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Intro: Welcome to the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast with JP Stonestreet, episode #15.
JP: On today’s episode, you are going to meet Matt Theriault from Sunny, Los Angeles, California. Matt is a very successful real estate investor among other things and he talks in this episode about how to be successful in real estate as well as just entrepreneurship in general, but before I get into that, I would like to make a very special announcement. I have created a series of what I am calling my energizer workshops and I will be starting to give those presentations in March 2014. I am very excited about this. The very first one I am going to do is an hour long presentation called the Wantrepreneur Energizer – What Business Should I Start? It’s for all of you dreamers out there who want to be an entrepreneur or want to start your own business, but you are not exactly sure what to do. In this one-hour seminar, I am going to help you figure that you and so I will make a very special announcement about the exact date of the first presentation, but these will be ongoing, I want to be doing these regularly, probably once a month if not more and I have three other energizer seminars in that series that I will be talking about in the coming podcast episodes. So, I am looking forward to that and hopefully some of you will be able to attend those events. All right, so let’s get back to the podcast du jour and it’s with Matt Theriault. Matt is an entrepreneur, author, success coach, and the host of the Do Over, a weekly podcast that’s based on inspiring comeback stories. So, check out his podcast Do Over and I will put a link to that in the show notes page as well. He is also the creator of Epic Real Estate Investing podcast where he focuses on how to create multiple streams of income. I am going to let Matt tell the rest of his story because he does a much better job than I would. So, without further ado, let’s get to the interview with Matt Theriault.
Welcome Matt to this episode of the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast, how are you doing?
Matt: Very well JP. Thanks for having me.
JP: Yes, you bet. I am excited to hear about your story. Jessica Rhodes is the one who set this up. She set up several of my interviews on my podcast so far and she is a great contact and she spoke very, very highly of you and was excited to have me interview you.
JP: Yes, so let’s go ahead and jump in and why don’t you start by telling us who you are and they tell us about some of the business things that you are doing?
Matt: Sure, I guess I just kind of start with my story a little bit and I will give you the real cliff notes version is that when I got out of the Marine Corps I spent probably about 12 to 13 years in the music business, living my dream, pursuing my passion. It just kind of happened naturally. I never set out really to be an entrepreneur. I just started making money at a very early age producing music and that turned into a giant distribution deal eventually with EMI Music and this little thing called the digital download came along and basically turned the whole industry upside down and I had had a very successful formula for releasing records to where that every time I release one, it was profitable. No one ever heard of us, we didn’t break any charts, we didn’t win any awards, but we figured out how to make a profit from selling records and I kept on working that formula over and over and over again and it works became less affective as we went along, but I just kept throwing more money at it and eventually just ran the whole thing into the ground and the digital download just destroyed everything, it destroyed all the music stuffs and there is no more Tower Records, no more Virgin Records, they are all gone, and I found myself there at age 34 bagging groceries, having to start life all over, didn’t know how to do anything else and I really, really, really missed my lifestyle because I had become very accustomed to being very financially comfortable and so I didn’t know what to do next. I knew I had to learn something new and someone whispered in my ear if I wanted to get my life back that real estate was the final frontier for the average person to experience great wealth and whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but I believed it at that time because I didn’t have any other options and I went home that night, I took a bottle of wine home from the supermarket and went home and sat in front of Google and just started typing in real estate, real estate investing, and how to get rich and how to get wealthy with regard to real estate and I stumbled across an aunt, an aunt I hadn’t seen in probably 12 to 13 years and found out she was the number one real estate agent just a city over and had been for like 27 years. I said “Wow” okay; I didn’t know she was so close, I didn’t even know she was into real estate. So, I made an appointment with her and we had lunch and then within 48 hours I was in school getting my real estate license, my real estate agent license and did very well. I did very well, I got Rookie of the Year the first year and I did better each year after that and after four years, I had this one client that gave me repeat business and gave me this business over and over and over again and I would show up on Saturdays, I would be in my suit and tie and I would lay all of these paperwork for him to sign. He would show up 20 minutes late, he would be in jeans and a T-shirt. He would sign all the paperwork and then give me back the paperwork and then he would be off to enjoy his weekend and there I was on the weekend stuck with his paperwork and probably holding his houses open, and although I was doing fairly well financially, I was working about 80 hours a week which was about twice as many hours I was working in the music business and there had to be change and I was like – it kind of just clicked and I was like “You know what if real estate is where all the wealth is created, I think I am just sitting on the wrong side of the desk because I really want to be that guy. I want to be my client and so I went and educated myself on real estate investing, dropped the real estate agent license and here in four years later, I did what they called exited the rat race. I got my passive income to exceed my expenses and I was essentially financially independent and I haven’t looked back since.
JP: Wow! Okay, so what kind of real estate investing – are you still doing it or what did you do?
Matt: Yes, absolutely. It’s been almost four years since I got out of the rat race. So, it’s just building and building and building. I look at residential real estates, started a lot with just single family homes, bind them, fixing them up, putting tenants in place and collecting the rent and then I started teaching people how to do it and I have grown and I have created big partnerships. I manage giant funds, I own multi-families all over the country. It’s like just exploded and I also teach on the internet how to do that.
JP: Okay. So, you are doing primarily fix and rent. Do you do any fix and flips?
Matt: No, I don’t.
JP: Okay. I did fix and flip about three years ago now. I actually made descent money on it. The reason why I sold it is because the housing market completely flipped back to sellers’ market and I couldn’t find any investment properties at a reasonable amount, auctions were buying up what would be considered investment properties. In other word, the place needed to be gutted because here in Denver the market changed so much, there weren’t any houses to buy.
Matt: Right, right.
JP: Yes, as always I really enjoyed the process of the renovation and I managed the team. I had a general contractor, but I was there everyday and I just told him to give me stuffs to do, so they gave me tasks to do. It was fun, I really enjoyed. It’s a fun business.
Matt: It is, it is and there is really two ways to do it. You can fix and flip like you were doing and most of the country was doing or you can buy and hold and wealth is really created through the buy and hold. There is a famous quote by Mark Twain. He says “Don’t wait to buy real estate; buy real estate and wait.” That way the market inflections don’t affect you as much nearly as much as they do with the fix and flip because there are a lot timing involved there and I kind of look at it as gambling and it’s very market dependent. So, you got to kind of wait for the market to do it. It’s going to do before you can actually execute that strategy successfully over time and repeatedly.
JP: That’s the problem is that I couldn’t repeat it. I got in when the market – I got my investment property when the market was still low and by the time I had fixed it up and put it back on the market, it was about four months and in just that amount of time it had flipped which allowed me to sell it for a nice profit, but then I couldn’t repeat it, I couldn’t find another house.
Matt: I have heard this story many times.
JP: That’s cool. So, now you teach people how to do that. Is that part of your life do over or is that separate.
Matt: Yes, what I did is, I just kind of documented my whole journey and kind of wrote my memoir so to speak, probably 30 years before I had ever planned on doing anything like that, just because it was such a significant life experience coming from one industry hitting – to me it was rock bottom. I know there are many people out there that drop much further, but bagging groceries at 7 dollars an hour, that was rock bottom after earning six figures a month and I recreated myself to where I almost write back there and I wrote a book about it called Do Over. It is about half autobiographical, half personal development and I had this book, I completed it, I published it, it landed in my doorstep, big box of them and I was like “Okay, now how am I going to sell them?” So, I started a podcast, I started the Do Over podcast and that was one of my avenues to self-promote and I have never done any sort of broadcasting before. It was a totally new experience to me, but I had known someone else that done it and they were fairly successful at it and so I gave it a shot. My whole plan what I did it, if you go back and listen to those first 20 episodes, all I did was just read the first 20 episodes of my book over the airwaves and by the time I hit about chapter 9 or 10, I realized wow, I have got a little bit of an audience here. The downloads were picking up and I was starting to get correspondence and by chapter 15, it had gotten bigger and by the time I hit chapter 20, the communication and the correspondence between myself and the audience was so big like I couldn’t stop. So, I had to keep going. So, I was essentially forced to create that podcast and so that’s how I started.
JP: Cool, okay, so I am telling people they should start a podcast and that’s why I am doing it to drive traffic to my website and to raise awareness just about me in general and plus I just really like to talk to other entrepreneurs and get their success stories. So, along the podcast lines, what did you – so you started recording these. How often did you post them?
Matt: I didn’t have a schedule. I wasn’t like – I didn’t treat it like a business and treat it like a real show like I do now. So, there was one, may be I do two in one week and I would wait three weeks before I posted the next one. It was just kind of whenever I got around to it.
JP: How did you share those with the world once you had posted them?
Matt: It happened all just through iTunes. Somehow it ended up in the New and Noteworthy section and – now that you brought that up, thank you JP. I remember how. I had signed up with a host and I had created my whole audience with this specific host, but the way that their billing structure worked, the more popular I got, the bigger my bill got, the bigger the bandwidth got and I was like “Wow I want to do better, but I am not able to afford this uptick in my hosting fees every time I am more successful.” So, what I did is I made this giant announcement on my podcast that I was going to be switching host which meant I was going to have to create a new feed and so when I created that new feed and told everyone that I was going to be switching and then I uploaded all those previous episodes on the new feed. When everyone came over and they plugged in their phone, it automatically downloaded all those old episodes, which gave me a ton of downloads obviously and it put me in the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes because of the volume of downloads and then I just capitalized on those for 60 days that iTunes gives you that nice little gift of being in that section and that’s how it started. So, it was kind of an accident on how the popularity started.
JP: Wow! Yes, that was good luck and good fortune on your behalf.
Matt: Yes, and I was totally – just I felt like I had such a cool momentum and a good audience going and I was so bum that I had to switch my feed. I was afraid I was going to lose all these listeners, but I gained so much more by doing that and it was an accident.
JP: So, basically on iTunes your feed was still there and then you had to create a new feed, a different one?
JP: Okay, wow!
Matt: It was the same show, same episodes, just done a new feed, but because that was a brand new feed, it re-qualified for the New and Noteworthy section which if you are listening to iTunes when you are a brand new podcast, they give you this little opportunity in the first 60 days of your podcast to give you little extra-exposure to give you head start, but boy I tell you, after the first 60 days, you are on your own because you will see your downloads plummet.
JP: Interesting. I have seen most of my downloads have come from my followers, my existing followers. Whenever I post it, I send out an email to my list and then I will post it on all my social media networks and I see a big spike because I try to post once a week and now I am actually, I have enough interviews queued up that I am going to start doing them twice a week and then every time I post one I see the spike and then the days that are in between, there is very little. So, it’s interesting.
Matt: It sounds like you have got a good structure right now and a lot has evolved of podcasts, just recently, probably just last year or two, but four years ago everyone was still trying to figure it out, at least at this level that we are trying to figure it out and now there is systems and place and people with success where you can pattern them, use them as role models and follow what they do and it brings the same type of results and that sounds like what you are doing, so good job.
JP: Thanks. Yes, I use – are you familiar with Cliff Ravenscraft, The Podcast Answer Man?
Matt: Yes, I am.
JP: I used his stuff to get all of mine set because when I started this few months ago, I had no idea what I was doing and so I went online and I thought there is a got to be a way to do this easily and he had some tutorials I followed and man, it really worked.
Matt: Yes, it does help when someone has been there before and they can point you in that direction. When I got started, I didn’t know what a podcast was two weeks before I started one. I didn’t even know what it was. So, I didn’t even know that was a strategy, I didn’t know about iTunes, this New and Noteworthy thing. I didn’t know anything. It was just let’s try and get some exposure over here and just stack that on everything else I was trying to do to sell my book.
JP: How long ago did you start?
Matt: That was like four years ago I guess, about four years.
JP: Wow! Four years of it.
JP: So, do you regret any of it or you are glad you did it?
Matt: No, I think it’s the greatest thing I ever did. The example I always use is in 2011 I think I spent about 25,000 dollars on SEO trying to drive traffic to my website and then in 2013, I spent – in the first part of 2013, I spent another 25 to 30,000 dollars on SEO and so that was like 50,000 dollars invested for changing optimization and every time Google come out with a new algorithm update, I had to start all over again, but the one thing that podcast brought me 95 percent of my customers and it was absolutely free.
Matt: So, it’s a seven figure business now for me.
JP: I love podcast because you feel like you are more in touch or in tune with the person that is hosting the podcast. I listen to several of them and you really feel like you get to know that person through the podcast and we all know that people buy from other people they know, like, and trust and the podcast is a great way to get people to know you.
Matt: Absolutely, I can’t think of anything better right now. That’s where all of my customers come from. I have got a great relationship with all of them. I just did my very first live event. I have done a bunch of these live events before the podcast, but I have never done a live event since I started the podcast. I just did that two weeks ago and that was just here in Los Angeles, about 40 people showed up, it wasn’t a huge turnout, I didn’t give them a bunch of notice, but I did it and I got to meet my podcast listeners face to face and I got to tell you I was so overwhelmed. Everyone just came up to me and they just shared the stories. Everyone said “I feel like I know you already.” So, that’s definitely there and it is shared with what an impact and what a difference that the podcast had made and I just had no idea what was going on out there. It’s an amazing experience and so I think I am definitely going to start doing some more live events because I would love to meet more of the listeners and hear how the show is helping them because that certainly energize me to get back and do some more.
JP: Yes, I am following the same track because I am putting – I actually teach a workshop now. I have been teaching at a volunteer organization and I am taking it on the road and I am going to start doing it on my own. It’s kind of the same way – I love being up in front of people, I get energized from that and I am guessing that I will probably start getting people for my podcast to come to that because I get emails every week now from people who listen to the podcasts and say “Oh, so nice to know, I am not alone – I am not the only entrepreneur going through this stuff.” My podcast is really around the entrepreneur success stories with trials and tribulations and what they are doing to succeed and so, it’s really helpful to entrepreneurs, especially early stage entrepreneurs who just don’t know what to expect.
JP: It’s a very rewarding thing. So, I can see why you love doing yours. So, what is the most difficult challenge that you faced since you have started Your Do Over, obviously you had a really big challenge with your music business, let’s skip past that and talk about the largest challenge that you’ve had since then and what you did to overcome it?
Matt: Sure. Looking back, my biggest challenge was letting go and delegating and hiring people and I didn’t feel like anyone could do – they couldn’t do the things in my business better than me and so, I didn’t want to let go or let go of control of that and six months ago – about a year ago, I hired a business coach for the first time and we have mapped out everything that I do during the day, everything that my partner does during the day and we just looked at this whiteboard – the giant whiteboard that takes up the whole wall and it was filled and we just kind of looked at each other, I can’t believe, just my partner and myself do all of these and so we started taking all the tasks and dividing them up, kind of grouping them up to similar tasks, similar objectives, and we created five different job description so to speak and I didn’t think I could afford to hire help, at least not to pay the type of help that I would need to handle those types of jobs. I just – I looked at hiring help and delegating not only as a releasing control, but I looked that as an expense like I looked that as it was going to cost me money, but my coach he just implored me and said “Just do it, just do it, just do it.” So, I did it. I took that leap of faith and it has been the biggest business changer I can’t even believe, it’s like we are – I hired a guy to handle our sales leads, he is converting twice as many as I was converting and that’s just one example. We have eliminated so much stress, so much burden and our business is growing at least twice as fast and I know it’s going to be and I can notice this already in just six months JP, it’s amazing. I wish I would have done that so much sooner. So, anyone that’s thinking that they can’t afford help, you can’t afford not to hire help.
JP: Yes. Okay, I have two questions related to this and I am going to ask them both before I forget. So, the first question is what types of things did you outsource, what types of activities and then on the flipside of that, what have you and your business partner – what are you doing with that free time that you’ve now given yourself?
Matt: Good. Okay, let’s see what we have delegated. I have got a sales manager, someone who handles all the incoming calls, the incoming leads that are generated online and he personally calls them and decides whether working together is going to be good fit or not. So that’s one part. I hired one person just to handle our – just to manage my property managers and that was a big deal because I have got over 200 units right now and that’s in seven different markets. I have got at least two property managers in each market. So, there are 14 people that manage my assets that I have to stay in communication with and control basically and I had nobody to manage them and they started like the more, the bigger my portfolio got, the harder that was to keep track of. So, I hired one person that their whole job is just to make sure that my assets keep performing and they do that by managing my property managers. That was another one. The third spot that we delegate everything was the bookkeeping and not only we do bookkeeping, but we got a bookkeeper and an assistant to the bookkeeper and that has just been a huge release. Then I hired a content manager who handles all of my show notes and my blog posts. So, all I do is record podcasts and they all get turned into nice blog posts and the show notes are all nice and pretty, that’s such a time consuming thing, if you are doing that I know you can relate.
JP: Yes, hold on before you move on from that one. Do you have somebody that does the production of the podcast or just the posting?
Matt: I still do the production of the podcast.
JP: Yes, I am the same way. I thought I was going to outsource that, but I still have to record the intro and the outro and between those two things, it is taking me about an additional two minutes just to finish it and so I thought well there is no point in outsourcing that at least not right now, but I have outsourced the show notes, all of that stuff and that she just posted the very first one today and it was so nice that I didn’t have to do it.
Matt: Yes, it’s quite the relief and it’s all easy stuff, it’s just time consuming and so I did that and then how we met – I hired Jessica as sort of a I guess kind of a publicist I guess where she goes and finds places for me to speak and then she finds people to speak on my podcast and now I am just connected with her and a publicist that she is working with. So, I will be taking that to the next level as well.
JP: Awesome and is she finding you lots of good places to be interviewed?
Matt: Yes, she is doing a fantastic job and she creates little infographics for each interview that I have and those infographics get put on my blogpost, they also get posted over on my Pinterest account. She is awesome. She is really great.
JP: So, you are using her for her virtual assistance services too?
Matt: Yes, I use her for everything that she is available for.
Matt: I met her right at the end of hiring all of my people. I was like “I want to go hire some more people, I want to hire more and more and more, let me go create some jobs” and that’s some stuff I am not doing that I am not capitalizing on that I can hire someone else to do and it’s just been an absolute blessing.
JP: That’s awesome. Actually, I have been thinking about hiring her to get me booked on podcasts for interviews, I think I am going to do it, I think you just sold me.
Matt: Yes, she is awesome. She is so on top of it and she is a forethinker as well. She is very resourceful. She takes a whole lot of initiatives, so she does things for you that you didn’t even know that you want it done for you. She is awesome.
JP: Great. That’s what I need right now. I have a business coach. I am getting ready to hire a public relations coach, somebody who is going to teach me how to do it as well as help me along the way and I think that she would be like the nice, the trifecta to help me get my podcast out there more.
Matt: Super, yes she is awesome.
JP: Excellent. Okay, so you talked about the things that you have outsourced. Now let’s talk about the things that you are doing now that you have extra free time.
Matt: Sure. So, before my partner and I, we’d be working about at 6 or 7 a.m. and we wouldn’t stop working till about 7 or 8 p.m. that was 13-14 hours a day and it seemed about 6 days a week and even on that 7th day we talk about work all day long, so we are never really off. So, now she works about 7 to 2 o’clock everyday and so she has got the rest of the day off to take care of our son.
Matt: Then I come in about 10 o’clock and I work to about 6 o’clock. So, I have regular working hours. So, I just started training for my very first marathon. So, I spend my mornings working out just doing something differently than working taking care of myself. So, that’s what I have done and I have started to put actual whole entire days in my calendar, with that I get to spend with my son, which I hadn’t done in the first two years of his life.
JP: Wow! That’s great.
Matt: So, those are two really big things and we did that last week. I went to take him to see the train museum as he loves trains and we had the best time and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since. So, it was definitely worth it and I am going to put more of those in my calendar.
JP: That’s great. That’s an important thing to talk about when you are an entrepreneur is the work-life balance. If you don’t have a balance, one of your sides of the balance suffers and it’s usually the family and lots of time the family doesn’t recover from that experience. So, it’s so important to have that balanced from the very beginning and you have done a great job of outsourcing to give yourself some of that balance back.
Matt: Yes, it’s making more money and I have more time for myself. This was the big shift for me JP that had me outsource is my coach had said “If you have – if there is something that you can hire somebody to do for 10 dollars an hour, but you don’t want to pay them, you want to do it yourself because you want to save the money, realize that you are working for 10 dollars an hour.” I was like “Wow! Okay. I never thought it that way.” He says “You are the head of the company, you are driving the ship, you are a worth a lot more than 10 dollars an hour, so figure out what you earn on an hourly basis and if you can find someone to do all your stuffs cheaper than that then that’s the stuff you need to outsource.”
JP: Yes, that’s been my motto for years is that I much rather spend money to save time than to spend time to save money. That’s I have lived by that for the whole time.
Matt: Absolutely, yes and if you hire the right people, you make more money by saving time.
JP: Yes. My time is my most valuable asset. If I assume I make a 1000 dollars an hour, so I can afford to pay lots of people for that.
Matt: Right. Someone had asked me on my coaching. My coaching is rather expensive and I don’t think it’s expensive, but to someone coming by, they have never heard of me before. They are like “Who is this guy and how dare he have the – where did he get the guts to even ask this much for his coaching?” And it’s very simple. I figured out how much my real estate pays me on – I broke that down for the whole year and I broke it down to an hourly rate and so if I want to take myself away from my real estate investing to coach somebody, it’s got to pay me at least what my real estate is paying me and that’s just what it came out to.
JP: Yes, that’s a nice way to back into the cost because if you can’t make that much then what’s the point of doing it.
Matt: Right. It’s like “You don’t have to hire me, it’s okay.” It’s perfectly okay with me.
JP: Yes, awesome. Okay, so talked about what you did with your free time to help get more work-life balance in place. So, what have you done on the job because since you are not managing all those property managers and posting your podcasts and all those stuffs, so what are you doing during your work hours that you weren’t able to do before, you didn’t have time to do?
Matt: Yes, most of my attention right now is on three things. It’s on more of content creation and marketing. So, my content is picked up tremendously. I have added next show to my real estate podcast. So, I post there twice a week. I have started producing my YouTube channel, now I am treating my YouTube channel the same way I treat my podcast channel and the content is just getting bigger and it’s getting syndicated everywhere and now I am taking the next step where I am hiring actually another person to help me take this content and put it in a process that moves a person along that just found me and moves them through a process that hopefully by the time that they go to that process they become a client and then that will all be measurable. So, I am spending a lot of time on content creation and the marketing and the second thing that I am doing is focusing on building my portfolio even further, my real estate portfolio and the third thing is I will be doing more live events and coaching, but more of an in-group environment. So, those are like the three big things and that was just three of the ten things I was doing, but those are the three things that really bring in the business to support all the other people that I have hired. So, that’s what I need to really focus on, so I can keep them all busy and gainfully employed.
JP: Yes, and so did your coach help you identify those three things?
Matt: A little bit, but I also reduced it down to two things like what do I like to do and the second thing is like where do I still don’t think I am quite replaceable yet and so those are my two criteria for holding onto those activities.
JP: Okay. So, you have made very good use of your outsourcing energy. How long did it take you to find the right candidates for each of those and train them?
Matt: There is a saying and my coach actually shared this with us and we kind of ignored it and to our chagrin that he said to hire character and train unskill and we were actually looking for the best people because we still needed security on delegating and letting go control of certain areas of our business. So, were really looking for skill and then we just kind of evaluated the character later and we went through half a dozen people that didn’t last very long. Some of them said yes to the job and quit before they even showed up and they were just like a big headache and what happened was we looked inside of our community and everyone that works for us right now that we delegated was either a podcast listener or a client of some sort that believes in what we do and their characters there, their beliefs and alignment with where the business is going that has been the most amazing thing. We haven’t had to spend nearly as much time training as we thought we would have and because their character is there, they are immersed already before we even thought of hiring them, before they even thought of working for us, they are already immersed in the culture of the podcast, the culture of the cause. They are just – I have the most hardcore team, it’s just awesome and they are so – they take initiative, they are resourceful, they are creative and that’s why the business is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger because I really looked at the character first.
JP: Okay, so how long did it take you – okay so you hired a few people, it didn’t work out, then you switched your hiring practices and I commend you for that because you didn’t continue to do the same thing over and over again. So, once you changed your tactics for hiring, how long did it take you to find, how many candidates did you go through interview to find that right person?
Matt: Once we changed our tactics?
Matt: We hired the first person we talked to every single time because we knew who we wanted.
Matt: So, we had a very basic enrollment conversation and let them see the big picture, this is where we are now, this is what we can do for you now, but we would like you to grow with us, this is what we will revisit this conversation of your compensation say in 90 days and we will keep having that review and as long as we continue to grow, so your compensation and people are so inspired by it and they were enrolled and they came on board really with not a whole lot of resistance at all.
JP: Great and how long did it take you to train? What I am trying to get to here is a lot of people complain “I don’t have time to train somebody, I can’t outsource it; not only can I not afford it, I can’t afford to spend the time to train them; it’s faster if I just do it myself.” So, convince those people who are thinking that to themselves right now why they are wrong.
Matt: Because there are people out there that are at total play. It’s the stuff that you don’t like to do and because they are at play because that is something they would like to do, they are going to learn so much faster than you think they are going to learn. You are thinking about the stuffs that you are delegating; if you are going to delegate, it’s probably because you don’t like to do it or you don’t want to do it. You are thinking about what you had to go through to learn how to do it and you feel like that person is going to have to go through the exact same process and it’s going to take that long and that much of your time and if you hire the right people and you find the people strengths and you shared that with them and can you see yourself doing this, they are going to take so much initiative. They are going to suck it up much quicker than you think they can. They are not an expense, they are not a burden. Go ahead and make that commitment. May be it is a day out of your week, may be it even takes a week, but the long term I am telling you can’t afford not to hire help. You are not going to grow, you are only going to hit a certain level and once you get there you are done, you will hit a ceiling. So, if you are happy with where you are right now then don’t hire anybody, but if you want to grow and expand beyond what you are doing right now, hire people.
JP: Totally agree with you. When I decided to outsource my show notes creation for the podcast, I spent about three hours documenting the process for how to do that and it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to do the postproduction and to create the show notes pages and to write the content and it took me three hours to document the process for how to do all of that and now that I don’t have to do that, it takes me about 10 minutes to do the postproduction and another 10 to 15 minutes to write the content. I still write the content; I just don’t do any of the posting. So, it was taking me a full hour and fifteen and now it’s taking me 20 minutes roughly. So, each time I post one of these, I am saving about an hour of my time. In two podcasts, I have more than made up for the amount of time it took me to create the training manual to do that. So, you have to look at it as an investment. People who say “I just don’t have time, I don’t have time to train, I don’t have time to create the training manual,” you have to look at it as an investment and say it’s going to take me three or four hours to do this or a whole day to do this, but it’s going to save me X amount of time and to be honest if you say it’s gong to take me a week to put this together and it’s only going to save me five minutes a day, it’s probably not a good thing to outsource.
Matt: Right, exactly.
JP: If it’s going to take you an hour a day or three hours a day and it’s only going to take you a few days to put it together and train somebody then it’s a no-brainer to outsource it.
Matt: The training can be very, very simple. For example, if you are gong to make your blog post, you are going to write your content and you are going to post and you are going to research the – you are going to get the right images, you are going to go and research what you want to link to. If you go ahead and just the next time you do that because you are going to do it anyway, just slow down a little bit and each time you do a little move, just write a little – first I do this, second I do this, third I do this, and you can put just a list of 15-20 things in exact order that you did it “boom” you are done. It’s not like there is big training and you have to create videos and you have to do all kinds of stuffs if you are just descriptive on exactly what you want – what you are doing, people they can read. If you have to teach them how to read then that’s another thing, but they can read, they know what a link is, they know what a website is, they know what a picture is, they know if you tell them where to find it, then they can go find it, they will get it.
JP: Yes, that’s what I did. I wrote it down in a document, but then I also created an Excel spreadsheet that’s a checklist because they are like – I couldn’t believe after I did it, how many steps there are to produce or publish a podcast, it’s like 75 steps. I just couldn’t believe it when I got done with this thing. I thought well I am going to have to have a checklist because there is no way I can expect somebody to remember all that.
Matt: Right. If you are going to be a real business owner, business is run on systems. If you are going to be real business owner, you should have all that stuff anyway for yourself to even make yourself more efficient, let alone somebody else.
JP: Yes, that’s a good point because there are several things like you have to do the ID3 tag for the podcast so that the podcast has like a cover and information about it and I forgot to do that on two of my podcasts and if I would have had a checklist for myself, I probably wouldn’t have forgotten that.
Matt: Exactly, right.
JP: Okay, so let’s shift gears a little bit and talk a little bit more about marketing specifically related to your coaching business. So, how did you get your first five customers, were you already podcasting when you started the coaching business?
Matt: Yes, I was.
JP: Okay. So, you got your first five customers through the podcast?
Matt: Correct. I had worked for a multilevel marketing company that taught real estate investing. So, I did a lot – I spent a lot of time in front of rooms and I created a lot of relationships during that process, but once I let that go, I didn’t bring any of those clients or customers with me, but I was well versed, I did know what I was talking about, I’d produced the results myself, but then when I started the podcast all of my clients did come through the podcast.
JP: Okay, that’s good to know. See, that’s even more ammunition about starting a podcast because I tell everybody start a podcast and it is still so new even though it’s been around for 10 years now, it’s still really new medium that has not saturated yet.
Matt: No, absolutely not. Still 6 out of 10 people don’t know what a podcast is. That’s iTunes’ own survey.
JP: Yes, several people I have interviewed didn’t know what a podcast was until I said “Would you like to be interviewed for my podcast?” and they said “What’s a podcast?”
Matt: Most people think you need to buy an iPod just to listen to it.
JP: I know, they don’t realize you can listen to it like on through my website or I post mine on YouTube as well. I have a transcriptionist in India and she said that people in other countries sometimes have a hard time listening to those audio files and iTunes specifically. So, she is like “I tell several people to post it on YouTube as well.” So, all I do is just put a background on the file and then I publish it to YouTube so the podcast is actually available on YouTube. You can download it, you can play it through my website, you can go to iTunes; I mean it’s all over the place.
Matt: Right, it’s a great medium.
JP: It really is. Okay, so you talked about your business partner. I am assuming that she is your significant other?
JP: Okay and how did that come about? How did you start working together or did you start working together and then became involved?
Matt: We actually both went to the same place to learn how to invest in real estate, so we kind of met at school so to speak.
JP: That’s awesome. So, you guys had something in common to start. That’s great.
Matt: She was a fix and flipper and I was more of a buy and holder. So, we didn’t do the exact same thing, but we saw how one engine could feed the other and aside from the romantic part of the whole thing, it just made sense and we both have different strengths and different weaknesses, so we work together really, really well.
JP: So, how do you define the roles and responsibilities because a lot of people that have partnerships, that’s one of the things they struggle with is they end up stepping on each other’s toes, so how do you guys prevent that from happening?
Matt: Just kind of like I said, we both have different strengths and weaknesses. We both like to do different things. So, there is very little gray area where we overlap where we could step on each other’s toes. It just doesn’t happen. The other cool thing is we are best friends. So that certainly helps a lot, but she does one part. I make the phone ring and she processes the transaction. That’s kind of how in its most simplest form.
JP: Okay, so you guys, did you have that conversation or did you just take up those roles?
Matt: I wish we could say we are smart enough to create that upfront, but it just kind of evolved that way.
Matt: So, we fell into our roles.
JP: That’s cool. So, you are lucky that you have complementary skill sets. I deal mainly with online business. That’s my background. I sold a web startup a few years ago and now I help a lot of other people do web startups. You have no idea how many web startups start in Starbucks over a cup of coffee. Two friends talking about an idea and the web startup is born. Then more times than not, the two friends are either both software developers or they are both marketing sales people because birds of a feather, right? How often do you see a developer sitting around having coffee with a marketing person? It doesn’t happen a lot.
JP: The problem with that is that the software developers, their skill sets overlap and so, they end up fighting over what to do and then nobody is doing what really needs to be done, which is marketing. Then on the flipside, if they are both marketing, they are arguing about how best to market their product or their service and nobody is really building it or they don’t have the money to build it and so you are lucky that you found somebody who has a complementary skill set because you are able to leverage that and that’s what I tell people is that “If you want a business partner, great. Just make sure you are both not rowing on the same side of the boat.”
Matt: To speak on that JP, I just got back from San Diego last weekend and I was fortunate enough to hear Kevin O’Leary speak, the guy from Shark Tank – Mr. Wonderful and he said “If you don’t have a partner, get one, I don’t care who you are. If you don’t have a partner, get one.” He says “I have never met an entrepreneur that didn’t have a weakness.”
JP: Yes, very true.
Matt: Get a partner that plugs up that hole for you. That strengthens that weakness for you and he says “You will arrive there exponentially – it wasn’t exponentially. It was a different word, but it kind of was the same as exponentially, but you will arrive there exponentially faster than you would by yourself and I can totally attest to that because I have been an entrepreneur for the last 20 years and I would always get excited about something, I build it, I generate some customers and I always kind of lacked on the follow through, like I didn’t like paperwork. Once the transaction was done and the money had exchanged hands, I didn’t like what came after that. The pursuit for me is more about the promotion, it’s more about the marketing in the salesmanship and once I have got somebody behind me to once the transaction has been completed, to take and fulfill – oh my God, in eight months, we had a seven figure business and it just – so when I heard Kevin O’Leary say that, I was like “You are absolutely right, I wish you’d been around 20 years ago.”
JP: Yes, I had a lot of failures too and I tried to do them all myself and the business that I sold, I had a business partner. He was a marketing and sales guy, I was a software developer and it worked because we had two different people focused on two different things. We each had different talents and I think that’s the reason why that company was successful. I don’t know that it would have been successful if either of us wasn’t part of the picture. So, it took both of us to make that company successful. Now I am not preaching. I am not following my own advice because I am doing this on my own, my new business, which is similar to yours in a way – I help people and I like to write, I like to speak and so that’s kind of my goal with my career now and I am doing it all on my own, but I do have a coach, I think I look at her as somewhat of a partner. I have several people that I talk to on a mentor relationship. I have an assistant I have been working with for a year and a half. My girlfriend is very supportive. So, I do have a lot of support and ideas and my girlfriend is a salesperson. So, she helps me on that front as well, but yes, I totally agree with his advice and your experience that partner, especially for a first-time entrepreneur when you can’t afford to pay somebody to bring that skill set that you lack, I think a lot of successful businesses start with partnerships.
Matt: Evidently, I didn’t know that until I have finally hit my success – a real big success.
JP: Yes, look at Microsoft and Apple, even Warren Buffett started with a business partner.
JP: Yes, it’s very common. So, get yourself a partner if you don’t have one.
Matt: Yes, right now.
JP: Okay, who or what inspires you?
Matt: Who or what inspires me? There are a lot of different things that inspire me. Successful entrepreneurs that have integrity; I get really inspired when good guys win, I guess you could say. So, that inspires me. Freedom inspires me and the thing that brings us freedom in the society which we live is money, but there is a caveat that it’s not just money, it’s streams of money, it’s a residual income that truly brings freedom and I am really inspired to pursue and create streams of income because it allows me to go and do what I want to do when I want to do it with whom I want to do it wherever I want to do it without whole lot of regard to the price tag and I can skip work, I can take days off like I am doing now more than I ever have and I kind of took – yesterday at half speed I was at a convention for four days. I didn’t even check an email and I came back and I had two very large deposits into my bank account this morning because of the residual income.
Matt: So, I am inspired by freedom.
JP: Yes, that’s great. A lot of people come up with a person or something, but that I think the freedom thing – that’s even bigger, that is a big concept and that’s why I am an entrepreneur because of the personal and financial freedom that I get from being that and that’s why I encourage anybody that should be an entrepreneur. My goal is to help those people become entrepreneurs.
Matt: That is one thing that I think most – see we are all taught – you have heard this before and it’s been said over and over again by several people that we are all taught to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, save a bunch of money in our retirement plan, live below our means, click coupons and just live frugally and hopefully if we did it all right, by the time we hit the age of 60-65 years old, we will have enough money there to create a residual income for ourselves and then in our retirement years we are essentially free because now we have got residual income, but that whole idea and that plan is failing 95 percent of our country’s population by the time they hit the age of 65, 97 percent of 65-year-olds don’t have enough money to write a 600 dollar discretionary check. So, that whole thing is failing, but for those that make it, okay so if they work, work, work and they save, save, save enough and hopefully that dollar cost averaging thing panned out, there will be enough money there to create a residual income, but they are 65-years-old before they ever get to enjoy it. If you flip that equation to create the residual income first and then save your money, you can be free in a fraction of the time. You know I did what in four years what 40 percent of our country’s population is unable to do in 40 years. Just by flipping that equation if you so stop for entrepreneurs that are listening, don’t focus on the transaction, don’t focus on creating money, focus on creating streams of money and that’s where the freedom can happen so much sooner. There is a great book The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco, have you read that one?
Matt: Awesome book.
JP: That was my next question is what book would you recommend? Is that the book you want to recommend?
Matt: Sure. It all started for me where it started for a lot of people was with Rich Dad Poor Dad where the concept of passive income or residual income was first introduced to me. I had never heard of it before that – I mean I have heard it, but I didn’t really analyzed it and tried to pick it apart to see what it was, but that was the part where I was like “Oh, okay, I get it,” but not until I really read MJ DeMarco’s book that I shift gears and focused. That book has only been out few years and that’s where I was like “Okay, now I get it.” You got to create a residual income. You have to create a business that works with you or without you and when you create that and you do that by delegating, you do that by offering different types of products, but may be it’s recurring product or recurring service. Place your focus there rather than just a transaction of selling something.
JP: Great and what was the name of that book again?
Matt: The Millionaire Fastlane.
JP: The Millionaire Fastlane. I will put a link to that book on the show notes page for this podcast.
JP: Okay, that’s a good one to check out; I am going to check that one out.
Matt: It sounds like a good rich quick title, but it’s not at all. It’s just a sure way to get there and there relatively quicker than the traditional way that people are trying to go about it.
JP: Cool. I look at being an entrepreneur too is that I don’t really don’t ever plan on retiring. A lot of people have this date set in their mind that the government keeps moving back, 55 or 60, 65, it’s going to be 67 soon and it will probably be 72 by the time you and I are that age, I don’t ever plan on retiring. I look at Zig Ziglar and Warren Buffett and people like that and they do what they love and they are going to do it till the day they die and they probably live longer because of it and I so I look at that same thing. As long as you can get your income situation straightened out then you can work because you love doing it and not because you have to earn a living.
Matt: Right. I agree. I have almost gotten to the point where I am doing only what I want to do right now and so now it doesn’t even feel like work.
JP: I know. Mine doesn’t feel like work. Ninety five percent of what I do, I love to do and I am slowly outsourcing that last five percent.
JP: Okay, so looking back from where you are now from you came from, is there anything that you would have done differently and you can go all the way back to your very first venture if you want to.
Matt: Yes, there are probably two things I would have done differently. One is, I certainly would have delegated much sooner. I would have taken on the task of hiring people and hiring people for my weaknesses much sooner even when I thought I couldn’t afford it because now I look back and I was like “I absolutely could have afford it.” In fact, I would have been so much further if I did just make the attempt and took that leap of faith then. That’s one thing. The second thing is I wish I would have been more intentional about creating my environment, about creating my network, about creating – choosing the people that I associate with. We have all heard that saying “You’re the average of the 5 people you hang around most,” and every time I meet someone that’s a little bit more successful than me, I see my success immediately impacted and I wish – so let me tell, rather than – being intentional about creating environment but also started really picking out role models and not acting like I knew it all and looking at people that had done what I wanted to do, people that had what I want to have and just started following their advice, doing what they do, being who they are and associating with other people that were doing the same thing and I think that can collapse timeframes like nothing else.
JP: That’s great advice. I love that quote about “You’re the average of the 5 people that you hang out with the most.” I love that quote and I am working on that as well. I am expanding my network – that’s my main focus. I read the book Seven Levels of Communication and he talks in there about making 1st and 10 calls, you call 10 people first thing in the morning. I haven’t got the 10 yet because I found that when people answer the phone, you quickly run out of time for 1st and 10 calls, but I have been calling people every morning talking to them just to check in and some people I haven’t talked to in years and so those conversations aren’t very quick, but I am changing my focus to focus more on relationships and communication as opposed to working. It’s that common saying “I am working on my business rather than in it now.”
Matt: There is Kiyosaki’s newest book – it’s not his newest book, two books ago, called Unfair Advantage and he talks about this very thing and how to network with people that are doing what you want to do and he says that the really easiest way is to go to expensive seminars. Go to expensive workshops. Join expensive mastermind groups because the people that are there – even if you can’t afford it, even if you are scraping just to get by and you got a brown bag while you are there, just keep in mind who you are actually going to be there with – other people that had 25,000 dollars to join a mastermind group, other people had 2000 dollars to attend a weekend seminar. Right there, in most cases, you already have elevated your network and every single time I have done that I have walked away with something that changed my business that easily paid for my price to be there and now I have the utmost faith in that. I told you I hired a business coach for the first time. I paid him 15,000 dollars for six months and it was kind of difficult to push the button on the wire transfer there. I was like “This guy better be worth it.” Because he had done so much in his background, I just took the leap of faith and seriously, within three months I had had that money back and I just am going to Florida next week. I just joined a 25,000 dollar mastermind group, just the bunch of people and that’s a huge leap of faith, but I have got – I have experienced the impact of those types of moves so many times now. I have the utmost faith in the process and so I know I am going to get that money back, I know that 100 percent of it will be worth it.
JP: It’s so funny. I am seeing a pattern of all the people that I have interviewed so far. The most successful ones have coaches and really of all the people that I have met in my business life, the most successful people have business coaches. They have mentors or they belong to a mastermind and some of them do all three or a combination of those things. There is a correlation.
Matt: Yes, just the people that I have hung out it I guess I have noticed the same thing, I never looked at it that way the way you just described it, but absolutely true with the people that are doing what I want to do, that have what I want to have, who just are the people that I see myself to be someday, yes all of those things – there isn’t even a second thought for a coach, not even a second thought to join some type of group and it’s not a second thought for them to go and hangout by any means necessary with people that have more than what they have because they know how they are going to be impacted that way.
JP: Yes, you are on this podcast interview right now because I met Jessica at the New Media Expo a few weeks ago and she has booked three other people, so four people total, plus I think I have booked another five or six people that I met on my own at the New Media Expo. So, just going to that event, not only did I learn a lot, I made a lot of connections, but I have also booked a lot of people for my podcast just from going to that.
JP: Yes, great. All right we have time for one quick question and then we got to get going. So, what is the most important piece of advice that you can give to somebody who wants to start a business?
Matt: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a role model of somebody that has done it before and do what they do.
JP: I love that advice. I think that is great advice. All right Matt. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast.
Matt: You are welcome JP. Thanks for having me.
JP: That was a joy, I enjoyed talking to you. We will talk soon.
Matt: Okay, take care.
JP: Hopefully, you learned a thing or two about the value of delegation in this podcast episode. Matt is a master delegator now even though he has struggled with it, he admitted struggling with it just like I admitted struggling with it, but it truly is the one thing or one thing that you can do to seriously take your business to the next level and to show that you are really serious not only to yourself and everybody else, but to your business. Your business needs to know you are serious about it and delegation is one of the ways that you can show it that you are serious because once you start delegating and releasing some of those responsibilities to other people, it frees up your own time to do other things like building your business, getting more sales, making more connections, all those things that you can’t delegate and if you are doing mundane tasks that someone else can do, you are not doing those things that you should be doing. So, delegate even if it costs you a little bit upfront, it’s probably going to – there are ways to do it cheaply, you can do some commission structures, revenue sharing, percentage of your business. There are all kinds of ways you can do it creatively and if you go on Elance or Guru or oDesk, you can find cheap outsourcing, virtual assistant type people on those sites and not have to hire an employee or a contractor locally and pay exorbitant fees. So, just keep an open mind about outsourcing and do yourself a favor and find somebody that can help you with your business. All right, well that’s it for this episode. I am still happy that you were able to join me and hopefully listened all the way to the end. Until next time, I am JP Stonestreet with the Smart Energized Entrepreneurs Podcast.