Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sam Dogen
Apr 28

Stealth Wealth Discussions with Sam Dogen

Sam Dogen

In today’s episode, Mark Podolsky, the Land Geek, talks to Sam Dogen who has been writing on personal finance for 7 years. He has an MBA for UC Berkeley, rated a 5.0 as a tennis player, a 16 handicapper in gold, and speaks three languages pretty well. He has lived in different countries and visited roughly 40 countries as of March 2015. He has been seen in The Wall Street Journal, The L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Bloomberg, Kiplinger, and now, is a guest on the Best Passive Income Model Podcast.

Sam worked in equities from 1999 to 2012, servicing institutional fund managers that they invest in. These were mostly mutual funds and some hedge funds. He also helped take private companies and placed institutional investors in public companies when they go IPO. The kind of stress Sam had to deal with working for the industry was getting to work at 5 AM in New York and 6 AM in San Francisco just to keep his finger on the pulse in relation to what was going on in the markets. There was never a dull moment. Working in the industry was fun for the first 9 years until 2008 to 2009 when it was no longer doing so well because of the housing market collapse. There was also a lack of correlation between performance and he had to subsidize the less well-performing peers. Then, the dot.com bubble burst in 2000. He particularly didn’t enjoy being considered Public Enemy No. 1 by people who didn’t pay their mortgages as was his experience working in the industry at that time.

He started financialsamurai.com in 2009 to help allay fears and worries of people who experienced the crunch. Eventually, he also wrote a book called, “How to Engineer Your Layoff: Negotiate Your Severance and Be Free.” The book advises people never to quit but get laid off. Getting laid off gets you a severance package and the mandatory Warn Act Pay, a requirement by states and by larger companies to provide one or three months worth of pay that allow people to transition during a mass lay off. It is different from a severance pay. Benefits to be derived from getting laid off is being able to get a better recommendation from your peers, unemployment benefits which is currently at 26 weeks maximum per state, COBRA, and other things that will help you transition into the next phase of your life.
Getting laid off if you are a star performer is a little different. You will need to build building blocks to get the severance negotiation by having a good relationship with your direct boss and the HR Manager at your office. Start the conversation, research online, and perhaps you can volunteer yourself to save someone else. This saves your manager from having to deal with laying other people off. Dealing with a bad manager is difficult as well.

Sam’s book, “How to Engineer Your Layoff: Negotiate Your Severance and Be Free” empowers the employee. We have way more power than we realize. However, he mentions that putting stuff out on the internet will not make you a desirable candidate to other companies who may want to hire you and it doesn’t help the company either. If you have someone who has been trained to replace you, you can have a seamless transition. It’s about communicating with the people around you. Sam speaks from experience. He was able to get a severance package that has allowed him to take care of his living expenses until 2017. Hearing from people who write Sam to tell him their lives are so much better now has been the best experience for him.

When asked about his definition of happiness, Sam equates this with progress. His philosophy is that when your relationships at home are progressing, you are happy. The difference between the rich and the poor, according to Sam, is not that great.

Another concept Sam has come up with is Stealth Wealth. It is a way you think about money and think about how you want to be perceived by society in general. Having lived in different countries where there’s so much poverty has helped give Sam a different perspective. While others brag about their material possessions, there are people who are suffering. Being stealthy about what you own is better because you need to focus on purpose rather than your material worth.

As a writer, Sam killed time and searched for stories by joining Über and becoming a driver. He met many random people and noticed the dichotomy between the wealthy and the others in San Francisco. Hearing their stories and reading their emails and comments on his LinkedIn account makes him happy.

Sam and Mark both agree that in this day and age, everybody should try to leverage the internet in some way and try to make a lifestyle they want. His comment on Mark’s Best Passive Income Model is that he has a great passive income model and the key is if it’s working for him, he should continue doing it. There’s a plethora of ways to make money online but he says that Mark’s business model sounds good to him.

Tip of the Week:

Sam: Save an amount that hurts you a little bit. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not saving enough. Everything starts with a fundamental aggressive savings model for you to be free and build those passive income streams.

To better guide parents on how to raise financially savvy children, I advise against having them read my articles on “How To Convince Your Parents To Buy You Everything You Want,” and “No Wonder Why Millennials Don’t Give A Damn About Money.” Children should read “Spoiled or Clueless? Try to Work Minimum Wage Jobs.”

Mark: Go to financialsamurai.com and read the most commented posts on the sidebar, “How Much Money Do The Top Income Earners Make?” “Creating Powerful Friends,” “How Much Should People Have Saved in their 401ks at Different Ages?” and “The 1/10th Rule For Car Buying Everyone Must Follow.”

Also read , “Scraping By On $500,000 a Year: Why It’s So Hard For High Income Earners To Escape The Rat Race.”

Thank you for listening to the Best Passive Income Model podcast. Your support helps me to invite guests who share their knowledge that you can use to grow your business.

 

Apr 21

Growing Your Business By Meeting Your Customer’s Needs: Jim Palmer

Chris Pritchard The Land Geek 2016

In today’s episode, Mark Podolsky, the Land Geek talks to Jim Palmer, a marketing, business builder, and in-demand coach. Jim is the founder of the the Dream Business Academy, Dream Business Coaching, and Mastermind Program. He is also the host of Dream Business TV watched by thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses. He hosts Stick Like Glue Radio, a weekly podcast based on Jim’s own unique brand of smart marketing and business building strategies. He is internationally known as the Newsletter Guru and creator of No Hassle Newsletters and No Hassle Social Media.

Jim’s 30 years of practical business experience and his kind of staying power is anchored on powerful customer relationships. As an old school thinker, he believes that getting up every day, delivering value, and focusing on service first will give you a longer lasting and profitable business.

Jim set out to be a Vice President by the time he was 40. He achieved it but when he turned 41, his position was eliminated and he was unemployed. At that time, he had four teenagers to support and mortgages and bills to pay. He suffered through 15 months of unemployment and was even diagnosed with cancer. This brought him clarity and he started his first business because he was at a low point in his life and the only place to go from there was up. His first year of business was revenue free but it eventually caught hold and took off, becoming a 6-figure business. After 5 years, he started all over again. He created No Hassle Newsletters. 7 years ago, he started his own coaching business.

Mark mentioned speaking to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur author, Mike Michalowicz. He has written other books, including the Pumpkin Plan and Profit First. When an entrepreneur starts a business, there’s a lot of time but no money. However, when the business gets bigger, there is money but no time. Only about 5% of entrepreneurs are able to get systems and processes into place, allowing them to be free. Jim’s wife jolted him back to reality when she asked him when they were going to go on vacation – something they were unable to do during the lean years. The reality of time freedom hit him. Then, he hired his first virtual assistant.

Jim brought up an interesting concept, “When I,” which is about moving your goal past when you should be investing in the future and the future company you want to have. The fastest way to get there is by getting a coach or working with somebody with experience. Another point Jim brought up is automating his business and documenting everything to a point where if something happens to him, his wife could effectively take over. Mark has done the same thing. Putting systems and procedures in place will allow you the flexibility of either continuing your business or selling it to a new owner who can then take over two days later and continue to run it. That’s a big part of getting top dollar for your business. For Mark, it’s in a Dropbox folder named, “In Case of Death.”

Jim’s journey to becoming a prolific marketer and author of six books started with his first book. From this experience, he has learned that you don’t need to be perfect. A lot of people suffer from perfectionism, which prevent them from doing things they can be doing. Jim’s advice is to decide you want to be judged on the value of the information and content you’re providing. Being his authentic self has been liberating for him. Just be a prolific curator of the content. The content draws people to you. You just have to remember that people consume content in a number of different ways.Jim Palmer 655x249 (1)

Adam Grant’s book, the “Originals,” talks about people like Mozart and Bach who create original work. They kept creating work and as they did this they created masterpieces! Getting stuck because of perfectionism is something you can avoid. Good is good enough and you can always go back and iterate your past work. Mark calls it, “embracing the suck!” What’s important is that you have to be your authentic self because it’s liberating. Putting yourself out there will attract the right kind of people and repel people you’re not meant to do business with.

You also need to be immune to criticism. You will not have a shortage of people who are going to tell you that you should be doing things differently. Jim mentions a hater who commented about his video where he also featured his dog. The hater said when Jim looked at his dog, he was disrespecting the audience. One way to deal with it is like water off a duck’s back. Grant Cordone’s take on this is if you’re not getting haters, you’re not working hard enough. Even if you only have 30% of your audience that’s going to love you, you can already make a nice living off them.

One of the main things you need to do to be successful in business is to cure a pain and solve a problem. Starting with his No Hassle Newsletter, several other businesses came from that. The ideas usually came from customers who wanted more help. Jim says you shouldn’t overthink. That’s what gets you stuck. He doesn’t celebrate initial transactions but rather, he celebrates lifetime customers. It’s your job to find out all the other ways you can help them enrich their lives.

In dealing with haters, Jim asks his assistant about the background of that particular hater and if no business has been generated out of that hater, he just hits the unsubscribe button. He will not put up with being disrespected.

When asked if Mark had the Best Passive Income Model, Jim says he’s got one heck of a killer model. More importantly, Jim pointed out Mark’s clarity, enthusiasm, and passion for the business. He also pointed out vital things you need to succeed in business such as the processes and systems that are in place and that Mark knows his numbers. Since buying and selling raw land is not something the big companies are interested in, Mark is essentially flying under the radar too! Jim also applauded Mark’s abundance mentality. “Sharks swim in dense packs where there’s ample food supply,” a successful person once told Jim. Mark says that there’s always room for innovation similar to Cirque de Soleil’s model. They took the zoo, combined it with theater, and created a completely new market segment.

Tip of the week

Jim: If you want to make a boatload of money, stop answering your phone. You will earn significantly more income for who you are than what you do. It’s about your positioning in the marketplace. As a coach, it doesn’t help me to answer my phone like an operator. If people jump through hoops to be able to talk to me, I have already positioned myself because it now becomes a big deal to speak with me. You also want to have someone in your business, who will hold your feet to the fire so you can get things done and that is how you grow.

Mark: Get Jim’s free ebook, “Decide: The Ultimate Success Trigger” for free. You only have to pay $6.95 for shipping and handling for a 200-page book that will teach you how to finely tune your mindset and start the business you’ve always imagined. You can get it from DecideForSuccess.com.

 

Chris Pritchard The Land Geek 2016
Apr 14

Maximizing The Best Passive Income Model with Chris Pritchard

Chris Pritchard The Land Geek 2016

In this episode of the Best Passive Income Model Podcast, listen in as Mark Podolsky, the Land Geek, chats with former student, Chris Pritchard, a Land Geek student and coach extraordinaire.

Chris tells Mark about how he was a software engineer by trade and trying out new businesses but having the tendency to over analyze things. When he heard Mark for the first time ever on a podcast, he instantly knew he was interested. He wanted something that was simple, where you do the work and keep doing the system. He says he’s doing what he’s told and it has worked out for him.

When asked what ‘worked out’ meant, Chris said that he’s sitting on a monthly revenue of about $1,400. He has $75,000 on the contract values. Last month, he did $27,000 in cash deals within ten months of starting the business.

The most difficult part of the business was when he was just starting. He said there was a lot to absorb. He had to watch all the videos and there’s all this new information and he was scared to call the counties to ask for a list. He ended up sending them emails instead. That was the first action he took. He also said there’s a learning curve and a lot of new things to figure out, some of them intimidating. Mark mentions that he kept his Toolkit actionable and that he gave what he thought was enough information but not too much. The big 3 modules; Deal Flow, Due Diligence, and Marketing, the other information is just a bonus. When Chris got the Toolkit, it took him a couple of weeks to get his first list. It took some time to absorb the information and take action.

In terms of deal flow, acquiring properties and anything about land, Chris says that he learned a lot. He especially learned a lot from watching the Craigslist videos because it was a deep dive into how to construct your ads and be successful. Initially, Chris started with Craigslist, and then Land Watch and Land and Farm. Currently, he’s experimenting with different marketing. With the money he’s making, he can now spend more on marketing.

Talking about a big deal he’s had, Chris sold a property on terms and he used the down payment to buy the land. It was within the period of time when he was doing due diligence so he went ahead and got the property. This deal defaulted but he was able to sell it for cash last month. Chris talks about the mix you want and how you can market your properties. Are you marketing towards a payment situation or are you marketing towards a cash flip?

On the advice he would give a newbie, Chris says that he made a conscious decision not to do Mail Chimp and setting up CRMs in the beginning. He says to focus more on getting offers out and mailing these letters every week. He had to be consistent with that. When offers came in, he stuck to due diligence and got them listed. He focused on the M&Ms – mailing and marketing. It wasn’t until six months down the road that he started working on a website.

Chris Prichard 655x249 (1)When asked if the program met his expectations, Chris responded that there were a lot of eye-opening moments such as when he got a 6.5 acre, $17,000 property for $2,500. Another client of Mark’s got a call from Jeff Akstin saying that he sold a property he bought for $15,000 for $150,000 on terms. He’s getting his money back in 8 months and then he’ll be getting $600 a month for the next twenty years.

Some newbies, according to Mark, make the mistake of stopping the deal flow. But it’s a numbers game. You always have to keep up with it, even if you run out of money. The value is always in that deal.

Chris’ wife was skeptical about this online course, at first. When Chris first told her about this, she said, “oh, you found another shyster, huh?” When she saw that he started making his deals, she then kept bugging him to get that sale or do that video. This was her mantra for the first few months. After seeing the income from the deals Chris worked out, she has been more flexible. Although her preferences are steel appliances and granite counter tops, she’s not as interested in raw land.

The raw land market was then compared with house flipping. Chris and Mark agree that the raw land business is not crowded at all. Chris did ‘bump’ into someone from the Land Geek community who had a property near his. He then told him that the views from the property were amazing. He even gave him a Google Earth screen shot that showed it at a different angle and showed what the views might be like. In the Land Geek community, everyone’s willing to share information. After seeing some success even if there are other ads in the same area, they tend to be less competitive. It’s a massive market with relatively few players in it. Keeping the information to themselves would be lonely. Mark thinks that it’s better as a community and as a whole, sharing, getting better, and having an abundance mentality versus a scarcity mentality.

So far, Chris has seen an ROI of about 700-900%. For his cash deals, he has gotten about 350% using other people’s money. The county makes it easy to get that. Using the county’s tax bill helps and works out on both ends. Another client of Mark’s was a hedge fund manager who thought that making 100% was ludicrous. But in two weeks, he flipped three deals and made 100%.

Mark asked Chris about being skeptical about the income the Best Passive Income Model could generate. Chris said that Mark’s being a guest on the Jerry Robinson podcast gave him the credibility. Before he was featured as a guest, they even asked Mark for his social security number so they could do a criminal background check.

As a new member of the Land Coaching Team, Chris is going to give back and pay it forward. He thinks it will make him a better investor because it’ll force him to see things in a different way. Chris is looking forward to being part of a system and have quality control and making sure that everyone is doing a good job and it’s consistent. Plugging in, helping those in the community, and leveling up is something Chris is looking forward to.

At the moment, Chris is working on the business about 20 hours a week but is working on reducing that.

Tip of the Week

Chris: Trello, a nice website. It’s free and set up like a Kanban system from the Japanese. You can put lists, you can do your Deal Flow and have cards for each property, add notes, images, videos, and whatever content you’re acquiring through your Deal Flow process. You can add them on the cards, drag and drop them and it’s really great for a team to get in there and take care of everything. Trello makes sure that the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.

For the newbie listeners, do not get discouraged if you have a bad mailing from a county. Don’t think it’s something you’re doing wrong. If you throw out 20-50 letters and you don’t get a response, switch it out a little bit. Do a few different counties and experiment. Try something different in that county or you could try a different county.

Mark: Try the iPhone app called Digit. Save money without thinking about it and it automates saving a little bit here and there. It is an effortless way to save money without thinking about it.

Also check out LandsOfAdventure.com and Marks’ newly updated website, FrontierPropertiesUSA.com.

Go to TheLandGeek.com and download for free the Passive Income Blueprint. Get the e-book How to Avoid the Three Fatal Land Buying Mistakes and get this always informative and engaging podcast delivered each week to your email inbox.

Thank you for listening to the Best Passive Income Model podcast. Your support helps me to invite guests who share their knowledge that you can use to grow your business.

Eric Siu - The Land Geek
Apr 07

Content Marketing Hacks with Eric Siu

danlok thelandgeek

In this episode of the Best Passive Income Model Podcast, listen in as Mark Podolsky chats with digital marketer, Eric Siu. Eric Siu is the CEO of the digital marketing agency called Single Grain and has worked with Fortune 500 Companies such as Sales Force, Yahoo, and Intuit. He is also the founder of the podcast, Growth Everywhere.

In this episode, Mark and Eric talk about how he got started. Eric graduated from college and was doing data entry at a cubicle somewhere when a friend suggested he try out digital marketing. Instead of rotting away doing the same job every single day, Eric decided to go for it. From there, Eric got an internship and never looked back.

Eric worked with his mentor, Neil Patel, as the Vice President of Marketing online, an educational marketing company called Treehouse when Neil asked him to help his cousin out and run the company. Eric eventually took over the company two years ago, paying $2 out of his pocket from the company profit. He then brought it to where it is today.

When asked about digital marketing, Eric said that it never ends. Social media has blown it up to a point where everything can be measured. It is important to have the ability to look at the numbers to see whether they’re working or not. 95% of the people start with something that you can draw conclusions from and this is a good start.

Eric started Growth Everywhere because he saw that there were no marketing podcasts out there. It also allowed him to talk to founders and pay it forward. It was a chance to put people together. It has grown by itself and Eric humbly says it gets nice comments. He has since started a training course behind the podcast. He believes that it is a complement to Single Grain and it’s also free branding for them.

For entrepreneurs, those doing a side hustle, want to increase their passive income, or are new to marketing, Eric advises the listeners to choose a path. Choose something and stick with that. Get good at it. Neil Patel at QuickSprout.com did just that. He came out with content every week for years. It’s about going an inch wide and a mile deep.

Eric Siu 655x249 (1)Eric advises having a budget of about $20,000 to $40,000 to get a funnel working. However, not a lot of people who are starting out have this kind of budget. He suggests that everyone can learn content marketing. He says it’s free to learn and be the expert. You can also eventually learn to articulate your message into words. When you do it consistently, you’ll get better at it, it will start compounding over time, and it’ll eventually get noticed. Building an audience is the hardest thing to do, according to Eric. If we’re not collecting email addresses or creating one-to-one relationships with our prospects, the platforms own us. Perry Marshall says that the goal of each email is to entice your customers to open the next email.

As a marketer, your job is to bring people to the point of sale. It’s all a game. Every single marketing tweak you make can add to or decrease your bottom line. To be a great marketer, you need a growth mindset. Keep pounding away at it. When you’re starting out, you have to learn a couple of times a day. If you say it’s too hard for you, you shouldn’t be in business.

On hiring a copywriter if you have a low budget, Eric suggests going through a Facebook Group called Cult of Copy. Siphon off as much information as you can. Educate yourself first. As a rule of thumb, ask yourself if your content is interesting to you. Is it something that makes you proud to share it with people? That would be a good parameter, according to Eric. To know who to trust and who not to trust, you can take in as much information as you can but it’s on you to determine signal from the noise. Look at consistency. How do you feel after listening to a podcast? Do you feel like you’re being dumped into a marketing funnel? 99% of the time, your gut will tell you when you’re getting the value or the runaround. Check out Frank Kern, Seth Godin, Eric Siu, Ryan Lee, Ryan Deiss, and Neil Patel. They all show up everyday. They are prolific and you get a sense that they really care. You get a sense that they love what they’re doing and that they just want to give.

When writing email, differentiate yourself with others by writing as if you’re writing to your mom. Have a long-term view of it. Build a relationship over time, as suggested by Gary Vaynerchuck. You can’t keep throwing right hooks because people will start to hate you. A good ratio agreed upon by Mark and Eric is 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 in terms of sending content before the promotion. The basic idea is to send 4 or 5 good pieces of content before you do the promotion. On Keyword Searches, Eric suggests that it’s something you don’t need to pay attention to. The more important question to ask whether or not you’re adding value to the world.

It is important to practice your writing every day. It’s like going to the gym and exercising. It helps you get better at it. Eventually, you start seeing the fruits of your labor. Eric set a goal of writing 500 words per day and inputting this into a spreadsheet that tracks the number of words he’s written in a year. When you get into the habit of doing that, you are able to automate the process. Keep going.

When asked about newbie mistakes that make him cringe, Eric talked about giving up too early. In terms of content, it takes about 12 to 24 months for things to compound and for you to see the machine giving your returns. You just have to play the long game. In the beginning you’re gonna suck. You just have to embrace it. You have to suck first to get good. However, when you no longer feel passionate about your work, maybe it is time to let go. 36 months is a perfect time to let go. As Seth Gold says, when you fail, you’re done. Move on to the next thing.

The strategy that’s working right now for digital marketing is Gmail Advertising. He says that it was something Google wasn’t consistent in implementing it. Not a lot of people are hitting it. Now is a good time to get in before it becomes saturated.

Eric also talks about playing a bigger game. He says he already has something that’s giving him a good cash flow. The next step is to figure out what he can do next to make him happy or how he can make an impact on the world. This is a game people optimize and play until their lives end.

When asked about Marks Best Passive Income Model, Eric said it sounds sexy. He also says that he can’t say much about it but at a high level, it’s interesting and he can’t really put fault in it.

TIP OF THE WEEK:

Eric: Long form content with 2,000 words or so are important to have out there. There are over 2 Million blog posts produced every single day. 300 to 500 word articles are not enough. Visit www.growtheverywhere.com and read “21 EPIC 10x Content Marketing Examples We Can All Learn From.” Read those and learn why they’re good.

Use a dashboard tool called Cyfe that helps you monitor your business data from one place and would cost $20 a month. It’s a steal and you can make as many dashboards as you want. Ahrefs allows Eric to see how many links he’s acquiring for SEO services. However, it’s fairly expensive.

Mark: Subscribe to Growth Everywhere Podcast and check out www.growtheverywhere.com. There are tons of resources on that website. My favorite tool out there is the Bad Hire Calculator.

Thank you for listening to the Best Passive Income Model podcast. Your support helps me to invite guests who share their knowledge that you can use to grow your business.

Apr 01

Coffee Talk- Finding Business Opportunities Through Networking

How To Start Real estate

Listen in as Mark Podolsky, the Land Geek and Jeran Fraser, CEO of Reserveland.com talk about networking basics.  Mark talks about a book he read called Coffee, Lunch, Coffee, by Alana Muller.

When you’re an entrepreneur and have a land investing business, the one thing you need to be doing is networking because that person may be an unbelievable opportunity, a channel, or a resource in a different aspect of growing your business.  If they aren’t, they may be an opportunity for something else down the road.  Networking basics, based on the book involve:

  • Taking the risk,
  • Getting out there,
  • Meeting people,
  • Being yourself,
  • Being authentic, and
  • Not being afraid to ask people for help.

It also helps to be generous first.  Somebody gave Mark two books and he was appreciative.  His way of networking was to start with generosity. That was an interesting way to do it.