Billy Gene, our podcast guest for today says his superpower is having to see the best of both worlds. He grew up with parents who grew up on welfare who made their way up. So Billy got to see and experience both the worst neighborhoods and the best ones.
However, entrepreneurship is a new thing for him. He didn’t knew any from his family who does business and didn’t even knew the word until his high school days. But what intrigued him about it is when he got to experience how his college friends were living in luxury because their family got big businesses. Then and there he knew he wanted more of that lifestyle.
Now he owns businesses with $5-10 million revenue a year. He is big in digital marketing such as Facebook ads. In this episode we will know exactly why every entrepreneur needs to know how to market, what’s stopping entrepreneurs to scale up, why businesses needs to niche down their product, and what you need to do if you want to start in entrepreneurship.
Here’s What You Missed
- Why all businesses needs paid advertising
- Ignorance and arrogance: stops entrepreneurs from scaling up
- Should you listen to the majority?
- How to start entrepreneurship?
- Who do you need to hire first?
- Do you need social proof first?
Back in the days Billy started a mobile oil change company where they got a thousand door hangers and hang to every single door. They were almost sure they’ll be busy with work tomorrow, but they got zero calls. That’s the time he knew he needed to depend on someone else for marketing. That’s where he realized marketing is the key to making money.
[5:47] Sometimes people struggle not with going after their dreams but with what other people will think about it. You need to have self-confidence and that comes from the little wins. You’ll have moments of self-doubts, but if you know that you know your stuff, no one can talk you out of your craft.
[10:44] Experience is everything. You have to taste something to know that’s what you like. When you see it in perspective that is when you’ll feel the warmth, the vibe and energy and you will know you are not coming back.
[15:43] Don’t lose sight of your privileges and say you did everything on your own. Because you did not. That unawareness creates so much entitlement. And that applies to all people of all levels. If you are in that mindset, you are going to lose at some point.
[18:11] You do not have a business until you have marketing. Until then, it is only an idea. If you are not reaching the masses and they are not buying.
[23:20] Do not do something you hate for money. Because it will never work out. You will never do the work required to make it work. You can never love it enough and you’ll find every way to get over with it.
[27:49] Ignorance and arrogance stops new entrepreneurs to grow. It is the ignorance of not knowing what you do not know and the arrogance that you are so blessed that you think you will figure everything out with yourself.
[30:21] Stop looking to the majority to validate your nonsense. Listen to people who already got the result that you want and who’ve done it a hundred times. So even if they are your friends or your family, if they haven’t got what you want to achieve, do not listen to them.
[33:08] The 90-10 test for entrepreneurs. If you are going to audit your day, are you spending 90% of the day selling? So, first hire someone who can take over the tasks that is reducing your ability to focus on profit-producing activities. Another thing is that your business should be simple and you need to scale down your product.
[39:15] You do not need social proof before starting your business. Feeling the need for social proof comes from fear. They are afraid to be judged by others for not having huge followers. To get away from that feeling, you need to hone your skill set. Get really good at something, and the money will come because you’ve gotten good at selling too.
[50:04] Nothing changes from thinking about an idea, only by experimenting about it. You are never going to find out if you like something or is good at something by just thinking about it. Act on it.
Important Reads and Links
Billy Gene Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/billygeneismarketing
Billy Gene Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/billygeneismarketing/
Billy Gene Website: https://billygeneismarketing.com/
Billy Gene Podcast: Billy Gene Is Marketing Offends The Internet
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Click Here for a full transcript of this episode:
What’s up Dream Nation back again. With another fire episode, we have my brother on the line. And when I tell you he’s not going to disappoint, I know it with my heart, not mess up, man. So we haven’t. We have my brother, mr. Billy Gene on the line, Billy, you want to go ahead and say what’s up to dream nation.
Dream nation. First of all is just, the name is dope. Dream Nation. What’s going on? You gotta, you gotta have like, Hey, you start coming in at Dream Nation, but then you graduate to Plan Nation you. So we don’t even dream nor we just plan. We just make it happen. You’ve got to have like the part two, once they get awoken.
Absolutely agree with it. That’s why we always say,” but you must take action, otherwise it’s only merely a fantasy” and Billy I’ve been a fan just as so many people have to watch your growth to watch your progress, right. To just see that you have always been a trendsetter. You’ve never been afraid to buck the status quo.
And so that’s what I’ve loved about you. But before you being featured in magazines, like. Forbes and Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer and being on the biggest stages across the world before all of that, I always like to think of us as entrepreneurs, as superheroes. And what do I mean by that? We’re constantly putting on capes, flying around the world, trying to solve problems, trying to solve other people’s problems.
And so before you started doing all of that, let’s take it back to when you were just a young boy. Tell me who is Billy Gene Shaw.
How, how young, how young are we talking? Because he didn’t change probably between all of those years. You know, the, the
I’m talking with the foundation.
Okay. tell you, you know, actually they different, right?Growing up to both sides
So my parents both grew up on welfare. So, you know, my, my grandmother, Southeast San Diego. And have you ever been to San Diego, but Southeast San Diego, most people come to San Diego and they stay in like these three parts, like La Hoya, like Ensenitas, and they think it’s like this really nice place.
And it is. But there’s this other place called Southeast San Diego that literally no one knows exists. Like if you told them there was a part that was like not good in Diego, they would never believe you. Like they’re, you know, so like anyways, that, that is where, that is where my family, you know, grew up and I, you know, growing up, my mom was one of 13.
So I’ve got a lot of aunts and uncles. So I was always at the crib, like, you know, I got 50 something first cousins, like, you know, every holiday and thing were always at grandma’s house and, you know, and it was a beautiful thing. So family in became tight to me and, you know, my mom had a great career with the County.
And, so she did that into my, my dad was in sales. He’s been in the automotive industry for 30 years. So I got very lucky. And what I always tell people, I say lucky, because. My deck of cards, like was very fortunate. So imagine 54 cousins. Well, when you take aunts and uncles some were addicted to drugs, you know, one was murdered one lost to cancer, which, you know, and then I got, you know, the parents that had the head on straight.
More tripping and it had a good career. So like I’m so acutely aware of the millimeter, like just the millimeter and I’ll never, ever forget that. And I came to everything that I do today, so that, that didn’t, I didn’t realize the impact that made on me until later in life, because growing up, like everything was cool.
And you know, my dad, I get to see, I got to get the benefits of his sales career starting off. Like we lived in like an apartment. Like in whatever neighborhood. And then we moved to like the, the house, a couple bedrooms and the okay. Neighborhood. And then we had like the nice, like, you know, American home right in the better neighborhood.
And then when they went to the golf course, like private golf course to the good neighborhood. So I got to live through all of these things and something that you notice at each level, it gets a little bit lighter. Gets a little bit lighter. There’s a little less darker people that every single time you move, then you start to look around like, yo, where’d everybody go.
And that’s something that stays to my mind. True. Now, as I still think about that, like, well, I’m here, I’m coming back. I’m going, I’m come get you. You know what I mean? And. And so, I don’t know, man, that’s, that’s how I was raised in. So I went to private, I got the I perspective tattooed on my wrist because I really got the duel of this.
Right. So that’s the family side. Now the other side with my parents making those progressions, I got to go, I was privileged, privileged. I was privileged enough to go to private Catholic school, my whole life. So I went to st. Martin’s Academy in Lamesa with 30 kids and like, you know, like a sheltered, you know, world in that, and then St.
Augusta in high school, private Catholic, all boys school and the university of San Diego for college, private Catholic university acronym, university of spoiled daughters, like it was, you know, so I got this very, very, very unique, The view and perspective on life that I genuinely believe is the key to my success of every aspect of my life.
Like I wish everybody got to see both sides like I did because now even when I listen to people, like I just understand, and it can have empathy for both sides because I get it in, in everybody is actually the same, but every, nobody will take the fucking time to look at somebody else’s perspective.
That’s the challenge. Everybody’s just in their own sauce. You know, like everybody can only relate to their own problems. And so like, how do you bring world peace? You have everybody switched shoes or you wear these. And I wear these. And I promise you overnight, everybody would have to a different type of understanding patients and their, so anyways, that was my childhood man.
It was a combination of those things. So I saw the best of the best and some not so great things. And, you know, that’s, that’s been my super power, so to speak. Growing up to both sides
Yeah. Now one thing is, and I think this really is into perspective because a lot of people, they struggle not with going after their own dreams, but they really struggle with.
What other people will think about it. Right. And I think what you’ve been able to do so well is you’ve been able to not really give a shit. Right. For lack of better terms is just, you’ve put yourself out there. I am who I am, right. The neighborhood that I live in, the businesses that I had, the way that I try to sell my products, as long as I’m adding value, I don’t care what the perspective is around it.
Now, do you think that that came from when you were younger, did you have a lot of resentment from your other cousins? And sides of your family because you were living this Catholic, privileged life
You know, maybe I think the, the confidence side. I think that a lot of my cousins got that too. Right. It’s like a coin toss, 50, 50.
I think the confidence side that I got was. I was fortunate enough where I was always pretty good at things. You know, you hear some people’s story and they’re like, Hey, and like, you know, high school, like I was never the loud person. I was never charismatic. I’ll keep it real. Like I always was, I was on ASB, charismatic.
I was, I was well liked. I was good at sports. I had girls like, no, I didn’t have the like, Oh, poor me story. My shit was tight. Like, and I’m very aware of that. And I’m not going to, you know, like that’s not me being arrogant. Like that’s what it was. Right. Like, that’s what it was. And so shit was cool. And like, so for me, my confidence, I didn’t realize that my professional career really parlayed from the foundation that my parents gave me.
Right. And that there’s infrastructures I was in that I thrived in them. And so I was able to parlay that. So that’s really where the confidence came from. It wasn’t that I just didn’t care. It was just like, I’ve won a lot in my life. I’ve got really blessed in this, so why not keep winning? So that was again the fortunate side, but then, you know, the confidence.
Continue to build from the micro wins landing. My first client making my first a hundred bucks, like all of those things built that confidence armor that eventually came on, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t, you know, I have moments of self doubts too, cause I haven’t done when all the time I did lose at things.
And then also too, I was coming into a new arena and this is the part that really scared me is that I, I was thriving in certain environments, but this world of entrepreneurship was a new environment. Where I had no experience, no credibility. And I didn’t know another entrepreneur in my entire life. Hmm.
No one in my life, nobody was an entrepreneur ever. I never even knew what the word was until high school. I didn’t get it. Like I didn’t understand it. So it was a completely new language to me. And that made me really fucking nervous that made me nervous. And, you know, and the only reason why I still did things anyways, because I had to.
You know, like I, I had to, I was on my own and me and my parents, weren’t talking long story short and I mean, I just had to make it happen. And I think that’s the best thing that can happen for anybody. It’s like, when you’re afraid to do something, change it to where you have to do something. You know what I mean?
Like I hate fire. I wouldn’t touch a candle. You know, some people just be like, here, I’ll put the candle out and they grab on the fingers like Paul behind the camera, he does shit like that. I would never do that in a million years. But if like you on the other side is like, Oh, I got to save. I gotta save his life.
I would then do it. Right. Cause I have to do it now. So, you know, everybody’s out here, like thinking too much, you need more pressure. You need more bills. You need more have-tos in your life. Cause when you have to do stuff, you always do it when it’s an option. That’s yeah. That’s when you catch the L is when you, when it’s an option.
man. I love that you brought that perspective up. Now, one thing is it gets me to think of how did you graduate to a full blown entrepreneur? Because you had a structured life. You had both parents that was there, right? You went to USD, as you said, all of these things now, all of a sudden you want to get out of the structure and you want to go on and take on something that you’ve never even really experienced and nobody else in your family has.
So here comes here, comes some more luck on my side. And by the way, when I say the word luck, y’all, I’m really hard working. I took pride in everything that I do. So I don’t want people to think. It’s like, Oh, I keep saying I got lucky. I just keep highly aware of the things that weren’t in my control.
That went my way. Cause that keeps me grounded. That’s why I have so much gratitude. Because I’m so aware of those things. So I was lucky that I went to the school cause I didn’t even want to go to school. Right. My parents didn’t go to school, you have to do it. But what made me switch to the world of entrepreneurship is I saw like as a child, when I saw some different levels of not being safe at home and things of that nature.
Well, in college, it was the opposite. I saw some of the richest people in the world and then I befriended some of them and I got to experience things that the richest people in the world do. And I’m like, I want more of that. And then I said, well, how you know, then you start to have some questions like, Oh, well, what’s your pops do anyway.
Oh, you mean being on yachts and
big cars, they’d roll up in it’s like 19 year old kids. Like, you know, like the, I mean they, the most ridiculous vacations, like their budgets and how they operate. They didn’t even think like, and it wasn’t everybody, but there was enough like seeing their houses and being like people live like this.
Like, this is why I’m so into experiences because there’s nothing that they could have told me that would heightened me like that I had to experience it. I had to taste it. I had to taste it to know I can never go back. So that’s why I went for the world of entrepreneurship because they didn’t woke me up.
Like, Oh shit, you got like one of my boys houses, like I said, her names or nothing, but this dude’s house. Sits and looks over the water right in Southern California. And there’s how do I even picture this? Like, so imagine you walk into a house and it’s granted there’s glass and you look out the glass and everywhere there’s just water.
And then there’s a pool with an infinity pool, but then you press a button and the glass comes down from the ceiling into the ground. So you can go in and out of the house. Right. And out bar. And it’s like, and then they’re like, Oh yeah, a neighbor over there. Warren buffet owns that one name dropping, you know, everybody in the name.
I said, Oh. Oh, how do you get that? How do you get this right
now? Tell me what industry cause my mind has got. You don’t even have to say the name. Like what industry is this person is?
I say that I say they owned a very big business.
And that’s crazy. I love that you brought that up because perspective is is experience.
It really is when you go to these conferences, right? Same thing. Like people I’ve been seeing Billy Jean right on, on Facebook, he’s following you all around now. Right? When you clicked on one ad the Oompa Lumpa, the Wolf of wall street, whatever
But then when you seen him on stage, Right. And you’re in the third row and then you see it in perspective, then you like yo, now the vibe, the energy, I mean, you’re in there.
And first time I saw you was at thrive, just like we said and onstage, I mean, you was, I already knew that I was going to get valuable when you see it in person. You’re like, yo. So when you get out of there and it’s break time, it’s like, yo, what did you think, Billy?
So that was what it was. So I love that you say that it was all those experiences and even now.
Me having children, you try to do the same thing. You try to give those. So I love that you
brought that up even, and even make up their standards. Right. And so like, you know, and that’s what, see to me, that’s what people don’t understand about privilege. And by the way, like privilege can work for all races because my daughter, your daughter, you know, like they’re going to grow up.
They’re privileged. They are, they are privileged like that. No doubt about it. Like my daughter is like, You know, like she’s, she’s grown up with Bentleys and Lambos and penthouses and like stuff she wouldn’t even think about. Like, but for her to achieve like low, she would have to try to, because all she’s going to know is this, and that’s the privilege part.
That’s the part she’s lucky. She doesn’t even have to think about trying to be successful because her, her standard is this all she will know, you know what I’m saying? And so that, like, I think about shit like that all the time. So how, and
I think about that all the time as well, especially my son, you know, me coming from inner city.
I never grew up with any of that. My son, my daughter, they don’t want for nothing. Right. But my question to you is how do we combat that? Right? When you have a child that is grown up privileged, right? And you know that you want to give them the world, they deserve the world. They’re smart. They’re doing well in school.
How do you still try to make sure that they have that other. Perspective. So they can be compassionate to the other people.
One, I don’t know if I know this answer with, you know, my daughter only being four all the way, but there is something that I do try and do, and that is, you know, I always try and make a parent the trade and the give up for anything that she gains.
So even if it’s like, you know, you know, Hey, like dad, can I, like daddy, can I have another 15 minutes? The first question I asked her is what do I get. Hmm. Like, can I stay up for another 15 minutes? Okay. Why like dah, dah, dah, like really understanding that everything is like, there’s a give and take.
It’s a negotiation. There are trade, et cetera, and always have in herself. She says, I want this. I’m like, cool. You could buy it. I don’t have any money. Well, how are you going to get it? Hmm. Well, I don’t know how can I get it? Well, you can do this. You can do this. We can go to swap meets and take her to the swap meet.
And we, you know, has little things of spot me. So like really practicing her. And I want to, you know, she’s very involved. I put her in all kinds of different things, so she meets with the different types of people. So she experiences that. But then the other part too, is letting her know, like we do prayers every night for bed.
Let her know like, Hey. You like when we do the gratitude is like, we’re thankful of all those things, because something that pisses me off is you hear a really successful person or someone who grew up safe. Someone who grew up with like sand, even if they’re not balling standard. And they go, I had to work for everything that I had.
No, you didn’t like, no, you didn’t. No, you didn’t. No you didn’t. And that pissed me off. So I never want her to be one of those things, even though she will work for everything she has. Right. I’m going to be 20 times harder on her than I am with anyone else in my life. Like she will work a lot, but don’t get it twisted.
You didn’t work for everything. You had everything. And then you gained twice as much. Right. But you know what I mean? But don’t ever get it twisted and lose sight of that. And I think that’s the problem is people really believe that they did shit on their own. In that unawareness, I believe creates so much entitled.
No one did anything on their head, all levels, even at all levels. Right? At all levels, not just wealthier, mediocre people, poor people too. Like there’s still a platform that you had. Nobody did it on their own. You hear so many people like I did this all me, no, you didn’t. And if you’re in that position, if you’re in that mindset, you’re gonna lose some point.
It’s going to hit you in the back of the head.
Man. I love it. I love it. And that’s a big thing for me, as I told you, before we hit record everything for me has always been relationships. Whenever people ask, like, how have you been able to build? And it was something that always comes to mind. and it was from Warren buffet.
Somebody asked Warren Buffett, I guess he was on a panel. Somebody asked him Warren, how do you know when you’ve truly been successful in life? And I guess Warren’s an atheist and, or at least he doesn’t talk about after life. He’s just a realist. Right. And he said, you know what? You’ll never know when you’ve truly been successful until you die.
And you see how many people come to your funeral.
He says, but more importantly, you’ll never know how truly successful you’ve been until you see how many of those people cry at your funeral, because those are the people who you’ve truly impacted their lives. Right. And so for me, I’ve always thought of like, Everything could be gone.
But at the end of the day, the memories that you created, and most likely there was another person that was involved in that you went to Italy and you went by yourself. It’s like, ah, but if you go to Italy and you backpacked through Europe for six months, and you had your wife with you at the end of your time, you want to look over to your wife and be like, Hey, remember that time with these,
you know, or
friends or whatever.
So it’s always that perspective, but understand that relationships are so much more important and you’re not going to get there by yourself. You’re not going to create any of those memories by yourself, it’s with a team that makes it all worthwhile. So I love that you say that part where it’s like, yo, I created
No, you did it. Right.
Right. So you
built this huge business, right? When it started out, I’m sure that you had some shaky moments, but you had an envision in mind. Talk to me about, like, why did you decide to get, because you’re in the world of helping people get their stories out there and more specifically using paid advertising.
right? Yeah. Yup. Yup. So
why paid average there’s million things that you could have started out doing? Why paid advertisingWhy paid advertising and why is it so important? Because right now there’s that debate, right? You go into click funnels or whatever people are talking about, you should do it organic. Yeah.
Cause I, I learned a lesson that is it really early on in my career and it was this, you know, you don’t have a business.
Until you have marketing, because until then, it’s just an idea. And what I mean by that is, you know, you can have the, the, the best product or service in the world, but if you’re not getting it out to people and they’re not buying and you’re not reaching the masses, like it’s just an idea. It’s a good idea with maybe some gadgets, but like it’s nothing.
And I realized, I remember I was selling like a quit smoking program or something online, and I just was trying to figure out how to sell it. And I just remember the feeling. I’ll never forget this feeling of, you know, going to USD and going through a bunch of business classes. I could not wrap my head around how there was no class on how to get a customer.
And, and I re and I learned why it’s because most universities, their curriculum is based off of modeling I’m off of the fortune 1000 companies. And most of them have massive budgets, massive relationships, massive pre previous customers list.
And so what they’re doing is they don’t often the, the companies that they study have to acquire new customers all the time. They can really activate the customers they already got. And that’s different than attracting somebody who’s never heard of you before. So. What I learned is that, that that was the gap in our education system.
Is they tell you how to like start a biz, but they don’t actually tell you what to do to get the first sale. So when I started my first company or the first couple of ventures that I had, like I had a mobile oil change company, I got to this point where I had the oil change company. Like I have the van and we would go to people.
We had the uniforms, we had the, the, the filters and we had everything that we needed to do business. Well, we had nobody to give it to, and that’s what I mean, it’s just an idea until you have marketing. And so then it was like, all right, let’s tell all our friends and family, and that did work. We got custody until we didn’t like, people don’t realize that’s a dried up resource, right?
Like you have only so many friends and family, especially as an adult, right. You don’t have to kick into that many people and you got like two, so you put it out there. People want to support you. They buy your stuff. You don’t even know if they really like it. You start lying to yourself about how good you are at sales.
Right. Like people forget to understand if you’re, if you’re selling a referral you’re order taking, you’re not selling. Right. So you, you, you form all of these bad habits around this, the small group of people. And then when it comes to like actually finding strangers, you really nothing where I’ll tell you a story.
Yeah, this was, this was crazy because I was the feeling. It was not that it’s not a crazy story, but my thought was crazy. And I look back at how ignorant I was. So we did the mobile oil change company. I was like, all right, let’s go tell people that it’s there because I know everybody’s going to want this because nobody wants to go get their oil change.
If we come to you, what a great value proposition. So we’ve got door hangers, right? Classic door hangers, and, up in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego over here, our retro, we’ve got a thousand door hangers in me and my buddy. Ryan’s still one of my best friends today. We got thousand door hangers. It was like, Hey, do you want us to come to you to your next oil change?
And this is what I said to myself. I’ll never forget. I was like a thousand out of a thousand. Of course, we’re going to get at least like, 10%, 5%, which would be like a hundred or 50 people deli, obviously, man, let me tell you something. We went out in our black coveralls in the hot beating ass sun and we put door hangers on freaking every single we got rid of them.
All. We went to every single door. We were sweating, dripping sweat at the end. And then afterwards we drank a beer we’re high five and elbow dancing and shit like, Oh, it’s about to be popping tomorrow. You know, when your phone calls we got from that shit. Zero, not a single call, not one. And it was the first time it hit me and I said, what the fuck are we going to do?
Like, I genuinely had no clue on what the next play was.
At all. And we ended up going with this company called Groupon at the time Groupon was not Groupon. No one really knew it was bubbling. Like nobody really knew what it was. That’s how we ended up getting our first customers and the bulk of it is by depending on somebody else.
Hmm. And if Groupon pushed us out, we got some people, but we had to pay them. So we were losing money from it. We sucked at sales, so we weren’t turning them into referrals. Like we wanted to, or to bigger accounts. Some we did, but not as good as we could have, like. We just missed it, but we were dependent upon GroupOn, and.
Everything else we didn’t know how to do. So I got obsessed with paid ads, long story short, because it finally put the control and the power back to me. I didn’t have to wait on the label to promote me. I didn’t have to wait on this. I got to literally put a dollar inside of Facebook. It’s self publishing platform.
Boom. And it would show that message to somebody. And then I got obsessed with one thing. Making more than that dollar. So if I spend a dollar in advertising, well, if I can get $2 back, then I can do it again tomorrow. And that was it. That was the obsession. Why paid advertising
Now, did you start out selling the same Mobil oil or did you find a
company that went out of business that went out of bed?
We were, we stopped doing that. We stopped doing that, that wasn’t, you know, we kind of gave, it actually had a lot of potential, but we hated it. There’s another lesson. Don’t do something you hate for money. Like you just won’t. Here’s why. It’s not because it can’t work it’s because you’ll never do the work required to make it work.
Hmm. You just, you just never love it enough. Like you just get over it. It’s just human and that’s exactly what happened. So, you know, my buddy Ryan, he went off and he got a job. Like I ended up doing myself, my cousin got tired of it driving down and they were like, how do we get rid of this thing? We’re spilling oil all over the city.
Like, it was just, it was horrible. Like, no, nobody, nobody wants anything to do with it. Yeah,
it was a online program to help people quit smoking. It was somebody else’s and I ran a Facebook ad for, and I remember like clear as day, we spent $80 on that Facebook ad. And the idea was to sell the $5 trial of the quit smoking program. What’s a $5 trial and after seven days, then your charge $60.
Okay. And I remember I was so excited and my stomach was hurting and my palms were sweating and I was like, here we go. We’re going to put on this ad. We’re going to put 80 bucks in here and we’re going to sell like three of these things. We’re going to kill it. Oh, it’s going to be crazy. We’ll go up in the morning.
I had one freaking sale . It was one sale of a $5 trial. My joy spent 80. So if I have one cell of $5, that means I lost 75 bucks unless they continue. Right. Did I get the other 60 after the trial? No, I woke up also to an email that says, Hey, I accidentally bought, can you refund? So I, it was a big L but.
That was the tipping point for
me. You try to resell them
on why is this dog? I was so defeated. I was just like, what? You know what I mean? Like, it was just like, Oh, it was, yeah, it was not the same version. Like, and I knew sales. Like, it was just like, I wanted this online thing, but something did happen that changed my life forever.
And that was when that sell came in. I was sleeping and that right there. Made me change my relationship with money forever. Cause I said, you know what? I did spend 80 bucks and I did only get one person to take the trial. When I got like 200 people to click. What if hypothetically out of those 200 people that click, what if I got 10 of them to actually do it?
And then I did the math. I was like, Oh wow. I would have made like 300 bucks. Holy shit. I could be rich. I put an 80 bucks. I get out 300. Oh my God, this is it. So I got obsessed with that exact equation. What do I need to put on this webpage to make, instead of one out of 10 people to buy, how do I get three out of people to buy?
And that right there, it’s called conversion rate optimization. And that is the, equation that still is in my head today. And that is actually what I do. I just do it at a much larger scale today.
Why paid advertising? Casanova Brooks:
Man. I love it. Now in that everything that you’ve learned now, my biggest question to you right now is what’s been your biggest obstacle.
Ignorance & Arrogance in entrepreneurshipWhat’s been your biggest hurdle because people that see you right now. They see that you have it all made, you helped so many thousands of business owners helping them get their message out there and you understand conversion rate optimization. But what was the biggest challenge when you first started out?
that, that was it at first is learning a new language. Right. I had to learn what Facebook ads was and then it was a rabbit hole of problems. So I ran that test and it was like, okay. You know, if I just got more people to buy, then I would be good. Well, how the hell do you do that? So now I’ve got to learn how to write persuasively.
Now I got to learn how to build websites. Now I’ve got to learn a little bit of code. Now I got to learn WordPress or Joomla or whatever it was. And then I’m like, okay, I got those things figured out. Well, now I’ve got to learn about call to action buttons. Now I’ve got to learn about upsells. Now I’ve got to learn about split tests.
It was the rabbit hole, and this is why I always tell people. You can never Google your way to success because of the simple truth. You don’t know what the fuck you don’t know. I would have never known to Google, like what to split test. I, would’ve never known to Google, like, you know, like, placing pixels and stuff.
I didn’t even know those things existed. So how can I search for it? I didn’t even know. They existed. It’s like, like, and that’s what people don’t get is you don’t even know what to search. Like it’s just, so you see the ignorant comments. Like you could just look this up on Google. You don’t even know what to search.
How are you going to look up something. Right. Like, it’s like, Hey, I want to go to a destination, but you don’t know the address. Right. How the fuck are you going to get there? I know, but I know it’s over there somewhere. I don’t know the address, but I do know like, what are you talking about? You know, ignorant and arrogance.
I’m talking about this all the time, but that’s the only thing that stops new entrepreneurs, ignorance and arrogance. It’s it? It’s it’s it, is it the, the ignorance of not knowing what you don’t know and just being new to it and just watching an episode of Shark Tank and thinking it’s just the hustle and all this dumb ignorant shit.
And then the other side is arrogance that you were so blessed that you were so cute that you were so smart, that you can just figure this out. Even though the statistics are overwhelming that over 90% of businesses fail in that first decade. But for some reason, people just think they can figure it out.
Mind you I’m talking about 90% that fell 4% only get ever get to a million dollars in annual revenue. And that doesn’t mean profit. They’re probably making six figures and that doesn’t count the, the, six out of 100,000 that makes it to eight figures. And then the stats just go dramatically down from there.
So the arrogance to think that people can wing it and figure it out is alarming. If you and I went to build a house right now, we don’t have a background in construction. We are never ever in our entire lives going to try and wing it, especially if we had to live in it, because what if that roof caves in and we got kids, but for some reason in business, we just think we can figure it out.
And boys at the dumbest shit ever. Ignorance & Arrogance in entrepreneurshipYeah,
key and YouTube, right? Everybody goes to YouTube. So then the question is that I know that I’m wondering a lot of people are wondering what’s the solution. Is it purely mentorship?
Who you should listen to Billy Gene:
It’s find someone who’s been there before. And by the way, doesn’t mean you can’t learn certain things on Google and YouTube.
We’re still crafting use those resources at all times, but you need to understand the game before you just start searching miscellanea, cause you can easily run backwards in the wrong direction. So my suggestion is if you want to do something that you’ve never done before, right? Find somebody who’s done it a hundred times successfully and got the result that you want.
There’s the kicker got the result that you want. If they don’t have the result that dude that you want, then they need to shut the fuck up. It’s that simple. There’s no other rules like, and I’m talking about your friends, your family, your brother, your mother, they do not have the result. So stop listening to them.
That’s your bed. They don’t have the result. Right. And this is the thing is most people don’t have the result, but people find comfort in being in the majority. Hmm. So they’re okay. Asking other people, they find so much comfort and being like, Hey us, 90 people, Hey, Hey, you see us 90 people. We all think that this is the way to do it.
Well, you, 90 people don’t have the result. These 10 people do stop looking to the majority to validate your nonsense. Wow. You’ve ever seen people do that shit in an argument. Hey everybody. Why do you guys think, what are you guys thinking? Let me ask you a question. If somebody dropped dead right now, and there was a thousand people there and was like, Oh my God, how do we keep them alive?
And the majority said something, but there was one doctor who’s been doing it for 30 years. Whose opinion is greater. I rest my case, your honor. Who you should listen to
I love it. I love it. Now, talk to me about do throughout this journey that you’ve been on, you had a team now, right?
Having a Team for the 90-10 ruleHow important do you think that having a team is in the beginning to being able to grow and have a sustainable business?
Because there’s a lot of people that want to be entrepreneurs, but yet we stay in the path of solo preneur. We got to do everything ourselves. We gotta do our own paid ads. We’ve got to do our own sales. We got to do our own accountant. Like how big of a deal is that to you in the beginning? Do you think that everybody should be trying to figure it all out and then hiring?
Or do you think we hire somebody smarter than us?
Good question. I think it matters because what you have to do is you have to design your life before you design your business. And, you know, that’s one of my favorite quotes and what it means is it depends on what you want. Right. If somebody tells me, Hey, Billy, I just want to make like, you know, 5k to 10 K you know, being happy and just making some money, then I’m like, yeah, learn how to do all this shit yourself.
Because that’s where you’re going to be. If you want to scale and you grow, you cannot do it by yourself. Like you have to have other people in place. Like it’s just the math of like, when you really understand a business at scale it’s, it’s required, it’s necessary, you know? it’s just like, you know, It’s a jump rope, right?
Like it requires one person on one end to, to twirl the thing that you may be able to Jerry rig it in kind of like do some weird one person shit for limited time. But if the task requires more people, that’s what business is. It requires more people, all businesses are the same. People think they’re different.
They’re all the same. They require more people. but, You know, it just depends on what you want, unless your some kind of rocket science engineer that can develop some kind of, you know, inventor or a problem. And then at that point, you still, it’s not your team, but you sell it to somebody else who does have a team.
Like if you license a program or something. So that doesn’t mean you can’t make money, you know, solo by yourself and make a lot of it. It just depends on what your design is. Like, what are you trying to do? So I guess the question is. It’s different for every single person, you know, it just depends on where you want to go.
Yeah. For you. If it’s having the business that you have now, right. Where you’re making. Five to $10 million a year. Somebody else says, you know what I would love to do that I would love to be able to afford to live in California, have a team like that. What if you had to start all over again? What’s the first hire that you make?
You have to hire who has ever, whatever task is reducing your ability to focus on profit producing activities. So what does that mean? The company makes money most likely in most companies when you’re selling. So if you were spending time fulfilling, Like doing some busy work. You need to hire those things out immediately so that you can focus on PPAs, profit producing activities.
That is the game in the beginning. And so no matter who you are, if you really evaluate here’s, here’s the trick. Here’s the whole game. 90 10, everybody write that down. If you’re listening 90 10, 90 10, this is, this, this right here is the swap. That will be the game changer for everyone. And it’s so simple and nobody does it.
So I’m going to give everybody a little test right here. Okay. If I have to audit your day, real shit, real shit. If I have to audit your day, meaning I’m standing next to you all day for 24 hours, and I’m looking at you as your entrepreneurial career and I’m taking your average day, not just the day when you know I’m going to be there.
Did you spend 90% of that day asking for money? Hmm, period. That is what business is. Asking people to buy in exchange for something and growth happens when you can make offers at scale. So you get smarter and you learn things at first, most people make all their offers, one-on-one on a phone call, but then you realize, well, if I have enough margins, I can bring in some sales people and then they can also ask offers.
And then I can bring in another sales person, they can make more offers. Okay, cool. Now I have a sales team, right? They’re making offers at scale. Oh, I realized I can do this thing called Facebook that’s as Billy Gene guy talks about, well, I can spend $5 a day and I can ask another thousand people.
Awesome. Well, there’s this other thing called YouTube where I can ask another thousand people. Awesome. Well, I can also connect here and go on this podcast and make another thousands of offer. Well, then I can make another offer. That’s the game it’s mass offering. That’s it. It’s mass offering. That’s how you do business.
But if I look at everyone’s day and I evaluate in 2019, how many people don’t average did you guys ask a day? It’s probably on a single hand is probably single digits, but yet everyone is so confused as to why they’re not making money. And it is the most blatant thing ever. You didn’t ask enough people then people say, because I’m so busy.
Well, there’s your other problem? You lack clarity. You over-complicate everything. Your business should be so simple. You can say it in one sentence and if not, you need to rework it now. No. Now cause me too complicated to scale one sentence of what you get one sentence, what you get, right. Like I sell packs of gum, right?
I still speakers. I said, you know what I mean? I cleaned carpets for money. Like it has to be that simple because that’s when it clicks. So
in the info product world though. Right. Cause all of those things were. Physical products, but in the end
teach entrepreneurs how to advertise on Facebook. Okay. Right.
I write follow up emails for small businesses. Hmm. I create, I create retargeting ads on YouTube for real estate agents. Like that’s the game, that’s the challenge. And it takes discipline. Right? Cause you have to now choose. And that’s the point of the exercise is you have to now choose. Because the more variables, the more complications, the more time it requires.
And usually the more people that requires it, the more expertise it requires and all of those things eat into your margin and they eat into your time. What’s essentially stopped you from implementing the 90 10 rule.
I love it. So would you say that just like the common saying goes, the riches are in the niches.
Do you think that somebody starting out must be niched down?
I think it’s the, the riches and the niches, but this is where people don’t think they think about the audience, but they forget to niche down their product. That’s the real game it’s offering. One thing, you know, and if you can offer that same thing to multiple niches, but the delivery is the same all the time, then that’s fine.
But that’s what that’s, what people are missing is they usually can’t like, if you’re reprocessor cars, you wear every single time you have a new client, it’s like hitting the drawing board and taking from it. And you have to take a silent where it’s different. That business is not scalable, and it’s going to be really hard to maintain profits and getting clients is going to be difficult too, because your message is fucking all over the place you already lost.Having a team forTHe 90-10 rule
Got it. Where do you, where do you think right now, most people that are getting into the online space, right? Cause you’re a huge into the online space. Where should they be looking at? Should they be looking at advertising? Should they be looking
at trying to get, Oh my God, everybody here should buy my shit and started advertiser.
Like, and I watched this I’m being dead serious. Like if you’re like, we got the blooper, I mean, we have almost a hundred thousand students in 75 countries. I believe we are the best on the planet for small business in particular, for people like just getting started, who need affordable ways to get customers.
They don’t have the big team and a PR company. Yeah. Buy my shit. Are you, are you crazy? It’s exactly what you do. You buy my shit and you listen to my podcast also BillyGeneIsMarketing offends the internet. Okay. And it’s, by the way, it’s, it’s racy. It’s horrible. It’s sexist. It’s racist. It’s show I curse.
I tell inappropriate jokes. It’s the worst, but man, those business lessons are good. So that’s for you every Monday to Friday, BillyGeneIsMarketing offends the internet, but make sure you keep listening to this too. You stack them mine’s short five minutes.
No, no, no, absolutely. Besides the episode that you did with grant
was that yet we went in on that one that was necessary.
Are you friends
Got it. The only reason why I ask is yeah, you was definitely in, on his neck. Right. And so like, from your thoughts, like for some, because the internet world, there’s a lot of people out there that you know, that they’re not living the life that they’re preaching on the other side.
Right. They’re not, they’re not that authentic. People buy ImperfectionSo for a lot of people right now, they feel like they need the recognition upfront. Right. So they’re buying followers, they’re buying whatever else. For you, do you think that more people, that people won’t listen to you until all of a sudden you have that social proof?
recognition? No, that’s not true. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about is fear. The reason why people buy followers is because they’re afraid to be, you know, judged by other people for not having followers. They’re, they’re definitely afraid of the comment that says you have, do you have 60 people that follow you?
Why should I listen to you? They’re deathly afraid of it and they believe it. You know, they, they start to believe it now, you know, and this is the important thing. That’s why I tell everybody you got to get the skillset. You know, what gives you armor and confidence to do that as you being really good at your craft.
And so many people, you know, are afraid of the comment of, Hey, you have no credibility. And guess what? At that point in their career, they have no credibility, but they wouldn’t have that fear if they just kept it real from the beginning, Hey guys, I’m just getting started, but I’m about six months into learning is exactly where I’m at.
Right. And if you’re willing to give me a try, you get me at a discount right now. If I deliver it, you don’t lose much. You know, if I, if I don’t deliver you don’t lose much. But if I deliver, boy, are you in luck? You just got to steal. You got to, you got to get Kobe early. You got to pick them up right when he was 18.
And man, was that a payoff? No. What I’m saying? Just tell the truth. Like, people want the truth that people want the, you know, what people buy imperfection. You know what? No one buys perfection sounds ironic because we come from a print magazine world where all they did was sell perfection and Instagram world that sells perfection.
But you see so many people in there that may have attention, but they don’t have sales. Hm. Imperfection sells, imperfection sells. People love the story. Robert Downey Jr. you know, Iron Man. Didn’t he come out of rehab before? Like he got bobbin. People love his story. Oh, he was, he was so mean.
And he was down and out. He was doing drugs all the time, hanging out with prostitutes, but look at how he came back. Like they don’t even care. Like, Oh, he murdered four people kidnapped three children, but you know what, man, iron man was good. He didn’t even let it phase him. Like people love a comeback story.
People love when people catch out, it’s like embrace it.
People buy Imperfection
No, I love it. Honing your entrepreneur skillsHas there been one book or, or over the last three years, when you look back, like what has really helped to shape your mindset besides the experience? Obviously you’ve been in the trenches every single day, but for as far as mentorship from the outside perspective, is there one place that you turn to
Yeah, books are the cheat code to life
and when I say books, I don’t care if you digest in audible form. Or if you read it, I recommend you do both. but what regardless of learning is the, is the, is the whole key, you know, learning is the entire whole deal. And it’s so important to realize that, you know, at any given day when you’re processing, when anyone’s making a decision.
They’re making that decision with information in their brain, from their current environment, the people that they talk to, the songs that they listened to, et cetera. So if you want to come to a new conclusion, if you want to get a new outcome, you got to put your new information into your brain. Then you got to get that from other people who are way smarter than you.
You got to realize how dumb you are. Every single day I wake up and I realize how stupid I am. Real shit. Like, I, I am so insanely aware of how much I do not know, and I love to pay for expertise. Oh, I love it because I always get my return.
So, so if you find some expertise, are you the one that’s going in, you’re diving it.
You’re going to learn it and then try to tell it to your team, or are you saying, well, it’s the expert.
It depends on if it’s a critical component to the business, right? Marketing and sales. Like if you don’t have anybody to talk to. Then you don’t have a business. So to me, any CEO, who’s avoiding marketing and was like, I don’t want to do the marketing.
You don’t have a business unless you have marketing. Everyone has to be a marketer. If you’re the CEO and you can’t sell, like you’re going to suck. You have to sell your team on being motivated. You have to sell your vendors on giving you better deals. You have to sell your customers. I’m buying with you.
Like those are critical components. So yes, I am always sharpening my skills with those two things. Cause they’re critical. Right. Critical components to growing the business. And I believe it makes me a greater leader, and be able to help and assist my team. But, you know, there’s some things you can outsource, you know, I have to think of some examples, but you know, critical components that are going to drive the needle.
The CEO has to learn, especially in the beginning, because it’s almost like, what do you even do as a CEO? Like you don’t want to Market so you don’t generate the customers. You don’t want to sell, so you can’t close anybody. And you don’t want to fulfill because you’re too busy. What the fuck do you do then?
So I’m talking about, it’s like people will see an episode of Shark Tank and really like, what do you do? And then they realize, well, I I’m the talent. I do this. Then go get a job and go get a label. Like, CEO is so glamorized, man. It’s just so not good for some people like, you know, I got a friend and she just hates to market and she hates to sell.
I’m like, then go meet with the great CEO who loves those things. And you just focus on styling people like, Hm. You know what I’m saying? Like, yeah, no, I know it’s not, it’s not the path. It’s not the path. Like, you know, entrepreneurship is not an escape. It’s not an escape. It’s not something you use to like, avoid doing something else that you don’t want to do.
Cause it’s just going to make you do all those things and more Honing your entrepreneur skills, you know, like right. People go,
Oh, I love it. That puts it in perspective. and it’s funny how many people would just, like you said, they look for that escape. They’re getting out of the nine to five. That was the first I was like, wow, that’s exactly what they do.
They’re like, you know, I’m leaving this nine to five, but
then when you, by the way like that, even that like, even the expression of nine to five, it’s like, dude, like. You, what is the, what’s the quote, you know, you realize an entrepreneur, should you give up 40 hour workweeks to work 80 hour work weeks?
Like, like, like escape the nine to five. Like I’m more like be an entrepreneurship if you like hate the fact that you have to leave. That’s when you should be an entrepreneur, not the fact that you want it. Like it’s the opposite, you know? And it’s, it’s just, there’s so much misconception, dude. It’s just, it’s scary.
Honestly. It’s scary. And that’s why I’m so vocal on my ads and stuff, because the miseducation of Lauryn, the miseducation of, of entrepreneurs is wild. It’s wild. It’s wild.
I love it’s a pandemic before the pandemic.
Honing your entrepreneur skills (Pandemic) Casanova Brooks:
So for somebody that says, okay, Billy Gene has the result that I want. Right. And he talks about that. I gotta be sharpening my skills all the time. I got to have that knowledge and he loves to read what’s that book. If I’m trying to model after Billy Gene.
Buy my “30 days of genius”, like buy my shit is not a book.
It’s a 30 day thing. I’ll send you a video every day and tell you exactly what the fuck did it buy? Buy my shit. It’s not, it’s better than a book. I literally, every single day, I’ll send you a video. Tell you exactly what to do. Give you the resources. I’m just do it for 30 days. You’ll have the fundamentals of all this stuff.
You’re learning more moneymaking skills than any course you’ve ever taken your entire life. This is for the world. I’m letting everybody know that you’re new to this whole game. It’s intimidates the hell out of you. You’re afraid to attack. You got zero brain, zero team, et cetera. Buy my shit. It’s like a hundred bucks.
I don’t even know. I don’t even know a link for, I don’t even have a link for you guys. Just like, go follow me. We’ll retarget you at some point. We’ll catch you later. But like, just by that like real shit, like do it. Like, I, I genuinely believe my shit is the best answer for that. Like some people are like, Oh, you should go read this.
No, you should buy my shit.
I love it, man. I love it. I support it. We’ll definitely make sure that we have links in the show notes. Cool.
Is when it’s all said and done, and everybody can go back through your portfolio through the times that you’ve been online, that you’ve been crushing it if they can’t go through all of that stuff, but they can just learn one lesson from you.
Yeah. What do you want them to think about who Billy Gene was and what was the message that he represented?
Money Making skills Billy Gene:
If I can give everybody one thing, it would be because we’re talking about money here. You know, the key to making money is to solve problems.
And I want everyone to understand that, like, if you want more money, solve bigger problems, doctors solve big problems. Lawyers solve big problems, house cleaners, solve small problems. They get paid small bucks. That is the thing I want people to do. And then the second component to that is realizing that everybody has the ability to learn how to solve a problem.
So in other words, everybody can make money. So for example, you and I can both go to med school right now. We can learn how to do that and we would make more money. The truth is people just don’t want to go to med school. But you have to learn something. If you want to demand high rates. And that is the whole game, you have to be great at something.
That’s the price of success. That’s where the money comes from. So the one thing is get a fucking skill set, get really, really good at something that most people can not do or that they’re not willing to do. And the money well come because you’ve got to get good at selling too. Yeah,
love it, man. And there’s somebody out there right now, that’s listening at this. They’re super inspired. They love you. They’re going to follow you and they want to start on the path just like you did, you know, 10, 12 years ago, right? Or how long has it been? This would make sure we
11 years ago, 11 years ago,
but they got that little voice in their head.
Right. And we’ve all had that little voice and it tells them that they’re not strong enough. They’re not smart enough. Or maybe they just don’t have enough resources. What’s the one thing that you say to that person to get them to just take action.
I would say stop asking yourself any questions and get really good at something.
Then ask yourself the same question, because when you’re really good at solving a problem for someone you don’t have a lot of that self doubt and stuff creeps, what really happens when people are having those feelings is they just have no idea what to sell. They have no idea what to sell. They have no idea what they’re good at.
And they’re like, because here’s the thing is nobody’s born good at anything. Like that’s what people don’t get, especially in business. Cause it’s your brain. You can’t rely on your physical ability, like being a baller or something like that. Like you’re not good at it. Like no one, like you can’t, you’re not just naturally there.
And so many people in our system are used to being able to use our natural ability to get by. Like you have to learn something. And they said, well, what should I learn? Fucking choose. You have to choose.
I love it. Absolutely. You gotta make the choice.
Like everyone’s like, well, what if it’s like, yeah, well, what if I choose and get over it, like,
You got to choose
and be willing to pivot if that doesn’t work. But
yeah, exactly. And then it’s just like, Hey, you gotta experiment. You’re never gonna, you’re never gonna find out if you like something or don’t like something by thinking about it. Hmm it’s and it’s the most ironic thing. Cause everyone can says, huh?
Let me think about it. Nothing changes from thinking about it, only experimenting about it. Like you got to experiment about it. Don’t think about it, experiment about something. He was like the worst thing that happened to mankind. I know it sounds like right. Obviously there’s a place for thought, but like for most people, especially small businesses just starting, et cetera.
Don’t think about anything, just do it and tell me what you thought.
Money Making skills – Action Casanova Brooks:
There you have it, man. This has been, as I said, a phenomenal episode, I knew it was going to be a lot of fire, a lot of heat. And we look forward to watching your journey, man, for anybody that wants to stay connected with you, we’ll have the links in the show notes, but tell them where can they find us.
Instagram @BillyGeneIsMarketing. I’ll keep it real on there. But Billy Jean is marketing offense. The internet podcasts, you guys obviously listen to podcasts and great ones at that. So, you know, five minute episodes, just quick, wake up in the morning, listen to it, but make sure you guys keep it locked here Tuesdays and Thursdays, but yeah, just like a five minute episode, Billy Gene Is Marketing Offends The Internet.
Okay. Got it. We’ll definitely make sure we drop those links, but remember dream nation in the dream we trust, but we must take action. You must just do it so you can experience it because otherwise, if you just think about it, it’ll only merely be a fantasy. We’ll catch you on the next one