ShoeMoney: “I’m the guy who blurs the lines of ethics, morals, and legality.” – with Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy Schoemaker, who is known as “Shoemoney,” is an entrepreneur, writer and hustler.

As you’ll see in this interview he made his early money working an angle at Best Buy and went on to build several companies, including NextPimp, which allowed people to pimp their mobile phones.

He tells his story in an incredibly engaging autobiography called Nothing’s Changed But My Change, which I encourage you to read because it’s full of well-written stories about things founders never talk about, like the way Jeremy put one over on an insurance company.

Watch the FULL program

Jeremy Schoemaker, Shoemoney

Jeremy Schoemaker, aka “Shoemoney,” is a serial entrepreneur made famous by running one of the highest-trafficked websites in the world, Shoemoney.com, and by being a pioneer in the world of internet marketing dating back to the early 2000’s.

In January 2013, he published his autobiography, called ‘Nothing’s Changed But My Change: The Shoemoney Story.”

Raw transcript

Mixergy's audio transcription is done by Speechpad

Andrew: Hey guys, you’re about to watch one of my most inspiring interviews

about a fat guy. He was on unemployment, but he wanted to get into online

marketing. He had no money. He was unemployed or maybe (?). He decided that

he was meant for it. Anyway, you’re going to see the story of how he went

from nothing into building this multi-million dollar company. I am editing

this interview quickly because I want to get it out there. Other people

apparently are going to post articles, and apparently he’s gotten other

bloggers to write about it. Instead of running an ad (?), instead I’m going

to say my interviews are always sponsored by Scott Edward Walker of Walker

Corporate Law. He’s a lawyer that I’ve known for years. I used him recently

when I’ve needed an agreement written, Walker Corporate Law.

This interview is also sponsored by Grasshopper.com. That’s where you want

to go when you want a virtual phone number that will actually follow people

wherever you are. You can hire people. You can add extensions. I know many

of you know about Google Voice, but what happens when you start hiring

people and that phone number from Google Voice is on everyone’s phone and

now they’re calling you and you want to find a way to get them to call your

office so that the calls go to multiple people. Well, if you need that, you

need grasshopper.com. All right. Let’s get started with the program.

Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of

Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. Today I’ve got Jeremy

Schoemaker who’s known online as Schoemoney. He is an entrepreneur, a

writer, and a hustler. And as you’ll see in this interview, he made his

early money by working a really interesting angle at Best Buy. And he went

on to build several companies, several, what you might call, legitimate

companies, including Net Pimp which allowed people to pimp their mobile

phones. He tells his story in an incredibly engaging book that I can’t rave

about enough. The book is called “Nothing’s Changed But My Change.” The

reason I rave about it is because he’s a damn good storyteller and he does

what I wish more of my interviewees would do, which is open up about the

stuff you should be embarrassed about. Half the book this guy should be

hiding in shame from admitting, but I love that part of the book. Jeremy,

welcome.

Jeremy: Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate you having me on again. It’s a

real honor.

Andrew: You made your first million. Was it from Next Pimp?

Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. That was my first huge hit. It was a fun project. I was

on unemployment and started getting six figure checks from Google.

Andrew: The idea came to you from something that you were trying to do with

your own phone. What was that?

Jeremy: Yeah. Originally, I just wanted to put a picture of my girlfriend

on my phone, on my next cell phone, and this was early 2000 when that was a

very interesting thing to do and a very hard thing to do. It had to be in a

certain format, an exact size, whatever, whatever, without getting too

geeky. So I figured out how to do it. I posted it on a place called (?). At

the time it was the Internet cell phone thing. And so I started getting all

these emails, people sending me pictures, like can you do it for me? I was

like, sure. And then it started to be like hundreds a day. So I was like,

I’ve got to figure out a way to programmatically do this. So I did, I made

a website for it where people could upload any photo and it would format it

correctly for their phone. And then, ring tones shortly followed and it did

the same thing. You could upload any audio file and convert it for your

phone. Then it just occurred to me one day I should allow people to let

them store them and share them with others. I called it categorize. Now

it’s tagging and all this stuff. This is way pre-YouTube, pre all this

stuff. So that’s how my first site started. The site just blew up.

Within about the second year of it running I found myself on unemployment

and the site was getting 100 to 200,000 unique visitors a day, depending on

if it was on the front page of DIgg or different various things. Google

calls me up and tells me to put this code on my page. It had been a couple

of months, and I’d go to the bank and I’ve got an unemployment check and a

six figure Google check.

Andrew: First check was for how much?

Jeremy: The first check was for, I think, about $55,000, but there were

issues in getting it because I had registered with the wrong address and

then I’d moved and stuff. So I actually go the $100,000 one before I got

the other one. So that was actually my first check. And so I got off of

unemployment because obviously I saw subsequent checks. If you want to see

an interesting look on a teller’s face is when you show up and you’ve got a

history of non-sufficient funds and bounced checks and they’re not sure if

they should call the cops or bring out the president to meet you.

Andrew: Do you remember opening up that check and how it felt to look at

something that was for more than ten bucks, or more than unemployment,

whatever amount they were giving you?

Jeremy: It was so surreal. I mean, it was literally so surreal. I

absolutely couldn’t believe it. I remember being in a chat room and showing

people the stats the first day that it crossed like $4000 in a day. I was

having so much fun with it. It was like I wasn’t real money. I would say in

the chat room, “Whoever can guess the closest to today’s earnings without

going over, I’ll give you 10%.” And it was just stupid things like that. It

was just fun. I’m in my underwear in my basement having fun. Even when I

got the check, I immediately had my mother-in-law take a picture of me with

it, and that’s the famous one that’s around.

Luckily, Google didn’t not send out checks after that month, ironically,

for anything over $10,000. So I had her take a picture because I couldn’t

believe it. I thought any minute the door’s going to get busted down and

the Google police are going to say, “Hey, you didn’t earn this. There’s a

big problem. There’s a big mistake. We need the money back,” and I was

like, I want a picture of this so that I can write a book someday, maybe,

about how to make money with Google. That was my plan. I had zero

confidence that this was going to last because I didn’t really have much

success before that.

Andrew: You didn’t. In fact, were you still fat at the time when that first

check came in?

Jeremy: I was still at that time.

Andrew: You were. And you grew up fat. You say in the book that you weren’t

dating. Do you remember wanting to approach girls in high school and not

even being able to talk to them? Or do you remember the reaction they gave

you when you did talk?

Jeremy: Oh, absolutely. I was every girl’s best friend and was just the

friend, the cute guy, the friend guy, “I like you as a friend,” all that

stuff, just constantly.

Andrew: So how does that influence you? To be that person?

Jeremy: It’s a huge advantage, actually, growing up with that mentality and

always having to be better at everything because people assume you’re this

lazy kid, with all the stereotypes that go with people being fat. But then

on the other end, you’re so much more hardened for when people come at you

in a negative way because people on the Internet talk smack about everyone.

Kids are pretty cruel when you’re growing up. I think it actually gives me

a little advantage, as well.

Andrew: You actually told me before we started this interview, and I think

it’s OK for me to bring up, that friends who you mentioned in the book from

back in those days when you were the heavy set loser, they saw their names

in the book and they did what?

Jeremy: There was a girl, specifically, who was really upset because I told

the story about how I was just infatuated with her and I bought her a dog

that she wanted thinking that she would see how much I loved her and she

traded the dog for a bag of pot and how upsetting that was. Well, she

didn’t like that, and so she’s threatening to sue me. There’s another girl

that I talk about who’s got several kids and on welfare and I talk about

how she’s totally fine – and this was another girl that I totally adored –

and it’s just, “How’s that working out for you now?”

Andrew: And she’s now on welfare, you said?

Jeremy: Oh, yeah. Her and her husband both have lived off the government.

Actually, in the book I say they should write a book someday, if they’re

reading this, called “How You Paid for my Life” about how the American tax

payers have covered all their bills ever.

Andrew: You’ve come a long way. You started out with these people. One of

the things, Jeremy, I love that you open up about is what you did to some

of these people. You say, this is a direct quote from the book, about the

story I’m about to ask you about, you said that it was your “first lesson

in how to exploit people’s passions for profit.” Is that what you do?

Exploit people’s passions for profit?

Jeremy: Absolutely. I know it sounds very aggressive, but at the same time

if you look at the most popular ways to make money on the Internet, what do

we really do? We get people to envision themselves losing weight. We get

people to have gym memberships. You’ve got teeth whitening. Weight loss is

the biggest industry money-wise. You’ve just got all these things, and

really those are just passions. Religion is one of the riches businesses in

the world, and it’s just all these people’s passions.

Seth Godin wrote a book, many books, that kind of talk about it. He’s not

as direct as me, but he did say all marketers are liars. He talks about

that. People never buy a product for what it actually does, it’s the story

they tell themselves on what it’s going to do for them. So when you can –

and exploit is a strong word but it’s what it is – when you basically find

different angles to let people see what a product or service is going to do

for them, then in my opinion you’re exploiting people’s passions to make

money.

Andrew: What about this: that as marketers it’s very easy to measure

success of your marketing? If you’re a good copywriter, you know instantly

that you’re a good copywriter and how well it worked because you see the

sales and you get to compare yourselves for this copy with sales for

previous and so on. There isn’t as much…

Andrew: …with sales for previous and so on. There isn’t as much passion,

as much instant measurability for giving people results, for seeing if they

could, five years later, have lost 100 pounds because of something they’ve

read from you, or ten years later have built a successful business, so we

neglect the product and focus on the marketing, don’t we? I say, ‘we’. I

would like to be that good.

Jeremy: It’s depressing at times. I had a discussion about this with my

wife the other night. It was about, not the exact question, but it’s true.

I talked about how I’ve created a lot of products, I’ve had a lot of

services and the one thing that really is depressing to me is my products.

If I would have been as successful as I would have wanted them to be, I

would have had to sink to a level that I’m not comfortable with as a

marketer. It really disturbed me because I had such a better product but it

really didn’t matter. Then at the end of the day you see the consumption

ratio of your products. If you look at the models, a gym membership’s a

great example. If everyone actually used their gym membership, the gym

would be out of business. They oversell it something like 3000% of

something like that is a successful gym. The one thing that you can count

on is that any time something actually requires work that 90% of the people

who purchase the product aren’t going to use it. My wife has three

different mixers under the shelf in our kitchen that she never uses.

Andrew: But then we’re dis-incentivized as marketers, as business owners,

going outside of the online marketing space, even, to gym memberships. You

gave an example of a company that has a dis-incentive to have you go and

use their product. We’re dis-incentivized as marketers, as entrepreneurs

when it comes to creating a better product because focus on a better

product means less focus and time away from the marketing. Focus on a

better product means that more people are spending time with your current

product and not waiting for your next product which is going to save their

lives.

Jeremy: Right. I think that’s the difference between a lot of fly-by-night

marketers and a lot of people who have done very well. In my thing, I

believe in value and really giving away value and so through my blog I’ve

built a following, through forums and helping people I’ve built a following

and trust and value. So I even say if you want to see this in action, you

should get on my newsletter list and, obviously that sounds ‘marketing’ but

you’ll buy something from me. The simple fact is that – and people will

probably laugh when they see this – but I’m telling you, because I give you

so much overwhelming value that by the time I put something out, you know

it’s going to be great and you actually feel like you owe me. The market

has changed and now it’s really the price of free. Everything is almost

like a loss-leader now to get you in. It’s almost like the old days of, if

you look at Time Life Books or some of the old models of Columbia House: 9

cents for 9 CDs and you get your CDs and it’s awesome and you sign up for

another account and then your parents get these bills.

I got a little bit away, but basically I’m able to sell product after

product after product to people who have followed me because they know that

they are a really good value. The thing is that not many of them actually

consume them, but they’ll keep buying them. That’s the cold, hard truth

behind it. If anyone tells you different, they’re lying to you. If the

people who make the Magic Bullet tell you that everyone who buys it uses it

every day, they’re totally lying to you. Anyway, my point is that, again

the sad part of it is, even thought you give people value, the product does

exactly what you promised, the consumption rate is going to be extremely

low, but people will continue to buy from you as long as you continue to

give them value and open up their eyes to things they didn’t think about.

Andrew: What were your revenues in 2012?

Jeremy: 2012 was a tough year for me because I actually had to completely

refocus the company and actually decide to run a really, really legitimate

company. It was the first year ever that my company was very close, revenue-

wise. I think we over $1 million in revenue, but our expenses were so much

because I not only put a lot of revenue into our new company that we just

launched called the Par Program, which helps a lot of big businesses out,

but I wasn’t trying to make any money. All of the streams of revenue had

stopped or dwindled and then I was dumping, pouring money into this new

company, creating it, hiring people, and all that. So 2012 wasn’t the

greatest thing, but I really had to look at what I was doing, stop the fly-

by-night company stuff and mentality and go back to what I did with Auction

Ads, which is a company that I launched and sold four months later. But I

shouldn’t have sold that company. It was kind of a confidence level, kind

of a lack of education. I sold it for a (?) of what I should have got, and

even the people that bought it told me “If you would have held out you

could have got, like three times more.” And I just, I just was like bird

in the hand, gone, you know, give me this. So it was, you know, and it’s

taken that evolution of the kid who barely graduated high school, no

education in business, no education in this, and all of a sudden, you know,

you create a multi-million dollar business that’s doing $2 million a month

in revenue and somebody (?) they want to buy it, you’re just like, you know

“What will you give me?”, you know?

Andrew: That’s Auction Ads is the business that was doing multi-millions.

I’m going to come back to that to see how you’ve evolved as an

entrepreneur, but where you learned your business seems to be, your

approach to business seems to be in school, that reference that I made

earlier about exploiting people’s passions, that had to do with this

business you had selling baseball cards.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Andrew: Can you tell people how that worked?

Jeremy: Yeah, so I did a lot of things as a kid, and that’s kind of where

the title of the book comes from, Nothing’s Changed but My Change ’cause I

still have the same mentality, right? But as a kid you don’t have the

resources that you have, I have now, right?

So, you know, as a kid I saw there was a, the Fleer, I actually have the

Billy Ripken card right here, which if you can see it, on the bottom of the

bat it says f-face. It was, like, a very famous card. It was, like, the

biggest error ever. But it was actually this, I believe it’s ’89 Fleer set

that has, like, the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie, like, Gary Sheffield rookie,

had like, all these amazing cards that were super high-priced. So they

came in these wax packs, so what I did was, is you could actually take an

iron and a wet rag and you could steam them and the wax would melt and you

could open them, pull out the good cards, put in the shit cards, then you

could take them to school and sell the packs, right? Then you would (?) a

couple little (?) around who you would actually load up packs for and they

would be like “Oh my God, I just got this card”, you know “and this card.”

So then you’d have people come up and, you know, it is kind of the whole

thing. I mean, people envisioned themselves being that person and doing

this kind of stuff. And of course that was really sketchy, but, you know,

it was an angle I saw and, you know, I did a lot. I was always a hustler

as a young kid, always able to make money doing various things.

Andrew: The insurance thing, what was that? How’d you make money there?

Jeremy: So, yeah. That actually was for a friend. I came up with, and I

have to say, like, it was, the part that makes the most sense was, so

basically he had bought this car stereo for like three grand or something

like that and so I came up with this thing and I was like “You know”, and I

actually had had my car broken into like two months before that, and so I

said “You know, if we were to stash, like, and stage something, you know,

like your car got broke into” and, ’cause he kind of had a broken family.

He was living with his girlfriend at the time whose parents were very well-

respected in the community. And I said “You know what I bet would work

flawlessly would be to, you know, stage a break-in on your car, put all the

shit in someone’s garage and”, can I cuss by the way? Sorry.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeremy: Bleep it out.

Andrew: You got to be yourself.

Jeremy: All right. Yeah so, and “We’ll break your dash and, you know,

everything, but then what we’ll do is you’ll get up in the middle of the

night and hit your car alarm. And so what that’ll do is, you know then,

her parents who are good, upstanding citizens will find the car, the cops

come, she’ll tell the cops what they”, you know “so you’re leveraging their

credibility, right? So it’s not you that reported it, it’s them that

reported it, right?” And I have to say, that was pretty brilliant. I

mean, it’s, it is what it is, but I mean, I’m a little partial, but I

thought that was sweet.

Andrew: Kind of like affiliate marketing.

Jeremy: Right.

Andrew: (?) affiliate opportunity out there and, sorry, what were you

going to say? And it’s whatever other people say about it, it’s on them.

Jeremy: Right. And so now it’s kind of the same thing. Like, you apply

that logic of, you know, it’s just think about, like, even my stuff today,

if I can get a testimonial from somebody else it’s so much more powerful

than I say it myself, right? I mean, it’s pretty much exactly the same

thing without the illegal side of it. OK. So if I can get, like, Andrew

to talk about my book, right, it’s more powerful than if I stand up here

and do an interview with myself, right, because I’m leveraging your

credibility.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s one of the benefits, by the way, of doing interviews

with people who are new. They are really complimentary because they’re so

grateful to you for even doing the interview and then you end up getting

this really big promotion. In this case I only said it because I freaking

love the book. I think it’s well-written, I like the asides, I like how

you suddenly disappear from the story and go off to tell me another story,

but I don’t want to make this about the book. I don’t want to make this a

promotion of the book. I want to talk about how you got to where you were,

and there’s one other story that I talked about at the top of the interview

that I’d like to talk about here now in more depth, which is the Best Buy

story. You work at Best Buy doing what?

Jeremy: So I worked in the car audio department.

Andrew: Yep.

Jeremy: And home audio too, you know, we both kind of shared both things,

and I’m sure what you’re going to want to talk about is actually the kind

of angle that I discovered and actually-

Andrew: With the speakers.

Jeremy: Right.

Andrew: Yeah. I don’t want to know about how you sold the speakers. I

want to know about the angle you had on selling speakers.

Jeremy: Yeah. So I’m sitting there one day, I actually loved these

speakers but they were $400, and one day I’m , Best Buy used to have a

policy where anything was 5% over their cost, right? Some things in

electronics, these things were marked up a lot, you know, so I’m going

through the manual one day and I stumble across these speakers and I see

they’re, like, a fraction of, and the actual pricing is in the book, but I

think it was something like a third of what they actually were selling for.

So I noticed, like “Wow, this is an enormous market imbalance and I’m

wondering if I could purchase them at my employee cost and then, you know,

have a friend return them, you know, if I could get full store credit of

the $300, you know, what they sold for.” So that was, so that basically

answers your question. I mean, you want me to…

Andrew: So that’s what you did. You got the speakers at the employee

discount rate of $75, you went to a friend who bought the same speakers at

$300 plus and you said “Alright, you have the receipt, or you got this, say

you got it as a gift, take my speakers that I paid $75 for, return them,

get $300 plus from Best Buy, and we can pocket the money” and you did this

10 times until you got caught.

Jeremy: Yeah, I did it a lot.

Andrew: More than ten.

Jeremy: It was actually, like, they, so we didn’t get any cash out of it.

It was just an exchange, right? So, like, I would, like, buy the speakers

at my employee cost, I’d give them to you, I don’t even have to tell you

how much it was, and just say “No receipt, no nothing, take these back,

tell them I gave them to use as a gift, not me, you got them as a gift, and

they’ll give you store credit.”

Andrew: I see.

Jeremy: So, yeah, I did that a lot of times, many, many times, at many

different Best Buy stores, and it worked very, very well. I had the most

pimped out basement ever.

Andrew: So it wasn’t even about the money, it was just about the

satisfaction of having done it and the trophies it seems to me, about, from

having done it.

Jeremy: It was, you know, and the big thing was I got to hook up all my

friends, right? And, you know, I mean, you know, the essence of happiness

which someone, to quote somebody said, you know “The essence of happiness

is really making all of the people you love around you happy.” You know,

it’s really, like, true happiness. And I think, I mean, without getting

all, but that was like an opportunity where I did see an angle and I did

hook up all my friends ’cause I was like “Hey, get me this and you can have

whatever’s leftover to get whatever you want” and so everyone was like

“This is the greatest thing ever.” And, you know, Best Buy didn’t like it

and I got arrested for it and whatnot but was found, well they…

Andrew: Why reveal this? Why start out your autobiography by telling

story after story of the scams essentially that you ran as a kid? Doesn’t

that take away your credibility at the time that you’re about to go after

bigger businesses?

Jeremy: I don’t think so. I mean, all the business that we work with, you

know, now we work with some really big name clients with our new company,

and they know my story. I mean, I’ve gone out with them. We’ve gone out

and, you know, they were kids once too. They made dumb mistakes as well,

and I, you know, I’ve always done very, very well by being brutally honest,

and I think if you’re going to write a biography you, that’s what the point

is, you know? It’s you, you have a unique story, and everyone out there

does, so, I mean, the same things, that’s why the title, Nothing’s Changed

but My Changes, is really, like, I have the exact same mind set and I think

in order to understand how I got to where I am you have to see the pieces

of the puzzle that actually makes my mind tick.

Andrew: But there’s also a benefit to it. Like, if you tell me about a

scam that you pulled we’re in on it together, so now we’ve gotten this

sense of Jeremy being the guy who knows things that other people don’t know

and Jeremy brings me into his world so we’re closer. There’s some kind of

psychology there that you’re playing, that you’re working here. What is

that? Help me understand it.

Jeremy: Yeah, so it really boils down. So let’s take the criminal aspect

out of it, and let’s just look at what it is and what you can learn from

it. So, in the case of the Best Buy thing, simple case of a market

imbalance, right? Just, that’s it. You buy one thing for X, you sell it

for X, there’s a huge gap there. Those things exist every day. I know

people that are buying on eBay Canada and selling on eBay US. I mean, I

know people buying at Slick Deals and selling it in their local Craigslist.

Whatever. There’s a market imbalance everywhere. It’s just seeing the

angle of it.

Andrew: Gotcha.

Jeremy: OK. So that’s a lesson there. If you look at the lesson, again,

with the car stereo deal, that was simply seeing an angle of leveraging

someone else’s credibility, because you’re a 16-year old, and they’re going

to be like, “Uh. If I would have called that in and reported that as

stolen, I would have been the number one suspect, but because these

upstanding people did it…’, and that’s just it. In every one of the

things I talk about, what you can really take away is a lot of… I think

it’s eye-opening. Let’s not think about, I mean, you can take away what you

want. I hope the person takes away from it that, “Wow, that was really

smart. That angle, applied in a legitimate way, is what’s made him so

successful today.”

Andrew: You say at the beginning of your book that you’re a great copy

writer, and you really frickin’ are. I want to know what that is. What can

you teach us quickly about becoming a good copy writer, and I’m

anticipating the response that you might have to me, which is, ‘There is no

simple way. You have to work at it,’ but I’ve got to tell you, in

everything in life, there is a way. If someone were to ask me, “Andrew, how

can I become a better interviewer?” I would tell them, “Think about what

you really need to know from this person who you’re about to interview. Be

really selfish, and you’re going to start asking questions that are useful

for other people. If you start thinking about what the audience is going to

want, you’re always going to get it a little bit wrong.” So, for writing

good copy, do you have a short cut, or, not a short cut. What’s one thing

that you can teach us that works that quickly?

Jeremy: Yeah. I can give you a massive short cut, from my experience over

the years. I have had to work at it and learn over the years. I think a big

thing is that I have no major education in English or writing. If you read

a lot of, even my sales stuff, there’s a lot of grammar mistakes, and it’s

not written perfect, and my sentences run on forever, and what not. But

here’s the basic structure of it. There are three things that I talk about

a lot, and it’s basically the three P’s, that any time you ever write copy

for anything, you have to do. Number one is the pain. You have to make

people feel pain. What are they missing out on? “Right now, you’re getting

ripped off because of x.” Right? Then you have to show them the potential.

You talk about, “What if there was a product that did this? Wouldn’t that

be awesome? And this, and this.” And then you have to give them the proof,

which is, “Well, Jimmy Bob bought it, and here’s what he has to say.”

Again, leveraging their credibility. You never say, “Here’s what it’ll do

for you. Here’s what I’m telling you to do.” You also want to, this is

probably one of the biggest tips, and I don’t know that I even put this in

the book about the copy writing part, but basically, you definitely want

to… people have no attention span anymore. So, if you write a book, and I

had issues formatting with my editor, because she wanted to take out a lot

of the bold and stuff, but basically, you need to be able to skim a thing,

scroll really slowly, and tell everything that it’s about. You do that by

using bold, and using highlighted text, and changing colors, because just

like television, where they switch camera angles every so many seconds, you

have to do that. How do you do that in text? Well, you do that just by

using bold and breaking it up, using bullet points every time you can, and

you just constantly keep mixing it up. Those are the secrets.

Andrew: I see. Camera angles. So, pain, potential, proof. Look for

different camera angles, or the equivalent of them in writing, which is

bold, big letters, bullet points, et cetera, and then there’s something

else, which is storytelling. You are so good at storytelling. As I said,

that’s what I loved about this book. You also said that that’s what helped

you sell, going back even to when you worked at Sears. How? Most people’s

stories, Jeremy, are so frickin’ boring, that once they launch into them,

after two sentences you want to tune away. I always, when I want to tell

stories, I feel like no one’s going to pay attention. They’re going to be

bored by stories. They want facts. They want results. How do I keep my

stories as entertaining as yours?

Jeremy: I think it’s by following those three P’s. When I sold washers and

dryers, the biggest thing was selling what we referred to as ‘the cheese’,

which is the extended warranty. I made ten times more off of an extended

warranty, selling it, than I do the actually washer and dryer. I also get a

big kickback from the credit card stuff, but specifically, the warranty is,

you have to start selling from the story from the beginning. You tell them

this story about, “Hey. I’m just going to tell you, before you even look at

a washer and dryer, I just had this happen to me, where my whole thing

completely flooded, and it was,” you know. You just engage them in this

whole thing, and it could be bullshit. Whatever. This is, as a kid selling

these things. So, they’re automatically envisioning this pain that is

happening to them. You’ve got to be polarizing. You’ve got to reveal some

things about you. If you’re just a normal, you have to give all the

details.

As you know, in my book, there’s not much left, right? That’s, I think, the

big difference. Now, how do you do that in selling a product? I’ll give you

an example, last week, that I sold $30,000 worth of this guy’s product.

What I did was, I said, this is an amazing way to sell a product. I said,

the model forever has been to do this big product launch and all that

stuff. Well, this guy has taken the model from, I don’t know if you know

who Amy [SP] Street is and how they sell music, but basically every time

somebody buys one it increases by a penny. Well, this guy launched a tool

which he sold for $1,000, but he did the same model. So, he charged $9.00

and increased it by a penny every time it goes. So, I just said to my

people, forget about the fact that he sells this thing for $2,000 for a

second. It’s the greatest product ever.

Andrew: What is he selling for $2,000, the tool that allows you to up your

price by a penny every time someone buys?

Jeremy: No. No, that was his pricing …

Andrew: That was his pricing mechanism.

Jeremy: The actual tool suite is a keyword rock star [??]. It makes banners

that look amazing in no time at all.

Andrew: Got you.

Jeremy: You upload and it’s got all these preset things. It does flash

banners, Facebook ads, and it’s just like hit a button, you’ve got all this

stuff, it’s ready to go. Don’t go to the keyword site, but go to my blog

and buy from there.

So, anyway, I tell this magical story about, wow, this model is amazing.

I’m interested to see how he does, but also this is an amazing product, and

you can go here to buy it. Well, I sold like a bazillion of those.

Literally, my commissions were like five figure commissions off of that.

Nobody ever suspected a sale was trying to be made, because I’m telling

this story, and I’m giving value. People were like that is a really

interesting model. Then I followed that up four days later and I said here

are the results from that. I said, look, this thing is priced now at $20.

He decided to freeze it there. He sold well over 1,000, probably closer to

2,000 of his product, but why did he do it? I told this magical story about

why he did it. Well, because the product is so amazing, he’s building value

with people and he knows he can sell them. So, I’m instilling all of …

Andrew: What’s the pain that you started telling, when you were trying to

get people’s attention and sensitize them to their own pain? What’s the

pain that you told?

Jeremy: The pain is how much are you paying a graphic designer to make

these. Look at how much this costs to outsource. How long does it take you

to make these yourself? You’re talking about how much is your time worth,

versus a $9.00 product that’s going to do all of this for you. Again, it’s

envisioning the end goal, not what you’re going to have to do. You don’t

tell them how much work it takes, ever. That’s marketing 101. Nothing takes

work. Everything is just done for you. People are going to think I’m the

biggest dirt bag ever, but I’m just honest.

I sold a ton of them and nobody ever once said, you’re using an affiliate

link, you’re doing this, or you’re doing this. Nobody spotted a rat. I made

[??] good money from it.

Andrew: That was $30,000 from one blog post?

Jeremy: Yeah, blog post and I mailed my newsletter, too, but I got more

from the blog post.

Andrew: How big is your list now? Oh, I’m sorry, go on.

Jeremy: The list is probably, of active people, it’s 150,000 total, but I

[??] a lot. I would say now it’s about 30,000 very active people. People

can have giant lists, but you know, whatever.

The whole thing, the whole pain, and what if there was this tool that could

do it for you, well there is. Here’s what people are saying about it. I

actually made a video of myself using it. So, there’s massive proof. Like,

let me just walk you through how awesome this thing is, and I have to tell

you it’s an awesome thing. So, it’s just like I click a button and

everything is done for you. That’s it, very simple.

Andrew: I see. I’ve seen you do that before actually. It’s just screen

flow. Show your screen, talk, and explain the product.

Jeremy: This method, I’m not even going to name my new company, because I

don’t want people to think I’m plugging that. What I’m doing now is taking

the mentality of how I copy write, how we give value, and connect with

users. My new company does that for big brands. I’m talking big brands that

we do like Blu Electronic Cigarettes [SP]. We have some State Farm

Insurance of Nebraska we’re working with. There are all kinds of companies

that are coming to us for this. We haven’t even marketed yet, because

people know I’m pretty good at what we do, and we’ve sold millions through

email marketing. We know how to build a relationship and sell products

without ever saying go buy this. It’s all through that, giving people

value, pointing out all the press you get, talking about the pain of how

much money you’re losing by not having this product.

Andrew: We talked about the early things that you did to generate money and

to get electronics for yourself and your friends. And then we talked about

Next Pimp. But in between those two there was another business which was

reselling computer parts. Where did you get these computer parts? How did

you get them?

Jeremy: I was lead security engineer for Wells Fargo at the time. Part of

that job was when Wells Fargo would purchase a chain of banks the first

thing is they’d go in and then they’d rip out the infrastructure. Every

must go, right? I would be the person a lot of times that would go and look

at all this equipment and be like, “OK. All this stuff. All this stuff.” I

mean, I’m talking telephones, everything. I’d have to call this company

called Redemtech and they’re still in business. And I got to know them very

well and I said, “What do you guys do with these computers? I mean, these

things can’t be…” I mean, sometimes they were like six month old

computers.

He said, “Well, we have to incinerate the hard drives to Wells Fargo

security standards and all this stuff. And then we sell them by the pound.”

And I was like, “Where do I buy them?” He’s like, “Just on the website.” So

I went on there and I’d buy them and part them out and resell them on eBay.

Sometimes sell them whole and made a huge, huge profit off of that.

Andrew: How much was huge at the time?

Jeremy: It was probably like hundreds of percentage of margin… Some

things I would buy that were a couple hundred dollars and it would sell for

thousands. Some things you’d make like 20-30% margin but most of the time I

was quadrupling at a min… (??) 1:34 my money. So that was very, very

lucrative.

Andrew: It’s a great photo in the book, “Nothing’s Changed But My Change.”

There’s a great photo in the book of you surrounded by computer boxes. You

are fat.

Jeremy: Oh.

Andrew: You’ve got this screwdriver. You are taking things apart and it’s

kind of cool, too, because there’s this sense of this guy who’s making

something, who’s turning this garbage into gold.

Jeremy: Yeah, at that time I was probably in between 420 and 450 pounds.

When you’re that fat there’s not much accuracy on scales. When I actually

had weight loss surgery they were actually measuring… But anyway, so yeah

I’m surrounded. That was my life every weekend. I was such a hustler that I

would sit at Wells Fargo and I would order the computers so that the semi

would be delivered by the time I could bust ass out of there and get to

Omaha, Nebraska. So from Des Moines, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska, a two and a

half hour drive. I would be there to get the computers, start ripping them

apart. Paid local neighbors to help me rip them apart, part them out, get

them all done, get them on eBay, get them all on the front porch for FedEx

to pick up the ones that had sold the week before. I mean, it was a hustle.

It was a lot of work.

Andrew: How weren’t you embarrassed to be with your wife at the time? The

woman who you ended up marrying?

Jeremy: How what? What was that?

Andrew: Were you embarrassed to be with her? I mean, sexually embarrassed

to be with her but also just like to be a guy with her?

Jeremy: Yeah, I mean, 420 pounds doesn’t give you a lot of confidence,

right? You know, my wife was so intimidating because as a girl when I met

her… In the book it’s really detailed about how I wrote a script that

spammed every girl within a 40 mile radius on Yahoo Dating and actually met

one that about raped me. Which, in a good way if that’s possible.

So it was like that really gave me a lot more confidence but I was like,

you know here’s this girl, she’s beautiful. She’s about to go to residency

for anesthesia. She’s going to make big money. And here I am voted like

Least Likely Ever To Do Anything and it was extremely intimidating

professionally, sexually, every which way. I think I talk about in the bed,

well I know I talk about the first time we got in bed together and we’re

making out and she says, “Do you still have your pants on?” And I was like,

“I do actually.”

Andrew: Because she looked down and she couldn’t see? Or because you were

embarrassed?

Jeremy: It was kind of like a combination of both. I was just so

embarrassed because I was so overweight and didn’t have any confidence at

all that I was just like, “Yeah, not sure how this is going to go.” You

know? It was a… I was a real Casanova.

Andrew: Could you… This is going way too far. Could you wipe your own

butt, or did you need one of those tools?

Jeremy: I could but I had to stand up.

Andrew: Really?

Jeremy: True story.

Andrew: So most guys at that point would be with someone, with anyone who

would take them because they don’t have enough confidence to get the right

girl.

Jeremy: They make tools? They do make tools to wipe your…? Because, I

mean…

Andrew: Yes.

Jeremy: They make tools to wipe your own… That is amazing.

Andrew: People are big.

Jeremy: That was one of the… You know when you lose that much weight, and

I didn’t, I’m sorry to kind of cut you off.

Andrew: Do it.

Jeremy: When you lose that much weight, like 240 pounds, the quality of

life is so different. I mean it’s just, I mean, some people think, like

“Oh, I bet”, you have no fucking clue. I mean, like, everything from, just

everything is such a different quality of life. I mean, just walking down

the street not having people look at you weird. Just, like, getting food

and not having people stare at you. Like, you know, but then also, like,

realizing how to wipe your ass sitting down, like, that’s pretty freaking

cool, you know? I mean, just like, that sounds stupid, but when you lose

240 pounds there’s a lot of different stuff. Being able to run, I mean, I

know you’re a runner, but, I mean, I’m just saying, like, I remember, like,

everywhere I went, I sound like Forest Gump, “I was running” because I

thought it was the coolest thing.

Andrew: You could actually feel how much lighter you are.

Jeremy: I could run like the wind. So, I mean, yeah, go ahead.

Andrew: No, that’s all. So, but what I was going to ask is about that,

that most guys in that situation would have such an inferiority complex

they would date anyone would have them, a girl who’s really not worthy of

them, but who would take them, and then later on when things go well, they

trade up. You were with someone who, I saw the photo, she looks great.

She’s a doctor, a real doctor, didn’t just get her degree online. She is a

personable person. So how did you do that, how, because confidence is a

big part of success, a big part of life and when the evidence around you

says you shouldn’t be confident and you are confident, I want to study

that. How did you do that?

Jeremy: It was, honestly, it was her. I mean, you know, I didn’t have

very many people that believed in me, you know?

Andrew: So what did she see in you that you would believe in?

Jeremy: That was, I mean, we talk about that and I ask her that question

even now, and it’s just like, she’s just like “I just, you were just such a

genuine and loving person and I knew, like, more than anything, you know,

like, you had that.” And she’s like “Those are qualities that people, you

know, like, people meet”, like, I almost used somebody who was close to me

as an example. That would have been really bad. But basically, like,

people meet somebody, right, and they’re an absolute jerk, OK? But they’re

hot, right? You know, they’re very whatever. So they get married and they

get divorced and everyone’s like “Gosh, he was such a jerk” and it’s like

“He’s the same guy you married.” Everyone expects someone to change.

People don’t freaking change, right?

Nothing’s changed but my change, OK? So, but it’s true. Like, you don’t

really change the inner workings of a person. And so when she met me she

was like “I was able to see through all that and I knew that you were a

really good person, a good-hearted person, and you would be a great person

that I’d want to father my children” and at that time I was just like, I

mean, it wasn’t like, it wasn’t-

Andrew: Because you can paint the blue skies, because you can show her

what you can do in the future because you were a dreamer, even back then,

who can show your dreams to her.

Jeremy: Yeah, I mean, she was enthralled by, like, we had such intelligent

conversation and she was just amazed at, like, the shit I would come up

with and the inventions and ideas I had and, you know, just everything

before I even did them, you know? And she was fascinated with a lot of the

different stuff that we could do, so…

Andrew: That’s a really good test, that if you put this stuff out there

and the person tells you, the person you’re interested in, tells you how

ridiculous you are, you’re probably not with the right person. But if they

believe in it in a way that even overwhelms your own doubts then I think

you’re with someone who’s really good for you in life. Alright, so let’s

continue now with the narrative and, actually, we talked about, well, why

don’t we talk just a little bit more about, why am I blanking on the name,

I’m actually looking at my notes. Was it, it was called Auction Ads.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Andrew: Just, you, that was an idea that, how do you sum this up for

people who don’t know it? What’s a simple way to explain it?

Jeremy: Yeah, so think of Google AdSense, the ads on websites, but showing

items on eBay. That’s the-

Andrew: Right. And if I put it up on my website showing items on eBay it

would reflect what was on my site so the ads would be relevant.

Jeremy: Yep.

Andrew: And if someone clicked and bought it I’d get a commission. And

what you did that was different was you gave me the commission quickly,

where if I worked directly with eBay they’d say “Sucka, you’d better wait

60 days because we want to make sure that you’re legit.”

Jeremy: Right.

Andrew: And you can do that. I’m telling your whole story for you. You

can do that because you had a way of sniffing out who was B. S-ing because

you had a, you knew how to B. S. so you knew how to spot the B. S-ers. You

said earlier, and I wanted to get back to it, that you had the idea but you

didn’t see how big it could get. What was missing from you that kept you

from holding onto it, from thinking bigger?

Jeremy: So, yeah, so Auction Ads, I mean within, by the fourth month we

were doing about $2 million a month in revenue and we had 25,000 active

people. It was myself and a $20 an hour programmer, and that was it in the

entire company. And I was working out of my basement. Now anyone in their

right mind would have been like “OK, time to bring in a CEO, maybe time to

raise capital or consult with someone, time to do all this stuff”, and

instead, like, I, it was a confidence thing again, you know? I was just

like “Oh”, you know “Where’s my way out of this?” because my customer

support was basically “If you can’t figure it out you’re an idiot.” You

know, I mean, I would actually respond like that. You know, and so,

basically, I mean, that doesn’t work for a successful company. But it was

growing and it was growing though because, I mean, like I was only in like

part four of my 10 part marketing plan, and when we launched Auction Ads

there was eight other people doing exactly what we were doing but they

weren’t willing and this is a big part of my company motto and myself is

“You have to be willing to do what others are not” and sometimes that’s

ethics, morals, legals, whatever, or just freaking putting it out there. I

mean, like you said, I was paying people net zero when I was, didn’t get

paid for 60 days. So at the end I was floating millions of dollars of my

own money hoping eBay’s going to pay me and hoping I did do all of the

security things right.

Also, a thing I did, I saw an angle of, like “What if we just gave” and

this has been copied a million times sense, and there’s also something I

did with the book that is going to be copied a million time too, but I

basically said, you know “OK, our minimum payout’s $10. What if we gave

our publishers $5 if they signed up and put the code on their website right

now?” because the hardest thing is to get people to change, right? The

hardest thing is to get people to actually do it and put the code on their

website. I knew they were going to make more than they were with AdSense,

OK, but to get people to actually do it. So that’s how we got so many

active publishers is because we did that and, see, the thing was, since our

minimum payout was $10, if this person was a waste of time then we never

had to pay them. If they would make over 10 bucks and our margins were

there and we knew they were going to make up and the sky was going to be

the limit. So there are other things that I did that other people wouldn’t

be willing to do too.

Andrew: And at the time, you just mentioned you were working out of your

basement. I remember reading you back then, I remember reading people talk

about you back then. You were, like, the Richie Rich of the marketing

world. Meanwhile you were in a basement. So how do you project this, were

you just projecting this sense of success that you hadn’t yet lived up to?

Jeremy: I think so. I think it was like almost like a self-fulfilling

prophecy I guess. Like, I had always envisioned, like since I, when I

started making money and starting seeing like “Oh my God, there’s all

these, all these people are doing this wrong”, you know? And like “There’s

so much potential in what these people are doing.” I think, you know,

really I did just kind of foresee, like, a lot of stuff. I’ve made some

big mistakes in the last, like, two or three years. I think a lot of it

was getting out of the basement, right? ‘Cause I thought that’s what

you’re supposed to do. You’re not, you know, you can’t have a legitimate

business and make millions and millions of dollars from your basement in

your underwear. My wife used to say “My husband makes million in his

underwear. Imagine if he put on pants”, you know? But that’s the kind of

thing is, like, you know, my father-in-law is an old-school Wall Street

tycoon. You know, I want to impress him and all these people around me and

I want to have a real business, so I did that.

I hired a bunch of employees that didn’t really do much except, you know,

play Starcraft and shit all day because that was fun and I had all these

streams of revenue coming in. So I basically supported that for years and

kept looking at different things, and so, you know, it’s been a real

experience and education for me to, like, actually learn to run a business,

you know, and that’s one of the things why last year was a very difficult

year and very difficult in actually, like, seeing financials and actually,

like, not just never, I cared about financials. I knew I was bringing in

so much money that it didn’t matter, but last year when my overhead monthly

approached, you know, $100,000 a month it was like “Wow”, you know, like

these streams of revenue I had coming in for the last, you know, since like

2003 from properties I’d set up back then still were coming in. I mean,

they still come in, but they weren’t, you know, I wasn’t doing anything new

and I was paying all these people and I had all this overhead, so, it was

really, I really had to change my model last year.

Andrew: At one point did you control, how much of Facebook ads did you

control at one point?

Jeremy: Oh my gosh. We were doing, we were the biggest and largest

advertiser on the Facebook, on the self-serve Facebook platform. We were

spending $90-$120,000 a day.

Andrew: Running affiliate deals?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Andrew: And? Were you also representing other offers for them?

Jeremy: No, we were, we were spending, I mean we were spending money, to

convert to their offers, and we were doing this mostly through Zeus at the

time who was, you know (?) funded. And so they were doing wires all the

time back and forth because we have to turn around, I mean, when you’re

spending that much money, first of all, my credit card at the time had a

$40,000 limit, so I was prepaying American Express every day, right-

Andrew: So that you can buy ads on Facebook and use those ads to run

affiliate deals for insurance, for Netflix, for whatever you could come up

with.

Jeremy: Yeah. We mostly just completely annihilated the dating industry.

I mean, nobody could compete with us.

Andrew: Because you were buying so many.

Jeremy: Well, we were buying so much and we were running so hard and heavy

that if someone wanted to compete with us, because, I mean, it takes a

while to get it dialed in right? So everyone thinks “I’ll just copy what

he’s doing.” Well, it doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to start, stop

ads. I mean, I have full time employees, like, four full time employees

doing nothing but uploading new ads and starting them in different

countries, stopping them, you know, testing other ones. I mean, there’s a

lot of work. You can’t just copy and paste someone else’s work, because,

believe me, I had people try.

Andrew: But-

Jeremy: I used to challenge everybody. I would be very open, like, people

would tell me I’m crazy because I would open my Facebook account and I

would say “Look, here’s exactly this ad, here’s exactly”, like people would

lose their mind when they see I paid a nickel for clicks on Facebook and

they’re paying $1.50. And they’re like “How the hell did you do that?” and

I’m like “Well, first of all, you’ve got to find a girl with a big rack,

right, who looks like a soccer mom and is like looking over the side, has

got white teeth”, I mean, I could tell you exactly, and it’s funny, people

stole that exact one that I had and I was fine with it because I had

already moved on to some other ones, but I’m like “Here’s exactly what I

did. I’ll show you everything. I’ll show you how much, what territories,

everything.” And I’ve always, I’ve always been open to share things.

Andrew: But I wanted to check on you a few months back to say “Is Jeremy

really legitimate or is this all stories?” because you say in the book

“It’s true if you believe it” so I think “Well, maybe it’s not true. Maybe

he’s just putting one over on me. And I think I’m with him on how he’s

cheating the rest of the world, but he’s cheating me.” No, I talked to a

well-respected entrepreneur, I asked him, he told me a little bit about

your business, but he also mentioned something which I wish I followed up

on which is basically that Facebook gave you their ads for a while, that

you were reselling ads for others.

Jeremy: No?

Andrew: No. Were you placing ads for others?

Jeremy: Well he was saying what, that I was reselling…

Andrew: Ad for, reselling Facebook ads. I wish I could tell you who this

is.

Jeremy: I’m sure what that means. No, no. It’s fine. I mean, I’m not

sure what that means.

Andrew: OK.

Jeremy: I mean, I’m sure I probably was. I’m just not sure what reselling

Facebook ads, like, I was buying other peoples ads and reselling them or…

Andrew: Selling ads on behalf of Facebook. No? OK.

Jeremy: No. I mean, we was, I was on, like, their board where I would fly

in to Palo Alto and we would talk about, you know, like they can help me

spend more money. Now they’re freaking asshole, right, now that they’re

public and you know now they’ve got their exchange and their external

network and everything. Three of my accounts that were spending hundreds

of thousands of dollars a day got banned that haven’t been used for years

all because they had the same credit card on every account, which Facebook

set up for me. Right. OK. Anyway, that’s my little rant on those son of

a bucks.

But, so then a Facebook employee tells me “Oh, just create another

account.” I’m like “Why don’t you just unban the ones I have five years

history advertising on?” “Well, just make a new one.” “OK.” So anyway,

but-

Andrew: And did you?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jeremy: Oh yeah. I have several accounts. So, you know, we still will do

pay per click, but now we manage other people’s money. And I don’t know if

that’s what they were talking about or not.

Andrew: No. I’ll follow up. You’re going to be back for another

interview, and this time when I talk to people about you I’m going to dig

in. I’m in San Francisco. One of the benefits is we have drinks with

people where they just open up about it. You would be amazed by how much

people will open up about their companies, what their bosses are making.

Jeremy: Why do you take, why do you think I take a lot of our clients,

CEOs and stuff, to strip clubs and stuff? You want to see somebody open

up, take them to a strip club.

Andrew: Oh, even better.

Jeremy: Get them hammered.

Andrew: I had, what is this, Travis, one of my past interviewees sent me

this, what is it, Glenlivett 21?

Jeremy: Very good. Very nice.

Andrew: The really good stuff. I intend to use it here in the office,

bring people in for private conversations.

Jeremy: Very nice.

Andrew: What-

Jeremy: I do want to answer your question though.

Andrew: Oh, go ahead, please.

Jeremy: Because a lot of, like, you tell about, like, you know, market,

you know, basically like you, I want people to make up their own mind, I

just, here’s my experience and here’s my story, right? And even at the

beginning of the book, it’s the first part, I quote, you know Charles

Dickens and I say “I’m not going to tell this story how it happened. I’m

going to tell you how I remember it.” You know, and that’s the biggest

thing is that, you know, feel free to talk to Facebook or any of these

companies and verify everything. Talk to Media Whiz, the company that

bought Auction Ads, you know, talk to whoever, but the thing is, is like, I

want you to take away is like, there’s still excellent value. If

everything was made up, right, there’s so many people, I go to every

conference and there’s so many people that come up to me and they’re like

“Dude, you wrote this one thing and because of that, like, now” and they’ll

bring their kids, “and I brought Timmy and he’s not allowed to come into

the conference but would you mind going outside and taking a picture with

my kid?” I mean, like, ICanHazCheeseburger, which you know Neil and you

know Ben and you know those guys, right?

Andrew: Yep.

Jeremy: So the actual founder’s a kid from Hawaii, came up to me at

PubCon, the founders and said they started that site inspired by my AdSense

track.

Andrew: Oh really?

Jeremy: That’s exactly true. Vaynerchuck used to reach out to me as this

little hustler on (?) all the time: How do I do this, how do I do this?

Let’s take away everything. Say I’m just lying about anything I’ve ever

done and Google’s lying when they put me on stage and all this other stuff

and boil it down to you still have to work. It doesn’t matter in your life

if everything I’ve said is a lie or not, but you still have gotten a lot of

value out of things that I’ve said over the years.

Andrew: Just to be clear, I checked it out and I got some really positive

feedback. We wouldn’t be doing this interview otherwise, so I wasn’t saying

that you weren’t.

Jeremy: That’s what I said. I’m leveraging your credibility.

Andrew: What are you doing with the book that other people are going to

copy? What’s the marketing tactic that everyone else is going to steal?

Jeremy: So I…

Andrew: I’m sorry. One more thing about that. I do check out some people

who don’t check out. And there are people out there who are absolute

scammers, who are so good at promoting themselves, people who get funded,

who investors then have an incentive to promote them the way that they

promote themselves, who claim that they are founders of other companies and

they know they weren’t. I’ve verified it. I’ve wanted to write these posts,

but it’s just not me so I don’t do it but we have to keep checking.

Sometimes they’re wrong, but I have to keep checking so I get it right more

than I get it wrong.

Jeremy: That makes you, you.

Andrew: There are so many people who you think are legitimate who are

faking. They say on their bios, ‘I founded this company,’ and they have the

company name. They’re introduced by investors at investor events. They’re

introduced by conference organizers who have an incentive to promote the

speaker because if they have a great speaker then they have a great event

that people are excited to go see and tell their friends that they saw this

great speaker. And they’re bullshit. Let’s get back to the promotion. What

are you doing to promote?

Jeremy: OK. So, and mark my words, I came up with this. If anyone’s ever

heard of this for a book before, let me know. I told every company. I put

it out there in my list, and I did it in between Christmas and New Year, a

stupid time to do it but the book’s about to come out and I’m sitting there

thinking I wanted to do something marketing-wise that’s going to generate a

lot of buzz. So I put out thing and I said, “If your company sends me

$2500…” At first I was going to sell the book, but then all the royalties

went to Amazon, so then I said, “You send me $2500 and I’ll put your

company and a link to your company’s website in the book.” I had 20

companies do it.

Andrew: So 20 companies gave you $2500 to have their logo and their URL in

the back. How much of that did you get to keep?

Jeremy: It’s all going to charity.

Andrew: It’s all going to charity.

Jeremy: It’s all going to charity. It’s split up between two local Lincoln

charities and the Avon Foundation which is the Affiliate Marketers Give

Back main charity.

Andrew: I see. Is there any promotion on their part, too, that they want to

promote the book because they’re in there?

Jeremy: Well, of course.

Andrew: All right.

Jeremy: It’s such a win-win because they buy a bunch of copies for everyone

in their thing. Think of it as almost like a self-fulfilling thing.

Companies are in there but then they also want companies to know they’re in

there. So they’ll buy a bunch and give them to friends saying, “Look! Here

I am in the back.” So I’ve had a company who’s in the back, Marketing

Ninjas, buy 300 copies. I’ve had Max Bounty, who’s doing… By the way,

this is brilliant, too. I shouldn’t say my ideas are brilliant. It sounds

so cocky.

Andrew: It is.

Jeremy: Basically I said to a company, ‘I’m just going to offer this. You

buy hundreds of copies of my books to give away to Affiliate Summit next

week, I’ll sit at your booth and sign them. The greatest publicity. Their

booth will be the biggest and they were giving them away for donations.

Because it’s for Affiliate Summit’s favorite charity they’re going to want

to help. So because it’s this booth for this affiliate company, they’re

going to email out to all their affiliates “Come to my booth and get

Shoemaker’s thing.” So it’s just there are all these little angles and low-

hanging fruit that people don’t think about. It works every which way for

everybody, including myself.

Andrew: The book is full of these stories. I have them here on the list of

things that I want to talk about but I didn’t get to, so if you guys are

getting the book – and I don’t mean to promote but I’m going to promote it

because I like good stuff. I like good books. Jeremy, one of my other

problems here is many authors have nothing to say. They will puff it out

and I’ll sometimes get sucked into their stories because I agree to do the

interview before I see the book. Then I’ll freak because I see the book,

there’s not enough in there, there’s no real substance to it and I have to

find a way to say no, which hurts me. So when a book is good, I like to

tell the audience that it’s good. The stories that I didn’t get to that I

hope people read are the ones about free SEO report and the one about

standing up on stage and making a sell with an audience member, what you

did with Craig’s List to get a sell within a few minutes.

One final thing, Jeremy. You’re a great salesman. You know Mixergy Premium

has hundreds of interviews with proven entrepreneurs. What’s one thing I

could do to do a good sales pitch right now for it, right at this point of

this interview?

Jeremy: Well, I think people are drastically missing out. They’re

drastically missing out from not hearing from people who have real

experience. You investigate these people. You know these people. These

people aren’t coming on to give a sales pitch or talk about a theory.

You’re the no-spin zone of whatever. So if people want to learn from people

who have real experience and are sharing real stuff, there’s no better

place than from you.

Andrew: All right. I’m going to work on the three P’s, too, on one of my

future promotions for it.

Jeremy: Well, you have to fill in the paint a little bit. What if there was

this guy and all he had was people with experience? Well, that’s here.

Andrew: All right. I’m going to attempt that. I’m going to use the three

P’s.

Jeremy: You’re listening to Jeremy Shoemaker, so there you go. There’s your

proof.

Andrew: Yes. Can I use you as social proof in the future?

Jeremy: Whatever you want to do.

Andrew: I will use you for so many things. All right, my man, thank you so

much for doing this interview. The website is shoemoney.com where you can

find the book and you can see the articles we’ve been talking about and you

can see this interesting post about why a mutual friend of ours apparently

is a loser – Francisco Dao. I wanted to bring that up, but I didn’t get a

chance to. I’ll leave that for people to go see. Do you really mean that?

Jeremy: What? About him being a loser?

Andrew: Yes.

Jeremy: Well, yeah. If you read the post he’s a total. You know the point I

make about it.

Andrew: All right. I’m going to leave that for people to check out.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Andrew: Thank you so much for doing this interview, and thank you all for

being a part of it.

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  • Cam

    Lmfao, did he just explain his insurance fraud on Mixergy and then spin it as a lesson?

  • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    Amazing, I remember reading ShoeMoney’s blog religiously when I started with my first online projects in ’08/09. Thanks for this Andrew & Jeremy! Will get the book :)

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    I hope he didn’t feel that he needed to justify anything here.

    I want people to be open. Judgement kills understanding.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Really?! Religious?

  • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    Yes, ShoeMoney and Joel Comm – don’t judge me ;)

  • http://www.myjobsit.com/ Mike Kawula

    Andrew & Jeremy absolutely Phenomenal! Good Copy is King – Hear it over & over from all your Guest Andrew! This Rocked! Look forward to reading the book this weekend!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jer-Ayles-Ayler/100003197978984 Jer Ayles Ayler

    Simply a wonderful, honest, no-holds barred piece. I only wish the interview was longer. I will get the book. Been following ShoeMoney for years! I’ve been a Premium member a long time as well. “A brilliant” investment if I do say so myself! Thanks, Andrew!
    Jer – Trihouse

  • http://www.facebook.com/jiri.krewinkel Jiri Krewinkel

    Great interview Andrew. I like how you sometimes go into relationships with women and confidence, it would be cool if you maybe went in a little deeper on these topics with male entrepreneurs since it really helps paint a clearer picture of how they view life.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterMoxon Pete Moxon

    Lol, great interview, great story, but the question… Could you wipe you own butt? That is a question for an Out-takes video.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    There are no out-takes on Mixergy. I keep it all in!

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    You’ll be shocked by what he reveals in the book.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Over and over and over.

  • eliteearners

    Love how he talked about the WSO! lol – I couldn’t get near the leader board once you mailed! haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/zacjohnson Zac Johnson

    Excellent interview, I was intrigued the whole time. Always great to watch two people I know very well hash it out and share real life stories that inspire all of us! Congrats on both of your success over the years!

  • Zach

    I appreciate openness- at the same time interviewing/promoting a guy who frauded his classmates, frauded an insurance company and then frauded an employer and then says I have always had success with being brutally honest is a joke. I love Mixergy and have been a premium subscriber for I think it is going on 2 years now – but more interviews along this line would have me cancel my membership. I appreciate interviews with people who are working hard to try and build a business and come with lessons to learn – even if I don’t agree with everything they have done. At the same time if a guy’s main lessons to offer are based off of a series of frauds he pulled off- writes a book saying nothing has changed but my change and then wants to promote himself as a guy that adds value and you interview him as someone who has something meaningful to contribute to the entrepreneurial community, I feel like that tarnishes your brand. Other people on here may have loved it, but as a paying customer and fan of yours I want you to hear more than just one viewpoint with stuff like this.

  • http://www.jeffalytics.com/ Jeffsauer

    Put me in that boat as well. He has been a great inspiration to many who were just getting established in the industry

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks Zac, but where’s your interview?

    I’ve known you back in the Bradford & Reed days and you still won’t say yes to an interview? Why not?

  • http://twitter.com/LouisSayers Louis Sayers

    At the beginning of last year I also became a paying subscriber.

    I understand where you’re coming from – no we shouldn’t be idolizing this guy’s attempts at fraud.

    At the same time to not listen to what he has to say and threaten to ‘leave mixergy’ seems to be over the top and closed minded.

    Even if you don’t like what he did, he’s still got things that he can teach us, and it’s pretty amazing that he’s so brutally honest about what he’s done.

    You may not like Hitler either – but it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a great leader, or that there aren’t things that we can learn from what he did.

  • yaelgrauer

    Hitler was a great leader? Wow. Um, I just don’t know what to say.

  • http://www.highballblog.com/ Constantin Gabor

    Consider his “frauds” as hustle. I bet there are entrepreneurs who you admire who didn’t “confess” their hustle because they might have been at the edge of what’s legal.

    We may have no idea of the less legit things they’ve done but that made them who they are today and we admire them.

    Just think of Richard Branson – he wasn’t paying import taxes for a while and got away with it until he went to jail… :-) But we love the guy, right?

    You’re too righteous. Relax and take the hustle as the main lesson. If you don’t, others will overhustle you. Seriously.

  • http://www.highballblog.com/ Constantin Gabor

    That’s why Mixergy is the real deal, unlike the embellished PR stories.

    I love the way Andrew asks these non-business questions. I really think they add value coz a lot of entrepreneurs starting out may be in really strange and difficult personal situations (I know I was).

    So hearing about someone who made millions while he wasn’t able to wipe his ass that’s pretty damn inspiring. Makes you question: what the hell is holding me back then?

    Thanks for being a great interviewer, Andrew! And thanks for wearing my MTB jersey Jeremy!

    http://www.shoemoney.com/2010/04/16/highball

  • Zach

    You are entitled to your opinion- I am simply voicing that IMO, a guy who seems proud about moving from fraud to fraud to fraud and is featured in Mixergy tarnishes the brand. Where is the line between this and featuring someone who has done well running drugs or sex trafficking, or Bernie Madoff types- isn’t it all just hustle?

  • Zach

    @twitter-18857503:disqus – Like I said before- You are entitled to your opinion. I just wanted to communicate that I have both been a paying subscriber and actively referred Mixergy Premium to several business colleagues. I am not threatening- but am being honest in that the reason I enjoy/pay money to/ and refer Mixergy to others is that I think the interviews provide legit value from legit businessmen. Continued featuring of people like Shoemoney would cause me not to find as much value in Mixergy and I wanted to let Andrew know that. Its not a threat- he can do what he wants to do, I just want to give honest customer feedback.

    Additionally, how do you know he is being brutally honest- his stories go from fraud to fraud to fraud- why do you think he is not frauding with the stories in the book or in this interview?

    I am great with learning from people who are different than me and do things that I wouldn’t do. There are tons of Mixergy interviews like that that I have listened to… but I think at some point you draw the line when what is being promoted is scamming customers, scamming companies, scamming employers etc. I don’t want to waste my time listening to “how to scam stories” I want to listen to valuable input that is going to teach me how to build a business that I can be proud of.

  • Travis

    The “too much information” style of this interview is great! Andrew, thanks for asking the questions that help us get to know, not only the person and his experiences, but his thought processes along the way. (The embarrassing things, the fears, the excitement etc) And then also mixing in strategy (such as the quick copywriting lessons)
    Your interviews are my favorite, and thanks for posting so frequently, thats a big deal.

  • http://twitter.com/LouisSayers Louis Sayers

    yes he was a great leader – he lead a whole country to do terrible things. He was not a great person, but yes he was a great leader.

  • yaelgrauer

    Very unfortunate use of language.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks for being a member. You’re helping to build this site.

    This won’t be the focus of the site you and I are so passionate about, but I’m trying to avoid the MCI problem.

    Around the year 2000, while I admired the cowboys at MCI, the people at AT&T were scratching their heads trying to figure out why they were working so hard and still getting their butts kicked by MCI/WorldCom. In 2002, the same thought occurred to accountants inside WorldCom. At night, they secretly audited their company’s books and discovered fraud. The rest is history.

    Shoe is obviously no Bernard Ebbers, but my point is that we need to know what’s going on inside companies.

    What do you think?

  • http://www.zoomis.com/ Daman Bahner

    Andrew, I’ve got a lot of love for both you and @Shoemoney – but wow! I bow to the balls you had asking some of the questions you asked here. Andrew: “Could you wipe your own ass?”

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks!

  • Zach

    I hear what you are trying to accomplish re MCI. I understand that if we interviewed every founder and they answered honestly, there is probably some grey area in each of their startups- that is what it is.

    Its just that Shoemoney comes off as proud about his history of outright fraud at multiple levels. And while Mixergy is a place where its great to have founders be real about their past and their ups and downs – to me having guys like Shoemoney on is the equivalent of having Lance Armstrong to gloat about how he built his brand on deceit- Just not something I want to listen to, nor the value that I have associated with Mixergy to bring.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks for understanding, Zach.

    I’ll always be curious about non-traditional approaches to business, but this won’t become a site like those affiliate message boards.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dylan.watkins.9619 Dylan Watkins

    Loved the Interview Andrew.

    Shoe-money doesn’t pretend to be morally perfect (Unlike most politicians)

    So at least we are getting the real him and that is what I tune in for.

    Real stories from entrepreneurs on how the decisions of their past lead them down a road of eventual success…hopefully :-D

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  • Rafael Chaves

    Thanks for ‘saying’ out loud what hopefully many were thinking to themselves. I kept cringing during the first part of the interview hoping at some point it would turn around. It never really did, other for the bit he admits that stuff was wrong. It just made me feel a bit dirty for being an aspiring entrepreneur. It may really be that I don’t have it in me.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Okay. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Grace

    Wow!!! Interesting!!! This guy is awesome. Guys check him out here too… http://bcf5c416j42k6m2hu8f3tl3m5t.hop.clickbank.net/