Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com. I better talk a whole lot in this intro, because something tells me I won’t get a lot of words in throughout the interview. Joining me today, I see I’m going to cut you off before you cut me off, joining me today is probably, not probably, definitely the most controversial person that I’ve interviewed here on Mixergy. People hate him but they love him. He’s consistently the most popular interviewee that I’ve had on. He’s popular because he says things like, “If you’re not a millionaire, you’re poor.” Ooh, that pissed people off when he said it a few years ago.
He first came on here back in 2008 where I interviewed him about how he did $45,000 a month in sales and every year pretty much since then he’s come on to report his sales. Last year, I remember, he celebrated his first million dollar month to show you how far he’s grown. I invited him to talk about how he did it, to catch up on what’s happened since then, and frankly to piss you off because I like the traffic that comes from it. This whole thing is sponsored by Top Tal.
At some point in this interview, Tim might show you his Rolex watch and tell you that it cost something like $36,000. I will tell you that if instead of buying a watch with that money, he invested in developers at TopTal.com, he could get a few months of solid coding work from top developers. I mean, top three in their field if you would’ve gone to my sponsor, Top Tal, and they would’ve built a web app for him that would’ve generated more sales, grown his business, so much more than his watch. He’s probably going to tell me that I’m wrong. But Top Tal, regardless, is something that we can all agree on. That is the place to go if you need a new developer, 40 hours a week, part-time, just a few hours, whatever you need, TopTal.com. And if you go to Toptal.com/mixergy, they’ll tell you about a guarantee. I’ve never seen anyone guarantee development work, but they will. So go to Toptal.com/mixergy. Tell them Tim Sykes sent you.
Tim, you are a stock trader who makes millions from the couch teaching people how to trade. It’s so good to have you on here.
Tim: Thank you for having me on again.
Andrew: Last year! This is just kind of our ritual. Last year, 2014, where was the revenue?
Tim: I think we were just hitting six million for the year in 2014, and now this year we have nearly tripled it to $15 million.
Andrew: So when you came on in early 2014, it was around Martin Luther King Day at the beginning of the year, you said that 2013 your revenues were 6.2 million, roughly.
Tim: Yeah, that’s right.
Andrew: So for all of 2014, so that $6.2 million was for 2013.
Andrew: For the following year, for 2014, what was the revenue?
Tim: Twenty fourteen was $14.9 million.
Andrew: Fourteen point nine million, over a million a month on average.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. It was a good year.
Andrew: Where did the growth come from? We’re talking about more than double.
Tim: I think the fact that several of my students became millionaires and we got press on Fox, we got press on CNN. Those stories went viral because people saw, “Wait a minute. There’s this crazy guy who sits on his couch and he’s wearing robes all day and he’s actually made millions and now his students are making millions. CNN vetted us. That was not a fun process, but we showed everything.
Andrew: You mean, they went in and they saw your financials, They looked around. They made sure everything was true?
Tim: Yeah, they poked around everything and the same thing with my students. It’s kind of crazy when my top student starts with a few thousand dollars. When CNN wrote the article, he had crossed a million. Now he’s over $2.5 million in trading profits.
Andrew: So you’re saying it’s still the same products that you’re selling, just more of it because now the popular press has picked you up more than before. CNN, I saw Neil Cavuto on Fox. He asked no challenging questions. He just let you basically do promotion for your business. You had your student on, so you had a testimonial on Fox with Neil Cavuto and he asked you questions and he was acting like you were enlightening him about the stock market. That was the best press! What do you do to get press like that from Neil Cavuto?
Tim: It’s from the back end. His producers did all the tough questioning: It wasn’t just a cakewalk. Those kinds of interviews take weeks to set up. I have a major magazine feature coming out, hopefully in a few days. I’ve been waiting for this. That took like three months of planning. So when you see the finished result, it looks all nice and easy. But I trade penny stocks, I sit in a robe, I teach from home, I have this all over the internet. So there’s a lot of cynicism related to my product, but I’m transparent, I show everything.
Andrew: But what do you do to get an interviewer to not ask challenging questions on television? I imagine that just for his own credibility, he’s got to say, “But aren’t penny stocks going to lead to death of all humanity,” or something outrageous like that. But he didn’t. What do you do? Is your PR person dating Neil Cavuto? Is that what’s going on?
Tim: No. I mean, they asked all the questions, they just don’t ask it on air. It would be tough for me to show an audit on air. I would love to do that. I would love to show them my tax records and show all that stuff on air. It’s whatever they choose to put on there. I think the beauty of penny stocks is that even though they’re risky, if you do have a few thousand dollars to your name, Wall Street, Mutual Funds, all of the normal stuff that you hear about on CNBC is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if you make 10 or 20% per year. So if you have a small savings and you want to try and actually create wealth, you have to take on a little riskier strategy to try to grow it exponentially.
Andrew: Last time, just to do my job, I was pushing you on why you have your Lamborghini in your Facebook photos and how you’re taking these glamour shots with women and beaches behind you. And I did go and look before and after the interview, and you were getting a lot of likes, a lot of activity. People clearly were in awe of you, and I could see the marketing wheels behind that, not the marketing wheels. I could see the marketing process there. You were getting people’s attention on the products. You were getting them hopped up, and then they would go and check out your courses and learn how to trade stocks from you. And you had a lot of likes and comments.
This year I went back, I don’t see a lot of likes and comments. Has it stopped working for you?
Tim: Well, it’s transferred. So as we were talking before this started, Instagram is now my biggest fan page where I get two, three, four, 5,000 likes on every photo, on every video. Facebook, Twitter, not as much. So it’s just changed. I’ve gone with the times. I post my photos and videos everywhere. It’s just Instagram is more popular. I think that Facebook people … After a while, after you see this for a year or two, you’re like, “All right, I get it. You’re living a good life.” I’m not going to click like anymore. Instagram, it can go viral. People share it more and people are just more positive and more interested.
Andrew: I see that actually. You might get 16 likes on “You want a jet” on Facebook.
Andrew: But I’m looking at just one of your watch here, the Rolex that I was talking about, in a private jet, I guess. That has 2700 likes, more than 2700 likes. So what I don’t see from here is how do you get people to your site. It just says “On the road again with an early morning flight, Guess where to?” And then #Rolex. Did I keep calling it Rolodex, Rolex Daytona #Private Jets etc. #JewJetting, but where’s the traffic that goes out and buys, that you’re linking?
Tim: So this is what I’ve learned where somebody who you want to sell a service or a product, you just need to get them inspired and get them interested in you. You don’t need to give them a specific link. They’ll find the link. People are a lot more competent than a lot of marketers give them credit for. And that’s good. I don’t want incompetent students. You know, I have enough students. I have temper problems. I have attitude problems. I have a busy schedule. I want competent students. So Instagram is amazing because people actually have to Google. They have to search and find what they want. They want to watch a DVD. They want private mentoring, and it’s just a question of finding them and interesting them. And then I can go on and teach them. You know, all of my lifestyle pictures, it’s just to motivate people to study, be like, “Wait a minute, I want that Rolex. I want that private jet.”
A lot of people look down on it. I think it’s great. Anything that teachers can do to get their students, and really anybody studying, I think it’s a very good thing. I’m not selling like drugs. I’m not selling anything bad, I’m selling wisdom, lessons I’ve learned over 15 years. And anybody who watches them, even if you don’t trade penny stocks, even if you don’t know anything about the stock market, it’s good for you.
Andrew: So I see. So what will happen is somebody will see one of these photos and then say, “Who is this guy, Tim? “And then they’ll click to your bio and I can see here your bio says, “I’ve turned $12,415 into $4.2 million while living the dream and teaching my strategy to 5,000 students. Four millionaire students so far. Who’s next? And then you link to your millionaire challenge page which I’ll ask you about in a moment, and apparently that link, that Bitly link, got 163,000 clicks. Do you keep track of how those clicks convert into customers, or do you just pump it out without worrying?
Tim: I wanted to go over this. The way that we’ve grown our business is not through keeping specific track of, “Oh, this link does this,” it’s more of just getting the story out there, and I think that in this world with Facebook advertising and you can see how much money you spend on each clink and what converts. I don’t care about any of that anymore. If you want to learn from me, you come and learn from me. I’m just trying to find people who are interested in making a better life for themselves. I’m not interested in optimizing everything.
Andrew: So you don’t even have a dashboard internally that says, “From Instagram, we got this many clients worth that much money.” You don’t even keep track like that.
Tim: No, because people find me so many different ways. Now I have a column on Entrepreneur. I have a Metro newspaper column. I write for Huffington Post. I’m on TV. I was on a TV show that made me look like a jackass.
Andrew: Which one?
Tim: It’s called, “Below Deck.”
Andrew: I saw that actually. I felt like I saw your marketing process in that show. What you did was … and I didn’t see the whole show, but I saw that you didn’t just arrive on the boat, you have a helicopter drop you off there. You didn’t just want to give a tip, you had these bushels of dollars with you, or money with you. Tens of thousands, I forget what it was. And you were rolling off big clumps of it and handing it over to them. You were trying to get attention there. They were making you into a jackass because you gave them the target, and you gave them the target because you need the press, right?
Tim: Of course. I definitely made myself a target. I wish they had shown more. I actually made $70,000 while aboard the yacht. They didn’t show any of the trade. So I’m walking out of there at the end of the TV show, I’m all happy and everyone’s just like, “Why is he so happy?” They didn’t show anything. I was happy because I paid for the entire yacht trip with the stock trade that I made on the yacht with terrible Wi-Fi. I was like, “This is going to make for great TV.” They didn’t show any of that.
Andrew: The woman who was with you everyone was making fun of the fact that she was 18, 19-years-old. Is that true?
Tim: Yeah. And now she’s my fiancée and soon to be my wife.
Andrew: I see. I saw her also on Instagram. Lots of photos of her in these beautiful locations. Are you guys really dating, or is this just a way to get more likes on Facebook?
Tim: No, we’re engaged.
Andrew: You’re engaged.
Tim: This is real. We show it off. In hindsight, I probably could do a better job but I’m excited. This is my life. I love my life, and I want more people to live it.
Andrew: So the other thing that happens is someone sees your Instagram photo, they get inspired, they click on your bio to see who you are, they go over to the Millionaire Challenge. It looks to me now like this is the top of your funnel, where what you’re saying there is … I’ve got to pause it. You’ve got a video that plays that says how much money you made with your Bar Mitzvah presents and how you’re looking for someone to work with. If they want to work with you they click and then they get to start the application process. Then they end up in your … what do you use … get response funnel, right?
Andrew: You send out emails, that’s it. What’s the product that you sell?
Tim: That’s one. The Millionaire Challenge is like this mentoring program where we basically give webinars, me and two of my millionaire students. So it’s not just me anymore, thank God. I used to be giving several webinars a week, I was losing my mind. Now I give one webinar a week. My other millionaire students give webinars. We do video lessons, commentary all day, Q & A, that’s one product. But we also have StocksToTrade.com, so if you don’t necessarily want to learn from me, if you’re like, “Penny stocks aren’t my thing,” we have a stock trading software program where we actually have a new version coming out March 1st which we’ve been working on. And now there are other traders. I manage other trader’s newsletters, like Superman. He doesn’t specifically focus on penny stocks, he focuses on finding momentum before it happens. He’s had several stocks that have gone up double, triple. He’s up $400,000 in January 2015 alone.
So it’s not just, again, a lot of people have one specific product or one specific funnel or something. We don’t care about any of that. We just look for people who are interested.
Andrew: You do care about the funnel. I should say, I can’t substantiate any of these gains. You might as well say someone made a billion dollars over night because I can’t substantiate it because I can’t do the research on it, and frankly it’s not my passion. So I’m comfortable with you saying what you want and owning your own words, as long as people know, I can’t possibly check it out. But also, my passion is understanding your process. I do think you put a lot of thought into your funnel. I do know it because it went from being this small part of your page to now being the welcome gate, the first thing people see, including if they come over from Instagram. There’s a method to that process.
Tim: There’s definitely a method, but I’m just saying that too many people are focused on incremental, like “Oh, if we change this button from green to red, then we get 0.2%.” We don’t care about that. We do focus on obviously driving people to our page, but it’s not a specific, like we have to have them all on this one product, or all on this one product. I have a whole team now of people and you can converse with them and you can see what product suits you. And that’s why sales are growing so much because now we offer several products. It’s not just penny stocks and that opens the door to more possibilities. I should say that the reason why we get CNN and Fox and stuff like that is because unlike a lot of people on the internet, I do back everything up. I actually post my tax records, I post my audits.
Andrew: Where? Where can I see your tax records?
Tim: Right now, I paid $1.4 million dollars in taxes in 2014, estimated taxes.
Andrew: Where do I see your tax records online? I’d like to see Tim’s Sykes …
Tim: Small Cap. SmallCapMillionaire.com/proof.
Tim: So this is because a lot of people don’t necessarily have time to day trade every single day, so we show some of my tax records and my audits and stuff like that. I’ve got all of 2014 first quarter audited where I made $400,000 in trading profits. I’m going to get that whole year audited, but it takes a while. So we’ve got one quarter done so far.
Andrew: I see it. I see it here. It’s not your … no, it kind of is. It is. I’m looking at one of them. It’s your accountant, phone number and everything included on here, saying that these are your …
Tim: [inaudible 00:15:52] going to be profiling me call them up, and they thought are you making this stuff up. It’s like, that’s the beauty of my business. I definitely create enemies when I don’t have to, and I have to probably do a better job of not being so hateful. But I’m just passionate. I want people to live this kind of life, and I’m not ashamed to live it and I’m not ashamed to show it.
Andrew: Your team, I was curious about it because you have evolved so much. At first, it was you and it was your mother and your step-father, right?
Andrew: It was you up front, and they were answering email, and they were processing things, right?
Andrew: What’s the next … sorry, what were you going to say?
Tim: No, no. Go ahead.
Andrew: What’s the next person who you hired?
Tim: I think the next person was Mike Mossari. He’s the one that helped me co-develop profit.ly, profit dot ly. We started realizing, “Wait a minute. I have this one newsletter where I send out text messages, and there’s a chat room every time I do a chat, a trade alert and watch list. And I was like, “What if we built an entire platform? So profit.ly created this whole platform all built into one. So any time I make a video lesson, do a webinar, it sends it out via email, text message on Twitter so all our subscribers can get it. Then we have multiple other traders now who we manage. So I needed a programmer and Mike was and still is amazing. But he found me because he was one of my early subscribers, and he said he tried out a dozen different newsletters, All of them lost him money except mine, and he’s like, “What do you want to do? Let’s build something together.” So, he owns nearly half of profit.ly.
Andrew: And that was your relationship. You said, “I’m not going to hire you to work on Timsykes.com. I have this idea for a new product. You code it up, I’ll help promote it and give the vision for it. We’ll own it 50/50 about?
Andrew: Roughly. What – sorry?
Tim: 55/45 exactly. I’m transparent about everything, Andrew.
Andrew: Why 55/45? You want to make sure that you’re still the dominant owner.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. It’s my whole idea. He’s great, he’s a great partner, but it’s worked out very well. We’ve grown it substantially. Profit.ly, I think, did roughly $7 million, so it’s roughly half of my business managing other people’s newsletters.
Andrew: So when you manage other people’s newsletters, they are paying you to get it out?
Tim: A 30% cut, we’re like the Apple platform where they pay us to handle all customer support, text messaging, email. There’s a lot that goes into it.
Andrew: That doesn’t even sound like you to me.
Tim: I should mention that of that seven million, I’m the biggest guru. So it’s not like we’re seven million with other traders. I’m the biggest person on that website, just like Jim Kramer is the biggest on thestreet.com. The difference is that we show our track records, we show all of our trades in real time, and we’re not right 35,40% of the time like Jim Kramer, whose ratings are at all-time lows. Our ratings and revenues are at all-time highs because, frankly, we make more money than we lose and we teach that to our students.
Andrew: Did we ever talk about Chartly, that site that you created with [00:18:57] who designed your site and designed mine? I’m now on, it was sold to StockTwits. I’m now on StockTwits looking at their business. First of all, did we talk about how you felt about that sale?
Tim: I don’t know what I can and can’t say about that whole thing.
Andrew: You’re open. What are they going to do now?
Tim: I’m open about my business, that’s a past business and it ended in legal squabbles. I wish StockTwits all the best, but that’s not necessarily our model. We really want to focus on transparency and showing every single trade time stamped.
Andrew: Do you still own a piece of StockTwits because of that?
Tim: No. I’m totally out of all of that.
Andrew: You’re done. Are you still pissed at them? Is there still a fight going on between you and them about whether you guys…
Tim: No, there’s no fight. Different visions, we have different visions. I’m all about transparency. I love total transparency. I want to see your exact position size. I want to see exact real-time stamps. StockTwits deals with a lot of hedge fund managers. They can’t report their positions openly. We deal mainly with individual traders, and I think the rise of the individual trader is really going to be huge in the coming years and the individual stock pickers. We’re launching this 17-year-old kid’s newsletter and DVD. His name is Connor. He’s made nearly half a million dollars from trading on his smartphone while in class. He shows every single trade. It reminds me of me and he actually just finished a DVD. I’m reviewing it right now, and I think that individuals. not necessarily suits and ties as hedge fund managers, I think people can begin to see that they can do this from anywhere.
Andrew: And that’s what profit.ly is, a platform for him to sell.
Tim: Do you know I’ve been to nearly 100 countries? While I’ve been making this money, I know a lot of people on Wall Street who make millions but they do it from a cubicle, and they have to stay in New York City, or New Jersey, or something like that. I’m everywhere. I was in Bali a few weeks ago getting freaking engaged.
Andrew: Congratulations. So far we haven’t pissed anybody off. I’m looking for that money shot where I know you’re going to piss people off and I can make it into the headline. You have your years where we talk and you’re just in a chill mood, and everybody’s nice and you need to rein yourself in, why hate people? Then you have years where you’re just on fire, and everybody is going to get hurt.
Tim: I mean, I go through ups and downs. For a while, I didn’t have … for two years I had my Millionaire Challenge, and I failed to create a millionaire. So I was pretty pissed. People were like, “Where’s your millionaire, where’s your millionaire?” And I was like, “I’m getting there. It takes time.” Now I have my millionaires, now the story’s out there. I don’t want to piss people off. I just want to show them that you can be the American Dream. I’ve already pissed off enough people for five lifetimes.
Andrew: So then, you have a side site, and I see that you partner up with Mike to do that. What about in the business, who organizes things? It does look like you’re pretty organized on the outside. You’re saying on the inside it’s a shit show, that was the phrase you used with me before we started. Give me an example of how it’s not organized. What am I missing when I look at the business?
Tim: I think it’s just the fact that all these products that we’re creating from people wanting trading software to learn other trader’s strategies, is just in response to what customers want. So customers find my lifestyle; they like it, they want it. How can you study? Well, I don’t necessarily have too much time so I created a longer term newsletter, SmallCapMillionaire. So we’re in response to customers. I know most businesses, they have a vision. They’re like, “Okay. We’re launching this product, customers are going to love it. We’re going to launch this one.” I have no idea what I’m going to launch. I just try and respond to what customers want and try and find people …
Andrew: Here’s an example, you said SmallCapMillionaire.com is your site, right?
Andrew: I got to the homepage, it says, “Your website is ready. The site has been successfully created and ready for content to be added. Replace this default page with your own index page.”
Tim: So we created, I mean, we put that whole proof page there just so people can see the audits. What’s that?
Andrew: That proof page works and I see that …
Tim: Yeah. The proof works because we created that, we needed to actually created the whole website, but that newsletter is fulfilled on profit.ly. Any newsletter can be fulfilled on profit.ly, that’s the beautiful thing. We can add a newsletter or DVD like that. Then we have to work back and create whole websites, so we’re kind of in pieces like that. But people ask for proof. You asked for proof, so I’m like here. Let me throw it up on this page. I probably should’ve chosen a website that was completely done by then, but that’s just an example.
Andrew: So who puts that together for you?
Tim: So Mike who works on profit.ly, then I have my team, one of my programmers Dustin, works on TimothySykes.com and SmallCapMillionaire. And then also Zach, I don’t know if I talked about Zach Westfall.
Andrew: I think you did.
Tim: He’s helped me launch the Millionaire Challenge, now we’re also launching this new newsletter called UpSellonomics because people say, “Hey, I see you’re a very successful blogger. How do I get my blog?” So we’re launching UpSellonomics, which is now two years in the process of launching. I already have 600 videos that I filmed over the years.
Andrew: UpSellonomics is another example you said of how disorganized you guys are. You said, I talked about it a few years ago. It’s still not up because we’re just not organized enough.
Tim: We just haven’t had time.
Andrew: I did a course for Mixergy Premium here where you said, “Here is how to be an effective blogger,” and I think the promotion in that was UpSellonomics where people can go and see and it wasn’t even up.
Andrew: But that’s the idea that you’re going to teach people how you built up your blog.
Tim: Yeah, we put stuff together, but I’m a perfectionist. My new charity DVD, “How to Make Millions,” it was supposed to be 10 hours, then 20 hours, then I was like, “I have more information.” Twenty-four hours, it ended up being 35 hours for this instructional DVD. It’s just $297, HowToMakeMillions.com and I didn’t plan that. But I was like I want to just get everything I know in one DVD because I have too many DVDs. People don’t watch them at all. So I put them all on there and said, you know what? People think that I’m teaching just for money. I’m like screw it, I’m going to donate everything. So we’ve raised nearly $300,000 now in just over two months from HowToMakeMillions.com.
Andrew: Who writes for you? Who writes the column for Entrepreneur Magazine, the Huffington Post? You’re doing it all? You sit down at a keyboard and you type it?
Tim: This is my life.
Andrew: There’s nobody who edits it, who says, “Tim’s got to cut back because Tim’s travelling. He has to trade, he has to talk into the microphone? No.
Tim: Unfortunately, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m a control freak. We’ve tried to hire other writers for different stuff. We do manage other traders’ newsletters. But anything with my name on it, I want it to be me. My fiancée is very patient for allowing me to do all of this crazy stuff. This, How to Make Millions DVD, I was trying to do that, and I was going back and forth to this jeweler in Boca Raton. This is how crazy my life is. The DVD was supposed to be done before our trip to Bali. Our trip to Bali is the first week in January, but I need to get the ring down because I’m a perfectionist so I designed the ring from scratch. I’m trying to finish the DVD before I go to Bali, I’m trying to finish the ring because I’m going to propose in Bali. The ring got finished. The DVD didn’t. Sometimes you have to prioritize. The DVD got finished when I got back.
Andrew: I don’t understand how guys design rings. I see all my friends. I didn’t even pay attention to rings until after I got engaged. Then I looked at everyone else’s rings, and they’re all apparently designed by the fiancé. What is this? How do you know how to design a ring?
Tim: I have to thank my uncle, my Uncle Rick. My family was in the jewelry business before they got into my business: The jewelry business didn’t really go so well. But that’s my family’s expertise. So it’s a five carat diamond from L.A., and we were flying it into Boca Raton because that’s where my uncle was. We were trying to organize everything and design it. And I knew what my fiancée liked, but when you’re spending six figures on a ring, you want it to look good. I’m a perfectionist, that’s the word that everything comes down to. Even though we’re disorganized, even though my business is a shit show, I have an idea of the lessons I want to give in how useful it is because I think that’s how I create more successful students. In the end, no matter what I teach, whether I’m teaching a long-term strategy or a short-term strategy, I need successful students because it does no good for you to create a product and it’s a shabby product and people don’t like it.
Andrew: What’s your process for creating a product? You know now, for example, how to build a blog that gets traffic, that gets people to buy. It’s time for you to sit and teach it. What’s your process for getting everything out of your head and into a website.
Tim: Yeah, you have to think … I’m very fortunate. I still get roughly 3,000 emails a day, so people asking questions. So I can see what the most common questions are now that I’ve been doing this for seven years. I’m sorry. I try and break it down and I say, “Okay, if I was just starting out today for me, it’s stock trading or long-term investing or software. What are the basics if I have no idea what he’s talking about. A lot of people have problems with this when they become an expert; they can’t go back to the basics. They’re in their own mind. They’re like, “Well, I know this, this, and this and they can’t relate it to a beginner. So I go back to the very beginning, every DVD, every website starts with a glossary of just basic terms. I think all the most basic terms that I can think of. The 35-hour DVD, I’ll give you access to it.
My favorite brokers actually change from the beginning of the DVD to the end of the DVD because it took me two months and now e-trade is my favorite broker. I fucking hated e-trade at the beginning of the DVD, but now they actually have great borrows on stocks that are hard to borrow for shorting penny stock comps. So things evolve and people have to go with it. It’s not an exact science, but, again, if your heart is in the right place, and you have the right expertise, people get it. People are very smart if you give them the lessons and all of the tools. But you have to work your ass off on that. I can’t just create a two hour DVD and teach people how to trade stocks.
Andrew: And you won’t go back and change it and say, “Hey, you know what? Now I like e-trade, I better go back and change that.”
Tim: No, no. The beautiful thing is because I want people to see the evolution. It’s like an open kitchen. You can see the meal being created, and you can see how it evolves. Maybe in two months e-trade won’t have borrows and I’ll have to switch to Fidelity or something like that. So that is how the world works, and it’s part of the lessons.
Andrew: What’s the biggest revenue source for you is you teaching people. What did you want to be? You said, “I’m going to be Jay-Z.” You said this, I think, four years ago when we were having lunch. You said, “I’m going to be Jay-Z. I’m going to have all of these other people who are going to be like my artists. They’re going to teach the way I used to teach.” How far along are you there? What percentage of your revenue is still coming from you versus from other people?
Tim: It’s probably 85, 90% me. It’s tough first to find profitable traders. Second, it’s tough to find profitable traders who actually have time and have the energy to teach others. After a long day of trading or investing, you’re exhausted. So that’s tough. And then C, you have to be able to find people who are willing to actually write blog posts and stuff like that. You need content. To all of this, it’s not an easy job. But I am proud to say that both Investors Live and Superman Two, gurus who I manage their newsletters, they’re making high six, low seven figures every single year now managing their own newsletters, even after the 30% cut that they pay me.
Andrew: What about the software? Software was going to be your way of earning money without having to speak and teach yourself. We talked about investimonials. You said that that’s still not a huge breakout. In fact, it’s not doing that well, right?
Andrew: What’s going on there, why not?
Tim: Investimonials is like Yelp or TripAdvisor, where it’s reviews of financial products. But as I was saying, when you lose money, you ignore reason and you’re just like, “I hate this product” for whatever reason, not necessarily a newsletter or chat room but brokers. Sometimes it’s the customer’s fault and the broker is following SEC rules and stuff like that. Sometimes there’re fees. It’s not as positive of a place. So we’re actually in the process of re-launching Investimonials with new content. We’re going to make it into something where it’s not just customer reviews, but also expert reviews.
We have a whole team now. We have four people who are going to be trying out different brokers and newsletters and writing about their experiences, non-biased, unbiased, no advertising money, just straight up useful words and reviews. I think that’s going to be very good. StocksToTrade.com is my trading software. All I can say about that is programming is a bitch. I want a lot of features. I put together a whole PowerPoint for my programmers. I was like, “Okay. Here are 183 features that I want.” I think they’re done with 170 of them. The goal is to launch it March 1st. I want it to be the best trading software out there, so you can theoretically manage all of these different brokerage accounts. If you have three brokerage accounts using one software, one ring to rule them all. So I’m excited to see where that goes. And we’ve also built a messaging platform on top of that, so you can talk with other traders right in the software.
Andrew: I’m trying to see where the majority of your traffic for all of this comes from, and it all goes back to the TimSykes.com as the foundation. Where it seems like …
Tim: Yeah! TimothySykes.com. I think we bought TimSykes.com too.
Andrew: I saw that. You finally got TimSykes.com. Now what’s your email software that’s on there?
Andrew: On TimSykes.com, I’ll find what it is.
Tim: I don’t know that stuff.
Andrew: It’s Get Response is on there now.
Tim: That’s the beautiful thing about Zach. He handles building all of this stuff. I’m pretty bogged down with my blog posts and video lessons and webinars and DVDs. So we have a split responsibility. You should interview him. He’s built up a lot of gurus in the past. It was kind of a surprise when he came and worked with me because he deals with real estate gurus. And after a year or two, I was like, “Well, what about when people want to renew?” He was like, “What do you mean when people want to renew?” In the past the gurus that he worked with in the real estate, no one wanted to renew their subscriptions because they always lost money. We’re getting … not everybody wants to renew … some people learn enough, like I’m kind of on training wheels. Some people don’t make money. It happens. Some people don’t have enough time to invest, but we’re renewing roughly 50% of the people for another year or two.
Andrew: So he’s the one who’s managing all of this. What’s your relationship with him? Full-time employee?
Tim: I mean, I don’t know the legal structure. We split everything. So I have a partner with Profit.ly and I have a partner with the Millionaire Challenge. That way I can focus on what I do best, namely teaching and promoting newsletters online.
Andrew: Zach is the one who manages it. I should be doing an interview with Zach instead.
Tim: Not instead. Both of us. This is the beauty of UpSellonomics because it’s not just him, it’s not just me; we’re all a part of this. Neil Patel helps out too and you can interview Neil Patel.
Andrew: I introduced you to Neil Patel. Now I see you guys are sending traffic, he’s sending you traffic, he’s giving you advice on it. What’s your relationship with Neil?
Tim: Yeah, he helps grow my website. He has all sorts of little tips and all sorts of …
Andrew: Like a consultant, where you pay him?
Tim: What? I don’t think we do. In the past we had a relationship with his company. I think he just gives us tips, we give him tips. It’s a good relationship.
Andrew: That’s it?
Andrew: But with Zach, you have a partnership where he runs the challenge and then you split revenue with him.
Tim: Yeah, if you want to simplify it. I don’t know the exact legal structure but yeah, roughly.
Andrew: So what’s the revenue split between you and him?
Andrew: Oh, 50/50.
Andrew: So Zach must be making good money.
Tim: He is. He’s my partner. He helped me really grow this thing. He sees that I’m overwhelmed, so he structures it all and …
Andrew: So you mean, he does the software, he’s the one that comes up with the marketing.
Tim: I don’t think he does software and marketing.
Andrew: What does he do?
Tim: He’s more of the organizer. He’s the organizer where all of these people are coming to us and wanting to learn. And I’m like, my mom and dad and I are trying to keep track of everybody. Zach is like, “Okay, let me create” not create, but, “Let me install this software.” I guess it’s called Get Response and we have Vision Glass for both Profit.ly and everything. Vision Glass is fantastic.
Andrew: Those are different email providers that do more than email. They also do landing pages, but I don’t think you use their landing pages. They also do other things, right?
Tim: I’m not the technical guy. I’m the guy who teaches everything and these people …
Andrew: But that’s always been interesting to me how you do find people who are really smart and you work with them to do the things that you don’t want to do. Like, frankly, Adarsh was a good example of that. Before he got too big for you, as you said in a past interview, and before he got his funding for his second startup, you found him. You guys partnered up and you gave him a share of the revenue and that was your deal. And I think he even told me once … We got together in a bar. When I asked him if you were full of it, he said no. I asked him what you were like and he said, “I don’t even do anything for Tim anymore and he’s still sending me a cut of revenue because he’s just a very generous guy. But that’s the part that I want to explore. A lot of times you find these guys like who you hope will be a Zach and they don’t know what they’re doing. How do you make sure that Zach knows what he’s doing before he takes on such a major part of your business?
Tim: Well, it wasn’t a major part. We start small, you give them a little test. Like, I didn’t know if Mike Mossari, my programmer, was going to do amazing things with Profit.ly. I was like, “I have this idea. I already have TimothySykes.com running, so there was no risk for me. I didn’t have to pay him anything. He had found me because my newsletter was making money for him. Same thing with Zach. He found me because he saw me on TV, just like all these people that really work with me. They find me, and they see that I’m real. Then basically I explain my story of how overwhelmed I am and I’m like, “Please help me out with your expertise.”
So I think that if you run a good enough business, and you have an overwhelming demand like we do, you should look to try and get people in the door who can help you out with various projects and try them out. Start them small. I’m not going to say, “Oh, I don’t know who you are. Here, manage half of my business.” At first, I didn’t even have the Millionaire Challenge. But more and more people wanted a whole structured, educational syllabus, and so Zach and I worked together and we created one and that became a huge hit.
Andrew: I see, I see. It starts out small. He partners up with you, and then that becomes his responsibility, and you share the revenue with him. Wait. It’s not revenue, it’s profits that you share with him.
Tim: It’s revenues and profits. He has a whole team of fifteen people that we manage like customer service people that are trying to deal with all of it. I don’t think you understand how overwhelmed we are. If I was more organized, if I was some math nerd, I’d probably be running like a billion dollar startup right now. So I’m collecting a small portion of what’s possible. But for me, all I know is that I’m teaching, I’m trying to manage trading at the same time. And I want to create more millionaire students. But I have my …
Andrew: That’s the part that I’ve been amazed by. So Zach has over a dozen people under him?
Andrew: Who do they work for? Are they consultants that work for your business? For his business? Is there a third business that’s together?
Tim: Again, I don’t know the legal structure.
Andrew: You honestly don’t know the … you will go up the butt of a CEO of a penny stock to make sure that everything is in order, and you don’t even know who is paying for the employees who are working on your site, or for the team who are working on your site?
Tim: This is the beautiful thing about having your mom and dad work for you because I trust them implicitly, and they go over all of that. If I tried to go over everything, my head would explode. I know that. I’m still trying to figure out my exact earnings for last year. I just wanted to give you a number. I was like, I had my whole team, I’m like, we delayed the taxes until October because we’re not organized. But I was like, “We need a number, I’m doing this interview. Give me a number.” and they were like, “Okay. You personally made $4 million last year, closer to $4 and a half million, but I was like, “Okay. Four million I’ll call it even.”
Andrew: Four million profit goes into your pocket over all of last year.
Tim: 2014, yeah. And I paid $1.4 million in taxes.
Andrew: Don’t you hate the fact that … We’ll that’s pretty good actually. How did you end up paying only $1.4 million on $4 plus million?
Tim: You could ask my accountant. I have no idea how all that stuff works.
Andrew: Come on. How do you not now this stuff? You’re not even curious about what you’re doing because you’re on the hook anyway. It’s not your parents who are going to jail, it’s not your accountant. You’re going to jail if you don’t get it right.
Tim: Right. But again, I trust my accountant. I’m like, okay. Here’s all the revenue.
Andrew: You know what happened to Billy Joel or someone. They said, “I trust my accountant,” and then they ended up trying to do …
Tim: He’s been doing my taxes since, I don’t know, a decade. He’s in Connecticut. He’s a family accountant.
Andrew: This is Arne Holtz Brian?
Tim: If you try and do everything yourself, you will fail. So, I have to put my trust in others, and that’s what I do.
Andrew: All right. I’m trying to think about what else I want to know about how you’re doing things. Oh, I know what?
Tim: Not everything. How many freaking bloggers out there that are pulling in $10-15 million a year. I don’t think that many.
Tim: No. Not that many at all.
Andrew: Even the top YouTube stars.
Andrew: You expanded way beyond blogging. When you were first on here, you were blogging and the only software you had was Timbucks, which I was excited by. And you were like, it looked like a good idea at the time and we closed it. Timbucks was where you were going to give people points for doing things like commenting and participating and the points were going to be Timbucks.
Tim: That’s why I thought the whole game application sector was going to bomb, because Timbucks bombed. I wish I could’ve shorted some of these game application companies, but they didn’t make it to the public market before they crashed.
Andrew: Dude, I had a guy on. He was so arrogant about … I didn’t even do the interview because he was so arrogant about how gamification was going to be worth tons. His business was doing well. I couldn’t get him to give me a sold answer, and I refused to do an interview. Before the interview starts, you and I had a chat. We have pre-interviewers. I pre-interview people, especially when I don’t know them. I couldn’t get a solid answer out of him. He was too arrogant to even try.
Tim: I don’t even know if that’s arrogance, maybe he was just baiting you. Maybe he was like, “Let me be as arrogant as possible so I don’t have to answer the …
Andrew: Maybe. I did keep asking him for specifics. I said, “Do you have an example of how you’re doing this?” He had nothing.
Tim: If you have nothing to hide, it’s a beautiful thing. I have my haters. They’re like, “Oh, all you want to do is sell another DVD.” Well, then why do I have a charity DVD? No answer. They’re like, “You don’t make that much money, I don’t believe you.” “Well, here’s my taxes.” No answer.
Andrew: Do you have another example of like another Timbucks that you partnered up with someone else and it failed. You don’t even have to give me the name of the person, but I’d like to hear the story of what you thought was going to do well and maybe the partnership failed. That’s StockTwits and Chartly, where Adarsh and I created this chart for StockTwits and we thought it was going to be huge. The whole partnership, StockTwits and I have very different takes on what is needed for the stock market and individual investors and traders. So that was not necessarily … They still use a charting product. They’ve developed it and refined it, but we just had different visions. When you have different visions, that’s a problem. Mike and I had one unified vision for Profit.ly. Zach and I have one unified vision for teaching people using the Millionaire Challenge. That’s huge.
Andrew: I see. And you’re saying you created this with Adarsh, and that was a partnership too. You created this software that allowed people to chart how stocks were performing and then share it on Twitter, and also I think share it somehow with StockTwits, I forgot what that condition was.
Tim: Yeah, share it across all different social networks.
Andrew: Okay. And then they bought it. How do you think StockTwits is doing now? I have no insight on them, but they used to do really well.
Tim: I don’t know. I stopped a long …
Andrew: Did you sign something with them?
Andrew: A cease-fire?
Tim: I probably did. There’s a lot of legal agreements. I have it in my mind that I shouldn’t be talking about them. I don’t wish them any ill will. I think they’re a great website. I think there’s a lot of great financial websites. I’m really so focused because so many people said that I was full of BS and now people are seeing, “Wait a minute, his students are making six and seven figures. It’s not just that I’m making millions of dollars. I probably have 100 students that are making six figures a year. And the problem I have is that a lot of these students that are making the most don’t want to talk about it publicly because it’s weird to talk about money publicly. I have my own issues. I can’t worry about other websites right now.
Andrew: The TV show that we talked about, I mentioned how you did striking things. You walked on board with a stack of money, you dropped off …-
Tim: I had them all wearing t-shirts.
Andrew: Yeah, who were those guys? Students with t-shirts that said your name on them.
Tim: So I had a contest for my Millionaire Challenge students. I like to do this. I like to treat them to things. I took one guy, George, to the NBA finals game 6. We saw Rayon [SP] hit that shot, I have it on video. That has 100,000 views. I was wearing Google Glass. Then, I took these six students … The TV show contacted me a few days before airing. Somebody had dropped off. They said, “Hey, you want to go on this $12 million yacht?” I was like, “Sure.” I’ll take my then girlfriend, now fiancée, and six trading challenge students. I basically treated them $10,000 each. So it cost me roughly $60,000, but I made $70,000 on the trade while on the yacht. I was so pumped for the show, and I was like, “Yes, this is going to be awesome. I’m treating my students, I’m showing you can make money anywhere,” and then I got shit on by the show.
Andrew: But I’m curious about … most people would just say, “I’m so glad to be on that show, and just go and do it and say just being on the show is good publicity. You said, “I’m going to use it to bring my students on.” But you also had them wear your name on their t-shirts. You also said, “I’m going to go to the bank and bring out some money.” You also said all this other stuff. What’s your process for coming up with those ideas?
Tim: I just have to basically show that I’m rich.
Andrew: So you’re sitting around and you say, “How do I show that I’m rich?” Are you doing it by yourself, or do you and your girlfriend do it? Your fiancee?
Tim: My fiancée. No one else wants this burden.
Andrew: No. So it’s just you sitting, going, “How do I show that I’m rich? I’m going to bring a wad of cash. How else do I show that I’m rich? What if I get a helicopter?” Do you have anyone who you brainstorm with?
Tim: No, I’m kind of a creative guy if you’ve ever seen some of my music videos.
Andrew: I’ve seen those videos.
Tim: Did you see the “Blurred Lines” one?
Andrew: That was a while back. I don’t remember.
Tim: Type that in. Type Tim Sykes Blurred Lines parody. I want you to watch this. It’s a minute long.
Andrew: I remember actually you did a song parody once and I asked you about it. This was back when it was just you on camera. And I said, there are only like 50 people watching it or 200 people, and I said, “If you just do a blog post you get more.” If you just do a tweet, you get more.” You said, “I don’t care. It’s just fun. Stop being so anal about all the stats.”
Tim: It’s fun. I agree 100%. I stick to that. The music videos are fun, they’re different. Nobody else does that.
Andrew: Can you hear it?
Tim: Can you hear it?
Andrew: Kind of. I don’t have the mic on.
Tim: Penny stocks are good for you. You know you want it.
Andrew: I would’ve thought that that would do more. It got much better viewership than before, 24,000 on this one, 25,000 almost.
Tim: No one really cares about music videos. Think about it. They want this life. I have the tools to give them this life. That’s the whole equation.
Andrew: So the music parodies are not going to go viral, they’re not going to spread, they’re just fun to do. But Instagram works. What else works for you?
Tim: Obviously, CNN and FOX and three days from now you’re going to see me in a major magazine. I can’t even say which one, but we spent three months going over this.
Andrew: Come on. Say who it is. By the time this is published, it will be up. This is going to be published, I promise, next week or later.
Tim: I just don’t know the exact timing. I can’t say it. It starts with a “B” and it ends with “week.”
Andrew: I see. Oh! That’s one of the magazines that actually has survived, that actually hasn’t lost its integrity.
Tim: Because they merged with a billionaire whose name starts with a “B” and ends with a “Berg.”
Andrew: Yes. Meanwhile, Forbes used to be the magazine that I would go to read about successful people in depth.
Tim: If you read the articles about them, the magazine that starts with a “B” and ends with “week,” they lose $40 million a year. So you need to partner with somebody rich to stay afloat. We’ll see. It could be a totally disastrous article. I had the presidential suite at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York, and he’s watching me trade live, he’s watching me give webinars. He doesn’t believe a word that I say. This reporter formerly outed … His last article, he outed this transgender guy or girl who had created this amazing putter for golfers, and the reporter had outed this transgender founder and the transgender person had committed suicide as a result of being outed.
Andrew: I remember that story.
Tim: So this is a crazy … I was like, “I’ll show everything.” I’ve been showing him audits, statements, whatever. I’d given access to all of my students. I think the biggest thing that works for me is I’m not afraid of looking like a jackass. You know, Below Deck, terrible in hindsight. At the time, it was a great idea. I had fun. But because, again, I had the right idea of, “Look, I can take this trip whenever I want. I treated my students.” I didn’t have to do that. I like doing this stuff for my students, not just to show it off but because the students got a little taste of the luxury. Some of these students were already up six figures, so I’m rewarding them for their dedication. Just being able to show what you want and have fun with it rather than worrying about the outcome.
This next major media article, I have no idea what it’s going to say. It could be terrible. But because I believe in what I’m doing and I know I work my ass off and I know that my strategy works, I throw it all out there. That’s full transparency, baby. That’s how it should be.
Andrew: Is it awkward l when you’re on a date and you say, “Wait, I’ve got to get a photographer to take a picture?”
Tim: I think my fiancée has just gotten used to it that sometimes we travel with photographers, sometimes we get local photographers in Bali. We had a local photographer, and half the fucking photos are out of focus. The hard drive that they gave us doesn’t even work on my Mac, I need to use it with a PC.
Andrew: How do you get a photographer?
Tim: What’s that?
Andrew: How do you get a photographer to follow you around at these places?
Tim: I mean, there are a lot of students who are photographers. I like working with students.
Andrew: I see. So you just put out a message saying, “Is there anyone local? I’m looking for a photographer.”
Tim: Also my fiancée is a model, so she has her favorite photographers. So it’s different every single time. We try different stuff, like that music video with “Blurred Lines.” That was shot by Colin Stark, who’s an L.A. photographer and he came. We took him and his wife on this trip to Greece and Italy. So we experiment.
Andrew: As a payment.
Tim: What’s that?
Andrew: As a way of saying thank you as payment for the video. You didn’t pay for the video, did you?
Tim: No, no. Yeah, I mean it’s a different deal. I pay for flights, stuff like that. It totally depends on the situation. Sometimes, in Bali, I wasn’t going there for business. I was going there specifically to propose. It was like, “Yeah, let’s do a photo shoot anyway, why not?”
Andrew: So the other thing you mentioned was you said, “We now have other people who call up customers.” So when I registered, I gave my name and email address, and then there was a follow-up form that asked basically how seriously do you want this and where are you in your life. And one of the questions there was, “What’s your phone number?” You guys, then follow up and call.
Tim: Yeah. I mean, my team, we’re trying to match you with the right product. Now that we have this whole range of tools, we’ve got to talk to you and we say, “Hey. Do you want the long-term newsletter?” A lot of people are like, “Oh, I want to learn, but we have no money.” We just end it. I give them a link to my free YouTube videos. You don’t want to be just selling products to people who can’t afford it. It’s only for dedicated students, people who actually want to learn, but you do and you should invest in your education. That’s how we do it.
Andrew: How far along in the sales process or in the email process does the phone call come?
Tim: No idea. That’s Zach.
Andrew: Again, Zach.
Tim: Yeah. My whole job is teaching. That’s what I focus on. I actually called up, I put in my own name just to test out my team, just to see. Like, what are these guys saying? It was actually a really good phone call.
Andrew: They called you? And you heard them? And what happened on the call?
Tim: Yeah, I put in like a fake name and I was just like … They were just like, “Yeah, what are you interested in? We see that you want to learn to be a stock trader. Do you really think that you have the time to put into this? We also have this long-term newsletter. So they were good. They were showing all the options.
Andrew: So you have the long-term newsletter. What else do you have?
Tim: The Millionaire Challenge is for my VIP students who actually really want to learn between me and my other millionaire students who teach webinars. And you also get DVDs and everything. Then we also have trade alerts where maybe you don’t have enough time and you just want to keep track of a watch list that you get. Then we have Penny Stock and Silver which includes a daily video lesson.
Andrew: What are the price points for all of these?
Tim: What’s that?
Andrew: What are the price points for all of these? I just interrupted you as you were saying it.
Tim: Trade alerts is $50 a month, Penny Stock and Silver which includes the video lessons is $100 a month. StocksToTrade software, it’s changing because we’re releasing a new one. The Millionaire Challenge is different for everybody because it depends. We have different options whether you want five DVDs or 10 DVDs. It’s totally all over the place. But you can’t spend more than a few thousand dollars with me. I think that’s an incredible price point where you can literally change your life through this.
Andrew: What’s the max that they could spend?
Tim: It’s like, I don’t know, $5000-6000 if you get everything. But it’s to try and really get an education that can make you six, seven figures. So compared to college, I think we’re knocking 90% off to you.
Andrew: How many people do you have like Zach that you partner up on different projects?
Tim: Zach and Mike are the main two, and then I manage other people’s newsletters. There are not that many. I’m mainly focused on my own trading. I haven’t even talked about this, but in 2014 I had my own personal best trading year, where I made nearly a million dollars even from trading even while I’m doing all this other stuff. So I’m traveling, I’m making video lessons, I’m giving webinars.
Andrew: You’re designing rings.
Tim: I’m designing rings, I’ve got DVDs, I’ve got a puppy. I’m trying to manage other people’s newsletters. I’m all over the place and I still made nearly a million because 2014 was just a blowout year for everybody.
Andrew: Why was it so important for us to have the American flag over your shoulder? You actually re-positioned the camera, you were sitting comfortably, everything was good. Why that?
Tim: Because I’m the fucking American Dream, baby!
Andrew: That’s it?
Tim: This is it. Being able to be financially free to do whatever you want. If you want a Lamborghini, if you want a mansion, if you want to travel, if you want to have a charity. I’m not trying to tell you what to spend your money on, but I can give you the tools to actually create that kind of wealth whether it’s from trading, or blogging, or whatever.
Andrew: I was just going to say something about one of these photos, but you look good. You’ve lost weight in these photos, right?
Tim: I don’t know. It depends on if it’s a flashback Thursday photo.
Andrew: The more recent ones. You’ve lost weight haven’t you?
Tim: I lost a little bit. I’ve gained … I’m range-bound between 240 and 180. Right now, I’m in the middle of the range. In the past year, we haven’t talked in a while. I took my whole family and my then-girlfriend, now fiancée’s family to Italy for two weeks. That was a plus 15 pound two weeks. I was gaining a pound a day. It’s tough with a schedule. But I just hired a new private chef, so I’ve got to try and get better. That’s one thing I did definitely slack on in 2014. I couldn’t handle everything. After CNN, after Fox, it was crazy for like six months. Even now, it’s getting crazy again and just because people are getting excited for the New Year. I’m sure with this new article in the magazine that starts with a “B” and ends with a “week.”
Andrew: Never mind the article in the magazine, Mixergy has got to be bigger than all of those things.
Tim: This could make my career.
Andrew: I wouldn’t be surprised.
Tim: I might send you a very fine bottle of scotch, I don’t know.
Andrew: When you do come over here with it, it will be good to see you in person. I like when you get all worked up.
Tim: I’ll take you to Cezanne which you should be going to in San Francisco anyways from what I’ve read about it.
Andrew: I never even heard of it. I never even heard of it. But I like when we get together in private, and you get worked up just like this.
Tim: I’m not worked up.
Andrew: Some penny stock stock trader pissed you off, or oh, I remember you were going to Florida to work with Mike one time, and you had to get the whole thing done and turn it around and you weren’t going to leave … Oh, here’s something else I remember about you. You would go to somebody’s house and stay at a fan’s house. And I said, “What guy who’s a trader, who’s doing well, goes and sleeps on someone’s couch?” What was the deal with that?
Tim: When was that?
Andrew: It was like three years ago maybe.
Tim: I don’t know. You know I …
Andrew: I’d be worried they’re going to kill me or do something to hold me for ransom.
Tim: I mean, I haven’t done that in a while. I’m pretty fairly trusting because I know what I teach is good and useful and it helps people. So at the end of the day, if someone is pissed about the lessons, you can ignore them. If it doesn’t help you, you can just shut it off. I’m just trying to teach everything that I’ve learned in over 15 years. As you can see, I’m pretty open about it.
Andrew: I like to see the progress year after year. Anyone who’s watching this, as a follow-up to this video should go back and look at all the Tim Sykes interviews. I would start with the very first one, where Tim was getting going, where he was getting his legs in the blogging space, and still, frankly, doing exceptionally well. And then as you watch them going forward, you’ll see the evolution and the growth of Tim Sykes the brand, Tim Sykes, the personality, and then Tim Sykes, the enterprise full of all these businesses and all the software. And I even like the course that you did here on Mixergy, where you said, “I did it all by starting with blogging. Here is what you have to do as a blogger in order to do what I did.” You’ve been a big supporter of Mixergy. It’s great to have you back on here. Congratulations on all the growth over the last year.
Tim: Thanks for having me. How’s your business going, by the way? I forgot to totally ask you. I see you’re really organized with your Premium interviews.
Andrew: Thank you. Yes, we are. I think we need to be much more organized with the interviews, as you can see … sorry? How many subscribers?
Tim: How many subscribers are you at now?
Andrew: That’s the thing, I don’t even know. I haven’t even looked at traffic until this year, and here’s what happened. I saw all these other people doing interviews and I said, “What the hell?” I’m so glad that I’ve helped all these people do interviews. But I’m going to get swallowed up by the podcast world, and I’ll be like this little guy who’s also doing an interview unless I start to grow. So all this time that I said I just want to do better work, better interviews, and everyone can just come find me, I think I was making a mistake. I finally said, “I need to focus on growth.” So we built a sales funnel, which is why I was asking you about your process. I hired a guy, Satchit Gupta, to help grow my podcast audience where I never cared about being there.
Tim: Indians are the best, aren’t they?
Andrew: Indians are best, you said?
Andrew: Wasn’t your thing “Jindians?”
Tim: Jewish Indians, we’re friends. The Jews and the Indians, we work together. Both of our people have been wiped out in the past, so we come together and we don’t want to be …
Andrew: Satchit is genuinely from India. You would never know it. I don’t know why he doesn’t have an accent. He told me actually it was because he was watching television. He said if you watch enough American television, you learn how to speak like an American and show everyone that you’re from here. So anyway, yes. Now I’m starting to care about that, and I’m trying to grow. I wish I’d actually paid more attention in the past and said, “Let’s screw the work.” I should just do half-assed work and whole-assed promotion.
Tim: No, no. Never do that. There’s always going to be time to grow, but you can never take back a product’s quality, and that’s what I think about every single DVD, every single video lesson. I now have 2500 plus video lessons for where people get access to for Penny Stock and Silver. Every single video, whether I’m reviewing a good trade or a bad trade, it’s all useful. I don’t ever want to have a video and be like, “I’m not proud of that.” I’m damn proud of every single product that has my name on it that I created because I know that it’s useful. I know that it’s from the heart and it’s meant to help people.
You don’t want to do half-assed products. Sometimes I write a half-assed blog post but that’s free. Sometimes I have no time and I just need to write something real quick, and I have typos and stuff like that. But if you’re selling a DVD or video lessons or something like that, put in the time. You can always promote it later, especially if they’re Evergreen, which your videos and my videos are.
Andrew: Absolutely. And you’re right. People do notice it. As part of trying to get more attention for the work here, we submitted Mixergy to Product Hunt, a site where people get to see …
Tim: I saw that, congrats.
Andrew: It’s so cool. I’m looking in there and I say this has been a month where I’m thinking, “Nobody even cares that I do research. Why am I even beating people up before an interview to make sure that they’re legitimate. Why are we internally getting into all these arguments over whether someone should be on. No one even notices. No one even notices the research.” Then I’m looking at the comments here, yes you’re right we’re number one on there by far. More than twice as many votes as others. But people are actually noticing the research. They’re saying this is the interview I watch. This is the place I go because Andrew does research and because I always take something away from it.
Tim: Should I submit my site there? Does it help with traffic?
Andrew: I think you absolutely should. It does. You know how I knew that it was helping with traffic? I would call up my members and I’d say, “What are you doing with your business,” and I’d show them a whole, I do a screen show where I show them everything that I now have and they do the same for me. I keep seeing that not only is Product Hunt sending them traffic, but it’s sending them real customers, good people who actually buy.
Tim: Cool. I’ll submit that. I’m always looking for more dedicated students.
Andrew: it’s just not an ongoing thing because you can submit it but you can’t go back and submit it until you upgrade or do something different. So it’s definitely worth doing. It’s a good audience there.
Tim: We’ll check it out, you know. I look for people all over the world. I’ll teach men, women, children. I’ll teach pets, I don’t care.
Andrew: All right. Well, looking forward to 2015, 2016, where we do an interview about how you’ve taught pets and that was the next new market to crack open.
Tim I’m going to come up and see you in San Francisco before so we don’t have to wait another year.
Andrew: Great. I would love it.
Tim: This is one of my New Year’s resolutions. I have to get fit and I have to keep better track of friends because all of my friends think I’m an asshole right now because I focused on growing my business so much.
Andrew: All right, well I don’t think you’re an asshole, but I’m kind of disappointed that we left this interview with my audience not thinking you’re an asshole. I’m telling you, every time they think you’re an asshole, they watch. They talk about it, they complain. It’s great. And then they also take a couple of ideas away from the interview and they go out doing something because they heard you.
Tim: I’m just at a good spot.
Andrew: I can see it, the engagement. I’ve got to break you and your fiancée up, and then do an interview with you.
Tim: I know. I was so angry for so long, it was like, aaaaah. I was just raging. Now, I’m like, I don’t know.
Andrew: It’s working for you. Happiness apparently is also good for business.
Tim: I’m domiciled. I’m like a broken in pet, just trained now.
Andrew: You’re far from that, as I can see on your Instagram photos. Timothy Sykes, I’m going to say it so the people know to go to TimothySykes.com to go see everything that you’re doing and they should probably follow you on Instagram. I know I will after this interview is done.
Andrew: Cool. Thank you. Thank you all for being a part of it. Bye everyone.