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EFP 41: Reach Out Vs Hand Out Mindset

Justin Cooke April 4, 2013

There are some major differences with Entrepreneurs Vs. Employees when it comes to mindset.  An employee may be willing to ask a peer, co-worker, or boss for a handout while an entrepreneur is willing to hustle up his or her own answers to problems.

Reach Out Versus Hand Out

In this week’s episode, Joe and I delve into those differences a bit and cover what we feel are the underlying causes for these differences in the people we’ve run across.  We also cover another great niche business idea towards the end of the show and dissect our latest 3-pronged strategy when it comes to content marketing.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Our birthday weekend bash and the Mac Vs. PC argument revisited
  • Phase 2 in the development process of IntelliTheme and our upcoming launch
  • “Let Me Google That For You”
  • Paid help Vs. “Bro” help
  • Real issues Vs. signs of the resistance
  • Taking creative breaks
  • A new way to search and our content strategy trifecta


Was this episode helpful? Give us a shout on Twitter and let us know in the comments below!


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Recorded Voice:                Welcome to the Empire Flippers Podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas but are short on substance? Worried that e-book you bought for 17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits without the bullshit. Straight from your hosts, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cooke:                     Welcome to episode 41 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. I’m your host Justin Cooke and I’m here with hot money, Joe Magnotti. What’s going on buddy?

Joe Magnotti:                    Hello everybody.

Justin Cooke:                     We’ve got a fantastic episode lined up for you this week. This week we’re talking about a reach out versus a handout. The difference between an entrepreneurial and an employee mindset, when it comes to solving your own problems. I think we have some great points lined up. But first let’s do some updates, news and info.

First thing is this last weekend, we got to do our birthday weekend bash, buddy. We had some authentic Mexican food on Saturday night. Sunday, we spent all day island hopping and snorkeling with a bunch of friends. It’s crazy. And I think, total costs with food, alcohol, the boat, everything was probably what? Like 300, 400 bucks?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, really cheap.

Justin Cooke:                     It’s crazy. So we don’t want to do the whole infomercial, look at me living the dream stuff, but the cool thing is that every once in a while we get to do some of these really awesome and amazing thing. So we’ll put some pictures in the show notes, so you can take a look. But yeah, dude, it was just an outstanding weekend.

Joe Magnotti:                    Good times had by all and happy birthday, buddy.

Justin Cooke:                     Thanks man. Happy birthday to you. So it’s funny, my birthday on the 30th, yours on the 31st. Sweet. Next thing, we got ourselves some presents. So we’re battling it out, right now. Joe’s got a 13 inch MacBook and the Retina MacBook, I should say. And then I got the 15 inch Samsung Series 7 Chronos. And the funny thing is, we’re kind of arguing over specs and which computer we like more, and both of us are complete frigging noobs right now. Right? I’m messing with Windows 8 and trying to fumble my way through it. You’re messing with Mac OS and it’s confusing and-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I couldn’t figure out the print today, so I really felt like a noob.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah I was trying to, we’re trying to invoice or something and I was trying to pull up the calculator. I couldn’t find it, man, that’s absolutely horrible. So I need to look at some videos or something on how to use Windows 8. I think that’d probably be helpful.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think this is the wave of the future though, Windows 8, Mac. You got to really adapt and once you get the hand of it, you are going to find out that it’s much better.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, so back to business. Next phase of IntelliTheme. We’ve been working pretty diligently on IntelliTheme. We’ve actually got a full on JV launch coming out, about a week from now. So that should be pretty exciting.

Joe Magnotti:                    I am really excited about that. Mark Thompson’s helping us out with that and it’s going to be pretty big. But what we’re looking to do in this version, is get some of the ad unit management and the custom channel management automated through the theme.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, so it’s going to automatically create ad units for every preset and then the ad units are going to be put into auto created custom channels and those statistics are going to be reported back from AdSense into the dashboard. So basically, it just means that you’re not going to have to do any of that stuff in AdSense, it’ll all be done for you and you can view all those stats in your dashboard.

Now the real benefit is, if you have someone else working on it or checking it out or whatever, they can then, you can then set up a process where if it’s not meeting these goals, then you need to do this. I think I want to add content or link building or whatever. So you can choose what you want done and when.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, so your outsourced employees don’t need to have access to your AdSense account to create ad units. They can also, obviously, like you said, look at statistics directly from the WordPress dashboard. And then future versions, we are looking to have an auto adjustment feature, but I’m not sure when that will be available.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, the full launch will be on April 12th. We’re actually starting on a Friday, so look out for that. You can check out for more info. Last point we got is Mastermind weekend, is this coming weekend. So we’ve got Chris [Ducker 00:03:46] in town. We’ve got Mark [Brenwall 00:03:47], Damian Thompson, and we’re going to be sitting down together and knocking it out. It’s been two months, so they’re going to hold our feet to the fire. We could beat them up a little bit about their goals, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Well we’ve made a lot of changes, I think, since the last one. I think we really hit home for us and we were able to adapt and take some of the things that we learned from the last Mastermind and use that to make our business better. We spent a lot more money since then, but I’d like to say that it’s been worth it.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I mean, but you know, we’re investing in our business, right? And not everything works out, but the ones that do are going to be killer. So before we do any more of that, let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode, which is all about reach out versus handout.

Recorded Voice:                This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     So in this episode, we’re going to talk a lot more about having an entrepreneurial versus employee mindset. And it seems like a lot of the questions we get, the emails we get, revolve around things that people could easily find out for themselves, but they don’t feel confident enough in their abilities or they want to hear the answer from someone they perceive to be an expert.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. We said before the show that we don’t want this to turn into a bitch session about people emailing us. I mean, we love your emails, guys, keep emailing us, but we want to try to help you find the answers yourself. We want to motivate you to say, you know what? You can rely on yourself.

Justin Cooke:                     I think it’s this idea too that, if someone else tells me, even though I can look up the information myself, it just reminds me that I’m heading in the right direction. But I have to tell you, we struggle with this too, right? I don’t know. I mean, we’re doing this JV launch, with IntelliTheme, and I don’t know what the heck we’re doing. We’ve never done this before. I’ve never been involved in this kind of thing. We’re trying to figure our way through it, right? So I’m looking to resources and finding it, finding out about it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, the reinforcement, it makes you emotionally feel better, but honestly, it doesn’t really do anything in terms of logic.

Justin Cooke:                     So let’s get into it. How can people help themselves? And the first thing, obviously, Google. I got a great website for, it’s really funny. It’s and it’s let me Google that for you dot com, basically. What you can do, is you can go there and if someone asks you questions, you can put in a search term, hit the button, it’ll give you a link. And then it’ll send, whoever you send that to, it’ll basically give them a little video of you going to Google, typing in the search term and then pop up the Google results. But I mean, it’s so true, right? I mean, there are so many things. We get questions like, seriously, “I’d like to make money online. Could you tell me how to do that?”

Joe Magnotti:                    Well, that’s even worse than the specific questions, that I think are answered at Empire Flippers, that people can definitely look up by just using, then their question.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, and you can do that for any site, right? So if I want to find a specific mention of something, I can type in, let’s say I want to find something they talked about in the lifestyle business podcast. I can do and then use the quote function and I’ll look for that exact phrase. Whatever they’ve mentioned in the past, that I know the exact phrase, I can look that up. And that helps me find the content so much easier, so much better.

I think there’s a bit of a weakness with right now, where it’s kind of hard to find some of our content, so we’re working on that to get that better on the site. But I mean, these little tools, there are little tricks you can use to find the information you need, that I think a lot of people just don’t use.

The second tip I think we could mention is, you really should localize your problem or issue, right? What is it, exactly, that you have a problem with? I mentioned earlier, how do I make more money online? That’s so vague. I don’t know your skillset. I can’t help you. I have no idea. Maybe you’re struggling with a particular issue, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. It’s amazing how often this happens. I wonder if it’s because people aren’t playing through the process or even attempting it or if it’s really because they think if they get too specific that the answer is so obvious that someone will make fun of them or something like that.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, they feel embarrassed. I can tell you, that we’re definitely not those types of guys and most people aren’t. So I’d much rather have, “I was having trouble selling my site. Do you recommend A or B?” Right? “I’ve read through your stuff. Would you recommend A or B”, rather than, “Hey, how do I sell my site? Get back to me.” Right? We get those emails, “I want to sell my site with you. Get back to me.” Well here’s the page, read through it. Here’s the process and if somebody’s unclear at that point, tell me which piece is unclear and it’s a specific problem I can then, answer or fix. But if it’s kind of this long winded thing, it’s hard for me to get back to you.

It was funny. I saw on Twitter today, Glen from ViperChill put out a message. He said, “I hate emailing people back a long, detailed answer to their question and they go, ‘Yeah, thanks’ and they move on to another question. They don’t really respond.” And then Pat Flynn mentioned, “What’s even worse, is when I give a long, detailed explanation and the email bounces”. Oh, that’s horrible. Horrible, but that’s kind of how this topic came about today. But a really helpful thing, I think, is to localize your problem or issue. Be very specific in what it is that you’re struggling with.

Joe Magnotti:                    Busy people are really going to appreciate that and they’re going to be more likely to answer your email.

Justin Cooke:                     Our third point is paid expertise versus bro help. Right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Hey bro, can you help me?

Justin Cooke:                     Hey bro, I was wondering if you could take a look. The problem with bro help, now bro help can be great and you like to ask your buddies and get opinions from them. It’s helpful, but one of the problems, is with bro help, it may, they’re not, first off, they’re not invested in the project at all. They’re not, there’s no value for them other than your friendship, obviously. But the second thing is, is if they’re busy, they may not be able to get back to your project. They have paid projects that are ahead of you. They’re going to focus on those first.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. This is a thing that you see on Odesk a lot of times, where there are some suppliers or some operators on Odesk that say, if you want to be first in line, than be the guy who pays me the most hourly and I will work on your stuff first, before anybody else.

Justin Cooke:                     I love when contractors do that. Just tell me straight up, right? Say, “Okay, if you want to be my main project right now, this is what you got to pay me.” And it’s, you can gouge us a little bit that way, but if you’re honest about it and you have these projects and if you want to be first in line, this is what you need to pay, that’s fair.

Joe Magnotti:                    So if you’re paying free, if you’re paying nothing, then you’re going to be pretty far down the totem pole and you’re definitely not going to get the attention that you deserve.

Justin Cooke:                     Bottom of the lesson. In fact, we had this situation with IntelliTheme when we’re going, working on the launch. I know someone that could help me out significantly with kind of a launch strategy and stuff. I don’t know anything about that. He’s a buddy of mine, though and I could just, I could talk to him every week about it. We could take an hour or I could just pay him for his time and he wouldn’t have made me pay him or anything, but I was happy too, because I figure I’m getting good value out of that and we’re not just hanging out, shooting the shit. We’re actually getting down to the help that I need, right?

The other thing to consider. We did a podcast episode on the resistance, a few weeks ago. Another thing to consider is whether the, it’s a real problem, whether the problem actually exists or whether it’s just resistance. And a good way to figure this out is, skip it, right? If it’s not a critical step that is in line ahead of the other ones and it’s important, it needs to be done first, then skip it and come back to it. You may find that whatever problem or issue you had was more theoretical and not actual or that it may not be there at all, but it’s just in your head you’re coming up with these problems to keep you from doing the work.

Joe Magnotti:                    Or it might just be fixable. I mean, it might be something, and I think you were struggling with this, Justin, right? When we were doing outsourcing for startups and you were working on the content of the page and you wanted certain pieces of the design to look a certain way. And because you’re not a designer or a programmer, you were struggling with that and it was taking a lot longer than it should have.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, so I can just skip that piece, continue moving on with the content and then come back to it and say, “Okay, is that really that important or does it look fine as is?” And a lot of times my answers are, my problems weren’t as big or as major as I thought they were, when I was doing it. And I’m not sure if that was a part of the resistance or if it was actually just not really a problem, but it turns out it wasn’t bad.

So the next point we want to talk about is taking a creative break. And this is helpful for me, especially when I’m struggling with writing or putting out some work. I need to do the work and I’m just, I just don’t feel like it’s my best. One of the things I’ll do, is I’ll back away and go listen to a podcast, read a book, get the kind of creative juices flowing. You know what I mean?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. What I was thinking about when I, when we thought about this point, was sleep on it, right? I mean, sometimes a problem, instead of banging your head against the wall trying to solve it or if you’re having writer’s block or some sort of other creative obstacle, is to just take a break and come back to it tomorrow. And I think that’s very helpful. I mean, yes you could use it as a way to procrastinate and put off and all that kind of stuff, but if you use it judiciously in the right situations, I think that taking a break could really help you be more productive.

Justin Cooke:                     I like to listen to unrelated podcasts or even movies and then try to, and this is weird, man, but try to watch the actors or the problems they’re going through and try to relate it to my business or think, “Okay, how does this situation apply?” I do this. I woke up the other day, I was sleep, dreaming about keyword research. That’s how dorky I am, but anyway.

Yeah, so I mean, try to watch these creative or listen to these creative shows and try to think of ideas and how that applies to my business. And then a lot of times, I can come back to the problem with a fresh head and be able to take it on, right? And take a different approach to it then I would have otherwise.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think that’s not unique to us. I think a lot of people try to use this way of dealing with creative pressure. It’s a common thing, but I think probably a lot of new entrepreneurs, they get that get up and go feeling and they keep just slamming themselves into the wall and not realizing that you need a break.

Justin Cooke:                     Another good thing you do, and this is kind of our last point, but that if all else fails and you really need to reach out to someone else, an expert or whatever, and you need to ask them for help, it’s always better to give before you ask for your get, right? So we had someone recently, that was really looking forward to IntelliTheme. They wanted to see if they could get a copy. So they ended up emailing a bunch of design or conversion points and fixing some spelling errors and showing us some navigational tricks we might be able to use, to improve conversions. And so they gave us our, their data and it was really well researched and interesting. We said, “Okay, that’s pretty cool. We’ll help you out here.”

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I think this, along with being succinct and detailed, in your email to someone when you do actually have to reach out, will result in better chance of a reply.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, going back to that. Okay. So when someone is telling me, “Look, I’m building a site and I’m on this step in the building a niche site empire guide, and I’m not really sure what you mean here. Did you mean this or did you mean that?” That’s so much easier for me to answer.

“I’m building niche sites and they’re not working. Please help.” Seriously, we get emails like that. That’s horrible, right? You just, I don’t know what they’re thinking. That’s like basically, I’m not really an entrepreneur. I’m not looking to build a business. I want my mentor or my boss, my employee type boss to tell me what to do. What do I do?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. But in the same turn, if someone says, “I went through the niche site guide and I found a spelling error on page 76, here it is. And by the way, what did you mean by this?” Much easier to respond to that person.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. And grabs your interest too. You know what I mean?

Recorded Voice:                You’re listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cooke:                     Okay. So we’ve got a great niche business idea of the week. I really love this one, man. So the idea is that, there are a bunch of sources that I look to when I’m looking up information. Let’s say I want to figure out how to make our podcast better or I want to figure out how to submit something to iTunes. I mean, I can search Google, right? For sure. But I may get a bunch of blog articles from people I don’t really know all that well.

And so I kind of want to have my particular circle, I want to be able to search my circle and see what they’re saying about Podcash and Smart Passive Income, Niche Pursuits, Tropical MBA, maybe 50 or 60 different sites. Great idea would be to use Google search and basically have it custom, where you’re able to put in your 50 or 60 blogs and search, specifically, through those blogs. Because you use site colon for a specific site, but I want to use that for let’s say, 50 or 60 sites that people I know I can trust.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. This would be so easy to engineer on the backend too. I mean, I’m sure somebody could code this together in a long weekend and make a pretty decent site out of it.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. So let’s say it’s called, I don’t know, or something. You put that up and then you’re searching through sources that you know, like and trust. You can select the sources by putting them in and then having your own little custom, mini search engine from people that you know, like and respect. I think it’s a cool idea.

Joe Magnotti:                    I like it. I think it’s easy to implement. It’s easy to monetize. Can slap AdSense on that and people would find it useful, especially those that need to search multiple sites as a custom search. Done deal.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. You can even build a tool that is in your browser, right? So all of a sudden, it’s searching from my browser or whatever, through my custom search engine. I love it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. As an extension. I didn’t even think about that, that would even be better.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, well let’s get right into our tips, tricks and plans for the future.

Recorded Voice:                The Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     We’ve got three tips for you this week. The first one actually stems from our Mastermind SUBU and I was overhearing Chris Ducker talking to one of the Marks, one of the two Marks that was there, and he was saying how he relatively easily found a college professor to help him both edit and also help coach him a bit with his writing. I was thinking to myself, if he found, I think he found her on Odesk and was able to get her for, it was like 15 or 20 bucks an hour to help go through his blog posts. I’m like, “Wow, that’s a pretty interesting idea.”

So I started networking around, in our circles, and I talked to Elisa from and she’s, for me, I think she’s a fantastic writer. She’s a pro, man. She writes a really, really good stuff and I don’t know how well she would edit, but I reached out to her. She said, “Oh, this is something I’d love to do. I’d love to help you guys, specifically.” So we kind of hashed through it and she’s going to start helping me edit blog posts and any of the content that I’m writing on other sites. So doing guest posts on and these types of things. She’s going to help me put them out there and make sure that voice and message is on. It’s pretty cool, man.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I would say if you’re putting out a lot of content, this is a great way to have someone looking over your shoulder that it just going to help you stick to some good guidelines and good measuring sticks and make sure that your content is quality content.

Justin Cooke:                     It’s funny ’cause we do this on a low level, right? We have our content editors for all of our niche sites and they order, get the content back, edit it and then publish it. Right? And we offer that through our content packages, but you can also do this on a higher level too, right? When you want your really good content to be, you want to move from good to great, great to exceptional. Right? And I think it’ll help do that.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think quantity is a big factor as well. I mean right now, Justin, you’re putting out a lot of content and it’s got to be good stuff. So you need an editor in place when you start doing that. So this way that you could focus on the new ideas, the creative part.

Justin Cooke:                     I think this is helpful for anyone who runs a blog or they’re really trying to get better in their niche. I mean, even if it’s a product site or something, but you’re putting out a lot of content, having an editor there, can significantly help you.

The second point is Now this is a bit of software that was put together by, actually it was purchased, a site that was purchased by Rob Walling from, who runs an awesome podcast, but it’s great. We’re just now starting to use it. Basically what it will do is, it’ll track the search terms that are incoming to your site, show you what some potential, hot keywords are and then give you content ideas on what you can write about to capture more of that traffic.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Again, really interesting. If you’re putting out a lot of content and you need new ideas, why not take a look at these kind of inbound terms that are valuable to you and try to base new content around that. I mean, don’t make it solely all about that because you never want to make it all about the analytics. Sometimes you only want to just do good content for good content’s sake, but if people are looking for it and asking for it, then that’s probably something you want to address.

Justin Cooke:                     Our third and final point, and this is kind of like our content triangle in these tips, but the third one is, from, inform dot L-Y, from Dan Norris at the Web Domination Podcast. This guy is super sharp and he puts out pretty amazing content. I love his videos and the guy’s on point. Anyway, so he’s doing a change to informal.loi where a piece of it will be, specifically tracking your content. And so he’s going to go into bata here soon, but it tracks what got the most attention on social media, who’s actively following your content and sharing it. And let’s you build a closer, deeper connection with them.

So when you take all three of these things together, basically having a great editor or coach to help you improve your content, hit tail to give you ideas from people that are already visiting your site and find out what content your audience is looking for and the third piece, find out what social pieces or what pieces are being shared, socially and which ones are driving more subscribers and customers, actually paying you money. When you take those three in conjunction and you can exponentially grow the value of your content marketing.

Well that’s it for episode 41 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. Been great having you with us. Make sure to check us out on Twitter at Empire Flippers and we’ll see you around.

Joe Magnotti:                    Bye bye, everybody.

Recorded Voice:                You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up for more. That’s

Thanks for listening.



  • Keith Mander says:

    Still waiting on that list fellas.

  • Keith Mander says:

    Search engine just for the sites you want….. EASY! Give me the list of sites you want and I’ll make it in 10-minutes.

  • Jason says:

    I just got a windows 8 laptop and struggled for a week, then a friend helped me out.
    Start 8 and modern mix from star dock, cool solutions to bring back the start button and make everything make sense again… It’s like $5.. 30 day free trial.. Love the show… Can’t help with the Mac 🙂

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Jason!

      A friend just showed me the Windows Button + Search option…that’s pretty cool. I’ve read about Start8 and Modern Mix…I’m thinking about trying them out. (Modern Mix puts the Windows 8 apps in window mode, right)

      Thanks for the tips! And screw the Apple Fanbois like Joe. 🙂

      • Jason Rasset says:

        Yea that sounds about right what modern mix does….makes the transition more tolerable…for me..As i like some things about windows 8…I’m just slow to adjust. those dang commercials are targeted at hipsters….of which i am schmapple..:)

  • Rico says:

    Well, i am not sure if its wise to say: “An employee may be willing to ask a peer, co-worker, or boss for a handout while an entrepreneur is willing to hustle up his or her own answers to problems.” An entrepreneur should search for help even more than an employee, as he should not spend days to solve a problem what somebody else could fix in minutes. Anyway, if its a critical task for the business — then of course everyone should put the biggest effort to find a unique solution.

    Great podcast guys, i enjoy listening to you so much everytime!

    • Thanks Rico. I think the point we were trying to make is that entrepreneurs try to fix problems or answer questions themselves first, while employees tend to reach out. It’s a mindset issue.

  • Iain Robson says:

    Great podcast.

    I particularly love the, “:bro help” problem.

    I ran into that the other day without realizing it. I asked a friend to help me out, but he wasn’t very helpful probably because I wasn’t paying him.

    Taking a creative break is a fabulous idea. Tom Ewer was just talking about this exact thing on his blog.

    My creative breaks are mostly just going for walks and trying not to think about work as much. I am constantly surprised by how creative I can get on a walk.

    • Yeah I love daily physical exercise for a break. It really helps get you mind of the issue and focus on something else. When you come back, it’s with a fresh set of eyes and ears.

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