Jason Van Orden has what I would call an uncanny grasp for internet marketing and online media strategy. He is one of the most sought after new media consultants, and he knows how to use new media to attract droves of new customers, boost sales, and turn fledgling businesses into market leaders that generate six-figures in sales each year.
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- Your Big Idea: Successful Entrepreneurs have One Big Idea. Follow JLD’s FREE training & you’ll discover Your Big Idea in less than an hour!
- “I don’t know what the secret to success is, but I know the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby
- Jason doesn’t like the term “Failure”, but he has some serious challenges that he still has to over come daily to continue to grow as an Entrepreneur. Press play to find out what those challenges are.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- LIGHT BULB! It might have only been a $197 light bulb, but it was the most important $197 Jason has ever made.
- Jason has gotten to a place where he can create create create and teach teach teach. It’s his passion, and it shows.
- Jason is such an action oriented kind of guy that I know the answers to these questions will have you running to your computers… believe me!
Best Business Books
- Unique Ability by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- Six Pillars of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
- Stand and Deliver by Dale Carnegie
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!
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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, Jason Van Orden. Jason, are you prepared to ignite?
Jason Van Orden: Absolutely, John. I am.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Jason Van Orden: I’m on fire!
John Lee Dumas: Ah, that’s what I love. I knew you got it. Jason has what I would call an uncanny grasp for Internet marketing and online media strategy. He is one of the most sought after new media consultants and knows how to use new media to attract droves of customers, boost sales and turning fledgling businesses into market leaders that generate six figures in sales each year.
Jason, I’ve given a little overview of your business. Why don’t you tell us a little more about who you are and what you do?
Jason Van Orden: Alright. Well, I like to tell people I’m a cubicle escape artist not only because I escaped the cubicle back in 2003, but because I am most passionate now about helping others do the same. I feel like my mission on this earth, the thing that makes me the happiest where I create the best value is in sharing knowledge and resources that helps others to enjoy increased freedom fulfillment and purpose in life. I know when I have those three things, I’m happier, and I love seeing the light bulb go off and have others become happier as well.
So since about 2005, I’ve been the cohost and founder of a show called Internet Business Mastery, which is all about helping people do exactly that. To master Internet business, to turn whatever their passion or interest is into a profitable online business that will help them escape the 9 to 5 and help them just have more control and more freedom and fulfillment and purposes in their life.
Basically, we talk about what it is that we did in order to escape the cubicle back in 2003, both myself and my cohost. We’re in jobs that we just didn’t enjoy anymore. We read a little book called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” which opened our eyes. That started on a journey of looking for other possibilities. One thing led to another. I mean I don’t want to hamper down too many details.
Then I finally found that this whole online marketing thing, getting your voice out there using media like podcasting and blogging. I just love the power behind those things, and so I love teaching others how to leverage those kinds of new media to get their voice out there, to make an impact in the world, and to make more money too.
John Lee Dumas: Internet Business Mastery is a great place, and I am an avid listener of your podcast. So keep up the good work, guys. I just really love everything that comes out of that show each and every week. So good stuff.
Jason Van Orden: Thank you, thank you.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s transition now into the first topic of our show. That’s the success quote. Here at EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to get every show off and rolling with a little motivational quote. Jason, what do you have for us today?
Jason Van Orden: Alright. There are so many different quotes that come to mind. So I just went with the first one that came to my mind, probably because it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. It’s actually a quote from Bill Cosby, a very popular comedian. Here is his success quote, which is a favorite of mine. He says, “I don’t know what the secret to success is, but I know that the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.”
I think that’s a very freeing quote because you realize that all you need to do is just be yourself. Be authentic, be transparent, be the best that you are at whatever it is that you do for an audience that you select that you want to work with, whoever it is in the world. When I say “audience,” I say that because I’m a podcaster, but that’s just turning yourself, some part of yourself, up to 11, to use a musician’s analogy. Taking your guitar ramp and – that’s kind of a joke because 10 is usually the highest. Well, let’s turn it up to 11, and just being fully that passionate person to whatever market or audience or group of people you want to work with most and you can deliver the best value to.
So you don’t have to try to – whenever I try to compare myself to others and do success the same way that others do, then I find myself not as happy. I find myself having a lot of pressure from expectations that just don’t contribute to my fulfillment. It’s when you are just very specific about who you want to reach, what you want to do and who you are, that’s when you find the most happiness. So I really like that quote from Bill Cosby.
John Lee Dumas: I love that quote. I just wish you had used your famous Bill Cosby impersonation while you did that.
Jason Van Orden: Yes, right.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Jason Van Orden: [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: Jason, that is such a great quote and it’s so true. I would just love to hear an example of how you’ve actually applied this quote to yourself and to your business in the last three or four months.
Jason Van Orden: Well, just to take it to a higher, more philosophical level meaning of life type thing, I mean the meaning of life for me is happiness, to find more happiness. I think most people would agree with that. In my experience, happiness falls into three areas. It falls in the area of purpose. I think we all want to do good work, create value, have an impact. You can only sit on the beach and drink mai tais or play video games for so long, and then you got to go out and be productive. You may as well be on something that you love.
The second area is in relationships, having that belonging. For some, it might be family. For some, it might be community or a different mix of whatever it may be. The third thing is in freedom, and that falls into all kinds of – financial freedom, freedom of the country that you live in. We’re happiest when we’re able to apply our own will as a living human being in the way that makes us happy.
So to draw that back to the quote, I firmly believe that only you can define happiness for yourself. Only you can define what kind of purpose you want, what kind of relationships and belonging you want and what kind of freedom you want in your life. That is how I apply that to the meaning of my own life or my mentality about happiness in life.
John Lee Dumas: Thank you for sharing that. That just reminds me. When you used the word “freedom” and you used it so strongly and purposefully, I just recently rewatched Adam Baker’s Man Vs. Debt, his TED Talks. Have you seen that?
Jason Van Orden: No, I haven’t seen that one. I didn’t know that he had one.
John Lee Dumas: Oh. I highly recommend it. It’s right on his website, on his homepage. He was on TED Talks a couple of years ago. That is what he speaks of and that’s freedom. It was his version of freedom, but he does a great job relating to what freedom means for most people. Of course, people define their own freedom, but I really enjoyed your interpretation of that and it just made me remember his, which I can say I just watched last week and it’s very powerful.
Jason Van Orden: Well, Adam’s a guy that lives passionately and with purpose, and I know that he definitely subscribes to that kind of mentality as well. I respect him a lot.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. So Jason, let’s transition to our next topic now, and that’s failure. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we really delve into the story of the entrepreneur. We go through the journey, and every entrepreneur’s journey at some point comes against failure or challenges or overcoming an obstacle, or a combination of all three. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about, and not letting that failure define who you are, but instead learning from it and using it to propel yourself in a new and better direction is really important.
Have you had that moment where you failed or you faced an obstacle? If you have, can you tell us the steps that led up to that, and then how you reacted once you reached it?
Jason Van Orden: Yes. I mean let me give a quick – just my insight on failure first, and that is that I actually believe there’s very little failure in this life. I know it’s kind of cliché to say that, but to give my own version of that and to refer back to what I said earlier, I think the only failure is that when you either stop deliberately pursuing your definition of happiness in life – purpose, relationships and freedom. I think the only failure would be to get to the end of your life and go, “Wow, I really didn’t think about those three things and what I really wanted and to just simply accept what others had defined for you in those different areas.”
I know that you can’t learn from others obviously, but there’s so much expectation from family, society to status quo or whatever in those areas. So I just wanted to throw that insight out. It’s I think that as long as you are trying your best and purposefully or with deliberation, pursuing whatever right now is your definition of those things to the best of your ability, then I don’t think that there’s failure. However, I know that there are absolutely times that are overwhelming and there have been times that I’ve had to overcome difficult issues.
Here’s an issue I think everybody deals with and it’s something I deal with still to this day. I feel like I’ve made growth in this area, but it still rears its head from time to time. Again, drawing back to the idea of happiness, really to find that happiness, it requires two things.
Number one, it requires that we believe we deserve happiness. It may seem odd to say that, but there are a lot of ways, whether consciously or subconsciously, that we undermine our happiness because we believe we don’t deserve higher levels of happiness.
Then number two, it requires that we believe we have the ability to bring that happiness about in our life. All the time, I’m finding myself subverting my own happiness because of – and that can rear its head in whatever way. Sometimes it’s when you’re procrastinating things that you really should be doing. Sometimes you chase down one path. Again, comparing yourself to others and feeling like you got to it the way that someone else is doing it or telling you you should do it, only to find that in the end, it’s a dead end because you’re not happy doing it that way.
I’d say that I’m coming to a transition. Every couple of years, I think an entrepreneur has a big aha wake up moment where it’s like, “Well, okay, I need a big mindset shift here in order to bust through this ceiling that I’m in right now.” I think for the last couple of years, I mean by no means have I failed, but I think in some ways I have let myself down in that I looked over the last couple of years and realized that I spent a lot of time trying to pursue business in a way that is not naturally me.
So it’s coming back to that whole idea of who you want to be and tuning yourself up to 11. I’m the kind of person who is very naturally a teacher. I love teaching. I’ve taught for years. Even when I was an undergrad in college, I had the opportunity to teach classes and I just absolutely loved it. It’s something where I’m always thinking if I learn something new, I’m immediately thinking about how to teach it to others.
So that lends very well to podcasting and relationship marketing and content marketing and all these kinds of things. I’ve found myself distracted at times by looking at other entrepreneurs who aren’t at all about that. They’re like, “Twitter? That’s a waste of time. Blogging? Whatever. I don’t need that,” and they’re all about throwing money at ads. That’s fine. This is a fine way to do business, but they’re about writing that ultimate copy that’s going to convert a lead in a matter of two minutes flat and all about the numbers. Yes, those things are important, but I think that for a couple of years, I found myself really chasing a style of business and neglecting the things that I was very naturally inclined to. It all happened because of comparing myself to others and trying to pursue that happiness and fulfillment in a way that they were doing it, but without really thinking about what I wanted.
The way to overcome that – and it could be really tough because you’re blind often to the fact that that’s even happening. That’s where things like masterminds and mentors and partners and spouses or whatever are so important because they can help you take off those blinders and see what’s happening.
When I was a musician, I always liked to go into the studio with the producer because the producer would be able to see the holes in my creativity that I wasn’t seeing and pull the best stuff out of me. That’s the same thing that we need as entrepreneurs as well.
So the big lessons learnt here were be very careful about looking – online, everybody is super, super successful. We’re always putting our best face forward. I understand why that is and it’s fine. I do the same thing. But realize that just because so and so is saying, “Oh my gosh! This is the only thing that’s ever worked for me and this is the way to do it, and if you’re doing it any other way, it’s silly,” well of course they’re saying that. They’re a marketer. They want you to subscribe to the way that they’re doing things, but you need to be very – going back to happiness and purpose, freedom and relationships – write things down. What do you really want in those areas? Always have the litmus tests to compare against to go, “Does this fit my purpose in life? Does this fit the kind of people I want to work with? Does this fit the kind of freedom that I want?”
Right now, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me running an office with 50 employees. That is not the kind of freedom that I want. For someone else, that might be freedom because they’re like, “I love having 50 guys that every day are doing stuff for me. I just walk into their office and say ‘do this.’” That’s not me. I don’t want to have to manage that. So I’m not going to compare myself to others who are doing business that way. There are a lot of ways to do this thing online.
So again, the only failure I think is to stop deliberately, in whatever way you know best right now, chasing after, going after the definition of happiness that you have for yourself. Recently, I’ve had to do a little reassessment of that that made some big changes for me because for a couple of years I think I did kind of go astray a bit from my own definitions of those things.
John Lee Dumas: I love that perspective. Thank you for sharing that with us. We’re now going to transition into the next topic right now. That is the aha moment. At some point in your journey as an entrepreneur, you have said that you have come to crossroads, you’ve met challenges, you’ve seen obstacles and you’ve navigated your way over or around them.
As entrepreneurs, every day we are having little aha moments that are inspiring us and bringing us forward and changing our direction or our motivation. Have you had a major aha light bulb moment in your life that you can share with us?
Jason Van Orden: Well, there’s been a number of them, but here’s one that’s fresh on my mind because recently we did a video exactly about this thing. So to define this aha moment, I’ll share a story. That is the story of – it was just a couple of years into me pursuing the idea of being an entrepreneur and trying to find the best type of business for me. I was trying lots of different things, having a little bit of success here, a little bit of success there. I had done some real estate investing and realized that’s not for me. I’m not a go hustle and negotiate kind of guy. Again, I’m a teacher. So that’s why podcasting and Internet business.
So I was trying all these different things. I came across Internet marketing, info marketing and podcasting and the light bulbs started going off, and it’s like, okay, this is definitely a better fit for who I am. Now of course my whole goal in this was to kind of go after that kind of freedom that I’d read about in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
The phrase that gets used a lot in books like that is financial freedom. I think when we say that phrase, a lot of people think, okay, well that means… If you ask somebody, you’ll get lots of different answers, but in general it might be things like, “Oh, well it’s that moment where I’ve got $4 million in the bank that’s making me enough interest that I just live off the interest and I’m never actually digging into that nest egg of money and I don’t have to worry about it anymore for the rest of my life.
So that’s probably kind of the general idea, or maybe for some, financial freedom is like, well, the day I finally get to retire from my job, and then I don’t have to work anymore. I’m just living off of the retirement that I worked really hard for for 40 years or whatever the case may be.
But I like to change a bit the definition and that idea that people listening to this might have of what financial freedom is. For me, it happened in a moment where I was in my little studio apartment. I had been working really hard on a course that I had made. I’d found a little niche in the real estate marketing niche. I didn’t want to go and teach people how to do the deals. There are already plenty of guys teaching that.
What I had noticed was a little need in that market of people didn’t know how to market good marketing for finding the buyers and sellers. They knew how to do the deals, but they didn’t always know how to find the deals or how to find the people to buy their houses.
So it was a marketing problem, and I had found through a number of things that I was actually pretty good at marketing. I figured that out back when I was in bands as a teenager, and in college I had to learn how to market to get people to my concerts and to buy my CDs, and I figured I was actually pretty good at marketing.
John Lee Dumas: Nice!
Jason Van Orden: So I made a course teaching real estate investors how to use direct marketing to find buyers, to find sellers so they could be turning over these deals that they were coming up with. I held a little seminar. I recorded it, I put it together. So I put this whole course together and I was like, okay, well the secret to really making money on this thing is going to be online on the Internet.
So I packaged it up. I wrote a sales page. It was like, okay, well now I got to market my marketing course. A lot of stuff from my marketing course was direct mail and things like that. So the Internet was still kind of new to me. I was trying all these different things out and at one point, I was getting a bit discouraged as I’m sure many people can because I hadn’t had any online sales yet. I was like, “Wow! Is this Internet marketing thing really going to work?” This was probably like 2004 or something like that.
So blogging wasn’t a big deal yet. There certainly wasn’t a Twitter or Facebook or YouTube or any of these things that we use these days or podcasting or these things. It was a very different world at the time. People were still trying to figure out how to make money online.
I had finally gone to a forum because I at least knew take your message to where it is that the people you’re trying to reach are hanging out. I had gone to a forum, started participating in that forum and just kind of dropping in my signature in different places that I had this course about direct marketing.
Then one day, I booted up my computer. I was checking my emails the first thing, which is not what you should do, but that’s what we all do, is check our email the first thing.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely.
Jason Van Orden: An email had come in from PayPal saying, you’ve got money. So somebody had gone to my page, read my sales page online and bought my course for the first time online. I think it was maybe $197.00. Okay? So it wasn’t like I just made thousands or tens of thousands or anything like that. It was just a couple hundred dollars.
But that right there is probably some of the most important money that I have ever made because in that moment, my aha moment at that time was, you know what? I now have what it takes. I now know how to go online, identify a need, create a solution for that need, find the people I need online and get somebody to buy from me. If I can do this once, I could do it twice, I can do it five times, I can do it ten times, I can do it a thousand times. $197.00 can become $1,970.00. It can become $19,000.00. It can become $190,000.00. I’ll get there eventually.
That was the moment that I literally tore up my resume because I’d had this nagging feeling in my mind, am I going to have to go back and get a job? I had been out of my job about a year, a year-and-a-half, but I was like, maybe this isn’t going to work. Maybe I’m just going to have to go do the 9 to 5 again. But suddenly the freedom, I just had this sense of peace and I knew. I ripped up my resume and I was like, I’m never going to have to get a job again, whatever happens. I don’t even sell that product anymore, but I knew that whatever happens, I was going to be able to make – I was now in control of my destiny with the skills that I had learned.
So that was the aha moment. So I just kept testing and tweaking and doing and taking the actions I had taken, and I guess that was kind of the moment too where I felt like, you know what? This is going to be all right.
John Lee Dumas: I love that aha moment. I can really picture you sitting in front of your computer, opening your email up, and then getting that email and just having this kind of light bulb go on over your head that just says, “I am unemployable. I found my calling.” That was powerful. Thank you.
Jason Van Orden: I call that the money milestone. I mean that is the moment of financial freedom, I think. Honestly, I didn’t have that much in my bank account. I wasn’t even making nearly what I’m making now online. I still had school debt to pay off. I still had other consumer debt to pay off. So none of those things that would fit that traditional definition of financial freedom. But I’ll tell you what, in that moment, I was financially free.
John Lee Dumas: So that was a great aha moment. Have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Jason Van Orden: Well, to some small degree, I’d say that moment was partly it as well, but certainly – I don’t know. It’s a funny thing that it’s just kind of everybody thinks it’s – you look at somebody and they’re an overnight success and very popular. There are lots of examples of this. There are all kinds of bands that all of a sudden they show up on MTV, they all of a sudden got a platinum album, and when you look at their history, it’s been 10 years in the making. I don’t know. If you ask those bands, maybe some of them would say, “Oh yes. That was the moment I saw my first video on MTV or the moment I heard my first song on the radio” or whatever.
For me, I don’t know that I really had a specific moment because there’s just kind of been over time all kinds. I try to regularly, if I can, relish those little breakthrough moments, whether it’s the first email subscriber, whether it’s the first sale online, or whether it’s the first time we’ve got a thousand downloads of a podcast, and then 5,000, and then 10,000, and so on and so forth.
Okay. So if I had to give an answer, here’s one. There was definitely a moment where we moved into – okay. So I had written down – and this is something I think a lot of people do. I call this the success mechanism activator. I like to have people sit down and think, okay, where would you like to be three years from now? What needs to happen for you to feel happy when you get to three years from now? Where will you be? Where will you live? How will you know when you’ve reached those goals that you have for yourself?
One of the things I had written down was a very specific picture of the type of place that I would live in. Ever since I moved to New York City, I’m an urbanite. I live in Portland, Oregon right now, but I’ve lived in New York City with my wife in Manhattan for a few years. There, you’re living in a tiny, little studio apartment because that’s all you can afford to live in Manhattan because that’s what everybody does.
But I had this very specific idea of this type of apartment I would live. It’d be at the top of the building, it would have a wonderful view of just gorgeous things you’d look at on the cityscape. You’d be able to sit there and look out those windows with your friends and watch a movie with them on your big screen TV or whatever, and just have a place where you and your family feel at home. I don’t know. It’s just this thing that I pictured, floor to ceiling windows, and a few years back, I moved into that place.
I’d say I had lots of little other I’ve made it moments, but that was definitely one where it was like – maybe just because I’m a homebody. I work at home, I do lots of stuff at home. So I guess just to have like that ideal environment that it was like, look, when I saw this place, I knew I wanted to live there. They quoted me the price and I was able to go, “Absolutely. Sign me up. I’ll do it.” It was the most I had ever paid for rent for that kind of a thing.
Then maybe just because then that related back to just so many – not that physical goods really matter that much, but again, being a homebody, and then with the things I like to do with my family and the kind of place I wanted to live with them, it just felt really good at that moment to look out those floor to ceiling windows at the cityscape and a view of Mt. Hood and the river below and go, “Oh my gosh! This is what I wrote down a couple of years back, and here it is.”
John Lee Dumas: I’m so glad you were able to relish those moments and moments like that because that is one curse that some entrepreneurs do find themselves in, and it’s a blessing in disguise and it’s a curse at the same time, is that we never really do have that total I’ve made it moment because once we reach one plateau, we just want to strive to the next and we keep pushing ourselves forward. It’s one of the great things about being an entrepreneur and it really is good advice to relish those points where you do feel like you’ve made certain goals that you set for yourself. So I definitely congratulate you for doing that.
Jason Van Orden: Well, one more real quick thing on that is when it comes to happiness, I find happiness is made – and this something I got from Gretchen Rubin who wrote a book called “The Happiness Project.” Happiness happens in several stages. I think we all think of happiness as this destination, but it’s actually happiness is in anticipating things, it’s in recognizing them when you’re in the moment and enjoying them in the moment, it’s in relishing the memories of those things as well. So it’s kind of a before, during and after thing.
You’re absolutely right. Entrepreneurs, we have this thing called the “arrival fallacy.” We always think that it’s like someday I will arrive and have that moment. Well, it’s like being on the ocean and going towards the horizon. It keeps moving. It keeps moving. So you got to be aware of that, otherwise.
So now, I try to not do anything at all. I mean certainly, I’m always pursuing things that are going to make me happy in the future, but I try not to do anything if I can’t also be happy doing it right now too. I got to have both.
John Lee Dumas: Wonderful. So Jason, you’re rolling along right now. Internet Business Mastery is rocking. You have the podcast, you have the academe. What’s one thing that’s really exciting you about your business today?
Jason Van Orden: I guess where I struggle with this answer is I know people are probably looking for this shiny and new answer that’s like, oh, what’s the new shiny thing that’s got you excited about the future in business? Is it Pinterest? What is it that’s got you all jazzed?
I’ve spent so much time on my business, trying to get it to where I spend it doing – there’s a book I read called “Unique Ability,” and it’s based on teachings by Dan Sullivan, a coach that I spent a year mentoring with. I spent a lot of money to mentor with him. That statement I gave at the beginning of I like to share knowledge and resources in order to help others enjoy higher levels of freedom, fulfillment and happiness, that was a statement I came up with after reading Unique Ability.
So what I’m excited about my business right now is that I have brought my business to a place where I can spend 80% plus of my time doing that – creating great content, relating with the people in my market that I want to deliver value to, as well as colleagues, doing interviews like this, creating new value, and then creating new strategy for my business.
So what gets me excited is when I’m sitting down and researching new things, applying new ideas, and immediately think about how can I teach those to others. Then I just love that I now have a business where I can read a book like that, come up with a unique ability statement and realize, “Wow! Okay. It’s taken me a few years to get here, but I now have a business where the vast majority of my time is spent doing my unique ability things.
I’ve outsourced my accounting. I’ve outsourced my bookkeeping. I’ve outsourced my putting up blog posts. I’ve outsourced all the little minutia that we can get stuck in as entrepreneurs, and really try to focus on creating, relating and strategy – the three things I feel like I’m best at and should be doing most in my business.
John Lee Dumas: Well, I’m personally glad that you have reached that place in your business because it allows you to come on and do things for EntrepreneurOnFire and you’re reaching my audience with extremely inspiring stories and words and spreading the messages that you have learned through your experience, and it’s just a great thing. So thank you for that.
Jason Van Orden: Yes. This is one of the things I love doing most, is talking to someone like you, John, about passionate, cool things and knowing that others are going to hear it and then hopefully have light bulbs from it.
John Lee Dumas: Well then I’m excited to move into the next topic, which is my favorite part of the show. It’s called the Lightning Round because this is where we really take some time to ask some direct questions, you come back with some direct responses, and we just kick it back and forth. Does that sound like a plan?
Jason Van Orden: Sure.
John Lee Dumas: What was the number one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jason Van Orden: Fear. I think that’s probably a very common answer to this. Really, to take it deeper than that, it’s myself. Becoming an entrepreneur is simply a mindset shift. An entrepreneur is simply somebody who identifies an audience of market people they want to work with and creates value for those people who connects who they truly are with an audience in the world out there and creates value that people are willing to pay you money for. As entrepreneurs, we have some of the biggest power in the world to really change how things are done in the world as a whole.
So the thing that has kept me from doing that most is just feeling like I had the abilities to make that happen or that I deserve to make that happen. The thing that helped me most in getting rid of that fear and getting rid of those beliefs – again, I still struggle with these things all the time, but the thing that helped me most is a book called “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden, which goes back to helping you believe that you deserve happiness and that you have the ability to bring that happiness about for yourself.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice you ever received?
Jason Van Orden: Wow! [Laughs] Absolute best, number one, that’s so hard to narrow down.
John Lee Dumas: Nothing but the best, Jason [Laughs].
Jason Van Orden: Nothing but the best. I guess I’m afraid of just giving one because there are so many things that have brought me to where I am, but I think – okay. Here’s something that just came to my mind. Happiness has been a real theme with our chat today.
John Lee Dumas: Let’s keep it going.
Jason Van Orden: Again, it’s the purpose of life. I love reading about it and that’s something I like bringing to the world and it’s one of the reasons I do what I do. That is happiness comes about by taking action. We don’t always feel happy, we don’t always have the motivation that we want, but going back to Gretchen Rubin and her book, “The Happiness Project,” act the way you want to feel. Self-esteem is a result of the way we act. The actions that we take to either build our self-esteem or tear it down, to reference that book I just mentioned by Nathaniel Branden.
So some of the best advice I’ve ever received is you got to take action that’s consistent with the way you want to be, with the way that you want to feel. The people who succeed are the ones who just keep going to bat and just keep doing that day in and day out, relentlessly, consistently.
John Lee Dumas: I love that. I love that our theme has been happiness and I love that you keep bringing up these books because I recently had Derek Halpern on the show and one of his major themes that he kept coming back to was how important reading was. So it’s just great to pass along to our listeners how important it is to educate yourself, to read, to continue to expand your horizons with these great books that are out there. So thank you for sharing those with us.
That leads us perfectly into my next question. I’ve already written down Unique Ability, The Happiness Project, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. All three of these books will be linked in the show notes for our listeners to go to. Do you have one other book that you’ve read in the last six months that you would really recommend?
Jason Van Orden: [Laughs] I’ve read a lot of parenting books in the last six months because I’m a brand new parent.
John Lee Dumas: Congratulations, by the way. That’s great.
Jason Van Orden: Thank you. Yes, my daughter turns seven months just a couple of days after we record this. Okay. Let’s see. Something else that I’ve read recently? I’m reading so many. I mean something I’m reading right now is “Stand and Deliver” by Carnegie. A lot of people know his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Just like How to Win Friends and Influence People, it’s one of those books you read and some of it just seems like such common sense you’re like, “Well, of course,” but then there are these few nuggets of wisdom you’re like, “Oh yes, I really should be doing that.”
Stand and Deliver is a book that is based on his teachings about how to be a great presenter. We met after he saw me present at BlogWorld Expo. Speaking live is one of the things I love doing most. Maybe that goes back to the musician, the performer in me. There’s a lot of great advice in this book, Stand and Deliver, about how to engage an audience.
The other reason I love it is I think it immediately applies even just to being a podcaster or creating great content online that’s going to engage people, how to connect with people through your content. So I’ve really enjoyed going through that. I’ve highlighted a lot of things. So I’ll just throw that one out because that’s what I happen to be reading right now and that’s something that’s been on my mind and impacted me.
John Lee Dumas: You have such a comfortable and genuine presence on your podcast, and you really have the exact same feel when you speak. I was fortunate to see you at BlogWorld present. So it’s just really great that you can get up onstage and just give the same kind of genuine presentation that you give over podcasting that comes across in your writing. So it’s great to behold. Thank you for that.
Jason Van Orden: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.
John Lee Dumas: What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Jason Van Orden: Well, I’ll tell you, the thing that I plan on doing a lot more of because this has worked for us in the past and I truly believe the more that I do this, the more result I’m going to see. That is to be a very prolific content creator. Our business, Internet Business Mastery, has grown off of pretty much just doing the podcast every week for almost seven years now. Now we didn’t always do it every week. That’s what we do now.
Going back to what I said earlier about how for a couple of years, I felt like I was chasing other people’s ideas of what a successful business should be, and I think I got away from creating as much content and value in the way that I do my best work on the Internet. The way that I do that is creating videos and podcasts and blogs and checklists and frameworks that impact people. Share knowledge and resources to help people have higher level of freedom, fulfillment and purpose.
So that has worked for me tremendously in the past, and the more that I do that, the more opportunities come up, the more my brand grows, the more people I reach, the more people whose lives I changed, the more money I make. So you’re going to be seeing me making a lot more content, moving forward in the future. Videos on YouTube and through the podcast and blog posts and tutorials and things like that.
I heard a quote. I think it was on The Lifestyle Business Podcast. I believe you talked to some of those guys as well. Dan and Ian of The Lifestyle Business Podcast. Great show.
John Lee Dumas: Great show.
Jason Van Orden: Very smart guys. I think it was their show where they said something about – this idea of being prolific was already on my mind, and I believe it was them who said something about Einstein, we think of as the greatest scientist of our time, and he’s absolutely brilliant, but there’s tons of people just as brilliant, or maybe even more brilliant than he was. But he was just so dang prolific, that he’s the one that sticks out in history. Eventually, when you just keep doing and doing, creating, being an epic person creating epic stuff, you get the Theory of Relativity. Now you’ve got Einstein is the most impactful scientist of our time.
Now, we don’t necessarily all need to be Einstein. We don’t all need to be Oprah or whoever comes to your mind when you think of an influential person these days, but I do believe that whoever you are, whatever part of you, piece of you you’re turning up to 11 and whatever audience it is that you’re connecting to through whatever media, the more prolific you are, the more value you create just freely on the Internet, the more you’re going to track success to yourself.
John Lee Dumas: Now you give such great advice to startup entrepreneurs and you resonate so well with them that I’m really excited for this next question. It’s the last question and it’s kind of a tricky one so you can definitely take your time, let it digest, and then give it your best shot.
If you woke up tomorrow morning with all the experience and knowledge you have today, but your business had completely disappeared, forcing you to start with a completely clean slate – a situation many of our listeners find themselves in – what would you do in the next seven days?
Jason Van Orden: Well, the thing you could do is, as any entrepreneur, is you got to immediately create value for a specific audience who has a need that you know that you can fulfill. So I would immediately go, “Okay, well who’s the audience I need to create that solution for?” and I would go connect with them right now today, whether that’s on Twitter, whether it’s on Facebook, whether that’s going to meet-up events, and ideally, if I would hustle and try to find relationships with the people who already have connections with those kinds of audiences too.
So if I don’t have my own list and audience right now and I’m starting from scratch on that, one of the fastest ways to connect with my audience is through other people who already have a similar audience that I’m looking for, who already have a relationship with them, and to piggyback off of that.
So in the next seven days, you’d see me hustling and talking to people who have relationships with the kind of list I want to reach and coming up with some just incredible value that I can deliver, both to their audience as well as to this contemporary, this peer, this colleague of mine. I would try to get them to promote a webinar where I just delivered as much great value as I could for 45 minutes to an hour. Then at the end of that, I would pitch some kind of coaching course or some kind of – maybe a series of coaching calls with me. Whatever I felt like that market needed at the time.
So leverage relationships, do something quick and timely where you can get some money in right away and get the sales fast like with something like a webinar, and just come up with a dead-on message to MarketMatch of a solution you’re creating. If that meant that I needed to do consulting to get cash in the bank right now, that’s fine. I typically don’t teach or like to do things where I’m trading dollars for hours, but sometimes in the transition periods, that’s what you do to get cash in the door and that’s fine too. So if that was what it was, I would be fine as well.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome actionable advice. Thank you for that. Thank you for joining us today, Jason. You’ve given us some awesome advice and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of advice, give yourself a plug, and then we’re going to say goodbye.
Jason Van Orden: Alright. So the last parting piece of advice would be you deserve a happy life. You have everything you need to bring that about. So start taking action today that’s consistent with the happiness that you want for yourself, and not just action but bold action. The universe, in general – I’m just using the universe as a general thing – whether you believe in a higher power or even just whatever power is within you, it will reward you when you take bold action. The people who succeed are the ones that keep going to bat. So you may as well start going to bat today, and as often and as frequently as you can, and then you will get there.
Then only put your attention and focus on the things that are related to the one thing you need to accomplish right now. We all get distracted by shiny objects. We all get distracted by the latest, greatest thing in our email inbox. Just decide what is the one next most important thing I can do to get myself closer to making a sale today and just focus on it, consuming information and taking actions related to that one thing, and don’t get distracted. Filter everything out for now.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome, Jason. Great stuff. We’ll catch you on the flipside.