EP83: Why you need a “Digital Lifestyle Business” NOW!
Building and owning a “digital lifestyle business” is the key to financial freedom and a flexible lifestyle.
Ashe Oro: 00:00 What's up and welcome back to the Liberty Entrepreneurs Podcast. I'm your host, Ashe Oro, and we've got a return guest today, Kevin Geary. He's the founder of sixfiguregrind.com and most recently The 250,000 Society. I think he calls The 250k Society. Welcome back to Liberty Entrepreneurs, Kevin.
Kevin Geary: 00:20 Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Ashe Oro: 00:21 Yeah. Listeners will recognize Kevin from episode 70 where we talk about everything you know about food is wrong, but I had to get Kevin back on the show because there's this concept of a digital lifestyle business that he's been promoting on social media and on his podcasts and on his websites, and it really clicks with me, someone who's a digital entrepreneur and nomad and loves the idea of build a business that takes care of you and your family, and you don't have to build the next Microsoft or Apple.
Ashe Oro: 00:52 Kevin, can you give us a brief background of who you are and what is the Six Figure Grind?
Kevin Geary: 00:59 That is my current mission is to help anybody who's interested. If you're out there listening and you have some entrepreneurial blood inside you, and you want to take advantage of what I see as the biggest opportunity of the history of the human race really when you look at it. The ability to build an online lifestyle business like you just said takes care of yourself and your family yet you don't have to go to the length of building some massive thing that has a bunch of risks and that you need venture capital for and all of this other stuff. Right? It's just an online business with very low overhead that you can manage doing something that you love and it doesn't take a ton of your time. It gives you location independence. It gives you financial independence. It gives you schedule independence.
Kevin Geary: 01:47 When we talk about freedom, there isn't really a way to get more freedom than that especially if you compare it to conventional landscape of business right now where most people are married to a location and a schedule, and they have to ask permission if they want to travel the world or something for just a few days even. Right? There is no freedom in that model. This would be the ultimate freedom building on my lifestyle business. My mission is to help people take advantage of that.
Ashe Oro: 02:19 Did you previously come from the corporate world?
Kevin Geary: 02:23 Not the corporate world, but the brick and mortar world for sure. The very first real established business that I built, I've been an entrepreneur pretty much my entire life. I was a co-owner of a martial arts studio. I built myself a location and a schedule, and I basically built myself a job. I did not like the martial arts industry the way that it was headed as I got towards the end of that journey. A lot of selling outs. I was partnered with a guy that just wasn't a good fit for me, and I wanted out. Right?
Kevin Geary: 02:59 I saw the Internet as a way to do that. I started building online businesses. Since 2013, I would say August 2013, is the month where I got rid of that other business, that brick and mortar martial arts studio, went online full time and I've been supporting myself and my family of five online full time since then.
Ashe Oro: 03:25 I actually remember that. I was one of your clients back then. I kept up with you on the School Sucks Podcast. I think you were semi-frequent guest on there. You're right. Liberty Entrepreneurs is all about creating and building liberty in your own life and I completely agree with you as someone who has built a digital lifestyle business myself Liberty Virtual Assistants. I came from more of the corporate or brick and mortar world where I sat at a desk every single day doing almost the same thing every day with slight variations. I would have pinned up pictures of Thailand and Honduras and all these places that I told myself I would travel to, but the problem was I only got two weeks every year of vacation time. While I knew it was voluntary for me to be there I didn't feel that I was truly free until like you said I started building this online business.
Ashe Oro: 04:20 Let's get down in the nitty gritty here, Kevin. I know that you create a lot of content and high quality content. Let me give you props on that as someone who has created and struggled with content, you offer a lot of high quality content and the value of the content that you create is always actionable, which is something that I really appreciate. Let's just talk about some of this content that you've created and why you give away what seems like really valuable inside tips for free for people because doesn't that kind of just educate potential competition?
Kevin Geary: 04:55 You know it kind of does in a way. It depends on what your strategy is. Right? My strategy online primarily has been a content marketing strategy, so for those who aren't familiar with that term it's the production of content and that content shows up in a way that's very helpful for your target market. When people come across that content or they search for that content on Google for example and that comes up as a search result, they click on it, they consume that content, they like what they hear, they like what they see, they want more, they start following you. Right?
Kevin Geary: 05:26 You start to build an audience. You build a tribe, and then that is just basically attention at the end of the day. When you have somebody's attention or lots of people's attention you can monetize that attention. Now the way that I do it and the way that I teach it is not to just monetize attention. It's not like all right, well, we have all these people, let's just run ads and put ads in front of them and advertisers will pay us. Like to me that's a very cheap way of monetization. Whereas for me and the way the process that I teach it's all about building value. It's all about identifying pain points, a niche, or a market or desires and fulfilling those.
Kevin Geary: 06:07 When people pay you literally you are having a significant impact on their life. That's what they're trading their money for. It's not like when anybody hears, "Oh, yeah, make money online," they think like, "Sure." They think like ads, they think all this nonsense. Right? No. I'm talking about building legitimate online businesses where you are creating a significant impact on people's lives and hopefully that's aligned with something that you are passionate about doing. That's another part of this that I teach. It's not like, "Well, let's just come up with an idea and build a business around it."
Kevin Geary: 06:44 No, we need to find something that you love to do, you're passionate about, you're pretty good at. Let's build a business around that.
Ashe Oro: 06:51 I'm absolutely going to come back to that passion because it's something that is necessary. As far as like the foundational steps of creating content because you know I did this with Liberty Entrepreneurs. I never thought about cash flowing Liberty Entrepreneurs or making it the business. I know that you've done similar things. Does it seem counterintuitive to a new digital entrepreneur to create all this content and spend all this time and then just give it away for free? Is there like something that clicked for you that's like, "Okay, now I have this tribe. I have these people's attention. Now I can start selling them something." Or did you have the game plan coming in like, "Okay, this is what I'm going to write about. This is what I'm going to eventually offer them in services or products," and immediately upsell them. Was it more of an evolution of thought?
Kevin Geary: 07:37 Well, in the early days of building online businesses it was an evolution of thought mainly because I was also new. I was learning how to build online businesses. Now I've done it for so long, and I've helped so many other people do it, that I know a predictable repeatable process for this. Right? One thing that I just released that people can get for free is called the One Page Freedom Plan. It's basically a one page business plan for creating an online lifestyle business. It comes with a 90 minute online workshop that's completely free as well. So that workshop basically goes into detail on all the points of the One Page Freedom Plan and explains why each point is so important and how to create that plan in an effective manner for their lifestyle business.
Kevin Geary: 08:27 I'm helping people start through that model. To answer your question, with Six Figure Grinds for a lot of businesses there is a journey obviously that a customer might go through. With online business in Six Figure Grind there's going to be people at the very, very beginning, and then there's going to be people who have been doing this, and they want to take their business to the next level or they've gotten some success and they're stuck, and they want to get unstuck.
Kevin Geary: 08:54 I made the decision, all right, well which group am I really going to monetize here? Which group do I really want to serve with a product or a service? When I was looking at it it was the people who want to take their businesses to the next level or get unstuck in their business. I'm talking completely about online businesses. I can product ... Now, I also want to attract lots of people who want to start online businesses. Right? I don't necessarily want to make them buy into something to get started. I'm free because I know that if they use my content to get started, and they see traction and they see momentum, they're going to ask me for help to get to the next level. Right?
Kevin Geary: 09:41 If I can get them started for free and gain the trust and show them I know what I'm talking about, I'm going to be the person they come to when they're ready to pay and go to the next level.
Ashe Oro: 09:50 Right.
Kevin Geary: 09:51 That's how I can create tons and tons of really awesome content like the One Page Freedom Plan, like the Freedom Plan Master Class, like all my blog posts and not worry about the fact that it's free.
Ashe Oro: 10:01 Yeah, it's like the idea is Kevin's giving this type and this quality and this amount of information away for free, I can't imagine what he's giving away behind his pay wall.
Kevin Geary: 10:13 That, and then there's a second thing is doing work inside The 250k Society I'm working very closely with online business owners to grow their business. Every conversation I have I realize this could never be a blog post. This could never be a podcast episode. It literally takes that environment of working closely with people to change their business. It can't be a one size fits all thing that's just published in a blog.
Ashe Oro: 10:39 Right. It's a perspective building. I'd like to talk about that perspective building because this whole idea of a digital lifestyle business even though to you and I it seems obvious at this point, it's still very under the radar and obviously this isn't going to be taught in university classes. I just saw that Microsoft and a couple of big name, Apple, some of these businesses came out last week or maybe it was this past week and said that they no longer require a college degree to get hired as an engineer or as anyone. What does that say to you about where this economy is going?
Kevin Geary: 11:17 I think for a very long time various aspects of the economy relied on gatekeepers of various types. The Internet has brought a lot of that down. For example, what we're doing now was always protected by gatekeepers. You couldn't just have a radio show, you know? Now you can talk to anybody anywhere in the world as often as you want. There's no gatekeepers. The university has created gatekeepers out of degrees and so on and so forth. We went away from a model of apprenticeship where people actually learned under other people, gained those skills, and then became the top person.
Kevin Geary: 11:57 It was a perfectly fine model. For some reason we went to the university model where everybody needs a permission slip to go and do work.
Ashe Oro: 12:05 Right.
Kevin Geary: 12:05 I think the Internet has really helped tear that down and we're going to move back to a model where I think the Googles of the world and the Facebooks of the world are starting to realize, "Well, the people coming out of universities still need a lot of work. We have to mold them. We have to get them up to speed because a lot of the stuff they're learning is not even hyper relevant to the current time.
Ashe Oro: 12:28 Or relevant at all.
Kevin Geary: 12:29 Or relevant at all. So they've had all these people. They've realized I think they've had a bunch of developers who are amazing developers and up on current technology trying to get in, and there's just this rule that was like, "No, you don't have a degree so you can't get it." Right?
Kevin Geary: 12:46 They're like, "What are we doing here? We're turning away some of the best people in the world because of this rule." It goes back to something that I've recognized for a long time in that businesses are going to start getting ... Especially when everybody has a degree, businesses are going to get tired of looking at permission slips. I just put this on Instagram today. I just put a meme about this up today. I custom created it. It's on my Instagram channel.
Ashe Oro: 13:13 What's your Instagram channel?
Kevin Geary: 13:16 Kevin Michael Geary.
Ashe Oro: 13:17 Okay.
Kevin Geary: 13:18 You can link to it in the show notes.
Ashe Oro: 13:19 Sure.
Kevin Geary: 13:21 It's basically a graphic that talks about no longer creating resumes, create case studies. A business wants somebody to come in and drop a stack of case studies on their desk. They don't want somebody to come in and drop a resume on their desk. Everybody has a resume. Everybody's resume says the same shit. Drop a stack of case studies that says, "Look at what I did, this, this, this, and this." You're hired. You're done. You drop a resume, you might as well show yourself out.
Ashe Oro: 13:49 It's like what I love about GitHub is for programmers I don't need to see your resume. Show me your GitHub. Show me what you've built.
Kevin Geary: 13:56 Show me what you've done.
Ashe Oro: 13:58 I'm tired of talking the talk. Show me how you've built the build or whatever. Even with like Liberty Virtual Assistants. The virtual assistants aren't even close to the types of resumes that you'd get at Google, but I've thought about not even checking resumes anymore. Don't even send us a resume. Show us what you've built. Show us who you've managed, show us how you've managed them. Show us what tools. Give us a little lume video or something to show us what tools you know how to organize yourself in. Can you work a CRM? Can you work a calendar? Are you familiar with professional emails? What can you do because I don't care what somebody else says you can do on some piece of paper.
Ashe Oro: 14:34 It's really amazing how it's so simple in terms of like just digging in there and working hard and finding a niche. It's not simple to create a profitable business, that's for sure. What do you credit that mentality, that perspective, that hustle, that grind to just take the time and work hard? Maybe it's not going to be your first or second choice, not choice, but option. Maybe you're not going to have the success that you want in your first time, but what is it? What type of characteristics does someone have to be a grinder?
Kevin Geary: 15:08 Well, I think first of all you have to be willing to hustle. You have to be willing to grind. Now Six Figure Grinds, the name Six Figure Grind, I'm still not even like married to it that much or even ... I definitely see some downsides to it. I don't want people to think that it's going to be a grind forever for example. Right? At the same time I think the reason I chose that is because it's important that if people are going to do this that they're wiling to grind. Right? A lot of people again hear, "Oh, making money online, like, I just click a few buttons, and just ..." You know it's like an ATM machine or something. That's not how it works. You have to be willing to put in legit work.
Kevin Geary: 15:50 You do have to be able to manage yourself especially in the beginning. I don't think this is so much of a thing, but when people start getting success I notice they're like it's very easy to just "Oh, let me sit on my back porch for a few hours and chill," instead of like actually doing something for their business and moving things forward. That's something that people can deal with once they get started going. Just to get started, the main thing is to overcome the fear.
Kevin Geary: 16:18 I think there's a lot of fear. There's a lot of baggage around getting going with something like this, and I know that because I talk to so many people who they have an idea, we've validated it, they've done the One Page Freedom Plan, and yet they're still like just not pulling the trigger on it for various reasons. Getting over that first hurdle once people are implementing and they're going, then I've noticed their natural drive takes over.
Kevin Geary: 16:44 I think that most people, most human beings, have that drive inside them to like, "All right, if I've got a real vision that I'm passionate about, I'm going to execute on it." The big problems come in when people choose something that just is like a money making opportunity, and no passion, well good luck with that.
Ashe Oro: 17:02 Yeah. Do you think the passion comes from solving pains. We're not taught in school to look at pains in society and then build a business around solving that pain. Do you think that's it? It's just people aren't passionate or bought into the pains?
Kevin Geary: 17:17 I think that's a huge reason. The whole process of going to get a degree and then getting a job is kind of like pigeon holes people almost into doing something that they're not really that passionate about. Because when you're super young and you're like, "All right, what should I get a degree in?" You might choose something that sounds good at the time and you think you're passionate about, but then you get so far in.
Kevin Geary: 17:41 Let me use a lawyer as an example. I want to be a lawyer. We're going to go to law school and all this stuff, and you grind and you grind. Then you might determine at some point, "Well, I don't really like ... I'm not that passionate about this," except you're so pot committed at this point. You spent so much money. You spent so much time. Your parents are expecting you to finish this thing and go up. Now we're taking all these people, we're putting them in positions that they realized at some point down the line they're not super passionate about.
Kevin Geary: 18:11 Then we see drive problems, and then we see like the companies are complaining, "Oh my workers aren't productive, blah, blah, blah." Well, you have the wrong people in the wrong seats doing the wrong thing. If we fix that, you'll see a difference in productivity.
Ashe Oro: 18:23 Yeah, I felt that in engineering. Three years into engineering undergrad, and I was like, "I hate these Laplace transforms and finding the voltage and current around all of these nodes." I'm like, "Well, I have to do it now." It's like the sunk cost fallacy. I put three years into college and $150,000 of that, I have to graduate. Then you work in a cube, and you're like, "My God, I can't believe that this is what I thought I wanted to do." I didn't even know what I wanted to do.
Kevin Geary: 18:51 Exactly.
Ashe Oro: 18:52 I went to computer engineering school thinking that it was going to be fun like what I was doing in high school working for Staples. Right? Office Max or something. Hooking up hard drives and putting in CD burners and stuff. I thought that was computer engineering because I was young and naïve. You know, you're 17 or 18 years old. Compare that with the speed and the flexibility of building an online digital lifestyle business.
Kevin Geary: 19:19 All right. So this is very important for people, and this is going to be a good plug for you and what you do. Right? People could easily say, "All right Kevin. Yeah, I get it. Building an online business around something you're passionate about. That sounds amazing." However, there's got to be a ton of stuff in building an online business that you don't like to do and that you're not passionate about. That's absolutely true. It's 100% true. That you choose an area of passion and expertise and you start to build an online business around that. Then suddenly you have bookkeeping. You've got ... There's many areas that you don't want anything to do with. Well, guess what? When you are the owner of an online lifestyle business, you don't have to do those things. You can outsource those things.
Kevin Geary: 20:01 Now thanks to the Internet you don't have to outsource it with high cost labor from the United States. Like you can literally get people from anywhere because you have a location independent business. If there's something you're not passionate about inside that business that's not your area of brilliance and expertise and passion, that needs to be done by somebody else. You delegate that, and then you focus on your gifts and your vision and you work on your actual business.
Ashe Oro: 20:30 It brings me a question. I know that you do a lot, Kevin. I mean, I can tell by the quality of the stuff that you put out that you've got your hands in a lot of stuff. For you, what has that delegation process felt like or been like? It's something that in my opinion stands out between okay entrepreneurs and great entrepreneurs. If you're able to remove yourself, claim back your time, and now you've built a little business. It's like an engine that runs on its own without you. You can take time away or you can go sit on the porch if you want. What is that like? I know it's uncomfortable.
Kevin Geary: 21:04 It is uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable for a couple of reasons. Number one, if you like to have a lot of control like I do. That's just part of my personality. It's hard to give up that control to other people and actually delegate the right way where you're kind of hands off with something. You show somebody how it needs to be done and how you want it done, but it's got to be up to them at that point. You can't just sit there and micromanage. If you do micromanage, you haven't really given yourself any extra freedom. You know? You've just given yourself another person to sit there with. It's even worse than just doing it yourself if you're going to micromanage somebody. So that's uncomfortable, and that's an area of growth that I think a lot of people need to go through if they're going to be a successful business owner. Right?
Kevin Geary: 21:49 The second aspect that was the hardest for me to get over, and I consider it a curse. A lot of people look at me and they're like, "Gosh, yeah, you've been successful fast because you can do all the stuff yourself. You can build a website." It's like, "You don't need a programmer. You don't need a designer. You've got all these skills." That's actually a curse. Right? Because it means that I'm trying to do everything realizing that I have those skills, and that's not the way it should be done. That's not the way the business should be built.
Kevin Geary: 22:21 People come into the online business world who are not tech savvy, and they immediately create a much stronger kind of company because they don't try to do it all themselves because they don't even know where to start with half of it.
Kevin Geary: 22:35 They build the business the right way from the beginning because they have to. They don't end up in a quagmire like I did where it's like I'm just trying to do everything, and then you try to bring in people at that point, and it's like people cleaning up your mess. That's another area where I had to learn to step away from my own skills and put other people in the positions.
Ashe Oro: 22:58 I guess it's bit of a Catch 22, you know? It's like early on you want to do everything because you're learning and you're adopting. You want to keep that professionalism high. You want to get that quick feedback loop of your customers or the Internet, people leaving comments, or customers complaining or stuff like that. Then it's like well are you okay with just building yourself a job so that you don't have to go in? Are you okay instead of going into the office, you go into your home office like I'm sitting in right now? Or is the final goal for you to remove yourself in so many aspects of your business so that you can take that two week vacation and maybe you check in once every couple of days and that's it?
Ashe Oro: 23:40 For my virtual assistant staff I speak to them every Monday morning. There are times that Sunday night ... I mean, Sundays are work days people if you want to grind and build a lifestyle business here. I checked in, and I have an hour call with each of my two teams on Monday morning, Sunday night for me because they're in the Philippines. We set the week. Then they check in periodically if they need me. They write me a mid-week report on Wednesday and end of week report on Fridays. I review them, and here we go. If anything high maintenance comes in or priority, then you the entrepreneur has to jump in and start doing this. This whole digital delegation, digital lifestyle business is way easier.
Ashe Oro: 24:21 Something that I've been pushing recently, and I don't want to make this a big advertisement for me, but you need management experience. You need digital management experience. How are you going to get digital management experience if you have to hire somebody for $25 or $30 an hour in the United States, pay the Obamacare tax, pay all the regulations that comes along with US people. How are you going to do that? A digital lifestyle business means you don't have to do that. You can choose to hire Americans or Europeans if you want of their overly high salaries and protected benefits from the government or you can hire someone overseas who has similar experience but at $5.00 an hour or something like that.
Ashe Oro: 25:03 Kevin, let's get real here. How much time and how much money in the first six months do you think it's going to take somebody to build an online business?
Kevin Geary: 25:18 Well, if they try to do it all themselves, if they try to do it all alone like figure it out on their own so they don't have any guidance from somebody that is experienced, then it's going to take a lot of time. It's going to take a lot of effort. It's going to take a lot more money, and it's probably not going to find the success that it should find. If they have the right guidance, if they have the right plan, it's so hard to answer. It's very niche dependent, and it depends on how they want to monetize.
Kevin Geary: 25:47 You can get a profitability online very, very quickly. Let's just get that out of the way. There's not a lot of expenses to get started. There's not a lot of overhead. You don't need a big team. Right? I've done easily created six figure businesses with one team member. Right? When I say one team member, I mean like somebody actually on the team working ... I'm not just talking about freelancers here and there. Because you're going to need, "All right, can I get a freelancer to put my website together?" All right, sure. Let's do that. But that's not a person that you have to work with on a continual basis forever. It's just somebody that you hired to get the job done, and then we move on.
Kevin Geary: 26:25 You don't need a big team. You don't need a lot of expenses. We're talking about getting your website up, getting hosting up, getting an email list. Those would be primary things. The email list is going to be a primary sales channel for people, so if you've got a website and you've got your email list, you don't need much else. You don't need much else to start making money. It's not hard to get profitable with just those components.
Ashe Oro: 26:51 I'm just going through your website here, sixfiguregrind.com/blog. I just have to read out the title of some of these blog posts that you've written. "Why I Switched From OptinMonster to ConvertBox." If you don't know what either one of those are, you've got to check out that blog. "10 Ways an SEO Specialist Can 10x Your Business." If you're not implementing SEO on your website, how are you ever expecting to get organic search from Google and have people find your website without paying for it? "Your About Me Page Sucks: Here’s How to Fix It in 3 Steps." Who even thinks about their about me page?
Ashe Oro: 27:26 You've got of course right here an online lifestyle business ... A one page business plan that's invaluable. Do people even write business plans anymore or do they just jump in there and try to figure it out as they go? Backlinko. I mean, you've got so much stuff here. Digital marketing strategy guide. "Is Email Blast Dead: How to Send Really Good Emails in 2018."
Ashe Oro: 27:48 It's just really amazing, man. I'm just so impressed.
Kevin Geary: 27:53 Ventilating, isn't it?
Ashe Oro: 27:56 As a content creator I know the effort that you have to put in to create stuff like this and to edit it and to give it away. I'll chime in here and answer my own question. For me, a 12 hour day for the first year or at least six months of grinding, I found to be really valuable. For me, I felt like per month with one VA and with a couple online subscriptions you're looking at maybe $600 or $700 a month to try to build your freedom. Now, this sounds a lot different than the startup world. What's the difference between a startup and a digital lifestyle business? Because I think some listeners may be thinking that we're talking about startups.
Kevin Geary: 28:43 I think one of the main differences with a startup, and if you look at the traditional startup lifestyle I mean first of all, yeah, they're grinding 12 to 16 hours a day. Most of them are tracking venture capital, so there's a ton of money coming in, not from the products that they're building and the services necessarily, just from investors. Now they're bringing people on board who they have to answer to and they are managed by and put under pressure by, and they're going to build huge teams, and they're going to build huge infrastructure. It all boils down to one word, "risk." Lots and lots of risk when you're building a startup in the culture. Right?
Kevin Geary: 29:22 Where an online business ... And, yes, I've worked many 12 hour days, still work 12 hour days sometimes. The difference is number one I'm so passionate about what I'm doing it doesn't even feel like work. I want to do it. Number two, if I wanted to just take a month off and just be like, "I'm not touching it for a month. I just want to sit on a beach for a month." I could do that. So there's the flexibility and freedom there. The thing is is that when you do something you're passionate about you don't want to just take a month off. When I go on vacation I want to be still in touch with my businesses. I still want to be writing. I still want to be recording podcasts because I love it. That's doing something you're passionate about whereas in the startup world just the risk and the pressure is so high. By the way, the failure rate is so astronomically high. That's another thing that most people I don't think see.
Kevin Geary: 30:19 If you look at the inner workings of the startup culture, the one thing that's actually being talked about now is the skyrocketing of the suicide rate among startup founders because there's so much pressure, because there's so much risk. A lifestyle business online is almost the opposite. There's almost no pressure. There's almost no risk. If you have a job right now, nobody's telling you quit that job and jump into an online lifestyle business and grind until you make that successful. The beauty of it is that you can literally build it on the side first. Let it get traction. Let it get momentum and then move to it. When you do it that way, there really is not much risk at all.
Ashe Oro: 31:01 I'm really glad that yo mentioned that. I was about to ask. I built my lifestyle business while I had a job. I was getting paid a salary and in my spare time I thought that I'd noticed a pain in the marketplace, and I built something around it. I actually bought a service of virtual assistant service, and I felt they just didn't do a great job, and I could do better. Is that the mindset of somebody who's going to build a lifestyle business? Is that an easy way to start identifying some of these opportunities?
Ashe Oro: 31:31 Okay, this is already being done. It's not great. I can make it better, cheaper. I could do better customer support because I feel like people think, "Oh, I need to invent the next Apple."
Kevin Geary: 31:42 Yeah, no. I actually when I teach people how to do this I tell them don't be a pioneer. Don't be an inventor. Find a pain or a desire that already exists and fill that need, and so one part of the freedom plan master class and the one page freedom plan people are going to see is that it asks you to find and specifically list your top three competitors. I think when a lot of people who don't have business experience come in, they have an idea, and they start to look around and then they email me and they're like, "Kevin, I had this idea, but when I started researching, there's already people doing it." I was like, "Good. Go do that now. Go do it much better than they're doing it."
Kevin Geary: 32:25 If there's competitors, it means there's opportunity. There's the ability for this thing to work. If you go look for competitors who are doing what you want to do, and you don't see any, that's a really big red flag. Step back, press pause. You probably don't want to go there. Right? There needs to be competitors.
Ashe Oro: 32:44 You don't need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to make it a little bit smoother, spin a little bit faster, a little bit better construction, or just give better customer support. It's amazing how that situation-
Kevin Geary: 32:55 There's a lot of ways. Going back to ... Let's talk about pains and desires for a second because there is in almost every niche when there are competitors already doing something, I can almost guarantee that those competitors have not done the leg work of talking to enough people in their niche that they're serving. Most businesses are created with, yes, they identified a pain point or a desire, and then they built what they thought people needed, and then they've been pivoting since then. The process that I teach is to go in and have legit conversations. I give people specific questions to ask people. We look for patterns of not just pains and desires but deep pains and deep desires. We're going to start targeting those, and that's how, number one, we're going to niche down and number two we're going to show up in a unique way and that's leg work that most companies haven't done. When you do that leg work, you identify an opportunity that has not been identified. Even though we're in the same niche as these other competitors we might approach it in a similar way. We have insight that they don't have. It allows you to immerge into the market in a way that is just refreshing to people. They're like, "That's exactly what I've wanted and needed the entire time."
Kevin Geary: 34:17 They immediately come flock to you instead of these other people. You can get traction very, very quickly.
Ashe Oro: 34:24 It's that validation thing. It's that validation level that your clients are willing to do that most people see as like busy work or extra work or "Oh, I've already got these clients. I don't need to do this." Yeah, it helps you get down in that niche and look like you're putting value first rather than just trying to sell somebody something.
Kevin Geary: 34:43 Absolutely.
Ashe Oro: 34:44 It's amazing if you just ask your customers or ask your Facebook, poll people and see what people want, and they'll tell you. Just ask questions. One thing that I struggled with early being a digital entrepreneur is you also got to be a salesperson. You also have to be able to sell. In your opinion, how important is that role of sales and have I overemphasized previously the amount of sales technique or experience that a digital entrepreneur needs?
Kevin Geary: 35:17 It's 100% important. It's probably the most important thing. Now, it's hard to talk about sales tactics and sales strategies. I did a podcast on this where I basically said I have an extremely high close rate on sales calls. I don't use any sales tactics or sales strategies though. I outline my exact process for approaching these sales calls. The bottom line is when people hear "sales," they, I think, immediately think of like people who pressure them into buying things, used car salesman, scammy people, telemarketers, and all of that. That's not what sales is. Sales is you helping other people make a decision on the products and services that you offer, which hopefully are products and services that like I said a little while ago create a massive impact in this person's life.
Kevin Geary: 36:11 If you truly believe in your product or service, then you should be shouting that from the rooftops. You should legitimately love to sell people because you know that people got to have it. If you have the cure for some disease or something, and you see all these people with the disease, you would be super passionate about selling them on this thing. That's how you need to approach your products and your services and the act of selling. If you do it that way, you have a legitimate product, you have a legitimate service, you're passionate about it, you know it's going to have an impact, and you can communicate the impact that it's going to have, you've just sold somebody. That's all you have to do.
Kevin Geary: 36:48 Get on the phone with them. Get in front of the right people at the right time with that message, and it just works out.
Ashe Oro: 36:54 Be curious. See if you saw a pain that they have, and if you don't, maybe they're not a client. It's okay.
Kevin Geary: 37:01 Exactly.
Ashe Oro: 37:02 It's all right.
Kevin Geary: 37:03 Selling is not just finding random people and pushing your products and services on them. Finding the people that actually need it and then you have a conversation with them.
Ashe Oro: 37:13 Exactly.
Kevin Geary: 37:14 Lead them along, and you both come to the same conclusion that this is what's best. We need to buy this thing. Right?
Ashe Oro: 37:19 I love the line, "Selling is not telling." You just can't tell somebody that you're going to solve all their problems. Find out if you got the problem to begin with. You use the word "impact," and it stuck with me. We are both libertarian type of digital entrepreneurs and we share a lot of similar ideology, but we are in very different situations right now. I'm a single guy, not married, no kids, traveled the world. You, you're a family guy. You've got a wife. You've got a couple children. What has the impact been on you now that you have this digital lifestyle business, and just what has it meant for your family in general?
Kevin Geary: 38:01 Yeah, that's a great question because we talk about freedom. We talk about location independence and schedule independence. What that looks like from a family standpoint is number one I'm home with my kids at all times. I don't miss out on their life. They don't miss out on me just being gone all of the time, and that's huge. Very, very important. I've been able to have full control of my children's education. It's not like, "Well, both parents work, we got to stick them in public school, and we've got this, and we've got that."
Kevin Geary: 38:39 My oldest daughter is in a local Montessori, three days a week. Then we homeschool the rest of the time. We also, therefore, aren't tied to the public school system's rules of, "Oh, you can't travel right now." For example, we're going to go to Panama City on Thursday in just like two days. Next month we're going to Phoenix. We're taking a trip out there for a week or so. I'm just able to take my kids and "All right, let's get on a plane. Let's head out to Phoenix." I don't have to ask anybody permission, the public school system, a boss, nobody. We're going to go out there, and we're going to use that trip. We're seeing family, but we're also going to use that trip to show them the desert, and we're probably going to go to a zoo and we're going to do all these fun amazing things and experiences.
Kevin Geary: 39:25 Again, we have 100% flexibility. Legitimately, I could stay out there for a month with them if I wanted to before we had to come back. That is, again, going back to the ultimate freedom. I mean, what else do you need at this point? You have the money. You can go anywhere you want. You can do whatever you want to do. You don't have to ask anybody's permission. That's it.
Ashe Oro: 39:45 Think about the perspective that your children are getting. Seeing their father build his own business to take care of the family. They're seeing you work. They're not seeing you just leave every day and disappear, and they have to go shuttle off to public school or something. The inside perspective that they can get I think is one of the lesser talked about benefits of creating a lifestyle business. If you have children, you're going to learn so much about taking care of yourself financially. That knowledge is going to be passed on. It's the best type of school that they could have is the internship without having to work for someone else.
Kevin Geary: 40:21 Yeah, because I'm going to be teaching them. Instead of them getting the perspective of you go to this building, this building teaches you lots of things, and then they send you off to this other building, and if you do well enough in this building, they'll give you a permission slip to go get this thing called a job. You work for the company and then they'll pay you to support yourself. Right? You just do that for the rest of your life.
Kevin Geary: 40:43 We're going to do completely different. Here's how I make an impact in other people's lives, and I get paid to do that. Here's how I figured out the impact I wanted to make. Now, what impact do you want to make? Let's go figure out how to make that impact. When you do that, you're going to get paid to. Right?
Kevin Geary: 41:02 They're going to learn how to do this basically cutting out all the middle men. Education middle men, the permission slip middle men, the corporate middle men. Let's just go make an impact on people's lives.
Ashe Oro: 41:12 Right. Let's just go build value somewhere, and let's create value for the world and value is going to come back to us. We're going to take care of ourselves, and we're going to do what the hell we want without asking anyone's permission. If that's not liberty, I don't know what is.
Kevin Geary: 41:24 That's it.
Ashe Oro: 41:24 Kevin, I really appreciate you coming on the show, man. What have we not covered that you'd like to hit on?
Kevin Geary: 41:31 Oh man, I think let's talk a little bit more about the fear, just because I know there's going to be a lot of people listening who are like, "Gosh, that sounds so amazing, but I don't know if I can do it."
Ashe Oro: 41:42 But, right.
Kevin Geary: 41:43 "I don't know how to get started." After that "but," there's a laundry list of things.
Ashe Oro: 41:49 Sure, yep.
Kevin Geary: 41:51 What I would encourage them to do is go download the one page freedom plan and just stare at it for a minute. Some of it is not even going to make sense to you, but just stare at it for a minute. There's a single sheet of paper that if you are able to fill this out at some point this is the roadmap for changing your entire life. Right?
Kevin Geary: 42:13 After you stare at that paper for a minute and you decide, "I think I want to take one more step." Okay? Go do the Freedom Plan Master Class. Again, that's free. You don't have to pay for any of this. You get the one page, you print it out. You go do the Freedom Plan Master Class. At the end of that class if you aren't fired up, if you have any questions, contact me. I will help you out. At the end of that class you are going to have a clear vision for what needs to happen next. Again, this is the ability, the opportunity to change the entire scope of your life. You don't have to leave what you're doing right now. Nobody's asking you to jump ship. Nobody's asking you to take huge risks. Just go one step at a time. Those are your first two steps. It's all going to start becoming very, very clear to you how this can all work.
Ashe Oro: 43:01 It can be very scary and very just like vague at first. It's like I don't even know where to start. How do I even get an email list? What do I do here? I'm just overwhelmed, and I'm just going to go into work and forget about it.
Kevin Geary: 43:15 The first part of the Freedom Plan Master Class is about finding your big idea. If you don't even have an idea yet, the first part of that class is going to show you a process for arriving at an idea. Then we go from there.
Ashe Oro: 43:27 Yeah. It's wonderful. I imagine just like everything else you do this is a very hands on action oriented type of situation.
Kevin Geary: 43:35 It's zero fluff. It's 100% actionable content. I've gotten amazing feedback on it so far, so, yeah, I think it's really going to help some people.
Ashe Oro: 43:46 I want everyone to go over and check out sixfiguregrind. I'll spell it out, S-I-X, figuregrind.com, and just read how Kevin writes. Read like the realness and the bluntness in his tone of writing style. He's not here to fuck around.
Kevin Geary: 43:59 Definitely not.
Ashe Oro: 44:00 I mean he's very passionate about helping you build an online business, a digital lifestyle business. I really appreciate the bluntness, the perspective that you bring. I love how you incorporate freedom into everything that you do and that you're a for sure liberty entrepreneur. I know that I've learned lot from you. I learned a lot going through your program earlier several years ago, a different program, but just seeing how you build and seeing how it's really not that difficult to build once you get some momentum going and you're passionate about it. If anyone listening to this podcast is fearful or you don't know what the next step is or you just don't think it's possible to build an online business, and you're safer in your corporate world, just go download the Freedom Plan and check it out. It might even take you a weekend, entire weekend, to build up the courage to fill out this one page because it could literally change your life. We talked about Kevin's perspective here and what it meant to be a family man, be able to spend time with his wife and kids and not miss out on their life. For me, not having kids I've been able to see the world, live in Thailand and Portugal and Panama and all these places. You just can't do that otherwise. Like Kevin says, the lifestyle digital business is the new fuck you money. You don't need to depend on anyone else. If you're financially independent, then what can anyone do to you? Right?
Kevin Geary: 45:29 Absolutely.
Ashe Oro: 45:30 Kevin, leave us with some ways to get in touch with you, please, because I know people are going to be reaching out.
Kevin Geary: 45:36 Yeah, so everything is at sixfiguregrind.com, and thank you for everything that you just said. Again, this is my passion. I said a couple of months ago that I was all in on this, you know. I've had some other projects going, but this is the thing, and so when people are coming to sixfiguregrind.com, I just want them to know that I am all about getting them to this place of ultimate freedom. So, sixfiguregrind.com has everything. Come see me there. Drop a comment. Let me know you've arrived. We'll jump into a conversation together.
Ashe Oro: 46:12 Is there a community that people can join, Facebook groups or anything?
Kevin Geary: 46:16 I did away with my Facebook group. I'm actually going to do a podcast on why I did away with the Facebook group. Right now, if you're on the email list, you're basically on the insider community side of things, and then if you want to take things to the next level, The 250k Society is the place to be for the serious online entrepreneurs who are really ready to grow.
Ashe Oro: 46:41 Yeah, let's talk about The 250k Society. We've been focusing on sixfiguregrind, which is more for people who are starting to become a digital entrepreneur and learning their niche and getting into their grind. What is The 250k Society? How's it different? Who's it relevant toward?
Kevin Geary: 46:55 The 250K Society is a premium membership community exclusively for online lifestyle entrepreneurs. There's no brick and mortar entrepreneurs in there. There is no startup entrepreneurs. It's all people doing the online lifestyle business thing. We have a screening process to make sure that we're filling it with the right people, and it's also following a mastermind format, so it's very different from other membership communities for entrepreneurs. I did a whole episode on why it's different, but when you look at the landscape of what's available community wise, it's mainly billed in terms of like "Come do all these online trainings that we've put together. That's how you're going to move your business forward." You join a community, you pay like a low monthly fee, and then you just consume a bunch of their premium content or whatever.
Kevin Geary: 47:45 The 250k Society is totally different. Instead of education, instead of online trainings, we're all about the individual people and their businesses inside the community. We do weekly masterminds where we get on small group calls, so you're in the same mastermind group for months, which has really good benefits that I could talk about, like long-term benefits, but literally every single week we are engaging with the people inside saying, "What are you struggling with in your business? What needs to happen next? Are you doing that?" Holding you accountable to profitable behaviors we call them.
Kevin Geary: 48:23 We do have the trainings and stuff, but the trainings are like a secondary thing. We're all focused on diving in to people's specific businesses and moving those businesses forward. That's what happens inside The 250k Society.
Ashe Oro: 48:37 You mentioned masterminds, and I love it. One thing that I missed, and these are struggles because it's not all just roses and money and freedom and spend time with your family and travel the world. You know, there's struggles that you have as a digital lifestyle entrepreneur, and one of those struggles is people who you work with and personal connection with people and surrounding yourself, finding and surrounding yourself with like minded people who don't have to go into a job everyday. I've struggled with this. You can't build in a bubble. You can't build all by yourself. You need influences. You need to ask people questions. You've got to surround yourself with people who are either already building or who also want to build a lifestyle digital business. Some of my audience may not be familiar with what a mastermind is. I'm sure everyone's heard of the term, but what is a mastermind, and what are the benefits specifically of being in a mastermind?
Kevin Geary: 49:42 That's a good question. There's a lot of confusion around it. A lot of people do masterminding the wrong way the way that I look at it. A lot of the even paid masterminds that I've been in have lacked organization. They've lacked a specific vision for how it's going to run. It's basically like a bunch of people show up on a call, and they just kind of chit chat about their businesses. They might have a question or two here and there. The way that I run masterminds through The 250k Society is a very format driven weekly thing where we pick somebody to be in the hot seat we call it. We start out with celebrating wins. I think that's very very important. By the way, I think it's something that a lot of people especially in the US have kind of been taught like don't brag about your success. Don't talk about the good stuff that's happening to you. Right? It's kind of seen as like just bragging whereas what I found with entrepreneurs is that when you're grinding, when you're working really hard and good things are happening. If you don't celebrate those things, you don't recharge yourself, right? You end up just kind of overlooking that, and you only focus on what's going wrong in a business because let's be honest there's always something going off.
Ashe Oro: 50:54 Always a fire.
Kevin Geary: 50:54 Or it could be better. There's always a fire to put out, right? If you're not celebrating, like there's no balance there, and so you end up running yourself into the ground whereas if you can stop and be like, "Damn I'm killing it over this area," and you can share that with other people it really keeps your fire going. We start every call with wins. What happened this week that was a win for you, right? Then we'll go to the person in the hot seat, and they get literally 45 or 50 minutes. They bring one problem or one thing they want feedback on, one thing that's holding them back in their business, and the other people in the masterminds spend 45 or 50 minutes asking them questions, digging into that problem, trying to come at it from their own experiences, and we give advice. Here's what I would do if I were in your position.
Kevin Geary: 51:46 At the end of the call the person in the hot seat basically looks at all that advice they had given, and they say, "All right guys, here's what I'm going to do. Here's what I'm going to execute on over the next week." Those people are going to hold them accountable to doing that. There's not a lot of talk or fluff. It's like, "Here's my problem. All right, I got all my advice. Here's what I'm going to do by next week."
Ashe Oro: 52:09 Right. It is similar but very different than water cooler talk when you go into the office because this is going to be very productive. This is very specific and purposeful rather than just kind of wasting time at the job on somebody else's dime.
Kevin Geary: 52:22 Exactly. Inside the community and the app that we have this amazing app that I'm using that basically has a feed. It's kind of like using a social media platform. It's very simple like that. It's on your phone, and all that. You get the water cooler stuff inside that app talking to other people, doing chats, and thing like that. Like you were talking about, I mean, if you're trying to do this alone, you're going to get to a point where you realize, "This is really lonely." There's a not of ... My friends in real life all have traditional jobs. They're not around during the day. I just can't go hang out with people. They're all working. They're all stuck in that old model. I have nobody to relate to, talk to, et cetera, so when I can go into my community and now here I am interacting with all these other online entrepreneurs that get it, and then it fulfills that need for me where as before, not having that, man, it's lonely.
Ashe Oro: 53:16 Yeah, it is lonely. I can tell people that right now. Even traveling the world and seeing waterfalls and beaches and all this stuff can be very lonely. Kevin, do you do any in person meetups or any conferences or anything? Is stuff like that on the schedule?
Kevin Geary: 53:31 I personally go to conferences. I think that's a big part of all of this. As far as my own members it's definitely in the works. The 250k Society is going to be ... That's like a mid-tier offering for me. I'm still going higher than that though. I'm going to have basically an inner circle that's only selected people out of The 250k Society that get to come up to that next level and do really deep work on their business with me specifically. Then we're going to build out some probably an annual 250k Society meetup somewhere that's in a really cool location. It'll end up being a three day intensive for moving people's businesses forward. That's an idea that's on the docket too.
Ashe Oro: 54:22 Let's leave with some simple advice here. I am an aspiring digital entrepreneur. I'm working maybe at a desk job right now for a couple years. I may have that college degree, but I'm looking ... I know that this isn't long term viable for me. What should my first step be?
Kevin Geary: 54:42 First step is the One Page Freedom Plan, then the Freedom Plan Master Class, and once you've done that you'll know the next three steps, which is let's get a website online, let's get my email list started, and let's start interacting with the marketplace because let's be honest, you can have all the plans in the world, but until your content and your message and your ideas start to interact with the marketplace, you really don't know if it's going to be successful or get traction or not.
Kevin Geary: 55:08 The sooner that you can get something from you into the marketplace and start getting feedback from people and start interacting, that's going to be the best thing for you to do.
Ashe Oro: 55:19 Kevin Geary, the sixfiguregrind.com. Kevin, social media links, can you shout them out? We'll leave them in the show notes.
Kevin Geary: 55:27 Basically my Instagram link is the one that I'm focusing on most right now. It will just be Instagram.com. I think it's Kevin Michael Geary. Let me double check. I don't want to give the wrong link here.
Ashe Oro: 55:41 We'll get you a sixfiguregrind Instagram link.
Kevin Geary: 55:45 Yes, sixfiguregrind.com for that, and it is Kevin Michael Geary on Instagram. Definitely go follow me there. I'm putting pretty much all my efforts into Instagram at this point right now.
Ashe Oro: 55:56 Very interesting, Instagram. I haven't really played on Instagram. I know you've got a podcast too. What's the name of the podcast and who's that for?
Kevin Geary: 56:04 Yeah, sixfiguregrind podcast. Literally just go into your favorite podcast app and search for sixfiguregrind, and it should come up. I'm doing that ... I just recently doubled down on the podcast, so I'm releasing three episodes a week. All the stuff that I do. It is no fluff. It's all fire. I'm not doing interviews or anything like that. I might do an interview here and there. It's literally typically about 20 minutes of just content focused on one specific thing to help people move their business forward.
Ashe Oro: 56:38 A couple of the titles of your previous shows, Check Your Freakin Analytics. How Much is Your Time Worth? A calculation to figure out what your time's worth. Online Businesses Aren't Magic. Delay the Sale. I Got Fired. What to do if you get fired from your job? These are some really awesome podcasts here.
Kevin Geary: 56:57 That was actually about a client that had fired me on a different thing that I was building. Not an actual job, but it's a really good story for people to get some good lessons.
Ashe Oro: 57:07 I highly recommend everyone listen to his show. I couldn't give better advice than what Kevin gave today. Go out and build your digital lifestyle business and tell everybody else to get lose because you don't need a certificate to show that you can do work. You don't need a pass from a school, and you can live where you want, how you want, with your kids, traveling the world, whatever you want to do. If you want to build freedom and you want a free and flexible lifestyle, it's up to you to build it, and you're not going to be given by anyone, so contact Kevin. Hire a mentor. Go and talk to Kevin. Don't figure everything out on your own. Don't reinvent the wheel like he said. You don't have to be a genius to do this people. You just have to want that lifestyle. If you do, then Kevin's a great resource to do it.
Ashe Oro: 57:55 Kevin, thank you so much for coming on Liberty Entrepreneurs. I could talk to you for hours, but I got to respect your time. Thank you so much everyone for coming on, listening to Liberty Entrepreneurs again, and until next time, keep building freedom.
Kevin Geary: 58:10 Thanks man.
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