Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

What Would This Look Like If It Was Easy?

A great question I’ve been asking myself lately (about business and life) is “What would this look like if it was easy”.

It’s an amazing question and thanks to Tim Ferris for suggesting it.

In business when I think about what it would look like if it was easy I think of:

No emails to attend to, a 5 hour work day where I sit down, create some content and then finish the day.

The money comes in as it does through advertising, affiliate fees etc but my business doesn’t create any immediate pressures and I am able to be free and creative with the content I create.

It also means no permanent office and no big computer, just a laptop or writing device. That one is a bit of a head spin for me who has loved having my own office for so long.

That is what easy looks like to me.

So I’m going to focus 2017 on creating a business that is easy.

That means focusing on things that will make less money now, but will create the business I want in the future.

See I think most people focus on how to make the most money now. They don’t look ahead and think “What business do I want and what actions do I need to take to have that business?”

That’s what (I think) makes me different from a lot of other business owners.

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Something So Good

Recently I have become disillusioned with my business. Not because it isn’t going well but purely because there feels to be no challenge left in it.

I had a goal – to make enough money to support my family through my business. I have achieved that goal and achieved it in such a way that I could literally work 4 hours a week if I wanted to.

Now that’s not to say my current success or income level would be sustained long term working only 4 hours per week, but for the near future it likely would be.

I don’t have a desire to earn more money, thus the thought of simply working to grow my businesses beyond their current state doesn’t inspire me.

Recently I have turned to a competitive game I love to quench my satiating thirst for learning, a 2001 Gamecube game known as Super Smash Bros Melee.

This game is so easy to pick up and play, yet so technical and deep if you want to be good that it is a perfect outlet for me.

Obsession With Business

For year’s I have had an obsession with business, online business in particular.

I would spend countless hours listening to business podcasts, audiobooks and reading blog posts about different marketing strategies or approaches to innovation.

I remember not being able to turn my brain off as it churned through different product ideas and ways I could make my fledgling property website grow it’s traffic or make more money.

Yet over the last 6 months or so that passion for business learning has all but completely dried up.

The proof it in the hundreds of business podcast episodes piled up on my phone that would have previously been listened to as soon as they were released.

Or the fact that I haven’t bought a business book in months when I would usually churn through 1 or more a week.

A Passion For Melee

I first started playing Super Smash Bros Melee in April 2015 after my 3rd child was born. My first tournament was 3-4 Months later in July or August 2015.

What started as a random hobby to help me relive my childhood playing Super Smash Bros on Nintendo 64 soon turned into a passion.

Weekly meetups on Tuesday nights, weekend tournaments once a month and practicing every day from home.

It’s been the perfect outlet for my need to learn and improve, which I feel hasn’t been happening in business lately.

My First Glimpse Of My Next Project

I was driving in the car today listing the Start Up Podcast and an ad came on for Blue Apron. The ad described their service and a dish you could make (which didn’t sound up my alley).

But I remember having this strong sense of not wanting to create a product/service/company that requires crappy advertising to succeed.

Instead I want to create something so good that people can’t help but tell other people about it.

That is all I’m going off at the moment. A random sense that I want to create something really good and something that people want to talk about.

It’s a tiny breadcrumb and I have no idea where it leads of even where the next breadcrumb will be. But it’s the first food I’ve had in a long time so I am cherishing it and excited to see what’s next.

In The Meantime

In the meantime I am continuing to maintain my business and might even put in a little bit of work to grow them.

But most of my focus is on 2 things.

  1. Getting better at Super Smash Bros Melee
  2. Learning how to learn things faster and become an expert quicker

It’s really the 2nd thing that is driving me at the moment.

I know in the future I want to study neuroscience, I know that I want to somehow be involved and have an impact in the area of education…but I have no idea what those things look like.

Exploring ultimate performace and how people become the absolute best in their field is something that I feel will pay dividends down the line.

Melee makes me zero money and pursuing it costs me money. To be one of the best in a competitive computer game actually means very little to me when I look at my entire life.

But this. Pursuing something with the goal of being the best you can be at it, the immense focus and learning required to achieve that, and any shortcuts to making that happen…are so valuable to me.

I am interested to see how this pursuit of mine plays out in the future and what part my role to become better at Melee has on the project I choose to work on next.

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Will I Always Be Average?

iniartworksmallDo I have it in me to create incredible content or will I always be average?

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Will Your Business Grow Up To Eat You?

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iniartworksmallAre you creating a business that will grow up and eat you?

Hey guys, Ryan here from Instructions Not Included – a show about me, Ryan, as I try and make a decent living online. Today, I wanted to talk about whether or not your business is going to grow up and eat you.

There’s actually some insects and some spiders that grow up to eat their mothers. That, obviously, doesn’t sound very nice.

I say a lot of times that people’s businesses grow up and end up eating them alive. What do I mean by that? I mean that the business grows up to a point where it takes away the very thing the entrepreneur was trying to get in the first place.

Some people want to build big business, you know? Wolf of Wallstreet, million-dollar businesses, you know, maybe not that dodgy, but you know what I mean.

They want to build this large businesses and they’re happy working 80-hour weeks and doing business. They want to build the next Airbnb or Uber or something like that.

I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about people like me, who want to build a business that’s going to generate some lifestyle for them. It’s going to give them some freedom for their time. It’s going to give them some financial security.

It’s going to give them the ability to spend more time with their friends and with their family doing the things that they love, like playing Super Smash Brothers Melee or going surfing or whatever it is that you may want to do. There’s people that want that sort of lifestyle, but they build businesses that will actually take away that sort of lifestyle.

Let me use and example. I have a property blog in Australia and a common business in this industry is what I call “property marketers”. So they sell new build developments to people as “investments”.

These are generally overprice properties. I hate this part of the industry because people buy these properties that lose them money because someone’s selling it to them and pretending it’s an investment. Anyway, the moral compass and things aside, that sort of business is one where you’re doing one-on-one selling with people. You’re making a commission from the developer, so you’re making anywhere between maybe $5,000 and $40,000 for the sale of a property.

But what happens overtime as that scales and you get more and more people, because it’s so heavy one-on-one interaction, you’re making so much per individual client, then as that scales, you’ve either got more and more work to do yourself and so, that takes away from lifestyle or you decide, okay, I want to get other people to do this for me.

So you bring in sales people that you hire or “mentors” or whatever it is want to call them. You get offices and things like that. Eventually, you get to the point where your business is going well, but you need to make X amount of sales per month just to cover the expenses of your business.

You can imagine that as you have more and more staff working for you, these are staff on the ground in Australia or whatever country it may be. As you get more and more people working for you, then you’ve got to pay them and so things get expensive.

And so, you get to the point where if you were to stop, unless you’ve designed your business immaculately, you’ve got managers running it for you, if your business was to stop, you’ve got all of these overheads and expenses to pay that the business would eventually eat you alive because you’ve got all these expenses that aren’t getting paid that you’ve got to find money to pay it.

And so, you’ve created a business where it needs to keep going and it needs to keep rolling every single month and you need to keep putting work into it. Otherwise, the expenses are going to eat that business alive.

I see a lot of people start lifestyle businesses and they get to the point where they’re at this point and their business is eating them alive. Either they’re really successful, but they can’t stop or they’re not as successful as they want to be and they’ve got too many expenses.

There’s quite a few people who are in that boat. I always try to design my business different. That’s what I really want to talk about today is more my experience. Because I’m not a guru, I’m not someone who wants to tell you what to do, but I want to talk about what I did and so, maybe you can take something out of that. When I design my business, I went full time with business about 3 years ago. And at that point, I was making $500 to $1,000 per month total in revenue. Not a great deal of money, but I had some government support for a year through a program called “NEIS”.

There’s an Australian program for new businesses so I had some support from that. There was a lot of opportunities for me in the early days, even now, to make a lot of money quite quickly through methods like property marketing. I’ve got an Australian property blog that gets over 100,000 visitors a month.

If you count up all the podcast downloads, Youtube views and stuff like that, you’re probably looking 150,000-200,000 visitors, uniques, whatever you want to call it, a month. Which is quite large for an Australian property blog. It’s a very niche topic, very highly valuable traffic and stuff like that as well. People spend a lot of money on property, it’s a big industry.

Anyway, there was a lot of opportunities for me to make more money by becoming a buyer’s agent or becoming a property marketer by working one-on-one with people, whether it be through coaching or through selling them properties or helping them buy a property. I could make $6,000-$10,000 per person if I was a buyer’s agent. I could make $10,000+ if I was a property marketer. Rather than a membership site where I sell monthly memberships for $29 per month.

There was a lot opportunity to make a lot of money and I’ve got a friend who’s a buyer’s agent and he does really well for himself. And so, there was those opportunities for me. But, I always projected forward and thought, “Okay, in 5 years’ time, what’s this business going to look like? What sort of lifestyle do I want for myself? Do I want the money? Do I want the $500,000 a month or whatever it may be if I could get to that point?” and I thought, “No, I don’t.” I don’t care that much about money, which is weird to say from someone who’s got a podcast about trying to make a decent living online. But, what I care about is 2-fold.

It’s about having a positive impact in people’s lives through the work that I do. Through the businesses that I run, I want to have a positive impact on people. So I always try and be really genuine, try and be transparent, all of that sort of good stuff. That cancels out a whole bunch of money-making ideas for me on the Wolf of Wallstreet guy.

I want to have that, but then, I also want the freedom of my time. So I want to be free to spend my time on whatever it is. That might be working on my business, but it might also be spending time with my family, spending time with my friends. Me and my family have this idea that we’re going get a camper van and we’re going to travel around Australia and I’ll work from the van. And so, that’s our idea now, but 3 years ago, when I started this business, I didn’t know what we would be doing. But, I always thought in my mind, I want a business that can run without me and that doesn’t have all these crazy overhead that I need to think about. So I want a simple business.

On Property, I always came back to it because it was the one that was doing the best and had the best opportunity and I had so many options to go ahead and to make a lot of money, but they never fit inline with the lifestyle that I wanted and the business that I eventually wanted to have so I said “No” to a lot of things. It was a frustrating business for a long time because there’s no simple affiliate stuff that I can just market.

It’s not an Amazon site where I can link people through to Amazon and they purchase products, I get a commission. It’s not a site that works really well for advertising because (a) the advertising doesn’t necessarily make enough money and then, (b) the people who are paying to advertise are people that I don’t really want to associate myself with. I was kind of in a pickle there so I had to create my own products in order to sustain myself.

The product that eventually worked after many iterations, trial and error, so many different things. I’ve now got a main membership site where I sell memberships for $29 a month and I go out and I find particular types of properties that people are looking for, called “positive cash flow properties” and I share them with people. As well as a bunch of training and tools in there as well.

That is the website that I’ve got setup at the moment. I got around 150 members, so you go ahead and do the math on that. Obviously, I’ve got business expenses as well and I’ve got other websites that aren’t just On Property, which I’ll talk about in a minute.

The business that I run, I could effectively run this business now probably one day a week. I think I would need one day a week to do customer service, to do admin, to do the maintenance stuff that needs to happen on the site and the site would basically just run. Don’t get me wrong, this is not something that just happened overnight.

I spent 3 years creating content, doing a video a day, doing an episode a day, doing all this blog content, getting the video transcribed, paying all this money to get it transcribed, put it on the blog to get all this traffic. But, I’m at the point where the traffic comes in every month, thousands of people everyday because I spent years doing this.

That was always my marketing strategy to begin with. Property marketers would go out and spend money because if they can spend $1,000 and get a client who makes them $10,000, that’s worth it. But for me, the marketing I did, I wanted to do marketing now that’s going to work into the future for me. Because originally, when I was starting, I had no idea what I was going to sell.

No idea what product I was going make or affiliates or whatever it may be. I didn’t know how I was going to make money. So I thought, I would build up an audience and I would just find out how to make money from that audience, which luckily worked out for me over the last few years.

So the marketing that I have, I built up overtime so I could effectively work one day a week on this site and it could make enough. I call it “survival money”. It makes enough for us to survive, but we’re not extremely rich. This is my office.

I am in a garage. So I’m not extremely rich or anything like that. But, the business is at a point where it’s sustainable. Moving forward in my business, which I think is what I really wanted to talk about and this episode is going way longer than I expected, but I hope this is interesting to you. Moving forward, we’re looking at moving into a van.

I’ve got 3 children. We’re going to be living in a sprinter van with 5 of us in there. So, this may work. We might go and hate and last 2 weeks and come back or we may go and love it and go for a year. We don’t actually have any plans on how long we’re going to do this for. But, I need a business where I’m going to have sporadic internet, where I may not be able to get online every single day, but I still want to be able to work on my business and grow my business.

Over the last couple of months, that’s led me to make different decisions about the businesses that I run, about where I focus my time. It’s funny because something like On Property where it’s a membership site, where I kind of need to check in everyday because there’s new members coming through, old members leaving. Check in everyday to make sure everything is going all right, answer emails and things like that. That can be frustrating. When you’re looking at living on the road, that won’t necessarily work.

I don’t know what internet is going to be like, etc. I’m sure it’d be fine. But, I wanted a business where I could literally not have maintenance work for that business.

Maintenance work would be dealing with hacks, paying for your website hosting, upgrading plugins, things like that. That sort of maintenance is fine, because that’s so sporadic and you hardly need to do it. But, maintenance in terms of customer service or something, that I wanted to – not eliminate from my business because I always want On Property, but for each of the new work that I do, all the new effort I put into websites, I wanted websites that didn’t generate customer inquiries.

That may sound like rude. I don’t know if that sounds arrogant or anything like that, but I wanted a business where I feel like the best work that I do is communicating. So that might be like this episode with you guys, that might be an On Property podcast episode, that might be a product review article that I write. I feel like my best skill and what I enjoy the most is creating quality content that really helps people.

So that’s what I wanted to be spending my time and as I built my own products and membership site and things like that, my time was taking away through customer service. Yeah, you could hire virtual assistants and stuff like that, but I wanted to think, is there a business that I could create where I didn’t need a virtual assistant? I didn’t need to do customer service. Kind of over trial and error and things like that, I’m kind of in the product review market now.

I create websites, I review products, I do a really good job of it. I compare products to each other. I answer common questions about products. And I either make money through advertising that traffic through advertising to that traffic, you know, Google AdSense, things like that. Or I can make money through Amazon affiliates or eBay affiliates or different sort affiliates and things like that.

I’ve got a variety of different sites. Some are physical products that I review. Some of them are online products, like the email marketing service I use, ConvertKit. I’ve created some videos on that, how to do things with that, a review of that and I get some monthly commissions from there. So that’s one example of things.

But, what I love about these sites is that you don’t have any emails coming in. If I check my email inbox from my review sites, I don’t get any customer emails. I might get one in a month. I might get some comments on Youtube that I can choose to respond to if I want. But, it’s not customers who have paid me money directly that I need to respond to in a quick amount of time because otherwise, they’re going to get angry at me and need a refund.

I absolutely love these types of businesses because firstly, they’re really exciting for me. I never thought that I would love review products, but exploring new products, finding out what’s good, helping people make the right decision to get the best one.

That’s really fun, I really like that. As well, trying out all these different things. But, as well, of the business model where I can create this quality content that really helps people, that might help them for years to come if the products don’t change. Or, it might just help them for the next 6 months or something like that if the product’s, you know, there’s new iPhones coming out every year. Not that I review iPhones, but you know, there’s new products all the time.

This business is something that I can do on the road, reviewing products, researching products, writing articles I could do without internet access, filming videos I can do without internet access, editing I can do without internet access. And so, I try to think about – okay, my business, with the lifestyle that I want, what are the things that I need? I need work that I can do while not connect to the next, check.

I need work that doesn’t create emergency situations because I might not have access to the internet, I might not be able to deal with emergencies. Okay, check. I need work that I can continue to grow this business, but as I grow it, it doesn’t demand more from me.

And so, that’s always been great with the content that I create because it goes up on Youtube or it goes up on a podcast like iTunes or it goes up on the blog and traffic comes in, people Google, people find it, but I’m not having to interact with those people personally myself each time they come in. The more content I create, the more people can find me, but it’s not actually generating more work for me, so, check.

The business that I’m creating now is moving me towards my ultimate goal. On Property and the membership site and the survival money there is great. I can work on that one day a week and it gives me 4 days a week to work on these new businesses that require even less time if I was to start them. N

ow, I am working my ass off, don’t get me wrong. I am working an extremely long period of time. I’m doing a lot of work to create content and things like that. But, the content I’m creating will live on and will continue to make me money into the future. I’ve got websites now in total, separate from On Property I’ve made, there’s probably coming out to about 10-20% of my income is coming from these new sorts of websites. Eventually, I’d like to have that up to 50% of my income or even more than that.

The goal, I guess, eventually, is to have these new websites, separate from On Property and the membership site, create enough survival money for me in and of themselves that if I wanted to close down the membership site and not have to deal with that anymore, that is a decision that I would have. I’m not saying that I would make that decision, but it’s a decision I could make if I wanted to.

That’s my goal for my business at the moment. I encourage you to think about your business. As it scales up, what will it look like and will it eat you? Will it take away the very lifestyle that you’re trying to create for yourself? So think very specifically now about what your business will look like in 2 years, 5 years’ time. Because I made so many sacrifices and missed out on so much money in the early days where I had all these opportunities to make money.

I said, no, I don’t want to make that money because it will lead down a path that I don’t want to be down. So I made all those sacrifices and now I’ve got a business where I can work one day a week if I want and I can work on these new businesses. Now, I’m saying “no”. Again, I’m making the same decisions. I’m not going to make that decision because I want my business to end up here in the future.

I just encourage you to do the same thing. I hope you have an awesome day. Hopefully I can throw out more of these podcast episodes more frequently because it has been a while since I posted. I’m going to finish if off there. Don’t create a business that eats you alive.

If you want a lifestyle business, make the sacrifices now and design a business that in 2 years, 5 years’ time, is going to generate the lifestyle that you want.

I’m Ryan McLean, you can check me out at ryanmclean.net or you can search “Instructions Not Included” on iTunes or Youtube. And until next time, if you want instructions, go buy some furniture.

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#31 Moral Dilemmas Of A Media Company Wed 29 July 2015

iniartworksmallHey guys, Ryan here from Instructions Not Included. Today, I came across a very interesting problem that I haven’t really come across before.

I was actually interviewing someone and had to stop the interview halfway through. And then, we got into a quite interesting discussion.
The reason I had to stop the interview was – I run a website, OnProperty.com.au, which is about investing in property in Australia and I was interviewing a company that does crowdsource real estate investing.
So, basically, you’re investing in a syndicate. We were talking about it and then I talked about, “Well, how do you guys make money?” The way that they make money is actually something that, I guess, I would say I fundamentally disagree with it.
It has just caused the industry to be really dodgy and a lot of people to get sold bad investments. Basically, the way that they were paid was they would receive money from the developer who was building a property in order to sell that property.
They’re selling this property to investors. Crowd-funding, so they’re selling one property to 50 or 100 investors but they’re actually getting paid by the person who’s making the property and selling the property and so I find it’s a very big conflict of interest.
When you’re saying, “Well, this is an investment to invest in” but I’m actually getting paid to sell the property, I’m the sales person of this investment. Because of the fact that commissions are discretionary, they could be 1%, 2%, 5% or they could be $5,000, $20,000, $40,000, $80,000. It’s just completely discretionary and the way that it’s disclosed is generally in the contract which people don’t actually see.
It’s somewhere in the fine print. So, I have a big issue with this because friends of mine have been screwed over by property investing companies. There’s just so many bad things going on in the industry.
I was actually in the position where we’re halfway through the interview and I find out that this is how they make money. I actually had to say to the guy, who was super nice and I think he’s definitely got the right motives, probably going to be quite successful. But I just disagree with it and that’s my stance. So, nothing against him or his company. I’m not saying they’re doing anything wrong. But yeah, I had to say halfway through the interview, “Look, sorry.
I actually can’t go ahead with this interview and I can’t publish this because I’ve made a personal decision not to share or recommend companies that make money in this way.”
The reason that I’ve made that decision is because I can’t see these companies’ financials, I can’t control any aspect of it. The reason that I struggle with it is the fact that it’s discretionary. They could be doing a great job and charging a low fee today but then tomorrow they could up their fee significantly.
Customers wouldn’t really know and customers could be overpaying for properties. And so, I get really stressed out about that and I get stressed out about the audience that I have and the need to, I guess in a way, try and help them and try and protect them. But then I feel like, should I really be protecting them? They’re adults; they’re making their own decisions.
Who am I to limit their access to information if they want to learn about this stuff? And so, there’s that moral dilemma there – of I only want to present things which I actually think is probably going to be good but then I never know. And so, who am I to say this is good and this is able to be viewed by the public and this isn’t?
The truth is, I don’t control all the information. So, obviously, these companies can market in different ways. But I do have a large audience, there’s thousands of people everyday coming and following my site. There’s 10,000 people subscribed to my email list. So, it’s a big audience and we’re talking about money and it’s a big weight on my shoulders.
I guess that’s a slight moral dilemma that I haven’t fully dealt with. I believe in one thing but should I actually impose that upon my readers and my listeners and not share with them and silence information that I disagree with? I guess that’s part of the power of being a media company and one of the hard decisions you have to make. You have to decide morally what you want to share and what you don’t. I guess that’s something that I’m just coming to terms with.
I’ve never been halfway through an interview and then have to cancel it because I disagreed with the way they made money and didn’t want to share that with my audience. So, yeah, that’s where I’m at today. It was quite and emotional thing because after I had said that – that was about 20 minutes into the interview – we then went on without talking for about 40 minutes where he tried to, I guess, convince me that I should recommend his services and convince me that it wasn’t a conflict of interest and all of this sort of stuff.
I don’t know, I just think if you need to convince someone that it’s not a conflict of interest, it probably is a conflict of interest. If you actually need to sit down and fully convince someone it’s not a conflict of interest because of X, Y, Z, even though it looks like a conflict of interest, that’s pretty scary to me.
I just try and be super transparent with my sites. With On Property, I’m a teaching company; I make money through selling access to my membership site, through selling eBooks, through selling courses. Whenever I refer someone on to my buyer’s agent, which is Ben from a site called Pumped On Property, I always tell people, “I get a referral fee if you end up going through him.
So, just so you know, I’m recommending him but I get a referral fee. So, take my recommendation with a grain of salt.” And people appreciate that and they still go through him anyway and I still get referral fees anyway. But I try and be transparent, I try and disclose that and I’m hoping to be more and more transparent into the future.
I’m definitely thinking about being more transparent to how much money I make. Because, that way, if you’re transparent and if people aren’t okay with it, they can say something.
I don’t know. That’s just the moral dilemma I’m dealing with as a media company and my beliefs that you should be transparent, not have conflicts of interest and –
I don’t know. What do you guys think? What do you think? Should I share things that I disagree with because people have a right to access this information or should I leave it up to the companies that are doing this to market themselves and to provide that information to people? I have no idea.
I would absolutely love your comments on this. What episode is this? I’m just trying to find out which one. Okay, so this is episode number – I don’t know. Hold on, bear with me one second. I’m just going to get the episode number so you guys can go and leave comments on the blog. Alright, so, 21st of July was episode 28. 29, 30, 31. Okay, so this is episode number 2. So, go to ryanmclean.net/32 or 3-2 and leave comments on this.
What do you think, should I be sharing this information even though I disagree with it because people have a right to access this information or should I leave it up to the company? Would love to get your feedback, ryanmclean.net/32 or you can email me, ryan@ryanmclean.net.
Until next time. If you want instructions, go and buy some furniture. As you can see, I’m doing this with no instructions. Is there a moral guideline for this? I don’t know. I don’t think there is. Yes. Not as many instructions running a business as there is making furniture. Alright, peace out guys.

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#21 My Ebook Creation Strategy (And It’s Issues) – Tues 14th July 2015

iniartworksmallToday I am going to be talking about my ebook creation strategy and some issues I am having with the strategy.

Hey guys, Ryan here from Instructions Not Included. And today, I’m going to be talking about my ebook creation strategy and some issues that I’m having with that strategy.

What I wanted to do was really take what I was doing and leverage it. So, I created a lot of free content to drive traffic to my website to eventually drive people to my products and that’s how I drive sales and drive my revenue.

But I kind of wanted to amp that up and make the free content that I create also convert into low-end paid products so I could get passive income streams through things like Amazon.com or just selling ebooks on my website.

And so, I started experimenting with this with podcastfast.com, which was my new website about podcasting. So, I created an 8-part mini series or 9 parts if you count the introduction, which basically walks people through exactly how to start and setup a podcast.

Everything from buying equipment to recording a podcast to setting up a website to getting your podcast listed in iTunes and Stitcher, which is where people download the podcast.

So, I spent a lot of time, probably like a month or two months creating this mini series. So a lot of work went into it. It’s on Youtube, it’s on my website, but I actually wanted to leverage that content to create an ebook out of that that I could sell. So, hopefully I could get back some of the time that I’ve invested over the one to two months into making this mini series. I wanted to actually convert that into a semi-passive income.

So I thought, you know what, awesome idea. I’m just going to take the transcriptions for this and I’m going to convert it into an ebook. Well, good idea from the forefront but I probably didn’t actually pick that best topic for it.

Creating a podcast is a highly technical thing when it gets down to setting up your website, setting up the podcast for your website and all of that sort of stuff. So what I didn’t realise was that if I wanted to convert this from video format into written format, then there has to be a whole bunch of screenshots to go with that written format so that people can follow along.

And look, it’s not the best way for people to consume this content but who am I to say how people should consume content? If they want an ebook, then I should be able to provide them with an ebook. So, I am keen to do it but I just didn’t realise it would be so much work.

To give you an idea, I just finished part number 5, which is actually chapter 6, because we’ve got an introduction as well. And I’ve just had 39 screenshots that I had to create for that chapter. And I’m looking forward at the next chapters, part 6, 7 and 8, and combined, there’s another 91 screenshots that I need to take. And these aren’t just screenshots that I need to take, I then need to put arrows and explanations on the screenshot as well.

So, it’s extremely time consuming and that’s not even to mention the fact that I need to go through the transcriptions, I need to edit the transcriptions to make sure that they are correct sentences and that they’re formatted properly for a book and for a book that I’m going to sell to people. So it is so much work to get this ebook out.

So, I’m actually thinking of giving up on the Podcastfast ebook because just looking forward at those 91 screenshots and the chapters that I need to do and I just really don’t want to do it. So, look, I think I’ll push through but am I going to do it all this week, definitely not. It’s just too boring and I absolutely hate it.

I guess the revelation that I’m getting out of this is if I want to create content that actually converts into an ebook, I need to pick different topics that will be just solely word-based and that won’t need pictures to go along with it. So when I’m thinking about things that I need to create in the future, like there’s an ebook I want to create for OnProperty, about how to save a deposit.

I would love to create an ebook or something for teachspeaking.com and so I just need to think, when it comes to creating videos, the free videos that’s going to be free content on the website, I need to think, okay, well how will this convert into an ebook? I need to make sure that the way that I’m creating those videos means that when it converts into written format, I don’t need pictures associated with it.

So, there’s this whole other level of thinking that needs to go into the videos and the content that I create so it can go across different platforms and different types of content; video, audio and written text.

So, I guess that’s my big revelation from today. I just didn’t realise how much work it would be to create this ebook. But, you know, I’m happy to have learnt this. So moving forward, I can create content that will more easily convert into an ebook. And look, something that I really want to do and really want to explore, is actually to create this content, get the transcriptions and then pay someone to convert the transcriptions into an ebook for me.

So that’s something I’ll probably explore with my next ebook and tell you guys a bit more about if and when I go down that track.

Well, thanks for listening today. That’s just where I’m at today. I’ve stopped now. I did this 40 screenshots or 39 screenshots for this chapter. The 91 or how ever many it was that I have moving forward, they’re just going to have to wait a little while because you know when you just get bored and you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s probably time to go and do something else.

Plus, I’m going to be investing another week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks into getting this ebook out there and how much am I actually going to make from this ebook on podcasting and is it worth me spending my time in those weeks to actually create that ebook? Is it going to deliver me enough income over time to justify it? I’m not sure, time will tell and I’m sure that if you’re listening to this and there’s a lot of future episodes, then the ebook will probably be out and we’ll be able to track how many sales we’re getting for it and how well it’s doing.

So, this has been interesting. Until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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Got a feeling that my business, which is currently a one man show, won’t be that way forever.

Yes I do a good job as a solopreneur and it has great lifestyle benefits. But the dreams I have I can’t achieve alone. So sooner or later I am either going to need to find a way to contract or collaborate or I am going to need to bring on employees.

I like the idea of collaborating or contracting better because I think flexibility can release creativity. Just like getting people in to work on a movie and then they all go their separate ways.

But we will have to see how things pan out.

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Church Needs A New Financial Model

Today I received what came across as a very desperate and manipulative email from a church.

What unsettled me so intensely was the pastor’s use of scripture as a manipulation tool to guilt the recipient to donate to the church.

I was also unsettled by the complete lack of transparency in how the money will be spent or what would happen if “budget” was unable to be met. I checked the church website and could find no details of how money was being spent.

It reads more like an email from a used car salesman than the body of Christ. #sorrynotsorry

I think this email serves as a warning that the bloated financial structure that many churches currently operate under is not going to be viable for much longer.

I have spoken about this before here but I strongly believe that soon a new form of church will rise up under a new financial model. This will likely include:

1. Complete Transparency

First it will include complete transparency on how the money will be spent. General (or to the dollar) reports will be posted online for all to see exactly what the money is going towards.


$1,500 – New lights

$4,000 – Pastor’s wage for the monthly

$15,000 – Venue mortgage

This transparency will all the general church population an opportunity to speak up about where money is spent.

2. Giving Goals and Ceilings

Churches will have goals for exactly what they need to raise to continue to run the church. Similar to crowdsourced goals.

If a goal is not achieved an event likely won’t happen…which is fine. If a goal is hit then either giving is halted or money is put aside in Escrow or in a trust for future events, missions or a 2nd tier goal is added.

If the church reaches the 2nd tier goal then the event would likely become more extravagant.

3. Lack of Ongoing Overheads

While it is hard to foresee a church without any ongoing overheads (though I think it is possible) I believe congregations of believers will rise up with a much looser corporate structure around it.

Rather than massive overheads for staff and buildings I foresee churches with little to no overheads who will simply be raising money for the next event or the latest missions trip.

Why Churches Won’t Adopt This Giving Model

I can’t see current churches adopting this giving model because it goes against the core of what they do. Provide a central place and organisation for people to gather to worship God.

No existing churches won’t adopt this model because it is fundamentally against what they do (plus they make more money doing what they are doing at the moment…but for how long?).

New churches will pop up adopting this business model from the start.

I Could Be Wrong

I could totally be wrong about this. My goal is not to be right. My goal is to open up discussion on how church could be in the hopes that just one person takes these ideas and builds something create upon them.

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What Do I Do After I’m Done Surviving

Just over 12 months ago I left the safety and security of my 6 figure job and moved interstate following the call of God and a dream to run my own business.

It has been a great 12 months living on the Gold Coast and my business has continued to grow from strength to strength.

I remember late 2013 stressing about even being able to generate $500 for my business and now I stand just over a year later generating over $3,000 in monthly revenues and potentially cracking $5,000 in monthly revenue next month.

I see myself coming to the end of my “fight for survival” where I have been working my ass of just to earn enough by myself to scrape by.

While I am not out of the woods just yet I feel that the days of stressing about just earning enough money to pay rent and behind me and now I am looking forward into the future trying to work out what the hell I want to do next.

I am not short on options. I can continue to grow my flagship website On Property and make it a leader in the industry. I could continue to create more content, add additional products and make my membership site even more valuable.

This is an obvious step to take and I guess I will be spending at least part of my time continuing to grow On Property. So the real question is

Will I spend all my time growing On Property or will I look to expand my business into other niches?

When I started my business the plan was always to become some sort of “educational business” which expands the education of the world. I never planned on focusing so heavily on just one niche. But the property industry has so much opportunity for a transparent affordable teacher to come in and help people and I have really found my place in that niche.

I have other sites that are successful in terms of traffic. One of public speaking, one of fatigue, one on audiobooks – but they aren’t as successful as I would like them to be in terms of revenue generated. I would love to grow out these sites so they can become their own self sustaining entities – continuing to grow and support themselves.

So I guess by writing this I am answering my own question.

Most of my time in 2015 will probably be spent on On Property. However, I will have a focus on automating much of that, hiring employees (or contractors) to do a lot of the monotonous work and really try to turn the website into an industry leader.

But I will also be allocating portions of my time to another niche of mine and trying to bring that up to a self perpetuation level where I can also hire outsources or writers and continue to grow it by itself.

Looking forward to 2015.

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Fiverr Editor Instuctions


This is a video transcription and I would like it turned into a formatted word document. Basically at the end of it I would like it to read like a blog post NOT a transcription.

Here is what I need done:

Editing should be done inside wordpress. Links and login details will be provide.

My WordPress Tutorial

Please let me know if you have any more questions

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