A few years ago John Jonas figured out how to make money online, and that’s mostly how people know him. More recently he’s become known as the guy to go to learn how to replace themselves and live the 17-hour work week. He’s all about working as little as he needs to so he can have more time to spend with his family, to go golfing, and to help others live the same lifestyle he does.
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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!
- “Implementation is everything.” – Unknown
- John was extremely excited about a product that he was sure was going to be a hit. The launch proved otherwise, and it was a total failure. He learned a valuable lesson, and he generously shares that lesson with Fire Nation.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- Have people do the work that I am currently doing, thereby freeing up my time to do other things… Lightbulb!
- John literally works 17 hours a week and teaches others how to do so too. I am inspired and think when you hear his journey, you will be too!
Small Business Resources
- JingProject: Share ideas instantly.
Best Business Book
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
- The Dip by Seth Godin
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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 ecstatic to introduce my guest today, John Jonas. John, are you prepared to ignite?
John Jonas: Yes, I am.
John Lee Dumas: Alright! A few years ago, John figured out how to make money online, and that’s mostly how people know him. More recently, he’s known as the guy to go to for “how to replace themselves and live the 17-hour workweek.” He’s about working as little as he needs to so he can have more time to spend with his family, golfing, and helping others live the lifestyle he lives.
I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, John, but why don’t you take a minute. Tell us a little bit about you personally. Where you are, who you are, where you’re from, about how old you are, and then launch into your business.
John Jonas: Thanks, John. I appreciate it. So I’m 33… 34 [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Hey, I lose track too.
John Jonas: I’m 34. I live in Utah, and I have a beautiful wife and four kids. I guess an interesting thing about where I am, right now for the last about five years, I’ve worked about 17 hours a week. I call it the 17-hour workweek as opposed to Tim Ferriss’s 4-hour workweek because I’ve been there at 4, and it’s just not enough for me. Like I just need more to do than 4 hours a week.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Not a bad thing.
John Jonas: Yes. I get bored at 4 hours a week. So 17 hours a week lets me play golf every day, and then I get to work and I get to spend a lot of time with my kids and doing whatever else I want. So a little bit of my backstory, I had a job. It’s been about 8 years now. I had a job, and my only goal was to quit the job when I had the job because I hated it. I’m a terrible, terrible employee. When I had that job, I just didn’t want to be working for someone else. It didn’t motivate me. I would just always go home from my job and work my butt off to figure out how to make money somewhere else. When I figured that out, I quit my job, and I’ve been working from home ever since.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! I really look forward to diving into that more later. We’ll transition now into our first real topic, which is our success quote because at EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to start the interview off with a little motivation to get our listeners really excited about what you have for us later, John. So what is a success quote that you can share with us today?
John Jonas: For me, implementation is everything. If you’re not implementing what you’re learning, if you’re not implementing what you know, it’s really hard to succeed. So implementation is everything.
John Lee Dumas: I love it because sometimes as entrepreneurs, we spend so much time learning, learning, learning, and if we’re not actually implementing the tools, we’re not only going to improve upon them, but we’re not actually going to be able to use them in our businesses. So I’m really glad that you brought that point up. Can you give us a specific example of how you actually do that on a daily or weekly basis with your 17-hour workweek?
John Jonas: I mean the general idea for me is I have other people doing my work. I get Filipino virtual assistants to do everything I possibly can, and it’s amazing how talented they are at what they can do. For example, we recently wanted to start doing Facebook advertising. So I sent an email to one of my girls in the Philippines. I said I want you to learn everything you can learn about Facebook advertising, and then tell me about it and send me a plan for what we should be doing with our advertising. She spent about a week, learning. In that time, I sent her a book that I wanted her to read about it. Then she sent me a plan just a couple of days and said, “Here’s what I think we should do. We should advertise to this demographic and we should set up our landing page like this and this is what we should give away and this is how the sales will work for it.” That is an example of how I implement everything that I can.
Another example, I had a phone call with a friend of mine, Robert Grant. He talked about setting up a webinar, but he wanted to do it a little bit differently. He wanted to set up the registration page differently and he wanted it on a separate domain and pictures. So I sent an email to one of my guys in the Philippines and said, “Hey, we want to do a webinar but it’s going to be different than what we normally do. So I need you to set up this registration page,” and I described exactly what Robert and I had talked about, what I had in my notes. I sent it to him and a couple of days later, he sends it back with a registration page and it’s all set up with iContact and GoToWebinar and everything’s done. Those are a couple specific answers of how I implement everything in my business.
John Lee Dumas: I love that insight, and just because you are so generous in sharing that, I’ll share a little bit of insight with myself, is that currently, EntrepreneurOnFire has three fulltime virtual assistants, all based out of the Philippines. I could not be more impressed with just the ingenuity, the hard work, the loyalty of my virtual assistants. I’ve just been really pleased with that. I have one girl that just does all of my transcribing for every single podcast and that’s 7 a week. So she has a fulltime job there. Then I have one girl that’s just social media, like you were just saying with your Facebook VA. This is what she does. She just does all of our social media for EntrepreneurOnFire. Then I just have our admin girl who does design and does inbox, and it is unbelievable how much more I can get done as the basically interviewer for EntrepreneurOnFire, focusing on the quality of the podcast and finding guests such as yourself to bring on the show, while still having my business running in every other area.
So listen, John. Let’s move into our next topic, which is your journey as an entrepreneur at some point had failure or had an obstacle that you encountered, or just had multiple challenges that you had to drive through because that’s the life of an entrepreneur, we face challenges and failure every single day. It’s what defines us as entrepreneurs. Can you share with EntrepreneurOnFire, with our listeners, a failure that you faced at some point in your journey and how you reacted to that?
John Jonas: Yes. I remember what I learned from this. We had set up a product and we were really excited about this product because it was really awesome. We spent a lot of time on it in building the product and getting the website right and in working on the product and getting the website right, and in the end, I lost my excitement for it. What I ended up learning was it doesn’t really matter how awesome your product is, or how cool you think it is or how helpful you think it is. If you can’t sell it, it doesn’t really matter. I remember learning that at the time and pushing past that complete failure product because I didn’t know how to sell it. I didn’t know what I was going to do to sell it.
Every time since then that I’ve had a product that I spent any time on, I knew upfront how to sell it. I knew what I was going to do to get it in front of people, I knew why it pushed certain buttons, I knew what problem it solved. That failure really, really helped propel my business forward where now, there’s not that stumbling block. I think this is so often a stumbling block for so many entrepreneurs where they had this great idea and they don’t really know how to sell it. That’s the question they have. Well I have this really awesome product, but how do I sell it? How do I get it in front of people? Well, if you don’t know how to get it in front of people, if you don’t know how to sell it, you’re going to have a really hard time succeeding.
That was kind of a really big aha moment for me where I had failed at this because I didn’t know. Now, I just make sure that’s part of my qualification for any product that I do, is I know how to sell this. I know how to get this in front of people. I know the sales process. I understand it. So that’s a good failure.
John Lee Dumas: That is a failure, and it’s very helpful because as entrepreneurs, a lot of times we get so caught up in the creation of the product and we’re just so sure that it’s going to be such a hit. And then so often, we launch and we just hear crickets, and a lot of people wonder why. I’ve just had entrepreneur after entrepreneur come on the show and just speak so highly of the “MVP method,” the Minimally Viable Product. That is just create something that you’re into and that you love, but then get it out there as soon as possible, and just whatever it is, the minimally viable. It’s the Eric Ries lean startup method. Then start getting feedback, and then use that feedback to craft the product to its completion, and at that point, you will have a product that’s received well by the customers because they’re the ones that have had a huge hand in crafting it.
So I hear you, John. I’ve been there myself. I’m glad you learned that great lesson. Thank you for sharing your specific moment with EntrepreneurOnFire. It just really helps us all in our journey. We’re going to use that to transition to the other end of the spectrum now because you shared with us a failure. That’s great. Now we have that other end, which is the aha moment when as entrepreneurs, every single day we’re having these little aha moments that are just inspiring us and moving us forward and they just help us continue on this rollercoaster journey. Can you share with Fire Nation an actual aha moment that you had where just the light bulb came on, the clouds parted and the sun just shone through and you were like, “Wow! This is really going to resonate,” and then what did you do from that moment?
John Jonas: Specifically, I remember where I was sitting and what happened. I was trying to do some marketing stuff in my business. I remember what it was. I was trying to do article marketing and this was 7 years ago, and I was also trying to do the programming and I was also trying to do the marketing message. There were just all kinds of stuff that I was trying to do. I had gotten some good advice on hiring a Filipino virtual assistant, and then one day, I decided, I’m going to try this. I had tried using like oDesk or Elance, and it just wasn’t what I wanted. Like it just didn’t change my business, how I had hoped it would, where I could forget about that task and focus on other things.
So I ended up hiring this guy in the Philippines and he was fulltime. I gave him this training and for a couple of days, we worked on article marketing. Then one day, I get an email from him that says, “Here’s what I did today.” He did all of these tasks that I had been trying to do for weeks and weeks and weeks. As an entrepreneur trying to run my own business, there’s just not time to focus on one thing all day long. It just doesn’t work when there’s so many moving parts to a business. All of a sudden, I had this guy focusing on this one task all day long, and he did it, and he did it as well as I could do it, or better than I could do it, and it got done.
That was my aha moment. When I got that email from him, I realized, holy crap! There is so much stuff to do. I can get someone else to do this. I can get someone else. They’re super affordable and I can actually afford to get someone else to do this for me. Where before that, I couldn’t and I didn’t realize I could. This guy was making $250.00 a month, fulltime. I don’t know, $1.50 an hour or something like that. Then all of a sudden, I was getting all the stuff done that I wanted to get done around article marketing, and I wasn’t doing it. That moment changed my business forever.
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great aha moment, John, and I just love the fact that you were able to incorporate so many different things into what you’ve now created and the team that you have around you to be really a full-fledged business, but at the same time, you just having and leveraging so many different angles. That’s huge and I’m still trying to find that right niche at EntrepreneurOnFire as I’m growing as a business. So I definitely look forward to diving even a little more into that just in a little bit, but before we do, can you share with Fire Nation, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
John Jonas: [Laughs] I’ve had lots of them. I remember the first $500 day that I had where I made $500 that day and I didn’t do anything. It all just came in. Passive income. I remember walking into the living room with my wife and – oh my gosh, I’m emotional about this. I remember walking into the living room and telling her, “I made $500 today, and I didn’t do anything.” I remember my first $1,000 day and doing the same thing. That changed when it was like a $2,000 day or a $5,000 day, but I remember each of those and thinking, “Wow! This is it!” I mean, I’ve done it. And I’ve made it changes over time where I have different goals today than I had then. But every time that I reached a goal, it was an I made it, I’ve done it. Then you realize, oh wait, there’s more. I specifically remember that first $500 day and the $1,000 day and the $5,000 day were like I’ve made it, each of those times.
John Lee Dumas: That’s awesome, John. Congratulations on that. It’s a great milestone to be hitting these numbers that are really impressing you and it’s so important as an entrepreneur to take a moment and actually have these little I’ve made it moments even when you just start off and you have a $5 day and then a $50 day, and then for you it was a $500, $1,000, $5,000. It’s so important to actually appreciate the achievements that you’ve had because that’s what this is all about. It’s all about the journey. Your journey has been a great one and I really appreciate you sharing it with us thus far. On that note, can you share with us something in your current business right now, one thing that’s really exciting you about your business?
John Jonas: Yes. One of my VAs is getting really good at current Google SEO. At getting us to the top of Google in the current market of what Google is doing. That’s exciting to me. It’s exciting to watch our website’s rankings go up, as for the last couple of years we’ve kind of struggled with it because we didn’t evolve as Google has changed stuff. Now, we’ve evolved, and one of my VAs has really figured it out and he’s helping another guy do it and we have websites that are ranking and doing well, and that’s really exciting because again, that’s passive income for me that I’m not having to do it.
John Lee Dumas: So John, that was something that’s really exciting I’m glad you shared. I just have a couple more questions along these lines. Can you just take us through a process of how you find your VAs?
John Jonas: At OnlineJobs.ph, which is my website, by the way. I always feel the need to give a disclaimer that I own it. It is the biggest marketplace of Filipinos. So I go to OnlineJobs.ph. Sometimes I post a job and say, “Here’s what I need done,” or other times I will search through the resumes and email like 20 different candidates, without spending too much time looking in detail at them. I think a big mistake that people like to make is they like to search through and sort and find the one guy that they want to hire and email them, and then they’re frustrated when he doesn’t email back. So I’ll email like 20 people. I’ll wait for their responses, and then I’ll look in more detail at their questions. Then I’ll spend a week or two interviewing them by email. I’ll just ask them question after question after question after question and see their responses, and narrow it down to the one that I want to hire. So that’s kind of my short process of how I do it.
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great process, and I have something very similar to say from my end as well. I mean it’s so important to have a specific list of questions when you’re reaching out to these VAs, and like you just said, don’t get too in love or in-depth with anyone in particular because you just don’t know what their current situation is. They may have put their resume up weeks ago or they may have already taken other jobs. So just do a little bit of a scattershot and see who looks good, and then really judge their responses as to how they fit with that you’re trying to do. So that’s great advice. I definitely second that.
Now, let’s move on to my next question, which is what exactly is your business model? What allows you to earn $5,000, $10,000 a day or $160,000 in one month?
John Jonas: So I have a couple different business models that I work with. One of them is affiliate. I’m just an affiliate. My Filipinos work on all these things. This is where I got started doing this. We build websites, we write content on the websites that’s helpful to people, we drive traffic to our websites, and then we just have affiliate links on them. That’s one of our business models that my Filipinos work on, and that’s pretty big.
The other one is teaching outsourcing where we teach people how to hire Filipinos. I already mentioned OnlineJobs.ph which we own. So we own the marketplace for hiring Filipinos, and that anybody can go in and search and find Filipinos. I’ve been doing it for just over 7 years where I’m hiring them fulltime. So at ReplaceMyself.com is where I teach what I’ve learned. So the business model is I teach it for free, and then I’ve created dozens of training modules to give to the Filipino VAs so that when you hire someone, you don’t have to create trainings for them. You can just take my trainings and give it to your VA, and they can be productive for you from day one with little to no effort on your part. So that’s the business model there, is we sell training to give to the VAs.
So there are two things there. There’s the online jobs site where you find the Filipino VAs, and then there’s the training site where we give you the training to give to the VA that you hire. So three different business models.
John Lee Dumas: So just give us a range. It doesn’t have to be that exact, but approximate. Just so the listeners can kind of get an idea. If they’re going to look to reach out on OnlineJobs.ph and hire a VA, what is approximately the monthly salary they could expect to pay over the course of one month?
John Jonas: So I have 12 fulltime virtual assistants that work for me, and they make between $250 and $750 per month, fulltime. Most of those have come from OnlineJobs.ph, although some of them came before OnlineJobs existed. So like on the high end, $750, is like really, really talented programmers where they are doing fulltime high level programming work for me. On the low end is like a girl who does random miscellaneous tasks for me. At like $300, $350, I have people that are webmasters, WordPress content writers. They do marketing, SEO and Facebook and article marketing or YouTube marketing. I have a girl that makes phone calls to the US. We’re writing a bunch of press releases. So that’s all getting done in like the midrange $300 to $500 a month.
John Lee Dumas: Cool! Thanks for that insight. That’s just something I was really kind of seeing what I was paying and seeing if it was right in the ballpark. So that’s just great to know and it’s just great for Fire Nation to really just get a grasp about what they’re talking about if they’re looking to implement this into their current business or their business plan if they’re going to launch.
On that note, John, let’s move into the last portion of the show, which happens to be my favorite part, the Lightning Round. This is where I get to ask you five awesome questions and you come back with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
John Jonas: Okay.
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
John Jonas: Nothing was holding me back from becoming an entrepreneur. I think I always had some entrepreneurial spirit. I always wanted to do it myself. What was holding me back from quitting my job was I had always kept no debt, I had always kept no financial responsibilities. I just needed that little bit of income to allow me to take the leap of leaving my job. Once I had that little bit of income, which wasn’t enough to replace my fulltime job, but it was enough for us to live on, that was when I took the leap, and that leap made all the difference.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice you ever received?
John Jonas: The thing that made the biggest difference was I was talking with John Bresee of Backcountry.com. We were doing some pretty similar things and this was seven years ago. He says, “When you’re ready to start outsourcing this stuff, make sure you go to the Philippines with it.” I said, “Huh, why?” He said, “Because in India, when you tell them something and they say ‘yes,’ that means yes, I heard something come out of your mouth and not yes, I understood what you said.” I mean that was kind of a shock to me, but that advice of go to the Philippines with it changed everything for me because it allowed me to set up systems with people that I could afford to build my business and I could focus on making sales and not focus on doing the grunt work in my business. That changed everything.
John Lee Dumas: Incredible. What’s something that’s working for you or your business right now besides outsourcing?
John Jonas: Webinars. Webinars work. Also, Facebook advertising is working for us.
John Lee Dumas: Can you share with us what you do with Facebook advertising?
John Jonas: Yes. We’re targeting people that we believe are interested in what we teach, and then showing ads which we’re testing different ads which provoke their curiosity, and then we send them to a landing page where we tell them we’re going to give them enough information for them to get started outsourcing and we ask for their email. We give them a couple reasons why they would want to do it, and then we give them the information after they’ve opted in. The clicks are cheap enough and the opt-ins are high enough that it’s working. This is pretty new for us, but we’re testing it still and we’re getting, I don’t know, not that many opt-ins a day yet – five or ten opt-ins a day right now – but it’s working profitably, which is awesome.
John Lee Dumas: That’s awesome. So John, what’s an Internet resource that you’re just in love with like an Evernote that you can share with Fire Nation?
John Jonas: Jing. JingProject.com. It’s a screen capture software made by the makers of Camtasia. It’s free and you capture audio and video or just your screen and take an image, and it’s amazingly productive because there’s almost no involvement other than show someone what you want done and send it to them, and it’s so easy.
John Lee Dumas: I love it. It is so easy. I use it often. Whenever you just want to show someone to change a design, to move something, there are arrows and there’s text. I’m so glad you brought that up. That is such a valuable tool. What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?
John Jonas: I remember the first one, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” changed my life because it changed my mindset. That was when I was in college. “The Millionaire Next Door” did it again. This is kind of interesting because it didn’t teach me about business, but it taught me how to stay out of debt, which meant I could take risks in business because I didn’t have obligations elsewhere. If it failed, it didn’t really matter. So I was able to take other risks. “Who Moved My Cheese?” is like 100 pages and really, really great. Then Seth Godin’s “The Dip” was another one that helped me push through problems and hard times in my business and realize, “Oh yes, we’re going to have this. We just have to push through it.”
John Lee Dumas: Oh, I love The Dip. It’s a book that I refer to so often on the show just because it is so relevant to entrepreneurs in so many different levels and it’s not a long read. Like none of these books are, which is great because they’re just packed with content. So thank you for sharing that. John, thank you for sharing all of this actionable advice that you have this entire interview. You’ve been so helpful to Fire Nation. We are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
John Jonas: So the last piece of guidance is if you haven’t – obviously, this is what I teach and it’s part of my business, but it’s the biggest thing that has affected my success – is get someone else to do some of your work for you. Don’t just and outsource because anybody can just outsource something. Go get someone else to do the work that you are currently doing and free up some of your time because that’s how I approach it. I want someone else to do what I’m currently doing, and I can focus on improving something else in my business because I have the time now to do it. So that’s my parting piece of advice. Go get someone else to do something that you’re currently doing, and then focus on something else.
Then what was the other thing that you wanted? Oh, a plug. You can find out more about me at – I teach outsourcing at ReplaceMyself.com. It’s free. You can find Filipino VAs at OnlineJobs.ph. You can find me at JohnJonas.com.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! All of that will be linked up in the show notes, John. EntrepreneurOnFire.com/73. All of these will be linked up so people can just go there and check you out on every single level. Thank you so much for spending your time today with Fire Nation. We salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
John Jonas: No problem. Talk to you later.