Ben Swart is the Product Manager at a first response tech startup by day. By night, he’s an entrepreneur focusing on creative funding strategies, passive income opportunities, and educating others.
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3 Value Bombs
1) Fear of success is what happens when you do make it. You get the business you want. You get the clients. What does that success look like and how do you maintain that success? That can be scary as well.
2) You’re going to do that upfront work to get started and put in the time, put in the effort, and it’s going to take a lot of your day. But once you start getting systems that work, you’re going to want to scale to make passive income a reality.
3) Leveraging credit for starting a business is key. You don’t have to go into insane amounts of debt. You can strategically use credit cards to fuel and grow your business.
HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at HubSpot.com/eof!
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Get Your First Passive Income Stream Started (Even if You Work Full Time)
[1:06] – Ben shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- Where there’s disagreement, there’s growth.
- You can find success by constantly challenging yourself with learning new trades and skills.
- Blind focus can be great and works for many top performers, but too much focus can be expensive.
[2:10] – Ben’s relationship with EOFire.
- EOFire changed his whole perspective about entrepreneurship. He learned that you can actually do atypical work and receive atypical results.
[3:28] – The importance of side hustles even if you work full-time.
- Side hustles are a solid first step to full-time entrepreneurship.
- It’s important to have at least one side hustle that brings you joy or gives you extra income, because it forces you to take control of a situation entirely.
- When you’re able to successfully earn income from something other than your core job, you get a massive sense of accomplishment and it can kick-start the hunger and drive to achieve much, much more
- The real beautiful thing about a side hustle is that it gives you room to fail and to fail fast, as long as you have a consistent job fueling your lifestyle.
[5:13] – How can people bootstrap a business?
- Leveraging credit for starting a business is key. You don’t have to go into insane amounts of debt. You can strategically use credit cards to fuel and grow your business
[7:08] – Some of the best side hustles available.
- Flipping retail products, ecommerce and drop shipping, affiliate marketing and service-based work are some of the best side hustles.
- Anybody can be an affiliate with zero previous experience You can earn commissions for selling other people’s products and services.
- Service-based work if you have talents in something like design or copywriting or video editing, you can sell those services on networks and earn decent hourly rates just for doing that work from the comfort of your own home.
[9:37] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at HubSpot.com/eof!
[12:57] – Earning thousands in commissions without any prior experience.
- This is through a program called ERC, and that’s the employee retention credit. This is a United States refund program for businesses.
- It’s a refund, or like a grant. It’s not a loan. And this is a way that you can give money back to your business, make payroll – whatever you need – especially when you’re struggling.
- If you’re not struggling, it’s also a way you can just get money with very low risk and low effort, and it can really change the course of your business.
[14:55] – Challenges in starting a side hustle.
- People don’t want to fail, especially if they’re not used to the side hustle or entrepreneur lifestyle.
- Fear of success is what happens when you do make it.
- Everybody’s extremely busy, everybody is stressed. You need to be able to set aside time for deep work to be productive, especially in the side hustle.
[17:21] – Automating your side hustle and achieving passive income.
- You’re going to do that upfront work to get started and put in the time, put in the effort, and it’s going to take a lot of your day. But once you start getting systems that work, you’re going to scale to make passive income a reality.
- Networking is massive.
- Use virtual assistants.
[18:37] – Ben’s call to action.
- ERC Profits Course – How our members are making 6-7 figures per year with High-Ticket Affiliate Commissions! Learn more about being an affiliate! Use the code EOF75 for a 75% discount – only for the first 50 EOF listeners!
- Ben’s Email – Email Ben, ask any questions you have, and learn more about ERC!
[21:07] – Thank you to our Sponsor!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at HubSpot.com/eof!
Who's ready to rock today, Fire Nation? JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs on Fire, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like Marketing Made Simple. Today, we'll be breaking down how to get your first passive income stream started, even if you work full-time. To drop these value bombs I brought to Ben Swart into EOFire Studios. Ben is the product manager at a first response tech startup by day. By night, he's an entrepreneur focusing on creative funding strategies, passive income opportunities, and educating others. And today, Fire Nation, we'll talk about the side hustle, we'll talk about bootstrapping the business, starting out the best practices, and how to automate the side, hustle and achieve passive income and so much more.
And a big thank you for sponsoring today's episode goes to Ben and our sponsors. Success Story hosted by Scott D. Clarey is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. The audio destination for business professionals success story features, convos on sales, marketing, startups, and more. A recent episode on how to disrupt an industry is a must. Listen. Listen to success story wherever you get your podcasts. Ben, say What's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
1 (1m 18s):
What's Up? Fire Nation? I am so stoked to be here with you all today, John, where there's disagreement, there's growth. I wanna challenge your saying on Focus. Follow One course until success. I'm way too excited about too many things in my life. So I like to have many projects and hustles going at the same time. I found success by constantly challenging myself with learning new trades and skills throughout my life. We were able to balance learning six plus subjects at the same time all throughout our school career. As children, I believe we have the ability to do it as adults as well. If I had only focused on one thing that being engineering and 3D printing, I would've missed out on so much opportunity.
1 (1m 59s):
Blind Focus can be great and works for many top performers like yourself, but too much focus can be expensive.
0 (2m 5s):
In Fire Nation. We're gonna be talking about how expensive that really could be. But before we get kicking into today's episode, you have something you wanna share with Fire Nation about your relationship with entrepreneurs on Fire? So take it away, brother.
1 (2m 19s):
Yeah. So I've had an interest in entrepreneurship and hustling for as long as I can remember, even as a child, but it really started clicking for me when I was in college and I started listening to this very podcast. I was busy with engineering school, having fun with my friends, and going through a few different internships. When I started listening to EOFire, my whole perspective changed. I learned through you and your guests that you can actually do atypical work and receive atypical results. I've been sold on that truth ever since, and I'm still a daily listener to the show. I wanted to share this because by taking action with offerings from you and following up with hundreds of calls to actions from your guest, I've gained massive insights connected with top performers from around the world, and saved and earned tens of thousands of dollars in my personal and business life.
0 (3m 5s):
I mean, Fire Nation. I wanna just say thank you for listening right now, and I wanna obviously thank Ben for listening on a daily basis and for even more importantly, taking action on the contents that he listened to in having the results that he's had. And as I mentioned in the intro, we're talking about getting your first passive income stream started, even Fire Nation if you work full-time. So no excuses. So let's talk about the side hustle. Why Ben? Why is it so important to have at least one side hustle? Even if you work full-time?
1 (3m 40s):
Side hustles are a solid first step to full-time entrepreneurship. I think that's really where it starts. I think it's important to have at least one side hustle that brings you joy or gives you extra income because it forces you to take control of a situation entirely. You get to decide when you work on it, what type of work you do, how you do the work, and more, most importantly, where you do the work from. When you're able to successfully earn income from something other than your core job, you get a massive sense of accomplishment and it can kickstart the hunger and drive to achieve much, much more. The real beautiful thing about a side hustle is that it gives you room to fail and to fail fast as long as you have a consistent job fueling your lifestyle.
1 (4m 20s):
You get to experiment for literally years until you're happy with side hustling, and this often leads to full-time entrepreneurship. I also think it's really important to identify when you have something really special in your work. When you do find the one thing that makes you feel empowered and excited, you should absolutely double down. In my experience, once I've learned a process and I can use it with repeatable success, I generally wanna scale that success, but also move laterally to the next exciting thing because I love challenges and pushing myself to learn new skills. At the end of the day, when you're constantly challenging yourself and pushing boundaries, you open yourself up to improving in your day job or hus, other hustles you have, and especially other projects you have.
0 (5m 0s):
Now, Fire Nation, there are some crazy stats out there. I mean, one of 'em was like 40% of Americans can't afford an unexpected $400 bill at any given time because they just don't have that kind of flexibility in their savings or budget. So what if we are speaking to people who don't have much or any savings whatsoever? Ben, how can people, entrepreneurs, Fire Nation bootstrap a business?
1 (5m 27s):
So I've always aimed to start ventures with little to no money that I currently have in my bank account, and I'll give you a story to reflect that. So to give you the lowest level, when I was attending university here in Buffalo, New York, I dragged some of my friends to an event where an Autodesk employee was teaching a CAD program, also known as 3D Design. I sold my friends on going to this event because they advertised free pizza and you never turned down free pizza as a college kid. We went to this CAD training and I learned about this newer 3D design program, which I found to be amazing. We also learned about an opportunity where if you created a 14 part design that linked together, you could actually earn up to $500 by doing this 14 part design, two separate times. So this was a promo for students to use the software and create marketable use cases for it to kind of bolster Autodesk's software.
1 (6m 12s):
And so naturally, I did this as quickly as I could to earn that 500. As soon as I got that $500 I invested into my first 3D printer kit that cost exactly as you might guess, $500. From there, I would learn the ins and outs of 3D printing and it would become one of the many trades that I used to make money and secure my role at my job today. Now, for those of you that might not be interested in 3D printing, I've also bootstrapped many other ventures through massive power in the United States Credit card system. Leveraging credits for starting a business is key. You don't have to go into insane amounts of debt. You can strategically use credit cards to fuel and grow your business. And most importantly, using 0% business credit to start and scale your businesses has been instrumental to my success as a side hustler and entrepreneur.
0 (7m 0s):
Now, Ben, you've tried a lot of side hustles. I mean, as mentioned in the beginning, you have a purposeful lack of focus because you wanna try a bunch of things, swing a lot of bats and see what works. So if Fire Nations listening and they're just starting out, what are some of the best side hustles that you've found?
1 (7m 16s):
Yeah, so some of the easy ones to get going with, and I'll just list 'em quick and then dive a little bit deeper into them is flipping retail products, e-commerce and drop shipping, affiliate marketing and service based work. So for retail products, you know, Gary Vaynerchuck is a perfect person to follow with the garage selling, I highly recommend checking him out and what he does there. But you can look around the stuff that you have in your home and you can actually sell it. If you have junk line around that, you know, you don't have use for listed on eBay listed on Facebook marketplace, the bear to entry right now is so low. You can list just about anything in seconds, and then you can have people who wanna buy it from you the next day. And then e-commerce. So I'm really big into e-commerce and drop shipping, and I use credit to fuel that so I don't have to risk any of my own money.
1 (7m 59s):
But basically drop shipping is where you're purchasing products after someone else is already ordered. So your risk is really low, unlike buying a huge pallet full of products and then having to make sure you sell all those to make your money back. You can just do one product at a time and sell as you create demand. And then we have affiliate marketing. This is the biggest opportunity that I'm involved in with right now. I think anybody can be an affiliate with zero previous experience, and that's how I'm getting into it right now. But you can earn commissions for selling other people's products and services. And then service-based work, if you have talents in something like design or copywriting or video editing, you can sell those services on networks like Fiber or Upwork and there's plenty of others.
1 (8m 41s):
And you can earn decent hourly rates just for doing that work. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
0 (8m 47s):
Yeah, I was actually pretty ecstatic the other day when I had to do a notary signing and I was like, oh my God, this is gonna be such a process. And then, then there's like this online notary option and I was like, I'll, I'll click on that and I'll use that. And it was like this very slick like online upload of picture of myself, of my ID and all this stuff. And then I had to actually get on Live with a Notary. And it was just so obvious this person was just cranking through these. I mean, she was very nice and polite, but she's like, yeah, okay, what's your name? Okay, let hold up your picture. Okay, you're good. Okay, any questions? All right, bye. And she was like literally rocking her baby with her left hand. She, you know, was like doing this in the comfort of her own home, just probably making like 20 bucks, 20 bucks, 20 bucks, 20 bucks. So it wasn't like she's like becoming a billionaire, but I mean she's making really good money doing a sign hustle, you know?
0 (9m 31s):
And, and it's just the opportunities out there are crazy Fire Nation, and we're gonna talk about a lot of this stuff when we get back from thanking our sponsors. Let's face it, we all have a few bad business habits we can leave behind as we ring in the new year. And for me, one of those is not letting myself or my team get too comfortable because when you get too comfortable in business, new tech solutions and better systems can pass you by. That's why it's important to keep an open mind in your eyes and ears open for better ways of doing things. As an example, we can all continue to assume that scaling and training our teams on new software is going to be a tiny consuming and grueling process. Or we can leverage incredible all-in-one software solutions like HubSpots.
0 (10m 14s):
The great thing about HubSpot is you can try before you buy. That's right. No commitments, no hidden fees, not even a credit card is needed to sign up and you can say goodbye to grueling processes. HubSpot makes it easy for everyone to use so your team can spend more time on what matters most. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better, and 2023 and get a special offer of 20% off on eligible plans at hubspot.com/EOF. Then we're back. And we've talked about how earning commissions can be a great side hustle on this show before. So a lot of people think you need to have a ton of experience when it comes to earning commissions. You believe that we can earn thousands in commissions without any prior experience?
0 (10m 59s):
Do tell. Yeah,
1 (10m 60s):
John. So I'm working with people that are doing high five figure commissions on single deals that all stem from one email to start the conversation. So it's pretty amazing. And the way I'm doing this is through a program called E R C, and that's the Employee Retention credit. This is a United States refund program for businesses that retained at least five W2 employees during 2020 and 2021 in the heavier years of the pandemic. And so it's a refund or kind of like a grant, it's not a loan. And this is basically a way that you can kind of give money back to your business, make payroll, whatever you need, especially when you're struggling. And if you're not struggling, it's also a way you can just get some money with very low risk and low effort and it can really change the course of your business.
1 (11m 43s):
So I started with E R C, actually, I found out about it online and I was able to get it for my day job and we walked away with $77,000 and it was the easiest money we ever made. So I later, a few months down the road, found an affiliate program where I could join the very same company that I worked with as a customer. And I joined that affiliate program immediately. And within my first week of being an affiliate, I already started getting deals with just reaching out to people in my current network. And now I've scaled and grown and I do, you know, email outreach, I cold call, I do everything because there's value in all of it, but you can focus on this business model, whatever works best for you from the comfort of your own home. And within my first month, my deal pipeline grew to over $20,000 in commissions.
1 (12m 27s):
And as they say, the rest is history.
0 (12m 31s):
I love these stories. Fire Nation, I mean just seeing opportunities, identifying them, cornering the niche, and then just going all in. And there's gonna be some challenges when starting any side hustle, especially if it's our first talk about some of the challenges.
1 (12m 47s):
Yeah, John, so there's a lot, and I'll just go through a couple here, but fear of failure and fear of success. I've had both of those. And fear of failure, people don't want to fail, especially if they're not used to the side hustle or entrepreneur lifestyle. It's scary, but you gotta embrace failure, it's so important. And then for me, there's also fear of success. And I think many other people have this too. It's like what happens when you actually do make it? You do get the business you want, you do get the clients, what does that success look like and how do you maintain that success? That can be scary as well. So you really gotta focus and get over those fears because once you're past that, it's just unimaginable what you can do. And then there's time management, right? Everybody's extremely busy, everybody's stressed, they're always doing something. You need to be able to set aside time for deep work to be productive, especially in a side hustle.
1 (13m 30s):
It can be as little as 40 minutes a day, two hours a day, whatever works for you. And I'm a night owl, so the way I usually operate is I, you know, between the hours of 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM that's my side hustle time I go all in. So you gotta find that time and take action and make it happen. And then another one is just taking that first step. This is a battle of you versus you going from entrepreneur and then all the way to real entrepreneur. And my experience is fun, but a challenging process. And often you just need to take that first step, even if you don't know which staircase you're even on, right? You don't know where that first step's gonna lead you. And I've been so surprised all the opportunities that have come my way just by stepping in a few different directions. And the final one I wanna talk to you guys about is financing.
1 (14m 13s):
This can be a really big blocker for many folks, especially people who have big ideas that require teams and a lot of up upfront costs to get things off the ground. And that's where I've been working to help people get some financing in the form of credit and optimizing their credit so they can credit hack and use 0% interest to fuel what they're trying to do.
0 (14m 30s):
Fire Nation, all of these things are super valuable and total value bombs. So the ones that I wanna flip back to is fear of success. I mean, it's very obvious that people have feel fear of failure because that's just like an innate human trait. But so few people realize that there's like a, like a subconscious fear of success for a lot of people who grow up with certain mindsets and certain just like, like mindset limitations that they need to break through. I mean, this is a real conversation that does need to be talked about and thought about. So keep that in mind. And the reality is, Ben, the goal, the dream, you know, is eventual passive income. So let's talk about automating our side hustle in achieving that dream-like passive income.
1 (15m 13s):
Yeah, so passive income is, is the key here with side hustles often you're gonna take that upfront work to get started and you're gonna put in the time, you're gonna put in the effort and it's gonna take a lot of your day. But once you start getting systems that work, you're gonna wanna scale that to make passive income a reality. And so a big thing is outsourcing work and partnering with really talented people. I have a business partner that I do all my side hustle work with and we bounce ideas off each other constantly and it's just been instrumental in my success. And then if you don't really have people in your network immediately that you think could help with your side hustles or business, you need to network. Networking is massive. I've gone to so many networking events and every time I walk away saying, wow, I'm so glad I came, I've met so many great people and now I have all these different routes to do partnerships, you know, scale into new businesses, all that type of stuff.
1 (15m 60s):
And then finally, using virtual assistance. This is a big thing I picked up from way back when when I read the four hour work week by Ferris Cold Calling, cold email and list building. This can all be done with virtual assistance and you can find these people on fiber and reach out to them and they'll be able to do a lot of this menial work and they're happy to do it for very affordable rates.
0 (16m 20s):
Fire Nation, so many value bombs. Ben, what's the one takeaway of everything we talked about today that you wanna make sure Fire Nation walks away with?
1 (16m 29s):
I just need to start and sometimes starting is so scary and that's why I'm making it my mission right now to help people get started and hold their hand through the process of becoming a side hustler and successfully earning those huge five figure commissions.
0 (16m 43s):
And what does that look like? Talk to us a little bit more about that. How can Fire Nation connect with you and learn more from you? What's your call to action? Yeah,
1 (16m 50s):
So I have a few things here. So if you wanna learn more about how to get the ERC and potentially receive massive refunds for your business, you can email me at ben erc profits course.com and I'll help you and walk you through the process so you can get those huge refunds. And then if you wanna learn how to be an affiliate, like what I'm doing with erc, go to erc profits course.com. And just for Fire Nation, I have a really special offer because this podcast has been key in helping me become a successful entrepreneur. The special discount for the first 50 EOF listeners who sign up for my E R C affiliate training program can use the code EOF 75 for a 75% discount off my full course. And I will hold your hand into being a successful affiliate with E R C.
1 (17m 33s):
And outside of that, I wanna provide free value to anyone in the fire community that wants it. Now, I know this can be risky and it can take a lot of time, but I'm happy to give it because I've taken so much value from other people by who've offered this. So reach out to me on Instagram, you can follow me at Ben of all trades, official, official, or you can connect me with me on LinkedIn and let's chat about credit hacking, e-comm and E R C
0 (17m 54s):
Fire Nation, so many amazing offers. We'll list them all out on the show notes page. Just go to eofire.com type Ben and the search bar in the episode will be right there. And Ben, one more time, what was that Instagram handle? Ben
1 (18m 6s):
Of all trades Official
0 (18m 8s):
Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with BS and JLD today, so keep up the heat and if you have direct questions for Ben, find this episode on the podcast listening app Paolo, and post a comments. Ben, thank you brother for sharing your truth, your value, your knowledge with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
1 (18m 31s):
Thanks, John, I look forward to connecting with you all.
0 (18m 34s):
Hey, Fire Nation, a huge thank you to our sponsors and Ben for sponsoring today's episode and Fire Nation. Are you ready to rock your own podcast? Check out our free podcasting course where I will teach you how to create and launch your podcast for for free. freepodcastcourse.com. I'll catch you there or I'll catch you on the flip side. Success story hosted by Scott D. Clarey is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals success story features, convos on sales, marketing, startups, and more. A recent episode on how to disrupt an industry is a must listen, listen to success story wherever you get your podcasts.
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