In this Episode
[02:55] – Rich talks about how his new book came to be.
[05:30] – Rich describes his love for the water and his amazing connection with the dolphins and whales near Laguna Beach drove him to begin filming his experiences, and then sharing them on his Facebook page.
[06:27] – Rich tells us about having one of his videos go viral. Watch it here.
[07:18] – We hear about him receiving massive media exposure last year, as well as exposure from top ocean organizations such as PETA, Save the Whales, Black Fish, and The Cove.
[08:49] – Rich tells us that he estimates that since 2010 he has been out in the water paddling about 2100 times, has spent over 5000 hours on the water, and paddled over 15,000 miles.
[10:40] – Rich talks about 100% of the proceeds from the pre-order of his book going to help fund Project O. Pre-order Rich’s book here.
[11:15] – We discuss the process of creating a non-profit.
[13:48] – Rich speaks about creating Project O, with a short-term goal of raising awareness through art, film, outreach activities, and media coverage, and a long-term goal of changing laws in order to protect the ocean.
[14:04] – Rich explains the benefits of no-take zones, areas that cannot be fished.
[15:33] – He tells us why it is important to him to approach activism from a place of love instead of a place of fear.
[16:32] – Rich tells of his determination to set up a lifestyle that gave him time to pursue his passions, particularly his love for the ocean. He gets into how his focus on collaboration, working together to create a better result, influenced his decision to create his own foundation versus joining one that already existed.
[19:37] – Rich tells us why he is not the guy to talk about the pros and cons of setting up a 501(c)(3).
[20:30] – We talk about how burnout played a role in Rich leaving the coaching company he was working for and creating the JV Insider Circle and the JVX Experience.
[24:26] – Rich reminds us that when he created his company, he looked first at what kind of lifestyle he wanted, then created a business to satisfy those needs.
[27:32] – Rich explains why solopreneurs, people who generally work from home and alone, especially need avenues to build relationships, support, and partnerships in their business.
[28:13] – We learn how Rich was able to leverage his time by moving from one-on-one coaching to building a community that is six hundred-to-one and in the process taking his income up five to ten times.
[30:00] – Rich talks about creating his million-dollar JV Insider Circle by continually niching down until he was only solving one problem, teaching people how to do joint ventures.
[32:15] – We chat about the power of being focused. Stephan gives a great exercise in being focused that comes from Warren Buffett. Read more about that here.
[33:10] – Rich tells us how avoiding “shiny-object syndrome” and following up on great ideas can set you apart from other entrepreneurs.
[33:31] – Check out the interview that Rich and Stephan did on the Marketing Speak podcast. In that episode, Rich gets into details about how to set up a joint-venture partnership, how to leverage friendships and acquaintances to get a better list, and why doing mutually beneficial promotions is a crucial part of growing your business. You can listen to that here.
[34:15] – Rich responds to Frank Kern’s idea that “The money is in the list.” Rich reminds us that it is not about growing a big list; it is about the impact you can make through the list.
[36:10] – Rich recommends asking the question, “Who is already talking to the audience that I want to be talking to?”
[37:05] – Stephan recommends the book Thousand True Fans by Kevin Kelly, which talks about the benefit of having an audience who is proactively engaging with you and the community instead of passively consuming information.
[38:40] – Rich gets into the details of his offer to give a free ticket to the JVX event (November 3-5, 2016) to the listeners of Optimized Geek.
[38:48] – Rich talks about the role that training and education play in the JV Insider Circle.
[41:59] – We talk about the remarkable things that happen at JVX, including JV Match Cards; top-notch education about joint ventures; “Shark Attack,” which will feature an all-star panel that includes Christian Mickelsen and Loral Langemeier; and opportunities to network that are off the charts! Do you have your free ticket yet?
[44:50] – Rich gives us a key tip about creating informational products, “Your program or product needs to solve just one problem.” He explains why he thinks this is such a key point.
Hello and welcome to the Optimized Geek. I’m your host, Stephen Spencer. Today, I have the distinct pleasure of inviting on the show, Rich German. He’s a bestselling author. His books include Living the Law of Attraction, Monetize your Passion, and his newest one Blue Laguna where all pre-sell orders are going to charity which is awesome. Rich is also a speaker and a business lifestyle coach. Since 1999 he has conducted over 18,000 individual coaching sessions. He’s the creator of JV Insider Circle, JVIC, which is a community I’m part of as well. It’s a powerful community. It’s for coaches, authors, and speakers in building their business via joint venture partnerships. Rich lives in Laguna Beach at California and when he’s not working he is found on the ocean paddle boarding with dolphins and whales. Welcome Rich, it’s great to have you on the show.
It’s great to be with you. How are you man?
I am doing awesome. I do want to mention to the listeners that there’s an excellent interview of you that we did earlier in the year on my Marketing Speak podcast where we dig into joint venture partnerships and sales funnels and all sorts of marketing related stuff. We’ll probably touch on some of that in this interview as well but I also want to cover some other stuff around law of attraction and creating a lifestyle business and social impact, social businesses. Your Blue Laguna book is going to be doing all those great stuff for the charities. I want to kind of go in wherever directions we end up on. I want to mention too that you’ve been a coach to me and what that’s been like, and what it’s like to provide coaching, what it’s like to get coaching. That could be an interesting topic for discussion as well.
Let’s go wherever you want to go. Let’s go there, I love it.
Alright. Let’s start with the social impact stuff. I have particular soft spot in my heart for making a difference in the world. I donated a lot of my time to nonprofits through the years building them websites, doing SEO for them and of course donating money and so forth. Tell me a bit more about this new book and how it’s making a difference like socially?
I would love to because this is the first time in public that I’ve gotten to do that. This is great. You mentioned all three of my books. The first two books, first book is about the Law of Attraction. The second book was how to turn your passion into a business. These books are very content rich books that hopefully will improve people’s lives in their financial situations or what not. My clients, if you would have told me when my last book came out that this new book Blue Laguna was going to be a photo book, a coffee table book of dolphin and whale photos that I’ve taken from my stand up paddle board, I would have told you that you’re absolutely crazy but the reality is that’s exactly what it is. It’s very, very exciting to me and I’ll kind of tell you how it came about. I’m very passionate about my main business which is about joint ventures. Stephan as you mentioned, you’re a part of the community that I created where we put coaches, authors, speakers, experts and leaders together and they support each other. They collaborate together. It’s an amazing business. It’s an amazing community. I’m very honored to be the guy that created it and who gets to lead it. That’s the passion of mine. For years now, I’ve had an incredibly strong passion for the ocean. I live right on the beach. In fact I’m looking at the ocean right now in Laguna Beach, California down the road from where you are Stephan. Back in 2010, I got kind of hooked on the sport of stand-up paddle boarding. I would go out on the ocean everyday and I would paddle. What I discovered as I would paddle was that I started seeing dolphins almost every single time that I paddle. Not just see them but like I would be in a pod of dolphins where the dolphins would just come right up to my board, right underneath my board, and I paddle them for miles. Then I would start paddling out further and I would be in the midst of whales, all different kind of species of whales. It just became this crazy connection thing that I’ve done ever since. I’m definitely a creative person and I love being in a creative process so what I started doing was I bring a camera out there. I started taking photos of the dolphins and the whales. Then I got fancier and I started doing video and I would share these photos and these videos on Facebook. I never ever had any desire to turn it into any kind of business. Up to this day, I paddle because I love to be on the ocean and I have this amazing connection with the animals. It’s the greatest gift of my life because to be in the presence of these magical beings is almost every single day. I share the photos and videos because it’s just fun to share them. I edit the photos and I share them and people comment and they like it. A lot of people, there’s like a combination of people that follow what I do. Some of them are other ocean people but the majority are people that don’t live near the ocean and can never have an experience like this. They get to see the photos, they share them with their families or what not. It brings them great joy and it brings me great joy that we have able to share.
Has one of those videos gone viral?
Yes, so funny that you said that. RAt right as we started this interview, I got a text message from a buddy of mine. A few of them have gone viral. One was last year, a video of me paddle boarding with a pod of Orcas off the coast of Laguna Beach. I got a text message from my buddy that’s heading out on the water right now because there was a pod of Orcas spotted up near you, up off of LA that was heading south and he’s going out there trying to find them. Try to imagine that. I had a video of me and the Orcas that went viral, viral all around the world. It was featured in hundreds and a hundreds of news stories and articles, in TV, in internet, it went crazy. It’s funnyfine that you brought that up because for years we’ll be posting my stuff and everybody kept saying, “Oh you should make a book, you should make a book, you should make a book like a photo book.” I always said, “No, no, no, no I don’t want to do that.” The reason is the ocean is my church. It’s my sanctuary. I didn’t like the idea of commingling that with anything that could be business related like creating a book and selling the book. Then, the Orca thing happened last year. All of a sudden I just got this massive exposure not only from the media but from the top ocean organizations like PETA, Save the Whales, Blackfish, The Coam, all these organizations that are out there doing really good work, all contacted me and wanted to run the story. That was my sign like okay, these Orcas showing up was more than just a coincidence. It was funny that you mentioned that because that was what made me realize, okay this is supposed to happen. This is not a coincidence. That’s when I said, “Okay I’ll make a book. I’ll put myself out there in that lane but I’m going to make it for a good cause.” That was the impetus to start what is now called Project O which is my nonprofit. I’m making the book just literally a couple days ago, I got the very first copy. In fact Stephan I don’t know if you saw it but I’ve never done a Facebook live before. Just last week, I get the copy of the book in the mail. I kept thinking the whole time that as soon as I see the book in my hands for the first time that I’m going to lose it. The reason is I calculated these numbers. Since 2010, I’ve been out on the water paddling, and these are approximate numbers obviously, but I figured about 2,100 times. I’ve spent over 5,000 hours on the water, have paddled over 15,000 miles and found that I took my top 95 photos and I put them into this 138 page book. When I thought about the shared time, energy, and passion that I put into it, you have written a book so I’m sure when you held your book in your hand for the first time, there’s a reaction that occurs.
I’m like I think I’m going to lose it when I first hold this book. The delivery guy shows up at my house last week. He comes at the door and he hands me this package. I opened it up, I’m like, “You know what I’m going to go live on Facebook right now which I never done before.” And so I go live, I open up the book and I start walking people through page by page of the book and here is the cover and here is this the chapter and that chapter and different species of animal and here’s this photo blah blah blah blah blah. By the end of it, I freaking lost it, I totally lost it which it was kind of fun actually to do it in a public setting like that, most of the people watching hopefully are people that I love and know so it was cool. My point is that the only reason that I did it was to tie it into the cause. Now I’ve got this book coming out. We’re starting to sell books online. I’m going to have books in my hand and within the next month I’m going to take them to local hotels and bookstore, and gift shops, and surf shops and put together a whole plan to really get it out there in the world and everything that sells we’re donating. For the pre-sell books online, I’m donating 100% of the money to Project O and then locally when I sell books, 25% of all the proceeds are going to go to charity to my own ocean cause. It’s really exciting, and fun, and scary, and amazing. I’m so excited, I’m glad you brought that up because as you said that social causes are important to you. For me to tie it all together, my passion, the creative side, and help them protect the ocean is such a huge honor. It’s hard to even put it into words, how I feel.
That’s amazing that you’ve created this nonprofit. It’s like a 501(C)(3) charity and it’s got a mission to protect the ocean.
Can you describe this process? Because I’ve been thinking about creating a foundation or charity myself rather than simply donating time and money to other people’s charities. What are the benefits of creating your own charity versus just writing a check or volunteering to other charities? What’s your vision for the future of this non-profit?
Yeah great question. Thanks for asking. Like you, I supported other charities either with my time or money. This project just feel so big and I think a lot of people struggle because they know they want to give back but they don’t know exactly how. I couldn’t be more clear that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Supporting the ocean not only from raising awareness specifically around the ocean and the marine life, the sacred marine life living in the ocean, I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Because of that, I said, “Okay, now it’s time to start my own cause.” I kind of went to an event and I met a guy there where his business is helping people start a nonprofit. For anyone that’s ever tried to start a 501(c)(3), it’s kind of a pain in the ass the process that takes many, many months. I am not a paper work guy. I’m not an organizational guy. I’m like a passion guy, an energy guy, like a leader type person and did paper works and all that stuff like it just drives you crazy. I met this guy and his business is helping people like me and like you to start a nonprofit. When I met of him it’s like there was a sign like let’s get this going. I hired him and he handled pretty much everything. As we speak right now, it’s still pending, it’ll take probably a couple of more months until it’s officially incorporated. When you’re in pending status, you can start receiving money, you can pretty much act as if it was already incorporated. I pretty much delegated that out so that I can focus on the things I’d love to be doing which is having this conversation with you and spreading the message that way. That’s how it came about. The overall mission in the short term, it’s about raising awareness through art, through film, through outreach, through interviews like this just putting the message out there and then ultimately it’s about legislation. Legislation, changing laws that will protect the ocean. That’s another part that I didn’t bring up. The book is called Blue Laguna and what most people don’t know, even people in Laguna Beach probably don’t know, not everybody here knows that we have a six miles stretch of coastline right here that is protected. What I mean is, it’s a no take zone meaning they can’t fish. What happened was before the no take zone, the ocean was pretty much dead right here. There was hardly any life in the ocean. They put this no take zone in, it’s a miracle occurred like very, very fast. All of the life came back from little fish to medium sized fish to big fish, dolphins, whales. I say we have the world’s greatest aquarium right here off the coast of Laguna Beach. The book is really a celebration of the No Take Zone and Project O is really a celebration of, “Hey, here is what happens when we just leave the ocean alone and let it restore itself.” I’m not a scientist by any stretch but a scientist will say that if we protect enough of the ocean and just leave it alone, then it can restore itself. That it’s not too late. It’s a big vision and sometimes I question myself like what the hell am I doing? I know that I have to do this. I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. The hope is that eventually people will love the ocean so much that we will do everything that we can do to protect it. The final thing I’ll say on this is my goal is really to come from a place of love. There’s a lot of act on this and a lot of movements out there that really are coming from a place of fear. The world is coming to an end and we better do something, I don’t operate that way. I really want to come from a place of love like I said I want people to love the ocean and the life in it so much that they’ll do whatever they need to do to protect it just like they would their own child.
Amazing. Before we go off this topic onto the next one and talk about building a lifestyle business, following your passion. One concern or thought that I had while you were describing the mission of this nonprofit is aren’t there a whole bunch of other organizations that are working to protect the ocean as well? Aren’t you reinventing the wheel and isn’t there unnecessary expense in reinventing the wheel or is this somehow different and therefore a unique organization that you need to keep funded?
It’s a great question and it’s interesting because it totally ties in to my main business. All this actually ties in together when we talk about creating a lifestyle. If I hadn’t set up my life in business to be lifestyle based, I wouldn’t even have the time to work on the ocean stuff. We can get more into that but the reason I brought it up is because my business is based on collaboration, you and I working together to create a better result. Where a lot of people come from a place of it’s me against you, it’s us against them. I believe that’s an un-equated model that sure it doesn’t feel good for sure. I believe that for the world to move forward in the direction that we all want, we all really need to work together. Part of the mission of Project O is to collaborate with other organizations. One of the things that I see in the nonprofit world, I had another charity that I started back into 2010 that supported the homeless youth in the United States. That was my first dive into the nonprofit world. What I saw was all these organizations with all these great people but they’re all doing their separate thing. You’re over here doing this, she’s over there doing that and they weren’t working together. As a result, they weren’t getting a lot done. Honestly I kind of see the same thing in the ocean world, if all these great organizations are doing great work but they’re not really working together. In many ways, my hope is to bring these organizations together to support each other so that we can actually make some real positive change for the planet because as we all know it kind of needs it right now. That was my big rationale in creating my own thing versus just supporting stuff. I believe I thought about that. What if I just go support something that’s already in motion? I started my own thing with the goal of collaborating which I’m already doing with other existing organizations.
Are there business benefits for having a non profit as well? Like Trump has his foundation.
You had to go there.
I had to go there.
It’s funny, I almost brought that up a little while ago when I talked about basically in life we have two options, we can come from a place of fear or we can come from a place of love. Most people were programmed to come from a place of fear. That is just not how I want to operate. I’m far from perfect but I do my best in every moment and in every situation to come from a place of love. I look at the world right now and I look at this crazy elections that’s been happening, that’s a huge example of fear and that’s not the world that I want to live in. Can I change the world? I don’t know but I’m going to do my best to be an example of coming from a place of love versus fear. What is your question about Trump? I got distracted.
It’s easy when we start talking politics.
What are the business benefits in having a 501(c)(3) if you have a separate like what LLC or C corp, or S corp.
Honestly I’m not even the guy to answer that. I knew that creating a 501(c)(3) makes me legit and official and I’ve done that. There’s people that know a lot more about the business benefits and tax ramifications of doing so. It was the last thing on my mind when I started it. I did it because I just love the dolphins and whales more than anything in the world. If this is what I need to do to help protect the ocean and spread that love, that’s what I’m doing so I can’t even answer that question to be honest with you.
Got it. That wasn’t even a factor in your decision making process.
Got it. Alright, let’s move on to creating a lifestyle business. Clearly, you followed your passion with this initiative but you’ve also followed your passion previously like you created this whole community, JVIC and the joint venture experience conference.
You didn’t always have that. Before you were doing a lot of individual coaching sessions and I don’t know if that burned you out or that was just kind of part your evolution or what but kind of walk us through how you took your passion and turned that into a viable business.
Awesome. I laughed when you said the word burned out because that’s exactly what happened. I become a coach in 1999. I became a full time coach in 2003. I’ve always worked for another coaching company until 2008. For the first nine, ten years of when I was a coach, I worked for another coaching company. The good part of working for another coaching company is that they hand you the clients. I didn’t have to do the hardest part for most people which is the marketing to get the clients. That was the best part of working for someone else. The worst part about working for someone else was that I had to work for someone else. What happened in 2008, I moved from Key West, Florida where I was living to Southern California in Bay Park to help grow this coaching company. We all have this huge vision, we’re going to grow this massive coaching company, we’re all going to make millions, it was going to be the greatest thing ever. When I got to California, I quickly realized that working at this other company, especially working at the company in the trenches, I realized that wasn’t what I thought it was. A little while ago, we were talking about fear versus love. This company was steeped in fear. It was steeped in competition and it’s very much corporate dealing environment like I said me against you, us against them, it was the exact opposite of how I felt inside. It got so bad that I thought that I was getting sick. In fact there was a moment I was standing in my living room, October of 2008, I was done with coaching calls for the week, I was standing in my living room and I thought I was having a heart attack. All of a sudden I felt this horrible pain in the center of my chest. I was thinking, “Oh my god, am I having a heart attack? Is there a tumor growing inside of me? What the hell is going on?” My body was literally forcing me out of that situation. I remember thinking like, what am I doing? I’m abstaining in this situation that feels horrible because I’m making money but it’s going to kill me. In that moment, I quit. I did two things. I energetically released from whatever was going on in my body. Then I picked up the phone and I called my friend who owned the company, and I said, “Hey man, it’s been real but I’m out of here.” I think this was October 2008, think about what was happening in the economy. In October 2008, the economy was falling down the tubes without touching the sides. I’m thinking to myself, my life is on the line, my precious life. I can’t stand this situation anymore. It was a very painful transition but that’s what lead me to starting my own company. When I started the company, I had just come out of years of just doing nonstop coaching calls. In my intro, you mentioned I’ve done 18,000 coaching calls. How have I done 18,000 coaching calls, I have 50 coaching clients at a time. I was doing coaching call after coaching call after coaching call nonstop, 50 calls a week, year after year. You’ll build thousands of coaching calls that way. I totally burned out, it was just too much. That’s a lot to take on. My employees when I started my own company I said, “Hey I don’t want to put myself in that situation again.” I think the key teaching point here is on day one on my new business, I didn’t sit down to make a decision. This is how I want my business to be. I didn’t do that. What I did was I sat down and I said, “How do I want my life to look? What’s the lifestyle that I want? What days do I want to work? How many hours do I want to work? I made a lifestyle decision first. How much time do I want everyday to focus on my health, my energy, my spiritual connection, e exercise, meditation, all these things. I made those the priority. Then and only then did I create a business that would satisfy those lifestyle needs. Did I make sense? I can talk more about how I create the business but I want to make clear that it’s lifestyle first.
Yeah. It makes a lot of sense because where you were coming from was a place of burn out and you had that health scare and you needed to make a 180 degree shift.
Totally. And so I started with lifestyle and then I focused on business. I went through a couple of different transformations over the last several years but I really found my sweet spot a few years ago where I came up with this concept for the JV Insider Circle. I realized that I built my business through joint ventures. I built a pretty good sized email list and from that was able to get clients and create some different programs and sell them and make a really nice income using joint ventures. Then I realized you know what, when I look at all the other leaders in our space that have built big communities, big email lists, they’ve all used the exact same technique. At that time, most of the people doing joint ventures were already at a pretty high level in their business. One day I was like, “What if I level the playing field and make it so that anyone at any level could start using joint ventures to become more known in the world?” I see all these people out there, great coaches, authors, speakers, and experts that feel like they’re the best kept secret in town. How can I help them to spread their message? I created this community and it’s so simple, all I do is I teach people how to do joint ventures. Simple steps on how to do a joint venture and then the magic of it is I put them in a community where they all come together and support each other. It’s kind of like match.com for coaches, authors, and speakers without the rejection part. Everybody is there to meet each other, connect with each other, support each other. Like I said earlier, it’s not me against you, it’s us working together so that we can create impact in the world. Before I said it all ties together that the charity piece and my main business that pays the bills. It’s all about working together. Most of us consider ourselves to be solo entrepreneurs. I worked from home alone at my home at Laguna Beach. Stephan works from home, all the people I know we all work from home alone and we can’t do this on our own, we need each other. I really found a way to pull people together, support each other and make the impact that they’re here to make in the world. That’s a really good concept, it’s not about me, it’s about the members and the members supporting each other. I just get to be kind of a leader of it and it’s really fun and because it’s one big community. I’m not on the phone all day long doing coaching calls, that’s how I was able to create the lifestyle that I want. That’s kind of how it all ties together.It’s not me against you, it’s us working together so that we can create impact in the world. Click To Tweet
Yeah. That’s great. You took this leap of fate and in the process you were able to create a very successful business with multiples more in income than you were ever able to make as a full time coach. What sort of order of magnitude are we talking difference between just doing the daily grind, adding value one client at a time for 50 different clients over the course of the week over the course of week after week, after week. Give us a sense of scale of the income difference for you, is it 2x, 10x?
Great question. Let me figure it out. The big distinction was as a one-on-one coach, you’re trading time for dollars which is good from the standpoint that the money was good. 50 one on one clients. Keep in mind when I had one on one clients, they weren’t my clients, they’re the company’s clients so I got a percentage of the revenue. It wasn’t like these clients were paying on average a thousand dollars a month. I wasn’t getting $50,000 a month. I was just getting a small percentage of that. It was still good money, enough to sustain a nice life. But then I’m a big fan of groups so if you have a group coaching program instead of one on one, you could be 10 on one, you could be 20 on one. In my case, I have a community that’s basically 600 on one where I show up once or twice a month, I lead a big call for everybody. Then I go paddle off in the ocean. It’s about the leverage. One on one is one on one. The community like I’ve got is about leverage. From an income standpoint, we’re probably at least 5x to 10x in terms of income, from one on one to the revenue of the company now. Honestly, I feel like we just scratched the surface of what’s possible for the company. I built a million dollar company in nine months. I firmly believe with the right marketing which is what I’m looking at now, I’ve created a fire and I want to pour fuel on the fire. I believe we could easily be doing five to ten million a year in revenue from this company. The upside is enormous.
You built a million dollar company in nine months. You went from okay I’m done, I quit into nine months later you got a million dollar company.
No. That was 2008, I was done I quit. When I started the company on my own, that went through many, many different things. In fact this is I think a good teaching point. When I started my company in 2008, I was all over the place. I had that first book that was about the Law of Attraction. My first course was about the Law of Attraction. Then I was really caught up in this whole thing, I want everyone to have their dream life so I created a course on how to create your dream lifestyle. Then I said I want everyone to focus on what they’re passionate about. That’s when I wrote my next book, Monetize your Passion. I had a course on that. Then, I was really into leading meditationmediations. I started to create a meditationmediation course. Then I had a health course. I was all over the map. I don’t know how but I was able to stay in business. The whole time everybody is teaching you got to have your niche. Don’t go wide and shallow, go deep and narrow into a niche. I was even teaching some people to have a niche. One day I was like, maybe I should take my own advice and then I started getting more niche. That finally lead in 2013 to getting extremely niched within the coaching coaches world because I was always the coach’s coach but I said, “No, I want to go even narrower.” Now I focus on one thing and that is teaching people how to do joint ventures. Create one program. All I ever sell is one thing and that is my program JV Insider Circle. It makes my life a lot easier and that’s what allows me to go out and do all the other stuff that I’m passion about.
Focus really is key. In fact, I just recently read about Warren Buffett gave this friend of his an exercise to do of writing down 25 goals and then basically selecting 5 of those 25 as the biggest favorites and then the remaining 20, this person had to remove from their todo list.
I love it.
They could not work on it until those other five goals have been reached.
I love it.
Power of focus is so important. If you build a whole bunch of bridges part way, you never get to drive any cars across any of those bridges, you got to finish at least one bridge and that should be your goal. It’s just finish a bridge.
Totally. For me that bridge is JV Insider Circle and that bridge has legs and I’m going to keep running it and grow it the best that I can. I think too many entrepreneurs, we get caught up in this shiny object syndrome where we have this great idea this week and then tomorrow we have another idea the next day another idea, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, what about the idea from two days ago?” I think that’s the strength of mine. When I figure out something good, I go with it, I run with it and I’m able to come with the blinders on and let the other stuff go.
Yeah. Powerful, powerful.
I want to make sure listeners go check out the other episode that we recorded earlier in the year of Marketing Speak so they get all the details on how to set up a joint venture partnership, how to leverage their friendships and acquaintances, their peer group, to get a bigger list and to do mutually beneficial promotions. That is a crucial part to growing your business. We don’t really have time on this episode to go into much depth on that but listeners do check out marketingspeak.com and check out the Rich German episode on Marketing Speak. Also subscribe on iTunes or whatever your favorite platform is. Let’s talk a little bit more about the JV side of things before we move onto another topic. You have an amazing peer group, so you were able to kind of leverage that peer group, your friends like Christian Michaelson and so forth who are a pretty big deal in the info marketing space and they have big lists. As Frank Kern says, the money is in the list so you’re able to not only leverage those relationships and add value for them and you at the same time, but you were able to create a whole niche business around how to do that so that other people could replicate that.
That’s awesome. What was your list size before you started doing JV’s and then what did it turn into after that?
Let me be clear. I do believe the money is in the list but it’s not about just having a big list. It’s about becoming known. The people that I love working with are the people that have the passion, they have the gift, they have a message that the world needs but they don’t have the vehicle to get it out there. That’s why I love what I get to do because I can help them to build that community which in our world becomes in the form of an email list. It’s not just about I want a big list, it’s about the impact that you can make through that list. I want to make that distinction.
Yeah that’s a great point. You’re creating that community, not a big email list that you can spam to.
Exactly, exactly. For me, my list before joint venture was zero. I had no list and I stumbled into the world of joint ventures because it just made sense. I created my first product in 2008 and it was just common sense. I was like well let’s see, I got this product and that would be nice to actually sell it. I asked myself the question, who’s already talking to the audience that I want to be talking to? I went out and I looked for people in that time period was when Living the Law of Attraction came out. Who’s already got an audience of Law of Attraction people? I started connecting with those people. That’s who I would joint venture with. They would promote me and I would sell my program. We would do a rev share and we created a win-win win. I didn’t even call it joint venture when I started, it was like I say it was common sense. From doing that, I went from zero list to 10,000 people within one year. Then I did my next big launch with my next book. We talked about Monetize your Passion and that I was able to triple my list up to 42,000 people. Now, I’m somewhere at 90,000 I think, I don’t know the exact number.
Awesome. You don’t need a huge list in order to get a lot of traction. Kevin Kelly wrote this amazing piece called A Thousand True Fans. You’re basically creating whether it’s 1,000 or for you 90,000 true fans who are going to be pounding the pavement, working to get your message out there. They’ll be hitting the bookstore saying, “Hey, where is Rich’s new book? Do you have it yet? I’m waiting for it. I need to buy it.” That’s the kind of audience that you need, not passive kind of information consumers but people who are proactively engaging with you, engaging with the larger community and spreading your message out there.
That’s part of why I said it’s not just about having this massive list. You don’t need a huge list to be very successful in your business. I don’t want to be intimidated by any of these numbers.
Very important. You’ve got this great community. How do you facilitate them collaborating with each other? I mean you’ve got an annual event, have calls every couple weeks, you have a kind of insider group within the insider group. If you’re at a certain level and there’s a mini kind of exclusive community as well, what else do you want to expound on that and maybe fill us in on any other details that would help us paint a picture on how to create our own communities that would facilitate kind of a one plus one equals three sort of approach?
Speaking of the event, I want to make sure that we don’t forget that my gift to anyone listening is a free ticket to my event that’s coming up. When people join in our community, the first thing that we do is we train them on how to do a joint ventures. The magic of the community is that everybody goes through the training so that everyone is talking in the same language on the same page. You’re not trying to convince someone why they should joint venture. They were all trained and they’re there because they want to meet you, you want to meet them, you want to collaborate together. It begins with training of how to do joint ventures. We’re actually changing it moving forward where we’re going to segment people as they come in. If you’re new, you’re going to get trained over here to bring you up to speed. If you’re already more advanced, you’re going to go over here or you can start planning with other people and start to partner quicker. It begins with training. The first 10 toand 12 weeks is intense training and training, training. After that, you roll into monthly calls where we interview other experts. We teach you and train you more so it’s training extensive but what’s even more intensive is the opportunities that we give you within the community to share what you’re up to in the world and find people to promote you. We allow people to come on and do pitches where they pitch their JV offer. We have virtual, midi circles where people come on zoom calls and meet each other, we’re instituting regional meetup groups where people on different locations can come together in person and support each other and network. A lot of what we do initially is virtual, online. It all kind of leads up to our live event which is coming out in November. November 3,4,5 is our live event, it’s called the JV Experience or JVX, Stephan will be there and his beautiful soon to be wife Orion will be there and a few hundred other experts like them will be there. Basically, it’s just the JV love fest where everybody comes together, we network, we meet each other and then the goal is that you leave with actual JV partners that could promote you and support you. People they interview on the podcast. If you want to do a summit, you have people that collaborate with you, all the different ways that people joint venture together. The room is going to be basically full of a couple different groups of people. Most of the room are members of the JV Insiders Circle. Beyond that, the only people in the room are my top JV partners or speakers or VIP guest, industry leaders that come to the event to support it. That’s the only way you get in, either you’re member or you’re someone of influence. But as a gift to Stephan because I love him and what he stands for and I want to support you, we’re offering a free ticket to you if you can get to Southern California onin November 3,4,5 and you’re interested in meeting some amazing people that can support you in getting your message out there in the world in a big way, we want to offer you a free ticket. It’s totally free. If you buy a ticket, it’s $1,000. But I’m going to offer a totally free ticket to you if you can make it and come to JVX.
That is a very generous offer and listeners you got to take advantage. That’s amazing, it’s a great event. I’ve attended before, I just love the structure of it. There’s a really unique aspect to it that I haven’t seen at other events like for example the JVX card or JV cards.
JV match card.
JV match that’s what it is. What a clever idea, I’ve never seen this before. It’s kind of like a Pokemon has these card where you get quick stats on each of the characters or the creatures or whatever. Imagine being able to quickly provide the stats on you andon your program. The percentages that you share and potential revenue and the target market that you’re after and everything as well as what your unique value proposition is that you’re providing all on a little card. You guys can just share them instead of handing out a business card, you hand out JV match card and should have hopefully a picture of yourself as well so that they can match up the face to the name and to the offer. I made those in advance, Orion made them in advance of showing up at JVX. We got to hand them out and get others in exchange from really cool people that we thought wow, this should be a potentially cool fit, can I get your JV match card?
That’s a great idea and then also the shark tank or I just call it shark attack? It’s kind of like shark tank where you get all those big name JV partners kind of info marketing super stars up on stage as the judges and then some of the folks get to a pitch their program to the sharks.
The shark attack is the highlight of our event. We put together a powerful panel of experts. People like Christian Michelsen, [0:47:53].0] big name people with huge influence. We have contestants that get to do a two minute pitch with the hope that the sharks will want to promote them. It’s stressful, it’s intimidating, it’s exciting and the success stories we have from the shark attacks are just massive. That’s a true highlight of the event for sure.
You learn a lot even just watching this process. I wasn’t pitching, I was just watching. I learned some really great stuff about mistakes that people were making when they were pitching JV partners and so forth, different tweaks they could make to the positioning and to their offer and so forth that would make it much more appealing. It’s just a really great event. Listeners, definitely take Rich on his generous offer.
The best part is they get to meet you in person.
That’s true. In addition to the event, you have your online program, the whole virtual component to it.
Let’s talk a little bit about info products and I know we have to close this interview shortly but if you could share a few key tips that would in kind of lighting round, what would be the most valuable things that people need to know about doing information products? Doing some sort of online course or membership site or training program or some sort?
What I love about info product like you said is the leverage of instead of coaching someone one on one, I can create a product or a community or program and impact many, many lives all at the same time. I’ll just give one key because I think this is the most important, your program or product needs to solve just one problem. I want you to think about your target audience. What’s the problem that they have that you can solve? What’s keeping them up at two in the morning? They’re lying in bed two in the morning because they can’t sleep. Why? What is stressing them out? If you can create a program or a product that solves that problem, you got a winner. Like with JVIC, what’s the problem people have? I said three times probably in this interview, in this conversation. They have this gift, they have this message, but they don’t have an audience to share it with. They don’t have that list. They’re not known.What’s the best way to become known? In my mind, through joint venture. I solve that problem of having an audience and that’s how boom I created this product and boom it just took off. I‘m not trying to solve every problem you have. I’m only trying to solve one. That makes it very marketable. That makes it very easy for people to understand it and say, “Oh yeah, I need that. I’ll invest in that.” I think that’s the best advice. What’s the one problem that you can solve for people? You solve that problem, you got yourself a winner.
Essentially, the person is buying results. They’re not buying a program or product or training. They are buying the results.
Yup. They don’t really care what’s in it, as long as you solve their problem, that’s all they care about.
Amazing. Thank you so much, Rich. Thank you for that generous offer, for free tickets for our listeners for the JVX conference. If somebody wanted to work with you or learn more about what you’re up to, learn more about Project O, where would they start? What’s a good website to send them up to?
Richgerman.com is my main website where you can learn about the book and Project O. jvinsidercircle.com is where you’ll find more specifics about JV Insider Circle. And then Stephan, we’ll make sure that we share a specific link where people can get their bonus ticket to JVX for free.
Yup. Check out the show notes for that specific link. They’ll be on optimizedgeek.com and then just click pick on at the Rich German episode and that show notes will have the link to not only signing up for JVX ticket but also for JV insider circle, richgerman.com, all the stuff that we talked about through the course of this episode
Alright, well thank you so much Rich. Thank you listeners, I hope you’re inspired to go out there and build a business that creates a lifestyle for you because that’s why you’re here on this planet is to have an amazing life that gives back to others and to the community as a whole and not just to make a bunch of money. That should be an after effect, that should be a side benefit, all the money that you get from your business. I hope you’re inspired to go out there and make a difference in the world. Thank you for listening. This is Stephan Spencer signing off.
Links and Resources:
- Pre-order Rich’s book here to help support his work through Project O.
- Rich German
- JV Insider Circle
- Find Rich on Facebook
- Living the Law of Attraction
- Monetize Your Passion
- Warren Buffett’s tips to get focused
- Shark Tank
- Marketing Speak – Episode 20 – Guest Rich German
- Thousand True Fans
- Christian Mickelsen
- Loral Langemeier
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Before we create our lifestyle business, we first have to know what lifestyle we want. Create a “dream board” for your dream lifestyle. Don’t forget to include info or images about how and when you want to work; time spent energizing your mind, body, and spirit, relationships, and things you are passionate about.
☑ Take joy in helping a worthy cause, and get an amazing book in the process. Preorder your copy of Blue Laguna by Rich German here.
☑ Our bodies will tell us when our stress level is too high. Do you listen? Take time to make an inventory of your physical health. Make a plan to address any issues on your list.
☑ Leveraging our time can be an excellent way to leverage our income. Brainstorm with a friend or mentor about ways you could leverage time in your life.
☑ When our marketing messages are complicated or muddled, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Stand back and take an objective look at what you’re selling and how you are trying to sell it. How many problems are you trying to solve? Come up with a plan to niche down your message.
☑ Join the JV Insider Circle community to increase your knowledge of joint ventures and meet people who are looking for mutually beneficial partnerships.
☑ Amazing joint ventures can be built when we find out who is already talking to our target market. Come up with a few out-the-box ideas to gain understanding of your audience. There are thousands of potential ideas. Do at least one of them this week.
☑ Schedule an afternoon to spend some quiet reflective time doing this activity that Warren Buffett recommends to help you focus on your priorities.
☑ Do you have “shiny-object syndrome?” Do you chase after every new idea? Make yourself a commitment to follow through on one of your great ideas.
☑ Check out JVX Ticket to get your free ticket to the next JVX event on November 3-5, 2016.
About Rich German
Rich German is an international business and lifestyle coach, best-selling author, and public speaker. He is one of the most experienced coaches in the world. Since 1999, he has personally conducted over 18,000 individual coaching sessions (yes 18,000!) and has led seminars for thousands of people. His first book, Living the Law of Attraction was a top 10 book on Amazon and his latest book, Monetize Your Passion, currently has over 40,000 copies in circulation.
Rich is also the founder of the Gen Why Project which supports the 1.6 million homeless youth here in the United States. His signature program, The Epic Coach Academy, is a hands-on, year-long coaching program for coaches. Rich’s specialty is helping coaches get more clients.