Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, Increasing Productivity & Building a Successful Online Business – Robert Plank

Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, Increasing Productivity & Building a Successful Online Business – Robert Plank

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Welcome back to The Lance Tamashiro Show. Here’s something really weird. This is now somewhere episode in the mid 70s we’ll say and the one person that I’ve never had on the show yet is my business partner, Robert Plank. Today we have something really special for you. We’ve got Robert Plank here who … We’re going to start off talking about this thing called an Income Machine, so that you guys can start making money, making sure you’ve got everything set up online that you need. I’m sure we’re going to get into all kinds of other stuff. Robert, I’m super excited to have you on the show. I can’t believe you’ve never been on before.

Robert:
Yeah, first time for everything.

Lance:
First time for everything. All right, so here’s the thing. We got a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to this show. We got a lot of people that are struggling to make their business work online. We’ve got a lot of people that sadly enough have been around business online for a number of years and aren’t getting any results. One of the things that I know you’re an expert in is basically what do people need online and where do you see people that aren’t making it where they want to be, where do you see them struggling?

Robert:
I think I see people struggling where they’re not actually going all in in their business. They set up half a site. If they have a blog either it was up or they took it down or maybe the last posts on the blog is years ago. I hate to say it, but the biggest accomplishment of a lot of these people that are struggling is that they’ve printed business cards. Even if you look at their business card either there is no website or I say great, business card, what’s your website and they say oh, don’t go to that, don’t look at that. I think people aren’t going all in and they maybe set up a site one time and took it down or they set it up and it’s so old that they just cringe thinking about it. They actually need to treat their business that they’re building like a real business, set up some websites, set up a real web presence, have their system, their machine going, so that they actually can make money from it.

Lance:
It’s funny that you say treat your business like a business and we see people all of the time that we meet at events or we talk to or that come to us for coaching. What they think a business is is like what we’ve seen our corporate America bosses do. Like you mentioned have a business card, they’re worried about what their phone number’s going to be, if their voicemail’s set up. They do all of these, I guess, administrative tasks and then when you what do you have set up online, where can I get on your list, where can I buy your product, they have nothing.

Robert:
Yeah, exactly, but not only do they have nothing, but they’re afraid to even answer your question or think about it. It’s like they have a bad feeling when they think about going back and trying to mess around with whatever unfamiliar interface. The first time that you ever set up a blog or make a blog post or set up a squeeze page or mess around with your autoresponder sequence, the first time you look at it it’s awkward. The first time that you used Microsoft Word, used the computer, used the Internet, the first time it was awkward and I think that a lot of people they just think that there’s a magic button. They think they can push a button and money can come in. Tons of people around the world, they’ve set up real businesses and they’ve gone through a lot of trial and error, so this Internet marketing thing it does work, but people need to have a few things set up and they need to … I don’t know how else to say it, but they need to get over that initial awkwardness and get to the making money phase.

Lance:
Let’s talk about this because you mentioned there’s a few things that they need to have set up, but before we do that you mentioned a couple times that it’s hard the first time. You got to look at it differently. I think one of the things that people struggle with when they decide they’re going to start a business is losing that employee to boss mindset or that day job to entrepreneur mindset. Can you talk to people a little bit about what you see with that, maybe something they can do to overcome that to reframe how they’re looking at things. Then let’s talk about what people need to have set up online in order to make the real transition.

Robert:
I think that they need to have the push and the pull. They need to have something that you’re moving away from and something that you’re moving towards. You and me both, we both had corporate America jobs. It started off okay, but the longer we were in that situation the more we hated it. The more that we were forced day in and day out to hang around some of these people who just had the terrible employee mindset, the mindset of I’ve been at this job for a couple of years and I’m just getting settled in and I’m comfortable. I’m doing just enough not to get fired and I’m doing everything in my power to fill the eight hours a day and most of the time look busy.

If you’re an employee that’s great because a lot of people have six-figure jobs where they barely do anything or they’re middle management. In a lot of ways other than not having eight hours a day to themselves they have a pretty good life. When you’re transitioning and you’re … First of all, there’s the transition phase where maybe you go to a day job and then you have maybe a couple of hours every day to yourself. Maybe that’s a couple of hours in the morning, you wake up a little earlier or a couple of hours at night. Maybe you lose a little bit of time with your family there, but there’s that transition phase where you have to do both because it would be really scary to quit your day job or even worse get fired and have zero dollars and just be scrambling to even make up that 8 grand a month or 10 or 20 grand a month right off the bat. Almost nobody makes 10 grand a month their very first month except for maybe Lee McIntyre or someone like that.

It takes a couple of months to get this thing rolling, so it makes more sense to be transitioning. Maybe you go to your day job and do the best you can there, but then when you’re a self-employed entrepreneur you don’t have a boss to watch over you. Even if you did you can’t be doing just enough to not get fired because you actually have to deliver stuff. What you and I do as business partners is we sell solutions, we sell information products, we sell courses where someone comes to you, what’s called a sales letter. They click a button, they buy, they get some videos, they get a solution. Most of our energy and our effort is put into getting more eyeballs, getting more people to see those sales letters and things like that.

It comes down to the difference between … To answer your question, being an employee and an entrepreneur is an employee … As long as you don’t do something really terrible you’re not going to get fired. For the most part being an employee means filling the time and looking busy and doing just enough to not get fired. When you’re an entrepreneur, if you don’t deliver, if you don’t have X number of dollars coming in which means X number of sales of some product which means X number of clicks or email subscribers then you’re just not going to make money. The difference is instead of getting paid for the time you get paid for the solutions you provide.

Lance:
As you’re talking about this what really struck me was as an employee and I did the same thing that you described is I spent the majority of my time looking busy. If I really am honest about it I maybe worked 30 minutes to an hour a day and then the rest of the time it was taking a coffee break, going to lunch, coming in late, talking to whoever, looking busy, sitting at the computer pretending to type, all of these things that we do. Then when I started working for myself those habits are what kills so many entrepreneurs before they even get started.

If you really think about it it’s like if you only worked an hour, maybe you were a really good employee and you worked 3 to 4 hours. I don’t know many of those. If you did that same thing as an entrepreneur you would get just as much done and then instead of having to waste time you could use that time to do whatever it is. That’s the lifestyle, that’s what people are looking for. I think what they do is they come to work for themselves and they do those same things like I’m going to check email which is what, looking busy. I’m going to look at Facebook, looking busy. I’m going to research, looking busy. The truth is there’s some very specific things that need to be up in place in that same amount of time you can have them done.

Robert:
Yeah, at a job you’re looking busy for your boss, but if you’re working for yourself who the heck are you looking busy for? You’re the one losing out and so what you were saying there is there are a few things that need to be in place in any business. Even if you think that you’re super special and you’re in some new fangled niche you still need these things in place and what you and I call this is an Income Machine. There’s 8 components to it and I’ll just blow through them real quick. One is a niche which means you find a marketplace name and a domain name which means that you grab a .com address on the Internet. For example, LanceTamashiro.com, IncomeMachine.com. Then you need to have a web post which is a place where that website lives and a webpage. Then a lead capture page where someone can enter their name and email address usually in exchange for a free gift and then they became one of your email subscribers.

All the Internet marketers that make the most money have some of the biggest lists of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers. If they want to talk to those people, if they want to send traffic to a webpage they send a message to all those subscribers. Then the next step to the Income Machine is then that you have what’s called an autoresponder sequence. What we’re building here is that someone comes to your webpage, they come to your .com webpage and it might be, I don’t know, SuperStockTradingCrusher.com. They say I want to get into this stock trading stuff or maybe I tried stock trading, it didn’t quite work.

Now there’s this webpage where there’s a free report saying here’s my 7-step stock trading system. Great, I want it. I enter my name and email address, I get that free gift and then over time maybe once a day for 7 days the system follows up and says how’d you like that free report? Did you check out this and that? Here’s this other link I have to buy. Then we have what’s called a sales letter which is what you see most webpages that make money do where it says here’s this thing I have for sale, here’s a button to get it.

With Income Machine we also have you create a blog, so that if someone says all right, this guy, Lance Tamashiro, he’s selling a stock trading course. I’m going to look him up and I’m going to see does he have a Facebook, does he have a LinkedIn, does he have a YouTube channel? Great, he has a blog and there’s all these posts on there and he updates it every few days or every few weeks. Now he looks like a legitimate person and then when someone buys from you then they get to a download page or a membership site where you then deliver the thing they bought.

Finally, pretty much everything else in a place that you want to get to is now that the webpage is in place then now you look into traffic. You get traffic from guest blog posts, from Facebook, from Google, from Bing. We’ve been dancing around this subject here of how people have the day job mindset, they need to be an entrepreneur. Most of them are missing just even the most basic of pieces and those basic pieces are a niche and domain name, webhost and webpage, email opt in page, autoresponder sequence, sales letter and payment button, a blog, a membership site and traffic. I know that might seem like a lot of pieces, but if

you don’t have any of those pieces then I think you’re in trouble.

Lance:
All right, so I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a minute because the thing that comes to my head if I’m new and you’re saying these things to me is that every step of the way I think I don’t need that yet because I don’t have the other. For example, I think I don’t need an autoresponder sequence because I’ve got no opt in page or a lead capture page. Even if I did have one I don’t have anything to sell. Even if I did have something to sell I don’t have a sales page and even if I did I don’t have traffic.

I find that as you describe this on one hand I completely agree with you, on the other I think that I personally, and I know I went through this, get stuck because I feel I’m not going to do this because I don’t have that. I’m not going to do this because I don’t have that and then I go right back into employee mindset. Fine, I’ll do nothing. I’ll just look busy, research things about conversion rate because now I’m off thinking about bright shiny objects and topics that don’t really matter to me. Once I figure that out then I’ll go back, but I’m never going to get to that point. I’m always caught in this cycle of chicken and the egg.

Robert:
Yeah, chicken and the egg, exactly. This happens all the time when I’m going to clean my house. I think oh, there’s a bunch of clutter around, I need to vacuum also and so do I just clean the clutter and then vacuum or do I vacuum and then clutter. I get so overloaded and overwhelmed that I don’t wind up doing anything. I think that the natural employee mindset is to … Going back to looking busy, so I say I’ve got to get my opt in page right the first time. I’ve got to research or I’ve got to wait for some other of my fellow employees to do something else or I’ve got to ask someone else this question. I’ll wait a couple of days until I get an answer.

The short answer to your question is Resale Rights, so even if … To use that stock trading example, even if you know stock trading or you have some things to say about it you’re going to come up into some roadblock whether it’s what to name your stock trading course or what font to make the sales letter. There’s going to be some roadblock and that’ll just completely kill any momentum that you have. The short answer is to grab this thing called Resale Rights. As part of the Income Machine what we have you do is go to a Resale Rights site which I’ll just give it away. It’s Master-Resale-Rights.com. It’s not even our site, I don’t know why we give that guy so much traffic.

But we have you go out and buy a business in a box basically, a readymade report or video where someone else has already gone through who knows how many hours of researching some stuff, making some videos, making a whole package, usually making a whole sales letter. This way you have a starting point. It’s easier to edit crap than air, so you can literally go out to some of these Resale Right sites. If you want to teach knitting or you want to teach fly fishing, you want to teach stock trading, whatever subject, you go and buy this collection of videos usually for 10 or $20. Then you usually by doing this you have a good chunk of your Income Machine already made for you, you just have to set it up.

Usually if you went and bought a stock trading Retail Rights course you’d have videos or you’d have some product to sell. You’d usually have some sales letter, so all you would have to do is grab a domain name, set up a website, set up the sales letter, set up the button for someone to pay you and then to fill in the stuff like the opt in page and the autoresponder sequence. You could go out on YouTube and search YouTube for stock trading beginner, stock trading basics, how to trade your first stock. You could grab even 1 or 2 of those YouTube videos and then that is the free thing that you’re giving away. You can say I want to give you a video on how to trade some stocks. No one has to know that it’s not your video because you grabbed it off YouTube and YouTube allows people to share videos, so right there that takes care of your free gifts.

Then you could [inaudible 00:16:38] what we call a lead capture page where we just make a simple webpage with a headlines saying hey, struggling with trading stocks, want to know how to trade stocks? Enter your name and email address to claim your free video. At Income Machine we show you how to set up this form where then someone comes and finds you. They sign up and then they get their video and then when your system follows up with them throughout the next few days you can have an email saying hey, did you check out that video? Hey, what did you get from that video? Then you can go onto sites like ClickBank or you can just do a Google search for a stock trading affiliate program and register yourself as an affiliate for some other product.

Then when you register as an affiliate most of the time these programs will give you copy and paste emails where you can just dump them or copy and paste them into your autoresponder, so now most of that system is already set up. If you say I believe in putting out good stuff or I could do a better job that’s great and I’m sure that you can, but you have to start somewhere and you have to get the system in place. Like you said you have to avoid that chicken and egg problem of I can’t do A because of B, but I also can’t do B because of A.

At least if you get something set up in place then first of all that’ll be more than the average Internet marketer has ever gotten set up. Then you can look at the system you have and once it’s completely there then you can decide what you want to improve. If you want to create your own free video on stock trading to replace the YouTube one you got for free, if you want to write some better emails in your sequence, if you want to record a new product you can just replace one of the pieces in that Income Machine.

Lance:
I like that whole strategy of get it all up there, it’s easier to edit crap than air, so get everything in place and then decide what to improve. I think that the trap that so many people fall into besides the chicken and the egg is it has to be perfect. The truth is is that things are constantly changing. You’re always going to be making it better and finding things that work better or don’t work as well and changing things out. As you’re talking about this on one hand I’m going all right, let’s get this all out there. There’s the 8 pieces, the niche, the hosting, the lead capture page, the autoresponder sequence, sales page, blog, membership site and traffic. I like how you put it get that up there, but then on the other hand I feel overwhelmed. I feel it’s so much to do, where do I start, how do I get it done and I know you’ve got a system for doing that.

The gear I want to shift to really quick is one of the things when I first started taking classes from you and that I started learning from you was this whole idea of chunking things down into a bite-sized piece and your whole productivity method. What I like about the way that you talk about productivity is first of all, everything’s measurable and second of all, you know if it’s helping out your business, so can you talk … If somebody’s listening out there and they’re like I want to do what Robert’s saying. I’m going to get these 8 pieces up, oh, my gosh, I’m so overwhelmed, I’m right back to where I started. How does your productivity system and even managing your day-to-day activities help solve this problem?

Robert:
My productivity system, I guess our productivity system keeps it simple and it’s called 4 Daily Tasks. That system basically means that every day you need to complete and not just work on, chip away, do some of, complete 4 tasks, so 4 milestones that are directly related to your business and related to you on your phone, on your tablet, or on your computer. We’re not saying that you say task number 1, go get coffee. Task number 2, use the bathroom. Task number 3, take a shower. Task number 4, make a webpage. We say that … There are all these steps in the Income Machine and people might be overwhelmed and you might be used to doing things in parallel and not in series.

In parallel, that means if you have these eight things to do the employee mindset tells you I’m going to shave off 5% off the niche. I’ll figure out 5% of the web post. I’ll figure out 5% of the webpage and if you do it that way you’ll never finish. If you put all of your focus into what is my niche and domain name going to be and you don’t even think just yet about what your blog will look like, what your membership site will look like, what autoresponder message is, right now the only thing to figure out is what am I going to decide on for this thing called my niche.

We go and look at and we decide what skills and activities am I good at? What are people looking around for on the Internet or on forums? What competitors are out there? All I’m concerned about is just what that niche will be and just that domain name. I’m not thinking about getting business cards printed. I’m not thinking about getting graphics made. I’m not thinking about renting office space. The only focus is on just that niche and domain name. The natural tendency is to either think like an employee or to think like an artist because that’s another trap when it comes to working for yourself and being an entrepreneur is people think that they don’t have a process. Yes, you do. There’s definitely some checklist that people go through when they decide on what their niche is, what their domain name is. When they make a sales letter there’s for sure a set of steps that you take from having nothing to having something.

By realizing that in any given day we probably only do 4 things then every day we just complete 4 tasks and one is a simple 15-minute task and then the remaining 3 are 45-minute tasks. They’re spaced throughout the day and we take breaks and things like that. If someone is overwhelmed by all these 8 things then the first thing, the only thing to focus on right now is just what is your niche and what is your .com address going to be. Depending on how skilled or advanced you are with Internet marketing or computer stuff you might have a lot of really crazy tasks. Maybe if you’re new or if you found that your business just isn’t what you thought it was going to be a year ago and if it just hasn’t been growing at the speed you want it to or maybe you’ve been burned out then you need to separate out or chunk down your tasks better.

Even if today, if all you figured out was I need to find a niche, so maybe if one of your tasks today was to maybe list out 10 things that you’re good at and then your next task would be to go and find 10 competitors in your niche. Then the third task would be to list out 10 hooks or angles that your future product could use to solve a problem. Not even thinking about too many details, but just what’s the [inaudible 00:24:10] people need to know how to trade some simple stocks, how am I going to solve that problem. Then number 4 could be let me list out 10 possible .com domain names, so I can figure out what my website’s going to be.

If you did just those 4 things today or tomorrow and nothing else then you would make a heck of a lot more progress than the average entrepreneur. That means that if you just went through that really slow pace, even at that slow pace you’d be done in about a week. Even if it came time to something scary later on like a sales letter, [inaudible 00:24:46] say I go to some big long webpage and by the way a good example of that is at IncomeMachine.com. There’s all these real crazy webpages and people fall into the same trap. I got to write all this stuff, I got to figure out all this formatting, I got to figure out fonts and colors, got to go get a merchant account.

Instead if we said what if for your 4 tasks 1 task was just to get a blank webpage on there. Even just that alone is some progress. Task number 2 could be to put a headline on there. You might think that’s silly and simplistic, but at least if you did that you would have something that’s then complete. If step number 3 was to put up a payment button where someone could pay you and even if you don’t know yet how to make a membership site and things like that what if you just had a button where someone paid you $10. If you saw an email come in for $10 you clicked on reply and shot him off the PDF report or shot him off a link to the video.

At least that would be progress and then for your fourth and final task I guess you could say let me list out maybe even just 3 or 4 reasons why someone would want to buy this product from me, 3 or 4 bullet points. I think once again to answer your question I think that people fall into all kinds of traps that they think too far ahead, they get too crazy, and they try to do everything in parallel because it’s fun. Like ooh, I’m going to figure out my domain, I’m going to figure out my blog, I’m going to figure out autoresponder sequence and it’s just a better way of thinking is to assume that your toilet’s going to backup right now and that you’ll be busy the rest of the day.

Get the most important stuff knocked out first, get the most important stuff knocked out early especially because to go off on a little tangent there’s a chemical in your brain that wears off during the day. It’s responsible for your decision-making process which is why a lot of crimes are committed at night because you start the day with the best of intentions and you could make a lot of quick decisions, but as time goes on, the longer you’re awake it wears off. What if you woke up, you knocked out some 4 tasks, you’d have the rest of the day to do whatever the heck you wanted.

Lance:
Yeah, and what I love about the way that you put that is a couple of things. First of all, it’s a thing that we used to call in IT and corporate America degrees of doneness. When your boss says to you is that done? The answer’s always yes to the boss, but the real answer’s always no. You’re always working on something and what I love about the 4 Daily Task System is everything is 100% done when you complete the tasks. Like you said get a webpage up. It’s done, now there’s a blank page up. Put a headline on there. Now it’s done and you end up without all of this clutter in your head and you’re constantly moving forward to your goal.

The second thing that comes to mind as you’re talking about this is it gets rid of overwhelm and what people … We always hear online I got bright shiny object syndrome. It’s like but if you just focused on the task at hand that wouldn’t come up. If you know you’ve got these 8 things that you got to get done in order to get your online business online and you’re picking the niche, don’t worry about your membership site because you’re just picking your niche. It keeps you focused, it keeps you moving forward and I absolutely love this.

Robert, you’ve talked about all kinds of things from the difference between being an employee, working for somebody else and the things that are important and moving you forward which I think that everybody should take to heart exactly what you need in order to have an online business. More importantly how to get through those steps and how to manage your day, so that you don’t get overwhelmed, you do get things going. If somebody wants to find out more about your systems, more about how to get this thing online where can people find out more about you?

Robert:
They can find my blog at RobertPlank.com and if you want to set up your own Income Machine, if you want to buy something from us, from you and me, then they can go to IncomeMachine.com as well. You know what, too, one real quick thing here, Lance. You mentioned corporate America terminology and degrees of doneness. The other thing that comes to mind is feature creep where people say I got to make a webpage, I got to get a shopping cart, I got to add a countdown timer. We want to avoid feature creep and IncomeMachine.com avoids feature creep and gets us to the minimum viable product. You can have a webpage that’s ugly, not perfect, could be better, but as long as it’s beginning to make money then that’s somewhere we can go from there, so RobertPlank.com and IncomeMachine.com.

Lance:
Awesome. I love it, thanks for being here today. Everybody right now go check out RobertPlank.com, one of the best marketing and business blogs on the Internet. Also, check out IncomeMachine.com. You get all of the templates, you get all of the stuff, you get everything that you need plus handholding in order to get your online business set up. As always we always appreciate you listening to each and every episode of The Lance Tamashiro Show. Make sure you subscribe, make sure you leave a review, make sure you tell your friends about it and we’ll talk to you on the next episode of The Lance Tamashiro Show. Bye now.

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