Incubator questions answered
You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers
A number of you had some last questions before joining, so I figured I’d take some time to answer them in detail for you. This will be the last piece of content I write up for the Incubator, the only others you might get will be “registrations are about to close”, or “spots filled up”- stuff like that, because there’s not much time left to join.
“What if I literally have no idea how to do marketing? Will I just be stuck even if I have an idea?”
As you’ll learn in the Incubator, people rarely have a marketing problem. They usually have an idea problem. In other words, they’ve got an idea that doesn’t work for one reason or another, so when they market it’s not going to convert. They falsely assume it’s a marketing problem, but it’s usually an idea problem, or a problem connecting the idea with the optimal market. Let me give you an example:
Someone came into the Incubator stressing about how stuck they were on marketing. They’d been working on this idea for the last year or so. When I told them why the idea wouldn’t work the way they were doing it, they had an ‘aha’ moment. They were part ecstatic that they wouldn’t waste any more time on an idea that clearly wouldn’t work, even though on the surface it seemed good, and part kicking themselves because they’d literally spent almost a year trying to figure out marketing, when that wasn’t even their problem.
As you’ll learn in the Incubator, marketing becomes much easier when you do a great job in phase 1 on the idea. Elon Musk doesn’t have to beg people to buy his Tesla. It’s because his idea is really, really good. High value speaks a lot louder than noisy marketing. It’s why I’ve consistently gotten a lot of exposure for my businesses. I don’t necessarily spend a lot of time pitching products(I actually don’t enjoy spending a lot of time there), but I match up what I’m doing in phase 1(the idea/value phase) with phase 2(the marketing phase).
Besides, like I mentioned, if you take the action to launch a valuable business, I’m going to do what I can to help get you get some exposure. I’ve gotten over 600,000 visits to ForeverJobless, and a million downloads for the podcast. If it’s a fit to talk about it on the blog or on the show, I’ll do it. Then you can take your appearance there and use it as leverage to appear on other platforms.
Also, I’ve decided to do something else to help ease your mind on the marketing side of things. As most of you know I built a big social media following on Instagram.
Many people don’t realize how quickly I was able to do it, and don’t understand how I did what I did. I grew an audience to 100,000 fast(lower now since I stopped posting) and have collected tens of thousands of subscribers for ForeverJobless as a result. Another thing many people don’t know about it? I made step by step videos showing exactly how I did it, from growing the audience, to getting others to promote me, to getting people to opt in to my site from Instagram. See, I sold the course for a couple weeks, and I stopped selling it, partly because I don’t aspire to be an ‘info marketer’. I didn’t need the money, so I just quit selling it because selling ‘Instagram success’ wasn’t fulfilling to me at all and it honestly felt weird for me to be selling it.
I’m just going to give you the course when you join the Incubator. So, when you get to the marketing stage and are looking for ideas on how to market your business or grow your popularity or become a social media star or whatever, you’ll have my blueprint for exactly how I did it.
I want my family to be supportive, how can I explain the benefits of signing up for the Incubator?
This is a great question. Sometimes family, friends, or significant others want to be supportive, but hearing that you want to make a big investment in yourself to get a business going can be a ‘stop in their tracks’ moment if they’re not from the business world and don’t fully understand all that it entails. Let’s talk through some common questions and concerns together:
Will he just invest in your idea? That way you don’t have to spend the money and he can take equity.
How you could respond:
If someone doesn’t yet know how to pass the 4-step process, they don’t actually have an investable idea yet 99.99% of the time. Once you know how to successfully pass the 4-step process, this is when you will have an idea that people want to invest in.
(Sebastian from our 2016 Incubator class who you probably heard on the podcast, already received investor interest while in pre-launch for his business, and he wasn’t even looking for it.)
Is there a way you can get access in exchange for being a case study for him?
How you could respond:
He wants to bet on people(with his time or money) who bet on themselves.
He’s giving up time to help only those who are serious, start a profitable business. He could make significantly more money working on his own business ventures.
(note: I do the Incubator because working with action takers on this stuff is fun for me. Working for free for non action takers is not fun for me(why I don’t offer other programs).
Having money to invest in yourself for something like this is a good self-vetting process, because it means you’ve taken action in the past to put yourself in a situation to place bets on yourself.
This isn’t a digital course. This is my time I’m giving to help you start a profitable business. If I let someone who doesn’t want to bet on themselves take someone else’s spot who did want to bet on themselves, I’m letting the wrong person in. Besides, if you’re part of the Incubator squad do you want to be surrounded by a group of action takers betting on themselves, or by a bunch of free case studies? I don’t need case studies, they happen as a byproduct of having action takers in the group.
If I had a dollar for every testimonial or case study I was offered in exchange for changing my hourly value to $0/hr, I’d have a lamborghini with the license plate “CASESTUDY”.)
Are there examples of others who’ve talked about their success from the Incubator?
Yes, he recently sent us a 30 minute montage of last years Incubator members talking about their experience, and there’s 5-6 hours of recent podcast episodes where Incubator members came on and shared their stories in depth:
Here’s episodes with some Incubator members:
Season 3 Episode 30 (Corey)
Season 3 Episode 29 (Jordan)
Season 3 Episodes 26-28 (Mark)
Season 3 Episodes 23-25 (Nick)
Season 3 Episodes 19-22 (Sebastian)
A number of you have emailed expressing that you want your significant other to support you in your business goals. If you take the time to go through what you’re doing in depth, from experience working with past Incubator members it goes pretty well and the members are shown a lot of support. We even had one couple decide to do the Incubator together last year.
The Incubator is more expensive relative to some other courses
I don’t sell a course.
I sell you the ability to get a profitable business going that will help give the freedom to pursue the life you desire, rather than the one you’re living right now.
I sell changing your thought patterns.
I sell learning how to outthink your potential competitors so they’ll have difficulty competing with you.
I sell congruence that the business you’re starting is the right one for you.
I sell properly reverse engineering your goals so that we get you to the place you actually want to go.
I sell your friends and family asking you, “wait, how much are you making?!”… “can you show me how to do it!?”
I sell the loss of your alarm clock.
So if those things aren’t priceless to you, it’s probably not a good fit.
But it’s not because of the price. It’s because of the disparity in what we value.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. – Ben Franklin
I don’t coach or consult much, and when I do I currently charge $500/hr. I don’t even publicly offer it because I’m working on my own projects and goals that I enjoy. If I stop working on my goals to work on someone else’s goals, that’s what I normally charge.
In the Incubator instead of having access to me for 10 hours, you get access to me for 10 weeks.
It’s priced high enough to keep out tire kickers, and low enough to make this a no brainer so that you’re surrounded people you want to be on this journey with.
In life you will pay with money or pay with time. The money part is going to take care of paying itself back as long as you take the action once you’re in. And for the time, I’ll do my part to save you years of frustration and give you over a decade worth of my experience so you can shortcut the road to your goals by a mile.
I’ve spent a lot LOT of money on health stuff the last year or so. Like, a lot a lot. Tests, supplements, consultations, etc… Despite the price tags, I REALLY wanted my energy levels to go up. I thought it was important, so I bit the bullet despite super high price tags, including hiring $600/hr consultants just to double check my own doctor’s recommendations. If it wasn’t a big deal to me, I wouldn’t have made the investment. Since I was at the point where it became SUPER important to me, it was a no brainer. Price is not an issue if it’s important enough.
I want to work with those people.
I want to work with you if you this is ABSOLUTELY unequivocally what you want- to start a business and change your life. To start making money to eliminate whatever concerns you have whether it’s job, family, health, or just the desire to live a better life, travel, etc… if you’re just kind of interested in it, it’s not going to be a fit. You won’t push through to give the effort required to guarantee those results, and I don’t want to work with semi motivated people. It’s not exciting for me.
Pricing is not relevant if something matters to you. If it matters a lot to you, it’s a great barrier to keep those it doesn’t matter enough to out, so I can surround the future sharks, with other future sharks which keeps the value of the group extremely high.
Opportunity cost is the real price
The reality is, is that the most expensive price to pay is to not be making the type of money you should be making, or living the life you should be living, now.
When it comes to expenses, the greatest expense of all time is the difference between what you make, and what you could be making – Someone
Poor people fail because of one common behavior, their whole life is about waiting – Jack Ma
You could theoretically wait to figure it out on your own, but at what cost?
It will take significantly more time and money running blind in one direction or another.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. – The one thing
People just never stop to fully appreciate that if this is true, then the wrong first step begins a journey that could end as far as two thousand miles from where they want to be.
In life we’re always looking for a more complicated answer. Stop taking the hard road and make it easy on yourself.
Think about it from an expected value standpoint. What’s the maximum loss? $4,997 right?
Yes, but not even since it’s tax deductible. So likely $3-$4k depending on your tax bracket.
So if you took little to no action, that’s your bad case scenario.
What happens if you end up taking massive action and becoming a big success story?
Corey has a 7 figure business.
Jordan has a mid 6 figure business.
Mark just started his business and has already made $75k in profit after 3 months.
You’ve read enough of my articles to know how ridiculous the EV is on that.
A $3-4k risk vs. profiting potentially tens of thousands of dollars per month.
Let’s say you don’t get to spend as much time on things as you’d like, but you still take the action to get something going. What would it take to recoup the cost?
What if I told you the answer was a business that makes about $278/month?
I know, it sounds strange, but let’s look at the math.
A ‘micro business’ of around that size would sell for around an 18 month multiple, give or take.
So, if you had a business that you wanted to sell for $5,000, you’d need the business to be profiting $277.78/month.
A lot of people who haven’t started a business before forget that when you create a business that makes money, you have an asset. Why? Because it makes money independent of you working hours. That’s what I want to help you do. I don’t want you to create another job.
If you create a business that makes money, you can sell that asset to someone who is looking for cashflow.
If you create a business that makes $500/month, you might sell the business for $9,000.
Keep in mind I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to start a business that small, I just want to show you how little your business would need to be and still more than recoup your investment.
The more income your asset produces, the more you could sell your business for. And actually the more it makes, the multiple goes up as well, since it’s less for people who buy cashflow producing assets to manage.
For example, if you start a real business that makes $4,000/month, it’s likely you could sell for $100,000, if not more.
If you’re telling yourself you’re just going to “wait another year” before your start your business, how much are you really costing yourself?
Incubator vs “courses”
If you take action and follow the steps in the Incubator you will have a substantially different understanding of how to make a profitable business. I know the results the people in the Incubator are get- they’re able to generate an incredible amount of ideas, eliminate the bad ones, and think through the optimal ways to execute so they can launch a profitable business.
I created the Incubator because there was not a program like it, that taught people how to think for themselves with a process that could be replicated in any niche.
Most courses teach people how to blog, or teach people how to do X, Y or Z and while a lot of it is great advice, the people who sign up for them are going to need another course again, and again, and again because those courses don’t teach how to start profitable businesses, they teach how to do a certain marketing hack or strategy most of the time. You’re going to be back at square one the second that ‘hack’ expires, which is usually once they start flooding the market with courses on it.
You can hear me talking about this issue in the interview clip below:
The tactics and tricks that most courses teach are not what people need. Learning what makes a profitable business, is. You need the proper principles and fundamentals for that.
Tactics come easy once principles are there.
Give me an incubator student over an amazing tactics person any day. The tactics person may have some skills, but they’ll be freelancing for the Incubator member who understands certain business principles.
Listen to people who have done what you want to do, and have done it repeatedly – Michael Masterson
I’ve started profitable businesses in over a dozen different markets, many of them completely different business models and industries.
“I started a blog one time and I make money now, learn from me!”
If you learn from a one trick pony, make sure that’s the pony you really want to ride, because you won’t have the principles to make you successful long term.
No other program is going to help you find what’s right for you and not just try to fit you into a box.
When you want to take a course, you take one of the info marketers courses. When you want to launch a profitable business and learn how to be successful in the long term, you join the Incubator.
It will be unlike anything else you could possibly join and I guarantee you that I care about your success more than anything like it. I’m obsessive about the process and insanely committed to the group- ask past Incubator members. Those who are serious about wanting my help in launching a profitable business, will launch a profitable business.
Does it matter if we want to start a small, or a big business?
Not at all.
I’ve started 5, 6 and 7 figure businesses.
It just depends on what your current goal is. I’ve started some businesses for fun, some businesses for passive income, and some because I wanted to make a lot of money.
I think most people overestimate how many sales you need to have certain sized businesses. I thought I’d share a few examples with you from my own experiences, to give you a clearer idea of what it takes to have each.
One example I had was a french macaron business. I know, strange one!
I started out selling very few.
Then I learned a little better how to reach customers, and started selling a few per week.
Then scaled the marketing that was working, and orders came in each day.
It eventually grew to where it was doing somewhere around $5k/month in sales.
We were selling for $37 per dozen(including shipping), so if you’ve never started a business it might sound like a lot of sales to do for a smaller priced product, but once you run the math you realize it’s not at all. It was only 135 sales/month, or 4.5 sales/day, and keep in mind some customers order more than 1 box, so really it’s probably closer to only 3 customers/day.
We had somewhere around 40% margins on the product, which would be $2,000 margins per month.
Small little business, but it ran somewhat passively so it’s worth money- people will pay for an asset that produces income. I packaged the business with a few small ‘throw in’ sites that were producing a few hundred bucks/month in income.
The business sold for $68,000.
Keep in mind, the main part of the sale was for a site that produced just a few orders per day of a low priced product.
The numbers add up faster than you think.
I’ve barely tried to monetize ForeverJobless, because it’s been a passion project and not a ‘business venture’ for me. Even so, with very little sales focus(I don’t even advertise anything on the site), it produced close to $200,000 last year as a part-time side project while I traveled, and sought out business and investment opportunities.
I sold one product that sold for around $300, one product that sold for around $5,000, and sold some podcast sponsorship packages for as much as $2,000.
So, I actually need very few sales to have $200,000 in sales, because I’m dealing with higher prices.
I probably made less than 10 sales per month.
Now, with a business like this you could easily increase the revenues/profits by adding another product or service to people who can’t afford the other options, but because maximizing monetization isn’t my focus I don’t do that.
I choose to spend the time helping people who are more serious about being a successful entrepreneur.
And once you have something that works, it just takes doubling down on what’s working and eliminating what’s not, and the results scale. So to double, or even triple the results this year would not be surprising if that was my goal, because I just need to do more of what I already know is working. That’s why turning a 6 figure business into a 7 figure business is not overly complex assuming you’re in a business where that potential is there.
I had a poker business where people paid a monthly fee to get trained by our roster of professional players. They would record their screen as they played, and voice over the strategy of why they were making the plays they were making.
At a price of $100 to sign up, and $30/month, we had thousands of customers paying monthly, so it became a 7-figure business.
Even if you just take out the $100 sign up fee, to generate 7 figures in that business just on the recurring you need 2,778 monthly customers. With a $30 price, it’s not very expensive for the offering. Many people would pay much more.
You have a choice of the model you want to offer, and could get there another way as well. For example, we could have made it more exclusive and charged $300/month. That would have been too expensive for many people to afford,
so we would have lost a lot of potential customers. However, you’d only need 278 monthly customers to be doing $1,000,000/year.
There’s no right or wrong answer to what type of business to start. 7-figure ones will often take more time to get to that level than a 6-figure business would, and a 6-figure business sometimes more than a 5.
No matter what you decide, the idea you select has to be one that has the earning potential to hit the level you want for yourself.
Hopefully by showing you some examples of ones I’ve run, you see the numbers can add up a lot more quickly than most people think. A lot of people haven’t started because they think it will take soooo many customers and sales. As you can see that’s obviously not the case.
You just need a product or service that people want to buy, and know how to get it in front of your audience. People try to overcomplicate it but it’s not any more complex than that.
I can help you find a profitable idea, and learn to find your customers. You’ve just got to know what your goal is, and be willing to put some work in to achieve it.
If your ultimate goal is to start a 7 figure business, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start there. Here’s an email exchange I had with Corey from our 2015 Incubator class when he had a $4600/month goal, and was debating whether to take the risk on starting his business idea inside the Incubator:
Date 2/8/15: Once you learn how to do it, even if it doesn’t hit your goal but you learn all the fundamentals behind it you can launch a 2nd product to get you to your goal.
Think of it like playing basketball. You don’t have to spend any time trying to remember how to shoot when you want to shoot again, you just shoot because you already know. That’s how business is. The first time is difficult because there’s so many different variables. But after you learn how to do them, it’s just a process that can be replicated again.
Corey took the risk and launched that first product, and now has over a dozen product offerings, and has a 7-figure business.
Why I’m doing the Incubator
At a certain point in ‘the game’, your priorities change. I find I get a lot of fulfillment from helping others start profitable businesses, because I remember how difficult it was when I tried it on my own, and I know how impactful the results are once you have certain financial abilities, and certain freedoms. My life changed in a very impactful way once I had significantly more money and freedom, and I want to help others do the same.
You cannot get a big house up on the hill and then not show anyone else how to get up on the hill – Steve Harvey
I hadn’t intended to do this again, and after the 2017 Incubator I will likely be diving into a new project, so it is unlikely I will launch the Incubator again, at least in the foreseeable future. It’s time for me to put my ‘entrepreneur jersey’ back on after a lot of writing and traveling the last few years, so I want to get you up and running with your business before I jump back in.
How will the Incubator work?
As you know, there are 4 steps I think are extremely important when launching a business.
Step 1: Idea/value phase: Is it more valuable than what already exists in the market?
Step 2: Marketing: Can you reach your audience?
Step 3: Due diligence phase
Step 4: Expected value phase- calculating the expected profit potential of the business
I’ve created videos that will walk through each of the steps in detail, and I’ve created case studies to further clarify each step.
But the big difference between what I’m doing and what ‘course sellers’ are doing, is I’m going to be with you the entire process.
You can talk to me on a call EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.
Oh, and by the way if you get stuck in between calls and you’re like “shit, I wish I could chat with Billy”- you can. I’ve created a private forum chat so you can post your questions in there. I’m in there pretty much every single day.
What I want is for you to launch a profitable business so you can get the life changes you want, and I’m going to do everything in my power to help you during this process. The more action you take, the more questions you’ll have. The more questions you’ll have from the action you’re taking, the more I’ll be able to provide feedback for you. No one wants to see you succeed as much as I do.
My goal is to take people that are A players, operating life at a B or C income level and create A player results.
Some fringe benefits of being part of the Incubator is that you’ll step into a network of motivated action takers doing cool things in the world.
When I’m on the east coast this summer, I plan on meeting up with a few of the 2015 and 2016 members who live in the area.
A number of members on the west coast regularly met in person during the last Incubator.
We had a meetup here in Austin just a few months ago with some past members who wanted to get together.
Trouble networking with good people at the moment? Not any more.
How important is my idea?
You need a good idea if you want to make your life easier starting a profitable business. You won’t have a problem with that once you join the Incubator:
Everyone knows that an idea can take you to the top faster than anything else. – Positioning
Back when I was looking for product ideas to sell online, there was one product I was considering selling that was not offered in many stores.
I went through the first two steps of my process. I had a valuable idea that was easy to market.
But it was strange, it was barely offered online. So, why weren’t more people selling this?
I learned during the diligence phase that it was difficult to ship the product, and would often break. Many stores only sold locally due to this.
This seemed to be the only holdup. No one wanted to jump through any hoops to deal with shipping issues, so they all stayed out of the game. I didn’t necessarily feel like figuring out any shipping issues either, but I decided to calculate the EV to determine if it was a hoop worth jumping through.
The EV came out to over $1,500/month as a passive business. So, if I could solve the shipping issue, I’d expect to make $1,500+/month on autopilot.
It didn’t take as long as I thought to figure out a solution, and the manufacturer was actually the one who figured it out.
Shortly after that I was able to launch the store and start selling the product, drop-shipping direct from the supplier so I never had to deal with the shipping at all. After making passive income on it for about two years, I sold it in a small package for mid 5 figures.
Without knowing the EV, I would have passed on that opportunity. Everyone else did.
Calculating the expected profits ahead of time let me know the shipping issue was worth figuring out. No one else grabbed that opportunity, even people already in the market, because they didn’t take time to calculate what solving a relatively small problem would have been worth to them.
Their thought process: “looks hard”
Person who understands the 4-step process: “looks profitable”
If you can learn to really understand the process, and practice applying it to business ideas, it will make your decisions a lot easier, and your life a lot more profitable.
It all started with an idea that I knew was valuable.
The beauty of it, as Marc Cuban says, “you only have to be right once”.
95% of businesses fail… so why not start one that won’t?
I can help significantly increase the chance you’re going to be right.
It starts with a good idea, and then you just take that idea through the process and make sure you get the green light.
If you are missing half the parts in an “assembly required” toy, it’s not going to work. – Terry Wahls
When a good idea and good marketing have sex, you have a profitable business.
So, join the incubator and let’s make babies.
The 2015 Incubator class has already produced over $2,000,000 in sales and growing from the businesses they’ve launched. Based on the early results from the 2016 Incubator class, I’m betting they’ll surpass those results in the same timeframe.
The 2017 class that you’ll be a part of… time will tell. We’ve got a great group that will be walking alongside you on this journey. Join the 2017 crew and see if you can upstage the last two classes.
A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind that loves diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favorable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.
– Charles T. Munger
Most people think you can’t move forward until you’re confident, but the reality is you don’t get the confidence until you move forward
The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead! – Gen. George S. Patton
The ability to make money is not like eye color. The idea that you’re either born with it or not is a destructive myth created by people who want to justify their own deficiencies. Making money is a skill.
Over the next ten weeks I’m going to let you inside my head, and do everything I can to transfer the skills I’ve learned as an entrepreneur over the last 10+ years to you.
At some point if you want the life you dream of, you’ve “got to jump” as Steve Harvey would say:
Or as Will Smith would say, “the best things in life are on the other side of terror”:
Once you finally have your profitable business, it’s bliss.
It seems terrifying to start a profitable business before you’ve done it, but if you learn how to do it right, you’ll realize you were terrified of nothing. It doesn’t mean there isn’t ups and downs- there is. But the bliss when you’re finally flying makes it all worth it.
On the other side of your maximum fear, are all of the best things in life.
We’re in this together.
Business is like a puzzle. Let me help you put yours together.