Justin Brooke is a bold southern entrepreneur. He has a software business, e-learning business, and a service business all centered around the topic of helping you get more website traffic. He rolled his last $60 into six figures using Googles Adsense, and has been a self-proclaimed “traffic geek” ever since. Today his client list includes millionaires, best selling authors, and local offline businesses.
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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!
- “An eagle uses the negative energy of a storm to fly even higher.” – Eric Thomas
- Justin had $60 left to his name, and the only reason he had that was because he paid only half his electricity bill. Justin knew this was literally his last stand. Listen to how he turned that $60 into six figures via Google Adsense. TRULY inspiring.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- The path to success is already mapped out before you. All you need to do is walk down that road. When Justin understood the meaning of this, his business took off. If you want the specifics, then you’ll have to tune in!
- Justin has built and sold three, six figure businesses. He is now on his fourth… Bright Eagle. He has put all of his past skills and knowledge into this company, but this time as a manager. His vision for the future is exciting!
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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, Justin Brooke. Justin, are you prepared to ignite?
Justin Brooke: Boom! Let’s get it!
John Lee Dumas: Yes, man! Justin is a bold Southern entrepreneur. He has a software business, e-learning business and service business all set around the topic of helping you get more website traffic. He rolled his last $60.00 into six figures using Google AdWords and has been a self-proclaimed traffic geek ever since. Today, his client list includes millionaires, bestselling authors and local offline businesses.
I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, Justin. Why don’t you take it from here and tell us who you are and what you do?
Justin Brooke: Alright. Well, I’m Justin Brooke and I do traffic. I teach traffic, I do traffic as a service. Not only just sending clicks. Like anybody can write a check and send some clicks, but getting the conversions is kind of what we talk about. Post-click marketing, helping people turn those clicks into leads, into sales so that it’s not just clicks to the website. That’s kind of my specialty and what I do a little bit differently than just send clicks to different places.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! Well, I really look forward in delving more into that later in the show. For now we’ll transition to our first topic, which is the success quote. Here at EntrepreneurOnFire, we like to start every show off with our guest’s favorite success quote. It’s kind of our way of getting the motivational ball rolling and getting our listeners pumped up for the rest of the content that you’re about to share with us. So Justin, what do you have for us today?
Justin Brooke: Well, in 2010, I had kind of a roadblock that was quite debilitating. I was already doing well because I started in 2007, but in 2010 I had a real hard problem and it was crushing my business. Then I heard this quote about how an eagle uses the energy, the native energy of a storm, to fly even higher. So at that time of my life, like there was all these negative things that were beating down on me and I had these excuses and stuff like that. When I heard that quote, everything really just started changing from there. Like it just empowered me. Everything bad that came my way, made me fly even higher.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! Can we attribute that quote to somebody specific?
Justin Brooke: Yes. Eric Thomas. He’s on YouTube, ET, The Hip Hop Preacher. I watched a lot of his videos during that time and a lot of his philosophies really helped me come out of that. I call it my dark era or whatever.
John Lee Dumas: Absolutely. As entrepreneurs, we all have that dark era. Thank you for sharing that difficult time that you had in your journey and how that quote did turnaround for you. Can you specifically bring us to the present day moment and give us an example of how you use that quote in your everyday business today?
Justin Brooke: Alright. So right now, we have had five months of record-breaking months. Like every month we’ve been breaking records, and I attribute that to a couple of new business coaches that we’ve hired and we’re talking with. Then also, some of our new attitudes and things like that, and especially this quote.
Just to give you an example, there was a day where me and my wife were joking about how if we were on a reality show, it would be like, “Oh my gosh! How are they going to handle this situation?” We were just getting pummeled. We lost a key client all of a sudden. A key client who paid us about maybe 40% of our income. I mean, one of our biggest clients all of a sudden told us that he was dropping back to our basic monthly rate. That was a huge debilitating blow, but we used that negative energy to rise even higher.
So using that quote, we’ve been able to take all these things that have happened that could have set somebody on a spiraling downfall. We’ve used them to go harder, go even faster or further, higher or whatever.
John Lee Dumas: I love it, Justin. We’re going to use that to transition to our next topic, which is failure. You’ve already shared with us a couple of challenges and obstacles that you’ve recently faced. That is so powerful as an entrepreneur to be able to identify those and to talk openly about those, so I really do appreciate that.
Let’s go back even further in your journey as an entrepreneur because EntrepreneurOnFire is about your story as an entrepreneur, and your story started much longer ago than that and I’m really intrigued by this $60.00 turning into a six figure story. I’d love it if you could just take a minute and maybe go back and kind of take us through that specific moment in time and share that story with us.
Justin Brooke: Oh man, we’re going back to the mayonnaise sandwich days [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Justin Brooke: The ramen noodle days. Okay. So let me just paint a picture of what life was like back then. I had one of those computers that had the big bubble monitor, and it used to just shut down on me just randomly. I’d be in Photoshop or writing something and it would just randomly shut down on me and my wife would hear me yelling from the room. We were so broke that we were eating like grilled cheese multiple times per week. I remember grocery shopping off of like $13.00.
John Lee Dumas: What year was this, Justin?
Justin Brooke: I think this was like 2006, 2007. Somewhere right around then. So we had very, very little money, but I’m studying all these business stuff, Internet business, entrepreneurship, and I’m just watching videos, reading books like all day because I had no job back then. So the only thing I could do was just study and apply. Trial and error all day long.
So it came down to the point where I was tired of writing articles and trying to do SEO and trying to get all this really slow free traffic. I said I need to invest money into this business if I’m going to get it to do anything. I need to break this cycle. We didn’t really have any money. Even the $60.00 that I did use, we got that from paying only half of the electric bill.
So we decided to pay half of the electric bill, and I had been reading about Google AdWords and how I could just send AdWords traffic to my sales page. Nowadays, you couldn’t do that. So yes, I invested $60.00 into a Google AdWords campaign. It was a $2.00 a day budget and I had one banner. It was one banner placed on one website, and it was do or die. Like that was it.
I mean not do or die. Like I wasn’t going to die if I didn’t make it, but who knows what would have happened if that hadn’t been successful. Because I had nothing else to do and nothing else was going on for me, I spent about 18 hours a day watching that $2.00 a day budget and researching and making sure it was the best possible and following up with every click and lead, and I had five different ways of analyzing and tracking the data.
So yes, I spent that $60.00 out of a $2.00 a day budget and I made $150.00? Somewhere around $150.00 in sales. So I doubled my money, more than doubled my money. I paid the electric bill, reinvested. I did it again, I did again. I kept making my AdWords campaign a little bit bigger, a little bit bigger, a little bit bigger, until I was making six figures about a year later.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! I mean you are so right when you say, for instance, you weren’t going to die. It wasn’t do or die in the sense that you were actually going to physically perish, but it does feel like that sometimes when you’re an entrepreneur and your back is against the wall and you are making a last stand. In a way, it was Justin’s last stand. You were putting it all on the line. If this didn’t work out, you were really going to have to potentially take some drastic measures in the other areas of your life. Do you feel as though this may have been the end of Justin as far as an online entrepreneur if this $60.00 had just been flushed down the toilet, or would you have kept going forward in that direction somehow, some way?
Justin Brooke: Well, if it didn’t work, who knows if I would’ve – chances are, I would’ve found something else. I don’t know how to quit. Like people can’t stop me not because I’m like some unstoppable force. I just don’t know what to do when I stop, other than start again.
So I think I would’ve just started again. Maybe I would’ve found something else. It may have taken me longer. Maybe I would have gone a different route. I don’t know. But that was definitely a turning point in my life because I saw that buying traffic changed my life. Traffic in general is like one of the most important things to me because that changed my life.
John Lee Dumas: So Justin, we’re going to use that to transition to the next topic, which is the aha moment. I want you to correct me if I’m wrong, but doing my research and with sifting before this interview and hearing your backstory on a lot of levels thus far in this interview, I kind of feel like you are the king of little aha moments. Like your whole career has just been a little light bulb going on as you’ve seen little tweaks and little improvements you can make to your AdWords, to your traffic, to your banners. Just continually improve and improve upon what you’ve done, and it just seems to me like that’s what you’ve done over and over again so successfully.
So first of all – this is a two-part question – correct me if I’m wrong, are you the king of little aha moments? Then also, can you share with us an extremely large light bulb aha moment that you can distinguish from all of those smaller ones?
Justin Brooke: Oh man, those are some tough questions!
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Justin Brooke: I don’t know if I can say I’m the king of aha moments. I’ve certainly had my fair share of aha moments. I thought a long time ago, and I kind of feel like I do know what the secret of life is. I mean for me, the secret of life is to grow. To grow financially, to grow spiritually, health. Like everything. Your relationships. Like just to grow.
So that’s why I’m always growing. I’m trying to find new levels, new answers, new solutions to problems. Then the other side of the question was?
John Lee Dumas: Well, you’ve had those small aha moments that you mentioned as you turned your $60.00 into six figures. Along the way, you continually were finding ways to improve what you were doing. Have you had just one lightning bolt that just struck you and you said, “Wow!” and that really changed your career?
Justin Brooke: Yes. The biggest one is that success is already proven. You don’t have to remake success. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Like if you want a successful AdWords campaign, there are people out there already who have mapped that out. If you want a successful blog, there are people already out there who have figured that out. All you have to do is know what you want, and then know how to find who’s already done that, and then you need to do what they’re doing.
Like the big thing for me, a big turnaround for me is I realized that all those little success quotes and everything like that, like those are real. If you listen to those things. I always they were like airy-fairy and you can’t eat your cake and eat it too. Like what does that even mean?
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Justin Brooke: So I just realized that all those little quotes were really smart people back in the day trying to leave little like clues and things for us to follow because they spent, they put in the blood, sweat and tears to find out what that quote meant. So if you just listen to a lot of those quotes, they really do work.
John Lee Dumas: So you shared the aha moment that you had, which was success is already a roadmap that’s been laid out for us. Can you take us down to the ground level and tell us some specific actions that you took when you realized that that, in fact, was the case?
Justin Brooke: Alright. So one in my industry or the little world that I travel in, a very popular one, is the money is in the list. For me, like that’s one of those little quotes that you hear and all of a sudden – I remember it was Travis Sego, another marketer, Internet marketer from magicofmakingup.com, and he told me one day on the phone. I was asking him for help and he told me over the phone. He said, “Justin, you already have every skill, every resource you need. You need to stop looking for something and just start using what you have.
I really tried to understand what he meant by that. It really didn’t connect with me because I was always searching for something. Like there’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a book. Some book I’m going to read or some article I’m going to read. When he told me that, that’s when it kind of dawned on me that there’s all these quotes and like people are actually already telling me what I need to do.
So one of the first ones was the money is in the list. So I started building an email list. Once I started building an email list, like everything changed for me. I mean once you have a thousand email subscribers, the whole game of business and marketing, it all changes. When you get to 5,000, it becomes like easy.
I mean you could just wake up in the morning and send a message. I mean it becomes a crutch, so you don’t want to lean on that too much. You need to be using other methods. But yes, like the money is in the list. That spoke to me, and then I started doing that and that was one of the changes. Then I was like, “Well, what’s another one of these little quotes that I can use?” I’m trying to think of one now. I just can’t. My brain is saying no.
John Lee Dumas: Justin, this is just such valuable information. Thank you for being so specific with exactly the roadmap that you’ve laid out, and it’s very interesting stuff. Have you had an I’ve made it moment yet?
Justin Brooke: My biggest fear is that I’m so focused on the prize, the end. Like getting there and making it. Whatever you want to call it. Arriving. I’m so focused. My biggest fear is that I will focus so hard on arriving that I won’t realize that it was the journey that was funnest days of my life because if I think back to high school, like I feel like so many people wish they could go back to high school. Like that was such a fun time in their life, but everybody was so focused on graduating and getting out of that nasty place and leaving those teachers behind. Where now, I’m much more at peace with just trying to really enjoy this journey because I know one day, the journey is going to be over, and I don’t know what that’s going to be like. So I just want to like now.
John Lee Dumas: I love that answer, and that’s really the focus of EntrepreneurOnFire, is the journey, because as entrepreneurs, we are always setting these lofty goals, and when we do attain those goals, sometimes we just immediately push that level bar even higher to continue to push ourselves forward instead of kind of taking a breath and appreciating what we’ve done.
So I really applaud the fact that you can look around and appreciate the present moment, and I believe that’s going to aid you in a lot of ways because you’re really taking it all in. You’re analyzing where you’re at and where you want to go from here. So I definitely applaud you for that. It’s a great attitude.
Justin Brooke: Yes. It can get a little depressing sometimes, always looking to the future. That’s good and everybody should be focused on a brass ring, but never grabbing that ring. Never giving yourself that time to look back and realize like, “Oh wow! I did this, and I did that. Today, I’m doing these things.” It’s also important because then you can actually show yourself and your subconscious that we have achieved wins and we’re not just always reaching for something that we can never achieve.
John Lee Dumas: I love that, and I love the flow of this interview. Let’s just use this to move into the next topic, which is the current business because I want to bring us now to the present moment. Because you’re so aware and enjoying the present moment, I’m really excited to hear your response to this question, which is what is one thing that’s really exciting you about your business today, Bright Eagle?
Justin Brooke: Well, what’s really exciting me about my business today is that I’m no longer the business. We’re transitioning into where I’m the owner of the business. For so long – like when I started, it was always I was the product creator so I was the star of the product, and for so long, I have been the business.
What’s so exciting now is that now, that I can create the business and the business is kind of my baby. So we have an office here now. We’ve got a couple of employees. We’ve got clients, business coaches, and I’m no longer the bottleneck of everything. I’m no longer responsible for everything, and I really wish I would’ve learned about that a lot sooner. I always heard about it, but I never really knew how to do it.
Now that I have, it’s the most exciting thing in the world because it’s almost like – I don’t know, this is kind of crazy, but it’s almost like an out of body experience now where the business is another entity and I’m molding that thing instead of the business is me and I’m trying to hold everything in and balance everything myself.
John Lee Dumas: The word “entrepreneur” is a mystery to many people. They hear the word “entrepreneur” and they’re not really sure what that means or what an entrepreneur actually would do day-to-day. At EntrepreneurOnFire, we really try to pull the curtain back and show that yes, although there are very unique qualities about being an entrepreneur, entrepreneurs are just people and they do have common tasks day-to-day. Can you talk to us, Justin, about two tasks that you have day in and day out that occupy a good portion of your day?
Justin Brooke: Being the business owner, and more so in charge of just marketing the business, I get to play a lot more on Facebook. It’s not just play for me because I’m going through my friends’ lists and making sure that the people on my friends’ lists that I have, that I’m maintaining the relationship with them, that they’re the right person for me to be building a relationship with, that there’s something I can help them with or they can help me with that’s going to be mutually beneficial. It’s managing the types of posts that I post so that people see that I’m growing and that I’ve got a family.
So like I use it very strategic to become part of certain groups and maintain relationships and grow, and I get a lot of my business from that and a lot of my clients might friend me on Facebook first to see what I’m like, and then they see my posts and my successes and my attitude and things like that. Then now, things I do with my family. Then they go to say, “Oh wow! I like this guy. I’d like to do business with him.” So that’s one of the tasks that I do during the day.
Another task that I do is writing blog posts. I like to write. I’m a copywriter. I prefer to write even when I record something or make a video or an audio lesson. I write it beforehand. I write a script and/or at least an outline. That’s another thing that I do. I write blog posts so that I can get some social media traffic, get some SEO traffic.
John Lee Dumas: Very cool. You are at a point now where you’re truly enjoying what you’re doing during the course of a day-to-day, it sounds like. What is your vision for the future of your business?
Justin Brooke: Well, it’s twofold. The vision of the future of my business is I want to be the greatest traffic guy ever. I mean I don’t even know if that’s possible, but I tell people that I want to be the David Ogilvy or the John Caples of the Internet. Those guys were legends of direct marketing, of old school marketing – advertising and direct mail marketing and all that stuff. I want to be that for traffic. So that’s kind of where I’m trying to go.
So we’re doing things bigger than ever before. The traffic methods we’re using are bigger than they’ve ever been. The conversion optimization techniques and methods that we’re using are more advanced than they’ve ever been, and I’m just constantly trying to figure out what is it that nobody else knows. If I were really trying to be the David Ogilvy and the John Caples, what knowledge or what skills would I need to have to be that, and just trying to grow beyond where I’ve been, if that makes any sense.
John Lee Dumas: It makes a lot of sense, and I really like your vision and where you’re going and I’m glad that you’re going to be enjoying the journey along the way.
Justin Brooke: Yes.
John Lee Dumas: So we’ve now reached my favorite part of the show, Justin. We’re about to enter the Lightning Round. This is where I provide you with a series of questions, and you come back at the listeners and myself with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Are you ready for that?
Justin Brooke: Alright. Here we go!
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] What was the number one thing holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Justin Brooke: Myself.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice that you ever received?
Justin Brooke: Give before you take.
John Lee Dumas: Can you give us an example of how you’ve used that business advice?
Justin Brooke: Oh, I use it in the blog posts, in the videos. I give a lot of content, and I feel that giving – especially since I have an e-learning company as well – giving content is kind of like when you go to a cookie shop and they give you that free cookie. Then you love that cookie so you buy the whole box.
In other methods, I’ve built websites for people that I’ve worked for free for people. I had an internship where I went and worked for free for 30 days. I flew out to Idaho. I lived out there for 30 days. I helped this guy, and I worked for him for free, and then he helped me change my life. I mean just giving before you ask for something or before you take. Zig Ziglar says it. If you can give everyone what they want, you will get what you want.
John Lee Dumas: I love that. What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Justin Brooke: Facebook.
John Lee Dumas: Do you have an Internet resource like an Evernote or something along those lines that you would really like to share with the listeners that you just are in love with and you could not be higher on?
Justin Brooke: I’m a big fan of Basecamp, I’m a big fan of Evernote.
John Lee Dumas: Perfect! Justin, you said that you’re a reader and you can be voracious at times when it comes to reading and taking it all in. What’s the best business book that you’ve read in the last six months?
Justin Brooke: “Turning Pro” by Steven Pressfield and “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino.
John Lee Dumas: Both great books. We’ll link those up in the show notes. This last question, Justin, is my favorite. It’s kind of a tricky one so you can take your time and digest it before you answer. If you woke up tomorrow morning with all the experience, knowledge and money that you currently have right now, but your business had completely disappeared, leaving you essentially with a clean slate, which many of our listeners find themselves in right now, what would you do?
Justin Brooke: Alright. This has happened to me before because one thing that I haven’t shared is that beforehand, I’m great at marketing traffic and conversions. That’s my strength just because that’s what I’ve really focused on and studied. But when it comes to the business side of things, I’m not very good. That’s why it’s seven years later and I’m just now realizing that I can be the business owner and not actually be the business.
So in the past, I’ve built businesses, and then they get to a point where I wasn’t good at it anymore. So then I would just sell it. I’ve done really well. I’ve built three different six figure businesses and sold them, and then started over and done it again. I mean this is the process that I do. I find the market that has a problem, and a big problem. Something that they would think about every day. Not just something they would think about every once in a while, but a big, pressing problem. For instance, website owners who need traffic. They’re thinking about that every single day, if not multiple times per day.
Then I would create a basic five-page website – Home, About, Joining, Blog, Contact. From there, I’d make my homepage, my About page and the blog. I would start writing articles that answer pressing questions that my market has, and then I would start building relationships on Facebook with key people in that market so that I could get them to share my blog posts, or potentially I could write an article for their blog and get access to new eyeballs.
Building those relationships, we might create strategic alliances between my product and their product or my service and their service, and I just grow it from there until the point where I’ve got a sales piece that is tuned enough for paid traffic. So like a frontend lead capture that goes to a sales page. Then I would start buying some traffic to it so that I could scale the business up. Yes, that’s what I’d do. It works every time.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! Awesome, Justin. Listen, you’ve given us some great actionable advice, and 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.
Justin Brooke: If I could give Fire Nation one parting piece of advice, it would really be to realize that there’s no competitor worse than themselves. There’s no enemy, there’s no friend. You’ve got yourself, and you’re your enemy and your best friend. When you can realize that, then you’re your best promoter also. Realize that it’s you and you’re in a competition with yourself first before anybody else, and you will always be in the toughest competition with yourself.
Realize that, and then also realize that you need to love the journey because every business has problems and you need to love figuring out how to solve problems. If you can’t love figuring out how to solve problems, being a business owner is probably just not going to be for you because you’re going to have problems every single day. So that’s my parting advice.
Then if I were to tell you where to come find me, hang out with me, anything about my business, I’m on Facebook. Facebook.com/justinbrooke. My service website is brighteagleproject.com. My training website is thetrafficstrategist.com.
John Lee Dumas: Wonderful, Justin. We will all those up in the show notes. Thank you once again for your time. Fire Nation salutes you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Justin Brooke: Thanks.