MYE 055: The Amazon Sherpa, Brad DeGraw, Talks Private Labeling, Big Partnerships, And Leadership

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If Amazon can be a money-making machine, Grant’s guest Brad DeGraw surely knows how to operate it; starting with 100 dollars and making a thousand times that in the first year then scaling up to seven figures, Brad learned the downside of reselling and then started to go after his own brands, first with white labels then his own products. He also helps other people get their business running and shares the reasoning behind it, his amazing philosophy on hiring and how he wants his employees to make mistakes while keeping the company’s moral stances in focus… and on top of that, some pretty good relationship advice: accept the terms.

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  • The interesting reason why Brad started doing inventory sales with only 100 dollars
  • A big downside of reselling products that are not your brand
  • Brad’s three models of service: product, do-it-for-you and educational
  • Why it makes sense to help other people get their business going
  • How the people behind the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” brand got in touch with him
  • The fictitious people organisational chart methodology
  • How team members are the most important part of your business
  • His tips for creating a great job listing
  • The best way to make a mistake on the job: with the foot on the gas pedal!
  • The H-word H-bomb that will end a job interview on the spot
  • Why the founders must be better sellers than the employees
  • Lessons about our mental software from The Inevitable You

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The Key To Building A Raving Fanbase

What’s the #1 biggest obstacle in building fanbase around your company or your vision?

It’s not that there aren’t enough people out there who love what you do. It’s not that everyone out there “just doesn’t get it.”

The problem is ambiguity.

If the right people don’t easily and immediately understand what you do, then they won’t be interested in becoming one of those keys partners or 1,000 true fans.

How Clarity Affects Popularity, And What We Can Learn From Startups

Have you ever heard the parody’s (this one is amazing) on the way new startups explain themselves? We are building buffer for uber in the cloud! In reality, this is actually a very smart strategy when you consider 1) clarity and 2) their audience.

The audience is usually investors or tech aficionados who are intimately familiar with the companies of comparison, and to those types of people this definition (if done correctly) can very clearly articulate the target market, the type of technology, the pricing model all in a few words.

 

Brevity Is Essential To Building A Clear Message (And Fanbase)

The first time I ever tried to build a website, even the people who knew exactly what I was working on didn’t know what the website was about.

Ironically, this website was for people with ADHD, but in order to have any idea of the purpose behind the website a visitor would have to visit several different pages and read massive blocks of text.

I remember one time in particular sitting down to get feedback from a doctor and startup founder who had ADHD, and he went through every line of text on the homepage, pointing out that it was either extremely vague or provided way too much unnecessary information. Both are easy traps to fall into.

We never think we are being vague, because we understand what we really mean inside our own heads.

We also often don’t realize when we are being long-winded, because when we are passionate about a subject and happily provide endless information that overwhelms people not as familiar.

He showed me a startup website that had one main header, with 3 short paragraphs below it:

  • Header: Our mission is to create X social shift by helping X people accomplish Y outcome.
  • Paragraph in the left column: One way we do this by doing [Service or Benefit 1]
  • Paragraph in the middle column: Another way we do this by doing [Service or Benefit 2]
  • Paragraph in the right column: Another way we do this by doing [Service or Benefit 3]

It was extremely clear, even at a short glance.

 

On The Other Hand, Excessive Jargon Alienates

Brevity is essential, however this can often lead to a problem on the other end of the spectrum:

Excessive use of jargon.

A relevant example is something I recently was writing and thinking about:

“It’s 6am and for whatever reason I’m reading this, and it seriously the most difficult to read Wikipedia article I’ve ever seen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-Fos

To me, science can be like Shakespeare, and that’s not a good thing.

Both have a really high percentage of terms that you are not really quite sure what they mean.

I think most relatively smart people are capable of understanding almost any concept that they don’t have a psychological block against…eventually.

The problem with an article like that above, however, is that to fully understand it, I (and most people) would have to sit down and read 30 other articles about the various terms and acronyms in it first, and that’s just not practical in most cases.

One takeaway: a beneficial belief is to take it as a given that you can understand anything, so long as you choose to put in the time. And it’s self-fulfilling. If you believe you

can’t, then you won’t, because you will have a psychosocial block against it and you WONT put in the time. 

Another takeaway: using too many acronyms and esoteric terms makes the barrier to understanding something much higher. Sometimes this can be beneficially used to screen for the well-educated customers or potential business partners, but usually it will just alienate the general population, including those who actually love your message (once they are able to understand it).”

post_image-021

Why Should You Care? So That People Understand Your “Why” Simon ted Talk – Power Of Why, And Why Leaders Share It

If you are an infoproduct creator you probably already recognize the value of the topic above. If not, and actually you are still reading, then I would like to relate this to the broader picture.

It’s not just about being understood, but about the ability to generate passion and inspiration.

In order to lead effectively, or to inspire change, you must focus on sharing with people your why. What is your why? Do you have one? If you do, can you even explain it? It is interesting to see how people respond to that kind of question or a similar one such as “what is your purpose?”

Many people will role their eyes, or not care to answer because they don’t see the topic as valuable. They don’t recognize value in having a clear why. Those that try often cannot clearly explain it. They have a general feeling about it, but cannot put it in any clear terms, often falling back on a vague cliche like “I want to change the world someday.” I don’t blame them. It’s hard!

Since they cannot explain it, no one will see understand it, and so they will never be able to inspire a passionate following.

On the other hand, once it becomes clearly defined and you broadcast the message of what you stand for, people with similar values and goals tend to gravitate towards you. I can say from experience that after this shift, finding those ideal customers, partners, mentors, or even significant others, becomes significantly easier.

Nowadays, all of my “true fans”  come from hearing my clear set of values and mission, and it clicks with them. Some people hate what I do, but more than enough love it, and the only way to find the later is to be open and clear about what you believe even if that means polarizing people.

 

Exercise To Improve Your “Why” And Your Marketing Message:post_images-007

  1. Do YOU know clearly what your business does? What your mission is? What your S.M.A.R.T. goals are? If not, work on the definition.
  2. Can you explain each of these clearly in one sentence? If not, distill it down. Trim the fat. Clarity through brevity.
  3. Once you have the one-liner. Show it to 10 people who are in the relevant group of people who need to understand the project to make it happen. For example, your target market, potential partners, etc. Do most of them understand it? Does it really resonate with at least one? If not, start over from step 1.
  4. Continually clarify and refine your why. Revisit it every week, or at least every month, to remind yourself what you are working towards and see if it still holds true.

Please do share – what is YOUR why?

MYE 054: Why You Should Call Your Customers

 

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Everybody loves to talk about the latest marketing technologies and strategies, so oftentimes the phone gets overlooked. In this episode, Grant gives good arguments for this older mean of communication and how it can help you grow your business and close a few more sales faster than other strategies. In a phone call, the path to customer trust is a lot quicker and you can take advantage of that, as long as you observe the right time to do it and how much of your time and effort to put into it so that it’s worth the money.

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  • The most overlooked way to sell
  • How low-tech means of communication can get you quicker to a sale
  • How it’s more in your interest to call your costumers if you have a more complex info product
  • The main difference between new marketing strategies and the old-school call
  • The best times to call your costumers
  • How to balance product price versus client acquisition costs
  • The way that placing a value on your time can help you define price points for sales

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Grant

MYE 053: Conquering Overwhelm: Strategies Dealing With Anxieties And Fears

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It’s a tough day, it’s a tough life… no amount of money will completely eliminate stress for you, as it’s commonly known “more money more problems” so this week Grant talks about the ways to ease stress, avoiding stimulants for a while, taking more soothing supplements, eating super healthy instead of indulging in sugary treats, releasing guilt and labelling emotions, questions to ask yourself in stressful moments, laughing about yourself while remembering that the universe is infinite and smear campaigns can only last for about a year.

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  • How a stressful phase got Grant inspired to make this show
  • The two categories of freakouts
  • The problem of thinking stimulants will give you more energy to deal with the situation
  • The importance of sleep
  • Some basic supplements you can take
  • How getting a good workout is known to have stress-reducing effects
  • How to release guilt and slow down instead of speeding up
  • A way to engage your rational mindset to label emotions and ease them
  • A good question to ask yourself in dire moments
  • The concept of depending arising from Buddhism and how it can help you calm down
  • How to apply stoicism and also when not to
  • How laughing about yourself can be great to relief stress
  • How to have perspective over the vastness of the universe

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MYE 052: The Enjoyment Threshold: The Frustration Of Learning New Skills

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A hard time learning how to surf makes Grant think about the initial pain of learning anything and how the enjoyment you take out of performing an activity depends drastically on your skill level at it, so he defines the enjoyment threshold, how it varies depending on the activity you’re undertaking, what’s the critical component to get over it, what’s the teacher’s role in getting someone past it and how you shouldn’t forget what it was like to be a beginner, always remembering to take care of the emotional side of the learning experience for yourself and your customers.

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  • How well did Grant do on surf lessons in Bali
  • What’s the enjoyment threshold
  • How the enjoyment threshold varies by activity
  • The critical component to get over this threshold
  • Why it’s important to understand this concept of the enjoyment threshold on a personal level
  • How to employ this concept on your business
  • How the “gamefication” of education plays with this concept
  • A way to think about yourself in the role of teacher and student to make your material better

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MYE 051: The Competitive Advantage Of Being Emotionally Vulnerable

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Being emotionally “out there” can be tricky, and in this episode Grant talks about the way he has dealt with it, how it can be advantageous to your business, the feedback that being completely honest brings to the table, how asking yourself a simple grandma question can help decide if it’s appropriate to publish some content, how creating some controversy can help you develop some tick skin and polarise your audience so the haters go away and the lovers become even bigger fans, growing the trust bond between you and your audience, plus three great techniques to use vulnerability to better your business.

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  • How being real brings instant feedback
  • The grandmother test you can take yourself to evaluate what content to put out there
  • The consequences Grant faced when he talked about his Tinder usage in public
  • How putting your real thoughts is part of building trust with your audience
  • How being trustworthy and trusting others yourself are closely related concepts
  • 3 great techniques to use vulnerability for your business
  • How it’s good to reference previous failures
  • Getting feedback is a good strategy to consolidate your relationship with your customers
  • How admitting you don’t know everything can be fundamental

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Grant

MYE 050: Risk Intolerance, Monkey Bites, And Why You’re Irrational

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While his latest travels take him to Bali, Grant ends up at the monkey forest where, unsurprisingly, he meets a few monkeys and learns a few lessons about inter-species relationships (hint: not everyone likes too much eye contact); then a visit to the doctor is in order and becomes a mathematical life or death situation where a statistically minuscule chance of getting rabies is rationally comprehended but emotionally adverted when Grant doesn’t feel like dying; a few days later the drama continues and becomes a sunken cost problem, when perhaps it would be better to let go of the losses and just not care about the subsequent rounds of shots, but the whole “not wanting to die” thing persists. Grant is still alive, podcasting about rational and emotional decisions, sunken costs and how those emotions come to play in your business decisions.

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  • The correct approach to meeting a monkey
  • How your body language is important in a social context
  • How eye to eye contact is reserved for human interactions only
  • The odds of dying from monkey-induced rabies in Bali
  • How much rabies treatment costs in Bali (it’s seven figures)
  • How we like to think we are a lot more rational than we are
  • The way that sunken cost math can be affected by emotional responses
  • If you are focusing time on improbable things that are emotional heavyweights
  • The importance of evaluating the real chances of a certain risk happening before you act on it

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MYE 049: Consistency, The Expert’s Fallacy, And The REAL Formula For Success

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It’s not just about teaching efficiently, a lot depends on the mindset and resources of your listeners. In this episode, Grant talks about how some online businesses seem sketchy – specially info products with their exaggerated marketing promises; how the expert fallacy makes people fail to account for another person’s resources, contacts and invested time; how serendipity also happens a lot in every kind of business, so no strategy is a done deal. Also, increasing your luck surface area, how it’s important to understand that people trying your course will fail and how you as an expert should be giving them tools and making them understand that how they use them is a critical factor for success.

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  • Why sometimes online products feel sketchy
  • How exaggerated marketing claims can be detrimental to your credibility
  • What’s the “expert’s fallacy”
  • Why even if you can teach someone 95% of what you know, the other 5% can make a big difference
  • Increasing your luck surface area
  • People who consume your material will fail, how you should approach this fact
  • Being an expert is about providing tools for your audience
  • The importance of doing one thing at a time, but how you can also do many things over a lifetime
  • “Here’s what you should have done by now” – a good marker for your content to be more efficient
  • A good way to figure out how many major projects you still have left to do

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MYE 048: International Comedian & Entreperformer on Monetizing Creativity and Performing in a Second Language, with Jeremy Ginsburg

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In this episode, Grant talks with Jeremy Ginsburg – a comic, writer, traveller, language learner, entreperformer and overall great guy about the different way that he manages to work online while appearing on vietnamese TV shows, doing standup comedy, writing and improving himself daily.

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  • How Jeremy got started playing guitar in Vietnam
  • His view on going in a different way other than the most common online businesses
  • How he broke away from “starving artist” mode to do multiple sources of income
  • How getting famous played a role in his path to success
  • His experience being a poster child for all foreigners in a vietnamese love reality TV show
  • Tips to understand a tonal language better
  • Different challenges and strategies that an unconventional path brings
  • The pressure that a self-contract can impose on your mindset
  • How having a few different creative endeavours can balance your creative flow
  • How being a foreigner can be liberating so you’ll find your passion easier

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MYE 047: 12 Tools And Resources To Upgrade Your Business And Life

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In this episode, Grant talks about a wide variety of tools and resources that you can use to market better, be more productive, and happier. To be world-class, you must use world-class tools. And the cool thing about THESE tools in particular is that most are under $10.
 
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  • 7 great book recommendations
  • 5 awesome tools to make your life better
  • The resources that Grant has personally used to take things to the next level
  • How great things take time, and getting stuff off your plate
  • The difference between marketing channel and marketing tactic
  • Letting go of anxiety and keeping perspective
  • Guidelines to happiness from the Dalai Lama
  • Personal journaling applications (and why you should use them)

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Grant