Announcer: Thank you for joining us for EntrepreneurOnFire’s Weekend Jam Session with your host, John Lee Dumas. Prepare to ignite!
John Lee Dumas: Hey, Fire Nation! Thanks for joining me for the first ever Question and Answer session. I reached out to our email subscribers and said, “Hey, what do you guys want to ask me about entrepreneurship, about business and what have you?” I received a ton of great feedback. I’ll get to as many of the questions as possible. If you do want to submit a question the next time, go to EOFire.com, subscribe to our email list, and the next time I send a request out, you’ll definitely get it.
So our first question is from Peter Alberti, the founder of PetChance.org, whose mantra – which I love – is “giving pets a chance when money is tight.” My dog is a rescue dog. I got him about two years ago. So I just really love these organizations. It’s definitely a soft spot in my heart. His question is “What’s the best way to get the word out about a new social impact business? Spamming Facebook pages is a bad plan, and traditional PR, while somewhat helpful, seems like the wrong way to go. Yes, it will proliferate over time, but is there a good way to kick start the buzz?”
So let’s break this down into a couple of areas. He is right. The first way, spamming Facebook pages, is not a good idea. You definitely want to find a balance between adding value and then promoting your own stuff. This would be a fine line. You don’t want to cross that. Then traditional PR, yes, a lot of people give it a bad rep these days. I would definitely recommend PRWeb. Just go ahead and google that. I used that for EntrepreneurOnFire. I got a lot of great press. I was featured in Yahoo! News, CBS, ABC, NBC. It got a lot of page impressions and did drive a lot of traffic to my site. It costs about $100. So there’s some investment there, but that’s what we do with business.
So my direct answer to this is go out there and find your people. Go to forums, go to your competitors’ sites to try to add value with them. Maybe offer to do an interview and have them do interviews with you so you can leverage both of your audiences. A great point that Derek Halpern of Social Triggers brought the other day, you don’t always need to stay in your industry either. Think about this. If you’re in the fitness industry, you can go to a fashion blogger or somebody in the fashion industry. You can ask them to feature you on their site because who doesn’t want to fit into their dress or into their jeans? So you’re adding value to that industry leader without having any competition in there. So it’s a win-win for both people.
That’s kind of thinking outside the box and that’s what you need to do here, Peter. So think outside the box. Go to places like Quora and Yahoo! Answers and really just help people. That’s what you need to do, is help. EntrepreneurOnFire is all about helping people. If you want to make millions, you need to help millions. So start small, grow, and just do it the right way, and kick start that buzz.
Alright. The second question is from Rachelle Greiner at rachellegreiner.com. She writes, “Hi, John. My question is quite simple. How do you become a better blogger? How do you improve your writings so it’s easily comprehendible and organized? Thanks.”
Well, Rachelle, that question is not as hard as you would think. I just interviewed Chris Brogan. His show will be airing in early November. He writes at least 1,000 words every day, and in fact, he’s on a 20,000 words in 20,000 days contest right now with a bunch of other people. So you just need to write. You become a better blogger by blogging. You become a better writer by writing. It’s the 10,000-hour rule by Malcolm Gladwell in his Tipping Point. Also, read. Read other bloggers that you really are impressed with. Read other writers that you’re really impressed with and who you want to model yourself after. It’s by doing these things, by being around success and around what you like. Again, 10,000 hours is what you need to be looking at. Start small and build.
This next question is from Joel Hawkins of marketstreetsoapworks.com. “John, I am 2.5 months into running my new business. I still work fulltime too. I know I can make more money at my business if I quit my job. However, starting out, it would not match what I currently make fulltime. At what point do I take the plunge, quit my job and give the company my full attention?”
Well, Joel, you’ve come to the right place. EntrepreneurOnFire is all about stories of people who have taken that plunge. Now, you don’t just take the plunge blindly, and you haven’t because you obviously worked in your passion, in your industry, and you know that you can make a profit from it. You also need to do some simple math here. How much money do you currently spend per month? How much time is it going to take you to get to the point where your income from Market Street Soap Works is going to match what you’re making? Do you have six months’ worth of savings if you need six months to ramp up to that?
This is really, as I previously said, a math equation, and you need to really factor in on the safe side. If you think it’s going to take you six months to get to where you need to be, then plan at it taking 12 months because there’s a lot of things that happen. I pretty much like to double everything when it comes to these things just to be on the safe side. Again, it has to do with your situation. How much responsibility do you have? Do you have a family? Do you have kids that depend on you? A wife? If it’s just you, can you move back in with the parents, if need be, worst case scenario? Again, take those factors into account. Be very conservative with your numbers. Write it down on a piece of paper. Take it to your accountant. Take it to a lawyer. Make the decision based on math.
This next question is brought to us by Andrew [Seeley], Best in Health and Wealth. It’s quite a long question so I’m going to paraphrase. Basically, what he’s asking is this. He has two awesome entrepreneurial ideas. One is “YOYIN,” which is an acronym for “Yoga Outdoors, Yoga In Nature.” He loves it. He’s currently doing great with it right now. He’s having some success in Meetup.com. He takes people out into nature, into the wilderness, and does his yoga in theme parks and beaches and natural locations.
His second entrepreneurial idea is Good Grace Sweets Food Truck. They would specialize here in their delicious signature cupcakes. Some of it with sprinkles, which a lot of us are probably all too familiar with. His girlfriend is really skillful with these recipes and baking skills. So basically, Andrew is seeing this as the easier of the two ideas. However, I can just tell from this message that he’s written me that his passion is YOYIN. So you need to ask yourself this question, Andrew. Are you really passionate about cupcakes? Do you really want to be baking and distributing and running that business?
A book I need you to read, I really need you to read this book. It’s “The E-Myth Revisited” with Michael Gerber. It’s all about how people take what they’re passionate about and then turn it into a business. Then they realize that they’re no longer doing what they’re passionate about. They’re actually spending all their time and energy running the business and it’s exhausting. So you really need to decide. You’re passionate about YOYIN. That’s a great business. I really feel like that’s something that you’d be very excited about and your passion would shine through. That is so important. If that’s something that you see yourself really wanting to do 10, 15, 20 years from now, it could be something great to grow because you’d be working in the business and not necessarily on the business because it’s something that you love.
With Good Grace Sweet Food Truck, do you really want to be running a company that is selling cupcakes? I don’t know. I know that if I was passionate about yoga and I was not passionate about sweets, I would not want to be running a gourmet food truck just because it was financially feasible. Keep me updated. I’m really curious as to how you progress.
This next question comes – and I hope I’m pronouncing his name correctly – Lance [Duma]. His question is very simply “Happiness and freedom seem to be a theme/goal for a lot of entrepreneurs that you have on your show, but have any of them mentioned any tangible metrics they use to track progress/success, growth of brand or net earnings, etcetera?”
One thing we need to realize as entrepreneurs, how important it is to track your progression, to track your success, to track your brand and to track your net earnings. Those are all key factors if you want to run a successful business. As entrepreneurs, we’re not just chasing our passions. We’re trying to build feasible business structures. So his question is great. On EntrepreneurOnFire, we talk about the journey. So we talk about the failures, then the aha moment, then their vision for the future. This angle of talking about actual tangible metrics is so important and so key too, it’s obvious that I’m going to be integrating it into the Lightning Round of the show because it’s such an important part about being an entrepreneur and building that sustainable model of a business. So Lance, great point you brought up. Let’s continue to challenge these entrepreneurs that we have on the show. It’s questions like these that are just going to make our format better for you, the listeners, Fire Nation.
The next question is from Ben Curry of baddice.co.uk. His question is “How much of your routine for producing the show is outsourced and how much of it are you doing yourself?”
Well, thanks for that personal question, Ben. Let me tackle that for you. Obviously, I do the interviews myself. I’m sitting here at my computer on Skype with the interviewee. After the interview is completed, I take a lot of pride in editing the audio so it’s music to your ears instead of a lot of ums and ahs and stammers and silent spaces like this [Laughs].
Then I take the MP3 and put it on Dropbox where my VA goes and transcribes the entire interview. This takes her about four hours to do on average for a 30 minute interview, but it’s a very important aspect of it. If you listen to the Rand Fishkin interview that I had, having the transcriptions on the site in the show notes after every single show adds incredibly to the SEO, and plus, there’s just a decent segment of the population that likes to read. It’s not the majority, but a lot of people would be driving to work. They’ll be three-quarters of the way down the podcast, and so then they’ll walk in and they’ll just say, “Hey, I want to consume it via the transcript now that I can’t listen to it anymore because I’m at work,” or some people just want to consume the entire thing via transcript. So I want to offer to that aspect of my listeners, and I also want it for the SEO aspect.
Then I go and I add the intro and the outro with the music and the call to actions. I won’t get into too much detail here because this is very podcast-specific, but then after I do all of that, I convert it into an MP3 and I tag the MP3 with the artwork that I have for EntrepreneurOnFire so I can submit it to Libsyn, and then Libsyn’s RSS feed automatically shoots it over to iTunes so you can get it every single day.
If anybody has any more detail questions about the podcasting process, please feel free to email me, email@example.com. I’m also developing a tutorial as well, so it’ll be a very hands-on screencast of the entire podcast process from start to finish with all the systems that I use.
Alright, Ben. Thanks a lot for that. I really did enjoy tackling that question. That’s going to do it for this session of EntrepreneurOnFire. So thank you very much for those who joined me today, and a special thanks for those who did send me the questions. There’s going to be another one of these tomorrow. I have another seven or eight questions to go through. So Sunday, go ahead, before your football team starts, come on down, download the podcast, and we’ll get some more questions answered.
So Fire Nation, that’s a wrap. Thank you so much for joining me, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Announcer: Thank you for joining us at EntrepreneurOnFire.com. If you would like to submit your own question, go to EOFire.com, subscribe to Fire Nation, and prepare to ignite.
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