6: Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt

In 2008, after the birth of his daughter Milligan, Adam and his wife Courtney decided to sell everything they owned, pay off their consumer debt, and spend a year traveling abroad as a family. They began sharing their journey publicly in 2009, exploring personal finance, consumerism, clutter, travel, minimalism, and passionate entrepreneurship, and began building a community of like-minded people they collectively call Man Vs. Debt.

Click to tweet: Fire Nation, Adam shares his incredible journey on EntrepreneurOnFire today!


Success Quote

  • Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman click to tweet!

Business Failure

  • 18k in consumer debt, 60k more in school debt, a baby in diapers… what were the Baker’s to do?  Doesn’t sound like a time to tramp off to Australia to backpack for a year. Or maybe….

Entrepreneurial AHA Moment

  • Clutter = mind clutter = no positive production.  Learn how Adam realized this when he cleared his physical clutter, clarity found him, and his AHA moment was not far behind.

Current Business

  • Too many to list, but hear all about them in this episode!

Lightning Round

  • Adam’s reason that was holding him back from becoming an Entrepreneur is unique…tune in!

Best Business Book

  • Switch by Dan and Chip Heath

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Interview Links

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Full Transcript

John Lee Dumas:  Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of, your daily dose of inspiration.  If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes.  I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!

John Lee Dumas:  Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply elated to introduce my guest today, Adam Baker. Adam, are you prepared to ignite?

Adam Baker:  I am, man. I am.

John Lee Dumas:  Wonderful! In 2008, after the birth of his daughter Milligan, Adam and his wife, Courtney, decided to sell everything they owned, pay off their consumer debt, and spend a year traveling abroad as a family. They began sharing their journey publicly in 2009, exploring personal finance, consumerism, clutter, travel, minimalism, and passionate entrepreneurship while building a community of like-minded people that they collectively call Man Vs. Debt.

Adam, I’ve given a little overview of yourself and your business. Why don’t you tell us a little more about who you are and what you do?

Adam Baker:  Yes. Exactly. Well, you gave the overview. It started for me about four years ago. Three-and-a-half, four years ago when I created this little site called Man Vs. Debt. It was just a personal accountability site for me to share my wife and I’s goal to get out of debt and travel overseas. It ended up building into much more than that, and now I have a couple different online brands.

I have Man Vs. Debt, which is always my baby, my primary business in that I help people pay off their debts and sell their crap, as we call it, around those parts and build a passionate business. I also run, which is a sale of products that happens twice a year. We gather all sorts of neat products from the online world and we have a really passionate, intensely discounted sale. I actually just got done producing my first documentary, which I’m excited about, called “I’m Fine, Thanks,” and it’s all about helping people break free of complacent lives.

So I’m busy these days, but it all goes back to that Man Vs. Debt. That first website I started about three-and-a-half years ago.

John Lee Dumas:  That’s great. I’m excited to dive into “I’m Fine, Thanks.” I was actually fortunate to be at the premiere down in New York City and it was just an inspirational, great movie, and I really enjoyed it. So I look forward to hearing more about that.

Let’s use that to transition to our first topic, which is our success quote. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to start every show off with our guest’s favorite success quote. It kind of is our way of getting the motivational ball rolling and get people pumped up for the rest of the show. So Adam, what do you have for us today?

Adam Baker:  Well, it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time, but it’s certainly one that’s been leading the direction of my life for about the past year, more so. It is by Howard Thurman and it’s “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

John Lee Dumas:  Wow! I love that. You alluded to the fact that it’s been kind of steering you in your life the past year. Can you give us a specific example of that?

Adam Baker:  Yes. Well, I mean, the best example would be my decision to undertake the movie. As all entrepreneurs, even though I’ve had success with my Man Vs. Debt brand, I continually look in the mirror and ask myself, what do I want to do? What does the world need? What problems can I help solve for people? It’s a continual sort of evolving process for me. I don’t think I’m destined to only talk about debt for the next 50 years, right? Like I think my journey is going to evolve.

When I search for what I want to do next or what problem I can solve for people, a lot of times I just have to come back to that quote and say what really makes me come alive at this point in my life. What, as you would say, makes me on fire. What is that? What gets that passion really going? I know that if I follow that, I’m going to be able to even help more people and achieve more success as an entrepreneur.

So I tend not to think what should I do, what do other people want me to do, what problem can I solve? First, I say what makes me come alive because I believe, as that quote says, that the world is a better place when individuals themselves are alive. So I try to go back to that quote.

It let me do the movie, for example. It’s a little bit of a sidestep for me than traditionally what I’ve done in the last few years, but I felt it and it really made me come alive at the time and I’m glad that we did it, and I think it’ll help a lot of people as a result of following that quote.

John Lee Dumas:  What I love about Man Vs. Debt is that you actually take a challenge, an obstacle that you came across in real life, and you turn it into a national phenomenon. Can you take us through what exactly that challenge and obstacle was that you came across at life that made you look in the mirror and say, “Something is going to change. Something has got to give”? Take us through that.

Adam Baker:  Yes, for sure. I mean, we were living what I like to call the typical American lifestyle, which was we were focused on how we’re going to generate income. Like what’s our job, what’s our career, what should we be doing?

My wife was a teacher. She had just graduated college and she was planning to be a teacher, and that was her career. It was all about following the next step in her career. Get the degree, then you student teach, then you get a job as a teacher, then you work for five years so you have some tenure. Even in elementary school, that’s how it works. Like once you get in a school, then you stay there.

I had failed out college, but I had gotten in the real estate business. I had started a property management business and I was all about, okay, what’s the next client that I can pick up? Okay, how many more houses can I get? Okay, what’s the next step in this process of my life?

We went through our personal lives like that too. Okay? You get the apartment and fill it with stuff. Get the credit cards. Okay, now we have cars. Now we should start shopping for a house. It was all very scripted.

So that was the problem for us, and any more I guess immediately. The problem was the debt that was a result of us buying into that lifestyle. So we had about $18,000.00 in consumer debt and about $60,000.00 in student loans, and we were 22, 23 years old. We were recently married, recently pregnant and life was just a blur, and the debt and the finances and having careers that we weren’t necessarily fully passionate about were all really weighing on us and keeping us trapped.

So how we decided to get out of it is we decided to set a passionate goal. We said, what would we do if we could do anything? It was the birth of my daughter that gave us that clarity, John. Before my daughter was born, we didn’t really have the clarity to step back and ask ourselves that question.

But when we brought her home from the hospital, we finally did. We said, well, if we could do anything – like that’s a cheesy question, right? If we could do anything, I guess we would probably backpack to Australia for a year. We’d move to Australia and we would live there and we would experience that culture. That’s what we would do.

John Lee Dumas:  Most people at this point would say, but you have a newborn.

Adam Baker:  [Laughs] Exactly. In the past, the system that we had bought into, that’s immediately what you go to. You go to excuses. You would say, well, we don’t have the money. We don’t have any jobs. What will we do in Australia? We have a newborn. Honestly, we did go there. That’s where we went because that’s where we were trained to go.

I guess the timing was right for us, John. The clarity aligned enough. Then the goal itself was passionate enough and in line with what we wanted where we started to say, but what if we didn’t have the debt? What if we didn’t have an apartment full of stuff? What if we did look at other ways to make income than our traditional methods of going to a job? What if we didn’t have these things and we could do that?

So we switched in our brains, thinking instead of why we couldn’t do something, and instead we started thinking about how could that be possible? That doesn’t mean that every decision you wanted, you get ahead and jump into. But for us, we said how could it be possible? Then we said, well, if we didn’t have debt, if we didn’t have these jobs, and if we saved up enough money, we could definitely go do that for a year. That’s reasonable.

We looked online and we said, oh, here are all kinds of families that are traveling with kids. If they can do it, we can do it. So we no longer have those excuses to lean on, and we just sat down and we decided to do it. We told our family a month into the journey. We booked our plane ticket. We stopped eating out. We stopped spending any money. We were passionate for a year on that attack.

Then about six months into that journey, I learned what WordPress was and I learned what blogging was, and I started this little blog that ended up changing our lives. So that was the start of the problem and sort of how we started fighting against it, John.

John Lee Dumas:  Wow! Looking back on it now after all these years, what is one lesson you can pull out of that challenge, that failure that you faced?

Adam Baker:  Well, I can definitely say that what I like to do now is try to make sure that I’m thinking about a situation removed from it, instead of inside of it, because I went through that challenge. What I mean by that is so many of us get complacent. For example, I’ve been very complacent in my health, although I’ve not been complacent in other areas. So whenever I try to think about our sort of health goal, I can’t attack the goal within the same bounds of complacency that I’ve lived in, or my view of it is very limited.

I’ll give you another quote since I know you love quotes. Just like Einstein, you can’t solve a problem at the same level of awareness that created it. So for me, I have to step back out of that, of that routine, and really look at it as if there were no limitations. So I can’t say, well, I’m busy and I’m working so hard on my business. So that’s why I go to Starbucks every morning and blah, blah, blah. That’s my routine. That’s my complacency.

But if I step outside and I say, if I could design this from scratch, like what would my finished routine be? What would my life be like? What kind of foods would I like? That sounds cheesy until you actually do it, and you realize that by stepping back and getting that awareness, you can evaluate your life much more easily. When I was in debt, if we would have stayed inside of that mindset or inside of that complacency lifestyle that we had, we would have never even considered living in Australia for a year. I mean it wouldn’t even been able to be a consideration at all.

The birth of my daughter allowed us to kind of shake our mindset a little bit that we were able to go, okay, if we like [Unintelligible], what would it look like? So I try to apply that the best I can to other areas of my life. I’m not always successful, but that’s what I learned from going through that challenge.

John Lee Dumas:  In 2008 you talked about how you just weren’t willing to live that scripted life, and I love fast forwarding four years later and seeing how now you’ve created a film, which in a way is a script. But I’ve seen the film. I was there for the premiere. That’s the beauty of this film, is it’s so real. It’s no scripted. It’s people speaking from their heart, from their passions, and I would really like to delve into that a little later.

What we’re going to do now is we’re going to transition to the next topic, which is the aha moment, because at so many points throughout your life as an entrepreneur, you’ve had small aha moments that have propelled you to the next level, that have given you inspiration to continue to drive forward. At what point did you have this big light bulb that came on that just resonated so well with your clients that just made you step back and say, “Wow! I love this. This is something that is going to work. This is my aha moment”?

Adam Baker:  Yes. So like you pointed out, I probably had a couple. I can tell you pretty closely what my first one was. That was about 18 months into blogging. So I had aha moments that were smaller. Like how to write a blog post that people actually would share and how to do those smaller things, but my first really big aha moment was my second premium offer – I call it an offer. It was a guide. It’s still available today, but it was my second offer that I offered to my readers and my customers that I charge for.

It was an e-book called “Sell Your Crap.” It was the first time I produced an e-book. So the first time I said, “Here is my premium content that I’m going to charge a little bit for” to my audience. It was a personal finance book. I did some things right, I did some things wrong and I learned a lot, but my aha moment was the second offer. The Sell Your Crap e-book.

It was because A, it was 80,000. I worked my butt off. It’s actually a combination of four different books. I really, really, really focused. I poured my heart into it more than I had any other project in my life. B, it completely flopped the first few days. It did way worse. The site broke. My hosting went down. I didn’t sell nearly as many as I thought. A big blogger linked to me and the site was down, so none of the traffic came. To the point where I actually had tears, and I wrote about that a little bit where I was just so devastated. But then it rebounded and it has been a successful selling guide for the past, I think, two years now.

What it proved to me – the reason why it was a big aha moment – was that I finally really got on to the fact that I could produce something that was valuable. Something that solved a very specific problem for my customers, and that they would line up and be willing to pay for from me.

So as an entrepreneur, for 18 months I feel like I had been a blogger, and I had been a successful blogger by many people’s metrics, but I had not been a businessperson. I had not been a true entrepreneur until that first month of Sell Your Crap when I really said I found a problem that people needed help with, I absolutely nailed it, I gave them exactly what they needed. Even more than they needed because they didn’t even know all these stuff that they needed. They didn’t even know all these different areas that I could help them in.

I knocked the product out of the park, and then people bought it, and they consistently bought it for the last two years. That first month or two months after Sell Your Crap launched, I really got that this is how real, genuine business works. Solve a problem, deliver it to your audience, and then check in to make sure that they’re doing okay afterwards. That’s real business and that happened only 18 months after I started blogging.

So I’m a little ashamed that it took me 18 months, but I know some people kind of maybe never actually have that aha moment, so I’m not too ashamed. That was one of the big ones for me in the beginning.

John Lee Dumas:  You stuck with it, you’re blogging has changed people’s lives. Somebody specifically. I had Steve Kamb from Nerve Fitness on the show recently and his aha moment was reading your blog post, “How to Write a Blog Post That Doesn’t Suck.” He attributes his success of turning around Nerd Fitness to reading that blog post.

So it’s just incredible the effect that a person can have on so many people, lives and issues because now Nerd Fitness has gone on to inspire so many people in a completely different industry that maybe never would have happened had it not been for Adam Baker sticking with what he was doing and continuing to write inspiring stuff and inspiring people. So thank you for that.

Adam Baker:  Oh. Well, no problem. The funny thing is when I need fitness advice, guess who I call?

John Lee Dumas:  Nerd Fitness.

Adam Baker:  So yes, it comes around. It’s a great initiative to be involved in and that kind of karmically comes around and around. So that’s very fun to be part of.

John Lee Dumas:  Adam, have you had an I’ve made it moment yet?

Adam Baker:  I’ve made it? So that first one was during Sell Your Crap. Like I had a little bit of an I’ve made it, but maybe not fully. The second sort of iteration of that sort of I’ve made it was when I started, which was kind of a subsite. It was the first time I stepped outside of my blog, and really I think embraced my nature as an entrepreneur as more than just Man Vs. Debt.

So I have Man Vs. Debt, I love Man Vs. Debt, but when I did Only72, which was a sale. We got together a bunch of people and we had a sale. It was very successful both from a customer standpoint that customers loved it, and a monetary – a financial, I guess I should say, standpoint. We made decent money from it.

That was another sort of I’ve made it moment because I realized that Man Vs. Debt didn’t just live inside a bubble. That now I was more of an entrepreneur, and that I could – again, identify a problem, figure out a way to solve it and deliver that solution to customers. I had done it once with Man Vs. Debt, but when I did it with a totally different website, I started to really feel confident, I guess. I guess that’s the whole essence of I’ve made it. It’s just an internal confidence in yourself.

That was around the same time as the Sell Your Crap e-book too. So that was a very big point for me where I gained a lot of internal confidence on being able to help people.

John Lee Dumas:  So Adam, you’re a man of many skills. You have Man Vs. Debt rocking and rolling, I’m Fine, Thanks has premiered this summer, and it’s a great movie. You just have a lot of different things going on in a lot of different areas. What’s one thing that’s really exciting you about your business today?

Adam Baker:  That’s a great question. I would say that what excites me about my business today is not knowing exactly what may excite me in January of like 2013 or in six months from now. So by that, it may sound like a little bit of a confusing answer, John, but what excites me is that my business changes about every three months – at least every three months. Maybe even faster than that sometimes. But I didn’t know at this moment last year that I would be even doing a movie. At this moment, we’re replicating the DVDs to have an online launch to be able to show that to people. Like you said, you were able to come to our New York premiere.

So last year, I wouldn’t even have thought of a movie, and this year, I have one that’s already premiered. That’s what excites me about online business in general. What excites me about the opportunities that I have in my business is I can sit here right now and say, “Oh, next year I’m going to do this,” but the truth is I don’t know, and it could be bigger than I could even imagine right now. It could be totally different. But I feel like I have the skills sets that I’ve learned through my fellow entrepreneurs in the online community over the last three to four years that make me able to adapt to a new opportunity and a new way I can help people, and just the excitement of not knowing what’s next but knowing that it could be a lot of different things and it could be really fun.

John Lee Dumas:  That is exciting. Flexibility is exciting. You’ve put yourself in that situation, and as you just alluded to, you’re really enjoying learning and sharing with other entrepreneurs. So I thank you for coming on EntrepreneurOnFire and sharing your story and your experiences. It’s really a great thing.

Adam Baker:  No problem, John. I’m excited for you and I appreciate being part of this process.

John Lee Dumas:  So the word “entrepreneur” is a mystery to most people. They don’t really understand what an “entrepreneur” would do during the course of a day. At EntrepreneurOnFire, I really like to try to pull the curtain back. I know that no entrepreneur has the exact same day every day. That’s part of the beauty of it. But we do have tasks that do take up a majority of our time and that we do have to attend to on a daily basis. What are a couple of tasks that do seem to occupy a majority of your working day?

Adam Baker:  That’s a great question. A great look in. I would say it’s drastically different, given what project I’m working on. For example, when I was working on the movie, it was get up, take a shower, get in the van, get everyone ready, go to the next interview, interview, drive half the day, interview somebody else.

So it was like when we were in the throes of creating the movie, my average day was much different, but I’ll answer from I guess a slice of the last three years and say that some of the activities that take up most of my time, of course – and I think this is going to be very common for your entrepreneurs – is email.

Email takes up a tremendous amount of my time and energy. I’m always looking for ways to better effectively manage email, but I’m very accessible to my audience. I publish my email. I have a couple of different emails, depending on the business. So I just get a lot of incoming messages and a lot of response from readers and customers that I want to get.

That’s the thing. Like I’m in a business where I want to hear that person’s debt story, I want to hear what that person thought of my movie. So it’s not like I’m getting a bunch of emails I don’t want to deal with. It’s I’m getting a bunch of emails that I do enjoy dealing with, but it does take up a lot of time.

The second thing that takes up a lot of time usually is the actual writing process. If it’s not writing in particular, it’s sort of writing the movie or deciding what’s going to be in a movie or deciding what’s going to be posted on my blog. So content generation in general to benefit people is a big part of my business.

I would love to say that I spend more time on content generation than I do email, but I probably would be lying. I think that’s a goal of mine, is to spend the majority of my time creating content, but it’s probably more like 50/50 where I spend as much time on email as I do creating.

Then the third thing that I try to spend a lot of time doing is connecting. Connecting with other entrepreneurs, connecting with my audience members – which kind of goes into email a little bit – because entrepreneurship can be very lonely. I’m sure it’s a topic you’ve talked about before, John, but especially online entrepreneurship where you’re in front of the computer all day and you could be by yourself and you could be removed from everyone.

Even if you have lots of readers and you have emails that you send back and forth, it’s really beneficial to get on a conversation like this and chat with other entrepreneurs. It’s very beneficial to call up friends who are going through the same thing and just get that interaction and that connection. I guess some people call it networking, but that’s kind of a cheesy word. It’s kind of got a negative connotation. Just general connecting with other people who are on this journey with you.

So those are the three things that I try to spend most of my time on. I try not to spend most of my time on Twitter and Facebook, although that would probably be up there too.

John Lee Dumas:  [Laughs] Baker, I know you’ve spoken that you don’t really know what’s going to be happening three to six months from now, but you’re a thinker. What is the vision that you have for the future of Man Vs. Debt?

Adam Baker:  Yes. So with Man Vs. Debt, I really want the future of that to be more focused on the ways that we’re going to solve people’s problems. So we have our You Vs. Debt course, which we really believe in, but we haven’t developed it as fully as we could, and we know there’s a lot of potential still left on the table.

Sell Your Crap helps people sell their things, but we know we can improve that. Then maybe a Kindle book and some different ideas that we have for that. Then I think that potentially, I could consider publishing a tree-based real print book, which I’ve been considering for a couple of years, but have not really put the focus into.

So those are some of the potential down the roads could bes with Man Vs. Debt. Only72, we’re interested in branching out into more industries to do some more like – like an app-based bundle, like a bundle for travelers, for business travelers that had different like travel apps as well as some guides on how to save money while traveling, and just some different – maybe in fitness – some different genres that will help people that are going through different areas, and still putting out lots of good products and selling those. We’ve primarily been for entrepreneurs and businesspeople, and we want to see what it might look like to kind of expand from there.

Then with the movie, we just want to get that out and see what doors open. Our main goal right now is get the movie out, and that should happen in the next few weeks. Then we just want to see where that goes. We’ve been approached by some different companies, we’ve been approached by a lot of different people to do another major video-based project, whether that’s a TV show or another movie. That’s definitely on the table.

We want to make sure it’s the right thing, John. We don’t just go and just, “Okay, well we have the chance to make another movie. Let’s just do it.” We want to make sure that like we’re really called to do it and that is the right thing for us and that we’re on fire about it, that we’re passionate about it, that it’s really making us come alive. But if that comes up or when that comes up, we’ll definitely be doing another major video project, a follow-up to I’m Fine, Thanks. Whether it’s a different topic or whether it’s just an expansion on that topic, I can see something there as well.

So I don’t know in what order those are going to happen in, but those are some of the things that I’m looking forward to in the different businesses that I’m a part of.

John Lee Dumas:  Awesome. That’s exciting stuff. I’m going to link up all of these to the show notes so Fire Nation can track exactly where you’re at and what you’re doing.

So Adam, we’ve now reached my favorite part of the show. We’re about to enter the Lightning Round. This is where I provide you with a series of questions and you come back with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?

Adam Baker:  [Laughs] That sounds like a plan.

John Lee Dumas:  [Laughs] Alright. We’re doing pretty good on time too, so you can take your time, expound a little bit, and really dig deep for some of these. What was the number one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?

Adam Baker:  Clutter in all areas of my life. So physical clutter, debt. You know, the clutter of my finances. Not being able to really see myself. Then I guess I would say mental clutter, if you would. By that, I mean just like a lack of confidence, a lack of focus. I was disjointed, I was going along like a path. But once I cleaned up my finances, removed some debt, removed some stuff from my life, and once I started to have that space to focus on myself and to gain that confidence, entrepreneurship really opened itself up to me.

So it was really just that routine, that clutter in daily life that kept me from really being able to latch on and become an entrepreneur.

John Lee Dumas:  Lack of clutter equals clarity. I like it.

Adam Baker:  Yes.

John Lee Dumas:  What’s the best business advice that you ever received?

Adam Baker:  Wow! That is a loaded, loaded question.

John Lee Dumas:  Loaded.

Adam Baker:  I think that it would be to focus ruthlessly on solving someone’s problem. Then that the more emotional and the more specific of a problem that you can solve for somebody, the more successful you’ll be in sort of financial terms, and more than financial terms. Just in just like karmic terms.

Someone said like stop worrying about anything but focusing on solving very specific emotional problems for your readers. Ever since I was told that, I’ve been focusing on that, and any of my big successes has come from that focus.

John Lee Dumas:  I love that. We had Dane Maxwell on the show recently, and that was his big thing. It was focus on other people’s pain. Go find it, and then find out if you want and can make a solution for it.

Adam Baker:  Yes, yes. Exactly.

John Lee Dumas:  What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?

Adam Baker:  Yes, that’s a good question. I would say that one of the things I have going I guess well for my business or that is working for my business is vision. Just the overall vision. I was talking to a friend just yesterday about this, and it was that many entrepreneurs or businesses, maybe they can even solve a problem, they can maybe even solve it well, but they don’t really have that vision. I guess that reason why a customer could buy into that. Others are just getting their problem solved why they want to come and get more information why they want to be a customer. I think that comes down to vision.

Apple, for example, has pros and cons to it as a business, but they have tremendous vision, and their customers really buy into that. I think that I have that working on a much less scale than Apple, but I think that’s one of the things that I have in the different businesses, is that people have a reason to come and rally around it, other than just the direct benefit they get.

John Lee Dumas:  So true.  What is the best business book that you’ve read in the last six months?

Adam Baker:  Wow! In the last six months? That’s a killer question because I could answer it for the best business book I’ve ever read but – okay. The last six months, to be fair, I reread the book “Switch.” I don’t know how many people would actually suggest Switch as a business book, but I definitely do. I might mess up their names, but I believe it’s by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s a book about behavior change and about how to change behavior in others. How it can apply to me and my business is how to help people make a change better. It’s been revolutionary for me. We’ve incorporated it in a lot of our products.

I originally read it about two years ago, so I may be cheating you, John, but I did reread it in the last six months so I’m make it count.

John Lee Dumas:  Perfect! Well, listen. This is the last question. It’s definitely my favorite and it’s kind of a tricky one, so you can take your time, digest it, and then come back at us.

If you woke up tomorrow morning with all the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have today, but all of your businesses had completely disappeared, leaving you essentially with a clean slate, which many of our entrepreneurs find themselves in today, what would you do in the next seven days?

Adam Baker:  That’s a great question. So yes, let me think about it so I’ll get my steps a little bit clear. If I had a completely blank slate, in the next seven days, what would I do? I would definitely start an online website that provided education to help solve people’s problems. That’s just the beginning. That doesn’t answer your question, but that’s the philosophy that I would go with based on my knowledge and the different businesses I’ve started this week.

I have all my skills, so I would go ahead and establish a website. I would look for a domain name. It would probably be in a field that I’m very passionate about. If that was my only business, I would want to do something that I was very, very passionate about. So I would make a list of all of my interests. Then I would make a separate list of all of the ways that I know I could help somebody. That could be as simple as teaching someone how to play a board game that’s complex very well, which is actually a skill that I do have and it’s something that I would start, all the way to I could help somebody with their computer. I can help coach an entrepreneur. I can do all these.

So I would make a list of all my skills and I would make a list of everything I’m really passionate about right now. Then I would look at those two lists and I would try to find an overlap.

Then over the next few days, I would register a domain name, I would install WordPress, and I would map out a way that I could help solve a problem that was related to either something that I was really passionate about or something that I was really good at teaching.

Then once I could solve that problem, I would map out like a little outline about how I can solve that problem. So if I was teaching someone to play a board game, I might review board games because a lot of people want to come and know which board game is right for them. I would explain the strategy for some of the more complicated board games. I might have a ratings system. I would map out all the ways in an outline on how I could help someone that was coming to my website. Then over the next maybe five or six days that I have remaining, I would just go about slowly implementing that and gain the structure for the website.

John Lee Dumas:  I love that answer. It’s just so specific. We don’t always get these clear-cut steps that you just lined out. So thank you very much for plotting it out in that clear of a format. On that note, thank you for joining us today, Adam. You’ve given us some great actionable advice, and we’re all better for it.

Give Fire Nation one last piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.

Adam Baker:  [Laughs] Will do. My guiding principle and what my coaches and mentors always tell me and what I always tell people is no matter what, take action. So as entrepreneurs, we can just delay and delay and plan and plan and plan, and anyone who comes to me for advice, I’m always telling them to take action. Every time I go to somebody else for advice that I consider a mentor, they give me the same advice. They’re like, “Why don’t you just do something? Stop thinking about it and just do one of your ideas. Stop thinking about it and just take a small action to make that possible.”

It’s always good advice when it’s given to me. I think it’s good advice when I give it to other people. So that would be what I leave you with – take action.

I’m Adam Baker. You guys can email me at The main website you can find me at is

John Lee Dumas:  I definitely recommend to everybody, check that website out. Give Adam a shout-out. Adam, thanks again. We’ll catch you on the flipside.

Adam Baker:  Thanks, John.


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