye-opening. If your business needs an influx of revenue, consider doing a little experiment in price increase.
We’ll show you how.
You might worry that an increase will scare customers off. But in our experience, you’re just as likely to be shocked at how little people care, if the value of the product is there. With our system, you can test the waters safely, and know quickly whether a given increase will help or hurt.
With a little courage, some data, and a willingness to trust that your customers believe in your product as much as you do, you can widen those profit margins. Today, we offer step-by-step instructions on increasing, testing, and making the final decision.
A modest increase will mean a lot more to you than your customers. See how by conducting this simple experiment. Click Play!
MBA1268 Must Read: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
A business owner owns a business. A business leader owns its performance.
We can apply lessons from all avenues of life to business. The military is no exception. Jocko Willink is a decorated Navy SEAL from one of the elite group’s most honored units. After his service, he took what he learned in the field to the business world.
Willink’s latest book, Extreme Ownership, is all about building a high-performance team by taking ownership of everything that happens. That level of personal responsibility might seem intense, but the extremely high stakes of the SEAL life taught Willink that it’s the most effective approach.
Apply a little bit of military mindset to your business, and make yourself a better entrepreneur. From truly trusting your team to having the guts to abort a failing mission, you can take your ownership to the extreme. Click Play!
MBA1267 Why You Need To Keep Changing Your Friends + Free Ride Friday!
The company you keep affects the company you want to build.
Your friends make a difference. Before you balk at the title, this episode isn’t about growing a cold heart and forgetting about the people closest to you. It’s about making sure that the circles you spend your time in propel you forward, rather than hold you back.
Today, we’ll explain just how powerful the influence of your social circle is on your business success. As your business develops, so too should your social network widen — which means leaving some circles behind as you move towards your goals.
When you don’t make new friends along the way, you will stagnate. Tune in, and find out how to make the friends you need to keep progressing. Click Play!
MBA1266 Should You Be Using a Chat Bot on Your Site?
Whether it’s marketing, sales, onboarding, or support, communication is key. Enter the chatbot, considered by many to be a communications shortcut for your website.
They’re ubiquitous now: those little bottom-right corner bubbles that offer to answer questions and otherwise help a visitor along their journey. Thing is, they’re not human. They’re AI, with varying levels of sophistication — and varying levels of usefulness.
Are they really that helpful? Or are they the online equivalent of those annoying automated phone menus that just tick people off when all they want to do is talk to a human being?
Today, we discuss the benefits — and limitations — of chatbots. We’ll explain how they can supplement (but not really replace) actual human customer service. Properly utilized, a good chatbot can take the load of your service team, and ultimately make them more effective.
Plus, we’ll make some specific recommendations as to software we like. Make sure your website’s chatbot is helpful, not annoying. Click Play!
MBA1265 Q&A Wednesday: What have been your biggest regrets in business?
“I wish I had done that differently.”
It’s a phrase any entrepreneur with any real experience has thought, or said, more than once. Independent business is all about screwing up, learning from it, and applying the lesson. Here at the $100 MBA, we are no exception.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know what our biggest regrets are from over 18 years in business. Most of those regrets — unsurprisingly — come from the early years. Perhaps more surprisingly, we don’t regret things we did, or even things we didn’t do.
We regret the things we didn’t do sooner.
Tune in, and learn what we would’ve started sooner, if we’d known any better. If you’re just getting started, see what you can take from our regrettable late starts. It just might inspire you to move more quickly than we did. Click Play!
Conferences are always opportunities. Mostly to network, but often, to learn. MicroConf, the annual conference for small (mostly software) businesses, lived up to the potential.
Our intrepid host Omar made the trip to Sin City for MicroConf 2019, and he picked up some seriously valuable lessons. He was invited as a speaker, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the other presentations as well.
Today, he shares the most important things he learned.
Some of these lessons came from personal interactions with other presenters. Some came from the presentations. From an almost literal mountain of notes, we’ve boiled the whole experience down to 5 key takeaways, the “a-ha’s” that struck Omar hardest.
It’s one of the best conferences we here at the $100 MBA have ever attended. Hear what we picked up, and add it to your knowledge base. Click Play!
MBA1263 Guest Teacher: Ken Coleman – How to Use the Proximity Principle to go from Day Job to Dream Job
The career you want is closer than you think — it’s only as far away as the right people.
Today’s special guest teacher, Ken Coleman, believes that proximity is the key to moving forward. Whether you’re transitioning from side hustle to full-time entrepreneurship, or just getting into business for yourself, proximity is everything.
Find the right people, and you’ll effect real change.
So many people talk about getting into business for themselves full-time. Going from “talk” to “walk” is all about making the connections that’ll spur your growth. Coleman, a renowned author and podcaster, is here to share the details.
He’ll explain how to actually make the first few moves that lead to real-life progress. By positioning yourself to make the dream real, you can do the things that most people only talk about. You can get over the scary part, and head down the path of independence — even if you’re not sure exactly where it leads.
Find out what (and who) to surround yourself with. Take it from a master in the art of actually doing the things so many people wish they could. Click Play!
MBA1262 Is it OK to Lower Your Prices? + Free Ride Friday!
Every business owner would love to get more money for each unit they sell. Raising your prices is understood to be a natural part of growth as the years go by. But what about lowering them? Is it ever appropriate?
Is it ever smart?
It’s easy to assume that lowering prices sends a bad signal, or represents a step backwards. But we’ve seen companies that strategically lowered their prices in ways that added to the overall value of the business. There is a right time to do it — you just have to recognize it.
Today, we’ll explain how to determine if your prices are in need of a trim, and if doing so would be wise. We’ll discuss how to experiment with price changes in a way that’s low-risk, plus point out some examples of when not to lower them.
It’s a counterintuitive strategy, but it might just work for you. Click Play!
Entrepreneurship is a full-time gig. But is it so full-time that you can never truly be on vacation? Are independent business people doomed to stay forever connected to the company, no matter where they escape to?
Yes and no.
Today, we discuss whether it’s truly feasible to walk away from your baby for a week or more. Especially in the early years, it can be terrifying to take your hands off the steering wheel for too long. It can also be bad for business, if you don’t plan your breaks strategically.
We explain how to balance the need to stay on top of things while still taking the opportunity to recharge. By scheduling your own R&R wisely, you can reach the closest thing to “autopilot” entrepreneurship has to offer. We’ve learned how to do it from years of mixing travel, business, and fun. Learn how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1260 Q&A Wednesday: How do I come up with a topic for my first webinar?
You know webinars work to convert subscribers to customers. You have the tools and knowledge to conduct webinars. You’re almost ready.
You just don’t know what your first one will be about.
It’s a super-common question, and one we’re answering for today’s Q&A Wednesday. Hooking your audience with a topic that’ll pique serious interest is key to creating customers. Today, we share our step-by-step method for figuring out exactly what they’ll respond to.
In short, you’ll use your audience to give you the ideas you need to run with, rather than “coming up with” topics all on your own. As the founders of our own webinar software company, we’ve put together a reliable, surprisingly easy system for generating topics that will hit home.
It’s the advice we offer our own clients, summed up for you. Tune in, and get ready to have more great topic ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Click Play!
MBA1259 How Much to Pay Yourself When Starting a Business
What are you worth to your company?
When creating a business plan, new entrepreneurs often forget to budget for one extremely important item: their own salary. Thing is, your personal financial health is just as important to your business as any other factor — especially if you’re pursuing entrepreneurship full-time.
You can’t short yourself, but you can’t short your business either. Today, we share our formula for determining the right number for your company. You can strike a healthy balance between your needs and your business budget, even if you have to adjust the former for the sake of the latter.
It’s an extremely important decision, one that deserves some extra thought. Click Play!
MBA1258 Must Read: The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker
There’s no substitute for experience. Fortunately, experience can be shared.
Peter Drucker had a long, legendary career in business. One of the earliest professional business management experts, Drucker literally wrote the book(s) on how to frankly assess your company.
Today, we take a look at his classic, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. We’ll explain each of these vital questions, the answers to which will show you the best way to grow, improve, and move your business forward.
It’s super practical, brass-tacks advice that’s as true in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. Tune in as we interpret the five questions in a modern business context. Learn how to take real stock of what your business has, and what it needs. Click Play!
MBA1257 Managing Disagreements in Your Team + Free Ride Friday!
Arguments can be productive. Conflict can lead to growth. When people don’t see eye-to-eye, it’s a sign you’ve got a team that’s capable of great things.
Disagreement is good!
Today, we explore the positive side of disagreement, and explain how to get the most out of every altercation. When your team disagrees, it means you’ve got an incredibly valuable asset: diversity of thought. Differences of opinion can tear your team apart, but they can also fuel innovation.
Don’t strive for homogenous groupthink. This episode will show you how to encourage constructive debate, and create an atmosphere where respect is prized and tension is diffused — all while making the most of varying viewpoints. It may be the best thing you can do for a team of creative, motivated employees who care enough to argue. Click Play!
Is everything scaleable? Are the things that aren’t scaleable worth your time, even as your business grows?
No, and yes.
Today, we discuss the things you should always do the old-fashioned way: personally, without automation, and without delegation. Some things just aren’t meant for the factory line, and the time you invest in them will pay dividends that are way beyond worth it.
Learn what these hands-on-only responsibilities are, and how to conduct them in an unscaled way. Most of them have to do with relationships — with customers, with your team, with industry colleagues. Relationships, of course, are best when they’re personal, not systematized.
See what we mean, and see how to keep the right things small-scale. Click Play!
MBA1255 Q&A Wednesday: How do I choose the right CRM platform?
In online marketing, customer relationships are everything. That’s why an entire industry devoted to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has evolved. But with so many options, which CRM service is right for your business?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is overwhelmed by the options. From the simple and inexpensive to the wildly complex and pricey, there’s a CRM for just about every business. Understanding the factors you need to consider will help you pick the right one, and make your marketing work smoother, faster, and more effectively.
Today, we discuss how to choose the right CRM for your company to grow into, the one that meets your current needs while leaving room to scale. While switching CRM’s is doable, it’s also a hassle — so choosing the right one from the start is a major pain-saver.
We’ve used a bunch of CRM’s, and our own software service integrates with even more. Share our extensive knowledge of the systems available, and make the best choice for you. Click Play!
As your business grows, so grows your team. As you hire, you’ll find yourself repeatedly faced with the question: what should I be paying?
Today, we explain how to do the math for new hires. We discuss all the factors involved, from budget to experience to industry standards, so you can reach your own number. We also discuss other factors that can influence the final offer, those that go beyond simple compensation.
Learn how to find the balance between compensation that’s high enough to attract the right fit, but low enough to sustain your budgetary needs. Find out where you can check up on comparable salaries for just about any position, and use those as a baseline for negotiation.
With a remote team of dozens around the globe, we’ve learned how to reach the number that makes both sides of the table happy. See how we do it: Click Play!
MBA1253 Guest Teacher: Don Scott – Leading From Within
Leadership doesn’t start with your example. It starts with something deeper — something others can’t see, but that informs everything they can see.
Leadership starts with your innermost beliefs.
Today’s guest teacher, Don Scott, has decades of business experience. He also has a degree in psychology. Where the two disciplines meet is the key to truly effective leadership. To build (or rebuild) yourself as a leader, you’ve got to do it from the inside out.
Scott’s here to show us how.
Today, Scott will explain how to assess your internal orientation, and see how much improvement you can make. By cleaning out your internal clutter and clarifying your own beliefs, you can transform the effect you have on your team. It sounds deep and philosophical, but it’s intensely practical.
Find out how to become the best leader you can be. Click Play!
MBA1252 Does Business Get Easier? + Free Ride Friday!
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. But is it ever easier?
No one would doubt that the first few years of starting your own business are tough. No matter the industry, entrepreneurship is demanding, mentally and emotionally (and sometimes even physically). But is it always an uphill battle? Is there an event horizon you can pass through and just...coast a little?
Yes and no.
Today, we discuss the ways in which business gets easier, and the ways in which it stays just as tough as ever. We’ll explain just what to expect — both positive and negative — as your own growth begins to offset the challenges of business. Business, generally, won’t change. But you will.
Take a glimpse down the road, and get a sense of what your journey will look like years from now. Click Play!
MBA1251 Is It Too Late to Start a Business After 50?
Is entrepreneurship a young person’s game? Or can the wisdom of age apply to independent business?
We often hear from would-be entrepreneurs who worry that they’re too old to get in the game. Usually, they’re retirees who are ready to hang up a lifetime 9-to-5 in favor of a fresh start. Is it realistic? Does a middle-aged person have time to go through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and come out on top?
We certainly think so. But there are some important factors to consider.
Today, we discuss the disadvantages of a late start, and the unique, valuable advantages of bringing decades of life experience to business. Some experience is universally applicable, and there are tons of scenarios where the 50-year-old is way better positioned than the recent grad who hasn’t lived enough to make the smartest moves.
See what it takes to get into business once you’re over the proverbial hill. Click Play!
MBA1250 Q&A Wednesday: How important is the name of my business?
A business by any other name — is the profit just as sweet?
It’s Q&A Wednesday! We’ve got a listener who’s ready to start a business, but is wondering how much time and effort to put into the business’s name. What kind of impact does it really have? Does it really matter what you call a business if the product, marketing, and execution are solid? Can a bad name hurt a great company?
As it turns out, names matter.
Today, we explain how to choose a name for your business that will save you time and effort down the road. We compare the impact of names relative to other, arguably more important factors. We discuss how your business name can help or hurt, and what to consider when creating it.
Take a moment to get the first step in your branding right. Click Play!
In case you haven’t realized it yet, business is a marathon.
LIke any long-term commitment, knowing how to slow down strategically is just as important as flipping on the afterburners. Too much of anything — like work and stress — does not pay off. The rule of diminishing returns catches up every time, wasting your effort and holding your business back.
It’s time to find your balance.
Today, we discuss how to achieve sustainable levels of effort. Hustling smarter is always better than hustling harder, especially when overdoing it backfires to the detriment of your company. Learn how to know when you’re doing too much (or too little) and to adjust accordingly.
Find the sweet spot between tortoise and hare. Click Play!
Timing is everything. That’s the central argument of this week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs, When by Daniel Pink. Pink is a Yale graduate who’s spent plenty of time on the bestseller lists. He’s also a data-obsessed life and work hacker who’s pored through hundreds of studies on the role of timing for this excellent, insightful book.From business to psychology and beyond, Pink explores how to apply the data on timing to whatever you want to achieve. From the time of day you attempt a task, to the time of year you launch a new endeavor, to the period in your life you make a change, the timing matters. When shows you how to harness the data — and your own natural rhythms — to maximize your timing. See what a difference it can make: Click Play!
MBA1247 Hiring Your First Manager + Free Ride Friday!
Your business has grown to the point where you can’t manage everything. It’s a wonderful achievement, but it’s also pretty scary. You have to let go. You have to trust someone else with your baby. You have to pass responsibilities on.
You have to hire a manager.
It’s a big step. Management is different from any other role, and far more consequential. Your managers are the bridge between you and your team. What should you look for? Should you promote from within, or look externally? Should you seek managerial experience, or drive and motivation? Should you look for skill sets, or attitude?
We’ve made some managerial hires we regret: not because the manager wasn’t qualified or talented, but because he or she wasn’t the right hire for that particular time in our business. With management, when you hire is just as important as who you hire.
Find out why, and what questions you should be asking your prospective first manager. Click Play!
E-commerce is a different game. Not quite entirely physical, not totally online, e-commerce has its own rules, challenges, and considerations.
As it happens, Omar built his own e-commerce company way back when, in his early years as a budding entrepreneur. During that time, he acquired the most valuable lessons of all: the lessons you learn from mistakes.
Specifically, there are 5 terrible — but all too common — mistakes that e-commerce entrepreneurs make. They tripped Omar up, and they continue to derail business owners all over the scene. By knowing what to look out for, you can save the time, money, and peace that you lose by learning the hard way.
From payment processing to order fulfillment, these are the most important pitfalls Omar encountered. Learn the unique rules of this unique business model — Click Play!
MBA1245 Q&A Wednesday: How do I choose a location for my team retreat?
Few things are more satisfying than rewarding your team with a retreat. It’s a chance to bond, an opportunity to gel professionally, and a statement of how far you business has come.
Most of all, it demonstrates how much you value the team that’s helped you get this far.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know how to choose the best location for a team retreat. As it happens, we’re planning one for our team this very summer. We decided to share exactly what went into our thought process as we identified the best destination.
Today, we discuss what factors to consider, from weather to distance to security, and of course, cost. With a far-flung remote team of employees from all over the globe, choosing the right place was no simple task. Fortunately, we knew where to go for advice — and how to get our team involved in the planning.
Before you plan your company’s first (or next) retreat, listen in. Click Play!
No matter what you do, your business will have a story. The question is: who’s writing it?
Getting a handle on your business’s online narrative is key to protecting your brand. Whether your business is brick-and-mortar or strictly digital, you have an online reputation to protect. More and more, consumers rely on other consumers’ reviews to make their buying decisions.
Today, we show you how to stop outside factors from unduly influencing your story. We discuss how to establish a reliable system for keeping up with your online reviews, from Google to Yelp and beyond. We explain how to make happy customers’ voices heard, and how to deal with ugly reviews from the haters.
Learn how to be the most influential part of the conversation around your business. Click Play!
MBA1243 Must Read: Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
Entrepreneurs can have many lives. One business idea at a time, we remake ourselves as we take on new challenges. Starting over — and over — is the challenge, and the fun, of independent business.
This week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs is James Altucher’s Reinvent Yourself. This isn’t businessman, investor, podcaster, and best-seller Altucher’s first entry in our Must-Reads, and for good reason. Altucher has several “lives” worth of experience. He’s founded company after company — most of which have failed.
And all that failure has earned him a lot of wisdom.
Today, we review this fresh, original take on what it takes to find your best self. With lessons from every avenue of success and failure, from Popes to rappers, Altucher shows us how to ride the ups and downs to your truest incarnation. It’s personal, applicable, and insightful. Learn how to escape stagnation, and meet your next self. Click Play!
MBA1242 Where To Find Ideas For Your Content + Free Ride Friday!
The first rule of content marketing: you gotta keep the content coming.
Whether it’s blogs, podcasts, videos, or pics, you need a basically endless supply of ideas to generate content from. Fortunately, you have one — in your life, your experiences, your own head, and (most importantly) your audience.
It’s simply a matter of capturing each little inspiration for later use.
Today, we share our system for beating content creator’s block by loading up on ideas, all the time. With our easy-to-learn tricks, you can virtually guarantee you’ll never be out of ideas again, no matter how many you need. With over 1200 episodes of this podcast behind us, we’re pretty confident our system works.
Tune in, and learn how to tap into your customers’ needs, and watch the ideas flow out. We explain how, and tell you exactly where to go for some easy, cost-free inspiration. Click Play!
Tiers and trials: twin incentives to get users on board. But which one will work best for your business?
Today, we explore how entrepreneurs selling digital products (like software services) can benefit from each. We explain the difference between the two, and how each is tailored to different business goals. By understanding both ways to give away a freebie, you can determine what will build your own customer base.
Best of all, you can combine both approaches, if your business model suits. Whether you decide to offer an indefinitely free basic level of service, or a limited-time trial run, you can reap the benefits. Find out how — Click Play!
MBA1240 Q&A Wednesday: How do you find guest teachers for your show?
You’ve got a great podcast, but you want great guests. How in the world do you get them?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a question from a fellow podcaster who’s looking to bring fresh voices to his audience. Knowing how to find quality guests — and convincing them to record — takes some finesse, and some time.
Today, we discuss our methods for wooing guests. By establishing your own reputation and following, you can attract (rather than chase) guests. By keeping your own standards high, you can sell potential guests on the value of joining your podcast. And even if you’re new to the game, you can still establish yourself as someone worth talking to.
It’s a big Internet out there, and there’s no shortage of podcasts. But if you’re willing to put the work in, you can make yours stand out from the rest. Click Play!
MBA1239 4 Personal Business Principles For Success
Experience is the best teacher, and we’ve had plenty.
Today, we put aside the specifics of day-to-day business, and focus on the principles that carry us through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. We’ve got 4 principles that years of struggle, doubt, anxiety, and ultimate success have ingrained in our brains.
Learning how to cut through self-defeating impulses and focus on what matters can work wonders. By adopting the right mindsets, you can excel as exactly who you are, no matter the industry or niche. From emotional self-regulation to realistic goal-setting, these are the principles that work for every business.
Learn how to take control of your outlook, rather than letting circumstances and market forces do it for you. Click Play!
MBA1238 Must Read: Measure What Matters by John Doerr
It’s time to get more specific with your business goals.
That’s the theme of this week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs, John Doerr’s Measure What Matters. Doerr is a milestone master, helping organizations like Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation measure their progress with laser precision. Of course, his lessons are just as applicable to small businesses.
In this book, Doerr explains how to focus on the most impactful growth objectives and metrics. With a humorous, irreverent style, he makes the importance of deep analytics clear. He also makes the numbers game less opaque, less intimidating, and more practical.
Find out what you should be aiming for, and how to hit it. Once you know which numbers to watch, you’ll be that much closer to your (well-defined) goals. Click Play!
MBA1237 The Best 5 Business Podcasts in 2019 + Free Ride Friday!
So many podcasts, so little time. Which ones are worth it for you?Today, we’re putting the spotlight on the 5 most valuable, insightful, useful business podcasts out there (besides our own, of course). Believe it or not, we actually listen to our competition, and learn from other entrepreneurs out there on the digital airwaves. Some, frankly, are too good not to share with our audience.Add these podcasts to your listening list, and they’ll strengthen your knowledge and confidence even further. We’ll tell you where to find these podcasts, what we get out of them, and what you can expect from each. You don’t have to listen to all of them, but each one can add incredible value to the time you invest in your entrepreneurial development.Take it from us: these podcasts are worth every minute. Click Play!
Conferences aren’t getting any cheaper. In fact, they’re getting more and more expensive — for those who don’t know some money-saving tips and tricks.
Today, we discuss how to shave every possible dollar from the cost of your next conference. With some careful planning, the ROI on a conference can be well, well worth it. The insights, networking, and exposure you can get at a conference are invaluable. That said, a dollar unwasted is a dollar well invested.
Learn our strategies for lowering the costs of travel, accomodation, and tickets. See how we attack the biggest expenses with a few prudent moves. Plot your next conference with an eye toward saving, and know that you created the best possible cost/benefit ratio. Click Play!
MBA1235 Q&A Wednesday: Should I get funding before I launch?
You want to launch a business. Should you bootstrap down and go lean, or take a hefty investment from an outside source?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one of our listeners is pondering whether to take money from an investor or bank. Is a pile of outside money a launching pad, or a trap? Is it wise to take money before getting proof of concept, or silly to turn perfectly good dollars away?
Today, we explain why it isn’t so easy to get money for a business idea — and why it might not be as desirable as you think. We also discuss how to convince investors or lenders to back you, it that’s indeed what you want to do. It’s a tough decision, and one that’ll determine the course of your business. Click Play!
A simple truth: entrepreneurship is not for everyone.
That’s not a judgment, but a helpful statement of fact. Just because you have a great product idea, or simply want to quit your day job, does not mean you should go into business for yourself. The decision to become an entrepreneur is a very serious, very big one.
You need to be sure.
Today, we discuss exactly what questions you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge. Once you’ve considered these questions, you’ll be able to enter the world of entrepreneurship with complete confidence — or decide against entrepreneurship with zero regrets.
The world of business does not reward the unsure. Listen to this episode, ponder these questions, and know once and for all whether entrepreneurship is right for you. Don’t go into it lightly. Go into it confidently, or not at all. Click Play!
MBA1233 Must Read: Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
Content marketing: is there any other kind?
If you’re getting into business, you need to get into the content game. Blogs, videos, pics; whatever the medium, it’s a necessary skill set. Content is the key to traffic, and traffic is the source of any and all sales leads. Your online presence depends on your ability to create, promote, and manage content.
This week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs is your content marketing 101 textbook. Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing is one of the best all-around primers on the topic available. It explains exactly how to market online, from SEO to social media and beyond.
Pulizzi is a longtime content marketing strategist with a deep understanding of the power of narrative to affect branding. This book details how — and why — content marketing works. Learn how a relatively small monetary investment into great content builds a relationship with your audience, and how to parlay that relationship into sales.
Whether you’re just getting started, or looking to take your content marketing up a notch, this is the book for you. Click Play!
MBA1232 Managing Inconsistent Sales in Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
To everything, there is a season.
Some businesses just don’t rake in the cash all year long. In fact, most business have their slow spells at the same times every year. So how in the heck can you stabilize your revenue stream, and keep your business on an even keel month after month?
It just takes a little planning.
Today, we discuss how to analyze your seasonal ups and downs, and create an action plan that takes an annual approach. Whether it’s nature’s seasons, market trends, or even the budget cycles of other businesses that cause your profits to ebb and flow, you can manage it. No matter the pattern, there’s a way to see it, predict it, and act accordingly. Click Play!
The jet-setting lifestyle of an entrepreneur requires a little work on the road. But what if the jet you’re setting on doesn’t have WiFi?
We’re always traveling. Finding the time, space, and resources to handle business in transit can be a challenge. Planes in particular seem like the perfect place to hunker down and get some focused work done, but how often do we board with the best of intentions, only to arrive with nothing done?
Don’t worry. There are lots of ways to make every flight count, but only if you go in with a game plan. Today, we discuss how we make the most of our time in the air, with 5 specific tips that allow us to burn through our To-Do list before the tray tables go up.
Before you take your next flight, tune in to this episode. Click Play!
MBA1230 Q&A Wednesday: I’m too distracted at home. Should I join a co-working space?
Ah, working from home. For some, it’s the dream. For others, it’s a guarantee that you won’t get much done.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one of our listeners has a problem. He’s trying to build a business on the side, but the second he comes home from the day job it’s one distraction after another. Of course, there is an alternative: the ever-more-popular coworking space.
Is it worth the cost for a side-hustling entrepreneur?
We’ve got an answer. As someone who side-hustled his way to an independent lifestyle, Omar knows how tough it can be to carve out some private work space. Today, he’ll help our listener consider the available options, including coworking spaces and some low-cost alternatives.
If you’re considering renting a desk, this is the episode for you. Click Play!
MBA1229 How Paying Yourself First Puts Your Business First
It’s often said that the captain should go down with the ship. What we don’t say too often is that if the captain goes down, the ship is likely to follow.
Taking care of your own financial needs is not an act of selfishness. It’s not a sign of disloyalty to your team. It doesn’t mean that you’re not putting yourself on the line for your business. It means that you’re keeping yourself strong enough to lead your company.
If you can’t afford to pay you, you won’t be able to pay anyone else for long.
Today, we discuss how the “pay yourself last” model is a recipe for disaster. Your own financial (and emotional) health is one of the pillars of your business. Self-preservation, therefore, isn’t self-centered.
Stable, happy leaders are in a position to make better decisions and take smart risks. Entrepreneurs who aren’t sure how to pay the rent...not so much. Hear all about it — Click Play!
MBA1228 Must Read: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
We review a lot of books. But every once in a while, a gem comes along that stands out from the rest.
Our expectations for The Laws of Human Nature were high. Robert Greene is a legendary author, and one of Omar’s personal faves. Greene’s 48 Laws of Power was a game-changer, and we anticipated no less from Human Nature.
Needless to say, Greene did not disappoint.
In this Must-Read, Greene explains the often-overlooked aspects of human nature that drive our decision-making. By tuning in to these inborn tendencies and understanding how they work, we can turn our natural impulses to our advantage — or at the very least, we can neutralize the impulses that hold us back.
Hear our review, and learn how inherent biases and influences plague our thought processes. See how a basic grasp of human nature can empower you as a business person. It’s deep stuff, but it makes a practical difference. Click Play!
MBA1227 The 4 Sins of Podcast Interviewing + Free Ride Friday!
There’s no shortage of podcasts out there, but some are (way, way) better than others. With so many podcasts in interview format, how can you make sure yours stands out?
If you’re trying to attract great guests, and give your audience something to talk about, you can’t go into interviews without a plan. Omar’s been interviewed on many a podcast, and each time he’s seen what makes a great interview — and what makes a terrible one. By avoiding certain rookie mistakes, you can make sure your podcast impresses guests and listeners alike.
Specifically, 4 mistakes in particular just about guarantee a bad interview. Today, we explain how each of these mistakes kills your podcast, and wastes a perfectly good guest. With examples of podcasts that do interview right, we show you how to get the most out of each guest, and leverage their appearance for maximum traffic.
Before you record your next podcast, listen to this one. Click Play!
MBA1226 Does Offline Marketing Still Work in 2019?
Paper ads. Billboards. Sponsoring the local little league. It’s how our grandparents did business, but can it still work for us? Is the offline world still a viable source of traffic for your business, or is physical advertising over?
Today, we discuss how to make offline marketing work for you. While not as precise as targeted online content marketing, there are still ways for certain businesses to snare some customers in the physical world. In fact, knowing how to integrate your online and offline marketing strategies might be one of the most important skill sets a modern marketer can have.
On this episode, we’ll explain how to determine if offline marketing makes sense for your audience, and how to measure the value of offline marketing relative to your investment. We’ve done a few experiments in the “real” world, and we’ve learned a few things that help us use our marketing budget more strategically.
Find out what we found out, and see if a little terrestrial marketing is a wise move for you. Click Play!
MBA1225 Q&A Wednesday: Is there a best time to send emails to my list?
Content marketing is all about the numbers. And when it comes to numbers, email open and click-through rates are some of the most important numbers by far.
Of all the factors that can affect those rates, is time one of them? Does it matter what day or hour you hit “send?” It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is wondering if timing can give their business an edge in the email game.
Is there any evidence that send times make a difference?
We’ve got a few principles you can apply to find the best time for your business to send emails, based on the rhythms and preferences of your niche. Today, we discuss those principles, as well as exactly where timing ranks on the list of factors that affect open and click-through rates.
We also cover how to adjust for time zones in a global marketplace, and how different email marketing software products give you the flexibility you need to reach your audience. Before you launch your next campaign, check this out. Click Play!
MBA1224 Do Small Incentives Help Motivate Your Team?
How can you measure motivation? How can you quantify the effect of appreciation on your team? When you don’t have a lot of cash to throw around, do the little ways of saying “thank you” really matter?
Today, we share our experience using small incentives and rewards to keep our team on track. Small gifts and little bits of recognition can go a long way, but you shouldn’t take our — or anyone’s — word for it. You should experiment, and measure the results.
We conducted one ourselves, using our Customer Service Team as the subject. We instituted a minor-incentive system that rewards outcomes without putting too much pressure on anyone. The results told us a lot about team management, motivation, and the enduring power of an employee who feels noticed.
Tune in, and hear how we set up our system, then consider creating your own. A little gesture just might make a big difference. Click Play!
MBA1223 Must Read: Napoleon Hill’s Golden Rules by Napoleon Hill
It seems like there’s a new self-help book for business people every day. But sometimes, it pays to look back to the old-school masters.
Napoleon Hill was born in the 1800’s, but his wisdom has held up well into the 21st century. His best-seller Think and Grow Rich is a foundational text for entrepreneurs, and one of the most popular business books ever. Today, we review another of Hill’s classics: Napoleon Hill’s Golden Rules.
Golden Rules is a collection of tips, tricks, and what we now might call “hacks” for reaching your goals. Based on tried-and-true principles of habit formation, Hill discusses personal growth and achievement from a timeless perspective that’s just as relevant now as it was generations ago.
Talent, Hill argues, is not the key ingredient. By harnessing the power of mindset, you can affect outcomes in the real world. Learn with us, from one of the legends of self-empowerment. Click Play!
MBA1222 How To Convert More Sales with Pricing Page FAQs + Free Ride Friday!
Your website’s pricing page: it’s the page where visitors are closest to making a purchase. It’s also the page where websites lose the most visitors, as cold feet stop visitors from becoming customers.
How can you convert them? How can you get a visitor on the pricing page to pull the trigger?
You have their interest. You have them *this close* to buying. What you need is a way to address those last-minute hesitations, those few questions that still remain. Enter the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). By integrating your FAQ with your pricing page, you can head off visitor misgivings, and pave the way to a purchase.
Today, we explain how to anticipate the questions visitors will have, and give them an FAQ that’ll inspire confidence. We discuss how many questions to post, and how to lay them out on your pricing page for maximum conversions.
In the final moments, a great FAQ can make all the difference. Click Play!
MBA1221 Is Hiring Part Time Employees a Good Idea?
What do you do with a dedicated, talented worker who’s exactly the kind of employee you need — but only sometimes?
Employing part-timers has unique advantages, but it also comes with some challenges. Give them too much work, and they’re not part-time. Give them too little, and they won’t hang around long. So how can you ensure commitment despite the less committed nature of the part-time relationship?
There is a way.
We’ve hired many, many part-timers over the years, and we’ve lost far too many that we should’ve kept. In all that time, we’ve learned what works with freelancers, gunslingers, and other part-timers. We’ve learned how to maintain the employee’s sense of freedom, while also ensuring their dedication.
Learn how to keep your part-timers around, and keep them as motivated as your full-timers. Click Play!
MBA1220 Q&A Wednesday: Any tips when hiring remote employees from the Philippines?
There’s a huge talent pool on a sunny set of islands in the Pacific. If you hire remote workers, the Philippines is one of the best places you can look.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is ready to make the very smart move of recruiting Filipino employees to help run his business. As it happens, we have several invaluable team members who stand as perfect examples of just how well this can work out.
Of course, there are a few things you need to know first.
Today, we discuss what to expect when recruiting from this dynamic country. We explain what’s different, what’s the same, and what makes the Filipino option unique. We describe how to craft an application process that attracts the talent you want, how to weed through the applicants, and what online resources can best help you.
Learn how to navigate the cultural and logistical aspects of hiring Filipino, and you won’t regret it. Click Play!
MBA1219 Failed Payments. Are You Leaving Money on The Table?
Is your revenue leaking?
Every month, businesses lose hundreds and thousands of dollars to failed payments. Whether it’s an expired account, insufficient funds, or a cancelled card, recurring payments that don’t go through account for an astonishing amount of lost revenue. So how can you safeguard your business against these unnecessary losses?
Too many entrepreneurs simply don’t have procedures in place for failed payments.
Fortunately, we’ve got a system we’re willing to share. Our method for preventing failed payments and recovering those that slip through the cracks makes a huge difference to our bottom line. The effect on our profit margins is serious, and it can work for you too.
Tune in, and learn how to set up an automated system to keep failed payments from draining your business. Keep your revenue projections accurate, and your income stable. Click Play!
Don’t think you’re a leader? That’s actually a good place to start!
This week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs is Brene’ Brown’s Dare to Lead. In it, Brown explains how to find your own innate ability to take charge and lead, however hidden it might be under layers of insecurity. The emotions — including the fear — inside you can be used to inspire your team in ways you might not realize.
As Brown argues, your vulnerabilities are actually some of your greatest leadership assets, if you know how to use them.
If you’re a reluctant leader, or not 1000% confident in your leadership abilities, this is lesson for you. Once you understand the value of vulnerability (and the poison of perfectionism), you can become the business leader you never knew you were. Click Play!
MBA1217 How To Choose The Right Conference Ticket + Free Ride Friday!
Conferences can be a very wise investment. As you decide which conferences you’ll attend this year, you have to make another decision: which ticket is right for you?
Conference ticket options — and prices — range widely. From a seat in the nosebleeds to the multiple-VIP treatment, the choices can be overwhelming. Which tickets are worth the investment, especially considering the costs of travel and accommodations?
Today, we explain how to get the most out of a conference by choosing your ticket wisely. By clarifying what you hope to get from a conference, you can align your choice of ticket to your most important goals. We discuss what kinds of options are worth some extra money, and which one’s aren’t.
With an intentional approach, you can skip the upsells and get exactly the ticket you need. Click Play!
MBA1216 How to Conduct a 15 Minute Post-Mortem After Projects
Every project is a learning opportunity — but only if you take advantage of it.
After each and every project, our team takes a few minutes to reflect, learn, and (most importantly) improve. We are constantly raising our game, because we never let a project’s lessons go to waste. No matter the size of your team, you can do the same.
Today, we discuss our efficient, 5-step process for post-project breakdowns. It’s the fastest way to refine your whole operation, one project at a time. We explain how to create a culture of honesty, constructive criticism, and professional growth.
With every project we complete, our company gets a little better. That’s no accident! Learn how to get the most from your team’s accomplishments and their shortcomings. Click Play!
MBA1215 Q&A Wednesday: How do you read so many books while running a business?
Reading: it may be the smartest investment an entrepreneur can make.
The ROI of a good book is hard to exaggerate. For less than the cost of a sandwich, you can completely alter your perspective, grow professionally, and find inspiration you never had. Every second you spend reading adds value to you as a business person. That’s why our host Omar reads, on average, over 50 books a year.
How the heck does he do it?
Today, Omar discusses exactly how he finds the time, and ditches the excuses. Without spending his life between the pages, he gets through title after title by using smart reading strategies. With a few tools, and a little scheduling, you can double or triple the number of books you read this year. What are you waiting for?
Find out how even a reluctant reader like Omar can consume books like a page-turning demon. Click Play!
You want to network. You want to make the connections that’ll help your business grow. You want to make the right friends and partners.
Should you just reach out?
Cold emailing is an option some entrepreneurs consider. Without any connection or previous relationship, some folks just get a hold of someone’s email address, and pitch away. But is this really an effective strategy? Does it ever work? Is a cold email a bold act of gumption, or an annoying act of spammery?
As someone who gets a lot of cold emails, our host Omar knows a thing or two about their effectiveness. Spoiler alert: the vast majority of cold emails Omar receives go unanswered. That said, there are ways to make a cold email a little warmer. With some preparation, you can forge a relationship with a stranger — but it takes more than a good subject line.
Tune in, and learn the right way to make new connections. Click Play!
MBA1213 Guest Teacher: Greg Winteregg – How to Be More Fulfilled with Your Business
Entrepreneurship shouldn’t suck.
That’s the essential message of Greg Winteregg’s career. In his decades in business, he’s been a prolific speaker and management consultant, and a well regarded business author. Today, he’s here to explain how no one can truly succeed if they’re unhappy with their business — and how to find meaning in your independent path.
Staying motivated is about completing your business mission, not just working in the hopes of making money. This is not some impractical, feel-good bit of pseudo-hippieism. Winteregg’s practical approach is sustainable, not sentimental. No amount of money or “on paper” success can sustain an independent business in the long term.
That’s not just life advice. It’s reality.
Tune in, and hear Greg’s 5 specific areas for finding meaning, purpose, and true satisfaction in your business. Refocus your efforts on building a business that makes you happy, not just profitable. In the end, it’s the only long-term way forward. Click Play!
MBA1212 How To Avoid Chargebacks + Free Ride Friday!
Chargebacks are a hot topic of inquiry these days. With banks and credit card companies pledging to stand by their customers no matter what, it’s way too easy for someone to force a refund — even when they’re in the wrong.
In this climate, knowing how to avoid these chargebacks is a necessary skill. No entrepreneur can manage their revenue stream if it runs in reverse! Plus, too many chargebacks makes payment processors nervous, and potentially unwilling to work with your business. So what can you do?
Today, we discuss how to steer clear of chargeback situations, plus what to do when you find yourself in one. The hard truth is that customers prevail in the vast majority of disputes, so heading them off is your best defense. With our tips, you can minimize the number of chargebacks requested, so you don’t waste time and money fighting them.
Protect your revenue and your business. Click Play!
MBA1211 My Paid Mastermind Experiment. Is It Worth It?
We’ve discussed Mastermind groups, those collections of experienced entrepreneurs who meet to share their wisdom with each other, before. And some groups, frankly, are more valuable than others. But are some Masterminds valuable enough to pay for?
Our intrepid host Omar decided to find out.
Omar shelled out a significant sum of his hard-earned cash to gain access to an exclusive, highly-qualified group of mutually supportive business people. Today, we discuss how this experience was vastly different from the free-of-charge version, and whether the investment was worth the return.
If you’re considering taking your professional development to the next level, tune in to this episode to see how (and why) the paid Mastermind experience is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Click Play!
MBA1210 Q&A Wednesday: How do you get started when you have the ideas but need engineers?
For entrepreneurs, ideas come easy. Often, it’s the next step we stumble on.
Transitioning from idea to initial product can be a doozy, especially if your idea is a tech or software product. If you’re not an engineer, and you don’t have any handy, how in the heck do you move forward? Is your idea doomed to be just another coulda, woulda, or shoulda?
Of course not!
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener who’s ready to take the next step, but needs a cost-effective option for building the prototype. We’ll explain exactly how to use some creative resources to get off the ground without hiring engineers, as well as how to know when it is finally time to bring engineers in.
As it turns out, you can build, market, fund, and even sell your product well before the actual engineers are necessary. Find out how — Click Play!
Video marketing is the latest must-have skill for 21st century entrepreneurs. While the power of text to drive traffic hasn’t waned, video is where smart entrepreneurs are finding their competitive edge.
From social media marketing to YouTube SEO, video content has to be in your arsenal. But so many new entrepreneurs balk at shooting their own films. Why? We think it’s that age-old enemy, the intimidation factor. And we’re here to help you beat it.
You don’t need a massive budget or a degree from film school to shoot high-quality, effective videos. You can put your own studio together in the comfort of your home or office, and produce exactly what you need.
Take it from us: we’ve blown money on overly fancy A/V equipment. Since then, we’ve learned that when it comes to your video budget, a little goes a long way. Click Play!
MBA1208 Must Read: Cut Costs Not Corners by Colin Barrow
You can avoid wasting money without being cheap. In fact, you kinda have to.
New, independent businesses depend largely on their founder’s ability to keep quality high but expenses controlled. You can’t spend yourself out of business, but you can’t disappoint your customers (or your team) just to save a buck. Quality is a must, but it’s no excuse to shed cash unnecessarily.
This week’s Must-Read will help you maintain that balance.
Colin Barrow is a prolific author, and Cut Costs Not Corners is one of his most popular works. It explains how to make every penny do the utmost for your business. Statistically, businesses don’t usually fail because the idea is bad or the revenue is too low. Excessive cost kills, more often than anything else.
Barrow understands better than anyone how controlling costs doesn’t have to come at an even higher cost: the quality of your product and happiness of your team. Click Play!
MBA1207 Being OK With Where You Are In Business + Free Ride Friday!
Entrepreneurship: it’s fun and exciting at the start, but after a while, some uncomfortable questions may start to creep in. Usually, those questions have to do with your progress. Are you successful enough? Are you “making it,” whatever that means?
It’s time to reframe the question.
One of the most important lessons an entrepreneur can learn is that you’re always learning. There is always a next plateau you haven’t reached, always another entrepreneur who’s gone further than you have. Getting comfortable with your own inexperience — however experienced you are — is a must in order to maintain a healthy peace of mind.
Today, we discuss how to measure your progress objectively, relative to your own unique mission. By learning how to enjoy the process of growth, learning, screwing up, and learning more, you can let go of excessive goal orientation and bask in the joy of right now — wherever you are. Click Play!
Your “to do” list is out of control. That’s entrepreneurship for you. Sometimes, just getting started is the biggest challenge of every day.
With so many potential tasks and projects on the horizon, you need a way to prioritize. It has to be efficient, fast, and (most importantly) it has to guarantee the best return on the investment of your precious time. Fortunately, we’ve got the perfect system.
Today, we’ll explain the exact procedure we use, with examples from our own businesses. You can attack your list with calm, confidence, and the knowledge that you’ll get the right things done in the right amount of time. We also discuss how to limit the number of projects you’re working on, and how to “score” each for prioritization.
Take a load off your mind, and start checking “done” boxes. Click Play!
MBA1205 Q&A Wednesday: How long should I be side hustling?
Are you in a position to transition?
Many of us entrepreneurs started out side-hustling, building our little businesses while holding down a 9-to-5. But at some point, you have to decide if and when it’s time to ditch the day job and invest fully into your independent creation.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wonders how to know when it’s time to take that leap. What level of success should you have reached before you go full-time? How can you know your chances of full-time success are reasonable?
Where on the highway of side-hustling is the off-ramp to independence?
Today, we explore various scenarios and timelines for making the big move. We discuss what to consider before you commit, the bare-minimum profit margins, and how to position yourself to have the best chance. The goal is in sight — let us help you with the timing. Click Play!
Every barrier between your customers and your product is an opportunity for lost business. One of the easiest ways to remove those barriers? Integration.
Whether you’re selling a course, software, or even a physical product, integrations are and important key to closing, onboarding, and retaining customers. The more apps your products work with, the bigger your customer base — and the easier it is for customers to stick around.
Today, we discuss how to use integrations to make your business “sticky.” Not only will you integrate your product with popular common apps, you’ll integrate your product into the normal daily lives of your customers. By tying your product to “household name” applications, you give it a seamless place in the consumers’ day-to-day.
Find out how to look for integration opportunities, and tie your business to the applications your audience is already comfortable with. Click Play!
MBA1203 Guest Teacher: Martin Moore- How To Handle Tough Conversations with Your Team
Leadership can be tough, and so can the conversations.
When it comes to criticism, course correction, and other awkward talks, only the leader can (and must) buck up and say what has to be said. It has to be done smoothly, professionally, and in a way that creates change without creating resentment. It’s not easy. It’s a skill, one that every entrepreneur needs to practice.
Fortunately, we’ve found someone to help.
Martin Moore is the founder of yourceomentor.com and the host of the No Bullshit Leadership podcast. As you can see, he doesn’t mince words when there’s an important conversation to be had. Today, Martin is here to show us how to get comfortable with the hard talks, so that your own fear and avoidance impulses don’t hurt your business.
The good news? Both Martin and our beloved host Omar were terrible at these tough conversations early on. But both of them learned how to see these talks as an essential, positive part of entrepreneurship — and so can you. Click Play!
MBA1202 Is Getting Up Early Really Good For Business? + Free Ride Friday!
Rise and shine, entrepreneurs. The early bird gets the profit.
Or does it?
Expert after expert, guru after guru, claims that jumping out of bed at the you-know-what-crack of dawn is the key to productivity and efficacy. But does that hold true for everyone? Can’t a night owl be successful? Can’t you make strides after 12pm?
Is the snooze button so bad for business?
Today, we discuss whether the early risers really do have a competitive edge, and whether it’s necessary to beat the sun to work. With job-juggling, personal life, and (in many cases) multiple time zones to deal with, early mornings just aren’t possible for everyone. And while the science generally backs nighttime sleep, there’s no one-size-fits-all in life or business.
See where you fall on the early bird/night owl spectrum, and how it can affect your business. Click Play!
MBA1201 Crafting The Perfect Welcome Email For Customers
What entrepreneurs focus way too much on: customer acquisition.
What entrepreneurs focus way too little on: customer retention.
Onboarding and retention are key to long-term sustainability. The first step? The initial welcome email your new customers receive when they purchase your product. That email is the start of something big, and it needs to be more than just a few hastily typed lines with a generic message.
The first email needs to be a love letter, the start of a long-term relationship.
Today, we discuss how to capitalize on the excitement of new purchase by establishing that relationship. We share our strategy for crafting genuine, engaging, effective welcome emails that turn a simple purchase into something more meaningful. With some of our favorite examples from other companies, we’ll show you how to get the most out of this little interaction.
Increase your open rates, improve your sender reputation, and keep your customers. Click Play!
MBA1200 Q&A Wednesday: How do I improve my public speaking skills?
In business, public speaking is a must, even if it’s only occasionally.
Communication is everything. It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is ready to make a conscious effort to become a better public speaker. As it turns out, our host Omar wasn’t always the comfortable, confident maestro of the mic he is today. In fact, as a young educator, Omar realized quickly that he needed help talking to a crowd.
Since then, he’s developed a voice that works. From the classroom to the podcast to the stage, Omar’s public speaking is the result of years of effort and training. Today, we share the techniques, resources, and services that work best.
Learn how to invest your time and money for the maximum improvement in your public speaking game. Click Play!
MBA1199 How To Learn From Cancellations and Refunds
When a customer taps out, it’s generally a sad, defeated moment. But not all is lost.
Cancellations and refunds are going to happen, period. But each one is an opportunity to learn something that will improve customer retention going forward. There is great value in every loss, value you can reinvest into your business for a better long-term trend.
The canceller can be your greatest teacher, if you’re willing to learn.
Today, we discuss how to use your former customers to help your business evolve, grow, and improve. Whether you sell a physical product, service, or SaaS, every entrepreneur can use cancellations to shine a light on the product’s flaws. Then, it’s simply a matter of taking action.
See every cancellation and refund as a bit of market research, not a defeat. Click Play!
MBA1198 Must Read: Lead with a Story by Paul Smith
Stories have power. Stories are the way human beings fundamentally comprehend everything, from their history to their personal trajectory. When you want people to understand something, the best thing to do is tell a story.
Especially if you want them to believe in your business.
Entrepreneur and author Paul Smith’s Lead With a Story explains exactly how to bring storytelling into your business leadership. By harnessing the power of narrative, you can motivate your team, inspire your audience, and make your message hit home.
By putting their role in a greater narrative context, your employees and customers become characters in a story that matters far more than a simple exchange of money for products. See how this book can help you master the art of messaging via story. Click Play!
MBA1197 Dealing with Email While Traveling + Free Ride Friday!
Travel is possibly the best fringe benefit of the entrepreneur’s lifestyle. But when you’re on the road, the emails can pile up fast.
No one likes coming home to a crammed inbox. So how can you keep the backlog low? Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there are ways to make sure those “unreads” are kept to a bare minimum — without missing anything important.
Today, we discuss the tips and tricks we’ve picked up from years of entrepreneuring around the globe. Our own experience, combined with tips from business efficiency experts, have given us an arsenal of tools that keep our email accounts from getting out of control whenever we step away from the laptops for a week or two.
See what options for inbox control work for you. Click Play!
MBA1196 Why Theming My Days Has Been a Game Changer
No matter how long you’re in business, there are still incredible, game-changing strategies to be learned.
We just found a new one.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been using a technique suggested by a keen business mind to increase our productivity. And boy howdy, does it do the trick. “Theming” our work days has made us more productive, more efficient, and better at everything we do. We just couldn’t wait to share this incredible “hack” with you, our beloved listeners.
You honestly can’t fully imagine the full benefits of this system until you try it. Tune in as we discuss how to implement this scheduling strategy, and how its success is rooted in the actual physiology of the human brain. We discuss the number of “themes” you should include, and how to lay out your personal plan.
This one’s a keeper. Click Play!
MBA1195 Q&A Wednesday: Where do you recommend I post my open job positions?
It’s a big world, and there’s talent all over it. So how can you attract the right employees for your team?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener’s expanding business is ready to take on new blood. But with so many options for posting job openings, what’s the best move? Today, we discuss our favorite job boards and recruiting services. With a remote team of dozens spread across the globe, we’ve had to learn how and where to find the best, quickly.
We’ve also learned how to save time and effort by posting positions in a way that automatically weeds out the duds and brings in the real keepers. On this episode, we’ll show you how to write the job descriptions, and put them in the right places. With a little strategy, the right fits for your business will be knocking at your door in no time. Click Play!
What’s in a name? If it’s a domain name, quite a bit. As entrepreneurs, we often impulse-buy domains, hoping to lock them down for our next great business idea. But all too often, we end up with nothing more than a pile of unused domains draining our resources.
Our host Omar is a classic domain addict. Today, he’ll explain how he finally got his extensive collection organized and under control. With a simple system he shares in this episode, Omar describes how to stop paying for what you’re not using, and start using what’s worth paying for.
There’s nothing wrong with a little investment in what could be a valuable domain. But as domain prices rise, it’s time to make cuts. We’ll discuss what kinds of domains are must-keeps, even if you’re not using them yet, as well as how to keep track of all your pending renewals. It’s just a little bit of necessary housekeeping that can save you a significant chunk of change — Click Play!
MBA1193 Guest Teacher: Steve Glaveski- How to do Rapid Experimentation
“Fire and adjust.” It’s a military metaphor that works wonders in business; you put something out there, watch it miss, and use that information to hit the target the next time.
Or 3 times later. Or 10 times. Whatever it takes.
The point is, experimentation is key to creating the “perfect” product, or at least one people will buy. The best entrepreneurs don’t perfect an idea and release it — they release ideas and perfect them based on feedback. Steve Glaveski is an accomplished entrepreneur who knows how to try, try again until you hit the mark. Today, he’s here to show us how.
Glaveski has a system for creating and conducting product experiments rapidly, kicking your market research into overdrive with fast, real-world, actionable results. By failing as many times as possible as quickly as possible, you engage in a collaborative effort with your audience to discover exactly what they need — and what they’re willing to pay for.
Learn how experiments can tell you things you never would have thought of. Click Play!
MBA1192 How to Create Accountability With Your Team + Free Ride Friday!
As your team grows, it becomes tougher to manage. Keeping everyone on task, and getting the results you’re paying them for, gets a little more complicated with each new hire.
We’ve got a strategy that keeps everyone on point by keeping everyone accountable. With a far-flung remote team of dozens, our system makes it clear exactly what’s expected when, with full buy-in from all our employees. Best of all, this system involves little to no whip-cracking, instead focusing on a shared agreement between everyone on the team.
Tune in, and learn how specific communication and planning techniques create a well-oiled machine in which all team members are on the same page. By getting employees to take ownership of their roles, you can manage with a lighter, more collaborative touch — which makes life easier for everyone. Find out how it works. Click Play!
We used to think time is money. Since then, we’ve come to realize that time is way, way more valuable. Every way to save time is worth more than its weight in gold, and we recently stumbled on something that takes hours — yes, hours — out of our workweek.
While writing can be painstaking (especially for those of us who aren’t great at it), talking is the simplest, fastest way to answer questions for team members and customers alike. That’s why we use video messaging to do most of our communicating. While filming videos — even short ones — may seem more complicated and time-consuming than writing emails, trust us: it’s not.
Today, we discuss how we use video messaging to shave massive amounts of time from our schedule. We talk about the process, the tools you’ll need, and how much easier team management and customer service can be once you’ve got it down to a science.
This will save you time. Lots of it. What could be better? Click Play!
MBA1190 Q&A Wednesday: How do you come up with all your content ideas?
The toughest part about content marketing? All that content doesn’t create itself.
To keep your audience engaged, you have to produce consistent, quality content. And if you’re truly committed to producing podcasts, blogs, pics, and videos week after week, you can run out of ideas fast. Every content marketer needs a system to keep the topics coming, even when inspiration isn’t exactly striking.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’re helping one listener with exactly that problem.
Today, we discuss how to systematize your content creation so that you never run out of creative juice, separating your topic creation from your content execution. Plus, we describe how to identify topics in your own niche, breaking down each aspect of your industry into perfect content fodder. It can be done, with the right procedures in place. Click Play!
MBA1189 When & How to Kill a Product That’s Not Selling
Business is failure, and failure is business.
Knowing when you’ve lost — and how to move on — is an absolute requirement of entrepreneurship. No matter how much success you create, you will also create flat-out duds, products that miss the mark and just plain don’t sell.
No big deal.
Today, we discuss how to know when it’s time to admit defeat. And just to prove it happens to the best of us, we’re using our own company as an example. We recently launched a product that did not perform as expected, forcing us to pull the plug. We put in time, effort, and resources — and it flopped.
Fortunately, product fails are never a total loss. Knowing how to retire a product skillfully will ensure that you get something out of it, even though it didn’t sell. The information and lessons revealed by a flop can be the key to your next, much better idea. Find out how to cut your losses and create new wins. Click Play!
MBA1188 Must Read: Choose Yourself by James Altucher
The bad news: you’re on your own. The good news? That’s not such a bad thing after all.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, what’s been called the “American Dream” (along with similar dreams globally) has collapsed. The days of just getting a job and supporting a middle-class lifestyle are, for most, over. To thrive in today’s world, you’ve gotta take the reins of your own financial future.
This week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs explains exactly how to do that.
James Altucher hosted one of our favorite podcasts, and his book Choose Yourself has made a dramatic impact on the lives of readers. After some very fervent recommendations, we gave this book a shot — and it did not disappoint.
Today, we discuss the big-picture outlook and day-to-day habits that foster independence, success, and self-reliance in a broken economy. Shaking free of poor influences and unshackling yourself from the external opinions that hold you back is the only way to find your path forward. This book is a good place to start. Click Play!
MBA1187 How To Outlast Your Competition + Free Ride Friday!
As entrepreneurs, it can be hard to define our goals for our business. Do we prioritize growth? Revenue? Reach? What is success, anyway?
Today, we offer one possible answer: longevity.
Every business, big and small, has competition. Companies rise and fall all around us, while a select few just keep trucking along through all the ups and downs. How can you make sure you’re the last man standing? We’ve got a specific formula for longevity that we’ve honed over years in business, from observation and experience.
Competition can drive us, but it can also drain our resources. By avoiding the temptation to compete in a superficial way, we can build the core of our business to last through all the twists and turns the market throws at us. Be the tortoise, not the hare — Click Play!
MBA1186 How to Make Massive Improvements in Your Business
Let’s shake things up.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may have experienced a good ol’ fashioned rut. You’re stagnant. You’ve plateaued. You need a major boost to your biz, but you’re not sure what you can do to relight the fire and make a drastic, sweeping improvement that’ll move all the right needles.
This is the episode for you.
Today, we discuss how to go big, and make game-changing upgrades to your business. Fortunately, we’ve got experience in this department. We’ve been forced to make huge, bold moves that put us back into forward momentum more than once. If you’re ready to leave the rut behind, Click Play!
MBA1185 Q&A Wednesday: Should I share my religious beliefs as an entrepreneur?
In business today, we don’t just sell our product. We sell ourselves. Personal branding, authentic connection with our audience, and sharing the journey is de rigueur for aspiring entrepreneurs.
But where do we draw the line?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a doozy of a question from a listener who’s not sure whether to wear their faith on their sleeve, or keep it behind closed doors. It’s a challenging topic, and one of the most difficult questions we’ve had to answer. That said, it’s crucial to figure out exactly where your values fit into your business and public persona.
As a founder, you’re a crucial part of your own marketing infrastructure. What parts of yourself you share will depend on the value these details add for your audience. Today, we discuss how to decide if your faith (or lack thereof) is something your customers will appreciate, or if it’s best to keep it between you and the almighty. Click Play!
What do your customers want? If you don’t have the answer to that question, you don’t have a business.
It may sound obvious, but entrepreneurs overlook this question way too often. When creating our products and building our businesses, it’s strangely easy to forget about being customer-centered. We fall in love with our own ideas, our own visions, and we forget that success means discovering, defining, and fulfilling customers’ wishes.
Today, we discuss how to keep your eye on the ball of customer desire. By focusing on their problems (instead of your ideas), you can build a foundation of sustainability for your business. We’ll show you how to assess your business for customer-centeredness, and help you figure out exactly what you need to promise (and deliver) to win your audience over.
Remember: it’s not about you. Click Play!
MBA1183 Guest Teacher: Paul Jarvis- Why growth might be the worst thing for your business.
Too much growth can kill your business.
That might sound a little crazy to many entrepreneurs, but catastrophic success is a real and dangerous problem. Business after business has shot into the stratosphere, taking in investment and expanding their operations, only to crash and burn — hard.
If you’re not careful, your business can literally grow to death.
Take it from today’s special guest, Paul Jarvis. One of our first guest teachers ever, Jarvis is a best-selling author and entrepreneur who focuses on profitability and longevity. His deep analysis of startup success rates has revealed a stunning conclusion: that growth is far too valued among independent business people.
Tune in, and hear how growth for growth’s sake isn’t just pointless — it’s bad for business. Click Play!
MBA1182 Tips to Managing Time Zones with a Remote Team + Free Ride Friday!
Business is global, and that comes with incredible advantages. Today’s entrepreneurs can draw talent from all over the world, finding skilled, affordable remote team members wherever they are.
But all that far-flung talent comes with one little drawback: time zones.
Today, we discuss how to navigate the problem of the clock. With employees in Australia, Eastern Europe, Asia, and America, we know how tricky it can be to align everyone’s schedules. Making sure that distant team members can collaborate across time zones is crucial to reaping the benefits of global business.
Fortunately, there are tools, tricks, and strategies for keeping everyone on the same page, even when they’re not in the same part of the world. Managed properly, your business can be a 24-hour machine, running smoothly as your trusted team handles business whatever time of day (or night) it is for you. Click Play!
Refunds: they’re gonna happen. More importantly, offering the option of a refund is critical to earning your audience’s trust. With an entire Internet’s worth of competitors to choose from, today’s customers demand more information — and more guarantees — than ever before.
As a business owner, you’ve got to create a refund policy that makes your customers feel valued and respected. With a strong, customer-friendly refund policy, you put your money where your mouth is, guaranteeing by your actions that the product is one you stand behind.
Remember: offering to take your product back is one of the most powerful ways to sell it!
Today, we discuss 3 key factors a good refund policy should include, with specific details on how to make the policy work. You’ll learn how to craft and (more importantly) communicate your policy to create maximum trust. Click Play!
MBA1180 Q&A Wednesday: How do I know I have what it takes to start a business?
Can you do this? Are you entrepreneur material?
You’re not the only one asking. In fact, it’s the “Q” in this week’s Q&A! It’s a big, scary question mark for those who want to break out on their own, but haven’t taken the leap just yet. So what makes someone suited for the entrepreneurial life? What skill sets, talents, and dispositions raise the odds of success?
With 17 years of entrepreneurship behind him, Omar knows a thing or two about what it takes. Having known and helped guide countless independent business people, he’s identified a few key traits (and understandings) that almost every solid entrepreneur has in common.
Best of all, these traits aren’t genetic or gifted by fate. They’re learned habits, tendencies, and abilities that you can choose to cultivate. Whether you’re running a restaurant, a coaching course, a SaaS, or anything else, these are the basic tools that’ll take you wherever you need to go. Click Play!
Yes, we’re recommending Facebook as a business tool. That may come as a shock to longtime listeners, who know what we think of the overrated, underperforming so-called “power” of social media marketing.
Bear with us.
Facebook Groups offer a wonderful opportunity for growth. Not revenue growth, not traffic growth, but the most important growth of all: your growth as an entrepreneur. By leveraging this useful little tool, you can become the entrepreneur you need to be. It’s more than worth your time to devote some effort each week to using social media this way.
With Groups, you can validate ideas, find support, network, and forge seriously valuable relationships with other business people. Today, we discuss what groups to look for, how to get into them, and how to participate in a way that gets you a big ROI. Learn how Facebook can build your credibility in the market. Click Play!
MBA1178 Must Read- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
Where is your small business going? More importantly, how is getting there?
The author of this week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs, Gino Wickman, has an answer. Traction: How to Get a Grip on Your Business is far more than its title lets on. It’s not just advice. It’s not just inspiration. It’s an instruction manual with detailed, specific steps any entrepreneur can take to get their business moving.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or helming a large team, this incredibly practical book can teach you how to structure your business and its processes for maximum effect. Even better, Wickman teaches a values-centered approach to business, one that ties your core beliefs and mission to your success.
Anyone starting or running their own business can learn something from Traction. Best of all, it’ll be something concrete. Click Play!
MBA1177 How To Validate a Course Before You Create It + Free Ride Friday!
Online courses are one of the most lucrative products you can sell on the Internet. With price tags in the thousands, selling your expertise to knowledge-hungry customers is a proven business model, one that’s worked well for many an entrepreneur.
But how do you know if there’s really an audience for what you’re teaching? Before you pour time and resources into an expensive product, how can you be sure people will want in? After all, there’s no shortage of how-to blogs, YouTube videos, books, and other resources to learn how to do something.
Today, we discuss how to test the waters, and get genuine proof of concept before moving forward.
We’ve got a step-by-step plan to find out if people will see your course as a wise investment. Follow these steps to find your niche, craft your course, and generate the kind of excitement that makes your fee pale in comparison to the value your course offers.
Before you launch your course, listen to this. Click Play!
Here’s a golden rule of business, one we can’t stop repeating: people buy a product when — according to their own internal math — its value exceeds its price.
That means the only way to move your product is to increase the only kind of value that really matters: perceived value. Adding features and investing in expensive updates is all well and good, but sub-par sales are more often caused by a failure to communicate.
Are you communicating effectively? Does your audience understand your product’s value?
Today, we discuss the difference between features and value, and how emphasizing the latter can drastically improve your sales. With examples from various industries, we explain how to sell the results your products bring (rather than the product itself) in order to raise the product’s value. Best of all, this approach doesn’t cost a dime. Click Play!
MBA1175 Q&A Wednesday: Do I need to make my site https? If so, how?
Is your business website secure?
As more and more business is done online, cyber security is beyond important. It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know if it’s possible to run a successful business with an “http” address, rather than a full on “https.”
That little letter makes all the difference, especially in the way potential customers view your business.
Before you start to worry, don’t. This episode isn’t overly technical, and it won’t go over the heads of even the most tech-unsavvy entrepreneurs. But it is crucial to understand the purpose of https URL’s, and what to do if your website doesn’t have one.
Visitors to your site need to be able to trust you with their most sensitive information. This goes beyond security, affecting your payment processing, your SEO and traffic, and ultimately, your sales. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to secure your site and keep your business running smoothly. Find out how it all works — Click Play!
MBA1174 Off Social Media for a Year: Lessons Learned
Social media is like fire. It can be incredibly useful and beneficial, but once it gets out of control, it can consume everything.
That’s why Omar quit.
Our beloved host made a decision, over a year ago, to take an extended break from all things social media. No Twitter, no Facebook, no ‘gram, nothing. For about 15 months, Omar didn’t make a single update, comment, or even take a peek at the platforms that dominate so many lives. Today, we discuss what he learned.
On this episode, we unpack the pros and cons of being off social media, and the apprehensions Omar has about going back. The effects of a social-free life on business and personal relationships were surprising. Even more surprising was the addictive pull of social media, and the level of discipline required to break free, even temporarily.
Our outlook on social media has changed drastically. As an entrepreneur (and a human being), should you take a new approach? One way to find out — Click Play!
MBA1173 Guest Teacher: Chris Hogan- How to Become an Everyday Millionaire
What does a millionaire look like?
A trust-fund baby? A hedge-fund bro? Nope. As it turns out, millionaires aren’t the exotic species we think they are. Overwhelmingly, they’re not born into privilege. And shockingly, they don’t tend to have high-powered jobs.
Often, millionaires are regular people.
So how does Average Joe hit 7 figures? That’s what this week’s special guest teacher is here to tell us. Chris Hogan is a best-selling author and podcast host who specializes in debunking the myths around wealth. He has a practical, realistic approach to crushing debt and making the wise investments that turn regular people into “everyday millionaires.”
Hear Hogan’s down-to-Earth approach, and see how significant wealth is more attainable — and less exotic — than you might think. Click Play!
MBA1172 How To Sell Your Online Business + Free Ride Friday!
You built it. It succeeded. Now, it’s time to cash in.
Maybe you want to retire, or devote yourself to a whole new project. Whatever the reason, saying goodbye to your successful independent business is no easy decision. It’s important to end this chapter on the best terms, with an exit you can be proud of.
So what comes next?
You’ve got to find a buyer, one that’s willing to do right by your business. You’ve got to sell it for what it’s worth, getting a worthy return on your massive investment of time and sweat. You’ve got to leave knowing your baby is in good hands, and that you’ve gotten what you deserve for creating it.
Today, we discuss how to set your business up for sale. Whether you’re ready to put it on the market now, or just thinking of your long-term future, you can do things for your business that give it more curb appeal. We explain what buyers look for, and how to make the transition as logistically smooth as possible. Bid your business a fond farewell — Click Play!
A product launch doesn’t always go the way you want, or expect. Despite your best-laid plans and highest hopes, sometimes the market takes a look at what you’re offering and gives a resounding “meh.”
In business — especially independent business — flexibility and adaptability are crucial survival skills. When your product doesn’t hit the mark, you need to change course quickly, smoothly, and effectively. Pivoting is an art and a skill, and every entrepreneur needs to know how it’s done.
Today, we discuss how you can move in a new direction while maintaining the core of your business and mission. With examples from all over the business world, we’ve seen how a good hard pivot can save a company, and bring its vision forward despite a major stumble. Remember, it’s not a failure if you recover and learn. Click Play!
MBA1170 Q&A Wednesday: Should I build my own product or go deep into affiliate marketing?
We’ve devoted many an episode to the ups and downs of affiliate marketing. Usually, we’re discussing the merits and drawbacks of affiliate marketing for those wondering whether they should get into it.
But today, we’ve got a question from a listener who’s already in the affiliate game, and wants to know one thing: whether it’s time to move on. Is affiliate marketing something you “graduate” from before launching your own product? If so, how do you know when it’s time?
Affiliate marketing is often sold as easy income — all you have to do is promote someone else’s product, and let the commissions roll in. Easy, right? But experience tells us that affiliate marketing is much more involved, and not nearly as passive as people think. So it’s no small decision to choose whether to invest more fully into it, or to debut your own product.
Today, we discuss how you can simultaneously affiliate market while promoting your own product. Whether it’s a transition to an affiliation-free life, or a balancing act to maintain indefinitely, you can affiliate market while growing your own brand. See how it’s done: Click Play!
Happy New Year! It’s officially 2019, and we’re ready to hit the ground running with all new lesson to help you make this the best year ever for your business. Speaking of which, what are your goals for the year?
More importantly, do goals matter?
What’s the value of a goal? Is it just an arbitrary milestone, or does it have true motivational value? Many modern experts are abandoning the goal-driven approach, arguing instead that habits and intrinsic motivation do more for your success than trying to hit a given target.
Are we living in a post-goal business era?
We don’t think so. Rather than abandoning goals altogether, we think a new understanding of goals is in order. Tune in, and learn how to define your goals, and craft goals that have meaning beyond simple numbers. Learn how to establish goals that produce true growth, and how to meet them. Let’s get this year started! Click Play!
Business doesn’t get any bigger than Disney. How did a patch of swampland in central Florida become one of the biggest revenue-generators in the history of American industry?
It all starts with the employees, and how they’re motivated.
This week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs is Doug Lipp’s Disney U, a book that details the strategy behind the theme park’s success. Disney park employees — ahem, “cast members” — are trained and continually encouraged to keep the magic flowing.
Importantly, it’s not just about procedures. It’s about mindset.
Learn how company culture and values form the bedrock of any business’ success. See the inner workings of Disney employee training, and get a textbook example of how the team’s happiness is the best predictor of its productivity. Apply the Disney U strategy to your company, and see how much more fruitful your employees can be. Click Play!
MBA1167 Is It Too Late To Start a Blogging Business? + Free Ride Friday!
It’s a question many would-be entrepreneurs are asking themselves: can you still make a living with a blog?
About 10 years ago, people started earning serious money just by blogging. Has the business model survived? Can you still earn enough to live the life you want? The short answer is yes, you can still blog your way to success. The blog is in the middle of a sort of rebirth, with a new generation of writers cashing in.
However, the rules have changed.
Gone are the days of easy keyword-stuffing and low competition. A crowded marketplace, sophisticated search engine algorithms, and a higher standard for writing have changed the game drastically. Even still, there are hugely profitable businesses centered around quality blogs.
Today, we discuss how to blog your way to profit. We explain how to find your subject niche, promote your blog, and stand out from the (very big) crowd by speaking directly to a well-defined audience. The business is different. The readers are different. But the profit is there, if you’re willing to learn where the revenue streams are. Click Play!
Wish you were making sales? Well it may sound painfully obvious, but...you’re not selling enough.
That’s not to say you’re not trying to close. It’s to say you’re not “selling” in the ultimate sense — the 24/7, all-encompassing sense that goes way beyond trying to get a specific person to make a specific purchase. Everything you do — everything — has to be an act of salesmanship, even the things that don’t seem sales-related.
Are you persuading, all the time? Are you promoting your business’ core mission and ideas, with every word? Most new entrepreneurs aren’t selling enough, and it’s holding them back. Today, we discuss the (sometimes surprising) ways businesses sell, so you can learn how to make an argument for your product — all the time. Click Play!
MBA1165 Q&A Wednesday: Love the show’s new cover art. Why did you change it?
You can’t judge a podcast by its cover. But your visual branding needs to reflect what your business is offering.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener noticed something different about our little old business podcast. We updated our cover art, changing the visuals around our show and updating its “look” online. Why? What’s the point?
Today, we discuss why — and when — a a visual refresh is sometimes in order. We’ve had the same cover art since we started in 2014, and frankly, it’s just not as relevant anymore. The show has changed. We’ve changed. And the way we present ourselves has to change, too.
Don’t let your own look stagnate. Stay fresh, and show the market what you really look like. Click Play!
MBA1164 3 Skills That Will Save You Money When Getting Started
Getting ready to start a new business? If so, you probably know that every cent counts.
Having started quite a few businesses ourselves over the years, we’ve learned what skills and abilities can save you the most. If you learn them, you’ll not only have an edge over your competitors — you’ll have a lot more in the bank by this time next year.
Specifically, there are 3 skills every new entrepreneur needs. These are things that can cost quite a bit to hire out for, but require minimal investment to learn yourself. In your crucial first years, learning these skills can save you hundreds or thousands. They’ll also be the skills you fall back on in the future, even as your team grows.
Keep your business lean, and your skill set broad. Click Play!
MBA1163 Must Read: To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink
No matter what your independent business is, you have to be a sales person.
E-commerce, SaaS, freelancing, artisan pretzel-making; whatever the business, you can’t escape the need for salesmanship. It is everything, even if you don’t consider yourself a “sales person” in the conventional sense. Articulating your idea and persuading others to buy in is the essence of business itself, big or small.
Fortunately, this week’s Must-Read for entrepreneurs can show you how.
To Sell Is Human rejects the stigma of salesmanship as scammy or used-car-dealer-y, instead explaining the inherent dignity and necessity of the art. It’s not just customers you sell to — it’s your network, your team, even your family and friends. If you can’t sell your vision, you simply can’t do business.
Learn how necessary selling is, even if you don’t have a sales team. Click Play!
No entrepreneur is truly independent. We all need guidance, support, and help. One of the most important relationships you can cultivate in business is a mentorship.
The most successful entrepreneurs, big and small, have always had at least one mentor. With less structure and precedent than the conventional job market, entrepreneurship is uniquely suited to the mentor-mentee dynamic. But where do you start? How do you find your business sensei?
It might be easier than you think
Your mentor doesn’t have to be an old legend, or even a well-established success. He or she just needs to be someone who knows more than you, and can help you a little further down the path. It may take some time, effort, and resources, but the investment you make in finding a mentor (or several) will be well worth it. Click Play!
You will fail.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you won’t always hit the mark. It’s part and parcel of independent business to establish a goal, strive for it, and come up short. As the year winds down and we evaluate our performance, we should take stock of how we’ve failed, and whether we let those failures drag us down or power us forward.
For new entrepreneurs, every missed goal can seem like a crisis. With so much riding on your business, it can be tough to get back in the saddle, emotionally. Today, we discuss how to maintain your enthusiasm no matter what happens. More importantly, we explain how to pull something positive from the experience of losing.
Whatever metric you’re chasing — sales, traffic, conversions, whatever — you can always turn a swing-and-a-miss into your next victory. Find out how: Click Play!
MBA1160 Q&A Wednesday: What tools do you recommend to create Squeeze Pages?
A page by any other name is just as sweet. Whether you call it a squeeze page or a landing page, conversions are the name of the game. A well-constructed squeeze page shouldn’t take too much time or effort — if you have the right tools.
Today, we tell one listener what those tools are, and where to find them.
It’s a follow up from last week’s episode on maximizing your conversion rates via squeeze page. In that episode, we explained how squeeze pages are the key to sales, and how you can make sure they’re working effectively. Now, we point you to the specific software you can use, tailored to your budget and technical expertise.
Find out what to look for in squeeze page software, how to use it, and why you might already have exactly what you need in your existing CMS. Click Play!
They say to dress for the job you want. But if you’re already an entrepreneur, you can dress for the job you created! Our host Omar almost always rocks a branded t-shirt featuring our software company, WebinarNinja.
The reasons for doing so, however, go way beyond the urge to sneak in some extra advertising.
Whether he’s speaking at a conference, on a webinar, or just hitting the gym, Omar’s gear is a reflection of who he is, and what he wants. Wearing the WebinarNinja logo doesn’t just remind others what he does — it helps him stay focused, motivated, and productive.
It all goes back to Omar’s conventional job as an educator, and how the transition from tie to tee was (and remains) symbolic of his hard-earned independence. Find out how much a shirt can mean, plus get our tips on how to create your own company-branded gear. Click Play!
What can we learn from failure? And not just any failure — total, massive, beyond-epic, multi-billion-dollar failure?
In this week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs, we find out.
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou is many things: an engrossing page-turner, an exemplary piece of investigative journalism, and a huge, devastating lesson in how not to launch a product. It’s the true story of Theranos, a startup with a one-time valuation of 9 billion-with-a-”b” dollars that ultimately crashed, burned, and left all involved reeling (and some facing prison time).
Theranos executives claimed that their technology could run hundreds of medical tests with a single drop of blood. The only problem? It didn’t work. At all. But the pressure to succeed and produce a return on some massive investments overcame any sense of responsible R&D —- or common business sense.
Find out what lessons we small business people can take from the missteps of the big boys. Click Play!
MBA1157 How To Create a Presentation Deck in 1 Hour + Free Ride Friday!
Sometimes, you just have to bang it out.
Whether you’ve got a webinar, pitch, or demo, a quality slide deck is a must. Despite how daunting it can seem, putting one together doesn’t have to be a nightmare or a monumental task. It can be a simple, straightforward, one-hour process.
It can take less time than an episode of Game of Thrones to get ready for your next big moment — if you have the right system.
Today, we explain exactly how to outline and craft your presentation in record time. It’ll be professional, good-looking, and best of all, done. By prioritizing what matters most about the presentation — and learning how to stop fussing over details — you can bring the goods without breaking a sweat. Click Play!
The sales call: is it a lost art? More importantly, should it be?
What’s the role of outbound marketing in an almost completely inbound world? Is there still value in reaching out personally for a conversation? Can the time you and your sales people spend on the phone actually return worthwhile revenue?
The short answer is yes.
We still use outbound calls to supplement our sales strategy, in incredibly important ways. WIth a well-thought-out system, you can set aside time for the calls that matter most. You can gain an edge in new-school entrepreneurship with a touch of old-school methods. Whether your business is on or off-line, a simple conversation can be powerful.
Find out when you should get on the horn. Click Play!
MBA1155 Q&A Wednesday: I’m launching a web app. Do I also need to have a mobile app to go with it?
Does every web application need a mobile version? If not, which ones do?
Most major software companies have a version of their product for every device under the sun. But for lean startups, you’ve gotta put your time and effort into what returns the best investment. Today, we discuss exactly how to figure out if you need a mobile app — and if so, how to proceed.
There are a few key questions you must ask to determine whether developing a mobile app is worth your time and money. In fact, it may be the case that you only need a mobile app, and you can forget about laptop, desktop, and tablet versions.
Tune in, and find out what those questions are. Ask them, and you’ll have a path forward for your software. Click Play!
It’s gonna happen. As your business grows and your team members ponder their futures, they’ll want to know how much you value them. Like, exactly how much.
Whether you employ freelancers, full-timers, or contractors, shelling out the dough to keep the right people on board is a must. Of course, you have your whole business budget to consider, so how can you offer just compensation while keeping your books balanced? How can you avoid expensive turnover and expensive over-compensation?
You need a plan.
Well in advance of any raise requests, you need to have an established playbook for considering them. If you’re caught off guard, you may make the wrong decision — either paying too much, or losing an employee who was totally worth it. Today, we offer our system for evaluating and responding raise requests in a way that works for all parties concerned.
Remember: the cost of losing someone great can exceed the cost of keeping them. Click Play!
MBA1153 Must Read: The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Sometimes, you consult exciting new voices in business leadership. Sometimes, you consult the legends.
Peter Drucker basically invented business management, and is seen as one of the founders of corporate culture. His extensive studies and writings on effective business leadership are the foundational canon for budding executives — and entrepreneurs.
Today, we review his classic The Effective Executive.
This Must-Read teaches you the most important concepts in hiring, delegating, and generally managing. It explores how poor leaders waste time, and great leaders leverage it for maximum effect. The book’s subtitle says it all: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Learn how to be the best leader you can be, in small business or big. Click Play!
MBA1152 How to Save on Office Space as You Grow + Free Ride Friday!
Your business is growing. Your team is growing. Your space needs to grow, also.
It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!!, and we’re discussing how to scale your business in the one way entrepreneurs often forget to consider. Your office space has to be flexible enough to grow with your staff. Moving from space to space wastes money, time, and effort. So how can you set your space up for growth — without the growing pains?
With our simple tips, you can shave dollars, hours, and stress off of the growth process. From the simplest garage or kitchen table to a full-blown office, you can make a few key decisions now that will pay off later.
Plus, we discuss some unconventional options that can really free you up to grow without fear of bursting at the seams. Grow smart — Click Play!
MBA1151 When to Use Squeeze Pages to Maximize Conversions
Call it a landing page, or call it a squeeze page. Either way, it’s the key to conversions.
These stripped-down, bare-bones pages have one purpose and one purpose only: to collect email addresses. One page can move visitors down the funnel at incredible rates, but only if it’s executed properly.
Today, we discuss exactly how to get it right.
There are times when an ill-placed squeeze page (or a poorly designed one) can do more harm than good. As online entrepreneurs, we’ve got to know when and where to place quality landing pages for maximum effect. Most importantly, we’ve got to design those pages well, with a goal-focused, streamline approach.
Gather those addresses, and move on those leads. Find out how a solid squeeze page can make all the difference — Click Play!
MBA1150 Q&A Wednesday: I can only go to two conferences next year. How do I choose?
Conferences are a big investment of time and money. How do you know which ones are worth it?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is in a bind: with only enough time and resources for two conferences, choosing the best is no easy task. Fortunately, we’ve been to many a conference, as speakers and attendees. We know what to look for, and what to avoid.
Most importantly, we know what makes a conference worth the investment.
No matter what kind of business you run, or what industry you’re in, there are a few key common priorities to consider when choosing a conference. Truth be told, some conferences are way better than others, and knowing what you’re looking for is crucial. Find out what — and more importantly, who — you should be looking for. Click Play!
MBA1149 Lessons Learned When Launching a New Product
As always, our experience is your guide. Recently, we undertook the difficult — but enlightening — task of launching an entire new product. What we learned was valuable to us, and will definitely be valuable to you.
We’ve got a new product, but this episode isn’t some thinly-disguised plug. It’s a genuine lesson on building and launching something new, and everything that process can teach you. Whether you’re launching your first product, or adding something new to your existing business, listen to this before you release the final version!
Give your product the best chance of selling big. In this episode, we discuss marketing and launching a new software service, and how to balance your current branding with the need to make new and different waves. We get into everything from pricing to beta testing, with detailed information on how to give your new baby the best chance of success. Click Play!
We are our habits.
That’s the lesson author James Clear understands, and it’s the topic of this week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs. Atomic Habits is a valuable primer on forming the right habits, and ditching the bad ones. One habit at a time, you can improve your results in business and life.
By losing unproductive habits and establishing productive ones, you make the little differences that add up to big success. This is, hands down, the best of the “habits” books out there, based on years of research and careful study. It’s full of useful, valuable advice. And for all its detailed wisdom, it’s a relatively easy read.
Plus, the book includes lots of bonus tools and online extras. As self-improvement goes, this is serious bang for your buck. Find out why — Click Play!
MBA1147 5 Timeless Lessons from the Father of Advertising + Free Ride Friday!
David Ogilvy invented modern advertising. What can you learn from him?
In a still text-driven online marketplace, effective copy writing is just as important now as it was in the 1960s. As the real-life Don Draper, Ogilvy used meticulous research to find out exactly what drove leads and sales. Everything he discovered about magazine and newspaper ads is directly applicable to websites and landing pages today.
Time Magazine called Ogilvy “the most sought-after wizard in advertising.” But what he accomplished wasn’t magic. It was research-based strategy, and you can master it for your own business.
Learn how a few words can make the difference between a flood of sales and a total flop. Learn how being clever isn’t as valuable as you might think it is, if it’s not customer-centered wit. See how in business, many things change, but some principles are eternal. Click Play!
Amazon giveth, and Amazon taketh away.
The online retail behemoth is a double-edged sword, a massive marketplace that can give you huge exposure to millions of potential customers — but not without a price. Without a doubt, Amazon makes many things easy, like payment processing and shipping. But just as surely, Amazon takes its toll.
Is it worth it? Is what you surrender to Amazon more valuable than the sales you get in return?
Today, we discuss when Amazon can help, and when it can be the wrong choice. Certain kinds of businesses thrive under Amazon, while others are better off going it alone. Tune in, and see which category your business falls into. Decide whether tying yourself to the biggest name in e-commerce is a move you’ll look back on with satisfaction, or regret. Click Play!
MBA1145 Q&A Wednesday: How Do I Break Up With My Business Partner?
Breaking up isn’t easy. But sometimes, it’s necessary.
A business partnership is like any other: a mutual investment of time, effort, and resources. When it ends, it can go very badly. But when both partners are forthright and genuinely committed to an amicable split, parting ways doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener who’s ready to pull the plug on a partnership. We discuss exactly how to make sure that all parties concerned get what they deserve, and how to transition from the current partnership to whatever’s next.
No matter the reason, there’s a right way to split, and several wrong ways. Learn why leaving a partnership amicably is an important investment, one that will follow you into the future no matter where entrepreneurship takes you. Learn how to do it right, and you’ll be glad you did. Click Play!
Ah, the flea market. The tables, the booths, the smells, the locals...the lessons.
These markets are a microcosm of the business world, a stripped-down space where the simple rules of supply and demand are on full display — along with a ton of valuable lessons entrepreneurs can use on and offline.
Our host Omar and $100MBA co-founder Nicole recently took a trip to the Kirribilli Market in Milson’s Point, just outside Sydney, Australia. There, they saw dozens of small business people struggling to turn their hobby into a living. Some were doing better than others, and the reasons for their success (or failure) are applicable to every industry.
Hear the tips and tricks we saw on display, that you can apply to your own company. Whether you’ve got a stall at the market or a site on the web, what works on the street works on the Internet. Find out how — Click Play!
MBA1143 Guest Teacher: Iz El-Bahnasy- How to Optimize Your Conversion Rate
If you can’t convert, you can’t sell. Turning website visitors into customers is an exact science, one with years of research behind it.
Today, an expert in conversion optimization strategy stops by to give us a thorough breakdown of exactly how to move visitors down the funnel and onto your customer list. Iz El-Bahnasy is the founder of Gather, a conversion app that’s leading the way in...well, leads!
El-Bahnasy understand the buyer’s journey from start to finish, and so can you.
Learn how to maximize your chances of success at every step in the journey, from the first visit to marketing qualification to sales qualification and beyond. Using data from Gather users, El-Bahnasy has honed his strategy to identify weak points in the funnel, and fix them to keep the leads flowing.
See how much better your conversion optimization can be. Click Play!
MBA1142 Saving Money When Paying in Different Currencies + Free Ride Friday!
It’s a big world out there, and the Internet allows entrepreneurs to find the best, most affordable talent wherever it is. But with that freedom comes a unique, modern hassle: losing money as you do business across national borders.
Today, we discuss how exchange rates can cost you hundreds per month — and what you can do about it.
As a remote team with over 30 employees on 4 continents, we’re experienced navigators of the international currency scene. Over time, we’ve learned how to pay our people what they’ve earned, wherever they live, without bleeding cash ourselves.
Learn the tips and tricks you and your accountant can use to save money on payroll, whatever the currencies involved. Learn how payment processors like PayPal can cost you more than you realize, and what better alternatives exist. Find out how to minimize the number of transfers you make, and mitigate the losses those transfers cause. Click Play!
Sponsors: are they worth the effort? Whether it’s a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, or live event, sponsorship can be your biggest source of revenue. It can also be a major pain in the tuchus.
Yes, sponsors pay you. But that money doesn’t come free, and what you give in exchange can have a dramatic impact on your relationship with your audience. Carefully balancing the needs of your sponsors, your audience, and your business is a delicate thing — and it’s crucial to get it right.
Today, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of sponsorship. We help you choose the right sponsors for your brand and audience, and offer our insights on how and when to acquire sponsors that add value, not just cash. Learn how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1140 Q&A Wednesday: What gear do you recommend for my webinars?
We know webinars work. So what tools do you need to make them work better? It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’re helping one listener choose the best gear for the job.
There are a million audio/visual gadgets out there, but we’re focusing on the must-haves, the bare essentials that have the greatest overall impact on the quality of your webinar. As longtime webinar hosts (and webinar software developers), we’ve learned a thing or two.
From mics to cameras, boom arms to lighting, we’ve got the most practical, least expensive ways to produce a professional webinar.
Plus, we’ve got tips on how to use these tools to give the best webinar possible. Learn what to use, where to get it, and how to make it all work. Toss the bells and whistles aside, and focus on what matters most to your ultimate goal: conversions. Click Play!
MBA1139 How to Get Out of a Bad Mood For The Sake of Your Business
Having a bad day?
In entrepreneurship, that’s gonna happen. Fires will erupt, and putting them out is every independent business person’s burden. But if you let a rough patch sour your mood, the damage will be compounded by your own emotional imbalance. So how can you take the hits with calm, cool, and confidence?
Today, we discuss our specific methods for digging ourselves out of a funk. Your team needs you at your best, emotionally and mentally. Every second you spend in a bad mood hurts morale, productivity, and your bottom line.
In the end, a happy entrepreneur is a more successful one.
This episode is not a pep talk. It’s a practical, step-by-step guide to dusting yourself off, putting a smile on your face, and getting back in the saddle. Try our techniques, and see how quick you can make your emotional recovery time. Click Play!
MBA1138 Must Read: It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Excessive stress is not a requirement of entrepreneurship.
At least that’s what Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, authors of this week’s Must-Read book for entrepreneurs think. It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work is a radical treatise on the dangers — and utter uselessness — of running yourself and your team ragged. Their company, Basecamp, prides itself on a healthy approach to the work/life balance.
We found Fied and Hansson’s thoughts to be challenging, but we can’t deny their results. Basecamp is a phenomenal success, one that the cofounders claim was built without goal-obsessed, productivity-driven, hair-tearing work.
Could this approach work for your business?
Today, we review this incredible book, and analyze its unique philosophy. The war against anxiety has begun, and these successful entrepreneurs are ready to fight for a saner, happier workplace. Click Play!
MBA1137 4 Steps to Make Enough Passive Income For Your Personal Expenses + Free Ride Friday!
You want to start a business, but you’re terrified.
You’re terrified that you could find yourself unable to fund your basic needs like housing, food, and Netflix (ok, maybe that last one’s not technically a “need,” but still). Entrepreneurship is risky, and takes time, and you have to make a living while your business grows. So what can you do to keep a roof over your head while you pursue your own success?
Enter the “passive” income.
Yes, passive income is real. No, it’s not a way to earn money for doing nothing. It’s a smart, savvy way to fund your day-to-day life while making moves the conventionally employed can’t make. It allows you to focus on your life, not your living. It gives you the freedom to choose entrepreneurship, without ending up in a hole.
Find out how you can use the passive income strategy (along with some extra work and a little sacrifice) to keep yourself stable, wherever business takes you. Click Play!
MBA1136 3 Steps to Make an Extra 20% in Sales This Month
Need a revenue boost? Look no further.
Today, we discuss 3 steps you can take today that’ll jazz your numbers up and get you through a slow month. These immediately applicable, effective steps can give you just the edge you need to see moderate growth within a few weeks. Some are simple, some more involved, but all can do the trick.
From unique promotional strategies, to outside-the-box marketing tactics, to subtle systemic tweaks, these tips help you squeeze a few dollars more from your existing resources. Using just what you’ve got, you can get a little further, climb a little higher, and set yourself up to grow steadily.
We use these tricks ourselves when our businesses need a shot in the arm. Hear how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1135 Q&A Wednesday: How Do I Stop Scammers From Abusing My Affiliate Program?
Affiliate marketing can be a powerful, positive tool for growth. But like many business opportunities, it can also create the conditions for some seriously shady misbehavior.
Don’t let the scammers win!
Today, we discuss 5 simple strategies you can use to cut the devils off and protect your business. While most of your affiliates will be trustworthy fellow entrepreneurs with good intentions, there are always bad apples out there waiting to use stolen credit card info to boost their own commissions — and leave you holding the bag.
If you don’t protect yourself, the chargebacks from false purchases will throw your revenue cycle into chaos. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to set your affiliate program up in a way that prevents all that.
Our own scammer-unfriendly affiliate system took a few bad experiences to perfect, so let our experience be your security. Click Play!
MBA1134 3 Steps to Gain 10 Productive Hours This Week
Time is more valuable than money — and we’ve only got so much. What would you be willing to trade for substantially more time, each and every week?
Today, we’ve got 3 steps you can take to drastically increase your time by drastically improving your productivity. These aren’t simple “hacks” or fluffy life lessons; they’re challenging acts of commitment that pay off big. These are things we do ourselves, and even though it’s not always easy, it’s always worth it.
Imagine what you can do with 10 extra hours per week: professional development, new projects, or just plain relaxing! It is possible to squeeze more and more precious time from even the busiest schedule, if you apply certain principles — and avoid some time-sucking bad habits.
Try these strategies for just one week, and see what a difference they can make! Click Play!
MBA1133 Guest Teacher: Dan Schawbel- How to Create Strong Relationships with Your Team
Do you have employees, or do you have a team?
It’s one thing to be in charge, but having strong relationships with your team can have a serious positive impact on your business performance. The quality of your product, the efficiency of your systems, and your bottom line can all be better — if you’re willing to put some work into the relationships that drive the team’s success.
Today on the podcast, we’ve got a renowned expert in team management to help you do just that.
Dan Schawbel is the expert’s expert, a New York Times best-selling author lauded in Forbes, INC, and Business Insider as a powerful young leader. He’s here with proven ways to reduce employee turnover, get the team focused on your common mission, and create an atmosphere of loyalty and shared purpose.
These tips work for teams of all sizes, in any industry. Find out how to get everyone on the same page — Click Play!
MBA1132 How Often Do You Need to Meet with Your Team? + Free Ride Friday!
Meetings: is there anyone who actually likes them?
For most businesses, meetings are a must, at least occasionally. Very rare is the business in which the team never gets together, either virtually or in person. However, too many meetings are just as dangerous as too few. So what’s the right frequency for your business?
Today, we discuss how to determine exactly how often to meet. From the daily “Stand Up” to the monthly get-together, we’ve seen dozens of different approaches, with varying degrees of success. Balancing the need for communication with the need for efficiency can be a tricky proposition, one with serious impact on the morale and productivity of your team.
Our formula for creating your team’s meeting schedule can help you establish a fair, groan-free system for catching up together, and then getting back to work. With a little forethought, you can keep everyone on the same page, without taking away from your employees’ independence. Click Play!
The age old question for entrepreneurs with growing teams: when does is stop being smart to pay by the hour? When is a salary the right move?
Depending on the employee, how you pay them can make all the difference in both their productivity and your return on investment. And while one option definitely (usually) costs more than the other, what you get back for that money is just as variable.
We had to learn this ourselves, with our own businesses depending on a remote team of dozens.
Our mixture of full-time employees, part-timers, and freelancers requires a careful balance of pay-affecting factors. With pros and cons to both approaches, weighing the cost of employee pay with the value of employee work can be tricky business — especially when the pay structure has a serious impact on the quality of their work.
Today, we discuss how to decide which way you’ll pay a given employee, how to set expectations, and how to ensure you’ll both get what you need from each other in a mutually beneficial arrangement. Click Play!
MBA1130 Q&A Wednesday: How do I create Facebook ad images without a designer?
Facebook advertising works, but only if you do it right.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener who’s ready to advertise, but not sure how to design ads that convert — and more importantly, don’t waste the advertising budget.
Fortunately, you don’t need to hire an expensive pro to design effective Facebook ads. There are several options, and lots of resources, for the DIY advertiser. With a little guidance and some helpful tools, you can create several Facebook-friendly images that work perfectly within the social site’s parameters.
Knowing Facebook’s rules and applying one of the 3 options we discuss today will pay off, with a patient approach to the platform that prioritizes efficiency. In relatively little time, at little cost, you can unleash ads that work, avoiding common pitfalls along the way.
Hear how it’s done. Click Play!
MBA1129 How to Know if Entrepreneurship is Not For You
So you want to start your own business. What’s taking so long? Here at the $100 MBA, we battle a myth. We battle it day in and day out, because it’s the one thing holding more entrepreneurs back than anything else: the belief that you need huge amounts of funding, education, time, or resources to start a successful business. It’s not that you won’t ever need things like knowledge or capital. You just don’t need as much as you might think to get started! You can begin the journey any time, including right now, and gather those things along the way. All it takes is a little guidance, and the will to move forward. So many people want to be independent entrepreneurs, but too many people overestimate the obstacles to doing so. You don’t need a huge budget. You don’t need the experience of an expert. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need “passion,” or some Earth-shattering product idea. You just need to take the first steps. You can build a business right now, today. What business will depend on you, but there are a few categories of business that anyone can establish with minimal resources and experience. We know — we’ve built these businesses ourselves. Today, we’re sharing 5 specific types of businesses that you can start with nothing but a laptop and decent wifi. The greatest preparation for entrepreneurship? Just plain doing it. We talk all the time about the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. It means that every product has to start somewhere, that it can’t be perfect before you get the ball rolling. The same applies to entrepreneurs. If you want to be in business for yourself, the most important thing you can do is to get started! You don’t need the features of a long-established career to begin one. Sometimes, you just have to stop packing and get on the road. Whether it’s service, creative, or educational, there are countless ways to leverage your talents into a real-world business. With this lesson, we offer 5 examples. We discuss why you don’t need to wait for conditions to be “perfect” to start a business, how to find your niche, and how to find your first clients. Tune in, hear how jumping into entrepreneurship really works, and decide how you can start your independent business journey, right this minute. After the lesson, stick around for a very special, very important announcement for all our listeners. We can't wait to share this lesson, and we can't wait to share this week's exciting news. Let's kill the excuses. Let's kill the doubt. Let's get going! Click Play!
MBA1128 Must Read: Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss is at it again, with another book of Grade-A entrepreneurial wisdom. But this time, it’s not just from the man himself.
Tribe of Mentors is a fantastic collection of condensed wisdom from experts in various industries. Easy to read, digestible, and immediately applicable, these golden nuggets of business truth will serve you well. That’s why it’s this week’s Must-Read book for budding entrepreneurs.
One of the most daring and occasionally controversial business “gurus” of our time, Ferriss always swings for the fences. As a writer and blogger, he’s inspired millions to get to the next level, even by unconventional means. The original life hacker, Ferriss’ influence can’t be denied. Now, he offers a long, but very readable tome on what it takes to move up in life and business.
Hear why this book should be on your list. Click Play!
MBA1127 Should You Write a Book to Promote Your Brand? + Free Ride Friday!
Will writing a book help your business?
It sounds like a no-brainer: write a book, and your credibility will spike, leading to more traffic. Done right, a book can be one of the most powerful branding and marketing tools imaginable.
But done incorrectly, writing a book can be serious waste of time, money, and effort.
In order to produce a big ROI, your book has to have certain components. It has to be written — and marketed — in a way that’s efficient. Simply putting words to paper will not boost your business. In fact, it can hurt your business and brand.
You don’t have to be a stellar writer, but you do need a plan.
Today, we discuss what makes a book work as a marketing tool, and why some books fail to hit the mark. From content to publishing method to marketing, these tips will ensure that what you get out of your book is greater than what you put in. Click Play!
Entrepreneurs have to stay on top of the latest. Any tools that can make us more effective, more efficient, and better prepared to compete are a must.
In business, we all need an edge. 2018 has offered exactly that, with apps and programs that make a difference.
Today, we discuss 5 incredible tools that have had the greatest impact on our productivity. They’ve improved the quality of our work, while making work easier. They’ve become indispensable to us, saving us time, money, and headaches. Some are simple, some are complex — but all are powerful.
Check out these tools for yourself, and see what they can do for your competitive edge. You’ll be glad you did. Click Play!
MBA1125 Q&A Wednesday: I heard you use a standing desk? What are the benefits?
It’s time to take a stand! The health and productivity drawbacks of sitting all day at work are well-documented. As people in every business look for ways to work healthier and more effectively, the standing desk has become all the rage.
As entrepreneurs, we have the privilege of being able to design our own workspaces. Freed from the cubicle, more and more of us are choosing to work on our feet, and the benefits are undeniable — but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. The standing desk, like all things, has its own drawbacks.
Today, we discuss the ups, the downs, and the adjustments you’ll have to make if you decide to get off your derriere. We’ve worked 8 hours a day at standing desks for over 4 years now, and we’ve experienced the physical and professional benefits. We’ve also experienced the unpleasant parts, and found ways to modify our setup.
Get more done, and improve your health. Click Play!
Considering building a personal website to boost your brand?
In addition to business and product-specific sites, sites devoted to your personal outlook and character can have a powerful marketing impact. They can help consolidate and leverage your most important asset — the audience you build — across multiple business ventures.
We decided to find out for ourselves what it takes to build an effective personal website. We launched omarzenhom.com to promote your favorite podcast host’s public speaking services and highlight his other business accomplishments.
Today, we take a look at we learned from this project.
Mostly, we learned a lot about the importance of deadlines, and how to build your website in the smartest, most efficient way — even if it means making some tough choices in the name of getting the job done. To get the most out of a personal website, you’ve got to learn an age-old business lesson: that “done” is better than “perfect.”
We discuss how to design, plan, and launch your personal website with a focus on what matters most to your business. Before you get started on your website, give this episode a listen. Click Play!
MBA1123 Guest Teacher: Pete Vargas- Crafting a High-Converting Signature Talk
One talk can do it all. It can propel your independent business, and keep it growing year after year. The right signature speech can be the foundation of your entire personal brand, boosting your credibility and growing your following.
Today, we’ve got a special guest teacher who specializes in crafting evergreen, reusable, home-run talks that get serious mileage. Pete Vargas knows what it takes to command the stage or screen with talks that are valuable and inspiring, and that convince audiences to take a closer look at you and your product.
Pete’s here to discuss the 4 specific components that can make a signature talk your most powerful marketing tool. Whether it’s for conferences, webinars, website videos, or anything else, the content you put into your talk can carry your message far and wide — and win converts along the way.
Learn how to create, deliver, and leverage an incredible talk. Click Play!
MBA1122 5 Ways to Recharge for Under $100 + Free Ride Friday!
That’s not a suggestion. It’s not even advice. It’s a requirement for any entrepreneur who really wants to succeed. A burnt out, overworked, overtired person cannot meet their full potential, and is not fit to run a business. In order to make yourself fully capable, you have to factor in a little R&R.
Fortunately, getting the recharge you need doesn’t have to cost you much money, or your business much of your time.
Today, we discuss 5 ways to get quick, relatively cheap relief from the stresses of entrepreneurship. In fact, a single day of dedicated rest, focused solely on refreshing your love of life, is more effective than a week of working “vacation” where you spend your “off” days squinting at work messages on your smartphone.
For $100 or less, in less than 24 hours, you can do what you need to do to keep your head on straight. We can’t stress (see what I did there?) this enough: rest is just as important as work in order to be successful.
It’s not lazy. It’s not luxurious. It’s life, and you can live it with a healthy balance of work and play. Speaking of which, Click Play!
Is your small business succeeding?
Growth can be a difficult thing to measure. Often, new entrepreneurs need help to determine whether they’re on the right track. What exactly constitutes the right speed of growth is hard to put your finger on, especially when things can change so drastically at the beginning.
Today, we discuss exactly how to decide what success means for your business, what exactly needs to grow, and how fast. Whether you’re measuring revenue, users, influence, or anything else, defining your benchmarks is the only way to track your progress. If you’re not growing, you’re dying — so you have to be able to “see” growth as it’s happening.
No matter the size or type of business, you can paint a picture of what adequate growth looks like. On this episode, we offer multiple ways to measure growth, so you can decide which matters most. By pinpointing the right data and metrics, you can see exactly where you are — and how to get where you’re going more quickly.
Learn how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1120 Q&A Wednesday: Do you have any crucial advice you’d give to a fresh blogger?
Just getting started blogging? There’s a ton to learn. There’s a ton we wish we’d learned before we started. Fortunately, we’ve learned it since, and today we share it with you!
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know exactly what advice we’d give a rookie blogger. Without the right focus (and the right tips), the blog game can be tough, even counter-productive. But if you can find your voice, master your content production, and leverage your writing skillfully, your blog can be the best thing that ever happened to your business.
This advice is much more specific than “just keep blogging.” With instructions on everything from blog structure to page design and more, you can improve the quality and visibility of your blog. This is the information it took us years (and hundreds of posts) to acquire.
Make the best blog you can make. Get the most out of it. See how powerful a simple thing like the written word can be for your business. Click Play!
Conferences can be excellent opportunities to network, build partnerships, and yes, build your audience. Whether you’re a speaker or just an attendee, there’s no substitute for the face-to-face, in person connections you build at conferences.
But you have to make those connections correctly, and strategically.
Too many entrepreneurs don’t get the most out of the opportunities conferences create. Today, we discuss how to turn your fellow attendees into more than just friendly faces. With a few simple tricks, you can turn them into leads, and ultimately into customers.
You can harvest the crowd, turning a portion of the conference audience into your audience.
Conferences are unique and wonderful things, where you’re surrounded by people with whom you already share common interests. You can dip your basket into this flow of real-world, live human traffic, and translate it into digital traffic for your business.
Check out our 5 tips for getting the most out of conferences, and see what a difference they can make. Click Play!
MBA1118 Must Read: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
What’s the secret to creativity? How do great product designers, artists, and content marketers create original work that’s unlike anything consumers have seen before?
This week’s Must-Read book for the entrepreneur, Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, debunks the myth of originality and explains how all great creations are the products of the creator’s influences, not divine inspiration from within.
Creating and marketing art, products, and writings has less to do with “creating” and more to do with something else: reinterpreting.
So we’re clear, we’re not talking about plagiarism or copyright violations. We’re talking about using inspiration from others to build something of your own, something rooted in greatness but unique nonetheless. From fine art to clothing designs to great blogs, we’re all just taking the baton, not making the baton from scratch!
Nothing is created in a vacuum. If you can master your influences — and make sure your influences are of a high quality — you can make something truly (but not entirely) new. You can create something that will live up to the creators before you, while making your own name in the business world.
Find out how. Click Play!
MBA1117 Long Term Facebook Marketing Strategies + Free Ride Friday!
For new businesses, Facebook is a long game.
The power of social media marketing is often, frankly, overhyped. But that doesn’t mean there’s aren’t serious gains to be made with the right approach. In particular, Facebook’s ability to directly target users according to endlessly refinable characteristics is just too good to pass up — but it still requires strategy on your part.
Today, we discuss our long-term, slow-and-steady method for gradually getting a serious ROI on Facebook marketing. With a far-reaching outlook, you can harness the considerable power of Facebook to make your ad buys count in a big way. We’ll show you how to build and implement a Facebook strategy like the one we’ve been using for the last several years, to great effect.
Facebook can make a huge impact on your business, but only if you approach it with the correct timeframe in mind. Planning, patience, and commitment will bear the biggest fruit. See how we pull it off, plus learn about an incredible online resource that makes Facebook advertising much, much easier. Click Play!
Computer running sluggish? You can’t let your tech slow down your business, but what if you can’t afford a brand spanking new piece of equipment?
Worry not, friends. You don’t have to drop a couple G’s on the latest hardware.
There are alternatives. You’ve got to have the tools you need to do business, even if your operating budget isn’t in “new MacBook” territory just yet. You can drastically improve your computer situation for just a few hundred dollars, or even less.
From tune-ups to accessories to trade-ins, there are cheaper, better ways to get the hardware you need.
Today we share the tricks that let you get the most computer for the least amount of money. Some of them, you may have heard of. Others, maybe not. To keep your startup lean, you need to find savings wherever you can, and these savings are substantial.
Reduce friction. Save time. Get more bang for your tech-buck. Click Play!
MBA1115 Q&A Wednesday: I have too many ideas for my business. How do I implement them all?
Entrepreneurs have active minds. Our brains are always coming up with new ways to innovate, grow, and evolve. Ideas, as they say, are a dime a dozen — but only if they’re not executed in the real world.
So how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of your ideas? How can you keep up with your own busy brain?
Today, we’re offering a solution. We’ve got a super-efficient, time-effective system for organizing all your random ideas, weeding out the duds, prioritizing the ones with the most potential, and implementing them.
This idea-management formula won’t just save you time, it’ll keep you from wasting (or forgetting) your best and brightest notions.
All it takes is a simple, convenient spreadsheet, and a little time each week. We’ve used this system for years, and it’s served us very, very well. Get through the most ideas in the least time. Turn your a-ha moments into actionable plans. Don’t leave your ideas sitting where they’ll do the least good: in your head. Do something with them! Click Play!
MBA1114 How to Prepare for The Holiday Season To Get More Sales
The holidays aren’t exactly around the corner. But for businesses, it’s time to get ready for the season of giving, right now.
Today, we discuss why prepping for the holidays early is the best way to make the most of this annual opportunity. As November approaches on the Western calendar, you need to have your strategy in place. Consumers are primed and pumped to spend, and you don’t want to miss out.
There’s no better climate for sales than the next two months!
On this episode, we offer 5 specific things you can do now to reap the holiday spending from November ‘till New Year’s. With a little forethought, you can make your business the easiest choice for consumers in a gift-buying frenzy.
Take our advice — and our experience — to really make the holidays count. After a bad performance during the height of the retails season cost one of our businesses thousands in missed opportunities, we swore we’d never be unprepared again. Don’t make our mistake! Click Play!
MBA1113 Guest Teacher: Shep Hyken- How to Deliver a Customer Service Experience That Disrupts the Competition & Creates Fierce Loyalty
Every entrepreneur has to ask themselves: how can my business stand out?
You need to find an edge, a place where you can do what other businesses can’t, or won’t. For so many industries, an entrepreneur can make a huge splash by offering better customer service. As today’s special guest teacher tells us, general satisfaction with service is at an all-time low.
Shep Hyken is a best-selling author and renowned customer service consultant. As he’s watched the expectations for quality customer service rise, he’s helped businesses keep up. By offering unparalleled customer service and going the extra mile — or two — you can outshine the competition where they’re weakest.
As we like to remind listeners, the ROI on customer service typically exceeds that of marketing and advertising. Reducing churn and keeping the customers you have is just about the smartest investment you can make, especially in a competitive market. But great service isn’t just about retention; by outperforming the competition in service, you can create deep, lasting loyalty.
In the long term, loyalty is worth its weight in gold.
Check out Shep’s lesson, and learn how you can bring the strongest customer service game in your niche. Plus, get a free helpful resource, courtesy of Shep himself. Click Play!
MBA1112 5 iPhone Launch Strategies to Apply to Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
If you haven’t heard, Apple does a pretty decent job of selling iPhones. So what can we as entrepreneurs learn from the king of the tech sector?
Apple just launched the the iPhones XS, XS Max, and XR. This is something Apple does every year, and every year they use strategies worth taking note of. Today, we break down those strategies, and show you how you can use them to sell anything.
What most people don’t notice, or appreciate, is the careful planning and well-thought marketing logic behind each and every iPhone launch. But of course, entrepreneurs aren’t most people. So we’re going to get deep into the how’s and why’s of what Apple does, so we can emulate that success on a smaller scale.
Apple controls the vast — vast — majority of the global smartphone market. How are they doing this? How are they convincing so many people to buy (very expensive) products? Learn how to build the hype like Apple. Learn how to ride the buzz to record sales. Take a note from the best, and see how far you can go.
Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
MBA1111 4 Movies That Will Make You Re-Think Your Business
Movies offer some of the best lessons in life and business. No, we’re not talking about Wall Street (though that’s a really good one, too). We’re talking about movies that aren’t the biggest blockbusters, but that have some of the deepest insights into the true nature of entrepreneurship.
We’re talking about movies that can genuinely make you a better entrepreneur.
These 4 movies are the top of our list, the films that have so much to say about business itself that they’re as vital as any of the “Must-Read” books we regularly feature on this podcast. Some are well-known, some not so much. But all can make you reevaluate how you run your own company, big or small.
Who says professional development is all about reading books and listening to your favorite podcast? The struggles, successes, ups, and downs of the entrepreneurs featured in these films reflect the same things we all face in struggling to make our dreams reality. Check out our list, pop the corn, and get ready — Click Play!
MBA1110 Q&A Wednesday: How do I write employee contracts?
As your team grows, it’s important to set the terms of employment. Otherwise, you and your business can be left vulnerable, legally speaking.
Crafting solid employee contracts doesn’t require a law degree (though you should have someone with a law degree look your contracts over). It does, however, require some knowledge and resources. Today, we discuss how to put your own employee contracts together, with minimal consultation from lawyers — saving you expensive legal fees.
We describe how to come up with your own templates for contracts, including how to use a fantastic, reliable online resource designed just for small business owners. We talk about what to include, how to format your contracts, and how to involve legal counsel without breaking the bank.
Employee contracts are a necessity, a long-term protection for your business that allows you to grow your team while heading off potential problems down the road. We struggled mightily with this when our first team grew, so learn from our experience! Apply this advice to your own growing team, and you’ll be glad you did. Click Play!
Before you throw in the towel, listen to this.
Actually, listen to this immediately, whether you’re just getting started, or you’re established in your independent business. Because most entrepreneurs quit, and most of those who quit aren’t defeated — they just think they are. The simple truth we discuss in this episode saved our business, and it can save yours too.
There’s a very common reason the majority of entrepreneurs lose heart and walk away from their business. If you know what it is, you can overcome it.
Let this lesson be your wake-up call. There’s something out there that gets in almost everyone’s way, but not everyone needs to be stopped by it. By identifying the problem, understanding its true nature, and seeing a way around it, you can go farther than the rest of the pack.
Unlike most entrepreneurs, you can make it. Find out how. Click Play!
A business person needs to be a champion. Perseverance, heart, and the will to dig deep for the best in yourself are the basic qualifications for entrepreneurship. Nowhere can we find better lessons for all that than in the memoirs of literal champions like Andre Agassi.
Let us put this out there: this is the best autobiography we’ve ever featured on this podcast, full stop. Open isn’t about business per se, but it is about finding what it takes to overcome your own shortcomings, discover your motivation, and allow your daily life to be driven by deep-seated purpose.
Plus, it’s a hell of a lesson in personal branding.
So how did a book about tennis rank so consistently high on best-seller lists, and make it to the top of our Must-Read list for entrepreneurs? It’s simple: this book is about how mentality can overcome anything, from childhood trauma to destructive perfectionism to an opponent with a mean forehand.
The book is about defining winning for yourself — something every entrepreneur needs to do in order to be truly successful.
It’s fascinating, it’s moving, but most importantly for us, Open shows us what it takes to reach your full potential, whatever your calling. As books go, this one will serve an entrepreneur just as well as it would a budding tennis star. Find out why — Click Play!
MBA1107 How to Prepare for Growth + Free Ride Friday!
You’re about to blow up. Are you ready?
When big things are on the horizon, you have to prepare your business. “Catastrophic success” is real and dangerous, and businesses that aren’t prepared to handle a sudden spike in recognition and sales can founder. If you know your business is about to raise its profile, it’s time to gear up for the next level.
Today, we discuss how to get ready for when the attention — and the customers — start pouring in. We’ve got 5 specific bases you need to cover, so that sudden success doesn’t turn into suddenly losing your footing. You’ve got to make the most of those rare, golden opportunities to parlay big moments into long-term profit, so don’t miss your chance!
If you’re not ready, your business infrastructure can be overwhelmed. Your website can crash. Your payment processor can trigger alarms. Your inventory can be exhausted. Your ability to keep up when the good times start rolling is crucial to your survival.
Worry not, entrepreneurs. Sudden success is a good problem to have, and we’re here to help you navigate it. Click Play!
What’s stopping you from starting your own business? If you said money, you’re not alone.
In fact, a lack of startup cash is among the primary reasons people never get their big idea off the ground. So how can you break free from a lack of capital, without resorting to loans or investors? How can you put together the scratch all on your own?
We know how. We’ve done it.
Today, we help you create your business-starting action plan. Our host Omar started his own first business one dollar at a time, while maintaining a conventional job. He learned from experience how to save up money and that create demonstrable progress towards the day you can actually pull the trigger.
Some of these methods are easier than others. All require sacrifice. But all get the job done. See which of Omar’s 5 methods can work for you. Click Play!
MBA1105 Q&A Wednesday: How do I validate an idea for a niche subscription box business?
The subscription box: it’s all the rage, as enthusiasts of all kinds sign up to get a fresh collection of hobby-specific goodies each month. But how specific can you get? How niche is too niche to sustain a profitable box-driven business?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener with a very targeted, extremely niche idea for a subscription box service. And while we always recommend finding very, very specific problems to solve, you still have to make sure there’s a big enough market to keep your company profitable.
So how can you find out?
Today, we discuss exactly how to test the waters, and gather the intel you need to determine whether your big idea has a big (enough) audience. We take our listener through some business recon, and explain step-by-step how to do the low-cost market research necessary to reach an answer.
Niching down minimizes risk, but you can’t go in blind. Find out how small the target can really be — Click Play!
MBA1104 How to Quickly Create Tutorials for Your Product
When it comes to keeping customers, onboarding is everything.
Getting your customers immediately engaged with your product is key to reducing churn and getting a return on all your marketing and advertising investment. It’s also key to creating evangelists for your brand, as new customers become repeat customers and convince others to join them.
You don’t just need buyers — you need users. And you can’t have users without tutorials.
Today, we’ll show you how to quickly, efficiently create bare-bones, minimum viable tutorials that get the job done. No fancy effects, no bells or whistles — just fast, effective resources that’ll get your customers using your product and reaping the benefits. These tutorials are built for speed, without sacrificing efficacy.
With our tips, you can put your entire library of tutorials together in a day or two (or less!). These tutorials don’t require new website pages or a massive budget to create. They just require a (very) little time, a little know-how, and some of the helpful resources we use ourselves.
Get your tutorials done, and get your customers on board — quickly! Click Play!
MBA1103 Guest Teacher: Kate Erickson- How podcasting can help grow your business
You know that podcasting is a powerful marketing tool. You know it can build brand awareness and accelerate the growth of your business. You know it works.
You’re just not sure how, exactly.
Well, we’ve got the special guest teacher for you. Kate Erickson is an authority on podcasting, having helped turn the EOFire (that’s Entrepreneurs On Fire) podcast into a multi-million dollar revenue generator. She’s also one of the brains behind Podcaster’s Paradise, the next-level podcast training program.
Kate’s here to show us 5 ways you can grow your business through podcasting. With these 5 totally actionable, totally achievable tips, you can stop dreaming and start ‘casting. But instead of simply talking into the mic, you can structure and promote your podcast in a way that’s specifically geared towards business growth.
Create something that will draw listeners. Turn those listeners into customers. Learn how to get your message out over the digital airwaves — and get access to a fee resource, courtesy of Kate. Click Play!
Everyone loves a freebie. But if you do a promotional giveaway, are you getting anything in return?
Contests, random drawings, and other giveaways are definitely fun, and they definitely generate some buzz. But if you’re not careful about how you implement your giveaway, you can end up simply...giving stuff away!
You’re a business person, not Santa. You want a return on investment.
So how can you make sure it’s worth it? Today, we discuss how to conduct giveaways designed to convert, not just build hype. We describe the kinds of giveaways that actually help grow your business, as well as the kinds that simply cost you money for no good reason. We teach you how to run your giveaway efficiently, so that it generates more than the prizes cost.
Remember, you want your audience to be interested in your business and product, not just the prize. What you offer as a prize is far less important than who you offer it to. You’ve got to make sure that your giveaways are targeted, not just generous.
Find out how to maximize the positive impact of a giveaway campaign. When done, right, it’s a fantastic business-booster. Click Play!
MBA1101 One Thing That Will 3X Your Work Productivity
Get. More. Done.
Every independent business person wants to be more productive. The more we get done, the faster our business grows — and the more time we have to enjoy the lives we build for ourselves. We’ve discussed a zillion productivity hacks on this podcast, from scheduling to single-tasking and more.
Today, we’ve got a trick from way out in left field. You probably haven’t thought of it. But when you hear it, you’ll see how much sense it makes.
This single strategy can triple — yes, triple — your output. It takes a little time to implement, but the results are way, way worth it. It involves something we all do every single day, and how to do it far more efficiently. Once we tried it, our productivity skyrocketed. And all because we took the time to perfect the art of…
Well, you’ll have to tune in and find out.
We’ll discuss what this strategy is, how to implement it, and offer a list of resources you can use to make it happen. What are you waiting for? How can you stand the suspense? Click Play!
MBA1100 Q&A Wednesday: How do I know I can trust my customer support team with my company’s financials?
It’s a question every growing business has to face once they scale: can I trust new team members with sensitive information?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is in exactly that pickle. Support staff in particular need to have access to banking details and other info you’d like to keep in-house. Is it a security risk? Are there ways to keep your information safe while still serving your customers efficiently?
We’ve got good news.
If your support system is set up right, the chances of staff doing something nefarious with your financials is extremely low. More to the point, it’s way easier to rectify (extremely rare) breaches of trust committed by support staff than it is to make up for poor customer service. You simply can’t afford to handicap support staff out of irrational fear.
To put it another way: support and service have to come first — but there are perfectly safe ways to manage both priorities.
There are scads of tools you can use to limit your staff’s access to company financials in a way that still allows them to do their job. We’ve got tons of “need to know” software that empowers your team to help your customers without giving them (all) the keys to the kingdom. Learn how to manage access without handcuffing support. Click Play!
MBA1099 How Many Pricing Options Should You Have For Your Product?
Does one price fit all? Or should you offer different strokes for different folks? If so, how many different pricing tiers make sense for your business?
That’s the question we’re pondering today, as we discuss the number of price options you should present to your potential customers. It’s a frequently asked question, one whose answer depends on several factors. Your pricing structure has to communicate the real value of your product, while also empowering the customer to make their own choices.
Today, we discuss exactly how to nail down those numbers.
We help you figure out how to determine — and even more importantly, present — pricing options that will work for and entice your customers. We offer tips on how to reveal these options for maximum effect, using the psychology of comparative pricing to create a sense of value.
With this information, you can figure out what pricing options are most likely to attract, convert, close, and delight your audience. Click Play!
Ready to take on social media marketing?
Gary Vaynerchuk is a teacher, leader, best-selling author, and an omnipresence on social media. The man is everywhere in the online entrepreneurial space. His book Crush It was an instant classic, and an inspiration to countless independent business people.
Now, he’s back with a sequel, and it’s this week’s Must-Read: Crushing It.
We love this book for several reasons, but mostly because it challenged our viewpoints. Anyone who listens to this podcast knows we don’t buy the hype when it comes to social media, taking a restrained approach to Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. But Crushing It forced us to reconsider our approach, and ultimately have a little more respect for the power of the medium.
We learned some things from Crushing It, and so can you.
Today, we discuss this book’s lessons on the usefulness of social media, how to choose the right platform for your business, and Vaynerchuk’s 7 principles of producing great content. Crushing It is the ultimate guide to personal branding, from a highly successful consultant, speaker, and thought leader. Hear what you can learn — Click Play!
MBA1097 How Much To Spend on Building Your Website + Free Ride Friday!
Every (every) business needs a website. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it has to work. What it costs will vary depending on your needs, but what’s the bare minimum?
You could argue that no investment is too great for your online storefront. But realistically, we want to get the biggest impact for the smallest price tag. Today, we discuss what you can expect to spend, and how to find the help you need for the best price.
Whether you’re running an e-commerce site, a SaaS, or anything else, the good news is that website development is more affordable than ever. But whatever you spend, you have to make sure your website accomplishes certain goals, attracting and converting visitors effectively.
Consider this episode your primer on building the right site for the right price. Today, we offer all the resources for website design on any budget, from domain name to design.
We’ve got tons of options, so keep your notepad handy! Click Play!
Forgot username or password?
We’ve all clicked it. We’ve all needed it. We’ve all lost track of the dozens of passwords that pile up when you’re running a business and have multiple accounts for chat, banking, CMS, email, and more. So how can we eliminate the hassle without compromising our security? How can we keep our security effective while making it less of a pain?
We’ve got you covered.
You can’t compromise on security. What’s behind your passwords is more valuable than what’s behind the door of your home, in most cases. However, there are safe, efficient ways to minimize the amount of time you spend trying to log in. After consulting with various cybersecurity experts (including a personal friend in federal law enforcement), we’ve come up with a system.
It requires a little software, a little creativity, and a little diligence, but it leaves your company protected with far less hassle. Find out how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1095 Q&A Wednesday: Can I create a software company with no technical knowledge?
Got an idea for an app? Dying to create software that will change how everyone does...something? Are you bursting with ideas, but totally lacking the technical knowledge to actually develop the tech yourself?
You’re not the only one.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener’s got a frequently asked question: can a non-tech person start a software company? Can an entrepreneur with zero coding or development skills find and hire the people necessary to carry out the vision?
Spoiler alert: sort of, but not really.
Our host and co-founder Omar wasn’t a tech expert by trade, but that didn’t stop him from moving forward with projects like our webinar software company, WebinarNinja. However, he made the time and found the resources to get an education in tech — because otherwise, he’d have been flying blind.
Today, we discuss what level of knowledge you need to attain in order to competently run a software company. We also offer resources for getting the training you need, so you can proceed with confidence and (just enough) know-how. Click Play!
MBA1094 Why Exercise Is a Must For an Entrepreneur
A healthy entrepreneur is a successful entrepreneur.
Conversely, an entrepreneur who’s out of shape is physically, mentally, and emotionally less equipped to handle the challenges of running a business. We’re not the first (or the only) ones to say it, but far too people take it seriously. Health is a requirement, if you want to reach your true potential as a business leader.
It’s not self-centered, and it’s not vain. Finding the time and effort to keep yourself in shape is an investment in your business. All entrepreneurs are pressed for time, and all of us have fairly packed schedules. But prioritizing health and fitness is a shrewd, smart, effective business decision.
Today, we discuss how you can get the exercise you need, why you should, and how to make the time. We describe the positive impact a commitment to exercise has had on our business, and why we would never trade our gym time for more office time. Click Play!
MBA1093 Guest Teacher: Michael Koral – The Right Sales Funnel For Any Small Business
It’s time to toss the funnel.
Yes, that funnel; the marketing and sales funnel that’s been the gospel of online business strategists for just a little too long. While the premise of attracting an audience, converting that audience into leads, and turning those leads into customers is still valid, the one-size-fits-all approach needs a little refining.
Let’s build a new funnel.
Actually, let’s build several. Every business should create a unique path — or set of paths — from awareness of your business to the final purchase. It should be less of a funnel, and more of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book (remember those?). Today, special guest Michael Koral stops by to explain the new way to move consumers towards the goal line.
Koral is the head of customer acquisition at Needls, and he’s here with a whole new way to attract, convert, and close. Not only does he explain his more effective funneling strategy, he also recommends specific software tools you can use to implement and track your marketing and sales efforts.
Upgrade your lead capture and closing approach. Click Play!
MBA1092 How to Set Your Rates as a Service-Based Business + Ride Friday!
What should you be charging?
It’s a question every freelancer and service-based business owner has to answer. Setting the right rates is crucial to the ROI and long-term sustainability of your business. Whether you’re a photographer, developer, writer, or any other service provider, your time has to be worth enough to keep the business growing.
Otherwise, you’re running in place.
Today, we discuss 3 different ways to set your rates, and how to determine exactly what those rates should be relative to your needs and expenses. We give you the formulas you need to find the right number — the number that will give you the time and money you need to provide the service and grow the business.
For service businesses, time really is money. Find out how much you’re worth, and how often to revisit your rates moving forward. By the hour or by the job, you can’t sell yourself short. Click Play!
MBA1091 How to Have More Fun While Running a Business
We all know entrepreneurship is hard work. But if it’s not fun, what’s the point?
In order for your business to be successful, it has to be enjoyable. That’s not some feel-good naivete — it’s a cold, hard fact of business. If it sucks, it isn’t sustainable. You have to take some pleasure in your business, or your motivation will fail. You have to look forward to what you’re doing, because the business depends entirely on your doing it.
Today, we discuss how to create a more fun experience, by actively encouraging good times and inviting positive vibes into your company. We’ve got 7 specific ways you can make fun happen for you and your team, so the work becomes brighter, better, and less of a friggin’ drag.
It won’t eliminate stress, and it won’t make work easier, but it will make running your business more rewarding, more enjoyable, and more likely to succeed. As entrepreneurs, we have to choose fun, not just hope for it. Click Play!
MBA1090 Q&A Wednesday: How do I make my employees stay committed to my team?
Even for entrepreneurs, business is a team sport. So how can you keep your best players loyal to the squad?
How do you inspire commitment over months and years? How do you create motivation beyond your employees’ paychecks, so they want to give their best? How do you keep them around?
Employee loyalty can be one of your greatest assets. Frequent turnover of your staff wastes time, money, and resources as you scramble to hire and train. Every cent you spend on your employees is more than just the price of their work — it’s an investment in their future with you. Don’t lose that investment. Instead, do what it takes to see returns.
Today, we discuss how to keep your employees on the team. It has less to do with money, and more to do with creating an environment in which team members feel valued, respected, and integral to the success of the company. Learn how to create allies, not just employees. Click Play!
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like it.
We’ve all glared at the alarm clock with that death stare. We’ve all laid in bed for far too long, dreading the work ahead. We’ve all wasted time because of a lack of motivation. We’ve all been tired, depressed, unenthused. We’ve all been there.
But there’s a cure.
Today, we offer 4 techniques to get inspired, get motivated, and get the heck out of bed. As entrepreneurs, we have to keep running our businesses — even when we don’t want to. So we all need a little push from time to time, a bit of inspiration to stay on top of our game. These 4 motivational hacks are easy to implement (even from bed), and they work.
Our host Omar would know. He uses these exact techniques whenever he’s feeling less-than-ready-to-rumble. It happens. But after hearing these techniques, you’ll be ready for whatever’s next. Click Play!
MBA1088 Must Read: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Wondering how to get more customers? How to appeal to the people to whom you’re trying to sell?
Start by learning how their brains work.
Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who’s studied the science of human decision-making for decades. His book Thinking, Fast and Slow is a practical investigation of the brain’s thought process, specifically how it arrives at decisions like making a purchase. Today, we discuss how you can put this knowledge to work for your business.
By understanding the buyer’s mind, you can become a better seller. You can give yourself an edge that no amount of marketing or advertising can produce. On this episode of the podcast, we offer a variety of actual techniques you can use, tactics that work when persuading consumers.
Learn how to lead the consumer to the sale. Learn how to help your audience make the decision that benefits them (and you). Click Play!
MBA1087 How to Make the Most of a Slow Month in Sales + Free Ride Friday!
Every business has its slow season. But just because you’re not swamped with sales, it doesn’t mean you can’t sustain your revenue and continue to grow your business!
It’s possible to maintain both your revenue and your momentum through the slow periods, with a little bit of strategy. Even with fewer customers on a month-to-month basis, you can still meet quarterly and annual goals. Even better, you can use the downtime to make smart investments in your business that will pay off when sales pick up again.
Today, we discuss how to use your time wisely when sales are below average. We discuss several ways you can rev up your professional and business development when other areas of the business are slow. We show you how to come out of a weak sales period rejuvenated, better prepared, and ready to make the busy season busier than ever.
Hear how it’s done. Click Play!
MBA1086 The Best Investments You Can Make in Your Business
You’re making sales. You’ve got solid revenue. Now, it’s time to reinvest in your business. But what’s the best way to do so? Where can you spend your money so that it will have the greatest impact?
Today, we discuss the best ways to invest in your company’s growth. We share the 3 best uses of your reinvestment budget, however big or small. These 3 investments have tangible, undeniable benefits, the kind that contribute the most to your overall success. They’ll make your business stronger, more agile, and better prepared to face new challenges.
No matter the size of your revenue stream, a portion of it should always be reinvested in the future of your business. By spending your revenue wisely, you can multiply your company’s growth beyond the effects of simple profit. Find out how to do it right — Click Play!
MBA1085 Q&A Wednesday: Should I invest in a $10,000 business coaching program?
With so many professional development opportunities available to entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to overspend on courses and coaching programs. So how do you know what’s worth your time and money? Especially when the price tag is big (like, four figures big), how can you be sure it won’t mean money down the drain?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener is considering dropping 10 hard-earned G’s on a coaching program. Naturally, it’s a nerve-wracking decision.
Today, we discuss what to look for — and what questions to ask — when deciding on an expensive coaching program. By inquiring about certain key aspects of the program, you can make sure that the ROI is what it should be. By evaluating both the program itself and the coach, you can accurately assess the end result — and weigh that result against the cost.
Learn how to protect your revenue from scammy programs. Navigate high-pressure sales pitches and do the research necessary to spend your money wisely. Some of these expensive programs are well worth the money. We’ll show you how to decide which. Click Play!
In modern business, teaching is everything.
Marketing, sales, and team management are all about your ability to educate both consumers and employees. Savvy digital-era customers don’t want a sales pitch, they want to be empowered. They want to know how and why products work, not just that they work. They don’t want to be told; they want to be shown.
By infusing your business leadership with education, you can go beyond simple advertising and offer value beyond standard marketing. As a longtime educator, our host Omar knows the impact of an educational approach. Today, he discusses how to become the best teacher you can be — and therefore, the best business person.
Take Omar’s tips from the classroom to the marketplace. You’ll be glad you did. Click Play!
MBA1083 Guest Teacher: Jakob Heuser- Learning & Development on a Shoestring Budget
Your business is only as good as your team. So how can you keep your team at the top of their game?
Jakob Heuser is an engineer and instructor who’s built successful teams at companies like LinkedIn and Pinterest. HIs human-centered approach to professional development starts with the learner and makes instruction more relevant and efficient. Today, he’s here to share 3 strategies any business owner can use to educate their employees — for very little cost.
Like your business, if your team members aren’t growing, they’re stagnating. A commitment to consistently reaching new plateaus is crucial to maintaining a dynamic, agile team capable of evolving with the company.
Find out how to keep your employees at maximum skill level on a minimal budget. Learn how to find the time and resources necessary to invest in your people, and watch the results help sustain your business. Click Play!
MBA1082 How to Prevent Software Overload in Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
Business software: from CRM to CMS to accounting and more, running an agile, lean business requires some digital products.
But after a while, those products can start to pile up.
Next thing you know, you’ve got dozens of accounts, usernames and passwords you’ve long forgotten, and (worst of all) money pouring down the drain as you pay for products you don’t really use. It’s happened to all of us: we buy a cool-looking program that seems like a great deal at the time, only to let it collect digital dust.
Well, it’s time to clean house.
Today, we explain our system for evaluating the programs we use, assessing their value, and dumping what we don’t need. We discuss the symptoms of software overload, and how cutting the digital dead weight can improve your efficiency. Keep your business organized. Keep it streamlined. Keep it profitable. Click Play!
An entrepreneur has to be a planner. We plan everything about our business, from our budgets to our marketing strategy to our launch. So why on Earth don’t we plan the one thing our whole business depends on?
We don’t we plan the product?
Product documentation is a crucial step that too many entrepreneurs skip. Articulating and writing down everything, from the purpose of the product to the design and more, is invaluable. It allows you and your team to stay on the same page. It maintains your focus on what makes the product great, so that each iteration is an improvement.
Product documentation is the blueprint, guidebook, and instruction manual for your whole team. Today, we discuss what makes this documentation so important, and tell you exactly how to create your own. With examples from our own business, we help you plan your product development like a professional.
The results will speak for themselves. Click Play!
MBA1080 Q&A Wednesday: What are the advantages to having co-founders?
Are two heads better than one? In a lot of ways, we like to think so.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know what advantages co-founders have over solo entrepreneurs. Our host Omar has run businesses without a partner in crime, so he knows what makes the extra support (and extra challenge) of a partner so valuable.
Long story short: it’s not a requirement, but it definitely has its upsides.
The support of a co-founder doesn’t make business easier. It enriches the experience, and keeps you performing to your potential. Sharing the load doesn’t make it lighter, but it allows you to carry it further, and in new directions. Hear all about what we mean, and how teaming up might be worth considering for your next business venture. Click Play!
Sit down for this one: your “likes” don’t matter.
One of the easiest traps for entrepreneurs to fall into is chasing meaningless forms of validation. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, or how “big” your business is. What matters is whether you’re making progress towards your overarching goals.
Unfortunately, distractions are around every corner.
Real progress isn’t measured in hearts, or your number of employees, or even revenue alone. Real progress is something else. Today, we discuss how to stop obsessing over metrics that don’t matter. You have limited time and resources, and every second (and dollar) you spend chasing numbers that don’t promote growth is a mistake.
Forget followers, earn fans. Forget size, and move forward. There are too many things you should focus on to bother with the superficial. Click Play!
MBA1078 Must Read: The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Business, like life, has patterns. But just as those patterns can help you understand what’s likely, they can blind you to what’s possible.
That might sound like a deep statement, maybe even a little philosophical for a business podcast. But this week’s Must-Read book, The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is all about thinking deeper than ever before. And by peering into the true nature of things, you can see what other entrepreneurs might miss.
The subtitle of the book says it all: The Impact of the HIghly Improbable. Taleb came out of the Great Recession without a scratch, specifically because he anticipated something unlikely. The limits of our experience, he argues, put limits on our thinking.
And that’s a pattern we should break.
Learn how to think beyond the predictable. Be open-minded enough to adapt to changing circumstances. Give yourself the advantage of a wider perspective. It might sound deep, but Taleb brings these concepts to an understandable, practical level. It’s stuff worth thinking about — Click Play!
MBA1077 How to Have a Faster Support Response Time + Free Ride Friday!
What’s taking so long? If your customers are asking themselves this question, your business has a problem.
Customer support is all about speed, especially for certain kinds of software products. Without fast, reliable support, your customers may not choose to remain customers for long. Instead, they’ll become part of your churn — the rate at which you lose existing business.
Don’t let that happen.
Keeping business is always easier and less expensive than creating business, so treat your customers right. Today, we discuss specific strategies you can use to decrease your company’s response time to customer issues, so customers will know you have their back.
Any investment in the onboarding and satisfaction of your current customers is worth your time. Check out these techniques, software recommendations, and best practices that will help you respond faster and faster to every inquiry (just like we do). See how fast you can be — Click Play!
“The money is in the list.” If you’ve done online marketing anytime in the current century, you’ve heard this maxim.
And we can tell you from experience: it’s true.
Your email contact list is the heart and soul of your marketing efforts. The bigger and more targeted your list, the more chances you have to convert. A well-constructed email list is everything to an online business, so it’s crucial to build it big, but also to build it right.
Today, we’ll show you exactly how.
We have growth techniques proven to have a significant impact. Trust us, this isn’t generic advice you’ve heard before. Some of our tips involve commonplace strategies, but in new and different combinations. We’ve personally used these creative moves to grow our list — and our business. And so can you.
Find out how you can maximize your marketing and build a bigger, better list. Click Play!
MBA1075 Q&A Wednesday: Should I have a co-host on my podcast?
Does it take really take two to make a dream come true?
Every podcast is different. But there’s no denying that sometimes, the dynamic between podcast co-hosts is the reason we keep listening. But is it necessary? Would your podcast do better if you brought in another voice?
While two hosts don’t always make a podcast twice as good, certain shows could use a little host-to-host banter. Naturally, we only use one host, Omar Zenhom. But that’s because our podcast plays to his particular strengths and experience. Meanwhile, other podcasts would be lost without the chemistry between multiple hosts.
Today, we discuss exactly what kind of podcasts require co-hosts, how to choose the best ones, and how to make the most of your shared dynamic. We cite examples of incredible co-hosted podcasts that you can check out, and use for inspiration when creating your own show.
See if you should go it alone, or make room for another voice — Click Play!
MBA1074 Can You Start a Business With No Experience?
Everyone has to start somewhere.
If you’ve never built a business before, can you really pull it off? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.
However, your odds of success will depend on your willingness to face certain hard truths, do some hard work, and otherwise face down some difficulty. That doesn’t mean it has to be endlessly stressful — it just means you have to know what you’re getting into.
Today, we share exactly what you need to do in order to get your feet wet, establish yourself as an entrepreneur, and earn your stripes. Your entire perspective, your entire mindset, might have to shift. But you can do this.
Our host Omar would know. He transitioned from conventional employment to entrepreneurship, and failed many times along the way. What he learned, you can apply. Get past the intimidation. Grow your confidence. Get ready to start your first business. Click Play!
MBA1073 Guest Teacher: Jeet Banerjee- How To Find Out Fast If Your Business Idea Will Succeed
Will it work? Every entrepreneur has to ask this question.
Idea validation is the first step to founding a successful business, so it’s crucial to figure out whether your next product has real potential.
Jeet Banerjee is a serial entrepreneur who’s built and sold multiple businesses, consulted for several more, and made his mark as an author and TEDx speaker. Today, he’s here to show us exactly how to test the waters. Banerjee’s 4-step process for evaluating a business idea is the most efficient way to get real answers, so you can decide whether to keep going — or move on to something else.
From conception to testing to tweaking, Banerjee has the system you can use to validate (or not) your next big product idea. Learn how to tell whether an idea is worth pursuing — Click Play!
MBA1072 How to Evaluate Your Employees + Free Ride Friday!
Do you have the best employees? How do you know?
Evaluating team members can be tricky business. Depending on the size of your team and the scope of their work, it can be difficult to know who’s doing what, and who’s doing it well. For our business, we have a special system created by our co-founder Nicole — one that you can use, too.
Our system helps you gather the most relevant, useful information, and use it to get an accurate picture of the work your team is doing. Even better, our system helps your employees understand what you’re looking for, empowering and motivating them to seek the results you want.
This system makes employee evaluation objective, measurable, and goal-driven. It takes the pressure off of you, and turns being a great employee into a challenge your staff can take on. Hear all about it — Click Play!
MBA1071 Do you need to offer phone support for your online business?
Customer support via phone: has it gone the way of the landline?
These days, calling up and speaking to a live support agent may not only be unnecessary, it may be detrimental to the quality of your customer service. With live chat and email available, a phone call isn’t always the most efficient.
That said, we all know the feeling of “just wanting to talk to someone” when we’re having trouble with a product or service.
Today, we discuss the disadvantages of phone-based customer service, and the reasons it’s falling out of fashion in the business world. We discuss what can go wrong with service calls, and how they’re potentially more expensive and less effective than other methods. We also discuss when phone service is the best option, for certain situations and types of business.
Figure out what’s best for your company. Make your customer service easy, responsive, and efficient. Click Play!
MBA1070 Q&A Wednesday: How much has your podcast helped grow your businesses?
We love podcasting. But we didn’t get into it just for kicks.
The $100 MBA show has a purpose: to build an audience, and demonstrate our credibility to those who may eventually choose to do business with us. It’s our way of offering something to people as a way to start a conversation and build relationships.
It’s fun, but above all, our podcast is a marketing tool.
For Q&A Wednesday, one listener wants to know how effective our podcast is at helping grow our businesses. With The $100 MBA, our software company WebinarNinja, and another project on the way, what effect has padcasting had on our overall success?
Today, we discuss exactly how we know that podcasting is working for us. From the easily measurable to the indirect and subtle, we explore the bottom-line effects our popular, award-winning show. We discuss which metrics are important and how we track them, to help you understand how to accurately measure the value of the medium.
Plus, we discuss what it takes to podcast, from the time and resources we invest to the ups, downs, struggles and triumphs of producing new content day in and day out. Let us help you decide if podcasting is right for you. Click Play!
Ready to take the leap? Listen to this first.
Leaving your 9-to-5 might be the biggest, most game-changing moment of an entrepreneur’s life. This is the moment in which you invest yourself fully into your independent goals, leaving the conventional life behind. It takes guts. It takes heart.
But above all, it takes planning.
Quitting your job should not be an impulse move. Today, we discuss how to transition carefully, thoughtfully, and intentionally. Our “exit strategy” starts well before you actually resign, setting you up to have the best possible chance of success on your own. With a little forethought, you can make the switch smoother, easier, and way less stressful.
Our host Omar knows firsthand what it’s like to tell your boss that it’s time to part ways, having left his own career in education to create The $100 MBA. It took some sacrifices, and it took some adjustment, but it can be done. Learn how to prepare, how to talk to your current employer, and how to adjust to suddenly being your own boss. Click Play!
MBA1068 Must Read: A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston
We all remember Breaking Bad as the tale of a plucky (if desperate) “entrepreneur” of sorts. But the story of Walter White is just one chapter in an even more incredible rise to the top: the story of actor Bryan Cranston.
Before he became The One Who Knocks, Cranston had to make a career decision to which many of us can relate: whether to take the safe, predictable route, or take a chance on his own version of success — one with no guarantees.
As he put it in his incredible memoir, A Life in Parts, Cranston chose to pursue something he enjoyed, however difficult it might be.
Cranston’s story is the ultimate entrepreneur’s journey. Choosing to hone a craft, pay your dues, and take risks that most avoid is exactly what independent business people do. The resolve, patience, and bootstrapping attitude it takes to become not just famous, but trusted and respected, is something all of us need for our own independent careers.
Tune in to our review of this Must-Read book, and hear what you can learn from TV’s most beloved...ahem...chemist. Click Play!
MBA1067 Affiliate Program Pitfalls + Free Ride Friday!
Affiliate marketing can go either way. Done right, it can be a revenue-boosting, word-spreading win that moves your business forward.
Done wrong, it can be a total scam.
Today, we discuss what can go badly with affiliate marketing. Trust us; we’ve learned the hard way. There are a few all-too-common pitfalls, mistakes people unknowingly make that turn a good thing into a nightmare. We’ll show you what they are, so you can avoid them — or at least know what to do if bad things happen anyway.
There are good reasons we’re so selective about when and with whom we choose to affiliate.
While the opportunities for growth are undeniable, the opportunities for abuse are significant. When it goes well, you come away with fantastic new exposure. But when it goes poorly, you can find yourself at a loss — or even worse, ripped off. Listen in, and go into your next (or first) affiliate relationship with the knowledge you need. Click Play!
Find your niche. That’s the motto of every smart entrepreneur, as we look to carve out our unique place in the market.
Building a successful business involves a careful balancing act. On one hand, you have to be original; your product or service has to offer something that nothing else out there offers. But while you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you also don’t want to alienate people with something they’re not ready for.
A product that’s too different, too far out in left field, isn’t likely to be embraced no matter how “good” it is on its merits.
Today, we discuss how to make your business different enough to attract a loyal following, but not so strange that it goes over people’s heads. We look at specific examples of companies that add just enough of a twist to secure their slice of the market, without being too derivative or too radical. It’s the Goldilocks Rule: not too different, not too similar, but just right.
Figure out where your business can go, with the right amount of (restrained) creativity. Click Play!
MBA1065 Q&A Wednesday: Do you do your own accounting? How much time do you spend on it?
Do you know where your money is?
Accounting can be a little intimidating for those of us who aren’t mathematically inclined, or aren’t exactly experts in the latest tax and regulatory issues. It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know how we keep an eye on our funds, and what kind of resources we put into it.
Spoiler alert: we have an accountant.
Today, we discuss why we have an accountant, what to look for in a good one, where to find one, and what it costs. Freeing yourself from the burden of accounting can be one of the smartest investments you can make in your business, if you have the right person (and tools) for the job.
Our accounting system involves not just the help of our (very good) accountant, but some simple software applications that really take the stress out of managing finances. Hear how we keep track of things, and decide if it’s right for your business — especially as the numbers get bigger. Click Play!
MBA1064 How do you know you have too much on your plate?
There’s a difference between busy and burnt out.
We get it: motivated, driven entrepreneurs aren’t scared of a little hard work. We want to tackle everything ourselves, because we’ve chosen independence as a way of life. But working for yourself doesn’t mean going it alone. If you try to do it all as your business grows, eventually you’re going to drop a ball or two.
Today, we discuss how to know when it’s time to pump the brakes. Especially as you scale, skillfully delegating work is crucial. Keeping yourself energized, efficient, and productive doesn’t mean overworking yourself to the point of failure. It requires taking a step back, assessing your workload, and doing what’s best for the business.
Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs that you’re doing too much, or that you’re doing too little. We even have a specific system we use to determine whether our “To Do” list is too long, too short, or just right. With a little strategy, you can organize yourself into low-stress productivity.
The point of entrepreneurship isn’t to work yourself to death. Try our system, and see if you could use a little help. Click Play!
MBA1063 Guest Teacher: Travis Chappell- Why Overcoming Rejection Is Necessary For Your Business
It takes some practice before you’re good at getting rejected. The more it happens, the better you are, the more easily it rolls of your shoulders.
No, this is not one of those “fail up” lessons, where we tell how you should treasure every bad moment. We know rejection is painful, we know it’s frustrating, and we certainly don’t suggest you seek rejection as a way to grow as an entrepreneur.
We simply want you to accept rejection, and embrace it as part of the entrepreneurial process.
To that end, we’ve brought on a special guest teacher. Sales expert Travis Chappell hosts the Build Your Network Podcast, and knows a thing or two about moving past rejection. More importantly, he’s here to warn us that fear of rejection cannot be allowed to hold us back.
Today, Chappell offers the down-to-earth tips you need to reset your psychology so that you never lose the optimism and drive that got you into independent business.
If you think you’ve heard this kind of advice before, trust us — you haven’t. Find out how rejection can become just another obstacle to navigate on your way to success. Click Play!
MBA1062 How to Create a Simple Marketing & Sales System PT2 + Free Ride Friday!
You’ve marketed. You’ve built your audience. You’ve grown your contact list.
Now it’s time to sell.
In Part I of our sales + marketing tutorial, we took you through the process of driving traffic to your website, capturing leads, and setting yourself up to move some product. Today, we discuss exactly how to convert those leads into sales, finally seeing bottom-line results. It’s all been leading up to this!
With our easy-to-follow, systematized approach, you can cast a wide net for sales through various channels. Grounded in the strength of your marketing efforts, you can leverage the reputation you’ve already built with your audience into actual commerce.
With your “relationships” to your audience established, there’s only one thing left to do: demonstrate that the value of your product exceeds the price. We’ll show you how — Click Play!
MBA1061 How to Create a Simple Marketing & Sales System PT1
Who’s ready to smarket?
Anyone can create a product. But sales and marketing are complementary, mutually supportive efforts that turn your products into an actual business. Especially at the beginning, crafting a holistic approach that integrates these two systems is the best way to maximize your chances of success.
In this two-part series, we focus first on the marketing, and then on the sales. Today’s episode offers 3 specific ways to get people’s attention, generate traffic to your website, and build a list of leads. By offering something valuable with no strings attached, you can build the relationships that — later — become sales.
These methods are proven, straightforward, and relatively easy to implement. Build your audience, grow your email list, and get ready for Part II, airing tomorrow. Click Play!
MBA1060 Q&A Wednesday: This podcast is huge! How did you grow your podcast audience?
This week’s Q&A Wednesday started with a (much appreciated) compliment. One loyal listener noticed that our little ol’ podcast has grown exponentially since we started it, and wanted to know how we pulled it off.
Well, we’re happy to share exactly how we built our audience.
Mostly, it has to do with our “content first” approach, prioritizing the quality and value of our show above our marketing efforts. That’s not to say we don’t make an effort to attract listeners, but our first mission is to create something worth listening to! We discuss how we keep our podcast fresh, relevant, and subscription-worthy.
Then, we share the promotional tactics we used to get attention. With a little hustle, we were able to turn enough ears in our direction to create momentum. Once enough people heard our show (and most importantly, found it valuable), the rest (mostly) took care of itself.
Best of all, you can use the exact same methods we used in order to promote your podcast. We learned how to podcast the hard way, by...well, screwing up and learning from it. Use our experience to make your podcast the best it can be. Click Play!
Before you say “No,” hear us out. Personal Assistants aren’t just for the rich and famous. These days, it can be affordable (and well worth the investment) to hire a little help — especially for busy entrepreneurs.
As we like to remind everyone, time is the most valuable currency. Your time is like a bank account, from which you can only withdraw. If a personal assistant can give you significantly more time, and it’s affordable...well, the math speaks for itself. In fact, our host Omar is shopping around for a personal assistant as we speak.
Today, we discuss what to look for in a good personal assistant, where to find one, and what to consider when deciding if it’s right for you. We take a look at the cost of personal assistants, so you can decide if hiring one makes sense for you. When you see how easy it is, you might conclude what we have: that it’s not a luxury, but a wise investment. Click Play!
MBA1058 Must Read: Getting Things Done by David Allen
Let’s work on that “To Do” list.
Crossing tasks off your list is a good feeling, and not just because it means forward progress for your business. It also means more time for you, for the things that matter, for the life you built your business around.
Today, we review a Must-Read book that’s all about maximizing your productivity during work hours. David Allen’s Getting Things Done is a best-seller, and for good reason. It offers a fantastic system for getting the most out of every minute, making your day more productive — and less stressful.
Take control of your inbox. Put an end to procrastination and last-minute stressing. With a consistent, systematized approach, you can earn more of the most valuable currency: time itself. Click Play!
MBA1057 Free Trials: With or Without a Credit Card Required? + Free Ride Friday!
The free trial: it’s an old, effective, tried-and-true way to turn leads into sales. But there’s one aspect of the free trial that business owners can’t seem to agree on.
Should you require a credit card, or not?
On the one hand, taking credit card info makes the final sale that much easier — and therefore, that much more likely. On the other, asking for credit card info before the prospect is ready to buy can cut things off before they start. When every second counts (and online, every second counts), every barrier to entry is a potential loss of sale.
Today, we put in our two cents.
With a couple different businesses under our belts (and one more on the way), we’ve used both methods. We’ve found that certain types of businesses and products lend themselves more to one method or the other. Like much else in entrepreneurship, it’s all about the timing.
Besides our own businesses, we discuss other examples of (highly successful) businesses which do and don’t require credit card info for a free trial. Listen in, and figure out what would work best for you. Click Play!
As your business grows, you can’t do everything yourself. However, there are some things no one else should do for you.
In fact, there’s one thing you can never, ever delegate.
It’s healthy and necessary to hand off responsibilities as time goes by. Outsourcing, delegating, and otherwise trusting others to help move your business forward is the only sustainable way. But there’s one part of running a business that will always be your responsibility, and should always occur in-house.
This responsibility is so vital, so central to the health of your business, that passing it on to outsiders will only cost you in the long run. It defines the direction of your business. Most importantly, it takes a long time to get really good at — so you want to practice it for as long as possible.
Learn about the one job you can never pass along, and why. Click Play!
MBA1055 Q&A Wednesday: How often do you update your website?
Your website is everything to your business. And like your business, it can’t afford to stagnate. It’s got to change, grow, and evolve in order to stay effective.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener who wants to know exactly how often a business website needs updating. The answer, of course, is complicated. It depends on several factors, from the type of product to the progress of your business development.
But one thing is certain: you can’t go too long without freshening things up.
Today, we discuss the ins and outs of keeping your website at peak performance. From the bare minimum timetables for updates, to specific events that should trigger updates, we explore what you need to rework and when. Whether it’s regular upkeep to reflect the status of your business, or analytics-based changes to maximize your site’s effectiveness, change is necessary. Change is good. Change drives business.
Plus, we discuss what shouldn’t change too often, for the sake of your current visitors and customers. Tune in, and let us help you plot your website strategy. Click Play!
Mastermind groups can be a fantastic way to get and give valuable advice, accelerating your growth as an entrepreneur. These small groups of industry peers are more and more common, as entrepreneurs reach out to each other for help, support, and understanding.
But not all masterminds are created equal.
Our host, Omar, has been a member of several different mastermind groups. Some have been incredibly valuable, while others...not so much. If you’re considering joining — or starting — a mastermind, it’s important to know exactly what makes some of them flop.
If you know what to avoid, you can ensure that your time (and everyone else’s) is never wasted.
Today, we discuss 5 specific things that are guaranteed to ruin a mastermind, no matter how bright or informed its members are. By nailing certain logistical and procedural requirements, you can set your mastermind up to be a win for everyone involved — especially you. Find out what pitfalls to avoid. Click Play!
MBA1053 Guest Teacher: Dr Tyson E Franklin – The 6 Pillars of Marketing
Let’s take a step back. Let’s look at marketing differently.
A rounded, grounded approach to marketing is a powerful thing. By planning your marketing strategy around certain universal principles, you can maximize its effects. By taking advantage of all the available channels, you can diversify your marketing efforts for much better results.
But first, you have to understand what marketing is.
Today, special guest teacher Dr. Tyson E. Franklin stops by to discuss his 6 “pillars” of marketing. Franklin is a down-to-Earth business teacher whose focus on practical application makes advanced marketing concepts actionable. His broken-down approach is perfect for anyone ready to up their marketing game.
This episode is full of practical tips, so get your notepad ready!
Rather than focusing on a single marketing channel, Franklin shows us how to find marketing opportunities everywhere, including offline. This advice is easy to follow and implement, but the results can be extraordinary. Click Play!
MBA1052 Starting a Blog From Scratch P2 + Free Ride Friday!
If you’re not blogging, you’re not marketing.
Yesterday, we took a look at how to establish your blogging goals, and how to systematize your writing schedule for maximum effectiveness. Today, we discuss the down-and-dirty technical aspects of starting a blog, from choosing the best platform to leveraging your content into conversions.
With the “why” of your blog established, it’s time for your content to do the job of attracting visitors, capturing leads, and ultimately creating customers. Whether you’re a beginner who only needs a basic blogging service, or if you’re ready to jump into complex CMS (content management systems) with advanced features, we’ve got the low-down on the tools you need.
By putting the quality and usefulness of your content first, you can earn the loyalty of your readers. By getting the technical aspects right, you can widen your reach to even more readers — the kind who buy. Click Play!
Effective online marketing comes down to one thing above all: content. And while pics and videos are great, the written word is still the most important factor as regards your ultimate reach and SEO.
Long story short: you need to blog.
Even if you’re no Hemingway, you can create and manage a blog that’ll achieve its most important purpose: building a loyal following of potential customers. Whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or even less, great blogging can be leveraged into major conversions — if it’s done correctly.
Today, we begin a two-part series on how to get your blog up and running. In this part, we discuss how to clearly define the purpose of your blog based on specific business goals. With a consistent, intentional, procedural approach, even the least experienced bloggers can build their brand with some well-crafted posts.
Before you write a word, tune in to this episode. And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Part II! Click Play!
MBA1050 Q&A Wednesday: Which email marketing software do you recommend?
Here at the $100 MBA, we live by a few unquestionable business truths. One of them is that when it comes to marketing, email. Is. King.
When you’re starting your business, one of the most important things you can do is establish a system for email marketing that lets you leverage your content into conversions. That, of course, starts with choosing an email marketing service to use. With so many options, out there, which is right for your business?
That’s what today’s episode is all about. We discuss the merits, features, and differences between the most popular email services (along with a few less popular ones), so you can decide what’s right for you. This episode is heavy on specific recommendations, so keep your notepad ready!
Once you’ve defined the criteria your email service needs to meet, you can be sure that you’re not overpaying for features you’ll never use —- or underpaying for a service that lacks features you need. As your business grows, you may even consider migrating from a simpler platform to a more complex one.
Consider this your ultimate email service guide. Click Play!
What does retirement mean to you?
If you’ve never tried to answer that question, the time to start thinking about it is now — no matter your age. Retirement doesn’t have to mean lounging in Florida at 65; it can mean anything from reducing your workload, to choosing only passion projects, to “retiring” for a few months at a time between spurts of profit-building.
It’s totally up to you.
Today, we discuss exactly what you need to consider before setting your retirement goals. Before you put a dime into a 401k, figure out what you really want your business endgame to be. With a detailed, well-thought out game plan, you can create the kind of retirement entrepreneurs deserve: the kind we define for ourselves. Click Play!
MBA1048 Must Read: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Every day is a new opportunity!
Your morning routine can have a huge impact on your long-term success. In fact, a common thread among some of the most successful modern entrepreneurs is a commitment to making the first few hours of the day count.
Today, we take a look at a Must-Read book on exactly that topic: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
We know the author personally, and can vouch for his sincerity, honesty, and genuine ability to make the most out of the hand you’re dealt. Having overcome tremendous personal obstacles to achieve his own goals, Elrod is an authority on what it takes to make things happen.
In this book, Elrod espouses a philosophy of never settling, and avoiding the “rearview mirror syndrome” that fools people into thinking that the past defines the future. By committing to a morning routine that maximizes health, productivity, and creativity, you can empower yourself to live the life you want, not the life you have.
Tune in, and hear exactly how to make your mornings count. The potential rewards are well worth ditching the snooze button once and for all. Click Play!
MBA1047 How Much Should You Test Your Product Before Launch? + Free Ride Friday!
Is your product ready for launch? How can you know?
Spending too much time in the beta phase can hurt your business. Excessive testing and endless tweaking can delay launch of the only product that matters: the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). As we often remind listeners, entrepreneurs who hesitate are truly lost.
So how can you balance the need to make your product genuinely viable, without succumbing to “analysis paralysis?”
Today, we discuss how to make testing efficient, with strategies for identifying the data you want, finding your testers, getting useful feedback, and using it to move forward. With these strategies, you can get your product into market-ready shape and launch with full confidence. Find the sweet spot between underpreparedness and perfectionism — Click Play!
Onboarding: it’s not just for customers!
Your new team members need to hit the ground running, feeling comfortable and confident from the start. They’ve got to gel with established team members, find their space, and work out the best ways to contribute.
The sooner all that happens, the better.
To set your new hires up for success, you need more than just a few inspiring slogans and HR-speak. You need a dependable, reproducible process you can apply to every newcomer.
Today, we discuss the features of an effective employee onboarding system. WIth some practical, intentional strategies, you can cut down on the friction new employees experience. You can shorten the time it takes to get their feet wet, and spare them the tedious information dumps of standard onboarding.
Let your new hires shine, quickly! Click Play!
MBA1045 Q&A Wednesday: What Is The #1 Skill I Should Work On as a New Entrepreneur?
You’re just starting out as an entrepreneur. You know you’ll need versatile skills, but you can’t do everything well. If you’re gonna be a jack of several trades, which skill should you focus on most? Which ability will have the biggest impact on your chances of success?
What’s the most important thing you can be good at?
Today, we discuss the one skill that applies to everything an independent business person has to do. Necessary to survive in any industry, this one skill is non-negotiable. The time and effort it takes to hone this skill might just be the single best investment you can make in yourself.
This skill makes your ideas understandable, and marketable. It enables networking and strong partnerships. It boosts sales, and helps you run your team effectively. It’s the all-around, hands-down, must-have skill for any entrepreneur worth their salt.
Find out what this skill is, and how to cultivate it. Click Play!
MBA1044 How to Create a Team Handbook For Your Company
Ditch the old-fashioned employee handbook. Today’s dynamic companies have a new approach.
Rather than carving company info in stone and handing it down, new entrepreneurs can take a much more creative angle. We recently attended the Running Remote conference in Bali, where the good folks from GitLab treated us to an incredible lesson on establishing your company’s go-to guide. The twist? You don’t write it. Your team does.
We were so impressed by this system and its benefits that we decided to devote an entire episode to sharing what we learned.
Whether your team is new and tiny, or huge and established, you can streamline your HR with a dynamic, crowd-sourced handbook your employees contribute to. By making it a community project, you give your employees ownership of the company culture, and make things like employee onboarding more efficient.
Learn how your team can create a fluid, effective handbook that’ll save you and your management time and effort. Click Play!
MBA1043 Guest Teacher: Dan Stones – The 5 Steps to Building An Unbeatable Team Culture
Want to keep your team happy, productive, motivated, and on point?
It’s all about the culture.
Today, we’ve got a special guest teacher with years of experience helping businesses build teams that work. Dan Stones knows team culture — what kind of culture gets the best results, how to cultivate it, and how to get everyone on board. He’s here with 5 tips that any business owner (big, small, or in between) can use to promote optimal teamwork.
Employee turnover is a big-time waste of resources. By establishing a team people are happy to be on, you can keep the real “keepers” around for reasons beyond compensation. With mutual loyalty and a shared purpose, the best teams are truly more than the sum of their parts.
Tune in, and learn how to take a holistic approach to team performance, empowering your employees and creating the most productive dynamic. Stones has the surprising truth about exactly how much influence you can have over team culture — whether your team realizes it or not. Click Play!
MBA1042 Is Money That Important? + Free Ride Friday!
How much does money matter? Where’s the line between realism and materialism? How much of your business’s value can be expressed in dollars and cents?
Today, we discuss money’s true worth. As entrepreneurs, we don’t work for pay. We work for a vision, for a lifestyle, for a principle. But undervaluing money is a dangerous trap, one that can snuff out your dreams if you’re too idealistic.
You should never chase money. But you should respect it.
Money is a tool, one that can be the key to realizing your ideas about work, life, your industry, and any other non-financial motivation that moves you. Understanding the relationship between money and your personal vision is crucial. Controlling money skillfully can help you avoid the most unfortunate fate for any entrepreneur: being controlled by money.
Align your balance sheet with your ultimate goals. Click Play!
A little gift can go a long way.
It’s not a bribe. It’s not an act of manipulation. It’s simply an expression of genuine appreciation for someone you’d like to work with. Today, we share how the simple psychology of gift-giving can forge business connections — and relationships — that open doors.
When done thoughtfully and sincerely, a token of appreciation can create bonds that matter. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or impressive. It just has to be real.
We discuss what kinds of gifts work, when they’re appropriate, and why gift-giving is a smart investment. With a little planned generosity, you can demonstrate yourself to be the entrepreneur people want in their circle, for the right reasons.
Having been on the receiving end of some well-thought-out gifts ourselves, we know the difference between schmoozing and meaningful gestures. Learn the difference yourself, and see what opportunities it can create. Click Play!
MBA1040 Q&A Wednesday: What do you include on a pre-launch product page if you don’t have product creatives or app screenshots?
To get your business rolling, we always advocate for the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). But when it comes to marketing that product, you’ll need another MVP: a Minimum Viable Page on your website!
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a listener who’s ready to make the smart move of building a pre-launch web page for an app. Trouble is, our loyal listener doesn’t have much by way of creatives or even screenshots for imagery. So is a pre-launch page still possible?
You bet it is.
One thing we’ve learned is that you can’t let what’s missing hold you back from what’s possible. In business, lean is the new black. Having fewer bells and whistles can actually be an advantage, as it forces you to focus on showcasing what matters most.
Today, we discuss exactly what a bare-bones pre-launch page should include and look like. Learn what matters, what doesn’t, and what it takes for a web page to do the only thing that matters: convert visitors into leads. Click Play!
Your business deserves the best. But where do you find it?
It starts with redefining “best.” While many employers look for the most talented prospects with the right skill sets, a much more important metric for an employee’s true potential is motivation.
As we like to say, you can always teach the skill. You can’t teach the attitude.
Today, we discuss how to save yourself time and effort when looking for those top-notch players, the ones who bring a competitive, positive frame of mind. We help you spot the self-starters and self-motivators you’ll want to keep an eye on — but won’t have to.
From the initial job ad to the interviews, we describe our system for filtering out the throwbacks and hanging on to the keepers. We give you exact instructions on pinpointing the professional and personal traits that show who’s in it to win it. In the end, you’ll know who brings the most value.
Go get the go-getters. Click Play!
MBA1038 Must Read: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
Sometimes, the best advice comes from unexpected places.
Scott Adams is a cartoonist, but anyone who’s read his classic comic strip Dilbert knows he’s an expert in business and corporate culture. A sarcastic, controversial expert, but an expert nonetheless.
After repeated recommendations, we finally got around to reading Adams’ 2013 best-seller, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. This book is unconventional, brimming with Adams’ frank, take-it-or-leave-it approach to understanding success. Love it or hate it, this book has as many valuable insights as hard opinions.
We have to recommend challenging your thinking by giving this book a read. Today, we discuss some of the book’s key takeaways, what makes it so appropriate for entrepreneurs, and how your attitude towards success can manifest real-world results. Click Play!
MBA1037 Do You Need a Personal Website? + Free Ride Friday!
Your business has a website, promoting your brand and product. But do you as an entrepreneur need another website, to promote...y’know, you?
Many business owners maintain separate websites about themselves, giving potential customers a deeper look into their motivations, outlook, and the bigger context of their businesses. But is this really necessary?
Can the choice to market yourself make or break your company?
Our host Omar has set himself a special challenge: over the next month, he’s going to build his own personal website, and test the benefits thereof. Today, we discuss the potential advantages, as well as the challenges that come with creating and maintaining a personal site. Omar shares details on exactly how he’s building, what resources he’s using, and — most importantly — what he expects to get out of it.
Tune in, and hear why so many entrepreneurs take the time to present themselves separately from their businesses. Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
MBA1036 Strategies for Getting Started with Outbound Sales
Inbound, inbound, inbound. These days, it seems like all we hear. But what about the good ol’ fashioned way of moving product? What about getting out there and bringing your product to customers?
There’s still room for the outbound approach.
As your business grows, it becomes more and more important to actively pursue outbound sales, especially for business-to-business companies. While salespersonship is an intimidating topic for some, your business depends on your ability to break out and be an ambassador. Today, we discuss how to get outbound right, with 5 totally doable strategies — even if you’re not a “natural” salesperson.
These strategies will make outbound sales less awkward, more honest, and much more effective. Get ready to reach out and sell something. Click Play!
MBA1035 Q&A Wednesday: How do I run a promotion without devaluing my product?
Sale prices can draw customers — but they can also send a bad message. It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one listener wants to know how to cut prices without harming the product’s real and perceived value.
Whenever you lower the price of your product, even temporarily, you have more drawbacks to consider than just decreased revenue. Gaining more customers is always great, but if it comes at too high a cost to your bottom line and your reputation, you may find yourself wishing you’d charged more. High-end brands, for example, almost never employ sales or discounts.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t. You just have to do it the right way.
You can cut the price of your product for promotional reasons, without creating the perception that your product is “cheap.” Today, we discuss exactly how to create promotions that lower prices while raising your profile. Learn how it’s done — Click Play!
MBA1034 How to Market When You’re Starting From Scratch
You have no contact lists, no followers, no fans, nada. How in the heck are you supposed to start marketing?
Everyone starts somewhere. Today, we discuss how to jump-start your marketing efforts from Square One. You can build a foundation from next-to-nothing, if you know how to use your resources wisely.
Before you spend a dime on paid ads, listen to this episode.
That’s not to say paid advertising is a waste. However, you need to set your strategy up in a way that maximizes the ROI of every cent you put into those ads. You need to lay your marketing groundwork in a way that makes every ad more likely to convert and lead to sales. This episode features the strategies, resources, and tools you need to make it happen.
Some of the best things are made from scratch. As in the rest of business, sometimes the most important move you can make is to just. get. started. Click Play!
MBA1033 Guest Teacher: Justin Jackson – How to use podcasting as a marketing tool for your business
Ready to podcast? This is the episode for you.
We know a thing or two about podcasting, having made it all the way to our 1,033rd episode. But we’ve got a special guest teacher with even more experience and knowledge, someone who helped us along the way. Justin Jackson of transistor.fm knows podcasting, and he’s here to offer seriously valuable advice to anyone getting ready to utilize this incredible marketing strategy.
From choosing your topic, to the technical details, to finding your audience, Justin is here to get you ready.
Justin was our first guest teacher, all the way back when we were podcasting noobs ourselves. Today, he’s got practical, actionable, easy-to-follow advice for new podcasters, plus a ton of online resources and hardware suggestions you can use to make your podcast the best it can be.
With Justin’s advice, you can commit yourself to a realistic, feasible production process, and give your brand the biggest boost possible. Get ready to podcast — Click Play!
MBA1032 How to Get the Most Out of a Meetup + Free Ride Friday!
The Internet is great, but sometimes you can’t beat some good ol’ fashioned real-world networking.
Physical meetups are more prevalent than you might think, and more affordable, too. Depending on your industry, there’s a good chance of finding a valuable get-together within a reasonable distance of wherever you are.
Today, we discuss how to find, prepare for, and make the most of meetups. We offer 4 specific tips for maximizing the ROI on the time you set aside to meet up, which can be considerable. With a little strategy, a little social grace, and a little extrovertedness, you can make the contacts that make a difference.
By going into meetups with a few modest goals and a plan to meet them, you can actively participate in a way that can have a significant impact on your business. Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Don’t just attend, intend. Make meetups worth it — Click Play!
Google AdWords: is the party over?
There was a time when AdWords was everything: a valuable, cost-effective way to get your website to the top of the results page without all that pesky manual SEO. Massive chunks of marketing budgets were devoted to paying per click, and as the value of AdWords became more and more apparent, the pricing became more and more...let’s say, exclusive.
That was then. This is now.
These days, more marketing attention (and dollars) are devoted to other marketing channels, like social media. Has the cost of AdWords finally outpaced the value? Are you better off crushing it on Instagram than throwing money at Google?
Today, we discuss the relative value of AdWords in today’s online marketing climate. In some situations, you may find AdWords is worth every penny. In others, not so much. Find out if AdWords can (still) work for you. Click Play!
MBA1030 Q&A Wednesday: Is Starting a YouTube Channel a Good Idea?
Are videos the new blogs? Many marketing experts have pointed out that YouTube is the world’s second-biggest search engine, but does that mean every entrepreneur needs to break out the tripod and start filming?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one of our listeners wants to get a sense of the ROI for YouTube. Given the potential effects on branding, SEO, and all-around exposure, many entrepreneurs wonder if it’s foolish not to have a YouTube channel promoting their business. Of course, producing regular, quality videos is no small effort.
Is it worth it?
Today, we discuss the value (and costs) of YouTube marketing. We explain how creating quality content works, how to leverage that content, and why it might be a crucial investment (depending on your business, of course). We also discuss the limits of YouTube marketing. Decide if the video-sharing platform is right for you. Click Play!
MBA1029 Unexpected Speed Bumps in Starting an Online Business with Matt Jenks
The road to independent success could use a few warning signs!
If you’re starting your first online business, this is the episode for you. In a special interview, we’re sitting down with someone whose entire job is helping new entrepreneurs get the most out of their websites: Matt Jenks, program manager for customer success at Weebly.
As the guy responsible for shepherding new entrepreneurs into the DIY web-based business world, Jenks has seen it all. His experience is multiplied by the experience of countless entrepreneurs he’s worked with, both successes and...not-so-successes. If there’s a way to get your new business off track, Jenks has seen it — probably more than once.
Today, Jenks sits down with Omar to discuss all the hiccups you’re likely to face when starting an online business, from marketing to funding to staying motivated. This episode has more value-per-minute than you can shake a laptop at, so get started. Click Play!
Your knowledge and experience are valuable — and not just to you.
In fact, your knowledge and experience are worth paying for, if you have the public speaking and presentation skills to deliver them effectively. Being a public speaker can do wonders for your exposure and brand, but it’s also a fantastic way to earn income in its own right.
Consider hitting the stage!
Today, we discuss what you need to do in order to make yourself worth a significant speaking fee. From the preparation to the networking to the marketing, we’ve learned from the best. Our host Omar is a successful public speaker, having studied the craft with speakers who make more for an hour-long talk than some people make in months.
Build your reputation and your bank account. Take our tips, hone your performance skills, and get ready to cash in on sharing your thoughts. Click Play!
MBA1027 How to Put The Spark Back Into Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
The excitement can’t last forever.
When the honeymoon’s over, the founding obstacles are cleared, and the initial fires are put out, it’s just you and your successful business. At that point, you’re no longer facing the drama of starting a new business, and all the ups and downs that come with it. You’ve made it. It’s working.
Like any relationship, the one between you and your business needs the occasional spark. A new challenge, new stakes, a new reason to be personally, emotionally invested in the outcome. While stability is certainly nothing to sneeze at, there is a such thing as too smooth a ride.
Today, we offer 3 simple ways to bring the passion back. Don’t worry — you don’t have to do anything excessively risky. But you do have to establish new goals, and face the kinds of challenges that get an entrepreneur’s blood flowing. It’s good for you, it’s good for your business, and it’s a massive motivator for your entire team.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Click Play!
MBA1026 How Often Do You Need to Upgrade Your Computer?
To do the best job, you need the right tools. But even the best tools don’t last forever.
If you’re like us, your business depends on your computer. Whether you’re on a desktop or laptop, Mac or PC, your computer is your primary weapon in the fight for independent success. It has to work, through thick and thin. What you spend on your computer can vary, but the ROI is undeniable.
But when is it time to upgrade? And what should you buy next?
Depending on your current hardware, it may be a long time before you have to accept the expense of a whole new rig. Depending on your business, you may require features and functionality beyond the average web surfer’s. And like all purchases, you get what you pay for.
Today we discuss how to decide what you need, and when you need it. We’ve been through quite a few computers in our day, so we have some idea of how long they (should) last. Plus, we offer tips and tools on extending the longevity of your computer, however long you plan to keep it. Click Play!
MBA1025 Q&A Wednesday: Where can I hire great remote team members?
We’d say remote teams are the future, but they’re already here.
More and more, smart entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a whole planet’s worth of talent, as the Internet erases borders and puts top-notch talent at your fingertips. In fact, the only problem with remote workers is that there’s just too many of them.
So how do you find the good ones?
Today, we discuss where to find the best in the (remote) business, whatever your business is, at whatever budget you’re working with. From posting on the right websites, to narrowing and filtering the results effectively, to identifying the characteristics of the truly valuable hires, we show you how it’s done.
We should know! Our remote team is spread across the globe, from the US to Australia to Asia and beyond. It took a few years of experience, but we’ve learned how to find exactly who we need — wherever they are. Tune in, and find the self-managing, tech-savvy, modern remote “keepers” your business deserves. Click Play!
MBA1024 Get A Handle on Tracking Your Expenses and Receipts
Accounting can get out of hand, quickly — even when you have an accountant!
With a million little business expenses going out every day, it can be maddening to try and keep track of each transaction. Factor in multiple team members using different methods of payment, and any entrepreneur can easily lose the thread. What’s a business owner to do?
We’ve got a system.
There’s no shortage of accounting software and expense-tracking apps. In fact, the choices are overwhelming. But we’ve established a system for our business that works beautifully, and we think it’ll work for you too. We only use 3 — count ‘em, 3 — software tools, integrated into one simple, easy, headache-free process.
As your business grows (and tax time approaches), you’ll want to have your finances in order. Try our system, and see how stress-free it can be. Click Play!
MBA1023 Guest Teacher: David Burkus- How To Make The Connections You Need To Grow Your Business
Networking: you’re (probably) doing it wrong.
Networking is crucial to the development of any business. We like to say that the relationships you build as an entrepreneur are the most valuable asset your business has. But acquiring contacts and building genuine relationships is a subtle art, one that requires skill and finesse.
That said, anyone can do it. You just need the right approach.
Enter today’s special guest teacher, David Burkus. Burkus a best selling author and social sciences expert whose research-based strategies are proven to work. He’s here to show us the “hidden network” that lives just outside your contact list, in the gray areas between friends and total strangers.
With Burkus’ advice, you can take the awkwardness out of networking and forge valuable alliances skillfully. Learn how to identify and connect with contacts, and nurture the relationships that’ll mean everything to your business. Click Play!
MBA1022 How To Work On Weekends Without Burning Out + Free Ride Friday!
Entrepreneurs need weekends, too.
Building a business on the side is no easy feat. But even the hardest working, most dedicated side-hustler has basic human needs: rest, relaxation, and a general enjoyment of life. To deprive yourself of these things won’t bring success. It’ll bring fatigue, burnout, and resentment. So how can you make time for you and your business?
One word: scheduling. Today, we discuss the time management tips that keep your weekends both productive and relaxing. With a little planning, and a little discipline, you can enjoy everything that makes weekends great, without losing ground in your business.
Our host Omar knows better than anyone — he held down a full-time day job while running a business on the side for years. By actively prioritizing R&R, he was able to meet his goals without collapsing in a heap of disgruntled fatigue. By not seeing himself as a work-bot, he was able to stay healthy, motivated, and productive 7 days a week.
You can do it, too. Find out how. Click Play!
MBA1021 How To Get Feedback About You From Your Team
How are you doing so far?
That’s a question every business owner needs to ask their team from time to time. Asking, of course, is easy. Getting honest answers, though...that’s something else.
You need to improve as a business owner and leader. If you’re not growing, neither can your business! The only way to measure growth is to seek data, to make sure that you’re a better leader today than you were yesterday, or last month, or last year. But where do you get the data?
More importantly, how can you trust the data?
Today, we discuss how to make your employees comfortable enough to tell the truth. By creating the right environment, with a commitment to openness and mutual respect, you can get the information you need to do better — and earn your team’s esteem.
We’ve tried many strategies to obtain this kind of feedback. Besides the effective ones, we’d also like to share the ineffective ones: the utter disasters that kept team members frightened and tight-lipped while real opportunities for improvement were lost.
Plus, we discuss how to assume the right posture to hear honest feedback, and respond constructively — not defensively. Do right by your team: Click Play!
MBA1020 Q&A Wednesday: How do I create an online course on a budget?
Got something to teach? Something to share? Ready to make a business out of it?
It’s time to start your first online course. But if you’re like today’s Q&A listener, you’ve got one problem: a tiny budget.
Not to worry! WIth low-to-no-cost tools available today, anyone can establish a decent online course and get the ball rolling on their coaching career. In fact, you can create an online course almost entirely for free, if you know a few tricks.
Today, we walk you through the steps to creating your first course on the cheap.We’ve got the tools, techniques, and nifty little hacks that help you produce professional, high-quality lessons with less capital than it takes buy a sandwich, let alone a videographer. We discuss everything from creating the content, to delivery, to technical advice on filming and screencasting.
Get the tips, tricks, and online resources you need to make it happen, budget be damned. Click Play!
MBA1019 How to Transition from Self-Employed to Business Owner
Your future is bigger than yourself alone.
There’s a huge difference between self-employment and business ownership. Being self-employed gives you freedom, and many prefer it to conventional 9-to-5 work. But self-employment means the whole enterprise depends entirely on you. Depending on the business, this isn’t scalable — or even sustainable in the very long term.
Business ownership, on the other hand, means taking a step back. It means being the leader, not the worker. It means delegating and trusting others with the day-to-day operation of your business, so that you can look further ahead. It’s not just about freedom. It’s about building something self-sustaining, independent of little ol’ you.
The ultimate goal of entrepreneurship is business ownership.
Even if you start as a solopreneur (as our host Omar did), eventually you’ll want to scale up, and hand off tasks to new people. This isn’t easy, and it’s not a ticket out of work. It’s a long-haul outlook that sets up a future for yourself and others.
Hear how it’s done, step by step. Click Play!
MBA1018 Must Read: Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins
Every once in a while, go back to the classics.
Tony Robbins is one of the original “self-help gurus.” While that kind of title might be scoffed at by some, the substance of his work is real and valuable. His 1986 book Unlimited Power isn’t some meaningless collection of affirmations — it’s a practical, smart guide to maximizing your potential.
It’s one of Robbins’ all-time best-sellers, and for good reason. Many (including our host, Omar) have been profoundly influenced as business people by this book. Omar himself has read and re-read it multiple times, synthesizing the lessons within.
Today, we share the key takeaways.
We get it: some people take Robbins more seriously than others. But even if you’re not into self-help, this book is full of actionable, business-applicable insights. 3 concepts in particular from this book can totally realign your understanding of entrepreneurship for the better. Hear what we mean — Click Play!
MBA1017 How To Make The Most of a Bad Day + Free Ride Friday!
The truest measure of yourself is what you do when times are toughest.
In business, tough times are never in short supply. Even the most successful business people have those WTF? days. It’s just gonna happen. What matters most is not avoiding those days, but responding to them in positive, constructive ways. Are you up for the challenge?
Today, we discuss how to handle the most awful days, by focusing on the factors you can control. We offer the strategies that have worked for us when everything seems to be going wrong, from sales slumps to technical glitches to personnel drama. Because no matter how badly your day goes, your business still needs you to perform.
Business is challenging, but that’s the fun part! With the right outlook, the right expectations, and the right strategies, you can see every day as an opportunity — even the awful ones. Hear our coping strategies, plus our 10-minute exercise for getting through those days you just can’t wait to end. Click Play!
MBA1016 Should You Start a 2nd Business on the Side?
We get it. Entrepreneurship is addictive.
Sometimes, while we’re developing one business, we see an opportunity to start another. Currently, we’re juggling two companies ourselves. But at some point, you’ve got to set limits on the number of plates you’re spinning, so that you don’t end up sacrificing quantity for quality.
Today, we discuss the right (and wrong) times (and reasons) for starting a second (or third) business while maintaining your current company. With so many ideas and opportunities bouncing around in our heads, we independent business people need to prioritize the ripest fruit — or end up with more than we can handle.
Fortunately, there are ways to decide if your next big idea is really worth pursuing. Certain factors truly justify starting a new business, especially when certain resources can be shared or the products are complementary. It all depends on what you’ve got going now, and where you want to see yourself later. Get the details — Click Play!
MBA1015 Q&A Wednesday: How much time should I spend consuming content?
Content: there’s plenty of it out there.
Much of it can help you grow as an entrepreneur. With the wealth of online educational resources available today, you could spend your whole day learning about business and your own industry. Without setting foot in a business school, you can learn more from your laptop than many have in universities.
But when does learning about business start to detract from actually doing business?
Today, we discuss the limits of content consumption. Professional development is a worthy endeavor, but you’ve got to balance it against your other responsibilities. Otherwise, the ROI shoots right into the negative.
We have a formula for consumption that works for us, with exact allowances of time that are firm, but flexible. There is a such thing as too much content. In fact, the human brain can only learn so much before it’s no longer useful to keep reading or listening.
Tune in, and find out exactly how to balance learning with doing. Click Play!
You’re starting a small business. You need a website. But you’re not a website developer.
Welcome to the most common of marketing conundrums. Can you make do with a drag-and-drop DIY website builder, or should you pony up for a fancy custom job? Can you really Do It Yourself effectively? Is the ROI for a designer really there?
It’s a tough call, and the answer will differ depending on what stage of development your business is in.
Today, we discuss when it’s worth it — and when it’s not — to hire a freelance web developer. We’ve gone both routes at different points in our business journey, hacking together our own site in the early phases and paying for something more professional when the time was right. We know what it costs, and we know what it did for our businesses.
Learn what really matters about your business website, and why shelling out too much too early is likely to be counterproductive. Click Play!
MBA1013 Guest Teacher: Clay Clark – How to Increase Your Sales by 300% in 30 Days
Ready for some top-notch business coaching?
Clay Clark is in demand as a business consultant. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year and a bestselling author, Clark knows the strategies that create revenue for all kinds of businesses. That’s why he’s been successful both in creating his own businesses, and in coaching and motivational speaking for a slew of Fortune 500 companies.
Bottom line: this advice is valuable.
Clark is here to help you revamp your business strategy with a sales-oriented approach. Today, he offers 6 specific tactics you can use to bump your sales numbers exponentially. From online marketing to closing the deal, Clark’s 6 tips can help you get the most out of your current business assets — especially if you have an established sales team.
After you listen to the podcast, head on over to thrivetimeshow.com for even more in-depth growth coaching. Click Play!
MBA1012 8 Essential Metrics Every SaaS Should Track P2 + Free Ride Friday!
Let’s get SaaSy.
It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!!, and we’re finishing up our two-part series on the metrics that matter most to your SaaS business.
If you haven’t listened to Part I, make sure you do (we’ll just wait right here). In that episode, we identified four basic metrics that help you lay the foundation for an accurate picture of your SaaS’s overall health.
Today, we go deeper.
We take a look at four more metrics, numbers that give you a more detailed, nuanced, and comprehensive view of your business. While yesterday’s episode focused on numbers related to customer acquisition, we now look at your existing customers’ data to capitalize on those gains — and boost profitability.
Track all 8 metrics, and let them lead you to sustainable growth. See where you can make the biggest differences in your SaaS, at every stage of its development. Before you invest in a pricey CMS or CRM software to track analytics, see what you can do just by following these figures manually.
The results might just blow your mind. Click Play!
MBA1011 8 Essential Metrics Every SaaS Should Track P1
Metrics matter. But which numbers should you really keep your eye on?
If you’re running a SaaS (Software as a Service) business, you’ve got plenty of numbers to choose from. You can study analytics on everything from conversions to daily active users to average customer age to...well, you get it.
With so many metrics, what’s the priority?
Today is Part I of a two-part series on the metrics that have the biggest overall impact on your business. By tracking these 8 key indicators, you can identify exactly which areas of your business need the most attention.
By improving these specific numbers, you’ll be most likely to improve the one factor that matters most: profitability.
On this episode, we tackle the first four key metrics, from the earliest phases of your marketing right up to your sales numbers. This will lay the groundwork for bringing in the next four factors — so you can paint an accurate overall picture of the health of your SaaS.
We’ve run our own SaaS for some time now. Take advantage of our experience, and learn where to focus your efforts. Click Play!
MBA1010 Q&A Wednesday: How can I save money with my payment processor?
Payment processing fees are part of the cost of doing business. But does the cost have to be so high?
Nope. It doesn't. Depending on your business, you may be able to finagle more preferable transaction charges, lowering the percentage of revenue you lose to payment processing. There are ways to save, without comprising service or customer security.
You just have to know how.
Today, we discuss how to cut down your payment processing budget. While so many business owners assume they simply have to accept their payment processor’s terms, the truth is that transaction fees — like anything — are negotiable. Plus, your payment processing structure can be altered to save you even more.
Learn how to improve your bottom line, by gaining the leverage you need to bring your payment processor to the table. Click Play!
GDPR: if you haven’t heard about it yet, you will.
It takes effect in a matter of days, and it’s likely to affect almost every business with an online presence. GDPR is Europe’s reaction to the threat of privacy breaches that have lately made headlines, especially in the US. It’s the European Union’s attempt to protect the user data of its citizens — regardless of where a business is located.
If you have a website that tracks or gathers data on your visitors, you must be GDPR compliant by May 25th. The good news? It’s likely that you already are. Still, it’s vital to make sure, because the consequences for violations of European visitors’ privacy are steep.
Seriously, friends: do whatever you have to in order to comply with this new standard in online security.
Today, we discuss what the rules are, why they came about, and how to make sure your business doesn’t run afoul. Given the size of the fines, it’s definitely worth taking the time. Click Play!
MBA1008 Must Read: The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Ever read a book that changes your whole outlook?
That’s the case with our latest Must Read Book Review, this time the true story of the world’s richest man and his landscape-changing company. The Everything Store by Brad Stone tells that tale of Amazon. It’s less a book about money, and more about drive, will, and unstoppable commitment.
This is a long read, but worth every second — including the time you spend re-reading sections just to process the incredible insights. It’s chock full of “Holy sh*t” moments, pieces of wisdom that completely challenge your view of business and commerce. This book is a mind-shifter, from cover to cover.
Today, we discuss some of the many takeaways of this immensely valuable book, from the value of implementation over ideas to the rewards of uncompromisingly good customer service. Friends, this one is a keeper. Click Play!
MBA1007 How to Adapt Spotify’s Business Model + Free Ride Friday!
Give. Hook. Upsell. Repeat.
The Spotify business model is genius. It’s also increasingly common practice, one currently adopted by businesses big and small. Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, and many more take the same approach: provide an incredible free service, then offer a premium version for a relatively small monthly fee.
The beauty is that it works at both levels. At the free level, you can still draw revenue from advertisements — the exact advertisements your customers will pay to avoid. If the service is great, and the customer has a certain amount of disposable income, it’s a win-win.
Today, we discuss exactly how to apply the free service to premium upgrade model to your business. Just like in many facets of business, from marketing to support, what you give away is ultimately what earns you the most.
It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! See if the Spotify method can work for you. Click Play!
MBA1006 5 Common Mistakes When Starting Your First Business
You’re starting your first business. Are you nervous?
Don’t be! Even though it’s your first time, you’ve got the advantage of our experience, right here on this podcast. There are so many things we wish we knew when we first got started. Today, we share 5 of the most important mistakes we wish we hadn’t made — because we totally did.
These are not small mistakes! All five of these screwups are potential business-killers.
The good news is that because we made these mistakes already, you don’t have to. And even if you have already made them, it’s not too late to change course. Whatever you do, do not let these errors slide. Avoid them, stop them; whatever it takes.
Many of these mistakes involve the transition from conventional work to entrepreneurship. For the newly independent, it’s important to know the key differences that trip people up. Let our experience (and our failure) be your guide. Click Play!
MBA1005 Q&A Wednesday: How do I close my business for good without upsetting my customers?
Goodbyes are tough. When you’re closing your doors, how should you address it with your customers?
That’s what one listener asked us for this week’s Q&A Wednesday. There are perfectly good reasons to close a business, from a lack of profitability to plain old retirement. But when you do so, you take something away from a group of people who supported you.
As a business owner, you owe it to them to bow out gracefully.
Today, we discuss how to communicate the end of your business in a respectful, productive way. Any exit strategy requires careful planning, including salvaging whatever good will you can. It requires correct timing, articulation, and possibly honoring some legal obligations. The way you close will have an impact — one that can follow you into your next business.
Learn how to soften the blow. It’s the right thing to do. Click Play!
They say two heads are better than one. How about two marketing campaigns?
Cross-promotion is a smart, simple way to instantly double your exposure, and it costs you almost nothing. All you need is a partner with a complementary product, and you can exchange access to your respective audiences.
In our business, we’ve done many a cross-promotion with other entrepreneurs. In fact, we’re doing one as of this writing.
We’re not talking about commission or affiliate marketing here (though that’s an option). We’re discussing a simple exchange in which your partner tells their audience about your business, and vice versa. It’s easy, mutually beneficial, and effective — if you do it right.
Today, we offer our best strategies for executing an optimal cross-promotion, from identifying a partner, to mutual goal-setting, to follow up with your new audience. With a little strategy, cross promotion works. Click Play!
MBA1003 Guest Teacher: Timothy Armoo- How to Leverage Snapchat to Tap into a Young Demographic
If you want to reach the young, you need to speak Snap.
Snapchat owns the under-30 market, with more teenage users than Facebook — despite Snapchat being a fraction of the size. As it grows, the temporary image and video-based platform will only extend its reach to the young.
For now, though, marketing and advertising on Snapchat is way underpriced.
To help you understand how to take advantage of Snapchat, we’ve brought in a special guest teacher. Timothy Armoo is the 23 year old CEO of Fanbytes, a mobile video advertising firm that helps companies reach the kids on social media.
Fanbytes has helped giants like Warner, Universal, and Sony get their message to the young. Now, Armoo is here to help you.
He’s got 5 “hacks” you can use to tailor your message to Snapchat’s unique features and functionality. These 5 tricks will maximize the impact of your campaigns with Snap-specific practices proven to earn clicks.
Get with the times, friends. If you ain’t Snappin’, it won’t happen! Click Play!
MBA1002 Removing Friction From Your Business + Free Ride Friday!
Friction (noun): that which slows us down.
We all want our businesses to run smoothly. Today, we’ve got some tips on how to identify and eliminate sources of friction, those areas of inefficiency where goals are held up. Friction can come from many places (and people), but there are 3 particular points where a few changes can make all the difference.
On this episode, we explain how to make your business (and your life) a whole lot easier. Entrepreneurship has enough challenges, so why allow unnecessary obstacles to exist? WIth some advice from a great mentor of ours, we share some effective ways to trim the systemic flaws (and individuals) holding you back.
Friction costs time, money, and effort. Don’t let any of your hard earned resources go to waste. Reduce the friction, and ride smooth — all the way to success. Click Play!
Good help is hard to find. But it’s easier when you’ve got staff who care about your business.
Whenever it’s possible, finding new hires via your old ones isn’t just cost-effective. It’s ideal! While anyone can comb through resumes and find appropriate skill sets, nothing beats a referral from someone who understands your business, your company culture, and your needs.
Not only does your own team know you and your mission, they know the potential hire — and what makes them a great fit. We’ve grown our team person by person for the last several years, mostly using this method. In that time, the people brought in by our people have proven to be a great fit.
Even if you’ve only got one employee, you can turn that person into the best possible recruiter. Personal connections do more than any job posting, recruitment service, or interviews. Assemble the team that jives on a personal level, and see what they’re capable of. Learn how — Click Play!
MBA1000 Q&A Wednesday: How Do You Work & Live With Your Significant Other?
It’s been a long road, but here we are: 1,000 episodes!
Don’t worry — we won’t spend too much time celebrating, because we’ve got business to discuss. Specifically, many of our listeners want to know how our co-founders, Omar and Nicole, balance their personal partnership with their business partnership. Can working alongside that special someone really...work?
It sure can!
Today, Omar and Nicole discuss the unique challenges and advantages of building a business with your other half. Our co-hosts are up-front and honest about what can go wrong when you work with someone so close to your heart — which is exactly why they pull it off.
Omar and Nicole discuss the potential conflicts of sharing a business and a life, as well as the boundaries, systems, and mutual agreements that keep them focused on their shared goals. They also discuss what makes working together so adorably great. Each offers 3 tips, for a total of 6 wisdom-nuggets on how to chase your goals with your best friend at your side.
Hear what it takes to make it, together. Click Play!
Email, email, email.
We never miss an opportunity to point out that email is king when it comes to online marketing and sales. Because the recipient has to opt in to receive it, and because every email requires some action to resolve (even if it’s just to delete), emails are your best chance to be seen, heard, and understood.
When you’re running a sales promotion, every facet of your email has to be precisely crafted with strategy in mind — from the subject line to the sign-off. Whether you’re launching a new business, launching a new product, or just having a sale, every aspect of your email matters.
Today, we discuss 5 phenomenal tips for optimizing your sales campaign emails. Write them down, stick them somewhere visible, and refer to them every time you run a promotion. We cover everything that makes an email campaign work: timing and frequency, design, content, and follow-up.
These principles can apply to any kind of sales campaign, for any type of business. Learn the strategy, and watch the results roll in. Click Play!
In business, good advice is worth its weight in gold.
For this week’s Must-Read Book Review, we go one better: Damn Good Advice (for people with talent) is a treasure trove of insights, witty observations, and hard-earned truths from George Lois, legendary ad-man and creator of Big Idea Advertising.
As the title suggests, Lois’ advice is, shall we say, blunt. Some of it is even controversial. Heck, we outright disagree with a few of his points. But the net value of reading this book is undeniable. It’s an easy, short, digestible read with a humorously combative tone that keeps the pages turning.
Before you know it, you’ve finished it — and you’re glad you did. We especially appreciate Lois’ take on the relative merits of smarts and work ethic, a balance that every entrepreneur has to find in themselves and their team members.
It’s unconventional, but it’s a gem. Hear what this book has to offer — Click Play!
MBA997 Advanced Email List Building P2 + Free Ride Friday!
Build the list that’ll build your business!
Yesterday, we started our 2-part series on email list-building with a talk on website optimization and opt-ins. Make sure you’ve listened to that one, so you have a firm foundation for today’s in-depth lesson on the next steps.
Today, we discuss how to segment your leads, nurture them into sales, and onboard those new customers.
WIth these proven techniques, you can keep the contacts on your list moving down the funnel, from contact to long-term loyalist and advocate for your brand. With smart automation, you can establish the email workflows that do the work for you, keeping your contacts constantly engaged. With a little education, you can master list-building, and watch the effects.
Listen to both episodes, take notes, and get ready — these strategies create results. Click Play!
In online business, email is everything.
That’s no overstatement. Email remains the single most important tool you can use to turn website visitors into customers. Collecting addresses, starting the conversation, and nurturing your leads requires knowledge and strategy. Fortunately, we’ve got an in-depth, 2-part crash course on exactly how to build your list the right way.
We’ve discussed the basics of list-building before. Now, we’re getting down to specifics. We’ve got the details on techniques you can use to acquire leads, convert them, and move them down the funnel. From opti-ins to segmentation to onboarding, this is the email primer you need.
Be sure to tune in to Part 2 tomorrow. When it’s all over, you’ll be ready to tackle email marketing and sales like never before. Learn the techniques, apply them, and let your list do what it’s supposed to: generate revenue. Click Play!
MBA995 Q&A Wednesday: How much should I spend on my logo?
Every business needs a logo.
A smart, eye-catching symbol that encapsulates your brand and mission can do wonders for your reach. It can generate interest, create associations, and bring your company to mind when potential customers are looking for solutions.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and one of our listeners wants to know how much a good logo should cost. If you’re not into graphic design, you’ll need to outsource the creation of your logo to a professional. Of course, that won’t be free.
With so many freelancers, and so many options for finding them, how can you be sure you’re getting a good deal?
Today, we discuss the options available to new entrepreneurs, including the options we’ve used ourselves. When you pay for a logo, you’re not just paying for the time it takes to make it. You’re paying for an expression of what you do — and that’s worth getting right.
Don’t work too much!
That might sound like odd advice from a podcast about building your independent business, but it’s crucial. Burnout kills businesses, and ruins health. Work is like anything else: quality always trumps quantity. By increasing the quality of your time “on the clock,” you can have more time to yourself.
Your business will benefit, not suffer, from the downtime you allow yourself.
Today, we discuss 5 techniques you can use to lessen your work hours. By working smarter, you can schedule your way into less stress and more results. Do better with your time, and you can enjoy more of it. It just takes a little strategy.
Beat back the overwhelm. Click Play!
MBA993 Special Guest Lesson: Exactly How To Start An Online Store with Katie Swett
Selling physical goods online? Setting up your ecommerce store is easier than ever, given the tools available. But whichever service you choose, it’s important to know the basics of creating an online store that’s optimized for sales.
Today, we’re trying something new: an interview with an ecommerce expert. We’re talking with Katie Swett, Group Project Manager at Weebly. Weebly is a sponsor of the show, but don’t worry — this isn’t a pitch. It’s an in-depth lesson on everything from the design of your ecommerce site, to the sales copy you feature, to the supplemental tools and services available.
Kaite and Omar discuss the best ways to establish your store online, right down to the best payment processing and shipping services to use. It’s an info-packed interview you can’t miss if you plan to sell physical goods from an online space. Click Play!
MBA992 Growth You Should Aim for in Year 1 + Free Ride Friday!
Is your business growing fast enough?
If you’re just getting started, that’s a question you might be asking. The answer, though, isn’t as simple as being big enough, soon enough. The right pace of growth isn’t necessarily the fastest pace. In fact, growing too quickly can (and does) end in disaster for businesses that aren’t equipped to go from 0 to 60 abruptly.
We’ve actually turned down opportunities for explosive growth, simply because we knew it wasn’t a sustainable course to take. Given the unique challenges of establishing a new business, entrepreneurs have to be precise in their goals, benchmarks, and standards. To chase as many customers and as much revenue as possible? That’s not very precise — or wise.
Today, we discuss reasonable, sustainable goals for new small businesses. By taking a smart, lean approach to your business’ growth, you can ensure that you’re not just a flash in the pan. You can establish a foundation of growth that will support years of continued success.
Find out how to grow wisely. Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
MBA991 Guest Teacher: Carrie Olsen- How to get better results with your sales page using 3 principles from acting
What can artistic performance teach us about sales performance?
Quit a lot, we think. And so does our next special guest teacher, Carrie Olsen. Carrie is a veteran voice actor, having provided narration for companies ranging from Tiffany’s to Taco Bell. In her career, she’s had to hone one thing above all: the art of presentation.
Carrie uses the same principles of presentation that fuel her voice-over career to sell her independent coaching services. In her view, presentation is the key to a great sales page - so she puts the same thoughtful strategy into her website as she does into her performances.
Today, she shares those principles with us. In the end, acting is the ultimate act of sales(wo)manship. You’re selling an idea, a feeling, and a belief. By bringing a bit of the stage, screen, or booth to your sales approach, you can maximize your sales efforts, too.
Learn how: Click Play!
MBA990 Guest Teacher: Dan Martell- How To Build a Scalable Systems Playbook
As your business grows, organization becomes more and more crucial.
At some point, the systems you establish will be the difference between getting things done, and scrambling to keep up. That’s why it’s so important to establish procedures, protocols, and workflows as early as possible.
Fortunately, there are tried-and-true ways to establish efficient systems and create repeatable core processes for your team to follow — even as your team grows, changes, and brings in new trainees. Today’s guest teacher, Dan Martell of SaaS Academy, is an expert in crafting and executing consistent systems. These systems can free you from unnecessary work and excess management duties, allowing you to focus on the horizon rather than day-to-day operations.
Besides offering his most important systems-crafting tips, Martell also offers our listeners something special: free core system templates that you can customize for your own business. Invest in your core systems now, and ensure efficiency going forward — Click Play!
We all need a break. But how do you make sure your break doesn’t hurt your business?
Burnout is a real and dangerous thing. It’s not only bad for your health and well-being, it’s devastating to your business. Only the best you — the healthiest, well-rested, most focused version — can run your business. That’s why it’s so crucial to approach downtime the same way you approach everything else: with planning, preparation, and thoughtful execution.
Today, we discuss what you need to do in order to plan a true vacation, one that allows you to “log off” while your business maintains its momentum. By putting some key things in place, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly in your absence.
Remember: it’s not a “break” if you’re thinking about work! Plan ahead, and come back from your next vacay fully recharged. Click Play!
MBA988 Must Read: SEO 2018 (No-BS) Strategy by Casey Henry
Need to update your SEO strategy quickly?
We’ve got the most efficient, to-the-point 2018 SEO guide available. It’s not a best-seller from a renowned author. It’s just something we stumbled on while looking for useful new SEO resources.
SEO 2018 (No Bullsh*t) Strategy by Casey Leigh Henry is exactly what the title promises: a no-nonsense, brass-tacks guide to getting SEO right this year. SEO is always changing. From the early days of effective keyword-stuffing to Google’s Hummingbird and RankBrain updates, yesterday’s SEO strategies will not work today. It’s more important than ever to find out what works now — without wasting time.
Hear all about these efficient methods for boosting traffic, generating leads, and ultimately making sales. For the best ROI of your time, this should be the next book on your list. Click Play!
MBA987 5 Ways to Increase Your Email Open & Click Rates + Free Ride Friday!
Email is still king.
Even in today’s world of viral social media, email remains the most effective, important tool for online marketing and sales. As they say, “The money’s in the [contact] list.” So how can you maximize the impact of your emails? You’ve got to make sure they get opened, and the calls-to-action inside get clicked.
Like many things in business, that’s easier said than done.
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true strategies you can use to maximize openability and clickability. By keeping these 5 principles in mind, you can make sure every email has the best possible chance of engaging and converting the recipient. By improving the most important email metrics — open and click rates — you can improve the one metric that matters most of all: sales.
Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Find out how to keep the conversation going. Click Play!
MBA986 4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Today
It’s easier (and less costly) to keep your current customers than to earn new ones.
When you think of the importance of customer service, always remember that equation. Too many entrepreneurs put too many resources into product development, marketing, and sales, and far too little into customer service.
Your customers are your lifeblood. Taking care of them should be a high priority.
Today, we offer 4 simple, specific actions you can take to improve your customer service. These are small steps, but big fixes. By putting them into action, you can improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and protect the revenue you worked so hard to build. These strategies are appropriate for any kind of business, for any size team — and you can implement them today.
A good reputation for customer service can be a huge draw, especially for products that make customers nervous, like SaaS products. Improve the customer experience, and your business will reap the good karma. Click Play!
MBA985 Q&A Wednesday: What would you do differently if you started your software company all over again?
Hindsight is a beautiful thing.
What would we do differently? We’ve learned so much over the course of building and running our SaaS business, WebinarNinja. Of course, like many entrepreneurs, we wish we knew then what we know now! For this week’s Q&A Wednesday, we’re letting our mistakes be one listener’s guide — and yours.
From our tiny two-person startup, we’ve built a team of 30 that now administers a service with over 13,000 active users. From the creation of our first Minimum Viable Product, to imperfect decisions about pricing, team management, and design, there’s a million “do-overs” we’d love to have. Some decisions were small, others were huge.
But along the way, we did the most important thing entrepreneurs can do: learn.
Apply our lessons to your business. Take what we wish we’d done, and do it yourself! We think you’ll be glad you did, looking back. Click Play!
MBA984 How to Have More Patience with Your Business
In life, patience is a virtue. In business, it’s a necessity.
We all want success as quickly as possible — especially those of us who take the risk of striking out on our own as entrepreneurs. We want to reach our goals yesterday, and have the life we want now. But too much ambition can cross over into something counterproductive: impatience.
Today, we discuss how to overcome the desire for instant gratification, and take the slow & steady approach that always wins the race. We share specific exercises that we use to relax, step back, and stay focused on the long term. Using these techniques, you can reduce stress, fight off anxiety, and reach your goals right on time...whenever that is.
Be the tortoise, not the hare. Click Play!
MBA983 Guest Teacher: Joey Coleman- How to Counter Buyer’s Remorse
Keep. Your. Customers.
As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot of time and resources on customer acquisition. We pour effort into getting more and more new customers, because that’s how we grow our business. But in doing so, we cannot neglect the customers we already have. To sustain our growth and set our business up for long-term success, we have to delight the buyers we already have.
Our special guest teacher this week is Joey Coleman, customer retention expert and the author of Never Lose a Customer Again. Coleman’s consulted the likes of Hyatt, Zappos, and Whirlpool on the art of pleasing and retaining customers after the sale, so that buyers become lifers.
Today, Coleman shares his proven ways to counter buyer’s remorse, that dread feeling some customers get when they haven’t been taken care of post-purchase. Take the time to make sure your customer feels good about their purchase, and they’ll reward you for years to come. Click Play!
MBA982 How To Empower Your Team To Manage Themselves + Free Ride Friday!
It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Today, we discuss the most important thing an entrepreneur can do to reduce stress, increase efficiency, and genuinely enjoy your business: trust your team.
When it’s your business, the temptation to micromanage is strong. But too much involvement in your team’s work can be counterproductive, draining, and — worst of all — it can disable your employees, keeping them dependent on you rather than letting their talents shine. If you truly want to the best work from your people, it’s time to macromanage!
On this episode, we offer simple steps that allow you to lengthen the leash, gradually empowering your employees to the point where they don’t need you. This frees you up to think further ahead, to innovate, and to simply live your life. We discuss how to build, test, and ultimately trust a capable team, one that’s motivated by their own desire to use the freedom you give them productively.
It’s a win-win! Click Play!
No one said this would be easy.
Business is tough. Entrepreneurship can be even tougher. We think it’s healthy, productive, and good for your business for you to acknowledge this struggle. If we can’t face the valleys, we won’t reach the peaks! That’s why we’re devoting today’s episode to helping you work through the dark times, the times when your path to success is the hardest.
We’re all about positivity. But the plain and simple truth is that entrepreneurship is hard sometimes, and that’s ok. By dealing with our unique challenges in a constructive way, we not only get through the rough patches — we enrich the whole experience, and grow into stronger business people. Today, we discuss exactly how to live with, address, and even embrace the entrepreneur’s uphill battles.
With a little support, a little advice, and some good ol’ optimism, you can keep things in perspective. You can do this! Click Play!
MBA980 Q&A Wednesday: How do I know my business idea is a good one?
Ideas: we all have them. Some of them are even good. But is your idea good enough to sustain a business?
You don’t have to guess.
If you have an idea for a great product or service, you can find out — in the real world — whether it can actually sell. You can take concrete action to determine if your business idea has a decent chance of working. In today’s digital economy, it’s easier than ever to do market research. You just have to know where to start.
Today, we take you step-by-step through the process of validating your business idea. Before you put any other time or money into your idea, do this first. We explain simple, immediately actionable ways to “feel out” consumers. This way, you can proceed with more than just an educated guess: you can go forward confident that your product or service already has people waiting to buy it!
Want to build it, but not sure if they’ll come? Just ask! Find out how — Click Play!
Public speaking is many people’s biggest fear. But for entrepreneurs, it can be one of the most powerful business-building tools. As intimidating as it can be, getting up in front of people and explaining yourself does wonders for your marketing, sales, and personal branding.
It’s taken our host Omar 6 years of study and practice to become the competent, engaging public speaker he is today. From hosting our daily podcast, to hosting regular webinars, to addressing huge live crowds at industry conferences, his success on the mic is no accident. It’s the result of thoughtful, thorough preparation.
Today, Omar shares his public speaking preparation strategy, from the initial “intel gathering” about the topic, audience, and venue, to the scripting of his words, to the multiple rehearsals he conducts before he ever sets foot on stage. He describes his own step-by-step process for crushing his speeches before a single audience member takes their seat.
He’s had the training. He’s had the experience. And he’s had the painful “bombing” moments that really taught him lessons. Now, Omar’s ready to share what he’s learned, so you can knock your next speaking engagement out of the park. Click Play!
MBA978 Must Read: Exactly What To Say by Phil M Jones
Nervous about sales? There’s a Must-Read Book Review for that.
Exactly What to Say by Phil M Jones is exactly what the title promises: a collection of phrases that will help you make sales. These key phrases encompass sales strategies that work for every kind of business and product. It’s a short, easy read that you’ll refer to again and again when crafting your personal sales strategy.
These phrases — used verbatim — are absolute gems. They make use of human and social psychology to trigger the interest and curiosity that opens the door for sales. On this episode, we explain how these simple phrases work, and share a few that we’ve found most useful in our own sales situations.
Learn how to introduce your product and explain its value effectively. Arm yourself with the exact words you need to gain confidence in the sales arena. Click Play!
MBA977 How to Build a Business On The Side P2 + Free Ride Friday!
Ready to make your side gig your full-time career?
Yesterday, we laid out the first phases of our detailed action plan for building your own business on the side while maintaining your regular 9-to-5 job. Today, we continue that lesson with the final instructions you’ll need to transition out of conventional work and into entrepreneurship.
Last time, we covered the foundational steps of organizing your time and resources, validating your business idea, and crafting your first minimum viable product. Today, we discuss how to turn your initial product into an actual, honest-to-goodness business. Tune in, and hear the exact steps you’ll have to take to establish your funding, profitability, and marketing before ultimately making your big move.
We also discuss how to improve your product via customer feedback, tweaking it to perfection until your business is truly off the ground. Finally, we offer advice on making a smooth transition out of your day job and into full-time, profitable, viable independent business.
It’s a long journey, but the first step is here! Click Play!
You want to build your own business, but you already have a job. And you don’t want to lose it (just yet).
You’re not the only one. Building your business on the side while maintaining your primary income isn’t just common, it’s smart! So how can you invest the time and resources necessary to really start a business? Can you make real progress with nothing but your nights and weekends?
We’ll show you how — exactly the way we did.
This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on building your business on the side. Today’s and tomorrow’s episodes are PACKED with detailed information on how to manage your schedule, stay productive, and minimize personal financial risk while plotting your escape from the 9-to-5. By keeping your day job and putting in a good ol’ fashioned side-hustle, you can pursue your business with a safety net in place.
Start playing the long game now. Click Play!
MBA975 Q&A Wednesday: What sales guides or resources do you recommend for non-sales people?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’re here to help! Today, we address a question from a listener with a very common issue: they’re not exactly an expert in sales.
For new entrepreneurs, salesmanship is often the first stumbling block. Per our listener’s request, we’ve put together a collection of go-to resources for beginning sales people that we’ve found most useful and valuable over the course of our business journey. This collection of 3 books and 2 online courses can give anyone a foundation in the art of the sale.
From ultra-beginner to intermediate, these resources are our ideal crash course for anyone who’s just getting into business for themselves. Fortunately, sales tactics can be learned — even by people who aren’t “natural” sales people. All you need is the right advice, and the will to get out of your comfort zone and improve your business skill set.
Take yourself from sales noob to sales pro! Click Play!
MBA 974 How to Make Big Decisions in Your Business
Decisions, decisions. Entrepreneurship means having more control — and more responsibility — than your average person. Sometimes, the sheer importance of the decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. All too often, the anxiety and pressure that comes with make-or-break decisions can lead to “analysis paralysis.” Today, we show you how to shake it off and make the call.
We have a precise we method we use to make the best possible decisions when the stakes are highest. By stepping back and putting the decision into a framework, you can get the perspective you need to reach a rational, properly analyzed conclusion. By applying our formula, you can anchor your decisions to the mission statements and personal goals that matter most.
Step out from under the pressure of emotional decision-making. Learn how to make the call with calm, confidence, and zero regrets. Click Play!
MBA973 Guest Teacher: Jordan Harbinger – How to Build Relationships for a Rainy Day
We’ve said it before, and it remains true: the relationships you build are the greatest asset you’ll ever have in business. Through ups and downs, from one business to another, your relationships are the one constant resource you can rely on — but only if your nurture and maintain them.
As this week’s guest teacher, Jordan Harbinger, likes to say, “Dig the well before you’re thirsty.” If you reach out to someone for the first time when you need help, you’ve already waited too long. Instead, Harbinger is here to show us how to build relationships well in advance of getting anything out of them, by simply being a trustworthy, generous resource for everyone around you.
Harbinger is a renowned expert in the art of networking and cultivating personal ties that reinforce your business. From his early days as a lawyer, he learned that relationships can be the scaffold of an entire career. As long as your intent is to build genuine ties — not to simply do favors to be rewarded later, the rewards are limitless. By being honest, open-handed, and helpful to others, your business will benefit in ways you can’t possibly predict.
Start building your network now. Click Play!
Times change, and so do prices.
If your business is growing, you’ll eventually have to raise rates for your products or services. Even if it’s just to keep pace with inflation or the cost of living, your prices just can’t stay flat forever.
Of course, breaking the bad news to customers can be a scary thought. No one likes to pay more, even for something they love. That said, you might be surprised at how little resistance you’ll meet when raising prices — if you do so skillfully. Today, we discuss the right times (and the right ways) to raise prices. A modest increase for customers can mean a huge revenue boost for you. We offer proven tips and strategies for “gently” raising prices, whether it’s an immediate hike, or a long-term pricing plan to keep pace with growth.
Don’t be scared to raise prices when you have to. Remember, most customers aren’t so concerned about price — they’re concerned about value. As long as you deliver the goods, your product might be worth more to customers than you realize. Click Play!
MBA971 How To Improve the Quality of Your Email List
Sit down for this one: your email list might be too big.
When it comes to email contacts, quality beats quantity every time. Besides that, excessive quantity can actually hurt your bottom line. Making sure you have a “lean list” is crucial to getting a good ROI on whatever you’re paying for email services (you’re not just using your personal email, right?).
Today, we discuss how to make sure you have the right contacts, not just the most.
A small list of engaged contacts is worth more to your business than a million inboxes where your emails get filtered, deleted, or otherwise ignored. Applying the right strategies to collecting emails will help ensure that the addresses you capture are high quality, conversion-ready contacts with the potential to become customers — not just audience members.
Ditch the vanity metrics! Tune in, and learn how to tell which of your contacts are helping your business grow, not just your list size. Click Play!
MBA970 Q&A Wednesday: Should I hire a family member?
Family is family, but business is business. Should the two mix?
Many entrepreneurs have to ask themselves this very question. What’s the risk/reward balance of hiring and managing the people closest to you? For some businesses, it can work beautifully. Take the husband & wife team of our host Omar and producer Nicole, for example. For others, it can raise complications that hurt the business — or worse, the personal relationship.
Today, we discuss the unique challenges and benefits of working with family. We show you how to adjust your human resources approach to accommodate family, protect your personal connection, and avoid the appearance of nepotism. With the right approach, you can work effectively and professionally with family, and enrich your entrepreneurial experience.
Learn how to keep it in the family — Click Play!
We all know online business is fertile ground. But is there still room for entrepreneurs to thrive in the physical world? If you’re considering taking on a good ol’ fashioned brick & mortar business, you already know that it comes with risks and challenges the online space is mercifully free of. So should you go for it? Is small business fully digital, or can a scrappy player still make it on the (literal) streets?
We’ve got some good news.
Physical business have never been more affordable to invest in, if you know where to look. What’s been terrible for real estate has been great for entrepreneurs, as moderate-to-low priced physical stores and spaces are available all over the map. You just have to assess the risk factors by doing your homework.
Today, we offer 5 specific things you should look into when considering a physical business. By addressing these 5 areas, you can make real-world entrepreneurship as feasible and realistic as any web-based company. Find out how — Click Play!
MBA968 Must Read: The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
Marketing not your forte? Well, have we got a book for you!
Despite the title, Allan Dib’s The 1-Page Marketing Plan is an entire book, and it’s made our list of entrepreneurial Must Reads for very good reasons. This book offers a strategic, intentional, universal marketing plan that any entrepreneur can apply, no matter the type of business. The plan is sound, straightforward, and effective. Best of all, it’s laid out in easily digestible chunks: 9 total steps divided into 3 phases.
This isn’t just a book of marketing theory. It’s a well-researched, well-received synthesis of proven marketing principles and best marketing practices, with practical examples to support its conclusions. If you’re overwhelmed by the challenge of marketing, this is absolutely one of the best places to start.
Get ready to have confidence in your marketing plan. Click Play!
We all love traffic on our websites. But what are we doing with it?
If you’re not converting, your visitors may as well not visit! To make your site effective, you’ve got to keep the endgame in mind: sales. By creating and engaging new contacts, you move your visitors down the funnel towards becoming customers.
So how can you optimize your sales page to capture those emails and start the conversation? We’ve got some ideas you may not have considered.
These 4 simple sales page hacks are minor tweaks, but they can have a huge impact. By applying these easy tricks, you can boost conversions and watch the revenue rise accordingly. These subtle moves may not sound like much — heck, your customers might never notice — but they’re grounded in solid conversion optimization practices. Hear our tips, give them a shot, and see what happens. Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
Why launch alone? When you’ve got a new business, product, or even just a new feature, teaming up with another company might be the best way to spread the word.
By sharing your news with a bigger audience than your own, you can maximize the impact of your new release. You just have to find some fellow business people willing to team up. Today, we offer 5 tips to help you identify the best launch partners, and talk them into a mutually beneficial launch promotion.
You only get one shot to launch, so make it count! We discuss where to start looking for partners, how to identify the “right fit” for your brand, and how to align your interests with your launch partner's for an effective collaboration. We also describe what kinds of partners to avoid.
Make your next launch greater than the sum of its parts. Click Play!
MBA965 Q&A Wednesday: I am not in love with my customers. Am I in the wrong business?
What’s love got to do with it? It’s Q&A Wednesday, and that’s what one listener is wondering. Can you run a business if you don’t exactly adore your customers? Does serving your customers require...y’know, liking them?
We all have a few customers we wouldn’t invite to dinner, but how much distaste for the people supporting your business is too much?
Today, we discuss the level of love necessary to be a good business owner. While a seething hatred for your customers is probably bad for business, you probably don’t need to be head over heels for everyone who buys what you’re selling. In fact, the skill set required to run a business isn’t necessarily the same skill set you need to be a people-pleaser. That’s why customer service is a distinct branch!
Find out how to fine-tune your relationship with your customers — or whether you need to at all. Click Play!
MBA964 How to Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Business
What’s in a name? Everything.
Choosing the right domain name can have huge implications for your branding, marketing, and SEO. Your web address matters! For customers to be able to find you, you’ve got to make it easy, and that starts with the right domain. Today, we discuss the “do’s” and “don’ts” of selecting your domain name, including three MAJOR no-no’s that are guaranteed to hurt your website’s reach.
You may have your domain name for years to come. It will represent your business for the foreseeable future. It’s the shingle you hang above your virtual door. For all these reasons, it’s best to put some thought into it! Click Play!
MBA963 Guest Teacher: Dr. Christopher Croner- Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again
Ready to sell? You don’t want just anyone pushing your product. You want the best. You want people with innate selling skills, including the kind of drive and self-motivation that can’t be taught.
You want a hunter.
Dr. Christopher Croner knows salesmanship. He’s exhaustively analyzed the qualities that make a great salesperson, finding common threads that only the truly capable share. Today, he’s here to help us attract, identify, and hire the people who will move your product. He discusses the right questions to ask to gauge a salesperson’s true potential, and lays out the specific elements of drive that characterize the truly results-driven candidates. Find your “hunter,” and set them loose! Click Play!
MBA962 Low Priced vs. High Priced Products + Free Ride Friday!
Go high, or go low?
When it comes to the price of your product, the decision you make will dictate your approach to everything from marketing to sales to customer service. While both the high-end and the affordable markets have their ups and downs, each comes with unique challenges and totally different customer expectations.
Today, we discuss all the factors involved in deciding whether to pursue the Mercedes or the Honda crowd. Low-cost products like Netflix and Spotify subscription services make billions, but involve certain risks and depend almost entirely on rapid scaling. Apple and Tesla can charge as much as they want, but each customer they earn is harder to acquire — and more devastating to lose.
Learn how your goals, strategies, and overall outlook will be different according to the price range of your products. Whether you’re choosing your path, or simply trying to maximize your profits with either approach, this episode’s for you. PS: It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
For entrepreneurs, attention-seeking behavior isn’t a bad thing.
To widen our reach and attract our audience, we all need press. Everything from brand awareness to SEO is dependent on being mentioned (in a positive light) by industry websites, popular blogs, and even local newspapers. So how do we get the exposure we crave? Today, we offer 3 hard-earned lessons on how NOT to get press — lessons we learned from (painful) experience.
If your business is being ignored by the thought leaders and tastemakers of your industry, it’s likely because you’re engaging in one of these 3 mistakes. The good news? They’re easy to correct, and the damage can be reversed. By avoiding these 3 errors, you can stand out, get noticed, and watch as trusted sources spread the good word about your business. Ready to establish yourself? Click Play!
MBA960 Q&A Wednesday: When is the best time of year to run a conference or event?
Conferences and other real-world events can be a huge boost for your business. Scheduling such events for maximum attendance takes strategy, planning, and wisdom — exactly the kind we offer on today’s episode. The right time of year makes all the difference to the success of any event, based on the industry, climate, culture, and a host of other factors.
To pull off a win, you need to think way, way ahead.
Today we discuss some general guidelines that apply to all or most kinds of conferences and events, including some definite no-no’s you should be sure to avoid. We help you put potential attendees in a position to make “yes” an easy answer to give, utilizing the sweet spots on the yearly calendar.
You only get one chance to fill your event with potential partners, customers, and allies. Get it right! Click Play!
Let’s just say it: no one likes meetings.
No one has ever liked meetings. Meetings are things you get through, and if you play your cards right, have as few of as possible. Yes, they’re necessary to get people on the same page sometimes, but there’s a point of diminishing returns.
Too many meetings are not only annoying, they’re counterproductive.
Today, we discuss specific ways you can reduce the number of meetings required to keep your business moving. We show you how to assess whether you’re having too many meetings, and weigh the value of what these meetings produce relative to the time you’re spending in them. We describe the kinds of meetings that are most productive and efficient, and that produce the best ROI.
Online or physical, office or remote, we all need fewer meetings. Click Play!
MBA958 Read: How to Stop Worrying & Start Living By Dale Carnegie
Worry: it’s an entrepreneur’s constant companion. But does it have to be?
Today, we review another Must-Read business book, an all-time classic from an author whose legacy transcends time and technology. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a treasure trove of life and business wisdom, centered around the need to chill out, let go, and take care of what you can control.
From organization to problem-solving to well-being, Carnegie breaks complex ideas into actionable strategies. He stresses the illusion of control, the power of altruism, and the importance of sleep. The book is written for a flowing, approachable read — so you can easily begin applying its lessons.
Business changes, but some lessons are timeless. Click Play!
MBA957 How To Spend Less on Travel + Free Ride Friday!
Travel: it’s one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur. Whether it’s traveling for business or pleasure, entrepreneurs get to do more of it. But as we all know, it can get pretty, pretty pricey.
Today, we discuss strategies for saving on everything from airfare to hotels to local transport, so you can minimize your travel expenses. From tax breaks to rewards programs to booking tricks, there are lots of ways to cut costs. Best of all, these tips don’t have to mean traveling by rickshaw to stay in a hostel — we’ve got advice for lowering the cost of travel without sacrificing too much by way of comfort. After all, you’ve earned it!
Find out how to hit the road cost effectively. Click Play!
MBA956 How to Turn Monthly Subscriptions into Annual Subscriptions
Running a monthly subscription service is a wonderful way to achieve predictable, reliable revenue. Even more reliable is a yearly subscription, which allows you to spend fewer resources on retention and pass the savings on to customers. But how can you convince customers to make that kind of commitment? How can you entice people to go the distance with you on an annual basis?
Today, we discuss how to construct and execute your campaign to turn monthlies into yearlies. We offer tips and strategies on educating your customers about the benefits of going annual, how to target the customers most likely to convert, and what to offer them as incentives. Set yourself and your customers up for the long(er) haul. Click Play!
MBA955 Q&A Wednesday: How did you know it was time to quit your job?
Entrepreneurship: how long should you look before you leap?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a great question for everyone on the verge of leaving their day job behind: how do you know when it’s time? Our host Omar was an educator for many years before he finally decided to trade in all that security for a shot at independent success. But he didn’t just drop his chalk and walk out — he created an action plan based on solid information and rational goals.
Tune in, and learn when — and how — to quit your day job. We discuss exactly what steps to take, review the deciding factors, and give you the framework for a smooth transition from the 9 to 5. Click Play!
Rise and shine, entrepreneurs! The first few hours of your day are the most important for your overall productivity. A consistent, intentional morning routine is the best thing you can do to reach your short and long term goals. You don’t have to be an “early bird,” but you can’t wing it! Constructing your routine takes a little planning.
Today, we discuss how to establish a great morning routine, starting with your habits each night. We offer easy tips to maximize productivity, defeat distractions, and produce your best work. With these strategies, you can meet one of the biggest challenges of being your own boss: setting your own schedule.
Turn your alarm clock into a Call-to-Action! Click Play!
MBA953 Guest Teacher: Rob Rawson- How to Manage and Scale a Remote Team to Over 60 People
Remote employment isn’t just the future; it’s the present. All over the globe, more and more work is getting done by people who never meet their employers. Naturally, with remote work’s undeniable advantages come some challenges.
Rob Rawson is a remote team management expert, creator of remote team management app Time Doctor. Today, Rawson stops by the podcast to offer his best tips on remote team hiring and management, from placing your first ad to scaling up the size of your team. He describes how to attract, evaluate, and empower the best employees from the world’s massive pool of candidates — and make sure the work gets done.
With our own remote team, we can say from experience that Rawson’s advice works. Tune in, and see if it works for your business. Click Play!
MBA952 Your Most Important Asset in Business + Free Ride Friday!
What assets matter most?
In business, you’ve got plenty to choose from. Your talent. Your expertise. Your inventory. But there’s one overarching asset that binds the rest together, and gives each their value. There’s one asset that can follow you from start to finish, even if one business fails and you move on to another. This asset is the most precious, one that needs to be cultivated, guarded, and utilized at all times.
Today’s episode falls squarely in the “I wish someone had told me this when I started” category. Understanding the value of this one asset is key to your development as an entrepreneur, no matter what kind of business you’re in. We discuss how to develop this asset, how to use it effectively, and how focusing on its value can breed success no matter where your business journey takes you. Plus, it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Click Play!
There’s something else you could be selling.
More and more companies offer premium support packages as add-ons to their product. With tech-savviness varying wildly from person to person, some of your customers might need more help than others, especially for digital products. While the urban millennial may have no trouble using your SaaS or implementing your course, the noobs may not be able to get the most out of your product without a little help.
That’s where premium support comes in. Today we discuss which kinds of products best lend themselves to premium support, the different forms premium support can take, and how to figure out the pricing. It’s not just an upsell for upselling’s sake; premium support may be a fantastic investment for both you and the customer. See if it could work for you — Click Play!
MBA950 Q&A Wednesday: Should I get a business loan to grow faster?
Sometimes, you should just say no — to money.
Today on the $100 MBA Show, we help one listener with a question many entrepreneurs face: whether or not to seek a business loan. A big pile of money can be a very tempting thing, especially if it can take your business to the next level. But while some businesses are in a position to scale up via loans, others would only be inviting trouble by sinking themselves into debt.
In this Q&A episode, we discuss how loans can create more problems than they solve, when they’re appropriate for a given growth stage, and how to handle loans effectively. We also review some alternatives to standard bank loans, for those who wish to avoid one of the small business world’s greatest dangers: debt. Don’t let a bank take the “independent” out of your independent business. Find out if a loan works to your advantage. Click Play!
Let’s click “Refresh” on our traffic approach!
While the tried-and-true standards of great content, SEO, and standard promotion still work, entrepreneurs always need an edge. Today, we discuss 4 underutilized, creative traffic-boosters that scrappy startups can take advantage of — before everyone else does. These just-outside-the-box techniques are unique ways to leverage your resources into more site traffic, with just a little extra effort and ingenuity.
Go beyond keywords, beyond Tweets, and take the path less traveled to increased traffic, increased conversions, and ultimately increased sales. Widen the top of your sales and marketing funnel with these 4 traffic hacks, and see what a little out-front thinking can accomplish. Click Play!
MBA948 Guest Teacher: Chris Ducker – 5 Ways to Monetize Your Personal Brand
You have a forté. You want a business. This is how you turn one into the other.
Chris Ducker is serial entrepreneur, having been in the business of monetizing skills and expertise for years. He’s the acclaimed author of Virtual Freedom and Rise of the Youprenuer, and the founder of youpreneur.com Today, he stops by the $100 MBA Show to teach us how to leverage your unique experience into a stream of income.
Ducker’s “Starting 5” techniques are the perfect ways to take the most crucial step in entrepreneurship: Step One. Each of these 5 options is a realistic, actionable way to convert your personal value into a marketable product, whether it’s through coaching, consultation, or commission. Whatever your area of expertise, your expertise is the product! Learn how to sell it. Click Play!
MBA947 3 Stories You Should Know By Heart + Free Ride Friday!
What do you do?
For the conventionally employed, that’s a pretty simple question. But for entrepreneurs, the question isn’t just complicated — it’s an opportunity. Whether you’re networking with other business people, establishing your credibility with potential customers, or just explaining your life to family and friends, it’s crucial to articulate your vision, your mission, your story.
Today, we discuss the 3 stories about your business that you should keep on hand. They don’t have to be memorized scripts, but you do want to tell your stories confidently and efficiently. You want to generate curiosity and interest. You want to engage.
Stories are how we understand the world. For entrepreneurs, being understood is key to being successful. Learn how to harness the power of narrative. Click Play!
Working from home: it can be the greatest. No commute, no cubicles, no dress code! But if your home office isn’t conducive to work, it can backfire.
We’ve tried everything from private offices to shared coworking spaces, but in the end, we settled on the convenience of a home office. Today, we discuss how to set up your home office to maximize results, creating a dedicated, minimalist space that breeds the right mood and mindset to get things done.
We offer tips on how to choose the right room, how to set it up for writing, recording, filming, and conferencing, and how to minimize distractions. We even weigh in on the great standing vs sitting desk debate (the answer is both). With full control of your space, you have more freedom than your average office worker — but you also have more responsibility. Learn how to set your space (and yourself) up for success. Click Play!
MBA945 Q&A Wednesday: I’m launching a podcast. Any advice?
Thinking about starting a podcast? You’re not the only one. To stand out, you’ll need to know what you’re getting into.
Fortunately, we have *some* experience in the podcast game. 4 years and 945 episodes in, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. Some things we learned through experimentation. Some we learned from other exemplary podcasters. Some we learned the hard (and maybe best) way: through our mistakes.
Today, we help one listener with a crash course in podcasting 101. We take an honest look at the challenges of finding your audience, discuss how to build it, and offer advice on how to convert your listeners into leads for your business. We talk about what to prioritize, recommend some equipment, and teach you how to turn your unique talents into a podcast worth hearing. Click Play!
MBA944 How to Shoot a Sales Video without a Camera
Lights, camera, action!
Great sales videos are a must for your business website. But many of us are intimidated by the thought of producing one. We think it requires a lot of specialized A/V equipment, including a camera (besides the one in our smartphone). But here’s the twist: you don’t need a camera other than the one in your phone —- because you don’t need one at all.
You also don’t need incredibly sophisticated technical skills. All you need are a few software tools, some very helpful websites, and a willingness to learn a few new tricks. You can script, “shoot,” and edit your sales video with nothing but your laptop and a modest (or even very modest) budget.
Today, we describe 2 specific options for shooting your sales video sans camera, depending on your time and budget constraints. We discuss the value of sales videos, and tell you where to find all the best tools, support, and information you need. From screen capture software to microphones to online editing classes, we’ve got you covered. Click Play!
MBA943 Guest Teacher: Russ Stoddard – How to Build a Purpose-Driven Company
Do well, by doing good.
For most businesses, the endgame is profit. But in recent years, a new model has risen up, one focused on the bigger picture. If your motivation for building a business goes beyond dollar signs, if you have an entrepreneurial desire to improve the world, this is the episode for you.
Russ Stoddard is a pioneer in social and environmental responsibility as a business model. His company, Oliver Russell, is devoted to the profitability of purpose. For years, Stoddard has championed the notion that with great success comes great responsibility. More importantly, great responsibility can lead to great success.
In this info-packed episode, Stoddard leads us through the effects of a purpose-driven approach on everything from your brand to your tax liability. He discusses the options available for entrepreneurs who wish to structure their companies around principle and social values. He teaches us the value of values, and shows us why he works to improve the “triple bottom line:” people, planet, and profit.
Check out Stoddard’s 5 ways to pursue success in a socially responsible way. Learn about the relationship between purpose and profit. Click Play!
MBA942 The Biggest Lie in Business + Free Ride Friday!
Someone is lying to you.
Actually, several someones are. They all have one thing in common. They promise something that doesn’t exist. They tempt you with a fantasy whose sole purpose is to empty your wallet. They show you photos of laptops on beaches and screenshots of swollen Paypal accounts. They tell you that wealth is something you can obtain quickly and easily — if you just learn the secret.
We’re over it. We’ve had enough. We sell a course that empowers people — through their own hard work — to build their own business. While we’re offering the tools to turn effort into success, scammers are selling entrepreneurial snake oil. Today, we explain exactly why effortless income is the biggest lie in business, and why earned success is so, so much sweeter. Click Play!
Selling is a skill. The good news? It’s easy to learn.
Too many folks think that sales are the result of great ideas or “perfect” products. Meanwhile, salesmanship is under-studied. We’re not talking about some slick process of manipulation. Selling your product — whatever it is — simply requires the right approach. Showing people that your product is worth buying is a practice, one that anyone can apply.
Today, we offer 3 steps that encompass the entire sales process. That’s right: no matter the business, physical or digital, high-end or low-end, it all comes down to 3 basic procedures. These 3 steps ensure that your product finds its home in the right market segment. This easy, applicable process is the most effective way to make sure customers get what they need — or in other words, what you sell.
You don’t have to be an extrovert. You don’t have to seduce. You just have to introduce people to genuine value. Find out how. Click Play!
MBA940 Q&A Wednesday: I’m an Online Business. Do I Need Business Cards?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’re helping a listener with a very good, very 21st-century business question: do online businesses need business cards?
It’s easy to see why some would question whether paper business cards are still relevant in a digital economy. In fact, our host Omar hasn’t given one out in years! But just because business cards aren’t for every business doesn’t mean they’re not appropriate for some. In fact, they can be a valuable networking opportunity. Today, we discuss when — and how — to take advantage.
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’re helping a listener with a very good, very 21st-century business question: do online businesses need business cards?
It’s easy to see why some would question whether paper business cards are still relevant in a digital economy. In fact, our host Omar hasn’t given one out in years! But just because business cards aren’t for every business doesn’t mean they’re not appropriate for some. In fact, they can be a valuable networking opportunity. Today, we discuss when — and how — to take advantage.
We cover which kinds of businesses can most benefit from physical cards, which aren’t likely to, and the ROI of cards (especially given how incredibly cheap they’ve become). We also discuss what features and layouts best optimize a business card for maximum networking and lead-generating effect. It’s a digital world, but there’s still room for a little bit of old-fashioned paper. Click Play!
No, they’re not always right.
Some customers are wrong. Some customers do not have valid complaints, or problems that your business can solve. Some customers do not seek solutions, but aim to cause problems. Some customers have issues that have nothing to do with you, but that — if you allow it — can become your problem. Some customers, to put it plainly, are jerks.
Just because someone pays you does not entitle them to abuse you. So how can you deal with straight-up evil customers? Today, we discuss practical, sensible ways to handle the worst of the worst, the ones who simply aren’t worth whatever revenue they’re providing. With calm, dignity, and grace, you can refuse to feed the impulse that drives strangers to drive you crazy. Learn how to deal. Click Play!
MBA938 Must Read: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen knows music, but he also knows business. From his extremely modest upbringing to the top of the charts, the legendary rocker is a model of financial discipline, business sense, and plain old savvy. While other artists were blowing money on the finer (and more dangerous) things in life, Springsteen kept his business “why” in mind: to never return to the poverty of his youth.
Success leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for other entrepreneurs to follow. Continuing our series of Must Read Book Reviews featuring artists and entertainers, Born to Run is another phenomenal example of entrepreneurial achievement from the pop culture world. Find out what you can learn from a poor Jersey kid who made it all the way to the top. Click Play!
MBA937 3 Business Rules You Should Never Break + Free Ride Friday!
Someone once said that rules were made to be broken. They were wrong.
At least they were wrong about these rules. Today, we discuss 3 immutable, no-exceptions, absolutely unbreakable rules of business. No matter the business type or size, these 3 principles are always true. Violating any one of them is a guaranteed success-killer! Whether you’re trying to sustain growth or simply get your business off the ground, keeping these rules in mind will save you a lot of trouble.
Some of these rules may seem obvious. Some may surprise you. You might be breaking some right now! Whatever the case, these simple formulas are reliable. They’re the basic, Business 101 pillars of any plan for success. Hear what they are, and find out exactly why they’re so important. Click Play!
Location independence is a beautiful thing. If you work online, you’re free to live where you want, when you want. That leaves you with literally a world of choices. That’s a good problem to have — but it’s still a problem!
What should you look for in an international location? Is it safe? Can you afford it? Is there wifi? We’ve done some extensive traveling, even as we built our businesses, so we know what online entrepreneurs are looking for when it comes to finding your next “home” abroad.
Today, we discuss the five most attractive international cities for digital nomads. We review each one in terms of the metrics that matter most to would-be expatrepreneurs: value, safety, things to do, and yes, internet speed. From weather to nightlife, we cover the ups and downs of these increasingly popular locations. Find out where to hang your hat (and your laptop bag) next. Click Play!
MBA935 Q&A Wednesday: I had a lot of firings recently. Am I a horrible boss?
It’s not you, it’s me. Or is it?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and we’ve got a tough question from a listener about an uncomfortable subject: firing. Almost every successful business has to let people go at one time or another. But after a few too many firings, is the real problem the employees, or the employer? If you’re even asking that question, we have good news — it’s probably not you. But it might be your hiring practices.
Today, we offer specific hiring strategies that can preempt problems down the road. We discuss interview strategies, along with ways to “test” your potential hires before you commit to a long-term relationship. The key is setting expectations, both for you and the potential hire.
Hiring well is a learned skill — and firing people is a learning experience. Hear how to improve your staffing outcomes. Click Play!
MBA934 How to Start Saying NO. Practical Strategies
Sometimes, you just have to say no.
While entrepreneurs are driven to be positive, affirmative, and happy to take on a challenge, limits are our friends! And while fostering good relationships means helping people when you can, overextending yourself can lead to the worst reputation killer of all: failure to deliver. So how can we turn people down without turning them off? How can we say “no” in a way that maintains our reputation?
We’ve got you covered. Today, we discuss some easy, practical ways to decline. These strategies are polite, non-confrontational, and help preserve — or even strengthen — relationships. These declining techniques are appropriate and effective for everyone from clients to friends, with a focus on the relationship’s value.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. To paraphrase a famous wizard, you SHALL pass, when appropriate. And it just might save your business. Click Play!
MBA933 Guest Teacher: Stefan Pretty – Stop Losing Customers! How to Reduce Churn
As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to get customers. But are we doing enough to keep the ones we have?
Today on The $100 MBA Show, we’re talking churn: the rate at which your business loses customers over time. To help understand this complex metric, we’ve brought in another expert guest teacher: Stefan Pretty of Subbly.co. Pretty is an authority in the subscription services game, and specifically in the science of customer retention. When in comes to reducing churn, this is the guy to talk to.
Pretty outlines the reasons behind high churn rates, and the importance of tracking and analyzing this oft-neglected metric. He offers specific strategies to reduce churn at key stages in the marketing and sales funnel. He gives valuable advice on how to make your product more “sticky” and relevant over the long term. There’s a lot to learn in this episode!
You earned your customers — now keep them. Click Play!
MBA932 Creating & Selling a Mobile App P2 + Free Ride Friday!
Have a great idea for a mobile app? We’ve got your back! Today is Part II of our series on developing and selling your mobile app, from start to finish. Yesterday, we discussed how to design and build your app, with a focus on user experience and customer problem-solving. Today, we cover how to get your completed app in front of those customers, by applying basic marketing strategies.
The good news is that your app has every chance of success, as long as it solves a customer problem. The bad news? Very few people will find your app by chance! Standing out in a sea of over 2 million apps requires purposeful strategy. We’ll show you how to build your brand, find your audience, and ensure that the people who can benefit from your app find out about it.
All that, and it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Make your app idea an app reality. Click Play!
What’s an idea worth? Without execution, nothing! That’s why we’re devoting two episodes this week to executing something that plenty of folks have ideas about, but aren’t sure how to carry out: mobile apps. If you have a great idea for a mobile app, congratulations! That’s step one. It’s those pesky other steps that today’s (and tomorrow’s) episode will help you with. We discuss exactly what goes into creating a real-world app, from the design process to the costs. We show you how to conduct market research, and refine your idea into a niched-down, super-lean, truly viable product that can work in the real world. Take the leap — turn your app idea into an honest-to-goodness business. Click Play!
MBA930 Q&A Wednesday: I don’t get the whole customer avatar thing. Do I just make one up?
It’s marketing 101: the “customer avatar,” also known as the “buyer persona.” In theory, every business keeps an imaginary customer in mind when crafting...well, everything. From the product itself to the marketing content, everything is designed with the aim of pleasing this avatar, this stand-in for your potential customers. But who is this person? And how do you create them?
That’s the topic of this week’s listener Q&A. We help one $100 MBA fan identify the key characteristics of his customer avatar by taking a radical approach: thinking of an actual customer! You don’t have to work your imagination too hard when real people do a fantastic job of representing themselves We discuss how to mine your real-world customers and contacts for avatar info, so that you can tailor what you do for maximum appeal. Learn how to craft the ultimate buyer persona: Click Play!
MBA929 Off Social Media For 4 Months. The Results So Far.
What is social media costing you? What is it gaining you? The answers to these questions — and finding the right balance between them — could mean as much to your business as it does to your personal life and well-being. Our host Omar decided to find out in the most direct possible way: by quitting social media altogether.
4 months in, and Omar’s learned a lot about the time and headspace consumed by social media, and how that compares to the business benefits. While there are some things he definitely misses, there are other things our host (and our business) are happy to do without. Is social media your default go-to when you have a spare moment? If you added up all your spare moments, could you do something more productive with them? Find out how to balance the realities of online marketing with the need for healthy habits. Click Play!
MBA928 Must Read: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Heart
What can you learn from someone who made millions out of nothing? No capital, no connections, and no fantastic product idea? That’s the story of popular comedian Kevin Hart. His autobiography I Can’t Make This Up is the subject of this week’s Must-Read Book Review, and it’s packed with valuable insights that any entrepreneur can utilize.
It’s a long read, but engaging all the way through. Most importantly, Hart’s personal philosophies on work ethic, failure, and adaptation are proof that success doesn’t come from outside funding or the “perfect” product idea, but from a willingness to execute with what you have. His revelations about personal transparency and the marketability of honesty are fantastic examples of the core business principles we can all apply. Kevin Hart is a funny guy, but his true-life business lessons are no laughing matter. Click Play!
MBA927 Does Free Content Still Work? Plus Free Ride Friday!
Not all content is created equal. There was a time when a simple weekly 500-word blog post, stuffed to the brim with keywords, was all you needed to get the attention of consumers. Not any more. Today’s content market is bigger, more sophisticated, and not likely to be fooled by anything less than the genuinely valuable. Free content can still work, but only if it’s done right.
Today, we discuss what makes content truly valuable — both to you and your audience. We describe the characteristics of content that works, and content that doesn’t. Does your content have heart? Does it have what it takes to not only stand out, but resonate? Do you know how to promote it? Learn how to create content that converts. Click Play!
MBA926 Why You Don’t Need to Love Everything About Your Business
Some days, you just don’t feel like it. That’s ok! One myth of entrepreneurship is that you should love every second of running your business. A fantasy of doing what you love and “never working a day” pervades the laptop-on-a-beach culture of easy independent success. But it’s absolutely healthy and normal to struggle with motivation, and to just...well, hate it sometimes. The key to navigating this is to stay rooted. Build your business around a genuine motivation, and tap into that motivation when the going gets tough. Today on the podcast, we discuss how to find your “why,” and let it guide you through the late nights, early mornings, and other inconveniences of earning your success. Hang in there, friends. Click Play!
MBA925 Q&A Wednesday: How do I prevent someone from stealing my idea?
You’ve got a great business idea, but you’re keeping it to yourself. If you let your million-dollar cat out of the bag too soon, surely someone will come along and beat you to market with it, right? Not exactly. Today, we address a frequently asked question about protecting business ideas from would-be thieves. Long story short: don’t worry about it! As we’ve said many a time, business isn’t about ideas; it’s about implementation. In so many cases — from electric cars to social networks — it’s not the first version that succeeds, but the best executed version. Listen to the podcast, and learn why you should never sit on an idea. Learn why the odds of losing out to idea bandits are so ridiculously low that it should never hold you back. Click Play!
MBA924 How to Create a Successful Version 1 of a Product
Get ready for launch! Sometimes, entrepreneurs struggle to get their product market-ready in time. It’s no secret that we believe strongly in the principle of launching the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, as soon as possible. So while we never recommend “perfecting” your product into non-existence, you do want to make sure that the first version you release will have the best possible impact — and lay the foundation for success with future versions. Today we discuss the specific strategies you can use to optimize your V1. By implementing a few key principles, you can align your product with customer needs and customer outcomes. You can set your product up to gain traction, build momentum, and be the first phase of something wonderful. Let’s get viable: Click Play!
MBA923 Guest Teacher: Sean D’Souza- 3 Ways to Write Intensely Curious Headlines
What makes you click? Whether it’s a blog, email, or sales page, you’ve got about 2 seconds to convince your potential customer to read what you have to say. That’s why your headline may be the most important few words in any piece of content. Sean D’Souza is a veteran copywriter, and an expert in the psychology of content effectiveness. Today, D’Souza stops by to give us a detailed lesson on creating headlines that generate the most important feeling a web-surfer can have: curiosity. He describes three simple techniques you can use to juice up any headline for maximum impact, by anticipating and addressing the reader’s instinctive responses. Set your content on fire: Click Play!
MBA922 Creating An Effective Pre-Launch Page + Free Ride Friday!
You’ve got the product. Great! Now how will you get people excited about it? Too many entrepreneurs leave out a key marketing tool, one that’s easy to create and use. Its value is underestimated, but its impact can be profound. Today, we discuss exactly how to create the perfect pre-launch page. This simple tool can generate curiosity, interest, and ultimately customers. We cover it all: the purpose and value of pre-launch pages, the various required and optional features a great pre-launch should have, and the best (easiest) software tools available for building one. All that, and it's FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! With pre-launch pages, it’s never too early to get started. Click Play!
Hard work pays off, or so we’re told. But on today’s podcast, we’re discussing something that isn’t easy to say, or hear: Hard work by itself just won’t cut it. Lots of people work hard, really hard, and don’t see success. Your work ethic is immensely valuable to you, but not necessarily to your customers. Like talent, passion, or a great product idea, hard work is only one part of a greater equation. There’s another ingredient, one that’s rarely discussed but easily as important as hard work. It’s another core value, without which hard work can only take you so far. Find out what key ingredient you might be missing. Click Play!
MBA920 Q&A Wednesday: How many people is too many for a group coaching program?
Online group coaching is one of the best ways to monetize your expertise in a given field. Whether it’s fitness, life coaching, or professional skills, this business model is most coaches’ best opportunity at building a client base. But how many clients should you take on in each class? How many is too many? That’s what one listener wants to know, and that’s what we’re discussing for this week’s Q&A Wednesday! It’s not necessarily true that more clients = less value for each of them. Your clients will learn from and support each other, so it’s valuable to have a certain minimum. But there is a limit, and it’s important to find out where it is. Today, we discuss the factors you should consider when setting your group size limit. The kind of coaching, the frequency and duration, and a host of other factors will affect your decision. We’ll show you how to estimate, test, and adjust your session sizes to find that “sweet spot” between too few and too many clients — within the limits of what we consider the minimum and maximum for any coaching program. This episode is a must for anyone doing (or considering) online coaching. Click Play!
Great businesses can teach great lessons. The same goes for great products — and Apple’s AirPods are beyond great, both as a product and a study in product rollout. No, this is not sponsored content. In fact, we discuss how Apple didn’t exactly release the AirPod according to plan (much to their embarrassment!). AirPods may be the single biggest innovation to come from Apple since the first iPhone, and getting them to market was an incredibly difficult process. Today, we discuss what lessons you can learn from Apple’s execution of the AirPod. This story is full of principles that you can apply directly to your business, no matter what you sell. From navigating technical hangups, to transparency and communication with pissed-off customers, to deciding when to delay, it’s all here. Innovating isn’t easy, but it’s how every business — big and small — secures its future. Click Play!
MBA918 Must Read: Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
Do you still quote Seinfeld or The Simpsons? Do you still listen to U2 or Mozart? Ever read Shakespeare? Art is a product, and like any product, the truest measure of its success is longevity. On today’s podcast, we review a Must-Read book about the art of long-term product viability: Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday. Perennial Seller is about producing work that lasts, and creates profit for years. As our collective attention span shortens, how can you create something with a lasting impact? Holiday destroys myths about sudden inspiration and inborn creativity, and instead explains the patient process of executing and refining your way to long-term success. He also explains how to market your product for the long haul, rather than the quick buck. We had high expectations for this book, and they were exceeded. Hear how Perennial Seller can recalibrate your goals for the big picture. Click Play!
MBA917 How Much Does It Cost To Sponsor a Major Conference? + Free Ride Friday!
Is it worth it? That’s the first question you should ask yourself about any marketing expense, especially a significant one like sponsoring a major conference. Between the cost of the actual sponsorship, and the associated costs like travel and materials, it can add up. But the potential for sales leads is incredible — if you do it right.
Today we discuss the actual, real-world numbers behind conference sponsorship, so you can calculate the true cost/benefit ratio and potential ROI. We cover the tangible, budgetable costs you must consider, and help you determine how to make the numbers work. We describe in detail what you can expect for your money, plus how to prepare for the conference and maximize your results.
All that, and it’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! Sponsoring a conference may be well worth it for you, or it may not. There’s one way to find out: Click Play!
MBA916 What You Can Learn From a 30 Year Business Run Buy One Man
What is success? On a recent trip, we ran into someone whose business accomplishments inspired us to devote an entire podcast episode to him — not just because he’d “made it” in business, but because of how he’d made it, and how he’d defined “making it” for himself. He didn’t create some incredible invention or stumble on some viral marketing strategy.
He simply executed a simple business plan with little more than patience, hustle, and some very happy chickens.
Yas Kubota is an organic egg farmer in Australia. He’s also an incredible example of a solopreneur who’s managed to sustain, grow, and thrive off an independent business for three decades. This long-term success story is perfect for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of independent business. Kubota is proof that fundamentals — and a positive attitude — are really all you need. Click Play!
MBA915 Q&A Wednesday: I have a course idea. How do I find a way to make it more interesting?
It’s Q&A Wednesday, and class is in session! Not just our class, but yours! This week, one $100 MBA member wants to know how best to improve his online course. Specifically, how can a course be made more interesting? Fortunately, our host Omar knows a thing or two about that, being an educator with years of teaching experience in and out of the classroom.
Today, we discuss how to create and deliver a course that your audience won’t just learn from, but love. We’ll show you how to design lessons that are as engaging as they are valuable — the kind of lessons that eliminate boredom, increase interaction and motivation, and empower customers. Get ready to crush your course! Click Play!
Startups and swag go together like peanut butter and chocolate. But do all the T-shirts, water bottles, stickers, and USB drives work? Does the money spent on giveaways come back in the form of conversions? The coolest swag in the world doesn’t help your business if it doesn’t come with a meaningful ROI.
We recently did a swag-speriment to measure the marketing impact of our free goodies. We dropped a full-on swag bomb at a major conference, giving away thousands of dollars worth of items featuring our webinar company, Webinar Ninja’s, brand. The results shed some light on the true value of swag, and how best to maximize its impact.
Hear all the details, and see how you can swag your way to more customers. Click Play!
MBA913 Guest Teacher: Brian Dean- How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos for Higher Rankings (and More Views)
YouTube has been called “the world’s 2nd biggest search engine” behind Google. While so many entrepreneurs are striving to climb the Google rankings, are we leaving potential customers on the table by ignoring YouTube? Our first guest teacher of 2018 seems to think so, and he’s put the time in to discover exactly how to dominate it. Now, he’s here to tell us how it’s done. Brian Dean is an SEO genius, whose years of experimentation and fine-tuning have made his website, backlinko.com, one of the most trusted resources for content marketers. In fact, he’s so great at SEO that we actually found him through (you guessed it) a Google search! In the last year, he’s turned his attention to YouTube, which - like Google - is key to building your audience. But YouTube’s ranking algorithms are very different from Google’s. Today, Dean shares 7 strategies to optimizing your YouTube videos, including some surprising discoveries that will completely change how you approach the video-sharing site as a content marketing tool. Brian Dean is the first of many fantastic guest teachers we have lined up for this year. Don’t miss out on what YouTube can do for your online presence. Click Play!
MBA912 What I Learned From My Biggest Challenges in 2017 + Free Ride Friday!
It’s FREE RIDE FRIDAY!!! For the first time in 2018, we’re giving away a special gift to one lucky listener. We’re also looking back at 2017, and discussing the lessons learned from the most intense business challenges we had to face. And boy, did we ever face some doozies. After a wild year in which we completely re-launched our webinar software, WebinarNinja, the insights we gained were commensurate with the uphill battles we fought.
Reflection is one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do, in order to grow. Join us as we discuss all the things wish we knew going into 2017. We learned these things the hard way, so our listeners don’t have to! Take these lessons into 2018, just as we will. Struggle, reflect, grow, repeat — Click Play!
Today, we’ll teach you how to KISS.
No, we’re not celebrating Valentine’s early. We’re showing listeners how to do the most important thing a lean, growth-focused independent business can do: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Of course, we don’t think anyone smart enough to listen to our show is “stupid,” but the acronym is a valid one.
When complications creep in, it becomes harder for you and your customers. In this episode, we discuss how to streamline your business into its most simple, direct, and effective form. Tune in, and hear our 5 key principles of business simplicity, the 5 ways you can give your company the edge by discarding unnecessary complications. Simplify, and watch your business grow. Click Play!
MBA910 Q&A Wednesday: What do you do when you run out of cash?
It’s our first Q&A Wednesday of the year, and we’re kicking 2018 off with a tough one! It’s uncomfortable to think about, but what should an entrepreneur do when resources dry up? The accounts are low, spending is outpacing revenue, and it looks like all is lost. Can you carry on? Absolutely. Just because you’re tapped out, doesn’t mean you have to tap out. On today’s episode, we teach you how to evaluate the problem, get things under control, and make the tough choices necessary to save your business. In our experience, struggle can be the best teacher. Stay positive, and power through. We’ll show you how. Click Play!
Is this working? If you’re not asking that question about every aspect of your marketing, sales, and finance strategies, you’re leaving money on the table. It’s vital to know when your efforts produce fruit, and when you’re wasting your time. Knowing how to measure growth is the key to achieving it!
Today, we discuss specific, actionable techniques for making sure you’re doing what works. We lay out the key progress indicators (and how to measure them) for everything from your blog to your social media to your hires. By putting a little time and thought into analytics, you can maintain a truly lean business — doubling down on what’s effective, and cutting out everything else. Learn how to get a clearer picture of your business. Click Play!
MBA908 Must-Read: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Happy New Year! It’s 2018, and we’re back with our DAILY podcast! We’ll be bringing you 5 practical business lessons every week, including our popular Q&A, guest teacher, Free Ride Friday giveaway, and Must-Read book review episodes. Steve Martin might not be the first person you think of for business advice, but his biography is a master course in business perseverance. From his hard-earned advice on staying lean, to his invaluable lessons on the value of effort over inborn talent, Martin’s Born Standing Up is a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone trying to make it against all odds. As entrepreneurs, we’re on stage in front of an audience, too. Tune and learn how to “perform” successfully, no matter what industry you’re taking on. Click Play!
‘Tis the season — let’s talk giving!
Offering free bonuses is a common sales-boosting strategy, used by everyone from the smallest mom-and-pops to the biggest corporations. But do these giveaways work? If you’re starting or running your own business, it’s important to use every resource wisely.
You’ve got to carefully consider everything you offer to customers, or it’s money down the drain.
The key to effective bonuses is to remember what they really are: not gifts, but investments. The value of the investment relative to the value of the outcome has to be favorable, for both you and the customer. Give the wrong bonus, and the outcome is nothing but increased expenditures and lost credibility.
It’s all about the ROI.
Today, we’re discussing exactly what kinds of bonuses work, and what kinds don’t. We’ve used bonuses to promote our own products, from our webinar software service to The $100 MBA course. We’ve seen bonuses succeed, and we’ve seen them fall flat. In that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about precisely what makes a bonus effective.
Specifically, we’ve compiled 4 distinct characteristics that define a successful bonus offer. By ensuring these 4 keys are in place, you can craft an offer that will be worth every dime you “give” away, to yourself and your audience. You gain the trust that drives sales, and your customers get one step closer to the solutions they seek.
Bonuses are the gifts that keep on giving.
In a nutshell, a great bonus comes down to relevance, actionability, and value. The 4 principles we discuss today are the keys to establishing those things for your bonus offers. By aligning your offer with your own product and your own customers’ needs, you can pinpoint the offers that will truly generate sales.
You’ll also learn how to “sell” the bonus, and deliver it in a way that’s targeted towards results.
This is our last episode of 2017, an incredible whirlwind year that’s seen major twists and turns to our own business journey. It’s been a privilege to share those twists and turns, in our effort to make our experience valuable to you.
From the complete overhaul of WebinarNinja, to our decision to mine that overhaul for insights for our audience, to our experiment with our current weekly podcast format, we’ve learned a ton — and we hope you have too.
Starting on January 1, we return to our daily podcast format, with 5 episodes per week — including our ever-popular Q&A episodes, and our FREE RIDE FRIDAY subscription giveaways.
We can’t wait to tackle 2018 with you. Learn how to maximize your success with effective bonus offers, so you can make the new year all yours. Click Play!
It’s that time of year! No, not that. Even better: it’s time to reveal this year’s 5 lessons from 5 of the greatest business teachers around! Every year, we choose 5 entrepreneurs whose unique approaches, strategies, and styles inspired us, educated us, and made us better business people — whether they knew it or not. Some of them we know personally. Some of them, we’re just fans of. But whatever the case, their choices informed our business, as well as the personal entrepreneurial development of our host, Omar. We learned from them, and so can you. These 5 special individuals have no idea we’ve been studying their work so intensely. We have no arrangement with them to be the subject of this podcast, for sponsorship or any other purpose. In fact, they don’t find out how much they’ve taught us until the day the episode airs! They are simply the people whose examples were of the greatest genuine value to us — and we’re hoping, to you. Some are writers. Some are software developers. One is a comedian who started with nothing but a YouTube channel. But all of them are dynamic entrepreneurs. All of them have taken on their own business development with creativity, flexibility, and ingenuity. They’ve done something different. They’ve all done something completely their own, but with implications for anyone who wants to learn entrepreneurship. Each of these 5 incredible game-changers has a unique twist on independent business, one that allowed them to stand out from the crowd. Their accomplishments were not insanely well-funded or corporate-backed ventures. There are people whose success was derived directly from their willingness to find new roads, to do what true entrepreneurs do: give the market something it was missing. By forging their own approach, these great teachers (whether they meant to teach or not) are the year’s best examples of the founding principle of The $100 MBA: that being true to your own vision will reveal your value to consumers. How they translated their vision into marketable products and services is worth studying. That's because their examples are roadmaps to profitability on your own terms. Tune in. Hear what our 5 inspirers have to teach us about marketing, selling, innovating, managing, and all the rest. Take what we’ve gotten from them, as we pass it on to you. Learn from the best, just like we did, and make your own unique way in the business world. Click Play!
There’s more than one way to start your own business. When plotting out your entrepreneurial path, it’s important to establish something early on: what kind of independent business person you are. Would you make a better entrepreneur, or solopreneur? Maybe you’re the type to go it alone. Maybe your product is best produced, marketed, and sold by its creator. In that case, solopreneurship might be the path for you. If you love leading a team, and your product requires diverse skill sets to bring to market, entrepreneurship could be the way to go. It’s important to start thinking about this now, especially if you’re at the beginning of your business journey. Your own talents and skills, plus the nature of your product and business goals, need to be carefully considered. Many factors determine the best way forward, and it’s crucial to choose correctly. That’s what today’s podcast is all about: helping you decide what will work best for you. Let’s be clear — neither solopreneurship nor entrepreneurship is better or worse. Neither is easier or more difficult. These are two very different, but equally valid, ways to build a business. In fact, our host Omar has found success with both approaches, depending on the kind of product and the goals for the business. Some entrepreneurs even start as solopreneurs, building their brand on their own until it grows to the point where it takes a team to scale up. Some solopreneurs go it alone all the way to the top, reaching 6-figure incomes without hiring a single employee. As they say, it all depends. Both options have their advantages. Both have their challenges. Today, we want to explore all the ups and downs of both, so that you can apply this knowledge to your own business ideas. By understanding the strengths, risks, and unique factors of each approach, you can optimize your chances of success. Whichever you choose, though, it’s important to choose as early as possible. This episode offers a comprehensive explanation of solopreneurship, its practical differences from entrepreneurship, and concrete, actionable steps you can take to move forward with this information in mind. We don’t just want to help you get started; we want to help you get started with every possible advantage. That begins with defining your approach to business with clarity, specificity, and forward-facing vision. With that accomplished, you can move on to building your audience, creating your product, and shaping your strategy towards achieving the lifestyle you want. Tune in, compare and contrast these two approaches, and get ready to take action. Click Play!
So you want to start your own business. What’s taking so long? Here at the $100 MBA, we battle a myth. We battle it day in and day out, because it’s the one thing holding more entrepreneurs back than anything else: the belief that you need huge amounts of funding, education, time, or resources to start a successful business. It’s not that you won’t ever need things like knowledge or capital. You just don’t need as much as you might think to get started! You can begin the journey any time, including right now, and gather those things along the way. All it takes is a little guidance, and the will to move forward. So many people want to be independent entrepreneurs, but too many people overestimate the obstacles to doing so. You don’t need a huge budget. You don’t need the experience of an expert. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need “passion,” or some Earth-shattering product idea. You just need to take the first steps. You can build a business right now, today. What business will depend on you, but there are a few categories of business that anyone can establish with minimal resources and experience. We know — we’ve built these businesses ourselves. Today, we’re sharing 5 specific types of businesses that you can start with nothing but a laptop and decent wifi. The greatest preparation for entrepreneurship? Just plain doing it. We talk all the time about the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. It means that every product has to start somewhere, that it can’t be perfect before you get the ball rolling. The same applies to entrepreneurs. If you want to be in business for yourself, the most important thing you can do is to get started! You don’t need the features of a long-established career to begin one. Sometimes, you just have to stop packing and get on the road. Whether it’s service, creative, or educational, there are countless ways to leverage your talents into a real-world business. With this lesson, we offer 5 examples. We discuss why you don’t need to wait for conditions to be “perfect” to start a business, how to find your niche, and how to find your first clients. Tune in, hear how jumping into entrepreneurship really works, and decide how you can start your independent business journey, right this minute. After the lesson, stick around for a very special, very important announcement for all our listeners. We can't wait to share this lesson, and we can't wait to share this week's exciting news. Let's kill the excuses. Let's kill the doubt. Let's get going! Click Play!
Every business is different. So why assume that what works for some businesses will work for yours? It’s pretty standard practice in most industries to ramp up sales for the holidays. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year — to generate revenue. The big holiday sales push is so commonplace, we just assume that it’s a smart, effective strategy. Let’s stop assuming. For some kinds of businesses, it might be smarter to consider something different. Something outside the box. Something downright radical: taking the holidays off. Crazy, right? In retail, suggesting we take a holiday break would be enough to get you pilloried. But for small service businesses, a little holiday hiatus is not just harmless; it could actually increase your profits. A strategic holiday shut-down is an opportunity to retool your product, push for a pre-holiday sales boost, and recharge your whole business. It’s counterintuitive, but that’s what makes it so brilliant. Great entrepreneurs don’t chase the crowd. They find the underserved market, they seek the niche, they go where other businesses aren’t going. And while most companies are decking the halls for the holiday sales explosion, lean, smart, small-time entrepreneurs think differently. On this episode of The $100 MBA Show, we’ll discuss how to plan and execute a strategic holiday sales break. We explain exactly why this strategy works, how to determine if your business would benefit from it, and how to execute it. We detail the exact steps you should take to temporarily shutter the sales end of your business, and quietly prepare to come roaring out of the gate in the new year. Our experience building small businesses has taught us the value of thinking differently. Bucking the holiday trend of pushing for sales might sound like anathema, but we’ve seen it work. By closing your doors for a bit, you can start the new year with a burst of activity, well-rested and equipped with a fresh influx of new customers. This holiday season, let’s think outside the tastefully-wrapped box. Learn how a little downtime can create an upward trend. Click Play!
Is it time to hire? As your business grows, this can be a tough question. As entrepreneurs, we all want to be proactive. Why wait ‘till tomorrow when you can do it today? But when it comes to personnel, it’s not quite so simple. Growing your business is about many things, not the least of which is timing. No one can hire the people they need at the exact moment they’re needed. So the question is: should you hire late or early? Is it better to have the people you need in place before the work rolls in? Or should you save the capital until the investment is absolutely necessary (not to mention guaranteed to pay off)? What’s worse: spending money you don’t have on people you don’t need, or scrambling to handle the workload with inadequate staffing? What’s the lesser of two evils? We’ve been entrepreneur-ing for some time now, and we’ve got pretty strong views on this topic. Today on the podcast, we’re weighing the pros and cons of both early and late hiring, and explaining why we consistently choose one path over the other. While no two businesses are alike, we think our reasoning can help any entrepreneur, whichever policy they prefer. It’s advice worth hearing. To help you with your hiring plans, we discuss all the factors that go into this important decision. What positions are truly necessary? How much momentum and revenue is required to make a new hire a safe bet? How much work is too much for a solopreneur or small team? Most importantly, how can you establish a new position in a way that lets your new employees hit the ground running? Whatever you spend on your team, it needs to be money well spent. On this episode, we’ll teach you how to project timeframes, analyze the cost/benefit ratio of every new hire, and scale up while keeping your business lean. We’ll help you hire with the timing and finesse every entrepreneur needs to make strides without losing ground. There’s a risk in every decision. Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to the timing of your hires. Tune in, hear how we’ve dealt with this deeply important policy question, and decide if our logic applies to your business. We offer detailed insights, plus practical exercises you can use before you decide to hire. Make sure that every investment is a worthy one. Click Play!
Are you addicted to social media? More importantly, is social media having a negative impact on your business? There’s lots to love about Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest. For business owners, social media is an undoubtedly useful tool for outreach and marketing. But many independent business people — myself included — think there’s a fine line between useful and necessary. I’m not the only one who thinks that (depending on the business) social media is often wildly overrated. Its power to grow your audience and generate leads is far more limited than many new entrepreneurs realize. While there are those who’ve built their followings primarily through social media, those are exceptions, not the norm. I like to say that your business isn’t done on Facebook, or Snap, or any other social media platform. It’s done on your webiste, in your store, in the space you create. To really take this principle for a test run, I made what some would consider a pretty radical decision: I quit social media. Indefinitely. For the last several weeks, I’ve suspended all my social media accounts. And you know what? I can’t say I miss it. Again, I’m not here to bash social media. It’s valuable, it’s useful, and its effects on society are better discussed by sociologists than business people. I may even return to social media once this experiment has yielded all its results. But I’ve found that since I kicked the habit (and it is a habit), both my business and personal life have demonstrably improved. Today on the podcast, I discuss what exactly was behind my decision to quit social media. I describe my motivations and inspiration for this experiment, and what I hoped to get out of it. I also discuss what I have gotten out of it so far, from increased emotional well-being to greater focus and productivity. In fact, I’d argue that leaving social media has actually helped my marketing efforts, by allowing me to focus on marketing strategies with far greater ROI. Social media is a boon in many ways, but it is undoubtedly a habit, one with the potential to create addictive, distracting patterns of behavior. In this episode, I even propose a short experiment for you, the listener, to decide if backing away from social media could be beneficial. Maybe a social-free life isn’t for you, but it could be worth finding out. Tune in, hear my 3 specific reasons for giving social media a break, and consider my results. A healthier, more focused, balanced approach to work and life might just be the outcome. Click Play!
What do you want? It’s the most basic of questions, underlying the motivations behind everything we do in life and business. What’s it all for? Why are we striving to make our businesses successful? What’s the point of profit? For all of us, the money isn’t the answer. It’s the means to achieve the answer. That said, we shouldn’t abandon all thoughts of quantifying our personal definition of success. No, money can’t buy happiness. But it can give you the freedom and resources to do whatever it is that does make you happy. That’s a quantity worth calculating. How much money, exactly, do you need to live the life you want? Do you want to travel? Support a family? Drive your dream car? Order the appetizer? Whatever it is, there’s a number attached to it. The life of your choosing can’t be defined by money, but it can be enabled by a concrete number. On today’s podcast, Omar introduces a life/business planning exercise by which you can nail down your personal number. Using this simple but thoughtful process, you can legitimately determine what the life you want will cost— and start moving towards it. This isn’t about dreaming. This exercise is an act of doing. By quantifying the key to your goals, you enable yourself to take concrete steps towards attaining them. In fact, after you do the math, you may find that your goals aren’t as far off as you think! Too many people define their life goals to broadly, carrying nebulous ideas of how much money they need. Yes, we all want to be “wealthy” or even just “comfortable.” But we can do better than that. We can define what specifically we want, and work out a realistic price tag. Doing this exercise can radically alter your approach to business. By defining your personal goals in terms of exact numbers, you can focus your business goals on achieving those numbers. The number is a bridge between your dreams and your reality. By seeing your business is the means to cross it, your focus intensifies. It’s not about making the most money; it’s about making the right amount. By plotting an actionable path to your goals, you can achieve what too many people in business forget about: working to live, instead of living to work. Find out how. Special thanks to all our listeners as we celebrate this, our 900th episode! It’s a good one: Click Play!
What to say about Steve Jobs? He’s the first person that comes to mind when you think of the word “entrepreneur.” He changed the world we all live in, by virtue of his commitment to a business vision. Much has been written about, by, and for him. What can you, as an entrepreneur, learn from the legend? Now, we have the ultimate guide to his life and career: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, the most complete, relevant biography for any entrepreneur who wants to take lessons from the life of the iconoclast. Isaacson’s biography is the latest addition to our Must Read list, and the subject of this week’s podcast. With so many books about business and entrepreneurship (not to mention about Apple and Jobs specifically), we like to highlight the ones that can best impact your growth as a business person. In this episode, Omar breaks down the key takeaways from this incredible (and incredibly long) book. It’s a page-turner, and good thing — there are quite a few pages to turn. This fascinating biography paints a narrative of struggle and innovation, of idiosyncrasy and vision, of controversy and perseverance. Despite how close the biographer was to Jobs, his access didn’t spoil his objectivity. This is no work of flattery, but an honest, revealing exploration of what made Jobs so...Jobs. Innovators don’t happen by accident. They build and define themselves as they create and grow their businesses. Jobs may reign as the greatest example of that spirit of his generation. None of us will ever be Steve Jobs, but all of us can benefit from the fearless dedication to innovation that drove his life, through all its ups and downs. To learn those vital lessons, we highly recommend this book. For a succinct breakdown of those lessons, tune in to Omar’s synopsis. You’ll be glad you did. Click Play!
What’s the best return on investment? What’s the most valuable thing an entrepreneur can gain from any expense?
Time is the greatest ROI. Some say time is money, but money pales in comparison to the value of time, the one resource you can never replenish once lost. A goal of every entrepreneur should be to free up as much of their time as possible: time better spent innovating than managing, moving forward rather than treading water, or even just spent living and enjoying the freedom entrepreneurship offers.
So how can we get more time? Outsourcing.
The smartest, boldest thing you can do as an independent business leader is to get things off your own plate. Spend your money to free up your time by zeroing in on the most time-consuming tasks best left to others. Not only will this allow you to focus on the leadership aspects of your business, it may significantly improve the quality of your product. Why be the jack of all trades when you can hire a master of each?
On today’s episode, we discuss the top 5 tasks you should consider outsourcing. By utilizing team members, freelancers, even affiliates, you can stop working and start leading. Free up time, headspace, and personal resources to make yourself more effective than ever. Minimize stress and focus on the creative, exciting parts of running a business. Through outsourcing, you and your business can become more agile than ever.
What about the cost?
That’s the best part: today’s global marketplace is teeming with talent, available to work remotely from all over the world. With the prevalence of skills in everything from content to accounting, it has never been more affordable to outsource.
This is especially important as your business grows, and your success forces you to scale up. As your business gains momentum, your leadership will be far more important than your labor. Not only that, but the odds are that for each of these 5 tasks, you can find someone who can do it better than you can!
That’s been our experience, anyway. These 5 areas aren’t just tasks we recommend outsourcing, they’re tasks we’ve outsourced ourselves! It’s worked for us, and it can work for you. Find out how- Click Play!
For a predictable revenue stream, nothing beats the subscription model. Customers sign up to pay a fixed rate, monthly or annually. The business owner gets to map their budget and growth goals with greater confidence and stability. Everyone wins. But unfortunately, this model doesn’t work for regular old e-commerce...or does it?
Typically, the subscription model applies to services, especially of the SaaS (Software as a Service) variety. The SaaS model is all the rage, one of the most lucrative ways to harness the Internet for a passive revenue stream. Wouldn’t it be great if e-commerce businesses could enjoy the same benefits?
Impossible, you say. I don’t sell a software, or a service. I sell clothes, or shoes, or hamster grooming products. My business just isn’t SaaSy enough for this model.
You can convert your e-commerce to the subscription model, and enjoy all the stability of a SaaS business.