When it comes to starting and growing your business, there’s A LOT to think about— from creating your products and programs to lead generation, making sales, operations… etc.
It’s challenging to get your head around all these moving parts..but as my Mentor and Business Coach James Wedmore says—how you see business determines what's possible for you.
In today’s episode, I’m welcoming James back to the show for a fun and valuable conversation around the most important things you need to focus on in your business and how you can design it to serve the lifestyle that you want and desire.
(Check out Ep #151: How a Phone Call Changed Everything: Building a 8 Figure Business with James Wedmore– it would be a really good follow up to listen to today's episode)
We covered a lot of ground today—from VOCALITY on how you deliver your information (obvi my love language!), ways to position yourself as an authority, what it takes to create an irresistible offer and a simple sale strategy to turn your passion and purpose into a real, scalable business.
I love James' approach to business and the inspiring stories he shares about other business owners achieving incredible results in the last 12 months. I hope you get as much from it as I did.
In this episode, James shares:
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[00:02:07] Well, hey friend, welcome back to another episode. We have an incredible interview today with my friend, James Wedmore. He is my coach, my business mentor. I am a member of his coaching program Next Level, as I have been for the last two years. I've talked about him frequently over the last few weeks, including I had the chance to go to his live retreat a few weeks ago in Arizona and then meet up with a few business owners in Sedona alongside him creating content.
[00:02:37] He's just all around a great guy and I love his approach to business and you're gonna love this interview today. Give you a little quick update around what's happening in the Sager world. I've been talking the last couple weeks that life has been very busy this Spring, and I say that knowing a few episodes back, I talked about how, I don't love the term busy, but y'all, this week I have been feeling it.
[00:03:02] So I'm recording this, introduction for this episode, the Friday before the show airs and I have been in bed for the last two days. In fact, I literally just got out of bed just for one call and to record this love note to you. We were down the last two days with a stomach bug that my littlest brought home from preschool and just blew through our house.
[00:03:27] If, you know, how that works, I won't get into details. It just, it was a couple, it was a couple rough days, but luckily, and I'm so grateful for this. All of that happened right after a really, really big deadline we had been trying to meet for the last month happened and that deadline was getting professional photos taken of our house to put our house on the market.
We are officially moving across the state to Bend, Oregon, and we are so excited. It's happening this summer. We already found a rental home. We've signed the agreement. We moved the first week of July. We are so freaking stoked. But the big part of that is we, we have to sell our home and we've been in this home for seven years and as you can imagine, you accumulate a lot of things over that time, especially with four humans and two dogs living in the house.
[00:04:16] So we have been, if you've been following on Instagram stories, you've probably been laughing with me over the last, I don't know, three months as I've been decluttering and pretending like I am Joanna or Clea from the Home Edit, trying to make things pretty and organizing and the sprint of the final week. There was a lot to do, but we survived and we made it, and oh my gosh, the house looks incredible.
[00:04:40] So I'm just gonna say this since the theme of the show, the title of the show is Hint of Hustle. I always talk about some seasons you are going to go through intense hustle and some seasons you're gonna be less busy and in those seasons might I advise that you don't try to fill up your plate because you think you have to be busy.
[00:05:02] If there is a time and season where you get to have a little lighter schedule, embrace it because you and I both know that there are going to be those seasons where business and family and personal stuff is just gonna pile on and I mean, sometimes it's stressful, but sometimes it's just, it's just the way it is, like I don't find it stressful.
I just find that that's life and I embrace it. But I'm definitely in that season of busyness and I am looking forward to this summer where I have much bigger opportunities for rest and play as I take some time off with my friends or with my family and two friends.
[00:05:38] We're gonna be in a new place, so I gotta make some new friends which I'm sure I'll talk about that here in the coming months around what it's like as an adult to make friends in a new city which as an introvert, that sounds absolutely terrifying, but I'm committed to making it happen.
Anyways, I just wanted to share that with you that they, today, that I don't know. I think sometimes we think that life is always gonna be this constant stream of, we're always gonna be at one way, but it always changes. There's gonna be busy seasons, there's gonna be slow seasons, there's gonna be seasons where you're really focused on your health. There'll be seasons where you're focused on your family. There'll be seasons where you're super focused on your business.
And one of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is I get to create and design my day to fit where I'm at with my life, and that's one of the reasons why I think this conversation today, this interview is so, so, so important, is because we constantly need to be thinking about are we designing the businesses that really serve the lifestyle we want and the one that we desire?
And for me, even still, I love my business. I love the level that I'm at, I love the people that I work with, and I have ambitions to do bigger things, but not at the sacrifice of my health or my family, so I'm excited about what we're talking about today. I'm also really excited because James has his annual event coming up in June starting June 1st, the Rise of the Digital CEO.
[00:07:03] It's says three part live training series where he teaches you the thinking, the actions, what to do to really rise to that level of becoming the Digital CEO and designing the business that you really love that fits into your life.
So if you wanna grab your free ticket to that, you can grab that, the link in the show notes wherever you're listening to this today. Be sure to get registered for that. I will be there with bells on, and I'll be hosting the Digital CEO Greenroom, which is my private pop-up group just for people who register for the rise of Digital CEO through me.
So if you wanna learn how to get your pass backstage for the rise experience, be sure to check out the link in the show notes. But for now, let's go ahead and jump straight into the interview.
[00:07:55] All right, James, let's officially jump to it. Welcome to the Hint of Hustle podcast. I'm so thrilled you're here.
[00:08:01] James: I'm back.
[00:08:02] Heather: You're back. I mean, technically you're back. Technically, I rename the show since the last time you were here, but yeah, we are at like 200 episodes here on the podcast, and you are a two timer in a good way. I also think that's maybe a negative thing to call somebody.
[00:08:21] James: This is, a second defender. Yeah.
[00:08:23] Heather: Yeah. I'm really good at introductions. By the way, the last time I introduced you, I said a funny, weird thing and I discovered that you have a different first name that we all know, so that was my favorite way to introduce you.
[00:08:34] James: Did I tell you, did I tell everyone what my real name is?
[00:08:36] Heather: Yeah, and we had a whole story about it. So y'all, if you missed episode 151, James's first appearance on this show, you gotta go back and listen to his real name because it's, it's actually not James.
[00:08:47] James: And it's not, I'm like trying to like fool people or like, oh, he is changed his name. It's like, no, my parents named me one name and then called me a different name my whole life, and I had all the time with it, so anyway.
[00:08:57] Heather: It was, I was like, you blew my mind in the first like 30 [00:09:00] seconds. I'm like, I'm already learning new things. This is so, so great.
[00:09:02] James: Who is this? Imposter James..
[00:09:04] Heather: So we're gonna jump into, I'm highly gonna recommend for anyone who missed our last interview, go listen to that interview because it was so, so good. I was geeking out, I was actually listening to it myself today. There were so many good gems in it so that would be a really good follow up to listen to today's episode.
But I wanna actually start our conversation today with one of the things we talked about last year and you had said this phrase, I wrote it down. It was so good. You said that people don't buy from someone they don't see as an expert.
[00:09:33] James: Yes.
[00:09:33] Heather: Which is so entirely true, so I wanna start there. So what do you think is the best way for people today to position themselves as an expert online, especially when they're relatively like new or seemingly unknown?
[00:09:46] James: Yeah. Well, first off, there's a great distinction with this show versus tell, and the more you try to tell people that you are the expert that you know what you're talking about, the harder it actually like comes across, like when I start saying like, trust me, Heather, just trust me. You can trust me.
[00:10:06] People are like, okay, why do you keep saying that, right? And instead it's a showing or a demonstration and that's something, these are one of these, like just, they just kind of disappeared, invisible principles that like, we need to be talking about if we're gonna be doing this and how do we demonstrate authority?
How do we demonstrate expertise? And there's a lot of ways, a lot of ways that we do, okay. The first way is our own story. Now the good news is you know your personal story better than anybody.
Now we've lived our story, so we tend to discredit our story and diminish our journey. But there's so much credibility, expertise, and authority in your own journey and how you decide to communicate it, how you decide to present it.
[00:10:55] And so when I tell the story of where I started in my [00:11:00] parents' basement and I wasn't making any sales or anything like that, and then boom, even just start talking about my first sale or my first launch or taking my business to six figures, I'm already starting to do that, and so we don't want to minimize that or skip over that part.
[00:11:16] There's the next piece, which is, you know, people want to, will see you as an authority and expert when you have demonstrated that now cuz your story is about producing results for yourself, when now you can also demonstrate that you can produce results for others and the stories of others, their case studies, their testimonials, their results is one of the most powerful things that we can do.
This isn't rocket science, but the amount of people that either aren't doing it, aren't doing it enough or come back to me with that lovely excuse of, well, what if I don't have any case studies? What if I don't have any testimonials? What if I don't have any results from students?
[00:11:55] And this is where tough coaching and James comes in and I'm like, then you go out and you freaking get them right now because there's no excuse for that because if the law of preeminence states that people don't buy coaching content and information from people they don't already perceive as an expert, they can't perceive you as an expert if you can't demonstrate that you can do this for others. And so you better go out and do that, and you find a way and you make it happen, and you make it happen fast.
[00:12:21] Now there's obviously other ways. One of the other ways is through any type of credibility, credentials, publications, anything that offers a sense of credibility. You know, when you're getting, you know, I say these things, you know, cuz they're true, you know, oh, i was featured in Forbes Magazine or Business Insider. I've written articles for them, so I get to do that or featured on Heather's podcast, you know, boom, instant credibility and using these things are, it is definitely, definitely important.
[00:12:56] Here's another one. This is one of the invisible ones. How you, and I know you'll like this one, how you conduct yourself, 80% of our communication is nonverbal. Notice right now that when I slow down, I get intentional and I pause. Your listeners are getting a certain sense of, maybe even on an unconscious level, this guy has something important to say. He knows it's important, he knows it's valuable, he knows his stuff.
So I'm gonna give one little practical application of this in, maybe I'm gonna give two. I'm gonna give two. The first one is, anytime you share a sentence, anytime you speak, you're gonna have a period at the end of that sentence. All periods have a, or all sentences have a period at the end, and every single one of us does one of three things at the end of that sentence. We either take it up, we take it down, or we keep it flat.
[00:14:04] So if I have a sentence like, this is the best, best piece of advice you'll ever learn, I could sit there and say, this is the best piece of advice you'll ever learn. That's flat. This is the best piece of advice you'll ever learn. I went down. I can also go up. This is the best piece of advice you'll ever learn, and I'm kind of exaggerating these to prove the point, but people don't pay attention to their own language and how they communicate and their own voice and their own unconscious, non-verbal communication and it, my friends, is everything.
[00:14:43] So when you go up, that's what we do when we have a question. Hey Heather, can I ask you a question? We go up in our language. So going up when you're trying to make a statement means you're doubting yourself. You question your own a authority. You question your own expertise. I think this is good. I think you'll like it. There's doubt, there's uncertainty. There's a lack of you and your personal power.
Therefore, this person isn't an authority and people will be saying, I don't know what it is about this person, but I just, something feels off about them or, I just don't know if I can trust them, either staying neutral or going down and this is for a lot of people. This is actually something that we've not been doing. So it has to be this conscious effort of, and this is the other hack. We either go up when we're demonstrating and communicating non-verbally insecurity and lack of self-assuredness in ourself. We go up and we go fast. And the big reason why people go fast, as most of us can figure out, is cuz they don't like taking up space and time and room.
[00:15:56] So there are times you'll see this, sometimes I'm gonna talk really fast and I have this really important point and I just want to bam, bam, bam, bam, hit it. And then there's other times where I'm saying, look, hold on. We need to slow it down and I need to tell you what's up.
And people that know their value and know they're worth it and own that authority, have the ability to slow down and take up a bit of space because what they're talking about is important, and these are the invincible factors to demonstrate authority.
[00:16:34] This is huge and and it is just so, so important because even when we get into anything that we're doing, I want to, I wanna say it like this. Everything that we're doing, the way I look at it is you're taking people on a journey. The journey is from where they are to coming into your world, being a client, a customer, a student, a member.
[00:16:58] So if you're standing, let's use this in a three-dimensional, like 3D space, and Heather is standing on the far side of the room, and getting her to the opposite side of the room is like becoming the customer. What a lot of people are doing is they're standing on one side of the room and then they're just yelling, Hey, over here, what are you doing? Come on, come on over.
And like, you're like, mm, no, but I'm gonna come over to you. I'm gonna stand by your side and we're gonna be at the same location and I'm gonna take a step forward and I invite you to take a step forward, and then we're gonna take another step and together we're gonna walk to the other side of the room, and this is called leading.
[00:17:42] We're leading our audience cuz you're a leader. You have to be a market leader to actually be the person that's bringing in the sales. So I'm leading the direction, the conversation, and I'm moving us.
Now, if that is the goal, there's gonna be all these micro moments where we could lose somebody. And one of the big moments we lose people is the moment they go, I don't think they know what they're talking about or they haven't really convinced me, or they haven't proved it to me or There must be a better way, a quicker way, a faster way, or a more simpler way. I'm out. So those are, that's, that's like the big piece.
[00:18:32] I'm gonna share one more thing because this is a big topic. It's an important one. I'm glad you asked it. You usually think I'm gonna ask, like, answer a question in like two minutes and I go for 20.
[00:18:39] Heather: No one thinks that. No one thinks that about you.
[00:18:41] Okay, good because I don't want any wrong expectations going into this, but let me tell you what some people do, that is a don't do when it comes to being an authority. These are the don't dos.
Number one, like I said before, avoid the telling. I am an authority. Trust me. Okay. That just like doesn't work. Oh, okay. Well they said they are so, they must be. I mean, yeah, you'll get like 5% of your audience, you know. There'll be a small segment that just believes it at face value, but most people are very skeptical.
[00:19:16] You listening here have legitimate and and it's totally healthy, normal skepticism. I don't know this guy. Who is this guy? I know you brought him on before, but who is he, right? That's totally fine. I appreciate healthy skepticism, me saying, look, just trust me. Okay. It doesn't remove the skepticism. So don't do that, it actually just amplifies it.
[00:19:39] The other thing and I totally forgot what it was but it will come back to me. There were two things I was gonna share about what not to do about trying to demonstrate authority. And I totally, I totally forgot the other one, but I did give some really important ones about how we can demonstrate it.
[00:19:58] Heather: Well, here's the funny thing is I actually, with that creates a third one is because one of the big mistakes people make is they actually make shit up when they don't know the answer and that puts you actually on the opposite of an authority status because people typically know when you're bullshitting.
[00:20:13] James: Yes, absolutely, and I did remember it. It usually comes back to me.
[00:20:16] Heather: Perfect. Go.
[00:20:18] James: People think that in order to demonstrate that they're an authority, they need to demonstrate how smart they are and in an effort to show up, show off your brain, you make it complicated. And there's a great quote and I'm gonna pull it up because I love this quote, and it's a quote from Einstein and, it goes like this. Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex.
And a lot of people in an effort to try to prove that they're the authority, make things complicated, and I'm gonna give you one of the ultimate hacks. The greatest value and gift that you can give your audience that has them pay attention and pay you is when the value you provide is you make the path and the solution simple, as simple and elegant as humanly possible.
[00:21:27] Not complicated. So the adage that I love is if you want to impress people and let them perceive you as really smart, make it complicated. But if you actually want to help people and have them pay you money for it, make it simple and now it's the choice. So that's a big don't. Don't make it overcomplicated.
[00:21:49] Heather: I love this. Okay, we just geeked out and got a little masterclass here on all things that we love talking around here, which is speaking and delivery and what to do, not to do to look like the authority. So this is wonderful, I have to say.
Okay. Funny thing on this simple, simple part. One of the things I always talk to my students about, which if you listen to the podcast, this'll be familiar, is when people, like to introduce themselves, people like to sound fancy and smart, and they wanna come up with the fancy ways to describe what they do.
[00:22:18] And one of my favorite activities that I'll use with my clients is, I'll say, I want you to say it again, but let's pretend that you're three margaritas deep. How would you say it? And every single time people always say it more clear. So what we call that around here is Mar-,
[00:22:37] James: there's a slur.
[00:22:37] Heather: It's a, without the slur, right, but without the slur, but the simpler way and we call that our margarita message is how do we simplify it? And it always, it always helps, but we have a tendency to overcomplicate things. So I love that you said,
[00:22:52] James: Write, drunk, edits, sober. Yeah.
[00:22:54] Heather: Yes. I love that. Yes. I also love that you called it the vocality around how we deliver. This is like a forgotten tactic. It's a forgotten skill that people need to have.
If y'all were listening and leaning in, taking notes, just note we have multiple episodes dedicated to your vocality so we will link to those in the show notes, so I love that you shouted that out.
I wanna talk about, one of the things that people do when they're building their brand online. So experts, whether they're pivoting from corporate or professional services, but they're building that brand online and wanting to explore this idea of making money online through digital courses.
One of the things that I see happens often is people get very excited and distracted about vanity metrics. We get really excited about the idea of growing our following or getting the numbers, and so can you talk a little bit about how you help entrepreneurs measure success and how you have kind of dealt with that whole chasing popularity versus purpose?
[00:23:51] James: Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, on one hand I will say that what gets me so excited about the personal brand and the digital product model is, you know, when I started, especially once we got to eight figures a year.
I really started looking at like, man, I should be like getting smarter about investing and diving into all those topics which I did and I got into a bunch of real estate and it's been a wonderful journey and I have my investment friends and I still sit there and I say, you know, we can invest and do all kinds of cool stuff all day long, but my number one asset in my life is my personal brand and that is so true. You look at like the Elon Musks of the world. Love him or hate him. That is irrelevant.
[00:24:40] He can go start a company, he can go attach his name to a company and that that company will grow because of that and that is an asset. That is not an asset that you acquire as highly valuable overnight. There's always exceptions. Of course, someone maybe does a TED Talk and it blows up and they build a brand around it and then it's wonderful.
[00:25:00] But I am the tortoise and in the version I read, the Tortoise wins that race and the brand that I've developed is, you know, 15 years in the making of just consistent. I don't think there's a week that's gone by that I haven't created a piece of content in 15 years and that's not to intimidate or have anyone shy away from that. But, that's cuz I love doing that and that is this like momentum, this building here, right?
[00:25:27] So when you know that it's always worth the time, whatever time it takes, and it's that notion of like, we're planting seeds and you may not bear that fruit for months or years, but I look back and there's fruit I'm bearing today that are based on seeds I planted years ago.
But even when you start out, even if you started today, there's two things I wanna bring up. And that number one is we operate from a 90 day model, which means every 90 days, including your first 90 days in business, you should be, I wanna say profitable, but at least revenue in the revenue generation from the first 90 days, you know.
There's a, there can be startup expenses and stuff like that, but we're making money. We're making sales in the first 90 days. And, so those are kind of the two things is that we're operating from 90 day cycles, 90 day outcomes, and that we can get started in that first 90 days. And we have students and clients today that because they focused more on the strategy of this is a business and businesses is in business to generate sales and revenue and profits.
Otherwise, it's just like a hobby or, you know, like you said, getting popular. There's a lot of influencers out there that are millions and millions of followers and they can't make money. But we have students and clients, and this is what always makes me so like proud and happy, that are three to 15,000 followers on Instagram and they're multiple six figure businesses. Why is that?
[00:27:02] Well, the first reason why that is, is because where they put their focus is on the strategy of making sales. And when you have two things in place, number one, an irresistible offer, and number two, the right sales system in place, you don't actually need a lot of people to make a lot of money and that's really, really, really exciting.
And that's one of the big misconceptions people will have is they think like, or maybe they've been told or lied to somewhere along the way, is I have to have 10,000 people before I can launch or get started or get created, or I have to have a certain amount of people on Instagram before I can even do this.
It's like, that is ridiculous and my best favorite example is my own little sister. And my sister, she actually bought my program. Now the funny story is that she had it. She didn't know because I gave it to her and she didn't value it, so she decides to buy it and it wasn't until she bought it that she like put skin in the game for herself.
[00:27:59] But when she started, like, this is the ultimate worst like circumstance. She had no website. She had no email list. The only people following her on Instagram were friends and family. She had never done a single post for this niche, so she didn't know her niche before she started. She had nothing and within 60 days, oh, and she's a, you know, stay-at-home mom. She's got two kids, young little kiddos that are like full-time, crazy little rugrats that I love to death. She's homeschooling them and she was the primary caretaker for my father as he was passing. Her life was swamped. She's not like the stereotypical business owner. She had no previous business, no business experience, nothing. Nada. So starting from nothing, she'd never taken another program before.
[00:28:48] In the first 60 days, she launched her beta program. Her goal was three. Then she tells me like secretly, she goes, actually, it was just one, like if I could just get one person, this would've been a win but her goal was three. [00:29:00] Well, she ends up getting seven. And then two weeks later I get a phone call from her cuz I wouldn't help her. You know, I was like, you gotta go through it. I can't give you special treatment, Jill. I know what a jerky brother.
And she calls me and she goes, I got a problem. I go, what's the problem? She goes, I'm two weeks into my first version of my program, my beta program and all of a sudden two people have reached out and they said, we've heard all these good things about your beta program, we want in. And I said, okay, so what's the problem? She's like, what do I do? And I told her, you let them in, silly, and so she did. So she ended up getting nine.
Her goal was three or one, and she ends up getting nine. And ever since then she has been tweaking that offer, raising the price and plugging in a sales system in place and that's all she does and she just launches a couple times a year. And every single time she has doubled sales and she's building this snowball on her terms, on her pace, and it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
[00:29:57] Now she's running retreats out in Sedona, charging a couple of grand for those, and she's like, this is freaking life changing. She's not big on social. She, if you win, I'm gonna look her up right now as we're talking just to prove this. I think when she, now she, I think her biggest growth is she was on my podcast and she got a lot of followers from that.
[00:30:16] She has today, this is two years later, or one year, 10 months, 1,936 followers on Instagram. So, and I think when she started she was at like a thousand. So, it's wonderful to have those big metrics. It's wonderful to reach more people, but you don't need that to get started. You don't need that to have a healthy business.
[00:30:46] One of our case studies that we just interviewed on my podcast, her name is Angela Jackson. She, when she joined us Inside Business by Design, she was making $2,000 a month. This January, she had her largest month, two, well, a year and a half later would be a year and six months in January, $28,000.
She went from $2,000 a month to $28,000 months. That is life-changing money. She has less than 5,000 followers on Instagram. She's not focused on the popularity. She is focused on the profitability. What I tell my students is the first most important thing we need to do is we need to build a machine. We need to build the machine and then we can fill it.
[00:31:27] Most people are just trying to get all the people to fill it. It's like they want the gasoline, but they don't actually want the car, and we need to build the car and then we can improve the car as we go, but then we can fill it with more people and it will con continue to grow.
But I don't love the idea of running a business for two years where you don't make money or you don't get paid. And that to me is like, why work for free when you can get to sales and profitability and get into it in the first 90 days? So that's like the big first thing I teach and I've developed a reputation, and I love this. I didn't ask for it, but you know what? I'm here for it.
That people say when you're actually ready to get results, James is the person that you go to. And that's because we start, we stop fiddling around. We stop playing with all the little distractions and the noise and the things that can work, but there's a time and place and it's like, we just gotta get you to profitability. We just gotta get you to the sale. We gotta get you to that. Here's my offer, here's what it is, here's what it does, here's how it helps, here's how to get it. Are you in? Yes or no? And that can happen faster than you realize.
[00:32:37] Some people put so much stuff between them and that sale, that breakthrough launch, that that breakthrough revenue goal and it's that stuff you're choosing to put between you and then that will continue to allude you like a carrot on a stick, and you'll keep working, keep going, and it just continues to be further and further away out there in the distance and we can sit there and actually say, you don't need to do all that right now.
When my sister did it, she just went live on Instagram. She followed our messaging framework and she put the offer out there and she had her people buy. She's like, holy cow. She didn't, she still doesn't have a website. She didn't even have a sales page for this. And when you create great, great offer, great messaging, you have a simple sales system, you plug it in, you improve it as you run it and it will continue to grow. So we do that fast instead of waiting, you know what I mean? So hopefully that makes sense.
[00:33:29] Heather: I love that. I think prioritizing the profit piece, I think that's hard a lot of times cuz people think that there's all these things they have to get ducks in a row in order for the perfect offer, the perfect course, the perfect membership to happen but that doesn't really come until later. Can you talk about what happens is when someone gets their first offer out, maybe they have a great launch, like your sister, maybe they have a less than enthusiastic receiving of that launch. What happens from there is because sometimes people will do your strategy, right, which is where we rinse and repeat to refine, to learn, but this is where a lot of people get distracted, right? Whether they go back to the drawing board or they come up with new offers or new ideas or new launch strategies. Can you talk about the distraction zone that people go into once they do get to that first, losing their launch virginity?
[00:34:18] James: Yeah. Pop in your, pop in your launch cherry. Oh my god.
[00:34:23] Heather: Yeah. We use that phrase a lot around here.
[00:34:26] James: That's incredible. Um, I am blushing, so yeah, sorry.
[00:34:33] Heather: Ladies and gentlemen. It's a first. I have made him speechless.
[00:34:36] James: Oh wow. That was incredible. Oh my gosh. Okay. It's that kind of show.
[00:34:41] Heather: Why can't I just snuck that right at the end? Like you thought you had that question and then I just snuck it in.
[00:34:47] James: Yeah. And now that's all, all I can focus on. I'm like, what was, what was the question? What were we been talking about? Yes. Here's a couple things I'm gonna talk about. There's something I've been saying for years and people don't like it but I want you to have what you want. I want you to have that lifestyle. I want you to have the bank account, and I want you to have the impact, and I want you to do it on your terms. And so in order to get what you want, you're gonna have to do some things that you don't like to hear and here's an example of that.
[00:35:19] What I have noticed to be true is that a lot of what causes success and gets you there is freaking boring. And I don't mean it in a bad way, it's just like, the untrained entrepreneur is always chasing what's new and exciting, and we have to have a level of discipline to continue to do some of the things that aren't just being driven by, here's what I'm excited to do today, and this, like, I'm all about following your passion but there's a difference between following your passion and just doing whatever you feel like today because you feel excited about doing it.
Your business is asking for you to develop consistency and discipline and you can choose, and that's the difference between an amateur and a pro. You can choose to find passion in the discipline.
[00:36:06] I've, the things I'm talking about today, I've talked about them before. The, our launches, our offers, I've done them before, but I also know what's on the line every time I talk about those things. There could be one person here that hasn't heard this, that it's gonna make a difference before and that's what I re choose to remind myself of every single time which has it be enthusiastic for me.
[00:36:26] So your greatest weapon, your secret weapon that you didn't know you had is time. It's consistency. Consistency breeds momentum. And what I teach my students is they can take one product to a million dollars and that's just the beginning. What happens is, is you do, you create the offer, you make some money and then you go, oh, I'll do that again and you create another offer and you make a little money and then you, all of a sudden you wake up and this, I was guilty of this. Like you have 10 offers, you have 10 products, and you're not making that much more money, but you're definitely working a lot more. More offers doesn't mean more money, it means more workload. Simplicity and elegance.
[00:37:07] We're gonna go back to that theme of simplicity and I have so many students that have taken their business from one product to 1 million. We just had Nick Smith on the podcast. He is a pilot teaching people how to get their pilot's license, and that's what he teaches. It's 250 bucks. He's at 30K months right now, all autopilot, $30,000 a month with a $250 product and a very obscure niche and he's not the only person teaching it. He has competitors and it's totally an automated webinar funnel.
And he said, I'm finally ready to create the backend offer. This is when they, the first, the 250 product dollar product is like, how to pass the first exam, like the first pilot license test. And he's like, now I'm gonna create it for the second level. So that's the backend offer for those existing customers. And he's like, I think it's gonna more than double the business. I [00:38:00] said, I think you're right.
[00:38:01] Heather: You know, I'm gonna jump in here cuz this is really exciting to hear about him. So if anyone watched The Rise Of The Digital CEO last year, Nick was one of the people in the audience and I remember those who were in the Greenroom with me. We used Nick's case study as an example for doing math in building offers and Nick sat there in that chair going, it's $97. And it was interesting to watch you coach him through the business model of doing the math to help him get to the goals. So I love hearing the success that Nick's having because his case study was amazing and he's a great guy.
[00:38:36] James: He was only a couple thousand last year.
[00:38:39] Heather: Yeah.
[00:38:40] James: He was already had some, but it was like this sporadic three to 5,000, you know, just bouncing around that but to take that to, and nothing changed. Now that's not true, but it's true. Nothing changed in that he didn't create 10 more offers. He didn't change niches, you know, but he improved and changed what he had in a way that would allow him to attract more and convert more. So he didn't go, oh, it's my offer. I should go in a different niche.
What a lot of people do and they question themselves and get in their head and they keep bouncing around and doing different ideas. He said, no, this is what I'm here to do, so I'm gonna do it better and I'm gonna do it with more people. You wanna make more money, solve bigger problems and reach more people and that's exactly what he did to go in less than a year and go from, you know, 3000 a month to $30,000 months. That's life changing.
[00:39:35] Heather: Yeah.
[00:39:36] James: When he did the episode with me, he's like, I leave tomorrow. I think he's going to Istanbul and he's like, I'm gonna be traveling with my wife for the next 30 days. And it's like, live in the freaking dream. And we had another person, that I just interviewed that was in the room with us, like another live studio audience member, and that was Jess Hughes.
[00:39:56] Her story comes out one, it's the one year check-in or 11th month check-in comes out next Wednesday which I don't know when this episode airs, but next Wednesday for me. So like May something or other May 14th, May 10th. Let's say something like that, right? So it could be on the podcast by now. Her story is unbelievable.
[00:40:19] When she came to that live training, she admitted, she goes, I've never told anyone this, but I had $500 to my name and when I came back, they turned off all of the utilities in my art studio, and I was at risk of all this, the lights getting turned off in my home. She had to call her ex-husband and beg and plead for money to be withdrawn from, you know, an investment account they had and that was all she had left. And she took one offer and made $168,000 with it in two weeks. What?
[00:40:58] Today that [00:41:00] same offer, she said it's gonna be multi millions. That was last year. This is not even a full year and she goes, I'm gonna end 2023, we are pacing multiple seven figures. Like, are you kidding me?
[00:41:14] Heather: Fire.
[00:41:16] James: One offer, one offer. And the simplicity we've done, we do 10 million a year and I like to say I've, it's kind of changed a little bit today, so it's unfair to really say it really. But for many years, so I started Business by Design in 2016 and I like to say that it's really one offer in the business that is, brings it eight figures.
It's Business by Design and everything I teach, I just put in inside of that. It's just one place. It makes things so much easier for everybody. But then I offer a coaching like component to that so you can get even more assistance. And then at a certain level people go, I also want to be in a more peer-based mastermind level around that.
[00:42:03] So in a technical sense, it's like one offer delivered three different ways and that is a 10 million stream. I'm not also going in all these other directions and also teaching Instagram and Facebook ads and all this type of stuff that would be pulling my focus, that would be taking more time and energy into doing, and where the real money is gonna be is when you're done doing.
You're done creating and you switch the Pareto principle, the 80/20 which most people, when they're not making the money they want. They're spending 80% creating it and 20% selling. You flip that on its head and you move that to 80% of promoting, launching, selling, whatever you want to call it, you will make a lot more money.
[00:42:46] And that means you also don't need as many people. You just need consistent people coming in.
[00:42:51] Heather: Yeah.
[00:42:51] James: When I talked to Angela Jackson and she's saying I'm doing $28,000 launches in a month. I said, how many people are coming through your [00:43:00] launch? And she said, the last one was our most people we've ever had 360, 370 people. So she's got 370 people coming into our launch and she's selling a $2,500 product and she's making 28 grand a month, like, I will take that. That's freaking awesome.
[00:43:16] Heather: So you coach a lot of people through this process, right? In Business by Design and part of the coaching program that you mentioned, Next Level, what advice do you have for the business owners who continually, probably make you run your head in a wall a little bit because they hear the advice and still they want to keep it new and fresh. So if you were to like, reach through the microphone right now and rattle a little bit, what is the business owner maybe who's listening, they haven't gone through Business by Design, or maybe it's actually one of your prior students who's listening and forgotten about the simplicity piece. What would you say to someone who's really struggling with that jumping and innovating and always wanting to do the new thing?
[00:43:59] James: I say, don't worry. It will get painful enough for you till you finally learn the lesson and it will. I always love that quote that, first God throws a pebble and then a rock and if you're still refusing to pay attention, you get the big old boulder. I don't want you to ever get the boulder. I've had those.
A lot of the stories I share and probably shared last time were a lot of the big ass boulders that I got. Those are painful but they're also a blessing because the way our human experience works is the pain that we go through forces us to pay attention. It's like it's unavoidable at that point.
You get these moments where you go, it's so bad that you get present enough to say, I gotta figure this the F out. That's freaking awesome. But I don't want you to do that. I don't want you to have to wait until it gets that painful. So I like to tell my students like, I'm not really your teacher, life is. And I’m trying to help you, like kind of avoid the big boulders and like, let's just get it when it's a little pebble.
But if that's how you wanna learn, I promise you and guarantee you, it will get painful enough until you learn it the hard way so it's really a choice. You want it the easy way, the quicker way. Learn it by like trusting somebody or like get it, and the amount of people that come to me and they're like, I finally heard what you're saying because I had to go through it and man, I wish I listened sooner.
So you're gonna get it, you're gonna get it one way or another and how do you want that is up to you? How would you like it served up on a platter? Very gently or like a punch in the face from the universe, you know what I mean? Because it's painful and I've had to go through my fair share of those. So, there is a level of patience and compassion because I struggled for five years by myself, four and a half years, and it was bad.
[00:45:46] So there's a level of patience and and compassion I have for people on their own journey and their own pace, and they're gonna do it at their own time. But I'm also aware of at the same time that we have egos and we have something I call the guardian of the mind. And the guardian of mind is this really interesting, fascinating phenomenon of noticing and becoming aware of, and most people are not aware of it. So you could be, choose to become aware of it now, of this little filter which I call the Guardian that is standing guard at the entrance to your brain that is actually sifting, sorting and deleting and rejecting new and different information.
If what I say goes against your building blocks of reality, of your version of truth, then you will reject it. Most likely, most people do. Nope, don't agree. You hear that right now. As you've been listening to me, or even as you listen to Heather on any podcast, it's, does that make sense? I'm trying to figure this out. What he's saying? What is, does that mean this? Is that like this other thing I heard? Oh, that's like this or, mm, I don't agree.
No, that's not true and that's it, in action. So the, but here's, it's just about being aware of it because it's unavoidable. You're gonna continue to do it for the rest of your life but here's the really tricky thing. We went and developed, I'm gonna go on a [00:47:00] tangent here for a moment, Heather, so I hope that's.
[00:47:01] Heather: We're ready. We're so ready for it.
[00:47:04] James: Buckle up everybody, because here's what happens. We grew up and as you've heard those like sentiments and comments and observations like these formative young years where we learn so much about the world and it gets cemented into this is the way the world is.
This is what we're gonna call our model of reality. You hear those quotes like, give me a child until the age of seven and I will control the rest of their life or whatever those things are. And that's because our brain pattern is in a different, more like unconscious, hypnotic like theta brainwave state, where we're like a sponge and we're in this, what's that question from a young age that we always ask?
[00:47:43] Why, why, why? Well, why are we asking? Why is because we're trying to make meaning of the world and we're saying, oh, this is like this and this is like that, and this is it and we decided what is true? What is false? What is real? What is fake? What is good? What is bad? What is right? What is wrong about all these things? And the world you grew up in is very different, number one, than the world you grew up now.
And number two, the world you grew up in was probably for most of us, not the most conducive or parallel to the world of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs just think differently. They see the world differently and I always like to say how you see business determines what's possible for you. How you see business will determine what's possible.
So you have a version, chances are, I don't wanna make any assumptions, but chances are you have a version of reality that has been yours your whole life. That was probably started getting created at a very young age, from our upbringing, from our primary caregivers, from our culture, from school and our teachers.
[00:48:50] And I'm not saying good, bad, right or wrong, I'm just saying it is. And then we use that as the actual litmus testing criteria for what we agree with or disagree with when new information tries coming in. And there's a lot of things that we were all taught that they're not wrong or bad.
Just like if I taught you the rules of basketball, they're not wrong or bad, but they don't really work well when you're playing soccer. You can dribble a ball with your hands in basketball and you could learn that, but you can't do that with a soccer ball without getting a penalty, right?
[00:49:28] So in a different context, they're actually not conducive and the rules of the game of entrepreneurship are very different than a lot of the things that we grew up with. And so, unfortunately, my challenge in life is, is that I teach all of this stuff. It's met with a ton of resistance to people because they go, mm mm no, no, that's not true. I don't agree. That's not been my experience. And their experience is based on that of an employee, a consumer, or definitely someone that is not of an] entrepreneurial mindset and so it's rejected before it can even come in.
[00:50:05] And so I have a very, I'm always grew up very entrepreneurial and people always thought I was very, very weird. I mean, even from a young age, I'm like analyzing marketing campaigns and business strategies and that's like what I did in my spare time when I wasn't building my own businesses, and I had businesses from the age of like five or six.
My first businesses was yes, the stereotypical lemonade stands, but they grew beyond that too. I was doing all the gardening for all the neighbors and then selling all of the fruit and, herbs from their garden and the vegetables back to all the other neighbors. It was a whole thing. It was like this whole internal pyramid scheme I had going on. It was fantastic. You'd pay me to water your garden and then I would sell all of your avocados to the neighbors down the street.
[00:50:45] And I had a whole thing going on, but that was like me at six, Right? Ridiculous. So I have a very like, weird way in which I see things and it's very common for when I start sharing these different perspectives. How you see [00:51:00] business determines what's possible, that it gets rejected by a lot of people and that's fine and understandable.
But my advice to anybody here, and it has nothing to do with me personally, but my advice to you is that if you're looking at your business and you don't like where your business is, consider for a moment that instead of chasing the next magical strategy that you think is gonna wham, bam, thank you ma'am, 10 x your business.
Consider it's the last place we look and it's what we see when we look in the mirror, but rather the goggles at which we look at life and business through the cognitive lens. And it's not until we start to look at things a little differently, do those things begin to change, right?
[00:51:39] And so, the invitation is if you're not happy with where you are in business, but you see somebody as a coach, a mentor, or a guide that is somewhere that you would like to be, to practice at a level that you've never practiced before, a level of open-heartedness and open-mindedness, a level of coachability that would allow you to finally take that little guardian of the mind that's really there from an ego standpoint, is there to protect what it's built as its model of the world.
That's its job. Its job is not for you to grow. Its job is not for you to make more money. Its job is there to protect the model of reality that got created and take that little guard, put it aside and open up to something completely, radically different to a way of thinking, new ideas, and a new approach coming from that person that you have chosen to say, I'm gonna be coachable to that individual.
[00:52:35] And it's when you do that, and this is what I'm always saying to my students, and you don't have to do that right now to me or anything like that. You can be as skeptical as you want, but when my students come in and they pay a good amount of money to work with me, it would be the craziest thing to say, I'm gonna pay this person to invest in my own growth, but I'm not gonna listen to them because I know better because I decided things were true or false about the world way back when. That would be crazy pants.
Every time I've invested in somebody, I said, I have to put my ego and my pride aside to open up enough to a new way of doing things. And it's not until we start doing that, till we realize I've been thinking about things all wrong. And when I change the way I think about things, I change the way I see them and when I change the way I see them, those things that I'm looking at truly do become or start to change.
That was the late Wayne Dyer that said that, and when they change the way I see them, then I start to approach them differently. I take different actions. I make decisions differently. I approach problems differently. I show up differently and when you show up differently, the business starts to grow.
And yes, I know that's a process, and I know that's hard for a lot of people, but I tend to be as repetitive as I can with my students so that they can hear it multiple times but it takes a different approach. It takes a radically different approach in our mindset for business. So here's one example and then I'll shut up, I promise and hopefully all that made sense.
[00:54:09] Business is simple. That is a fact and I choose to continue to see business as simple every single day. I understand that's not most people's experience, but that just because that's how business occurs to you. It occurs to you as complicated. It occurs to you as intimidating. It occurs to you as, as just, ugh, whatever. How it occurs to you has more to do with you than business. How it occurs to you has to do with the way you are choosing to look at it as your subjective reality, not how business actually is.
It's just a perspective. You change your perspective and you start to see. Choose is the key word there. Choose to see business as simple. You're gonna see it very differently and it will occur to you very differently. Business is very simple. Attract an audience, sell them what they want. That's it. Attract your audience. Sell them what they want. We are in a business of all business is the business of solving problems. So identify who you want to serve and then just sell them what they want and you can make business so simple.
Business isn't funnels and tech and programming and landing pages and AI and, and social media, all that type of stuff. Those are tools that you either put in front of you to overwhelm you and complicate you, or they are tools that you use to help you attract your audience and sell them what they want.
[00:55:34] So how you see business determines what's possible for you and how you see business is up to you. That is of your choosing. I choose to see it as simple. I choose to see it as fun. I choose to see it as as abundant. I choose to see it as a vehicle for service and impact. I choose to see it as a vehicle for financial freedom and abundance, not overwhelming, intimidating, scary, impossible, uphill battle, a prison, something that takes me away from what I like to do in life and how you see it will determine what you do with it. Does all that makes sense?
[00:56:13] Heather: This is so good. I'm like writing notes down here. I love the theme of simplicity that's woven its way back in throughout this entire conversation. It comes back to what we started talking about is I think a lot of times in an effort to protect that ego. We make things more complex.
That's where we talked about in the beginning of experts. We tend to add complexity to sound smarter and that actually happens in our own heads too. We think that might happen in how we explain things, but it also happens to how we explain and justify ideas in our head and I just love that.
[00:56:45] You know, I wanna take this kind of meta here for a moment. We talk a lot about speaking, we talk a lot about showing up here on the show and a lot of what you were just talking about around how someone sees business, how someone sees themselves and how they show up, and the, all that like skepticism that happens that we might resist even hearing what you have to say.
[00:57:06] I think we gotta go meta for a moment and put on the hat that our clients or potential customers or potential audience that we're building, they also have all of these same truths. And so I love, like, I love that what I do, what you do is it's very, very meta. What do you always say, James Meta Moore. Metamore.
[00:57:28] I have two questions for you. I wanna geek out around your method for communication, but one of them is how do you address, or especially at the beginning, cuz I know now you love to say that you, you love to jab and poke and really, like attack some of these beliefs for people.
[00:57:44] You're not afraid to shy away from it. But at the beginning were you ever afraid of like, all the yeah, buts or the skepticism of people who were looking at you as an expert. How did you deal with that and what do you say to others who are maybe like, I don't want people to have objections, I don't wanna have people to like, I don't know, have any of that skepticism. I want them to love me and believe me right away.
[00:58:08] James: Well, my business went from 280,000 to 1.2 million in one year. And again, people wanna know what's the secret strategy? And they hate the answer, but I share the answer anyway. I said, the one thing that I can attribute to all of that growth, 280,000 to 1.2 million, that's like four x in one year, was I changed my context of how I showed up from a context of I need to be liked and I need them to like me and my stuff.
[00:58:41] Two, I don't care if they like me. I'm here to serve them and everything today is still through that lens. That my intention with any piece of content or whatever I'm doing, is to be of service from the highest level that I know how. And I was realizing really quickly that I was doing content to be liked, which is like, I wanna say something you already agreed with, Heather. I don't wanna say something that will make you like me more. That doesn't help people if we're just reaffirming what they already know. How does that make any difference? So that's just vanilla, you know?
Vanilla was just vanilla. And so I had to get let go of that ego importance of being liked and whatever. Anyone have an opinion. I mean, I didn't, I really had a hard time with like, what if people don't like me? And that's the most interesting paradoxical like thought. Is like, it's so funny. It's like such a cosmic joke. It's like the need to be liked is one of the most unattractive qualities that someone can possess.
Everyone's like, oh, she's like a little needy, coming on a little strong. Stop trying so hard and the inverse is true as well. We admire and are attracted to people that don't care what others think of them. It's an admirable trait. So I replaced the need to be liked with the need to be of service and that was a games changer.
[01:00:09] Now let's talk about the objections bit, cuz this gets really fun. First thing I wanna say is, the big mistake people are making is a thinking that objections mean you did something wrong or objections are bad. Anybody selling anything is going to have objections. So we wanna start with this simple premise that objections are inevitable.
[01:00:33] And I will tell you this, some of my best clients and students, and by best I mean, have the best results, not any other criteria, just that they just like bam, took it and ran. Were those that had some of the biggest objections. So yes, an older version of me used to shy away from objections. Oh no. And today I lean into them and I'm so excited by objections.
[01:00:57] Here's what an objection is and you can write this down. Objection is a yes, but, yes, but. A lot of people who don't understand what objections are think it's a no. No means no. Yes, no does mean no but an objection does not mean no. An objection is a yes, but yes, I wanna work with you, Heather, but I'm concerned about blank. That's not a no, that's a, I really want to take another step forward but here's where I'm concerned. And 99% of objections, if not all, a hundred percent, I wanna leave room for margin of error here.
But 99% of objections are rooted in some form of fear. So all we're ever doing is working with the people that want to be in our stuff. They're yes, and working through their fears and concerns, and we're moving them out of lack and scarcity and fear and worry to a place of possibility, of hope and abundance and personal power. And when you're doing that, you see that what you're really doing is being of service even in the sales conversation.
[01:02:01] So my definition of an objection is, an objection is simply a belief coming from an ideal customer, someone who wants to be in your program and it's a belief that's preventing them from buying. That's all it is. It's a belief. It's a thought, and it's usually a, if this, then that thought. If I do this, then I won't have the time or I won't have the resources of the money or the this or that, and I won't be able to. Therefore, I can't buy.
[01:02:31] These are their fears. These are these concerns. Now it's depends on how far you wanna go down the objection train, but if that's helping people and it's like simplifying things, here's where it gets a little tricky. Most objections that you get are clothed or cloaked as questions.
So you don't usually get, like, Heather, I have an objection to your program. I really want to join, but I am concerned that I don't have a big enough audience that will be able to buy my stuff. Therefore, I'm thinking of not joining. That's usually like not how people communicate. Instead, it's more, it could be more like, Heather, how many people do you think you need in your audience before this will really work?
[01:03:23] And it's a question, here's why this is important. A lot of times we don't understand that the question is actually an objection. So we just answer the question and you can answer the question and not address the objection, and we need to start looking at this as an objection. Well, you know the good news it is, Susie, is that you can start seeing success even if you're starting with no audience, because part of the program is, I'm gonna show you how to start building that audience, even if you're started today.
And I wanna give you a couple of examples of students that have seen success with the program, that didn't have an audience when they joined, and now they have the sales, the clients, and they've built a substantial size of audience. I'm assuming you're asking this question because you have a small audience. Is that something you're looking to learn as well is for me to teach you how to build that audience on social or ads or whatever. Oh, absolutely. Great. Is there any other questions you have for me?
So I'm addressing the objection more than just saying, 120 is the number. That didn't address the objection. That answered a question and they're like, thank you. I have, I have 110, so I guess I'm not ready for your program and you just lost a sale from someone who needs your stuff. So the objection is the opportunity and that's the biggest takeaway. And it's someone who's like, I'm in, but I'm scared. So get them out of fear and you're gonna get the yes.
[01:04:48] Heather: Okay, this is where a spicy coach Heather comes in to do some tough love for those listening on the objections piece. Here's the dichotomy that happens so often with people who want to do speaking or they get nervous being on [01:05:00] video or whatever else, right? I hear from all people all the time they're like, I'm so good in one-on-one conversations but when I go to be on camera, like I get all weird and fuddy-duddy or webinars are hard because it's one-sided. I'm good with the two-way conversations. Yet these y'all, I'm talking to you, same people who then go, ah, I hate objections. And this is the flip it on the head to double down on what you're saying, James is objection are a question to start an incredible conversation.
[01:05:29] So for those people who love having conversations with people, when someone asks you an objection, like I love, so we do a lot of our selling for our programs in direct messages. So people send their questions in via DMs and I voice message, and that's where all the selling happens is you just ask questions from their questions and have, well, my goodness a conversation.
[01:05:51] James: Right.
[01:05:52] Heather: And it is the best way to get started with selling your programs and I think so many people just want to post it and have the page do the work for them, but oh my gosh, what a gift to be able to have real conversations with people.
[01:06:06] James: Yeah. And I understand that it's awkward when you're doing a webinar. It's just a different style. It's a different, it's a different thing and that takes a little bit of time, but you know, it is still a conversation. And that's what we don't want you to, to forget about.
When I'm doing anything live or whatever, I'm having a conversation and a hack for anybody is while I'm talking, there's a level of like presence and receptive mode that I keep myself in and I try to feel the audience's objections in real time. I didn't do that on a podcast, like I just said something and you might be like thinking, oh yeah, right James. I'll say that and be like, now I know what I just said may have brought up some things for you. You might be sitting there thinking, da da da da da. Is there anyone thinking that right now? Typing a yes in the chat box. Okay, good. I'm getting a lot of yeses. Let me address that real quick.
[01:07:01] It's still, you're just kind of like, I'm gonna say the part for you that you can't say because you're like reading,
[01:07:06] Heather: You're reading their lines like, like in a play, you're writing lines.
[01:07:09] James: Yeah. And then I'm going back to my own lines.
[01:07:11] Heather: Yeah.
[01:07:11] James: And it's like, so it's still a conversation and the more conversational you make it, the better it's gonna do.
[01:07:18] Heather: Yeah.
[01:07:18] James: This is a conversation, you know?
[01:07:20] Heather: That is such a brilliant, a brilliant tactic for, so for anyone who thrives in conversations, but struggles in that one way delivery piece, the just posing the question on behalf of your audience is such a great technique. I'll even do, I had a client this today that they were struggling with a transition in one of the places on their talks and I, we literally just posed the transition as a question around like something as simple as, okay, so the question is where do we go next? And then boom, easy segue way.
So that that question asking piece actually can cover a lot of those awkward transitions, whether it's objections or not. Sometimes you can make it more conversational and keep yourself moving if you're feeling stuck so I love that you brought up that gem.
[01:08:01] James: So you might be sitting there going, asking yourself or asking me, all right, how much is this or what's the price or what's the investment? Well, here's the answer.
[01:08:11] Heather: Yep.
[01:08:11] James: I do that all the time and I love throwing in just to add a layer to this, the, if this, then that.
[01:08:19] Heather: Yep.
[01:08:20] James: If you're sitting there asking this, well, or you may, you might be sitting there, try not to like assume that they are. I know you're asking how much. Just say like, all right. You might be sitting there going, all right, James, how much?
Well, lemme me tell you. Or you might be saying, where do we go from here? You might be, or you maybe, or if you're asking, where do we go from here? Then lemme me give you the answer. Let me tell you and it has a more gentler approach than just like, I know you're asking where do we go now?
[01:08:50] Heather: Yep. Ifs and maybe
[01:08:51] James: If they're not, yeah.
[01:08:52] Heather: Those are like the best ways and that also turns it. I know a lot of people are fearful that they don't wanna come across as cocky [01:09:00] or forceful and those ifs and thens, what it does is creates that invitation for your audience to participate. It's, they are opting in right, to whatever you say next so I love those.
[01:09:11] James: That's a dance and a balance of like, how do you stand in your power and be confident, but not come off as cocky? And the most important thing I'll tell you is there are people out there that come off as really cocky and, here's what they're doing that they may not even know they're doing and it's really gross. They think they're better than you.
And if you're sitting there listening to this and you're like, yeah, I don't wanna come off cocky, you're already a person that has a level of humility where you're not going around thinking you're better than people. So just because I have the mic, just because Heather brought me on and you guys are listening while I get to talk, I am in no way thinking that I'm better than you.
What I am thinking is that I've learned some things through my unique lived experiences that only I have learned, that I've only experienced that could help someone that hasn't learned it and that's all I'm thinking. I look at it as like we're all on journeys or the same journey of sorts, and some people are a little further ahead. Some people have taken different paths and some of those people get to say, Hey, if you want to come this way, do it like this, and you might wanna watch out for that pitfall and you might wanna go around that minefield and do it this way, and that's just people assisting people.
[01:10:27] Sadly we exist in an industry where there's a lot of people that are kind of just doing it just for like the fame and the attention and they, it like builds up this self importance and this ego of like, I am, I am so amazing. You will bow to me and when you're like, I don't wanna come off as cocky cuz you see that and you're like, I definitely don't want to do it that way but you don't have to. You're just like, Hey, I've done a few things. I figured a few things out and I've made a lot of mistakes on the way, but, and I had a lot of pain, but I've figured it out and if you're still struggling to figure it out, I'm gonna help you.
[01:11:02] So you've all had an experience of helping people and no one, when you helped them said, that was so cocky of you to help me. That's what we're doing is we're helping people, and that's pretty cool when you get to get paid for that, you know.
[01:11:16] Heather: It is so, it's so freaking cool. I have another communication, question for you kind of on that lens, well, on a different lens, but one of the things we talked about a lot is that, that presence, that humility, we also talked a lot about being okay with repetition, right?
The simplicity of your offer, but also you mentioned earlier that you, say a lot of the same things over and over and over again, and part of that is, right, your students need to hear them over and over again, but also part of that's you sticking with your one thing, your main offer.
James, how do you continually show up and talk about it as if it's the first time you're talking about it, like keeping it exciting, keeping it authentic. It's never sounding rehearsed. What is it about like the way that you speak or the way that you show up or prep yourself that allows you to continue to show up in such a present stance?
[01:12:05] James: There's two answers that I have for you on that, the first one, and I appreciate you asking that because I think that is, well, I see that as a compliment to me, so I'm gonna
[01:12:14] Heather: It was a compliment. You did great.
[01:12:17] James: Very nice thing for you to say. There's two answers. The first is, there is a context through which I look at that, and I say context in, as defined as a cognitive lens, so how all of it occurs to me. And how it occurs to me is that the giant boulders that I received that were so painful was a really tough four and a half year journey of nothing.
That was really tough for me. I got addicted to Adderall. I dropped down to 140 pounds. I had a move in with mom and dad. I was in debt with overdrawing, my bank account, nothing, and I'm almost working 14 hours a day. I had nothing to show for it, and it was bad.
And then I contrast that where a life where you're making millions of dollars, you know, to just to flaunt some math around there for you and you know, like living a great life and having a lot of fun and doing some really cool stuff and helping a lot of people and doing events and all these, it's like, oh my gosh.
[01:13:16] And the context is because I went through that pain and I look at that journey, there's these moments, there's these conversations, there's these one little things that other people said that touched me in a way that made me who I am today and where I hold myself and what I stand for is that any time I open my mouth that I have the opportunity to pass that on to somebody else.
That there could be one person that even one thing in 90 minutes of talking made a difference for them and that's always what's at stake and I never wanna forget that, and the day I forget that I want you to come over and I want you to slap me in the face.
[01:14:03] Heather: I will. I'll do it with one of your guitars.
[01:14:04] James: Yes. Because I will deserve that because it is, I feel very grateful and I feel like it is such a very special privilege and a very important responsibility for what it is that I do and I do not take it lightly.
I like to be light and have a lot of fun, but I do not take that power or that, position cuz it is a position of power cuz you have a lot of people that don't know you, that listen to you and that is a level of power that people are like, I'm open to your perspectives. That's a position of power and I don't take it gut lightly, and I know I could be one sentence away from changing someone's life.
[01:14:44] Here's the other, the quick one, I promise. Number two is that I always like, I love language, I love communication, and I really love geeking out with it. So I'm always looking for ways to improve how I say something. What's a better metaphor, what's a better way to land this? What's a better way to offer this? And it's my own personal challenges of getting better at effective communication and effective metaphors or stories or whatnot. But it just, it doesn't and maybe there's a third reason, Heather, that is just like, maybe because it's your purpose.
You just don't ever get bored of it. Maybe because it's when you know it's what you're here to do, it doesn't get old and maybe if someone out there is doing something and they're sick of it, maybe it wasn't what you're meant to be doing, maybe it's not your purpose, maybe there's something else out there because the moment I found this, I said, I never wanna lose this and I fell in love with it andI still love it all these years later and it's just such a joy for me. I have a life outside of it, but it doesn't get old and I think that's maybe cuz it's what I'm here to do. I don't know.
[01:15:47] Heather: Yeah. I think it's wonderful. I think it's wonderful and I think at the same point we talked earlier about it being meta, it's for those listening, I think that's the hope for each person, right? To be able to talk about the thing that we do, the thing that we teach always making it fresh and exciting and connective to our audience so that they can be inspired so we can say that one thing that really reaches that one person who needs to hear it.
[01:16:08] So, I think that's a beautiful way to start wrapping up our episode today. I'm also very impressed with us because we are like way ahead of time of our conversation last year.
We have, I mean, we covered like a lot of ground today, but I wanna make sure we have time to talk about your upcoming event, The Rise of Digital CEO. We talked about it earlier with Nick and Jess and a few other studies or the examples you mentioned on the stories today. Can we talk about The Rise of Digital CEO that is coming on June 1st. Can you share a little bit more about it and who it might be best for?
[01:16:41] James: Yeah, absolutely. So this is a three part live training. I did it just once a year and you know, as I've kind of alluded to, I've built an eight figure year business and it's all around my digital products. I built a business to 1.2 million a year with a $97 online course teaching how to make [01:17:00] videos and that's what I started doing back in 2011.
[01:17:04] So I have 16 years total of doing this. I got started in 2007, spent a lot of years struggling so I've been doing this a really long time. And today, a big part of the passion and that purpose or that dharma is to help people build that, that seven figure business around their digital products. That's what the training's about.
I'm gonna, I'm basically just like pop up the hood of our business and show you how it runs and what we did there. This is not, I'm gonna warn you, this is not some fluff rah rah, motivational, you can do it. We get into it and I show you things that you're gonna see, like I've been looking at business all wrong. How you see business determines what's possible for you.
I think we've been sold on this idea of this internet entrepreneur, this wonderful lifestyle of sipping pina coladas with our laptop on the beaches of The Bahamas or whatever, whatever and most people's lived experience is this business has become like a prison and they're chained to it and it's dragging them down.
[01:18:02] And the big argument that you're gonna see me make a really darn good case for is that it's because most of us as this entrepreneur make really crappy business owners and my promise to you will be that if I can teach you how to actually run a business, like a business, it will fulfill on more of that dream that you were sold of when someone told you, go be an online entrepreneur.
This is why we call it The Rise of The Digital CEO what is needed is not for you to be more entrepreneurial, but is actually for you to learn how to bit run a business like a business. When you learn how to run a business like a business, you will get more freedom back in your life. You will see more profitability, you'll see for more fun and you'll see more fulfillment.
[01:18:47] I can guarantee you, I was the stereotypical, quintessential entrepreneur and my business was a mess and my life was a mess. And when I started saying, I need to figure this thing out. Why am I doing this? If it doesn't give me anything. [01:19:00] If the money that I make goes right back out the door and the time I have to spend to make it continues to increase and I have no life outside of it, what is the F-ing point because this is not sustainable? And I'm like, I gotta figure this out.
[01:19:16] So we show you how to rebuild your business from the inside out like a machine, and it's a machine of five gears and we have to plug in all five of these gears so that you start to actually run it like a business. And when you do that, you're gonna get what you actually wanted when you signed up and said, I'm gonna start this thing in the first place and that's what we love doing.
So it's not just about getting results, it's about getting your life back. That's why it's called Business by Design because it's really life by design. It's a business that works well but also serves you well in that is, that is of your choosing how you want to do that and we're just here to show you how it's done.
[01:19:53] Heather: Yeah. Okay. I love that. Get all the details to join us at The Rise Of The Digital CEO. I'll put that in the show notes. We'll have links for that. I also have a couple other resources that'll go with what we talked about today. I have to ask this question, since this is now officially your first time on the show, since we've had the rebrand.
The show is all around hint of hustle. It's the idea that to achieve big goals, you're gonna have to work a little bit, but it doesn't mean you need to hurt work all the time. You ended by saying that the whole idea is to design your business and your life in a way that you really, really want. You can have what you want.
[01:20:24] I'm curious how you've designed your business these last 10 years, 15 years. What does it create for you in terms of life outside of business? Like how do you spend your time when you're not working, james?
[01:20:35] James: Hmm. Well, there's so many things. There's so many things that I deal outside of business. First of all, it allowed me to create another business, and that was a really exciting thing is I built another business that was funded by this business and that's my Airbnb business.
So I purchased four properties. They've all doubled in value in two years and they bring in over $750,000 in bookings every year and it's, I completely automated, and that was like the really exciting thing.
[01:21:07] And now there's this whole like opening in other businesses that I wanna start. I'm looking at local businesses in Sedona and a few other opportunities as well as adding to my investment real estate portfolio so that is like a big piece for me. But I also am someone who loves to have a lot of fun and loves to play.
So, as you know, and you mentioned guitar, that has been my passion for the past year is like diving like just head deep into learning guitar and music theory. I actually have two guitar teachers, so I'm doing like lessons twice a week. I think I am up to like 12 guitars now at this point and I also got a drum set and a bass, and I've created a whole music room in my home and like a one man band.
Yeah, I am the one man band and not very good at it, but I'm learning and I've just been like really passionate about that and that's where a lot of my time is going. Other than that I've opened up like very spiritual, so I have my own spiritual practice that is like really near and dear to me, and living out in Sedona which is what a lot of people will say, is a very spiritual and healing and powerful place.
I get to live in my dream home, in this dream incredible place and kind of live my simple life. Like I kind of talk about like my version of like wealth and success, it looks a lot different, like I don't have a Lamborghini or anything like that, but I have a, I like to joke and say I do have a $200,000 camper van that I built from scratch. You know, so like my cars are like a Bronco and a Mercedes campervan with big off-road meaty tires and that's my version of success and that's what I love is like I do the things that are like more function and fun than status or trying to look good, and everyone gets to choose their own and that's what I really love, so yeah.
[01:23:00] Heather: I love that. I think that's a really great example to kind of kick the, what other people like our goals, right? They're ours. We get a pick that picture for ourselves, and thank you for sharing your geeky hobbies that we
[01:23:11] James: Yes, they're geeky. I know we all have them which is really great. I just had my, what added, I, it's just posted on stories, but I just got my firstDIY guitar kit in the mail today.
[01:23:23] Heather: Oh my goodness. It's like Legos for guitars.
[01:23:26] James: Yes, it is so I get to design it. I get to build it. I get to do all the, it's an electric, so I get to put all the electrical stuff into it. A little nervous. It's a little intimidating. The kit just arrived. I'm like, oh my gosh. I have no idea what I'm doing but,
[01:23:36] Heather: All right, friends. If you want to watch James do this, I'm sure he'll be sharing him his Instagram stories for all. I follow up instantly as he fumbles his way through it. I wanna see the painting part. If I were to do that, it would be like a second grader art project. I'm terrible at that stuff. Yeah. Okay.
[01:23:55] You're the best. James, thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate you so much. Y'all, be sure to [01:24:00] grab the links in the show notes. Also check out our last conversation, episode 151, where you hear more about stepping into that role of the digital CEO. James, you're the best. Thanks so much.
[01:24:10] James: Thanks, Heather.