Ryan Levesque changed lead-gen. Wants to change entrepreneurship

I didn’t know whether to trust Ryan Levesque last time he was on. He claimed to have a set of sites that turned email subscribers into customers using registration forms that asked questions which helped him segment subscribers.

Then I met (and interviewed) founders who used what he called the Ask Method and I realized how effective his approach was. I even started copying it.

Now he has a book about entrepreneurship, called Choose. I interviewed him about it. And I was still skeptical. But a bit less than last time. Enjoy.

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Ryan Levesque

Ryan Levesque

Funnel Specialist

Ryan Levesque is the CEO of The ASK Method Company and the author of the best-selling book, ASK and has just launched his new book, Choose.

 

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses.

I’ve never been a cynic, but I think somehow being bombarded with people who asked me to be on Mixergy has made me a little bit cynical. I keep going through and saying, “Well, do you really have it? Is this guy really telling the truth? Am I being snowed?”

I bring all that up, because back in . . . when was that? 2015, four years ago, I interviewed a guy named Ryan Levesque, and I remember before the interview saying, “You’re a nice guy, I’ve known you, but tell me about your business. Where are you exactly?” And I grilled him before we did the interview.

And he was an author who was really proud of the fact that he had this new book coming out. It’s called, “Ask.” And he told me how he wanted to make the book into a hit, and I think to myself, “Well, everyone wants their book to be a hit.”

And in the interview, I asked him, “How much is your revenue going to be?” and he said, “Well, it’s going to be $5 million by the end of the year.” And I kept grilling him and grilling him and grilling him.

And then I couldn’t, after the interviews, move an inch within the online marketing world without seeing this guy’s freaking face, because sure enough, not only were people talking about Ryan Levesque a lot, and his book and his method, The Ask Method a lot . . . mostly they were mispronouncing his name. They were calling him Levesque, even though it’s Levesque. But they were actually using his product and his process. And people who I respect were actually using it, and I thought, “This guy’s got it. It’s kind of interesting.”

So when he had a new book coming out, I asked him if he would come on, and we planned this months ago. And sure enough, he’s here, and he’s got his book next to him. And I know now to actually really take this freaking thing seriously. The new book is called “Choose.” It’s for anyone who wants to come up with a company. And that means if you’ve never been in business and you’re looking to come up with an idea for a business, he’s got a new approach for how to do it.

It also means that if you’ve been in business the way that he was when he came out with The Ask Method, and you’re saying to yourself, “How do I, like, add on to this?” or, “How do I pivot this into something that works better?” he’s done it, I think most notably with a company called Bucket.io. It’s funnel software for entrepreneurs. So in the book, he’ll show you how to come up with that next idea.

And if you’ve sold your company or are looking to start fresh, “Choose” is for you. It’s basically, “You want to come up with an idea? You want to come up with a business? I’ve got a new approach.” That’s the concept behind “Choose.”

I invited him here to talk about how he did it, and also how he did it himself, because he did, he created a software company, turned Ask into a movement, and so on, and to find out a little bit about this new book, “Choose.”

This interview is sponsored by two phenomenal companies. The first will help you hire developers to help you launch your software company. It’s called Toptal, and the second will help you host your website right. It’s called HostGator. Ryan, good to see you here.

Ryan: Andrew, man, it’s great to be here, my friend.

Andrew: So last time, you said, “By the end of the year, we’re going to be somewhere around $5 million.” Your revenue is now public. Last year 2018, what was the revenue?

Ryan: Well, we have multiple companies now, right? So when we did our last interview, we had not launched a software company. We didn’t have a couple of other businesses. And so, last year, 2018, collectively did over $10 million across our companies. Biggest company is the Ask Method Company, which landed on the Inc. 500 list two years in a row. And last year, I forget what our revenues were for that. Was it 6.3? Is that what is listed as?

Andrew: Yeah, “Inc. Magazine,” I’ve got in front of me, says, “2017, $6.3 million in revenue.”

Ryan: Yeah, 6.3 for 2017. I’m telling you, when I first came into this world, my goal was to make $10,000 a month in passive income. That was my thing. I quit my job and I was like, “If I can make $10,000 a month in passive income . . .” Who would ever want to work another day of your life, right? And, you know, here we are 10 years later, or 11 years later, and I just passed $10 million, so we’re pretty excited about that. I’ve still got to pinch myself.

But I’ll tell you, man, it’s like new level, new devil, you know? It’s not like it gets easier. There are new challenges. You’re just stepping on a more competitive court. You’ve got to raise the game. You’ve got to, you know, increase your skills in all sorts of areas.

Andrew: What’s the revenue coming from for The Ask Method Company? Is that a combination of the software that allows people to ask their web visitors questions and then start sending them marketing that’s tailored to their answers? Is it the courses? What is it?

Ryan: The Ask Method Company is just our education company. So Ask Method Company is our courses, our online training, book sales, things like that. We have a separate company called Bucket.io, which is the technology for implementing the Ask Method. It’s a funnel software that’s designed to segment your users into different buckets, how it got the name, through surveys, quizzes, and funnels that specifically designed to put people into custom tracks.

And that business is a software company. It’s growing pretty quickly. Gosh, we’ll be on pace to do about maybe $2 million, $2.5 million by the end of this year.

Andrew: Wow. All right. So you had this idea. A lot of it comes from this method that you are using yourself for your businesses and for your clients’ businesses, where if somebody landed on a website, instead of saying, “Give me your email address,” you said, “Tell me a little bit about yourself. And by the way, also give me your email address.” And based on the answers, you start to segment and send them email.

Ryan: Right.

Andrew: I wonder how when you came up with the book idea, when you started talking about this method, what’s the first thing that you were selling beyond the book? I want to know how you built up The Ask Method into a business that’s doing millions of dollars right now.

Ryan: You know, it’s funny. When I wrote the book, it was a ready, fire, aim approach, right? I knew I wanted this book. I remember the interview. We said I wanted the book to be big. But I didn’t have the backend in the business to support the book.

And so, since then, the theme over the last couple of years has been something that I’ve shared with some of my students. I say sometimes you have to break what you’ve built to build something better. And it’s been a series, one after the other, of taking something that we’ve built, breaking it, and building something better.

So I’ll give you an example. When the book came out in 2015, I had a high-level mastermind group called The Elite Mastermind. And it was a mastermind group limited to 40 entrepreneurs, who wanted to, you know, mastermind on their business. And the investment in that program was $40,000 a year. And the way the group was structured, it was capped. It was capped at these 40 people.

And I started realizing that there were a lot of people that weren’t ready for a group like that, couldn’t afford to be part of a group like that. And when I looked at my time, Andrew, I did a time in motion study, and I found that, on average, I was spending six hours a week supporting that group. Some weeks, it was, you know, 20 hours, 30 hours, 40 hours when I was hosting an event for the group. Some weeks, it was two or three hours, but on average, it was six hours a week, which is basically a day.

And so, when I did the math, I said, “If I want to work five days a week . . .” And that business unit was making between $1 and $1.5 million a year. “I’m never going to grow this business beyond that. You can do the math.” Right? And so, I made the painful decision to close that group down.

Now, we replaced it with another program, which is our coaching program. Now, this coaching program follows a much more structured framework curriculum. And that program, at the time of this interview, is a $15,000- to $20,000-a-year investment, and we have over 300 people in that program. So that’s something that we can now scale to 1,000 people because it’s not limited by the structure.

So that’s an example of something that we had that we needed to shut down, close it down, which is really painful. When I told people I was closing down a $1-million-plus-a-year mastermind, people were like, “You’re an idiot. You’re crazy. Give it to me, I’ll take it.”

And I just realized that sometimes you have to make that painful decision. That’s one of about half a dozen decisions of closing something down, replacing it with something better in order to grow.

Andrew: I don’t understand the high-level mastermind, maybe because I’ve never been in one. Forty thousand dollars a year gets people what that takes up six hours of your week? What do they get for that?

Ryan: You know, I come out of a background where part of my time was spent doing high-level private consulting. So, I was a high=level private consultant that big companies would bring through the back door and would help them build these Ask Method funnels.

Andrew: This is before the book?

Ryan: This is before the book.

Andrew: Before the book, companies would come in and say to you, “Ryan, we need a better way to onboard people so that we can earn more money from them down the road and serve them better”?

Ryan: Yeah, I’ll give you a few examples. So, Revolution Golf, golf instruction company, started by three guys in a bar selling a single golf DVD. They approached me and they said, “Ryan, we want to have an Ask Method-style quiz to drive leads into our business.” Well, on the back of that quiz, we built about a 1.5-million-person list. And about a year and a half ago, Revolution Golf was acquired by NBC for over $100 million. That’s one example.

Andrew: This is before the book they hired you to create this Ask Method?

Ryan: They hired me to create this quiz before the book came out. This is what I was doing.

Andrew: So that I understand. Company hires a consultant to fix or to improve their business. I get that. All right. How does that transition you to the mastermind?

Ryan: Yeah, so a company like that, I might earn, I don’t know, a quarter of a million dollars a year for a deal like that, plus a payout when the company is sold. There are a lot of companies that couldn’t afford a quarter million-plus a year to work with me to build an Ask Method style funnel. So I created a mastermind, which is a way to get access to my time in a group setting at a fraction of that price.

At the same time, another key thing that I did before launching the book was every single deal that I did had a success participation fee attached to it. So I got a 5% to 10% gross royalty on any sales that we generated.

So there were a lot of people that wanted to work together but didn’t want to do that piece, and so I created a group framework transition from what I think a lot of people want to transition from, doing one-to-one work, private consulting, to one-to-many.

And the mastermind was, truthfully, the only vehicle that I knew of, because I was a part of a few masterminds. And, you know, we grew that to 40 people, and reached . . .

Andrew: And then how do you help them? I understand if you come into . . . I’m interrupting you so much, and I’m watching your face as I interrupt and it’s like, “Dude, let me get a sentence out.” But there’s a lot that I want to cover. It’s not that I don’t want you to speak. It’s because I want to get as much out of you in the short time that we have together.

Ryan: No, it’s great.

Andrew: I understand if they hire you to do some consulting. I get that, but when it’s a mastermind, are you just giving them ideas and telling them what to adjust in their marketing? That’s the thing?

Ryan: Yeah, so the deliverables were as follows. So we would meet three times a year for three days, and I would do deep teaching during that time. So I’d be teaching. I’d be revealing the funnels that I was working on, the results of those split tests, the successes, the failures. So they were getting a behind-the-scenes look at all these different markets. So that type of access was incredibly valuable, so they could then leverage it and use it in their business.

We also got on the phone every single week in a small group call. So we would do a small group call. And I was crazy, Andrew. I did two of these calls a week, because I had people in all time zones.

Andrew:Wow.

Ryan:So I did one in the morning, one in the afternoon, for an hour, hour and a half. And that was basically just hot seats, case studies, funnel reviews, “Hey, Ryan, can I get your advice on this?” So that was every single week.

We also had a group, like a Google group online. So if someone had a question in between our weekly calls and they said, “I’ve got this question about this,” I was, you know, responding to that group in between that.

So those were the key deliverables that people got access to, plus any training that I did or, you know, access to all my stuff. I gave them access to a lot of hiring documentation, systems and processes. Like everything that we were using to grow our business, they also got access to that as well.

Andrew: How did they know about you? I know that you got famous after the book. How did people know about you before the book?

Ryan: You know, I had a tiny, little following. People always asked, “How did you build a million-dollar-plus consulting business with no employees, no list, no nothing?” And this is my secret. It’s not complicated. I basically wrote every single day. Every single day, I wrote a daily email and I published that email on Facebook. And I would do this for, you know, months and months and months. And that just built a tiny, little, yet very rabid following of people who wanted access to, you know, what I was teaching.

And my model was simple, Andrew. I basically said, “I’m not available to be hired right now, but if you’d like to sign up for my waitlist, you can click here, sign up for the waitlist, and when spots are made available, I’ll let you know.”

And periodically, three or four times a year, I’d open up the waitlist. Originally, this is what I did for my private consulting practice. That’s how I got clients. I’m booked, I’m booked, I’m booked. People would be writing, “How do we hire you? How do we work with you?” “I’m booked. I’m booked. I’m booked. Waitlist is opening next week.” Open up the waitlist, fill the spots, close the waitlist, lather, rinse, repeat.

And I basically just did the same thing with the mastermind. I said, “I’m opening up this mastermind. You can’t afford to, you know, pay $5,000 an hour plus the success participation fee. I’m doing this mastermind. Never done it before.” I think, when we launched the mastermind, we had 18 people sign up, so we filled it with 18. And then we grew it to 30, and then 35, and then 40, and it was basically . . . it could not grow any further than that.

Andrew: Wow. All right. And so, you understood, “I can’t give up more of my time right now, and there are a lot of people who can’t hit the $40,000 a year price point. Let’s drop it to $15,000, change it to a coaching.” Coaching means other people on your team get to help too.

Ryan: Coaching means it’s much more . . . so the mastermind is very . . . and this isn’t every mastermind, but what I found was there was no framework. There was no teaching framework. It was very much limited to my individual skill to come in, analyze the problem, help someone with that problem. But there was no curriculum. There was no framework. And so, it had this whole host of problems.

My vision for the mastermind, Andrew, was that I would have 40 people having a ton of success implementing The Ask Method in their business. The reality is that I had a handful of people who were very successful implementing The Ask Method, but then a bunch of other people who were there for other reasons.

They were there because they wanted to network. They were there because they started to develop friendships, and they weren’t necessarily implementing Ask. They might have implemented a fringe thing that I may have taught once, but they didn’t have a quiz, or an assessment, or a segmentation funnel generating hundreds of thousands of leads, which was what my vision was.

I realized for that to happen, people needed to go through a structured curriculum. They needed to go through a process. So now in our coaching program, I’m involved in that. We have a number of coaches who are trained up in the methodology. We have a success path, so when someone . . . the first step is, you know, you choose your market. Next step is you run a deep dive survey to that market. Then you do . . . and we have these milestones. We even have a martial-arts-inspired belting system with that, that once you’ve done that thing, you earn that next color.

We have people that are already approaching the Million Lead Club. So we have a 10k club, when you get your first 10,000 leads, 25k, 50k, 100k. I thought 100k was going to be the top level we needed, but this year we have people busting through 100k. They’re on their way to one million segmented leads on the back of a quiz or an assessment.

So we found a model that’s not perfect by any stretch, but it’s working a lot better and it’s scalable, so we can impact more people.

Andrew: Do you literally give out belts?

Ryan: We give out bracelets.

Andrew: I was wondering what the green and black bracelets were.

Ryan: Yeah, we give out bracelets. So when someone earns their bracelet, we have a fun ceremony that we do at our events and people get it. And it’s cool, right? Because then you get to see who’s at your level, who’s one step ahead of you. We do things at our events that I think work really well. We will pair people up with people who are one step ahead of them. In the process, you can see where you’re at, so that gives people who move up an opportunity to mentor people who are one step before them.

So yeah, it’s something we’ve worked really hard at. And, you know, I don’t want to lead people to think that we have everything figured out, but we have 300 people in the program. I think it will grow to 500 people, and then we’ll eventually grow to 1,000 entrepreneurs in this program that we’re hoping to transform their lives in a big way.

Andrew: You know, one of the things that stood out for me in your book, in the latest book, “Choose,” was something that came up really early on. You talk about the river. Where was that? Here it is. “Whenever you enter a new market, it’s like launching a boat on the river.” Can you explain that? I feel like I’ve been, sometimes, in the wrong direction on that river.

Ryan: Yeah, man. It’s a metaphor that I think is really helpful. And it’s like this. When I wrote “Ask”, it became wildly successful, far more than I ever expected. Sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and it’s in all these different languages. You’ve interviewed authors before, and you know this yourself. When you put something out there like that, you get a lot of letters, emails, Facebook messages from people who get great results, and they say, “You changed my life,” and it’s awesome.

But you also get letters from people who are like, “Dude, I read your book, I followed everything that you teach, and it didn’t work. What the hell?” And it bugged me. I was trying to figure out what was I missing? What did I leave out? What was the mistake?

And I realized it all came down to this one thing, and the metaphor that I use is deciding what business to start and choosing your market is like deciding what river to put your boat into. And you can have the best raft money can buy. You can have the best equipment. You can hire the best crew. You can row 18 hours a day and bust your butt. But if you put your raft facing the wrong direction, you’re not going to get to your destination, right? Worse yet, if you put your raft in the wrong river, a river that’s either too big or too small, you’re not going to get to where you want to go.

And what I realized after writing “Ask” is I taught people how I’d entered 23 different niche markets. But what I didn’t teach was how I chose those markets in the first place. And that big mistake that people kept making, they kept putting their boat in the wrong river. They were rowing 18 hours a day. They had the best equipment. They had the best methodology, but it doesn’t matter how hard you rowed.

Andrew: What’s an example of going in the wrong river, or in the wrong direction?

Ryan: So I had people who would come into . . . they would pursue a market that . . . and I talk about this in the book. There are seven tests that you want to run to figure out if your market is a winner or loser. And it’s all evidence-based. It’s all empirical. It’s based on three years of research.

What I found is that people . . . one example that people would make is they’d go into markets either too big or too small. So I tell the story of Beverly Yates. Beverly Yates is a naturopathic physician. She’s got a physical practice in San Francisco. And in her physical practice, she helps predominantly women lose weight through naturopathic methods.

And so, she wanted to go into the weight loss market, right? So she goes into the weight loss . . . that’s like throwing your raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You’re going to get swallowed up whole, right?

So we go into that. She wasn’t getting results, and we were able to figure out, by going through The Choose Process, what was a micro niche, or sub niche, within that weight loss market that had promise.

And so, we looked at two. We looked at HCG injections and PCOS weight loss. So PCOS is polycystic ovarian syndrome. It was a condition that a lot of women were just . . . you know, she just on a whim discovered that a lot of women with PCOS were coming to see her to lose weight.

And going through this process, we identified that PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and weight loss associated with that was within what we call the market size sweet spot. It was a river that had just the right current. It wasn’t going to swallow her up whole. It wasn’t a dry riverbed that wasn’t going to get her to where she wanted to go. It had just the right momentum to propel her forward and build a successful business. That’s an example.

Andrew: You’re just finishing it as I was interrupting. Yeah, you talk about that in the book, the sweet spot. The sweet spot is, just to put a fine point on it, a market that’s not so big that you get swallowed up by it, and not so tiny that it’s not worth spending any energy on because no one’s going to pay attention. That little, middle spot.

Ryan: Totally. And so, what we did . . . it was a surprising discovery in this process. It was one of the biggest discoveries I think I’ve ever made in my entire career. What we did was this, Andrew. We looked at every single one of the markets that I had gone into, and we looked at the keyword volume in those markets. And we looked at the markets that were successful, and we looked at the ones that were unsuccessful.

Then I looked at my top clients and students, and looked at the businesses that they had started that were successful and those that were unsuccessful. And what we found is that every single one of the successful businesses, the keyword volume was all within this very narrow band. So they were all in this very narrow range in size. And we looked at all the failures, my failures included, and they were all outside the range. They were either too big or too small.

And I realize now, knowing what I now know, I just didn’t have the wisdom at the time that there are markets I never would have gone into knowing that they were outside the sweet spot.

And for months, Andrew, we debated. We’re like, “Are we going to share this in the book? This is super valuable.” Literally, tens of millions of dollars in advertising to get to this discovery. Are we going to share what these keywords are that represent the markets that were successful? And we decided to share them in the book.

And so, you can use this market size sweet spot test and these keywords to benchmark your idea. So you can take your bull’s-eye keyword, the key keyword in your business, and you can compare it against these other benchmark keywords and see where does it fall? Is your market way outside that sweet spot, way below that sweet spot, or right inside it? Which is what you want.

Andrew: What are you using to check the keywords? Is it Google Trends or Google Ads software?

Ryan: So in the book, we talk through a methodology using Google Trends. So Google Trends is a free tool. Anybody can use it. You just go to Google Trends. You have to have the right settings in place to be looking at the right parameters, the right amount of time, the right geography, and so on and so forth. You just plug your keyword in, and you can very quickly, at a glance, see is your business in the range, or is it way outside, too big or too small?

Andrew: If you see me looking over at this monitor, it’s because I’m looking at my Google Doc where I took some screenshots from your book you showed exactly how that worked.

All right. Let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor, and then we’re going to get back into the story here and understand what was it that you discovered with your business, with Ask Method, that allowed you to ride that river.

First sponsor is a company called HostGator. Ryan, let me ask you this, actually. HostGator does one-click install of WordPress to launch a website fast and inexpensively. Is there a business that you would consider today? If you were starting from scratch, you had no money, no reputation, no nothing, just Andrew comes to you and says, “Here’s a HostGator account. Launch WordPress on it. I’m not going to charge you. Let’s see how big you get in three years,” what’s the business that you would pick right now?

Ryan: You know, one of the things I share in the book are five lucrative niches that I would go into right now if I have the time. And one of those is baby photography. So baby photography is a market that is a great market. It’s an evergreen market. It’s an enthusiast market. And I might just whip up a blog, use HostGator, throw up my WordPress blog, start teaching people how to produce incredible baby photography, and build an entire business around that with training, with courses, maybe even a mastermind or coaching program.

Andrew: I like the product grid. So, in your book “Choose,” you give the product grid and you say, “Look, you can either do product focus,” which means ebooks, physical books, etc., “or client focus,” where you offer some consulting, “or membership focus,” which is obvious, “or event focus,” for somebody who is an extreme extrovert and you can really get into that.

So you’re saying start with content, then start picking, of those four different product categories, what’s the first one you’re going to sell, and keep on building, and building, and building.

Do you believe still that standalone websites could do well, or in the world of medium and Facebook and Instagram, it’s just not worth creating a full-on blog?

Ryan: You know, it’s a great question. So talking about where to start, where do you start? There’s an assessment that we invite people to take in the book. It’s a free assessment. You don’t even need the book to take it. You just go to, literally, choosequiz.com. We just decided to make it free. We ask a series of questions to help you figure out what type of business you should start.

And so, Product Grid is one of the components. What type of product makes sense for your personality? You know, if you are a writer and if you’re more introverted, then writing a blog and spending a lot of your time in front of a computer screen creating a WordPress site might make sense. But if you’re more of an extrovert, if you’re the type of person that loves to talk on the phone with people all day, every day, it may not make sense. You may be better served spending time in your business focusing on communicating with people one on one. If you’re a super extrovert, then you might be running live events, right?

Andrew: Not blogging, but doing live events on a regular basis could be your . . .

Ryan: It could be your format. So it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on what are your lifestyle goals. How do you want to spend your time? Do you want to spend your time writing four or five days a week behind a computer screen at Starbucks? That may be a really enjoyable life for some people. Some people may get really lonely doing that.

What’s the funding that you have available? Are you funding this yourself? Are you raising money from friends and family?

What sort of income aspirations do you have? Are you looking to make a little bit of extra side income with your full-time job, or are you looking to build a $10-million-a-year empire? All of these things sort of factor in the right path to take. And we have an assessment that helps identify what path makes sense for you.

Andrew: All right. Whether you want to create a blog or any other type of website, even if it’s just a standalone website that links people to the different events that you’re doing, go to hostgator.com/mixergy. You’ll get a super low price and you’ll be tagged as a Mixergy person, which means we’ll always be there to look out for you. That’s hostgator.com/mixergy.

And look at how Ryan did this. He doesn’t just say, “Go to my website.com/whatever for the quiz.” He just creates a whole website just for the quiz, which makes it feel like more of a thing. It gives it more presence on the internet and in people’s minds. So, bring your ideas to HostGator.

I did this, Ryan. I talk about this all the time. I’m running seven marathons on seven continents in one year.

Ryan: Wow.

Andrew: Yeah. My first one’s going to be out before this interview is out. And I created a website for it, and now people get to look at it. I mean my podiatrist when my foot was hurting, to my friends and . . . anyway, it gives it more of a presence.

Go to hostgator.com/mixergy to get your website set up right.

By the way, Ryan, I’ve got to freaking tell you this. I’m on the website, choosequiz.com. The freaking thing looks so simple, elegant, and it just looks good. I know people are not going to be watching this interview, they listen, so I’m going to describe. Freaking backdrop, I’ve seen that before. You’ve got the nice wood backdrop, but you pay attention to the lighting on it. The book has a prominent spot in the interview, so I can see it and clearly look at it. I just admire the level of detail that you put into your freaking business. It’s amazing.

Ryan: I appreciate that, man.

Andrew: You’re listening to me on an earphone that’s tucked away. The only reason I noticed it is I had to pay attention and say, “Where is he listening to me?” The level of detail matters.

Ryan: Yeah, details do matter. And what’s funny is you and I are looking at that from two very different lenses. I’m looking at that page saying, “That pixel is off a bit. I’m annoyed by this thing right here.” So I appreciate the kind words, and, you know, there’s always room for improvement.

Andrew: It looks good. All right. So I’m wondering with you, what is the way? What is the river? What is the thing that allowed Ask Method to grow?

Ryan: So there are a couple things, right? One of which is the Ask Method, this company, The Ask Method Company, one of our businesses . . . and so you’re talking about, just to tie up the final thing that we were talking about a second ago, having a different website for each business. Every single one of the 23 markets that I went into, you can still see most of those websites today.

Scrabble tile jewelry business, you can go to thescrabblegal.com. I think it was built on Blogger back in, like, 2007. The orchid business that we grew from nothing to $25,000 a month and over half million dollars a year, you can see that at orchidsmadeeasy.com. It’s a WordPress blog. Rocket Memory, the business that we went into the memory improvement space, you can go to rocketmemory.com. It still exists.

Now, it’s sort of like a history lesson, because these businesses were started years ago, right? So they don’t look as contemporary as the Choose Quiz, which was just launched this year. And by the way, we have something like over 1,000 people a day taking this thing, so it’s taking off. We’re pretty excited about it.

But these older businesses, you can see it’s sort of like a time capsule, going back in time, [crosstalk 00:29:22] things and how they’re created. So I’m a big believer in having a unique website for each business.

Andrew: Let me tell you, I love that you keep your website up. You could totally just neglect them or have them not work. They’re up. Yes, it does seem to be on Blogger, though I didn’t have a chance to look at the source code. But I love how at the top it says, “As featured on ‘The Wall Street Journal,'” which is great, but also About.com, which I think is gone, and Etsy.

And then if I click down to the bottom to “Get started now” it just takes me over to . . . I forget who this is. It’s like one sales page. I forget who created this old order form.

Ryan: Is it 1ShoppingCart?

Andrew: Yeah, that’s what it is, 1ShoppingCart.

Ryan:It’s a visual time capsule.

Andrew:Such a time capsule. All right. So then what’s the wave that you rode? What’s the river that allowed you to grow? I feel like it was just your personality, but was it more? Was there something else going on that I’m missing?

Ryan: Yeah. So, a concept I teach in the book is called “The Five Market Must-Haves.” And if we look at The Ask Method, if you look at The Ask Method Company, this is an example of a company that the market in which we operate meets these five market must-have tests.

So the first market must-have that you want to have is you want to make sure your market is an evergreen market. What that means is you want make sure it’s a market that was relevant 100 years ago, and it’s ideally going to be relevant 100 years from now.

So that Scrabble tile jewelry market, you look at that business, that was one of the first businesses in which I learned that lesson. That business was a fad. Scrabble tile jewelry was like fidget spinners. It was like Pokémon Go. We made $1,000 a month in our first month, then $2,000, $4,000, $5,000, $9,000, and then the market fell off a cliff and literally started making nothing at all. And if you look at the keyword volume in that business, you’ll see that it goes up, up, up, up, up, then drops off a cliff.

The contemporary example of that that just happened most recently: Bitcoin. Look at the keyword volume type. Go to Google Trends and type the keyword volume for Bitcoin. You’ll see that it goes up, up, up, up, up, and it drops off a cliff, corresponding when the Bitcoin price fell off a cliff. So there are a lot of people out there that were riding the Bitcoin wave, built a business around that, who are now doing something else because it didn’t work out. So, first market must-have is evergreen.

Andrew: You’re right. Look at this.

Ryan: Crazy, right?

Andrew: I thought the pop went up for a long period of time. We’re talking about a huge pop that is months long, not years long, not even a single year. Wow.

I know you’re going to move on to something else, but before you do, you say compare it to another. What’s a keyword that I would want to compare it to, to get a sense of . . .

Ryan: Yeah, so type in, for example . . . you mean like the Bitcoin market?

Andrew: Yeah, if I wanted to compare to get a sense of how . . .

Ryan: Type in Pilates.

Andrew: I don’t know how to spell it.

Ryan: Pilates has some cyclicality to it, because it’s a market, like all weight loss markets, that tend to spike in January at the beginning of the year, and fall at the end of the year.

But Pilates has been there, right? It’s been a thing for . . . I don’t have the Google Trends in front of me, so this is from memory, but you’ll see it doesn’t follow that same crescendo up, falling off a cliff that you get with Bitcoin.

Andrew: It’s just consistent, consistent, consistent. I see that. All right. So you’re saying, “Look, Bitcoin is an example of something that, like the Scrabble tiles business. It went up, and then it goes down.”

Ryan: Right, so you want an evergreen. First one is you want an evergreen market. So when you go to Google Trends, you want a market that is stable, that is consistent. Ideally, it has a slight trend up as opposed to a slight trend down. If it has cyclicality to it, you want to be mindful that.

So one of the businesses that we’re in, the orchid care market, has extreme cyclicality to it. The two biggest days of the year in that business, teaching people how to care for their orchids, is Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Those are the two biggest days of the year by far. The spring months go up, the winter months go down in the northern hemisphere. And you’ll see that cyclicality year after year.

Andrew: Yeah, I see that, actually.

Ryan: You have to be mindful of that. You just need to be aware of that.

So first market must-have is evergreen. But it’s not enough to have an evergreen market. Second market must-have is you want to be in an enthusiast market. Now, an enthusiast market is in contrast to a problem-solution market. Problem-solution market is a market where someone has got a problem in their life, they need to solve that problem, and once they solve it, they move on.

Perfect example of this is flood damage. If you have flooding . . . you know, there were a lot of hurricanes that happened over the last of couple years. If you have flood damage in your basement, in your home, you want to get rid of that water damage and you never want to deal with it ever again. You’re not signing up for an email list, a Facebook group, a local club, a mastermind on flood damage. It’s a problem, you solve it, you move on.

Now, compare that to the dog market. Dog market is a perfect example of an enthusiast market. We got a dog earlier this year, a little puppy, little four-pound Chihuahua rescue that they found on the side of the road. And pound for pound, I would argue that we spend more money on this thing than anything I’ve ever spent before.

I mean, there’s the crate, there’s the potty training stuff, there’s the dog food, the most expensive food you can buy, the bowls, there’s doggie mugs, and Christmas ornaments, T-shirts, and leashes and harnesses. And they outgrow the harness, so you need a bigger one. And then it gets cold and so you’ve got to get the doggy sweaters. There’s no end to this madness. But it’s an example of a market that people tend to be a consumer in for years and years and years.

So what you’re looking for is a market where you have one customer that you can sell multiple things to that same customer, as opposed to a problem/solution market where you constantly have to chase after a new customer.

Andrew: All right. So those are two. What are the other three?

Ryan: Number three. So it’s not enough to be in an evergreen and enthusiast market, you need to specifically solve an urgent problem in the context of that enthusiastic market.

So an urgent problem in the dog market would be something like the dog pees on the rug. So dog pees on the rug, I describe it as a $10,000 problem. It’s a problem that people get so fed up with that one day they say, “You know what? Enough is enough. We’ve got to solve this darn thing.” So they go online, and then they solve it, as opposed to selling a doggie mug. Nobody wakes up one day and says, “Honey, we’ve got to get a doggie mug today.” It’s an impulse buy. You want a problem that is so urgent that people say, “Enough is enough. I’ve got to solve it right away.”

So I give an example in the book, Dana Obleman and her husband, Mike. They built a company called Sleep Sense. Sleep Sense is a sleep-training program for parents with young infants. And they went into this business because they had young infants. The infants weren’t sleeping through the night. They weren’t sleeping through the night. They realized how much of an urgent problem this was to solve. That’s the type of problem that you want.

They have people in their business . . . moms and dads were trying to put their kiddo to sleep, holding the iPhone in the other hand, on the website, buying the product. Because the kid won’t fall asleep, nobody is getting sleep in the house. That’s the type of problem that you want to solve, an urgent problem in the context of that enthusiast market.

Now the reason for that is once you solve that first problem, once you teach someone how to get their dog to stop peeing on the rug or get their kid to sleep through the night, you become the trusted advisor for that person in that area of their life.

That leads to market must-have number four. You want a market that has future problems. Specifically, what I mean by that is once you solve that first problem, the success that comes with solving that problem leads to yet another problem. This is going to start to elucidate what you asked at the beginning of this question, which is why is The Ask Method Company so successful?

It’s an evergreen market. People have wanted to start a business in this country since the foundation of this country. It’s an enthusiast market. Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs . . . I’ll say it, because I’m one of these. I’m a junkie. I want to know the new techniques. I read business books left and right. I listen to your podcast. I mean, I can’t get enough of this stuff.

Of course, I’m an enthusiast market. I’ve been doing this for the last 10 years of my life. I was reading about becoming a entrepreneur probably 10 years before that.

Urgent problems. What are some of the urgent problems people need to solve? All sorts of urgent problems, right? I have my offers not converting. My employee just quit. I need to replace my employee. There are tons of urgent problems in that business.

Future problems. Here’s an example. First problem that people need to figure out solving in their businesses is what?

Andrew: Coming up with what the business is, or coming up with clients.

Ryan: And then after you figure out what business you’re going to go into, what’s the next step? You’ve got to ask them what they want. First, you’ve got to choose. Then you’ve got to ask. See how I’m using the exact methodology that I teach right here in the book?

And then after you ask, what comes next? You’ve got to build your product, right? You’ve got to hire employees. That gives you a clue into what comes next after asking.

And that leads us to the fifth and final market must-have, which is what we call PWMs. So PWM is an acronym. I learned this from the late, great Gary Halbert, one of the greatest direct response copywriters of all time. He had this phrase that he used. He said, “You want to go into a market that has PWMs.” And what that means is Players With Money.

It doesn’t necessarily mean selling to billionaires and decamillionaires. What it means is you’re looking for markets where there’s evidence that people spend a disproportionate amount of their income in that area of their life.

Perfect example is golf. If you know anybody who plays golf and is obsessed with golf, they spent a crazy amount of money on golf equipment, on clubs, on tee times, on golf instruction, golf vacations, once-in-a-lifetime trips around the world. That’s a great example.

Another great example is guitar lessons. Who is buying guitar lessons? Who’s spending money on guitar lessons online? Who do you think?

Andrew: I would have thought it would be newbies who are trying to figure it out.

Ryan: They are newbies, but who are these people? They’re guys in their 40s and 50s that finally have a little time to themselves. Kids are grown up, they’ve made a little bit of money, and they can live out their dream that they had when they were 17 years old and they wanted to be a rock star. They can finally do it.

Andrew: I feel like I’ve been waiting for that time in my life, too. I totally get it.

Ryan: So you want all those five market must-haves, evergreen, enthusiasts, urgent problems, future problems, and PWMs.

Andrew: So when it came to Ask, you were a marketing coach, marketing software creator. You were saying, “Look, there are entrepreneurs who are marketers. They are enthusiasts. They read about this stuff all the time. They have an urgent problem. I can’t get people to buy from me right now. I can’t get leads to convert, or even get leads in the first place,” and all those other things. I got it. That’s what you’re talking about.

To me, I was thinking, “This isn’t a new and growing business. It’s been around.” All right. But I get why that actually helps, and also why you keep referring back in the book to orchids. How do you say the word? Why am I not pronouncing right?

Ryan: Orchids? It’s all right. I couldn’t get “participation” out of my mouth earlier.

Andrew: Second sponsor is a company called Toptal for hiring developers. “Top” as in top of your head, “tal” as in talent. I had an interview here at my office as an experiment, because I’m going to be traveling the world and doing interviews in, I think, every continent. We’ll see what we can do about Antarctica for interviews. But I’ll do interviews all over the world.

I had this interview in here, and I did a live read for a Toptal ad, and I said, “Does anyone know Toptal?” And this guy, Dave, from Proof, this software company, said, “Yeah, I heard them on Mixergy.” I said, “Great.” He goes, “Not only that, I actually use them.” I said, “How?” He said, “Look, we were an information marketing company, but we wanted to be in software. And so, you kept talking about Toptal, so we said let’s give them a shot.”

And so, he went to Toptal and said, “Here’s my idea. When somebody buys from my website, I want to be able to have other people who are on the website know that someone just bought and actually see the location so that they see that there’s proof that people are buying.”

So he went to Toptal, they built it for him, and he then turned it into a product that other people can use to show proof that there are customers buying on their websites.

He went from information to software for himself to software now that’s being used by I don’t know how many people. He’s got it on his website. He’s doing a couple hundred thousand dollars a month in sales from it. Proof is the company name. All because he heard me talk about Toptal.

When you want to get the best of the best developers, not just average, not just inexpensive . . . there are other places for average and inexpensive, honestly, really. But when you want to get people who are really good, who can build a foundation of your business right, go to toptal.com/mixergy.

When you go there, you’re going to get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours. That’s a lot of free credit. And they’ve got a no-risk experience there. Dave used that offer. You should use it too. Toptal.com/mixergy.

All right. I’m wondering, with “Choose,” you’re going after people with new businesses, new entrepreneurs. I tend to think they don’t have much money yet. It’s the more established businesses that have more money. Am I missing something?

Ryan: It’s a great question, and it’s certainly one that, internally, we had a lot of conversations about. We said, “Are we making a mistake reaching out to people who are early in their entrepreneurial journey and they don’t yet have anything established? Are they prepared to invest?”

And so, one of the things that we did before writing this book . . . we apply The Ask Method in everything that we do, so we did research. We reached out to our existing audience and to cold audience to understand this market at a deep emotional level, and understand how willing this market is to spend and invest to start their business.

So before writing the book, we did three rounds of teaching what’s now come to be known as The Choose Method, as we teach it in the book, through a series of online trainings.

So we had version 1.0. We wanted to prove concept that we could actually sell it. 2.0, figure out what we didn’t do a good job of teaching in the framework. What was confusing? Where were people stuck? Teach it again. And then 3.0, teach it a third time, putting literally thousands of people through this training before committing to doing a book and committing to the framework that we now teach in the book.

So yes, it was a concern. What we now know is that there are a lot of people out there, Andrew, that were very similar to me. So I was making six figures in my finance job. I was unhappy in that job. I was, you know, living out of hotels, flying on an airplane every single week. My wife was getting her PhD in Hong Kong. I was in Shanghai. We’re seeing each other once a month. Just this crazy lifestyle that people have, commutes that people are sick of.

And this dream that 50% of Americans . . . I don’t know what the worldwide statistic is, but 50% of Americans dream of becoming their own boss. Think about that. One in two adult Americans dream of becoming their own boss.

And there are a percentage of those people who are in a situation where they have the means to invest in that dream, to invest in that business. And just like myself, I was willing to, you know, invest in my dream and basically put it on the line to do this.

So are there players with money within this market? Absolutely. Are there people who don’t have the means to invest? Absolutely. The cost of the book can help someone get in the right direction. And what I’ve learned, Andrew, is that when you play the long game . . .

We talked about that mastermind, going full circle to the beginning of our conversation. So I launched that elite mastermind. One of the guys in that elite mastermind is a guy by the name of [Charl 00:45:01]. Charl found out about me through the book. He literally got a free copy of the book. Just pay shipping.

Andrew: Which book?

Ryan: “Ask.” Excuse me. Yeah, so “Ask” when it came out, 2005. Read the book cover to cover. And he didn’t know who I was. He didn’t know anything about me. And immediately, on the back of that book, applied to my mastermind. Joined that mastermind for three years until we closed it down. After the mastermind closed down, he wanted to move over to my coaching program. Joined that coaching program for the last two years, and just recently became certified in The Ask Method.

So he’s someone who came into this world on the back of a book that he paid, you know, $7.95, $9.95, and has invested well over $100,000 to work with me just off of this.

And so, I know that for every person who buys the book, runs off, and uses it and has success with it, or does nothing with it, there’s a percentage of people that will want to go deep in the process with me and our business.

Andrew: By the way, I use the word founder a lot. You don’t use the word founder. You don’t use the word entrepreneur. Why not? And then how did you decide not to?

Ryan: It’s a great question. So, if you follow what I teach in Ask, I believe that the nuance of language matters a tremendous amount. The words that we use, the words that your market uses, can mean all the difference in the world.

And I talk about this in a lot of the talks I do. I’m a big fan of LEGO. I’m what we call an AFOL, an Adult Fan of LEGO. I share a number of stories around LEGO, and one of the stories I share is when I open up my talks, I have a handful of LEGO in my hands, and I say, “What do I have my hands?” and inevitably, the crowd says, “LEGOs.”

And then later on the talk I circle back and I say, “When I asked you what I have in my hands, what did you say?” They say, “LEGOs.” And I said, “As an AFOL, as an insider, I know that LEGOs is not a word. And if you tell me that you’re a huge fan of LEGOs, it’s a tell that you’re truly not. LEGO is both the singular and plural form of that word.”

And so, I’ve learned over the years that the nuance of language matters. Whether you use the word grocery store or supermarket can tell a lot about who you are, and a lot about your audience.

So with that in mind, when it comes to coming up with the right keywords, the right words to describe your customer, the nuance of language matters tremendously.

So what I discovered is the word entrepreneur is something that fewer than 4% of Americans identify with. So fewer than 4% of Americans consider themselves entrepreneurs. And yet 50% of American adults want to be their own boss. So, it’s the same thing in a way, but we use different words to self-identify it.

So when you start diving into the Google Trends and you look at words like “digital marketer,” “online marketer,” “internet marketer,” do they mean the same thing, or do they mean something different?

And so, we applied The Choose Method in our business. I’m not going to share what our keyword is, if you’re going to be pressing me for it, but we have the keyword, the word that we use, to describe our customer in our business by following this Choose Process.

Andrew: I know what it is. I’m not allowed to say it? Are you serious? I know what it is, and it’s a secret? Okay. All right. If you told me in confidence, I didn’t realize it was in confidence, but all right.

So what you’re saying is, “Look, I don’t use the word entrepreneur. I use a different word or phrase to describe them, and it’s because that’s what the keyword indicates.” Got it.

Ryan: Exactly.

Andrew: I see what you’re saying. And that actually comes back to what you and I talked about before. You said most people who want to start a business, they start with an idea. In “Choose,” your new book, you say, “I don’t think that’s the right way to do it.” And so, coming up with the right phrase is an example of how you use the proper way to start a new business. Talk about that. What is the right way? What should we focus on?

Ryan: Yeah, so most of the conventional wisdom out there is all about “what.” What should you create? What should you build? What should you sell? It’s all what, what, what. The reality is you don’t have a business until you have a customer. The right thing to be focusing on is your who. Who are you going to serve? Who is that audience going to be?

It’s less important to know if you’re going to be creating a book on how to choose your market, or a book on how to figure out what people want, than it is to know that your who is serving, we’ll just call it, entrepreneurs, people who want to be their own boss. That is more important.

So it starts with the who. But then from there, you’ve got to figure out what is the transformation you are going to provide to that group of people. And it leads to a process to come up with something that we call your bull’s-eye keyword. Now, your bull’s-eye keyword is like your North Star. It’s the thing that keeps you headed in the right direction. It’s a phrase, two to three words, that you use to describe the transformation or process that you take people through in terms of achieving success in that area of their life.

So an example of that would be “orchid care.” So in the book, I talk about the market that we’re in, in our business Orchids Made Easy. We’re not in the orchid market. We’re in the orchid care market. We teach people and coach people through the process of caring for their orchids, of growing orchids, of raising orchids, of keeping their orchids alive. So we’re in the orchid care process.

In our rocket memory business, I’m not in the memory business. I’m in the improve memory business. So those are examples of two- to three-word phrases that represent the transformation you provide to someone in that area of their life. Improve their memory. Care for their orchids.

And so, there’s a process that we take people through in the book to identify what that is. And once you have that, once you have that candidate for what your two- to three-word phrase might be, then you can plug that phrase against the Rosetta Stone keywords, those benchmark keywords, to see does your idea fit within that sweet spot, or do you need to niche down and go into a more micro-niche of the idea that you have, or do you need to niche up? Maybe you’ve picked a river that’s just too small and you need to find one that’s a little bit bigger.

Andrew: Maybe improving memory is not something people care enough about, but doubling memory is more specific, and they do care about that.

Ryan: Exactly.

Andrew: Or remembering names, maybe to . . . got it. Okay. By the way, as you’re talking, I’m doing all this research to just see how this plays out. So I went to Rocket Memory, and sure enough, it says in the title tag . . . no, in the description, “Improve memory.” And then it goes on, “Memory improvement tips and secrets, Rocket Memory.” That’s what’s on your title tag.

I get it. I’m seeing how you’re doing this. What I wonder, though, is in your book, you don’t start out with that. You say, “Start out by thinking about the model first, and then you go into market brainstorm and business idea brainstorm.” Why start out with the model first before you know how you want to transform people?

Ryan: Yeah, so it’s natural to want to figure out who you’re going to serve, but it’s helpful to begin with the end in mind. So what type of business are you actually going to start?

And so, bringing full circle the conversation that we started about that assessment that I mentioned, the assessment in the book, the assessment that’s available for free. It’s to identify first and foremost what type of entrepreneur are you?

What I found in my research is that there are four types of entrepreneurs. There are what we call the mission-based entrepreneurs. Mission-based entrepreneurs are people who have got a mission in life that they want to . . . a cause that they would die on the hill for. It’s, you know, eliminating breast cancer. Eliminating bullying is one of the examples that I share in the book.

In contrast, you have the passion-based entrepreneur. These are people who have a passion in their life, whether it’s playing guitar, orchids, watercolor painting, whatever it may be, that they want to move the world toward. They want to make that hobby their vocation. They want to find a way to make money doing the thing that they love.

Mission-based want to move the world away from something negative. Passion-based want to move the world towards something positive.

The third type is the opportunity-based entrepreneur. Opportunity-based entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs in the most classic sense of the word, right? So opportunity-based entrepreneurs are people who see something in the world and they say, “How is it that nobody has solved this? How is it that nobody has created a solution to this thing before?” And they spot this opportunity, and then they jump on it.

And the fourth type of entrepreneur is the undecided entrepreneur. Now, that’s what I was. I was someone that I knew I wanted to start a business, but I didn’t have a mission that I felt drawn to. I didn’t have a life passion that I wanted to make my vocation. I wasn’t one of these people that naturally saw these opportunities left and right and said, “I’ve got to create a business around this.” I knew I wanted to be in business for myself. I knew I wanted to be my own boss, but I didn’t know what I wanted to start.

And for those people, one of the things I recommend is to do what I did, which was to start with a practice business.

Andrew: I’ve seen that.

Ryan: Instead of having the stress of trying to come up with your life’s passion the next 25 years of your life, whatever you’re going to do . . .

Andrew, this isn’t your first business. You’ve had multiple businesses. You had your agency, and you had a few things along the way that you’ve done. And when you give yourself permission to start with a practice business . . . It’s sort of like when we learn how to drive. Most of us didn’t learn how to drive in our dream car. We learned how to drive on an old beater that was handed down to us from our parents, or that we practiced on, or whatever. You learn the ropes. You learn the process, right?

You learn what it means to start a business. You learn how to build a website. You learn how to write emails. You learn the process. And when you alleviate this need to get results and focus instead on the process, then you can transfer those skills to whatever you end up creating down the road.

And so, for me, my practice business, the Orchids Made Easy business, ended up doing half a million dollars a year. So, you know, sometimes you can get to a place where your practice business actually does pretty well as well.

So it starts with introspection, to answer your question, looking within yourself, and then it continues by looking at outwardly what type business do you want to have? What type of lifestyle do you want to lead?

Getting a bit of a rough idea, not necessarily figuring out how all the pieces fit together, but just a rough idea of what it might look like, gives you the space to now shift your focus, put that aside for a minute and then shift your focus to that who, and then circle back to the model after you figured it out, and you tie it all together. You can’t look at them independently.

Andrew: You want me to understand myself first, or the entrepreneur listening to us, to understand themselves first and say, “You know what? I am somebody who is an opportunistic person, and I’m just going to accept it,” or, “a mission-driven person and I’m going to accept it.”

And then also understand, “I’m someone who’s extroverted. I need to have a lot of conversations. I need to see people and talk to them. I can’t sit down in a coffee shop and blog, or write a book, or create software.”

And now that you know yourself, you can listen to people and realize, “Hey, you know what? This market wants to grow their plants better. They don’t want me to hang out with them all day. They just want a book, and they want guidance.

Ryan: Exactly.

Andrew: I can’t be with them. I can’t serve them the way that they need to be served. I have to pass on this. Got it. Introspection, extrospection, and then comes the idea and the product and the business.

I like that all your books have simple one-word names. “Ask.” was the first one. “Choose.” is the next one. For anyone who wants to go check it out, it’s, obviously, available everywhere, Amazon and the works. We’re going to publish this interview around the time that the book will be out.

There’s an audio book. I’ve been watching photos of you as you record the audio book. What’s the connection in with the audio version of this?

Ryan: Is it okay if I share the link that we set up for your listeners?

Andrew: Oh, you have one? Sure. I would have introduced it right at the start, but go ahead.

Ryan: Yeah, so choosethebook.com/mixergy. If you go to that link, I will actually ship any listener a free hardcover copy of the book anywhere in the world. I just ask that you pay a small shipping and handling fee to cover the cost of shipping. And when you do that, we’re also going to hook you up with $200 in free bonuses. So you mentioned the audio book. We’re going to give you the audio book. So, you know, if you bought it on Audible, it’s going to cost $25, $30, $45, whatever. We’re going to give that for free.

We talked about some niches. I mentioned some of the lucrative niches for 2019. There are seven tests that we walk you through in the book. I give you 25 of my most lucrative niches for this year that I would go into that pass all those tests. That’s another bonus.

I have a business mindset training that’s . . . from the previous interview, you’ll remember this. My degree is in neuroscience. I studied neuroscience. Really obsessed with the brain, and so I teach 17 mental hacks to help you overcome all the things we struggle with when we’re starting a business. Fear of failure, overcoming self-doubt, analysis paralysis. Including that course for free.

Plus, all the bonuses in the book that you’d normally have to wait for the book to arrive, you get that instantly. You get all that at choosethebook.com/mixergy for just a few dollars.

Andrew: Choosethebook.com/mixergy. I’m glad you have the audio version coming out when the book comes out. I remember when Tim Ferriss came out with one of his books, he did a Facebook post on it, I saw that he was buying ads for it, I started scrolling through the comments, and the big request was, “Hey, where’s the audio version?” There are, naturally, some people who are audio learners.

I find that, actually, the combination of the two is my favorite, because if I’m listening to a book, I often want to come back and circle the text that stands out for me. I want to come back and read certain sections. I want to come back and watch as you do things like go to Google Trends and do a search. I love that you use specific names. I highlighted Michael Hyatt. He was a client of yours. And I highlighted how you worked with Michael Hyatt on the trends.

All right. So it’s choosethebook.com/mixergy. I get nothing from it, frankly. I get nothing if you love the book, nothing if you hate the book, so feel free to let me know what you think. In fact, tell my whole team, contact@mixergy.com. We go over all your feedback in our weekly calls.

All right. I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first will host your website right, and look, every one of Ryan’s products has its own website.

If you go to hostgator.com/mixergy, pick that middle option. That’s the one that’s going to let you have unlimited hosting for unlimited websites. It doesn’t have to be a website per business. It can be a website per idea. Give it life. Give some reason for people to go and check out on its own. That’s what I’m doing for my running project this year.

And if you want to hire a phenomenal developer, not just a good developer . . . honestly, there are cheaper places where you can go. They’re not super expensive, but they are the best of the best, toptal.com/mixergy.

And finally, if you do want to follow along as I run, my first one will be done by the time this interview is up. You’ll get to see how I did. I’m going to run a marathon on every continent in one year. Go to runwithandrew.com. Go check that out.

Ryan, thanks so much for being here.

Ryan: Andrew, it’s been an honor and a pleasure. And I’m going to be following along as well. Seven marathons in seven continents, that’s incredible, dude.

Andrew: Yeah, man. I’m practiced. Look at this. You can’t see on camera, but the top of my forehead is darker than the bottom because I’ve been running in the California heat. I have my head down out of exhaustion, but I’m going to do it. All right. Thanks, Ryan. Thanks, everyone.

Ryan: Bye.

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