This week’s Hardcore MBA guest, David Schneider, lives the definition of a freedom lifestyle. He quit his job and traveled to over 40 countries, supporting himself through travel blogging and other business ideas, and has now settled down to start working on a company that helps others do the same. Of course, that doesn’t mean his traveling days are over – he’s in charge of the business, so when he needs a little time away from it, he can have that. It’s what I expect every Hardcore MBA listener to be aspiring to.
In this week’s podcast, David and I talk about:
- How David started to make money from his travel blog, and what he did to make that income snowball into something he could live off while traveling.
- How to deal with outsourcing your work to people around the world, and the red flags to look out for when hiring an outsourced employee.
- David’s great new project, Ninja Outreach, which aims to connect brands with bloggers to the benefit of both.
Creating a great product is only half of the battle. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you have no clear and easy way of letting your potential customers buy it, you’re gonna stay broke. This week’s Hardcore MBA guest, Kurt Elster, can help you with exactly that problem – he’s an expert in e-sales techniques, with a particular focus on the excellent Shopify website.
In this week’s podcast, Kurt and I discuss:
- The reasons for using a flexible platform like Shopify, rather than the one-size-fits-all model of Amazon or similar sites.
- How to optimize your e-sales site to be as intuitive as possible to visitors, thereby capturing the customers you’re currently missing out on.
- And the future of e-commerce – Kurt reveals the point at which he thinks smaller e- commerce sites like Shopify will truly be able to compete with the Goliath that is Amazon.
This week’s Hardcore MBA guest is a little bit different. His career started out in a fairly straightforward manner, running businesses and heading up an investment fund in a foreign country. But in recent years things have taken a different turn, and he now finds himself at the forefront of a human rights movement. The man is Bill Browder, the country is Russia, and in this week’s podcast, he tells us his story.
Bill and I discussed:
- His grandfather, ‘the biggest Communist in America’, and how Bill decided to become ‘the biggest capitalist in eastern Europe’.
- The terrifying events that took place in the late 1990s, when Bill was declared a threat to the security of the Russian state and forced to flee the country.
- And Bill’s current role as an advocate for human rights and the rule of law in Russia and around the world.
As entrepreneurs, we can very easily get caught up in our logical minds. It’s a good thing to have our brains whirring away, always coming up with new ideas, always thinking things through with logic and reason. It can help us make the right decisions we need to take to be successful. But entrepreneurship, like all things in life, requires a balance. That’s what this week’s guest, Laura Linden, is all about. She has written extensively on the use of intuition in business decision- making. The idea of listening to our gut instinct when it comes to something as important as our business might seem like madness, but Laura makes a convincing case for putting our logical mind to bed sometimes and going with our feelings instead.
In the podcast, Laura and I discuss:
- The vital practice of pausing and listening to our intuition, rather than charging forward with our first thoughts.
- The signs to look for when trying to interpret whether your gut feeling is good or bad.
- And the daily habits we can develop to make it easier to hear what our inner self is saying to us.
I am a big champion of outsourcing, as you probably already know by now. But there is one big downfall to working with a remote team located in various places around the world – and that’s how to make sure everyone is being productive. That’s where Liam Martin, this week’s Hardcore MBA guest, comes in. He is the founder of Time Doctor
, a company that helps businesses big and small track what their employees are doing and improve their efficiency. It’s kind of a Google Analytics for your team.
In this week’s podcast, Liam and I discuss:
- How Time Doctor got started after Liam struggled with the productivity of his own staff while running an online tutoring business.
- The difference in levels of productivity across various countries, and how countries with smaller GDPs tend to actually work harder.
- And how the future of work is going to look very different to the present due to new software and productivity options that are being created now.
One of the key things that any content marketing business needs is a sales funnel – a strategy for guiding potential customers up from small, free products to the content that is going to make you money. But while the concept is easy to understand, the execution is not so simple. That’s why I’ve invited Jeremy Reeves onto Hardcore MBA this week. Jeremy is a sales funnel expert, and listening to this week’s podcast will help you build your own business using his tips and tricks.
Jeremy and I discuss:
- How setting up an effective, automated funnel means essentially having an extra salesperson working for you all the time.
- How to create an effective webinar that will demonstrate the uniqueness of the services you offer, and have people coming back for more.
- And how to use funnel techniques to ‘pre-screen’ potential customers – ensuring that they’re the right people for you, as well as vice-versa.
This week’s Hardcore MBA guest, Rohit Bhargava is a ‘trend curator’. This means that every year he sits down, analyzes what’s going on in the worlds of business, social media, marketing, and the internet, and writes up a highly regarded report about the trends that are emerging and which are expected to have a big impact over the next year. Basically, if you want to be ahead of the game, Rohit is the man you want to listen to.
In this week’s podcast, Rohit and I discuss:
- How to get into public speaking by starting as a guest on discussion panels and working your way up from there.
- Rohit’s publishing company and the ability we now have to create and buy products directly, rather than using a network of middlemen.
- And some of the trends that Rohit sees becoming big in the next year – you’re going to want to listen to this section very carefully!
This week’s Hardcore MBA guest, Jason Benham, began his career as a pro baseball player in the minor leagues. When he and his brother retired, they realised they needed to find a new niche in life – and through hard work and a willingness to take risks, they founded their own real estate empire and now own a massive fourteen different businesses. It’s an all-American tale, and one which we’ll be telling on this week’s podcast.
Jason and I discuss:
- How the Benham brothers got started in real estate, and how they weathered the storm during the crash.
- The difference between our traditional understanding of profit, and the true profit that is bringing opportunity and life to others.
- And the story of their cancelled reality TV show with the Home and Garden network.
This week we have a very thoughtful guest who will be discussing something a bit different from normal. Brad Warner is an ordained Soto Zen priest, a bass player in a punk band, and the author of several wonderfully-titled books about Buddhism. In 1993 he moved to Japan to learn more about Zen and also ended up getting a job at a Japanese TV production company. So it’s fair to say that his experience is a little different from the entrepreneurs we normally have here on Hardcore MBA!
In this week’s podcast, Brad and I discuss:
- How he first became interested in Zen, his journey from that initial interest to being ordained as a priest, and what exactly Zen involves.
- The many ways in which Zen ideals and practices can be applied to business situations to reduce tension and achieve goals.
- And, of course, life, the universe, and everything else!
On this week’s Hardcore MBA, we’re going a little ‘meta’ – by giving you a podcast all about making podcasts. John Lee Dumas is the founder and presenter of one of the world’s most popular business podcasts, Entrepreneur on Fire. He generates a quarter of a million dollars of revenue a month from a business based primarily on the same model as Hardcore MBA – interviewing entrepreneurs and getting great and valuable insights from them. If he can do it, you, me, or anyone else can too – so check out this week’s podcast to hear his secrets.
In the podcast, John and I discuss:
- The three elements that can make any podcast a hit right from day one.
- The types of revenue Entrepreneur on Fire brings in, and how John managed to hit that magic quarter-of-a-million mark.
- And the ways in which he utilizes outsourcing and automation to make his work even easier.