#246: How to Grow a Million Dollar Business Without Burnout

Episode Summary:

Today, I’m talking to business coach, Rick Mulready, about how to grow a million dollar business without burnout. Rick says you need to start where you want to go and work backwards. For Rick, this was to make $1 million. If you know that the riches are in the niches, it’s important to focus on creating specific content (blog posts, social media posts, a podcast, etc.) that attracts your ideal customers to you.

Other strategies Rick recommends:

  • Test your ideas regularly to make sure what you are offering is what your audience wants
  • Interview your past clients to get their feedback and insights
  • It’s not enough to just have a great product or service; you also need to have the right mindset and be able to deal with failure productively

If you want to grow a successful blog or business, without burning out, this episode has some great nuggets of wisdom.

How to Grow a Million Dollar Business Without Burnout | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Show Notes:

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Intro 0:04
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, and I’m a serial entrepreneur and blogger. I love growing businesses on the internet. And I love helping you grow yours.

Before I launch into the episode, I need to ask you a question. Are you feeling burnout? Are you feeling like you are a slave to the algorithms and they’re constantly changing.

And it gives you anxiety then please come to my workshop on October 6, where I’m going to show you how easy and necessary it is for you to build your digital product empire even if you have no idea what to sell.

My goal with the workshop is to show you how to use social media and Google to your advantage. So, you can make more money by selling your expertise directly to your audience. And once you get it going, there’s no ceiling to this new way to monetize. So, put your financial fate back into your own hands.

I’m going to show you how. This is especially for bloggers who feel like they are running themselves ragged. Head to empire.milotreecart.com and sign up $10, October 6, 1pm Central Time and I can’t wait to see you there.

For today’s episode. I have Rick Mulready on the show. I first heard him on Amy Porterfield podcast and he is friends with Pat Flynn. He is a coach. He has a group. He is an expert in Facebook ads. But really, he’s a mentor to so many online entrepreneurs. He talks about his goal of getting to a million dollars.

And what was interesting was then he talked about how ultimately hollow that was for him. And he got real, especially toward the second half of the episode, sharing about his own personal struggles. This is one of those stories where what it looks like on the outside isn’t necessarily how it feels on the inside.

I think you’re going to really like this episode. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Rick Mulready.

Rick, welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast. It is so great to have you here.

How to Grow a Million Dollar Business Without Burnout

Rick Mulready 2:26
I’m honored to be here with you. I’m excited about the conversation.

Jillian Leslie 2:29
I have been a fan of yours for a couple of years. And this is a lesson to everybody out there. I literally reached out to you. Now you’re going to get pummeled. But I reached out to you on Instagram, I just DM you. And I said I’m a big fan. “Would you come on my show?” And you said yes. And here you are.

Rick Mulready 2:49
I’m glad I saw the message. And I check all my DMs and so forth, I can’t respond to every single one. However, this is something that I teach our students is don’t reach out via email, unless you have their permission, for example.

So like, you reached out via Instagram, DM, perfect. It’s different from what most people do. And it wasn’t like a form DM because I get those a lot too. And they’re like just personable, so you never know, just take a chance and you never know.

Jillian Leslie 3:26

Rick Mulready 3:26
For me if it makes sense to your audience and to serve your audience and that sort of thing. Yeah, absolutely.

Jillian Leslie 3:29
So, will you share how you got started in digital marketing and business building and where you are now, I know you’re in San Diego, but just how the whole thing came together.

Rick Mulready 3:52
I wish I had like a really cool reason for why I did it. But the background is a long time ago. It was in 1999 actually, I’m dating myself here. And I was working for the Washington Capitals, hockey team. I am a hockey fanatic. And I worked for them for five years.

I was working the general manager’s office and I sort of hit my ceiling there. And then I started seeing what some people were doing online in terms of generating money from their blog, et cetera. And I was like, that’s pretty cool.

And I do not come from an entrepreneurial family whatsoever. But I started looking at it I was like how cool would it be for me. You know the same thing that most people think about when starting a business are like, oh, I would like to make my own hours and then do whatever I want in order to make money.

And so that’s what appealed to me. And so, I literally reached out to somebody. His name is Adam Baker. Years and years ago this is back in 2010. He used to run a website called Man vs Debt. And he was teaching people how to get out of that. And he was making a lot of money from his website.

And so, I hired him as a coach. I remember I paid him $500 a month. And that was sort of the genesis of getting into Facebook ads, because the first question he asked me, because I had no idea what I wanted to do, the only thing I knew is I want to create a business online. But I had no idea what that was.

And he said, “How could you help me tomorrow? If I needed help, what would you do?” And I said, “I could do Facebook advertising for you.” Because at the time, I didn’t know Facebook ads, but I knew online advertising, because I’ve been doing it for years at that point, pretty much 10 years at that point.

And I’ve been selling online advertising, and so he said, “Okay, what would that look like?” And so long story short, is like, I started to teach myself Facebook ads, and I developed an eBook $47. Never forget $47 eBook teaching Facebook ads. This is back in 2000.

This is 12 years ago. Back when they just had the little, tiny ad on the right-hand column. And so, I started running some ads a little bit for a couple people, which was not successful at all. So, I just was like, alright, this is really cool.

I remember making my first sale. I think I was in Santa Barbara with my wife. We were visiting Santa Barbara or something. And I remember getting a notification on my phone like PayPal. Somebody bought my $47 course. I have no idea how that happened. I actually don’t even remember how they found me.

Anyway, I was like, “Oh, this is pretty cool.” And so, September 30th. Not that I know exactly. It was a Friday, September 30th, 2012. I left the corporate world woke up Monday morning and I said, “What did I just do?”

Long story short I floundered until January 2014 then got some coaching then figured out this whole webinar thing. I sold an ADs course before creating it. And I did $30,000 in in 45 days.

Jillian Leslie 7:42

Rick Mulready 7:43
I was like, oh, okay, there’s something to this.

Jillian Leslie 7:48
Were you blogging? Were you doing anything for outreach?

How to Grow a Million Dollar Business Without Burnout | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Start With Creating Content to Attract Your Ideal Customer

Rick Mulready 7:53
Yes. I was just going to say I started a podcast in 2012 called Inside Social Media. This was during my floundering times. Actually, I take that back, it was January 2013, that I started the podcast. Inside Social Media the tagline was big brand strategies for small business budgets.

And the whole concept was, again, no monetary, no plan, just like, oh, let’s create this thing. So, I interviewed heads of social media, from the biggest brands, like McDonald’s and Ford, and JetBlue, and Lowe’s, and all these other companies. And we talked about what they were doing. Red Bull.

We talked about what they were doing in social media, and how small businesses could take the concept and do it for their own small business. Again, there was no strategy behind it. I didn’t really know why I was doing it, other than podcasting was super brand new at that time.

And I was like, “Oh, I could do that. I don’t want to be on video. I can do that.” So, I started a podcast. But that wasn’t leading. It wasn’t helping with Facebook ads or anything like that. And so, that’s where the disconnect was.

Jillian Leslie 9:14
Here’s the thing, I coach, a lot of creators. And by the way, this has been the case also for myself. I’ve built parts of my business. And then to go, “Oh, wait a second, I could tie this piece to this piece or this piece to this piece, and then bring it together.”

I’m going to just give an example. We’ve launched this thing I told you about called MiloTreeCart. And all I’m looking for are bloggers who have big audiences who aren’t selling directly to their audiences. And if I can find you, I can make you money or I can help you make money.

So, for example, a woman comes to me and she’s a food blogger. And she has like 200,000 Instagram followers, big food blog. And has been working on growing her email list and is not selling anything directly to her audience.

And I go, “Let me tie these pieces of your business together, because you could turn on a switch and make thousands of dollars.” So, how did you start? And by the way, she’s just doing that.

And all of a sudden going, “Wait a minute, I never knew that all these pieces could work together. Because I feel like we’re working on our businesses, I’m going to start a podcast.” And I’m always like, “Why are you starting a podcast?”

Tell me how you put the pieces together. And how you recommend other people put the pieces together. So, they’re not like you and me and this woman going, “Oh, my God, I’ve waited five years to start to thread these so that I can accelerate my growth.”

How to Grow a Million Dollar Business Without Burnout | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Business Goal: Making a Million Dollars

Rick Mulready 11:04
I don’t recommend doing it the way that I did it. I say that, but I had the same goal that so many people have I was just like, I want to make a whole bunch of money on my own terms. I don’t want to report to anybody, I don’t want to go into an office. And that was it.

I wish I could say I had some deeper why at that time, I didn’t, I want to make a crapload of money. And I wanted to work whenever I wanted to work. And back then, I say back then sounds so old, but like 2014.

And it still is, unfortunately, but like the number of that means you’ve made it as I make air quotes is, “you hit seven figures.” So that became my goal of the business, after seeing the opportunity in those first 45 days, I made $30,000, I was like holy cow, this is really cool.

So, I just repeated, doing webinars selling my course. And that first year we did $110,000. But I didn’t have a strategy, I really didn’t. I was just like, okay, this webinar thing is working.

This is back when not a lot of people were doing webinars. And I was selling a course that people wanted, I had two levels $497, $997. $997 was “VIP” version. And that’s what I started to do.

And then I started to fall into what happens for so many people. Where people would say, “Hey, local businesses need help with Facebook ads.” And I’m like, “That’s a great idea.” Let me do a local business version of my course. So, I did that.

And then other people said, “Why don’t you do a really scaled down version of your course for straight up newbies.” So, I created a $197 course called FB ADs for Newbies. And then somebody said, you should serve Ad Managers.

Great idea, because Ad Manager it’s terrible. So, I started chasing all these things, because in my mind, I was like, in order for me to hit seven figures, I have to be doing all these different things.

And before I knew it, I had three courses. I had a membership. And I had a very, very, very distant version of what my accelerator coaching program is today. And five different offers all different audiences. I was running around, I just burned out, honestly.

The only strategy again, was, I want to hit a million dollars because that means I’ve made it. And so, all this to say there wasn’t a strategy. I had stopped the other podcast.

Starting a New Podcast

And then in 2015, a little over a year, I started The Art of Paid Traffic, which is the same podcast I do now. I just rebranded the name a few years ago, there wasn’t any podcast at the time on paid traffic. There’s a whole bunch now.

No one was talking about it on podcasts. And having done 52 episodes for my first show, I knew podcasting. I loved it. And I saw a gap. At the time no one is talking about Facebook ads on a podcast so I started it and it just took off.

And that really started to sell. My business took off at that point. But I don’t recommend doing it now that way. What I’m doing now, if I were to do it again.

Jillian Leslie 15:08
Yes, let’s talk about that.

Rick Mulready 15:10
Honestly, I haven’t talked about this publicly yet. But I’m sort of reinventing things for myself in the business. I’ve been doing this a long time and 8 1/2 years in the online space. I call it dog years, that’s a long time.

And so, I’m just rethinking, what do I want my work to look like, in how I serve people, specifically, how I show up? What type of content? The content is not changing, but how I put it out. And so, I’m sort of looking at that, and I’m doing, what I would recommend somebody just starting out do is, what do you want ultimately?

What kind of business do you want? What does that look like? Everything from what would you teach? What type of person do you want to serve? What problem are you solving for them? How many hours a week do you want to work? That sort of thing.

Are you comfortable on camera? Like doing video? If the answer is no. Okay, well, are you comfortable on doing a podcast? If no, are you comfortable writing? It’s like finding your comfort level, but the point I’m making here is you work backwards from your end goal.

So, if I knew at that time, let’s just use the revenue number. I want to be making a million dollars a year, or I want to be generating a million dollars a year. And what we teach in our accelerator program is that you can have a very successful business, whatever success means to you in a 25-hour work week or less.

So, let’s just use that as a framework and say, okay, I want to be generating a million dollars in revenue. And I don’t want to work more than 25 hours a week. Okay, great. Well, you probably aren’t going to start out with 25 hours a week or less.

Jillian Leslie 17:15

Rick Mulready 17:16
You work towards that. So, that’s your end goal. And you work backwards from there.

Jillian Leslie 17:22
Okay, let’s do that. Let’s do that. Let’s do that.

Think of Your End Goal and Work Backwards From There

Rick Mulready 17:25
So first and foremost, you’re going to need, this sounds so basic, I have this conversation, literally multiple times a week with people who are doing, lots of money in their business, multiple six, multiple seven figures. Who is your target audience? Who is the person that you want to serve? What problem are you solving for them?

And are you talking to them in your messaging, and I laugh like that a little bit. Because you wouldn’t believe how many people have very successful businesses who really aren’t doing that. You aren’t speaking to your direct person. Describe perfectly who you serve with this, and so, what problems are they having?

What types of things would be helpful for them? Are you speaking directly to that person? And, now you understand that, what is your offer? Most people think like, oh, I have to create an offer first, and then figure out all these other things. No, you’re figuring out your audience who you want to serve.

And like all the things I just said, and then what is the offer, going to look like? How best do I want to serve them?

Please Share The Blogger Genius Podcast With People Who Would Enjoy It

Jillian Leslie 18:51
I hope you guys are enjoying this interview. And if you are, I’d really appreciate it if you share the episode with people who might like it. So, this is still a growing podcast. And it is basically impossible for me to exaggerate how much help it is for the podcast when one of you shares it.

So, share it in a Facebook group or a group chat or you send it to someone you think might like it, it helps a ton. And I would be eternally grateful. And now back to the show.

How Emergent Business Building Works

Jillian Leslie 19:25
I talk about this as emergent business building. You’re saying put that target out there. I want to make seven figures how I’m going to get there. I don’t quite know.

And I’m going to be letting this thing emerge while talking to people while hearing their problems putting out small solutions and saying does this solve it? For example, back to what I was talking about with big bloggers who aren’t selling directly to their audience well guess what, I learned this the hard way.

I said, anybody who wants to sell a digital product, come talk to me. And I’ve got the tool in place, I’ve got this payment platform that’s super easy to use. So, come talk to me and guess what people did, and guess who I could not help? I could not help you if you didn’t already create an audience.

I can give you all the selling materials and the platform and make it super easy. However, you don’t have an audience to sell to. That’s a problem, I can’t solve for you, I can point you in the direction. But all of a sudden, I’ve been able to go, “No, no this is who I serve. And if I can do it, I can promise you, we will have success.”

Rick Mulready 20:50
There’s a mindset there, though, that people need to be able to wrap their heads around. Because what you just described, Jillian is exactly what most people do. They think, in order for me to have a big business, I need to be broad in who I serve.

So you’re like, anybody with an online business? You got questions? Come talk to me. Well, that could mean eCommerce, which could mean somebody who just has an idea. For me, back when I sold one online course, like, alright, I have an online business. But I don’t have an email list. You know what I mean?

The Riches Are in the Niches In Online Business

So, it’s actually the opposite of exactly what you’re saying Jillian is like, in order for you to grow much more quickly, you have to be refined. And it’s the whole cliche, the riches are in the niches, but like, that’s really true.

And so, I’ve actually come full circle for me specifically, where I only have one offer, and it’s the best thing ever, because everything leads to that offer. All of my messaging, all of my marketing speaks to that person. And I’m very specific who it’s for and who it’s not for.

Most people think again, well, no, I say mindset because we are afraid to niche down too much. Because we think that’s going to limit our potential revenue, when in fact, the opposite is actually true. You own a specific niche. And that’s when things blow up, because you get known as that person over time.

And that’s the key to growing more quickly. But it’s a mindset thing that we have to be okay with. And it might take some time.

Jillian Leslie 22:42
And the thing that I talk about a lot, though, is testing. So, I wouldn’t have learned this, the way that I was able to learn it was say, hey, I’ll work with you. And you know what I’m going to give you tons of time, I’m going to give you so much love.

We’re going to do this together, I’m rolling up my sleeves, and I go, “Ha, it’s working for you. Oh my God, what is it about you that this solution works for “Then I’d go hey, person, say but no audience, we’re going to do the same thing. I’m going to roll up my sleeves, we’re going to get to work.

We’re going to turn this on and crickets, no sales. So, then you step to step back and go, what is it about bucket number one, versus bucket number two, that makes them different with different outcomes.

And again, of course, I go oh people with audiences, it works for people who don’t have audiences it doesn’t work for and you would go, “Da,” however, you have to go down that path and test it and test it and figure out how to spend a lot of let’s say, just time to go, okay, how could I’ve tweaked this?

Or how could I have massage this or whatever or up this isn’t working. And that is where I feel like the rubber hits the road. When you are willing to get in there and muck around and take all of your assumptions and have your assumptions, have your hypotheses. But as I like to say hold them lightly.

Because then you got to get in front of people and go does this work? Does this work? What are you struggling with? How can I make a difference for you?

You Need the Proper Mindset

Rick Mulready 24:15
The key word for me that jumped out for me, Jillian, that you said is the willingness and I talk so much about mindset is, if you don’t have that proper mindset, that willingness to be in there, as you mentioned in the muck testing different things.

If you don’t have that willingness and the mindset of okay, this is what I’m doing, you’re not going to be successful, you’re going to give up at the at the point where oh, I tested this, this doesn’t work. I’m done. This must not work.

Whereas the people who are successful going back to that and I just use a million dollars because I think it’s a bunch of crap. It’s amazing amount of money. I’m super grateful. We did it in four years.

I’m very grateful but I’ve literally within a few days, I think it was like three days of us doing it. I was like, okay, cool. Now what? That’s literally what happened. So, whatever success means to you, let’s just say it’s $100,000.

I want to create this online business and we work backwards from that the person who is going to be successful much more quickly, is the person who believes without a doubt, they’re going to hit that $100,000.

As we were talking before we hit record, I’m a huge hockey fan. And so, if I’m playing the game of hockey, and I have zero doubt the puck is going in the net, I have no doubt that puck is going in the net, and we’re winning the game. Will you play the game differently, because you know, you’re going to win at the end?

And so you’re like, Okay, I know, I’m going to hit $100,000 in my business, not quite sure how I’m going to get there. But I know I’m going to get there. I’m going to figure it out.

Jillian Leslie 25:59
I love that. I coach and my audience is predominantly female creators. And we have very different mindsets. We are pleasers. We’re helpers. And I was on a call with somebody yesterday, a friend of mine, who has like a crazy TikTok following.

And I said, “Wow, you could monetize this audience into selling directly to them.” And she said, “I feel uncomfortable selling directly to them. Because I already offer what I offer for free, and I don’t feel comfortable having people pay me for that.”

So, it’s kind of refreshing I have to say, talking to you today, where you’re like, “You go.” You put that goal out there and you scrape to get there.” Thinking of hockey, my husband is a big hockey fan.

And it is a scrappy sport, it is an ugly, get down and dirty kind of sport, and we’re going to fight it out to get that puck int the net. And so, there’s something super testosteroney about that.

Rick Mulready 27:16
Yes. But I also get the other side. The majority of my students, actually, are female business owners.

Jillian Leslie 27:28
So, how do you get them to go chase that puck. And when it fails, pick yourself up out of bed and go again, how do you do that?

When You Suffer from Anxiety as an Online Entrepreneur

Rick Mulready 27:37
And I don’t mean, to paint this amazing rainbows and unicorns picture of, it’s always like, oh, just go get it, and believe that you’re going to do it all the time. Stuff comes up. You’re going to have doubts, and I learned this after 8 1/2 years, I have suffered from anxiety, I can date it back to like, seventh grade.

And when I started my own business 8 1/2 years ago, my anxiety shot through the roof. And it’s something that I’ve really had to learn how to deal with. And so, I can sit here and tell you that is the fastest way to grow your business in believing without a doubt that you’re going to hit your goal.

It wasn’t always that easy for me because of anxiety and in later years your depression and stuff like that. In speaking directly to your friend that you had a call with yesterday, a lot of people are like that, regardless men or women or what have you that part is, I think, is irrelevant.

Rather, it’s the mindset of, I’m not comfortable selling my expertise. And I’ll tell you this, the big mindset shift for when you’re selling something, is if your goal is to have an impact on as many people as possible. And we define impact in so many different ways. It’s very individual.

But if my goal is to have an impact, meaning I want to change that person’s life in some way, I will tell you that free content is not going to change their life.

Jillian Leslie 29:37
Tell me more.

Rick Mulready 29:39
I think today’s episode I want to say is like 630 or something on this podcast here. And so, if somebody doesn’t want to pay to come coach with me, absolutely no problem. There are 630 episodes that you can go listen to all for free.

When You Pay for Something You Have More Skin in the Game

And of course, I get emails and messages all the time saying, “Hey, just listen to your show has changed my life.” I totally get that. But when people pay for something, they have more skin in the game. Now they’re like, “Oh, I’m invested in this, I better take action, I better do what I’m being told or do what I’m learning.”

In a coaching perspective. Or I bought this course or whatever it might be, I’m going to take this more seriously, I just paid, whatever it is, like $200, $500, $20,000, whatever it might be, I’m going to take this more seriously.

So, that when we as creators, if that is our goal, to have an impact, like a deep impact on people, the free stuff is amazing. I’m not saying don’t do free stuff. But the selling part is where that actual, like the impact really happens.

Jillian Leslie 31:02
Totally, I completely agree. So, given your whole thing about mindset, I want to pose you a couple questions and say, how do you deal with this? How do you deal when you put out an offer and nobody buys with mindset?

Rick Mulready 31:15
You do not create the offer, until somebody buys. I have done this in service. So many years people taught, go create the course, go create this and then start selling it. January 2014 literally that was my first month in business. I had this concept for an Ads course. I called it FB advantage Facebook advantage.

And I was teaching online businesses how to use Facebook to automate leads and sales. I didn’t create the course, I created the webinar, I wrote emails to invite people all that, I created the whole webinar funnel. And I had what my promise was, of the course I had, this is what it was going to be like.

And then this is what I’m going to teach you inside like we’re going to cover this, and then I’m going to deliver it to you live over I think it was like six weeks or something like that. And I priced it at $497, $997. I didn’t create the course because I didn’t know if anyone was going to buy the thing.

Jillian Leslie 32:23
Okay, but here’s the thing, I would say there’s even a deeper thing, which is, I think that is absolute. I agree with you 100% that is our whole philosophy behind MiloTreeCart, go test it, go put up a sales page, see if people buy.

But there’s a deeper thing. Let’s say you’re putting your heart and soul even into all of this material to support it. And nobody buys. And you feel this sense of rejection, you’re like, I didn’t build it out. I didn’t do that. But there’s something to saying, “Rick, I’m rejecting you.” That’s how people perceive it.

How do you deal with that? How do you pick yourself up? How do you put out the next offer?

How to Deal With Failure as an Entrepreneur

Rick Mulready 33:04
I kind of thought you were going to go there. And so, I did the exact same thing early on. I was like, if I didn’t meet my goals, or let’s just say I was doing a launch. And again, as simple numbers, alright, my goal here is $50,000 in this launch, and I do $27,000. I’m a failure.

People are rejecting me; people don’t want this. I messed up. I didn’t know what I was doing. And so, my identity for so many years in the business was the business, meaning my identity was based on how successful the business was. But also on the flip side, how poorly the business was doing. That was my identity.

So, I had these way, like big highs and really, really low lows. And that’s the kind of feeling that people can have, I totally get that when they put an offer out. And nobody buys it. Number one, it’s not personal. Sometimes people will say I don’t like Rick, I don’t like how he does things. Okay, cool.

And granted, I’ve come to that’s been a process. And the other side of it, though, again, this goes back to having that conviction of like, I’m going to figure this out. Okay, I’ve created this offer. Again, I’m not actually creating offer, I’m creating like the framework of it.

I’ve created this offer that I think my people want. Also, we can spend a whole episode on things that you can do to make sure that what you’re creating, even before you sell it even before you create it is something that your people will want.

And you can do this without an email list, you can test all these different things. Get feedback from people and then based on the information that you have the best of your knowledge, then create an offer around that.

So, let’s just say you do that, and then still nobody buys. We need to go back and listen; we need to go back and talk. One of the best things that I did. And so by the way, before I even share that, that is hard. I’m not going to lie, if no one buys it. It’s really, really hard.

Our mindsets, just goes into overdrive, as an anxious person, it starts to spiral. And I coach multiple six figure, multiple seven figure online business owners. Let’s say anything happens, it doesn’t. You learned that it’s not going to go away completely. But it’s how you deal with it when it happens.

So, people at their level, in business, it’s not a case of no one is buying. It’s a case of I didn’t hit my goals. Again, the same thing happens, like, oh, what does that mean about me, I’m a failure, I must have done something wrong, I screwed up, they don’t really like me, all these all these different things.

Advice: You Are Not Your Business

And the breakthrough that I had in terms of wrapping my identity up in my business, is that I was getting coached by somebody a couple years ago, several years ago. Something that clicked for me. And they said, “You are not your business.” Heard this million times.

But you are not your business. And they literally said, like on video, “The business sits next to you in a chair. And you can pat it on its head right now.” It’s like good business. But you’re sitting here as yourself. The business is over here next to you, as its own entity, you are not the business and the business, isn’t you.

And somebody would say, “Well, wait a minute, I’m the face of the business. The business is my brand.” Which is the same thing for me. Even still my identity is not the business. But it takes time to understand that. And it’s never personal.

I would argue that because we always get comments from people, whether it’s on social media, or email or what have you people giving you a hard time. And it’s hard and I can list off a whole bunch of people that have multiple seven figure businesses.

It’s no different they get a cutting comment from somebody, if you will. It hurts, it stings. We’re human beings. My joke with it is you’ve made it because that means you’re putting your stuff out there. And it takes a lot like the whole judgment thing.

And again, we can go so many different directions. You walk into a Starbucks. I’m speaking to everybody listening right now. You walk into a Starbucks. Are you going to get judged? As people sitting at tables, baristas, whatever, are you going to get judged or you walk into Target?

I’m just thinking about across the street from me. There’s a Target and there’s a Starbucks over there. You walk in anywhere you are going to get judged it’s human nature to be judged, we do it subconsciously.

When you know that it’s going to happen regardless, it kind of lessens the pressure a little bit of like, I’m being judged right now by people listening to show. They’re like, oh, he does voice or makes no sense.

Jillian Leslie 38:55
Or he knows what he’s talking about.

Rick Mulready 38:59
On the flip side. I am not going to stop trying to add value. It’s the same thing with the content that I put out in the podcast, for example.

At first, I was like, “Ooh,” and I’m a perfectionist, with my trying to recovering perfectionist. So, it’s hard for you to put things out when I don’t think they’re as good as they should be in my mind, and it’s all subjective.

My point is it makes it easier when we know we’re going to get judged regardless. When we can accept that it makes it easier for us to put our stuff out there and when we don’t sell a course or program or whatever, that’s okay.

We figure out what didn’t work. We get our magnifying glass out if you will, we try to figure out what happened, what didn’t work there. What can I change differently. And the cool thing about running your own business is, you can turn around and do it the next week. Once you learn you can do it all over again.

Jillian Leslie 40:09
I say it’s like getting curious. What is that? Rather than oh, this is all about me. It’s like, oh, let’s get curious, like anybody who does meditation or whatever, and you go so boring. Well, go get curious about being bored.

Rick Mulready 40:25
One of the best thing and coming back to what I was going to say before, one of the best things that I did, and if somebody says, “What is one thing you regret?” I regret I didn’t do this sooner, a year and a half into my business. I remember exactly, I am a big coffee person, but don’t like Starbucks.

But I keep mentioning Starbucks, I was in a Starbucks here in San Diego. And I took five. This is back when I was using Skype, I took five Skype calls with five of my “ideal” people who had bought my original program. And I just wanted to get feedback from them. I wanted to learn more about them.

I wanted to learn more about, what they were struggling with. What did they think about the program? How has it changed their business? How are they using it? It was like a 15-minute conversation. And I think I had four to five calls.

Advice: Interview Your Previous Customers and Students to Get Their Feedback

Holy cow, it was the greatest thing I’ve ever done, because I got to hear directly from my students, and get their feedback and their struggles. So now, I can take that information. And use it for my marketing, use it for my emails, use it for my sales page, use it for improving the program.

And you can do this whether you have students or not paying customers or not, you can ask people who follow you on TikTok, for example.

You can put it out there, “Hey, I’ve just opened up five times on my calendar for this coming Friday, for 15 minutes each, I’d love to chat with you, or I’d love to help you with whatever, click the link in my bio, or however you do it with TikTok.”

That sort of thing can give you invaluable information. And then it’s how you use that information. Everybody always say I don’t know how to write ad copy. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say in my emails. Use the exact language that your perfect person uses.

Jillian Leslie 42:23
I love that. Rick, one last question. If you were to and it’s just like a big one. But if there’s one thing that people in my audience could do, to get out of their own way to accelerate their growth, what would it be?

Rick Mulready 42:51
One, I have to choose one?

Jillian Leslie 42:54
Maybe more, but just that thing where for example, people will say, I wish I grew my email list, grow your email list, there’s money in your email list. It could be work on your mindset, those kinds of things. It could be Facebook ads, I don’t know.

Advice: Get Good at Networking

Rick Mulready 43:12
I would say hands down. When people asked me, the growth I’ve had over the years in the business. What do I attribute that to? And that 100% and I hate the word networking. So, I’m not even going to use that. But it’s literally the people that I got to know early on.

And the reaching out just like you just did. You reach out on Instagram DM. Pat Flynn who runs Smart Passive Income. He has a very successful business, multiple YouTube channels, huge podcast, all this other stuff. He lives literally a mile down the road from me. He’s my best friend.

I met him back in 2013, I believe, or 2014. No, no, I take that back. It was 2012 because I was still in the corporate world. And I was coming down here to San Diego to call on some of my clients. And I literally just reached out to him to say, “Hey, would you be up for having coffee?” Introduce myself.

Again, I took a chance and he said yes. And it was supposed to be like a 30-minute coffee. We ended up talking for like two hours. And it’s just that sort of thing. Try to make connections, but don’t make connections thinking that you want something from that person.

Think like you just legitimately want to make a connection with them try to add value to them or to their audience. That one thing will very, very quickly I think more quickly than anything grow your business.

Jillian Leslie 44:58
I love that. I love that piece of advice. For example, when I was first starting out, so I told you we built Catch My Party that we built a pop-up. And I would go to conferences you know that were predominantly women.

And I printed out like a flyer. And I said, “Hey, I know this sounds really weird. But I’m a blogger, and you’re a blogger. And I built this tool because my husband can build stuff, and you might want to try it, and we give you 30 days free, and we just want this to work for you. If you have any feedback, let me know.”

But here’s this flyer, here we are, we’re all bloggers, we live in the digital space. And I’m handing this out to them. And I’m doing it secretly, because I didn’t pay the conference to be a sponsor. So, I’m doing it on the down low. But that’s how I did it.

And then I became friends with a lot of those people. Because I was just saying, try this, tell me what you think, let’s be friends. And those friends have stuck with me. And when I need somebody to test something, I go, “Hey, so and so. What do you think?”

Rick Mulready 46:07
Exactly. And one of the easiest ways to make those connections is exactly what you just said, Jillian go to conferences. So, for you, if you haven’t already, I would absolutely do anything you can to get to the ConvertKit conference. It’s happened already this year.

But in Boise ConvertKit is mostly creators. That’s their primary audience. So, I’m going to get on a plane and go to Boise, I think it’s in June or something like that. I’m going to go to the ConvertKit conference, and start talking to people, that’s my audience.

And then it just builds from there, get to know the speakers, that sort of thing, make those connections, and then I’ll give you a part of a 1B to this, is you’ve got to have consistent content, whatever that looks like a podcast, YouTube channel. That is one regret.

I wish I had started YouTube years and years and years ago. I did, but it’s not very good, but I’m getting into it, take it more seriously now, but have some form of content that you are most comfortable with. And if you are like, “I want to create all the content.”

But that’s a lot to do, then do video, because you can do so much with video, you can rip the audio for podcast, you can put the video on YouTube, you can cut up the video and repurpose it for different pieces on TikTok or Instagram reels or LinkedIn or whatever it might be.

You’ve got to have a consistent content strategy consistent, I mean, weekly.

Jillian Leslie 47:49
I agree with that.

Rick Mulready 47:50
Getting out some form of content to start to build your audience.

Jillian Leslie 47:55
I love that. Rick, I love that kind of feel like we’ve gone full circle, like how I reached out to you. And now I feel like we’re best friends. So, if people want to learn from you to be one of your students, all of that, what’s the best way?

Rick Mulready 48:13
The best place to start is with the podcast, The Art of Online Business. And it’s on all the podcasting platforms. Shoot me a DM on Instagram, @rickmulready. And my website, which at the time we are recording this, we’re going to be redesigning here in a few months, rickmulready.com.

But yeah, let me know you heard the on the podcast here.

Jillian Leslie 48:34
Awesome. Well, I just have to say, thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and your experience and your struggles and all of that. I really appreciate it.

Rick Mulready 48:45
It’s a pleasure. Thank you, Jillian. Appreciate it.

Jillian Leslie 48:47
I hope you guys liked this episode. I thought it was really interesting. I thought that Rick shared some strategies that you could definitely implement into your business immediately. And I loved his idea about networking.

And I love that he was vulnerable and really showed the ups and downs he has gone through. I think we all go through those. And there’s something refreshing about hearing it from somebody who is so successful.

Speaking of success, if you feel like every other blogger has figured this out, except you please come to my workshop on October 6 at 1pm Central Time, where I will share a whole new way for you to grow your business. It’s easy. I’ll share how to package up what you know and sell it to your people.

Wouldn’t increasing your income be an awesome way to end the year. So, head to empire.milotreecart.com, sign up $10. I cannot wait to see you there. And I’ll see you here on the podcast next week.

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