Monthly Archives: Apr 2014

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The No-Office Experiment… 60 Days Later

For the past 8 or so years, I’ve always had a small office outside of my home. And I would usually change the office location every year or so.

It was often a small 12 x 12 one-person office in a “shared” solution. There would be a conference room all the tenants could reserve and use. I’d pay a small fee of $700 per month or so for use of this private office.

Once, I even signed a 3-year lease for a large 3-office suite for myself with a massive conference room (BIG mistake… I’ll address that in a future post).

Why would I rent these small office spaces when I have coffee shops and a home office? For security. I always felt like I needed it “just in case”. It was like an old comfy blanket or teddy bear.

But over the  years, I found myself going to my office less and less. This last office, I’d use it maybe two times a month.

So finally, I let my latest office go two months ago. I chose not to renew my lease  or sign any new lease – and for the first time since I can remember, I am 100% virtual.

See a picture of my favorite new chair and “office” in our family room below overlooking our pool in the background.

A look inside my "casual" office

A look inside my “casual” office

 

BREAKTHROUGHS

How is it working?

Amazing.

My productivity has significantly increased – I can just feel it. As you may have noticed, I’ve been on a tear lately. I’ve done more webinars, programs and products in the past two months than I had in the past two YEARS (including the breakthrough “Plat” group).

The day usually looks like this: Starbucks in the morning, to a workout at the gym in the late morning, followed by lunch and work at home in the afternoon. It’s the perfect routine to change environments and keep my creative juices flowing.

Now, when I have team conference calls in the afternoon, I do them while taking a walk around my neighborhood or the 40+ acres of hiking trails in my backyard.

To combat some of the quiet and loneliness of working at home in the afternoons (the kids are in school during the day), I bought a bunch of live concerts on Blu Ray and DVD. They serve as perfect background noise and visual stimulation (for me, silence is a killer).

halloates

Hall & Oates. C’mon, who doesn’t love the 80s?

And since I never buy anything for myself (seriously), I now treat myself to a new Blu Ray or DVD concert each week. I’m like a little kid waiting for the package from Amazon to arrive. I’ve got an entire list of new concerts to buy.

So far, I have everything from mellow (James Taylor) to pop (Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald) to rock… well, my version of 80s rock (Journey). I just got the Bee Gee’s.. and I feel like I’m a kid again.

 

OUTDATED THINKING

Even me, the poster child for “working from a coffee shop” was still hanging on to the past with my office space. But no longer. I’m free dammit and I’m not going back!

Times have changed. Technology has changed.

All you need is a laptop (I don’t even use my desktop anymore… just my trusted MacBook Air is all I need to run my entire business).

Don’t let anyone dictate what you can or cannot do. Or how you earn a living.

Never be ashamed to run say you run a “lifestyle business”. Or to say you work from your living room. Or you work from a coffee shop.

That doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur. Or any less successful.

You can create the business and lifestyle of your dreams. You truly can.

 

P.S. If you want to see how to create your own lifestyle one-person, stress-free business just like me, CLICK HERE<== 

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The Great Guru Confusion Consipiray

Recently, I received a disturbing email from a client. He had forwarded a mindmap from someone who was trying to sell him an expensive coaching program.

He was, understandably, in a panic. There was no way he could do everything this person recommended.

Here is the actual mindmap he received from this “guru”:

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 2.51.44 PM

Really? Seriously?

I lost track when I hit the 81st step. There are probably over 100 steps, but I literally couldn’t even COUNT all of those little boxes.

All those pages.

All those autoresponders.

And all those lies.

 

THE TRUTH

The truth is there’s a dirty little secret in the “Internet marketing” world. They want to keep you confused and in-the-dark.

But showing you a process like the above mindmap, you feel hopeless. After all, how could you actually implement all of those steps without their help?

And boom! They’ve got you right where they want you.

You get put into their “funnel” which ends up at the $15,000 “coaching” or “mastermind” group.

Are there benefits to funnels? And autoresponders? Sure.

But the truth is it should not be that difficult. Heck, after all, I was a gym teacher in my last career. Nope, no Ivy League MBA here. Just real-world, rollin’-up-my-sleeves and getting stuff done experience.

You should start with the one product and simplified sales/marketing funnel that works. That’s it.

I just interviewed a personal trainer who I met in a local Stamford gym about 10 years ago. He attended one of my events – and now generates 7-figures online. And he doesn’t even have one autoresponder. Nope, nadda one. It’s as simple a funnel as you can imagine.. and it’s smooth like butter.

But the damn thing has made him a millionaire without the need for an 100 step cluterf*ck mindmap (sorry, it just makes me insane).

Keep it simple. Move fast. And stay on track.

==> IMPORTANT: I am doing a very special “mini-bootcamp” revealing my exact proven model to get your products up and selling FAST… in as little as 2 hours. And you don’t pay until AFTER you start making money. CLICK HERE for details. <==

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REPLAY: Inside an Automated Funnel!

This was a training we did recently.. and it was so good – I had to show it again.

Please watch until the end as there is a very time-sensitive offer you won’t believe!

Enjoy…

Click here for the special link with bonuses!

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The Tripwire.. Part II

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a marketing term I find disturbing… tripwire (read the post here).

A “tripwire” was a new term for a low-ticket, front-end offer that was starting to gain momentum. The last straw for me was when I did a call with an amazingly caring doctor – and he asked what I thought of his new “tripwire”. It felt so wrong.

 

Here he was. A well-respected physician who wanted to help people… and he talked about his “tripwire”. Talk about incongruent! I felt the immediate need to take a shower to wash that disgusting feeling from me (hey, I’m not perfect, but I know a very bad idea when I hear one).

The post was about why it’s a bad idea to treat your customers as if it’s WAR. Like you are going to battle with them.

Instead, Kevin Rogers and I proposed a new term instead: Welcome Mat.

And I’m happy to report… it’s starting to catch on. Here are some recent conversations in my Plat group (I blocked out their names for privacy)

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.32.54 AM

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.34.43 AM

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.36.04 AM

That’s right, people are starting to use the term “welcome mat” instead of “tripwire”.  It’s incredible what one little blog post can do… and I couldn’t be happier. Just a few weeks ago they would have all said “tripwire”.

The tide is turning, my friend.

Facebook. Twitter. Review sites… the game has changed.

Everyday, transparency is gaining more momentum. You can no longer use deception or tricks as a way to build a long-term, wealth-building business.

Words matter. And running your business based on “The Art of War” or even “The Wolf of Wall Street” feels outdated. When you run your business with that philosophy, even if it’s internally, it seeps it’s way into your sales and marketing. You can’t help it.. it just happens.

It’s so much easier to become wealthy when you treat people right. I won’t bore you with the statistics about how much more expensive it is to generate a new customer than it is to keep one. Hopefully, you realize the difference.

So here’s the big question for you?

Are you still playing solider and putting on war paint OR are you ready to greet your potential customers with a great big hug?

It’s time to disarm your tripwires… and instead, place out a welcome mat at the door.

Hugs,
Ryan
P.S. If you want to see how I built a very profitable (and stress-free) lifestyle business, click here.

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Product Timing.. Why NOW Is The Best Time (and What You Should be Selling)

On Tuesday, I had just finished great workout at Oxygen Fitness in New Canaan, CT.

It was a nice sunny day so I sat down at one of the tables outside of the gym and got back to work. Suddenly, I heard a voice ask, “Hey! Aren’t you Ryan Lee? The guy who makes money online?”.

I smiled and said, “Yes, I’m Ryan.. nice to meet you… what is your name?”.

He is a personal trainer and mentioned he had attended one of my first “Ryan Lee Bootcamps” back in 2005 (I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years!). It was the first event for fitness professionals focused entirely on entrepreneurship. When I asked how his online business is going… he paused for a moment and had a look of disappointment in his eyes.

“Not good. I spend thousands of dollars on a site and everyone said I created a great program.. but I didn’t sell any programs”.

Why not? I asked.

“It was five years ago and I think I just missed the boat. Now, everything online is FREE.. so you can’t sell products online anymore”.

I was genuinely speechless. Usually, people will admit that they didn’t really market the site. Or their site was bad. Or the product wasn’t very good. Or the sales copy was terrible. But to say “nobody buys information products online”… he couldn’t be more wrong.

So I told him (politely) he’s very wrong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Right now is the BEST TIME to create new products. There’s never been a better time. And the increased competition can help you sell more.

Why?

 

OVERWHELM

Yes, there is A LOT of free information online. There’s no disputing that. Billions of pages of free content in every niche imaginable. But that also means people are getting overwhelmed with information. And there are a percentage of people who just crave for answers.

They want someone to simplify the content. To organize it for them. And to just give them the answer.

In other words.. they want a SYSTEM to follow. A blueprint. A playbook.

Your job is to make it easy for your potential customers and clients to get the results they desire. Whether it is a 6-pack abs or a 6-figure income.

During the past 5 years where this trainer said “no one will pay for information anymore”, myself and my clients have dispelled that myth by selling tens of millions of dollars of information products in just about every market imaginable.

Membership sites. Home study kits. Ebooks. Online videos. Audio books. Coaching programs. You name it… we’ve sold it. And sold a lot of ’em.

You, my friend, are in the PROBLEM-SOLVING BUSINESS.

The ship has sailed? You can’t sell information online anymore? The party is over?

Not even close.

As Public Enemy once wisely said… “Don’t Believe the Hype”.

 

P.S. I’m doing a brand new FREE online workshop showing you how my clients and I have sold well over $100,000,000 in products online. REGISTER HERE.

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Discover the 2 "Secrets" to Wealth

I was recently re-reading the Michael Masterson’s excellent book, Ready, Fire, Aim, and came across this quote:

“Remember, most of your profits will come from back-end sales, which means that the easiest way to grow your company is to develop good, long-term relationships with your customers and produce really good products for them”.

So simple, but yes, so on the money. There are two points that cannot be restated enough times:

1. Long-term relationships
2. Produce really good products

That’s it, right there.

If you want to go from a wannabe living launch to launch to your own full-fledged empire, focus on the back-end sales. And the way to have strong back-end sales is by focusing on delivering great service and products.

After they buy, you will stay in touch with your customers. You will be visible. And yes, you will offer them MORE great products and services to purchase.

One-trick pony’s never last long. People will tire of you quickly. Don’t be a one-trick pony.

All the of the “secrets” and promises of $.01 clicks are just window dressing. Without the strong back-end sales, you’ll never ever have a solid business which will make you WEALTHY to provide you with a lifestyle you desire.

P.S. CLICK HERE for a free live online workshop where I’ll show you how to build your own rock-solid wealth-producing lifestyle biz.

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How to Become a Highly Paid Coach, Consultant or Freelancer (The Secrets to Charging Up to $1k PER HOUR)

And now, for something a little different. Instead of a written article, here’s a brand new training video from Kevin Rogers and myself showing you the 4-step sequence to bigger coaching, consulting and freelance rates (with virtually zero selling and no “proposals”).

This training video is short, straightforward and packed with practical advice… just the way we like it!

 

==> Want more? CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for our special one-time,live (and FREE) in-depth training showing you how to make more money with your coaching, consulting or freelancing. Higher fees with zero selling.

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Coffee Shop Etiquette: The 7 Rules to Follow When Working "Virtually"

I’ve been spending every morning working from coffee shops for the last 6 or so years… so yeah, I might know a thing or two about having a “virtual office” (either that, or I’m just absolutely insane… ).

So here are some unwritten “rules” I abide by and hopefully others will follow…


Rule #1: Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Please don’t spend the entire day at a coffee shop. I stay for about 2 hours (maybe 2.5 if I’m really in the groove with sales copy). Even 2 hours might seem to be pushing it, at 3 and 4 hours – you cross the line from having a “virtual office” to being known as “that creepy guy – who may or may not be homeless”.


Rule #2: Buy
I just spoke this morning with the manager at one of my local Starbucks. And he said there are some people that will come just for the free wifi and don’t buy anything. Regardless of what you feel about a big multi-billion dollar company like Starbucks, they are still a business and if you will be using their resources, you should ante up. Buy something.

Rule #3: One Space
This drives me crazy. One person who literally “takes over” about 3 or 4 seats. Their coat has it’s own chair. Notebooks taking up 10 square feet of space. Plus their laptop bag even has it’s own chair.. and they’ve got their legs stretched out like they are about to take the court for the Knicks. Just take one spot. Please.

Rule #4: Share Your Space
If you are at a table by yourself and you see someone else looking for a spot to park it for a while, offer them a seat to join you at your table. I do that all the time… and it’s just the right thing to do.

 

Rule #5: Phone Calls
When you have a headset on, you have no idea how loud you are talking. Try and take your calls outside. When I have a call – I head over to the door so it doesn’t drive other patrons absolutely crazy.

 

Rule #6: Be Generous
While I change up the coffee shops I go to frequently, there is one I usually work from at least 3x per week. And this last holiday season, I gave ALL of the people who work there (about a dozen of them) gift cards to Amazon. They were shocked and truly appreciative of the gesture. Tip and treat the staff how you want to be treated.

 

Rule #7: Be Cool
We are guests in their establishment. Come in and smile. Get to know all the staff’s names and greet them by their name. Clean up after yourself. Wipe down your table. If they are cleaning the floor – get off your butt, move your chair and be helpful. When I walk in, I’m always greeted by smiling staff and it takes away some of the “isolation” of working by yourself.

 

Maybe I’m old-fashioned. But I attribute it to being raised by the two most amazing parents in the world. Both my mom and dad always treated others kindly and with respect.

If you are going to work virtually from a coffee shop in your “lifestyle business”, show the world we are not a bunch of obnoxious, selfish freaks. We simply choose to live life on our terms and build a business around our lifestyle. But dammit… we are going to do it while being considerate to others.

You with me?

P.S. If you want me to help you build your dream “lifestyle business” so you can work for yourself, from home or a coffee shop, check this out.

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The Dark Side: Inside a Lifestyle Business (Part II)

In the first part of this ongoing series – I talked about the danger of having your business consume you.

Today, we’ll look at another potential issue you might deal with…

 

LYING, FILTHY CROOKS

If I told you some of the stories of people I’ve either dealt with personally (or know of others my clients have worked with), you’d retreat onto the safety of your couch and never leave.

When money is involved, it brings out the worst in some people. And the more money you attract, the more sociopaths will beat a path to your door.

As I was just about to write this post – I received this email from a client.

He’s doing very well in his niche now (will likely do 7-figures this year) and he’s now teaching others how to replicate his success. I urged him to create some bigger-ticket workshops and programs.

BUT, instead of leading the workshop himself, he brought in 5 other “experts”. And then, he said, he wanted to do even more workshops and products with these other people.

Immediately I told him it was a mistake and urged him not to. They didn’t really bring anything new or different to the table. He already had all the knowledge and skills. He had the list. He is closing the sale. To me, they were more of a crutch and a potential risk.

I also warned him that it’s just a matter of time until at least one will rip him off. And it will likely be in the form of him following up with the attendees and trying to sell something else.

Lo and behold – here’s the email he sent me last night… just 2 weeks after our last call and my “prediction” (pay attention to the telling subject line):

rippedoff

Proof about the evils lurking…

Luckily my client has a good head on his shoulders and will likely avoid a nasty (and costly) lawsuit that can drag on for months or years.

Why did I know this would happen? Do I have a crystal ball?

Unfortunately, it’s happened to me a few times over the years.

The funny thing is, I’m actually quite optimistic and positive. I always look for the best in people. I assume if someone buys my product they will use it for their own benefit (not to steal it, resell it and then ask for a refund).

But I also know human nature and a realist. And for some reason, there are a small percentage of people that just can’t stay on the straight and narrow. The temptation is too much. They are the ones who get arrested for fraud and then, commit the same crime a year later. Believe me, I’m not perfect. I’ve done some promos online in the past I’m not proud of, but I always do what is legal and ethical.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Always, always, always check out the people you are going to work with (especially any type of partnership arrangement). See who they have worked with in the past and ask around.

Google their name. Look at what they have done. Read the feedback.

A big red flag is a person who has had dozens of partnerships in the past, but they have all now fallen apart. Or someone who has engaged in many lawsuits (those are easy to find online).

Maybe it’s because I’m from New York – and we are skeptical by nature. But once in a while, someone will fool me too.

One guy seemed legit. I let him do some trainings for one of my membership sites a few years ago. But then, I found out he started cold-calling them, pitching a $5K coaching program and delivering absolutely nothing. No communication. No returned calls. Nada. Zip. And this “association” with him, no matter how loose, took a bite out of my reputation.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been blessed to work with so many amazing people in the past on projects and companies. Good people. Smart people. Caring people. People like Chris Farrell, Mike Roussell, Tim Kerber, Andrew Lock, Duane Carlisle, Jim Labadie, Jayson Hunter, Emran Saiyed.. and the list goes on and on.

And in the future – I will be working with more good, smart and caring people.

The right partnership can make you both rich. The wrong one can make your life a living hell.

Choose wisely, my friend. Choose wisely.

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