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Open Q&A: Building Community, Publishing a Children's Book, Connecting Interest Threads

Pro Members start the conversation with Chris Do by asking him questions about their specific concerns.

Important: We’re sorry about this, but this transcript is hard to read. We’ve added the wall of text below to help our search function better. If you’d like to help us format this, please reach out to andres@thefutur.com. In the meantime, simply turn closed captions on (CC) the video above to read along.
All right. Hey, everybody, what's up? This is usually what we. It's just kind of more chill and open ended. For some of you, it's morning. So good morning for some of you and for some of you, it's really, really late. So good evening. Good afternoon. It's the hour of the twilight, the witching hour or something like that. And I don't have anything prepared to plan today because I'm preparing for tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a little nuts, and I hope as many of you can attend this as possible. I know for some of you it will be too crazy because it'll be like 4:00 in the morning. Probably not good, but we're doing the ikigai exercise of added. A few things have changed a few things and we're going to add some kind of random elements to it. So I'd love for you to participate, especially if you want to play along. There will be an opportunity for you to play along. I'm going to need some help from you guys in order to do that, but that's what we're planning for tomorrow. And I'm going to share this success story with my friend Karen Wang, who I may have mentioned to you to you before. She was a former intern, a former teacher of mine, a protege, and she had just been trying to figure out her life, and all of a sudden she found something. And within a year, she became a multimillionaire. Yes, it's nuts. Like, I went to dinner or to lunch with her. Of course, is her treat. I mean, come on because she's like asking me for advice and help. And we go to this restaurant, I'm just talking to her. I'm like, I can't believe this poor girl like, literally poor two weeks before she launched her Kickstarter project. The bank called and said, you're overdrawn, you have negative $12 in your account. Right and she does have a great relationship with her dad is just her and her mom. And it's like she's almost there two weeks before her Kickstarter launch happen. And it goes nuts. That's all I can tell you. I'm just going to tease you with that. I've been trying to get her to come on the podcast because I love sharing the stories of people who are brave, who were too stupid to know they could fail, who just went for it like nutso and achieved some level of success. And it was just so crazy to just look at this girl and know that she was poor. And then all of a sudden, I'm like, I'm looking at a millionaire right now, I'm looking at a millionaire. And she made a million in one month. Actually, she made $2.3 million in a month. Actually, she did pass $3 million in one month. It's so not so. And so tomorrow we're going to try to help you find your thing. It might not lead you to a life of lifestyle of the rich and famous. But Matthew is encouraging me to talk about. Alternative sources of revenue we've been talking about. Passive income, passive income, and everybody thinks you have to make a knowledge product that you have to become a teacher and you have to become an influencer. You don't. My friend, Karen is an example of that, and I have many more examples of people who just decided to do something on a whim and create a whole other life for themselves. So that's my plug for tomorrow. Hope you tune in if you don't, don't worry about it. I'm hopeful that'll get passed 100,000 views so it won't go anywhere and I'll give you guys access anyway, so you don't have to sweat it. Ok? some of you have done this with me before, and I hope this time it clicks for you because it's not that easy, obviously, to find your reason for being. It's not easy. I understand that. So I'm hoping that tomorrow we're going to have fun doing it. And we'll see what happens. And in the spirit of randomness, I brought my dice and I have special dice. These are really massive, extra large, 12 sided die. So you don't need that. You just need a regular six sided die, or I'll roll it for you and whatever number I roll, you have to accept. We can agree to that we're good. OK, now having said that, I want to open up to some questions. It's kind of loose. We can go slow, we can go fast, we can go long, we can go quick, whatever you want. OK so let's go now. Mo, I know you always ask the question, so I'm going to ask you just hold on one second. Did it disappear already? Looks like a disappeared. OK, I just want you guys to like, have we not talked about something in a while? You want me to revisit and then we'll go there. OK I haven't talked to you in a while. Oh, what's up? I got to get my hand. I don't put it up. All right. So all right, so the passive income was like a good start of something that I've been working on is something that I changed this year was going more into content creation, trying to build a community, but then hit a roadblock. Like now I got the community built. Now I got a large Facebook group. Now we got things going on. Now what to do with it? And now I kind of hit, you know, just got a stuck point. Like, how do I utilize this and how do I take it to the next step for this community that you built? Is there a common worldview? Is there something that brings you all together? Yes, it's a specific niche. It's all elementary users that are trying to build a web design business, most of them brand new. So it's very specific. And I do have things I want to do for building that recurring income, building the alternative source. But it's just like there's so much to do and the whole time management and where to really go and focus on once you got it. Yeah, Yeah. OK, a couple of things. There's a couple of things that you can do, and you could just ask the community. What are some of your biggest pain points and challenges? And then see what they say. And you may already have that list in your mind. And then that list may be overwhelming. So I'm going to ask you to plot all your ideas on the Eisenhower graph, the impact effort and just start with the highest impact item with the least amount of effort. Just start something, just so that you can get some momentum behind you. I'm always sitting around thinking about million ideas and not figuratively, literally like what ideas can I generate to make a million dollars? As you can imagine, you want to make a million dollars, you've got to solve a big problem. And that's what Matthew said to me the other day, he's like, Chris, you know, everybody's ripping off your layouts for Instagram. Why not just sell them your template? Make a template and just sell it to them. It's like $10 or whatever, it is super cheap. Maybe a bunch of people will buy it. You have half a million followers on Instagram. See, so I always think like that. It's like just a simple template. Well, it's not going to take me to do. Three hours. I got to find Google Fonts that are available. And that's about it. That will be the hardest part of making those templates because I already have templates and I can make different style of templates like here's the one that's a little bit more feminine, here's a little one that's super aggressive and something in the middle. Here's a serif one. Here's one. Using this typeface or whatever. I buy it for $100, just a template. Really? well, I'm under charging then. OK. Things to think about, you see, so I don't think like that and literally a template. You give people a file like, what did that cost you? Nothing and what it'll make you do, Jeff, is it'll make you create the Shopify cart, the payment gateway, the sales page and get product shots up and mock UPS. And so then you're going to start to develop a system, a framework. You're going to find out what works, what doesn't work. You're going to learn about how to target people, retarget them abandoned cart things. Those are all good things for you to learn on. So start small with the thing that might have the biggest impact. But just start. I had a really nice conversation with Mo. I think it was yesterday, and it seems like his life is on turbocharge right now. He was in La two weeks ago or 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. And I said some things that I think hurt him. He was wounded emotionally. He was just feeling it. It's like god, I just don't think big enough. I'm not taking action. I'm just sitting around talking about it. He was beating himself up. I said, you know, take that feeling and don't push it away. Devour it. Eat it. Let it sit-in your gut. I want it to hurt you, I want you to be in pain right now. I want you to go to the depth of that emotion and feel it to its extreme in your body. I want you to ache. I want it to hurt. And I want you to remember that feeling. So that when you're sitting there and you're looking at, oh, I should I do this, should I do that? You better believe it, that you're going to pick a different path next time. Part of our thing is whenever we had a roadblock, we just cast it aside. And that's a good form of survival, but if you keep running up there, I have to switch tactics with him. So he went back. And he started attacking it. And he seemed to be much more open to the feedback and the criticism. Here's one thing I told him. Oh, we were talking, we're talking about something, and I said, Chris, I just love reading the comments in your post and go, you know, you're not the only person other people have said that to. And it's interesting the dialogue that happens in the comments. And I said to him, I think I have one of the most educated audiences around. There are really smart people following me, and they add so much to the conversation and he goes, how come I don't get that? I said, well, who are you when you appear in front of these people? Are you quiet, contemplative? Are you inviting people in? Are you creating space for people to share the thoughts and opinions? And he goes, oh, I don't think so. I said no, because I only know Mo has one speed, that's crazy. Fire speed that's 100 miles per hour, flipping on the screen upside down, left and right, cutting every three seconds. That's only Mo, I know. So that's high energy. One note, Mo. Free, next video. Show me a different side. Show me a different dimension. And he did. And he told me this is not my highest viewed thing. I said good job. Can you take another piece of criticism? He said, Yeah. That was also one note. It was a different note, so now I know you have at least two notes in you. What we want to do in having a conversation with somebody is we want to be like multifaceted. We want to have the range of emotions and I feel like you're an actor. Who has memorized his lines, but isn't feeling them when he says them? So when you feel down, let your body tell the audience, I'm not comfortable with this. Let your tone the speed. And the spaces you put in between words be different. So I just want you to practice that vary the amount of space between words, it's like you're a big music guy. Music is a space between notes. And you're either all this or you all that, so he's like, I'm going to work on it, I'm like, good, I'll see you next time. OK, so that was the me going on a tangent there. Getting back to Jeffrey's question, though, Jeffrey, I saw you taking down some notes. I think you heard me right. Don't go so big. Because you never get those things done. And you need momentum, we all need momentum. We need some validation from the market that what we're doing is good, that it's needed, and if it's not, that's also a very important feedback. Remember, feedback isn't always like we love you. Feedback is we think you could do better or this isn't a good fit for us right now. And that's what we want, we want feedback. OK, good or bad, you learn. So you got some things that you're cooking up, Jeffrey, because I feel like when I said what I said, I saw a reaction and you like, yeah, I think I know what I need to make. It wasn't like, I need ideas. It's just I need to get it done. Yeah, I mean, I got a couple of things, I got one really big, you know, one of them is really big, and I did find out the pain points of the community. And I also saw one that I could feel like a gap that I could fill. First, I was going to go to the hole doing the class thing, but I found something else that I could do that could be very good for me and for other people. The problem is it's like first, the community is a lot of work like it is a lot of time in work because if I like take the foot off the gas, if I just get off Facebook for three days, you know, stuff starts to slow down or things start to go in a different direction on its own. So there's that part. And then, you know, trying to build something big side by side with it. And then there's one other thing too. And that is, you know, my whole motivation to build the community was to help people. Was a bill something to help someone, especially during this time with what we all went through this year? So that was like my big motivation now to take it into something else where I want to capitalize on it. There's that part to that kind of conflicts with me, which, you know, I know I got to think, I don't know. I guess it's just a whole change in mentality and it's a little bit of business from, you know, just trying to be of service and just trying to help. Yeah, yeah, OK. Let me help you with that. I see the conflict in you. The inner struggle between the Jedi and the dark side. I see that. So it's like it's good to help people. It feels good. It's reassuring. It's nourishing our soul like we matter. We make a difference in the world. And then the other side of you saying, I need a profit from you, I need to drain you of blood, and that's not a good way of looking at it. You can't get up in the morning and say, look, today, I'm going to squeeze you. I'm going to apply pressure. I don't like that at all. OK, here's how you need to think about this. There are levels of help that you can provide. There's general help, which you can apply to a lot of people, and they're super specific, help what you do for clients and for you to help a client to have to pay you because you're going to block out your time, you're going to say, I'm not going to do something else. This is what I'm going to do. So all we need to do is we're changing the level of help. I'm not trying to make money off you, but ultimately, if I help you more at this level, it's going to cost you something. Something that you're happy to give to me because I've helped you so much. If you provide a template. An asset that saves somebody a significant amount of time. They're happy to give it to you. So what Seth Godin refers to as you have to just move them up the permission ladder. At first, it's just permission to keep in touch with me. Second is permission to keep talking to me within a close group. And you just keep moving them up. And the way you move somebody up the permission ladder is you build a curriculum. Each step gets deeper and smaller and tighter. That's what you're doing. And if you look at our relationship, all 420 of you, our relationship began as total strangers, totally anonymous. I give value and you say, look, I want to buy a course that's moving you up the permission ladder. You're saying I want more help, I want focus out because I don't want to chase down 35 videos and try to piece it all together myself. I don't look like I'm squeezing you. I know I did a good job, I put a lot of work into this, whether it's a good fit for you or not, sometimes isn't the case. And then you say, hey, I like this, I like this person. How do I go up, that ladder? How do I get a deeper relationship? So you join the program and you part with more money? Again, I don't feel guilty about that. I'm sitting here obsessing over what else I could do for you. Right and then some of you say, hey, I want to do one on one with you again, it's like for me to stop what I'm doing and saying, I'm going to work with you individually. That's another step up. It's a deeper relationship. So, Jeffrey, I don't want you to think of it like now, I've got to go make money. That sounds terrible. Now I get to help people on a deeper level in order to do that. I have to give more value and they will give me something back. It's just the law of reciprocity. That makes sense, right? Oh, yeah, it makes total sense. OK it's just for me, too, it's a new. I understand charging clients is one thing that is cool, you know, but you know, making money or charging on this, it's just something new. So, you know, I know it's like, get through that. Yeah can I add something quick, chris? Yeah Geoffrey, one thing you can do to is just look at your community and try to pay attention to who are the most active. People within that community, and chances are the ones who are the most active actually want to be noticed and want to be noticed by you. So if you somehow figure out a way to give them more say within the community, like make them moderators or this or that suddenly you have someone who's working, you know, we'll just say working for free like helping you out who's happy about it because it might be a hobby for them and might bring them happiness and so on. They cut time from you. And perhaps even as time goes by, that might be one of your hires. It might be someone who will come join your team and help you out. And the great thing about that is. That higher wasn't, you know, you didn't put out a job posting and what not that person came from their heart, right? They understand the community because they started from the community. And so on. So you start building like this really strong. It actually strengthens your community when you start having these elites or these guys that sort of step up and start organizing things and come up with ideas to you and tell you, hey, I'd love to organize, I don't know, like study sessions or this or that. And suddenly it's freeing your time, you have people helping you out, and that also starts motivating other people, you know, so there's all these different ways where you can engage with the community. And before you know it, within six months, that community can be its own beast and sustain itself without you having even to step in. I mean, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, I've started doing that, getting more people involved in there, I saw that's what needed to be done, but I did not look at it that way that people would be trying to get my attention or you know, that I could be helping out more like this, just gave a whole other perspective on that and that motivation part. All right, that was an awesome ad I think if you just pay really close attention or not, even that close of attention, if you model what we're doing here theoretically will apply to you. So Mo is already articulating things that you see. There are a couple of people who are much more active in this group and they become active and they get attention. They become the moderators, the facilitators and then our relationships strengthen and deepen. And that's a very natural progression of things. OK, will, you're up next? So I'm getting ready to finish up a book in the next week here, which you want to illustrate it for me, and it looks amazing. I don't know where to go from here in terms of working with like identifying a publisher or doing direct consumer. And in either case, what are creative ways to kind of pitch this either to a publisher or to an audience? Yeah, good question. OK if somebody has experience in this. Just please let me know, raise your hand and I'll have you chime in as well. For many years, I tried to get a book publisher. And it's tricky. I know they want is they want an outline. They want to know the title. They want to know a couple of things. Sample chapter, maybe. And they want to be involved because they want to edit it and they want to help find the right market for it. These days, book publishing is generally in trouble, and they don't have the hits that they used to, and certain types of books sell really well. I don't know what genre. Excuse me, I don't know what genre you're selling into, but it could be very challenging. Well, and if you listen to Seth Godin, he says, don't write a book and then build an audience, build an audience before you write the book. So you may have committed the first sin, which is to write the book without the audience, I don't know how big your audience is. So now you're in audience building mode, right? But here's the really cool part. You have a book, which is what a lot of people would refer to as pillar content. It's all your best thinking. You've done the research and you know how to craft it. What you might consider doing is taking individual pages and chapters and breaking into micro content. And that way, it all feeds into this bigger thing, so this is the whole hub and spoke concept of content where the hub, the center part is your book and spoke are the little chapters or the little takeaways and the illustrations, et cetera. So they're all kind of feed into it. So if you like this little piece of content, you might like this other thing. And in a very literal analogy, there's only one hub and many spokes. But in the way of the internet, it's like the hub could have other spokes and hubs inside of it. You just keep drilling deeper and deeper into that. The idea right now is you need to put your message out into the world in as many forms as you can. Podcasting little Instagram post. A little bit like tweets and micro decks just to keep getting that content out there. And you may just accidentally hit a publisher on the way there. So actually, several publishers in my life and they wanted certain things, I just felt like I couldn't do it. And in terms of not favorable to me. All of a sudden, I write my own book. So putting stuff out there, publisher calls me up from Rockport, you know, Rockport publishing. The editor called me up and said, hey, we like to do something with you. You have an audience. Would you consider doing a book with us. And we'll handle distribution, all that stuff. It's something you might want to think about. Right OK, so that's like it's wonderful when the door opens up for you. And you don't even have to chase them. So I would suggest that you start if you haven't done so already, start peeling out parts of the book. And don't worry about anybody saying, well, you're giving away the book. That's the whole point. You're giving the way the book and micro doses and you build the community around that and then they're going to show up for you. Here's a little Side Story. I think I don't know somebody in the program who might have told me this, but there's a while ago that Simon Sinek was a nobody. He's the person who wrote, start with y and the infinite game. And he was a nobody, and he would show up to community college or high school if they asked him to. He found a friend who was an agent at that time, also like just like, hey, let's figure it out. So he helped to design his career now. You and I were not fortunate enough to have literary agents as friends, and so he helped him figure it out. So Simon goes on to do this Ted talk, which he had already been presenting many times over, right? So does his Ted talk, and then his career takes off from there. It's one of the most watched Ted talks, which is saying something, right? That's really significant. And now he writes his own ticket, basically. So that's the best advice I can give, I don't have a lot of experience with publishers, but today I see a lot of ringing off in the chat to a lot of advice. So you think seeing good advice? Good good. All right. Yeah and can I just say something? I just saw that Ari is here in the room right now. He just arrived. So and we'll this is actually a children's book because I already saw some things that you didn't mention that. So Ari is the best go to person, you know, because he's done it already. So Yeah. Award-winning award. Yeah sorry, guys. Just off the phone. But no man. Good to see you. Yeah I would perfectly. I've been missing calls. I was like, I need to connect back with the group. But is there a question I can help with? I'm missing the public. Yeah, I just wrote a children's book, which you want to illustrate for me, and it looks amazing and I'm trying to figure out next steps. Yeah, I'd be happy to help you with it. So there's let me know if this is helpful or if we can. We can talk more. But there's so I'd say there's the biggest challenge to both self-publishing and publisher, and traditional publishing is actually marketing, marketing and sales. And actually a lot of what you're going to learn here with the future is so right up the alley. Like, you know, like Chris can publish any book because he has the 1,000 true fans, right? It's really about branding and knowing who you are as an artist in the world, right? So I think it starts there. And then there's basically publishers and then they're self-publishing and a kind of just tell you some broad stats. So most people go in self-publishing, like 99% fail, fail miserably because they jump into publishing. They have a product, they have no idea how to market or sell it. And books have a very small margin. Even even traditional publishers have small margins and traditional publishers. The business model is that they basically acquire a bunch of books. They have distribution, which is great because, you know, small publishers, we don't have distribution. You can't have just distribution through Amazon, but you need a fan base, which goes back to like, you know, branding and things, things like that. But what publishers will do is they will give you a publishing deal. You'll get an advance, you'll earn 10 percent, 5% if you're a writer, 10% of your author, illustrator, if you're the writer and you have an Illustrator and then you'll each get 5% But this is honestly what they do is they throw it up out there and it's like spaghetti on the wall marketing. They throw it out there and they see what sticks. And if you tell 10,000 copies, that's a win. And they are basically publishing a bunch of different books and then the ones that sell well tend to sell well for a long period of time. And so if you're a children's book author or illustrator, it's tough like the game is basically make a bunch of books and hopefully a few of these will hit. You know, for me, I had two books hit my first book, hit, which was ninja, and then my fifth book hit, which was mixed and mixes really hit like won awards and actually is going to be a TV show, which is kind of cool. So but it's like this stuff is kind of like, you know, the thing that like, like, honestly, just like was unsettling for me is it's so random. It's like I didn't want my life to be dependent on another publisher or another thing, so I'm starting to explore. So the possibility of self-publishing and but be ahead of the game, so the ones, the people who are successful self-publishing have usually been in publishing and learned what you need to learn and a lot of you need to learn is actually exactly what Chris is teaching here at the future is about actually like building a following, building a brand, building, collecting email list. And yeah, so that's just some general kind of broad strokes. But yeah, I think children's books is like, I love it, it's something that I do out of passion. You can make money from it and you can make a living from it. But it's not easy. It's probably one of the harder things to do. Yeah, is there. Sorry Yeah. Yeah, I'd be happy to follow you. Yeah so Ari's our resident championed for publishing and other things, but for if you want to get into children's book, he's the person you want to talk to. So after this, you guys, make sure you connect with Ari. I can think of no better person to share that information with you. Ok? I think there was another hand that was up, but it disappeared. Chris, I wanted to give a shout out. I know you'll appreciate this. Someone was saying that this is the most video cameras that you've seen on or webcams you've seen in any group that they're part of, and they're really excited to see everyone's faces. I know that's me, worked hard for it. Thank you for recognizing that we've worked hard and Alec is right because usually people just have their cameras off. Not only do we have the most people's cameras on, but the quality of the camera, I would say, like, bring it on like we were a gang. I would take on any of the Zoom gang in the world right now. Bring it out. Sounds like a 2021 dystopian COVID future Zoom game Zoom gang. Yes OK. Oh, I see hands. I'm sorry. Now, I think Matthew had his hand up, right? Matthew yeah, I'm seeing nods here. Yeah hey. Very good. Well, hey, there. Hey, I'm pretty new, so, you know, I'm trying to figure out how all this goes and if this question is all based on, you know, but essentially, I have a digital marketing agency that over the last probably two years, we've tried to niche down into specific industries. And with that, I don't want to say I've started to pigeonholed myself, but we just say no to a lot of business and try to really stay focused. So with that, I've thought about trying to separate or create a separate, either a separate agency or just brand myself as my name or something like that and take on consulting work or work that doesn't really fit with my agency. So I was just kind of looking at some advice or anybody else has done that, if that's a good strategy or any input. Can you phrase that in a more specific question, perhaps if you have a successful agency that has a niche, a very niche service web design for realtors or specific industry, is it better to? Branch off and create a separate agency or another brand to serve other industries or try to expand what you already have. So I have a yeah, that's much better, so I have a question for you. Your niche down web design for real estate people. And are you feeling that it's not working out for you or just kind of starting to? Yeah, I don't know. It's been really great. Oh yeah, it's been really great. And if anything, it's kind of become so systematic for us that it's I'm looking to kind of do kind of move on and basically start a new business. OK, so it's like running on ball bearings. You have a lot of systems in place. And so it's like automated business. You know why? Why not just look at that and say, like, how much deeper Can I go? How much more can I squeeze out of this thing? Because part of the problem is when we start to get successful, it starts to become routine. You need new challenges, right? And then you pull yourself away from that and if it's working for you. So the question I have for you, is it working for you? Well, financially? Yes very well. OK this is confounding me, it's working, you're an expert, you have deep specialization, is running the ball bearings, you get more of your time back. Well, why not just put more into it? It's like, just imagine this. It's like we're about to hit a million subscribers on YouTube. And all of a sudden I tell you guys, I'm not doing education anymore. I'm going to do something other, some other weird thing I'm going to become a cyclist. And that does you make sense? You know what I mean? It's like everybody. Like, what are you doing? It's about the work. It's about to break open for you. So what's the reason that you're? Because you're asking this, I suspect there's some deeper thing I want to know what a deeper thing might be. Well, I would say, yeah, perhaps part of it is boredom. The other thing is that in reflecting on it, I'm turning away a lot of business, and to me that seems like lost a loss of an opportunity because it's not because we're so systematic and and. You know, if somebody comes to us like, let's just say, for instance, we have a financial, a bank basically with 50 locations that we can work with, that's going to be totally outside of our systematic process that I'm going to have to do it one on one. And you know, I see. So that's kind of where I'm at. If I had a different, it's almost like worth. Is it worth me starting a separate brand where I can do? That same system, ponant, basically, and target that other industry. OK, so if we could rewind the tape, sorry that we would ask this question is, hey, I'm very nished in, I'm super happy. Things are going great, but there's clients who are approaching me that are outside of my niche. In the past, I've turned them away. What's a better way of doing this? So I don't I don't leave money on the table. This opens it up to be 1,000 options. See? so this is fantastic. I'm glad you did it exactly the way you did it, Matthew, because it allows me to figure out, oh, see. Let me explain a couple of things. Let me go a little meta on you, and then I'll give you the answer. OK, sure. So everybody here you need to realize this. In this case, Matthews, the client Matthew comes to, means like, should I start another company? So the only thing that's in our mind right now is Yes or no new company. Because he's pointed the gun or put up the target for us to hit so clearly that all our minds are focused on that. And rather than say, yes, let's start a new business, I had to like, ask a couple of questions, kind of beat it around, you know, like, oh, there it is. There's the real problem. He's leaving money on the table. What are his options? Starting a new company in a different niche is only one of the possible options. Now, the answer, the answer is this. Take the work. It's going to be tough. It's going require more of your time, don't leave money on the table, but a bank outside of your niche coming to you is proof positive that you're doing really well in your niche. You're so good. Somebody on the outside is going to say he's good at real estate. I wonder if he could do banking stuff for us. That's the power of niching and becoming an expertise and starting to rise above everybody else. That rarely happens when you're just scattered all over the place. So what you can do is you can accept the work, bring out a couple of other people to help you do that work because it's going to be lucrative for you and you get to decide later on when and where to show that work. See, people think, oh, every project we've ever done is on our portfolios, on our website. No there are so many projects that don't even make it to our website because we get to choose what we show and what we don't show. And we're going to be strategic about the works that we show because we want to get more work like that. So when you do this banking thing, you're going to do an amazing job for them. You can even send traffic back to your main site so that people know who you are. But I would not start another company or even putting that work on your portfolio until you get three of those things. Wait a minute. This banking thing, I like it. It's lucrative, it's not that much harder than what we're doing right now. Right, I believe all these multi-prong, broad services companies that don't seem to specialize all started as specialists at one point. And they add they added other services and offerings only after they could prove that this is what they wanted to do today we see the end of that journey, which is wow, pentagram or a while Collins. They do all kinds of things. Probably not the beginning. Well, so that's what I'm afraid the input, thank you. Take the money. OK, I'm going to tell you something. If my younger self knew this, I would be in a different position today because I thought it was always going to rain. It's hard for you. If you're in a place that rains all the time, it's like rain, rain or whatever. Tired of this rain and the one day you go through this three year drought and you're like, Holy cow, I should have put out more containers to collect that rain. And now I'm suffering when there's good work. And good, my definition of good work, someone who trusts you. How do I know they trust me, they pay me a lot of money and they just do whatever it is I want. I will almost always take those kind of clients. I'll figure out the ramifications later, and that puts you in the driver's position. You know, what's awesome about this to those bankers who come to you and it's like, you know, Matthew, tell us why you're qualified to do this work. You're like, I'm not qualified to do this work. I do real estate, man. You don't have to defend yourself. You see how powerful that is. You guys called me for some reason. Let me see if I can figure this out or not. If I can't, I'm not going to do it. You create a niche company for banking that you have 0 in your portfolio. Why are we going to work with you? Are you? I don't know. Defensive, defensive. Defensive OK. It's pretty awesome when you get work outside of your vertical, when you're not even trying. That's how good you are. Can I add something, chris? Yes I think you just heard two birds with one stone. I'm actually like a creative video production guy. And the work I did for a guy, for a video branding wants me to do like the whole branding system for the company. So managing like a whole. Team is hiring people to get their branding system done, so Yeah. Some insights story, great. OK, let's try to get one more person in there, unless Matthew has a follow up question. Matthew, do you? Are you good? No, no, I'm good, I appreciate it. Thanks OK. Well, welcome to the call and Thanks for asking your question. So next up is Peter Peter. Hey so my question is, how do you approach connecting new dots that you discover to add to your knowledge and applying it to what you teach and what you put into your business? Sometimes it feels like, well, I'm going to leave it at that before I give context. So maybe you can answer. I love you. OK, I just realized I saw hero's face here did have his hand up for some time here. Lowered his hand. So a hero if somehow I accidentally lowered your hand by mistake, let me know we'll get to you. OK, I promise. Unless it was already answered or you change your mind. OK, now back to Peter. Peter, this is the beautiful thing about life. You get to learn as long as you want to learn. And you're collecting all these little things that seem unrelated to anything else. The trick to it is the width in terms of the breadth of the dots you're able to collect and intelligence is your ability to connect those dots later. So we need two parts. We need to collect lots of dots and we need to be able to find how these dots are connected and interrelated. So at the beginning of your life, you collect a bunch of little dots. You have no idea how they relate to anything and you can't even put it together. And they tend to be in a similar grouping, games, comics, skateboards, you know, it's like, yeah, the kind of all in the same like boy genre, you know? OK, I get it. And then later on in your life, you're like finance philosophy, whatever else, social justice and you're like environmentalism, like now what? Somewhere in the middle of this arc. You start to find these threads and it connect. Now, your ability to pull from those threads and bring them in, that's the power of creativity. So I don't know when and where, but I know if you go deep enough, if you become a really good observer of things. Your ability to connect those dots later are going to be that much stronger. OK, so follow up then contacts. As I'm getting more into my work, there are a lot of new things that are popping up that I haven't learned from anywhere else, you know, it's usually if it's from you or the people that I watch or the books that you tell me to read. And because of how I think I might actually be the first person to do this for my industry, there are things that are popping up and I'm just like, well, what? What is all this, you know? So I feel like I have to go do more research, but I don't want to spend the time looking in the wrong places. And connecting dots that don't impact that aren't as impactful as they could be, right? So I guess let me share a couple of things there. So you're looking through this lens of optimization and efficiency, like a good Asian person? I get that right, so Peter is like, I don't want to waste one effort of my life, so he only looks at this kind of very tightly, you know, like defined target of things to do and to study. So that's how you gain expertise. You're drilling into the same thing, right? It's like an expert. It's made more mistakes in one area than an amateur has tried. And that's what you're trying to do. Here's the thing, though. It's all these weird, seemingly unrelated things. That allow you to be. Are more innovative. Out of the box thinking. That's really what it is like, somebody told me that Hamilton, the play, the musical, it's just like every other musical except for it brings in a different cast and a vibe and uses the language of rap. And all of a sudden, it's like groundbreaking. Is it really groundbreaking in terms of the format of musicals? Probably not. I don't know enough to be able to comment on that, but I heard somebody say that I'm like, Oh. Right you know, Quentin Tarantino, one of the most beloved filmmakers. Does really wild and crazy things. But not really, if you watch a lot of Grindhouse films. If you watch those kind of B films and the martial arts films that he was watching and the Kung Fu theaters. They're just rehashes of those things put in contemporary context with better dialogue. So all of a sudden, he's like, oh, this is amazing, the watchfaces, when they created the matrix, they borrowed heavily from the language of comic books. But people people hadn't done that before. So going out there on the edges and going deep and being a good observer and bringing those back into the industry that you're in is what will make you fresh. I remember in school, everybody had their secret stash. And this is pre-internet, ok? Everybody had like an old magazine from the 70s or a catalog or a book that's out of print. That's rare, the German or Swiss version, it's like, damn dude, how are you doing? All that fresh work is like, you know, I don't know. I'm like, where are you getting this from? I don't know, because they have their secret stash. They pooled from some other place and they brought it into their work. And then have those things. I felt inadequate. So now it's that same thing, but it's like the intellectual idea versus the physical version of that. May I try to summarize what I have in my thoughts to you? Do whatever you want. OK, so I think so. The first thing I thought of was the fork of the spoon example that you gave to one of your videos. Look at the fork in different ways different colors. Different sizes. Right? so it's kind of like bringing a fusion of a lot of things together that aren't related to where I'm looking at. So that's the first thing. And I think the second thing is creativity sometimes is a little crazy, and I shouldn't be afraid to just keep on trying to piece things together, even though it may not work at first, but something can spark. And that probably would give me the speed of which I want to do things, but it doesn't have to be super optimized. The optimization will come with, you know, trying things out. Yeah, optimization comes after mastery, don't optimize pre mastery. I think the thing that is paralyzing a lot of this group is I don't want to make a single mistake, I don't want to have one misstep. Well, I'm 48 years old now. I've had 48 years of missteps leading to this point when things are starting to work. The other day, I was working on my outline for eoe, and Emily had asked like, hey, Chris, are you? Did you really work this out in advance? And I'm like, no, but you know, this is what I do all the time. So all those little weird books and conversations and watching this video and looking at that thing and that's manifesting itself in real time right then and there. You're still a really, really young person, so don't worry about wasted time, if you do with the intention to learn. It's not a waste of time, and you don't know when they're going to connect. Like Steve Jobs says it. Only you can only connect the dots. Looking back, not forward to connecting dots now, you're not sure yet when they're going to come together. Well, you can't force it. Now you can't unless you're clairvoyant, and I'm not. OK. OK yeah, the problem with predicting the future is that hasn't happened yet, so that's the problem. Thank you, everybody can tell you. Yeah in the rearview mirror, everything so, so clear. OK heroes, his hand is back up. So hero. Go ahead. Hey, Chris, can you guys hear me? Mm-hmm Unclear all right. Hello, beautiful people. It's been a while since at that point, just a brief. Thanks to Elena for helping me categorize myself properly this time. That was amazing. Thank you so much. Just help me so much instant. You did. I'm sorry. I didn't catch his name, but yes, I didn't catch is made. Was just talking about his storybook right that came out. And then you said, if yeah, I guess. Yeah so if anyone can look at additional opinions, you know, just to come out. So I actually wanted to just offer a bit of an opinion that I could maybe help in benefit from that is that I was going through the one page marketing. Uh, I think it was called the one one, one page, my one page marketing plan. Yes, that's the one, right? Allen did. Mm-hmm Yes, that's the one. And in that he does mention that people don't people don't buy insurance for, Uh, you know, people don't buy insurance just to take care of their, you know, in case they get into an accident, but to buy 50 or rather to buy a piece of mind. Right so from that book that he created and he's wondering how to get this published, so he the reason he created that book, so what is the why behind the reason he created that book? Like, who is it really targeted to? Um, if that's a bit more clear, I think it's much more clear if you actually take it out to social media like, for example, my client is in charge of a free school. So it is getting long. And have you heard about free schools are for kids who can't? OK it's like kids who don't find their place in school anymore. They get bullied and stuff, but they need a place other than school to really mix with the community. Now she needed to get an advertisement placed in the newspaper for people to actually come to the free school, but she was targeting it to its kids and this is an issue because kids don't read the newspaper. But we talked about it. My client talked about it and then said, you know, if you focus your advertisement with the parents so that parents can understand why kids need this sort of place, what kind of value you can produce them, what's the reason for your business and for the productive place? Like, if it's the insurance thing, what is your? You know, peace of mind. It gets much easier to market it. I'm sorry. It is a bit long. But if that's not, it looks bad. OK, I appreciate you trying, though. He's trying to help all out there with some marketing advice. OK I think there's going to be people who are going to want to know how to market a book, like I said, we should continue that conversation in a thread somewhere in the group, and I think that's going to benefit a lot of people. So thank you very much, IRA. OK, thank you. Yes Yes. Yes OK, now was there somebody else who wanted to say anything? I have four more minutes to talk to you. Any, any, any requests, any observations or any other quick little things. Maybe we can remind people about the thing you just wrote in the Facebook group about next week and share our stories about our 100 day challenge. Oh yes, because I think that's really good to share because we want to kind of start all over again next year. So people can join the new people in the group. Yeah, a good idea. OK, so you guys, next week we return Wednesday at 8:00/7:00 AM we're doing the year end recap, and that's where many of us started out this year, setting our intention and our goals. And you could see embarrassingly like I miss a lot of my own goals, and that's OK. And we can have that conversation, and many of you are relatively new to the group. And so you've participated in the hundreds day social media challenge where you're supposed to create one piece of content every single day for 100 days, which is crazy. So we want to see how did you do? What were the challenges and your before and after photo, if you will? So it could be anything, whatever it was. So have that prepared. What we want to do is as soon as possible, go to the event calendar inside Facebook. And post an image or two images with the before and after with stats and what you hope for and what you ultimately achieve that kind of thing. So if you started out, you're a 100 day challenge with, say, 500 followers on Twitter the end of 100 days, you have 800 new followers. Share some of the most engaged posts. Give us something so we can talk about it. It's kind of like our year end, like a yearbook looking back, like what has happened? And that way it'll start to prime. As for what needs to happen for 2021. OK, so from the news, according to the news that I read, it's going to be about middle of the year that vaccines are going to be widely available to everybody. So this is something we have to take into consideration. When when the pandemic hit early in of this year, we started making moves really fast. It's very rarely do you get insight into what's going to happen to the future, so we kind of know from the science and the people who can predict these things modeling. It probably will be available middle next year. That means travel will sort of happen again. So those of you guys are in events and travel, hospitality. Think about that. Be prepared for that. So when things happen, you're ready to go. So I think it's always nice to see your goals, to see how many of them you made and probably more humorously like how many of you missed. And well off of each other will cheer each other on. We'll we'll plot and we'll cry whatever it is that we need to do. But part of the 100 day challenge, I'd love to see that it's crazy that some of you guys actually did 100 days of content. That's nuts. Awesome, good job. It's a few people that actually, I think post every day for 100 days, and that's kind of amazing, so we need to talk about that next week. And for the ones who actually just started to post like myself, you know, we needed that challenge. And if you're new to the group, like the background was that Chris taught us so much for so long and he was like, gave us everything and we didn't do anything. So at one point we just decided like, we need to start posting, and then we created that 100 day challenge. So even if you just posted once a week, it's better than not posting at all. So we're just starting over. And I do think, like you mentioned, Chris, that we still like this. If we could see the positive thing of what's happening right now is actually for people like me who's not living in, you know, the US or London or New York, or whatever people from all around the world, we can actually have the opportunity to have an audience all around the world because all people are on Zoom right now. And this is amazing. And I think we have about a few months more or maybe six months to really build this audience for ourselves. So we need to help each other. Absolutely, and we're doing it unprompted and organically, which I like. Yeah, it's like we accidentally create a really large engagement group. We can see that like somebody posts something, then a bunch of the pro people start commenting on it or encouragement, adding additional ideas just to keep the engagement going and sparking conversation, which is the most critical part of how you're able to move your posts up the algorithm, right? So that's really important. And I see it and I see it happening. It's really cool to see. OK, Yeah. Yeah so when you talk about here this recall? Yes Oh Yeah. Yeah OK. Circle OK, circle. I've been building it out. Ben burns said he just needs a little time to breathe and think, and then he will turn on permissions and start moving people in it. And that's going to happen. So I've been working on the back end. It looks pretty good. It looks very promising. And I do want to say one other thing I am getting increasingly larger requests for work, larger budget. More frequently, I don't want to do any of it. There may be one that I want to do, but most of them I don't want to do. So here's how this works. I'm not saying you need it, I'm not saying you want it. But if you want it and you need it, you've got to pay attention to the group. Because I post within 24 hours, I'm done and I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why. It's not because I'm a jerk. Not because there's a super crazy rush on this because my attention span is about 24 hours, right? So a friend of mine reaches out, he says. I've got a couple 100,000 for some motion graphics compositing, live action work. So if you move on that fast and then I'm done. But that's opportunity. Somebody had just reached out to me. And said that I have the rare distinction of having sold two companies to Google, I also run the largest independent tech blog. I'm starting another company. I'd love to work with you. I know you're not available, so if you want to recommend somebody else, please do. So I'm thinking there's a couple of dollar signs on this one. Again, so if this isn't something that I want to do, I'm going to throw it to the group I used to give it to other groups. So I'm like, this is crazy. I need to take care of the program first, right? You have to respond. You have to be decisive. And I'm going to give you a couple of other tips only give me one link. I'm frustrated when you give me more than one link. And I'll tell you why. Don't make me think. That's it, and don't submit yourself if you're not the right person, because that burns me too, because I literally go through them, I check I'm like, no, what? What is this person thinking? And next time you submit something, I'm like, you know what, I'm not going to check you anymore because you're wasting my time, right? Because what I want to do, the way I maintain these relationships is I give them three or four people to look at and they wind up hiring one of them. If I give him 13 people and only two are appropriate, they're going to have the same feeling. Why do I call chris? He's just wasting my time. He has no idea what I want. And that would ruin it for everybody else here. OK I can be a good tool for some of you and some of you already making money off this, and I'm glad to hear that. All right. So respond quickly. Be decisive. This is it. And if you don't have it. Do not put it up. One other thing I'd love to encourage you to do is check on who else posts. See where you stack up in this order of things. That's a good sign. Like, I think I'm on top of the heap. It's a good sign for you. I don't think I even belong here. That's also a good sign because that's called feedback, and you'll start to close the gap. Really critical. I don't know how many places where you're going to see something like this. That's another advantage of being in this group is you're going to see like four brand strategists respond. Boom, you're going to see whoever's good at identity design. You're going to see whoever's going to motion is on a compositing and it's going to happen frequently. So you can see, yep, I have work to do. Or I know I'm in the zone, that's critical. OK and soon you're going to start to see people sharing wins, saying, I did this project four months ago. Everything is wrapped. It worked out. I got paid this amount of money, whatever they want to share. All right. So that's that. Chris had a question. Yes what are your thoughts on VR and have you seen VR classrooms or co-working spaces that kind of been popping up? I don't pay too much attention to vr, mostly because the technology requirements, the hardware, hardware, all that kind of stuff. It's not for me right now. I think VR will be the future. When have you seen the Oculus Quest two? No, I'm not into it, so I don't really know. So it's brand new. Worst thing about it is that Facebook made it, but it's a self-contained unit and it starts at 2.99 and it keeps up with all the other VR headsets that are about a grand entry costs. So it's really starting moving closer to where we need to be, right? Lighter, lighter gear, more powerful, less equipment is set up and then will be there. But I do. I like augmented reality, the concept too, so I just haven't seen enough of it. And we'll know because everybody's like, boom, that's a killer app. The industry is looking for the killer app right now, and I like to like, be right behind the first movers. If there's anyone in the Pro group that has a VR headset, it'd be cool to set up a little experimental group, and it's really interesting to be able to hang out with people in a room, even though it's just avatars, but it brings that connection a whole to. It does. I could. I get a test? You can pick up markers and jot ideas down and stuff. It's pretty cool. So you could do this with the Facebook headset. Yep cool. All right. Well, you do me a favor and drop that in the main group. Say here's the headset. If you guys are interested, is a great entry point. And if you already have a headset, I'd love to hang out with you and use the technology together. You make a believer out of me. At some point I'm sure of it. It'll get there. Yeah OK. I'm a little past the time here. Anybody else have any final thoughts or questions or things that they want to throw out there? Suggestions I just want to remind people tomorrow morning, Alec has a session at 9:00 AM Pacific about starting a course that he launched with a friend. And you know how to get a little funding, prove your idea and get your first 100 students. So I think that's going to be interesting. Oh, I like that. Neat I reach out to my friend Nilka Heim, who you may or may not have seen on the topography critiques as an idea is an experiment. I'm going to have her do TA office hours with this and you guys, the theory is you bring your work website, identity system, it has type and you want critique and feedback. She's amazing. Well, go ahead. No, no, go ahead, finish, Chris. No, I'm done, I'm done. Go ahead. I was curious about the 100 days challenge and. One of my resolutions for next year is to start creating content, and I'm still trying to figure out if the like what's the best way to start? I don't have a following at all, like I was very private. I'd like to keep my social media private, but now that you know, I'm here and everything, I'm trying to build that up. What's the best way to start? Should I start with a podcast? Does it make more sense to start with? Video we had the video office hours with video content creation, office hours with Matthew, and he was explaining, for instance, that one reason why he doesn't do podcasts is he doesn't find like he'd rather stick to medium and YouTube because there's a financial Roi. And I just wanted to. You know, get your opinion on that, like just what's a good starting point? Not taking into consideration money at the beginning, but that would be one of the goals like in the future. Um, if you're asking me, I'm going to share my thoughts, but I'd love to hear anybody else that's got a different thought to this is. Go for the thing that has the lowest barrier of entry for you. I mean, you think about 100 days of content, be realistic with yourself, I have x number of minutes, hours in every day that I can actually do this. Because you're going to feel really bad about yourself if you go all crazy and then 15 days in. You can't do any work, you can't sleep anymore and you're neglecting your family. I know you're a family man, so it's like, this is not good. It's not good for your life. It's not good for your relationships. So start small. This is habit building. So I think the first thing that you need to look at is I want to develop a new habit, and the whole goal is to get to the end. That's it. God rest his soul. Tony Xie. He ran a marathon, and he recently passed away. He ran a marathon, and he's like, running a marathon is counter to what you think. The first point of running a marathon when you're training for it is just to be able to do it without stopping. So don't go running because you'll stop. So this is at first, it's just speed walking. You need to go for a certain distance and just not stop. And then over time, you increase your speed. So we're here, and our only goal for the 100 day sprint is to get to the end period. So figure out your life, figure out your commitment, figure out what you want to get out of it, what you can put into it and devise a plan around that. Make it easy for yourself. You may do 10 days of prep work so that you can do this, you might have to buy equipment and you might have to test it. Do all this stuff that you need to do before you make that commitment, because all those things hurt you. And 100 days is great because I think it takes 45 days to form a new habit, something like that. The science is, you know, give or take. So 45 days of doing something consistently before it becomes part of you. Most people quit a day. 30 OK. I was like researching this, the p90x, the whole system by Tony Horton. It was designed for 90 days because that's how long it's going to take for it to really, really stick. And he would say, you know, 30 days, you're going to quit. So my goal is just to get the day 45. Once you get to day 40 five, you have this thing called momentum and it takes you through the rest. OK think about it, small changes consistently applied over time have dramatic results. Everybody thinks it's a giant karate chop, it's the roundhouse kick, it's not. Small, consistent. Movement, that's what you want. So, Mo, if you're thinking about doing podcasts, if anybody's thinking about doing a podcast, I'm going to give you some things I think I mentioned this last call is the short podcasts. Micro 5 to 10 minutes and you recorded all the one day and you chop them up and they're planned and then you distribute them the rest of the week. All advertisers care about all the metrics, all the analytical tools measure how many downloads you get per month. They don't take into consideration if your episode is short or long. It's crazy. So with that a tease you with this new concept I'm working on. OK I produce long podcasts, but I too, I'm not stupid, it's like if this is the way the world is going shorter and shorter. I got to go that way, so I'm going to try this new concept. I'm a test it out with the first momos like you got to call the second most something else. It's bothering him personally, emotionally. It's distressing him. OK, so it's going to be called five rounds. You're going to go 5 rounds with me. So it's going to take a little bit of a boxing analogy here. So round one Mo is going to come at me with something and then we're going to do it just for 10 minutes and it's OK. End of round one. That's the end of the episode round two. So I'm going to always introduce myself as I'm in the blue corner because it's the future. And joining me today in the red corner is Mo might as well say home by himself. Let's go round one and then we have the bell. Ding ding. Let's go. Or or what is that? The Street Fighter game. It's like, get ready to rumble. So something like that. Yeah, well, we'll do something that's trademark. I can't do that because Michael Buffer us to us, but it's like Fight round one. It would be something like that. Get ready for the next battle. Yeah so I knew Peter is going to come in there with a game reference. So that's a thought. So I'm hoping that if this works and it's exciting and it's fun and it provides some novelty in between the long podcast, we'll be doing these five rounds and we'll be doing with you guys because you guys are comfortable talking to me. You know enough about what we're doing here, so you can ask deep questions that the new people always so where did you grow up? It's like, I'm done with that. You know why you create the future? We're done with that, let's go deep. OK, so I'm teasing it now. So sometime in 2021 I'll be reaching out to some of you and saying, hey, I'd love to do five rounds with you. Come join me on the podcast. Ask me five really good questions, and then let's debate. OK, that's it for me, I'm going to hit stop, I think it's a natural time for us as.
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