EFP 50: Personal Business Philosophy And Goals

Justin Cooke

June 6, 2013

Wowza…we’ve shipped 50 episodes!

Joe and I wanted to sit down and get a bit more personal in this episode, discussing some of the differences we have when it comes to our business philosophy relating to risk, strengths/weaknesses, and work/life balance.

The Philosophies of a Successful Business and Business Ownership

Each one of the points we address in this show have (at one time or another) been responsible for some serious strife or disagreements between the two of us. Listening back to the show, though, I think they also highlight some of the benefits of having a business partner to keep you on your toes.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As


“There is SOME point where you have to pull out the nuclear codes!” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“Unless you can turn it into something that’s a working prototype, it doesn’t matter what your ideas are.” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“It’s so much more truthful when you tell me about your failures AND your successes” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

“If you have something that’s working, just make money and shut your mouth. Yeah, screw that.” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Superman / Kryptonite – How we view our personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Thorns in our entrepreneurial sides
  • Knowing when to hold ’em / fold ’em
  • Scotch And Spreadsheets – Maintaining a work/life balance
  • School of hard knocks and some lessons learned
  • Our business is growing up? What do we want to be…


  • iTunes Reviews – A bunch of new 5-star reviews…thank you so much!
  • Spencer’s Copied Site – An interesting post on Niche Pursuits regarding someone copying his public niche site (and what he’s doing about it)
  • Moz.com – SEOMoz changes their name, cleans up their UI, and gets into the Content Marketing Analytics game!

Which business philosophies of ours do you share? What traits do you think are complimentary/helpful for business partners? Let us know on Twitter or feel free to speak your mind in the comments below!

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  1. Todd says:

    Nice to see you guys hit 50. I look forward to 100. You guys are the real deal and your integrity shows. Could not agree more about MLM and sketchy-boastful entrepreneurs. . Keep up the good work. Also, your e-commerce ambitions should be a slam dunk.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Todd…appreciate it!

      I think we’re going to slowly start testing through the eCommerce stuff through the end of the year, but will put more effort and focus into the plan through 2014…if we can hold off that long! :-)

  2. Hi Guys

    I find your internal debates on the post cast are really valuable. These conflicts are very normal and so far you seem to have resolved them to a point where no damage is being done to the relationship.

    I also find it interesting as i share Both of your personalities ! yikes.. The more Conservative process driven (comes from having been a manufacturing engineer and manager) through to the “fuck it lets do it – its going to be ok”

    If i can add anything to your conversation, it would be to say that Joe’s money buffer need is very wise. Life has taught us that down turns happen so fast in any business that a buffer is very valuable. Maybe the way to deal with the exuberant aspirations is to plan them out. Set dates to test the idea and then go forward with them or kill off the idea. i.e. like normal physical product development.

    And of course you now have the benefit of the master mind group to sound off against..

    Best of luck for the rest of the year

    BTW I think the Go large is very much the way to go ..

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Steve…

      Joe and I have known each other a really long time and are usually able to work out arguments/disagreements. I have to say, though, that it can be frustrating/tiring for both of us. Things are good right now, but there are recurring issues that always seem to pop up! Definitely more like a marriage than you might think…

      In our last strategy meeting, Joe’s been tasked with a savings goal to put away investment cash for next year. That meets both of our goals…putting more cash in the bank overall, but giving ourselves a budget to expand as well. Should be interesting!

  3. Vagabond Lifestyles says:

    I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 40 years and this podcast is one of the best I heard about business philosophies

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Wow…that’s awesome! (if a little surprising, hehe)

      What about the episode really resonated with you?

      • Vagabond Lifestyles says:

        We live in a business environment where experts want to frame everything like a cookbook (follow the recipe and you will succeed) and just listening to the two of you with two completely different points of view you are able to make thinks happen. There is no one way to the end game, its all about pushing forward, tweaking and adapting.

  4. Mike says:

    Hey guys I have a month and a half old site which I was able to rank #2 after it was dancing in google for a week. Anyways the ranking was then stable for couple weeks and generating decent revenue. However now that ranking has dropped to 204! Have you guys ever experienced this and what do you think may have caused this? I haven’t been doing much link building since I had already ranked but I’m trying that now. What link building methods would you recommend for building quality links in 2013?

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Mike,

      There are a few options/reasons here. I’m listing them from their ability to fix, easy to hard.

      1. Temporary hit – Waiting a few days/weeks may have the site bounce back up without any effort on your part. We’ve seen this in some instances…

      2. Too many ads/links above the fold. We haven’t dealt with this but know others that have. Try removing some ads/links if you’re top-heavy and wait 3-4 weeks to see if that makes a difference.

      3. Tanked site – Your site may have tanked due to bad links/linkbuilding or over-optimization on-site. Check to see your anchor text on the links (is it too high on exact match?) and consider building more links to round-out your link profile. Consider toning down your on-site keyword targeting, using less exact match anchors for internal links, etc.

      • Mike says:

        Thanks a lot! I think it was number 2 so I’ve taken out any excessive ads, we’ll see what happens next.

  5. Quinton Hamp says:

    Great listen! Looking forward to hearing your strategy for the rest of 2013! I know I’m pretty impressed with ECommerce myself so far. You guys should really look at becoming the next Hayneedle . Then you could have a legit reason for all of those extra employees.

    Oh wait, that is my business strategy! ;)

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Quinton!

      Joe and I just had a strategy meeting last night where we talked a bit about eCommerce. At this point, we’re looking to “buy our way in” to the space in 2014, I think. We’d rather skip the learning curve of starting from scratch and see what we can do if we pick up a few sites and expand them from there.

      We have the team here to support it and I think it’s a good space for us to be in. :-)

      • Hi Justin,

        eCommerce is a very interesting space i feel. the opportunists to drop ship, amazon or and develop your own products as Dan & Ian have done is a very attractive long term business model.

        Whilst i cant stop myself KW researching niches :-( I’m focus now on eCommerce type stores. different challenges but a better long term path. I hope :-)

        • Justin Cooke says:

          I agree, Steve.

          Joe and I were discussing it a bit last night. Here’s a good acquisition target for us:

          Earning $2K – $5K/month in profit, but bogged down with US payroll (1-2 people) We can immediately cu costs and boost profit. Hopefully we can get seller financing and put just a bit upfront. We can then then reap the improved profits for 4-6 months and flip the site (or hold, depending)

          We have the low-cost support agents…I think this could be a really strong move for us.

    • Hi, Hayneedle is surely a good goal to aim for :-) lets hope they are profitable :-)

  6. JakubHanke says:

    The link doesn’t work for me. Not buffering, and when trying to save – it saves just 10kb html document

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