Dustin Maher graduated from the University of Wisconsin and immediately created a class called MamaTone Fitness. The mission for MamaTone was to help moms realize that it was important to take care of their bodies, and to connect with other mothers so they could share life’s experiences with one another. Since that launching point, Dustin has created more than 28 DVDs, has been on TV nearly 100 times, and has been featured on numerous radio shows, in magazines, and in newspapers.
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John Lee Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, 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 thrilled to introduce my guest today, Dustin Maher. Dustin, are you prepared to ignite?
Dustin Maher: Yes!
John Lee Dumas: My man!
Dustin Maher: [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: Dustin graduated from the University of Wisconsin and immediately created a class called MamaTone Fitness. The mission for MamaTone was to help moms realize that it was important to take care of their physical bodies and to connect with other mothers so they could share life experiences with one another. From that launching point, Dustin has created more than 28 DVDs, has been on TV nearly 100 times and has been featured on numerous radio shows, magazines and newspapers.
Whew! I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, Dustin. Why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do?
Dustin Maher: Yes. Thanks for having me on the show. I’m very excited to be here. I started off as a personal trainer. I got my degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Go Badgers! Except there was a rough one this past weekend.
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Dustin Maher: I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science with a minor in Business. Throughout my process of going through college, I started to get certified as a trainer while I was still in college. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that as a personal trainer, while it was a phenomenal field, a great meaningful field that I was super excited about, I wanted to do more than just be able to help one person at one time. In a day I can maybe help 8 to 10 people with that model.
I knew a lot of people could not afford personal training fulltime, four or five days a week. I knew I could only work so many hours in a day and I could only make so much money, and all that good stuff. So I was looking at it, I was kind of asking myself, now who do I want to be a hero to? That’s one of my favorite questions I like to ask entrepreneurs. Is who do you want to be a hero to, and then how are you going to be a hero to them?
I’m very close with my mom. I’m the oldest of four kids. She’s a stay-at-home mom. I think every person thinks their mom is the best, but I think my mom is the best. I just realized looking back at her life or my life when I was being raised by her, that she just put all of her energy into her four kids. She didn’t really have a lot of time or make a lot of time for herself. Although she had some friends, she certainly didn’t have a massive support network.
When I came out of college, I was like, what could I create that I wish my mom would’ve had when she was raising me? Of course it needed to be something fitness-wise because that was my passion. Like you said, I created MamaTone. We had free childcare for stay-at-home moms, and that’s kind of the thing that started everything. That became popular, and then I progressed from there, which I guess we can talk about in a few minutes. That’s kind of my background.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. You decided to trade in time for scalability. Trading time for dollars for straight scalability, and that is what an entrepreneur is all about. So that’s really inspiring.
So Dustin, we’re going to transition now into our first topic, which is our success quote because here at EntrepreneurOnFire, we really like to get the motivational ball rolling early and get our listeners really pumped up for the rest of the content that you’re going to share with us. So what do you have for us today?
Dustin Maher: Yes. I’m a big quotes guy and I love to read and stuff. So this is a tough decision. I’ve got a lot of favorites, but the one I went with is actually kind of just what we were just talking about. I don’t know who wrote it or who said, but it’s “how can I create the greatest amount of significance in the least amount of time?” So it’s more of a question than a quote, but I’ll repeat that again. How can I create the greatest amount of significance in the least amount of time?
So I try to ask myself that question whenever I go into a project or have to figure out if I need to say yes or no to something. Is this going to reach my goals? Is this going to help and impact as many people as possible without zapping a lot of my time? If the answer is no, I try to say no to the project, no matter how lucrative it is.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely, and that does – you’re right – go back to trading time for dollars because you knew early on that you could only see a certain number of people a day, and only a certain segment of the population could “afford” your services as well. So you really decided to step outside of the box as a physical trainer and create products that could really take you into that scalable situation, which is great. Do you have another way that you’ve really applied that quote to your business, to your everyday life?
Dustin Maher: Oh man, I think the biggest thing is just kind of leveraging technology. I mean technology is so exciting today and it’s just only going to get better from here. My passion, which I’ll talk about a little bit later, I’m sure is bringing women together and creating community groups and support groups. So the same thing that I ask myself – what kind of technology? How can I leverage my time and my skills sets? What am I good at? What’s my unique abilities and how do I capitalize on those? Then try not to do the other things, the menial tasks that maybe aren’t my set of unique abilities.
John Lee Dumas: You’re absolutely right. We are going to be delving into your passions later. I’m really excited to do that. Again, EntrepreneurOnFire is about your journey as an entrepreneur. Despite your age, you’ve had a decent journey as an entrepreneur and you’ve really experienced the highs and the lows of what being an entrepreneur is all about where we experience failure, we experience challenges and we face obstacles on a daily basis. However, there’s often that one time that you can look back into your journey and really pull out a major situation where you did have that failure or that major obstacle that you had to overcome. Can you share a time like that with us?
Dustin Maher: Yes, certainly. There are definitely a couple of them that come to my mind, but I think the most challenging part is scaling any business. So for MamaTone, that was one program. I did it five days a week. It started off as three days a week. It went up to five days a week. Easy to manage and all that kind of stuff. Then I was getting a lot of people requesting other options for workouts because they heard how good the results we were getting. The working moms, for example, who couldn’t an 8 to 10 o’clock time slot area.
So I started Fit Fun Bootcamps, which was my second thing. We started with one location. So now I had kind of two programs going. Again, not a big deal. I could manage both of them. I did the bootcamps at [5:30] and [6:15] in the morning. I did MamaTone between 8 and 10. Things were going well. Then people wanted one on the other side of town. So there’s a trainer there that wanted to start one, so I did that. Then the two became three, became four, and for the last three years now, we’ve had about between 10 and 12 locations.
So for me, the biggest challenge I think I still have is balancing all of them, keeping the quality up, finding and keeping good trainers. That’s really important. Then just kind of keeping everything together, I guess. It’s easy when things are small. I guess the best advice I can give to people is find good people to work with you or work for you. Find people who are just as passionate or close to it with your mission that you have.
I’ve been fortunate. I get a lot of my trainers actually from my bootcampers. So they become bootcampers, they’re MamaToners, they get great results. They are just completely transformed to the point where they want to start teaching other people what they’ve learned. Then they get certified, and we’ve had about I think 16 women now I’ve had go through my program and become certified trainers. So I use them for a lot of them.
I mean, starting off, you may not be able to do this, but sometimes your best customers become your best employees or independent contractors or those that kind of help spread that mission, and you can pay them for it too.
John Lee Dumas: That’s great how you’re able to convert them into actual people on your team. That’s just a really great way to go about and do things. That was a really phenomenal aerial example of the challenges that you have faced. Let’s take it down to the ground level though and let’s just really pull out one time where you really specifically faced a challenge. Tell us specifically about that time.
Dustin Maher: So right now, I just turned 29, to put in perspective, but I was 22 or 23 – and this was more just like of a lesson I learned when I didn’t do things right. I was in Colorado working in Vail. I was living in Vail for the summer, working at a health club. This was about I think in ’04 or something like that and The Bachelor was really popular. I mean it still is popular, but Ryan and Tristan – I think it was Tristan? What was her name? Trista? They got married recently around that time and they’re kind of like the big celebrities. They met on the show. They both lived in Vail and Ryan was a person who worked out at the health club that I worked at, and all my female friends were just obsessed with him. They find him as the hottest thing.
So I did something very, very unprofessional. I should never have done it. Looking back, I can’t believe I did it, but I did it and I’ll kind of share the lessons I learned from it. Basically, he always would come in with his shirt off because he had just been biking or running and I knew a lot of my female friends would just love a picture with his shirt off. So I sort of just asked him that. I was like, “Dude, would you be able to take a picture with your shirt off for my friends?” and he was not too impressed by this and he reported me. I almost got fired. Through that process, I learned that we all make mistakes in life, and learning from those mistakes is the best thing that we can do. Then just apologizing and being transparent. I apologized to the staff that I affected and I apologized to him. I’ve seen that over and over again, especially in this world with social media and you really can’t hide very well anymore. People, we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to get probably called out in certain areas, and it’s how we handle those situations that really make the difference.
So just apologizing and saying what you did was wrong and not denying it, I think those are the things that are really important to do for any business owner in 2012 and beyond.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. EntrepreneurOnFire is really about the story – your story as our spotlighted entrepreneur. So I do thank you for sharing that insight into your actual life, and that’s really where we’re going to be able to pull these great lessons from. So that was a great example. Let’s use that to transition to our next topic, which is a more enjoyable topic. It’s that aha moment. It’s part of an entrepreneur’s life. Every single day, we have these little tiny aha moments that inspire and move us forward. They happen weekly and monthly every now and then that we really do get that bright light bulb, that shining star that just really lights up the room and we say, “Wow! Aha! This is the direction that I want to move into.” Dustin, have you had an aha moment like this?
Dustin Maher: Yes. I’ve had plenty of aha moments like that. I mean I kind of mentioned one of them when I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be a hero to, and then looking back at my mom and her life. I think that was a huge aha moment. Probably the biggest one, the most important one.
Besides that, I think one of my other big aha moments came four years ago when my bootcamps were booming. I think I had probably five locations at that time and I was getting requests all over the country, all over the world. Somehow they heard. I don’t know, Facebook back then was just kind of starting to get bigger, but maybe it was email, maybe it was my website. I was getting requests though from people who wanted to write them out like workout plans and eating plans and all that. I didn’t want to sit in front of my computer all day just typing out those plans.
So my aha moment was, which may seem pretty obvious, but it was I could create DVDs, workout DVDs. Basically, my philosophy was it’d be cool if I could have a very intimate type of DVD where I’m training them in their home. So that’s what I did. I created a monthly DVD program kind of like the Book of the Month Club. I did a DVD of the Month Club called the Fit Moms For Life Monthly DVD Program.
That was a huge step for me. I mean I took a bunch of my clients. So I took 12 of my clients and trained one each month. I filmed them in three days, all of them. So I had a year’s worth of DVDs in three days made. Then I launched that to my list, which I’ve been building for about two years before that. Within three months, it was already generating $10,000.00 a month for me and about $7,500.00 of that was profit.
John Lee Dumas: Very impressive. Believe me, Dustin, the aha moment is only obvious in hindsight.
Dustin Maher: Right.
John Lee Dumas: So have you had an I’ve made it moment yet?
Dustin Maher: Oh man! Yes, there have definitely been a handful of ones. I will also list a couple of them off. Some of you guys may be familiar with Yanik Silver’s Underground event. I think it’s one of the top Internet marketing conferences [Unintelligible]. I guess that’s the best way to put it. It’s two grand to attend. About 500 people go to it, and most, I think 65% make six figures, and a good amount of seven figure and eight figure earners are also in the audience. So this past year I was asked to speak on how I’ve been able to create such a strong community, online and offline. So that was a pretty great moment.
Two years ago, I bought one of my dream cars, which is the BMW Z4. It was used, but it was beautiful. I grew up in a trailer and our family never drove or owned cars that were in the same decade that we were driving or living in. So even if it was like 1999, I was always in an ‘80s or a ‘70s car. That sort of thing.
So for me, to be able to do that, and it only cost me literally like 18 days’ worth of income to buy that thing. So that was a pretty powerful moment for me, and I’m not really into material things really at all, but I wanted to buy that because not only I enjoy driving it, but each time I sit in it, I can remind myself kind of where I’ve come from. The money that I make is just I believe a reflection on the amount of people that I’ve been able to help and the amount of value I’ve been able to create in the world, and nothing more and nothing less.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely true. We’ve had MJ DeMarco from the Fastlane Millionaire on the show, and one of his big quotes that really resonated with me, and what my goal here at EntrepreneurOnFire is, is that if you want to make millions, you have to help millions. That’s truly the goal of EntrepreneurOnFire, and I can feel that that’s also the goal with what you’re doing.
Dustin Maher: Yes, absolutely.
John Lee Dumas: So Dustin, thank you for sharing the insight that you’ve had with growing up and with the BMW, the car that you really were just able to say, “Wow! I have made it!” almost every single day when you sit down. That’s just great that as an entrepreneur, that you can actually be at that point because so often, we never really sit back and just appreciate how far we’ve come and what we have accomplished. So I applaud you for doing that and I definitely encourage our listeners to take note that that’s a very important part of the process.
Dustin Maher: Yes [Unintelligible] with that. I totally agree because I think a lot of us entrepreneurs, or at least myself, are highly driven Type A personalities. So once we reach a goal, we go right for that next goal. We don’t, like you said, appreciate or celebrate the successes and kind of I think then solve and close the gap where we’re always looking ahead to how much farther we have to get to our ideals, instead of looking back on what we have done. So I encourage people to do those and celebrate them on a regular basis.
John Lee Dumas: I could not agree more, and that’s 100% why EntrepreneurOnFire focuses on the entrepreneur’s journey, because that’s what it’s about. It’s about the journey. It’s not about the destination. You can learn so much from that journey and it’s just a very powerful thing to examine. So thank you for allowing us to examine your journey.
Dustin Maher: You bet!
John Lee Dumas: So Dustin, I’m just really intrigued with the Underground by Yanik Silver. I mean that is just a really intense, great underground event that just goes on about once a year with a very limited clientele of 500 people. Can you dive a little more into the part that you played at that event with your presentation? I’m really intrigued by that.
Dustin Maher: Sure. Like kind of what my topic was sort of thing?
John Lee Dumas: Exactly.
Dustin Maher: Yes. So they wanted me – because a lot of Internet marketers I think are struggling with building a community. I think that’s one of the challenges. Then also, they liked how I’ve been able to do both with offline and online. I guess my point of the talk or one of the things I wanted to maybe challenge people on or suggest was that in the age of the Internet and everything going digital, there’s still an incredible amount of power by being local, by being in person, and how do we merge those two together.
So I was talking about how to start support groups locally. Maybe you teach people how to make money, let’s say. What if you were able to create local chapters where they got together in person because I don’t really believe that you can develop deep relationships with people unless you are face-to-face with them. I mean video Skype, I love video Skype a lot. It’s a great tool. But even that is limited in what you can do.
So trying to build those community groups locally, and then take and amplify those success stories, the community aspect of it, and then bring that online so that people who are not part of that community – I don’t like to use the word “jealous,” but would like to be part of it, and then they’re intrigued enough to then want to reach out and figure out how can they get involved.
So that’s sort of how I’ve done it, is I try to use my local market here in Madison, Wisconsin where I’m from, but then also we have local chapters all over the country. How do those things grow, and then how can we take the success stories and all those great things that are going on there. Then using Facebook and the blog, the website, the newsletter and all that stuff to really amplify that. That was kind of my thesis.
John Lee Dumas: Can you give us some specific interactions that you had with the attendees of the conference after you gave that speech? I’m just really curious about how they reacted to the presentation that you gave and the content that you divulged.
Dustin Maher: Right. Man, I think it was about eight months ago. I’m trying to remember. I mean it was crazy. Like probably I spoke with 100 people at least over the next two days of the conference, but one of the big things that actually surprised me and people thank me for, I was like, “Oh, what did you enjoy from it? What did you get out of it?”
Most said that they enjoyed just seeing and hearing my passion that I have for helping moms build community and get in shape, and that was the thing that a lot of them were lacking. A lot of the things online [Unintelligible] like those how to make money niche, for example, or even a lot of the niches online, it just seems like, especially the people teaching it, it’s just all about make money, make money, make money. That’s a very empty goal, especially once you have the money. So people were just really, I don’t know, appreciative or envious of myself finding that passion and that mission.
So I guess for all you guys listening, that’s the first question you got to figure out. Maybe you have a business started and maybe it’s doing well and maybe it’s not doing well, but I think you should ask yourself, is this something I can see myself doing for the next decade? Is this something that I could talk about almost all day and not get tired of it and be more energized at the end of the day than at the beginning? So that was a common theme that I had.
Another common theme was they’re blown away by how fast I can make DVDs. So I’ve done now 30 of them. I’m just releasing my next two, and probably my last two. We’ll see. I might do some more later, but things are going digital and TVs are basically going to be all online here within the next couple of years wide, mainstream. So I may be able to just do mostly digital at that point.
Creating DVDs – do you want me to go through that process real quick? I can do it in about a minute.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. Why don’t you take 60 seconds and just knock that out?
Dustin Maher: Yes. I make them affordable, of good quality. So I find a local person who can go on Craigslist, or most people have a friend who does weddings or something like that. Nothing fancy. I used one camera for some stuff and I used two cameras for some other stuff. For me, I had my workouts already figured out beforehand. I did basically one take for everything. My philosophy is you don’t necessarily have to make things perfect. You just got to do it good and get the content out there and just be real and be natural. I’m not a huge fan of scripting things.
So I basically do one take on everything. Unless something really bad happened, then we could edit that out, but just cranking through them and then trying to chunk your time. So if you’re going to make one DVD, you might as well make two, three or four DVDs at the same time since your crew is already there and you kind of get into the flow of it.
So that’s how I did it. I cranked each one out in about three hours, two to three hours, and I worked like 12 hour days. So I did the first 14 DVDs actually in the first three days, and then I did another whatever, 15 or 16 in another three day period. That was it. I’ve only created DVDs about 6 or 7 days of my life.
John Lee Dumas: I can definitely vouch for the fact that you’re not a scripted person. In fact, in our pre-interview chat, you said, “John, by the way, I didn’t even really look at these questions. I don’t really even know what the format is. That’s just kind of how I roll. I don’t want to overthink this. Let’s do it.” Then I’m like, “Dustin, that’s great. This is supposed to be a conversation. This is supposed to be a good flow.” Obviously, that’s exactly what’s happening. So you definitely know what you’re doing.
Dustin Maher: Thank you.
John Lee Dumas: Then to just kind of reach back real quick, it was really refreshing to hear you say how people were reacting to your speech after you gave that presentation. How they were coming up to you and talking about your passion because at EntrepreneurOnFire, my goal and my passion is to bring passionate entrepreneurs onto my show, and it’s a lot harder than it seems because there’s a lot of successful entrepreneurs, but there’s not as many successful passionate entrepreneurs. So you definitely fit that mold. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on this show for that reason. So as part of Fire Nation, I thank you for that.
Dustin Maher: You bet!
John Lee Dumas: So Dustin, let’s move in now to your current business. You’re rocking and rolling. You’re thinking about potentially going digitally in the future. You’ve got a couple more DVDs that you’re just finishing up with. Let’s just say what’s one thing that’s really exciting you about your business right now?
Dustin Maher: Sure. I got two things I got to share.
John Lee Dumas: That’s totally cool.
Dustin Maher: Alright. So these are the two biggest things I’m most excited about. The first one is I’m teaming up with one of my friends. He owns a gym here in town. His passion, his unique ability is teaching other trainers to be better trainers. That’s not my passion at all. I love to help trainers build their communities and really relate to people better, but not the nuts and bolts of training itself.
So we’re teaming up and we’re going to create a Fit Moms For Life Certification Program, because like I said, I’ve had like 16 or 17 moms become certified through other organizations. So we’re creating an online, and then as well as like an in-person three day workshop to become certified through kind of my systems, my philosophies. They’ll get a lot of the nuts and bolts of how to be a better trainer, but then also throw in the business side of things to some degree.
Then from there, we’re sending them up to the Fit Moms For Life either franchise or licensee model. We’re not exactly sure. But then they can start to build a business, kind of like I’ve done. I’m going to focus on moms who are looking to kind of be part of something bigger than themselves. Maybe a stay-at-home mom or someone who doesn’t necessarily want to work at the corporate world and wants to make $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 a month.
I’m not going to promise that they’re going to make $20,000.00 or anything, but it’s very doable to net, after everything’s said and done, $2,000.00 to $5,000.00, working a couple of hours a week. So that’s what I want to really empower these moms to do. So that’s one thing I’m really excited about.
The second thing I’m excited about, one of my missions is to help one million moms get in the best shape of their lives by the end of 2015, and do that by creating local support groups. I want 14,000 of these, which is one for every McDonalds here in America.
So I’ve been over the last year, I’ve been really developing like what can I do? How can I make this as turnkey as possible? How can I make this as viral as possible? It’s too long a process that I’ve created that I’m going to start to implement, but basically, I’m going to create a six week challenge where a mom in a local community hears about it. She kind of raises her hand to become a leader. She gets other people excited about it via text message and we’ve got some technology that we’re going to be using developing those relationships. She hosts like a dinner sort of thing at her house.
Then I’ve got video, digital stuff that I’m going to use to try to sell them on the six week program. They do the six week program that’s like maybe $99.00. I don’t know the price points yet. Then I’ll be able to give like 50% commissions to the mom who’s the leader. Then at the end of the six weeks, they get great results. Then hopefully they’ll continue on with our monthly DVD program I’ve got. Then also, I’m going to encourage each of those members to then start their own group up. How they can make money. My goal is like $300.00 to $500.00 a month by kind of organizing these events, and I think I can take that virally through that.
So those are my two things that I’m really excited about. Then some of those women in those groups are going to want to get certified as a Fit Mom For Life. Then once they do that, they might want to start their own business up, and then get a license or a franchise. So those are a few things in a nutshell.
John Lee Dumas: That’s great. Dustin, I’ve been taking a couple of notes. One million moms by 2015, 14,000 support groups across the country. The same number as McDonalds. How important is it to have these kind of specific numbers when you’re putting something like this together?
Dustin Maher: Yes. It’s important for a couple of reasons. One, you need your followers, your tribe. However you want it. Your clients, customers, to be onboard with you and to have a clear goal of what your goals are so that they can get excited about it. If you do any sort of media – like you had mentioned, I’ve done close to 100 TV shows. They love numbers. They love that type of stuff. So given that, any sort of media likes that.
Then also for me, it forces me to ask different questions. Like if my goal is to reach 10,000 moms, which I have already done many times over, my questions and my answers would be a lot different than how do I reach a million moms or how do I create a hundred groups compared to 14,000 groups. So yes, you’ve got to have some clear goals on what you want to accomplish.
John Lee Dumas: So Dustin, 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 at Fire Nation with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Are you ready for that?
Dustin Maher: That’s a lot of pressure, but I’ll do my best.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] What was one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Dustin Maher: Oh man. I didn’t know that many entrepreneurs and all my friends were going into more I guess traditional jobs. So I’d say just the fear of the unknown. The steady paycheck, which we all know now is not really a steady paycheck anywhere. I think that was it. Just not really knowing anybody who’s doing it that much and just doing something different and not having a 9 to 5 job like most people that I know. So I’d say the fear of the unknown.
John Lee Dumas: How many of your friends are driving a BMW Z4?
Dustin Maher: [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Dustin Maher: Well, that’s a good question. I mean fortunately, I have now surrounded myself with very successful people, and I’ve got this little support group just here in Madison, and actually we’re all in our 20s. One is like 31. We had a dinner at one of our houses, and like the five or six cars that we had in the parking lot or the driveway were pretty insane cars. They averaged like $80,000.00. So I have been blessed to really surround myself with some phenomenal people and some great friends that I’ve met throughout the last five or six years.
John Lee Dumas: Yes, and I’ve heard this so many times. Take your 10 closest friends, average their salaries, and that’s what yours is. So you need to surround yourself with successful people with that successful mindset. It’s so important.
Dustin Maher: Yes.
John Lee Dumas: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Dustin Maher: That’s an easy one. Get a mentor. I didn’t talk anything about it, but I’m in Joe Polish’s 25K group. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of that. I was in Ryan Lee’s mastermind group [Unintelligible]. He’s in the fitness niche. I was in his. So on average, I spend about $50,000.00 a year on my education, mostly hiring the best coaches. I just joined Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. I’m going to his in Toronto.
A lot of these groups are you have to make a certain amount of money, you have to net a certain amount of money just to be part of the groups. So you’re automatically in a group of very – at least successful business-wise – and hopefully the group is also just good people, which all the groups I have been part of, they’re just great quality people. They’re not people that just make a lot of money and are really douchebags. Excuse the language, but you see that a lot.
That’s my biggest thing, is invest money in something. I would take action on that. I mean, just buying a product obviously is not going to make you wealthy, it’s not going to make you knowledgeable. You got to apply it. I see too many people buy products or go to conferences and go to 10 conferences a year, which I have done. I go to about probably 6 to 8 conferences a year. A lot of it now is just for the networking and getting to know people, but you’ve got to take action on things. You can’t just keep getting information without taking action.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely, and I would like to tweak just the first part of your answer, which was you spend about $50,000.00. What you really do is you’re investing $50,000.00 into yourself, which is just resulting in incredible dividends down the road that is way outstripping that 50K.
Dustin Maher: Yes. I should not say I spend. I’m investing. That’s a great way to put it.
John Lee Dumas: What’s something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Dustin Maher: Oh man. There are a lot of things. I would say I think the biggest thing is just being real and being honest. Like I talked about the transparency thing, but I think the days are long gone when it was big corporates and all the corporate speak and stuff, and just talk like you normally do.
I mean one of my emails was kind of funny. I put recently – I used the word [Audio gap] like as in like I’m not going to be able [Audio gap], and this was writing to a bunch of women. I had a few people email me and say, ‘I can’t believe you used that. I’m going to unsubscribe.” Whatever. That’s fine. They can do that. But just being yourself and being real. Trying to open up as much as you can.
I mean you see celebrities, like people are so fascinated by their lives and stuff. I mean some of my best videos – I think I have about 400 videos on YouTube, 300 or 400 – and some of my best videos that I get the most comments from people like a year later, are the ones where I’m like at home at Christmastime and I’m back in the trailer park and showing my family or maybe my grandma or just some random thing about myself or my family. Those things, they love those it seems like a lot more than just 10 exercises to burn fat off your stomach sort of things.
So those would be my things. Be transparent, be real, be fun, be someone that other people would want to be around.
John Lee Dumas: Now, you’re a young guy and I really feel like you’re cutting edge in a lot of areas. I like to share one Internet resource with Fire Nation like an Evernote. Something that you just really love and just seems to save you a lot of time or just really improve and streamline your business. Do you have a resource?
Dustin Maher: I mean I’m sure it’s been mentioned a lot of times already in your show, but I just did another one this morning with Fiverr. Fiverr is great. So I’ve got this new video I’m going to come out with for my monthly DVD program. A sales video for it. I wanted to like – it’s such myself and one of my clients, Jodie, talking back and forth in her home about her results, and then the program. But I wanted to have like a cool intro thing, and I was thinking of like these two cartoon characters talking or like just cartoon images of a baby. Like two babies and one is Jodie and one is myself.
But then I was like on Fiverr looking through stuff, and here there’s this thing you can get where they’ll make a 30 second video of you that’s a talking baby, and it looks like the E-Trade baby. It’s an actual baby. The mouth moves. It’s not quite as good as E-Trade with the synchronization, but you can write out a script.
So that’s what I’m doing. I just wrote the script out for it and I upgraded for another $5.00 to get it within 24 hours. So within probably today, I’m going to get this really cool 30 second E-Trade-looking baby talking, intro-ing. This baby is saying that Jodie is her mom. So it’s kind of cool.
John Lee Dumas: Oh, I love Fiverrr and I love that example. It was just my mother’s birthday two days ago, and so I went on Fiverr and I got a talking puppet, a little baby puppet, to rap for my mother, pretending that the puppet was her 18 month old granddaughter, and it just couldn’t have been a better gift. It was $5.00, but I mean, it went viral on Facebook, all the family commented on it. I mean, you can’t beat that. Like unfortunately, a sweater just would not have been quite as impactful.
Dustin Maher: Yes. I know. It’s just such a cool resource.
John Lee Dumas: So real quick, Dustin. I don’t know how much of a reader you are in the business area. Do you have a business book that you’d recommend to the audience?
Dustin Maher: I’m a big Seth Godin fan. I like how he thinks. If you guys don’t follow him – some people don’t really like him – but he’s got Purple Cow and what are some of his… Linchpin and…
John Lee Dumas: Tribe.
Dustin Maher: Yes, Tribe was one of the best ones, and I’ve got most of his books. To kind of summarize those, the big takeaways that I get from them I just keep sharing over and over again is you’ve got to blow away your customer. I mean, our customers have more and more options and resources than ever before, and they also have a bigger voice than ever before. So go out of your way to spoil them, and it’s something that I need to do a better job at. That’s one of the things I’m really working on. If we look at Zappos or companies like that which put their customers as like they go above and beyond, but once a sale is made, that’s a huge place where you can overdeliver. Not only just give them bonuses, but just do surprises from call them up personally. Do things that are going to really like just blow them away, and if you do that, you’ve got a customer for life.
Then the second thing with Seth Godin is just thinking outside the box. That’s something I’ve been really challenged by. I read a lot. I hire, like I said, a couple of mentors. I listen to audio books almost every day and seminars and all that stuff. It can be easy to just follow one person, and then just kind of do what they say sort of thing.
I think modeling is extremely important, and I look at a lot of different models and different businesses, but at the same time, like I want to have that balance where I’m like creating things too and trying new things out because I want to be an innovator. I just don’t want to just copy everything else. So these Fit Mom For Life community groups, I mean certainly you could argue like most of the marketing companies like Mary Kay or book clubs kind of have different models like that, but I want to do something within the health and fitness industry that I haven’t seen done before.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! Well, listen, Dustin. This is the last question. It’s my favorite, but it’s kind of a tricky one. So you can definitely take your time and digest it before you answer.
If you woke up tomorrow morning with all of the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have right now, but your business had completely disappeared, what would you do?
Dustin Maher: That’s a good question. I’d tell entrepreneurs and people starting off – and I’ll use the fitness niche as my example, but we can pretty much put that out there for others. The biggest thing you need, I think, is either a list or a following or successful results. I think that’s one of the biggest things. I mean besides confidence. I think confidence is the number thing you got to have. But once you have the confidence, you need to get some sort of results. So like I would help as many people get in the best shape of their lives as I can for free. That’s what I would do to start off. Then I would ask in return from them that they would tell their friends, family or whatever the results that they’re getting and to just kind of put in a good word for me.
So that’s what I would do. You need to create that momentum. I think to get your first sale or to get your first success story or transformation before and after, whatever it may be, the best way to do it is to help as many people as you can be successful, and then chances are, you’ll start to see sales come in. Was it Jim Rohn who said if you help enough people – or Zig Ziglar. I don’t know. If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll have whatever you want.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. Great quote. I absolutely agree with all of that, and pretty much everything you said today has just been very inspiring, extremely actionable and we are definitely better as listeners for hearing it.
Dustin Maher: Thanks, John.
John Lee Dumas: So Justin, give Fire Nation just one last piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Dustin Maher: Great. Man, I would say if you’re a starting entrepreneur, find someone that you can get mentored by. Find someone. If you have a little bit of money, see if you can invest in a person. I think being part of a mastermind type group is very powerful because it automatically places you with other people who are like-minded. I think that’s the best part of those groups. Don’t be afraid to invest money in yourself, assuming that you are confident that you’re going to take action on it. Find your passion, find your purpose.
Again, take your time on that. That’s one of the most important things to do, so don’t rush that process. Then figure out who you want to be a hero to and how you want to be a hero to them and what products, services, information can you deliver to them that will do that, and then look for ways to build and strengthen the community, whether that’s online or offline. Overdeliver to your clients, blow them away, create raving fans that will share your message and yourself to the world.
For a plug for me, I’ve got my book, “Fit Moms For Life.” You can go to fitmomsforlife.com. That’s F-O-R. If you want to go to my main website, it’s dustinmaherfitness.com. If you’re interested in Facebook marketing, you may want to like my Facebook page. It’s got about 360,000 moms on it right now. So it’s Facebook.com/ireallylovebeingamom, and love is L-O-V-E. So Facebook.com/ireallylovebeingamom. You can see how I try to do Facebook marketing.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! You can count on me linking all of the above into the show notes on your own little page so the audience will have complete access to all those with one click of the button.
Dustin, thank you again from Fire Nation. We salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.