James Schramko is the founder and CEO of SuperFastBusiness and SilverCircle, a business coach of 8 years and over 2,000 successful students, and author of his new book, Work Less, Make More. Today, he joins Matt Theriault for Thought Leader Thursday to share what makes his business approach counter-intuitive (and why that’s a good thing), dangerous pieces of advice he hears everywhere, and 2 things you can do to start working less and making more.
What You Will Learn About James Schramko – Work Less, Make More:
- What inspired James to write his book
- How James empowers his children with knowledge
- What makes James’ approach to business counter-intuitive (and why that’s a good thing)
- Why directly working for dollars is harmful for your self-esteem
- One piece of dangerous advice that James hears everywhere
- The dangers of the ascension model
- Why high-ticket items sell better through all economic conditions
- 2 things you can do to start working less and making more
- How to get a free copy of James’ book
Whenever you’re ready, here are a few ways we can help:
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- Grab my book, Epic Freedom ($1)
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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
James Schramko: A lot of things has been ingrained into us, like that, you know, hard work, that work should be hard. Or, that we have to grind, or hustle, or if we want to make ten times more money, we just work ten times harder. Now that’s quite impractical because we have a finite number of hours in a month that we could actually dedicate to work.
Matt Theriault: Hello, I’m Matt Theriault of Epic Real Estate, and today is Thought Leader Thursday, glad you’re here. Alright, so today I’m joined by founder and CEO of a super fast business and silver circle, in his eight years as a business coach, he has helped over 2,000 of his students create and maintain six and seven and even eight-figure businesses. He’s grown his own coaching business, and his communities into a multi-million dollar business that funds a lifestyle that he absolutely loves, and I follow him on Instagram, I can see he’s living the life. And he’s recently released his new book, Work Less Make More: The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Building a Profitable Business and a Life You Actually Love.
And I just can’t think of a better fit for thought leader Thursday than our guest today, Mr. James Schramko. So, James, welcome to the Epic Real Estate Investing show.
James: Thank you for having me Matt. It’s great to be here.
Matt: Can you hear me?
James: [crosstalk 00:01:15] Yeah, we’ve been in touch for many years, it’s good to see how well you’ve gone as well.
Matt: Yeah, thanks, so, yeah, as a member of your community, and I have purchased several, back in the day, several of your website and SEO services, and we met briefly at traffic and conversion a few years ago. It was such a busy night, there was something I wanted to share with you that I wasn’t able to that night, because, you know, I think back 2010-ish, that, I got turned on to the Internet Business Mastery podcast, and Pat Flynn’s podcast, and it really just opened my eyes to doing business online. But, it was your Freedom Ocean podcast that I found shortly thereafter that, really just catapulted me forward to take an online business seriously.
So, thank you for what you’ve done for me.
James: That was my first podcast, I had a co-host there, Tim Red, who taught me about podcasting, which I then sort of built into my own business. It’s such a great medium, it’s funny you mention Pat Flynn, I was just on his podcast yesterday, so.
Matt: Oh, really?
James: Shows you what an interconnected world this is, and such a long game.
Matt: Well, again thank you, I mean, you’re really one of the good guys out there, and I wanted to have you on the show. Anything that I could do to help you. I wanted to congratulate you on the new book by the way.
James: Thank you.
Matt: Yeah, great title, Work Less, Make More: The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Building a Profitable Business and a Life You Actually Love. I love it. So, what is it that made you want to write this book?
James: I suppose I, most people, you get this idea that, it’d be good to sort of summarize a few of your thoughts and put them into a book and put them out there. If you’re answering the same questions a lot. You sense that there’s a book there. But really the prompt came from the lady who helped me put this book together. Her name’s Kelly Exeter. And she was watching me speak at Chris Ducker’s event, and at the end, she said, “Why isn’t this a book, this is a book what you just presented.”
It really moved her. And that core presentation was the seed of it. And then there was, I wrote an email each day for a week, for part of an affiliate campaign. Which is, in short, it just means I was promoting someone else’s stuff, and I wrote these heartfelt stories each day for a week. And I don’t normally write, so it was kind of weird, I don’t know where they came from, they just came inside me and out. And then, Kelly was getting these, she goes, “We have to do this book.”
And, so, I think the thing stopping me doing it was how difficult it is to put together a book, and you’ve published a book, you know there’s lots of challenges to overcome to get that information out of you and into a format that’s useful. And we worked pretty hard on making sure that the book was an easy read and no fluff. Because that’s my style as well, very direct.
Apart from the ugly guy on the cover, great feedback on the book, it only takes two hours to read, but, this book is an introduction to my core concepts and ideas that you would have heard in Freedom Ocean, that I talk about in my memberships, that I’ve helped people with their business. And also, things that I talk to my kids about, that I want to educate them on that they’re not getting taught in school.
Matt: The second part was you wrote it for your kids, right? As stuff that they’re not taught in school.
James: Yeah, dedicated just to my kids, because, you know, the way that society works isn’t really working that well. If you think about how many people you know who are always talking about struggling for money, it’s very common. When I catch up with my friends each year, I go to this annual dinner, and 99% of the conversation is about how hard life is and how little money they’ve got. And it’s like, well, it doesn’t have to be like that.
So, that’s something I want to empower my kids with to help them be resourceful and to let go of this helplessness that society sort of puts into us because we go to school and we learn to memorize things and regurgitate stuff, and they’re literally being babysat some of the time. Depending on which country you’re in, the school system can be pretty bad.
And then they are studying for jobs, that in ten years from now, 50% of those jobs won’t exist. And, they’re getting up debts to go to university, for these jobs that will not exist. And then they go and get a mortgage with the big, friendly bank and finance company, and we know they’re quite evil now. In Australia, there’s been a commission into their corruption practices. And we saw, you know, what happens at Wall St. in the stock crash-
Matt: Certainly can relate to that. So, the book, it sounds like the way you’re describing it, it relates or it applies to all businesses, not just the online type of industry that you’re in right?
James: Yeah, I purposefully made it general, because, well, you know, it’s pretty hard to ignore the online side of things no matter what business you’re in. You know, if you’re in real estate, or property development, all these online, I mean that’s where your customers are, they’re on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter. So, it would be wise to pay attention. Look at any business or any signwriting on any car, and you can apply the profit formula to that business. And you can see that they have the opportunity there to tap into. So, yes, very general.
Matt: So, the, sub-title of your book is The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Building a Profitable Business. So, what’s counter-intuitive about your approach to building a profitable business?
James: Well, I work less than other people, and I make more than other people. I think that’s most definitely counter-intuitive.
Matt: Sure, sure.
James: There’s a lot of, a lot of things been ingrained into us like that, you know, hard work, that work should be hard. Or that we have to grind, or hustle. Or if we want to make ten times more money, we just work ten times harder. Now that’s quite impractical because we have a finite number of hours in a month that we can actually dedicate to work. And, then there’s this other situation where people, you know, work hard in the beginning, but they forget to stop working hard when they actually reach some sort of level of financial success, and then they get confused because they might have made a good foundation of their income. And now they feel like they’ve got nothing left, no more challenge.
So, they have an unhealthy way of getting self-esteem, or satisfaction with the work that they’ve done. They’re using dollars as their ledger, like Warren Buffett, which he states in his documentary, for him, I think his sister says it, but, for him, dollars is the scorecard, that’s why he works every day.
It’s counter-intuitive to not diversify as much as people talk about. There’s sort of, normal sort of wisdom things. It’s counter-intuitive not to be working every minute of the day if you want to become very wealthy. So, there are different ways to approach these things.
Matt: So, do you think these are just different ways or do you think this is kind of a trend, this is the new way of how the world is going?
James: I don’t think everyone’s being counter-intuitive, you know, there’s still peak hour traffic jams on the way to work at nine and on the way home at five. Monday to Friday. The cinema’s still busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Like, people tend to be, you know, doing things in a mass movement. And then, the way that I live my life is just, it really is counter-cyclical. I’ll go to the movies on a Monday morning, there’s nobody in the cinema. I’ll do my shopping doing the week when there’s no one in the shops.
I go surfing every day, and actually, a lot of people go surfing first thing before work, that’s the peak hour. And I wait till they go to work, and then I go during the mid-morning, or the mid-afternoon, before the school kids get out. And, you know, I’m in the same geographic location, but my experience is completely different because of the timing and, same with my work week. I stack my work week to three days of the week so that I can have four off.
Whereas most people are having five days on, and maybe six these days, and one or two days off. So, you can actually change the rules if you want.
Matt: With your last two answers, you’ve kind of answered the next three or four questions that I had prepared for you. [crosstalk 00:10:00]
It’s okay, no it was great. Let’s see, what’s, you help a lot of people out there start their business, you help the people grow their business, you’re well connected and well known within other people that do similar things as you as educate people. I’m always curious, what’s one piece of bad advice that you hear out there that just, you know, kind of irks you? Is there any? Or is there many?
James: Couple of common ones, one is, “Just take action.” Which is, a bit trite, because, if it’s the wrong action, it’s really not going to help you. It could be damaging, like people might say, “Look, just quit your job, and, you know, it’s make or break.” Well, a lot of people will break.
The other thing is, you know, people get all wound up, and they start taking action, but they haven’t really done much in the way of research or planning or validation. So, they just get very busy, and then they fail, and they’ve lost their confidence. And there’s only a few times they can do that before they stop trying. Because most people do not have great resilience, because it hasn’t been taught to them from their parents. And they haven’t learned it since.
Other ones that come up often is the launch model, a lot of people put all their eggs in one basket, and they do this sort of, every year you see the same experts do a big launch, and that’s their entire business model, where, [inaudible 00:11:40] up there under a normal … If it goes well, they’re under pressure, because they have this strain on their support, they’ve got a big cash flow spike. They can’t look after everyone, they get refunds, then they have to pay out big expenses. And they’re usually, their adrenal glands are just shot.
Another one is the ascension model, that’s where, this concept where, you might put out little free products or cheap products and move people up slowly to more expensive, and more expensive products. It’s kind of a myth because you can sell expensive products straight away. I mean, think about Ferrari’s entry-level budget car. Can you think about what that might be?
Matt: It’s probably like a [crosstalk 00:12:25] at least, right?
They don’t have one, well there you go.
Matt: I haven’t been shopping for cars lately, so-
James: They’re just, they’re just top shelf and they don’t worry about the ascension model, you’re not getting the baby Ferrari all the way through. It’s just like it just starts at the good stuff. And you can do that in your own business, so that’s a common one that I fix.
People spend all their time and energy on the low ticket items that will not make them enough money to let their business survive long enough to even offer the high ticket item.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Do you think there’s any vulnerability in a business that relies on such a high ticket item? You know, vulnerability to the economy?
James: High ticket item business is often doing very well at all times of the year, in any economy. You know, if you think of top brands, whether it’s Ferrari or Rolex, or top brands of whiskey, the premium position products have a pretty strong following, and there’s plenty of money around in the top end of town.
I found out in Sydney, 50% of the high-end properties are owned outright with no mortgage. You know, like, I used to sell Mercedes-Benz, and there was still plenty of money in the top end of town. They’re still buying, even in a recession. The slower stuff or the entry level stuff can slow down a bit. And, I’m sure it’s true that you know, cosmetics and chocolate always sell in a downturn. However, I would say, don’t be single source dependent on just that one product line.
Matt: Right, right. So, let’s get practical for a second, what are two or three actions that someone could take to set themselves up to start working less and making more?
James: I would score their business activities that they’re doing, like literally a task check. You can do it installing rescue time if you’re in a computer-based role. But if you’re in a, a pen and paper will do the job. Just write down what you’re doing, and see if those things, are they really moving the needle in your business, and could someone else do them? If possible, just delete them. Like, stop doing it. You could stop doing a good chunk of things that you think are important, that aren’t making any impact at all.
Then you could have someone else do some of the tasks that you think you can, you’re the only one who can do. We all think that, and then see which ones are critical. And there’ll be a few things that really make a difference in your business. And it will usually revolve around your specialty or expertise, and it will usually not be things like building your website, or sending out emails, or transcribing podcasts, those sort of tasks are very easy to get help with. And, especially, like in the property field, things like research, writing ads, taking pictures, all of these sorts of jobs, there’s so many people out there great at those things.
Matt: What’s next for you James, that has you most excited?
James: starting to put together ideas for my next book, because I liked the outcome of making a book, I thought it was, it was a better experience than I expected after the book came out. I’m continuing to attract higher level customers for the work that I’m doing, and that’s still energizing me, and, of course, I’m gonna be catching more and more waves, and improving my surfing. [crosstalk 00:16:06]
A real driver for me, at this point of my life, and it’s a great metaphor for living, I think. I’m basically, I want to live like I’m retired, and enjoy my life now, I don’t know, for the next 50 years or however long it’s gonna pan out, maybe longer.
Matt: Right. Right, we’re all living longer now. So, more surfing is good. And, I enjoy your pictures, I enjoy following you on Instagram, and, you always, it’s coffee or surfboards. Fantastic.
James: Pretty much.
Matt: Well yeah, and you definitely walking’ the talk, I like it. If someone wanted to learn more about you, wanted to get in touch with you, what would be the best way for them to do that?
James: Well, head over to Superfastbusiness.com, there’s podcasts there with lots of episodes discussing these sort of topics.
Matt: Perfect, so, they know how to find me, they know how to find you, Superfastbusiness.com is the website and the podcast, right, both the same thing?
James: Yes, and the membership as well.
Matt: Right, perfect, so, coincidentally, James, what I did just before we hopped on the call is, I went to Amazon.com, I purchased ten copies of your book, and I’m going to give them away to my audience, so, we’ll put a graphic up there that says, “James’s book, and this is how you get a copy.” The book, Work Less, Make More, the Counter-Intuitive Approach to Building a Profitable Business and a Life You Actually Love. Go to Instagram, post in your own creative way, what you liked best about today’s interview, and then make sure that you tag us, it’s at @JamesSchramko, and Epic Real Estate, and the first ten people to do that, I’ll go ahead, I’ll send you a copy of James’s book.
Alrighty, so, if you got, if you lost some of the audio here, lost some of it, it’s all in the book, I’m gonna give you a copy to make up for it, and James, it’s been a pleasure, I would love to do this again sometime.
James: Thanks Matt, it’s been really a treat to be able to come along and share some ideas.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely, it’s a treat for me as well, and I think it’s a treat for everyone that was listening. Alrighty, so, thanks for tuning in to Epic Real Estate Investing, God bless, and to your success, I’m Matt Theriault, I’ll see you next week on another episode of Thought Leader Thursday. Take care.