Today I’m thrilled to have my buddy Mani Vaya on the show. Mani is someone who I met at the Menfluential conference formerly known as StyleCon and we hit it off right away.
Mani is the founder of 2000books.com and like myself, he’s a former electrical engineer who worked in tech for over a decade before starting his business selling courses and entrepreneurship book summaries.
Today we’re going to discuss Mani’s business and his top favorite entrepreneurship books of all time.
What You’ll Learn
- How Mani built traffic for his site
- How Mani created an engaging YouTube channel to generate sales
- Mani’s email marketing strategies
- Mani’s all time favorite business books
Other Resources And Books
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.
Privy.com – Privy is my tool of choice when it comes to gathering email subscribers for my ecommerce store. They offer easy to use email capture, exit intent, and website targeting tools that turn more visitors into email subscribers and buyers. With both free and paid versions, Privy fits into any budget. Click here and get 15% OFF towards your account.
EmergeCounsel.com – EmergeCounsel is the service I use for trademarks and to get advice on any issue related to intellectual property protection. Click here and get $100 OFF by mentioning the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast.
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.
But before we begin, I want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode, whether you’re just getting your business off the ground or looking for new ways to scale, Klaviyo offers fast, simple, and repeatable ways to grow. And with Klaviyo you can personalize your marketing, build your customer relationships, and automate your online sales. And it is now easier than ever to create amazing email and advertising experiences. Now I want to talk about Klaviyo’s new entrepreneur growth guide, packed with must read blog post, case studies, and getting started content. This guide will help you prioritize what to do next for maximum revenue growth. Now moving to a new marketing platform can be intimidating, but Klaviyo helps you get up and growing fast with proven technology and countless support resources. Now I encourage you to check out this free content now over at klaviyo.com/mywife. Once again that is K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/my wife.
I also want to give a shout-out to Privy who is also a sponsor of the show. Privy is a tool that I use to build my email list for both my blog and my online store. Now, what is Privy do, well Privy is an email list growth platform and they manage all my email capture forms. And I use Privy hand in hand with my email marketing provider. Now, there are a bunch of companies out there that will manage your email capture forms, but I like Privy because they specialize in e-commerce. And right now, I’m using privy to display a cool Wheel of Fortune pop-up. Basically, user gives your email for a chance to win valuable prizes in our store and customers love the gamification aspect of this and when I implemented this form, email signups increased by a hundred thirty one percent. I’m also using their new cart saver pop-up feature as well to recover abandoned carts. So bottom line, privy allows me to turn visitors into email subscribers, which I then feed to my email provider to close the sale. So, head on over to preview.com/steve and try it for free. And if you decide you need some of the more advanced features, use coupon code MWQHJ for 15% off. Once again, that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve. Now on to 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’s your host Steve Chou!
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Today, I’m thrilled to have my buddy Mani Vaya on the show now Mani is someone who I met at the Menfluential conference formerly known as StyleCon and we hit it off right away. Now Mani is the founder of 2000books.com and like myself. He is a former electrical engineer who worked in tech for over a decade before starting his business selling courses and Entrepreneurship book summaries. Now when it comes to reading books Mani is probably one of the most prolific reader that I know and he actually averages one book per day believe it or not and as entrepreneurs the best way to grow is to feed your mind. And today what we’re going to do is we’re going to discuss Manny’s business and his top favorite entrepreneurship books of all time. And with that welcome to show me. How you doing today man?
Mani: Great man. Thanks for having me and thanks for the warm introduction. It was yeah. It was fun getting to know you at Menfluential.
Steve: Are you still reading a book a day? Is that accurate? I pulled that on your website.
Mani: But so that’s more like seven books a week is what I do. So it’s never a book a day as you would think it it’s more like okay, some books are going on on audio. Some books are going on on Kindle. Some books are going on on paperback and hardcover, whatever. And on the average in the week, I’ll go through seven books. Some days, It might be half a book some days It might be two books and a lot of the times I’m listening to books in the car or while I’m running or I’m just trying to relax in between some tense work.
Steve: Okay. Well, hey. Mani, we got a chance to hang out for what three straight days at Menfluential but I actually don’t know how you got started with 2000books. How did you get the idea? How do you make money and how hard was it to leave a cushy engineering job?
Mani: Yeah. So for those of you who don’t know I came to the us back in 2000. I’m originally from India. I came to the US In 2000 got my graduate degree in electrical and computer engineering at Rice University. And then I started my Tech Career around 2003 and I was in The Tech Career high-tech career 2003 to 2015 worked out a lot of big big tech companies like Nokia and Texas Instruments Qualcomm, all of the biggest names you can imagine in high tech in the electrical engineering or engineering a computer engineering fields. And I was in the wireless engineering space for the longest time, but one thing that was a common theme amongst my in my career was there I got laid off quite often.
I got laid off like three the, first time I had a job at Cirrus logic I was writing Software firmware for DVD players and in 2004, I got laid off from my job and back then when you had an H-1B visa and you get laid off from your job. You have 30 days to find a new job or leave the country. So that was a very sobering experience for me like 30 days to find a job or take the country. I hustled I did whatever I could to find another engineering job well-being engineering job because that’s what you need. You can’t just get a job at McDonald’s. You need a high-paying engineering job, which is just as good or better than what you previously had. And in that 30-day period I ended up getting three job offers, but at the same time I saw something very interesting the how we’re able to create or we’re able to do things when we were put under pressure when we are able to when we are required to do stuff we come up with really great things in life.
And only that I also started to begin to question this whole job thing. What was in our parents are I was supposed to be a job for life. And here we are. Are getting laid off within a year or two of you starting a job. So I was starting to question and getting dissolution by this whole Tech thing and the sense like what the hell I just started and I got laid off and that happened again. And again like three different times in my career when I got laid off from Ti from Nokia and um, I was I was like, okay. Well, maybe I should start a tech startup. So in my mind, I was thinking of starting a technology company for a while, but then partly I was skeptical of doing a tech company because I knew that if I did another tech company or if I’ve started a tech any kind of tech startup I would have to be again tied to the location tied to wherever I was maybe mostly in Bay Area and I would be there for a very long time. Partly, my parents are getting older.
So I was like, I don’t want to just do that either. So I was stuck. I don’t really know. I don’t really have an answer. I didn’t really know what to do until A girlfriend of mine back in the day around 2009. I think 2009-10 she, around Christmas time she gave a book to me but changed my life. That book was the 4-Hour workweek.
Steve: Of course.
Mani: Yeah, and I read the book and I was just like I knew he was speaking to me. That’s exactly like everything he was talking about was me. Like, are you going to delay your life for the next 40 years to enjoy your retirement years? I was like no hell, no. Are you going to be the guy in red Ferrari, you know the bald guy in red Ferrari hoping you know after you sell your startup and you enjoying your life and that’s all life is about now and I was like, no I don’t want to do that either. I want to enjoy my life as I go. I want to like what he’s telling is exactly what I want to build. So I kind of started to think along those lines after I read the book I cuz he literally says that most people you, you I don’t know if you’ve read the book but most people are.
Steve: yeah, I will yes
Mani: It’s the Bible for those of us who get into the online marketing space or become online entrepreneurs even crazy Engineers like us to believe that crazy amazing career to do this, but the book kind of starts that process in your head and you start to question everything and he’s like you can have freedom. You can have you can work on your own time at your own Leisure. You don’t like in many ways. He defines life. He explains life. What is possible in a way that you’ve never seen before or at least I had never even dreamt of before and the fact that I could have location Independence and time and about that was very very very appealing to me. Like would you rather take hundred million dollars 10 years from now and slog away for ten years. I would I rather take a couple of million dollars every year for the next 10 years and have the freedom of location and time and all those things.
Well, you know my answer because I don’t I want to be able to spend time with my like I want to be able to go travel. I want to go see my parents they are in India. They’re getting old I want to be able to take care of them. And that was one of the biggest motivators for me. I didn’t want to be stuck in a job or even in a start-up job where I would be answering to people to VC’s two angels or whoever else and I’ll be stuck in that thing for 10 20 years before I saw any returns on their investment.
Steve: So for starting 2000books?
Mani: So I started 2000books back in 2015 and it happened just around when Qualcomm was laying off a bunch of people and I said, hey, please let me off too because I think I’m going to do my own thing. And the reason why it took me so long was because I was waiting for my green card.
Steve: Ah, Okay, so..
Mani: I could not leave until I had my green card. So as soon as I got my green card, it was already planted in my head there was time to go and then when the layoffs were happening, I was like okay time to go. So I started 2,000 books back in 2015. And the reason why I did this business 2,000 books is because I always enjoyed learning from books as I said four hour work week change my life, but there were a lot of books that have been instrumental in changing my life in different ways. So I always enjoyed learning and reading from them. And so I would subscribe to these book summary businesses that were out there so I could absorb like ten books instead of one book and I found that most of some resource are drab very dull very boring not as engaging. I couldn’t write it wasn’t like I wasn’t learning anything new from those summaries, but I was just spending time listening to them so I was like, I don’t like this. I’m going to create my own and that’s how it started.
Steve: How did you know people willing to pay for that?
Mani: Because they were existing book summaries out there.
Steve: I see.
Mani: There are existing businesses that were doing book summaries, like there were three or four existing businesses that we’re doing book summaries. I just don’t like the way they did them.
Steve: I see. Okay, so you decide you want to do book summaries. How do you get the word out about that? How do people find you?
Mani: Yeah, so it’s a long haul like that’s probably the biggest haul of this whole part of the journey in building an audience and initially what had happened was I had put up a couple of my summaries on YouTube my mind map summary. So I I like to make things very visual. I’m a very visual learner as an engineer. I think very logical. I like to break down things and I want to still conceptualize them in a very visual fashion. So I would create these mind maps of books and Put them on YouTube, these summaries on YouTube. And that was I just put them maybe in 2014 just to see what people like or don’t like it was just an experiment. It was nothing more than that. I wasn’t even thinking so much about businesses. Oh, this would be a fun thing to do and 2015 whenever
Steve: So you’re using the webcam or?
Mani: I was a mind map. So it wasn’t even me with a webcam. It was just a screen recording of the book broken down visually.
Mani: So if we think of books they’re very linearly like you have to go through all three hundred pages to get the ideas from the book. Instead, what I did was I would take the big ideas and I would create a web or a tree hierarchy of information in some ways rather than just a linear page one after the other after the other on that one mind map. You can go through all the different ideas the Big Ideas in the book very quickly rather than linearly try to figure out where the ideas are and what and how they fit into the grand scheme of whole thing.
Steve: Okay, and then the
Steve: video do really well or?
Mani: well Bell for my standards of the time I come back a year later in 2015 when I was leaving my job and I’m like, oh look at this YouTube because before then I was thinking I’m going to do a podcast but then I saw this YouTube thing and I’m like, oh look at this. It’s already got a few thousand views. I wonder if what if I made a more of these so I started doing YouTube videos and I started creating more YouTube videos and I started seeing some innovation videos pop up. So I started doing animation summaries of books and that initially start to pick up momentum.
Steve: So animation, you mean like someone like hand drawing like a narrative.
Mani: Yeah where I it’s a software that we used to do that to do the animation part of it, but it looks like a hand-drawn thing where people are you know, someone’s hand drawing while I’m narrating.
Steve: Nice! What is the name of the software?
Mani: It’s called videoscribe.
Steve: videoscribe. Okay, cool.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a great software for that. So, yeah initially I started doing those and like some of the popular books like getting things done and how to win friends and influence people and millionaire Fastlane and all those things. And you know it started to kind of show promise and show hundreds and thousands of views coming in and I was like, okay. Well this kind of makes sense. This is working just to get the audience building but at that time, you know in the early phases, I don’t really know much about audience creation or monetization. So I was like, well, let’s just keep doing whatever is working.
Steve: How did you steer those YouTube folks over to your products?
Mani: So initially there was no product.
Steve: Oh, okay.
Mani: Yeah for the first seven eight months there was no product because I was still searching for an audience to sell the product to.
Mani: Yeah. So for first six seven months, it was just me building audience on YouTube and what I think till date I think that was probably one of the biggest mistakes in my entrepreneurial career was I started YouTube seriously around October November of 2015 time frame and in June, I launched a podcast. Where I was interviewing authors and the biggest mistake I think in the space and a lot of entrepreneurs make this mistake again and again and this is something I’ve become very very off now, is splitting your energy your focus very quickly early on when you still haven’t figured out one thing that’s working well and you suddenly move on to the next time.
Steve: right was the podcast. I mean actually looking back now you have these two properties. You have a podcast and YouTube channel, which one would you have started with in retrospect?
Mani: My answer keeps changing. So at this point I would say podcast.
Steve: interesting and okay.
Mani: Yeah, the reason why I say that is because it’s a much quicker medium to get the word out compared to YouTube and video which takes a lot more consuming time-consuming effort for in terms of telecommunication.
Steve: The production time.
Mani: Yeah, the production time the efforts in getting a YouTube video is way bigger than the effort in getting a podcast out there. And also what I don’t like about YouTube is that you’re beholden to one company, which is Google or YouTube
Steve: But on a flip side the podcast Discovery mechanisms, aren’t that great. Whereas YouTube is this like the second largest search engine in the world.
Mani: That’s exactly why YouTube is so good. And that’s why I have a tough time answering this question and the more I think about it. It’s I think I would have done well either ways. I should have just stuck with that. One thing rather than started the second thing.
Mani: Yeah, you know, whichever one I think podcast would do just amazingly well as much as YouTube would do it just so happens that both have different Discovery mechanisms that you just pointed out YouTube search is amazing. Like I was just looking at some Trends on my YouTube search on a book called Good to Great which is one of the greatest business books of all time. And I had done a summary of it and I was looking at how YouTube search was initially YouTube search was really big for that and now outside like Google search is taking over Google is serving up more of that video. Then YouTube is serving that video right now in search in terms of volume.
Steve: Just by referrals or recommended or suggested?
Mani: No, so early on what was happening back in 2015-2016 for the video was that when people searched good to great and YouTube they would find that video and it would rank. So it’s really SEO like it’s called a lot of SEO juice. So it ranks fairly. Well when you search for good to great and people would view it on YouTube. Now what’s happening is the trend has reversed in the sense. The Google search results. Google is sending me more traffic than YouTube for that video.
Steve: Okay, just results.
Mani: Make sense?
Steve: Yeah. Yeah.
Mani: So it’s showing more in Google search results than an even YouTube search results because YouTube is the second largest and Google is the first largest. Google is still way bigger than YouTube search and but now it’s getting integrated to the point where Google’s search volume is taken over the YouTube search volume.
Steve: Interesting. So back in the day, you mentioned using YouTube to build an audience that usually involves steering them away from YouTube, right? So just what are some of the tactics that you use to do that?
Mani: So I did it all wrong.
Mani: You guys are learning from all the mistakes I made which is part of the journey. Initially on YouTube, You are absolutely right. You don’t want to steer them away from the channel and from that from that medium and that’s exactly why one of the reasons why I would go with podcast rather than YouTube because podcast allows you to do it podcast doesn’t have any of these challenges with YouTube ordered it was with even with early videos. I had put links in there to let people download the Mind map or get access to those things the freebies that I was offering and that’s something in the early phases. I would say till you get to your first 10,000 subscribers. You don’t even want to mess around with that because it’s just not worth it. Everyone’s situation is different. Everyone’s specific. Like everyone has a different requirement for how you want to do this.
If you have the runway you want to delay it as much as possible, but you don’t have enough to run by you need to make money. Well, then you do it. So this is very subjective.
Steve: Can you put all this things after fact, I mean let that let the video get popular and then put the links in?
Mani: Yeah, but the problem is its marketing so Steve as we know that if you don’t really build a case for that link in the video, you’re not going to get as much juice from it.
Mani: right. You’re not going to get as much traffic from it. You’re not going to get as much traction from those links because if the link is just hanging somewhere in the video people are not going to link click on it. But if throughout the video I’ve made the case for that specific thing and then I say click here you get way higher people with a lot more people to actually click on it. So if you can’t sell the click it’s not going to get quite is the way to think about it.
Steve: right. Okay.
Mani: so you don’t and if you don’t sell the click in the video, you can’t really go back retroactively and try to put that in there. So that’s part of the challenge of YouTube in the sense that yeah, you can have those links in the description you can have those links. In the video inside the video itself, but unless you’re selling those links they’re not going to be as effective.
Steve: All right, and then what do you do in podcast land then?
Mani: in terms of getting people away from it?
Mani: Well podcast is much easier in the sense. You can build that case and let people go and download your free these download your action guides download your free summaries or download for your E chord. So whatever else of course the challenge with podcast is the conversions are not as good as Youtube’s conversions are.
Steve: Yeah, I was gonna say because most people aren’t by computer or whatever when they’re listening to a podcast where thing. Just click on a link, right?
Mani: Yeah. I agree. I think podcast is a longer-term play and I would love to get your opinion on this as well. What are your typical click-through rates on a podcast link that you guys have a call to action that you have in the podcast?
Steve: I’ve actually looked recently but it’s very low and
Steve: I don’t know. I don’t know off the top of my head. Maybe I’ll put that in the show notes. It was so low that I stopped tracking it basically.
Mani: mmm. I started yeah, I know what you’re saying and I think one to two percent is what you get from podcast at best with podcast you get I think very high engagement.
Steve: Yes. So if here’s what usually happens on a podcast, you give them a special link they’re not going to remember that link. They’re just going to do a search for you, right and click on it. And yes, the people that listen to your podcast for 40 minutes or an hour or however long it is they become like real fans of your product. I don’t know if that happens on YouTube. I’m still a beginner when it comes to YouTube. So yeah.
Mani: Yeah YouTube has a different YouTube and podcasts are such different mediums and such different challenges because podcast has engagement through the root. In the sense, If I looked when you look at some podcast addicts on statistics on iTunes, you see that you literally get people listening 80 to 90% of Episodes on YouTube you’d be lucky to get even four to five minutes average view duration on your videos. Hmm average like most the Youtube average overall is like around 4 minutes or something. YouTube is very like you’re constantly people’s attention spans are so limited. They are constantly switching constant searching. So the same episode I do on YouTube. So let’s let’s take the book Contoured Me. It’s a mental toughness book that came out recently by David Coggins was a former Navy SEAL. So I did a mindmap video summary of it. It’s on my YouTube channel and it’s on my podcast on the YouTube channel, we have around what twenty nine thousand views on it in the last five six months. On the podcast, It’s gotten probably just around that much downloads, but the duration on YouTube it’s around like 6 minutes average Bosch time on the podcast, It’s around 80%.
Steve: Yeah. I mean the thing that you can measure someone’s attention span, right usually when someone listens to a Podcast in the car or whatnot and it just kind of runs in the background a lot of times. Yeah YouTube like you got to pay attention the entire time. So yeah people’s attention spans are short.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah, but and that’s in some ways. That’s a good thing. I think because with podcast you’re almost subconsciously constantly in their world.
Steve: Yes, I agree.
Mani: like when they’re listening to you for so many hours they get used to you. They buy into you and that’s why they allow you to be there in their world for so long.
Steve: Yep, and then like slowly your voice gets into their head.
Mani: Yeah, and they feel like you they know you.
Steve: Exactly, would you say that’s more the case then YouTube video like when people recognize you.
Mani: That’s a good question because we I don’t do as many on camera videos. I do have some but I have a lot of like mind maps and animation video so that way it’s difficult to assess how that
Steve: I see, your faces isn’t actually in the video.
Mani: it is maybe in in 20% 30% of our videos, but the remaining most of them are mind map or animations.
Steve: I can tell you for me almost everyone recognizes me through the podcast and not through I have I have a few YouTube videos, but not definitely not to the blog which gets way more traffic.
Mani: Mmm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. It’s amazing right people feel like they know you after they have heard use for so long.
Steve: So, okay. So let’s say you’re getting traffic on YouTube and and your podcast. What was your tactic for getting them over to your product?
Mani: So the first time I launch my product was a mental toughness course where I summarized mental toughness books, but I didn’t have all of those book summaries ready to go. So I did was I did a very scrappy launch that was like six months into the business seven months into the business. I said, hey guys, I’m launching this mental toughness course where every day you get one new video on building mental toughness. It will be summaries of 60 of the greatest books or 40 at that time. I was 40 of the greatest books ever written on building mental toughness self-confidence self-esteem all those things and if you buy right now and I just did this on YouTube what I did was I Put a sample video on YouTube of from the membership area. And at the end I said, by the way, if you want more of these for the next six months every day, I’ll send you one new video which will come from one book from all of these books. You can sign up for it here and the price goes up next week.
Mani: or in three days time or something like that. And that was like my bare bones Lean Startup test to see if people actually would buy this stuff.
Steve: So you didn’t have an email list. You just literally just posted a YouTube video.
Mani: I had an email list. I was building on the side, but I wanted to test it on YouTube for some strange reason even I don’t know. Why.
Steve: how did you do?
Mani: It did pretty well like I got I got quite a few takers for the number of views I was getting. I think I got like a couple hundred views and I got like 40 people signing up for that product I was like hey, that’s really interesting seems like the I just was pretty lucky. But partly lucky also partly also it was me being able to convey what was being sold and selling at a ridiculously low price.
Steve: So just to be clear you talked about what you were selling you gave a link and you put a link in the description.
Mani: Okay. So let’s let’s go back even further before I even did that. I actually, so instead of selling instead of the video title had nothing to do with the course.
Mani: The video title was six pillars of self-esteem number one way to build self-esteem or the most powerful way to build self-esteem and and it was from the book six pillars of self-esteem. And for the first seven minutes of the video. I just talked about the first pillar of self-esteem. This is what it is. And then I said by the way if you like this video I have I’ll be talking about all the six pillars of self-esteem and a bunch of other ideas on building mental toughness. I’ll be deconstructing all these great books on mental toughness. So if you are interested in more ideas like this every day, you’ll get one new video and I have put it all in the membership area into the in 2000books.com/tough. And that’s how I got people to sign up for that. So educate first and then seven minutes of Education, maybe one minute pitch and then saying click right here or the link is also in the description below.
Steve: Cool, so it’s like a mini webinar kind of
Mani: yeah, extremely mini webinar I’m talking seven minutes five minutes six minutes, but the key that’s like interesting sales mechanism because what I’m doing is I’m really educating the customer and then saying by the way, if you’re interested in more, hey, go by go buy the stuff and I did it again two days later and then I did it again two days later and I did it again two days later again. And again, it was new vide, new Idea, new education and said, by the way, I have 200 of these. I’m just giving you examples of these right here. I have 200 of these ideas and then it became 300 of these ideas. So over time it kept on increasing and I was able to educate and then make a quick pitch educate and make a quick pitch.
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Steve: Nice, I actually see a lot of YouTubers use this exact method. There’s just like basketball site where he like breaks down NBA games and you know, every time he gives a great break down. He said hey, by the way, you can get a more in-depth breakdown by joining this membership. So it’s really cheap. What now, he does that for every video. I’ve been tempted.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah, and that’s it’s really good. Like what what you said was it’s a mini webinar. In fact, it is true. Right? It’s it’s a very very simple sales strategy, but I bet you do the same on podcast as well because that’s what I do on podcast as well I go educate and then I’ll be like, okay, by the way, if you’re interested, here’s the link to buy.
Steve: Yeah, I’m so it’s actually funny. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately right now my podcast I have these ad slots and what I had these ad slots, I was totally promoting my stuff but less so now they that I have the ad spots and so I’m wondering whether it would make sense to remove them at some point and just go full on my own stuff.
Mani: I see I see, oh how many hotspots do you have now?
Steve: I have three ad spots.
Steve: Yeah, so it’s really hard to, I mean, I have it in the in the end bu
Mani: Oh are they all in the end?
Steve: No, no, no the ad spots are more prominent than my stuff.
Steve: Yeah. So interesting do you have ads on yours, on your Youtube videos or anything?
Mani: No that I never did. I’ve been taking them down. Okay, I’ve been turning down all the ads just so I can focus people on my brand and my business and like just taking off all of that away build my list my Brands my business.
Steve: Yeah, that’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about lately.
Mani: Yeah. It’s I think people do this in phases. They go through like I think I’ve seen quite a few people go through ads and then to remove them and then come back and I think it’s
Steve: For the Podcast especially I mean, you know, we were talking about the click-through rates. I don’t even remember getting one to two percent to be honest with you and it was just very hard to track right you either have to give a special URL or some sort of code. Right? And I don’t think people use those and the only reason I know and totally is all ask these people and I say, oh they found me through the podcast almost all of them found me through the podcast. So that is why it’s a little harder to justify going all in it’s not as easily measurable.
Mani: Yeah. I see what you’re saying. But here’s how here’s all I think about it. If on the podcast, let’s say I’m doing a con launch of a new course. Let’s say 50 best books on leadership or something like that. Some reason 50 greatest books on leadership. What I will do is I’ll start talking about that every single podcast episode leading up to the launch and all the way into the launch. Keep telling them. This is what’s happening. Even if they don’t click on that link all of my podcast audience know that this is happening.
Mani: so they are going there in some way shape or form. They may not follow that link, but they are you know
Steve: Yeah you’re right, they will searched for it for sure.
Mani: Yeah, they’ll go to the website. They will find the course whatever it is and they’ll probably on the park as they can go find the link if they need to but the podcast audience does convert is just that you cannot measure it as precisely as what you could do with search or YouTube or paid media.
Steve: Exactly. Yeah, therein lies the dilemma and I guess all the Chances are taking that leap of faith and clearly it’s working right otherwise, continue to re-up.
Mani: yeah, if it’s working for sponsors. Why wouldn’t it work for me?
Steve: Yeah, exactly.
Mani: Exactly, So so I think it is a leap of faith in the sense, assuming that it will work for us as well. But I have basically a sign that leap of faith to myself and said it let’s just **** it yeah, I’ve just said and that’s why I like I’m going to make a video at some point saying why Gary Vee is wrong because I see him I see him running a lot of ads on YouTube and I think that’s just not right given what he’s doing.
Steve: I know youtube pay outs for those ads have just decreased dramatically over the years, right?
Mani: Yeah, He doesn’t need that money. Why would you dilute your brand with ads? Yeah from random people rather than just have an ad for yourself or have a call to action to build your own brand like tell people to go sign up for your email list or Instagram or whatever the hell you want to get them too. Why would you run ads on like I don’t see any reason for running YouTube ads unless that’s your only model. That’s the worst possible model for anyone who’s in the space of building a .com business building an entrepreneurial business or building a business where they are trying to sell their own things.
Steve: Yeah, I would agree with that for sure. Did you anything on the social front?
Steve: Facebook, Instagram, Or..
Mani: Not so much not so much. I have done a little bit a little bit here and there but I feel like the traction is really on the content platforms more than on the social platforms for me.
Steve: Let me ask you this. So you got YouTube in the podcast. Do you focus equally on both at this point or do you repurpose the content? What do you do?
Mani: Yeah, right. Now, I’m repurposing all of my YouTube content to podcast and now I am considering spending a few hours every week to make it a daily podcast where I just give another like one quick idea every single day for you to make it a daily podcast while YouTube repurposing goes on.
Steve: Daily podcast, wow.
Mani: I don’t know but those will be really quick. These are like three to five-minute episodes. So I’ll be like one have you heard of Newport else podcast or have you recorded.
Steve: Of course, that marketing show? Yeah.
Mani: Yeah, so that one something similar to that really quick like for five-minute episodes while the repurposing still goes on.
Steve: So when you ask people now, where do they were the most people find you of the people that actually pay you money?
Mani: Hmm, its a mix of a lot of different things. It’s YouTube podcast lot of affiliate deals as well. We do a lot of affiliate email deals where will promote products through our Affiliates or I would call them joint ventures not Affiliates because these are people who I only we actually appreciate each other and we we are promoting the product.
Mani: So those work as well. It’s a mix. I don’t pick one or the other is doing more right now
Steve: cool. Well, let’s let’s switch gears. I know originally we were going to talk about your top five business books or online business books right of all time.
Mani: Yeah, I would quantify it as like top five books that every online entrepreneur should read and these books will be different if you’re a tech entrepreneur, but if you’re an online entrepreneur, I think these books would really help.
Steve: Which is the majority of my audience.
Mani: exactly yeah.
Steve: So I’m actually curious what is on this tough five?
Mani: Okay. So yeah, let’s get started and I’ll A bonus at the end just so people can enjoy it. By the way. I yeah, so we just talk about this book two days ago, but I think this is one of the greatest marketing books of all time. It’s called influence by Robert Cialdini. It’s all about persuasion and the key is if you are in the online world today, if you are an online entrepreneur, you have to learn to be able to sell online and influence literally gives you all the tools to be able to Market effectively. So.
Steve: Absolutely Mani and I, we literally just talked for almost an hour about this just a couple days ago on Mani’s podcast which will give a link to at the end of this episode.
Mani: All right. So yeah the hopefully that episode we’ll be out before this episode goes out. So people will be able to listen to our discussion about the six key triggers that influence people that literally persuade people to buy or to take action on whatever you want them to take. So influence.
Steve: Incidentally, It’s my all-time favorite book of all time for business.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah. It is your all-time favorite Business book. That’s why we talked about that book on the 2000books podcasts. I told you. Hey, we’re going to talk about your favorite Business book and you came up with that and I said man that is one of the greatest marketing books of all time. So definitely
Mani: Yeah. Now the next one I want to talk about is the one page marketing plan by Alan Deb.
Steve: I have not read that book.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah. It’s again a marketing book, but it’s a very comprehensive marketing book very comprehensive in the sense. You get to understand marketing all the way from ground level all the way to 30,000 feet level as in how do you think about Marketing in general the different phases of a customer through different phases of a customer life cycle. And how do you cater to them at different parts of the journey and one of the things he said and that was really fascinating to me. He said in the book. He said if you want to become a high growth business you’ve got to Make more offers consistently.
Mani: And that was fascinating as you know, and you know,
Steve: It’s what we talked about right like what 20 minutes about your YouTube strategy, right?
Mani: And the more offers you can make you will make more money. If you don’t make enough offers, it’s very hard to make money, but it’s really easy to take that. Okay, that makes sense. But when you are in the nuts and bolts of building your business you forget sometimes that the simplest Act of making more offers and more consistent offers is a requirement in order to grow your business. And that is like a requirement of marketing in some ways. You need that in order to grow the business so that book one page marketing plan is all about breaking down the different stages of the customers life cycle from the lead from a prospect to a lead to a customer to repeat customer and how do you nurture them. How do you take them through all of these different places. And incidentally I interviewed Alan dip on the 2000 books podcasts just recently and I was telling him that, hey I have this list on my on my website The Top 10 marketing books of all time and one page marketing plan is on that list. And he was really happy to hear that. So that podcast is episode is coming out soon as well.
Steve: So this applies to e-commerce as well. Right?
Mani: it applies to any kind of marketing you do whether you’re doing paid media, whether you’re doing online like search media, organic media, whether you’d using YouTube or Facebook ads or you’re using podcast whatever it is the the Journey of the customer the Journey of marketing to a customer doesn’t change. Okay, however, you sell to them.
Steve: Okay, I’ll have to check that one out for sure.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a great marketing book. The next one. I want to talk about is Good to Great by Jim Collins. Now, this is my like this is more of a big picture business building book not just online entrepreneurship book. So I don’t know if you have you read it?
Steve: I have a long time ago. It’s not clear in my head because it was a while ago. But yeah, I remember it was a very high level book.
Mani: it’s a very high-level business building book. It’s not so much about the nuts and bolts of building an online business. It’s not at all about online business, but it tells stories of great businesses and how they became great and the fundamentals there are three key fundamentals that he talks about I think Jim Collins is at Stanford, right? He teaches at Stanford.
Steve: I’m not sure actually.
Mani: Yeah. Tim Collins is a professor of art Stanford Business School from what I remember, so he wrote the book good to great. And in the book, he talks about three key disciplines that we need to have if we’re going to grow a business no matter what kind of business the first discipline is people their discipline of people and saying get the right people on the bus wrong people off the bus what that means is you must have great people if you’re going to build a great business no matter what role you’re hiring for. You want great people if you want to bring a great business a great brand. No matter where you are like what kind of whether it’s online whether it’s e-commerce whether it’s info products. Whatever it is you want the best possible people for the role rather than just say, okay, I’m gonna spend a little less and get the second tier of the 30 or person because the best people will make all the difference in the long term in the business.
So the first discipline, is discipline of people. The second discipline, is the discipline of thought. Which is don’t go don’t try to do too many things stay focused stay in your lane. And not only that like Focus your business on a few things that will really move the dial rather than trying to do a lot of different things and he talks about quite a few key principles in business the Hedgehog principle which which basically says stay in your lane stay in your lane continuously stay on your lane. Because the fox the he kind of makes a comparison between the Hedgehog and the fox most successful businesses are like hedgehogs. We just do this one thing and keep doing it well and keep doing it well and keep on doing it again. And again again while the fox is scattered. It’s just tries to All these different things.
And the third discipline, is the discipline of action and the discipline of action and discipline of partner kind of tied together. The discipline of action kind of rolls in with the idea of the flywheel principle, which is saying whatever is working keep doing that. Don’t try to invent new things to do just keep pushing more on it and you will turn the flywheel faster and faster and you’ll build a bigger and bigger and better and better business. Businesses that fail are the ones who are constantly looking for a new way to explore the business rather than just keep doing what’s working and two more of that and do better and better and better and better. So these principles are like so fundamental to building any kind of business because these are some of the fundamental mistakes I made when I started like I start I was doing YouTube and then I started podcasting and I was like, what the hell am I doing with my life?
I’m crazy. I’m going nuts and that was you know, one of the things I kind of did not listen to from Good to Great. I did not realize I thought I was still staying in my Lane anymore, book summaries, but I had already Diversified my efforts initially in my marketing.
Steve: I tell my students this all the time because they try to run Facebook ads Google and they started do SEO all at the same time, they end up doing anything. Well, yep, so.
Mani: You’re right man. This is like the hardest letter to learn just stay on one like make one marketing channel work because that is huge all by itself.
Steve: I mean, I always tell my students just one marketing channel by itself is usually enough to make a six-figure business.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah, and it can it can even get you seven figure because once you figure out the ins and outs of that marketing channel, like how many people do we know who have literally made Millions on Facebook advertising millions and millions and tens of millions.
Steve: Absolutely, absolutely.
Mani: Like I’ve literally have friends who have retired after running ads on Facebook for a couple of years. I’ve a friend who’s made 15 million dollars cash after being in the Facebook advertising space for like four or five years. So one marketing channel can blow up your business. It’s very easy to get lulled into thinking that somehow the other marketing channel is easier or if you just did a little more somehow to take off.
Steve: Hey, by the way, that blurb you just gave about Good to Great. Is that typical of one of your book summaries? Like is this style?
Steve: the way to Okay cool. So we’re again like a taste of real life Mani tutorial here or summary version.
Mani: Yeah Yeah Yeah, the more the funny thing is the more I had now learn about these ideas in the more I learn about these books the more I can kind of associate them with my own experiences. And also with other books in the same domain. So it makes it more Compact and more sophisticated as an idea and in some ways more and more dense compared to just an idea standing by itself.
Steve: So I’ve read two of your first three so far, what’s next?
Mani: Nice, The next one is Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco.
Steve: I’ve been on the forums. I have actually not read the book yet.
Mani: Oh man such a good book.
Steve: It’s older. Right? This is ad older book.
Mani: Well, not that old. Well newer than good to great. Newer than influence order than one page marketing plan.
Steve: Okay, do you go to is event by any chance?
Mani: No, I think I’m scared that his event will be a bunch of newbies. So I’m kind of not..
Steve: Oh, I see. Okay.
Mani: Yeah because there will be a bunch of people who are trying to figure this out trying to do the thing. I love about this book so much is that most people and even you and I we’ve been there where we see people in our engineering career who are stuck in that mediocrity Lane who are stuck in that slowly in or meet or the not the slow lane but not the fast line either. What do you call it? Yeah the slow lane not the fast then. So the slow lane is the one who’s saying, Okay, Let me just go do my job collect my 401k make some save some money and some point I will retire and enjoy my life kind of the same thing that Tim Ferriss are you again? Argues again, Same thing like MJ DeMarco talks about it. Most people are living the slowly in life. There are of course some people who are living on the sidewalk, which is the homeless and the poor or the ones who are really living paycheck to paycheck or even worse. But then the fast lane is the where is the only way to make money fast is through business.
Birds, there are a lot of people who fall into this the fantasy of the lottery mindset that somehow if they just make the right investment in the right business at the right time. If they just invest in Facebook at the right time suddenly, they’ll become rich and I’ll be fine.
Steve: Ah, I feel for that, by joining a start-up and I thought my stock options were going to be my retirement plan.
Mani: Yep. Yep. And we do that all the time right Engineers are the worst at this because we think we’re so smart. We can outsmart the market. So I remember so many people are Qualcomm back in the day. That was they’re paying like somehow they wanted to find that one stock that would hit it and now they wouldn’t have to worry about anything so they would make all these stupid gambling moves. Trying to make it big and that’s the lottery mindset. He and MJ is like no, you can’t I don’t play the lottery mindset. You got to build a business if you’re going to go in the fast lane. That’s the only way to make fast money. Everything else is a game of Lottery. It’s a game of luck build a business and that’s going away from the lottery mindset and into the process mindset where it’s like, okay, I got to do this thing. And if I do this thing, I will make money I will grow this business. I will become richer.
So the Millionaire Fastlane and in many ways is kind of for the entrepreneur or the early stage entrepreneur who’s trying to figure out what should I do? Should I not do this? Like maybe I can just go to investing in all that stuff, dude? Building a business is the fastest lane to Building Wealth in America today or in the world today. There’s fun..
Steve: What’s funny about this is, I used to go on the forums all the time because I met one of my buddies there on that Forum. I just never thought to read the book.
Mani: Yeah. It’s such a good book man. Like he.
Mani: I think I should I did a summary of it. So it’s the summary of This Book is on my YouTube channel. So if you just search for 2,000 books millionaire Fastlane.
Mani: it’s got like 50,000 to 60,000 views. So it’s a pretty decent summary.
Steve: I’ll link up all these books and and any links had many talks about in the show notes for this episode.
Mani: Yeah, I’ll provide them to you.
Steve: All right. What’s number five?
Mani: Number five is actually number one. So number one. Is it number one greatest book of all time for me. The one book that I recommend. It’s beyond everything else and This book was written in 1906. It’s a..
Steve: I know what it is. Yeah.
Mani: it’s a 45-page classic. It’s a PDF that you can find. You can actually download it. You can download it from my website. It’s called As a Man Think It by James Allen.
Steve: I take it back. I got it wrong. I haven’t read this one.
Mani: You thought it was thinking already.
Steve: Yes. I did.
Mani: Yeah, which is great to I was kind of I would have said that if not this so they’re both great As a Man Think It is a classic man. It’s so powerful because in entrepreneurship one of the most important things is to be able to manage your mindset manage your philosophy manage your thinking is if you if you no matter what you’re doing the nuts and bolts of the business if your mindset is not right if your philosophy is not right you’re going to constantly fail you’re going to constantly challenge yourself, you’re going to constantly run into obstacles, which you will not be able to work on. So as As a Man Think It is literally training you like it’s one of the most powerful books on how to use your mind the right way. And some ways. So here’s a
Steve: Tell me more sorry in what way?
Mani: yeah, here’s a here’s a quote from the book that I think I have now memorized even though it’s so long, but it’s worth it. I literally do the whole podcast episode on just this quotes and this is the quote “To begin to think with purpose is to enter the enter the ranks of the strong ones who make all conditions serve them.” Okay, I’ve just given you the first two parts of this quote there is more to this quote. But let me just break down the first two parts quote. He say ”To begin in to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of the strong ones who make all conditions serve them.” Now for those of you who are listening on the podcast. You’ll probably have to rewind and listen a couple of times to get the hang of this quote. What he’s saying is when you are clear on your purpose when you are absolutely clear on your purpose is when you stop being a victim of circumstances. Then you become a master of your circumstances. You make every circumstance every conditions serve you when you have a goal.
When you have a purpose when you’re not clear on purpose when your purpose is not clearly defined when you’re not clear on your goal. You will be buffeted by circumstances. You will get thrown around by the winds and the vagaries of like but if you’re very clear on your goal, every circumstance is now your slave you become the master of every condition every circumstance.
Steve: Is there a second part of this quote too?
Mani: Yes, and then he goes on to say so I’ll say the whole quote again “To begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of the strong ones who make all conditions serve them. And who think of a failure of any failure as a pathway to attainment”
Steve: This is a common entrepreneur saying I mean just not in those words.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah, so it’s a very it’s obstacle it’s a way kind of what he’s saying
Mani: At the end as in like whatever the obstacle there’s a actually becomes a way forward but way before the compactness of this quote is really the beauty of this quote is like the clarity of purpose actually defines your life in some ways because most people ninety nine percent of population here is a victim of the circumstance or that’s what they think.
Mani: But the 1% the entrepreneurs are the ones who are thinking for themselves. They say I don’t I’m not going to be a victim of the circumstance I take I take charge of my life, but the key to taking charge of your life is to start with purpose. If you don’t have a purpose you will not be able to take charge of your life you if you’re not clear on your vision or your outcome that you’re after be very difficult to not be swayed by the winds of live in some ways of not differently very difficult to not be thrown about in the waves of the ocean. It’s almost like if the if the ship doesn’t know where it’s going. It’s just going to get thrown around by the obstacles to all the waves of the ocean.
Steve: You know, it’s funny about your book recommendation, Mani and I just notices is that it covers the entire gamut along the journey, right? So if you are kind of on the sidelines right now and you want to get started, it sounds like this book that you just recommended plus the millionaire Fastlane are the ones to get your mind set in place right to motivate you to actually get started and then once you’ve started the other three books, I think persuasion is more tactical sort of book, a good to Great is more high level and what you need to do to get accomplished and the third one. Actually, I forgot with the third one.
Mani: One page marketing plan
Steve: One page Marketing Plan. Yeah, they’ll the one I haven’t read yet. That one also is a great summary of tactics.
Mani: Yeah. Yeah. So you’re absolutely right. Millionaire Fastlane is like one of those were before you get started. You actually need to get yourself on the journey. That’s per book you need and then influence and One Page Marketing Plan. One Place Marketing Plan is what you would need in the journey to be able to do online marketing property to be an ornament on an entrepreneur influences kind of the strategy behind marketing. So tactics or strategy of marketing in some ways. Good to Great is something that will take you along the journey no matter how big a business you want to build your going to keep coming back to those principles of building the business the right way and you’re going to keep on making the mistakes and you go back and you read the book and you’re like, ah, Yes, I need to go do their thing.
I need to be on point with my people are my thoughts are my action and As a Man Think It this kind of a comp. It’s your friend for the rest of your life along the Journey of Life along the Journey of Entrepreneurship because it’s constantly going to guide you in your thought process. Like I’m why am I doing that or I can see the mistake I’m making in this thinking or stuff like that. So yeah
Mani: different stages of the journey.
Steve: Great recommendations many if people want to find more of these type of summaries or key points, where can they find you online?
Mani: Yeah. So you guys already heard find it on 2000books. So if you are listening to the podcast the best thing to do is search for 2000bucks on your podcast app 2000 books. And you will find two thousand books. And if you loved YouTube just search for 2000books on YouTube channel. Just 2 0 0 0 books or go to my website 2000books.com. And I have already created some lists for people. All to go check them out. So it’s at 10 best books dot orgy people can find all sorts of lists. I’ve created 10 best books on productivity, 10 best books on building mental toughness, that by spokes on marketing. 10 best books on sales 10 best books on leadership all of those. I’ve created a bunch of lists that people can find so then just put start orgy is the place to find those books.
Steve: and and I love how you do book summaries. Sometimes if I see like a really thick book like I started reading Ray Dalio’s the book but I couldn’t quite get through it.
Steve: That’s one of the types of books where I probably want a summary for.
Mani: yeah. There’s quite a few books like that that I feel like for people when they’re trying to read it and I know they’re going to give up cause it’s so damn big Steve Jobs biography is one of them. It’s humongous.
Steve: Remember, reading the intelligent investor. I think I think that’s well and that was a really dense one. I probably would have gotten to summary for it too
Mani: Oh, yeah. That one is Hardcore. So on the podcast I do a lot of some reason. I also do a lot of interviews with authors and now the new format where I actually interviewed, people like Steve to talk about their favorite books. So it’s it’s kind of a fun mix up different kinds of different elements different ways to digest books if I say, so, yeah.
Steve: Well Mani. Hey man. Thanks a lot of come on the show. Really appreciate your time.
Mani: Hey Man, Yeah. Thank you very much for having me. And if you guys have any questions, I’d love to feel them on our YouTube channel, or just send me a tweet.
Steve: Sounds good. Take care.
Mani: All right, bye-bye.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now, I’ve read a lot of business books in the past decade and it was great getting more book recommendations from Mani because he’s read practically everything. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitjob.com/episode271.
And once again, I want to thank Privy for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I personally use the term visitors into email subscribers. They offer email capture exit intent and site targeting tools to make it super simple as well. And I like Privy because it is so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop-ups for any parameter that is closely tied your eCommerce store. Now, if you want to give it a try it is free so head on over to privy.com/steve. Once again, that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve.
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Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com