From Zero to $1 Million: How to Level Up Your Online Business

Happy Labor Day, and welcome to Episode 004 of Marketing Podcast Weekly, the audio podcast featuring strategies for marketing, especially marketing in the retail trading industry. During this show your hosts Rob Booker and Jason Pyles talk about taking your online business to the next level, from zero to $1 million. The assumption is that growing bigger is always a good thing, but with growth comes a lot of other problems. So, we talk about navigating the transitions that accompany growth and making that progress stick. Join us!

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Jason’s movie podcast: – movie reviews of new 2017 releases in theaters

Full transcript for Episode 003:

Full Transcript:

Rob:  Mr. Pyles.

Jason:  Good morning, Rob. How are you?

Rob: I’m good, man. What’s happening?

Jason:  Oh, lots of stuff, I guess. I’m glad to hear you’re okay in your neck of the woods, in Houston. I got your email about that the other day.

Rob:  Yeah, thank you very much. Seems like all the flood waters receding now. It was worse than it was on TV, and it was not as bad as it was on TV.

Jason:  Depending on where you were. I see.

Rob:  Yeah. Right. Exactly. What’s on your mind?

Jason:  Well, I was just looking forward to talking to you. This is our favorite part of the week, right?

Rob: No kidding.

Jason:  Seriously.

Rob:  No doubt. I got this question from a friend of mine. His name is Shawn. He’s done a pretty good job in building his little business in the world of education. He does some really cool stuff in the world of trading. He wrote a book a few years ago by the name of Inventory Trading. It’s a great book. It’s absolutely great book. Shawn is all of the things you want to have in a trader. He’s a great risk-taker. He’s even a great teacher. He sees the market. He sees the trades coming from a mile away. When it comes to sharing his knowledge about it, he’s not a born marketer or salesperson, at all, Jason.

Jason:  Yeah. I see.

Rob:  He’s kind of wondering, when he shares his knowledge. He wrote a book. He got a bunch of interest in that book. Then he got a bunch of people asking him if he would do some coaching and things like that. He agreed to do some of that, but he’s like, What if I wanted to take it to the next level? What would I do?

Jason:  Okay.

Rob:  I thought that would apply to anyone in any stage. With one warning to begin with at the very start. There is this idea that growth is good. It almost seems crazy to suggest otherwise, but it’s not necessarily the case that growing bigger is a good thing. The reason for that is … I hate to put it in these terms. Every business and individual running that business, and for this podcast we speak specifically to people running lifestyle businesses that make between $1 and $10 million a year. If you’re not at a million, this is a podcast at how to get to a million. If you’re not at $10 million, this is a podcast about maybe gaining ground on that goal.

There is problem with growth because some of us have this idea that growing really big is the major goal. With that growth come all kinds of problems. There’s support headaches. If you have 10 customers, customer support isn’t really that big of a deal. If you have a thousand customers, you’re either managing a customer support staff or you’re driving yourself insane running your own customer service.

Jason:  Right.

Rob:  If you make $10,000 a month, it might not feel like very much. You might start comparing yourself to other people. I constantly compare myself to other financial educators that do marketing online. I’m always looking at them and saying, Well, why am I … I’m a little bit jealous and I’m a little bit hurt. I don’t know what you want to call it, you know. Then there are people looking at me and we’re always looking at each other. There’s this problem that comes from envy or … What would you call it, Jason?

Jason:  Yeah, I guess, just focusing too much on things that don’t really pertain to you. Not focusing on yourself, ironically. I think that’s what you call it.

Rob: That’s a great way to put it.

When I used to play baseball when I was a kid, someone said, Play your own game, or, Play within yourself. What that means is play your own game and play the game the best you can in the way that you play the game best. I don’t always want to do that. I had a $10,000 a month company and I wanted a $30,000 a month company. I had this idea if I had a $30,000 a month company, boy would I be happy.

Jason:  Yeah.

Rob: Then I had a $30,000 a month company. I thought, If I could just hit $50,000, I’m sure I would be happy. I’m not exaggerating. This is exactly the things that I said. I mean this is not like … I still say these things now.

Jason:  Right.

Rob: I got to $100,000 a month and I thought, Well, what would it be like if I got to $200,000 a month? I remember one day I did $170,000 in sales.

Jason:  Crazy.

Rob: It caused a huge problem. The problem is forever after that I was chasing after beating that or exceeding that or even reaching that again. Instead of focusing on making a great product or service for the people, for the customers that I love. That’s it. If that’s your perspective, that could be $10,000 this month and $100,000 next month. It’s very difficult perspective, but if you focus on making great things at a price that people can afford, you’re going to have customers for life. You’re going to have a business that takes care of your family. If you have jealousy and a desire to exceed or beat the goals of other people, you’re going to have a finish line on the race that you can never reach. You’ll never get there.

I’m not saying that my friend, Shawn … I hate that I brought his name up. I’m not saying that he’s done any of these things. I’m just giving a warning that once you go down the path of setting financial goals for their own sake. Growth for growth’s sake. You end up with a lot of problems. I can help you get 50,000 listeners of your horror movie podcast, but if they’re not the right kind of listeners, you could have 1,000 hate emails a day.

Jason: Right, which is likely for me.

Rob: Not likely. But anyway …

That is a warning. Here are some ideas about taking things to the next level. For every single business that runs in the space that I run, which is selling education online. Whether it’s a live trading room or maybe it’s an online class, or whatever else. For every business that runs online, a lifestyle business, there is a product or service that drives the economic engine. There is a premium version of that service that offers more proximity that costs an additional amount of money. There is a free product that comes a head of all of those things. What you want to focus on is that middle. That product that drives the economic engine. There is for every single individual there is a product or service that drives the economic engine. We, as lifestyle business owners, and the deliverer of that content often will become extraordinarily bored with that product or service. It will no longer appeal to us because we’re bored of it. We don’t necessarily even articulate this. We think other people are bored of it.

I have what I call a lifetime membership. We can do a show about how I built that, and what it is. That’s a one time payment that gets you everything that I ever produce. It’s crazy. It’s like a crazy Eddie furniture sale. No way! It’s crazy. But it’s a truly helpful product or service that everyone can afford. I love it. I love offering it. I love doing it. It drives my economic engine. It is the flagship product that I have. Occasionally I’ll want to go outside the boundaries of that and maybe make a lot more money or I’ll whatever. That drives my economic engine, and I know that’s what I’m all about.

Let’s say that for Shawn, although I don’t know that is this, but let’s say that for Shawn it’s private, instruction and coaching. He’s a really natural coach. He’s a football coach in addition to what he does in the world of trading. He’s just a natural at coaching and helping people exceed in this line of work.

Jason: And a likable guy, frankly. I like Shawn.

Rob: Yeah, on top of that, he’s a good guy. Exactly. He’s funny, also.

Jason: Hilarious. He should have his own YouTube channel to take it to the next level, Rob.

Rob: That is really true. All right. Well, there we go.

All right. That’s so great.

He’s got, let’s say, is coaching. Let’s say that coaching cost $4,000. Shawn’s focus should be on that driver of economic growth. What he’s likely to do is look at someone else’s products or services and duplicate those. The mistake is that he would be trying to run his business as if he were someone else. Often times, what’s driving your economic engine is something that someone else in your industry can’t do. What they’re doing is something that you can’t do. It’s not a big deal and it’s not worrisome that you focus on that one driver of economic. That’s means that you’re marketing efforts focus on that. The language that you use when you talk about your industry always comes back to that growth. Everything that you do centers around that driver of economic growth.

If you have something on the free side of things like a YouTube channel, that YouTube channel is meant to drive people toward some kind of application for coaching. Whatever it is. The higher end, super premium product, which I don’t know what that is. Let’s say that exists, however. That product is also an off shot from that centered driver of that economic growth. Everything comes back to that. That you focus on whatever it is that is become what you are known for. What is popular. What people are attracted to. You might think to yourself, Well, that sounds like you’re a one trick pony. That sounds like that product could go out of style. Or whatever else. Those are always a risk. But think about the individual running a business with a clear focus on a product or service that is the main driver of economic growth that they know that they’re the best at versus an individual who has a multitude of products and services to chose from, and is constantly spreading their time across multiple products and services and things that they’re doing.

Jason: Okay.

Rob: The one that’s focused is going to win. Apple makes, I don’t know what the number is, but it’s 60% to 70% of its profit comes from the iPhone.

Jason: Nice.

Rob: I mean, I have two Apple computers. I have an iPad Pro. The kids in my life have iPads. My wife as an iPhone. I have a lot of Apple products and services, but it’s easy to forget that the iPhone is the driver of economic growth. They are really an iPhone company.

Jason:  Even Jason has an iPhone now.

Rob: Oh my gosh.

Jason:  I know.

That really tells you right there, Rob, how prevalent and prominent …

Rob: That’s hilarious. That’s fantastic.

That focus applies to just about everything else as well. Let’s say you now know what your focus is. If you’re obsessing about what your focus is, you’re missing the point. Your focus isn’t necessarily what you love. Forget all those books about doing what you love and the money will follow. You do what the market loves. That’s your product or service. If the market doesn’t love it, you stop doing it. That seems obvious to me. It hasn’t always been.

Jason:  Right.

Rob: Let’s go to your marketing. Let’s say that someone wants to take their business to the next level or the next stage or the next amount of money or whatever it is. The next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to look at your marketing efforts. You’re going to say, Which of my marketing efforts have paid off the most? Whether it’s YouTube driving to an application for coaching or it’s Facebook live driving to an application for coaching. It’s Facebook videos that drive to an application for coaching. I do email exchanges in joint venture … They call them solo emails where you trade an email with another person in your industry. You email for them and they email for you. Maybe you do that.

Whatever it is. What drives your economic growth? Which channel is the driver of your growth? Then what you do is you boldly take the risk of just dropping all that other stuff. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but you drop it. You drop it. Let’s say that the primary driver of Shawn’s applications for coaching come from … Oh, geez. Let’s say it’s YouTube, Jason.

Jason: Okay.

Rob: What Shawn’s going to do is he’s going to look up some names. There’s a podcast by Noah Kagan, the founder of and AppSumo, and owner of and the Noah Kagan podcast. There’s a recent podcast, two part series about growing your YouTube channel. It’s a fantastic two part series about growing ones YouTube channel and optimizing the images, looking at play times and all kinds of other stuff. Well, Shawn would go to that.

What if it’s scheduling one off emails with other people? Then Shawn would dedicate his time to whatever it is. That’s what you got to find is what the main river of your growth is. Then you got to find what the main marketing effort that results in most of your growth is. Then you need to double your efforts in that area.

Instead of getting another marketing channel, which is what I always do. I’m in Jason5 different places at the same time. What you want to do is focus on the primary driver of growth. Where is it where people get to know you and then trust you and like you and then find out about your product or service. Where is it? That’s what you want to focus on.

Jason: Nice.

Rob: That’s next level business. That’s where you are now getting you to where you want to go.

The other element of it is you do need some kind of a white board or a spreadsheet or something like that where you’re tracking your progress toward a goal. That you know where you are now and know where you want to be. As long as you’re focused and as long as you know the answers to those questions. What effort is producing the most significant amount of results? As long as you know the answer to that, you’re going to be able to accomplish some pretty lofty financial goals. But you want to keep track of it and you want to keep it front and center. You want to have that always available to you. Right in front of you where you can see it. You know what your goals are and you’re thinking about it constantly. You kind of have to obsess about it.

Jason: Yeah. It just strikes me, Rob. I mean, how important it is to keep the focus in the right place. It’s like that whole thing of … You’ve seen those incredible science displays where they use actual shooting water to slice through fruit and things like that. It’s like if you turn that into a mist spray, you’re not going to cut anything. But when they focus that beam of water or whatever it is, it slices right through. I think the focus analogy is really apt.

Rob: That’s a really great analogy. I heard this one awhile back. It’s the one about the son and the magnifying glass where … I think I heard it in church. Didn’t we hear that in church where if the light of the sun on its own, unless you’re at the beach no wearing sunscreen, is not going to hurt you. It brings warmth and light and all those good things. If you take a magnifying glass and you hold it over the sun and over an object, it will focus that light into a beam. That beam becomes really powerful and dangerous. You could start a fire. It could do all kinds of things.

I think we’re afraid sometimes to get that magnifying glass out because we don’t see the analogy is … We don’t see the analogy. We don’t trust it because we can’t touch it. But every individual that I know that’s taken their business to the next level, has focused. One example is … Well, there’s a couple examples.

One example is Tim Sykes. Tim is the founder of Profit.Ly or, both of those addresses will work. Most of you know him. He’s a penny stock trader that turned his bar mitzvah money into over a million dollars when he was teenager. He started a hedge fund that he then shut down. Now he trades smaller accounts growing them into larger accounts. I think his total amount of profits is probably in the $4 to $8 million range. He’s done really well for himself in the world of trading. He has one product in the world of trading education. That one product are his challenge students. His challenge students pay, I think it’s between $5,000 and $10,000. I think it’s about $6,000 now. They enter into the challenge student program. That’s his coaching program where he teaches all the information that he has, and he basically gives you everything that you need to do to learn his strategy. You get access to a worldwide group of people who do what he does. That’s his product. Now, he has a conference that he does every year that’s about $Jason00. He has lots of DVDs and other products, but he records them and he puts them up on the online store. Sometimes that online store doesn’t even function. His primary driver of economic growth, as a company, are his coaching students. He is a $15 million a year company because of that.

Jason: Nice.

Rob: He works together will Neil Patel who is one of the world’s greatest online marketers of kiss metrics and quick sprout and, of course, and Hello Bar. He’s launched a bunch of really interesting software as a service company. Really super successful. Now Neil Patel is basically running Tim’s marketing and it’s just exploding. Tim’s legitimately a good trader for all we can tell. All the best of luck to him. I don’t want to do what he does, but he’s absolutely focused. It looks like he’s got a lot of things going on. In the same way it looks like Apple has a lot of products, but what Apple’s growth is determined by is the iPhone. You will not see a launch more important than the iPhone. You will not see a product more important at their headquarters than the iPhone.

I have a friend John Carter that I mentioned on the show before. John’s an options trader who made $1 million on one trade trading Tesla. John Carter has a monthly service. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s his insiders membership service. That’s his entire focus is on gaining and keeping members inside of that service. He does one off webinars and classes that he does, as well. He does launches. That’s his product above the membership level. He’s got the product that he knows has to stay … He has to keep all of his focus on that and keep those members happy. Then he’s got six times a year that he does a class. He launches a class. That’s his add on revenue that we just talked about a little while ago.

He’s free product is a daily YouTube video. That’s it. That’s the entire thing. That’s it. That’s his entire business is free video of the day in the membership, which is a monthly fee of, I don’t know, $100/$150 or whatever it is, into a Saturday class. That’s his entire model. John got up to over $10 million in revenue. I don’t know how much far above that he got, or that’s the rumor anyway. I read in Ink, he was one of those fastest growing companies. His revenue was over $10 million at the time.

Once again, it’s all about focus. It might to look like that from the outside because we’re all flawed individuals. We sometimes get off focus.

Now my business, my revenues haven’t even gotten close to any of those. Like not even close. Here’s how I operate, Jason, having said all of that.

Jason: Let’s hear it.

Rob: I do what I enjoy doing. I focus on that membership, that lifetime membership. That’s the end of it. That’s all. I don’t want to focus on anything else. I don’t want to grow my company to be $10 million. I don’t want any of that. I don’t want that at all. I’ve found that I want to enjoy my life and remember that I enjoyed my life. My company is changing lives of the traders that I work with in small numbers at a time. I’m really happy with that.

This podcast is a great example too. I do this podcast because I like to talk to you.

Jason: Yeah, thank you. That’s nice.

Rob: I don’t care if anybody listens to this podcast. I hope it brings joy and we have, in the back of our minds, we have our listener in mind. I’m not even doing this with a specific goal in mind. I’m doing this because I want to share good content. If ten people love this podcast, we’re going to keep doing it.

Jason: Yeah.

Rob: If ten people like. I don’t have a product. I don’t have a service. I don’t have a consultancy. There’s no hidden agenda here.

Jason: Right.

Rob: We hope that all of our listeners are making more money even if they compete with us in our own space. We’re not offended by that. We want to grow something that we enjoy doing.

Jason:  Mmhmm (affirmative).

Rob: I think in this world of constant growth from Silicon Valley or Wall Street or whatever, we forget that there are things that we do in our lives that we do because we enjoy them. Purely and simply. That’s it.

Jason: Yes. Well said.

Rob: It’s important not to forget that kind of stuff. Out of some of those things, come some of the greatest businesses. If we do this podcast for a year with no economic goal in mind, we may find that we’ve stumbled upon some kind of an idea that we’d previously hadn’t thought about.

Jason:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rob: Our listeners might help us realize what that idea is. By the way, if you’re listening, we invite you to subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. That’d be great, but just subscribing and rating the show is incredibly helpful and does us a big favor. We would really appreciate if you did that today. That would be just awesome, or wherever else you’re listening to the podcast. That’s great too.

Once again, most people listen on iTunes, Jason. That’s where 70% of podcasts are consumed.

Jason: Absolutely.

We’re grateful that they’re there checking it out.

Rob: We are. We don’t care if you write to us at all. We don’t care. You can leave a comment at Marketing Podcast Weekly in the show notes in this episode. We’d love to hear from you there. That’d be great.

Jason:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rob: Share the episode with a friend.

Jason: Yeah. Please do.

Rob: Or not, whatever.

Jason:  Yeah. Either way is fine with you, huh, Rob?

Rob: Yeah, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be back next week.

Jason: That’s right.

Rob: Hell or, in this case, high water is concerned.

Jason: Ah. Poor Rob.

Rob: It’s plug time, Jason. I want to hear what have you most recently reviewed on these movie podcasts?

Jason: There’s a great crime film. If you like crime movies, it’s called Wind River starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner. That one is intense. For people out there who like dark crime movies, that’s a good one. There’s a really light, kind of opposite end of the spectrum: It’s a little movie called Brigsby Bear. I don’t know if you’ve heard about that or have seen the trailer.

Rob: I have not.

Jason: It’s so interesting. It’s hard to describe here so I’ll just kind of keep it short and just say it’s about … If you end up becoming something because of your life circumstances and maybe your life circumstances weren’t ideal initially, you’ve still become that thing. You embrace who you are and what you do. It’s an interesting film if people look at the trailer.

Rob: Wow. Thank you.

Jason: Sure, Rob.

Rob: Appreciate that. Where can people listen to your podcasts?

Jason:  It’s MoviePodcastWeekly.Com if you want to hear about the new movies that are in theaters.

Rob: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jason: I would love to have them come visit us. Thank you.

Rob: Sweet.

All right. We’ll be back next week, everyone. We love you very much. Thanks for listening. Thanks for subscribing. This is Marketing Podcast Weekly, and you can find us at

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