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Working Smart with Guest Mike Dillard: MakingBank S1E57

with

Mike Dillard

Working Smart with Guest Mike Dillard: MakingBank S1E57

with

Mike Dillard

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Summary

Go back to your teenage years.

You are a student in high school, working hard to get good grades, graduate, and still maintain some semblance of a social life.

Picture yourself sitting in class at the conclusion of a long, hot and humid spring day, getting ready for the brassy overture of the final bell knowing that with its ear-splitting ring your REAL day begins.

When all of your friends and classmates head home for the day, you’re going to head to a greasy, steamy restaurant to wait tables for seven or eight hours, working yourself to exhaustion.

How would you handle an utterly daunting workload like that? More importantly, what lesson would you extract from such a labor-intensive experience?

If you’re anything like today’s guest, you’d learn a lot.

Meet Mike Dillard, father, entrepreneur, investor, author, and self-described “freedom fighter” who approaches life with the belief that anyone can accomplish anything if they develop and apply the appropriate skills.

Using his time waiting tables at the original Romano’s Macaroni Grill as a sparkplug for entrepreneurial learning, Mike came to understand professional success isn’t rooted in hard-work, it’s rooted in smart-work—the kind that earns more money through means of continually-reduced effort.

Mike used this understanding to build a successful business teaching small business owners how to effectively market themselves online using “attraction-marketing”—a business that would be worth more than 7-figures by the time he turned 27.

In 2010, he founded a financial education company in order to teach others how to achieve financial freedom through investment strategies commonly reserved for the wealthy.

Today, Mike’s businesses have produced more than $50 million dollars in revenue—all of it with $0 of outside funding—and his latest venture into aeroponics is positioned to be his most impactful and lucrative entrepreneurial effort yet.

Learn more about Mike during today’s episode of Making Bank, where he’ll discuss everything above, as well as…

•How to become the hunted instead of the hunter

•What to actually do when you achieve monetary success

•Why the “opportunity” is NOT “the opportunity”

•The critical importance of skill mastery and mentorship

•How to properly apply the hours of the day

•Why success isn’t derived from how hard you work, it’s derived from where you apply the work

…And much, much more, including the best advice he’s ever received.

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Transcription

Josh Felber: Welcome back. I am Josh Felber and you’ve been watching Making Bank. I’m really excited today. We have a unbelievable entrepreneur on the show for you today. His name is Mike Dillard. He lives in Austin, Texas and had built his first million dollar business by the age of 27 teaching small business owners how to effectively market their products and services online using attraction marketing strategies.

Then in 2010 Mike founded a financial education company in order to teach others how to achieve financial freedom through investment strategies commonly reserved for the wealthy. We all need that. Combined, his businesses produced over … Total more than 50 million in revenue without any outside funding. Today Mike dedicates his time to mentoring other entrepreneurs, developing technologies in the aeroponics industry that will give people around the world access to clean, healthy, organic food at a fraction of today’s prices. Then he has lots of cool things that he does in his free time, from Baja racing to hanging out at his ranch, and fishing. Mike, welcome to Making Bank.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. Glad to be here Josh. Looking forward to it.

Josh Felber: Cool. I guess just start off … Tell me a little bit about your history, a quick history of how you became an entrepreneur and what got you started.

Mike Dillard: Sure. I think the story started in high school, when I used to wait tables at the original Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Boerne, Texas before it was a chain. I was mountain biking professionally at that point in my life and I needed money to fund that. So I would wait tables on the weekends and I would come home around midnight, 1:00, smelling like food, tired, sweaty and all of that, but not ready to go straight to bed, so I’d sit in the living room at my parents’ house … And turn on the television at that time of night and you see one thing typically, which is infomercials from guys like Tony Robbins and all of those folks who are out there.

Here I am, coming home from a job that was a ton of work for very little money, and I was definitely open to the idea of figuring out how to make more money with less work, so I kind of got hooked on the idea of entrepreneurship through that channel. My first business that I ever started, or exposure to that really, was in the network marketing industry back in the late 90s in college. I loved the idea of leverage and all that stuff, passive income that you can build in that industry, but I had an extremely tough time for the first five or six years, didn’t make a dime, probably switched companies 10 to 12 times.

I was super shy and super introverted, so I was the absolute worst personality profile that you could ever stick in network marketing, because that’s such a people based, relationship based business. I had to figure out how to make it work for me and my personality type after five years of failure. I came across direct response marketing, guys like Dan Kennedy and Yanik Silver and online marketing. This is Web 1.0 days, when Google AdWords just started to come out.

I learned how to create online marketing pieces and sales letters that would really do all of the telling and selling and recruiting for me, so that the only time I ever talked to a person at that point was once they had all of the information maybe they had a question or two, but 99% ready to go ahead and sign up and get started. That really revolutionized the way I pursued the business.

I decided to write a training manual about it called Magnetic Sponsoring. It kind of took off on its own like wildfire. I started selling copies of it for 40 bucks apiece that I had printed at Kinko’s, and within a month or two I was selling probably 50 copies of that a day, so that’s around 60 grand a month all of a sudden out of nowhere from selling a book. That book really just outlined my strategy for what is essentially an attraction marketing business model, how do you become the hunted instead of the hunter?

I went on to become the number one distributor in passive income in my company after I applied that strategy. After the network marketing days, you know I had really done everything that I had set out to do in that industry, I really started to focus on the money side of the house, which everybody in that world talks about how to make money, because that’s obviously the first step and why everybody is involved in any kind of entrepreneurial endeavor. They want to change their financial situation.

But what is really never talked about is what do you do with the money that you make once you do make it. We all have our dream boards with our cars and our boats and our dream house. So the money comes in and the money goes out to fulfill all of those dreams that have fueled us and provided that ambition, and then all of a sudden you’re out of money again. So I decided that I needed to educate myself in that world and change that, so at the end of 2010, the beginning of 2011, I started really and online diary.

It was a private membership area where I would do an interview once a month with a mentor in the financial world. These were typically entrepreneurs who had bridged that gap and not only learned how to make money, but then how to invest it, keep it, and grow it. I wanted to figure out how did the wealth invest, because if you want to become wealthy you have to invest like the wealthy.

That did really, really well. We sold access to that for $97 a month, or $600 or the year, and in the first seven days we brought on over 8,600 customers in the first week and over $3 million in revenue in seven days, an eight-figure business within the first 12 months. Yeah, so that went on for about three years and had its ups and its downs.

Now I’m really focused on building an even bigger business that can impact more people, which is the hydroponics company that I’m working on these days, which is essentially designed to solve the problem of high-cost organic food. You’re a healthy guy, I’m a healthy eater. Fortunately you and I can afford to eat at Whole Foods and buy all of our produce there, but as for the other 95% of the population, if you’re buying your fruits and veggies at a conventional supermarket you’re eating poison.

The average bunch of spinach has 54 different pesticide residues on it. It’s insane. The fact that the average American family is out there trying to eat healthy and they’re eating vegetables and feeding their kids this stuff and they’re ingesting poison on a daily basis because they can’t afford food without poison on it just pisses me off, and I think it’s just unacceptable and I think there’s a huge opportunity there, so we’ve been building a system for the last two years that will ideally change that.

You put it in your house, it’ll grow over $5,000 a year in organic produce right there in your kitchen for less than 500 bucks, so it reduces your food costs by 90%. It reduces the entire supply chain. All of the pesticides that go into the ground out on the farms goes away. It reduces water consumption over traditional agriculture by 90%. All of the pollution from the 18-wheelers and everything in between, and it starts and ends in your kitchen. It’s a big endeavor, but the win is worth it as well. That’s kind of my story in a nutshell.

Josh Felber: Cool. That’s awesome. I’m excited to learn a little bit more about the aeroponics stuff that you’re doing. I know we briefly talked about it a few months ago.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. I’ll show you a picture of it when we’re done here.

Josh Felber: Cool.

Mike Dillard: It’s pretty cool.

Josh Felber: Awesome. Tell me … I know you got started watching infomercials, the good old Tony Robbins. I remember watching him on TV and diving in myself, but when you got into the network marketing, I mean you sat there and struggled for five years. What really kept you going, because a lot of people would probably bail after the first six or 12 months.

Mike Dillard: The alternative of working for somebody else for the rest of my life was even more unbearable.

Josh Felber: Okay.

Mike Dillard: I mean really that was it. I was at a place where I was literally willing to die trying. I was either going to make it or I was going to continue to try for as long as it takes until it killed me or whatever it may be, because the alternative of giving up and surrendering all of my hopes and dreams in life just … It’s not an alternative.

The big transition point for me in that, kind of once I figured this out … I went from waiting tables at a P. F. Chang’s in San Antonio to making my first million dollars within about 18 months after those five or six years, was realizing that the opportunity itself is not the opportunity, meaning the company, the products, the compensation plan, none of that is going to bring the success that I wanted. It took me, again, five years to figure that out. I think it takes a lot of people the same kind of thing, because you get … You bought into this opportunity presentation and the product and you’re like man, this is going to make a million dollars, and as long as you have that, then that’s all you need. That’s just not the case.

I’d go to these meetings and I’d see all of these people in every single company that I went to who were walking across stage and making money, and I was like what am I missing here? What I was missing is the fact that all of these individuals had mastered a skillset of some kind, whether that was presenting at a hotel meeting, or presenting from stage, or presenting and recruiting people over the phone. Whatever it may be, they had all mastered a skill and I had not.

I decided to change that, and the first skill that I mastered was copywriting. I spent about a year or year and a half on every book and course that I could on copywriting. I would sit at home late at night and hand write out really effective sales letters that I had seen online and print it out. That’s what changed everything, because for the very first time in my life I now had the ability to effectively sell my opportunity or my products, which in the past I didn’t. I was just keeping my fingers crossed.

Once I acquired that skillset, I could execute on my own timeline as much as I wanted. I could scale my efforts using Google AdWords, and instead of presenting the business to ten leads a night over the phone and trying to convince these people to start a business, I could present the opportunity to a thousand people a day using Google AdWords and really have them qualify themselves.

That for me is the answer to the question that you and I probably both always get, which is what’s the secret to success? The secret is you have to acquire a skillset and become the master of something. It needs to be in line with you and your personality style, meaning that I am not built for analytics or numbers. I failed all of my math and finance classes in college two to three times each. I had to retake them in summer school every single summer for five years, so looking at spreadsheets, doing traffic campaigns, going through dat on a daily basis, I just am not built for that.

What I am built for is writing, and I just figured out that that’s where my talent lies. Other people, like let’s say Gary Vaynerchuk, who I saw gave you that shout out today, is built for person-to-person, speaking from stage, speaking from the camera, that’s his talent, where if he had to write a sales letter like I did for a webinar, I’d probably excel in that format. So really figuring what you’re built for and then mastering the skillset that’s aligned with that is the key to … It’s the key to success.

Josh Felber: Definitely, and I think that’s the biggest thing, is a lot of people, they don’t really drive home and try to figure out what those strengths are that they have. They just kind of keep floundering or looking for those shortcuts to try to bypass everything. Can you stick around for a minute? We’ve got to take a quick break.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. Of course.

Josh Felber: I am Josh Felber. You are watching Making Bank, and we’ll be right back.

Josh Felber: Welcome back. I am Josh Ferber and you’re watching Making Bank. We’ve been speaking with Mike Dillard and where he’s come as an entrepreneur as well as what couple of his success strategies, focusing on your strengths as well as putting in the time, putting in the work to learn and understand whatever you’re learning to take it to the next level. Mike, welcome back to Making Bank.

Mike Dillard: Absolutely.

Josh Felber: Cool. We talked a little bit about diving in and getting the strengths. When you guys went and launched your financial product, did you guys do that from cold? Did you have a big list built? I mean because $3.2 million in seven days is a good, substantial launch.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. It was interesting … I obviously had a list from my network marketing days, and I want to say that was probably around 200,000 people. But I think the biggest reason that was as successful as it was is timing. We had really tapped into the zeitgeist at the end of 2010 of what everybody had just gone through in the crash of 2008. It was all anyone was thinking about. Nobody was putting out a solution yet. I mean I remember the average advice from your typical financial adviser to my parents and their friends was don’t worry, just invest more money. Maybe it’ll work out, maybe it won’t, but it’s not really an answer that you want to hear. It doesn’t empower you. It doesn’t give you confidence. You just have to keep your fingers crossed that maybe everything will come back.

We really tapped into that zeitgeist. It was on the forefront of the entire planet, and we were offering a unique solution that nobody else in the world was. We were approaching this from a very layman’s type of vocality and verbality, meaning normal people speak. We weren’t coming at you like a financial advisor or like an economist, using charts and graphs and whatever it may be. We approached it just like a normal person, so it was very relatable to everyone.

Unlike most other financial newsletters, we didn’t put really anything in print format or written format. Everything was done in video. One of the lessons that I’ll share with everyone here, when I had this idea, the first thing I thought was okay, let’s go see what the top three guys in the industry are doing. Let’s go buy all their products. Let’s see what we like, and then let’s see what we don’t like and how can we stand out from the crowd, because that’s a huge … It’s a billion … The financial newsletter industry is a billion dollar industry, so how can I come into that world with absolutely zero experience, zero expertise … I’m literally coming at this from a reference and a frame of I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just interested in this topic and I want to figure out a solution for my life, and if you want to join me on this journey you’re welcome to join.

Josh Felber: Cool.

Mike Dillard: So that was it. It was let’s use layman terminology. Let’s not use charts and graphs. Let’s put everything in video, because everybody else is doing writing. Let’s take a camera crew on location to wherever these people are that we’re interviewing and turn this into an adventure and a journey that people can join us on rather than getting a boring newsletter that shows up in their inbox once a month. I think all of those things combined were the reasons that that was so successful.

Josh Felber: That’s extremely important, is that when you’re diving in with a new venture and everything like that, is really taking a look at what the other people are doing in the marketplace, those top ones, and, like you said, buying the courses, going in to see what they’re doing exactly, and then figuring out I guess the holes and what their strengths and everything are, and then how to make it better. Almost like you utilize a Blue Ocean Strategy for what you guys are doing.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. Absolutely. The hydroponic stuff, it’s the same thing. When I had this idea and saw this opportunity I went and bought every product that I could, put them in my house, started growing stuff with them, saw all of the problems that they had and made my list of solutions, where if I could build my dream setup what would it be. Then we speced that out, and that’s eventually become the product.

It’s a very intentional, conscious approach to building a business. That really determines what your marketing plan is going to be, how you’re going to offer your product to the market, and it’s what creates the space, if you will, for your piece of pie in that niche, so that’s really how it’s done.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome. Tell me a little bit about what are some of the key, I don’t know, books or mentors that you’ve connected with that really helped you along the way.

Mike Dillard: It’s interesting the changes in every phase of your career, meaning when you’re first starting out as an entrepreneur you’ve got to rewire your brain to think completely differently. You’ve got to swap out your software, so in that phase of my life it was the traditional personal development stuff, Tony Robbins’ Get the Edge, Think and Grow Rich, all of those typical books and audio courses where you’re listening to them in your car, on your headset at the gym, and you just immerse yourself in a different way of thinking.

For me it took a good five years while I was going through that learning curve. After that the skillset changes. You now need to be able to execute. Once you have the belief in yourself, you’ve got to be able to execute those beliefs. At that point, transitioning to skill based education, learning how to write copy, learning how to write ads, learning how to code a website … All of those things which I would say is another five years … Once you learn how to market and sell and execute and actually build a business. pretty much anyone can build a seven-figure business today by themselves. Whether it’s a podcast, a YouTube channel, a single product, an eBook, whatever it may be, the world is big enough and the internet is accessible enough to where you can take one product and make a million dollars a year on it.

But if you want to grow beyond that, the third phase that I’ve run into is that in order to take an idea or the sale of a product on a daily basis and transition that into an actual growing, scalable company with employees and teams, the skillset is completely the opposite. You have to force yourself from being the guy that makes the sales and creates the products to delegation and leadership, and it’s totally opposite. That’s really what I’m focused on now specifically for this company, is how do I scale to $100 million a year business and over.

I have been reading a lot by Cameron Herold. His book Double Double is absolutely fantastic. I actually recently hired him as a coach. On my podcast a lot of the guys that I interview have built $100 million plus companies, Josh [Frisoni 00:20:11] and Chase Jarvis and all of these guys. My intention for interviewing them is to figure out how they made that transition. So far we had a little bit of success in the financial company. We got up to about 12 employees, but we never quite cracked it. We definitely made some mistakes, and that kind of dwindled out over three to four years. Those are really the three phases that I’ve seen in my career as far as how you have to approach your business and your personal development.

Josh Felber: I think you hit it right on, because as you grow and as you mature in business, you always want to always continuously be learning along the way, but there’s those different phases as you mentioned. I’ve noticed myself along the same transition path as you said, so Cameron Herald has some awesome insights with what he’s doing and everything, so that’s really cool you brought him on as a mentor and coach for yourself.

Mike Dillard: I mean you have to. The alternative is to pay the stupid tax, and everybody pays the stupid tax at all times. The question is are you going to pay it in a really big way or a really little way? If you want to do things on your own, you’re going to pay a huge stupid tax, where I can go spend a nice bit of money with Cameron on a monthly basis, and I may spend that money with him, but my stupid tax is going to be infinitely smaller. You really just have to be smart about where you put your money, and investing in education and coaches and mentors and other ways is the smartest investment you can ever make, because I guarantee you the stupid tax will be infinitely bigger if you don’t. So yeah.

Josh Felber: I’m right there with you. I’ve always had either some kind of business coach or mentor myself along a good majority of my business career.

Mike Dillard: You have to. You have to. The moment you think you’re beyond that or over that or you know enough is the moment you start fading into obscurity.

Josh Felber: Yeah. Awesome. Tell me a little bit about … Kind of dive into our aeroponics and what you’re doing and how it’s going to help revolutionize the organic food industry a little bit more.

Mike Dillard: What I’d like to encourage everyone who’s watching or listening to this to consider that we all have the exact same amount of time in our day. Let’s just say we all have 12 hours a day that we apply to our work efforts, whether that is at your job. This could be a janitor at a high school, or whether as a doctor, or in sales, or as a solo entrepreneur, or as Tony Robbins or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We all have the exact same numbers in a same day.

The result and the reward that we get from those hours is different only because of how we decide to apply that time and what we decide to work on. I would venture to say that all of us work equally hard, whether you’re putting in sweat equity or working on your business. We’re putting in the same hours, putting in the same amount of effort, and yet the difference can be $40,000 a year in income or $10 million or $100 million a year in income, and it’s just making the decision on what you want to apply those efforts to.

Why wouldn’t you apply them to the biggest, boldest idea that you could possibly imagine, because you’re going to be doing the work either way. You might as well go for the biggest prize possible. That’s traditionally how I thought about my business endeavors, is once I’ve … Three to four years, or five years have gone by and I’ve built out that company, the next question is how can I think bigger and build bigger and make a bigger impact?

That’s really what the hydroponic stuff is about for me. It’s about the legacy that I want to leave, so when I’m 70-80 years old, what can I have spent my time on and brought to the world that will really make me feel like I contributed in a really meaningful way? That’s kind of the question that I ask myself.

For that answer, if I can put clean, healthy, pesticide-free food back on the dinner table for families at a price that everybody can afford, that to me is a life well lived. That’s really my driving goal behind it. Again, it’s tapping into a zeitgeist as well. The health industry right now is huge. The organics industry is huge. The GMO industry is huge. Everybody hates Monsanto, blah, blah, blah. Vaccines … Everybody is becoming very conscious of what they’re putting into their body.

What’s interesting is that the market and these corporations have created this opportunity because they have started to put so many artificial ingredients into food that natural, clean food is now a rarity, so that’s what’s created the value proposition and the opportunity here.

The next question is how can we make that easy? How can we make this simple? How can we automate this? There are products that you can put in your house right now that will grow food for you hydroponically, but they’re a pain in the ass. It’s like taking care of a fish tank. You have to balance the pH every day. You have to try and figure out how much nutrients you should add to the water as you refill it up and how to control pests. You’ve got to clean it out for mold once every month or two. You’ve got to put lights in your house that are totally a pain in the butt.

So the concept was there, the market was there. I went and verified the sales of what I would say is the only viable product or quasi-competitor out there in the market before we even started down this path. They’re doing a lot of revenue, so great. They’ve proven that there’s a customer base out there for a product like this. How can we just fix all of the flaws and make something that’s awesome and easy, that people would love and want to use?

That’s what we’ve spent the last year and a half doing. It’s pretty neat. It’s totally automated. It has wifi, it has an app, and so all you do is drop in the little seed pods that we sell you and it’ll grow 36 plants at a time, 160 different species. Everything is automated, from the lighting, to the pH balancing, to the nutrient dosing. It will essentially replace your trip to the produce section of Whole Foods, and instead of spending $5 on a head of hydroponic butter lettuce there, it’ll cost you about 50 cents to a dollar.

I have zero experience in hydroponics. I have zero experience in growing anything. When I came up with this, the first thing I did was go to Amazon and buy three, four, five books on hydroponics and gardening. That’s literally where I started. Then it was Googling industrial design firms, because I’ve never built a physical product before in my entire life. I had no idea where to start.

I’m telling that to people because just because you don’t know anything doesn’t [inaudible 00:27:41] that that’s the reason why you can’t do it. If I’m buying eBooks on this topic and literally Googling design firms, anybody can do anything. It’s kind of … It reminds me of Richard Branson’s story, if you’ve read it, about his founding of Virgin Airlines, where he and his business partner said we want to start an airline because everybody else sucks and we’re tired of flying on other airlines, and they spent the next three days reading everything that they could about how to start an airline and how that industry worked. So that’s not a viable excuse for you or anybody else when it comes to bringing whatever dream you have in your head to life, and don’t let it be one.

Since then it’s been a process of designing that. We’re designing it with Whipsaw in California, out in Silicon Valley, one of the top industrial design firms in the country. It’s just a learning process. I’m bringing on the smartest people I can find in the hydroponics industry as consultants, so they are really bringing their expertise on that side of the house. The goal is to pull off the largest kickstarter campaign in history at the beginning of next when we bring this to the market and to really transform the way people grow and eat produce.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome, and I think it’s definitely needed. I’ve looked at some of the other systems that are out there and everything, and there are … I mean we can’t … It’s hard for us to keep plants alive sometimes here, so-

Mike Dillard: Totally. Totally.

Josh Felber: A fully automated system would be a perfect setup for that.

Mike Dillard: Yeah.

Josh Felber: You mentioned just a brand new field for you. I think when we had talked before briefly you talked about you put most of your other businesses on hold to dive into this venture, right?

Mike Dillard: Well, my plan was to take the money that I had saved up and to dedicate all of my time and all of that money into the development of this product, but I quickly learned within about five or six months that it’s going to take longer than expected. There’s a rule that I’ve come to know unfortunately very well over my career as an entrepreneur, which is the rule of 3X. The rule of 3X means that when you’re developing anything, whether it’s a product, specifically software and things like that, it’s going to take you three times longer and cost you three times more than you ever thought, and that has been the case absolutely born out with everything that I’ve ever done, and this product is proving to be the same as well.

We were originally supposed to launch next month when we started this a year ago, and now it’ll be at least another nine more months. At the end of the day, you’ve got one shot to make a positive first impression on the market and to have all of the reviews about this product be in your favor, so we just have to make sure that it’s done right, even if we have to delay it as long as we have to delay it, but that delay costs money.

I announced to the world about a year ago that I was retiring, I was not going to do the marketing expert anymore, educator anymore, and that lasted four months and I was like oh, shit, I’m running out of cash, that was a mistake. I did it because I wanted to burn the bridge and say there’s no going back to myself and to my audience to show my commitment level, but that was a mistake in hindsight because the only threat to this project is running out of money. I could take investors, but when you know you have what is in my case going to be the biggest win of my career as an entrepreneur, selling any amount of equity at all is going to come back to cost me 100X in value, versus when I sell … What they’re going to be worth in let’s say two years.

The smartest thing that I can do is to keep funding it myself, which is not inexpensive, so I had to come out probably three months ago and say, “I’m sorry. I messed up, made a mistake.” I tried to do that in the most transparent way possible and just really use it as a lesson learned for my audience and other entrepreneurs out there. Here’s what I did. Here’s the mistake I made. Here’s what I’ve learned from it, and here’s how you can prevent doing that yourself.

Other than a bruised ego on my end, the consequences of that are really nothing in my mind, but that was the biggest lesson learned, is that you’ve got to have a business and producing cashflow on a consistent basis that can fund the next phase of your career and your dream, if you will. So never kill the golden cow, if you will, that’s feeding you. That was the big one. Yeah.

Josh Felber: I guess tell me what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Mike Dillard: The best advice I’ve ever received? I don’t know that it was advice that I was given … One of the things that pop into my head that a mentor shared with me back in my network marketing days is the more you give away, the more you get to keep, meaning the more you give to the marketplace as far as value goes freely, the more you’re going to get back. I’m sure you’ve experienced that here with the podcast and the opportunities it’s created. Really accepting that and then diving into it and just starting to put out content for free back in my early days, demonstrating leadership, teaching people things, was a huge turning point in my career. It’s what started to attract and build my audience for the very first time. That was huge.

Then the skillset piece is as well. If you’re sitting there twiddling your fingers, wasting time, if you’ve been attempting to make money as an entrepreneur for five years and you’ve gotten no further along that goal, it means that you have not increased your value to the world in a manner that is aligned with making more money. That’s when the whole skillset piece comes into play. All of us and the amount of money that we make is directly related to the amount of value that we bring to the world. There are some people who have an unbelievable amount of value but they don’t have a lot of leverage.

A great example of that is a brain surgeon. If you’re dying of brain cancer or whatever it may be, there’s only maybe a couple of dozen people in the entire country who can save your life, so the amount of value that they bring to those patients is huge and the number of other people with their area of expertise is next to nothing, and so they can charge almost whatever they want, but there is ultimately a cap, because they can only perform one to two procedures a day, so they don’t have leverage of scale.

When it comes to the opposite end of the spectrum, you or I have a particular skillset that we’ve acquired. Let’s just call it sales and marketing. We are using the internet to increase our scale as much as we possibly can, and so that’s how guys like you and I, who are nowhere near as smart as brain surgeons, can make 10 to 50 times more money than they can. It’s because we simply have scale.

The question I would ask yourself is how can you increase your value to the world? It’s very simple. It’s by acquiring rare and valuable skillsets, and ideally skillsets that are applied in a way that have the biggest and widest impact possible on as many people as possible. That really is the key to building a seven, eight, nine, 10-figure business.

Josh Felber: Awesome. That was some great advice, just I think the value is the creation portion and be able to give as much as you can. That’s just the way you have to be to really generate that connection with people I think.

Mike Dillard: Yeah, agreed. If you don’t, go out and acquire that rare skillset. There’s a lot of people who can wait tables. It doesn’t take a lot of skill. That’s why you don’t make a lot of money doing that.

My first piece of advice when I get contacted by people on Facebook or my blog or whatever it may be and they’re in this situation and they need to make more money, they’ve been struggling in their business for three years, is what skillset have you mastered? 100% of the time the answer is none. It’s like there’s your problem, and it’s not going to change until you change that.

Josh Felber: Yeah. How about one piece of technology you couldn’t live without?

Mike Dillard: Jing, Jingproject.com, J-I-N-G project.com. It is like ScreenFlow or Camtasia, but it’s a little app that sits on your desktop, Mac or PC, and it is an audio capture tool that will let you record for five minutes and then it’s a one-click share, so it uploads to their cloud and then it automatically gives you a link that you can then send to somebody in an email or Skype or whatever it may be.

When I’m dealing with programmers, designers, or really anyone that I need to communicate something to and having a visual or an audio will help make that more effective, literally Jing, and it’s free, is the single best tool that I use every single day. I couldn’t live without it. Other than that, I’m not really a big app guy. I have Evernote for kind of basic note keeping, but I’d have to say Jing is the one that I use every single day.

Josh Felber: Cool. Awesome. That’s excellent. I’ve never … I wasn’t familiar with that one and I’ll definitely download that and add that to my Mac right away.

Mike Dillard: Yeah. You’ll absolutely love it for sure.

Josh Felber: Excellent. We’re about out of time, so I appreciate you coming on the show today, Mike, and being able to really connect and share tons of your wisdom with our audience, so thanks again for coming on Making Bank.

Mike Dillard: Awesome. Thank you guys for having me. It’s always a pleasure Josh, and I hope this was of value to some and would love to read the comments here below the video, and if you guys have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Josh Felber: Awesome. I am Josh Felber and you are watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.