Corbett is founder & CEO of fizzle.co, where independent creators learn to grow an audience online and get paid for their work.
Corbett Barr – Visit Corbett’s website and subscribe to his newsletter.
3 Value Bombs
1) You don’t have to do anything just because someone else says that that’s the way you should do it. You can find examples of people who are successful in every walk of life doing things their own way. All of us are figuring things out as we go along.
2) The purpose of social media was to figure out how to manipulate people so they would spend as much time as possible on these platforms so they can sell other people ads that they then show to us.
3) Look at trends happening, places where there is a lot of interest, energy and money going in and out, and figure out how to carve out a little piece of that interest – become someone of value.
Klaviyo: Customers want more from brands. Delivering more means owning the customer experience. Klaviyo calls this “owned marketing” and they believe it’s the best path to growth. For more, visit Klaviyo.com/fire!
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Starting Over with Corbett Barr
[00:46] – Corbett shares something he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- It is actually better to succeed in imitation than fail in originality. Originality is overrated in some ways. Everything is actually some combination of something that happened before.
[2:48] – What made Corbett decide to do a digital reboot?
- He thought that it was unnatural for us humans to have all these fleeting ideas that come in our head to exist online forever for the entire world to see.
- Next thing you know, you’ve just been going through the motions, putting stuff out there, and it doesn’t have any purpose other than to feed the machine of social media.
[7:11] – Social Media manipulates us. How is that so?
- The purpose of social media was to figure out how to manipulate people so they would spend as much time as possible on these platforms so they can sell other people ads that they then show to us.
- They have figured out ways through their interface to manipulate you psychologically so you’ll have the fear of missing out on the conversation, fear of being ostracized by the community, fear of not being plugged in and accepted… so you’ll return over and over again.
[13:52] – Starting the process of cleaning up our own digital life.
- You needed to start making decisions and move forward.
- Look at the things you’ve published and know what pleasure or value they bring. Delete those things that have low value, low interest, or in some cases brought you some weird emotional feelings revisiting them.
[17:18] – What’s next in the creator economy?
- The platforms that give creators the opportunity to monetize and turn what they do online into attention, and then turn that attention into earning an income, will continue.
- The creator economy where people make things online, share it other people, and turn that into a source of income will also develop.
[19:20] – What step can we can take to start pointing us in the right direction to take advantage of trends coming in the future?
- Look at trends happening, places where there’re is a lot of interest, energy and money going in and out, and figure out how to carve out a little piece of that interest – become someone of value.
[22:39] – Corbett’s thoughts on Clubhouse.
- This year, he committed on doing a lot of podcasts.
- He’d rather have an in-depth conversation with someone in a format that people can really dive into and digest.
[26:55] – Corbett’s key takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation.
- You don’t have to do anything just because someone else says that that’s the way you should do it. You can find examples of people who are successful in every walk of life doing things their own way. All of us are figuring things out as we go along.
- Visit CorbettBarr.com where you can find his newsletter and all the things he’s been talking about re: social media, abandoning your accounts, and moving on with your life.
Shake the room, Fire Nation, JLD here. And welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like the salesmen podcast. Today, we'll be focusing on starting over to drop these volleyballs. I brought Corbett Barr on the mic. He is the founder and CEO of fizzle.co we're. Independent creators. Learn how to grow an audience online and get paid for their work. And today for our nation. We'll talk about how social media manipulates us when to talk about cleaning up your own digital life and so much more. When we get back from thanking our sponsors, customers want more from brands.
Delivering more means owning the customer experience, taking control over data acquisition analysis, creative and delivery, Klaviyo calls, this owned marketing, and they believe it's the best path to growth for more visit Klaviyo.com/fire. That's K L A V I Y O.com/fire. Hiring can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but when you post a job on zip recruiter, their matching technology finds these qualified candidates for you and invites them to apply. So while other companies give you too many options, ZipRecruiter finds you the needle in the haystack. And right now you can try ZipRecruiter for free at ziprecruiter.com/fire Corbett, say what's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful.
0 (1m 32s):
That most people disagree with. John
1 (1m 35s):
Fire Nation. Thank you so much for having me here. I thought a lot about this today. And sometimes I like to take quotes that people say and turn them on their head a little bit and see if I learned something new from that. And I read a quote by Herman Melville who wrote Moby Dick, of course. And he said that it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. And I flipped that on its head to say that it's actually better to succeed in imitation than to fail in originality. And the reason I think that's true. And the reason I think a lot of people would disagree with it is because of course you want to be original, right?
1 (2m 16s):
Everybody thinks we need to be original, but I think that originality is overrated in some ways. And that everything is actually some combination of something that has happened before. And so personally I would rather succeed in imitation than to fail in originality because you can, everyone can come up with something that's original, but that nobody really cares about or nobody wants. So I think it's better actually, to walk in other people's footsteps.
0 (2m 43s):
Well, I love that actually, a quote that I use quite a bit is that we are all standing up on the shoulders of giants. And I do believe that is true to a large degree, that we've all learned from those who have come before us and Fire Nation. As you know, we're going to be talking about starting over. So if you ended up doing this, you know, this conversation could really be handy for you. This quote, this line of thinking could be very handy for you for very obvious reasons. And let's be honest, man, starting over. It's interesting, you know, when you create something, a personality, a brand and authority and influence online, and then you say, you know what, let's hit that delete button and you deleted all of your social media content, tons of blog posts, videos, galore.
0 (3m 26s):
I mean, what the heck made you do and decide a digital reboot,
1 (3m 33s):
Digital housekeeping, digital reboot, starting over. I got to tell you it has felt amazing. And I did it because I, you know, I think that it's very unnatural for us as humans over just the past, like 10 years since social media has existed to have all of these little thoughts and utterances and just kind of fleeting ideas that have come into our head to exist online for ever for the entire world to see. And yet, you know, a lot of us just jump on these different platforms like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and so on. And we, we kind of start going down this path of, I'm going to try this out and see what it's like, because everybody says that this is the next greatest thing.
1 (4m 19s):
And I need to spend a bunch of time here. And of course your friends are there and people you want to connect with. And next thing, you know, years have gone by, you've just been going through the motions, putting stuff out there, and it doesn't really have any purpose other than to feed the machine of social media. It starts to want something from us. And we just oblige because they're really smart about the way that they convince us to spend time there. So I finally decided to take a step back and ask myself if this was a good use of my time. And from a business standpoint, I'm not necessarily talking about from a personal standpoint, but from a business standpoint, of course you feel like you need to be on these platforms because that's where people are.
1 (5m 4s):
But when I dug deeper and deeper into things, I just found that there wasn't much return on my investment of time in these places. And sure enough, after deleting all these posts, after canceling a bunch of accounts, I found that it really hasn't affected my business in any way. And yet my personal day to day satisfaction, the amount of time that I have all that sort of stuff has increased immensely. There's
0 (5m 28s):
A few things I want to kind of comment on that because I'm subscribed to Corbett's email newsletter list. And it was one of the reasons that inspired me to reach out to him, to ask him to be on the show, because he had a very long article in his email newsletter around this topic, around this thought process. And it kind of did humbly make me think back to a time where, you know, I thought that I was like creating these amazing little daily snippets on Instagram, getting, you know, tons of views, tons of comments, like all the, and so many people were being like, I needed this today. Like, you know, corporate, how people wrote that, like I needed this today. They almost make you feel like they would have maybe like committed suicide or something. If they didn't see this thing. And you're like, oh my God, thank God.
0 (6m 9s):
Like I created this thing for that person. Oh my God. They needed it. Right. They needed it. And then I remember like I stopped and I went on a vacation and I had my virtual assistants, like all prepared to like log in and upload all the videos for me. And like, I just forgot, you know, I just like turn my brain off when, on vacation for 14 days. And I came back and then I logged into Instagram and like, he hadn't uploaded any of them. And I was just like, dude, what happened? He's like, oh yeah, I wasn't able to log in. Like, it was a code thing. It was, this is that. And I was like, what are you doing? There's going to be so many people pissed off and nobody cared. Nobody noticed I got no messages. Like where are you? Or like, what's happening?
0 (6m 49s):
Like just nobody even noticed. And that's just one thing that I was just like, oh, well, why have I thought and put such a thing on this when maybe like, I'm just putting so much emphasis on this thing that I think people need, want to care about so much. But I go at disappears for 14 days and nobody even even mentioned a word, like nothing. And then it also kind of, you know, made me think of, there's been a few times, like I've talked to like good friends of mine and like people who like claim to be like part of my audience. And they're just like, so are you still like doing entrepreneurs on fire? Or like, are you still like running Podcaster's paradise? And I'm like, those are like two such huge pieces of my business. Like how can this person not know that like, this is still out there in the world, crushing it.
0 (7m 32s):
But at the same time, it's like they're running their life. They're busy, they're chaotic. They have their problems, their issues, their struggles, their wins, their successes. And you know, sometimes I think of our nation. We just can't overthink this too much in corporate. You already kind of alluded to this already, but I want to dive deeper. You believe that social media manipulates us. How's that?
1 (7m 53s):
Oh, it's not just something I believe. I mean, they are open about the fact that as they were creating these various social networks, like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and all of them, that the purpose was to figure out how to manipulate people so that they would spend as much time as possible on these platforms so that they can sell us or sell other people, ads that they then show to us and Facebook. Now, I don't know if people know, but there are two and a half billion people on Facebook every day. These are daily users of Facebook. And there's a, there's a guy who was early on at Facebook and his name's Chamath Palihapitiya.
1 (8m 39s):
And he says that he here's a quote from him. He says, we want to psychologically figure out how to manipulate you as fast as possible. And then give you back that dopamine hit. We did that brilliantly at Facebook. Instagram has done it. WhatsApp has done it, Snapchat, done it. Twitter has done it. So all of these places have figured out ways through their interface, through the little heartstrings that they pull at when they send you a notification or they send you an email, they've figured out how to manipulate you psychologically so that you feel this fear of missing out on the conversation, fear of being ostracized by the community, fear of not being plugged in and accepted and so on so that you return over and over again.
1 (9m 25s):
So that, so that John, when you posted these things on Instagram, these videos that people say, oh my God, you changed my life. You get used to that, Hey, that little dopamine hit of, of every time somebody clicks that like button, right.
0 (9m 37s):
It's exactly. That would happen to me. And again, it was kind of a harsh slap in the face, but one that I was, I was personally like really grateful for, because I was like, I was actually under a, an illusion, like a disillusion that like, this was really like an important part of people's day. And I'm not saying people didn't enjoy it. Like, of course they did, but they were getting their dopamine hits from other places when I wasn't showing up. And they weren't even really realizing or knowing that I wasn't, it just wasn't in front of their face that day. Because if you know, the social media algorithms just were putting other things in front of their face that day. And I think it's really interesting, like how you're talking about the manipulation side of things. I don't know this about you at all, but just going to ask you the question about food and nutrition, like, are you into food and nutrition?
0 (10m 22s):
Like how do you, how do you like spend your time in those areas?
1 (10m 25s):
Definitely my wife and I, we don't have kids. We try to look after ourselves, I'm in my forties now. And we pay attention for sure in my forties
0 (10m 33s):
As well, have to pay attention, otherwise, watch out gut central. And it's really interesting when you're talking about how the social media companies are very open in some ways, but are obviously doing it in every way. They're trying to manipulate us. And it's the exact same thing that food companies do. Like there are literally food scientists who do everything they can to manipulate your brain, to manipulate your guts, to manipulate everything, to give you that dopamine hit, that you need to turn off the satiation and principles. So we stop feeling stuffed. They just want us to keep eating, eating, and wanting, wanting, and craving and craving. And I think you're going to love this book. I'm going to give it to you as a recommendation core, but I'd love your feedback. If, and when you read it, the pleasure trap hundred percent applies to food.
0 (11m 19s):
Of course, that's kind of most of the focus, but at a hundred percent applies to social media because they're doing so many of the similar things. And it's all about how we as humans have evolved in our brains and how now all of a sudden, the past hundred years people have in some ways gotten too smart for themselves and for us and for others. And it's really, really fascinating, the pleasure trap and Fire Nation. If you're enjoying this conversation, we will be right back with more value bombs. When we say thank you to our sponsors, if you're a business owner who's hiring, you probably face a lot of challenges when it comes to finding the right person for your role, like not having enough applicants with the right skills or experience. That's why hiring can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
0 (12m 0s):
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0 (12m 43s):
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0 (13m 39s):
That's K L A V I Y O.com/fire. So corporal we're back, and I want to talk about cleaning up our own digital life. Where does one even start in that process
1 (13m 54s):
With, you know, years of existential questions about myself and how I was spending my time, what I was working on, all that sort of stuff. And I ended up having some conversations with friends and one of those friends told me that I sounded stuck. I had basically been repeating the same thing about how I felt pulled in too many directions. I felt like I had too much going on. I felt sort of chaotic and unfocused and I didn't know what I wanted to do. And she said, you know, you've been saying this for a really long time. When are you going to make a decision and actually do something? And I started to think about social media.
1 (14m 34s):
I had sort of on the back burner, this idea of closing several social media accounts, because I just wasn't getting anything out of them. And also because I really disagree with a lot of the businesses and the people that are behind them. And it was almost a symbol of this feeling of stuckness that I had, the fact that I thought about closing Facebook forever and yet had never done anything about it. And I started wondering like, why haven't I done anything about it? And I, I guess in the end it was this, like I mentioned before, this, this sort of nebulous FOMO, this fear that I might miss out on something that was happening there.
1 (15m 15s):
But wait, I have all these people following me. Like, what if I closed that account? Isn't there, isn't there value there. And at the end of the day, I realized that I needed to just start making some decisions and start moving. Instead of being stuck in this analysis paralysis of what's the optimal way to do it and what if this happened and what if that happened, just start making some decisions and moving forward. And so to clean up my digital life, I looked at all of the things that I had published out there, blog posts, podcasts, social media, accounts, posts, all that sort of stuff. And just ask like, what pleasure do they bring me or not?
1 (15m 55s):
What value do they bring me or not? And systematically, I just started cleaning up, started deleting things that had low value, low interest or, or in some cases brought me, you know, weird emotional feelings when I spent time with them or when I revisited them and just started cleaning up all that stuff. It wasn't super easy necessarily those platforms don't make it easy sometimes to remove everything, but, but I found ways to do it. And I got to tell you, it is incredible. The feeling of lightness and, and focus and that feeling of wiping the slate clean. It's just been awesome.
0 (16m 32s):
Awesome Fire Nation. We all need a friend like that. Like one that's willing to tell us the truth when we're stuck or just willing, like we need a slap in the face. Cause we just been repeating ourselves for so many years, but literally doing nothing about it. So I really hope you do treasure that friend Corey, because obviously that was something you needed to hear. And in sprung you into action of some sort, since I know that you don't claim to be Nostradamus, but I do have a question for you cause I really do respect your opinion and your views on things. What do you think is next in the creator economy?
1 (17m 5s):
I love this question because people like you and I, we were, we were reminiscing earlier about the good old days, right? Because we've been, we've been online for so long now and, and, and internet years are like dog years, right? It's like every year that goes by is like a decade. So those of us who have been podcasting or blogging or whatever, for the better part of a decade, remember when it wasn't very common for someone to earn a living, doing something online, it took a lot of work. It took a lot of figuring things out on your own. It took a lot of technical know-how or being able to glue systems together. And now there are so many businesses out there supporting creators and the creator economy.
1 (17m 51s):
If you think about platforms like Twitch and Patrion and only fans and clubhouse and all these places that are giving creators a platform and helping people monetize, helping people turn what they do online into attention. And then to turn that attention into earning an income, it's just becoming a lot easier and there are a lot more people really making a go at it. So I think this trend is going to continue. And I think we're going to see, you know, we've, we've found over the past year during this pandemic that we can do a lot of things online. We can spend a lot of time online and I'm not necessarily saying this is healthy or a good direction for society to go, but we were unable to travel or to go out to restaurants and do all these things.
1 (18m 41s):
And yet, you know, there is a piece of the economy that kept flourishing and that is the creator economy that is people making things online and sharing it with other people and turning that into a source of income. And I know I'm preaching to the choir here because you've been doing this for a decade and, and as have I, but it's just so interesting to have watched this develop. And we're really kind of at this explosive moment in the, the trajectory of people being able to exist and, and earn and make a
0 (19m 11s):
Living. So what is maybe a step that Fire Nation can take? I mean, we're not looking for like a whole roadmap, but just like a step that Fire Nation can take that in your opinion would start at least putting them in the right direction to take advantage of what you see coming in the future. Yeah.
1 (19m 28s):
What I like to do is to look at trends that are happening places, where there is a lot of interest and energy and money going, and then figure out how you can carve out a little piece of that interest and become someone of value, become someone who can provide things to other people in that area that they might be willing to pay for. And there are all kinds of things. We see this because of technology, there are all kinds of these interesting little corners of things popping up who would have thought that, you know, cryptocurrency would be so popular who would've thought that that crypto would then turn into this new thing called NFTs, non fungible tokens, where just today they closed an auction for an artwork that was sold as an NFT, this digital token for $69 million, which, which is insane.
1 (20m 27s):
It's it. Now this person is one of the most well-paid living artists of all time and yes, yes, that's unbelievable. Isn't that crazy? So, and all I'm saying is there is all of this energy that happens very quickly now in various areas because of technology. And if you can figure out a way to insert yourself to become someone of value, who knows something in this space, you're not going to sell art for $69 million. That's not what I'm saying, but you can carve out a little space where you can earn an income by being someone who helps out in this area. Yeah,
0 (21m 3s):
Yeah. For reference on that specific artist, he's actually been producing a daily piece of artwork for, I think it was 13 years, it was over 5,000 pieces of art. And then like, it was literally back in October, he's like, what's this NFT thing I'm hearing about. And now he's obviously on his way to being worth nine figures from that one decision, which by the way before he was, you know, not like not making good money, like he was doing decent with his art, but he was, you know, by no means financially free. And this is just obviously been one of those things like Boehm and setting the trends to, to who knows what's coming in the future. And you know, on that note, I don't wanna go too deep into this because you know, I have no idea what your experiences with this at all, but you know, you talk about the next thing that's always coming.
0 (21m 51s):
And people are like, John, I feel like I miss out on podcasting. And then I missed out on mere cat. I miss out on Periscope. I missed out on Instagram. I missed out on, you know, tic talk. I miss out on all these things. And you know, one of my things is like, well, Hey, if you create the best solution to a real problem, you've never missed out on any platform because people are always going to want the best solution to a real specific problem in their life. So figure that out and then create that. And there's always something coming over the horizon at the same time. Like just if you're a patient and you wait and then you spring when the time is right. When the platform is right for you, then you will have an opportunity to be a first mover advantage in some things. So it's a long way of saying, what are your thoughts on clubhouse?
1 (22m 35s):
This is something I've, I've thought a lot about. And I haven't participated much in because I'm busy. But my personal feeling is this year, I committed to doing a lot of podcasts. I want to be a guest on, on a podcast every week. And I'm doing that instead of spending time on Twitter and all these other places, as much as I used to. And I closed all those other accounts to open up my schedule. And I would much rather have an in-depth conversation with someone like you in a format like this, that people can really dive into and digest. I love podcasting because it's recorded because I can point to it. I can embed it somewhere. I can listen to it, you know, whenever I feel like it.
1 (23m 17s):
And for me clubhouse, because it's so ephemeral, you have to show up, it's not recorded. There's no archive of it. I have avoided being that active on it, not to say that there isn't a lot of energy there and that people aren't getting a lot of value out of it. And I would imagine at some point that they may decide to record things. But for me, it's, it's, it's a lot like webinars. I don't know if you remember doing webinars and having this existential question of, should I tell that a recording will be available or, or do I tell people that you have to be there live because that's the only time you can hear it. And there's something to that live format that makes people show up and pay attention because they're afraid they might miss out on something, but there's also something to the podcast or to the recorded format where it's there forever.
0 (24m 4s):
Fascinating. Well, I as well have been spending not too much time in clubhouse myself, mostly because of my current book launch right now, that's really been all consuming for me. But the reality is I do love the evergreen newness of the podcast platform. I do love the fact that literally I got an email today from somebody that said, Hey, John just listened to your episode, 147, really enjoyed it, got super value from it. Really appreciate that. I recorded that episode back in 2012. And yet here, this person is getting value from it's literally today. And I love the aspect of that. So really interesting points. And one final thing I want to end on before I pass it back to you to kind of give your kind of final thought and takeaway.
0 (24m 49s):
I want to just tell my favorite corporate story. So it was June of 2012, cue the violins right now. And I just decided to launch the first daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, but it was not to launch for another three months. And I hired Jamie masters. Who said, John, you have to, you have to go to blog world in New York city. It's a great conference, come down. I'll introduce you to some awesome people. And you'll just get the excitement and the vibe of this online world. And so, you know, little load me, I'm like, okay. And I got a plane ticket from Maine down to New York city. I see, I remember staying with my buddy in the upper west side and just like sleeping on his floor and then like literally walking to the Jarvis Javis center, whatever it was called.
0 (25m 31s):
And lo and behold, I went into a talk with one corporate bar and he gave a great talk. I think it was more on like a blog topic. Cause you were really focused on think traffic at that time and you open it up for Q and a at the end. Then I raised my hands and I said, what do you think about podcasts? And you just, I can never, I'll never forget like the kind of like lean back chuckle on your face and you go, you know, I've heard a lot about it. I've heard, I've heard, I've been hearing more and more things about it, which is always a good sign that something's kind of on the up and up. But I just haven't decided if it's where I'm going to put my time and energy. And yet since I'm paraphrasing a little bit, I don't remember your exact words, but it was something along those lines.
0 (26m 14s):
And I was just like, oh, very interesting. Cause you know, I was a big consumer of your content. I took your course and you know, I just admired a lot of the content and stuff that you were putting out in the world. And I just wanted to kind of like tell that story because it's, it's a very fond memory of you Corbett. Ugh.
1 (26m 28s):
You know, I was worried for a second there that you were going to say, I told you never to podcast that it was a stupid move. And here you are 2000 episodes later showing
0 (26m 38s):
Me up thousand episodes later this county, except for me, nobody's counting except for me. And I, and I know that that's true, nobody's counting, but why don't you take us on brother, give us the one key takeaway that you really want us to get from our conversation today and then share with us like how Fire Nation can maybe connect with you or you know, how we can consume the content you are going to put out over the course of, you know, the upcoming year or so. And then we'll say goodbye. Awesome.
1 (27m 4s):
I just want people to take away this one thing. And that is that you don't have to do anything just because someone else says that that's the way you should do it. You can find examples of people who are successful in every walk of life, doing things their own way. There's no pattern that you have to follow. And in fact, all of us are just figuring it out as we go along and sure we look to people for inspiration, but at the end of the day, you have to find your own path. And if that means that you're not on social media, great. If that means that you're super active on social media, great do what works for you. And don't fall into somebody else's dogma in terms of finding me, I'd say [email protected], you can find my newsletter.
1 (27m 48s):
You can find all of this stuff we've been talking about in terms of social media, abandoning your accounts, moving on with your life. And thank you, John, for the opportunity. I I'm a massive fan. I love the show and I am honored to be your guest
0 (28m 4s):
Coming from you brother that really does mean the world and Fire Nation. You know that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with CB and JLD today. So keep up that heat. And if you head over to eofire.com and just type corporate in the search bar has shown us page will pop up. But also he was one of my power 20. So you can go back and listen to an early, early episode of entrepreneurs on fire with myself and Corbin and just, you don't just laugh at us because, you know, we were, we were so young and so naive, but now here we are. And Corbett, I just want to say thank you brother, for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with Fire Nation today, for that we salute you and we will catch you on the flip side.
0 (28m 46s):
Hey, Fire Nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by core buttons. If you're ready to rock your very own podcast, check out our free podcasting course, where I teach you how to create and launch your own podcast for free visit freepodcastcourse.com and I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side. Customers want more from brands delivering more means owning the customer experience, taking control over data acquisition analysis, creative and delivery. Klaviyo calls this owned marketing, and they believe it's the best path to growth for more visit Klaviyo.com/fire. That's K L A V I Y O.com/fire hiring can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but when you post a job on ZipRecruiter, their matching technology finds these qualified candidates for you and invites them to apply.
0 (29m 34s):
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