028: From Leaving Home at 16 to Running a Successful Media Company with Brandon Webb


Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 9.02.38 PMLast week on Hardcore MBA we talked with Jim DeFelice, the writer of American Sniper, which famously told the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. This week we have on the show an actual Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb, to talk about his experience in the navy and in entrepreneurship. Now, I don’t want you to think I have an obsession with the SEALs, but I do think they’re a great example of the importance of determination and mental toughness in achieving your goals. You might not be doing quite the same things as a SEAL in your day-to-day life as a businessperson, but that determination is a quality that works in all situations.

In this week’s podcast, Brandon and I talk about:

  • The importance of not judging people based on first impressions – because you never know the depths of mental strength they have until the right situation comes along.
  • The lessons he learned from the failure of his first business venture, and how he eventually succeeded.
  • And the need to protect your own time and surround yourself with the right people, rather than saying ‘yes’ to everything and everybody.

“Psychology is such a big part of success,” says Brandon. “We used to have a problem with people failing the training courses we were running, so we tweaked a few things. We stopped telling people what they were doing wrong, and just told them what they needed to do right instead – when you tell people what they’re doing wrong, it actually just makes them think about it more and repeat the error. We also used to tell people that 85% was a good score on the shooting test. Then we started saying that, actually, a perfect score was possible. As soon as we did that, people really did start getting perfect scores.”

This week’s podcast is a fun and easy listen with a lot of great tips and tricks that can be applied to your own situation, whatever kind of business you’re running. After you’re done listening to it, check out Brandon’s own website, his media company, and some of his Amazon books – including my personal favourite, The Red Circle.

027: The True Story of American Sniper with Jim DeFelice

Jim DeFeliceJim DeFelice’s name might not be too well-known to you, but if you’re a fan of bestselling books or insanely popular movies, you’ll probably know his work. Jim was Chris Kyle’s ghostwriter on the bestseller American Sniper, which was recently turned into a blockbuster Clint Eastwood movie starring Bradley Cooper. On top of that, Jim is amazingly productive, having already written over 50 books! So who better to have as a guest on a podcast about creating a successful, productive lifestyle?

In this week’s Hardcore MBA, Jim and I discuss:
  • The mental strength and focus on achieving goals that is needed to be an effective SEAL.
  • The things that keep him motivated to write so productively.
  • And the methods he used when working with Chris Kyle on American Sniper, and his account of the sad day of Kyle’s death.
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026: How To Turn A Niche Website Into A Money-Generating Investment with Justin Cooke

TZPrkIGiIt’s always fun for me to talk to another entrepreneur who has taken a similar path to mine – and that’s why I’ve called Justin Cooke for this week’s Hardcore MBA. Justin’s business, Empire Flippers, is based in Davao City in the Philippines, just like my own Mr. Outsource company. However, he does something a little bit different. Empire Flippers is a platform for website builders to sell their sites to entrepreneurs looking for an investment.

In this week’s podcast, Justin and I discuss:
  • The roundabout route through which Empire Flippers got started – proving that it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s all about where you end up.
  • The various strategies that entrepreneurs have used to turn niche websites into profit – whether it’s through actively building up an affiliates program or simply using pay-per-click advertising.
  • And the advantages of being based in Asia and building your business in one of the world’s largest markets.
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025: Are You Fully Charged? Find Out How To Increase Your Energy and Turn It Into Business Success With Best Selling Author Tom Rath

Tom-Rath-lg_0Business isn’t a machine that runs like clockwork. I’m a big proponent of making a detailed business blueprint before you get started, but even with the best planning we need to account for the unaccountable. For human behaviour, human habits, and, most importantly, human error. And the role of human behaviour in business is exactly what this week’s Hardcore MBA guest, Tom Rath, researches and writes about. On top of that, his book StrengthsFinder 2.0 was so good that it became the top-selling book on Amazon in the year 2013.

In this week’s podcast, Tom and I discuss:

  • The importance of prioritising your health and your sleep, rather than working yourself to the point of burnout – it’s better for your body and your business.
  • The use of daily habits to reduce the fatigue we can feel when faced by an overwhelming number of choices.
  • And Tom’s move into documentary films and the need to send ideas out into the world using all the media available to us.
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024: UGG´s Founder Reveals – From Surfer Bum to Successful Entrepreneur, with Brian Smith

We have a lot of great guests on Hardcore MBA, and many of our listenersBrian-Smith will already have heard of at least some of them through reading blogs about entrepreneurship and business. But it’s rare for us to get the founder of a brand which is a true household name. Brian Smith is exactly that, having kickstarted the trend for Ugg boots in North America. His story is one of perseverance and refusing to let the size of a task get you down.

During the podcast, Brian and I discuss:

  • How Brian and his business partner pushed through the early, difficult years of selling boots out of the back of a van.
  • The importance of adapting a marketing plan to accommodate different markets across the country.
  • And how to stay relaxed even during the high-pressure moments we experience as businesspeople.
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023: Guaranteed Celebrity: How to get on TV and become an instant celebrity, with Clint Arthur

Today we live in a fame economy. Getting your products known mClint Arthureans getting your personal brand out there and becoming a celebrity in your particular niche. Increasingly, the internet and social media are providing new ways to do that, which many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of. But today’s Hardcore MBA guest, Clint Arthur, takes a different approach. He thinks that television – one of the oldest mass broadcast mediums – is still the best and most important place for you to be seen.

During our chat, Clint and I discuss:
  • Why television is still as relevant as it ever was, and why the rise of the internet can actually make it easier to appear on shows.
  • How to start in smaller markets and work your way up the ladder to the national brands.
  • And Clint’s own journey to The Today Show via his experience living his life as if it were his last year on earth.

022: Use Your Difference To Make A Difference, with Tayo Rockson

This week’s guest, Tayo Rockson, is what we call a ‘third culture kid’. HavingTayo Rockson lived in Nigeria, Burkino Faso, Sweden, Vietnam, and the US, he came to understand that it’s our differences that make us strong, and now he encourages others to use their diversity to emphasize their own strengths. He’s a very warm guy with an infectious personality, and I’m very pleased to welcome him to the show.
In this week’s Hardcore MBA, Tayo and I discuss:

  • The various methods for monetizing great content once you have it – whether it’s a blog, a podcast, or something else.
  • How Tayo used teaser trailers to promote his newest venture UYD (Use Your Difference) University.
  • And the advantages that travelling and working as a digital nomad bring to those who try them out.
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021: Take Your Business to the Next Level, with JC Maldonado

JC Maldonado is the Chief Executive Officer of BizGro Partners and an expert in (mo2a3545are commonly know as B2B)business-to-business sales and marketing. When many of us think of selling, we think about trying to convince average consumers to buy our products and ideas. But in fact, the real big money is often in business sales – companies are willing to put a lot of money and resources into play in order to be successful, and if you can be at the forefront of what they need, you can very quickly find your own business at the top of the pile.

In this week’s Hardcore MBA, I talked to JC to get some of his insight on the business world. We discussed:

  • The important differences between sales, marketing, and public relations.
  • How to develop the right relationship skills to manage your team, whatever their temperament.
  • And the use of an assembly line model for getting the most out of your salespeople.
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020: Filling the Bucket with High Quality Connections with Michael Roderick

Networking is one of the most important things we can do as entrepreneurs – the quality oMichael Roderickf the people we know will, to a large extent, determine how successful we are. In fact, I’ve always said that we are the sum of the six people who are closest to us – and for that reason, we need to make sure we surround ourselves with people who work hard and share our values. But networking effectively can be a confusing and overwhelming task. Just look at all the shelves of books devoted to the topic! That’s why I invited Michael Roderick on to Hardcore MBA this week.

Michael is an expert in networking and connecting people, and runs two events for that very purpose – ConnectorCon and Relationship Adventure Day. In this week’s podcast, he and I discuss:

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019: Switching Off The Distractions with James Mielnik

Keeping yourself productive is one of the biggest challenges for the entrepreneur, especially if you’ve been used to working in a different environment previously. Being your own boss can easily ejames-mielniknd up being just like having an extremely lenient boss who lets you spend all day browsing cat videos on YouTube without getting dressed, until you get to the end of the month and realize you don’t get paid because you didn’t actually do anything.
Luckily, James Mielnik is here to help. James is the CEO of Get Altitude, a great organization originally founded by Eben Pagan to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. James is also an expert in productivity strategies. “There’s something called Parkinson’s Law, which says that you’ll always take as long as you have on any task,” James told me, “so that’s why I block my time off into 60-90 minute chunks and really focus on one task. It gives me a bounded time limit for each thing and gets them done much quicker.” [Read more…]