Episode 050 – Andrew Allemann
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #50 with Andrew Allemann – The Brains Behind PodcastGuests.com – A Platform for Podcasters and Experts.
Andrew Allemann is the founder of PodcastGuests.com, a service that connects podcasters with guests for their shows. Over 15,000 people use the service.
Andrew created the service because he was looking for more guests for his podcast about domain names. His domain industry trade publication, Domain Name Wire, was founded in 2010 and has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and NPR.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Harnessing the power of the internet to do business and connect people.
- Dealing with clickbait problems.
- The ability to put tools together to make things work with minimal upfront investment.
- Listening to your user-base and figure out what they need.
- Dealing with self doubt.
- Everyone’s ultimate goal is to be happy.
- Mastermind groups are your accountability partners.
- Honesty must guide you everyday.
- A lot of times, people won’t tell you what they’re thinking–unless you ask.
- When it comes to business, just do something!
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Andrew Allemann challenged Carey Green to be a guest on The HERO Show. Andrew thinks that Carey is a fantastic interview because he also travels across the country full-time.
Carey runs his own business called Podcast Fast Track and does the audio for Andrew’s podcast.
How To Stay Connected With Andrew Allemann
Want to stay connected with Andrew? Please check out his social profiles below.
Also, Andrew mentioned Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar on the show. You can find that here on Amazon.
Call To Adventure
Don’t forget you can stay connected to me and the show by subscribing now. Just text ALCHEMY to 444999. Or you put your email address in the box at the bottom of this page. You’ll get all sorts of cool gifts, be updated about our contests and polls, and get notified when we publish new episodes. With that… let’s get to listen to the episode…
The Webinar Alchemy Workshop: https://richardmatthews.me/fs/waw-slf/
Hello, and welcome back to the HERO Show.
My name is Richard Matthews, and I am on the line
With Andrew Allemann. Andrew, are you there?
Yes, I’m here.
Glad to have you here.
Let me do a quick introduction for those of you
Who may not know who Andrew is.
Andrew is the founder of https://podcastguests.com/
A service that connects podcasters with guests
For their own shows. Over 15,000 people
Use the service including the HERO Show.
You created the service
Because you were looking for more guests
For your podcasts about domain names.
Your domain industry trade publications,
Domain Name Wire was founded 2010.
It’s been cited by the Wall Street Journal,
Washington Post, and NPR. With that brief
Introduction. Why don’t you tell us a little bit,
Andrew. What is your business about now?
Why do people come to you?
What’s the basic service you provide?
I think you summed it up nicely.
PodcastGuests is a service that connects
Podcasters like you with guests
That are looking to be on shows like yours.
I have over 15,000 people using it.
Every week, I send out an email that has a list
Of podcasts that are looking for guests.
You can look through there and if there’s one
That’s a fit for you; you click a link
And apply to be on the show.
Then, there’s also the reverse element,
Which is I have a number of experts
In different fields that want to be a guest
On shows. So, they can be featured
In that service so that podcasters
Can find them. It’s been around 3-4 years now,
When I started it. As you mentioned,
I created it because I had a problem
Of my own, which was I was looking
For more podcasts for my show
And couldn’t find an easy, simple,
And inexpensive service to do that.
For those of you who might be curious
If the service works. When we put out
Our first invite for our show,
We put our show out for a year.
It’s great to hear.
It’s a very effective service. I appreciate you
Existing and us having a chance
To get connected. Let’s start off with your
Origin story. Every hero has their origin stories
Where he started to realize
That you were different. Maybe,
You had superpowers. And maybe,
You could use them to help other people.
Where you started to develop and discover
The value you could bring.
Maybe, that’s for you. When you got started
On this entrepreneurial journey
Was PodcastGuests your first venture
Or what sort of kicked off this whole being
An entrepreneur journey for you.
Of all the—ever since college—
Go back to—I’ve done little entrepreneurial
Things. But in college, I really kicked those off
And was doing various online businesses.
This was the late 90s. So, as the dot com boom
Was in full swing, but it was kind of hard
As an individual to create even a website,
Back then. But I did create and sell a couple
Of websites. Nothing that made me rich,
But really got the bug into me,
And I registered a lot of domain names
Back then, as well. That started my online
Entrepreneurial journey. And since then,
I’ve always had something going.
I did go into the workforce after college.
Worked for other companies. But I haven’t worked
For another company in a long time now.
And it’s all been about doing these online businesses;
Harnessing the power of the internet
To connect people. You mentioned, Domain Name
Wire, and open. It was 2005 when I created that.
And at the time, I created it;
It was basically a blog or trade publication
For the domain name industry. People that buy
And sell domains—companies like GoDaddy,
Governments, lawyers, that sort of thing,
Everyone that’s part of this ecosystem.
At the time, I started it as a hobby,
And then it turned into a business.
It’s obviously a niche publication.
But it gets 100 to 150,000 page views
A month now, which is pretty good
For what the domain name industry is.
That’s turned into a business for me.
It’s where I make most of my income from
And then PodcastGuests has been layered
On to that over the past few years.
So, the news publication,
What is the monetization strategy
In that business?
That’s all sponsor-based. I have a number
Of companies—10 to 15 at a time—
That are sponsoring it, and just have ads
On the site. When I started it,
The advertising models changed a lot,
Since when I started it. But I’m grateful
To have a number of sponsors and advertisers
That are trying to reach my audience.
Some of them have been advertising
For over a decade now, continuously.
That helps that business thrive without the ups
And downs of chasing ad dollars.
Obviously, there are ups and downs
In all businesses. It makes it easy for me
To focus on creating great content,
And not having to worry about chasing
Page views and clicks, and that sort of thing.
I’m curious, one of the things we’ve discussed:
A number of different business
Types on the show before,
But we haven’t ever discussed a business
Where you are essentially creating content
To create ticket eyeballs. Then,
The eyeballs you’re selling to your advertisers.
Your clients would be the advertisers.
I’m just curious how you think
Through a business like that
When you have to create content—
Good enough content for people
Who are reading. Do you consider
That your readers, customers,
As well as your advertisers.
How do you just work through that
In your head in terms
Of what you’re putting together
And how you’re structuring the business?
My content is geared 100%
Toward my typical readers. I’m not thinking
About the advertisers, when I create
That content at the same time.
They’re all part of the industry. So, they understand
My audience. In my case, I got the audience first.
Then the advertisers came.
I think very early on, I used Google AdSense
As a way to generate a little bit of money.
Then I had companies come to me and say,
“We like what you’re doing. Can we put a banner
On your page?” Of course, I said, “Yes.”
It’s kind of worked out on their—
The fortunate thing has been:
Since the early days, I haven’t really had to ask.
It’s been more: you put a sponsor
Or an advertising link on the website,
Put together a media kit that is there
For people. They can reach out,
And I send them the media kit,
And they can advertise on the site.
It’s never been something I’ve really had to sell.
But I caught myself very fortunate.
I understand that’s not the case with everyone.
My timing was great. I think I put a good product
Out there too. The domain name industry
Is fairly small. There are only so many
Potential advertisers and the audiences,
As I mentioned, somewhat limited.
It’s kind of a niche which is good.
If I were to create—would have created a blog
About technology back then
There were already a lot of competitors.
There were no blogs
Covering the the domain name business.
One of the other things I’m curious is,
In that monetization model,
You are generally paid or you’re charged
By impression, is that correct?
That’s something that I’ve done
That I’m really happy about.
I just charge a flat fee per month.
So, if I get a lot more page use than usual,
In a month, that’s great for advertisers.
If I miss—if it’s not a great month,
Then it doesn’t hurt me.
As long as I have a good continuous stream.
If I’m down a lot for a long time,
Then, obviously, that will impact me
Because the advertisers won’t get the results
That they’re looking for. When you sell ads
By impression, which I understand,
You kind of have to do in some circumstances,
Kind of like selling podcast ads by the listener.
It’s a really tough game.
I think that it creates incentives
For you to do things that do not benefit
Your audience—that do not benefit
Your typical reader. Chasing page views,
Writing things that might get a lot of traffic,
But it’s not something that your audience
Will really care about, and your advertisers
Won’t benefit from that audience.
I’ve been very fortunate to be able
To do this sponsor model. They want to know
How much traffic I get. But it’s not:
If I get 150,000 page views one month
And 100 the next, it’s not going to change
The income I make from advertising.
I think one of the—I want to call it: the flaws
Of having an impression-based—
Our whole internet is free
Because we’re selling attention. That leads
To clickbait problems, because the incentive
Is not to create good journalism.
The incentive is to create things
That get clicked on and drive impressions.
That’s absolutely right.
There’s been kind of erased about them there.
There have been ad blockers which breaks
That model of free content in return
For viewing ads. And a lot of things
Around those issues that have come up.
I think the—but you hit the nail
On the head there. The clickbait
Trying to get people to the site
And not delivering on what they’re looking for.
Those are all problems that come
With that impression-based
Or click-based advertising.
Do you see the trend in the industry
Is moving more towards your type of model
For content either—where the advertisers
Are sponsoring it
Or consumers are paying for the content?
I think we’re seeing a lot
Of the sponsored content. And people
Trying to hide the fact that something’s
Sponsored which has been a challenge.
A lot of that’s been brought on by ad blockers.
As you know, these companies,
Especially a media publication, it has dozens
Or even hundreds of reporters.
They need to make money. I think we’re seeing
Two trends. One is a push
More toward the subscription based model
For online access. It used to be:
You could get this stuff for free; view the content
For free in return for viewing the ads.
Now, we’re seeing more and more sites
That charge for the access, which is a good model
If they deliver great content.
It’s very difficult though, for a small publisher
To do that. It’s easier for someone
Like Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.
Very difficult for an individual blogger, like me,
To do that model. I’ve just been, I think, direct
Ad sales have always been better
To be able to do that. Then, the commitment
Than ad networks in most cases. I’ve been very fortunate
That my sponsors are making is fairly small
Each month, too. It’s not breaking their bank.
Either way, it’s a fairly small commitment
To most of them. That has helped,
Keep this flat fee approach work.
That’s really awesome. So, move on
A little bit from your origin story and your business
Model, and now talk a little bit about,
Personally, your superpowers that you bring
To the business. What is it that you do
Or build or offer this world that really helps
Solves problems for people?
Things you use slay this world’s villains, so to speak.
I’m curious in terms of: what is it that,
You think you bring to either PodcastGuests
Or the domain name publishing business
That have made them stand out?
I think on the podcast side—we can start there—
As I mentioned earlier, I had this problem.
I was podcasting. I had done
About 50 interviews. Most podcasts
Are kind of like this. It’s in Q and A,
Or interview format. I realized
That I kind of gone through my Rolodex.
My podcast was about domain names.
Had interviewed 50 or so people that I knew
From the domain name industry,
And I was looking for more. I looked out there
And saw that the market for finding guests
For podcasts, for getting people booked
On there. There are services out there,
That are very much, they aren’t platforms,
They’re agency models and you have to pay
Quite a bit of money, especially
If you’re just starting out 400-500 dollars a month
To either find people for your show
Or to get booked on other shows.
I knew that I couldn’t be the only one
Having this problem.
I think one of my superpowers,
If you will, be kind of figuring out
How to put tools together to make things work.
As a solo operator to do that
With very little upfront investment.
I realized that there were a lot of free online tools
I could use—free or inexpensive—
To put this together and see if it worked.
I needed a Mailchimp account to send out
This weekly newsletter, and I needed a way
To collect these applications for people.
It started out very modest
With using Google Forms which I actually
Still use to this day. And a website, PodcastGuests,
To find those new users. And in Mailchimp.
I sent out the first newsletter. I reached out
To people individually; said,
“This is what I’m trying to do. Do you want
To participate?” My first newsletter went out
To about 150 people. It featured,
I don’t remember how many podcasts,
Maybe five or so. But even then,
The podcast got 5-10-15 applications
From other people that wanted to be
On their show. I realized this was working
It was very exciting for me.
At that point, I put in some elbow grease.
I’d spent some time on it.
But Mailchimp is not expensive.
Google Forms is free. It’s kind of finding out
How to get these pieces together
And I modeled it off of a service called
“Help A Reporter Out” or people call it HARO
In the industry which connects—
I’ve heard of that before.
Let’s say you’re a Wall Street Journal reporter,
And you want to write about people going
That have had problems with their mortgage
And they were able to work it out.
It’s not easy to just pick up the phone and call
And find people like that. So, they’ll
Put out a request on HARO for that
And people will respond. It’s kind of
The same idea here. If I’m featuring
Your podcast, you go in and you say,
“This is what I’m looking for.”
Then, there are a lot of people
That want to get on podcasts,
And they can respond to that.
So, creating the community’s been fun.
Another thing I’d say is the superpower
Is kind of the incremental.
I did the minimum viable product;
Got this out there, it worked.
Then, I listened to my audience, if you will,
The people that were using it.
To figure out what they needed and that, in turn,
Made ways for me to make money
Off of the service so I could continue to grow it.
This point I’ve invested quite a bit money
Into it, but it’s been basically all money
That’s come in through the service as well.
I think that’s a really important point too,
Is when you build something new
Is really listening to the user-base
And directing it to solve their problems.
One of the things we talk about regularly
On this show is that the businesses
That succeed the most are generally the ones
That they don’t bring a product to the market.
They find a market that has a problem
And they solve it. Which seems like
It might be neither here nor there.
But it’s really an important distinction—
Because when you’re working
To solve market problems then you’ll build,
And grow, and scale your product,
And continue to meet their needs,
And it continues to grow.
Right. What you’re doing can change.
I just read a new book by Marc Randolph,
Who is one of the co-founders of Netflix.
It’s called “That Will Never Work.”
It’s about the launch of Netflix.
His original idea was to to rent videos
Via the mail like VHS,
Because DVDs were very niche at the point of cost
Over $1,000 to buy a DVD player
When you launch the business.
Then, it talks about how the business morphed
And they were actually selling DVDs
At the beginning and 97% of the revenue is coming
From selling DVDs rather than renting them.
It’s something where, I don’t even,
They might still ship DVDs, but everyone just
Streaming. So, the the business changes
And you kind of figure it out as it goes
By listening to your audience which is something
That companies like Blockbuster didn’t do
Effectively. They didn’t see these changing trends
And, now, there’s one Blockbuster store left.
Is there really? There’s still one left?
There used to be one or two
In Alaska. I believe it’s in Oregon.
Maybe it’s closed down now, actually.
Because I keep—once a year, they’re like,
“This blockbuster closed.”
But it was usually in remote areas
Where you couldn’t get good internet to stream.
Certain areas of Alaska for example.
That makes sense.
But the company’s—
It’s crazy, too,
Because they were a powerhouse in the 90s.
I remember growing up as,
“Mom, can we go down to the Blockbuster
And pick out a game or DVD or whatever,
And some snacks and come back home?”
That’s how we we hung out after school.
Let me move on a little bit and start the other side
Of your superpower is your fatal flaw.
Just like Superman has his kryptonite.
Or Batman is not actually a superhero.
Something that you have struggled with,
When growing your businesses
Over the years that you’ve worked on.
I guess more importantly, what have you done
To help sort of overcome that for people
Who might run into the same kind of issues
In their entrepreneurial career?
I would say there are a couple things
That I struggle with to this day, really.
One of those that I think a lot of people face
Is self doubt. That is questioning if your idea
Is actually going to work. It’s hard
To put both feet in when you’re like,
“This could be a failure,” and to worry
About failing, too. There are a couple things
I’ve done to deal with that. First of all,
Most businesses fail. A lot of people
That have had a successful business
Have had many that fail as well. I think,
The more you learn about those circumstances,
And the more you look at things like Facebook,
And Netflix, and Google that were successful
And realize they’re really an anomaly
That the founders had a lot of luck. Reading
This Netflix book, this company,
Netflix could have shut down on many occasions.
They were really—lots of struggles that they faced,
And they had some good fortune that made it work
For them. Realizing that failure is just part
Of business, and getting past that.
I think, is very helpful for overcoming self doubt.
Another thing you can do is test.
And that’s what I’ve done with PodcastGuests.
I didn’t put 20 grand in it to start. It was,
“Let me figure out a way to do this for $1,000,
And get it off the ground. And see if it works.”
But I think that’s something that a lot of people
Deal with, throughout their life, especially
Entrepreneurs. It’s a constant struggle.
It’s something that as I’ve gotten older,
I have greater perspective, and it’s helped with that.
But it’s still a challenge. I think even people
That outwardly suggests that they don’t have
Any self doubt. I think internally, a lot of them do.
Another challenge that I’ve had is juggling multiple things.
I have https://podcastguests.com/
I have Domain Name Wire,
They both demand attention on a weekly basis,
If not daily. Moving between those,
I also sell ads from my wife’s podcast and such.
Shifting between those is difficult
And there are a lot of tools out there now
That make that easier. Google or Gmail
Makes it easy to get all your mail into one box
And separate it and do that sort of thing.
At the same time, though, it creates some of that
Constant fidgeting between one to the other
To the other. That’s a lot of work.
I think people that can do one thing
And do it well, that’s a smart approach to take.
I’ve never been able to do that. But a lot of times,
I think that’s why little projects that I launched fails.
I don’t dedicate enough time to them,
To see them, and get them off the ground.
I think a lot of that depends on your personality,
But I do have a challenge where I’m moving
From one thing to the next. I think, as a result,
That’s still something that causes me
To struggle getting businesses
To where they need to be.
That’s one of the things that comes up,
Regularly. We underestimate
How much work it takes to get something going.
We think we’ll be a lot farther along in the year
Than we are. Realize: how much of a difference
You could take, if you actually really dedicated
A decade to doing something. Then, you can create
Much more sustainable businesses
And how much effort it takes to put into something.
Any of our side projects generally don’t turn
Into big businesses unless they start getting the focus
Like a real main project.
Exactly. That’s a great point.
I want to talk about this, a little bit interesting.
Because one of the things we talked about
Is your common enemy. Generally, in terms
Of removing things from your clients life
That you think hold them back. I think,
In terms of your PodcastGuests service,
- A) Who would you figure your primary client is?
The podcasters, or the guests looking for interviews?
And what’s one of the primary problems they run into
That you think if they remove that, change
That mindset, they would get better results for them?
I don’t think one is more important than the other.
Effectively, what I’ve created is a platform
Or a marketplace. eBay wouldn’t be eBay
Without buyers or sellers. You have to have
Both there. In my case, that’s the podcasters
And the audience, and experts that want
To be guests on our show. Now, what helped me
Get it off the ground is that in a lot of cases,
That’s the same people. You’re a podcaster,
But you’d probably like to be a guest
On other podcast, too. It’s a great way
To grow your show. I only had to bring in
One group. But it breaks down,
If I’m not providing value to both
Of those groups. I think, the value,
In your case, having been featured
In the newsletter to you is, I can bring you
A lot of applicants to be on your show
That will pitch you directly and easily,
To be on there. Rather than you going out
And reaching out to all these people.
Then, for those experts, it’s valuable to them
To see, “Here’s a podcast that does want guests
On it.” Their alternative is to go out
And just cold email, Cold call, a bunch of podcasters,
Who may or may not be looking for guests
For their show. One thing I did,
One of the challenges, that the experts told me
They had is that they’ll apply to be on a show.
In a lot, in some cases, I don’t know
How many applications you got,
But they can get 50 to 100 applications
To be on their show. And they’re featured
In the newsletter. The challenge there is standing out.
I had some experts that said, “Look,
I love what you’re doing. But is there any way
I can pay something, so that I don’t have
To do all the outreach.” For that reason,
Or as a result of that feedback, I created,
A push model for these experts
Where I have a directory that they can pay
A monthly fee to be in, and then podcasters
Can come looking in there for guests as well.
Then, I feature some of these experts as well
In the newsletter. So, they get in front
Of 15,000 people, many of whom are podcasters
And they can get invited on the podcast.
I think that the model before to get booked
On podcasts, and still this is a viable model,
It’s just expensive is kind of the agency
And the cold outreach model. There are lots
Of services out there. Many of them are great
That say, “We’ll get you booked on five podcasts
A month.” It’s $600-$1,000 a month to do that.
And they do a fine job, but not everyone wants
To spend that kind of money, especially
When they don’t have to.
When there’s a service out there that will do it.
Do it for free.
One of my staff members does that.
They do the reach out and finding stuff for us.
It’s certainly something we pay for.
But we get good results from podcast thing.
It’s really cool. So, I’m talking about your driving force.
Just like Spider-Man fights to save New York.
Or Batman fights to save Gotham. Google fights
To index all the world’s information. What is it
That you guys fight for at PodcastGuests?
That’s an interesting question. I think,
I really want people to be successful
And to succeed in their goals. One of the—
When it comes down to it, we all, I think
Everyone’s ultimate goal is to be happy.
We accomplish that in many different ways.
For many of us, it’s doing something
That gives us purpose. Hopefully, what you do
Is business isn’t just to make money. If it is,
Hopefully, that drives happiness somehow,
But that’s easier said than done. When I think about
A lot of the people that use my service;
A lot of them are solo-preneurs. They’re people
That have decided, or were forced to decide
That the corporate world isn’t really for them ,
And working for a company isn’t for them.
They want to work for themselves.
They want to take control of their own destiny.
So, they are an expert in something. I want
To get them in front of as many people
As possible that will want to learn
About them, and learn about what they have.
To educate and spread their knowledge.
I think, the power of podcasting,
Which has become immensely popular
In the past few years, or now, I think on Apple
Podcast close to 800,000 podcasts.
It’s a great way for people to do it.
I want to help them do that. I want to help them
Achieve their dreams, and ultimately lead
To happiness. If you wake up everyday
Saying, “I’m helping people achieve their dreams
And be happy,” that’s pretty cool.
That gives you a lot of backing,
A lot of support, a lot of drive to do what you do.
Absolutely. Viewers like yours
Has a tremendous ripple effect as well.
You don’t just directly affect the people
Who are using your service, but all their listeners
And their audience, something like that.
You have a reach beyond your reach.
That makes sense.
That’s great. I appreciate you saying that,
Because it’s not something I always think of.
You think of: so thousands of people
Have gotten booked on podcasts
Or my service. Then, how many people
Have listened to those podcasts who would not
Have heard that person or learn that tidbit
That maybe sparked an idea in their head,
Which then started another business?
That’s a great way of looking at it.
I appreciate you bringing that up.
I love businesses that have the I call it
“The ripple effect.” Where the the impact is greater
Than the input. Which is, I think, super cool.
I want to move a little bit and go practical
On you and talk about what I call
“The heroes tool belt.” Maybe,
You have a big magical hammer like Thor.
Or a bulletproof vest like your neighborhood
Police Officer. What are some of the tools
That you use to sort of make the business go round?
You mentioned a few of them early on.
MailChimp and Google Forms, but what is it—
Some of the stuff that really powers
PodcastGuests and makes it do what it does?
I would say, in addition to those 2 tools.
I use WordPress for the website
And have some plugins on there
That have been—I hired a developer.
This was my bigger investment, was to create
This directory on there that works
In the back end where people can invite people
On to their show. WordPress is probably
In a lot of people’s tool chest. I would say
On the PodcastGuests business,
I don’t have a lot of tools that I use.
And I don’t spend a lot of money
On those tools. So, WordPress, Google Forms, Mailchimp.
Very lean business.
It is from a tools’ perspective. I use Stripe
As a way to collect payments.
That’s another thing that I use. Then,
I’ve grown the business a lot through Facebook,
And Facebook ads. I think, that’s something
That people should look into. Then, I have
A Twitter presence as well there. I’ve found
That even for my Domain Name side,
I have 35,000 Twitter followers, and get a lot
Of traffic from that. My audience on Facebook
And Twitter for PodcastGuests isn’t nearly
As large but they’re very engaged.
Whenever I feature someone in my newsletter,
I also include them on social media.
That generates a few more inquiries, a few more invites,
To that person to be a guest on their podcast
A lot of times. I think that’s helpful as well.
I would say a lot of tools.
Gmail is basically free. Depending on how
You use it. I really do have a lot of tools
That when I think about it, I use in my business,
A lot of applications, but a lot of them
Are kind of specific to Domain Name investing.
They probably aren’t that useful,
I would say, to your audience.
But it’s amazing now. And how much
You can do for free. When I started websites
In the late 90s. A hosting account was 50
Or 100 dollars. A domain name was $70.
Then, you had to figure out how to create
A website on it. I used Microsoft FrontPage
Which as a college student, I could go pick up
As a man. Go pick up the CD ROM.
Let’s remember here, at the computer store
For 5 bucks because they had a student discount.
Nothing was easy back then. Now, you can spin up
A website with a domain name
With an SSL certificate. An ecommerce store
For less than 100 bucks in a day.
It’s really amazing what you can—now.
You can get it up in five minutes
If you have your resources put together.
It’s really remarkable what you can do, today.
I would say, if anyone’s thinking
About starting a business, there’s so many tools
That make it super simple now. They bring it
All together. GoDaddy has a great, they call it
Websites plus marketing,
Where it really brings the whole thing
That help you create the site and do the email
Marketing behind it. Do the ecommerce.
Shopify is a great platform.
We have Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, all these things
These days. That doesn’t mean that the moment
That make it super simple to start a business
You turn it on, all of a sudden
You’re getting customers. You still have to work
And figure things out. But it’s so much easier
Than it used to be, and so much less expensive.
I would encourage anyone who’s going
To sideline. Just take the leap. Get out there.
Do something, and see if your passion
Is really as strong as you think it is.
It seems like nowadays, you can focus
On just the important aspects of business.
Instead of focusing on all the tools and the things.
The proverbial business card that you have
To get done. You can focus on the things
That really matter. Which is finding a market
That has a problem and solving it.
Then, getting that message to them.
Which is really what is going to drive revenue
For your business and that’s all you have to focus on.
You have to figure everything else out.
Music is by https://purpleplanet.com/
I wanted to talk about your own personal heroes.
Frodo had his Gandalf. Luke had his Obi Wan.
Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad. Who were some
Of your heroes in your entrepreneurial journey?
Were they real life mentors? Were they speakers
Or authors? Maybe peers who were a couple years
Ahead of you? And how important were they
To what you’ve accomplished so far?
That’s a great question. I know,
From your previous interviews that you asked that.
So, I’ve given some thought to it. I really struggle
With it because there’s not one person
That I would say, has driven me to do
What I’ve done in life. I think, my parents
Were wonderful. My wife is wonderful
And supportive. I had some great professors
In college. Mentors when I worked
For other people and such. But there’s not one person.
I think for me, what it’s more is that
I’ve had individuals that have influenced
A couple of years of my life. That have put me
In the direction that I’ve that ultimately gone.
Then, I also have a good network of friends
Who are in a similar situation me. They run
Their own business that has been great.
One of the things that I was very fortunate
To do starting—it’s been over a decade now,
Is I got involved with an entrepreneur group,
And this is when I lived in Austin.
It’s all local entrepreneurs. We’re all
At different stages of our business.
Having a sounding board like that is very important.
If you’re in a situation where you can find people,
They don’t need to be in the same type of business
As you, but just in a similar situation.
It can be very informal at first, but just a group
That you can get together with.
Whether it’s once a month, once a week,
Maybe it’s even remote. It’s over Skype or Zoom,
A video conference. I think that’s been
One of the most valuable things that I’ve done
That’s really helped me get to where I am.
I wouldn’t say it’s one individual person,
I would say it’s having a sounding board.
Having a group of people that I could rely on
To provide advice, counsel, motivation.
It’s really hard when you’re off on your own
To be motivated sometimes. Those sorts of things
Have been extremely helpful to me.
I’m sorry, go ahead.
I found that groups like that are also useful
For the proverbial ass-kicking to you like,
“I’m going to do this.” Then, they’re going
To pound you to make sure you do it.
Accountability partners. You can look at it
Like that. Which is someone who
Every month is going to say, “You said
You’re going to do this, did you do it?”
And like you said, kicking your butt,
Making sure that you do this.
It’s very valuable that way.
Absolutely. I agree. I’ve been—
If I were someone who asked me that question,
Who are my heroes, the list would be really long.
It’s all the people that have had
A positive influence in my life.
It’s a hard question. I think it’s a useful one
To think about. Just to go back and realize
How many people have impacted your life
And some of them in small ways.
You probably don’t even know and realize
That you probably have the same impact
On other people that you don’t even know which is cool.
I did think about that for 20 minutes.
I have a lot of friends who are like,
“This one person, these two people
That change the course my life forever.”
And I don’t think I’ve had that. But I’ve had
A lot of people that have had a big impact on me.
Definitely. There’s always people that puts you on.
Might nudge you in the right way. I’m fairly certain,
I had a seventh grade teacher who pulled me aside
And help me with writing a little bit,
That probably doesn’t even realized that
That’s become a major part of my career
And trajectory in life. It’s cool stuff
That happens like that. I want to get on
To the last question we get into here. Which is
Your guiding principles. Basically, what are
The top one or two principles or actions
That you put in practice sort of everyday
That you think contributes to the success
And influence of your couple of brands.
Maybe, stuff you wish you’d known when you started?
I would say guiding principles. One thing
And this is something that I do credit
My parents with, is honesty needs to be
Something that guide you everyday
In what you do. It seems like
There’s not so much of that in the world anymore.
Even in business, we’ve seen some high profile
Blow ups where people weren’t as honest
With people as they should have been.
I think, when you’re honest with yourself,
And with other people, it helps you
Sleep well at night. It’s just one of those things
That if you’re, I think people can tell
When people aren’t being honest. Even though
They can get away with it for a while.
Eventually, it comes back to get them.
You see a lot of people that make a lot of money
Or who are “successful” who really aren’t honest.
I think most of them get their comeuppance,
Eventually. Another thing I’d say, is to always
Accept feedback, and I’ve used that in
My businesses. Feedback, I treat that as a gift,
Even if I don’t necessarily agree with
What someone’s saying, or they aren’t saying
It in a friendly way. I found that feedback
Is what has driven me to make changes
In my business and my approach.
Even if it’s blunt feedback. In fact, blunt feedback’s
Usually the best, it’s good to think about that feedback.
Soliciting feedback is important too.
A lot of times people won’t tell you
What they’re thinking, unless you ask.
Then, I’ve given a lot of thought, recently
Moved about four months ago, five months ago,
Across the country from Austin to the Seattle area.
It’s kind of been—I’m 41. It’s kind of been
One of those reset moments where I give
A lot of thought to things. I mentioned this earlier,
But I think we’re all trying to be happy.
That’s our end goal and whatever we do,
And a lot of us are doing things that don’t
Make us happy. You might think
That I’ve been one of those type A people all my life.
I got into a great university program; graduated
Top of my class there; made a lot of money
My first job out of school. When you sit back and say,
“But why am I doing this? I was to be happy.
Is making money going to make me happier
At the end of the day? Or am I stuck
In this rat race of making more money
To buy more stuff?” I think when you go
“I’ll be happy when this happens.” And then,
Through life, you get to these things where you say,
That happens, and you’re happy for 24 or 48 hours.
Then, you’re back to where you were and you’re like,
“What’s my next goal that’ll make me happy?”
I’ve really tried to focus and this is fairly new
For me but thinking about: will this ultimately
Make me happy? There’s a great book.
I meant to bring it into the office here,
So that I could just show the cover. But let me do
This instead. I’ll look it up. I apologize for doing this.
So, I can give the name. So it’s called Happier.
That’s the name of the book. It’s a Harvard professor
Pulling this up right now to get his name.
Tal Ben-Shahar. He’s an educator, he teaches
At Harvard. He is taught about how to be happy.
He grew up in Israel and said he wanted to be
The squash champion of the country. And he was,
And everything he was doing was driving toward this.
Then, he was happy for—he was blissfully happy
For a day or two after he won, but then he realized
That wasn’t his everlasting thing.
It wasn’t going to bring him happiness.
So, he studied a lot about it. Great book,
I highly recommend reading it, and thinking
About what you’re doing in your life,
And your business. And personally,
How that’s driving you
Toward what your ultimate goals are.
I’ve discovered personally that, for me at least,
I think for a lot of other people,
It’s generally the journey; not the destination
That brings the happiness. Even when it comes
To things that you want. It’s the wanting
Of the thing that’s exciting; not the having
Of the thing. You remember that from being a kid,
You really want the toy or whatever,
Then you finally get the toy and you realize
That it’s not as fun as wanting the toy was.
It’s short lived anyway, I think that’s—
Go ahead. Looks like we froze for a second
But there’s another great book, “Happy Money.”
It talks about 5 principles . But one of it is
The waiting for it is the most exciting
Part. I know when we bought our Tesla,
The most exciting part was the long wait.
While we were waiting for it to show up
That the two months, the excitement around it
And that sort of stuff. Whereas once you get it,
And this goes for any car, and you start driving it
After a month it’s nothing. That wears off,
So chasing things like that
It’s just how you get around. I think that book
Also had a pretty big impact on me. Happy Money.
Absolutely. I like a lot of those. That kind of thinking
And I just realized, at this point in my life,
When I want things, it’s like, “Does this actually give me
Opportunities to experience things
I couldn’t experience before?”
I have—those are the only kind of things
I have on the list. Because otherwise I’m like,
“I just don’t care.”
That’s another principle of Happy Money,
Which is spend money on experiences, not things.
Because those experiences you’ll remember them
A long time from now. They continue to pay dividends.
Whereas, your first car you spent money on is long gone.
It’s providing no enjoyment to you now.
Whereas the memories of experiences,
And friendships, and such are much more valuable.
That basically brings us to the inner end of our interview.
I have one more thing I do on every show.
I call it The HERO Challenge. It’s someone
In your network who has a really cool
Entrepreneurial story. Who are they? First names
Are fine. And why do you think
They should come share their story on our show?
I have so many people that I love their story.
One of them is actually the person
Who does the audio for my podcast. What I love
And I don’t know how much you talk
About your story, but his is kind of similar.
He now drives around in an RV exploring the country,
Doing this for the road, which is very admirable.
Carey, he runs a service called Podcast Fast Track
Who does audio editing and he’s got a team,
And it’s all remote. That’s one person when I think
About the types of people that are living
A good lifestyle that I think are very interesting.
I have lots of friends who have been very successful.
But I think that’s one that jumps to mind
That I think is great for your audience.
Awesome. I would love to reach out. We’ll connect
Later about connecting with him.
And last thing here is thank you so much
For being on the show. And where can people find you?
I assume if they’re either running a podcast
Or they want to be featured on podcasts,
Or if they’re interested in the domain namespace,
Where can they find you? What should they do
Or the ideal people to expect?
There are a couple things here. One is that—
Do go check out https://podcastguests.com/
If you’re interested. If you either have a podcast
And you’re trying to find guests or you’re interested
In being a guest on podcasts. I put together
A free guide you don’t even have to provide
Your email address to download it,
On being a guest on podcast. The value is
How to do it step by step, and you can get
That at https://podcastguests.com/guide/
I personally respond to all the emails that come in
I send out a weekly email. If you respond to that,
I personally get that. That’s great way
To connect with me. If you’re interested
In domain names, check out https://domainnamewire.com/
It’s kind of a fun little industry.
I know a lot of people own domain names
For their business. You might learn a thing
Or two there and hopefully get sucked in.
Personally, because I’m curious how much
Has the new top level domains—there’s like 100 bajillion
Of them now—how has that affected the industry?
Those started rolling out in 2014. Their impact’s
Been nominal. Some people are using them
But they haven’t taken off like they expected.
So, dot com, at least in the US is still king
By far. People prefer to have that. The impact
Has been fairly minimal. It drove a lot of money
Into the industry for a while. It’s kind of pulled back
Because they haven’t been quite the moneymaker
That people expected. There are some successful
Companies that operate them. I’m sure you’ve seen
Some of them out there in the wild
That are being used. But it just hasn’t had
That big of an impact on how people use
And think of domain names.
I’ve noticed that out of the whole hundreds
And hundreds of them that have cropped up.
The ones that seems to be the most popular
Are dot io and dot pro. Some of the
Adult specific ones that have have popped
Into being used, but really, it’s culturally,
Nobody thinks of them as domain names.
And dot io and dot pro are actually not part
Of this new top level domain program.
They’ve actually been out for a long time,
Which is those two letter domains
Or country code domains, like dot co is another one,
Which is actually from Columbia.
There were already hundreds of choices
That people had. Adding another 800 choices
Didn’t really open up the namespace that much.
It’s been interesting to watch though, for sure.
I’ve obviously written a lot about it.
I can imagine. I was curious from an industry insider.
Because as an outsider, who buys domains
For personal use, for businesses and for clients.
Our recommendation hasn’t changed.
If you can get the dot com. If you’re
A personal brand, you might use something
Like me, for occasionally and maybe if you’re
An internet organization, you might use io.
But for the vast majority of clients,
If you can get the dot com, get the dot com.
I think for the Investment Authority of cases
That’s the right advice. I have noticed
Quite a few people that are using PodcastGuests
Will use for their show, for their podcasts,
They might do something that’s a little bit different.
I think there’s talk show out there.
But there are lots of things that you could use
For a podcast, and it really depends
On what you’re using it for. But most of the time,
Try to get the dot com, even if it costs a couple
Thousand dollars to buy it from someone else.
That’s the right advice.
I have theheroshow.com
And thehero.show. And theheroshow.com
Is just so much easier to roll off the tongue
And actually use. I don’t think we currently have
That domain, but we did for a while.
Anyways, it’s really interesting.
To finish this off, remind people
It was https://podcastguests.com/guide/
If they want to learn about the value
Of being a podcast guest and what can do
For your business. If they run a podcast
And they want to be featured in the newsletter,
Same place, just https://podcastguests.com/
All you have to do: put in your email address
And your first name. And you’ll be signed up.
Every Monday morning I send out my email
That has the list of experts and podcasts.
You can click a link and apply on them.
It’s super simple. That’s what to do.
I really appreciate you having me on the show.
Absolutely. Thank you for being on the show.
Really appreciate it.
You have any final parting words of wisdom
For our audience?
Do something. Nike says just do it
When they think of athletics. I say the same thing
When it comes to business. Take that next step
To do something that’s going to improve your life,
Improve your business, move it forward.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Andrew.
We really appreciate it.
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What Is The Hero Show?
A peak behind the masks of modern day super heroes. What makes them tick? What are their super powers? Their worst enemies? What's their kryptonite? And who are their personal heroes? Find out by listening now