Podcast: Download (Duration: 49:20 — 56.7MB)
Today I thrilled to have my buddy Daniel DiPiazza back on the show. Now if you don’t remember Daniel, I had him on my podcast back on episode 103 where he talked about how he got 130K Instagram subscribers in 6 months.
He’s the owner of Rich20Something.com where he teaches young people how to start their own freelance businesses. But a lot has happened since we last spoke.
For one thing, he acquired Under30CEO.com which is another huge entrepreneurship site. And he has published his very own book entitled Ditch your average job, start an epic business and score the life you want.
Today we’re going to talk about the best way to make money as quickly as possible. Enjoy!
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What You’ll Learn
- How to make money when you have very little money to invest.
- The best advice for getting freelance gigs
- Why Daniel decided to write a book
- What the heck is the marsupial method?
Other Resources And Books
- Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business, and Score the Life You Want
Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.
Ignite.Sellerlabs.com – If you are selling on Amazon and running Amazon Sponsored Ads campaigns, then Ignite from Seller Labs is a must have tool. Click here and get a FREE 30 Day Trial.
ReferralCandy.com – If you’re already getting steady orders every month, adding a refer-a-friend program to your store can give you a new sales channel. And ReferralCandy is the best in the business. Click here and get a FREE $50 credit towards your account.
SellersSummit.com – The ultimate ecommerce learning conference! Unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high level BS, the Sellers Summit is a curriculum based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an ecommerce business. Click here and get your ticket now before it sells out.
Now before we begin I want to give a quick shout out to Klaviyo who is a sponsor of the show. Now I’m always super excited to talk about Klaviyo because they are the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store, and I actually depend on Klaviyo for over 20% of my revenues. Now you’re probably wondering why Klaviyo and not another provider. Well Klaviyo is the only email platform out there that is specifically built for ecommerce stores, and here’s why it’s so powerful.
Klaviyo can track every single customer who has shopped in your store and exactly what they bought which makes it extremely powerful. So let’s say I want to send an email to everyone who purchased a red handkerchief in my store, easy. Let’s say I want to set up a special autoresponder sequence to my customers depending on what they purchased, piece of cake, and there is full revenue tracking on every single email.
Now Klaviyo is the most powerful email platform that I’ve ever used and you could try them for free at mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.
I also want to give a shout out to my other sponsor Seller Labs, and specifically I want to talk about their brand new tool Ignite which helps sellers manage their Amazon sponsored ads. Now right now I’m actually using this tool to manage my own Amazon sponsored ad campaigns, and it makes things a heck of a lot more convenient.
So first of all I’ve always found it a major pain to generate my PPC reports on Amazon, cut and paste the data over to an excel spreadsheet and use pivot tables before I would do any analysis at all. But Ignite pulls out all that info for you automatically and allows you to easily see what keywords are working and what are not immediately, no need to manually create reports or play with excel.
Second of all unless you’re a data geek, Amazon campaign data can be kind of hard to understand, and what’s cool is that Ignite makes keyword and bidding recommendations on the fly that can be applied with a couple of clicks.
So let’s say one of my hankie keywords is bringing money, Ignite will tell me that and I can reduce the bid immediately. So bottom line Ignite makes managing your Amazon sponsored campaigns so much easier and the fact that they provide me with alerts means that I no longer have to monitor my campaigns like a hawk.
If there are keywords that are doing well, Ignite tells me to add them to my exact match campaigns. If my keywords are losing money, well Ignite tells me to either remove the keyword or reduce the bid. So head on over to sellerlabs.com/steve where you’ll find some awesome tutorials on how to run Amazon PPC ads and the opportunity to try Ignite for 30 days free. Once again that’s sellerlabs.com/steve, now on the show.
Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, today I have my buddy Daniel DiPiazza back on the show. Now if you don’t remember Daniel, I actually had him on the podcast way back in episode 103 where we talked about how he got 130,000 Instagram subscribers in six months. He is the owner of rich20something.com where he teaches young people how to start their own freelance businesses, but a lot has actually happened since we last spoke.
For one thing he acquired under30CEO.com which is another huge entrepreneurship site, and he has published his very own book entitled Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business and Score the Life You Want. Anyways I often get asked what the best way to make money is if you have no money to invest whatsoever.
People come to me and they say hey Steve I want to start a business, I don’t have any money, what should I do, and I often reply to them that starting a business isn’t necessarily the best idea if you have no money, and instead I point those people to freelancing. So today what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about the best way to make money as quickly as possible which just happens to be Daniel’s specialty. And with that welcome to the show Daniel, how is the going man?
Daniel: It’s going great, you have a great radio voice too, I didn’t realize how much I liked it until I heard my name with your voice without like a back headed now statistic self compliment, that was the word.
Steve: It’s like a humble brag I guess.
Daniel: Sure, I didn’t realize how much I liked it till you talked about me. But thank you, thank you again for having me back, I really appreciate it. And look that’s interesting that you asked that question because I was doing a webinar a couple of days ago and we were going over different ways to set up websites, and I was going over one of these software programs called ClickFunnels.
If anyone doesn’t know ClickFunnels is just a landing page software, it’s a program where you can make different pages so people can find your website and start off your email list. I was telling my audience, I was like look, it’s $97 a month and some people on the webinah were like, oh my God now you said a dollar a month, I can’t do that. Well if you can’t do $97 a month you’re not going to start a business, I’m not trying to be mean but you should…
Steve: No totally.
Daniel: That’s not a moral judgment, it’s just like the facts, but there is something to be said for starting free or cheap, and I think a lot of people would benefit by figuring this out, but I want to pause you a question and we’ll sort around. My question to you would be when you started My Wife Quit Her Job, was there a pain point that you were trying to solve?
Steve: So when I started the blog I already had a successful ecommerce business, and the main pain point that I was trying to solve was everyone was just asking me questions about it and I thought it would just be interesting to document everything. What ended up happening that was funny was none of the people who were my friends read it at all, and I just started getting random people reading it.
Daniel: It always happens like that, no one in my family or my friends has actually read my book yet, it’s only been like random people, but that’s a good, that’s a really good point that you’ve made and the thing that I always tell people when they’re looking to start a business especially when they don’t have a lot of money to start off.
I’ve found is a good thing honestly that they don’t have a lot in the beginning is that you need to identify a problem other people are having before you start thinking about how much money you should be spending or where you should be allocating your time, because often what happens if you don’t start with a pain point or if you don’t focus on solving a problem first that you invest money in things that seem like a good idea but you’re really just copying someone else.
An example might be people see that Snapchat just IPOed for – got off from out of billions dollar and they say, oh well that’s obviously a good business idea, let me try to replicate that, and obviously it’s not going to work. That happens a lot with all these different business models, and so what I tell people to do is I say, look before you go starting a business, stop thinking about you and think more about other people because you’re going to be serving those people.
The first place you can look are places like forums and forums that people are talking about things that are going on with them. One of the places I like to look is Quora, do you go on Quora?
Steve: I have an account there but I just kind of look, I never answer any questions actually.
Daniel: That’s okay, I mean I’m a looker too, but the lookers are good because we can get a good like a 40,000 foot view of what’s going on with other people. So for instance let’s say that you’re into that you’re good at fitness or you’re good at childcare or you’re really good at painting or drawing or you have some other skills.
One thing that you might want to do is you might want to go on a forum like Quora or go on a Facebook group or look to where other people are talking about the types of things that you’re good at and see what problems people are having. One you identify the problems people are having, then you can engineer a service around that, and you can start testing and see if people will pay for it.
Steve: Interesting, I know you have a lot of students in your class, can you just pick like one example that we can kind of go through in depth?
Daniel: Yeah okay so let’s think of an example. Do you want to go through like one of my examples; do you want to go through a student’s example?
Steve: Let’s go through one of your student’s examples, I think that would be interesting.
Daniel: Okay so a student example. Let’s take for instance one of my students, her name is Ali Garcia okay. So Ali is a personal trainer, but she wasn’t really sure how to get work outside of her – she works I think it’s out of the YMCA or [inaudible 00:09:10]. She wasn’t sure how to get clients outside of her existing job and she knew that she wanted to start something on the side, but she didn’t know how to expand and how to use her skills to start a business rather than work inside someone else’s business.
So the first thing that she did was she started looking online to see what — if there was a specific problem she could solve outside of general fitness because being a personal trainer while it’s admirable isn’t something that I would say specific enough to warrant having a business that stands out. So the first thing she did was she looked for a certain group that she could serve with those skills.
So in her case what she did was after doing some research, looking out Quora, looking out – she looked on places like CafeMom, places on mom blog, looking at Facebook groups. She found that a lot of times moms have trouble after they have a kid getting back into shape and getting back to their pre baby weight, or just maybe if it’s not pre baby weight, just a weight they feel comfortable with, they feel good with.
So what she started doing, she started making YouTube videos specifically for moms on how to get back in pre baby shape, and she just started making free content and the good thing about this is that she wasn’t selling anything, she wasn’t pitching anybody, she wasn’t trying to do anything special at first. Honestly a lot of her fitness advice wasn’t something that only moms could benefit from. There aren’t a lot of exercises that are just for moms, these are just basic exercises to tone you up and to keep you in shape.
Bu the way that she positioned herself was say, hey look I’m Ali and I’m here to help busy moms get their body back, and because that was her headline, because that was the way that she described herself and actually people gravitated towards her. She didn’t even do anything special, she had ran ads. So she started doing these YouTube videos and the big thing was she was consistent, she was doing like two or three a week.
Steve: Just curious, what is the production quality of these videos, like was she just filming them on her phone?
Daniel: I think she started off on her phone, but I’d recommend that you get – I’d say a mid grade like what’s called prosumer [ph], it’s like not professional but like a high rank consumer camera after you’ve had some experience with how you want to shoot and what you want to do. So after about three or four months she decided to upgrade herself and she got a nice camera.
Steve: I’m just curious because I get questions like this a lot where people just get stuck in a handle where like they want to do video but then there is the added in part; there is the equipment, so how did she get over those problems?
Daniel: I think that those are like perceived problems because what happens is we look at other YouTube videos that – let’s be honest YouTube now is terribly in cordial, a lot of it is really good.
Steve: Yeah it is yeah.
Daniel: The editing is like never quality, the video itself people are shooting in 10 ABP, I mean we’re shooting our podcast now in 4K. You don’t need to shoot in 4K though, and so what you do is you start with what you have, because at the end of the day a search engine like YouTube is for finding content, and the content that’s ranked in a search engine like YouTube is ranked by the quality of people watching it and the quality of that material not of how it looks.
People care about the information, a lot of the best videos that are viral out there right now aren’t the best looking ones, we’ve seen this over and over again. So she started shooting these videos, she grew a small following and she grew a small niche personal training practice around training moms online by giving them like meal plans and workout plans. And now she has like 40 to 50 students at a time and all paying like $100 a month and she’s able to basically make a side business and then turn it to a fulltime business just by putting out content that attracted the right type of people, not even trying to go big time.
Steve: That’s interesting, so how did she transition from YouTube, like was she just getting YouTube subscribers or did she point those people back to her site, like what were the steps?
Daniel: A couple of things, one there’s lots of different ways you can encourage people to interact with you further, so if you really want to go the basic time tested route it’s always going to be email list at least for now, maybe that’s going to change in the next couple of years. I already see a change and I think what’s happening now is just there are more channels. I think that what people were afraid of is that there will be fewer channels, but now it’s just that there are more channels and a lot of them work.
With her she just set up basic a ClickFunnels to her target, and she’s like, hey this is Ali, I do weekly videos but if you want more information I have a newsletter which is just – a lot of times they were just reposts of her videos with some writing, a newsletter I send out every week and you can go to my email list, and there’s more we can talk about like the simple ways to set that up if you want, but it’s very simple to set that up.
So it’s just a matter of finding little pockets of people who want specific information based on what people are saying in the real world in the while and then just giving them that stuff.
Steve: Yeah so you’re saying that at the end of her video there’s just a call to action to a ClickFunnels page where she gathered emails and then just slowly amassed email subscribers that way?
Daniel: Yeah and you can put that link in your description box. I wish there was like a more complicated thing that I could say that would maybe make a light bulb go and people are like that’s the secret, I didn’t know that but now I get it. Well that’s really it though.
Steve: What about people who can’t afford the $97 a month?
Daniel: First of all the ClickFunnels page isn’t for the software, that’s not even essential, they have a lot of free software out there, but here’s the thing you have to either going to invest time or money. ClickFunnels is a time saver because it has all the stocks set up looking pretty nice so that you can just pay and plug and play and it is $97 a month, and that $97 is really representative of the fact that you don’t need to spend time making them look nice.
Now if you want to do for free there’s a bunch of free things you can do with software like WordPress and there are free ways to collect emails with softwares like MailChimp, all that could be done for free but it’s going to cost time, it’s either time or money. Now if you don’t want to put time or money into your business, then you don’t want to do business.
Steve: Right okay. Let’s talk a little bit more about the research because that’s where people seem to get stuck. So you mentioned Quora, do you just look deep into your own skill set and then just kind of type in stuff on Quora randomly or like what’s your strategy?
Daniel: Well I don’t know, I think one of the things that helped me to identify pain points over the years is I’m just interested in psychology. I like – in a way I kind of take a sick pleasure in hearing people complain, not because I like their pain but because I like to see what makes people mad, and so that’s allowed me to keep my radar on.
When people are angry about something, usually a strong negative emotion is a sign of interested in a solution. So if you look at moms who are so frustrated, and so – I’m just using as an example here – but so frustrated and at their body that they will see if anything has changed and you think, oh there is a solution I can introduce there.
But just like often you don’t even know where to start researching, there are a couple of things you can think about in terms of like how to get ideas going. So the first is what skills you’ve been doing at your job already, so for instance you’re a software engineer correct?
Steve: I was a hardware engineer.
Daniel: Hardware engineer okay hardware engineer. Now there are certainly ways that you can freelance that and you could with consult that, you did not want to do that because your wife quit her job and now you quit your job. But you could certainly find work doing that because you win all that attainable skills, and a lot of people have attainable skills that they’re doing at their job and there is a way to cut the middle man.
An example of this is was when I used to teach as a teen SAT test prep and I was making $18 an hour to do that, and I saw that the agency that I was working for was making $100, it was pretty clear to me that I didn’t really need them but they needed me because I had the skill set, so if I could figure out how to market myself, then I could take the full 100.
Steve: Okay that makes sense.
Daniel: Yeah because they were targeting marketing campaign. The other example of my mom used to do like pre divorce, like pre litigation for people who wanted to get divorced but didn’t want to go to court, these ones like end the thing easily. And I thought to myself and she never ended up doing this, but I thought to myself they are billing these clients like $100 or more dollars an hour, hundreds of dollars sometimes for you to this work and you’re taking a certain amount of dollars per hour away from that.
What would happen if you just set up like a very simple boutique like end it in a weekend service where you could just do all the stuff yourself, because you’re doing all the work but the attorney is billed so much for this?
So I like to think about – that’s the first place, I think about my current job what I’m doing at work, and if there is a middle man that I can cut out, and then it’ll be up to you to figure out how to market that but if you’re listening to this you’re smart because you’re smart so you can figure it out, that’s the first thing.
The second thing is what are people always asking you for? So I call my brother in law, I mean she’s basically my wife we’ll get married soon, but my brother in law – I get a mock at it, I’m young, she’s stronger than me so give me a second okay. My brother in law has this gigantic track and every weekend people are like, Caleb can you help me move my couch, can you help me move me stuff and after a while he’s like yeah I can help you but it’s $60 an hour, that’s his business, because people keep asking him for that.
So I think there is this tendency and if you listening right now the audience right now you’re thinking, oh I can’t think of anything.
I think there is this tendency to think, yeah everyone else has something but I don’t have something, and I think you need to start being a little more aware of what’s going on in the environment around you.
Steve: Let’s talk about your SAT prep thing, that is backed by an organization and you’re just one person, so how did you funnel – did you funnel existing customers away from that service to yourself?
Daniel: [inaudible 00:19:26] oh no, well here is the thing, the interesting thing about those types of organizations; I was working for Kaplan I mean you’ve gone through all the schools if you know about Kaplan. If anyone has taken a Kaplan course before you know that the instructors there are the main points of contact, and that’s one benefit of working at a job like that is that essentially the teachers, the instructors are the representative of the brand.
So actually case in point that’s a good thing of personal training too and other really client focused jobs, usually the trainer, the consultant, the teacher, the person is the face, and so if you do decide to leave a lot of people will go with you, and I certainly did have some students who left and came with me. But what I really found was that the goldmine for me there was finding other people who already had my existing clients and partnering up with them and I call that the marsupial method.
Steve: Okay let’s talk about this marsupial method.
Daniel: Yeah so marsupial, okay so can you name any marsupials?
Steve: Kangaroo right?
Daniel: Yeah that’s the easy one, can you name any more?
Steve: Koala, aren’t those marsupials?
Daniel: Yeah I think so they have a pouch, possums have a pouch, wallabies have a pouch, and I’m going to get into what the method is, but you know some of these pouches are sideways and sometimes the baby falls out.
Steve: I did not know that.
Daniel: Because like the Koala pouch is vertical but I think the possum pouch is like [inaudible 00:20:59] is weird, it’s crazy. But anyway I call it marsupial method because what happened with marsupial baby is the pouch is like this extra womb that it grows up in and it shields it from the elements of being on top and do the same. What I thought of myself as when I was growing in my entrepreneur agency was a little baby.
I thought who can I take, who can I find that will take me into their little pouch under their wing – now I make some animal metaphors – and who can help me grow without me being exposed to the elements. So what I thought was all right who do I already know who has the people that I want to serve but isn’t providing them with the service that I provide? And so I did a little bit of research, again Google is your friend.
I was in Atlanta at the time, I typed in SAT – I typed in a pre college counselor Atlanta because I wanted to see if there are people who were already working with my students, and that’s one question you want to ask yourself, who is already working with my ideal client but isn’t providing the service.
So I found these pre college counselors, and what I learned was they essentially help you prepare these essays, they help you package yourself. If you want to go to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, these places they’ll package you because you have to have a great package, but they don’t teach you the pre-college, you have to go to Kaplan or Princeton Review for that.
So what I did was I came to these people and said, look I have this Kaplan pedigree, you know if I teach for Kaplan I have to be embedded some good at what I do, but what I’ll do for you is I’ll come into your business and you could essentially white label me, or you could essentially take me under your wing and I’ll perform the service for your clients and then I’ll give you 10% of the money that I make.
The benefit is you get to add an additional service on to your business without adding any additional manpower or actual work and you get paid and I immediately get some clients. So I went from having zero clients to approaching my first consultant, his name was Mark, a great guy and he threw me ten clients in the first week and I had a business overnight.
Steve: That’s interesting, and you were young I would imagine, a teenager?
Daniel: No I was like early twenties.
Steve: Early twenties and so you just went up to an organization and said, hey give me your clients – I mean not give me your clients…
Daniel: Give me your clients now.
Steve: Let’s work together. How did you establish trust, like why would they count on you, was it just the Kaplan name that allowed you to get it?
Daniel: I think Kaplan is a big part of it and because they know if I worked for Kaplan that I had to be 90% tried and tested. I knew I was good at it and that I had already been trained which is helpful, but I think there definitely is an element of trust there, and to be fair I think that Mark who I worked with in the beginning was overly trusting, and it worked out because I’m a pretty guy and
[inaudible 00:24:03] guy so it worked out.
But what I recommend to build the trust going forward – and this isn’t just for test prep; this applies to any business relationship. What I would say is look, I’m going to work with a couple of your clients for free and if I do a great job, when I do a great job then we can talk about like what our percentages will be, what it’s going to be and what the deal is moving forward. But make it as low or no risk for them as possible.
Steve: I see that’s good advice. So in the case of your student then did she pursue that route or did she just go straight to YouTube?
Daniel: She went straight to YouTube but you know kids these days, they want to go straight to the end, but I think it could have worked too. So like help me brainstorm, what are some organizations that might be able to pair up with?
Steve: There is a ton of these mothers groups.
Daniel: A ton of them man.
Daniel: There is a ton of these and there are also a lot of groups that serve her demographic but don’t train the moms.
Steve: Yeah absolutely.
Daniel: And so it’s no brainer.
Steve: Yeah she totally could have gone that route as well, I guess it’s more legwork which is maybe why she just went straight to the YouTube route, right?
Daniel: Yeah and I think also there’s more to it, there’s no wrong way either, it’s just that with the YouTube route now she’s training people online and I think it opens her up to make courses if she wants to do that which is always a good thing. When I was doing the SAT stuff, that was kind of a little bit before – well I could have gotten online courses but I didn’t really understand that route too much, so it seemed more natural for me to teach people in person.
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Okay well actually let’s since you brought that up let’s talk about the transition, so you’re freelancing, you’re making some money on the side, when is the right time to transition and what’s the process?
Daniel: To leave your job?
Steve: Not to leave your job but to transition from your freelance stuff, like for example your SAT prep stuff that still required your time, right?
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s true, that’s very true. Look here is the thing and I was talking about this earlier, there is a difference between freelancing and entrepreneurship, and I didn’t want to believe this. One of my favorite authors and thinkers Seth Godin said this a few years ago and I was so mad at him, it’s like no Seth you don’t understand I am an entrepreneur. He said the difference between freelance and entrepreneurship is that a freelancer trades their time for dollars and an entrepreneur creates systems to get the same results.
I don’t know whether I understood at the time like I do have systems, look I have like excel or whatever. But what I’ve come to realize now is that there is a definite difference between providing a service whether it’s hourly or whether it’s project based or whether there is a certain duration, and then hiring people and designing essentially an ecosystem so that a product is produced and you get paid as a result of that product.
For me the transition came really when I had done several of these freelance businesses and people kept asking me about the freelance business to the point where I became better because they weren’t asking about like how did you start teaching SAT, they were more asking, how did you get people to hire you, and that’s a different question than how do you get SAT clients, right?
Steve: Yeah for sure.
Daniel: So there I started thinking about maybe there is a product here, and then that’s when I had to move from freelancing to building products and doing entrepreneurship.
Steve: But did you stop the freelancing like cold turkey or did you develop the product, sell it first, and then stop the freelancing?
Daniel: That’s actually it’s a good story. I was developing the products on the side like I started doing the freelancing on the side and then I did some job, and then I was starting to develop the products on the side before I did the freelancing. So I always kind of had one foot on one log and the next log and the next log and it got to the point with the products where I had a successful launch, the first launch we did was pretty successful, and then I had too many new customers with the product to even allow me the time to take care of the freelance clients.
So I had to fire some clients, I had to be like look it’s great — and I did it in a nice way to tip it off, I didn’t completely cut them off the same day, but I was like look I’m just not going to be able to do this anymore, and then I had to make the transition. But then once I moved on to entrepreneurship it was completely all heads on deck.
Steve: And then that led to – did rich20something come first or did the product come first and then you created rich20something around that?
Daniel: Rich20something was man it was – you’re going to laugh at me when I say this, but I’ll be 29 in about a month, I’ll be 29 in eight weeks actually, and I only now just realize that this is my career. Within the past six months that I realized, oh man I made a career for myself in this space, I’m like dude this is like the thing that I do, people know me for this.
I only now realize that because rich20 turned up as a blog and it wasn’t even intend to be much more than – this is before MediaMe existed. I wanted something that I could just publish my own personal thoughts and reflect on them later kind of like you were talking about how you want to just track what you were doing, and I started doing that.
I’m like this is pretty fun, and then I started to get more attention, and I think it only got attention because I had a few, not even viral but like pretty well received articles on this bigger site called under30CEO which I eventually ended up buying.
Steve: That’s hilarious, so you got some traffic from under30CEO to get you started?
Daniel: Yeah and then I bought it, it’s very like liking a circle of life stuff. So I got some traffic from under30CEO, started building people, they asked for it. I don’t know who said this but I did hear an interesting quote the other day and they said, “You shouldn’t start a business unless people ask you for it.” I’m not 100% sure if that’s true all the time, but I do know that was the case with me, people kept asking me for it.
So rich20 was there from the beginning, it’s been around since 2012, but it really wasn’t a business until 2015, and that’s when I started taking it more seriously and then only now recently 2017, it’s early 2017 as I recall this I’m like, oh man I have like a major book now in stores, this is my career, that’s pretty cool.
Steve: Wait so did the site come first or the course come first, which is what I was trying to get at?
Daniel: The site came first.
Steve: The site came first, okay and so you launched the course – you already had an audience then?
Daniel: Yeah but it wasn’t that big though, it wasn’t big.
Steve: Okay and when you were doing your SAT prep, was rich20something around?
Daniel: Mm-hmm yeah it was.
Steve: It was okay, so it seems like the whole time you had your hands in different pots, you had the content to build an audience and you were earning freelance income and you were kind of preparing yourself to transition it seemed?
Daniel: Yeah although I’m not 100% sure that was – I think retroactively retrospectively we always look back and we piece the things together to make sense, like we were talking before the call and we were talking about anti fragile [inaudible 00:32:38] celebrities just pick up, and one of the things he talks about is like retrospective piecing together of the events to make them seem logical.
Steve: Sure, even though that wasn’t your intention, right?
Daniel: Right but of course all piece together in a nicely well sequence planned out, but that totally wasn’t the intention you know.
Steve: Okay and so that course that you were talking about, are you still selling it today?
Daniel: Yes for Freelance Domination, you go to freelancedomination.com.
Steve: Oh okay, so is that your primary bread and butter today then?
Daniel: Well we have a few different flagship courses. We have one Freelance Domination which is essentially the step by step hands on approach to how these freelance businesses started for me and how to grow and how to do yourself, so there is that. In the middle a few different other products, one of them is not one of our flagships called Startup From the Bottom, which teaches people how to use content to drive eyeballs and to create a business around things that you care about.
So whereas freelancing is more about providing service, start from the bottom teaches you how to create content whether it is a podcast or a blog or a YouTube channel that drives traffic to products and that’s what we do.
Steve: Let’s talk about that for a minute because a common complaint that I get is that all these platforms are saturated now, blogging, YouTube, podcasting. What is your response to that and how do you get your students to kind of stand out with their platforms?
Daniel: I mean that is correct, it is saturated. I was watching a webinar last night with someone who was giving some stats on how the info product space is growing and how that’s a good thing because it shows that there is so much demand in the world, market share is going up and such and such building to our industry and all that’s true, but there are a few things to remember. There is such a thing as market share in this industry, and I do think that there are in some cases really saturated markets it’s going to be hard to stand out.
But I will tell you this, the reason why it’s hard to stand out is because people start these blogs, these podcasts, these YouTube channels, and they get up to like I think the stat on podcast is 98 from August; I’ll go back to episode six. What we’re seeing is we’re seeing all of this content but not a lot of follow through or consistency, and so there is this illusion of there is over saturation.
But once you get past the scrum at the bottom, really even past the first year or 18 months of creating content consistently, the air kind of thins out, it is kind of leaving the atmosphere, it’s kind of like you’re in a ray and you leave all the smog and at the top – yeah that’s true, it’s clean up there. So the key to standing out really is consistency, I always say this over and over again consistency is clarity and you need a clear message.
Look at a guy like Tony Robbins man, how many people are doing motivational speaking, a lot of them, but he’s been doing this for 30 years, so you can’t get any clearer than that. No you don’t need to wait 30 years to be successful with this, but you have to be consistent enough with the content you’re putting out and consistently are getting better and over time you will rise to the top, it’s just that most people get discouraged.
Steve: Actually that’s my philosophy; I don’t actually start anything content related unless I’m willing to do it for five years.
Daniel: That’s really, that’s boss man because that’s about the amount of effort it’s going to take and seriously rich20 has only been around for about five years now, and well now we have a book coming up, now we have this, now we have that and that’s kind of what it takes and I’m glad that it takes that long, it’s supposed to be hard.
If everyone was able to do this in six months, then it would be a waste of everyone’s time because there would be a lot more inexperienced people leading the pack, and so we need people who will pass some battle scars on.
Steve: So how do you train these people to be that patient though?
Daniel: I think that the patience is something that is like it’s self evident. The thing about the time is it’s going to pass either way, patience is a skill that you develop, but honestly the reality is like it’s a good thing that they’re going to be people around you who can’t stand the wait. You have to develop your patience by falling in love with the craft, and that’s why it’s really good to pick something that you enjoy.
So there are sometimes where it’s smart to go into a market that seems like it’s hot, but if you’re not going to be able to go that five years, you’re not going to enjoy getting good at it enough to want to do it. I was reading another Facebook thread from a friend and I actually think it was Ryan Holiday and he’s like, look you shouldn’t start a podcast unless you’re going to have an interesting different angle or you’re willing to do it for a long time. Are you friends with Jordan from Art of Charm?
Steve: Yeah, we just had lunch the other day actually.
Daniel: Yeah he’s a great dude and Art of Charm has been around for ten years, ten years on a podcast, okay.
Steve: Which is even before it was popular at all actually.
Daniel: Totally and they’ve already pivoted once, they were a pick up podcast which was like a whole different type of podcast. So you’ve got to be willing to go through, there is no secret thing, it’s just this long term consistency, but he loves podcasting because he gets to talk to all these interesting people, he gets to talk to Larry King, he just had Mike Rowe on there.
Yes there are the Tim Ferriss’s of the world who go on there and get a 100 million downloads a year and a half, but Tim Ferriss also had a decade of work buying the books, so we already planned these ten years in. So that’s just what it is and so I would say five years, and if you can really figure out ten years you’re definitely going to make it, you’re 100% going to make it if you last ten years. If you can go five or ten years and you don’t make it, you’ve not been doing anything.
Steve: So that means that the people who take your class you kind of encourage them to start these blogs or content properties with stuff that they’re passionate about?
Daniel: Totally and look the thing is too here are some caveats to that, just because you start to see more success at five and ten years doesn’t mean that you can’t also be successful with that business earlier than that. Rich20 was profitable – well we started – our first product launch was 2014, it was September 2014 and we were profitable from day one and at that point we had only been in existence for like two years and change.
So obviously you can – that’s not a hard and best rule, but if you set your standard up that you’re not going to be disappointed where after two and half years you don’t see the results you want.
Steve: Sure, sure now that makes sense. You’re also Daniel?
Daniel: Yeah but you’re also Steve, we’re just people.
Steve: Okay so I’m curious like how that – because we hadn’t talked for over a year I would say on the podcast, how did the under30CEO acquisition – what was the strategy behind that, were you just trying to instantly tap into a larger audience?
Daniel: Steve I called them up and I said, what’s your number, give me a number, how much are you going to sell it for, and I said I’ll wire over the money. No, you know what Matt and Gerald have become really good friends and they have a new company now called under30experiences now really focused on travelling around the world now.
They take people on these incredible adventures where they go all over the world in different countries and they curate these experiences, and they just didn’t want to do the content game anymore and it just so happened that I love the content game and it was a good fit.
My goal with that was just to broaden my audience instantly with an audience that was a perfect fit, and I knew it was a perfect fit because it was the audience that accepted me.
Steve: Did you inherit his stuff as well or?
Daniel: No, no, no, they only had maybe like three or four people running the site but we inherited the property.
Steve: Okay got it, and the email list and social media and everything?
Daniel: The email list and the social media yeah.
Steve: All right, let’s switch gears a little bit because I do want to talk about your book. It has quite a long title I might add.
Daniel: Well there is actually a story behind that. So the title is Rich20something, the subtitle is ditch your boring day job, build another business, create the life that you love or create the best life forever. The crazy thing and you’ll see this when I send you the book and you could see that on Amazon, you go to rich20something.com, search book, you can see it, the interesting thing about that cover and this is something to keep in mind when you are seen out there and publish your first book in big culture which I know people love.
When you do that you are at the — I would say the mercy of a lot of different people’s opinions as to how you want things to look and feel, and so I actually do – I like the cover now. The idea was we wanted to create an image that looked similar to an Instagram photo because that’s one of the social media platforms I’m strong and we talked about this last time on another podcast that we did.
Steve: Right aha.
Daniel: And so we want to go for that effect and this is like the result, this cover that we have now was a result of a lot of different people’s input, and so I kind of like it now because it represents a lot of people coming together, coming up with what they thought would be cool and then kind of a result of that. And so it’s like this really big funky chunky letters which I haven’t seen before in a cover, and it wasn’t what I had originally envisioned in my head, but now that I look at, it doesn’t look like any other book out there and I think that that’s cool.
Steve: Let me ask you this and I’ve always been curious about people who write books the traditional way. So why a book and why go with a traditional publisher?
Daniel: Because I wanted to be fancy obviously, well no look can I just say point blank that I just right out of the gate that part of it is an ego thing. Part of it is an ego thing because I’ve always wanted to see my book in stores, and I had this dream since I was a kid that I would walk into Barnes & Noble and see my book on the little center table even though Barnes & Noble is becoming increasingly out of lead apparently and [inaudible 00:43:08] is already dead.
I had this dream and it was a big part of my culture growing up, my American culture, it was a big part of my life when I’m at the bookstore. So having a traditional publisher is the only way right now that you get into bookstores, so if I wasn’t going to be in bookstores for me it wasn’t an option.
But then there are also practical benefits of that and the first thing is that one you get much wider immediate distribution with a traditional publisher than you do with a self published book because they have all those mechanisms in place to send your book all over the world. So if you have an audience, when you team up with a good publisher it can multiply that effect which is really good, plus…
Steve: Are you implying like international distribution?
Daniel: Yeah international distribution which is really good and then it also allows you to get into places easier like for instance getting on national press, people take traditional publishers more seriously. We publish with Penguin Random House which is like pretty much the biggest publisher in the world, so we’re going to have access to different opportunities for press, and I’m recording my book with audible.com right now which is kind of a cool thing and it’s a big deal for me.
All those things are like credibility enhancers because whether you see us fortunately or unfortunately the best authors are still publishing traditionally, so that’s the route we want to go, and also to be honest there is a book events and bought and they gave me a good advance on that. So for me it was a kind of a no brainer and I know that there are opportunities to make more money long term by self publishing, but I thought of this first run I wanted to go traditional.
Steve: Interesting, I understand someone just got on Ebony.
Daniel: Take that entire back the whole thing, so you guys can’t see me, but I look Potolican but I’m actually black and Italian, and one of my things growing up was like, man I don’t know where I fit in, I definitely don’t feel black enough, like why can’t I grab the whim, and then a couple of days ago I got profiled in Ebony Magazine which is like the main magazine for black people which is really – it’s an interesting pretty thing, but I thought it was cool but this is another example, not a thing that I couldn’t have done it, self published, but my publisher set that up, so this is not a good example.
Steve: Okay, hey Daniel we need to wrap up here because I’ve been talking to you for quite a long time. For those people I would say who are struggling right now, they don’t have enough money for like ClickFunnels or whatever, what is – if you could just sum up everything we talked about today in like a short paragraph, how would you want these people to proceed?
Daniel: Okay so the first thing is identify the pain point that you want to solve by doing your research and then if you don’t have a lot of money and you want to get started, then you’re going to need to set aside at least a few hours a week to figure out a few of the logistical components for doing this business side.
What this is going to mean is that is that you’re going to have to spend some time, put aside some time for research, put aside some time to figure out how to set up a basic website and go from there. But the most important thing that I want you to remember is that done is better than perfect at this point, and you don’t have to have – I mean look our website is while we’re getting it redone NOB ready for the new book launch, but even our website right now with us being successful is not very impressive.
You don’t have to have the best looking videos, the best sounding podcast, the best looking website in order to get your start, and just know that people care about what it is you have to say and how you deliver it can continually improve over time as I’m sure you felt with your podcast as I know I felt with my writing and all that kind of stuff. So get started now and fall in love with the craft and over time as you get better with your craft, your delivery will also become better.
Steve: Great job Daniel, hey where can people find you online and where can they grab your book?
Daniel: If you go to rich20something.com/book you can grab my book, and if you’re so inclined as to follow me all writings around the web you can just type in a little @ symbol rich20something, I don’t know what I’m going to do in about a year and a half, but that’s another podcast.
Steve: I just want to give Daniel a quick plug here because I actually used to watch him on Periscope, I watch him on Facebook live. The dude is amazing like impromptu speaking. I feel like I could just point a camera on you and you could just talk for like an hour and not run out of stuff to say, I find that talent very amazing actually.
Daniel: You know what the secret is?
Steve: What is the secret?
Daniel: It’s having a great interviewer seriously, seriously.
Steve: Oh look at that, look at that, the praise is coming back in both. All right Daniel, thanks a lot for coming on the show man, really appreciate your time.
Daniel: Much appreciated Steve, thank you.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Daniel was one of my favorite entrepreneurs who is both a great writer and a great speaker as well, so go check out his book right now and the link is in the show notes. For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode161.
And once again I want to thank Sellerlabs.com for sponsoring this episode. Their tool Ignite is what I use to manage my Amazon PPC campaigns. Instead of the old tedious way of generating reports and analyzing your ad campaigns in excel, Ignite aggregates all that info for you in one place and allows you to quickly visualize your data to make decisions fast.
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One thought on “161: How To Ditch Your Average Job And Start An Epic Business With Daniel Dipiazza”
Great Interview Steve, really enjoyed this one.
You asked a lot of good questions and follow ups.
I felt like you were really trying to get the most for your audience.
Hats off the Daniel for the honesty and tough love.
I remember another book that had a long title that was very successful, 4 Hour Work Week, Here’s hoping you have as much success as Tim did.
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