Learn how to build an online course from zero with entrepreneur Dane Maxwell in this episode of LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett from LifterLMS. Dane wrote a book called Start From Zero where he outlines how you can build your own freedom by starting your own business.
Dane always tries to look for frameworks to get some peace in the noisy world of business. The holy grail in business he stumbled upon through reading is based on having a clear customer who wants a clear result. Once you have that, it becomes a lot easier to position offers they may be interested in and to overcome adversity in times like the difficult times now with COVID19.
Mechanism-first thinking is where businesses focus on how they currently deliver value to their customers (the mechanism they use to work with customers) instead of the problem they’re trying to solve and the solution they’re trying to deliver. A restaurant business with a mechanism-first mindset would feel completely destroyed by COVID. But a problem-focused business would recognize that people still may want food from their restaurant and could offer a delivery service or work to build a solution that works for their customers who still have the demand for what they can deliver.
One of Dane’s first businesses was built around guitar video lessons. Dane was 20-years-old, and he was already outsourcing the solution to experts in the industry. He found a guitar expert who graduated from Berkeley and was a wicked guitar player, and Dane said, “Hey, can you teach people how to play guitar?” The expert said, “Yeah, of course,” so Dane rented a camera and recorded his program with that.
A key piece of advice Dane shares in this episode is that you have to stop trying to sell people your values and instead try to sell them their own values. People don’t want to buy your values. They’re already sold on their own values, so if you can align your business with their values, sales is a much easier process.
Be sure to check out Dane’s book Start From Zero where he outlines his golden rule of business in more depth on how you can find a clear customer who wants a clear result and implement that for your online course or membership website. At StartFromZero.com/Five you can find Dane’s Five Question Framework for how you can find a clear result for your customer, and try out positioning some offers around that.
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest. His name is Dane Maxwell. He wrote a book called Start From Zero. You can check that out at startfromzero.com. I’ve followed Dane for a long time, and he has no idea. I think I first heard him when I was on my bicycle when I used to live in Montana on a Mixergy interview talking about this crazy thing called Idea Extraction, and over the years, I’ve just kind of loosely followed Dane and then he went off to become a musician, and now he’s back helping entrepreneurs and I couldn’t not bring him on the show because Dane has something really special. It is a combination of what some might call left brain and right brain. Dan’s actually a unicorn. He’s got both brains. In fact, in his book, he talks about four different brains, which we’ll get into in a little bit. But Dane, welcome to the show.
Dane Maxwell: Thanks, man. What an intro. [crosstalk].
Chris Badgett: Appreciate it. I’ve had a little practice here around Episode 300 so, yeah, I appreciate you saying that. Just to jump right into it. What do you see as the role of an entrepreneur in challenging times?
Dane Maxwell: Okay, so I’m going to avoid the trite responses, even though it’s probably worthy of a trite response. Something like whoa, solving problems. I’ll give you something a little more applicable. So, to me and you’ll see it in the book, the Start From Zero book, something that business has been inspiring. It’s been easy. It’s been nourishing. It’s been simple. It’s been hard. It’s been stressful. It’s been debilitating. It’s been exhilarating, the whole gamut. And I always try to look for frameworks to give some peace in the noise. And the holy grail that I think I’ve kind of stumbled upon through just reading and I don’t know how it came, but it came is that the holy grail of business is a business that’s based on three really big things. Very clear customer you’re super clear about that wants a very clear result, and you’re very clear about this, very simple result, and then use a very clear mechanism to deliver the result.
And if we can think about business like this, this allows us during say a challenging time like the coronavirus period, like we’re in or we’ve had if you’re listening to this in the future, is that what business owners don’t think of is what most business owners suffer from, most all business owners suffer from this, is we suffer from what I would call, well, many people might know it as like expert syndrome. But expert syndrome is crippling to your wealth. Expert syndrome is crippling, crippling to your wealth. What I like to call it is I like to call it a mechanism first thinking. I like to give people a whole new context for how to start a business and what most business owners suffer from is mechanism first thinking, “What’s my idea? What’s my mechanism? I teach yoga,” as an example.
And so when coronavirus comes for example, people think their businesses are destroyed because they’re oriented towards mechanism first thinking, but what’s actually going on is in the clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism framework, the mechanism has been somewhat brutally destroyed for many businesses, but what those businesses, after they heal the trauma and their survival emotions that come up from one of their babies being destroyed, which is their business if they feel that way about it, is they can come back to there’s a very clear customer that you’re serving, and they want a very clear result. So what you can now do is innovate on the mechanism.
One of the most exhilarating approaches to business especially when you start thinking about mechanism first thinking and being like, “I don’t want to do that no more.” And then thinking in terms of, and this is a tongue in cheek English there, and then outsourcing mechanism. That’s when you get into really, really rapid wealth creation. So, for people that might want to use Lifter LMS, for example, but they’re like, “I don’t know what to sell.” Well, let’s just say my favorite example is a super niche is let’s say you’re talking to someone who owns a parrot. Okay, so I think the context for business is something like people first, their problems second, selling first, outsource creation fourth, get a result with that person you sold once you have a result grow. People first, problem second, sales third, outsource creation fourth, get a result with that person and then grow. That’s the context.
So, I’m going to be launching a community of people, so the Start From Zero book you’re showing in the screen there, I’m going to be starting a fairly affordable community of a group of people that are all just practicing and living this way of thinking, living this new context together and I’m just going to hammer that into them first and first, problem second, sales third. And so if you look at the parrot, so to a parrot owner you say, “So, what are some of your problems you’re experiencing with your parrot?” And they got, they’re like, “Well, poops everywhere. It bites me sometimes.”
Chris Badgett: Noisy.
Dane Maxwell: “Noisy. It cusses. It bites my friends when they come over. I can’t show it to anybody. It’s like aggressive and I love it, but I don’t know what to do with this thing.” And so now, you’ve got person first, problem second, now sales first, as you conveniently drink your lifter LMS coffee mug. Very nice, very clever, very clever branding there. Let’s keep the Start From Zero on my chest.
So now, you go sales first and you say, “Well, is this a problem that you pay to solve? Is it that big of an issue for you?” “Oh, yes, I’ll definitely pay to solve it.” And that’s pretty much all you really need to do to sell is there’s more to it than that if you want to get into full sales frameworks, but to sell without being pushy is a beautiful art. And if you look at the history of sales over the last 100 years, most of the significant sales material, around 80% of it has been manipulative and pushy in nature. So, it’s no wonder that we see sales is manipulative and pushy when we see, you look though the history of selling material. It’s nasty.
But selling as not pushy is a fine art and one simple way to do that is say, “Well, would this be a problem that is like so bad that you would pay to solve it?” And they’d say, “Oh, yeah.” And now you’re in business. So now you say, “Well, yeah. What would you envision?” And like, “Well, I just want to know what to do to my parrot. I want to know how to fix their behavior.” And, “Oh, okay, so you want to behavioral training program for your parrot?” And they say, “Oh, yes, exactly.” You say, “Well, so how much did you pay for your parrot?” And they’re like, “Well, this is a Grey African parakeet,” and those things are like 1800 bucks.
Which by the way, there’s a guy who wrote a book called Power vs. Force, Dr. David Hawkins and he calibrated consciousness on a scale of zero to 1000, zero being like shame, 1000 being enlightenment, 100 being fear, 500 being love. It’s pretty cool, like Gandhi was up above 700. Anyway, Grey African parakeet, a cat that purrs and a dog’s tail wagging, all calibrated at love or higher, so he actually has each of these pets in his home. He’s passed away now. But so Grey African parakeets are highly loving sound like when they sing it’s just like echoes in your soul or something.
But anyway, so Grey African parakeet, if you own one of these, it would be 1800 dollars, so they’re priced up there pretty high. So, “You’re paying 1800 dollars for this parrot, what would you pay for a training program specific for parrots? Maybe even Grey African parakeet training?” They’re like, “Well, man, I don’t know. I’ll pay you 300, 500 bucks for something like that.” You’re like, “Okay, great, so let me put something together. If I get something put together, can I come back to you and we can talk more.” They’re like, “Absolutely.”
Okay, so now this is literally like five- to 10-minute conversation and you’re almost already in business. No website, no logo, no brand, no business plan, nothing but person first, their problem second, sales third. So now, we would outsource creation. So maybe we go, let’s say, I live in Des Moines, Iowa right now, so we go to Des Moines parrot store. And then we look at all the parrot store and we find the one with the highest Google reviews, we give them a call, we say, “Hey, do you have a parrot trainer on staff?” And they say, “Oh, yeah. We definitely do.” “Hey, great. Are they good with behavioral issues like pooping everywhere, biting you and like making loud noises and cussing and stuff?” They’re like, “Oh, yeah. We totally got someone on that.” I was like, “Can I speak with him?” “Oh, yeah, sure.”
They pass it to the parrot trainer. I said, “Hey, I’ve got some people that I know online that are looking to get through parrot behavioral problems solved. I’m looking for an expert to teach this. Would you be open to recording, like do you know how to cure these behavioral issues?” They’re like, “Yes, yes.” I say, “Great. Do you have an iPhone?” They say yes. “So, do you think you could set up your iPhone with a parrot and do some step-by-step videos, and all you got to do is teach and then I’ll give you 20% of the profit of the sale of this product and you don’t have to do anything but sit there and teach for like a day. Would you be interested in that?” They’re like, “Absolutely.”
Now, you’re in business. You still don’t even have a website yet. You still haven’t even bought Lifter LMS, but you’ve gone people first, problem second, selling third, outsource creation. Now you’ve got the parrot trainer, they’re going to put the first, they’re going to put their video things together. So, they put the video things together and they send it back to you.
One of my first businesses was guitar video lessons and dude, I don’t know how I did this, but I was like 20, and I was already outsourcing to experts. I don’t know how it happened. Reflecting back, I was like, “Dane, that was pretty smart.” So, I got a guy who graduated from Berkeley, a wicked guitar player, and I said, “Hey, can you teach people how to play guitar?” Well, he’s my guitar teacher. He’s like, “Yeah, of course.” So, I gave him a camera that I rent. I didn’t have a camera. I didn’t have any. I had no money, so I rented a camera for free from my college because I still use my college card even though I was graduated and don’t tell anybody, anybody.
And back when I did See Integrity is more of a gray line, but then I got burned really hard, no, super highly integrity. Anyway, what I want to say is I drove like 30 minutes to get a camera, I drove 30 minutes back, and I went and I set the camera down in front of the guitar guy. I said, “All right, teach.” And then I like dropped it off and I came back and picked it up and I came and I watched it. And it was like an hour long video that was random, hard to follow, and I was like, “Oh, this isn’t going to work.” So, I had to give the expert a little more direction, then he recorded it again, and then he recorded it again. And then we started selling a few guitar video lessons.
But so, your expert, they send you the videos back. Now you’re like, “Okay, this looks good enough. Let’s send these over. Well, let’s get the money from the guy.” It’s like, “Oh, you know what? I’m a little insecure about collecting money. I just started this business.” So, maybe you talk to the parrot person and you say, “Listen, since you’re my first customer, how about I charge you only half now and half when we know this thing works?” And they’re like, “Oh, that sounds great.” And so then they give you half and so you email them the videos in a Google Drive folder.
You still don’t have Lifter LMS because that’s not even in the first five steps. You don’t need Lifter LMS until you’ve done all this and we’re talking about like if you want to build a course that you know sells before you ever build it, this is what you do. So now, you send in a video and he tries a few things out, there’s a few things that are missing, he has a few questions. So, you have the parrot guy record another video to answer those questions. Lo and behold, the parrot’s behavior starts to transform. Now, you’ve got this person to onto Grey African parakeet and maybe it’s a Grey African parakeet training course, which is like super baller niche. Like if you’re selling $300 or $500 courses and you only sold like two a day, you’re going to have a wildly profitable six-figure per year business just teaching Grey African parakeets not to poop.
So, now you have this customer, they have a result. Now, you collect the next 50% and then you say, “Hey, can we get a picture and/or a video of you with your parrot as a testimonial.” And they say, “Yeah.” Great. Now, you’ve got a testimonial with this parrot. So now, now you’re ready finally to build a landing page. Now you’re ready finally, not even for Lifter LMS yet, so now you got a landing page and now, the headline says, “Could your Grey African parakeet be this well-behaved to?” Then you got a video this person’s who’s like, “Hey, here’s my parrot. Before this training program, my parrot pooped everywhere.”
Before, during and after frameworks are really good like Tide does it. “Here’s my clothes before Tide. Here’s how easy Tide is. Here’s my clothes after Tide.” Before, during and after framework is good storytelling framework. “So, here’s my parrot before, here’s during it was great, it was easy to follow. Now after, my parrot’s amazing.” And then boom, and then it transitions to the parrot expert, which reads a little script that’s like a minute or two that you wrote out for him.
Because most people that come to me that struggle financially by the way, it’s almost it’s almost unanimous, the people that come me struggle, it’s wild. They’re very technically gifted. They suck at sales. The number one issue that like people come to me they’re like, dude, if you do not learn how to sell, you will forever be dependent on someone else for your income and that’s not a very cool place to be. You don’t want to be dependent on others for your income, because you’d find out during times like COVID, now you’re walking around, maybe with your hand out, because you don’t know how to sell.
Well, if you know clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism, and the mechanism needs to innovate, you can still sell customers on results and then you can figure out mechanism just fine. However, selling is amazing. Selling is noble, selling is serving. “Hey, you’ve got this problem with this parrot, but I’m too afraid to sell you, so I’m going to let you continue to have a miserable life with your parrot and I’m not going to get over my own sales crap to just ask you if this would be a problem worth paying to solve, because I’m still having a negative view of sales, so good luck with your parrot.” And then humanity suffers because you’re not selling, you’re not selling with your own heart. You could sell with heart.
So now, you got that landing page. Now you go and you find Grey African parakeet communities online and you start running banner ads on those sites and you say, “Unique Grey African Parakeet Training Program to help with pooping, biting, whatever the behavioral issues are, come check it out.” And now you’ve got your ads are on a few different niche sites and that generates 300 to 400 visits a day, which generates two or three sales a day and you’ve got yourself a six-figure business, you risk nothing and you had a pretty good time, and the world’s literally a better place for these Grey African parakeet owners. And that is what people first, problems second, selling first, outsource fourth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Chris Badgett: Well, that’s awesome. So that 15 minutes, I want you to go back and listen to again. Everything else from here is going to be a bonus, but I really appreciate you, Dane, packaging so much value through the full framework there. That is awesome. I want to kind of collide two frameworks together and just riff on it with you.
Dane Maxwell: Okay.
Chris Badgett: I can sense the audience and one of the things coming up for them is, you that’s listening, perhaps you’re an expert, you see yourself as the talent, you see yourself as the trainer at the parakeet store, so there’s like this like, even in our marketing and what we do and who our core customer is, we call them education entrepreneurs, which is talent and entrepreneur together. If we outsource the mechanism, like what do you do with an expert who’s like, “I’m the talent.” How do we resolve the tension here?
Dane Maxwell: Well, okay, so I’d say first off, if you’re an expert, I mean, first, congratulations. It’s a significant achievement to have expertise in a domain and also, are you making the money you want? And often now we find out that most experts aren’t really actually making the money they want, because they don’t yet know how to sell. So, here’s what you would want to do. I mean, if you really want to be your own expert, I’m going to just go on a limb and say you’re a little bit of a narcissistic, selfish, self-entitled, the world revolves around me and what I want kind of person and/or you just really love this and this is the only thing that lights you up and you have to do it. There’s probably somewhere in between.
But in the book Start From Zero, well, first of all, I’d say you don’t get rich by following your own self-interests usually. You get rich by solving a problem for a group of people and there are other ways. You can entertain people, maybe their problem is boredom and stuff. Reticent, it’d be too black and white on this. But, I have a very good answer for this, I think I do anyway. You guys listen and you tell me. Okay. There is a language, a foreign language that if you were an expert then you must be your own expert. You are going to have to learn a new language. It’s like a foreign language and most experts don’t have it because they do suffer from expert syndrome. Expert syndrome says, “first we do down dog, and then we’ll do forward fold.”
Okay. And the expert knows the benefits of downward dog, the expert knows the benefits of forward fold, but the customer has no idea what the benefits of down dog are, they just see someone probably in an uncomfortable posture that they don’t want to do. What a yoga teacher expert can do is they can learn this new vocabulary. I call it the vocabulary of results based thinking. So imagine if you have like learning French, the language of French, like your brain just doesn’t fire French, it doesn’t think in French, so it actually like becomes nebulous and confusing, just gray area, so you want to build this vocabulary results based thinking and speaking.
This is what will dramatically increase your wealth as an expert is by learning how to sell. Learn how to sell by learning the vocabulary called results based thinking. So imagine if you had like English and you push a translation button and then French came out. If you can put your expertise in this thing and then hit a button and the results come out from your expertise. That’s what you want to build in your brain, your own mechanism to result translator.
So in the down dog scenario, we know, well, it’s rumored, I don’t know for certain, that down dog increases the alkalinity in your body. Well, alkalinity is a significant inhibitor to getting sick, because cancer and sickness cannot grow in an alkaline environment. So you could say the single five-minute exercise you could do every morning to boost the alkalinity in your body and obliterate sickness, right? Now, by the way, that’s called down dog. That’s more along the lines of what you want to do.
So as an expert, in order to learn vocabulary based thinking, I’ve taken some people through this and it’s definitely like a foreign language, so it takes like a good, slow approach. So for example, first, I would recommend, I really think experts are in a tough spot, unfortunately. I really do because your listening is going to be biased towards your area of expertise. It’s not even on purpose. Your brain is just going to fire in this way, like if you could just sit and listen with people, sit down and listen. Let’s say, give me an area of expertise that you find that’s like a weird one, but like you’ve seen before. I mean, I want to a niche example to work with.
Chris Badgett: Grandfather clock repair.
Dane Maxwell: [inaudible]. Okay, so grandfather clock repair. So, first you want to just get really clear on what kind of life you want to live. If you want to exchange time for money as a technician, you can be a grandfather clock repair. If you want to do that as a course and sell it, I would never make that course until I sold it to someone who wants it first. And so in order to do that you’d have to sell, and so you haven’t even taught anything yet. Sales comes before expertise. That’s what I’d probably say, sales come from expertise, but I what I would say beyond that is if you could-
Chris Badgett: Let me give a painful example, like let’s say my grandparents’ grandfather clock stopped ticking and it’s the only thing I have to remember them by. That’s what the customer is saying. There’s some pain in there, right?
Dane Maxwell: So, then I would ask, “What would your magic wand solution be here?”
Chris Badgett: Well, I don’t have a lot of money and resources, so I’d really like to be able to fix this thing myself if I can. Surely there’s got to be like some common things when these things start breaking that might actually not be that hard to fix. Can you give me a list of things to troubleshoot with my basic tools that everybody has at home?
Dane Maxwell: Yeah, so immediately I go and I want to sell.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Dane Maxwell: I would say, “Yeah, of course. Yeah. In fact, we’ve got a two-hour diagnostic that will allow you to diagnostic the grandfather clock to find out what’s wrong, so you know you’re solving the right problem. Once it’s been diagnosed, we’ll then show you the training and tools and skills to be able to solve the problem that was diagnosed.” See how good selling is?
Chris Badgett: Yeah and now you’re helping me hear my ancestor’s heartbeat again, like how valuable is that?
Dane Maxwell: That’s even better than what I was going with. I got the chance to sit with Perry Belcher for a few times in my life and we went out to coffee once and I went, I just had hit him up like seven or eight times and he finally said yes, but I just kept hitting him up. And we sat at a coffee shop, and he sat there at a coffee shop. He’s like, “You know? I’ve never done a teleseminar on teaching a coffee shop how to be successful, but would you like to hear how I’d sell it?” I was like, “Oh, yeah, please tell me, tell me how you do this.” He’s like, “All right, guys. It’s Perry Belcher here. Welcome. Welcome to this.” This is like years ago, and I still remember most of this and that’s how good it was.
“Welcome. This is Perry Belcher. I’m excited to give you the coffee shop secrets to high profits teleseminar. Now, we have a lot of information planned for you, so make sure you have notes. We’re going to go through a context that’s going to be X, Y and Zed. Now listen, before we get into the material, I got to tell you, I did everything with my coffee shop. I tried everything. I tried better beans. I tried different locations. I tried different staff. I tried different signs. I typed things out in the sidewalk, but I tell you what? It wasn’t until I figured out how to structure and layout my menu that people looked at, that my profits exploded. Now with that said, let’s get into the training today.” Now, everybody wants to know what the heck’s on the menu, how did [crosstalk].
And so then he goes into all this training and then he gives this whole training coffee shop secrets and as a bonus, he gives you his menu, and how he created his menu as a bonus item and he’s never even ran a coffee shop before. But with selling, this is the art of selling, so as an expert, you have to understand, okay, so here’s some area I struggle with. So, I’m writing the sales letter for this community of people that will be building businesses together. Basically, it’s a community of people that hang out and implement the book together because people are asking for them. “Hey, where’s the community? How do I do this or how do I do that?” They need it, I can see it.
So I asked him, I’d say, hey, this guy asks. He emails and he says, “Hey, I need community. Where’s that at?” And I said, “Well, what would your magic wand be for community?” And he says, “Oh, my God. You’re doing idea extraction on my problem. What the heck?” I was like, “Yes, I’m following the book that I did right. Yes. Yeah.” And he says exactly what he wants. He wants a group of people that are like friends that he doesn’t have to explain himself to that he’s doing entrepreneurship. He wants people to share our struggles with and get new perspectives on. He wants to see other people’s real progress and results, so he can stay motivated himself. Like I’ve got all the bullets for the sales letter, because I asked him what his magic wand was. I’m not even writing it. He’s writing it for me.
So now, I get the clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism and before I ever write my sales letter, before I ever put my pitch together, I figure out what’s my clear customer, what’s the clear result and what’s the clear mechanism. So, I was talking to a gal yesterday and she works with people who suffer sexual trauma and the result that they want is to get rid of their sexual trauma like it sucks, and then the mechanism she has is she has these unique instruments that can access the subconscious feelings and release them. Sound pretty dope, right?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Dane Maxwell: With those three things, we can now write the letter, but until we have those three things, we don’t do anything. Don’t even venture out into the desert because it is a desert until you have backpacks of water and your backpacks of water are clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism. Don’t go out there because know, I teach a group of people on how to… one of the things I’ll say this on my students are most businesses are one great advertisement away from being successful and profitable. And so like for that with… so, I teach them how to write ads and writing ads, I think is the great skill and-
Chris Badgett: What’s a good framework for an ad?
Dane Maxwell: Yeah, I’ll definitely answer that.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Dane Maxwell: Well, because, well, there are many, but I’ll give you… we’ll come up with a couple here. So, but before you ever write an ad, before you ever put the sales letter together, you get clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism as defined as you possibly can, otherwise you’re just fucking and scratching your butt and you’re like. Well, what I was going to say with my students is like if they’re going to write an ad for a business, I say you can be the best copywriter in the world, if the offer sucks, you can’t sell it and you’re going to beat yourself up for not being a great copywriter, but you don’t even have a killer offer because for an ad to really work it’s very simple and hard to remember, you want to really killer offer to the right audience of people.
And so, well, let’s go back to this sales letter for the Start From Zero community, which I’m really excited about. Clear customer, clear result, clear mechanism. And I was like, “Okay, clear customer Start From Zero book reader.” Okay, there’s quite a few of those, like there’s a lot different like you’re one for example, but you own a 10-employee business and I got some someone else reading it and they’re an employee, so I’m like, “I could probably Start From Zero book reader is good enough for now.” And that one I’m find with. Clear result, “Oh, God. Oh, my God, the freedom. Time freedom to express themselves in the business world. No. I just want the results, so I can write my letter.” Then I’m like and clear mechanism, “Helpful community gives you accountability and structure,” something like this. Well, not something like this. It’s a community that provides accountability. That’s what it does and connection. That mechanism needs some work clearly.
So, I just started this yesterday. Okay, so now clear result. I’m like, “What do I do?” So, I come up with his ingenious question that saves my hours here. And there’s an amazing book, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’ve only started reading it. It’s called The Road Less Stupid, by Keith Cunningham, who is apparently the real rich dad in Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Kiyosaki. So, in The Road Less Stupid, he teaches you how to set up these things called thinking time sessions, where you can think about your business and check yourself against all the assumptions you’re making, so you don’t lose a ton of money on stupid assumptions, because we lose a lot of money on things that we’re highly optimistic about that we look back on and we’re like, “I probably should have done a little more research on that.”
Anyway, his whole premise of that book is that it’s smart to know the right answers, it’s genius to know the right questions because in business, the answers are going to change over and over and over again, but the person who has the right questions is the genius, so that’s where the genius lies. So I’m trying to think of a question for this with thinking time, just that the Road Less Stupid kind of behind me. And I say, “Okay, well, let me just ask my clear customers.” So, I got a few people who have read the book, and I write and I say, “Hey, what’s the dream result that you’re after that starting a business is going to provide for you?” Because that’s what I was like, okay, clear customer Start From Zero book reader result is their own business, maybe it’s that simple and I’m just scared of it being that simple and so the mechanism is a group of people that are implementing the book together with some structure, coaching, kind of whatever.
The mechanism, Elon Musk says, “Humanity result going to Mars.” He ain’t building those rockets. Jeff Bezos ain’t building the servers. Why do you got to be the expert? And then also and if you do, if you have a good answer, because I love it, then that is totally great for you to do that. For example, like Elon Musk, he doesn’t know how he’s getting to Mars, so he’s got the clear customer, clear result and the mechanism, he’s figuring out.
So now, I asked the question, “What’s the dream result that you’re after that starting a business would provide? What’s the dream result you’re after by doing yoga? What’s the dream result you’re after by buying my Grey African Parakeet Training Program?” Oh, my God, the answers you get will be not only mind blowing but they will be simple. I hear things like, “I just want to quit my job.” Oh, clear customer Start From Zero book reader who’s an employee, clear result quit your job. “Oh, that’s a lot better than starting a business for you to read, isn’t it?” “Oh, yes, that’s what I’m thinking about. All I’m thinking about is quitting my job.”
I asked another guy and he says, “Dude, I just want the freedom to do what I want, when I want, with who I want, and I want to be generous with those I love.” “Oh, very nice. Okay. What you want, when you want.” So, you got result here and then another guy says, “Dude, I want the same thing,” but two of the people that I asked, I only asked four or five people yesterday. I do 80/20 on this stuff. Give me the bare bones of this and I’m good to go. I mean, I have a Software as a Service business paperlesspipeline.com. That thing is now north of $2 million a year, an automated recurring revenue, but that’s a 10-year-old business. And in order to do that, I had to have a very clear customer, a very clear result, and a very clear mechanism as a seed that could grow on its own.
And darn it for the life of me, I can’t remember why I’m a little distracted right now, but I was going to answer your question about the advertising framework, and when I remember why I’m talking about paperless pipeline, I’ll bring it back, because you just need these things to be really clear. Clear result and when that paperless pipeline is so successful, because it has these three things, that’s why I wanted to bring it up. It’s not because I’m smart. It’s because I did six other software products before that one and I figured out what to do on the seven. And I had such a blast doing this.
And for me, the dream result is to build a business. I love building this stuff. It’s so fun. People don’t want that. They want the freedom and they want this and I can’t sell people my values and experts are trying to sell people their values. You’ve got to stop that. You got to knock that off. People don’t want to buy your values. Do not sell your values to someone, sell them their own values, you’ll be good to go. So, what are your values? What are dream results? Two of the people out of the four or five, I asked, they both mentioned a specific number they wanted to make. They both wanted to net $20,000 per month. That’s the magic number right now, for those people.
So we had clear customers Start From Zero book reader, some of them. Clear result is the freedom to do what they want, when they want with a business that earns $20,000 per month net profit. Pretty clear result. Now, I got to examine. I’m like, “Well, is this the course for that? Like, what result is this mechanism going to provide?” So, I have to examine that and then I’ll get clear mechanism, but now when I have these three things in place, which I’m still getting clear about where I want to marry the problem and the result together, then I’ll be able to write really great ads, then I’ll be able to write a really great letter, but these three things take some time.
I’ll mention two more examples then I’ll answer your question about how to write the ads because that is like, I’ll tell you such a dope example with that in a second here. Okay, so, Weight Watchers. Women around 40, plus or minus some age 5, 10 years, lose 10 pounds in a week is the result Weight Watchers usually has and the mechanism is a point counting system. Oh, my God, billion-dollar company, I just told you in like 15 seconds. Oh, my God, that is incredible and their mechanism is not something new, it’s not something unique. They just reorganize caloric information and put it into points. Then what’s the expertise? They didn’t even have some grand expertise. They see women that want to lose weight and they’re extremely overwhelmed with how to pick food. Here you guys, go point counting system.
What would it be like if you were the entrepreneur that you went out, you’re like, “You know what? I want to serve people at a deep level. That’s what I want. I want to serve so deeply.” So, you talk to women and you see they want to lose weight and then you hold their hand metaphorically and you say, “So, how are you doing that right now? What’s it like for you? How do you make decisions with food? What’s the hardest time of day for you? What’s the hardest food for you to resist? Do you look at the back of contents of food when you make these decisions?” And you just like get into their world. You love these women for the problem that they have because they just want their ideal body so bad and they’re so debilitated by all these experts and all these things and all these opinions and all these books.
Then you come in, you say, “Listen, I know you’re stressed. I know you’re in survival mode. I know you can hardly function. What if I just gave you one number to focus on you met that number, you know you’re doing good with your body.” And they say, “Oh, please, my God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” So, you create a point counting system, but you don’t create mechanism first, ideally. What you want to do is you want to get so connected and empathize and deep with that customer that you’re like, you feel like your customers are scared. They’re like in tears inside. They’re overwhelmed.
One thing that for everybody listening, if they’re still listening, what I want to say is my latest insight with teaching courses and this is blowing my mind and I’m just only now implementing it, is for a course creator to teach their students and to understand themselves how the content they’re teaching is triggering their students because if a student is triggered, like let’s say you have a piece of content and the student gets triggered, and now they’re overwhelmed by a piece of your content, but they don’t know they’re triggered, they don’t have the metacognition to see their brain clear enough, because it’s a difficult skill to build, to see I’m overwhelmed. Instead, they just get overwhelmed and stop taking your course because if you-
Chris Badgett: Let me give you an example to work with. Like if I’m teaching a course creator and we start getting into like making videos, it triggers people because now I’m on stage, people are judging me, I’m presenting publicly. So, people get triggered as soon as you get into like going on the record.
Dane Maxwell: Well, that’s the expert getting triggered, and we can talk to that and I still want to… and let me knock that advertising question out for you, you asked how to run a great ad. And just some summarizing this, like hopefully you can see my passion here. And when I feel my passion, it’s this mix of how can we make something effortless and I want to say that business doesn’t have to be a struggle and I also want to go on record and say that your struggle in business can end in a moment. It only takes one moment for your business struggle to end, it’s just one moment in time and that moment is the moment that you actually start listening to what people are asking you for. That is when business stops being a struggle. That’s it.
So if we go to this course creation, and you’ve got a lesson, and your lesson is how to write a great ad. So, okay, we’re teaching students how to write ads right now. And I’m like, “All right, guys, so write an ad, submit it in the Facebook group and we’ll review it.” And the students start submitting the crappiest, crappiest ads. And I’m like, “Oh, God, this ad sucks. No, this is the problem. What are you writing this ad for?” And then I get the next one. “Oh, this ad sucks. What is?” I get to the sixth one, I’m like, “Crap, I’m not teaching ads very good.” Okay, these ads clearly are triggering people, so I create a new piece of content.
So, just be aware of your contents triggering people and they are either unaware of it, like they take a lesson like where’s your biggest drop off point? Like, what’s the lesson that people usually stop consuming at? There’s a trigger there. Talk to your students and ask them, “How do you feel after watching that video?” You’ll find out how they’re triggered. If you really, really want to care about your customer, you’ll start thinking about the result your course provides as opposed to just getting those initial sales, so now, that’s the trigger for the student.
If you’re an expert and you’re like triggered to speak on stage, I would recommend hiring a cognitive behavioral therapist or like a straight-up like therapist, but use them for business fears, because your business fears are usually linked back to some familial trauma or some childhood memory without even knowing it, usually is the case, not always. But one of my greatest recommendations, and I don’t think people will do it, but I wish they would, is to hire either a coach or a therapist for your business fears, like you’re scared to hire, you make your first hire.
And so you’re like, “”Well, no one’s going to do it as good as me,” or any of these lies that you’re going to tell yourself. There’s plenty of people that can do it better than you. So like, then maybe tell yourself so hire a business therapist or coach to work on your emotional issues with your business. The ROI is ridiculous, because you could spend like $500 for two or three sessions with a therapist, hire an employee, and then make like a quarter of a million-dollar, it’s like a $500 investment. It’s very, very good. So, now-
Chris Badgett: So, let’s dig in. I just want to dig in right here because this is-
Dane Maxwell: Okay.
Chris Badgett: And this will probably take the last part of the episode. The other brilliance of Dane is the Inner Game, so we’ve been talking about strategies and outer game, but Dan’s full stack in the sense that there’s the strategies on the outside, but there’s also the strategies on the inside.
Dane Maxwell: Yes.
Chris Badgett: Like I even have it on my board here just to remind me every day that my customers’ external problem is a lack of progress, the internal problem is confidence, and the philosophy problem is there’s like a, I call it, mindset error where they’re focused on themselves and making money online and their expertise, not that those things are bad, but they’re not focusing on the customer and the result. So these limiting beliefs, whether like, and I guess I’ve seen it so many times that I’m no longer surprised by it. And this could be like a professional expert, multimillionaire who’s doing a course launch or something. There’s all this sabotaging or rabbit-hole behavior that happens right especially before the launch or the five-yard line or just before go-time, whatever you want to call it, but I know there’s beliefs there. And maybe it’s not the same for everybody. Like you said, everybody’s got different trauma and history. What are some-
Dane Maxwell: I’m ready to speak to this if you want me to or you could-
Chris Badgett: Yeah, lay it on. I’ve set you up. Go for it.
Dane Maxwell: Okay, because I was like, do you want to ask the question?
Chris Badgett: No, that’s it. It’s just like there’s a sabotaging and I know there’s beliefs and stuff that may even be below the awareness, what’s going on and how can they fix it?
Dane Maxwell: Is this a video recording or audio?
Chris Badgett: It’s both we’re going on YouTube and podcast land, so it’s going to be both.
Dane Maxwell: Can I do screen share and write some stuff out?
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. And if you’re listening on the podcast, just Google Lifter LMS YouTube, and look for Dane Maxwell and you’ll find this video with the screen share part.
Dane Maxwell: So, I’m going to explain this. I have yet to put this in writing, but so here’s what’s going down.
Chris Badgett: And maybe just FYI, just for the episode, maybe spend about five minutes on that and then I just want to make sure we have time for the song at the end.
Dane Maxwell: Well, we’ve got… let me check. I want to go as long as we can. I don’t want to over stay here.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Dane Maxwell: Yeah, I’ve got time. We’ve got time.
Chris Badgett: Okay, cool.
Dane Maxwell: So listen, guys, I want to just like, tell you. My throat gets tired when I say it. It’s like, I just want you to know that you’re worthy of your own business and that I believe in you, and that if you sit long enough, you can probably see that most of the issues that stem from almost all problem is the lack of belief in self. And it’s like, it’s really useful for you to maybe, if you would do struggle and even if you’re like, I’ve done a few seven-figure companies, I think there’s two. I mean, I wouldn’t know for clear, it’s definitely two.
And I still sit here and say that I can still feel that I don’t believe in myself and that’s because I am learning as I’m going. And you don’t need to believe in yourself to be successful, although, there are certain personality types that like I have a personality type that’s more prone to be able to take action even though I’m crippled. Some people that personality types where when they’re crippled, they can’t do anything about it. So, okay, let’s just answer all these questions at once.
So, the Enneagram Institute is a nine-type personality assessment and there’s the nine types, the type descriptions and there’s nine personality types for the enneagram, Enneagram Institute, E-N-N-E-A-G-R-A-M. You can take this. I happen to be the three. The three is the achiever, the success-oriented pragmatic type, adaptive, excelling, driven, and image conscious. I care what people think about me. If I know I’m going into an event, I’ll start thinking about how I’m going to charm people in like, unconscious ways. And I’m like, “God, what am I.” But that’s just like part of my personality that I’ve grown to love. But some other people are like they ain’t image conscious at all, but this just happens to be me.
So, I just want to let you know there are certain types that are more prone to take action when crippled than others. If you can’t take action when you’re crippled and you see other people taking action while they’re crippled, you can know it’s usually a personality thing. And now with that, you can see, “Okay, I need to get uncritical before I can take action.” You can stop beating yourself up in these ways.
But now, I want to talk to you about the inner game and I want to simplify it down. And I want to let you know what you want to do is you want to search for areas of paralysis. Okay? That’s not the right, okay, that’s the right spelling. Paralysis, whenever paralysis is occurring, what I’m going to give you and what I’m going to tell you is so profoundly simple and that if please, please try to remember it because this is really all that’s going on. This is all that’s going on. It doesn’t feel like it sometimes, but this is what’s going on. If you’re paralyzed, identity is triggered. An identity is the character or story of who you think you are. But what it is, it is actually unconscious identity. Unconscious identity is getting triggered.
So, I’m working on a course with a guy. I hit an upper limit. I don’t feel well, okay, here’s how it actually happened. I’m on a Zoom call with him and we’re preparing the course together. My brain starts crashing and this is like three or four months ago. My brain is literally crashing, I’m like, “Hold on, stay focused, stay focused. Oh, God, this is so hard. Oh, my God, oh, my God.” But because of the training that I’ve gone under and the work that I’ve done, I understand paralysis. I’m like, “Oh, my God, I’ve got a big identity, a big unconscious identity is triggered.”
So now, I stick it out on that call with him and then I get on, I have like two or three business coaches that I pay money for. I spend more than 100 grand a year on business therapy, so kind of crazy. And that’s just where my lever is. I spend a tremendous amount of money on my mental health. Some people spend a tremendous amount of money on cars or whatever. I got a couple of hundred-thousand-dollar house. It’s good enough for me. But a lot of that money is on more mental health. You have things you want to spend your money on, mine is mental health. But now I know unconscious identity is triggered. And by the way that for me is because there’s this deep desire to express every last drop of myself and if my mind limits me in any way, I want to obliterate that, so I can express myself as deeply as possible. That’s my why with that.
So now, unconscious identities triggered, so I get on a call with my coach and I said, “Here’s the moment I’m paralyzed, unconscious identity is triggered, I’d like to work with this.” Boom! See how clear that is? In less than 10 seconds, I’ve identified an otherwise area that’s paralyzed my life forever in 10 seconds, but this hasn’t paralyzed myself forever but kind of. So what happens is we do a lot of deep breath work, we get into the body because unconscious identity lives in the body to breathe. I feel my feet on the ground. Oh, my God, I don’t feel my feet on the ground. I know this suck. Okay. That’s why I bring a coach, I hire coach because they help bring me down deeper in my body. I don’t want to go in there. Oh, God. And then unconscious identity. I am a failure comes up, rushes.
Chris Badgett: So, are you just listening to your mind, and like who are you. What are you thinking or it just comes up? How do you solicit that as what it is if it’s unconscious?
Dane Maxwell: You come into the body, the body is pretty kind, it gives you what you need to hear. The body is pretty kind, like if you come into the body, you don’t want to be like, “Hey, this is what’s going on.”
Chris Badgett: So, not only do you really need to listen to your ideal customer, you need to listen to your body?
Dane Maxwell: Oh, yes. Yes. You want to listen deeply, deeply, because we are very, very good liars and we lie to ourselves very, very well. “Oh, I don’t want to clear customer because I want to serve everybody.” That’s a lie. You don’t actually want to serve every human, you really don’t. You think you want to serve everyone, then you get in front of someone who wants nothing to do with your course or product, you try and serve them and you’re miserable. You don’t want to serve everyone and plus everyone doesn’t work with you anyway, but you sit there and tell yourself the lie that you want to work with everyone.
Chris Badgett: Change the world.
Dane Maxwell: Yeah, yeah, well, right. Every single person in the world is my customer and I had fallen into that, too and then I go out and I try to make every single person my customer and I’m miserable. And I realize, “Crap, I’m lying to myself. I want to work with the people that are best ready to work with me. That’s who I want to work with.” Okay, so these are like general, that’s an extreme case of lying. But I asked a guy, “Hey, what do you want to do?” He’s like, “I want to become an influencer. I want to become an expert in the digital marketing industry.” My intuition is like, “Okay, bullshit. You don’t want that.” But I was like, “Let me check it out. Let me check it out.” I was like, “What do you actually, is that what you want or is that what your inner unconscious?”
He had an unconscious identity of “I’m an unlikable person.” That was his unconscious identity, “I’m unlikable person.” I think all of us have a little bit of that every once in a while. And so like, I was like, “Is that what you want or is that what your unconscious identity of I’m an unlikable person wants to become likable?” And he sits there he goes, “Yeah, you know that’s actually not what I want. That’s just what my unlikable identity wants to become likable. I just want to play music and play guitar.” Living a life in pursuit of your unconscious identity is what most of us are in and most of us need to consistently wake up from.
Now, this is why I’m a failure, so I’m sitting there breathing and getting help from an expert because I can’t see my own breath, I can’t smell my own breath. I need someone to smell my breath for me. So this comes up and then boom! I’m a failure and it rushes through my brain and it’s something that I deeply believe duh, and sometimes believe. But now, I just feel it as an experience, and now I’m okay, more okay with “Oh, I’m a failure. Whoa.” So, you tell me, which one would you have more power over? Would you have more power if you could completely sit with the deepest of this experience and still feel okay or would you have more power if you tried to avoid it and become a success? Which person is more free?
A lot of us will think, well, hey. One of my greatest mentors and we actually created a mindset program for this. Dude, you got to join. Like for someone like you, like you take this, you take what he teaches, boom, you’d fly. Because what happens is you wake up from unconscious identity, you start just flying, because your unconscious identity wants success and then you get success, but then it limits you because you’ve got success and now, you’re like, but like your unconscious identity or sorry, your living beyond identity is like you want to fly. And like, dude, you would love this guy, but this is-
Chris Badgett: Is this your Brian Adler guy?
Dane Maxwell: Yes.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Dane Maxwell: That’s Brian. So, Brian is ridiculous, like honestly, the guy’s clinically depressed for like 40 years, discovers a way to turn the attention, tune the attention his mind, finds an exit door on all of his suffering, wakes up into unconditional well-being, gives up being a day trader and just stares at trees, all blissed out. Then like these people start coming to him and they’re saying things like, “I’m suicidally depressed. I’m anorexic and bulimic. I’m dah, dah, dah, dah.” And he starts working with the most horrifically haunted people, he can and all of them get better. Like he goes and works with the most at-risk people and all of them get better. And that same way that he helps them get better is the same way that he helped me stop suffering, in the same way that he helps entrepreneurs stop suffering.
So anyway, we ended up creating a course like, dude, you don’t know what you have, because we’re all like in pursuit of improving identity, but even celebrities have golden identities and many of them are miserable, because identity doesn’t make you happy. You’re already happy beyond your identity and if you can wake up beyond your identity to the already happiness that you are, now you might be in some serious crap right now. But there’s a way that you can rest into well-being with it and not be fazed by it and so you have a clear mind. It’s possible. We were built to be unlimited and completely powerful and we learn how to tune the attention of our mind.
So for me in this unconscious identity is trigger, I sit in and I see, “Okay, I’m a failure.” Next time I work with this guy a lot easier. So this is what happens, when you get paralyzed, unconscious identities triggered, you need someone to help breathe you into your body to find out what your unconscious identity is. Now-
Chris Badgett: And then you sit with it? Then you sit with what comes up and acknowledge it?
Dane Maxwell: The real secret to this is that you acknowledge what you don’t want to, so like, let’s say, all of mine is an experience you can sit with, all of mine. So let’s say you don’t want to sit with it. Let’s say that’s the experience like, “I don’t want to sit with it.” You sit with that, and that fuck, that can rock your life because you’re like, okay, sit down to meditate. “I don’t want to meditate.” then you literally sit down while holding that you don’t want to meditate. Oh, my God, you become crystalline and powerful. Because like, you’re like, “Okay, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.” You sit down and hold I can’t do this anymore.
You make friends with your mind exactly where it’s at without trying to change it, without trying to fix it, because most of the identity programs on the internet will tell you, “Here’s how you remove your worthlessness. Here’s how you delete that conditioning. Here’s how you upgrade. Here’s how to be the best version of yourself.” It’s all crap. It’s all addiction to identity. It’s all one identity to prove another identity and if you do that, you reinforce that the identity that you have is a problem in the first place and then that keeps it there, when there’s an exit door on all of it, and that exit doors to be friends with your mind exactly like it is.
And so you sit down, you’re like, “I don’t want to be with my mind.” Then you sit down with that. And I tell you what, I’m overwhelmed with my business, you sit down with that. I don’t know what to charge my customers, you sit down with that. I don’t know what product to sell, you sit down and hold that. If you cannot sit down and hold in your mind, “I don’t know what product to serve to my customers,” you’re not going to be able to sit down and hold anything else, you’re going to be in survival, you’re going to be scrambling, you’re not going to be creative. Whatever you cannot sit down and face, whatever you cannot sit down and become friends with in your mind will create all kinds of havoc in all areas of your life that you have to deal with.
The difficulty of sitting with your mind is extremely difficult at times. And I can tell you from my experience that however difficult sitting with your mind is right now it will be a multitude more difficult when it gets created in your physical world because you couldn’t sit with it in your mind because if you don’t know what product to serve your customers, and you can’t sit there and be like, “I don’t know what product to serve my customers. I want to run away. Desperate. Wait, wait, I can deal with this. Whoa, whoa, I am desperate to be successful. Dang. Can I be with the fact that I’m desperate for success? No, no, I can’t be with it. Can I be with the no? No, no. Can I be with that no? Yeah. Yeah. Okay.”
And that is mapped, like that was real what I just did, but it wasn’t truly who I am. That’s how this works. And now, so I did that, that was 30 seconds of me honoring my mind. “Can I do this? No. Can I be with that? No, no. Can I be with that no? Oh, anger, can I be with anger?” And you just keep sitting until you find the thing that you can actually be with. And now all of a sudden, you don’t have a product that you don’t know is going to sell, whatever, like you don’t know what to sell. And you can sit there and be in dislike total clarity and be comfortable with I don’t know what product to sell my customers, and there’s stillness here. Yeah, no problems. You have no problem being successful. This is the Jedi level stuff.
That’s why I say you’ve got to work with Brian, dude. You got to join his course, makingfriendswiththemind.com, makefriendswiththemind.com. This is it. This is the exit door on all suffering. This is the exit door on the work of improving identity, that are our identities we want. My identity believes. If you believe that you’re worthless and you really believe it, you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to prove that you’re worthy. Dude, there’s an exit door and all of that and you can just do what you enjoy because you enjoy it.
So the way this works is paralyzed, right? Now, then you believe that something’s wrong with you. “Oh, I’m paralyzed. Something’s wrong with me.” That’s identity. None of that shit’s really true, but it feels very real and we believe it’s true. Now, this is basically how it works for me. “Okay, I got paralyzed.” This all this happens like rapid succession for me. I get paralyzed and I think something’s wrong with me.
Then I try to fix the paralysis, try to fix the paralysis because I’m like believing in it. And then it’s like, “Wait a second. Can I make friends with this paralysis? No, no, too much panic, no. Can I make friends with that? Can I make friends with that?” And boom, all things are an experience you can sit with. Nothing can shake you. Welcome to freedom. Welcome to making friends with the mind. Welcome to the exit door, man. That’s how this works.
Chris Badgett: Super powerful. Thank you, Dane, for taking us into the inner world of entrepreneurship and just the inner game because I mean, that’s the number one reason I want to get you on the show in front of all the education entrepreneurs here is, there’s the outer game and the inner game and you got to do both if you want to have any chance at success.
Dane Maxwell: I’m here to help. If you’re listening, I’m here to help you. I’m not here to make you feel wrong. I’m not here to make you feel shame. I’m not here to make you feel guilty like you’ve made some mistake being experts. You love what you do, so you learn to be an expert and then maybe you realize you’re like crap. That’s okay. You’ve got the expertise. Maybe you can find people that you can sell that to, but riding on sales, I just want you to know I’m here to help you.
So now let me tell you quickly about ads for a second because dude, this is so cool. First off, like if you find like, okay. There are iconic ads, like ads that you like read like you just remember them forever and like there’s like ads like an ad that ran in the golf magazines for like nine years. And like the headline is like, “One legged golfer consistently humiliates PGA Tour pros by driving the ball further and longer off the tee.” One legged golfer, that ad made millions of dollars for that owner. Can you imagine if you had a headline like that? One legged parakeet owner gets his parrot to stop, dah, dah, dah. I mean, it’s got to be true and this is true, so these ads can be iconic.
Now, I was doing some research and seeing ads, and I found an ad selling a children’s book and this ad was ridiculous. Like, when I read it, I’m like, “Oh, my God.” Everything about this ad is immaculate.
Chris Badgett: Is this a Facebook ad or where is it?
Dane Maxwell: It’s a Facebook ad. It’s selling a children’s book. And it says the first line is with a scary ghost face, “Mommy, am I going to die?” And then it’s like no mother ever wants to hear this. My daughter is racing down the hallway. I could hear her feet running on the hardwood floors. She reached my bedroom and she ran into bed and said, “Mommy, are we going to die?” Her brother was following behind her, watching her in tears, not understanding why she was crying. My daughter didn’t understand why she couldn’t go to school. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t see your friends. She didn’t understand why she had to stay home, be home. “Mommy, are we going to die?” “No, we’re not going to die.”
I was so panicked that I called my therapist. It was 11:30 at night. My friend who’s a therapist, not even like an actual therapist. It was too late. It was late, but I called her anyway and she told me, “Look, there’s this great children’s book that helps kids with their feelings.” So I went with the Target, I couldn’t find it. I went to Walmart and I couldn’t find it. I went to places I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I called the book publisher in the book publisher said that they’re sold out everywhere, but they have a shipment of a few thousand orders that they could ship from the warehouse. So, I made a negotiated deal where I could get these books in your hands and you can buy them and get them shipped direct from the publisher.
By the way, when the book arrived, my daughter and I read it. She started talking about our feelings. We love the illustrations. We love this and she was able to talk about her feelings. And by the way, just thank God this author made this amazing book and by the way, if you get a box set of three books, you can get the same book., told three different ways. You get three books for a better price, you get all three at once. Thank God this book exists. Please get this book, Mary Ann Smith, Austin, Texas, by the way, here’s a link to see inside the book.
I remember that because it was written so vividly. That’s an iconic ad. You look at that ad, it starts with a story and it’s a real story, but there’s a story and then it weaves in. See now, okay, here’s the thing. So, we got a lot of people, they’re experts and they want to be experts. And my God, is it easy to sell someone, “Hey, you want to be an expert?” They’re like, “Oh, God, yeah. I feel significant. I feel important. I feel like I know things. Oh, yes.” I guess like it’s a human need or something.
And my friend posted a post, he’s like, “Who here wants to learn personal branding?” And he had so many people replying and I wanted to write on there, I was like, “What the freak are people?” This is not how wealth is generated. Wealth is generated by finding people with a problem and generating a result. It’s not generated by showing the pictures of yourself on the website and talking about your brand. How about connecting with people and their problems? This is how, do I live a relaxed, sit in a thing back, sipping a Mai Tai and money just pours into my account every single day because I serve people. I don’t talk about my personal brand.
Go to startfromzero.com, you won’t see my picture anywhere. Look at my book Start From Zero, my picture is not on the front or the back. What is this self-entitlement we have thing in wanting to make ourselves big? It’s not about you, don’t let it be about you. In this ad, it’s not about that mom and she’s not even trying to be the expert. She called and she said, well, she was a mom. Let’s look at the story framework. Shocking opener. Mother in trouble. Mother in peril. Mother reaches out for help from expert. Mother can’t get the solution. Mother seeks to solve the problem herself. Mother solves the problem herself and makes it available to other mothers. That mom’s not an expert. That mom wasn’t the expert. That mom is just another mom trying to help another mom. Do you think that ad sells? You’re damn right it sells and she’s not ever once positioning herself as an expert in any of that ad. You do not need to position yourself as an expert to sell things. People want real, raw, honest, vulnerable.
Dean Graziosi, I really admire this guy. He sold a billion dollars in information product. He’s interviewed by Larry King. He has Larry King come in and interview him, and Larry King is like, “Dean Graziosi, bestselling author, public speaker, speaks to millions, made millions.” Dah, dah. Nobody bought anything from that ad. He came back, flew Larry King back in and redid the intro said, “Dean Grazioso came from humble beginnings, didn’t even have a nickel to scratch with, could hardly even afford to buy his first car,” dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, “And then somehow he found a way to make things work and he’s here to share that with you today.” Boom! Sales exploded because he didn’t talk about his expertise. He talked about where people were at because he cared about what people were at.
And this is so hard to do and it’s honestly like, then you do it, it’s just like the floodgates of wealth open. And so that’s an iconic ad. How do you write an ad? That is an amazing ad and if you look at that framework, shocking opener, story, mother, which is your target customer, in a traumatic situation. The target customer reaches out for help, can’t get help through the traditional methods, so has to find a backdoor. She finds a backdoor to get her problem solved and she makes that backdoor available for everyone else. That ad framework you can rip off and use all day and do so, so well with it. That’s how you write an ad as an example.
Chris Badgett: Wow. I now have a place to send people when they asked how to do Facebook advertising for their course, so that was amazing. Thank you for that. That’s such a great framework and example. Go get Start From Zero, get the book. Go to startfromzero.com and also if you’re listening to this, especially as a podcast, Dane has a really sweet podcast called Start From Zero where he’s actually working with experts and just people who want to start businesses and they’re all different. I’m like a research hound, so I love like watching a world class coach operate.
So I’ve actually listened to all of them. And I’m watching with how you work with these people and they’re all different. They’re coming from different places, different backgrounds, different interests. So get the book, but also listen to Dane apply this operating system with real human beings, helping them unlock their potential and get unstuck and get moving and surface limiting beliefs and all this stuff. It’s a Start From Zero podcasts and the book. Go ahead and get them.
Dane Maxwell: Can I say something else?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Dane Maxwell: So, if you don’t want to buy the book, you don’t have to. If you do want to support because it makes sense to you, that would be wonderful, but you can get an excerpt of the book. If you want to check out the excerpt and you read that and if you resonate with that excerpt, then do pick up the book on startfromzero.com/five, F-I-V-E. You’ll get a five question process that I use to find the problem and also let the customer come up with a solution for me and you can see me follow an example and find it with my pregnant partner when she was suffering from nausea and you can hear the solution she wanted and how I would outsource that solution to experts and everything, all right there in the book, startfromzero.com/five.
I want to say that this has been a more vulnerable podcast for me because I’ve sort of taken the governor’s off, where I usually like, “Oh, my God. She knows all the problem.” And I’ve let myself express myself a little more deeply and I wanted to just give you all permission through just listening to me, please express all of you, like please give all of yourself, please do like give everything you can, like all you can, please do. Like when you listen to this today and you go and you lay your head down at the end of the night, and you ask yourself, “Did I say what I really wanted to say today? Did I express what I really wanted to express today?”
And I want to end this one final question is like, “Why do this? Why become an expert if you want to because you just love a topic, or why build a business? Why have freedom? Why use Lifter LMS? Why build an education platform? Why do this? Why start a business?” And I just want to ask you that. “Why do this?” Now, a lot of it could be for status, a lot of it could be for financial freedom, a lot of it could be for how cool, you’ll seem to other people, a lot of it could be so that you finally feel recognized. A lot of these issues or a lot of these reasons end up being very shallow, can be very shallow. Why do any of this?
Do it for yourself. Do this for you. Don’t launch that website to ask for your friends’ opinions because now you’re doing it for them. Don’t do this for your customers. You want to do it for your customers, but don’t do it for the approval of your customers. You want the approval of the customers that are going to buy from you, but do it for you.
I am really passionate about Software as a Service businesses and it’s taken me a long time to give myself permission to just have SAS be one of the great loves of my life for business. I feel so peaceful when I work on it. I feel so on purpose when I work on it. I love SAS. And I have a habit where I like talking about what I do, a little more than I even like doing it myself. So, what I want to just let you know is like, I’m learning to do things for me and I really want your reason why when you’re ever doing anything is to really feel in the center of your being like chest down to your belly down to your hips, I’m doing this for myself.
And one last thing, there’s a gentleman working in the finance world, he leaves because he wants to be a chef and you wouldn’t believe how berated he got. “What are you doing? Are you an idiot? Are you stupid? You’re leaving the financial world to be a chef, what are you doing?” And I gave him the words that were in him, and I said, “I’m leaving the financial world, because I’m unhappy here and I’m becoming a chef because that’s what makes me happy.” I had him say those two things over and over again. So I mean, he’s an expert, because being a chef makes him happy.
So if being an expert makes you happy, then you buck up and learn sales. But if you just thought you wanted to be an expert to make money, then maybe you could reexamine them. So do it, because it makes you happy. Do it for you. Do that every single day, you’ll have a lot more fun. And startfromzero.com/five, the experts.
Chris Badgett: And if you could take us out with an encore, with a song, we’d really appreciate it.
Dane Maxwell: Yeah, bro. I got it.
Chris Badgett: And where could people go find your music, just real quick, if they-
Dane Maxwell: Nothing. I’m deeply embarrassed by it and took it all off the internet. No, I’m just kidding. Look at my name on Spotify, Dane Maxwell. I’ve got a… so, my heart’s racing, I can tell my feet feel numb, so I relax my feet. And I feel a lump in my throat. And I think I’m talking too much, so I’m just going to sing the song. (singing) I’m going to drop a little deeper. (singing)
Chris Badgett: Yeah, man and thank you very much. That was awesome.
Dane Maxwell: You’re welcome.
Chris Badgett: That’s Dane Maxwell, startfromzero.com/five. Thank you for bringing your all to this episode. Thank you for shining your light and sharing all of you and we really just scratched the surface of your world, but you added an incredible value today. I super appreciate it. The course Building Community is a better place having left what you’ve left here on the table, so thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Thanks for coming on the show.
Dane Maxwell: You’re welcome.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet.