EFP 54: Getting Started – Smashing Through Your Self-Imposed Barriers

Justin Cooke July 4, 2013

“There aren’t any good ideas left”

“My parents/family/friends think I should get a ‘real’ job”

“I WOULD start a business…but I need more _______ first”

Overcoming Self-Created Barriers in Business

Look – there are enough actual roadblocks to building a successful business. You don’t need to create your own before you’ve even gotten started. Still, that’s what we all do when we allow our internal resistance to kick in and rule our decision making.

In this episode, Joe and I wanted to sit down and cut through some of the real-life issues and problems you’ve shared with us that have kept you from pulling the trigger. It’s not easy (for anyone), but don’t let excuses and speedbumps get in the way of your dreams. This episode is for anyone that’s just getting started and needs a bit of a push!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

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“Information wants to be free, man.” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

“Some of the best ideas are fairly straightforward solutions to people’s problems” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“The company goal is to squeeze as much profit per employee out as possible” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Haters, Trolls, And Scams – How do you deal with it?
  • Coming up with ideas – are there any left for me?
  • Job Security (Through Obscurity) is a horrible idea
  • Kicking your friends and family to the curb
  • “But I got kids, man”
  • “Maybe when I have enough cash in the bank…”
  • What skills are required or in demand?
  • Where to get started right now


So…what barriers are keeping YOU from getting started? Have any advice you’d like to share or did this help you take action? Let us know on Twitter or leave us a comment below!


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Speaker 1:                           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 ebook 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 54 of the Empire Flippers podcast. I’m your host Justin Cooke and I’m here with Joe hot money Magnotti what is going on buddy?

Joe Magnotti:                    Hello everybody.

Justin Cooke:                     We’ve got a great episode lined up for you. We’re gonna be talking about getting started and how you can smash through self imposed barriers. This is a big problem and we talked to a lot of people via Skype, via email that are looking to get started on their entrepreneurial journey and they run into issues. These are serious issues that they’re struggling to kind of get through and we want to do an episode specifically for you to help you fight through some of those barriers and get shit done.

                                                Before we get into the episode let’s do some updates, news, and information. First thing, we’ve got new five star iTunes review, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Hit me up.

Justin Cooke:                     So we’ve got Roger from Michigan says, “Five stars isn’t enough. You guys are incredible. I’ve spent probably four hours a day at work listening to podcasts and I have to say this is probably my favorite, which is a huge statement after listening to Spencer Haws, Chris Guthrie and Pat Flynn. Refreshing to see such a great structure and layout to each and every podcast. Keep them coming. Congrats guys. You’ve made it.”

                                                Thanks Roger. Really appreciate it man. You laid out some great podcasts that I’d say that we listened to as well.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, thanks a lot, Roger.

Justin Cooke:                     All right. So for our second update news and info, want to talk a little bit about haters, scams, and complaints, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Oh boy. We’re going negative.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, going negative. So we got beat up a little bit on our last income report in the comments and people were like, why don’t you to do this or I don’t believe you. We had people emailing saying privately, I don’t believe you made that much with out sourcing and all this stuff. And the funny thing is is that that person is probably like an IMer going, oh my God, how do you make … I can’t sell that much, selling $7 eBooks. Whereas like larger organizations, you know Chris in Cebu was like, what? That’s all you make? Really?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I always wonder about that. When we do our income reports, how many people are turned off the other way? How many people are part of those Fortune 500 companies and go, yeah guys, that’s great, I guess, if you’re kind of living in the Philippines. But man, if I took that income report to my boss, he’d be like, that’s a failure.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. Well think about our buddy Bob in Manila with a couple hundred agents killing it, right? Doing call campaigns to the UK. So, we’re getting smoked by these other guys and so I I don’t really … I don’t see … I was pretty fired up about it ’cause you know a great month overall. Total revenue was up and we were cashing in on some updated invoices that got paid from a couple of clients. But we had a good month and I was really proud of it. And then we started getting beat up a little bit.

                                                So, it’s funny when you have an issue where you start … you buy a new Honda Civic and you start noticing all the other Honda Civics on the road. Right? So when we got beat up on that income report I started noticing some other stuff online. Recently Glen over at ViperChill had a great blog post about a guy who called him a scammer. A while back he had written a report on how he got a site in three months, got a bunch of traffic out of it, and was leveraging that traffic. And the guy was like, it seemed pretty unbelievable. It was a lot of page views, nearly a million or something, over that period of time. And the guy was calling him out saying, I don’t believe it.

                                                And so Glen answered really, really well the other day with a very good blog post with kind of the niche ideas that got him there. And like exactly how it’s doable, and how you can do it or apply the same principles to a new site today and do the same thing.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I would think that that would be the best way to respond to haters, right? Is to break down their argument and show them how you came up with your income, or your source of traffic, or whatever it is, proving to them with statistics and showing that there is something behind it. You just can’t argue with that.

Justin Cooke:                     It’s pretty cool. And then another one I saw, Ophelia over at the Lippa blog asked some cringe worthy questions of Chris Aiguille, right? Like asking him specifically how do you deal with people that say you’ve sold out or that you’ve done this or that. And his answers were pretty interesting and very kind of nonchalant. And one of the things he mentioned is success is the best answer to the haters, right? Like live a good life and you win with that game.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. That was a good blog post. And I think that Pat Flynn a long time ago taught us one thing. He said, “Look, I own the blog. At the end of the day, if I don’t like the comment I can just take it off.”

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    And so I think that’s something that stuck with me as well, is don’t get caught up in the trolling, right? It’s better to remove the comment and move on to people that you really wanna talk to you than get involved in someone else’s negativity.

Justin Cooke:                     The last one I want to mention on this, and we’ll link to all these in the show notes and they’re definitely, definitely worth checking out. But there’s a great Tim Ferris blog posts on the four hour work week where he goes through like the Air Force approach to trolling, or negative press online and it’s a video of him and there’s a blog post that goes along with it. But breaking that down and showing when you should respond, when you should ignore and it’s fantastic. It’s a very methodical approach to haters and trolls. It’s really interesting.

Joe Magnotti:                    I’ve never seen that before. That sounds really interesting. An Air Force approach to trolling. Wow.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, they have like a published online approach to how they deal with haters and negative press. It’s really cool.

                                                Next point I wanted to mention is Pat Flynn’s first course is out. So he’s been going what, five years now and he’s never actually released an info course. He’s got his first one out, it’s called Breakthrough Blogging and he’s made it available on a site called only72.com. Which is where a once a year they’ll take courses from well known people and really major discount by buying them in bulk and they offer ’em for 72 hours. So you go to only72.com and check that out. Adam Baker from man versus Des, the guy that runs the site.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I took a look at the package, a lotta big names in there. I do wonder, without looking at the content, how valuable it is, but I guess we’ll see by what people have to say about it.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. So Joe and I had a little kind of internal discussion before the show. We were talking about info products and he said he didn’t dig it. And I was like, “Well, why don’t you dig it? You don’t think it’s good, you don’t think it’s viable. What’s the deal?” And you said just principally you’re against charging for information. Why is that Joe?

Joe Magnotti:                    Well, I’m not against charging for information. If you write a book obviously you should be paid for that book.

Justin Cooke:                     So how good of an author do you have to be? When is it okay if just Joe Blow writes a book and charges for it is it scamming?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I dunno. I guess if you have a bonafide process that is replicatable and you’re willing to give a lot of extras, not just information, I could see charging for that. But I would rather see a way to give that process away for free and monetize around giving away that information. There’s plenty of people who do it the other way, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I just think that it’s best if done giving away for free. If it’s just some sort of informational product, that’s all it is, and that’s what these things on only72.com seem to be to me, unless I’m misunderstanding?

Justin Cooke:                     I Think so, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    I would say it would be better that those be done in blog posts and have products or services sold around them.

Justin Cooke:                     You put it well earlier, information wants to be free. Right? I can’t disagree with that. I agree that information wants to be free, but I would say our buddy Mark Brenwall, the whole Facebook thing that he’s doing right now and it’s making money and earning him money. That was a “info product” that he purchased and he’s getting value out of it.

                                                So I tend to agree with you that the guy who sold that info product could have done better to get it out to more people and monetize around it. But if Mark’s getting value out of the purchase, that’s above and beyond what he paid for it. That makes sense, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Mark’s Facebook process is so complicated that … it’s not that complicated, but it’s complicated enough that the guy who wrote it could’ve made a service around doing it.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. Offering it to you, that’s cool.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And people would have said, I’ll sign up for that. Or affiliates out of the software products that are involved during the process. Right? Like that Facebook, the one that captures all the email addresses. Right?

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, mm-hmm.

Joe Magnotti:                    That’s very expensive software.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, create that software and sell that around it. Yeah, no, I hear what you’re saying and then you get the method out of so many people and like, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    Or sell the method as well and include tools and services in it, that-

Justin Cooke:                     Packaged, yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. That to me is definitely justifiable as well. But yeah, just information? I don’t know, just seems something wrong about that.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I dunno man. So talking about packages, that moves into our next point, which we’ve been doing quite a few products and services, both last month and this month. We have a report on the income report for June, but we just had a buyer actually pick up both, or all three. Our keyword research, our site set up, and our content packages and bundle them together. So basically he’s buying prebuilt sites through us by buying those three packages.

Joe Magnotti:                    Right. So if you buy the top level product of the keyword research, the site set up, and the content you’ll basically get 10 sites. I don’t know why we haven’t packaged those three together.

Justin Cooke:                     I Dunno. Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    but it’s something we need to work on. But yeah, if you guys wanted to get sites set up from Empire Flippers, you could just buy those three packages in any combination and have sites set up for you.

Justin Cooke:                     It’s the cheaper kind of like lower end method rather than hiring a whole team of people to do it for you, which you have people do as well.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. If you hire team members and you outsourced it, it would definitely be cheaper per site but then you would also have a contract and you’d have to sign up for multiple months with people and I think it’s more complex.

Justin Cooke:                     The last thing I’ll mention on this is if you’re just getting started off and you’re looking at maybe the keyword research package ’cause you wanna go with keywords that are preselected by us that we would use ourselves, I’d really take a look at our starter packs, especially the mid to high end one. It includes the keyword research done for you, it includes those domains, includes all the tools like Intellij Theme, Longtail Pro, a hosting account. It really … and it’s the best value ’cause you’re getting a discount on all of it together. So check out the empire starter packs and we can get you started.

                                                All right, enough about that. Let’s get to the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:                           This is the Empire Flippers podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     All right Joe. So talking to a lot of people that email us, and conversations on Skype and on the blog we see that a lot of people are looking to get started with their entrepreneurial journey, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Right.

Justin Cooke:                     And they have a lot of issues in trying to get started, and they have a lot of excuses or reasons for why they haven’t.

Joe Magnotti:                    Which makes sense. And like we were saying before the show, I don’t think we should discount any of these points. They are serious and they are definitely, I could see why some of them even to me were … it hurt my soul a little bit. It took a definite willpower to get over it. So it’s not, if we sound negative or we sound like we discounting here, I apologize ahead of time.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, it’s a lot easier once you’ve climbed the mountain and go, oh it wasn’t so bad or whatever. But when you’re looking up at it you’re going, oh my God. So putting ourselves back in our shoes when we were just getting started and some of the concerns or issues we had starting off, we’re gonna try to approach it from that perspective and see what we can do to kind of work through it. So the first one actually, this is 1A, is I can’t come up with a good idea, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And I think I struggled with this one coming up with things that are 100% original. Well guess what? You don’t need to come up with stuff that’s 100% original.

Justin Cooke:                     So I think the problem for a lot of people is they’re looking at how do I make money online? Right? So they’re thinking, okay, my goal here is to make money online. And I think they’re coming at it with the wrong goal. So your idea shouldn’t be to make money online. How can I support myself and live the champagne wishes caviar dreams lifestyle? That’s not the goal, the goal should be to help people. And some of the best ideas are fairly straightforward solutions to people’s problems.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And I think once you get started on an idea you’re gonna be able to change and modify that idea, and adapt that idea to something that’s more monetizeable.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. So if you’re listening on this podcast, you listen to other podcasts, you read blog posts, people are gonna tell you some of the problems that they’re struggling with, or some of the things that they haven’t really overcome. Find solutions to their problems ’cause that’s gonna be worth money. Right? That’s gonna be valuable to them, which will ultimately be valuable to you.

                                                The other thing is, is that ideas aren’t everything. Ultimately, it’s execution, right? Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. So you don’t have to have the best idea. You just have to be great at getting shit done.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I love the keyword research method for this, right? If you’re good at doing keyword research, finding enough searches in a niche that hasn’t had a lot of competition that you can get ranked for, there are plenty of ideas out there that you can execute on.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, our-

Joe Magnotti:                    And I’m not just talking about Ad sense sites. You could build a fully fledged website in order to provide a service for something like that.

Justin Cooke:                     Anything. Look at the stuff we talked about regarding keyword research and that’s a great way to find ideas. It’s a very methodical. Use Longtail Pro, you find marketable keywords and go after it that way. That’s a really straightforward approach.

                                                I wrote about these in a blog, or a guest post on Lippa not that long ago. One of the other ideas is from the Lifestyle Business podcast guys, the rip, pivot, jam method. It’s basically take someone else’s idea, change it a bit, right, make it unique, and add value and then just knock it the hell out.

                                                Pat Flynn has the seven, seven, seven method. I wrote about that as well. Basically it’s like seven passions, seven fears, and seven worries? I dunno, something like that. Basically you write them all down and try to find matches between the two and find niches that way. So there’s lots of ways you can use for brainstorming ideas. So the fact that you can’t find an idea generally means that you’re too focused on trying to make money, you’re too insular, and too self centered and focus in your direction.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And I would also say maybe you have too much of a oh well that good add idea doesn’t get me up in the morning. That idea doesn’t accelerate me. Making little inserts for sneakers is not what I want my life to be about. Well, guess what? We all have to do some work once in a while and sometimes it’s not the most interesting part. Yeah. Maybe it’s not life changing. Maybe it’s not landing a guy on the moon, but we can’t all be Elon Musk, right?

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. It doesn’t tickle your fancy the way that you thought. What was that the guy, the bed phones? It was bed phones?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yes.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. The guy that made bed phones, right? He probably didn’t start off as a child going, “I can’t wait to make headphones that you can wear while you sleep.” It’s not like this passion or pursuit that he had, but he found a niche, hammered it out, and found people willing to pay him money for it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yes.

Justin Cooke:                     Boom. Business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And there’s a guy who likes music and enjoys other things around headphones. So I think it was very interesting.

Justin Cooke:                     Now the other one that’s closely tied to this can’t come up with an idea, and we’re going to mention this as 1B, is no good ideas left. There’s nothing new under the sun, right? I’ve heard that before. We’ve talked about this and we do it jokingly. I know you probably, you listener, you’ve done the same thing but you go, aw man, I wish I could go back in time. Right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Right.

Justin Cooke:                     Knowing what I know now, oh, I could’ve done this, I could have built this business.

Joe Magnotti:                    But I tell you, again, I would use that Lifestyle Business podcast idea of rip, pivot, and jam. I was talking to Sean Cooney from Resort Rebel, who was here in town this weekend, and he had the idea of having all of these underwater videos that he wanted to use commercially. And I said, “What about if you made iStock video for underwater footage?” So it’s the same idea as iStock but it’s specifically niched down for underwater video. So if you want a picture of a fish doing this or not just pictures you want video, HD video of that kind of stuff then he’ll go ahead and grab it.

Justin Cooke:                     It sounds cool, right? But again, ideas just a multiplier. So whether he executes it and how he executes on it is gonna determine how successful that business is.

                                                When I was talking about us looking back and going, oh, five years ago if I’d have known what I know now, right, I could build this business or that business. Well you gotta think about that five years from now we or other people will be saying the same exact thing about today. Oh my God, if I could just go back to 2013 and I could have done this, this, and this and I could’ve built a $5 billion company. Well those same people are gonna be saying that about today.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. There’s always things that you can reinvent and I think that’s something you should stick to. There’s Ebay and Lippa, right? One, it could be considered an iteration of the other, an auction platform for websites.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. Ebay’s out there, they own the auction market. Who needs any other auction markets? Ebay is great. You can sell websites, you can sell anything you want. Why the hell are gonna create an auction market specifically around buying or selling websites?

                                                And then all of a sudden Lippa comes along and knocks it out of the park. Oh, well that’s not really a new idea. Who Cares? They’re killing it, right? It doesn’t matter. Look at MySpace, right? MySpace is around and Facebook comes along? Who needs Facebook? Nobody needs Facebook. And they blew them out of the water and started killing it. Right?

                                                So just because it’s not necessarily a new idea or that you think there aren’t any ideas left, it’s not true. There are going to be ideas. Mark my words, 2018 we should have a conversation about this buddy. We’re gonna look back and see, we’re gonna count the billions of dollars we lost out on because we didn’t take action on this idea.

Joe Magnotti:                    What is my smart phone gonna be able to do in 2018?

Justin Cooke:                     Sweet Lord. Cook your food, clean the dishes.

                                                Our second point is job security. So there are people that have stable jobs and they think, I don’t want to quit my job. It’s a scary prospect for me to leave my job and start off on my own. Right? I’m building cash reserves, I don’t wanna take that risk. That’s scary to me. What’s your answer to that, Joe?

Joe Magnotti:                    I Dunno. Maybe I disagree with you a little bit on this one. I’m not saying-

Justin Cooke:                     I’m not surprise though, buddy. I’m not surprised.

Joe Magnotti:                    But I would say don’t quit your job. You don’t have to quit your job in order to come up with your own business. There are plenty of people who do it nights and weekends. We hear it all the time. I was reading about this woman who did panty hose with the feet cut off, or something like that, and she worked full time as a Vice President of Marketing for a big company. And she didn’t quit her job until six months after the website had launched and she was a huge success. And then she was gonna be on the Oprah show. That’s the only reason why she quit ’cause she knew that her business was really gonna be successful. So you can do both at the same time.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, because there are cases of people doing it at the same time doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option. Right? So I don’t know. I’m mixed on this too. I’m not sure. I know that by quitting your job … there’s a benefit in burning bridges, right? When it comes … not burning bridges with your employers or anything, or like actually burning down the office, office space style.

                                                No, I’m talking about cutting it off and really making the jump, making the leap into entrepreneurship. You’re gonna drive it home because you’re forced to, right? And so I know a lot of people that have made it successful and I see how that’s valuable when you’re getting rolling.

                                                But one thing I think I should make clear is that people think that they have job security but that’s a farce today, right? And it wasn’t the case for our parents and our grandparents, they actually had that job security. But it’s not the case today with our capitalist society where, and I’m saying this and it is true, the company goal, and you probably aren’t gonna have this on your mission statement, but the company goal is to squeeze as much profit per employee out as possible, right? So I wanna make as much profit per every employee I have in the company as I absolutely possibly can. And if I’m not getting an ROI from a particular employee, what happens to that employee, Joe?

Joe Magnotti:                    Laid off.

Justin Cooke:                     Employee’s not around anymore, right? Because they’re not making me money. Ultimately, I want every employee to be making me money.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I love the idea of not hiding in the shadows because, honestly, if that’s your job every day, if you’re just going there to kind of go through the motions and stuff, that’s a job with an absolute deadline on it.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s-

Joe Magnotti:                    Either the company’s gonna put a deadline on it or you’re gonna just quit out of boredom and-

Justin Cooke:                     That’s your alternative, right, is to be the guy in the shadows saying, “Well okay I’m not giving the company ROI, but it’s a big enough company where I can kinda hide in the shadows or kinda make myself a part of the team and I’m not providing ROI to the company, but I can kinda hide it and fill in my job description.” Who the hell wants to be that guy anyway?

Joe Magnotti:                    But not only that, Justin, that has an expiration date and you just don’t know what the expiration date is.

Justin Cooke:                     Oh yeah. Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    So when you’re that guy and you’re doing that, whether you’re working from home, whether you’re not putting in a full day’s work, whatever it is you absolutely have an expiration date, especially in today’s sort of work environment.

Justin Cooke:                     Okay. But let’s say you’re not that guy. You’re not the guy or gal hiding in the shadows trying to basically scrape a living from this company without providing an ROI. Let’s say you’re the guy who’s killing it for the company, right? Two problems with this. You’re killing it for them, you’re delivering high end ROI. First problem is you’re making them a ton of money and you’re not making nearly as much money yourself. Company’s happy. You’re not gonna be as happy with that, right? That’s a bit of an issue. And why aren’t you out making that money for yourself?

                                                The second thing is just because your killing it for the company doesn’t mean that the company isn’t gonna run into problems through no fault of your own, right? Companies have issues. They lose the market. They run into all kinds of problems.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I would add a third thing which is there’s a Forbes or maybe an Inc. Article, something like that, I have to find it, that says that true happiness doesn’t come from money it comes from autonomy and if you’re one of those guys that’s … even if you’re killing it for your company, you’d probably have a lot more of an appealing life and a lot more satisfying life, professional life if you had more autonomy in your own decision making process.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, buddy. So our third point basically deals with being in the wrong peer group and we get this a lot where people say, my family isn’t really down with what I’m doing. It’s really hard to stay motivated when everyone around me says it’s a bad idea or I can’t believe you’re doing this. And that can be frustrating, right? It can be frustrating to constantly hear the negativity and anyone who’s starting off is gonna hear some degree of that. Even if you have the most supportive friends and family there are gonna be some that are naysayers.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I have very few college friends that have their own businesses now. Even the one that’s a … he’s a CEO of a major business in the southeast of the United States. He was a founder of that business. Sure. But it’s a big corporation. He didn’t really bootstrap it from the beginning, right?

                                                So it’s definitely a different journey doing it our way. And I think that you’re gonna have a lot of naysayers and you’re just gonna have to overcome that through mastermind groups, through online forums, through surrounding yourself with the right kind of people.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. I got some tough love advice for you. Dump ’em.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     Dump your family, dump you friends. Okay. Maybe you don’t dump ’em, but you definitely don’t talk about your business, avoid it and talk about your business with people who are of the same mindset or in the same space because those are the people that are gonna help you grow, challenge you on issues, and not constantly be kind of like it down or wondering why you don’t just go get a job.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Especially in the beginning, it’s gonna be tough because the first 12 months you’re not gonna see the huge gains that you would see as being an employee, right? So someone may say, “That doesn’t make any sense. You would have made more money if you were just Joe Schmoe employee at ABC Corporation.” Meanwhile they’re not realizing that two or three years from now you can have a real fulfilling life as an income stream of a large company that you don’t have to work 40 hours a week for.

Justin Cooke:                     Oh, and it feels so good to prove ’em wrong, right? That’s the best, the ultimate success is being able to say, “Okay, look, I made it.” And so if you continue heading down that path, ignore what they’re saying, find other entrepreneurs that you can relate to, and build a peer group out of that.

                                                Our next point is, it’s a tough one, man. And I’ll say it’s not something that you and I have. We don’t have kids. We don’t have a family, families to take care of, but this is a big one when people say, “I have a family, I can’t start a business. I can’t risk …” Joe, look at me. I can’t risk my kids hunger. Right? I need to feed my children. How dare you say I can start a business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     Well those people shouldn’t probably, it’s the ones that really want to.

Joe Magnotti:                    We probably are the wrong guys to be talking about this, but I’m gonna go ahead and throw my hat in the ring anyway and say, yeah, there are plenty of examples of people out there that are traveling and small online business owners that have a family.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I love this particular group. I read their stuff for years. They’d been traveling in business since 2006. you can check them out at soletravelersthree.com they’re pretty well known and they’re big in the community, but they’ve been traveling with kids and they have an amazing peer group. They’re able to take their kids to these fantastic locations and have all these amazing experiences.

                                                Joe and I have changed our views a bit on that. I used to be, no, the stable stay in one place environment would be best but I don’t know. I’m hearing a lot of success stories from people that are traveling with their children and I’m not talking like barely surviving, traveling but they’re living well and they’re able to provide for their kids. There’s a great episode on Tropical Talk radio. It’s on Tropicalmba.com it’s episode 33 and it has David McKeegan and his wife talking about some of the best locations worldwide to raise families and to build businesses.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and let’s get back to the point here, the point is not to be a traveling entrepreneur necessarily, of this episode, right? The point is just to be an entrepreneur. So yes, there are ways to take care of your family even as an entrepreneur who has a job and needs an income. There’s a way to have that crossover point where you’re going from job to owning your own business. You have to be conscious of it, you have to be money conscious, you have to be good at it. But it is doable and there are plenty of other people that have done it.

Justin Cooke:                     So yeah, definitely a rough one on and I feel their pain on that but here are people that are traveling entrepreneurs and just entrepreneurs that have families and are able to balance our lifestyle.

                                                Our fifth point is I need more cash in the bank. And this is one of those ones where you could wait forever, right? I’ll just, I’ll wait until this happens. It’s like the savings problem, right? Well, I’m still 19, 20 I don’t need to worry about savings yet. I’m 22, 23 I’m getting ready for my wedding and we just had a couple of kids. I’ll put money in the bank later. All of a sudden you’re 55 with no savings. It’s a similar problem where if I just had enough money in the bank, I could get started on my entrepreneurial journey. What do you think about that, Joe?

Joe Magnotti:                    I think that I go back to my thing is to say all the time, look, we’re not Rockefellers and if you’re listening to this and you are a Rockefeller and you’re on your private jet, I don’t know.

Justin Cooke:                     Give me a call. I want to ride.

Joe Magnotti:                    I got some site to sell you. No, what I’m trying to say there is you’re always gonna go through fluctuations in your life of having money and not having enough money, and if you allow that to dictate the decisions of your life all the time, man, you’re gonna be very limited in what you’re able to accomplish.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. It’s a tool, right? It’s a tool that you can use. It’s not something that you need to absolutely base your life around.

Joe Magnotti:                    Look, be smart, put money away when you can but also leverage that money. Don’t hoard it because you really can’t take it with you. And trying to maximize that dollar for the future and for building something that means something to you, I think is more important.

Justin Cooke:                     You need less than you think too. And that’s generally true. I remember our interview with Cody Mckibben, you remember that? Where he took off on a wing and a prayer and a few thousand dollars in the bank and made it happen. And that’s kind of the funny thing. I’m that way, I think Cody’s that way too, is that you generally notice that things tend to work out. So once you start working on it, it tends to work out, for me.

                                                And so I think that you need to make that leap, that leap of faith. And that’s one of the reasons I say quit your job and start your business because taking that step, you’ll start to get creative and inventive in the ways that you are able to bring in more money, and keep yourself afloat, and actually put some in the bank.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, me personally I’m pretty conservative with money. I like to have 12 months the bank. But-

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, you’re conservative between the two of us.

Joe Magnotti:                    Right.

Justin Cooke:                     But to other people are listening to this podcast or whatever they hear conservative and you’re not. You’re living over here, you made the jump and you didn’t have crazy money. You weren’t Rockefeller, right? So, you can do it, you can do it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     So probably you need less than you think you actually need in the bank. And these problems tend to work themselves out once you get started.

                                                Our sixth point is something that we hear often is that I don’t have the right skills or I don’t have the right skill sets to really start my own business yet I need to learn more, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. What the hell does Mark Cuban know about basketball? This is a guy that was in the broadcast business.

Justin Cooke:                     He likes it. He’s a fan. Yeah. Amazing CEO, right. At that point he had acquired some skills, but you’re right. He doesn’t know much about basketball or he didn’t.

                                                The funny thing about entrepreneurship is that there isn’t a blueprint to build a successful entrepreneur, right? There’s no set of things. If you have this, if you have these skillsets, you’re going to be successful. Sure. Some skill sets help more than others, but really successful entrepreneurs come from all walks of life experience, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Yeah. I’m definitely say you need to be a highly adaptable generalist, right? Yes, to come up with the idea you might need to have specific knowledge in that industry, but I think that if you’re not more of a generalist, you’re gonna be just the engineer at the company, just the founding father. It’s the CEO that’s kind of the general guy. He has a general ability to adapt, think quickly on his feet, problem solve, hire the right people and get things done, and that’s what a real true entrepreneur does.

Justin Cooke:                     A great example to look at the varied types of entrepreneurs is show like Shark Tank, right? Where you watch … You have everything from the mom who comes in and didn’t like the sippy cup she was able to buy at the store because it was spilling on her kid, or not hypoallergenic and she created her own and is selling a ton of them online, to these guys that have these great startup app ideas and they’ve raised funding. So it really runs the gamut and you’ll see that, well you don’t have to have a specific skill set to be successful in this game.

                                                The seventh and last point we’re going to address is I don’t know where to start, I don’t know where to go, I don’t even know how to … what do I do, Joe? What do I do, buddy?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I think before the show you were saying great about our site and about links on our site, who we’re linking to-

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. So if you go to empireflippers.com every link that we put in all of our blog posts and our podcasts we put there for a reason. We’re linking to people who share great advice, who have a similar mindset to ours, with a few exceptions, right, to that. We’re linking to great resources and tools that will really help you grow your business.

                                                So use our site as kind of a jumping pad or a launch pad to get to these other people that maybe have a mindset, or a process, or a niche that’s more interesting to you than what we’re doing, right? So we’re trying to share those ideas with you to kind of get you where you need to be. Maybe we’re just kind of a pass through for you to find the information you need or the model you need to build your business, and we’re fine with that.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and I would also say, I’ll just take a … my model of going to the gym, right, when I first started going to the gym, I just showed up every day. I think that that’s such a good part of this is just get started and be consistent. You have a job, work on your business an hour a day every day, a half an hour a day every day, whatever you’re doing move it forward a little bit at a time with that dedicated practice and it will become a much larger you think very quickly.

Justin Cooke:                     So we’re hoping some of these tips, tricks, and advice will help you break through some of the self imposed barriers you’ve set for yourself. One of the last things I wanna mention on not knowing where to start is our niche business idea of the week, we’ll give you a great place to start.

                                                And this one I really like, it’s a great way to build a niche/authority site that I’ve really kind of looked into myself and this is something that I wanna play with here in the near future is the the curated content niche sites. Now I’m not talking about those crappy kind of like scraper sites that scrape the video content and then link to you and they do it for thousands, or tens, or hundreds of thousands of pages. No, no, no, not crappy curated content. I’m talking about real quality stuff.

                                                So a great example of this, and I mentioned it before in a different show, but topdocumentaryfilms.com I use this site a lot. It’s got a sub 1000 Alexa ranking, it gets a boatload of traffic and all that’s done is they take publicly available documentaries, embed them on the site, and then do a write up about it, and get the conversation started in the comments and it gets a ton of traffic. Now they’re doing this with documentary films, which is kind of a broader niche, but you can niche that down much tighter, right, into a much smaller sub category or you can go after some other different industries as well.

Joe Magnotti:                    I hate to be negative here, Justin. The only thing I worry about is commercial viability. So people come there, and they watch the documentary, and then they don’t buy anything ’cause they were looking for something for free or they were just looking to watch the movie. You know what I mean?

                                                So I think I like the idea of getting this curated content from other places because you don’t need to come up with the content yourself. I think you just need to be a little bit careful about the niche that you select ’cause even if you get a lot of traffic, you might not be very commercially viable.

Justin Cooke:                     Joe was looking at me, I’m shaking my head, dude, this site gets millions of pages a month. Look, if you’re getting people’s attention, especially at that level, it’s viable, it’s commercially viable. Even if … because here’s the thing, advertisers want to be put in front of millions of page views, right? Especially page views where they’re staying awhile and hanging out for a bit. So I’m absolutely certain the sites making money.

                                                But here’s the thing, you don’t have to do it around documentary films. This can be done around other things as well. So just for example, you can do it around like short films, you could do it around game reviews, right? You’ve got … I read this on ViperChill the other day talking about Xbox One and PlayStation four, right? There’s gonna be a ton of new games that are coming out, what if you took clips from YouTube and you’re embedding them onsite and talk about that game and then sell it via, Amazon links or whatever.

Joe Magnotti:                    I love the games reviews one, I love that. Absolutely leads to a purchase.

Justin Cooke:                     You can do car reviews too, right? So we had Pat Flynn on a few episodes ago talking about really kind of high end detailed car reviews. Well maybe you can’t produce that content for yourself starting today, but in the meantime what you can do are take some YouTube videos, embed them on your site that are reviews of those particular cars, and then do a full writeup about it on the page with images and everything. So you can do really detailed stuff. You can do the same thing for home reviews, right, for real estate property available in the area and you can niche down even further.

                                                Eventually, right, if you have enough of that content and you’re getting a nice user base, you can start to either create that content yourself and make it even better, so now you’re producing that content, or you can charge people to list that content or to publish that content on your site. You’re getting millions of views, right? And I’m a documentary filmmaker and I’m not big, I’m just starting off or whatever, and I want to get my documentary seen, I want to get some name recognition. I might go to top documentary films and say, “Hey, by the way, just came out with this documentary. Here it is. You can have it.” And he probably wouldn’t charge me for it, and he just put it on the site, right, to help share. And I get a bunch of audience out of that.

                                                So anyway, I love this curated content niche site idea. And if you do run with this idea, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you about it and hear how it’s going. All right, let’s get right into our tips, tricks, and our plans for the future.

Speaker 1:                           You’re listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cooke:                     So no tip or trick for you this week, but we do have a plan for the future. Joe and I are booked, ready, and headed out to the dynamite circle meetup in Bangkok in October, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Looking forward to it, man. We haven’t bought our flights yet, but we have our tickets and the hotel is right around the corner.

Justin Cooke:                     Hotel is baller, dude. It looks really nice. So we’re gonna be there Thursday through Monday. We’re doing, there’s a mastermind short, small group mastermind on Friday and we’ll be meeting up with other dynamite circle members there, hanging out a bit, and then doing the event throughout the weekend.

                                                Yeah we haven’t bought our tickets yet, but I dunno, we’re talking about doing maybe some pre trip stuff and some post trip stuff, and doing some travel in there. So yeah, I’m sure we’ll book that soon enough but I’m just really excited, man, to be around a bunch of other ex pat entrepreneurs that are similar mindset. I Remember last time I was just, last year, I was blown away by these people. Actually I’d take a small groups or whatever and we’d kind of go off so we could get away from the crazy ideas that were floating around, it was making my head explode.

                                                But yeah, I think it would be another great year. I’m really looking forward to it. I think they’re almost sold out, so there’ll be 150 people there. I’ve already heard a bit from the lineup that’s gonna be there this year and I’m really excited to see some of these people and meet them for the first time. So it’ll be really, really exciting.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and I’m looking forward to speaking as well.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s it for episode 54 of the Empire Flippers podcast. Thanks for being with us this week. Make sure to check us out on Twitter at Empire Flippers and we’ll see you around.

Joe Magnotti:                    Bye bye everybody.

Speaker 1:                           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com. Thanks for listening.


  • I often doubt myself.

  • Cornish InTasmania says:

    I created a website a while ago, purely for myself and my family without any thought to SEO or monetizing or anything like that. I’ve only recently, thanks mainly to this site, thought about this.

    Once I started thinking I’ve been stuck in the exact position you describe – how do I start? I’ve also just (yesterday – before listening to this podcast) bought one of your starter packs that you mention in the podcast. I reasoned that I could think about the best approach for ever but I wanted to get started on something.

    Great podcast as always. Some really good messages in here which are really relevant to me.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Awesome…glad you dug the show! Interested to hear what you end up doing with the site…let us know how it works out!

      • Cornish InTasmania says:

        I’m hoping to turn the site into an authority site – certainly it’s a topic close to my heart! If anyone wants to have a look – http://livinginaustralia.info.

        I do have a question on it though that I’m hoping someone will be able to answer: I bought the domain before I’d even heard of keyword research or anything, is it much harder to get ranked in Google with a .info website? Am I wasting my time even trying?

        Thanks for the great site – I just transferred ownership of my new niche sites yesterday and will be looking to build more very soon! And thanks for any answers I get to the .info question.

  • Kyle M Brown says:

    Really good episode. Very relevant at this time in my life. Not sure there are nearly enough people discussing this topic publicly. Thanks.

    One thing that I didn’t think was applicable to most people was the VP that started a business example. VP’s in most companies have resources that can lead to more disposable time then that working man or woman.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Glad you liked it, Kyle!

      I’m not sure I remember the point about a VP starting a business?

      • Kyle M Brown says:

        Joe makes a reference right around 18:45. While I am not saying it was easy for her, I am saying she likely had more flexibility, especially in a large company, than the average employee.

        • Justin Cooke says:

          Ahhh…gotcha, Kyle – I’m on the same page now. 🙂

          Yes, as a VP I’m sure she had more flexibility and resources, but we’re also talking about her getting featured on Oprah! Most of us with “regular jobs” wouldn’t need quite that level of exposure to have a nice little business – nice enough to allow us to quite our jobs and work on the biz full-time.

  • Kevin BigHappy Smith says:

    There was a mention about somebody named Mark Brenwall and what he was doing on Facebook. I’m always trying to learn about Facebook stuff. Anywhere I can get more info about this. Thanks

  • Jim Rice says:

    Justin and Joe,

    A lot of today’s topics hit close to home for me. I’ve had to deal with several of the obstacles you highlighted while working towards independence. My easy solution to friends and family that don’t want to be supportive was to move 1300 miles away. That way we can all still be friends but I don’t get that negative influence on a daily basis. Plus I got to pick new friends that were more positive to be around.
    Thanks for the episode.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey, Jim…thanks for the comment.

      I didn’t realize this when I was young (many of us don’t, probably) – that you can actually pick your friends…the ones you want to be around. While I wouldn’t always suggest dumping your current friends for those in another group (that sounds a little scary and/or cultish) I would suggest surrounding yourself with people you respect and would like to emulate. There’s that “5 people closest to you” rule that tends to apply, so it makes sense to pick those 5 people carefully.

      I have some older, lifelong friends that I stay in touch with (and probably always will) but my close circle has changed considerably since I’ve become an expat, entrepreneur, etc.

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