Jacob Hiller slow travels the world with his wife and son while building a multi million how to jump higher empire. He and his wife accidentally became perpetual nomads (with no home base) while traveling and promoting his book The Jump Manual.
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Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- Jacob was in it for the $$ and could care less about the value he was, or was not, providing. Is it any wonder he failed? Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value, Fire Nation!
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- I love Jacob’s quote here: ‘It’s more noble to fail at something I’m excited about than to succeed at the grind’.
What has you FIRED up?
- Funnels – and Jacob walks us through one that’s a doozy!
Small Business Resource
- Asana: Puts conversations & tasks together, so you can get more done with less effort. Do Great Things with Asana.
Best Business Book
Jacob: Yes, I am.
John: Let's do this. Jacob slow-travels the world with his wife and son while building a multi-million how-to-jump-higher empire. He and his wife accidentally became perpetual nomads with no home base while traveling and promoting his book, The Jump Manual. Jacob, take a minute, fill in some gaps from the intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life, brother.
Jacob: Well, I'm really just that into jumping higher, and little by little, I was building another business and just talking about how to jump higher, and that's when my business about teaching people how to jump higher started. Otherwise, I'm from Missouri, was born and raised kinda outside in the country in Missouri, and then I went to college in Utah, and that's where my business started, and that's how things got going for me. I have a 3-year-old son, and I'm currently in the Philippines, and I have a home in Peru right now.
John: Well, speaking of the Philippines, Fire Nation, that is where Jacob and I first met in person at Tropical Think Tank 2015 in a pool in Cebu, Philippines. Jacob actually is good friends with Lewis Howes, who was the closing keynote speaker, so he dropped in to hang out with us, and I got to meet Jacob and see a little bit of his jumping ability. I gotta say it was pretty impressive, and what I love most about it, Jacob, that I'm really glad that I'm bringing you on to talk to Fire Nation today is it's all about the niche. The riches are in the niches.
I hope you heard me right, Fire Nation. He's building a multi-million dollar how-to-jump-higher empire. This is about how to jump, but guess what, he's becoming the authority figure in the world on this, so seven figures are rolling his way. So this is why you cannot be scared to niche down into something that you're passionate about that you wanna dominate and absolutely crush. Now, Jacob, let's break down that multi-million. Share with us exactly how the revenue comes in your doors. How do you make your money?
Jacob: I started on YouTube, and that's where our initial income came through on YouTube and from our blog. We did some SEO on our blog, and then we got the affiliates involved from ClickBank, and that became probably our larger source of income. I would say it was probably about 30/70, 30 percent me, 70 percent affiliates, and that can go anywhere from 50/50 to 30/70, around there. Now we are also driving our own paid traffic, but that's a new thing. Paid traffic is something that we started doing this year, and we've been doing this for about seven or eight years.
John: Something just sounds right about a how-to-jump-higher empire. I just love how that flows, so Fire Nation, what is your thing? Look at Jacob traveling the world with a 3-year-old and his wife and doing some cool things, owns a home in Peru. This is the life that he's decided to live. What's your life?
Now, Jacob, we're talking about how awesome you are right now and the multi-million dollar business that you're growing, and things seem pretty good, and they are, but let's go back to a time, and let's have you tell a story where maybe that wasn't the case. I wanna hear specifically what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment, so take us down to the ground level and tell us that story.
[Audio drops 00:03:24 - 00:03:27]
Jacob: – and in Utah, everybody does MLM, or network marketing. I made some terrible business cards, which I was way too proud of. I got in my tie and shirt, and I was going door to door in neighborhoods that had seen more Amway or more Quixtar than anywhere else. I just decided I was gonna sell somebody some supplements or get somebody into my business, and I did that for about a day or two and never met with any success whatsoever. Then there I was in my silly suit and tie going door to door with terrible paper cutout business cards.
John: Jacob, brother, you and me both, I think back to the time when I moved to San Diego, and I'm like, "I'm gonna be a residential real estate guy." I read all the books, I marked out this neighborhood that I was gonna "conquer" as a real estate guy, I drove out to the neighborhood, I had my suit on, my tie, I had my business cards, I was gonna go and knock on every door and introduce myself and say, "Hey, by the way, I am your local real estate agent."
It was just a disaster. I spent all day doing it. The door slammed in the face. I didn't understand why, and I looked around and said, "Okay, well, unfortunately there's 100 other real estate agents doing the exact same thing." It just wasn't working, but Fire Nation, you learn. Jacob learned from what he did. I learned from what I did. Sometimes you gotta get out, hustle, fail, fail flat on your face and then come back screaming for more. That's the lesson that I took away from that, Jacob, is that we all have these times in our past when we have to start somewhere, so just start. What do you, Jacob, wanna make sure Fire Nation gets from that really tough story of yours?
Jacob: I think at that point it would've been easy to just quit and say, and I've heard people say, "It's just not for me," but I think what I did was I think I just swallowed it and moved on to the next thing and said, "Well, that didn't work. Why? Let's fail forward and try something else." So I think that failure is gonna happen to everybody.
John: So kinda breaking down maybe why you did fail, looking back on it, why do you think that you were such a failure at that?
Jacob: There was really no plan. There was no market. Like you were saying, there was no niche market I was targeting. In the end I think I was thinking much more about me than I was thinking about the people I was about to contact, so I wasn't thinking about how I was gonna help the people who I was gonna encounter.
John: There's a great quote that I always go back to by Albert Einstein. "Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value." Fire Nation, I failed for six years from the time I got out of the military at 26 all the way to 32 years old because I was having that same mindset as Jacob was. I was looking out for me. It was like, "How can I make more money?" Fame, fortune, success: what does that mean to me? Fail, fail, fail.
Flip it on its head. How can you actually provide value? Now, Jacob, obviously you've had some other tough times and some disastrous moments in your entrepreneurial journey, and we all have. It's a string of, a roller coaster of events, but what I wanna talk about now is an aha moment you've had, an epiphany, which again, you've had a lot of, but what's one story that you wanna tell our listeners about an aha moment that you've had on our journey?
Jacob: I was deciding whether or not to quit school to start another business, and it was scary because school seemed like that was the security area. That was what I was supposed to be doing. It just kept coming to my mind that I just couldn't ignore, and I just felt that it was gonna be more noble to fail at trying to do something great than it was to succeed at the daily grind. That idea just kept playing through my head, and that really became kind of my mantra when I started my business is hey, whether I fail or not at this, failing at this is more noble to me than just grinding along.
John: It's more noble to fail at something I'm excited about than to succeed at the grind. Fire Nation, does that not define how you feel if you're currently at the grind? I hope so. That's why you're listening to this show. Jacob, take us to the actual moments that you just said, “You know what, the tipping point arrived. I'm gonna go after this jumping thing. I am going to create a jump-higher empire.”
Jacob: I actually decided I was gonna start a different business, which was a business about contact management, a CRM, essentially. So while I was starting that business, that's the one that I jumped into, so when I jumped into that, I started doing my hobby, which was jumping. I started just making videos about it, so what ended up happening is the videos, which is something I was fairly passionate about, and I was just doing it because I loved it and doing it because I knew a lot about it, that's the one that ended up taking off.
It wasn't till six years later that the contact management business ended up taking off as well. So they both ended up taking off, but because I had passion and interest in jumping higher, I was just doing it as a hobby, and that's when it took off.
John: What was something that you did that actually started the momentum going in your direction for jumping higher? What was the video or the blog post or the interview? What was it that you're like, "Oh, man, this really might take off?"
Jacob: Finally I just opened up my old, nasty laptop. I just sat in front of the camera, and I just started explaining what had worked for me. I didn't think anybody would listen. It was a terrible quality video. It's still on there on YouTube, and it's a horrible quality. That one silly video, which was just finally just do it and stop trying to be perfect about it, that's what sprangboard things.
John: I love the quote by Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, and that quote to me, Fire Nation; it just needs to define exactly how you go about creating your product, your service. "If you're not embarrassed by the shipping of your first product by the creation of that, what it is, you waited way too long." Let me say that again. If you're not embarrassed by that first video, podcast, blog, product, whatever it is, if you're not embarrassed by that, you waited way too long, so get it out there. That is the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. Get it out there. Jacob, what's your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Jacob: I think that my biggest weakness is sometimes I'm unwilling to invest financially, so to speak, in the things I know I need to. I'm tight-fisted, and I end up being the bottleneck for progress in my business, so I'd say that's one of my biggest weaknesses.
John: Yeah, there's two sides to that. The reality is No. 1, as entrepreneurs, especially bootstrapping entrepreneurs, as we're starting out, we need to account for every dollar. We need to extend that runway, Fire Nation, to allow us to succeed, to give us the most time possible to get that initial momentum, but then once you've got that, and the money's coming in the door and you have a viable business, now how do you actually invest in yourself, in your team, to open up that bottleneck to make it wider so that more money can come in so that more diversified income streams can be created?
So critical, but again, there's a time for everything, and it's really hard to really know when that right time is. You just have to keep on cranking and trust your gut. Now what's your biggest strength, Jacob?
Jacob: I think my biggest strength is somewhat that it's not that I'm ignorant; it's just that I will move forward even if I don't know. Even if I don't have a perfect solution, I will move forward. Maybe I'll think I have the solution or not, but I will take imperfect action, and when I fail, I will take another one, so I think persistence. There's a lot of people who know more than I do about business, about marketing, but there's a lot of people who just don't take action.
John: Jacob, I love how you were just sharing that sometimes ignorance can be bliss. Ignorance can be bliss for entrepreneurs sometimes. A lot of us, if we knew how hard it was gonna be, how tough it was gonna be, how long the hours, how scary, how terrifying certain moments are gonna be, we never would've started our business. But you know what, ignorance is bliss. We started, we got the perseverance, and we're moving forward, and we will succeed, so that's just not a bad thing. Jacob, you have a lot of cool things going on right now, but what's the one thing that has you most fired up today?
Jacob: The ad funnels we have because when you get your ads right, and you have a long profitable funnel for your ads, you get a turn on your profit. You don't get to say, "Hey, I hope YouTube works," or "I hope my organic traffic works" or "I hope my affiliates work hard." You get to say, "Today I'm going to make so much, and here's where I'm gonna expand my business." So I'm excited about that type of control and that type of scalability in my business.
John: Give us an example of one of your funnels, like walk us through what it would be like to be on the receiving side of one of your funnels.
Jacob: You would come in with something free and beneficial, which you would call a magnet, so you'd come in and –
John: What would be one of those things that you offer?
Jacob: The best exercise you could possibly do, so the No. 1 best exercise, for example, is one thing that we can give people.
Jacob: So that's something very specific, and they know exactly what it is, and when they're downloading that, we're going to give them cheaper, which a $7.00, $9.00 product that's going to build on that interest they've already had. So that's something small where they can get out their credit card and start taking some value in our products. Then we begin the upsells and the back-end funnel, so that's kind of an example funnel of how things start.
John: Okay, so let's start with that free thing like the best exercise that you can do. What is that cheap offer? What would that look like?
Jacob: We have a technique workbook that teaches you how to improve your technique, so it's not, say, a full blown-out program, but it's how to change your steps, how to move properly to increase your vertical, so the technique, and that's a $7.00 or a $9.00 workbook.
John: Then people, Fire Nation, that jump into that, now they are qualified buyers. These are people that are really targeted that have said, "Hey, I put my credit card information in. Even though it's $7.00 or $9.00, I'm a person who's going to take action," so then you move into the upsells, and what do those look like, Jacob?
Jacob: So that would be our main product, which is our full program called The Jump Manual, so if they buy the full program, then we upgrade them to our master class, which is a series of videos that goes into the very technical, deep, advanced training for high-level athletes.
John: Fire Nation, it's all about the funnels and moving your clients, your customers, your consumers, your fans, through it at the right pace with that free offer, I love calling it the welcome mat, and then saying hey, this is something that if you want to invest a little bit in yourself, this is gonna be a ton of value additionally. Then hey, if you're qualifying there, here are some other things. You as the actual creator and producer of this, you don't need to end the conversation.
At any time, that customer, that consumer, that fan, can end the conversation by just saying nope, I'm good, and then move onto something else. But there's no reason why you need to end the conversation. Keep that funnel going. Now, Fire Nation, we are about to enter the lightning round, but first, let's take a minute to thank our sponsors. Jacob, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
Jacob: Yes, I am.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jacob: Experience and knowledge from a mentor. I didn't have a mentor, and I didn't have anyone to help me, so I just didn't know what to do, so failure was basically the only path I had to take.
John: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Jacob: I was told to think about what I wanted out of life if money were no object, and that really got me thinking about what kind of business and what I really wanted out of my business and not just money or success.
John: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Jacob: I like to take long walks and really try and pretend I am my own customer, think about what they are thinking and feeling when they see my offers and my pages and really put myself in their shoes, and I think that helps me to create solutions for them.
John: Huge. I love long walks, and I love just visualizing what you, Fire Nation, are going through when you're experiencing EOFire. Do you have an Internet resource, Jacob, like an Evernote that you can share with our listeners?
Jacob: I love to use Asana, and I use it in a manner that I call Agile. Agile is a very specific type of team task management, so Asana combined with the Agile task management system is really where I run and do everything out of my business.
John: So, Jacob, for those of us that wanna jump higher, we have The Jump Manual, and that's gonna be the link up on the show notes page. If you could recommend one business book for our listeners, what would that book be and why?
Jacob: I think if you haven't read How to Win Friends & Influence People and really internalize the fact that you've gotta figure out how to reach other people's interests, that would be the book.
John: Fire Nation, I know that you love audio, so I teamed up with Audible, and if you haven't already, you can get an amazing audio book for free at EOFireBook.com. Jacob, this is the last question of the lightning round, but it is a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter's taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would do in the next seven days?
Jacob: So I would buy a webcam and a microphone, and then I would hire a part-time web person, or here I use Filipinos for my work, and that would probably cost me $250.00. Then I would start creating a webinar or video product so that it could be something that I created on the go. I would buy an AWeber account so I could start building my list. Then I would make a large list of all my potential joint venture partners and then all the people who are interested in me promoting their product, I would set up a cross promotion. From there I would start building out the ad funnel using my product and those other JV partners' products in the back-end.
John: Jacob, love that structure, love that flow, love the funnel, and let's end today on fire with you sharing a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we'll say buh-bye.
Jacob: Take action. If you're thinking about something, just do it. Take that imperfect action. You've gotta get through those failures before you can get to your success. Enjoy that and don't be discouraged. You can reach me on Twitter @jacob_hiller or on Facebook at Jacob Hiller. If you wanna e-mail me, you're welcome to. It's [email protected]
John: Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you've been hanging out with J.H. and J.L.D. today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Jacob, J-a-c-o-b, in the search bar. His show notes page will pop right up with everything that we've been talking about today, links to all the stuff he has going on, and Jacob, I just wanna thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation.
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