Named one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 by Influencive, Amanda is internationally renowned with clients in 19 countries as THE Hustle-Free Marketing Coach who believes in Working SMARTER, Not Harder. Founder of MarketLikeANerd.com, she geeks out about creating a business that is not only profitable, but also balanced.
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3 Key Points:
- It’s actually you and your choices that complicate your business and your life – consider simplifying your business & life.
- Entrepreneurs obsess about hitting outcomes, so they tend to hustle and work harder as opposed to smarter.
- Be clear on your vision before scaling a business, especially if you have a business partner.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:08] – Amanda is in love with her life
- [01:30] – Amanda’s life before she became an entrepreneur was a wreck
- [02:13] – Her life was difficult and traumatic
- [02:25] – There were many years in sadness, but today she consciously and intentionally lives a happy, simple life operating a small business
- [03:13] – JLD is continually trying to simplify his life
- [03:50] – Amanda’s area of expertise is in helping people work smarter in their business
- [04:24] – Entrepreneurs hustle and do the grind because they are obsessed with outcomes
- [05:01] – If you want money now, keep hustling. If you want wealth, sustainability, and scalability, work SMART
- [05:39] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: Work smarter by simplifying your processes – Amanda’s 2 steps in her marketing are: traffic and offers
- [06:36] – Amanda has 85 pages of operating procedures that are broken down to attract, nurture, convert, deliver, and operate
- [07:40] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Amanda’s worst moment happened when she was 23. She was running her 4th business venture that was a virtual assistance business with a business partner. It wasn’t a fit – they had different perspectives around scaling the business. The dynamic didn’t work.
- [09:43] – Amanda gave an ultimatum to shift the business model or she’d leave
- [10:00] – She left, lost everything she built, and had to start over
- [10:47] – Before you start scaling a business, get clear on your vision
- [11:34] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: After almost dying from being hit by a van, Amanda realized that success is really a measure of how happy you are on your deathbed
- [12:52] – Amanda adapted what she calls an Anti-Launch Mentality
- [13:17] – She did her first Anti-Launch within 90 days after leaving the partnership and she made $120K
- [13:53] – The offers were leveraged group offers
- [14:44] – In both launches, Amanda was heavy on affiliate traffic
- [15:31] – Amanda shares different kinds of affiliate launches
- [16:19] – Simple is scalable, simple is smart, keep it simple
- [16:36] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I am super fired up about a decision that I made in my business recently”
- [16:53] – Amanda is fierce in customer service and client results
- [17:32] – A couple of weeks ago, Amanda talked to her husband and it was then that she realized it was possible to have coaches underneath her
- [18:19] – She’ll take clients under her program, certify them, and hire them as coaches
- [18:41] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Lack of education about it”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “I’m not afraid, my brain is”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I sleep a lot”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Voxer
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Zombie Loyalists by Peter Shankman – “he shares my beliefs for service over sales”
- [22:53] – “Don’t buy into the 24/7 hustle”
- [23:08] – Connect with Amanda on her website
- [23:12] – Get Amanda’s Exclusive Gift for Fire Nation here!
Amanda: Yeah, baby.
John: Boom. Named one of the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30” by Influencive, Amanda is internationally renowned with clients in 19 countries as the “Hustle-Free Marketing Coach” who believes in working smarter, not harder. The founder of marketlikeanerd.com, she geeks out about creating a business that is not only profitable, but balanced. Amanda, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Amanda: Yeah, sure. Well, I’m kind of in love with my life so I would love to talk about it but, in order for you to really get my life and the way that it is now, you kind of have to understand what my life was back then before all of this – before I became an entrepreneur so I’m going to do a little throwback, if that’s okay?
John: Throw it back.
Amanda: Alright, so back before I became an entrepreneur, my life was kind of a wreck. It was trauma, after trauma; after trauma and I’m telling you I have enough material to make a freaking soap opera out of it so – We don’t have enough time to talk about all of it but I’ll just leave it at that. Drug-addicted father, abusive stepfather, poor, batshiz-crazy family, rape, I got hit by a car – by a minivan, even while I was walking across the street and I had to learn how to walk again – then I was pregnant at the age of 18.
And, when I finally got out of the house and got into one of the best universities in the world, Johns Hopkins University, I was like, “Yes, finally, I’m going to get out of all of this,” of course, I was bullied incessantly there. So, before I became an entrepreneur, my life was traumatic – it was difficult. Now, let me bring you back to the present day. Because of all of that, because of spending so many years in sadness and in difficulty, now, I consciously am very intentionally operate a happy, simple business and I live a happy, simple life. So, I live a life that I love with a spouse that I love, in a house that I love, with a boat that I love, and kids that we’re mostly fond of. So that’s my life, happy and simple.
John: I think that those are two words that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t think about enough when they’re launching their business: happy and simple is great. If you can combine those two, that’s awesome. A lot of people go for complicated and unhappy which is one way to go but, when you’re an entrepreneur and you can choose between the two paths, go to happy and simple, Fire Nation. I can tell you one thing: I’m actually looking to continue to simplify my life.
For a number of years, I was just adding more food to the plate, stacking it up, and then, all of a sudden, I was like, “Whoa, there’s not much room for much more else on this plate. What’s the next step? Do I get another plate? Do I hire a bigger team? Do I want that kind of complication?” Some people do and you keep moving in that direction, some people want that simplification and that’s kind of where I’m trending right now. So just know thyself, know the direction that you want to go, Fire Nation but, take it from me, take it from Amanda, happy and simple is a great way to live. Now, within that, Amanda, what would you say your area of expertise is?
Amanda: Yeah, so it’s definitely helping people to work smarter in their business and ditch the hustle. I like to say that I am a commander in an army that has declared war on hustle. It’s a little verbose but I really believe it. I’ve become so hyper aware of this now, after having been through so much in my life is, in the entrepreneurial world, like you said, we make things complicated – we make things difficult. We work overly hard to get to where we want to go. We hustle, we grind, we sacrifice, we burn out because we’re obsessed with outcomes. We’re obsessed with creating desired outcomes instead of the process of creating them. We focus on the profits, not the process of creating the profits.
So, what ends up happening is we hustle to create businesses that aren’t even sustainable, that aren’t even scalable because we’re focused on the now. We take the difficult route for a short-term sale instead of the smart route to long-term sustainability. So, I know there’s a lot of hustle proponents in this online world and I’m like, “You either love me or hate me. I’m sorry.” But, if you just want money now, then sure, you can keep hustling but, if you want wealth, if you want sustainability, if you want scalability, then hustle’s only going to get you so far so you’ve got to work smarter, not harder.
John: And, Fire Nation, it’s good to build a business on a love/hate relationship. You don’t want everybody to like you. You want some people to love you and, if that’s going to happen, you’re going to have some people that hate you and that’s just a reality. Now, Amanda, within that, what’s a tip, tool, or tactic that you can share with Fire Nation that you think can really maybe help them in this mindset that you see us making mistakes in all the time?
Amanda: Work smarter, not harder. But, to make that more practical and give you a real tip that you can take away, I’ll give you an example. One of the ways that I work smarter, not harder, is I simplify my marketing into two steps. Rather than trying to do everything: list building, podcast, Facebook ads, sales funnels, webinars, affiliate launches, all this other crap, I focus on two things.
There are only two steps in my marketing and these are really the only two steps that anyone needs in their marketing to make money in their business, ever: it’s traffic and offers. That’s it. I just create offers and I send traffic to them. That’s it. That’s all I’m doing. Honestly, everything in my business is about traffic and offers. If you look at I have a – I’m such a dork, I’m a systems nerd – so I have a document that is literally 85 pages of operating procedures – I know, I’m such a dork – but I have 85 pages of operating procedures and they’re all broken down into five steps: attract, nurture, convert, deliver, operate. And it all goes back to traffic and offers because it’s how I attract the traffic, how I nurture the traffic, how I put offers in front of the traffic to convert them into paying clients, how I deliver the offers, and then just generally anything else that didn’t fit into that but –
John: I love that simplicity of traffic and offers. When you boil it down to that, that’s what works and anything else you add on top of that, you’re just going toward potential overwhelm, especially for entrepreneurs that are just getting going and they think they have to do everything right right now. Just take those things off your plate, create an offer, send traffic to it.
John: Amanda, you told us some pretty interesting stories when I asked you to expand upon the intro so thank you for doing that. I think we have a good grasp of where you came from but now let’s talk about your worst entrepreneurial moments to date. Take us to the lowest of the low on the business side. Tell us that story.
Amanda: Let’s hope I don’t make barf sounds while I’m talking about it. No promises. So, my worst entrepreneurial moment was when I was 23 and running my fourth business venture which was a virtual assistant business with a business partner. And she’s actually pretty well-known – if I said her name, you guys would probably know who she is – so I’m not going to throw her under the bus but I’ll just say it wasn’t a fit. We had very different values, different personalities, and the big thing was we just had completely different perspectives on scaling a business. You remember how I said before, in this entrepreneurial world, a lot of people focus on the profits, not the process of creating the profits? She was a profit person so she loved doing launch after launch to just make money right now and she was good at it.
We did make a lot of money – we were one of the most successful virtual assistant businesses out there – but it was freaking exhausting. The process was not fun, it was not sustainable, it was not scalable and I’m a process person, John – I really am – so I wanted the process of making money to feel seamless and less like a chore. So, the dynamic, it just didn’t work. I was exhausted. I was exhausted with the business model. I wasn’t happy. I was hustling – working what seemed like 24/7 and then you got to consider, in a virtual assistant business, after paying the business partner, the business manager, the CFO, the CPA, the sales team, the contractor – this was a big business – what I was taking home, it wasn’t really worth that for –
John: Your CPA’s like, “Well, your net profit was nothing so you don’t actually have any taxes this year. Yay.”
Amanda: I did owe taxes but, yeah, it was not worth the amount of effort. So basically, I gave an ultimatum. I said, “Either we shift the business model and you let me focus more on automation, and systems, and scaling or I leave.”
John: “I’m out of here.”
Amanda: Yeah, and we still couldn’t come to an agreement. That was our way – we couldn’t come to an agreement so I left. And I went from having a multiple six-figure business to nothing – to debt, even. I lost everything I had built. I had to start over and, yeah, that wasn’t fun. Yeah, no. I made it through without barfing sounds.
John: Yeah, you did but we’re not done. No, we are done with the tough part because I want to kind of move into the lessons learned. What do you want to make sure our listeners get from that story? What’s a takeaway that we put into our arsenal so that we just don’t go down that same road?
Amanda: I guess the fundamental problem that we had in that scenario was a difference in vision and not getting clear on the vision to start. So, before you start scaling a business – especially if it’s with a business partner you have to share the vision with – get clear on that vision first. That way, every action that you take is intentionally designed to create that ideal business. You don’t want to waste time and work your butt off just to create a business that you end up hating.
John: AGP, let’s talk about another story because you’re a story teller – you do this well. This won’t be barf sounds, probably, because it’s going to be about one of your greatest ideas that you had thus far. You’ve had a lot and – if you’re like most entrepreneurs, we have too many to act upon so you definitely say no to those great ideas – but talk about one of the greatest you think would resonate with our audience. Tell that story then share with us how you turned that idea – that aha moment – into success.
Amanda: I think that, often times, your biggest aha’s often come after your biggest lows. After almost dying – I talked about that a little bit in the beginning, after I was hit by the van and I almost died – I learned that success is really a measure of how happy you are when you’re on your deathbed. After I got into debt once the partnership was over, I learned that you’ve got to manage your money if you want to keep it. So, this aha moment was very in line with that – it was no different. It came right after the end of my worst entrepreneurial moment. It came at the end of that partnership so that was really when my beliefs were tested.
When I ended this partnership, I was at a point in my life where, up until then, I was led to believe I had been taught that big money meant big sacrifice – the only way to be successful was by working hard, sacrificing, hustling. But, after I left, I didn’t even care if that was true, I wasn’t willing to do it. I didn’t want to do that anymore. I was at the end of my rope. I wanted sales to feel seamless. I wanted to grow without the growing pains. So, I adopted what I fondly call “An Anti-Launch Mentality.” I said, “Screw the webinars, screw the affiliate launches, dropping the constant launch cycles. I’m going to be the one. I’m going to be the one who makes millions with ease.” I guess John’s doing it, too, but I’m going to do it, too. So that’s what I did. I did my first anti-launch within 90 days within leaving my partnership and I made $120,000 in that first 90 days – not a whole lot to seven, eight-figure entrepreneurs but to small business owners, that’s a lot, especially after having to start from scratch.
John: Yeah, I don’t want to go into too many details within that launch because we just don’t have time for it but, just real quick, what was the offer, then how’d you get traffic there?
Amanda: For that launch – Because I’ve done these anti-launches many, many times. I just did another one that was a half million dollars with no webinar, no affiliate, no list, anything like that. And, in both cases, the offers were leveraged group offers because I went from selling done-for-you, one-on-one services, to being like, “No, I need leverage,” so I sold a leveraged group offer.
John: Leveraged group offer – what does that mean?
Amanda: So my first offer was a group coaching program called BAM Academy which stood for Business Accountability and Marketing. We called ourselves fondly a BAMily.
John: We are BAMily.
Amanda: Yeah. And this offer that I did in the half million-dollar launch, that one was a group mastermind. Both of them were yearlong so this one was the “Marketing Nerds Mastermind” or MNMs – I like weird names, John.
John: Yeah. Well, let’s be honest, you’re rocking it – you’re rolling with it. How do you get traffic to it?
Amanda: Yeah, so, in my first – Actually, in both of these launches, I was heavy on affiliate traffic so leveraging other people’s audiences to build my own audience and I kind of pushed people into a Facebook group. So, I would do interviews like this or interview other people and then I would put people into a Facebook group and then sell people from the Facebook group – at least for the first launch. The first launch, it was heavy on Facebook group sales because I find, whereas your list convert around 1 percent, I find Facebook groups is more like 5 percent.
John: Wow. 5 percent? That’s cool.
John: Now, we do have you on record as saying the anti-launch. You didn’t want to go down the affilia road and do all that thing but then you came back and said you did heavy on affiliates so what’s happening here?
Amanda: Well, it’s a different kind of affiliate.
John: Let’s hear it.
Amanda: So the way that most people do affiliate launches is they’ll go and they’ll get 20 different people and they will say, “Go and promote my offer to your list.” When Marie Furley was launching B-School, you know she’s launching B-School because she’s got tons of people who are promoting B-School. For me, it was a little bit different. I would go onto people’s podcasts and I would do an interview and then I would push people into my Facebook group, nurture them, and then sell them later.
John: Your affiliates weren’t technically getting paid, then?
Amanda: No. Yeah, that’s right.
John: So that’s the anti-launch. There you go. So, in summation, AGP, what do you want to make sure that our listeners get from this aha moment – from these multi-six-figure launches that you’ve done, or I should say anti-launches that you’ve done? What do you want to make sure we get?
Amanda: Oh my gosh, dude, simple is scalable. Simple is smart. Keep it simple.
John: And I love how you said, “I wanted sales to seem seamless.” So, there’s a lot of nuggets here, Fire Nation, take them away. And, Amanda, break it down for us: today, 2017, what are you most fired up about?
Amanda: Besides being here?
John: Ah, you’re the best.
Amanda: Well, thanks. I am super fired up, actually, about a decision that I made in my business recently. So, in addition to my hopefully obvious passion about working smarter, I’m also pretty fierce about customer service and client results. I actually have a certification program where I certify coaches in my cash injection campaigns and, the headline on the sales page, it says “This industry is plagued with business sales marketing and money coaches who charge up the butthole and give nothing in return.” So that’s something I really, really care about and, because of that, I have been resisting for so long bringing coaches into my company to coach my clients because I didn’t want to let go of my coaching work. I didn’t want to let go of coaching my clients because I didn’t want to sacrifice client results in the name of scaling.
But it was a couple weeks ago, actually – this is pretty recent – I was at breakfast with my husband and I forced him into talking about business with me and I realized in that conversation that it is possible to scale my business with coaches underneath of me and maintain the integrity of the business and the client results. I just had to release the block and set the intention for it. So, my decision, John, is you’re looking at the next McDonald’s-size coaching business, just so you know. When I’m famous, I’ll drop your name and say you knew me when.
John: And I’ll be like, “Whoa, look at those downloads – through the roof.”
Amanda: Yeah. So, yeah, I decided I am going to take my clients who have seen success in my program, certify them in my teaching principles, and then hire them to be coaches at my company.
John: We have Amanda Goldman-Petri dropping gold bombs left and right. She’s not going to stop, Fire Nation. She’s going to keep doing this throughout the lightning round so don’t you go anywhere. We’re going to thank our sponsors.
[Audio pauses and resumes]
Amanda, are you ready to rock the lightning rounds?
Amanda: Ah, yeah.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Amanda: Well, I kind of started as an entrepreneur at 21 so there wasn’t very much holding me back. I started at 21 after being introduced to the entrepreneurial world, basically, six months beforehand so I actually dove in headfirst. The only thing that really kept me back from diving in sooner is just a lack of education about it. I just didn’t realize that the entrepreneurial world was there and that it was so awesome. I was convinced being a doctor or a lawyer was the only way to go.
John: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Amanda: It was actually in therapy. So, when I was in therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after my car accident – when I was hit by the car and I almost died – I went to therapy so that I could work through the fear because I couldn’t even cross the street. I was completely afraid of cars. And, my therapist, he knew, obviously, Johns Hopkins, it is the best medical school in the world so he knew that I went there and so, instead of talking to me about my feelings, he talked to me about the science. He explained to me how the brain works, and how PTSD works, and he explained to me, basically, that I am not afraid – my brain is, my Migdalia, is and I just have to retrain it. So, what we did is we retrained my brain. I crossed the street assisted first, then I crossed the street unassisted, then I was a passenger in the car, and then I got my learner’s permit and that was about as far as I could go. But I got a lot faster taking it step-by-step than I would have if I had just gone straight into trying to drive and that’s come up a lot in business. Like, when I was afraid of video, first, I would record for myself, not show anyone, then I’d record, show my husband, then, I would record and show someone I trusted and so forth. So, you retrain your brain with tiny imperfect actions.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Amanda: I sleep a lot.
John: Yeah, me, too, actually. I go for nine hours – that’s my goal.
Amanda: Oh, minimum – minimum. Yeah, I – It’s funny because there are some people who are hardcore hustlers and they’re like, “Sleep? While you’re sleeping, that means you can’t work.” So, I spend less time working than less people because I sleep a lot. I don’t start working until 10:00 but it’s actually a good thing because it forces me to have focus in my work.
John: Focus. Share an internet resource like Evernote with Fire Nation.
Amanda: In the last couple months, I’ve become a big fan of Voxxer. It is a voice messaging app that I use for my clients to support them so, when they have questions, they can send me a voice message and I’ll send them a voice message back. And the reason why I love it is two-fold: there are some things that are just really, really hard to explain through email or through Facebook group support and then people have to wait for you to respond through email and through Facebook. There are some things that are so much easier to just pick up the phone, send a voice message, and have them listen to it. So that’s the first reason and the other is just it’s a really nice, intimate, and personal touch for your services.
John: If you could recommend one book, what would it be and why?
Amanda: Zombie Loyalists by Peter Shankman.
Amanda: Yeah, he shares my belief for service over sales.
John: Oh, and is that the reason why or is there any more into that?
Amanda: Oh, absolutely. This is one of my big beliefs. I could go on rants about this forever, John, but, people in this industry, they focus so much on making the next sale and not enough on the service when, in reality, if you just focus on your service, your service would sell itself and he is a big believer in that and he talks about how to do that in your business and create not just a community but loyalists – zombies who are just craving you.
John: Amanda, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Amanda: Yup, absolutely. So, my parting advice for you lovely folks is don’t buy into the 24/7 hustle. You will create a sustainable and scalable business so much faster and with so much more ease if you just work smarter, not harder. And then, in terms of connecting with me, you can go on over to marketlikeanerd.com/eofire to get an exclusive gift which is my three case study videos that reveal how my clients and I have booked seven figures in record speed and hustle-free. There’s no pitch on the videos, by the way – it’s just 100 percent meant to be an introduction to a work smarter approach to scaling your business. So, just head on over to marketlikeanerd.com/eofire.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with AGP and JLD today so keep up the heat. And head over to eofire.com, type “Amanda” in the search bar, her show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today – links to everything we’ve been chatting about, best show notes in the biz, timestamps, links galore. And, of course, get over there, grab your gift: marketlikeanerd.com/eofire. Amanda, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
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