Scott Fox reveals an incredible story of how he found his way out of the poor section of Detroit and into Wall Street with a salary of $250k by the age of 23. Back in Detroit he was the talk of the town. There was just one issue… he was miserable. Fleeing the East Coast for Hollywood, Scott found hhe was once again incredibly successful by monetary standards, but miserable in his everyday life. What he did to end this vicious cycle?
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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!
- “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Samuel Goldwyn
- “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay
- This failure will strike home with a lot of people, but you’ll have to tune in to find if you are one of those people.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- How Scott found not the glimmer of gold, but the shine of happiness.
- Scott now spends his time writing books, donating all proceeds to charity, and helping businesses grow.
- I will have to name this the Thunder and Lightning round with the way Scott handles my questions.
Best Business Book
- Click Millionaire by (well yeah, it’s going to charity!) Scott Fox
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John 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 Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started today. I’m simply thrilled to introduce my guest, Scott Fox. Scott, are you prepared to ignite today?
Scott Fox: Yes, I am. Let’s do it.
John Dumas: Alright! I love it. So a little background on Scott. He’s the founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneur, a coaching community, ClickMillionaires.com, and author of the new book, “Click Millionaires: Work Less, Live More with an Internet Lifestyle Business You Love.” He’s also authored two other books, “Internet Riches” and “e-Riches 2.0: Next Generation Marketing Strategies.”
All in all, Scott, e-business strategy coaching helps solopreneurs, small business owners and corporations make more money online. Scott, did I sum that up all right?
Scott Fox: Yes. That’s about the sum of it, yes. Thanks.
John Dumas: [Laughs] Well, listen. Now that I’ve given a little overview of you, why don’t you actually tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?
Scott Fox: Well, I’m an author, as you said, but the funny thing about me I guess compared to a lot of folks who write business books is that I’m not really an author. I’m really a businessman. So I started writing kind of by accident really about half a dozen years ago because I had been active in the dot-com space and making good money online with a bunch of different high and low profile startups, and people kept asking me, how do I raise money or how do I do this or how do I do that. Then one time I got on the phone with a friend of mine and she asked me that kind of question. I talked for about 45 minutes straight, basically without a breath. Then at the end there was silence, and I thought that the call had dropped.
John Dumas: [Laughs]
Scott Fox: And she said, “You should really write a book.” Then I said, “Oh, you know, I guess I could. If I can talk for 45 minutes, that’s got to be at least 45 pages, right? [Laughs] I’m halfway there.”
John Dumas: That’s about the equation.
Scott Fox: Yes. So anyway, so I had been doing this for long enough and I had coached and counseled so many people and had enough success myself that I was able to do that. To make a long story short, I wrote that first book, “Internet Riches,” back in 2004, which was kind of nuclear wintertime for the Internet and I had a real hard time getting a publisher because nobody believed – the silly wonks in New York didn’t believe that the Internet was coming back. When of course to any of us who were involved in it, it was pretty obvious it was never going away.
John Dumas: Absolutely.
Scott Fox: So we got that book out half a dozen years ago, like I said, and it did better than I expected. Then I went back to my job in the corporate jobs – and we’ll talk more about that later, I guess. Then I got an offer for another one and it evolved. Anyway, so I got to the point where writing books, it turned out, was actually it seemed to be more my calling than working for the man.
So now I write books and I coach people fulltime. Like you said, ClickMillionaires.com. My new book is “Click Millionaires,” it’s branded as well. My mission really at this point is to help other people realize – kind of the same journey that you’re on and representing with this podcast – is to help other people realize there are different ways to live now that really are not taught in school, and that honestly almost anybody who’s smart enough to download and let’s do a podcast, like your audience, has a chance at taking a shot at something certainly much more interesting, more personally fulfilling, and perhaps even more lucrative than a traditional corporate job.
So that’s what I do. I donate the book profits from my books to charity. This is really a personal mission for me and I really enjoy doing it, and I appreciate you having me on the show to share it.
John Dumas: Well, that’s a great mission that you have there. Just quickly going back to your struggles, you were talking about your first publishing potential back in 2004. Was this, I’m assuming, before you could just go on Amazon Kindle and get your book published?
Scott Fox: Oh yes. Yes. There’s no such thing as a tablet back then. It’s hard to remember once it’s passed, but I think even the handheld devices, I think I had a BlackBerry that was only just plain black text. Even the BlackBerry wasn’t even color. So I think we’re talking like the state-of-the-art was like a text message, you know? [Laughs] So there was no self-publishing at all.
John Dumas: How far we’ve come in so short a time.
Scott Fox: Yes. Exactly right, exactly right.
John Dumas: Well, great! I feel like we have a good grasp with that, so let’s kick off the show. How we kick off the show here at EntrepreneurOnFire is with our guest’s favorite success quote. It’s kind of our way to get the motivational ball rolling and just get people fired up and really look forward to something to start the show off. So Scott, what’s your favorite success quote?
Scott Fox: Well, the one that’s driven me since I was young, I grew up in inner-city Detroit without much financial background or backing or connections or anything. For me, the differentiating factor was always just kind of outworking the other guys. So the first quote – I’ve got two for you. The first one that drove me for years was simply “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
That’s one probably a lot of people heard and I’ve heard. It’s been attributed to different people, but the most accurate I’ve researched and the closest I could find as the true source of that was Samuel Goldwyn who started the Goldwyn Studios that later became MGM. He’s the G in MGM Studios. The harder I work, the luckier I get.
All my life, I was doing things. Even in school, trying to be on the student council or whatever. Then in business, making money and people go, “You’re so lucky, you’re so lucky.” Then I’m like, “Maybe I’m lucky, and absolutely, luck is a big part of it, but I’m also working my ass off here!” [Laughs]
John Dumas: Absolutely!
Scott Fox: That’s the difference, I think. The people that don’t work don’t get what they want or think they deserve, and that’s no way to go through life. So that’s my first one, and I think that’s probably the most important one.
Then as I got a little older and made some money, and now I have a family and my priorities have shifted a little, and now it’s a little more about balance. That’s what a lot of the new book is about, is finding a balance in your work and your life because I think that’s really important.
I’ve kind of got a bigger picture with the one that’s my second one, which is Alan Kay, one of the fathers of computing, who said – again, you’ve probably heard this one – “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” That’s one of the reasons that of all the fields I’ve worked in – and I’ve worked in a bunch of them before I settled on the Internet – I chose the Internet because you can invent the future, and you can literally – if you’re a designer you can go and create a new JPEG and share it with the whole planet in half an hour, or you can put up a new blog and reach so many people or a podcast like this.
You can invent things and create really from nothing, create communities, create products, create relationships and have an impact with the Internet better than any platform in history, and I think that’s just really exciting. Create a potential is I guess really the thing that drives me and excites me the most. Helping other people find their creative potential.
John Dumas: Those two quotes really go very well together. Luck does play a part in it, but you’re never going to get that luck point unless you’re really putting in the time and the effort. That’s kind of where I go back to one of my favorite quotes, which I have brought up before. But I’ll bring it up again because it just fits so nicely into what you’ve said, is “luck is where effort meets opportunity” because unless you’re putting in the effort, you’re not going to have the opportunity to be lucky.
Scott Fox: Yes. That’s right. You’ve got to have the tools. I think another one comes to mind by Louis – I think it’s Louis Pasteur – “fortune favors the prepared mind.” You got to be ready.
John Dumas: I think we should just spend the next 25 minutes talking about success quotes because you and I, we obviously have got something going here.
Scott Fox: Yes, yes. Well, you probably don’t know this because I don’t publicize it, but I have a whole website of quotes – 365successquotes.com. You called the right guy because if you go to 365successquotes, we’ve been publishing success quotes for entrepreneurs – I forget when I started it. Maybe 2005? I mean there are hundreds and hundreds of these that I’ve been collecting from people. People email them to me from all over the world and there’s a database there of thousands of quotes like this that would [give you feed – [00:07:34] through a whole series for sure.
John Dumas: Awesome!
Scott Fox: [Laughs]
John Dumas: Well, I have just saved that as my favorite. It makes me feel good that Scott Fox feels this way about quotes, the fact that I’ve decided to make this a big part of my show. That being said, we do need to move along because we obviously could go on about this the whole day, and we’ll have to have you come back on and we’ll just have a success quote segment. That actually will probably be my most downloaded show ever.
Scott Fox: [Laughs] We could have a duel. Let’s do a duel.
John Dumas: [Laughs] Whoever blinks first. That’s what we’ll do.
Scott Fox: That sounds like fun.
John Dumas: Great! Well, thank you so much for that. Let’s move on to the next topic, which you know probably as much as anybody for just experiences that you had personally, but even more so, with how much you’ve dealt with entrepreneurs in the past and your coaching and consulting. That’s failure.
As entrepreneurs, we live in the midst of failure all the time. It’s how we learn, it’s how we grow, it’s how we improve. It’s something that’s just part of our everyday culture. Can you tell us about a specific failure in your life? Really starting with the events that led up to that failure, and then just kind of continue to tell your story.
Scott Fox: Sure. I was thinking about this before the show, and any success story has in his or her past a litany of failures [Laughs].
John Dumas: Right.
Scott Fox: So anybody that tells you otherwise is full of it. So I was trying to figure out which would be the best for this interview. I guess the overarching one, the theme that comes out to me, is the story of how I became an entrepreneur as opposed to a corporate executive. It kind of goes like this. Like I said, I grew in the inner-city and my family didn’t have any money, and we didn’t even know anybody who had any money [Laughs], and/or worked for a big company.
So the mission for me always was that the route to success, especially in Detroit in the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s when I grew up, everybody worked for big companies. So the job was, okay. Get out of high school, get to college, and then get a job from a big company, and that is success, right? There was no question of like running for president or being a basketball star or something. I mean getting a job was the big deal.
So that’s the way I was programmed, and I did that. I put myself through college on scholarships and financial aid. Then I got recruited to Wall Street and I was actually an investment banker, which is pretty unusual for a kid of my background. But I got onto Wall Street and actually did very well there.
By the time I was about 23, I was making several hundred thousand dollars a year, which in every version of the American dream, that is success, right?
John Dumas: Yes.
Scott Fox: I mean especially 25 years ago when there were no Mark Zuckerbergs to point to, right? I was a vice president at a major New York investment bank by the time I was 24, which is truly unheard of, and seemed perfect on paper. The problem was I was miserable.
John Dumas: [Laughs]
Scott Fox: There’s that hours for dollars tradeoff, and when you work those kind of hours, no matter how much they pay you, especially when you’re a young guy, you have other interests. Right? Fortunately, I was really good at it. Anyway, I don’t want to go – I can go on for hours, but this…
John Dumas: You were in New York City, which has plenty of options for young men.
Scott Fox: [Laughs] Yes. Plenty of distractions, especially if you have real money in your pocket. So the lesson learned there – my mom even tells the story – I actually got in there and I was working even within weeks of graduating and I got on the training program there. Well, at first I was excited. Then I called home one day and I said, “Mom, is this what I worked so hard in school for? This sucks!”
I just wasn’t fitting in and I was unhappy, and I thought it was my fault that I was in a cubicle and wearing a suit and tie and everything. That’s all fun for a couple of weeks. A suit and tie. I’m important. I work for a bank. But after a few weeks, months, years, the paychecks keep going up, but the routine doesn’t change, and it really grinds you down. Anybody listening to this who has a “real” job, probably can relate to this at some level or another.
So anyway, this pattern repeated several times in the last 20 years. I did that in banking, and then I went to law school. I said, “I quit.” I walked away from banking because I just couldn’t hack it with all – I basically retired by the time I was 25. I walked away. I said, “Well, I’ll go be a lawyer.” So I tried that.
Same story. I found another great job. Very important, very powerful in an entirely different industry. I went into the entertainment business in Hollywood. Then I did the same thing in Silicon Valley with startups. I tried again. Every time, I got big jobs, bigger and bigger jobs, more and more money. I did very well, they didn’t want me to leave, and I quit every time.
That was my failure. So here’s the point. The failure was thinking that I was going to find success working for someone else. It’s just not who I am. To be fair to me, I guess I couldn’t know that because I had no role models and I didn’t have maybe the mentors that you’ve had to have the courage to go and do what you’re doing. I had to learn it the other way, which was actually by making enough money to prove to myself, hey, I can do this, and I still don’t like it.
So I guess my message, if this was on theme and you can guide me with your questions, but for your audience, is there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t like that kind of work [Laughs]. The American dream is all set up to be – at least the way I was raised – to work for the big company. If you don’t like making a lot of money working for that big company, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid or crazy. It just means that you’re cut out for something different.
There are other ways to find success, and that’s what I’ve been doing with my books and everything ever since. I’ve walked away from more big six figure jobs probably than most people even interview for, in different industries. That’s what finally proved after the last one – I had a dream job as head of business development for a top Silicon Valley startup that had raised a ton of money. I did it about six weeks, and I was like, “This is not me. I just can’t do it.” It’s just not me, and I quit and I went and wrote another book [Laughs].
John Dumas: Well, let me just pull something out of your story there that is so important and so inspiring to me and I know is inspiring to my listeners as well. That is here you are from Detroit. You get out to New York City. You have a great six figure job on Wall Street, wearing a suit and tie to work. I’m sure people back home were talking about Scott Fox.
Look at him, he’s made it. It didn’t feel right for you. So you got out and you tried law school. You did law school. Then you went to the opposite coast and searched for something that was passionate for you in Hollywood. That wasn’t clicking with you.
You continued to just push until you finally were able to get to a place where not only were you successful in your mind, but you are also happy and fulfilled in your mind. Just that, never giving up despite facing failure – and for you the failure was not success-wise, but it was on a happiness level-wise – is so inspiring, and I just have to commend you for that.
Scott Fox: That’s really good stuff. I had never looked at it that way. Honestly. I beat myself up because of the failures. I think most successful people do. They’re always pushing themselves because of what they did wrong, but I guess you’re right. That does demonstrate a pattern, doesn’t it? You might call it [abstinence – [00:14:36].
John Dumas: I just see a lot of myself in what you’ve done, and it inspires me to keep driving forward. I was an officer in the army for eight years, and that was a very enjoyable time for me. But then when I got out, I was kind of trying to find my place in society. So I went to law school, and that just wasn’t right for me. So then I went and worked for a big finance corporation in Boston, John Hancock. Again, that just wasn’t for me. Then I moved to San Diego and tried real estate. I just wasn’t finding my passion, although in each one, I was successful. I just wasn’t enjoying myself, and I’ve continued to push my limits to find what not only I’m going to be successful at, but happy at. So I just hope I can continue to follow in your footsteps, and potentially one day be the success that you are.
Scott Fox: Well, my pleasure. Thank you for helping me find a way to feel better about all that. Seriously, it’s all about how you look at it, isn’t it? You’re right. You gave me a new way of thinking about that, and I guess that those failures all add up to success at some point if you keep pushing.
John Dumas: Absolutely. That’s what we’re all about here at EntrepreneurOnFire, is the journey because the journey is what shapes us. I’m really glad to be able to be sharing your journey as an entrepreneur because I just think it’s a great one. So that being said, let’s transition to the next topic, which is the aha moment.
At some point in every entrepreneur’s life, you just stumble upon this great idea or a light bulb comes on and you just literally say to yourself, “Oh my God! That’s it! That’s something. I can do this!” What was your aha moment and how did you translate that into success?
Scott Fox: In 2007, I had written my first book, “Internet Done Well.” Then my second book, my publisher, the American Management Association, came back and said, “That book did well. We’d like you to write another book.” Well, I’m an executive vice president at this point at a Fortune 500 corporation. I started a web division for a really big multinational, and I was in charge of the whole thing. It was growing rapidly. I was literally an employee. There was the president of the division and I was the executive vice president. So I was the one actually running – pretty much running the show. I was number two in this division and we were setting up a big thing, right?
But my publisher came to me. At that point we had grown already from I think – I was number two. I think I had about 30 people working for me. So it had grown really rapidly in like a year. But it was a job, right? So they came to me and said, “Well, we’d like you to write another book.”
So I went to my boss and I said, “Hey, you know, I’ve got this opportunity to write another book, and I’d like to do this.” They gave me a three week leave to go and write the proposal because you don’t actually write a whole book. First, you write a proposal and you send that out to the publisher and see if anybody cares, right?
John Dumas: Right.
Scott Fox: [You get a bit – [00:17:20]. So I took three weeks off, which is pretty generous, right? I mean they really liked me. I was doing well. I took three weeks and I wrote the proposal, and then I came back to the office. It was going to take a couple of months to hear back on the proposal anyway.
I went back to the office and I said, “Okay. Now I just had three weeks off. I’m rested and ready. My mind is clear now because I did this proposal. I should be ready to go and to just knock this out to the fourth quarter and we’ll have a great end of the year” because that was in August. I lost my freaking mind. It was worse than I expected. Being away actually made me more upset when I came back. Within about a month, I was seriously thinking of just quitting. This was just too much for me.
Now the point of this is anybody listening to this, they’ll say Scott’s a wooz. Yes, I guess I am, because what I figured out is that management is way overrated. I had all these people reporting to me and I was hiring so fast that I was – half of my day every day was just spent interviewing people. We were growing so fast.
The lesson again, and my journey again, has been one kind of a reaction against the corporate American dream. It’s that now I was an executive vice president at a Fortune 500 corporate. This is a big job. Anybody in the world will say that’s a big job, right? And it was going really well. I hated it because the thing that they tell you when you’re a young trainee is you rise up the ladder, you make a lot of money, you get important and power and you get to manage a whole bunch of people, and you get the corner office, right? I had the corner office again.
John Dumas: With a view.
Scott Fox: With a view. 18th floor, corner in Hollywood, overlooking. It was a beautiful place, right? But I also had 40 people all looking at me, each with their own egos, and more people every day, and I’m trying to manage all these stuff and it just wasn’t me. So my point is those big jobs, they come with a price tag. And the more they pay you, the more they expect from you. I was on 24/7. My wife, we were having our second child. I had obligations at home, at work. All these children essentially at work that needed my attention constantly.
Management is overrated, the corner office is overrated, and I quit in November [Laughs]. My aha moment was no matter how many books you read or try to convince yourself, if this is not you, it’s not you. I quit, and they couldn’t believe it. They just couldn’t believe it.
John Dumas: So five years ago, you said, “Enough with this. I’m out”?
Scott Fox: Yes. I had the job that I thought – if you had told me when I was a kid in Detroit that I would’ve had that job, I wouldn’t have even believed it was possible, right? I had found what I thought was the American dream, and again… [Laughs]
John Dumas: It comes with a price tag.
Scott Fox: It does. It comes with a price tag. That’s the piece they don’t tell you. That’s fine, right? I’m not saying anybody deceived me, but it’s hard work – and this is the key, I think – it’s hard work as the corporation defines it. They’re not interested in your personal fulfillment or what you had in mind in terms of what creative juices you wanted to exercise or any of that. It’s bottom line profits, and that’s fine. That’s the capitalist system. I’m very much a capitalist. But if you work for somebody else, they’re in charge of your life, and the higher you go in the corporate pecking order, the more in charge of your life they are because there are very few of those spots at the top, and if you don’t play ball exactly the way they want it played, then you’re out and the next guy comes in. It’s very demanding.
So anyway, long story short, I’m now what I call a “click millionaire,” which is somebody who works on their own terms on the Internet [Laughs]. I have a team that works for me, but they’re all part time contractors spread across the world.
John Dumas: Right.
Scott Fox: It’s just a much more flexible, creative, independent way to live, and I’m a lot happier.
John Dumas: Well, let’s go there. So it’s December 1st. You had just quit your job. What do you do, moving forward from this point?
Scott Fox: So I thought, well, this time I will really – because I had written the previous book part time. In this case, I had a book offer outstanding. So it wasn’t like I was just on the street. And I had quite a bit of money already. So I was not just coming out of college or finding a job with no savings, as a lot of people unfortunately are.
So I went back towards the book, and I started rearranging everything towards figuring out who I wanted to be when I grew up, which I was old enough to have solved that several times already, but life’s a journey and not a destination. So I started over and looked at the Internet where it was at that point and focused on the book.
At that point it was the dawn of social media marketing. So that was my second book, “e-Riches 2.0: Next Generation Online Marketing Strategies.” So I wrote a book about Twitter and Facebook and blogging and podcasting and all that sort of stuff, and like really became the online business expert that I wanted to be.
John Dumas: So you wrote about podcasting back in 2007?
Scott Fox: It was 2008 by then, but yes.
John Dumas: 2008? Nice! You were definitely ahead of the curve there. That’s great. That’s great.
Scott Fox: Well, that’s my thing. I’ve been ahead a long time. I [Unintelligible [00:22:13] first dot-com in 1996. I’ve been at this as long as anybody. Probably longer than most folks. I did graduate school at Stanford, so I was there when this all started. So it’s been easy in retrospect to see where it was all going, but as everybody knows, on a daily basis, you got to pick your bets [Laughs].
John Dumas: You’ve got to pick your bets. Exactly. So you had your aha moment. You created some strong action from that moment. You moved forward. You created the current business that you have today. Very exciting stuff.
There’s a couple of questions I want to ask you specifically about your business. You’ve touched upon it in various ways. Specifically, the word “click” keeps coming up and the word “click millionaire.” I just want to kind of hammer down and make it very clear to the listeners here. What exactly is a click millionaire?
Scott Fox: [Laughs] Well, I know it sounds like getting rich quick, but it’s really not. It’s the opposite. A click millionaire is a lifestyle entrepreneur who uses the Internet to build a business that they find personally interesting and fulfilling, that also makes money. So not a billion dollar business, but a lifestyle business. So this may be a billion dollar business, but it also may just be a few dollars on the side from your current job.
A click millionaire is somebody who uses the Internet to build a business on their own terms and make as much money as they want to. So money is important, but I often say that the money is just the gasoline for the trip, and not the destination in itself. So click millionaires are about lifestyle.
That’s what the new book is about. It’s actually got a bunch of lifestyle exercises before we get into the specifics about which kind of business to build. It’s about balancing. It’s about doing everything that’s not a corporate job. It’s like starting with what do I want, and not what does my boss want. What do I want? Well, I’m interested in these things. Well, which of those has business potential, and what kind of business potential do they have? Should I start a blog or a podcast or do some YouTube videos?
Working with all the modern tools we have today that costs so little. You don’t have to raise venture capital and all that. You don’t need to know a lot of technology. You can go in and become a click millionaire by building a business on your own terms that serves your personal lifestyle priorities. That’s what I mean when I say click millionaire.
John Dumas: Very cool. This next question, I’m really excited to ask because you have been ahead of the curve so many times that I really am curious about what is your vision for the future? What are you seeing just over the horizon? What is exciting you right now?
Scott Fox: [Laughs] Well, there’s so much. I mean, the number of opportunities, yes, I get really excited. I could get real excited.
John Dumas: In 30 seconds [Laughs].
Scott Fox: Exactly right. This is radio, right? Well, mobile, right? I mean gosh! Mobile is coming at us at the size of a tsunami wave that nobody…
John Dumas: Yes.
Scott Fox: Right? I mean mobile, holy cow! So what’s that going to do? And I am very weak on mobile myself. I’ve been so busy with the first wave or two of the Internet, so I don’t know that much myself. So I’m excited about that. What I think is really exciting – a little bigger picture quickly – is that the Internet is pulling together the human potential of billions of people. It continues to grow. Broadband continues to penetrate, more and more people get devices, and yes the devices in third world countries are slower and their connection speed is slower, but all these people are coming together.
If you think about all the human potential that’s been locked away in the barrios in South America or the slums in Nairobi, or even the slums in Detroit, everybody’s slowly getting online. This rising tide. Then you unlock the creativity and intelligence of all these people when they can finally connect without geographical barriers, and increasingly, even language barriers are going to start to fall as Google Translate penetrates everything.
What is going to be created when it’s more than the top 1% of the world that gets to call the tune? Right? When all these people come on, and can help each other and reach each other? I think it’s staggering what we’re going to see in the next 20 years, and I think it’s very exciting. Very exciting.
John Dumas: I think it’s exciting as well. Let’s use this point, because I know it’s going to come up in this next round – the Lightning Round that we have going on here. I’m going to just ask you these five questions. The first one that we have is what was the number one thing that was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Scott Fox: For me, it was a mental block, thinking that success meant working for a big company, carrying a business card that had an impressive title on it and having a steady salary, and the corner office. To me, that was just the way I was raised. Twenty years ago, like I said, there were no Mark Zuckerbergs, Steve Jobs hadn’t really hit it even yet, and it was not obvious that there were alternative paths.
Being an entrepreneur, especially in a corporate town like Detroit, was kind of a, “What? You can’t hold a real job?” sort of path.
John Dumas: Right.
Scott Fox: So for me, it was getting past that and thinking, “Hey, I can be a smart, hardworking, successful person, but not have a business card that has a big name behind me.” That credibility was hard for me to establish, but I think I’ve done that now and I try to help other people realize that you can be yourself. That’s one of the great things the Internet does. It allows people to connect on a more personal basis and get beyond that to be themselves and use that as an asset instead of a liability.
John Dumas: What was the best business advice you ever received?
Scott Fox: Well, that would have to be from my dad. It’s not just business advice. It’s life advice. It’s a simple one. He always would say, “Go with your gut.” When you’re faced with a difficult decision, the standard thing if you’ve been to business school is you write down pros and cons and pluses and minuses and try to quantify or like do a spreadsheet sort of approach.
That’s certainly helpful because it shape things out, but at the end of the day, any hard decision is hard because the sides are roughly balanced, depending on how you look at them. At the end of the day, you got to trust yourself. My dad would always say, “Well, what does your gut say?” You have to listen to that gut when the decisions are hard on a financial basis, but also particularly on an ethical basis. There are people and opportunities that are presented all the time and they may look great on paper. They have a great PowerPoint presentation or whatever. Take you out to a nice dinner. But if your gut says no, you got to back away because that’s dangerous and people get hurt.
John Dumas: That’s very powerful. I actually had a guest on the other day who said it wasn’t until a psychic told him that he was not following his gut, that he realized that that was true, and he needed to. So he doesn’t necessarily believe in psychics, but it just really was a slap in the face that, I need to start listening to my gut. So it’s a very powerful theme, and one I cannot concur with more.
Scott Fox: RightJohn Dumas: So what is something that’s working for you in your business right now?
Scott Fox: For me, the longer I’ve been at this – and this means I guess my whole life [Laughs] just being everything.
John Dumas: Right.
Scott Fox: If you want to get anywhere – and I don’t just mean money. I mean anything. You’ve got to focus on one thing. Actually, this is in the book. There are seven principles in there about lifestyle design and lifestyle businesses and how to do them from my own research and my own experience. The first one is this answer to this question. You’ve got to help people. It sounds very kumbaya, but if you’re not helping other people, either on like purely charity, altruistic basis, that’s great. But even in business, if you’re not helping them, they’re not going to pay you what you need to be paid to keep helping them.
Helping people is the foundation of everything. The more I get on with this – one of the things from the book that I came up with and I’m hoping this becomes a quote that other people maybe even requote is “you’ve got to find a need to serve that’s greater than your own need to make money.” That’s, I think, really important for anybody who wants to make money or get anywhere in life, is that your need to make money, I know it’s important to you, but nobody else cares [Laughs]. [I mean maybe me – [00:30:14], or your kids for sure, but you’ve got to find a need that’s bigger than yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t commercialize the heck out of it, but you have to help people, or they’re not going to pay attention.
John Dumas: Yes. That’s obvious that that is at the forefront of everything that you do in your business. I’m trying to emulate that as well here at EntrepreneurOnFire.com with this free podcast, is really get messages like yours out into the universe for people.
In these countries that you’ve mentioned like Nairobi, like Somalia, that are just now starting to get cell phones and access to the Internet that can, with a simple act, reach out and for free, be exposed to a different way of thinking and a different way of looking at the world.
Scott Fox: Great. Great stuff.
John Dumas: Okay. This is the last question, and it is by far my favorite. I think that you’re going to knock this one out of the park. So I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but you need to hit a homerun here. Okay? [Laughs]
Scott Fox: Okay.
John Dumas: It’s kind of tricky, so listen closely. If you woke up tomorrow morning where you had all of your experience and knowledge that you have today, but everything that you’ve done has completely disappeared, forcing you to start somewhere, anywhere from scratch, just like many of our listeners are right now. They would be starting from scratch. What would you do?
Scott Fox: [Laughs] Well, that actually sounds like a dream to me. This might surprise you or your listeners, but I would love that because I love everything I do. I only do things I love. That’s the definition of a click millionaire. But I also have to keep serving old ideas, things that I did a while ago, and I’m obsessed with new stuff. So if I could start really from scratch, that would be awesome! [Laughs]
John Dumas: [Laughs]
Scott Fox: All the blogs I have to keep updating. No – just all the [neglig – [00:32:08] stuff. Right?
John Dumas: So what would you do, Scott?
Scott Fox: So what would I do? Well, I would go out and I would find a community of people that shared my interest, that are things that we both have in common. Interests, hobbies, expertise, maybe a business experience, life experiences, and I would try to make as many friends as possible.
That doesn’t sound like a business approach, but it is. Make as many friends as possible. That’s why the Internet makes it so easy with social media. Go out and make a ton of friends. The reason to do that is A, you get more friends, which is an awesome goal in and of itself. But that doesn’t pay your mortgage, obviously.
You get out there, you make friends, and you start to figure out what the community is missing. What needs do they have that aren’t being served? With the Internet, you can step in and serve those needs. Almost anything can be sourced online, and so many things can be delivered digitally, and if not delivered digitally, at least the orders can be taken digitally.
You get in and make friends. Develop that community into something. The bottom line goes back to my previous answer – you help them. Find a need that they have and try to help them. You know what? I think that’s going to turn into a business if you’re smart about it.
John Dumas: That’s great advice. Thank you very much for that. I want to thank you for joining us on today’s program at EntrepreneurOnFire. You gave us some great actionable advice, and we’re definitely all better for that.
Just before I let you go, do you have any last piece of advice or shoutout to Fire Nation?
Scott Fox: Well, I’d encourage anybody listening to this to join John on that journey. There’s a lot of potential out there. If you don’t think you’re qualified, you’re wrong. There’s a platform. The Internet is a platform for anybody to make anything out of themselves that they want to be.
I’m here to help you if you’d like. Come to the ClickMillionaires.com forum. Membership is free to my readers. We’d be happy to help you too 24/7. Keep listening to John’s podcast. You’re in the right place.
John Dumas: Awesome, Scott. Well, we will definitely keep up with each other, and catch you on the flipside.
Scott Fox: Thank you, John. I really appreciate being here.