EFP 64: 3 Business Disasters We Wish We Could Take Back

Justin Cooke

September 19, 2013

If you’re hustling, you’re probably making mistakes.

It’s unfortunate more entrepreneurs don’t share their mistakes with the rest of us. To be fair, nobody probably feels like talking about disasters when they’re in the middle of that shit…but some reflection on errors made and things they’d do differently always provide a ton of value for me.

And that’s exactly what we’re hoping to share with you today.

3 Business Disasters We Wish We Could Change

We’ve covered some of these in a blog post on failure quite a while back, but I thought diving into these topics on a podcast would force us to face them and articulate them in a way that would be valuable to you and us.

It’s great to learn from your mistakes, of course…but the nasty ones seem to follow you around like a bad virus. In this episode, Joe and I cover three of those failures in depth and the steps we’ve taken to (hopefully) avoid them again in the future.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Can you really build a “business” and make $1,000 in 24 hours?
  • Giving up a major focus of our business
  • Partnering with a 1-trick pony
  • The problem with free in service-based businesses
  • Being “everything” to “nobody” – the problem with not specializing/productizing
  • A “Business Idea Of The Week” that we REALLY hope someone will rock with…
  • Can we invest in you? Let’s partner! Details inside…


We’re really hoping you dig this episode and get some value out of our failures and insights as you continue to grow your business!

What do you think about the Niche Site Coaching/Mastermind idea? Is it something you’d be interested in? Let us know on Twitter or leave us a comment – we’d love to hear what you think!

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  1. RJ Cid says:

    I loved this podcast and definitely learned this recently the hard way. I have been practicing setting up niche websites for over 2 years now with small success. Last year I decided to take my small passion for marketing and business and left real estate to pursue website building and internet marketing. I got a job doing SEO full time, and while I have learned a TON about sites, I feel I have not made much headroom. Just recently I allowed a “partner” who has 1 skill, technical site building (url structure, interlinking, database management, server stuff), onto my project. Needless to say, everything got stalled for 3 months and traffic plummeted. He convinced me to remove WordPress and build on top of old school html/php platform. Once we transferred the site, almost 1K visits p/month after only 4 months, he doesn’t do anything else and didn’t do a single thing he promised…I just un-did our agreement and will be transferring back to WordPress, basically starting over. It feels like im running in circles!!

    I would love to be apart of a group where there is a coach or mentor that is invested. I am over-read and under-done and working with you guys would fit me well as I have time, created and sold my own ebook, have a income producing sites, etc.. Yet, nothings consistent, I pay for stuff i don’t use, and I am sick of trying, i want to DO what you guys do.

    I would love to know hands-on how to create the systems. I already have a va, but dont really know what project to work on, what is more important, etc.. and people like me are everywhere. I could really use this, if anything, if you guys know of an advanced training or coaching program, i would love to learn more. Yeah products are great, but i don’t need to “know it” anymore, just DO it and have real entrepreneurs helping me out…

    Sorry for long rant!

  2. Brad Z says:

    Where can I sign up for the niche site coaching? I’m a software developer with a masters in business and I’d love to do this.

  3. Wayne Sunderland says:

    As a small business advisor for a not for profit Business Enterprise Centre who specialises in start ups. Have advised this as an option. I would love the opportunity to walk the walk and use this as a case study and also make some extra money for my family. Have listened to the podcast for years but never pulled the trigger.
    Kindest Regards
    Wayne Sunderland

  4. Wayne Sunderland says:

    As a business advisor for a not for profit (Business Enterprise Centre) and having listened to your show for 18 months. I would love take up any opportunity to participate in this offer. I have advised businesses for 3 years and even talked ?to them about these issues but never got into this area myself ( tempted to pull the trigger but always found an excuse). Would love the opportunity to be taught by the masters and walk the walk. Be aware that I would challenge you on processes to understand and see why they are needed. I would love to make this a case study for my students and to make a couple of dollars to support my family. Just quietly bring the challenge on.
    Kindest regards
    Wayne Sunderland

  5. Ollie says:

    Awesome podcast as always, guys. I would definitely be interested in the niche site coaching.



  6. Hi guys,

    The way I see it the niche site coaching is a good idea, BUT you should still place some estimates. People are willing to give it a try so much because it’s a chance for them to make a buck and try this niche site thing out. What they don’t know is that it’s probably a 3-12 month commitment. It would be great if you shared some of your timewise experiences – how many hours / day is it likely to take and how much time overall to reach a decent income from the site.

    I also really enjoyed the talk about how custom services destroy your business. You said you could make another episode about it, which would be a great one in my books. It’s so hard not to agree to every job when you’re starting out – confidence to say no is needed and if you could provide that in a future episode, it would be great.

    Cheers and looking forward to the next episode!

    • Chris leiper says:

      Hey Krysztof, we seem to be hanging out on the same sites! You’re right about the time commitment. With my sites, I try not to think about what I’m actually making per hour of labor. I’m lucky because I actually enjoy doing it, which makes it a fun way to make a little money.

      • Hello my fellow Chris :)

        You make a good point – if we put a number on our work hour, we would turn down too many things and just focus on what gives the most income, which usually isn’t enough fun to sustain it for the long run. You gotta do what you gotta do, but be sure to put some enjoyment into it.

  7. PeterTrapasso says:

    Hi Justin and Joe,

    I think your Niche Site Coaching/Mastermind idea is brilliant! And the timing could not be better.

    Where do I sign up?

    Looking forward to working together soon.



  8. Dr. Niche says:

    Justin & Joe,

    I’ve kinda been waiting for an opportunity like this from you guys. The reason it’s appealing to me is I’ve got time and I’ve got disposable income. We collaborate on an authority site and when it’s time to sell, I’ve got 50% sweat equity in the site. You get a built in buyer and I get a killer authority site at half price. Sounds like a winner to me. You’ve got my email, so let me know if your interested. I’ll be in Davao the last week of December so let’s get coffee or drinks if your around…


  9. Iain Robson says:

    I love the niche coaching idea.

    As you mentioned, some people have more time than money so this would be a great idea.

    It allows people to get their feet wet in the niche creation process, and it allows them to get proper direction.

    When you’re new to niche site creation, you often ask yourself if something could be better, is this ok, and what could be improved. By having an expert there to guide you through the process in order to create a solid website , they’ll learn how to create a successful site. Obviously, if you’re footing the bill, you don’t want duds.

    Furthermore, you could record the chats you had with the people within the group and share them on your website. That would allow other people to get some insight into the process. Also, you could get each person who participated in the process to write a summary of what they learned through the process, which could lead to other potential ideas.

    Just some thoughts.

    Great podcast guys.

  10. Ethan Aiken says:

    Once my first niche site is sold then I would for sure be interested in the niche site coaching to get help and build my next round of sites better. Thanks guys for this podcast by the way.

  11. bobdak says:

    Ok .. Great podcast – I sent in a question on your contact us page …it was not really a question but a long shot lead for you … i know your team handles a lot of those questions but you might want to look at it yourself – it had to do with the Bill O’Reilly show last night – just fyi … So – who would not be interested in the idea you threw out in the last 5 mins of the podcast? You pay for everything, I do the bulk of the work and we split the sell of the site a year from now… Heck yeah (church guy) i am interested. I would think that your coaching 5 students through your processes could its self become a great product … make all of the students record their steps, require a mini podcast every week until the site is up and running with perhaps 2 more podcast with you guys giving advice and direction after the site is making money .. this could be a membership course, CD or DVD that could be on your Products page easily ..

    Plus you even gave a great niche to start looking into as well with the “tropical workforce” idea — hmmmm can these two things be combined? Great food for thought thanks bobdak

  12. Tim says:

    If you guys launch the niche site project, I’ll apply for sure. I’d love to work with you guys on that.

  13. Jawbone Up Tips says:

    One of the best topics to discuss will be mistakes. I’m always interested in people’s mistakes and failures. It’s a platform for us to learn and avoid if possible.

  14. Tom Guerin says:

    Great idea for the niche site coaching. I would definitely be interested to take my game to the next level. Sign me up

  15. Rick Healey says:

    Niche site coaching…love how you guys think outside the box. Definitely sign me up on the list.

  16. mark savastano says:

    Hey Guys,

    I love the idea of Niche Site coaching. I definitely fall into the category of having more time right now. It would be such a great boost to have you guys give guidance. Anyways count me. The money at the end is not a important to me as the coaching. I’m in it for the long-haul, and the sooner I learn how to fish the better.



  17. Rob says:

    Regarding the “location independent contractor site” you guys mention, what would make it different from ODesk or similar sites that seem location agnostic? When you hire someone, you really don’t care where they’re located nor is this a factor in these sites.


    • I asked Justin the same thing, but his point was that there would be some level of mentorship in the program. Plus oDesk is hourly while the site we are suggesting would give full time work.

  18. Rob says:

    Hey guys. Thie Niche Site Coaching / Mastermind sounds like a great idea. Please put me on your contact list.

  19. Conrad says:

    I got this really interesting email in my inbox…. checked it out… HOLEY @#!# a niche mastermind from empire flippers? I’m in! Keen for the next step in the application process!

  20. Oluwaseun says:

    you guys gotta give me a chance in this Mastermind. I have been challenged with what you guys have achieved so far, I just burn’t another bridge in other to make my dream a reality. Paypal has always been one major stumbling block for me because my home country is not accepted on Paypal, but I just relocated to South Africa so that I can have this breakthrough I so much desire.

    I want in and I can’t wait guys. I can’t just wait.

    • Be careful burning bridges, that never ends well!

      • Oluwaseun says:

        Thanks Joseph but these were not the ones out of desperation or sheer ignorance, it was the one burnt out of calculated moves and risks. Sometimes we’ve got make some moves that seems crazy to in order to cross to the right side.

        Success don’t come cheap, does it?

  21. John Peden says:

    Interesting suggestion. You could take the initial group of signups and run something along the lines of a Creative Live course that you could then package and re-use/re-sell. It would be great to be a part of it and be able to learn from you both to subsequently share with others. Even being accountable throughout the process, obviously to yourselves, but perhaps equally to a private Ning group or something, would be a real incentive to put in work and make the site profitable.

  22. Nathan hibbs says:

    I would love to work with you guys! Listening to the podcast gets me pumped every time. My brother is now convinced you can make money online and I am showing him the ropes.

  23. seba112 says:

    Great Idea with consulting for niche sites. Add me to the list of interested people. I will be more than happy to split the profit with you guys.

  24. Arjen says:

    Add me to the list of interested people. I have been following you guys for a while (as well as Tropical MBA, etc…) and I’m always a little frustrated when I see posts for internships, etc. because they require one to drop everything and relocate. This would be the perfect opportunity to help transition from my old life to my new one :)

  25. Peter says:

    Certainly would be keen on being involved with this, do you only target the U.S. market or might other countries be in the mix as well?

    • With our sites we usually only target the US market. It’s the biggest one and that’s what we’re familiar with. So while I won’t say “no” up front, I think we have a better chance for success focusing on the US.

  26. Chris Leiper says:

    I would totally be up

    • Interesting Chris, is the dictation software really helping you over just typing? I would think with editing (no dictation software is perfect) it would actually take longer to dictate rather than typing. I assume outsourcing the content is out due to cost.

  27. Zachary Strebeck says:

    Coaching sounds like a great idea, especially for someone who is super new to the business like myself. Sign me up!

  28. Jacob Behnken says:

    I think the niche site coaching is a great idea. I’ve been following along with Spencer at Niche Pursuits and have found it very informative to see someone else go through the process. You get to see the mistakes, the corrections, and the strategy all come together. Looking forward to apply.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Awesome, Jacob. I’ve gotten some value there as well – I always find it helpful to learn from other people’s mistakes! (and successes) :-)

  29. janet bartoli says:

    I would certainly find the mastermind Niche coaching idea of value and would apply for sure ! Ok now back to listening to you guys in the podcast

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Sweet, Janet!

      I think it would be valuable for us as well. Hopefully…9ish months down the road some site buyers will agree and we’ll all end up with something we want. (And a tested, repeatable process we can go through again!)

  30. Julie Kinch says:

    I would definitly be applying!

  31. Harrison says:

    I’ve been a follower here for quite some time (albeit mostly a lurker, haha) … i’ve been working on several of my own niche sites following tips from what you guys provide … but I’d say that having resources like VA/funding & more importantly, the strategy session would be tremendous amount of help. I think what I have most problem with is “well I tried this method … but it’s not working, what next strategy should I try?” … it’d be nice to really have a mentor to simply give suggestions on further techniques to take a niche site to the next level. Looking forward to u guys offering this “niche mastermind” help community!

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Awesome, Harrison! Glad you’re out of the shadows! hehe

      I’m pretty excited about this idea and it looks like the response so far seems pretty positive as well. Ultimately, I see quite a bit of upside for everyone here.

  32. John Gibb says:

    hey guys

    Awesome podcast

    I may be interested in your mastermind as niche site building/affiliate empire growing is my thing.

    Would love to hear more about it…

    john Gibb

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Awesome, John!

      Let us get our thoughts together on this one and flesh the idea out a bit more. We’ll put out a post in the next month or so if/when we roll it out!

  33. Sud.Lamiran says:

    Wow … Niche Site Coaching/Mastermind? Finally … I’m in! :)

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Sounds like fun, right?

      I’d really like to work with a small team to knock out some cool/interesting sites and this “feels” right to me. A bit of a risk and $$/time intensive, but definitely aligned with our goals! :-) Will have more out about this in the coming weeks!

  34. patric says:

    Hi! It sure sounds interesting. What level of knowledge is needed?

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Patric,

      I’d say (at a minimum) that he/she should have a basic understanding of keyword research, building niche sites (with a couple under his/her belt), etc. Not for those that are brand new, but definitely for those that are looking to expand and/or take their site creation to the next level…

  35. anuj agarwal says:

    Hey would love to be a part of niche master mind – what do you guys have in mind ?? How will you be selecting the right applicants ?

    • Justin Cooke says:

      I’m not quite sure yet, but thinking there will be an application process involved. Since we’re funding the project, we’ll want to make sure we select those willing to put in the work/commitment. It’s still an idea in progress…just wanted to share and see if others were interested! :-)

      • anuj agarwal says:

        Makes sense….Cant speak for others but example me – it would be best to work with you guys and learn over the shoulder where I will be okay to make my own investment regarding the whole process…
        What’s more important is to learn how to make sites that work and make money – you guys can make it like a case study.. Whr you record what you teach and make everything live… So people learn from watching and replicating in their own business

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