Episode 082 Part 2 – Dean Soto
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #82 with Dean Soto – Freedom in Five Minutes a Day with the Help of a V.S.A (Virtual Systems Architect) Part 2
Dean Soto is the founder of Prosulum and the host of Five Minutes to Freedom Podcast. His company is focused on helping businesses systemize and automate processes so that they can scale automatically in a matter of weeks.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Do not get comfortable. You have to continue to grow.
- Realize that if you offer a good product or service, competitors are coming in.
- Working for just revenue is meaningless.
- You have to unlearn the concept of ‘everything is dependent on you’ because this isn’t true. It’s okay to systematically delegate.
- The way to change the world is by raising a better generation but you have to be actually involved in order to grow a better generation.
- Becoming a parent changes who you are and your motivations. You make better life and business decisions when you’re not making them just for yourself.
- Embracing constraints make you creative and successful.
- We live in a world where a lot of things are possible. You just have to open your mind.
- Figure out how you can do more with what’s available to you now and in terms of systems, find out how you can make things happen without your involvement.
Dean mentioned the following book/s on the show.
- Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
- Leverage by Dean Soto
- Rework by David Heinemeier and Jason Fried
- Work the System by Sam Carpenter
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Dean challenged Paul to be a guest on The HERO Show. Dean thinks that Paul is a fantastic interview because he comes from a very different industry, the restaurant industry where margins are extremely tight. He helps build big franchises and brand names and he utilizes systems and virtual assistants to accomplish these tasks.
How To Stay Connected With Dean
Want to stay connected with Dean? Please check out their social profiles below.
With that… let’s get to listening to the episode…
Dean Soto 0:00
Got a couple of customers where they’ll say, you know, have you ever had anyone not happy with your service? And I’m like, “Oh, of course.” And they’re like, What? Really? Why would you tell me that? And I’m like because I’m going to tell you the truth.” Of course, I’ve had people who don’t understand the service, I’ve had to kick people out. And that in itself, which would have scared me in the past, or I would have lied about has helped build my business to help my relationship.
Richard Matthews 0:00
So you said something else to that I kind of want to touch on a bit ’cause I think; these people like me and you, I’m not sure how many people are like this, but you hit a point where you’re comfortable. And being comfortable as an entrepreneur is dangerous.
Dean Soto 1:47
Richard Matthews 1:48
Because being comfortable means that you can stop growing and everyone knows you stop growing. You start rotting. And so you have to continue to grow. So I’m curious. How do you deal with being comfortable and still knowing that you need to grow and push forward?
Dean Soto 2:06
That’s a really, like a question that it – I’ve never really thought of but I want to put this into words that would make sense for everyone is that I never really, truly get comfortable. I actually become very uncomfortable when I’m on vacation. When I’m not doing stuff, and so I might be comfortable in the sense and don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my family and love being on vacation and so on so forth. I find it fun, creating new things and I find it fun, like learning new ways of doing stuff. When do get comfortable in doing and I’ve actually seen it’s not a bad thing, no matter what. There are a couple of things that are gonna happen. One, when you have a good product or service, you’re going to get competitors. So you have competitors coming. You’re also going to – there’s a lot of forces against you. You have your competitors, just like with your Push Button Podcasting, when people start seeing what you’re doing, you’re gonna be able to ride that wave for a while, but then people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, I can do that too.’ Or try and do it at least, right? And it’s always gonna happen.
A very good portion of the book called Rework talks about, who cares about your competitors. Don’t even worry about it, but know that they’re there, know that that’s going to happen. So you have your competitors that are coming, no matter what. You have market forces just in general. And you have the what’s it called like the site guys. Where certain things are going to not be relevant anymore.
Richard Matthews 4:01
Dean Soto 4:02
Legal Zoom came around, and hardly anyone goes to lawyers now to get incorporated or to get wills or anything like that they took a huge chunk of the market. So you’re gonna have all these different things happening. And so and there’s a point to why I’m saying this is that when I get comfortable, it’s usually where I stopped doing something with one aspect of my business, but I’m building something else somewhere else. So for me when I stopped with building this particular aspect of the business, I’ll be building up my homestead, which people were like, “Okay, well, why do that?” Well, for me, I have – If you go to the store and you get a dozen free-range amazing eggs, you’re going to be spending like 6-7-8-9, sometimes even $10 for that dozen. I get a dozen of those eggs every day. So just off of eggs alone, If I were to look at the market value of those dang eggs, you’re looking at close to $300 per month just in eggs.
Richard Matthews 5:28
That’s $3600 a year.
Dean Soto 5:32
So, just from that’s not counting like goat’s milk, that’s not counting like any other thing that I feel it has actual value to it. That garden we have, fresh broccoli growing all that stuff. And so do you need to start a homestead? No, but I’m always doing something else that is building up. Just like with you and your podcast. You were building up your podcast for your business. But that was also like you, I get a bug where I’m like, “I need to figure this thing out.” And usually, that bug turns into something I can sell. I’ll tell you what –
Richard Matthews 6:11
Dean Soto 6:13
So there’s this, So I’m really big on the idea that AI is going to be able to help me sell stuff. You and I had both seen Amy from x.ai, which that company was – It was awesome. They changed it to something stupid now. I was like their biggest advocate to literally that, that AI would schedule meetings for you in human language, and I had so many people had, who had no idea that it was actually an AI. And I was like, ‘This is cool.’ I bet you there’s something out there that can do this for sales. Well, there’s a company out there called Conversica. I’ll give you guys a little secret. So, Conversica, they cost several thousand dollars a month to use their AI but the AI will go back and forth schedule meetings, will get people into your calendar, they will do all this stuff. And it’s infinitely scalable because it’s AI right. So like when I’m trying to figure out they have a free 25 lead, try for free thing. I use a software called youBot. I forgot how much it costs. But you can automate anything on a Windows machine. So, I want to actually when I go to these events, automatically take the people from those events, utilize them with the free Conversica lead, like prospect AI and get more people buying my stuff. So like when I’m getting comfortable because right now I’m not touching anything really in ProSulum I get comfortable with that. I’m always thinking of something else and utilizing something else because then I can, if that works out, then I can even use that as some kind of system to help my clients get -, and so on and so on.
Richard Matthews 8:17
I totally get that I do the same thing, right? I developed all the systems and processes for Push Button Podcast. And I was like, well, that’s a business. And then, putting all that together, I realized I was like, I have a whole set of information on how to build systems and processes for about another domain. It’s called Push Button Processes. And I’m like, I got a training course and some stuff went together that will help people document their systems and whatnot. And I’ve got the VSAs now that will do the documentation of the processes. So like, if they want to just record the videos, my team will do all this stuff for me and put the whole documentation site together. And I was like, this second business there, right. So as you build things and things get comfortable, you start seeing other things and other ways to build stuff. But yeah, the other thing that I’ve noticed that I have to do too, is when I hit a place where I’m really comfortable, and I’m not like, I want to actually grow this business or the other business, I have to find things that I want. And I can’t, it can’t for me, it can’t be like revenue numbers, right? Because saying I want to hit $30,000 a month in revenue is just meaningless.
Dean Soto 9:27
Richard Matthews 9:28
Because I have, I have all the money I want, right? And I don’t even make that much money. But like, because just things are more important to me. So generally, I have to do things like, sit down with my kids, or sit down with my wife and be like, what’s the next like the adventure we want to do? And how much is that going to cost and then work backward from there? Like, “Okay, we need to hit $30,000 a month if we want to buy a big ass yacht, and go around the world port to port?” What does it take to build a business to make that happen? And I’m like, I know exactly what it takes to build that. That’s actually exciting for me. Because I think that’d be a cool adventure to take my kids on. And so like, I have to find ways to motivate myself to grow. And, to sort of fight that comfort thing that happens when you’re like, I’ve got everything I want, I don’t need anything more. So, for those of us who are like, I still have more value to give. And it would be a disservice to the people around me to not continue to do that. And also, it’s boring.
Dean Soto 10:30
Exactly. And it’s boring for me to – If I built a system in my business, like, right, you know, right now, like, just like with Mark, I’m sure he has sold people on stuff or it has come close to doing something like a value like that. You know, my general manager, like actively bids and builds my business and I obviously get I give him bonuses and things like that for doing that. So I’m kind of like, that’s good. So, how there have to be other things out there just like you said is the stuff that challenges you that’s also really cool. A really cool goal to get to. So for me the last thing was this is gonna sound dumb but was this a wild cat house, feral cat house, I had never built anything like structure-wise in my life. And I’m like, I’m gonna have a gabled roof. I’m gonna do all this stuff, and it’s gonna be awesome. And I spent, literally spent like three or four weeks building this thing. It was the most frustrating thing in my life. These hands are dainty. And so they’ve never done really any manual work before and afterword, I’m like, “Yes! I’m the man. It works!” And so now I have a system of cats who are getting rid of all my gophers.
Richard Matthews 11:58
Dean Soto 11:59
So I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, now I don’t have, now I can go and do all these other – like it.’ So it’s like that comfort like I ride waves, I ride waves. There’s one of my favorite books is Perelandra from CS Lewis in the book in the space trilogy and they’re on Venus. I’m going to spoil it for everyone if they have never read it and there’s no land except for one fixed land, everything else is these floating islands. And part of the gist of the book is that the person I’m not going to ruin it all, but the person who lives there is used to riding the waves where we are like constantly like, ‘Oh, I’ve lost motivation here, but I want to do this thing. I should be doing this thing over here even though I lost motivation.’ We have to get used to riding waves and if my wave is toward AI and learning how to do, build natural language programming stuff, I’m going to do that. If it’s chicken coops, I’m going to do that. If it’s VSA, building more VSA stuff I’m going to do that but being used to riding the wave that God’s sending you and just enjoying it. I mean –
Richard Matthews 13:31
My current wave that is not business-related. It’s more on the goal side for my family and doing stuff is my son has gotten really into the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
Dean Soto 13:42
I saw. And in front of one of the Pokemon.
Richard Matthews 20:28
My thought on that and this is something that I wish I could figure out how to teach other people the skill. But when someone looks at their system, right, especially something that’s complicated, like law, they’re looking at the thing that they’re doing. They’re like, I went through all these years of schooling to learn how to do this thing, right? And they’re looking at a huge system, right? The whole set of things and if you take it as a whole, you’re right. They’re the only ones who know how to do. But if you actually look at the physical work that’s being done, it’s like, what you have you have is a lot of little things that happen. And a lot of those little things are mundane work. And then you have decision points. And those decision points are where the schooling comes in. Right? Where the big the, where we’re understanding the whole process, understanding what’s going on, you’re like, you need to be here for that. So what I’ve tried to teach people is how do you find like, look at your system and find the things that you’re required for, that your expertise is required for, and then pull those out of the system. So you can make those decisions ahead of time, right? And then you can also if you really want to get into the weeds, there’s like, how do you look at those decisions? And what are the questions you’re asking yourself? What are the inputs that give you certain outputs? Because you probably generally only have a few outputs from any particular decision. You can systemize that even so that they get filtered to only get certain things to come to you. But it’s like learning how a system works, really helps them understand like, I don’t need to do everything. I had a client who does advertising like Facebook, Pay Per Click advertising. And she was like, I review my accounts every day. And I spend like four hours a day reviewing all these accounts. And he’s like, I can’t teach that to someone else. Because I look at things and I just, I’m into it. I know what the things are, where the red flags are, and when I need to go in and change, and I’m like, so I sat down with her for a while, and like, well, let’s actually go through it. Like, let me just watch you do it. And so we go through and we and watch her do these things. And it’s like, there are numbers that are doing red flags for. And she’s looking at all these different things. And she’s spending four hours doing this. But really, the thing that’s standing out is she’s got, you know, pass-fail ranges on three or four different things that she just knows in her head are pass-fail. And I was like, so what if we took all of this review work that you’re doing and had someone else do it and give you the past failed numbers? Right. And now you can do what was taking four hours. You can do in 10 minutes and someone else can spend the four hours right, it still needs to be done. Someone needs to go through and do all of it. But it doesn’t have to be you. Your expertise is required for knowing these are pass fails, right? That’s where you’re gonna come in and like your expertise is really valuable in this section here. And then it’s like, Okay, then here comes in with when you have a fail. When you have something that’s a failure, then you’re the stuff that you get paid for, right? The stuff that people want you for is your creativity in your ability to come in how do we fix that? Right? And now you’re spending a lot less of your time doing mundane work, essentially. And you can grow your account stuff like that. It was like mind-blowing for people to think through their systems that way.
One of the regional tournaments on online and so I was like, I was sitting there and I was like, we were at the tournament. He’s like, I want to play this. I played it a lot. As a kid. I still have like a thing of like my cards. From 20 years ago, so I pulled him out and we’re at the thing and I was like, I like this is why I earn money, right? This is why I do businesses for stuff like this. So I sat down with my son and we spent like $1,000 on Pokemon card things and we bought decks and we bought you know, trading sleeves. And look, I actually have it sitting my desk, I’ve got little like metal boxes that you put your decking and stuff with them and damage counters. And, you know, I started teaching how to play and we played a couple of games, we went back the next day, for the second day of the tournament, we got involved in like a raid battle, which is like a competitive or cooperative thing, you compete against a big competitor. And it was super cool. And he’s like on fire. And it’s really cool for me because it’s like, I got a bit of nostalgia there. And it’s a high-level strategy game, right that you know, you can go all the way down to like 10-year-olds who are using it who have no strategy at all and they’re like, I just want the pretty pictures and damages where my son is at but we’ve gotten to have a lot of discussions over the past week about strategy and thinking and stuff like that. And I’m like, that’s really cool for me. And for him and it’s something we can connect on. And it’s like, I’m looking at him like, hey, the next regional tournaments in Toronto and we’re on our way up the East Coast. So maybe we’ll go to Toronto and do that kind of stuff. So you just ride the waves when they come right and the, to your point five minutes of freedom, when you have the freedom in your business to chase those things. That’s a cool place to be in.
Dean Soto 22:53
For sure. And that’s the ultimate goal. And people get, I actually just posted something on LinkedIn. Today, it was from David Heinemeier Hansson, who was one of the Rework guys and he said, “Most entrepreneurs are told that if you just compress your time and you hustle and hustle and hustle, and you do all this hard work, eventually it’s gonna pay off.”
What reality is, if you can build something where you’re making enough money and you’re giving you have enough free time, which is way more important than money to spend time with your family and to do the things that you love like Pokemon for me it’s my oldest daughter and I, we love Final Fantasy so the new remake that’s coming out like that’s like our thing. Final Fantasy Seven.
Richard Matthews 22:53
Nice. What system is that coming out on?
Dean Soto 22:53
It’s on all of them. So, PS PlayStation and Xbox and PC so we do it on PC. But yeah, dude, that’s what is most important. And building a life like that. Like I used to actually have a very like I used to look at these big businesses and see these you know, CEOs and even if they had 20 people and they had their tie they had their office. I have family members who were just like that. And I’m like, “Wow, that’s amazing that they’re able to do that.” Now I’m like, that sucks because you have to be there all the time, though a lot of the times they have no systems, and that’s why they’re there and they’re working ungodly hours, they’re getting cancer, they’re getting all these like different stress-related stuff. Sucks.
Richard Matthews 22:53
It’s permission to play. That’s one of the things we talked about on the show all the time is that play is not a reward for work well done. Play is a foundational requirement for doing good work.
Dean Soto 22:53
Richard Matthews 22:53
Got to flip that, flip that script for you. So speaking of that, I want to flip a little bit and start talking about your common enemy, right. So a common enemy is something that you fight against in your business, right? So if, when you bring people on, right, if you could wave your magic wand to remove one thing from your client’s life that you know would help them get better, faster results for the things that you do something that you are constantly struggling with your clients. What is that thing?
Dean Soto 22:53
So, it’s funny, it always happens to the same type of clients. It’s the financial services industry and lawyers. They both have this idea and it’s understandable, especially for like CPAs, it’s understandable. They have been in school for so long. Lawyers, you’re looking at anywhere between four lawyers you’re looking at anywhere between 18 to 22 years of school, K through 12, four years of college, and between four and eight years or however long it takes them to get their Juris Doctorate or Juris Doctor you know, their law degree. Same thing with CPAs. It’s a long friggin’ time and they equate the idea that I’ve been in – I’ve developed all these skills, quote-unquote, these skills that nobody else can do. And because of that, it’s very hard for them to see that really 95% of what they do is actually a process or a system that other people didn’t do. And so I’m constantly having to, so for those types, I have to be on them, like white on rice. How many videos did you do today? How many you know, you need you in their agreements, they have to agree especially with lawyers, they have to agree to do a certain set of videos for their business. And because time and time again beforehand, I would see that they would, they would say, “Oh, well, this can’t be done. This can’t be done. This can’t be done. This can’t be done can be done.” And I’m like, “Dude, I can do that right now. If you just showed me how to do it, I can I could do it.” And I don’t need 16-17-18-20-22 years of schooling to do it. And so really, it’s the separation of helping businesses, business owners, separate skill from systems. Go ahead.
Yeah. Because they never because you have to think that -I was never good in school, for the very reason that I do what I do now that I didn’t realize it at the time. But you have to think that you know, a lot of these people, a lot of people just in general, you go through over a decade of school, a decade and a half of schooling. And what’s the major thing that you learn over and over and over again, every day? It’s the fact, and I know it’s, I didn’t mean to quit.
Richard Matthews 24:20
I don’t know what is it?
Dean Soto 24:25
It’s the fact that you learn very well that you, you personally have to do everything. If you were to hire you to do something for me in school, I would get expelled or suspended. I would be put in like the like in detention. You have to do everything. You are the reason things pass or fail. There’s no other choice. And so you know, when you like with your customer, a lot of people have it ingrained that I that I’ve learned all these skills. I’m the one that has to do these things. And you learn from a very early age that everything is dependent on you, which is not true. And so you don’t even ever think how could I actually have someone else do this thing? It’s and so teaching people how to like, it’s okay to delegate and how to systematically delegate. It’s just something that’s very foreign. It’s a lot of people especially like I said, lawyers and CPAs financial services they feel, they literally have like an adverse reaction to letting somebody else do something.
Richard Matthews 25:44
I’ve had this discussion with my son, because it cracks me up and I just I love it to pieces but I have told him I was like, for like for your house chores for schoolwork. We’re still at the point where he’s like you have to learn Math, you have to learn English because like you can’t communicate, you can’t move forward in the world. So like you do actually have to learn those things. But like, for your chores, like I just care that the dishes get done. Like, if you can, if you could find a way to delegate it and find some other kid who’s willing to let you have some sort of value, who wants to trade and you can delegate it off to him and do it. More power to you kid. Like, I’ll even help you devise systems that come up with that, but you know, and he hasn’t gotten anywhere with that yet. But he was certainly thinking about it. And he was like, so you’re telling me if I had a product that I was selling, and I was making money for it, and I had another kid who wanted to, who would work for it, and he could come over and do my chores, the dishes and I was like, absolutely. If you build the systems and put it in place that you’ve got the income coming in to pay another kid to do your chores, as long as they get done.
Dean Soto 26:55
Love it. I love it. It’s it. And that to me, it’s a valuable lesson. And of course, you have to learn. Like I honestly, if I needed to do anything calculus-wise and hire someone to do that, or if I needed something, I would hire someone to do that. Same thing with programming. You don’t have a design. I mean, you may have design skills, but I don’t I hire a designer, I don’t need to learn the rule of thirds or anything like that. It’s funny because when I’m giving these talks, separating the skill from the system, people are blown away when I’ll bring up all these different people. So for example, I’ll put up a slide that has Claude Monet on one end, and I’ll be like, Hey, who’s this guy? Nobody knows who he is until I say, and they’re like, Oh, yeah, Claude Monet creates a beautiful landscape art and very famous and his paintings go for like hundreds of thousands of dollars. And then on the other side, you see a guy in a Shanghai, China, doing a cloth hand-painted Claude Monet. So you have spotted Monet, who is highly skilled, highly creative. His art is extremely valuable. And people would say there’s no way somebody can replicate that someone could do could make a system out to make a hand-drawn Monet. And over here in China, you see, somebody made a system to create a hand-drawn painting by Monet, or not by Monet himself, but a hand-drawn Monet. And so you could literally say, Yes, I have a hand-drawn Monet in my house and please all your neighbors who come in and they’ll go, Oh, it must have cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. This skill was from Monet, the creativity the innovation was from Monet, but once that thing was done and created, you can now be can become a system that other people can create Up, up, up, up, up, up make the exact same thing. Don’t have to have that same skill.
Richard Matthews 29:12
That’s actually to your point. That’s where competition comes from.
Dean Soto 29:18
Exactly. And so, I mean that’s the thing is I always see that common denominator is that you know, you either have a choice you can let go and realize that most of what you do is a system and enjoy it. Or you can fight it tooth and nail until your competition overtakes you.
Richard Matthews 29:49
Or until you get old and die of stress.
Dean Soto 29:52
Richard Matthews 29:54
So, the flip side of that if your common enemy is the thing you fight against, your driving force is the thing you fight for. Just like Spiderman tries to save New Yorker Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information. What is it that you guys fight for at ProSulum?
Dean Soto 30:09
I love your questions, man. They’re like the best. So, good. So I’m pretty opinionated. And I used to hold back a lot. But, for me, I want people to be able to work themselves out of business so that they can build families. You know, not everyone has to have a lot of kids or anything like that. But family, personally, I kind of came from had just been my mom and dad, I came from a pretty broken home. And if it wasn’t for my grandma, and my uncles and aunts who you know, there’s eight of them, including my mom, so seven of them. Those were, they have always been there for me. And it’s because of that, I want people to be able to spend, it’s crazy to think that you’re spending 60-70-80 hours a week at work. And a lot of the times, your wife or your husband also needs to work to in order to make ends meet. Like my goal with ProSulum is that you systemize everything, you make enough money to where you can build your family. However that might seem to you, but you can grow your family and do what you want because that’s really, at the end of the day is what’s going to matter.
Richard Matthews 31:58
That’s really. That’s probably the coolest answer I’ve ever gotten to that question. Most because it hits really close to home for me. And one of my sort of core belief tenets is that you hear this all the time, right? Like, how can I bring a child into this world? Right? This world is full of all sorts of hate and vitriol and bad things. And that’s always really bothered me, because I’m like, the way that you change the world is by raising a better generation. Right? And my kids are they’re a gift, I send this to time and places I’ll never see. Right? And that’s such a powerful thing. And realize that you have to be there like you have to actually be involved in order to grow a better generation. Right. And you know, I’ve said all I’ve said a number of times on this podcast like I had, I really lucked out in the parent department. My mom and dad are fantastic. And they still are to this day. And there is a lot of the reason like, the reason I can hit where I’ve hit is because I stand on the shoulder of soldiers of their work and that stuff that they did. And looking back at my childhood, the thing that I wanted more of, was I wanted more of my parents. Yeah. And they both worked full time. And my dad was a highly skilled scientist in his field. And sometimes, you know, he worked 40 hours a week, most of the time, but sometimes it was 60-70-80 hours a week, and they were doing on things like he actually worked on some counter medicines, and you know, all the way back in the day, he’s got some of his workers on the Voyager satellite that they are still hearing back from so like, you know, he worked really hard and like he would get sent out to White Sands, New Mexico with his top-secret clearance or whatever, and couldn’t tell me what he was working on. And so like, he was doing cool stuff, and we always had like, I just remember looking back and thinking my childhood is like, the times that he was at home because he was home for dinner a lot of the times, but the times when he was like, hey, I’ve got two weeks off, and we’re going to go and we’re going to go play. Like I wanted that all the time. And so like for me, it was like, how do I do that for my kids? And that was sort of like a motivating factor is how do I build a business that lets me build my family?
Dean Soto 34:22
And you’re doing it like with Pokemon tournaments and just being able to be there at it really, at any time. I know that you do lunch, like all the time, right? With your kid, things like that it goes a long way. That’s where I don’t think I could not imagine going through. And because I fell for this, by the way, for quite a few years of hustling and hustling and hustling and retiring at 65 and then enjoying my kids. I fell for that lie in my opinion, it’s a lie.
When I see friends, family holding off building a family for money, just like I, you know, I was in situations where I felt that. Thankfully, God, we had kids and we just kind of went for it and things work out. It always worked out. But when I see my kids out on our land, just having a blast. Like that’s what I want for people. Like when I’m on sales calls, and people hear my roosters in the background. I’m like, “Sorry, that was my rooster don’t turn off.” Or if I’m on, if I’m out and about with my kids at the lake. It’s kind of like boomers. It’s kind of like a miniature golf place and somebody, client calls and like, Oh yeah, I’m just with my kids or whatever that’s what I want for everybody is just to I mean, it doesn’t have to you have to have it doesn’t have to be this eight hours a day. Seven days a week, which a lot of people do. Hustle until your kids go away and you realize crap, I didn’t even know him.
Richard Matthews 36:37
And I know like on the other side of things, too. It’s very common nowadays to hold off having children for finances or to not have children at all like our birth rates are declining all across the globe because people are not having children. And I find that it’s distressing on socially economic-political level because if you birthrate drops too low, then we have like problems with culture sustaining itself. But outside of that, it’s just, it’s sad. It’s because children are the light of your life. And, and it’s interesting because like, I remember I’ve had this discussion with my brother a couple of times, he just hit 30. And I remember, you know, six, seven years ago when my son was young, and telling him I was like, I was like, don’t be like, I know you don’t want to have kids now. And that’s fine, but it’s like, don’t push it off too long. And he’s at the same point. You know, he’s like, “I don’t know that I ever want to have kids.” I’m like, “That I promise you that will change.” Like, I promise you, I was like you. It was like you think you think that guys don’t have a biological clock? They absolutely do. And you will want to have children at some point. And like, it was cool because I just you know, we’ve been talking a little bit lately and I know him and his significant other we’re talking about possibly adopting the kid and I’m Like, it’s like that makes my heart happy. Not the adoption point, but like him actually becoming a dad because I know like that it changes you. It changes who you are, it changes your motivations. And it’s one of those things like, there’s a lot of stuff in this world, like, if you don’t have the personal experience, your opinion, like, does still count, right? Because you’re a functioning member of society. But like, parenting is just, it legitimately changes who you are, and until you actually become a parent, and you realize that you’re not living for yourself, you’re living for someone else. I think it’s a huge motivation to, you know, to
Dean Soto 38:37
It’s always fear, man. And a lot of that comes from, you know, wanting the fancy pants and lollipops that come from corporate or even with your if you’re a business owner, I have to do this, I have to do this and not just like having fear of letting go and systemizing and delegating. There are so many different ways you can do that. And I actually recently had. And I’m not like I said, you have as many kids as you want or no kids but yeah, I’ve kids is way better. It totally is. It’s hard. It’s really hard to even when you work when I can work four hours a month if I wanted to. It’s still hard no matter what. You have emotions. You have, like my son and I go to martial arts every Tuesday and Thursday, we literally spend four hours each of those days together for hours, so eight hours total a week just with me and my son, that’s one of my sons. But I have recently had something where you know, all throughout having kids I would have people say people very close people say, No, are you done? Are you done? Is this it? Is this it? Are you done? Are you that or whatever. And I’m like, none of your business. I was like, I don’t know. You know, we’re done when we’re done and then I actually just recently had someone very dear to me share that one of his friends who is a who should be a grandpa right now. He literally has no grandchildren and is jealous that we, that he has grandchildren that would be my grandpa or my father in law. My father in law is the proud grandpa of many children, great-grandchildren and his friend, no grandchildren. He honestly felt the pain of that and so anyway, all this being said like that’s the main goal is to see that there’s so much more than just money. There’s so much more than business. You know, there’s your health. There’s your family and your spirituality. And if as long as you have, your four-dimensional, you have multi-dimension, you’re not just a business person making a lot of money, you’re gonna have a pretty awesome life.
Richard Matthews 41:14
Absolutely, I completely agree. And, you know, we talked about it regularly on the show, how important family and going that stuff is. And it’s not if you’re one of those people that doesn’t want children, it’s not that you should absolutely have children. Your family is what your family is, maybe it’s just a significant other. Or maybe it’s just I think the point is when you realize that life is more than it’s about being about you like if you have someone that you’re giving to, it changes who you are, and I think it helps you make better business decisions and it helps you make better life decisions. When you’re not making them just for yourself. So what I want to do, I’m actually gonna skip a couple of other normal questions just because we’ve been talking for a long time.
Dean Soto 42:03
Sorry, I’m long-winded.
Richard Matthews 42:05
That’s all right. We’re both long-winded. Sometimes we split our episodes into two parts because they start being fun. And we have long, long conversations. And I will talk a little about your own personal heroes, right? So just like Frodo had Gandalf or Luke at Obi-Wan to Robert Kiyosaki and his Rich Dad, who were some of your heroes, were they real-life mentors? Were they speakers or authors? Peers who were a couple of years ahead of you and how important were they, to what you’ve accomplished so far in your life in your business?
Dean Soto 42:31
So there are a lot of different mentors. I’ll probably just I’m just gonna stick with the business side of things. A couple of people that come to mind, first and foremost, the guy that actually made me – So he’s a real-life mentor, actually bought a couple of his courses and had personal coaching and stuff from him. Is a guy named Jermaine. Grigg’s he runs a business called hearandplay.com. And he also created this thing called the automation clinic. He was the first one that I ever met a few years ago who utilized Infusionsoft. I don’t use Infusionsoft. Now I use Active Campaign just like you do. But he utilized Infusionsoft in a way that I was like, holy crap, you’re able to scale personal attention utilizing this software like most people would they would do is you know, you’d have your automation, your autoresponders. And they’ll go out one day, the next one day and then the next day and then maybe a week from now or whatever. And he would do things where he would strategically ask these questions and then it would put you on this path over here. And it would send you gifts in the mail. It calls your attention. Text you. Did all these different things I’m like, I did not realize you could do this. And he created an eight-figure business. Sorry, not eight-figure, a nine-figure business that taught people how to play by ear and it was literally just a handful of people and everything else was automated without marketing automation, and in a way where people literally thought he was personally talking to them. And kind of like what you do with the whole brain-type thing. He was able to do all these interconnections and scale what he calls scale personal attention. So that’s one the other guy is Garrett J. White. He runs the wake-up warrior program. And for that, it was a little bit of business but a little bit of real-life stuff. I was going through a lot of personal like hard times, business was actually good, but everything else was crappy. And so I was burning my business down. He has this code basically where you tell the truth all the time. And so hence, like when you brought up my background that you see, as we’re on the zoom call that it looks like an office, I could have said, Oh, yeah, thanks man already and hide that. But I’m like immediately. I was like, you know? No, it’s just a green screen. And, that might sound small. But for a lot of different things in my life. I was lying, even little things. And so it’s actually helped my business. It’s funny. I’ve actually had customers who were – So I had a couple of customers where they’ll say, you know, have you ever had anyone not happy with your service? And I’m like, “Oh, of course.” And they’re like, What? Really? Like, why would you tell me that? And like, because I’m gonna tell you the truth. Yeah, of course, I’ve had people who don’t understand the service, I’ve had to kick people out and it and that in itself, which would have scared me in the past or I would have lied about has helped build my business helped my relationship. There’s and there’s a lot of other things involved in it. But yeah, those I would say those two, actually, let’s do three. And then David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried as well, they wrote Rework, they created Basecamp runs a company called or they used to run a company called 37 signals, which I think is Basecamp now. The way that they do business is how I emulate most of my stuff. I’m very different than your typical way of doing business. If you’re doing things, the traditional way of, you know, having an office or if you have a lot of employees, I don’t like to grow my employee base. I don’t like to – I don’t need to go get an office somewhere. I embrace constraints as much as possible because it makes my business better. So, I would say those are my heroes.
Richard Matthews 47:48
Actually a cool point, the whole idea of embracing constraint, my wife and I were talking about how children thrive with boundaries. The other day and there are studies showing like if you have a big open field for like recess, that and like there’s like a little, what do you call it like a paved area close to where you let them out, they’ll all stay in the paved area. And as soon as you put a fence around the big open field, then they’ll start exploring into the field because of the boundaries. And it’s not just children, it’s a human condition that we do better when we’re constrained and creativity thrives when you have limits on what you can and can’t do. where you’re like, I have to be able to do this in this sort of set of circumstances, right? That’s when you have more creativity in your business in your life and stuff like that. So I’ve noticed that in my own business, too. Like when we moved our business into an RV and started traveling, it’s like I have to be able to do these things with the constraints of a tiny amount of space, constantly changing internet situation, stuff like that. It really forces you to be creative and how you connect and how you work with things right. It’s the constraints that make you creative and successful.
Dean Soto 49:05
Exactly. And there’s been so many times even now like where I impose constraints on myself or on my clients. That’s why like I literally if you were to get a PSA from me, it’s even more stringent than when you came and got a PSA, you are great because you already knew the system and you saw the value but literally you have to agree on certain things. If you do not agree. You get kicked out immediately.
We put constraints on you. Because of that very reason. You have to do these things. And the same thing with our business. I very rarely will hire anybody in our core team in the last four years, we’ve only so actually last three years, we’ve hired one additional person. And it was very, very carefully. And they moved up from the ranks of being a VSA on the client’s side to coming into our core team. We literally got the best of the best of the best of the best. But it came from those constraints, I could just go in higher and higher and I could go do whatever. But it’s those constraints that allow you to be creative and thrive and see that that there are so many ways that we come. We become very inefficient and wasteful. When we think that when we don’t put the constraints on ourselves.
Richard Matthews 50:57
It’s like setting budgets in place for your business, for your lifestyle, you don’t have a budget, like what we’re talking about the constraints are really like budgeting your resources like what do we have available for ourselves and sticking within those because it allows you to be more creative.
Dean Soto 51:12
Richard Matthews 51:12
So let’s go ahead and bring it home for our listeners. Last question, what are the top one or two principles or actions you regularly use that you think contributes to the success and influence you enjoy in your business? Maybe something you know when you first started out?
Dean Soto 51:27
So I would say you live in a world right now where had this been a decade ago? A lot of what you can do now.A decade ago, you would have spent literally 10s of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousand dollars. But now is like $49 a month for the same type of thing. With Zapier with Google Business Suite, with Asana.
Richard Matthews 52:04
Zoom like we’re on here.
Dean Soto 52:05
Exactly. Trello, there are so many resources out there that you can interconnect. So, I’m a board member of a nonprofit called Encounter Ministries. And they’re amazing because they embrace a lot of these. They embrace a lot of the idea that you can do a lot with less now. So they, for their donors, when someone donates at least $100 or a certain amount of money, they use Zapier to then zap to company calls. Send direct, which allows you to send cards and gifts in the mail. And they put these people into a year campaign sending one gift per quarter. And the gifts, everything’s, it looks personal, it feels personal. And they are able to utilize that. That one thing to grow their donor base because when someone donates once, a lot of times you never hear anything, again from the nonprofit it’s like a thank you and that’s it. But getting something in the mail that where it’s like a Whoa, I just got a cool little card or a gift or something like that.
People then donate more and more and more and more. That to them costs, the monthly Zapier fee and then whatever the cost of sending the little gift it might be $10 $15 but they’re able to make so much more in donations just from that simple thing that would have cost thousands of dollars in not too long ago. And so you live in a world where a lot is possible. You just have to open your mind and see that the world is literally your oyster and what you can do with as one person with just Zapping a few things here and there. And connecting a few things here and there through Zapier and that’s just one thing. You can literally scale your business just off of that in if you just at least do the research and start utilizing it.
Richard Matthews 54:52
I do something similar, like all of our products if you buy one of my courses, a little postcard send the mail, exactly handwritten and sends it to you and says, “Thanks for Purchasing.” You should have – that’s all in online or whatever. But a couple of days later, they get a postcard. And that doesn’t do a lot for my business. But it’s one of those things. Like if I didn’t do it, it makes me stand apart. But if it was me, like, it wouldn’t get done. But you can build a little thing and it just happens. And, there’s so much more power available today in business. So to your point, figure out how you can do more with what’s available to you now, especially if you start thinking in terms of like setting up systems so they that more happens without your involvement.
Dean Soto 55:43
And it’s so infinitely cheap and infinitely scalable right now, like, literally, a decade ago, you would have been spending thousands of dollars to do what you can do with your handwritten card. Use your Zapier. And then maybe like Bankster or something like that?
Richard Matthews 56:04
And it costs a buck.
Dean Soto 56:07
Exactly. So it’s like, you get that in the mail is like, “Whoa, this guy is amazing. Like who does that?” And honestly, who does?
Richard Matthews 56:17
I have one of my products is $7 like a tripwire. And they buy it and it cost $7 to ship it out costs about five bucks. So I make a couple of extra bucks profit. I spend a couple of extra bucks profit to send a thank you card for buying it. And people are like blown away. They’re like, holy crap. Like, who like you sent me a thing and then you sent me a thank you card for like a $7 product Who does that?
Dean Soto 56:43
Exactly. And you’re just your constant like that. That puts you on a whole different level. And, and the more you can do and the more you can do stuff like that. You have the ability to just with under $100 have the ability to do so much more than your competitors. But nobody does it because they’re so used to hustling themselves.
Richard Matthews 57:12
And it’s not hard. Like it’s really not.
Dean Soto 57:15
Richard Matthews 57:16
Maybe one of these days you and I can hop on a call and just put it out there for people like here are some ideas, things you can do.
Dean Soto 57:21
Richard Matthews 57:23
That basically, ends our interview. I’ve got one last thing I do at the end of all the interviews called the Hero Challenge is pretty simple. And it’s basically this, you have someone in your life or in your network, who you think has a really cool entrepreneurial story. Who are they? First names are fine. If you don’t have their permission to share and why do you think they should come on The Hero Show and share their story?
Dean Soto 57:47
I actually, I would love to have Paul on. I think he would because he comes from a very different industry. The restaurant industry margins are extremely tight, very old industry as well. And he has grown as he flies to Qatar, helps build brands and things like that, the guy’s amazing. And he utilizes the stuff that you do with your systems and VSAs and so on, for building up really big franchises and brand names, and I think you’d be awesome.
Richard Matthews 58:32
That’d be cool. We’ll reach out to see if we can get Paul on the show afterward. So that finishes up the interview. Last question, super easy. Where can people find you? If they are looking to hire a virtual systems architect or they want to listen to five minutes to freedom? Where can they find you? And more importantly, who are the ideal type of people to reach out to?
Dean Soto 58:55
Oh, that’s cool. So yeah, you can find me at http://prosulum.com/
P-R-O- S-U-L-U-M dot com. Yes, that’s a very horribly branded company but it works, people love it. So you can go there. Actually, I have a like free four video course series on over there. And then, http://freedominfiveminutes.com/.
There’s like a master class and stuff like that their business process core card, bunch of other stuff. Really, it’s two types of people. The first type is those who understand systems and just want to do it very quickly and have somebody else do it and want to get a Virtual Systems Architect to do them for you. Those like you, you already wanted systems, you just like boom, use them like that and did tremendous stuff. And then the second is those who are generally in like, more traditional type business where you have employees and you want to start selling scaling much more easily. So where you can with, have your have people on your team actually create videos start documenting them, and now they become much more valuable people. So somebody who was meant to be a marketing director can actually be a strategic marketing director rather than doing the day to day stuff. So, http://freedominfiveminutes.com/ and http://prosulum.com/
Richard Matthews 1:00:34
Awesome. And for those of you who are listening to this, if you run a business in any form or fashion and you do think that you need a VSA. I don’t usually give my guests at this high of praise but like if you haven’t hired someone to do this, reach out to Dean’s team and just bring someone on go through their system and learn what it’s like to actually document your stuff, I guarantee you, it will change your business. And it’s one of the fastest ways to have that impact where you put an hour’s worth of work in and you get 10 hours of work out of it. Right. And the coolest part is that that’s repeating, you can continue to get that 10 hours of work over and over and over again. And sometimes it’s just what the hour of management every week, right? So it’s the best way to leverage yourself in your business is to learn how to build teams, document those systems and have other people implement those systems. And the way Dean’s team does is really, really brilliant because you have your virtual systems architect, help you design and develop those systems. And then in the process of doing that they’ve learned how to do it. So then they can actually take over those processes in your business for you. So reach out to them reach out to Dean. It’ll definitely have a positive impact on your business. So Dean, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Do you have any final words of wisdom for our audience before we hit this stop record button?
Dean Soto 1:01:57
Keep listening to Richard. He is like the genius. I actually in awe of you with all this stuff that you do. Man, if I had just a little ounce of that I would have five different other companies rolling with this same guy.
Richard Matthews 1:02:15
Awesome. Thank you very much, Dean. Appreciate it.
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