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Name: Charles Kirkland
Charles: Kirkland: Hey! This is Charles. I hope everybody’s having a great day or evening, depending on where you are. Obviously, if you’re listening to the podcast, you have to be above ground, so life is good to some extent. Now, I’ve got a friend of mine, her name is Shola. She’s probably one of the smartest women I’ve ever had the experience to talk to, to meet. And really, we haven’t met. We’ve met virtually, online. And I just want to say, I absolutely adore this lady because she is so stinking smart. She is absolutely brilliant. So with that said, how’s it going?
Shola: First of all, Charles, flattery will get you everywhere, like most women. So thank you for that very gracious introduction. It’s absolutely a treat to be in the studio with you today.
Charles: Well, thank you so much. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to maximize your ROI and wealth by thinking like a media investor versus a general marketer. And for most people, that’s subtle. As the way I say it, thinking like a media investor versus a marketer. That’s kind of like apples and oranges. They may be fruit, but they’re completely on the opposite end of the spectrum.
So, with that said, tell us about this. You know, how can we maximize the ROI and build wealth? And how does this apply from an international standpoint? Because I’m going to just tell you, every time I’ve been talking to you you’re like, yeah, at the beach, living the life in Mexico. And I’m sitting here going, it’s cold where I’m at. So, let’s go ahead and kick that off.
Shola: Well, I think the first step is to really understand what most people’s big reason why is, right? So, imagine everyone who, at this point, might be walking the dog, or you’re doing some work in another window, or you’re doing a task, or maybe you’re even driving to or from. At the end of the day, you’re listening to this podcast, unlike everyone else who decided to do something not productive, because you want to get more with less.
And anybody who’s had a breakthrough, and I’m sure you can attest to this Charles, has realized that it really is about those subtle mindset shifts that they’ve made, as opposed to learning the next big Youtube ads hack, or the next big Facebook ads hack, or the next secret ninja display network to advertise on.
And so, when we think about how to really generate more income and wealth from our businesses – and we’ll talk about the differences later – it’s all about how do you use your resources more efficiently than other people? Because everyone has probably heard of the whole 80/20 principle, right? Well, leverage is about getting more with less. So, here’s the big idea for everyone.
When you are thinking like a marketer, you’re really mostly focused on tactics or you’re mostly focused on which traffic channel can get you profit quickly. But when you’re thinking like an investor, your single, biggest question is; number one, how can I make sure I don’t lose money, right? And then number two, it’s how can I make sure that I always get out more than I put in?
And I think when we ask ourselves how we start thinking like an investor, the first thing we say is, how can we make sure we don’t lose money, right? Everyone knows that when you’re testing, you might lose a little bit of money. But we can talk about how you really can go into your media investments, limiting the risk of losing money, because that’s the big ROI mindset of an investor. But then number two, asking yourself, well, okay, once I’m making money, how can I make sure I always get more than less?
So, I’d love to just chat, you know, as we [double click] a little bit later, about okay, how do you start out investing in media with this risk mindset? Which is, okay, I want to make sure I don’t lose as much money as possible.
Charles: That is brilliant. That is absolutely brilliant. And you hit the nail on the head. I see so many people where they’re like- and I’m going to just tell you, as a marketer, marketers are a dime a dozen. I’m going to get hate email for saying that. But I can go out today and get an online marketer, a digital marketer, a print media marketer – they’re a dime a dozen. I mean you can hire good talent. Good talent, not necessarily cheap, but overall, you can hire it.
But the reality of it is, when you’re looking at it from the standpoint of a media investor, it’s a completely different mindset. And I feel that, quite often, marketers end up – and to use this as an example – they go out, purchase a $500 course on how to do Youtube. Before they can finish the course, there’s a bright, shiny object going- you know, Youtube is like, you know, yesterday’s stuff. Right now, it’s back to Facebook.
So, a $500 investment into Facebook – before that’s over, there’s a brand new product, or how to make money with Craigslist or something. I feel like they’re always jumping from product to product to product, never actually investing in them, themselves, the education. Do you believe that’s a correct analogy from my standpoint?
Shola: Absolutely. And I think that the, again, talking about the difference between a marketer mindset and the investor mindset – and I think we should just be really, brutally honest here, Charles. This mindset shift is for people who are focused on wealth, right?
So, if you’re listening to this and you think, I just want to make as quick a buck as possible, there is some media for you. There are podcasts for you. There are blog posts. But chances are, this episode isn’t for those people.
But for the folks who have a bigger picture, you have a grander vision for what you want your business to be, or even what you want your legacy or impact to be; you really understand that there’s a difference between short-term income and long-term wealth.
So, investors, first of all, they have a rule for investing, right? So, just like if you are an investor in bonds, you don’t fiddle with the stock market. So that’s, again, a great analogy between an investor versus a marketer. So, if you’re thinking like an investor, then you’re saying, okay, let me master one ad channel. Let me master one method. Make money from that and move to the next one. Just like an investor is like, let me master investing in tech stocks. Or let me master investing in Brazilian bonds. When I get really good at that, then I will move to another asset class.
And I think most marketers haven’t been taught to, step one, master one ad channel, or master one ad creation method, okay? And then number two, once you get good at that, to the extent that you can make money consistently, then you move to the next channel. And just that one mindset shift alone, where you realize that before you move to any other method, before you move to any other ad channel, your metric for whether or not you should do that is, have I learned how to make money in this one?
Then you’ll really start to see a shift because people don’t make billions in hedge funds, or investment funds, from flipping between stock and bonds. They get really good at one particular investment strategy. They master that and then they move onto the next one. So, that should add some insight to folks who are listening.
Charles: Oh, that’s huge. And I think you hit so many nails on the head with this one. And I think the reality of it is, as marketers, we often aren’t looking at long-term growth. It’s like, okay, I need to make money tomorrow, then next day, the next week. And the thinking is so short-term, it’s like I’m going to literally cut off my potential profits to make a little bit of money now. My future profits are non-existent. They literally are thinking day to day to day.
I’ll tell you, the actions we take long-term are very different from the actions we take short-term. And I think unfortunately, so many people-
Shola: You couldn’t have said it better.
Charles: – are so short-term focused. And I’ll even use this as an example, and I know this is probably not the example people want, but when you’re looking from a standpoint of what is working now in the online world of marketing or business- for a number of years we modeled porn sites, because A), they had a massive ROI, a massive demographic to say the least, and around a year or two ago, most of these porn sites that- not that I go to these porn sites, but I follow that business- boy, this really isn’t turning out the way that I expected.
Shola: [unclear – 08:15]
Charles: Yes. And I really- it was a shock when I started realizing a lot of these people that I know in that business are telling me, Charles, we’re not making any money anymore. I’m like, what? How do you not make money? It’s adult video! And they’re like literally telling me, right now, that what would have been making literally hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, now they’re down to five or ten thousand, because literally, from their aspect, from what they’re doing, that the world changed around them, and they did not keep up. And I believe that is so common.
Charles: And as marketers, we’re short-term. So, we’re seeing day to day. As investors, they’re looking out for the long-term. And I think that’s a huge impact on business.
Shola: Absolutely. And I think a great analgy for folks is that, imagine if you were baking a cake, right? So, let me just ask you a quick question. What’s the best cake that your wife makes for you, Charles, that you utterly love?
Charles: Her grandmother has a- her grandma’s passed away, but she had a pound cake recipe that could only be baked under a full moon. It’s good.
Shola: Wow! Well, you know my grandmother’s from the south, right? North Carolina – so my mouth is watering.
Shola: Anyway, back to the issue at hand. So, imagine you decide that you’re going to bake a cake. So, your wife decides she’s going to bake a cake. And every five minutes you are opening up the oven door, fiddling with the pans, and making sure that it is rising or not. Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that that’s a cake that’ll never really come out well, because every five minutes you’re opening up, okay?
Well similarly, when people jump from tactic to tactic, like a marketer, having that marketer mindset; or they jump from ad channel to ad channel without mastering it; without giving it the time to grow; without giving their skill set a time to grow, they don’t get the end results they want.
And so, I think the challenge is most people haven’t really been taught that you need to take a specific amount of time, master one ad channel and move to the other one. And that’s how you start thinking like an investor. So, as an example, I use either three months, which is a quarter, or six months. And I tell people, okay, if you want to get good at media buying, step one is, first of all, I recommend everybody take one of those 80/20 strength-finders tests.
I don’t get any money from endorsing folks like the [Colby test], or also Perry Marshall has a test at Marketers DNA, also the book, StrengthFinders.com – all three of those resources are great. And what these tests are going to do is show you, what are you already naturally good at? You see, most times, people are just reading random blog posts or listening to random advice. But that advice is all around the writer or the speaker’s core competency, right? They don’t know anything about you.
So, step one is getting some sense of where you’re starting already. And again, that’s the mindset of an investor, right? So, let’s say an investor who lives in Silicon Valley, and has a lot of friends in the tech space. She knows that chances are, she has information that somebody outside of Silicon Valley doesn’t. So, she’s playing to her strengths.
Similarly, increasingly when you look at the hedge fund industry, you have a lot of folks with physics backgrounds, or engineering backgrounds because that’s very numbers oriented, and people already know they have a unique advantage. And so to bring this all home for everyone, Charles – step one is people listening to this need to do a strengths finder or strengths assessment test. Okay? That’s going to tell you what you’re already good at.
So, you may uncover through this test that you’re good at video. You may uncover that you’re really good at images. You may uncover that you’re good at audio. Okay. You want to start with that ad channel. You want to buy ads. You want to buy media on that ad channel. Then once you do that, you need to block out at least three, and more like six months. And say okay, for the next three to six months, I’m going to ignore everything out there on the market, and I’m just going to focus on getting really good at that.
Just like you wouldn’t expect to start learning Spanish on Monday, and by Thursday you’re switching to a Swedish or Norwegian, and then you’re wondering why you can’t talk to everybody. If you don’t really etch out some time on your calendar to get good at a specific media buying strategy that’s tied to your strengths, is there any wonder why you’re losing money?
So, I think that singular shift for people, where they start to say that, I’m going to start spending my time and my money with regard to my media buying, like an investor, as opposed to a short-term marketer- it’s just going to produce so many success stories that I’m just totally excited about the feedback that you’re going to get.
Charles: Oh, definitely. Now I’m going to get hate email. I get plenty of it everyday, but this is going to cause a lot more. Let’s talk about the difference of-I’m making money versus generating wealth. I mean, I know guys who make a lot of money, but will be broke in 30 days. I know guys who make very little money, who could probably go a year or two, you know, of savings. Let’s talk about generating wealth from business versus just generating some income.
Shola: Sure. Well, I think the biggest difference between income, which is really- so when we talk about income, we’re really talking about that as a proxy for cash, right? So, let’s just take out the word income and say cash, right?
So, what is the difference between cash and wealth? So, cash, literally, is like a liquid asset, right? And it is different from wealth, because wealth comes in many different forms. And I think the biggest a-ha for people is to understand that income is something that stops when you do. Wealth doesn’t stop. Also, wealth is something that you own, and you control, and you can transfer if something happens to you.
So everyone listening to the call, ask yourself, do you have people in your life that you love – whether it’s your kids, or your spouse, or your other family members, or just folks who just believed in you when no one else would. If something happens to you now, and your business is all about income, then when you die the income stops, right, because you just basically were totally focused on income or cash.
But if you have wealth, if you’re really using media buying to leverage your wealth – and we can talk about how one does that later – then whatever happens to you- First of all, when you stop, the money doesn’t stop. Right? And then number two, if something happens to you, then you can pass that on.
And so, if you have a media buying real business, where you focus on building wealth, then the thing is that everybody that loves you can’t inherit a job, right? But they can inherit assets. And as I talk to people often on different shows, one of the seven “D”s will happen. That’s either death, divorce, disability, disagreement between you or someone else, departure of key staff, disinterest – many of us know that we just love engaging in different projects and we get disinterested, and then the last one is disruption in your industry.
And so the thing is that if you’re singularly focused on how am I just going to make more income, then you don’t realize that at some point, one of those seven “D’s is going to happen, and that is going to interrupt your income. And ultimately meaning that you have been so focused on income, that you’ve just really created a job for yourself as opposed to an asset. Because an asset works for you no matter what. An asset can be transferred. An asset can be left to those that you love. Okay?
But your marketing income stops when you do. And so that’s again, a great example of having that lng-term versus short-term mindset. Because a few years of building wealth can last a lifetime, right? But many, many years of building income, no matter how hard you stop- when you decide you’re ready to retire, or you just want to take the next five years off, then down goes your money.
So, I really hope that mindset shift for people is really going to have them start making decisions that take that into account.
Charles: Oh, that’s huge. That’s absolutely huge. And I’m going to be honest with you, as you’re saying this, I’m thinking, that is like hitting home right now. I can see right now, people falling out of chairs, thinking where’s your seven-D webinar? We need to have a seven-D webinar right now. I mean that was brilliant. That was absolutely brilliant. Now tell us about that.
I’ll just tell you, you have the ability, because you just came from Mexico. And we talk and you’re like, yeah, I’m in Mexico, and you know, having fun there. I mean, tell us how it is that you get the ability to live international? I mean, I think that’s a huge thing. Something that, as many of us have read The Four-Hour Work Week multiple times, we realize that is a dream for a lot of people.
For some people, it’s attainable. For some people, they’re not really ready to makes that decision. But tell us about international life and you know, the adventures of a single female.
Shola: Well, I would say that it really started with me through the writings of folks like Richard Koch, who wrote The 80/20 Principle, and 80/20 Living, and other people who’ve been around for a couple of hundred years. It really started me understanding that of all of the decisions that you might make in your life, right? Three decisions are going to have the biggest impact on your overall happiness.
So, number one is what you do. That’s obvious to most people because they go to work eight hours a day. Number two is less obvious, which is who you live with. So, that totally has impacted my you know, just on a more personal note, like who I’ve decided, as much as about who I’ve decided not to marry as who I’m eventually going to marry. Sidebar is that I know that I’ve avoided at least three divorces, right? So, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you today without understanding that decision-making process. And then number three is where you’re living.
And so, why are we interested in Facebook ads? Why are we interested in email marketing? Why are we interested in webinars? It’s because we want the resources that enable us to make those three decisions that are ultimately going to impact our happiness. So, what we do, where we live, and who we spend our time with both at home on a personal level and in terms of work.
So, for me, a bulk of my time hanging out in marketing circles was all about, okay, let me just make those sales funnels perfect. Let me just find that next ninja marketing strategy. All because I knew that my work was a big part of my happiness. But when I really got the time to step back, Charles, what I realized is that you know what? You want to make profits because ultimately, those profits are going to affect the people that you have in your life, both in terms of a partner as well as your work colleagues. But it’s also going to impact where you live.
And I can tell you right now, for people who may be in Europe, I had the pleasure of living in Sweden for the better part of five years. Or for people who might be in cold parts of the world, okay, because at some point, where it’s summer in the states, it’s winter in other places. I can tell you that no matter what you’re doing, okay, I don’t care what it is, when you’re doing it surrounded by panoramic views of the ocean, and beautiful mountains, and beautiful flowers, and they sky is so clear that every night you can go out and catch the sunset, or just gaze at the stars – life gets better. That is real love.
I can tell you on a very practical level, I enjoy as much mobility – if one were to measure wealth in terms of mobility and in terms of having time to do what you want to do – I enjoy as much freedom as a double-digit billionaire. And so to pull it on back Charles, I realize that getting good at media buying was as much about having resources to, number one, be around the kind of people that I wanted to be. But also, push away the people that I didn’t want in my life.
Number two, to be able to spend every one of my 1440 minutes in the day doing exactly what I wanted to do, not what I didn’t want to do. And then number three, being in those environments. There’s ample scientific evidence that sunshine really, really makes you happy. There’s also evidence, because I just saw a difference between my life on the East coast and also when I was by the beach in Mexico, or Spain, or something like that; that even the ocean, or seeing the mountains, really affects your happiness.
And so, I would say that everyone who has really embraced online entrepreneurship, you really need to use some of your wealth. Mobility is a form of wealth, right? And so, if you’re on the East coast, because I’m originally from Washington D.C., you know a good three months out of the year, it’s hellish out there.
Well, what would happen to your productivity of you decided, even if you didn’t want to go to Mexico, or to Spain, or to Croatia, or Brazil, whatever. What if you decided that, okay, for three months out of the year, we’ll move this family to San Diego? Or, we’re going to move the family to the tip of Florida? I can guarantee you that whatever money you think that you would spend with that move, you’ll probably make it up in your productivity.
Charles, that we’re doing what we’re doing not just because we want to make money, right? We’re doing what we’re doing because those three decisions that really impact your happiness in life; what you do, where you do it, and whom you do it with – it’s almost like a lever. When you have that money in place, then all three of those factors – you can really do, you know, do what you want to do. And I’m here to tell you that environment is a really big factor in your personal happiness.
Charles: Oh, I can attest to that. I can tell you uring the winter when the sun’s not coming out. My wife looks at me and says I’m grouchy. I think she may get grouchy too, but I think I’m the one probably more grouchy. And exactly what you said. It’s one of those things where I think when we look at it, we’re like oh, well, only the multi-millionaires have the ability to go to Key West. They have the ability to go to go to Europe, go to Mexico.
And I think the truth of the matter is that’s a mindset that’s false. It’s truly a lie that we believe because we haven’t researched it. We’ve been told by people who’ve never done it that that’s how life is. I truly think life is a mobile experience. And I can tell you the more I travel, the more I see things. I mean, from even just different cultures; even within your state, you know, just looking at how different people interact with different things – what their experience is of individual items.
I can tell you this. When it gets rainy, like it’s been here, I mean, I’m grouchy. You know, it’s dark and dreary. My dog doesn’t go outside. So, I can’t go play with her. And the reality of it is, I’m sure that takes a toll on my productivity, you know?
Charles: And I just think, at the end of the day, this was something that a lot of people still I don’t think will ever get. Business, to me, is more of a game of mindset than anything else. If I’m not in the right mindset, I can sit at the computer 12 hours, get very little done. I can have the right mindset, and I can get more done in four hours then most people will get done in days. It truly is a mindset.
Shola: I couldn’t have said it better, myself. I mean people need to know. Like, why should they listen to shows like your? I can tell you why I listen to it, all right? Because I can be sitting in my desk- So, as an example, we took our family to Spain and Morocco about four years ago for the Christmas and New Year’s of a lifetime, right? And I can just tell you how funny it is. Well mom, her grandparents are originally from the South. I can tell you how funny it is trying to find collard greens in an upscale Spanish grocery, but that’s for another episode, Charles.
In any case, the whole idea was that literally before that trip, step one is that I went to the different travel agencies and the different real estate agents, and saw, okay, this is how much it’s going to take to give my family the experience of a lifetime. Okay? So, you put an actual price on it. And step two is okay. How do I sit back, and how do I launch a sales funnel? Okay? Let’s say it’s 10,000 or 15,000 or whatever. How do I launch a sales funnel in order to be able to go out, and make that money, and pay for it?
And that’s really what we’re talking about. It’s just a question of sitting down and saying, okay, maybe the winter’s coming. You might be on the East coast. You might be someplace cold. You could be in Europe, wherever it’s cold now. You’re like, okay, I just want to live in the Bahamas for three months. Okay. Go out. Talk to some real estate agents. Put a price on it. And now, you have an exact, specific target. Now you know, okay I have to go out and I have t invest two hours a day, really tweaking my sales funnels, because if I do that, the pay off is I’ll have that money in place to do what I want to do.
And so, I would really encourage everybody to sit back and say, okay. What do I actually want? Whether it’s something material or whether it’s an experience, okay? Go out. Research how much it’s going to cost. And now you know what your sales funnel has to generate. And that just makes you so excited about being an entrepreneur. Because when you’re at a job, you can’t work more and get more. Okay?
If you need, you know, tens of thousands or more that month, or the next two months from your job, there’s nothing that you can really do to all of a sudden- they’re going to kick you in from being a manager to the CEO of the company so you have that extra money. And so, I just want to encourage everybody to listen to podcasts like yours for both the lifestyle aspect of it, but also on a very practical level, because once you realize what you want, and then you put an actual price tag on it, whether it’s dollars, or Euros, or pounds, or wherever you are.
Then, you can listen to shows like yours realizing that, okay, the payoff for learning how to track better. Or, the payoff for learning how to do a better email follow-up sequence is that I’m going to be able to go out and have my sales funnel, make the exact amount I need in order to attain what I want. So, that is just so exciting to me that I just- Yeah. I can’t talk enough about it because this stuff really works.
Charles: Absolutely. And you hit on something that’s huge. And you’re talking about creating an asset in a sales funnel. And I think most people end up, they look at a funnel as, how fast can I get in? How fast can I put it together? And how fast can I throw crap to the wall to see if it sticks? And the reality of it, it’s like, to me, I’m investing my time which is the only thing I can never get back from anything.
So, when we’re looking at funnels we’re like, okay. I want to spend the time to do it right. Also, I don’t want to spend a year doing it but I want to spend the time to do it right, because it’s truly an investment. We’ve got funnel that literally, over two years old, are still making sales to this day. It’s an investment. I mean, it’s truly an investment. It’s an asset in your business. You pull it out- whether it’s a webinar, whether it’s a funnel, whatever you’re doing. You really need to look at your business, from my standpoint as a- I’m investing my time and I’m epecting ROI out the other end.
Shola: Absolutely. And just pulling us back to the whole issue of a mindset of an investor versus someone who’s a marketer, right? So, the investor thinks of what she or he acquires in terms of assets, right? The marketer is just thinking of income. And the thing about an asset is that it can appreciate, right? So, your income can appreciate.
Once again, you might spend a couple of weeks on some CPA campaigns, but then when you stop, the money stops. Well, if you spent a couple of weeks really creating a proper sales funnel, really dialing in a media strategy that you have effectively created an asset. So, what’s the difference?
First of all, the asset can generate income for you when you stop, number one. But number two, you can actually sell the asset. You see, most people in capitalist society, they make money through the sale of assets. They don’t make money through income, right?
So, that’s why folks who may have heard of the Instagrams of the world. They’re shaking their head because the founders of Instagram, they worked for four or five years, and they made a billion dollars. Well, you might be working four or five years. But chances are, if you’re just running CPA campaigns, thinking about them short-term, you’re not going to make a billion dollars, because you haven’t created an asset.
And an asset is just something that somebody else wants, and somebody else can be transferred, right? Because if you’re building something that you can’t transfer to somebdy else, it isn’t an asset. And so, whatever you do, here’s a fantastic checklist to determine whether or not it’s just short-term income, or it’s an asset.
Once again, number one, will the income stop when you stop? Number two, do you own it? So, a list is an asset. An email list is an asset. Search engine rankings are not an asset because you don’t own it. Number three, do you control it? Again, you control your database, your in-house database. You don’t control your SEO rankings. And then, the fourth one is, is it transferrable. Again, if I can’t transfer my asset from you to somebody else or vice versa, then what good is it? it’s like having a house that you can never sell.
And so, really using that fourpoint checklist to decide what you should put as a priority versus what you shouldn’t, could really help you maximize income – not just in the long-term, Charles, but also the short-term. So, that should provide some major a-ha moments for people.
Charles: Absolutely. I never heard that said before – a house you can’t sell. I like that. I really do like that. And I think the biggest issue that when people- when they’re looking at – and I’m just using this as an example. A friend of mine sent me something last night. He goes, hey, would you mind looking at this? I’m like, dude, absolutely amazing. Go build a business. Build a brand around this one thing. And he’s like, no. I want to sell the rights to it. I’m like, what?
And I’m like, dude. You know, you have an entire business built here. I mean, this is a very catchy thing. He’s like, no. I’m looking for quick cash. And I truly believe so many people make the mistake of- and I understand. Sometimes, there’s that need for cash. I completely understand that.
But I often think we overlook the ability- you know, when you’re selling for hopefully, three, four, maybe ten times. You know, when you’re looking at a multiple of that magnitude, that means your entire focus should be- where is the exit of my business, as an investor, I don’t want to buy somebody’s- I don’t want to buy them.
I want to buy something that’s going to create a positive ROI for me. And I think so many people make the mistake of building their business short-term, either around them. And I’m going to use this as a classic example. I have the highest respect for Tony Robbins, by the way, the complete highest respect. But there can not be another Tony Robbins. I don’t care how you slice it. I don’t care how you dice it. The business certainly could sell. There’s no question about that. But I think it won’t get the number that it potentially could, if that makes sense.
Shola: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. And that’s why there’s a big, I would call it –in terms of wealth versus income – the personality marketing that often happens in the internet marketing space is so flawed, because the thing is that if anyone of the big personalities, which we won’t name here. If they passed on, right, their business is basically going to stop. Okay?
Their family can’t inherit that business because a bulk of the reason why people bought from them was because of the whole guru thing. And so, you touched on something that is just so- I mean, part of my frustration with the whole internet marketing community is that there’s so much talent in the community, but people don’t really talk about the things that make the big bucks, right?
So, you mentioned the aspect of a multiple, right? So, a multiple is just how can you get paid for more than what you make? So, as an example, let’s say you have a business that is doing $250,000 a year in just income. Right? Where you’re just focusing on income, you are bringing home whatever. And then there taxes on $250,000. Okay?
Bear in mind that income is taxed differently than capital gains. And wealth creation is hugely tied to tax advantages, but that’s for a whole other podcast. In any case, let’s say business one – you’re just focused on income, and you make $250,000 in profit that year. You bring home $250,000 in profit.
Well, what if you were building a business that was sellable, right? Then you aren’t just making $250,000 in profit. But if you sold that business, let’s say at a 4x multiple, then you would make the $250,000 for every year that you’re in business. But when you sold that business, then you’d make $1M, right? And so, with one event, the sale of your business, you would make more than four years of income.
Now many people listening to this would say, well, I’m running a lifestyle business and I don’t want to sell my business. Well, number two, as I said, one of those seven “D”s is going to happen. You might get disinterested. Maybe you want to do something else. What would happen if you had a business that was sellable? And then, you could sell the business that you were no longer interested in, take the money, do what you wanted to do for a while – including buying another business versus starting one from scratch. Okay?
Also, too, divorce happens. Fifty percent of American marriages end in divorce. So there’s a good chance, at least for the folks in the states, that you might be saying, Oh, I don’t want to sell my business now, but if you end up in divorce court, that’s going to be an issue, okay? The same thing with death. The same thing with disruption in your industry. And because the vast majority of weath in America as a business owner, comes from the sale of your asset, not from the creation of it.
People have to understand that this should be your singular focus. If you want to know how you can get the most money quickest, number one, you should be thinking about how you can build a business from the start as sellable, okay? And number two, you should be thinking about how can I build the kind of business where the tax laws naturally favor me keeping as much as I make.
And so, that’s a huge mind shift for people. And even the issue of business exit or business buying versus building is something that people don’t realize that mastering media buying can help you in every aspect of that.
Charles: Oh, absolutely. I mean I think, we had our conversation- we have so many conversations together that nobody ever gets to hear. But I can tell you that if you all listened to the stuff that we said you’d be amazed. But one of the things you really touched on was the ability to buy business. When you’re talking cash flow versus- I mean is it harder to start a business or is it easier to buy a business?
Shola: I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, if there’s one thing I wish someone would’ve told me when I started out as an entrepreneur, for the love of God, I wish I had been really exposed to the idea of buying a business versus starting one from scratch. And so here’s the best analogy for people to really get this a-ha moment.
You have two options. Option one is what they’re talking about on 99.99 percent of the podcasts, blogs, webinars, email newsletters, conferences, what have you. Which is, imagine you want a house. What you’ve got to do is go out and you learn how to make bricks. And then you learn how to make windows. And then you learn architecture, okay? And then you have to learn how to do plumbing. And then you have to learn how to do interior design. And imagine you’re wanting a house that is nicely appointed and that is structurally sound. And that is the culmination of probably 20 skill sets.
Well, here’s the thing, when you start a business from scratch, it’s like the person who, instead of going out and buying a house, you decided you’re going to learn all 20 of those skillsets. And then you’re going to build your house from scratch over the course of five to seven years versus someone who says, you know what? They’re only a few things that I’m already good at. Let me go out and find the money, just like you would find a mortgage, let me go out and find the money to buy a business. And then, number one, I won’t have to learn all of those skills. I won’t have to start from scratch.
And the funny thing is, that if you buy the right house, you could rent out part of the house. Let’s say you rent out part of the basement, okay. You make enough money from renting out the basement to pay for the mortgage. And you’re in the black from day one. Well, the same thing goes for buying a business versus building a business.
Let’s say you decided you needed- you’re listening to this and you’re a white collar professional, or you’re doing this part time, and you sit down, and you’ve reasoned that in order for my income from my business to replace my income from my job, I need to be bringing home $120,000 a year. That’s $10,000 a month, okay?
Well, there are two million businesses for sale across the United States alone. Let’s say you have to buy a business at a 2x multiple. That just means that if you want to buy a business that’s cash flowing $120,000 a year Charles, you have to come up with $240,000. Right? So now, you need to buy a business for $240,000.
First of all, it’s a heck of a lot easier to get investor money for a business that’s profitable than a start-up. Most people don’t even know- it makes sense, right? Because if you buy a business and it fails, then your investors can take the business back, and sell it, and get their money back. So, just in terms of risk, buying a business is so much less risky then starting one from scratch, in addition to taking less time. So, that’s the first thing.
But number two, is unlike starting a business from scratch when you buy a business from day one you’re profitable. But where it really gets awesome is where the leverage comes in, just like buying real estate. If your business is cash flowing, let’s say $120,000 a year, well, you can go out and you can buy, in some instances, you can borrow 80 or 90 percent of the value of the business, right?
And so, maybe you only need to come up with, let’s say $25,000 or $40,000 or $50,000 to buy that business for close to a quarter of a million. And the money that you’re making from the business, just like if you bought a piece of real estate and you used the rental income to pay for the mortgage, well now you’re going to use part of the cash flow of the business to pay for the loan that you got for the business.
If your business is bringing in $10,000 a month, then you can afford to spend an extra $1,000 a month in media buying versus starting a business from scratch where you don’t have income coming in. So, to summarize everything that I’m saying, buying a business versus building a business. It’s like buying the house that you want versus waiting seven years to learn how to build a house from scratch. That’s number one.
Number two, buying a business versus building one. It’s like being profitable from day one versus having to wait years and years. Buying a business versus building a business is like having the money to invest in media from day one versus having to scramble for it.
And so, the combination of business acquisitions and media buying is so attractive because you’re really employing 80/20. And if you were to look up 80/20 in the dictionary, what we’re really talking about is how to do more with less. And so, those little nuggets right there – I almost feel a little bad here, Charles, because this is some of our secret knowledge that we only talk about when the cameras aren’t rolling or the tape isn’t rolling. But what you just really want to empower people with this knowledge, because I can guarantee you that they’re not talking about it any other place.
Charles: If you leave this webinar with nothing else, think about this. And the concept of- I’ve sold sites before. I’ve sold businesses. And I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like getting that little payday. It’s like, okay. Boom! You’ve got cash flow coming in from a site that you’ve lost passion about. But the reality is when the person uys something, and I think that this is even a better example.
To create a business from scratch, it’s difficult. I’ve done it many times and it is very, very, very difficult. You know, from the standpoint of being able to go buy an existing cash flow business – that’s like one of the smartest moves you can make. And yet, so many people think well, I don’t have the money. I don’t have the cash, don’t have this.
But if you look at how much money you’re going to spend to build a business from scratch, and if you’re not an expert, if you don’t have some skills already, that’s a steep learning curve that you may never be able to overcome.
Shola: Absolutely. And it doesn’t have to be huge numbers, right? So, everybody listening who, chances are, has spent anywhere more than $2,000 on info products, what would happen if you just went out and bought an actual site? So, here’s a ninja tactic. Let’s say you are in the dating niche. You go out and you buy a site that already has traffic for, let’s say $1,000 or $2,000. And then you add your targeting code to that site. Now you’re going out and you’re not just buying a business, you’re buying traffic, right?
And so, you don’t have to start with a quarter million dollars. You don’t have to start with $1M, you don’t have to start with $100,000. You can start with as little as $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 to go out and buy a site which is actually not only, if you’re lucky, you know, for less than $5,000 it’s hard to find businesses that are doing a lot in cash flow.
But if you go out and bought a site that is already getting the traffic that you want, number one. And number two, it has even a little bit of cash flow, right? So, there’s sites out there that are, let’s say $2,500, and they’re bringing in $100 a month in cash flow. But, those same sites might be getting 3,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 extra visitors a month. So, not only are your buying cash flow, but you’re also buying an audience.
And so, for anybody who says well I don’t have the money. Well, instead of going out and buying an info product, which won’t lead to results unless you do the work, why don’t you just go out and buy the results? When the money is transferred and you buy a site. You’re going to get the income. When the money is transferred and you buy that next info product unless you do the work, you’re not going to get the results. So, that’s another one if the investor versus marketer mindsets that really is a small tweak that just moves a huge door.
Charles: Oh, it’s huge. I can give you an example just kind of going through the seven “D”s. We have a woodworking site that used to do somewhere between $60,000 to $70,000 a year in sales. I was really passionate about it about 15 years ago. And I basically lost interest. I still own the site. It makes a few sales now, but I don’t have the passion, don’t have the interest, but yet, it could do so much.
And I would honestly, if someone had made me the right nuber, they could have it. So many things out there where people have had them for years, they’ve got long-term profits, everything, but they’ve been, like me, hit by one of the seven “D”s – no longer interested. I’m not excited over- please don’t take this- I know I’m going to get mail. I’m not excited about $60,000 or $70,000 if that makes sense.
I’d like to have an extra 60 or 70, but I’m not going to spend the time to make that business to where it probably should be, or probably where it needs to be. And the reality is, I guarantee there are tons of those businesses sitting around out there that people just haven’t thought about selling, don’t want to deal with, you know. How many things have people moved on to?
And I think that we often overlook some of that low-hanging fruit. Because if you were to purchase it- and I’m just going to use this as an example. The skills- if you have to learn how to do WordPress, do a design, do a logo, create content, set it up in a membership site, set up a shopping cart, set up a payment processor – those can easily be outsourced, but having to tie it all together versus actually just buy it all ready to go – that’s a big difference.
I mean you could purchase something and within 30 days, you could have ownership of it. And as long as you’ve got a plan to use media buying to grow it, you’re good to go.
Shola: Absolutely. And another big part of media buying is that when an investor is thinking about whether or not to, acquire your company, the single, biggest question that he or she has is as follows: will the sales continue when the ownership is transferred? And so, if your business growth strategy is focused on something that is what we call crisp.
At the firm I’ve co-founded called Convert Port, it’s controllable, repeatable, scalable, predictable, then I know, let’s say if I bought that woodworking site from you, that if the majority of your traffic came from media buying versus personality marketing, or SEO, or whatever, all I have to do is switch the Facebook ads account, or all I have to do is switch the Google ads account and the traffic is going to continue.
And so, people should understand that media buying – the actual skill of efficient media buying is as much about building your wealth – because you have a company that is sellable or transferable – as it is about short-term income. And inevitably, again, just pulling this all back to the big reason why, all we’re talking about is how to get more with less.
And so, you’re not going to hear about this on 99.99 percent of the internet marketing blogs out there because either people know about it and they’re keeping it to themselves. You’re not going to hear about it unless you can invest in their $10,000 mentoring program, or go to their $5,000 event, or they don’t know about it themselves.
And so, I think that it is only through uncovering those resources that are either expensive or they’re hard to reach, that you really get those a-ha moments. And I can tell you that if you have the skills to by media effectively, then you have the skills to acquire a business and have the same amount of work that it takes to take a campaign, let’s say from $100 a day to $500 a day, that is probably twice the work that it takes to take a business from, let’s say $100,000 a year to $500,000 a year. But we’re talking about the difference of $400,000 versus the difference of $400 extra a day. So, that should be a huge wake-up call for folks listening today.
Charles: Absolutely. Now you hit on something. Tell us about Convert Port. I’m at the site. It rocks. Tell us about it. Tell us what you can do. And how can we basically get in contact with you?
Shola: Well, Convert Port is our vision for using some of the tactics that we talked about for making businesses more sellable. So, I started out like everyone, doing lead gen, doing CPA back in 2007. And I was lucky enough to start a business. And we sold it, spent some time in Mexico, and Budapest, and London for a while, kicking around Europe.
And then I just kind of got tired of that and I wanted to do something different. And so I hooked up with two media buying colleagues in the industry, collectively we have about 25 years of experience, and we’ve humbly been able to buy ad sell about 25 billion ad impressions, generate over a million B to B and B to C sales leads, and over 25,000 customers.
So, through a lot of trial and error, we really perfected the methodology that we call GRASS. So, that’s Growth AS a Service. And our whole vision is to work with companies that are actually owned by private equity firms. But if we come across some folks who, let’s say have a really solid service business.
Let’s say you might be a coach or consultant, and you want to build a consulting or coaching practice as actually sellable versus the whole, I’m just going to do personality marketing. And then, when it’s time to retire, well, I mean, the money’s going to stop, then this is a service that’s for you. And our three pillars of growth at Convert Port, are basically [data science – 49:34] so 80/20 data science where we look at the customers and the clients that are giving you more with less.
The second pillar is effective media buying. And then the third pillar is marketing automation with our CRM platform called Convert Port. So, if you’re listening to this, and you want sales that are controllable, repeatable, scalable, and predictable, that aren’t feast and famine, and more importantly, you really resonate with this idea of building wealth versus building income – so you can live that international lifestyle; so that you can work with the people that you want; so that you have time to enjoy the relationships that you want; then by all means check us out at Covertport.com. You can send an email to me directly at Shola, S-H-O-L-A, at Convertport.com.
And we actually have a sales funnel diagnostic, where we’ll step through your whole funnel. And then, we’ll point out some of those small tweaks in your funnel where you can get more with less.
Charles: That is brilliant. And one thing I want to make sure that everybody understood. You’re not working with affiliate marketers. You’re not working with CPA marketers. Because I’ll tell you, at the end of the day, affiliate marketing and CPA is a great way to get your feet wet. It’s a great way to test a market.
But at the end of the day, I know very few wealthy affiliates because the reality is it’s not a business. Well, it is a business. it generates income. But, it’s very short-term. You’re working with long-term product owners, investors, services, things of that nature, correct?
Shola: Exactly. And the funny thing is, Charles, I think you sent me a deal a couple of weeks ago. Instead of using those affiliate dollars just to promote more products, you can buy an affiliate network. So, you could probably buy a really solid affiliate network for anywhere- a small one, but one nonetheless, for anyone from let’s say, $250,000 to $500,000. So instead of using your money to be the employee as the affiliate marketer, use your profit to actually buy the whole network.
That, again, is a subtle but powerful mindset shift. Where, instead of thinking about the- as it- like a marketer, which is more like the well-paid employee, now you’re thinking about the investor who is the person who owns it, and the person who controls it, and the person who is building something that he or she can transfer on when either you retire or when you pass on. That’s what it’s really about – legacy leverage and lifestyle.
Charles: Beautiful. Well thank you so much. I really enjoyed that. And guys, make sure you hop over to Convert Port at C-O-N-V-E-R-T Port.com. Check her out. Opt in. They’ve got a free training, so make sure you grab that. And this is Charles, guys, thank you and have a great day.