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WES S01E13: A Day In The Life Of An Online Business Mogul

Justin Cooke November 4, 2015

Subscribe to our VIP LIST“What the hell do you do all day?”

We never get asked this question that directly, but it’s definitely something they have in the back of their minds. What does it look/feel like to not have to go to an office every day? To be able to travel and work anywhere you can bring a laptop and have an internet connection?

Today, Ace and I sit down to discuss the benefits that come with being an “online business mogul” and clear up some of the misconceptions some have about what it’s REALLY like.

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Listen To The Full Interview:

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

Benefits

  • Freedom
  • Wealth (Through Assets)
  • Connections

Misconceptions

What our days REALLY look like


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 Featured On The Show:

Speaker 1:
Somebody even on a small level can do the same things that a major business mogul is doing just at a smaller scale.

Speaker 2:
Buying and selling businesses just got a lot easier. Welcome to the web equity show where thousands of successful entrepreneurs go to learn about buying, growing and selling online businesses. Your hosts, Justin Cook and Ace Chapman share their real life advice, examples and expert interviews to help you build and grow your own online portfolio.

Speaker 2:
Now to your hosts, Justin and Ace.

Justin Cooke:
Welcome to the Web Equity Show, this is episode number 13. I’m your host Justin Cook. I’m here with my cohost, Ace Chapman. What’s going on, man? How you doing?

Ace Chapman:
I am excellent, man. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks. I know you went to a couple events. I was out in Rhodium, in Vegas. So, yeah, it was good to catch up.

Justin Cooke:
What happened man? You left me hanging, buddy. We were supposed to meet up in Bangkok? We’re going to do a little hang out, do a little dynamite circle meetup, and you leave me for the Rhodium Weekend crowd in Vegas. What’s going on, man?

Ace Chapman:
So I’m hanging out in Asia, some of the listeners know, I’ve been working on a TV show about flipping businesses. Now this is more of the offline stuff that I do. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that flipping Internet businesses could be made interesting enough for good TV, but got a call, they wanted to do some shooting and had fly back, but wanted to make it to DCBKK. Ended up getting to Rhodium instead, and that was a blast man. It’s amazing to see how much this space is growing.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah man, I had a little fomo. So I basically chose like the location independent crowd over our industry event and I was feeling kind of bad about it when I was watching all the updates from Rhodium Weekend. But you know, all my buddies hanging out in Dynamite Circle and all the traveling kind of entrepreneurs. I like that scene, and we’re connected to those guys, so we hung out there.

And there was next weekend in Vegas, I was like, “Oh man, I can’t go. I can’t go.” But I was watching all you guys updates and I was like, “Damn, I wish I was there.” You said it was like 80 almost a hundred people there?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, almost a hundred people. A lot of industry guys, a lot of really new folks and you know, it’s appropriate that we’re talking about life and a day in the life of a business mogul because that’s what a lot of people are trying to figure out like how can I get out of my nine to five get into flipping businesses full time. And there’s a big transition when I talk to people, the conversations years ago in this space and even my coaching calls and that kind of thing have been around, let me buy a single business, allow that business to replace my income and I can go and do what I want and be on the beach or whatever.

Now it’s really interesting. A lot of the conversations that I’m having on calls, a lot of the conversations that I had in Vegas, were all around getting into the business of buying and selling businesses. And so you know, that’s kind of what we’re talking about today is what that looks like. What does a day in the life of what we call kind of an online business mogul look like?

Justin Cooke:
Do you think there’s been a transition from people looking to kind of run their website in Bali on the beach to people that are looking to build like teams and process, and how do you own multiple sites? I’ve been hearing a little bit more of that and just kind of the lifestyle Larry Persona. Like it used to be like, Oh, if I just had one or two websites and I just work on them and Chiang Mai or Bali or something like that, you know Hawaii or whatever, I’ll be happy. But it seems like people are thinking a little bit bigger now.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, it’s just the huge popularity of Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-hour Workweek, got people excited about that concept of living overseas, being on the beach and the end of the day, Tim Ferriss himself doesn’t live that lifestyle. I think, I’ve been on the beach for the last couple of years, hanging out in the Caribbean quite a bit and living over there a bit, and you can do that for so long and it’s like, you know what? I’m ready for the next challenge. I’m ready to really explore my business.

I think that’s where people are right now is you know a lot of people are kind of over just the lifestyle, and I think people still want that, but there is a huge desire to go out, make their mark and do something big whether it is in this space or another space.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, it’s nice until you start doing it for a while and then you go like what’s next? Like what else is there that I can do? Right. And I’m sure you get this question a lot but I get it. People were asking me like what does your actual day look like? Like when do you get up? What do you do on a regular basis? And it does change a bit, but we want to kind of share in this episode like what our days look like, what the days from our customers look like. And what do our website buyers and sellers do on a day to day basis. We want to cover some of that in a podcast episode. I thought it’d be interesting.

I also thought it’d be interesting to share some of the benefits, right? We talked about this before the show and we talked about it anyway, but like freedom, wealth, connections and kind of how that plays into this lifestyle and the businesses that we’re building.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, there are some huge upsides and you mentioned a couple of them, but there’s some downsides as well, and part of it is some of the things we were just talking about. It’s nice for me to be back state side, it’s a little bit better quality. You have great Internet in Asia, in the Caribbean it’s not really built for you to be working hard core. So my Internet, I’m sure some of the people have been frustrated with some of the quality of some of the podcasts in the past and some of that’s because I’m chilling on the beach and the Internet isn’t that good.

So you’ve got just pros and cons and you’ve got that freedom, but you still have to decide, okay, what do I want my life to look like on a daily basis? And so this is something that I’ve played around with and experimented with. So it’s a fun subject to talk about.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, buddy. We’re going to get into all that, before we do that, let’s do some listener love and questions. First up, we got Tony on Twitter, asked, “Do you know of some good design or web Dev people in the Philippines? I’m going to buy a site that needs to be redesigned.” So what do think about Tony’s question? I mean, I do. We worked with a group and I’ll share their information in the show notes. I think it was, God, I forget the name now, but they’re based out of Davao. There are a good shop.

I actually recommend if you need a redesign or you need something, it’s like you don’t have a big budget, 99designs is in a horrible place to go. You’re not going to get anything great or amazing, but you can get pretty good from 99designs, and for 300 bucks, 500 bucks or something, you’re going to get something okay. And then you pay a developer another 500 to a thousand you’re going to get something set up for you.

So I don’t think that’s a bad option on the lower end. I mean, you could probably go lower than that, but that’s kind of … you can get something okay. What do you think? Have you ever used 99designs, man?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I love 99designs. I’m a big fan. There’s always the other option of going to Odesk, which is now Upwork, which I liked Odesk a lot better by the way. But you can go to Odesk, find somebody that has some great reviews and go through the process, and you almost can do a 99design like process within your interviews process for the folks in Odesk. Where you’re checking out their work, you can even have them do some sample work and that kind of thing to make sure that you’re getting the right person. But yeah, those are a couple good options, 99designs and then just hiring your own person.

The other thing with using Odesk, and I’ve done this over the years is I have a pretty large team, just people that I’ve used in the past that are good. So you start to build out your team that you can go back to, restart that contract and use them as you do other deals and buy other sites. Somebody that you actually have a relationship with. So that’s something to consider as well.

Justin Cooke:
I think relationships start to get really important as you kind of move up the value chain in terms of design. I think 99designs, budget 1200 bucks all in, 1500 bucks, all in. 99designs, you get yourself a developer and you can get it set up. The company I was mentioning in Davao earlier, by the way, ilum Media, so if your budget’s maybe two to $5,000 they’re good all in option. They can take care of you.

But as you move up, you start to make connections with people and they kind of like understand what you’re trying to do. They get a feel for not just the look and feel, but the user experience, right? And they’re going to be able to design around the company that you’re building. So we’ve done that with a guy named John Meyers. He’s been really, really helpful with us over at Empire Flippers, and then we’ve got a developer, Dan that’s really helped us out. He’s actually here in Thailand with us right now doing some work.

But yeah, both of those guys are fantastic, but you’re looking at more of like a 15 to $25,000 job when you start to work with these pros. It’s expensive but can be worth it just depending on kind of where your business is at. I wouldn’t say if you have this 30 $40,000 site, you’re going to buy, you go and spend $25,000 on design, it’s probably not going to make sense, but at some level it does. So having those people around your business that you can go back to when you need further work done is actually really helpful, I think. Anyway, Tony, I hope that answers your question. I hope that’s helpful and we’ll put the links in the show notes are days.

All right, Ace. I got another question from Carl Stramber, he said, “Hey guys, love the podcast. I’m prepared to sell a number of website this year. You mentioned in one of your podcasts that when you sell a website you should always be on a separate hosting account. I have all my websites on a shared Bluehost account. Do you suggest I set up on pay for a number of extra accounts and move the sites one by one to different hosting accounts? And he starts to ask why is this so important? Technically speaking this doesn’t really makes sense to me. Do you have any tips on how to do it?”

Well, Carl, I don’t know what we said. Were we drunk, Ace? I Don’t know. We were doing a little sippy sippy on the podcast for that one, man? I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t remember saying that we need to have them on separate accounts. It’s actually not critical that you have them on separate accounts. So if I did say that, I misspoke and if he misheard me, I just want that cleared up. It’s not that important. It needs be transferred over anyway. And if it’s on a account with 10 other sites, whatever, that’s fine.

There are some problems. I mean, I guess like if there was an attack on that hosting account then your other sites might go down. So there’s some, I think benefits, I guess to diversification but it has nothing to do with buying and selling the sites. That’s not really a problem when it comes time to sell.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah. Both of us both have sites that are on the same hosting. The only other thing I can think of besides protection from risks where might be beneficial is I’ve done some deals where I take over the hosting, you know what I mean? And so that’s a little nice. You’re not having to transfer the site, you just take over their hosting. But at the end of the day it’s absolutely not critical and it’s probably not even necessary.

Justin Cooke:
Another thing if you’re hiding it from other people because there are ways to find other sites that you own on a shared hosting account. So if you’re trying to be extra super sneaky, sneaky about your niches or something, there may be a reason to do that. But again, has nothing to do with buying and slang sites so not really an issue. But thanks for the question, Carl. Appreciate it.

All right, Ace. What do you say, man, we ready to get into it? A day in the life of an online business mogul. We’re going to jump right in. Yeah?

Ace Chapman:
Let’s do it.

Justin Cooke:
All right, Ace. We’re talking a day in the life of an online business mogul. I got to be honest with you man, I was a little hesitant to do this episode. I didn’t know how it would come off. I didn’t want it to be really braggy and at the same time I didn’t want other people going, ah, lifestyle podcasts. What are they talking about? This is a question I get quite a bit and I wanted to share some of the benefits, some of the real tangible benefits that you get running an online business. And there are a bunch of misconceptions too that I think we should clear up.

So I thought it’d be a fun episode for us to do. It is something that people requested me and I thought it’d be fun for us to go over.

Ace Chapman:
This is one of those things that I would get a lot just telling people what I did even 10, 15 years ago. I say I’m buying and selling businesses, and they’re like, “”What? What does that even mean? What are you talking about?” And so I get this question all the time. I mean at the beginning it’s more what is the job? And then the other part is what is your life like? What’s your routine? What do you actually do? Just sit back and rake in the cash rake in the cash?

Justin Cooke:
Right. Do you rake in the cash? Is it real? Like I get a bunch of questions. Someone just asked me about this on Twitter, like what’s going on with you? Where are you at? What’s going on in the life? Like what are you guys up to? And just recently we had someone who was basically a prospective investor. Now an actual investor wanted to common like shadow us. So basically we flew out to Manila and Mike was there at the time, so he ended up hanging out with Mike and Joe and they would work in coffee shops and he would literally just kind of shadow them. They would talk and kind of chat about the business and what was going on. But they got that kind of a … he got a glimpse at what their work day is like and kind of how they operate and what we do in our business. And I think that was really interesting to him.

I think we’re going to try to give a peek of that in this podcast episode without actually being right over our shoulder.

Ace Chapman:
And we’re going to keep it balanced. We’re going to go over some of the major benefits because quite honestly there are some great benefits to doing deals and becoming this online business mogul. But there are some misconceptions about what it means, and then we’re going to get into what the typical day is like. What are weeks like when you’re doing this whole thing, and I agree with you there is a degree with this title. People may think, oh, that’s so cheesy. You’re the online business mogul, but the truth is that’s the best word to describe what this is.

It’s just a new thing where somebody even on the small level can do the same things that a major business mogul is doing just at a smaller scale.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, buddy. So let’s get into the benefits. I mean, the first one for me, and this is massive, is freedom, right? I have the ability to work when I want and on projects that I enjoy. That’s just not something I got as an employee. Even when I was an employee that was committed to the company, that was a major part of the organization. I just didn’t have that same … It just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t actually my company. You know what I mean?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, absolutely. There’s no way that that could compare.

Justin Cooke:
And I don’t mean like … I don’t want to like pull up the Porsche and like step out of the rented mansion and do the whole sales pitch, but it’s really amazing. And so I can’t overstate this one. Like my lifestyle right now is fantastic in terms of where I go, the projects I work on, the time I’m putting into it. And I think a lot of that has to do with us building a team because we built a team around our company that actually works in and outside of our company, I’m able to step away from the business a little bit. I can get the opportunity to see the bigger picture.

For example, so right now I’m on kind of a three week trip that I brought my mom out to Southeast Asia and we’re doing kind of like the quick overview of all the major hot spots, and I’m only working a couple of days a week, and I’ve got a team of people that are helping me, that are supporting me, that are working on our business and giving me updates and letting me know what’s going on. And there’s just no way I could do that without them.

Ace Chapman:
And the really valuable thing has been able to run that team from anywhere. I’ve done a lot of offline deals and it can be tough to … you have a team but they’re used to being managed and somebody being there, and you’re gone for too long then things can start falling apart.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah. I think one of the problems is when we have like just kind of a set space where like everyone’s there and if they expect you to be around. It’s like the self fulfilling prophecy, right? If you’re there and you’re the boss and you have to have this oversight over them and you leave, cats away, mice are going to play. But when you build your business in a way that they’re able to work remotely, there’s real value.

My mobility right now is fantastic. Right now I could live and travel anywhere I want as long as it has an internet connection, I can stay connected. And honestly, Ace, that’s pretty much the … that’s most of the world right now. Right? So I can go anywhere. I’m spending quite a bit of time in Southeast Asia. I’m Bangkok. I was just in Manila and Phnom Penh and Saigon, and I’m able to do this and keep the business running, which is pretty amazing. Right? This wasn’t possible 30 years ago.

Ace Chapman:
It wasn’t. And it’s a really new thing for me. I mean, you guys have been doing it for a while. It’s only been in really the last couple of years and even more so the last year that I’ve started to set my business up in a way where I can live anywhere. And so, I’ve got an apartment in the Caribbean right now. I’m coming over and kind of hang out with you guys, and set out to East Asia, going to travel a bit after that and maybe hit Europe. And that’s a new thing for me and I’m working, it’s not like I’m on vacation. I’m working the whole time. It’s awesome.

Justin Cooke:
And it does bring up some kind of a weird scenarios, right? So I was in Bali and we were in this small resort hotel and the people will come to clean the room, I was like, “No, we’re fine.” And we’re just sitting in there working. My girlfriend and I are sitting in the hotel room working, like we would come out to eat at the restaurant or whatever, and they must’ve been like, “Who the hell are these guys that go on vacation and then hang out in their room all day and worked on the internet?

Ace Chapman:
On their computer.

Justin Cooke:
That’s kind of odd. Yeah. That’s pretty dorky, man. I don’t know what those guys were all about. But one of the things that I’ve noticed with the kind of travel work lifestyle is that I’ve really started to view my time as a resource, a depletable resource, right? So I’ve become very careful, I guard my time very carefully. So in terms of setting up calls, making sure that I’m maximizing my time, that I allot toward the business. I want to make sure that I’m doing that instead of doing kind of like side projects, projects other people are working on. I’m trying not to duplicate efforts.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah. I think you want half the time to sit back and think, “Hey, is this something that I really want to do? What I want to put my time?” And having that control even allows for that. Even if you’re in a business and you’ve got a routine, and you’re going there every day, like you said, to a location and that kind of thing, when every day you’re waking up and thinking, where do I want to be in the whole world and what do I want to be working on? That just changes everything.

Justin Cooke:
I don’t have a boss or have anyone looking over my shoulder telling me what I need to be working on. That’s good. It’s also a drawback if it’s something you’re not used to. Ultimately, when you’re running your online businesses, you’re responsible for your own success. You can’t blame anyone else, you can’t point the finger, you can do it, but it just doesn’t help because at the end of the day it comes down to how successful your business is doing.

And one thing I’ve noticed too is that sometimes I’m working on a project or I’m working on some kind of new task or thing I’m messing around with and it may not pay off for weeks, months, or even years. So I’m working for pennies at the start. I’ve had some experience with this and so I have an idea on what projects are going to pay off and which aren’t, but sometimes projects don’t pay off. I’m working on something and a year later I got nothing out of it.

So, you have to, I think a lot your time wisely pick projects that have the highest likelihood for success that are going to be the most important in your business. And that’s fun and that’s I think interesting and you have the freedom to do that, but that freedom comes with some drawbacks too, which is if you choose non wisely, you can end up paying for it for years to come.

Ace Chapman:
I think you also, it must be said that that’s not an easy thing. It’s easy to say be wise, choose the right thing to focus on, making sure that it’s going to be great for your business, but it’s tough. I’m always deciding between a lot of different great opportunities. I get emails from people, they’re like, “Why aren’t you doing this? You should be doing that and you can grow so much more.” You have all these things that are out there. It’s a tough thing to be able to sit back and decide.

So let’s get into wealth, how you kind of use this being a online business mogul, not just to have the lifestyle and beach traveling the world like Justin and do what you want to do today, but also build longterm wealth. A lot of the people that come into this space are really focused on making the income that they want to make and replace their job. And so that’s most of the time, the very first thing. Is how do I replace my job? And sometimes it’s not a job, it’s contractors, it’s people that are building websites for other folks. They’re maybe doing some consulting and you may have folks that are making two to 5,000 on the low end or 10 to 15 20,000 on the high end. But that’s not what I considered to be wealth.

You’re going, you’re doing a project, you’re generating money and you can replace your job with that, but you don’t have an asset at the end of those projects.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, it’s interesting. I know a bunch of contractors that are in that position. They’re making a few thousand dollars a month even up to low five figures a month, and while they love what they do, the smart ones understand that they’re not building an asset. That they have basically kind of a job that’s remote that has split up amongst multiple clients and maybe sure and steady but isn’t an asset. And I think that’s not really what we’re covering today or that’s not what we view as wealth. Right?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah. The first aspect of that is it’s a great thing to get started. You do some contract work. You may have a remote job, but we want to start to build value outside of your work and your time. The great thing is you can use that income to … whether you’re working a job or building a business as a contractor, you can start to buy, sell and trade assets.

Now, the neat thing about this is you’re generating an income but you have an asset that you can either improve or just pay off and kind of get that return, sell it and then level up. And so sometimes I call this snowballing where you know you may get income from a deal and you take that income, you’re saving some of it. You go out and you buy another one, now you’re generating more income and you continue that process down to getting more and more deals and eventually you may trade up to a larger deal. So a few different ways to do that, but the idea there is that you’re on the path to constant growth and building wealth

Justin Cooke:
When you’re building assets too, I think one of the other benefits is that, especially in this industry, where you are buying, selling, trading, investing in online businesses and projects and assets, is that you can liquidate them because you’re in the space, right? So you know how to sell them, you know where to go to get the deal done and to find a new buyer. So it’s not that you’re like illiquid in these like longterm real estate players, you can move on other deals because you’ve got these assets that you can then trade it in for cash, and move on these other opportunities that come along.

And I think that’s one of the interesting things about what we’re doing

Ace Chapman:
Well, and yeah, somebody who’s been in real estate, it’s always been in offline deals. That’s a rare and unique thing that’s extremely unique just to online deals. I mean the time of market is extremely slow compared to pretty much any other asset.

Justin Cooke:
The third benefit that I want to mention or want us to mention is connections. For example, building an industry leading website in your niche will open doors and give you access that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Whether it’s you having a podcast, having a blog, being a content leader in your space, you’re going to be able to make connections with people that you wouldn’t be able to do if you weren’t public, if you didn’t have that business, if you weren’t well known in your industry or niche. And I think that’s pretty interesting. It gives you access to investors or capital that you wouldn’t have otherwise, right? Because you’re in the space of building these online businesses. Other people are in it as well and they want to get it on it, so that will only give you 20, 30% 60% of the deal because they want to invest right along with you.

You’re also able to, just for the fact that you’re doing this all my business, you’re going to connect with other online entrepreneurs that are either in a similar position to you or an advanced position, and it gives you a roadmap or kind of a sneak peek at where you might be going and let’s you decide whether or not that is who you want to become, right? If you see someone that’s three to five years down the road and they’re in a great position, they’re exactly where you want to be, that’s a great person for you to model yourself after.

And I think being an online mogul, you have access to those people that you wouldn’t have if you were just working a job. That’s just not terribly interesting and it’s not a great connecting point.

Ace Chapman:
This is something that’s really not taken advantage of by a lot of people in our space just because it’s easy to put your head down, focus on your deal and not network and connect, and if you do network and connect, it’s not at depth. It’s more, “Hey, I just had this issue, who can help me? Thanks for the answer.” And you move on and you put your head back down.

And so building these big connections where you’re connecting with other people in your space, you’re kind of getting into strategy, you’re meeting people that may want to invest in your deal, creates a longterm wealth building machines.

Justin Cooke:
Not to make this a hugfest or anything, but I actually really respect your ability to kind of make those connections, Ace, and I think maintain those connections. You are fantastic at it. I know a few other people that are greater too, but I think I’ve definitely learned from you in terms of how you make those connections, how you keep those connections open. I hope we can get into that in a future podcast. I think that’d be really helpful for our listeners.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, sounds good.

Justin Cooke:
All right, man. Let’s cover some misconceptions. There’s a lot of these men and they range from this whole thing is a sham, to, wow, you guys don’t do any work at all. Right? So let’s cover them one by one. The first one is that your business will be completely passive. You’re going to buy an online business, so you’re going to start a run this online business and you’re going to sit back, watch the checks or the clicks or the whatever roll in and just cash the checks. That’s how it works, right, Ace? I mean, you just sit back and cash the checks.

Ace Chapman:
Exactly. That’s what everybody wants, right? And it just doesn’t exist? Even when you’re investing. I’m an investor and a lot of people’s deals, but I still got to check up on those. I’m keeping an eye almost daily. What’s going on with the traffic with that deal? What’s going on with the sales? No matter what you have to be on the ball or things are going to get dropped.

Justin Cooke:
All right, man. Here’s the next one. Finding, acquiring and selling online businesses is easy. What do you think about that?

Ace Chapman:
This is another thing where it actually is. It can be extremely easy to go out, find some random deal that’s a total scam buy it and own something that’s not going to make you any money. But to do it profitably is what’s really, really tough. You got to know what you’re doing and it’s a lot of hard work, and it’s looking at a lot of deals. I deal with clients that I’m helping through the process and they’re always like, “Well. I just want to buy a business. Why am I having to do all this? I’m ready to buy something.” And that’s the exact attitude that gets people in trouble.

Justin Cooke:
I think being able to repeat that process, right. So basically let’s say that you have no experience whatsoever and you want to go out and buy a business and have it work. It’s like just taking a stab in the dark, you might get completely scammed or you might just find a gem and be able to run it, but it’s, you have no idea. But if you do that over and over again, you don’t learn anything. You don’t figure anything out or put any processes in place. More often than not, it’s not going to work out well for you. So you’re going to have to gain experience.

It’s easy in that they’re out there. It’s I think more difficult or harder because of the skill required, and various skill sets are required to find them and run them successfully.

Ace Chapman:
Yes, yes. Now, I was talking about the next one that this is a quick way to make some money. What are your thoughts on that one, Justin?

Justin Cooke:
Well, no. Not really. I mean, not in terms of like over the next couple of months you’re going to make quite a bit of money. That’s just not likely to happen. And the problem with this business and why it’s not some kind of get rich quick scam, or otherwise, or actual deal, or actual get rich quick, is it requires quite a bit of capital. There are ways to get capital aside from that and to bring on investors and we’ve talked about that on other episodes, you can do that, but that’s not how most deals are done.

Most of those are of when people bring cash to the table, they already have that set up. So it’s going to require some money. The whole, you need money to make money, definitely applies here.

Ace Chapman:
And I think getting in and thinking that you’re going to have some quick, large, payday is a huge mistake. People think, “Oh, I’m going to come in by this day, I’m going to grow it and eventually sell it and make this pile of cash.” And coming in with that attitude can lead you to trouble.

The next one is most people don’t make real money with online businesses.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, I hear this. So they’re not making enough to pay their bills or that’s the reason that person’s living in Chiang Mai or Saigon or Bangkok or whatever is because they just don’t make enough money. I think that’s true to some degree. So there are people out there that are kind of getting started that are making 1500 bucks a month that are kind of hustling it up in Chiang Mai. They’re not making much money, but Chiang Mai for example, I’m just not picking on Chiang Mai, but it gives you enough runway to kind of live cheaply and get your kind of business off the ground. So that’s why you’ll see a ton of people that are in Chiang Mai kind of bootstrapping trying to get their business started and you’ll see this other places as well.

When I talked earlier about one of the benefits of the freedom or whatever is that you’re able to go to places and live like an absolute boss, right? You’re able to have a maid, a personal chef, security. I know people with security guards, and you’re able to do all these kind … you’re able to go to like the top restaurants in town. These rooftop bars and restaurants are just absolutely amazing overlooking the city and just do things that I think would be either unaffordable in other places like let’s say New York or Tokyo or Sydney.

Now I could go live in New York, Tokyo, Sydney today, but my money just didn’t go as far. What I’m able to do in my lifestyle currently is amazing comparatively, like it’d be okay in New York. I’d live an okay lifestyle, and I think being able to take advantage of this kind of arbitrage, this geoarbitrage is fantastic.

Ace Chapman:
I remember landing in Manila the first time and meeting a few guys, and I met one business there and he had a whole entourage and security guards and all this stuff. I’m like, “Man, this guy must be a huge deal.” And then I found out on my business as big as his.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, that’s awkward too, right? I knew a guy in Manila, same thing. He had security guards, these guys have guns and cruise around, and he really didn’t need it. They’ve been to Manila. This is a total side thing. I’m going to continue on it though. But the guy, he’s rolling around, he’s a baller, man. He’s got like crazy dudes rolling around with him and guarding him, and I was like, “What’s going on with this guy?” And he made pretty good money. His business is bigger than ours, but not by that much.

I think it was just a thing for him. It was just something he enjoyed. He liked kind of rolling around with security guards, it was like important, and in Manila you can just do that.

Ace Chapman:
I think it was just as entourages and that’s just something that he dug.

Justin Cooke:
Now, the truth is there are people that don’t make much money with online businesses. I see there’s more people in that position and they’re running it as a hobby or they’re just getting started. I think there’s a lot of people in the getting started mode, and a lot of those people never get past that. So they’re getting started and then they drop it and they go do something else, right? And that’s understandable.

So there’s a lot more of people in that position. So I understand kind of the skepticism that comes with that, like there are a bunch of people that aren’t making real money with online businesses, but there are hundreds, thousands. I know hundreds of people that are making real money with online businesses, meaning five figures or more per month, up in the six, seven figures per month. So they are definitely out there. I don’t know, like if people don’t buy it, then that’s …

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, there’s not much more we can say.

Justin Cooke:
That’s on them.

Ace Chapman:
I think it is an option. For me, I live great in the United States, but it’s more just where do I want to live? And a part of that is absolutely going to be, okay, where can my money go a lot further and where can I have more cash to put into more deals and still live great? And so I think that’s more the decision that people are making, and for a lot of folks it’s like, “Oh no, if I want to be in the US, I can’t use the same strategy

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, I’m just kinda cheap too, man. I don’t know. I go through Singapore and I’m just blowing money right and left. I’m like, “Oh my God, get me out of this place. Get me back to where the dollar goes a lot further.

All right, man. The fifth misconception, websites don’t last, otherwise, why would anyone sell them? So this comes from a skeptical buyer says, look, anyone who’s selling a site, that site is not going to last. Otherwise, they’d just keep it, right?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I hear this one all of the time. Sometimes it’s like they wake up in the middle of the night, the day before closing, like but wait a minute, why everything looks so good. I must be missing something because there’s selling it. Why would they be selling it if everything looks so good and it passed due diligence? People have a lot of reasons for selling.

Justin Cooke:
And the truth is that some websites won’t last, right? If they’re built poorly or they’re in a niche that’s very seasonal, or I’d say, it’s very 2015 or 2016 and it won’t last longterm. That’s true. I think there are industries that are falling behind, that are on a decline, right? And so those sites will probably continue to make less and less. But even if you look at like industry trends or changes, let’s say an industry is just down in the dumps and your website or business is in that industry, it doesn’t mean that your particular site isn’t going to absolutely crush it, right? It could be swallowing up the competition and kind of being the one true leader in a space. Even if the industry is going down, it’s a real leader there.

So don’t buy all the trends. Yes, some websites aren’t going to last, others are. There are a ton of different reasons people sell their sites, so that’s the deal.

Sixth misconception is that the only people making money with this are selling the dream. And I’d say that there are good amount of people that are making money with it, that are selling the dream. You’ve got just a ton of people out there talking about buying online businesses or running these online businesses and making money, and then they sell you a course or an ebook or they have something that they want you to buy to basically buy into what they’re selling or what they’re talking about.

For every one of those, there are a bunch of people that I know that aren’t talking about it, that are happy to be kind of the behind the scenes. I would never put myself out there. You guys are crazy for doing it kind of person. Right? And we’ve got that people specifically. I mentioned Joe and I with our monthly reports, like why are you guys putting your business out there so publicly? That’s ridiculous. You should just do what I do, which is crushing it quietly.

I don’t know. I mean, we’re not selling the dream and that we don’t have a course or anything to saw you, but we do sell website. So I guess we have to be somewhat included in that because we are brokering deals, but I don’t know. What do you think about this, man? So the only people making money are the ones that are selling their courses and the products and the things around that.

Ace Chapman:
I think the selling the dream whole thing became an issue with the Internet market, is it reminds me of that. It’s like I’m an internet marketer. I’m going to sell you products that teach you how to be an internet and sell other people products that teach them how to be a marketer. And so when you have that kind of incestuous type of industry is like selling … everybody is just selling a dream and there’s no substance.

And so I think that what you’re doing when you’re selling deals and you’re helping to get deals done is you are saying, hey, here is the dream that exists around doing these deals and here’s the proof of that. But in addition, here’s the substance and this is how you get it done. You don’t have to go out and sell somebody else’s dream and get them to do that. And so that’s how I view that.

Justin Cooke:
So if you’re selling the dream to people who you then tell to go sell the dream, that sounds like that sounds very MLM.

Ace Chapman:
Exactly.

Justin Cooke:
Hey, come over here and I’ll show you how to do what I’m doing. You’re like, hey, just go over there and sell them … You’ll see some of that. I know a guy, I’m not going to mention any names, but I know a guy specifically that has made plenty of money in the online business space and he’s done quite well for himself and continue to do that. But one of the reasons he got into, I guess, selling the dream is because the margins were so good.

He’s like, “Look, I’m doing fine. My business is doing just fine there, but my margins are so high in the information space. Why would I not do that? Like I’ve done really well. Why don’t I share that information and get paid really well to do it. It requires less people. It’s less hassle. That seems like a better way to go. It’s hard for you to argue with that.” “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying now. I get it.”

Ace Chapman:
It’s funny. I had dinner one time with a guy named Timothy Sykes who teaches penny stocks and that kind of thing, and we were talking about just some of the stuff that I was doing and what he was doing and awesome restaurant. He’s like, “Dude, you got to buy a Lamborghini or something, man, you got to show these people that you got money. They’re not going to want to follow you if you don’t have some kind of … you got to get a Bentley or a Lamborghini. Start flexing about it.” I’m like, “Oh man, that sounds terrible. Why would I do that?” So it’s funny.

Justin Cooke:
It’s a good thing I was reading an article, I’ll try to find it and put it in the show notes. It’s from Neil Patel and something about him like putting on some like crazy suits or like really, really nice shoes and going around in his apartment in Vegas or something, and kind of the connections he made by wearing these nice suits or driving this nice car, whatever. It’s really interesting article. It sounded kind of outrageous to me, but I don’t know. I bet there’s some truth to it. Anyway, I’ll link to it.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, he actually did … I mean, and actually Neil is an advisor to Tim, and the other side of that, man, this has been years ago that he was telling me that, and in his work, I mean, his business is exploding, continues to explode. Neil has made a ton of money from that, but I still think you got to be authentic and true to yourself at the same time.

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, man. All right, let’s get it, buddy. Let’s talk about our day or week in the life so to speak. So when we get into this, I mean there are obviously some days are different with the freedom that our positions or whatever allow in our companies. Some days I don’t do anything, some days I do a hell of a lot. So I’ll just kind of talk about our typical day.

So I’m a night Indian, so I wake up normally around 9 to 11:00 AM and I start the day with … I’m not going to get into the bathroom breaks and showers or whatever, but like just work stuff. So I wake up around 9 to 11 and then I’ll check email, so I’ll see what I missed overnight, what our team has been working on, and I’ll look for any kind of critical issues or priorities. I’ll normally do this for about an hour, hour and a half, and I’ll do this over breakfast. So while I’m eating breakfast and drinking coffee, I’ll kind of see what happened. You kind of get caught up because our team is working 24 hours a day.

And then for the rest of like kind of the late morning and early afternoon, I’ll work on daily goals or priorities. And one of the things I do is I keep open a tab and we do a quarterly strategy meeting with our management team and we talk about what we want to hit for the quarter, that will hit our kind of annual goals. And so when I’m working on these daily goals or priorities, when I remember to do it, I’ll have that tab open and make sure that the things I’m working on that day or that week align with those kind of quarterly goals. So that kind of helps keep me in check. Sometimes I forget and I do get off track a little bit, but ideally that’s where I’m at.

And then I’ll normally take a good anywhere from three to five hours off. I might be goofing around online, I might go see something, I might do some travel planning, some traveling around quite a bit. And then after that period I’ll get, and this is normally in the like late afternoon, evening, I’ll get into podcasts prep. So there’s a lot of prep that goes into this podcast and the Empire Flippers podcast. We’ve got to do our recordings, so I’ll do some of that all. We’ll do our team calls, we have a Monday team call and then any other calls with the team, I’ll do in the evening. And then I’ll normally do a bit of writing.

So I’ll do a couple of hours writing, all this time could be anywhere from two hours that evening, it could be up to five hours, kind of just depending on the day. So that includes podcast prep, recording, team calls and writing, that kind of thing. After that I’ll, and this is kind of later into the night, I’ll respond to email or tickets. I get a lot of either personal questions are answers the need to come from me, and I’ll kind of jump in on those and answer that for maybe anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, and then I’ll kind of spend the end of the day kind of prepping for the next day or kind of looking at the next week, if that’s the case.

I normally finished, I’m off somewhere between 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM just kind of depending on the day and what I got going on the next day and that kind of thing. Keep in mind, what I do actually is just be like traveling or meeting with clients or prospective clients, or going to this city or that city, phone calls with other peers or being involved in masterminds, that’s actually work, but it doesn’t really feel like it.

If I’m doing dinner and beers with a seller, we’re working. I guess I’m working, but that doesn’t really feel like work. So I’d say in general, I’m probably putting in 50 to 60 hours a week, but I mean, I don’t know, and then some weeks are 25, 30. So it bounces around quite a bit.

Ace Chapman:
Oh my goodness, dude. You’ve got to productive day, man. I don’t even want to get into my day now. I’m going to seem like a lazy bone.

Justin Cooke:
What you got man? I want to hear your day. So are you the night Indian? Are you the morning, 6:00AM-

Ace Chapman:
I am a morning guy. I cannot sleep … I can’t sleep past seven, so not only I’ll wake up as six, but like even on the weekend, it’s sometimes frustrating. I just can’t sleep past seven o’clock but it’s great.

So I wake up … the past couple months I’ve been in the Caribbeans, so a lot of times my schedule is determined little bit based on where I am. So it’s going to be interesting to see how my day changes as I spin a month or so in Southeast Asia, just dealing with calls that are still back to the US and all that. But for the last couple months, my typical day has been waking up at six, nice thing about the town I was in, had a gym that was a couple blocks over, ran to the gym, past the beach, pick up some breakfast, like bananas, mango, that kind of thing all the way back.

Usually in the morning I’ll do interviews, so I’ll have either a podcast interview or some kind of publication interview or Webinar with somebody else. And so I like to get those in the morning.

Justin Cooke:
Do you limit those to a particular day or is it just like anytime Monday through Thursday or Monday through Friday, that kind of thing?

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I try to do Monday, Wednesday and Thursday is typically when I do those. And so I know I’ve got a couple other things that I do, calls on Tuesdays and Fridays in the morning with people that I’m partners with, are investors in businesses and we’re sharing ideas. So in the morning I’ve got one of those two calls. I’ve either got a podcast interview or something like that, or I’ve got that meeting on Tuesday and Friday.

After that, I’d love to check on just the Google analytics, and some of the metrics of the businesses that I own. So, I’m checking on those, if anything looks weird. I’m setting up calls with my partners in the deal or the people running the business and checking in with them.

Justin Cooke:
Do you have those rolled up somewhere? Do you like to use a Gecko board for those? Do you get someone to reporting to you or do you just kind of log into analytics and kind of see what’s up directly?

Ace Chapman:
Actually, I use syf.com, which I was a part of building that, so I’m a big fan. So you should absolutely use saif.com.

Justin Cooke:
That’s a little plug there, Ace.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah. You like that?

Justin Cooke:
Yeah, you snuck that in. That was good. That’s like the guy who when you’re watching a movie and then he just holds it up, whatever, “Oh, and bounty fresh,” right? Yeah, dude. I will take that. I’ll link to it in the show notes, but grudgingly, but I’ll link to it.

Ace Chapman:
So a great dashboard and it ties in just everything. It’s pretty awesome. So I log in there and I’m able to kind of see what’s going on with the different businesses and what trends are happening. Then I’ll check in on those businesses if need be.

After that I am working with a client, so afternoons and evenings are spent working on new deals. So that is working with clients that are going out and looking for new deals, people that are in the network spent with potential investors and making offers on deals, to get offers turned down on deals, coming up with the new structures and all of that doing due diligence.

Justin Cooke:
You’re hunting at night, basically you’re hunting for new deals, you’re hunting for new investors or for new partners. That’s kind of your evening time. That’s kind of interesting. I would’ve thought you’d do that in the morning when you’re kind of fresh and ready to go. Why is the evening better for you for that? Do you think?

Ace Chapman:
They’re more free. So a lot of times, they’re busy during the day, so it’s a lot easier. You got the west coast, they’re getting off kind of later at eight or so. So my evenings are usually pretty tied up and that’s just because they’re working or doing whatever they do during the day and they tend to like to do the calls in the evening.

Justin Cooke:
Got you, man. What do you like of your day? Like what do you like the most? What’s the kind of the time or the things you’re working on that you liked the most and then which do you like the least?

Ace Chapman:
I think obviously the least thing is anytime you have a deal that’s having issues. So we had a deal that’s a drop shipping deal. We realized some of the ads weren’t working as well as they have been in the past, and so we got to make some tweaks. When you get into those things, like you said, the ideal is just money shows up every month, but that’s not the case. So anytime you have those hiccup calls and you’re working with the person and trying to figure out, all right, let’s figure out how we can make this deal happen.

The thing that is the most exciting is when I get to connect different people that may be doing deals where they’re able to work together and maybe do a joint venture. And we’ve been doing a lot more of that lately and that’s been the most fun. Even more fun than buying deals.

Justin Cooke:
Cool, man. So how many hours do you think a week you work on average? That’s a rough one because I know it’s off.

Ace Chapman:
Yeah, I would probably say real work and not just like thinking or planning or reading is probably 30 to 40. I’m not putting in a ton of crazy hours.

Justin Cooke:
That’s weird. That’s the thing like the real work, right? So it’s hard to qualify that. I’m doing dinner … For example, I’m going to meet up with you in Manila, in what? Like a couple of weeks from now or whatever. We do a dinner, like is it work?

Ace Chapman:
It’s kind of work. I mean, we’re hanging out, we’re doing dinner, we’re talking about the pod … I don’t know. I guess so. I don’t know. I guess it depends on what you classify working. I’d say that’s the weird thing too for like this kind of lifestyle, this online business mogul lifestyle, is that how you classify work starts to change a little bit too. What you’re calling work changes. So I think the lines are definitely gray there

Justin Cooke:
I just have a lot of fun. You know what I mean? Most of the stuff that I’m doing, I’m doing because I enjoy it. And then the side result is that the fact that you’re making money as well, and so you know, yeah, I appreciate the fact that you say having dinner with me is work, man.

Ace Chapman:
You’re going to remember.

Justin Cooke:
I’ve got to meet this Ace guy next week.

Ace Chapman:
We’re going to be at a dinner next week, whatever, in Manila and you’re going to see me like roll my eyes and look away and be like, “Dude, you’re working right now? He’s working. What’s going on with this guy?”

Justin Cooke:
Actually, you’re right. I’m sorry. If anybody from the IRS is listening, we are absolutely working. And so that is a totally legitimate right off when we get that dinner.

Ace Chapman:
Absolutely working. I feel bad for anyone who goes to dinner with me in the near future. If they listened to his podcast and go, “Damn, like I’m working with Justin again.”

All right, let’s do a quick wrap up here. So, I mean, for me the benefits definitely outweigh the downsides. For me, it’s really the freedom in terms of mobility where I can go in terms of what I can work on and when I work on it I think is just fantastic. The fact that I can step away or walk away from my business for a while and have our team continue to do the work, is just amazing. So I think for me it’s fantastic.

Justin Cooke:
I think it’s important for people coming in to just be balanced. It’s not this absolutely risky, you know, hard working 90 hour week thing, but it’s also not at the other extreme and totally passive, and just checks are magically going to show up for the rest of your life. It’s a plenty of work, but at least you’re working for yourself and you’re building assets and in turn building wealth.

Ace Chapman:
I think it’s also, there’s going to be some awkward moments. I had talked about like working at a resort. I’m like, I’m at a resort. This is amazing. I got the ocean over there, I got the pool over here, and then I’m prepping for this podcast. It’s cool, but like everyone else is having fun and sipping their Mai Tai’s and I have half a one because I’ve got four hours of work ahead of me. So it’s a mixed bag man, but I definitely wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Speaker 2:
Thanks for listening to the Web Equity Show. Now is your chance to be a part of the action. Go to www.webequityshow.com/gift and send us your business acquisition or exit question and have it answered on the show.

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Discussion

  • What is the tool that Ace mentions he is using to track his portfolio of websites?

    Justin mentioned he will put it in the footnotes, but I don’t see it. It sounded like site dot com, but that domain redirects to Salesforce.

    Thanks!

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