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In Today’s Podcast we cover:
- Brad Barrett’s entrepreneurial journey online
- Learning about online business from Tim Ferriss
- Drop shipping business online with firewood racks bought from Flippa
- SEO strategies and getting crushed for black hat tactics
- Skills learned, even from ‘failures’: ability to create websites
- Takeaways for Brad in failures.
- Starting a new project: Personal finance site called Richmond Savers
- Getting local media attention
- The value of personal relationships, even in an online world
- Walt Disney World trip saving $4,000+ with credit card rewards points
- Getting featured in the New York Times and other major publications
- Personal connection leads to a Lifehacker Ask the Experts Q&A
- The value of being a “real” person and how people relate to that
- Aligning your incentives with your audience to create a successful site and a win-win
- Turning an online website into a “real” business
- Next project: TravelMiles101.com to help scale the business instead of being 1:1 travel coaching
- Partnering with Alexi Zemsky to form Travel Miles 101 travel rewards free course
- Publicizing our TM 101 course in the Mr. Money Mustache forums before the course existed
- Wrap up: the big picture of Brad’s journey
[00:00:07] Welcome back to the studio. So number two. That's right. We made it to a whole second episode. Very impressive.
[00:00:13] I think what we really decided we wanted to do today is dive right in and talk a little bit about your journey. I've heard your story you know in the past and it's an awesome one but our audience has it and we would really like a chance to kind of share what that progression was so just in the studio a little bit earlier we were talking about it and we wanted to really dive in and figure out how did you make the leap from being in the cubicle you know nine to five at a major tax firm just saying you know what I want to try something different. I want to I want to see what this life of financial independence looks like. I want to experiment with this laptop life so how do you how do you do that.
[00:00:47] Yeah it's it's been a long process. I mean I am not an overnight success story by any stretch of the imagination. I mean this has been a journey filled with ups and downs and you know a lot of stress a lot of amazing successes. But it's one of these things where I'm just so thankful I started on that path. And it's I guess it's been about eight years now which is quite a long time when I think about it.
[00:01:16] I think the original genesis of just having any idea of starting an online business was Tim Farriss The Four Hour Workweek. I read that as a really good book. Yeah I'm sure many of you out there have read if not highly recommend. It's a wonderful book you know and he talked about setting up these musings as he called them which were essentially setting up passive income streams that would work for you while you're sleeping. And I think one of the things he sold was some kind of like French sailor shirts which sounds insane him Jonathan sitting here cracking up but but it was really it was the process. It was you know testing and you know actually drop shipping physical products but doing it with minimal risk and this just really appealed to me too. I mean that was the original thing. But then immediately after reading it I realized oh wow one of my friends actually does this job shipping get a site with in cartridges so remanufactured cartridges and he was very successful. Had the site for years and years. Going back to really the infancy of e-commerce. So you know I had a buddy who who was on the ground doing this. So there was like the perfect jumping off point. And I actually convinced him to go into partnership with me and I would learn everything I possibly could. And we would just take his knowledge and just kind of go from there and hopefully be successful. Obviously as you hope every business venture would be. We wound up selling. I kid you not. Buyer would Rex. OK.
[00:02:41] So you know firewood for your fireplace on your on your cartridge site. No. Oh that's right. That's what he had. So right. His sleigh was in cartridges that I was did you settle on a firewood rack. There is a site called Lippa f l i PPK dot com I think it still exists. It'll probably redirect to a new site if it doesn't exist anymore. But it's an online marketplace that sells different sites like an empire flipper I think that I've seen on a number Flipper's is a big name now. So a very similar concept. And we went to finding this site that my friend who you know again had experience with Web sites drop shipping and SBO that he thought was interesting. And we bought this site we're $512. $512. OK it was ranking in like the top 10 in the major keywords for firewood rack and firewood. Is. Did you have a fireplace. No I don't. I've never lit a fire. I've never seen one of these products. But we sold firewood racks and we went up just at the time they were ASIO's strategies and we we were able to get the site up into the upper reaches of the first page and Google as you know we it medical first page yes. Yes yes. And we would get an e-mail that someone purchased someone came to my dopey little fire who would say it spent three hundred dollars on a firewood rack and I get an email. I just forward it to the manufacturer who does all the work.
[00:04:11] They package it up they shipped it out and I did nothing. All I did was forward an e-mail and I made the profit which is somewhere 20 to 30 percent on it. Oh my goodness. Yes. And it's a replicating process. Absolutely. And so it was a really elegant business model but unfortunately the fire would wreck industry online. It's not not the largest niche as you can imagine how small it is. It is surprising surprising. So it just honestly didn't go anywhere and this kind of gets into some other failures I had online which was we did some shady stuff with a CEO at the time it was like back in the days with like the word stuffing and writing all these articles out like these. I don't even know what they call them anymore. But like essentially content farms you would like get links back to your side it was just like the spammy thing and like I knew in my heart of hearts and this is going to this is going to tie into stuff later. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was the wrong thing to do. But it was what everybody was doing. And you know while I always go against that in my life for some reason I just said OK all these other guys are raking in money. This must be how you do it. Yeah. So we did it. And Google's hand and Penguin algorithm updates came out and we just got decimated Absolutely. I've heard about that. Yeah and I mean to Google's great credit right now I've got to happen. Yeah it should. It should have happen.
[00:05:31] I mean we deserve to be punished. You know tens of thousands of sites that were garbage like ours deserve to be punished. And that's a lesson right when you know something's wrong when you know you're doing the wrong thing. Stop. Yeah. So I mean that's that was a success. A little bit and then an utter failure and deservedly so. And I started some other sites at the same time. Before you go too far with that can we talk was how profitable was it. You know from a percentage basis it was somewhat profitable just because like I said you're just forwarding these emails you know with something like a 30 percent profit margin which was a living. No it was nowhere near it. It was a tiny little Nalco. It was nowhere near living. I mean a fraction fraction of it and not to mention that I had a 50 percent partner so you can get really nothing successful in the grand scheme of things. But like you said it could have been something we could have replicated. It was a model. Yes. And that was that was really when I was going for it but again after we got just crushed by google it was something that we just left a bad taste in your mouth. So we just pretty much stopped then and you know I had some other sites that were similar that just got beaten down by Google and I had put years into this. At that point a couple of years and it was pretty demoralizing and it was my own fault.
[00:06:36] So there were no moralizing. But before we just completely move on to the next venture I mean what can you talk about maybe some of the skills that you learned this was not your final plan but you had to have come away with some new skill set. Even with those failures.
[00:06:48] Now that's absolutely correct. I mean just literally learning how to set up a Web site. I mean learning WordPress when you don't have a computer background you know I mean I'm an I'm a dopey accountant. I mean I know nothing except you're probably great except if I can I can do. That's ex-felon math. That's about all I got. But I had no clue any of the stuff from buying a domain name to what DNS means to getting posting and actually creating the word as CEO. Right. Search Engine Optimization. Who who knows that that's not in this world.
[00:07:18] I literally learn that word in 2015. I mean that's how new that one is to me.
[00:07:23] Yeah. And you know learning rudimentary HCM owl. That's something I never would have thought in a million years I would know. But coming from an accounting screen like I loved the logic of it I mean it's it's really neat. It makes me wonder if I know a lot of people in the fire community are engineers and software developers like I would have been interested in. I've learned belatedly in my mid to late 30s that that would have been interesting but you learn these tasks. And that was a toolbox a skill set that I simply did not have. So that learning curve I already beat it. The trepidation for getting into this and starting a new site for most people that is difficult to overcome. And we're going to have a tutorial on our site on how we created shoes ephi. And Jonathan has done a masterful job on that and the site looks like a million bucks. It looks like a site that would have that has existed for years but he put his heart and soul into that and he spent dozens if not hundreds of hours learning and reading and just making it as good as he can be and I learned that skill set that would that would help me and really get over the nervousness of starting so that I guess is what I would take away from that experience.
[00:08:27] And also when you say that that was your tip toeing into the water and from there you felt more confident about learning a new skill. Is that fair to say. Without a doubt. So you know that was not particularly successful but I think probably you could say that you learned how to figure out what the question was. You know know the answer right away but you figured out how to ask the question and where to go find the information.
[00:08:50] Without a doubt. And you know I also learned some things obviously not to do as I've mentioned I also learned some people succeed wildly and things that they don't care one iota about. OK. But I know for myself I learned this about myself that I was not interested in firewood rocks. I was not interested in these other dopey you know content farms that I created on nursing programs in New York City which honestly we had this one keyword and out this key word will do anything but it was LPN programs in NYC. Ok now that one page made us like hundred dollars a month in Google Ad Sense alone I kid you not oh my Jonathon's wheels are spinning now. You know how can I create a nursing so right. To put on my car. So I mean for a very short time that one page that I had someone I outsource that article for I think $4. I kid you not $4. That article made four to five hundred dollars a month for a couple of months until we got decimated. So you know you know you learn you learn a lot of these things and I learned what I didn't it which was the drudgery of something that I wasn't interested in. So that was an essential takeaway for me and the next thing was OK I can either give up at this point. I've invested a couple of years nights and weekends time away from my wife that amounted to essentially nothing on you know on paper if you're looking from the outside and amounted to nothing.
[00:10:18] But I knew that it amounted to something because I had to learn all these things over those years. I put in the time and I could have given up or it could have doubled down and taken what I learned that I need something that I'm passionate about and create a new project and that's what I did. And what was that next project. Yes. That was a personal finance site. Surprise surprise. You know we're here talking about financial independence and early retirement and the personal finance site was called Richmond Seavers. And that one is still active today is doing really well. Yeah it's it still is and obviously the name doesn't evoke you know national aspirations. We live in Richmond Virginia. We save money that essentially is what it means. You know some people think it's like a coupon blog or something and things like that but you know I kind of figured at that point and I took what I had learned about as CEO and about getting some media attention. And I said OK look I'm never going to be a national level blogger in all likelihood the odds are hugely stacked against me. But I can get some local press enrichment. So that was actually the thought process behind Richmond saver's dot com. And that actually kind of fast forward a little bit since I'm talking about as we've been interviewed by all three major TV networks here in Richmond because the reporter found us through a simple Google search. So it was the one literally typed into Google saving money Richmond Virginia and we showed up on the first page. She sent us an e-mail right.
[00:11:40] I mean how amazing and what do you think was putting you on the first page at that point. Was it a CEO skills or did you have back links.
[00:11:45] I mean I think it's a combination of yeah I mean cite authority is probably some of it at that point we had some links from other personal finance sites that were significant. I can't point to them exactly because it's you know it's hard to place the timeline in content do you have a lot of content at that point yeah I mean we certainly had you know many dozens of articles.
[00:12:03] So you know I think we naturally showed up in Google ranks always again. Yeah. And but it was neat to have that plan in the back of my head that said OK it's possible we're going to get some media attention in Richmond. And it really happens organically like you said yeah you know. I mean that's cool. But it is interesting that you point to and say I did that right. That was a good plan.
[00:12:21] So already from this conversation you're thinking about finding a niche What does that niche going to be. How far down that rabbit hole do you go. And then at what point do you pull back and you say you know what I do want to broaden my audience a little bit. I need a few more people to fire x maybe a little bit too niche. Savers maybe a maybe a great idea. Depending on how much you want to scale your business. So from there I mean that site's still going. What do you think it was about that particular site that really helped it elevate itself above the noise.
[00:12:48] Yes so I mean there are as we know Gaussians of personal finance sites and I would say I would say it's twofold. One is personal relationships I feel in life and business even though this is the online world right. Personal relationships still matter. They matter really more than anything you know once you're minimally qualified. Right. In just about anything it's creating and this is not networking in that scam kind of here's my business card. Look how great I am type of way. But just creating genuine personal relationships. And I've gotten links and people helping me out just because I was a genuine person and I help them out and I'll kind of come back to this in a minute. But really where my site gained some attention was was through this concept of travel hacking and we'll talk about this in the future in depth. But basically using credit card rewards points to travel for free or close to free. And I wasn't the originator of this concept by any stretch of imagination. You know I came into the game pretty late but what I wound up doing was researching a trip to Walt Disney World for my family.
[00:13:52] There are millions of families who go to Disney World every single year. And it's expensive. It costs four to five thousand dollars just for the hotel the flights the park tickets. I mean it's ridiculously expensive and I kind of realized OK maybe there's a way to tie travel hacking into this trip to Disney and also on my website because I know if if my family could benefit from this that the hundreds of thousands if not millions of other families could benefit as well. So I had it in the back of my mind that this is something that could take off. Like this is something that could really resonate with people and get national level attention.
[00:14:24] And I'm noticing two or three things there. You have this question this idea is paying for just outright. The best way to do it is there may be a better way. And then you're willing to research it and you come up with an answer. And then now you're going to do something really cool with his answer outside of just using it for yourself right.
[00:14:41] That's exactly right. I mean that's you have an itch and you scratch it. Right. Like I knew there had to be a better way. I just knew it and I just simply couldn't pay $5000 out-of-pocket to go to Disney World for five years. That was that was just simply not going to happen. So I did a ton of research. I opened these credit cards these very targeted credit cards to put this together and we end up getting there for I think all told there was like $150 for the three main sections that I talked about and I blogged about an precise step by step detail of hey look we're not Ozols off the street. My wife and I are both CPA is fairly legitimate if we can do this and we can research it and we think that it's legitimate. Here's here's how you can do it. And we wound up getting really huge attention outside's attention for this we on getting mentioned in this superbly popular article in The New York Times in I think it was January of 2014 at this point which is quite a long time ago. But it just blew up our site. I mean it literally blew over. Actually the site crashed almost immediately but luckily we had backups which is another tip for anybody making a sign. Oh gosh please have. Yes.
[00:15:46] And then now that exposure completely did move you to a national platform.
[00:15:51] Yeah without a doubt. And you can always say I was in the New York Times I was featured in The New York Times and those little trust things they matter. They really do. I mean people come to your site and you see a little as seen on and on my site it's the Huffington Post.
[00:16:05] Lifehacker The New York Times just like everyone by the way I would love to just talk about how you made it on the light was it the same article that made you so.
[00:16:12] It was originally that one that was where we got mentioned for the Disney the Disney article literally the writer just saw that article in New York Times they didn't even interview me. I don't believe for that. They just wrote it up about it. And I actually have an interesting story about life hacker that ties into the personal relationships that I was talking about 10 minutes ago which is I had befriended a writer she had her own personal finance site. I helped her with travel hacking personally. So this was part of how I got my name out there which is I offered my time and advice and expertise for free to anybody. It wasn't just bloggers. This was not some master Machiavellian plan to become successful this was I would help anybody that came to me. And you know my name got out there in the personal finance blogger community that paid this guy knows what he's doing. He'll jump on the phone with you for 30 minutes and help you out. And he's not looking for anything return.
[00:17:04] Yeah. And I wound up helping someone a couple of years before and I went up writing her an email just to say hello and tell her about this project that I was doing with the Disney World trip and just seeing if she could help in any way. And she said you know no it doesn't really fit into my audience. Really targeted towards millennials. But she's like you know I do read from life hacker and I could see my editor be interested in like ask me anything Q&A with you just for credit card rewards or travel hacking and I'm like OK you know that sounds amazing.
[00:17:34] You know I bet you I read that article before I even knew you because I've been in a life hacker fan for a long time. And I think I remember that credit card article but I didn't know who you were at the time. That's actually hilarious. Now I'm very confident that I read that.
[00:17:48] Yeah. That's super cool. And so literally within one day I had a 60 minute live Q&A planned for the following Monday on life hacker. I mean that's how quickly this went down. She just sent an e-mail to her editor. He said that sounds fantastic and we send it up and there I was as an expert on Lifehacker on credit cards and credit card rewards points and you literally turned maybe like three days worth of Google searches into it became an expert.
[00:18:17] Right. I mean you have you had a question you figured out the answer. You documented it so you know how to resource and all of the other stuff you had to learn to learn the core essentials. Gave you this platform to be an expert in this topic.
[00:18:29] Yeah that's exactly right. And being an expert quote unquote I don't love that word because I think a lot of us still have that imposter syndrome where you know we talk about down the road but being an expert is being better than not better than but knowing more than 95 percent of people and clearly I have that on travel. How can you know am I the world's foremost expert on trauma hacking. No I'm not.
[00:18:49] I mean if you go if you go meet if you go down to just some sort of meeting place their library and you find 100 people and you ask them about travel hacking. They're going to think you're talking about putting extra stuff in your suitcase. I mean they're just people just don't talk. So it's a pretty low bar to be even a moderate expert in that space.
[00:19:06] You know it just takes some research and takes a platform. I have that platform and retirement savings account to put it together and I think people also relate to real people as silly as that sounds. But we don't hold ourselves out as experts. We have a picture of our family of four with our two daughters smiling out at everybody. We are a real family. And that was something that I always always really stressed right. I'm a regular guy. You know I was sitting in an office just like you doing my tax returns and hoping for a way out. Right. And I worked and I found it. So I am not any different. And I think people people relate to that and they want to know that they can actually do this and I think that's part of what we're doing here at shoes. Right. We are experimenting and we're showing you the good the bad the ugly of this. We don't know how all these experiments are going to turn out but we're going to experiment in front of you. That's where we called the fishbowl. You know you're going to get to look in and see what we do. And I mean that's really cool.
[00:20:05] And you don't need to do everything that we're doing but at some point you need to see somebody model something for you to see that it's possible and not always see the finished product but to actually see it as it's happening and see where it goes. And it's inspiring it's inspiring for me when I see somebody doing it. It's hard for me to look at a millionaire or a billionaire and appreciate all the little things they potentially had to do to get there. All I see is that they are a millionaire or they are a billionaire and almost instantly they become unrelatable choose F-I is where relationships start. It is we want you to relate to our content we want you to relate to our ideas. We want you to visualize it as something that simple. It doesn't require that you have six or seven letters after your name. It's something that you can just grab onto and do and you don't need to have every idea you don't need to have every skill. You can just figure out the one or two things that you like and figure out how to implement it and drastically improve your life. And so when we're diving into these stories with Brad I just want you all to really focus on what his mindset was and and what he learned from that and how he implemented that in the next project so his next one is really exciting and you're going to really see how these tied together this makes a very.
[00:21:13] Once you see his decision tree you will understand how do these came to the conclusion so you wonder you learned about a new type of way of earning money with this last project. So initially when you when you did the Disney Savir you learned how to get this trip for free. Very very cool but that's not where your learning stopped. What was that what was the next step in that right.
[00:21:32] Yeah so from the bloggers perspective from my perspective as the web site owner it was how can I help people do this and how can I earn some money in the process. Right. And I think ultimately if you can get your incentives aligned properly where you're not screwing over your audience or doing something terrible like that's not what I traffic in mine is a win win scenario. Right. So my thought was here's what I can do. I can work with people essentially one on one you know kind of take it as a hybrid business. This was this was what I was thinking and this kind of goes back to what we talked about in the first episode which is taking a skill set getting this toolbox of information that allows you to look at problems in a slightly different way. Every single person who in the travel blogger space they are all about online. Right it's just produce as much content as you possibly can get as many visitors and just by your the Law of Large Numbers you're going to make some money. Well I realized my site was never going to get in all likelihood millions of visitors. But what I could do was look at look at the numbers like an account and say oh wow you know these credit card affiliate programs actually pay reasonably well. And if I can help someone one on one they can put together this trip to Disney World or wherever it may be. But I did focus on Disney. They can save thousands of dollars they can get all of these points. They can tell friends this could spread.
[00:22:55] You know they're getting this trip for free. I'm getting money from the credit card company so all the people who I'm working with all they had to do was just simply click on links on my web site. There is no harm to them. They obviously were only going there if it was the best possible link. So get incentives online.
[00:23:10] That is literally the cleanest most beautiful monetization program I've seen. It allows you to actually work with the people on the on the site in a very benevolent type of way. I just I want to give you this information. Do you want to take your wife to Italy or to Europe. This is how you can do it for $5000 less than your original plan.
[00:23:28] Thank you sir. I appreciate it. And I realize OK you know this is a this is something that I can be proud of and this is something that can work. You know I literally did one on one coaching so I made it a hybrid business of an online site and an actual business I mean I would literally get on the phone with people I was still working then so I had scheduled calls at 12:00 and 12:30. And then when I got home at like 7:00 and 7:30 so I mean I spent spend potentially two hours on the phone a day with just random people from the Internet and they weren't paying me a penny. At that point not one person ever paid me $1 and you know it was enough that they clicked on these links and you know some of them never did. Some of them never followed through and I never knew they could have just googled the card. Right. But you know again people want to help you out when you help them out. That's just the way the world works. And that was this business model. You know it really worked and you know I got my name out there. I went up again helping other personal finance bloggers and they would mention me in passing it wasn't something overt that I did to get links or anything. I was just making relationships and helping people.
[00:24:27] You know I think that's a big contrast away the way you learn about marketing in school when you're just doing it for a class. They talk about going to a conference and taking 45 business cards and trying to get 60 business cards and doing a follow up e-mail and it's it's very spammy as opposed to you have something to offer and you're offering to help somebody and I think that's that's the beauty of when you view relationships and that particular perspective you're just about making connections and about seeing how you can help somebody looking at their products and services seeing what they're offering and see how you can lend a hand with the some way shape or form.
[00:25:00] Yeah without a doubt. And if you know me at all as you are you'll get to know me and certainly over the next months and years I'm a pretty introverted guy and I go to a conference and I hang out with the five people that I know. So I'm not handing over business cards. I mean again with me it's creating those real relationships friendships. These are not contrived things that you're going know Conference and doing the glad handing and all that all that other nonsense. Some people do that and some people are very successful. That's a different person than I am. For me it's about these relationships so that is where is really where any level of success that I had came from. And then I'm sure Jonathan was going to ask this next but I'll just kind of jump into it which is my next project right. So my next project was travel miles 1 0 1 1 0 1 dot com. Right. So I realized very quickly that I could not scale my one on one coaching. Richard in St. Louis there was only a certain number of hours in the day and I had that point two young daughters and I didn't want to be on the phone for hours a day especially if I didn't know people were falling through and you know it was just it just became too much. And we had a decent bit of traffic at that point and people were signing up and I couldn't help people in the way that I wanted to. And it just it just was impossible it became very stressful.
[00:26:14] And we talked about passion before and I have a real passion for helping people save money. And I wanted to do this in the best way possible. And this method that got me from zero to a pretty successful site. This one on one coaching that was wonderful for the time but it just wasn't scalable. So I was kind of the thought process behind the pivot I would say and what I did was I wound up partnering up with a friend of mine Alexi Demski who has a Web site called Miles Dividende empty.
[00:26:43] He's a medical doctor and he had that already. Right. That was his site before. Yes.
[00:26:48] Yes. So yeah that's how we got to know each other. He was another personal finance guy who was interested in travel hiking and you know somehow or another we came across each other or just started emailing and spoke on the phone a couple of times just this perfectly organic friendship like we're talking about right.
[00:27:04] And I had this idea in January of 2015 for a travel hacking course we called in which two people in the know in the blogosphere it's just it email auto responder but it was more than that. It was again we build it as this course and it was at the time it was 30 days and you know we've iterated a million times since then and got it down to shorten. But it was an e-mail a day for 30 days and we would give you bite sized lessons at the end of that 30 day period you would be able to confidently move forward as a travel hacker both on the earning and redeeming side.
[00:27:40] And I've taken that class and it's as good. It's really good.
[00:27:43] Yeah and well I appreciate that. And you know so that was that was what we thought of right. So you know this is something that can scale because it doesn't matter if we have one person sign up a day or 10000. It's just an email service. Right. So we spent a lot of time putting this course together and creating these videos creating all this content and really coming up with a sequential way to teach people travel hacking. And I guess you know the most interesting thing is that we started advertising this quote unquote advertising will talk about that in a minute. But advertising it before we even had a course literally.
[00:28:19] So we are both members of the Mr. Money Mustache online forum community which is you know one of the most thriving if not the most thriving personal finance community online certainly in the fire community. And we up just putting a post saying hey everybody we'd love to help you travel hacking is perfect for mustachios. And this is the perfect community we want to help. We're going to take our knowledge put it together and this course sign up. It's FREE. We're not looking to get anything out of you and we end up getting something in the first couple of months we we're getting maybe like 500 people to sign up. That's awesome just from this one post essentially. And then we put that post up before we had created the first lesson of the course.
[00:29:01] So it was a sink or swim moment because we said that you had a hard deadline and you had you had you had to make the product. Yeah.
[00:29:07] And show it was the best thing we ever did because we would have procrastinated in all likelihood and tried to perfect it and blah blah blah and I would've taken it would've taken months. And who knows if it ever would have gotten off the ground on February 1st 2015 and that first e-mail was going out whether we had it or not. And I mean I kid you not we were still in production on like February 11th. I was sure like it was hilarious like up uploading the e-mail for February 12. I mean like that's how just in time this was at that point. But again taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture I realized I could not possibly scale the original process I had but that I was on to something as a as a business model.
[00:29:47] You know this is something that people need. People can benefit from and that I can make some money off of in a perfectly sanitized way that we all win right now. That has always been my goal. We have been actually honest from day one about this and that's something that's essential to us. So that's really kind of the arc of my entire online business career in whatever 40 minute podcast Whatever you're up to here.
[00:30:08] Brad has been featured on multiple podcasts and video podcast over the last several years. And I've always wanted to go deeper into this because it's not just the travel hacking it's not just it's not his specific course or his specific site it's the perfect example that thousands of other fire community members and bloggers and business owners have gone through. It's this process of sharpening the steel and figuring out what your goal is and getting you a little bit closer in learning a new skill and then learning how to turn that. And you always hear well you learn best from your mistakes or you know well that was his success but he's got a lot of failures behind him. That got him there. But this is what it actually looks like. I mean this is your. Yes. Yes. You have failures but what are those actual gems that you're finding in the failures What are those what are those things that you're learning from it and how are you using those in the next ones. So what I'm hearing specifically in this last transition is scalability. Are you going to when you pick a goal if at the end of your goal you have to be there every day and you're helping one person and that's the most you can help before you have to get a second person to help another person you're screwed. That business model is not going to be sustainable for you or gets you to where you want to be. You have to be at a place where you can affect thousands and hundreds of thousands and have the opportunity to affect millions of people.
[00:31:26] So when you take your idea and you learn all these skills the next step is figuring out how can I reach the masses and how can I make this a win win for me and for them because they're all going to win. But if they get excited about it and are using my services I'm going to win too. So thank you Brad I really appreciate you coming in and sharing your story with us today.
[00:31:46] This is great. This is definitely the most in-depth I've ever gone on the entire arc there. And I appreciate you joining us.
[00:31:54] Choose F-I episode to your radio podcast for financial independence online.
Links from the show:
- Flippa Online Marketplace for website sales
- Firewood storage racks by Alexander Manufacturing
- Empire Flippers online marketplace
- Travel rewards plan to save big at Walt Disney World
- Lifehacker Q&A
- Free Travel Miles 101 email course
- Mr. Money Mustache forums
Books Mentioned in the Show:
- Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates came out and we just got decimated. To Google’s great credit.
- Coming from an accountant’s brain, I love the logic of html and coding
- Choose FI looks like a million bucks because Jonathan put his heart and soul into it!
- I learned what I didn’t want to do, which was the drudgery of something I wasn’t interested in.
- I made it a hybrid business between an online site and an actual business
- I have a real passion for helping people save money
- It’s this process of sharpening the steel and figuring out what your goal is and getting you a little bit closer.