In a past interview, did you hear me read an email from Gabriel Machuret, a search engine optimization consultant, who said that he earned $100,000 more last year because of Mixergy?
When my mentor heard that, he said, “Andrew you should interview him.” But I was hesitant because I worried it might come across as too self-promotional. Then he said, “People want to see how viewers are using what they’re learning. At least try it once and see how it goes.” So that’s what we’re doing.
And to make sure that this interview helps you get the kind of measurable results that Gabriel got, he and I went over specific tactics he learned from Mixergy, how he applied them and how you can use them in your business to get similar results.
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All right, I’ve yapped enough. Let’s start giving you one of my great programs here on Mixergy. Let’s get started. Hey everyone, my name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious up-start. And I’d like to try something a little bit new with this interview. See, a few weeks ago, I got an email from a member who said that he earned $100,000 more last year because of Mixergy. I showed it to my mentor, and I actually read it in a past Mixergy interview, and my mentor said, Andrew, you should interview that guy. You’ve got to start telling the stories of people who are using what they are learning from Mixergy. And I put up a little bit of resistance, because it felt a little bit self-serving. I wasn’t sure it was within the, the scope of the work here at Mixergy.
But, you know, the guy made a good point, and so, I said, let’s try it, at least once. And that’s what we’re doing here. And the email that I got, was from Gabriel Machuret. There, you see him on the screen right now. He is a search engine optimization consultant, whose website is internet ninja.co.au. And we’ll find out what you’re doing in that .au part of the world. But first, Gabriel, welcome and thanks for doing this interview.
Gabriel: Hey Andrew, thank you so much. I’m pumped to be here.
Andrew: Why? What’s in it for you? Why do you want to do this interview?
Gabriel: Well, I think it’s the same deal with any kind of person that comes to Mixergy. I mean, in my case, I’ve absolutely nothing to promote, but just want to give back to all of the people who are watching these. And, all the small fish like me, are just going to see the videos with Mixergy and they’re just wondering, how can I apply this information on my small business. So, giving back.
Andrew: I wouldn’t say you’re a small fish. But, actually you’re bringing up a good point. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people in the audience that when they hear about a founder of Drop Box, the founder of Groupon, the founder of Wikipedia, and so on. That it feels like, these guys are just so big, that success feels even further out of reach when you listen to their stories. Do you feel that?
Gabriel: Yeah. Absolutely. In the beginning, of course, I mean. My first interviews watching on Mixergy, I used to go to bed almost like, Oh, this guy makes 27 million after six months, building an app while he was in bed. You know? Here I am in the night time trying to work hard. So, yeah, it’s a bit difficult to relate. But, you’ll find interviews and courses that are actually from like, let’s say, normal people. People that start their business like I’m doing. And, that had to come with interviews. That you actually analyze. You can obtain so much information. And that’s why my business has sky rocketed.
Andrew: All right and for the audience. We will go through specific tactics that Gabriel used and how you could apply them to. My, the last thing I want to do with this interview is just do a self-aggrandizing interview where I talk about how great Mixergy is and he talks about how great his business is. I know you don’t care about me. I mean, maybe you care a little bit, but you don’t care that much. And you don’t yet know Gabriel so you can’t make a decision about him yet. But what you really care about is your own business. And so my goal here is to go through the specific tactics that Gabriel used, how he applied them, and then hopefully you’ll see how you can apply them too.
All right. Let’s talk about where you got, where you were and then where you got as a result of this, before we get into the tactics. When you told your wife what you told me, which is that you’re an SEO consultant. When you told your wife that you wanted to become on, do you remember what her reaction was?
Gabriel: Absolutely, yes. I remember like yesterday. We were in the kitchen in the house and I said to my wife, I’m going to quite my job. Now keep in mind, my job was like the coolest job in the world. I was a scuba diving instructor in my local town. And I live in this tiny little town in Australia, six hours away from Sydney, nine hours away from Melbourne. It’s nothing. There’s one traffic light in the town. So I said to my wife, I’m going to quite my job, no more salary, and I want to be an SEO guy. And she was expecting, she was pregnant, two months pregnant expecting our second child. And she sat in the kitchen, okay, and she cried for one hour, literally cried for one hour. Because we were going to starve, who was going to pay the mortgage, it was going to be impossible. And yeah, everything worked out apparently, so yes. So it was a big drama.
Andrew: Glad you’re talking about that. I feel like a lot of guests who I’ve had on Mixergy just brush over that part of their lives. I guess they just don’t want to say anything that their wives would feel uncomfortable with, which I understand. But there’s no question that when an entrepreneur takes a risk to start a business, if he has a wife he’s going to get some resistance or some concern for her. If he has parents, who, because he’s just starting out in life and he’s living with his parents, his parents worry sometimes about where his life is going to go. And frankly later on it doesn’t necessarily get any easier.
I know as I was even knee deep in Mixergy working until 8, 9, 10 o’clock in Argentina, and Olivia was in a foreign country waiting for me to come home, going what am I supposed to be doing here on my own with a crappy internet connection and without any TV in English. You know there were a lot of conversations, tough conversations that we had to have. And I’m glad that you’re bringing it up and I’d like to have other guests talk about it. It’s not nothing, but it’s also not something that’s supposed to stop you. It’s just part of the process and we need to be aware of it and hear that it happens to others, not just us.
All right, so that’s a start. Let’s skip to the end and then we’ll talk in a moment about how you got to the end, but, maybe further closer to the end. You were in Fiji. What happened there?
Gabriel: Well, it’s pretty funny. I mean, my business has worked so well that now every year now we actually go to Fiji. It’s like our second house. We spend holidays in Fiji every single, sometimes twice per year. And the funniest part of this is basically my business, now I even go traveling sometimes for free. I work with (?) in Fiji, we get free holidays. But the coolest part of the whole idea was from not being able to pay the mortgage because I didn’t have a salary. Now we actually sponsor a whole school in Fiji. So last year we went and we sponsored 30 kids and this year we’re actually going in three weeks time. And we’re sponsoring the whole school, like 300 kids, just based on my customers, on SEO profits. So yeah, it’s actually very nice. I could tell you about snow holidays and new car, but it’s actually nicer to talk about doing something pretty amazing for our people.
Andrew: But you did get to take holidays or vacations we say in the U.S. And you did get to get yourself a new car. And in addition to, you did right?
Andrew: And in addition to it, I see the work that you’re doing with kids. I actually went to SEOforkids.com. The website where I saw you packing the supplies that you were sending those kids. Were those your, the two kids that were on the video with you, those are your two sons?
Gabriel: Yeah, there was, yeah, that was like one year ago, the video. So yes, they’re bigger now.
Andrew: Very cool. And by the way, anyone who took the How to Tell a Story course on Mixergy will recognize Nancy Duarte’s training in action here in the way that we’re telling the story. She says, start out with where the person is or where the audience is and then where you want to take them. And she shows how everyone from Martin Luther King to, who starts out saying this is where we are and this is the dream that I have, and this is where we are now and this is the dream that I have for you. To Steve Jobs who says, this is the state of phones today and this is the dream I have for iPhones of the future, and this is where you know where you are and where you’re going to take the audience is a format that I learned from Nancy Duarte.
And that course, story telling, and you see that in action here. What I’m trying to say is: I use the tactics myself also. I want to call myself out on how I do it and expose that. Let’s get to you. I promised tactics. The first tactic, one of the first tactics that you used is, you built a team of outsourcers to leverage the little time that you have. Can you talk about that?
Gabriel: Yeah, absolutely. I have two kids. I work from home. Literally what happened is, I was working non-stop and I was working non-stop without making money, and I’m completely sure many people out there relate to this. See, I was working trying to keep up with my little tiny list of customers and I realized if I could actually build a team of outsourcers, they could actually do things ten times better than I do. Sometimes we’re hiring outsourcers to do things that are not very meaningful but in this case literally, this outsourcers I applied information to actually learn and meet their needs. So I actually did the courses about outsourcing. I use the tools that they’re actually teaching in the course and from the guys of Time Doctor.
Trust me, if you go through your stats, I have seen that course maybe, 20 times.
Gabriel: It was kind of funny because I watched the video and I’m thinking to myself, am I crazy watching this video again and again? Because every time that I watch the video I actually make the same notes. I applied information, I even improved some of the practices they’re doing.
For example, one of the tactics they talk about is, you make a handbook for your outsourcers.
Andrew: A what? Oh, a handbook, right.
Gabriel: Yeah, exactly. And then they translate the handbook or the instruction manual in their own local language. So now all of my outsourcers read the handbook and they improve the handbook. Many of them train the other outsourcers. I even allow my outsourcers to train the next person and it works beautiful. It’s actually affordable and anyone can start an outsourcing and building a small team without a huge investment.
Andrew: You know, that’s a really good point. I remember reading when I was starting to build Mixergy about how everyone’s using outsourcers, everyone’s hiring people in India and the Philippines, etceteras and I said, you know, I’m getting real stressed here. In addition to doing the interview and hustling for guests to do interviews, I’m also spending a lot of time writing up the post for the interview. I’m spending a lot of time researching the guests and so on.
So I went out and I started hiring outsourcers from the same companies that the people who are talking about them recommend. Like Tim Ferriss, I have a lot of respect for his ability to outsource. He recommended a company, I hired them. I got bupkis. I spent months with them. It wasn’t that expensive. It was a lot of my time and it was some money and nothing worked. And you’re making a good point, the reason it often doesn’t work is because we’re just left to go and connect with outsourcers without understanding, what are we supposed to do.
It’s not enough to just assign them work the way you might if you had an employee at your office or the way you might have when you were working for someone else. It’s a whole other way of doing things. One of the tactics that you learned that worked for you I’ve actually used myself which is to create a handbook. To give people a specific set of instructions for how to do the work you’re looking for. What software do you use for your handbook, the one that you pass out to your outsourcers?
Gabriel: Well, I actually have all my team working on Basecamp. So all of the instructions are on Basecamp where you can have a Google site or Google [docs]. I think the important part is not to spend so much energy on the tool itself because you’ve always got to find a better tool. You’ve always got to find a different tool with different features. The important part is to make the team use the tool. My team use Basecamp like it was the office. I even applied information of pooling their birthdays and pulling them a general announcement.
It’s very important to have general announcements because these people live in the Philippines so they have horrendous weather and sometimes they need to pool information. If you don’t allow them to pool information you will realize they will not tell you. I had a very funny story. One of my outsourcers posted general announcements for the companies. He said, just to let you guys know that I will be a bit delayed, we just had an earthquake. You see, these are the kind of things. If you don’t allow them to use that system you will never know that your outsourcer is late because there’s an earthquake. If you give them the tools they will use them. If you give them the space they will embrace that. So I use Basecamp and I use Time Doctor, it is simply the best tool in the world to be able to manage a large thing.
Andrew: I actually haven’t heard of using Base Camp for this, but obviously that is what Base Camp is there for, to help a team of people who aren’t all working in the same room, feel like they are working in the same room and have access to the same files. But, that is interesting, where do you have the, the part that I am picking up on is the part where you are saying that, you let them say that they had an earthquake, or you let them say that there is weather, or just say what is going on in their lives. Where do you do that in Base Camp and what beyond earthquakes, how does it help you day-to-day, or is it just a tool for emergencies?
Gabriel: Well, I allow my outsourcers, I allow them to create, I mean they have their own products and they can actually interact between themselves and what I realize is if I let them have a channel where they can actually ask questions, let us say in Telugu, that is their own language, so they are going to answer everything in the same place, so the next person that comes in is actually got to go and look at the project. I just need to add them on that project, and they can actually read all the previous information in their own language and that is the best part, is if they have any questions, usually they will not ask it, ask it initially in English, but once they get the answer in their own language, it is so easy.
Andrew: That is a tactic that Liam Martin recommended, the guy who taught the course on how to find and train and work with your outsourcers, and I forget, how did he say that you should get it, that you should get your documents translated into the local language, did he say he pays a translator?
Gabriel: Actually they do it themselves.
Andrew: They just do it themselves?
Gabriel: They do it themselves. In my case, what I do is, the next person needs to improve their handbook a little bit and you will find it funny because, they say that guys do it very quickly, and the next time is a girl or female employee, and she will make it ten times better. She will put more details, more images, so every time their handbook gets better and better.
Andrew: I see. How many outsourcers do you have?
Gabriel: Six at the moment.
Andrew: Six at the moment, all of them in Philippines?
Andrew: What kind of help do they give you?
Gabriel: I still find it funny, I still laugh when I think I have six employees. I have a Web Masters, I have a Graphic Designer, and I have literally Data Entry people, Wizards people, and usually they are not part of a company, they are usually young people that work from home, so yeah.
Andrew: It is empowering isn’t it, to have people help you in a company when you are a single entrepreneur?
Gabriel: It is kind of scary, yes.
Andrew: How do you mean?
Gabriel: Well, I mean, when I realize I have to pay salaries on Saturday morning, you know, it is like, I am bringing salaries, I am thinking, Oh my god, here I am in my house paying salaries, and all these people have to depend on me, so it is a bit daunting but it is so affordable and one of the interesting things that they mention in the course is, the people in the Philippines, they are actually good people [??] is difficult to actually, really comprehend. They are actually nice people and once you learn that, it becomes a bit easier to deal with them.
Andrew: It is true. You know what? I went to school in Brooklyn and I feel like Brooklyn embedded into me this idea that everyone is dangerous because in my first week to school, someone tried to steal my shoes. So when I interact with people online sometimes, I think how are they going to steal my shoes, whatever the equivalent of that is and yeah, it is surprising to see that they are good people.
They are people that you would want to get together with for a beer, they are people who will have your back at times and frankly when you are a single entrepreneur, you feel like you are alone against the world and it is nice to know that there are other people out there who will help you out. All right, one other tool, Liam Martin is the creator of Time Doctor.com. He is the co-founder, I believe of that company. You are using Time Doctor, his software how?
Gabriel: That is a crazy tool. What Time Doctor will allow you is that it will allow you to know exactly what people are doing at any kind of time during the day. Now, one of the funny things is, I actually use Time Doctor on myself and I will talk about that later on, but Time Doctor allows me to know what exactly they did and the best part is that it tells me if they have poor time performance or if they are using their time checking Facebook or watching videos on YouTube. So it allows me to correct any problem I am having with the outsourcers on the first day. So on the first day, I get a report, and say, “hey you spent two hours checking Facebook, what is going on?” I mean, that moment they will change the work ethic…
Andrew: So it is not self supported.
Gabriel: It actually sends the report at the end of the day.
Andrew: I mean they don’t sit down and type out, “I am checking out Facebook right now”, the system, because of the way Time Doctor works, when they are on the clock, you get to see what they are doing on the clock and they don’t have to type in Facebook, the system will automatically tell you, they are using Facebook.
Gabriel: Exactly. The system will not, things that have nothing to do with work, okay? So Facebook, You Tube, I mean the system knows, this has nothing to do with work so it will tell you, hey, they spent one hour and a half doing things that are different. And the best part is the system that thinks you’re not working, a pop up will appear saying, hey are you working? And they have to type, yes, we’re working. It’s amazing; it’s very, very smart.
Andrew: Yeah, I actually saw it. Did you catch it when Liam taught the course on how to find outsourcers? We scheduled I think maybe an hour for the course to be recorded and it went maybe even two hours. I just couldn’t let the guy go, it was so good. But a popup came up somewhere after the first hour that said, what are you doing now? And, did you notice that?
Gabriel: Yes, it happens all the time, yeah.
Andrew: Right. So even if he’s distracted and not doing what he’s supposed to be doing will get an alert that says, hey, are you sure that what you’re doing now is the best use of your time? And it gets him back on track. But I think I’m revealing a little bit of what else you’re doing to stay productive. So let’s hold off on that conversation and move on to the next tactic which is, to create your unique brand and tell your story to make a personal connection. And that’s a tactic that several entrepreneurs have talked about here, specifically in the courses. How have you done it and let’s talk about where you heard it and dig into how other people in the audience can do this well.
Gabriel: You have people on Mixergy that do this so well. The first person that I actually heard speaking about this, actually I have his page here.
Andrew: Noah Fleming?
Gabriel: Noah Fleming, yeah. And he actually tells it the whole idea of the origin, okay, where you came from and, I mean, inspire people, try to tell them how you came up with idea. What you’re doing. In your case, I mean, I know it so well and I’m watching your videos, you know. So I know your story. So, for me…
Andrew: What is my origin story? I’m curious to see how it’s picked up by other people.
Gabriel: Well you started with the greeting cards and you raised over 30 million dollars, okay? And then you had a break from it and you went to Argentina and the process of Mixergy and what you believe at Mixergy and how your interviews are not elegant. And how you’re proud that it’s dark in the back. You see, the whole process. What you believe is very clear. You watch four or five interviews. Actually you stop people sometimes and you make your point, you make your statement of what you believe an interview should be. And that is the whole idea. So in my case I had to apply the same kind of branding of myself. Because I live in this tiny little town. If I didn’t manage to put my message out there of who I am, was going to be pretty difficult.
Andrew: So what is your back story? And then I want to know about the difficult-. Because I think to a lot of people listening to this they hear, in fact, yeah, a lot of people listening to this, I’m trying to think, what points do I hit on? That’s why it looks like I’m a little disconnected here. But I think if I were in the audience I’d go, back story? Who gives a rat’s ass, what’s the point? You know, this is not a big tactic. But I remember when all I wanted to do on Mixergy was do interviews and I remember when Neil Patel used to say, Andrew, people want to know who you are. And I said, no they don’t, they care just about themselves. And he said, no, tell them about the greeting card company. They connect with you that way, they understand why you’re doing this. And I said, no they don’t care.
He said, tell them why you’re doing these interviews specifically. And then I finally, and it took a lot of guts for some reason, to say this is what I did before. This is why I’m doing Mixergy. In fact to even go on and admit the failure of Mixergy took a lot of guts, and I’m so glad that I did it. Because a lot of people, yeah, trust me because they see that I’ve had a past success. But they wouldn’t relate and really trust me if I didn’t admit the painful failure that we had in the beginning with Mixergy. Anyway, all those things played head games with me like you wouldn’t believe. I remember going to bed at night and not being able to fall asleep because I was worried, what if people think I could never be trusted because I was a failure? But what if people judge me or kidnap me or do all kinds of stuff because of my, because I had a past success.
And then I’d wake up in the middle of the night with these fears magnified. Because in the middle of the night when you wake up, everything feels bigger then it does during the day. But it was a risk, emotionally, but it worked out so well. It only allowed me to do better work and to really connect with people because I did that. And Noah Fleming says the same thing. He said, in his course on how to retain members to your membership site. He says, one of the first things you have to do is say, stand up and say who you are. And as a result of who you are what you stand for and how this product that they’re buying is important to you. And only then will people care about why you’re doing this. And he said for himself, I’m talking a little bit too much, I apologize.
Gabriel: No, you’re not
Andrew: But everything you’re saying I feel like I’ve got a buddy here who gets this stuff to talk to about it. But his story was he was driving through traffic to a job, I remember him very vividly
Gabriel: I remember it, too.
Andrew: You remember it, right?
Andrew: Anyway, because of that he decided he had to go and create his own business. We talked about why specifically that business. Let’s get back to you and away from my ranting. What about you? What was your back story and why do you feel it was important to say it?
Gabriel: Well, in my case it was I had to. I realized that. I could not pretend that I’m the Australian SEO professional because guess what, I’m not Australian. The first thing people were going to ask me is where are you from? If you are politically correct in the US you have a lot of Latinos. In Australia the political correctness doesn’t exist. The first question was going to be where are you from? Where? And how did you end up here? What are you doing here?
Those are the kinds of things that I love here in Australia. They’re very direct and very honest. Before they were asking me I had to put my story. I had to tell them I’m Columbian. When you say you’re Columbian of course you’re going to get the jokes. The jokes of do you have drugs? Do you know Pablo Escobar? You get these same old jokes that you get in every pub every time you say I’m Columbian.
First of all, I was pretty self aware of my accent. It’s like oh, you know, I can’t make videos. There’s no way. Or speak on the phone because they’re not going to understand me. I still make some tiny mistakes sometimes when I talk in English. I was so concerned that people were going to mock me, they were going to make jokes about me, or wouldn’t understand what I’m saying. I was like you know what, screw it. I’m going to literally embrace this.
When I spoke to people, you know, it’s like hi, this is Gabriel. Who’s that? The Columbian SEO guy. It’s like automatically they relate. The funny thing is when I was trying to say I’m the Columbian guy. Some people’s reaction was different. It was like oh, really? I have been in Columbia. I was like what? You have been in Columbia? There were people who were saying oh yeah, my wife is Columbian. I never expected people who were going to actually answer in that positive way.
By embracing it, it worked really well. I work from. My two kids are sleeping right now. They’re waking up to go to breakfast. I tell that to my customers. I say hey, you know what? I have two boys. I have a German Shepherd. I live close to the beach. I work inside my house. I’m not a big corporation. I don’t have an office. And I’m Columbian. Is that cool with you?
When you say it like that automatically people have two options. They say yes or no. Usually you get in by surprise because people are always trying to impress with the [??] phone number and the [??] office in the center of the city. People are tired of that. People want to see something fresh.
Andrew: What are you doing in Australia?
Gabriel: I was a scuba diving instructor and I was traveling around the world. I was in Egypt working and diving. What always happens, I met a girl and the girl was Australian. She’s an Australian nurse. She’s as offline as possible. She’s a realistic person, she’s a nurse. And she said hey, let’s go back to Australia. We came back here. Good story, [??].
Andrew: Just so the audience knows the commitment that you’ve got to doing this interview, what time is it where you are?
Gabriel: It’s 5:30 A.M. right now.
Andrew: I’m so grateful to you for doing this, for getting up.
Gabriel: It’s not so much commitment.
Gabriel: It’s not so much commitment. I have two boys, they’re two years old and six years old. I would be awake at 5:00 a.m. regardless.
Andrew: You’re being too modest. You had to set a couple of alarms, I know, to make sure that you were here for it. It’s not easy. Then we also asked for pre-interviews, and so you got up even for that pre-interview and I’m really grateful to you.
Gabriel: Yeah, that was 4:00 a.m. with Jeremy.
Andrew: 4:00 a.m. All right, the reason, by the way, I wanted a pre-interview is I wanted to make sure that this would be useful for the audience. That it wouldn’t be just self-aggrandizing for me. I’m always very cautious about that. Maybe over worried about that. I don’t know.
Gabriel: Jeremy is absolutely great. The pre-interview is actually very cool.
Andrew: I’m so glad. That’s where I want the revenue to be plowed back into the product. To not say great, I’m so experienced. I’ve done 600 interviews, 700 interviews. That means I don’t need to do any work. I can relax a little bit and just chat with the guests. No, I don’t want that. I say if I really built this any further then I should have more work going into the interviews than when I started. I should have more research going in. I should have pre-interviews there.
I should have a better selection process for who gets on and I know that means my guests have to do a little bit more like often we will ask them more before we even get them to the pre interview stage and then of course we do the pre interview, where we ask them for more of themselves and I am glad that it is paying of for the audience and for you. Alright, let us see what else we wanted to talk about. Do you have a next tactic that you want to talk about, or should I just pull one out of the list here?
Gabriel: Pull one.
Andrew: I guess, what we should say, first of all for the, for telling their own story, that you also learned from Sasha Strauss, how to do that, and from Nancy Duarte, who I decided earlier is the person who influences the way that we tell stories here at Mixergy. We don’t just chat through a story and hope that something good comes out, she said that there are specific ways of telling the hero’s journey and that is what we do with entrepreneurs, we go through the hero’ s journey and anyone who’d gone through her course will probably pick up on when we do a biographical interview, which this is isn’t, this is more of a how-to interview, but when we do a biographical interview, we tell it in a way that goes through the hero’s journey, that picks up on Joseph Campbell’s outlook.
Gabriel: The highs and lows….
Andrew: Yeah, because we want people to be interested and we also want them to see this trip that this person took through life and how he came out transformed at the end of it. All right. What is the next one that you want to talk about or should I pull one out?
Gabriel: Okay, the next one is mainly how to use, you call them focus tools to maximize your productivity and not all of the people talk about this, but this is so important when you are just one guy. When you have a big company, you can pretend that you are doing stuff, but when you are just one guy and you have kids waiting for you to have breakfast and your wife is screaming at you, stop working, you really need to use the time that you are working to get paid, to do productive stuff. So literally, this is the combination of tools, but more or less like a set of mind, literally like a diet that you try to go and do things as good as possible. It is not an easy part, it is like always trying to improve it.
Andrew: So what do you use for, and by the way, one of the issues is of course, if you are an entrepreneur, it is very easy when you are feeling doubtful about yourself to not do the work, to allow yourself to give in to the doubt and get distracted and do busy work that is not really productive work. It is not just these outsourcers in the Philippines, who might spend the whole day checking out Facebook and YouTube and everything else, we might also as entrepreneurs go through it, unless we have certain tools and it feels like we should be mentally strong to avoid these distractions but I found in my own life, unless we have these tools, we often give into the natural human impulses of getting distracted, of allowing ourselves doubt to keep us from being productive and so on. So what are some of the tools and how we use them?
Gabriel: Well, what I decided to do was pretty interesting is, I pulled these tools from my employees, from my outsourcers, and I thought, wait a second, what will happen if I become an employee of my own company, if I actually use the same tools that they are using. So I started using it, so literally I became an employee of my company, I used Time Doctor. In the mornings, I log in, and it asks me, “Would you like to work?” And I go “Yes”, and I literally put the tasks that I am doing. You don’t need to use Time Doctor, you can actually use any kind of task tool, web-based. I also use, let us say, Basecamp, and I put myself, things to do on Basecamp. I open projects myself, and I assign them to me, and I get myself reminders.
The important point, it is also much to focus on the tool, because you can spend a whole week, trying to find the best tool. It is kind of ironic, but you can spend a whole week, looking at reviews of how to focus on work, wasting time trying to find tools, but the main point is start using it. The interesting thing, is once you put the things to do, the tasks to do on that system, it becomes daunting, I mean, you need to have a goal of the day, like I am not going to stand up until I clear this list, and then is when you start realizing how much time you really spend at working and you will find out that if you have a list of things to do, you might finish them in three hours. If you don’t have the list, it can take you four days. It is actually crazy, because you move from statistics to revenue to billing to customer service and then an email arrives and you go to reply to the email and that is it. You lose eight hours of the day.
I think the best, the reason why I started this is, this is one of the reasons I came to this conclusion is my wife, on the weekends in Australia it’s so important with a family. We go to the beach and we do swimming lessons. My kids were really looking forward to going to swimming lessons on a Saturday. I said no, sorry, daddy’s working. Daddy has to work. I said to my wife you have to give me a rain check. I spent the whole morning working. I was working there and I got my weekly report of [??]. This time it was a report on myself. I found that I spent five hours on YouTube.
That’s when I realized wait a second, I spent five hours on YouTube? When I go to YouTube I go and look at soccer. OK, because there’s no soccer here in Australia so I look at the international soccer. I spent five hours watching soccer that’s not even live and I just missed five hours with my kids at the beach. Why am I doing this? That’s the whole idea of working online, I can spend time with my family. Yeah, Focus Tools will actually give you quality back with your family.
Andrew: The Focus Tools course is the one with Ari Mizell where he talked about the specific tools that he uses. I actually, after his, one of the tools he talked about was, he said use Task Rabbit or Zarley to outsource all the little things in your life that are taking up too much of your time but you’re not realizing them. I did that recently and it helped so much. What did I do? There’s specific kinds of grocery that I need here at work because I want to eat healthy when I’m at my desk here. I put up a post on Zarley saying that I need somebody to find these specific vegetables and this specific food and bring it into the office. I put it up and I felt a little guilty. I said what am I doing? I’m just now hiring people to go and do my work for me? It felt a little arrogant.
Anyway, I did it. The guy who brought it over said I’m so excited that this exists because I told him I knew the founder of the company because I interviewed the founder of Zarley. He said tell the founder we want more tasks like this. He said I’m an intern and I need to earn some money on the side. This is huge for me. It was huge for him, good for me.
Gabriel: Amazing. You guys are so lucky in the U.S. because there are all these tools. In Australia [??] is starting but obviously in a very small [town]. Everything’s so far away here from one point to another point. All these kind of tools, Ari was so good in that course in the premium section.
The point is if you don’t find that kind of service in your area you make, kind of like adapt a service. In my case I have a huge German Shepherd that needs to be walked twice per day. 40 kilo German Shepherd, it’s an insane dog. I was like [??] walking a dog twice per day is going to take me like an hour and a half. Can I outsource this? Yes, of course. I have a young kid, brave, that comes every day and takes the dog twice for $10. Job done. You can actually start fixing some little things that are taking your time.
Andrew: It does put you into the right mindset. It’s a whole other mindset when you see how other people structure their lives like this and their businesses. The thing is that I find that most entrepreneurs don’t like talking about it. And most interviewers who interview entrepreneurs, or writers who write about entrepreneurs, don’t want to talk about it. Because there’s this sense that entrepreneurs are super heroes who can do anything without any outside help. They can do it all themselves. Of course Ted Turner would never need any productivity tips. He’s just naturally productive.
No, he’s one of those people who in his autobiography he did talk about some of the productivity tips that he has. Things like right down to he said I won’t buy shoes with laces because it takes too much time to tie your shoelaces.
Gabriel: There you go.
Andrew: Right. It’s useful to hear those things. Sometimes funny to hear those things. I’m glad that it’s there.
Before I get to you let me tell you about one little trick that I learned from a past interviewee, Ramit Sethi, that’s not on the site. Ramit said that he had trouble exercising in the morning and the way that he got himself to do it is just by putting his clothes at the side of his bed. Then when he wakes up the running clothes, the exercise clothes, are right there. He’s able to dress up and go for it. I do the exact same thing.
As some people can hear I have a cold today but I still went for a run because the only clothes that I could put on in the morning, not my jeans anywhere nearby, were my running clothes. My clothes for work were in this backpack all tied, like the shoes in this compartment, the jeans in here and so on. I said I’m sick but to undo the bag, and I’m already dressed in my running clothes. It’s too much work, just go for your run. I felt so good at the end of that run. It’s kept me running every day into work and being consistent. And again that’s, you should say I’m a healthy person who’s mind over mattering his way towards being more athletic. But that just doesn’t work as well as all right, I’m in my running clothes and my clothes for work are already packed. I guess I’ll go for a run.
It doesn’t work as well to sit down in front of your computer to say I need to get stuff done so I’m not going to get distracted. That doesn’t work as well as saying I just got an alert here from Time Doctor telling me that I’ve got this other thing I need to be doing. Or I’m on Base Camp sharing a to-do list with other people and if they see that I’m not getting anything done how do I expect them to do things? We’re not aiming for perfection but we are aiming for as many tools as possible to get us towards better.
Gabriel: Yeah, I think people like the story of the super man. Yeah, this super hero who managed to do everything and he’s at the beach working with a laptop and life is great. But I think the important thing on Mixergy is the story of the guy that drinks beer in the shower after work because he’s so depressed. I think that is the key point. You can’t do everything and you’re going to be destroyed, and you’re going to lose energy, and you’re going to get sad, you’re going to get depressed, and you’re going to cry. You’re going to wake up at 4:00 in the morning thinking how am I going to feed my family?
Andrew: I want that, right? I want the truth. I want to hear exactly what it takes. I want to hear exactly what they went through. Talking about Jonathan Cade, the guy from Grasshopper who yeah, he said he was in such a bad state at one point that he took his beer into the shower. I said why not just drink the beer and then take a shower? He said I just couldn’t hold off. Why not have the drink and then shower? I mean, the shower and then drink.
Gabriel: I use that with my wife every single week I say hey, I’m not drinking in the shower so I’m doing better. I love it.
Andrew: Right, there’s some people who say any day above ground is a good day to keep themselves from going negative and to just have a positive outlook on life. I guess we could say any day I’m not bringing my beer into the shower is a good day. [??]
Andrew: How about this, let’s see, what’s the next one? Do you want to read off your list of tactics that we’re going to go through?
Gabriel: OK. This is a funny one because this one, this wasn’t planned on the list but I think it’s so important. It’s kind of life a focus tool but it’s run everything through your wife, spouse, best friend, partner. A person that is your half orange to keep you, I mean, to keep you on track. To try to stay on track.
The reason for this is when you are an online entrepreneur, when you are online you’re like a sponge. You absorb so much information. We’re so easy to influence and we’re so easy to get inspired. Human beings love to be inspired. We love to cry with movies. We love to believe stories. It’s very easy to start something and then say oh, no, no, no this is what I’m going to do.
Especially in Mixergy. This is crazy. I’ll sit here and I’ll say what, you make $20 million selling jelly fish? I can do that in Australia. No, you can’t. Keep doing your stuff. In my case I use my wife. I mean poor woman, I have used for that kind of thing. Any kind of amazing idea I go back to her and say hey, guess what? I think this is the new idea. If you don’t have that other person that can keep you on track like a diet or quitting smoking because that other person usually is not an online person and their brain works a bit differently.
Andrew: I see. The founder of Good Reads says that he uses his wife in a similar way. He says that she’s not an online person like me and before I add a feature to Good Reads or start getting carried away with a certain understanding of how the world should work on my site I talk to her. I get her perspective on what the average user, what the normals, as Leo Laporte calls people who aren’t entrepreneurs or techies like us, but the normals would use. She keeps him in check. Run it by a wife or a spouse or someone to stay focused.
Gabriel: Absolutely. In my case, I have a funny story. Because you see all these interviews about people making tons of money and the ones I love the most are like affiliate marketing. I mean, I love the story of affiliates. Yeah, I promote this product and I make x amount of money. I remember one night I went to bed and I said to my wife, I actually woke her up and was like forget about this SEO business. There’s no future in this. I’m going to do an affiliate. She was like OK?
I was like no, no, let me tell you. This is great. I’m going to promote. I did market research, I did [??] research like they showed in the interview. I’m going to sell hemorrhoid creams. Then she wakes up and is like hemorrhoid creams? Oh yeah, it’s a huge market. It’s an affiliate product. I can leave dollars. And she goes, are you going to sell the cream? I was like, no, no, no, I’m info-product about how, you don’t need the cream. Then obviously she’s a nurse, and she goes, But, aren’t you the [??] guy? [??]. I’ve been working for two years on this. You’re building a name. Stick with something. I mean, try to stay with something. If you find inspirational interviews in Mixergy. Just take their information, but don’t try to copy their success, because there’s only one, ultra-affiliate marketer. There’s only one guy that makes two million dollars with his first app.
Andrew: You know what? It’s true. I do see some people who’re saying, well this is a good idea, I’ll go do that. And then they hear another good idea, and they say, that’s a good idea and go do that. And so on, and they never get anywhere with any one idea, because they’re constantly bouncing around. I think those people aren’t understanding the real goal behind my desire to expose them to all these different entrepreneurs. The idea isn’t to say, you should be doing what every one of these entrepreneurs is doing. In some cases the idea is to say, look, listen to how they’re doing it and it’s okay to say it’s not for you. But, even the ones you do feel are for you, I think the idea is to say, how can I bring those lessons back to what I’m doing? If I don’t have an iPhone app, but I see this one guy is marketing his iPhone app in a clever way, how can I bring that back to my life?
We recently had on the founder of London Cyclists. I didn’t even post this yet as a course, but, he’s a guy who just basically is a blogger, who said. I love cycling, I want to create apps for cyclers like me. He created apps and he marketed them through the app store and outside the app store, and he got three featured apps in the Apple store, bringing in a lot revenue with it, and I don’t think people who don’t ever want to be in the iPhone app business, need to jump in because he’s in it. But, if you listen to how he got bloggers to write about him, there’s a lesson in that. If you listen to how he got reporters to write about his apps, there’s a lesson in that, that you can bring into any business that you happen to be in. And so that’s the big takeaway.
Not to spend too much of this interview talking to myself, but I’ve got to also say, that you brought up a good point here that, I should do a course in interviews and find ways to discuss how to get advisors. I don’t think we have enough conversation about how to get advisors. Past guests have talked about how they have advisors and how they’ll talk to their advisors for guidance.
And frankly, this interview only happened because I went to Bob Heiler, my mentor, my advisor, and we went back and forth a little bit about what this interview should look like. And it got better because of his input. I want to know how we can get more advisors. How we can really surround ourselves with people who we can bounce ideas off of like you do with your wife and, I’m going to put it out as a call to anyone who is listening to this if you have an author, who is a favorite author of yours, who’s written about how to get mentors and advisors, let me know about them and we’ll see if we can get them on to do an interview. If there is an entrepreneur who you know about, who is especially good at getting advisors, let me know and we’ll see if we can get him on. Get him booked here to talk about how to get that.
Gabriel: I think for the record, right now I have a business coach, that actually I obviously paid for. One of the biggest questions when he asked me, why do you want to engage me? My answer was, I want to give my wife a break. I want to give my wife a break from hearing my great ideas. So, although it’s healthy to have your partner or your wife, at some stage, it’s going to be healthy to stop talking about your amazing ideas and your amazing products. Because it must be a bit daunting for them.
I mean, as soon as I told her about the guy with the toolbar, I said this guy has toolbar, creation to make 45 minutes. Her first answer was, first question was, what’s a toolbar? You know? So. So the point is, I mean we go 300 miles per hour, so it’s important to get someone who understands that speed, and can actually give you proper feedback at some stage.
Andrew: And you told Jeremy, who did the pre-interview with you, that one of the people that you learned that from is Nathan Latka, the guy who built Lujure into a $400,000 a year business. He’s another guy I met because he said, this is how I use Mixergy. And, you’re right his software only works on Facebook. He’s a new entrepreneur, he’s not trying to borrow the ocean.
Andrew: He’s focusing just on Facebook. and, I’m sure his friends are saying to him, why don’t you launch Twitter, or they’re saying, I love Instagram. Do something for Instagram. And they’re telling them, why don’t you have an iPhone app too, creation process within Lujure. And I bet if he would in his first year, have created a product that did the same thing that Lujure does, which is create Facebook fan pages easily, for brands. If he would have done the same thing for all of those other platforms, he would have been too distracted to build it up the way that he did in that one year.
Gabriel: Absolutely. That’s why he’s the guru on Facebook, and, when you actually read his blog and his wall on Facebook, you understand that this guy breathes, eats, and sleeps Facebook. So, there’s no way I can become the Facebook guy and compete against him, so staying on your path is hopefully staying the right way.
Andrew: All right. The next big one is when you said, “Choose what you hate doing, find yourself repeating, and then automate it. How have you done that? If you don’t mind I’m going to step off camera here because I am coming down with… I’m not going to say “a cold”. I refuse to actually say that I have a cold because I’m going to get worse I feel.
My wife for Valentine’s Day got me a four day run package. I’m going to do 20 mile runs each of four days. I’m going to run on Friday, go stay at a hotel Friday night, run on Saturday, stay at another hotel for that night, and do this for four days in a row. I don’t know what this kind of running is called, but I’ve always wanted to run like that. I guess we call it “destination runs”.
Gabriel: Wow. You see, my mind is thinking, “I could sell that in Australia”.
Andrew: You know what, that wouldn’t be a bad idea, actually. I’m going to run with nothing with me, but if someone could say, “Hey, you know what, I’ll bring your laptop with you, or whatever, so that you can feel comfortable”; “I’ll bring a change of clothes with you.” Anyway, sorry. Let’s go back to this big idea. The next big tactic is to choose what you hate doing, find yourself repeating over and over, and then automate that stuff. How’ve you done that?
Gabriel: People have talked about this for so long here on Mixergy with different tools. I was reading on my alert screen here that you have a few interviews with some of the guys who provide these tools. What I realized was that I was spending tons of time on things that literally don’t get me paid.
Andrew: It’s awkward, right, for me to just be off-camera there?
Gabriel: It’s difficult for me not to laugh.
Andrew: All right. I’m back on camera. I’m feeling a little bit better here.
Gabriel: OK. Yeah. Oh, there you go. It’s professional help.
Andrew: My CBS brand giant nasal spray to get me better. You know what, sometimes I feel like bringing people in to what’s going on behind the scenes makes the conversation more personal, and then I’m surprised when I get an email from someone who says, “Andrew, that’s really unprofessional of you to talk about your nose and your cold. No one wants to hear that.” I’ll start bumming out.
Anyway, back to what you were saying. What is it that you hated doing specifically? What were you spending too much time on?
Gabriel: I believe people hate doing things that they’re not amazing at doing what they’re doing. In my case, I hate things like billing. I hate sending invoices. I believe when you start your business, every time you send an invoice you feel guilty. I don’t know why it was that kind of feeling because we provide a service.
I used to send an apology to my customer. I would say, “Hi, Peter, just so you know, if you don’t mind, I’ll be sending me your monthly invoice on Monday. Is that okay with you? Let me know if it is not OK. I’ll understand.” I didn’t really want to get people upset. If they’re invoice was supposed to be sent on the 25th I wouldn’t send it on Christmas day because there’s no way. I don’t want to upset them. I was thinking of what they were going to think of me. You know, “This guy gave us an invoice on Christmas. Thank you very much, Gabriel!”
So, now, literally, what I tell my customers is, “Listen, the invoice goes out automatically. It’s software. I have nothing to do with this.” What that does is makes sure I never forget to charge a customer. So, when I get my customer, it automatically makes that recurrent invoice and it’s gone. People get the invoice and people pay.
I remember you talking in one of your interviews about how you forgot to invoice one of your sponsors for your show. That’s one of the little things I’ve managed to automate. It sounds silly, but when you make your invoice manually it’s absolutely impossible. People are going to ask you how to pay it. You forget the paper link or account information.
I also outsource from, I think his name is Reuben, from Bit Sketch.
Gabriel: OK. I automate their proposal system, and that is brilliant because…
Andrew: You used Bitsketch.com’s proposal system.
Gabriel: Yeah, okay, they’re so affordable it’s kind of stupid. It’s so affordable. And I have my proposals there. So when people actually call me and say, can you set up a proposal, I go yeah sure no problem. And I go online, I’m talking on the phone with them, I already have the proposal ready because (inaudible) before. So talk proposal that will take me three or four hours to set up, it gets….
Andrew: You know, Rubin’s a friend of mine. But I’ve got to ask you. What’s the point of using proposal software as opposed to just firing up a word doc, changing the name of the last, changing the name from a proposal that you wrote last week to the name of the person who you’re sending a proposal to this week and maybe making a few edits, and then emailing that. Why do you need Bitsketch in order to send out a proposal?
Gabriel: Well, I think that this is a different point. The main reason is first of all they’re beautiful. The proposals are beautiful looking. Okay, there’s no way I can make that on word.
Andrew: I see, so then when someone gets that they feel like, well if, it just feels like a really professional engagement, they trust you more, okay.
Gabriel: Exactly. And even I can, I’ll actually go and send an email to Rubin because I sent a proposal while I was skiing last year, in Australia. I was in a small cabin in the snow. And so (?) a proposal. I didn’t have actually, I mean my laptop. I just literally had a little tablet and I went there. I found one of the proposals. I customized it in five minutes and I sent it. So you don’t need the word document. You won’t always have a word document or your own computer. So it’s (?) these things got to be so much easier. And you can track them properly. You can track who do you send the proposal and it’s very, very easy to do. Now you can actually, the best part is you can actually outsource the writing of the proposal inside the system. So I can get a copywriter to fix my proposal on Pete’s (?).
Andrew: Oh he finds you someone to write your proposal for you?
Gabriel: Well, no. I can actually find someone and say, hey, you know what, what about you write a proposal on the website itself, okay?
Andrew: Ah, so then they get the guidance to create it properly and they’re not just starting with free form, I see.
Gabriel: And I have the (?) to my Bitsketch and say, listen that’s the proposal. Can you please fix it, can you check the spelling? And they will log in and do it, so it’s very, very practical. I also do, I’ve tried to automate my system a little bit with the way I handle information or inquires. So you know that every time you put a form you get spam and messages, people selling you service. You know the typical, dear Sir or Madam, you know, that you get every single day. So my forms detect if you come from India, with all due respect people in India, or Pakistan. And if you send me the form from India or Pakistan I will not get it.
Gabriel: Yeah. And I realized if I try to follow up, I mean, the change of someone chasing me from India is not going to happen.
Andrew: Wait, let me understand this. This is for when they do what? When they’re responding to….?
Gabriel: Let’s say you go to my website or one of my SCO packages website and you go in to (?) me or try to engage me. So what I have done with Wufoo is, Wufoo allows you to automate the reactions of the form based on people’s fields. So if you want to hire me and you click yes I want to hire you and you put submit, the next screen will tell you, hey you want to hire me great? These are points that you need to know about me and this is a video of me, check it out and then give me a call. So I actually save myself ten minutes on the phone with them because they have video of me saying, hey, thanks for contacting me. If the message is from somebody in India trying to ask me for link exchange, there’s no interaction with me. I don’t give identification.
Andrew: I see. See, I would do it a different way. I wouldn’t do it necessarily based on what country they’re in. But I would have like a radio box for link exchange. And these people who are so hungry for link exchanges will select that radio box saying, I want a link exchange, and then you can dump it out based on their response. Wondering if we’ve done that, but, we definitely use Wufoo in ways that are just like having. It’s almost, Wufoo is like having a whole other person screen your email for you or process your work for you. It’s fantastic.
So Wufoo as you said, you can create a forum and then have conditions. Based on what people say within the form, you can respond in different ways. And that means, based on how you fill out your form you can either send them an email saying one thing or another, or you can link them to a page after they submit the form. A different page based on what they do, or. So try and come up with…
Gabriel: Or ask them for more information to pre-qualifying them. That’s the next step in the process, but yeah, so it’s such a good system but the funny thing is they don’t actually sell that on Wufoo.
Andrew: They don’t?
Gabriel: No, no.
Andrew: Yeah. They were a sponsor of mine at one point so I emailed them and I said it would really be cool if we could do this thing. They emailed me back and said you can do it right now. Here’s all you do and they taught me. It changed everything. I can, if you say, what would I do?
Here, I can show you how we use it to avoid back and forth. There was a long time where if someone said they wanted to do an interview, wanted to be interviewed on Mixergy, I’d have to go back and forth and say can you tell me your story? Then they’d email me and then I’d have to say well, it actually doesn’t really conform with what we’re looking for. Then they’d email me back and adjust it. It was just too much back and forth.
Now if you go to Mixergy.com/contact one of the questions that we ask you is do you want to be interviewed? If you say yes, I do want to be interviewed we take you to another form where you basically fill in what you want to be interviewed about. If you say I want to talk about my big success in business we immediately drop out a set of questions for you based on your success so we know whether you’re the right fit.
If instead you say I want to teach something because I’m really good at doing FCO, I’m really good at automating my business we give you a different set of questions. Based on that we end up taking all of your data and storing it in our database and then we can go in and pick out the right people to interview and have teach courses. That’s just one of the simpler ways that we’ve used their automation.
But you’re right, there’s lots of different ways to automate. Wufoo is one of them. What else do you use to automate? I’m looking here at your link. Wufoo, we talked about, Bid Sketch. What else do you use to automate?
Gabriel: I mainly, what it was I optimized is I optimize communication with, it’s not real automation but it’s an automation system. I automate communication with my customers. OK? What I do is I have videos of myself, here in the office saying to them hey, OK, you signed the contract and you paid your deposit. Great, let me tell you how it’s going to work. Literally now every time I get a new customer they’re going to get a video of me telling them hey in the first month. [I have] videos in the [kitchen] saying hey, I’m in the [kitchen]. It has been three months so far and this is what I have done in the past three months.
These emails get sent automatically. OK? I tell them hey, don’t freak out these are an automatic email. OK? It’s very important that if you do something automatic you don’t try to make people believe it’s real, real time. Because the chance is there that they spoke to you the day before and then they get the email, it’s going to be weird.
Those kinds of things actually allowed me to spend less time with them at the phone rather than working, I’m a true believer that time on the phone is a no go for me. Especially when I’m always scared of my kids entering through the door. Actually, I was thinking about it right now that they’re waking up.
Andrew: We are going a little bit late with this interview. I’ll rush through it. OK, so you said Bid Sketch, Fresh Books, WuFoo. When you’re showing people how to do certain things, like if they’ve hired you and you need them to activate something in Word Press or I don’t know what, you use?
Gabriel: I use Jing and Camtasia.
Andrew: Jing and Camtasia. Jing is j-i-n-g and Camtasia is for the PC screen flow for the Mac. Those are programs that let you record your computer screen and your video as you explain something.
Gabriel: For billing I use a software called Linksale that is similar to Fresh Books.
Andrew: I see, I just assumed Fresh Books. I shouldn’t have. You use Linksale to automate your invoices.
Andrew: OK, why? Why do you prefer Linksale? What’s good about them? What’s great about them?
Gabriel: Mainly I think the way they can send the invoices is less corporate. I found that Fresh Book was a bit too corporate for me. There is more companies, it’s funny. I used Reuben’s tactic of sending emails to people that you like. I actually sent an email to a company saying I love this, I will change [some of the] features. I’m a big fan. Two weeks later I get a t-shirt from them, from the director. I’m a big fan of the company.
Andrew: Are you talking about Reuben Gomez who did the course on how outsourcers can network? Excuse me, not outsourcers, how introverts can network.
Andrew: He seems to me, when you see him in person the guy is pretty muscular, he’s got this tattoo. He’s a pretty cool looking dude.
Gabriel: He’s huge.
Andrew: There’s no reason why that guy should be an introvert. That guy’s the guy that the rest of us should be intimidated by if we’re at a party because you feel like all the girls want to hang out with him and all the guys want to look like him. But he is an introvert. Even though he is a longtime friend, an online friend not in person, but a longtime online friend he wasn’t eager to do an interview. We had to really push him and I had to ask him as a favor to do it. That’s how introverted he is, he didn’t want to come on here and do an interview which would have led to some customers.
But he said this is, he came on and he taught the tactics that he uses to build connections with people, even though he’s an introvert. And one of them is he talks about just helping out entrepreneurs who you want to build a relationship with. And as you experienced and as I experienced when I’ve done this, when you go to an entrepreneur and you say, here’s how your stuff can be better. I really get your stuff and here’s that thing that you can do to make it better.
They feel this sense of gratitude to you that they are just eager to repay, and that’s the feeling of, that’s a feeling that I’ve seen Rubin get from other entrepreneurs. That they will see him at a conference and want to approach him and break through whatever introverted glass wall that he feels he has between him and the rest of the world.
Gabriel: Well, mainly that’s why I’m here, actually. You see system to contact, yes I saw something in your site, people. I mean in difficulties, I’m like, well I’m going to send him an email. And in my wildest dreams I thought I was going to be chatting with you.
Andrew: Oh that’s right, actually. I. Is that, well is it right that you, one of your first emails to me was offering to help out?
Gabriel: One of the first emails was how cool the content was and that how you should charge more and yeah, how (?) it was, and.
Andrew: Why do you do that? You’re a guy who’s paying me. Why would you say you should pay more considering that it could end in resulting in more for you?
Gabriel: Because, I think it’s because I’ve paid for so much crap, around, to be honest. And one of the things that I love of Mixergy is you’re not upselling me anything on the courses, that is the best part, okay. It’s not like, this is the first chapter, you want more? Pay 1,000 dollars to get the secret. And that’s something that internet marketers do all the time. You know, it’s like just wait two seconds. Before you move to the next screen, you know, is the mastermind or the platinum level. There’s no platinum level. This is what you get, these are the courses. So yeah, I love it.
Andrew: I get ridiculed a lot by the guys who I interview who walk through my process and say, Andrew, you know you need a simple thing to get people to just pay once. What you want to do is you have a cheap product that people will just pay just to try you out. And what that does is it helps, you know, who the real guys are who are going to pay you for stuff, and who’s everyone else. And once you get them to pay for one thing, you want to find more stuff to upsell them, because now you know that these guys are willing to pay. And with, you’re right. With Mixergy all I’ve got is one thing, I can’t upsell you if I tried to. And I refuse to do one on one consultations for a fee.
Gabriel: Well the difference is, I mean, with people that upsell stuff, I mean my patience with them is going to be very small. So, I mean, one of the things they never tell you is that their retention level is tiny because there’s no loyalty towards them. They’re guru. With Mixergy, for me paying Mixergy is a thing that I will pay for a lifetime. It’s a no brainer. I’m not thinking, hmmm, shall I invest this month on Mixergy? No, you know, it’s a great product, congrats.
Andrew: Thank you, it’s really generous of you to say. I, just like you get embarrassed about sending out invoices sometimes, and you send out apologies with your invoices. And by the way I’ve done that too. And it’s so weird. When you see it through someone else you go, what’s wrong with you, why would you do that? When you realize you’ve done it yourself you say, oh boy what’s wrong with me. Why did I do that? In a similar way, when people praise my work I feel a little bit guilty. I feel, I don’t know what it is. Bashful. So let’s go on to the last big idea which is, qualify your customers to see if they’re a good fit and do not accept everyone. How have you used that and where did you learn it from?
Gabriel: This is huge, okay? This, it’s from Mikos Holland. This is in the premium section about closing sales. I have watched that video. I’m like a freak. I’ve watched the video every single time. When I’m bored I will watch it again because the guy is a master of the universe. And literally what that changed my perspective is, when I started this business anyone that would call me I was like, hey, my wife was crying in the kitchen, I have to take them, okay? And I started applying this system. And the crazy thing is I apply his system on the phone of pre-qualifying people on the phone, and the first thing that he says is, try to lose the sale as fast as possible. That is crazy. I mean, he’s telling you lose a sale. Try not to get hired as fast as possible. And I applied that.
And what I realized is, as soon as you don’t show hunger people are going to be more keen in doing business with you. So right now some people called me and I was like, ah you know I’m fully booked. I will be available in May, call me the first of May. They will call me the first of May at 8 a.m. Okay. And the reason is because they know I don’t need them, and they need me more. And I actually learned these in a funny way. I got a call from this lady who had a party supply business in Sydney. And she was like, I’ve seen your blog, I’ve seen your videos. I love what you do. I want to hire you and I’m willing to start. Yeah, sure, let’s do it. Let’s work together.
And I did some pre-qualifying with her, I want to ask you a few questions about your business. And one of the questions in the pre-qualification form is have you done any business with SEO companies before. And she wrote, yes. And the second question is, what company? [??] five top SEO companies in the country.
So, what do you mean, you have done business with the five top SEO companies in the country? What happened? And she goes, oh no, they’re all crooks and I actually sued them, all of them.
Andrew: She did?
Gabriel: Yeah. [chuckle] Because they were trying to steal my money. So, I actually sued them and I went to Consumer Affairs, that is the department here to protect the consumers, and I put a complaint for each of them. And that was why I wanted to hire you. That’s when I realized I was going to be number six on the list. Eventually I was going to be the next victim.
So, it’s very important not to take everyone. Some people may pay you but those can become your worst nightmares. Some people think that because they pay you, they own you. When you manage to pre-qualify them, trust me, you get less customers that are paying more or they’re paying you in a better way. It’s worth it. More is not better.
Andrew: I actually remember pushing Nicholas Holland a lot on that because my concern when he said that was that he was trying to get attention by saying something counter-intuitive because we all want to stand out with our ideas, but when he explained why, I felt ridiculous for ever doubting him. He’s absolutely right and we’ve seen this from other people, even Oren Klaff, the guy who raises money for companies.
He says that one of the first things he does is prize himself when he walks in. He calls it prizing. He says, you want to act like working with you is the prize and not everyone gets the prize and you want to act like it’s the prize and make them work for working with you, and even though you’re going to lose some people, you should be happy, because those are often not the people you want. And the ones that you keep are going to fight to do business with you.
In your case, if you say, call me back in the future, they’re going to call you back in the future and be eager to work with you. In other cases, I’ve seen, and this didn’t happy intentionally, but we don’t have ad space in Mixergy and we haven’t for a long time and when I say that to people, I say I can’t, I just don’t have any. They push to buy. They are much more eager to help with the sales process and much less resistant then and critical, because frankly advertising in video is not the most popular way to advertise online, you want those clicks from Google that you can track, that you can measure conversions on, and so on.
But, I guess because we’ve inadvertently prized ourselves, we end up getting more sales and a better sales process. And you did it intentionally because of Nicholas Holland.
Gabriel: I actually use it with my own story. I actually make fun of it so I say to them, if you can hire another Columbian SEO guy in Australia, go for it. There’s obviously no other Columbian SEO guy in Australia. I mean, I use it a little bit. I get cocky. I actually sometimes say, I’m the guy with the biggest ego in Australia about SEOs. So that’s why you should hire me or that’s why you shouldn’t hire me. Things like that.
So it’s very important that the person that does business with you, if you provide a service, really likes you as a person and really likes what you offer him. If you feel any kind of doubts that person is going to ask for a refund, is going to go to forums and talk trash about you or is going to call you seven or eight times in a day. Literally, people will do that when they pay you. Trust me. They think they can call you on Sunday and ask why my website went down or up in Google.
So you take [??] very clear and one of the things I do is I actually send my customers the rules of engagement with me. OK. So, the rules of engagement are I do not answer the phone without an appointment, or you can call me but I may not answer so you have to leave a message. It’s funny you have to instruct people to leave a message. Some people never leave messages.
I send these rules and literally, I tell them that there is no email communication with me. It has to be on Basecamp. Is that OK with you? If they say no, it’s OK, we’re not [??] much. Thank you so much.
And then what I do is I say, you know what? I can actually recommend you to other people. And automatically people … And Nick said on the course, what do you mean, you’re recommending your competition. And I said, yeah, there’s some great guys out there. I think you’ll be the right match with them because they’re willing to do anything you want them to do.
And then they go back to you, it’s like, no, let’s stay with you. So okay. [SS] Actually very far away works. When it works, you laugh internally. You hang the phone and you laugh, and you say, I can’t believe this works.’
Andrew: What you’re just saying right there is one of the reasons I wanted to do Mixergy is that, we feel sometimes as entrepreneurs is that putting more effort will get more results. If you want more customers, you want to be more eager, be more willing to do more for your clients, be more accommodating.
What you find is when you do that, you actually work against your interests and you get fewer results. It’s not until someone, in this case for you, is Nicholas Holland who says, ‘No. Here’s a different way to do it,’ where you do putting a little less effort in but you get a lot more results. It’s not until you realize that that the effort you put in really starts to bear It’s not just effort and willingness and desire that are going to get you where you want to go as an entrepreneur. Sometimes it’s counter-productive to be that way. You come across as too needy.
When you learn from entrepreneurs who are real entrepreneurs who’ve really done this, who’ve been in the room and made those sales and they teach you how to close sales and they teach you how to organize, they teach you how to systemize, they teach you how to stay productive, then it has the credibility because it’s backed by their experience. And you start to see your own life change and God knows, you have.
So let me ask you this, first of all, let me sum up for people what they learned and then I want to find out how people can connect with you. You connected with me. One of the things that I love about you is that you don’t just sit back and you absorb this stuff and you say, ‘I’m watching this show where other people are actors in life and I’m just a passive viewer of it.’ No, you jump right in there and you say, ‘I’m in this game. I’m in this show. I’m in…”
Andrew: “… I’m in life and I’m going to connect with Andrew. I’m not just going to sit back.’ And I hope people do the same thing with you. It starts off with just a simple email saying thank you.
Let me first sum up what they learned here, what they got from you and then I’ll ask them what I hope they could do to you, or with you, or for you.
So here it is. We talked about how to create your unique brand and making a personal connection by telling your origin story. We talked about how Nancy Duarte and Sasha Strauss talked about this specific way of telling your story. We’ve talked about focus tools and how to maximize your productivity. Other entrepreneurs might pretend that they’re naturally productive but really, no one is all the time productive.
If you use those focus tools that we talked about you’re going to become much more productive. You’ll get better results. We talked about finding that adviser, in Gabriel’s case it’s his wife, but you want to find your wife, a spouse, a friend, someone who’s going to help you stay on track and say no to more things so that you can keep saying yes to the right things.
In that case we talked about Nathan Latka and how he focused on Facebook and didn’t go into Instagram and Pinterest and everything else. That’s why he did well.
We talked about choosing the things that you hate doing, and it’s OK to hate doing some things and it’s OK not to want to spend your life doing repetitive things. It’s not OK to just neglect them. Instead you say automated and you talked about the tools that you use. Mark Brooks taught you about how to automate invoices, use Bidsketch to automate proposals, you talked about how you use Wufoo etc.
Then finally we talked about how you want to qualify your customers to see if they’re a good fit and not to just accept everyone. You talked about how Nicholas Holland taught you that big idea and also the specific steps to take when you want to close a sale.
As a result of all that you saw measurable results in your business last year and hopefully, guys, I hope you buy Mixergy from him but I’ve got to tell you there is a lot right here and if you use this I’m sure you’re going to get results. If you want to take it a step further you can go to mixergy.com/premiumsignup and take all these courses and go in more depth into them.
In fact, not only more depth but you actually get to see how these things are done. Mark Brooks brought up his invoices and said, ‘This is how I automate.’ I know because I had to blank out his fees on his invoices, he went a little bit too far.
Nicholas Holland actually want to do a, actually showed how he closes a sale and he used me as a person who you would close a sale with so that he can teach the process.
Gabriel: It’s funny, sorry to interrupt you, because with Mark Brooks I noticed that he was in Malta and I said to myself, ‘He can run a business from Malta, I can do it from my little town.’ Because this is the middle of nowhere.
Andrew: [laughs] At least when you say you’re in Australia people know where that is. When he says he’s from Malta, the next question is, ‘Where is Malta?’
Andrew: So if . . .
Andrew: . . . if people want to connect with you and again, I urge everyone to just do this, on Mixergy and anywhere else. If there’s someone who you got any value from and you want to send them just a quick note saying, ‘Hey, thank you,’ and start a relationship that way, how can they connect with you? What’s a good way for them to work with you?
Gabriel: They can actually go to internetninja.com.au and there’s a contact form there, all my details there and . . .
Andrew: Let me repeat that one more time. Internetninja.co.au . . .
Gabriel: com. C-O-M dot A-U
Andrew: Oh, in the intro I said dot co dot AU by accident, no, dot com dot AU.
Gabriel: That’s OK I forgive you, so dot com dot AU. But you know, this is kind of interesting, I don’t know if you’ll agree with this, I believe he’s vital that, the people that are reading, I mean, they’re actually watching this interview, take some action. OK, and what I would love to see is the next people, the next person takes action, hopefully in a year time to replace me in this interview.
Andrew: That’s a great point.
Gabriel: So I don’t know if you’re going to agree with this OK, but what I would like to do is, I don’t know when this is going to go live, but I would like to, I love to trust humanity so I want to sponsor two people, two viewers for the premium for a whole year if they actually are willing to apply everything [??] their business and then come back and have a chat with you, in a year time. So if you go to the site, I will be more than happy to…
Andrew: How do you help people who you do this?
Gabriel: I think the people take action automatically and there [??].
Andrew: What if we do this, what if we say, if they use something, we’ll ask people to use something from this interview and we’ll pick two people, I will give them premium membership I don’t think you should be doing it but that’s very generous of you.
Gabriel: No, actually I want to do it. I think it’s important to give back, so.
Andrew: You’ve been giving back. You’ve been paying.
Gabriel: No, well, anyway so.
Andrew: We’ll give them…
Gabriel: Do one and one.
Andrew: We’ll give them membership and what they need to do is just use something from here and report back on the results.
Gabriel: I think it’s important.
Andrew: And then we’ll pick people. That way we [??] this a little bit and we’ll give them a little bit of time to use this. Let’s say, boy I don’t know when people discover this. The problem is that people take their time discovering it. I’ll have some note on when this will expire down on the bottom.
Gabriel: Did I put you on the spot?
Andrew: No not at all, I just wasn’t prepared so I wasn’t sure what to do with this, but we’ll find a way to do this but…
Gabriel: [??] so OK.
Andrew: I want to send people to SEOcourse.com.au, internetninja.com.au and on internetninja.com.au is where they can connect with you and say thank you.
Gabriel: Absolutely, yes.
Andrew: And I’m going to be the first person to say thank you for doing this interview.
Gabriel: No, thank you so much you’ve been great. It’s been a pleasure.
Andrew: And Bob you’re right this was a good interview. Thank you all for watching.
Gabriel: See yes, bye.
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