Sam Ovens: Hey everyone, it's Sam Ovens here, and today I've got Josh Harris on with us. Josh Harris is one of our customers since way back, since when I first got started. He's got an awesome story. He's one of our seven figure case studies, one of the first ones we had. Josh started working with me back in, was it, 2014? Seems like so long ago now. Back then, when he joined, he was making around $2,000 per month and he was just doing website jobs for different businesses and stuff and was kind of scrappy and was kind of doing one thing for this person, one thing for this person, kind of how most people get started when they're doing website projects for people.
Sam Ovens: Since then, it's been like four years since then. He's gone from $2,000 a month to the point now where he's making consistently about $250,000 per month, which is that's like $3 million per year and still growing quickly. This is one of our seven figure case studies, and what we're going to do is we're going drill in and see exactly how that happened. How do you go from making $2 grand a month to making $250 grand a month? Welcome Josh and first of all, congrats on getting to seven figures, and looking forward to digging into your story.
Josh Harris: Cool man. Excited to be here.
Sam Ovens: Let's start with what was going on back in 2014 when you joined and you're making $2 grand a month. What were you doing back then?
Josh Harris: Yeah, I might back up a little bit earlier just to set some context for that time, but when I first growing up I had my first business with my brother when I was like 12, and that was when I was hooked because I was like, "Hey, instead of getting paid hourly, you can do this thing and get paid to do it." It wasn't tied to how much time you put in, it was tied to how fast you could do it. If you did the job, great. That was my first taste at 12, and so then I was like, "I don't think I want to have a job. I think I want to do this entrepreneur thing. I didn't even know what it was called back then.
Josh Harris: That was kind of the seeds of what led me up to that point, and so throughout my teenage years I did all sorts of crazy stuff like raking leaves or even a failed dog waste removal company that never got any traction. I tried all those things, and then even went through some MLM stuff. Then around 18, 19, I really realized that the future was really internet. That was where all the opportunity was. That's where all these rich people and successful people were popping up is they had some connection to the internet. I enjoyed talking with people. I enjoyed sales. I enjoyed psychology and the internet just seemed like this amazing selling platform. That's where I just started dabbling because there wasn't really any roadmap or playbook for a lot of this stuff.
Josh Harris: Did websites for people I would know or did some marketing stuff, but didn't really understand the concept of a proof of concept, and having something that you could consistently and repeatedly make work, and so I didn't know that I was looking for that, but that's what I was trying to figure out. I just didn't have a word for it. It's like how can I find some consistency because it just felt all over the place with what we were doing. When I found your stuff, that was kind of where I was at. I tried a lot of different things and was really difficult to get anything to scale consistently because of all the gaps in the execution part.
Sam Ovens: Got it. Do you remember how you found me back then?
Josh Harris: Yeah, I do. I was on Facebook, and I saw a Facebook ad, and one of the things that you said in there that made a lot of sense because it just struck right to the heart of the problems I was having at the moment, which was most people who are in this business, consultants or whatnot, I wasn't even thinking about myself as a consultant but that's what you called it and I was like, "Okay, that sounds kind of like me." You said they're all generalists. They're trying to do too many different things for too many different people. Because of that, they can never get anything to work consistently. When you said that, that really resonated with me and obviously you had this interesting accent and you stood out from everybody else that I was seeing on Facebook at the time.
Josh Harris: I opted into your stuff, and I watched your videos and it just made a lot of sense. At that point, I was like, all right, this guy knows something I don't and I want to learn it. At that point, I don't remember what you were changing for your thing, I think it was maybe $1,500 or maybe it was $2,000, but I remember you had an option where you can get some calls with you, I think it was two calls back when you did that, and I took the upgraded package because I was like, "If I get stuck, I want to be able to ask Sam a question." Yeah, that was kind of how I found you. Then I jumped in, and it was really good stuff.
Sam Ovens: That's awesome. Facebook ads, working back in 2014.
Josh Harris: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Back then, I was still in New Zealand. I was a New Zealander in New Zealand, had no idea I was going to move to America, but I remember I was still targeting America. That's the beauty of the internet.
Josh Harris: Yeah. My wife was like, "This guy's in New Zealand. How do you know he's not some scammer" and all this stuff. I was like, "Well it just seems like it would be a really elaborate scam." To me, anytime people say that scam is a potential thing, I just say, "Look, if people are really trying to scam people, there's so many other things they can do," like the Nigerian email scams pulling billions of dollars a year from people that are unsuspecting all over the world or there's people that take advantage of the elderly with their retirement stuff. There's so many other ways to make money if you really want to be a scammer, so why would you build a legitimate business around being a scammer? That was just always my rationale for that. Your stuff made sense.
Josh Harris: I was like, "He makes a lot of sense for what he was saying, because he had to know what I'd been going through to be able to connect those two things."
Sam Ovens: Then you joined and what happened after that?
Josh Harris: What happened after that is I think back in that time you were thinking about the main shift you were mentioning was don't just sell websites as a website. Sell it as a marketing piece. Build a website, and then build a website to sell. It's basically like conversion funnel process where you're turning the website into a funnel that will direct people towards taking action with that customer since they get a lot of traffic to it. Repositioning as that, I went from selling websites for $750 or $1,000 or $1,500 to $5,000 and really, really diving, positioning those websites to be much more beneficial on that.
Josh Harris: From there, I kind of started getting to a point where I would say at that time I immediately doubled and I was doing around $5,000, $6,000 a month and I was starting to get some consistency in the work. I mean there were still a lot of problems but I was making more money at that time than what I was making previously.
Sam Ovens: Nice. Then what happened from there?
Josh Harris: From there, you start talking more about the marketing retainers, and I had tried doing retainers previously and one of the many things I'd done, and it just seemed that so many people were charging $500 a month for this thing. I was just looking at the math and I said I can't hardly find anybody that's any good that I can subcontract this to, and on top of that, they're going to want more than just $200 a month. It just seemed to me like it was going to be a really, really long track to build a digital agency with that recurring revenue. Then you started talking about how some people were able to sell them for more, and I was like, "oh really? That thing that I had written off and couldn't sell for more than $500," and it was just about repositioning and finding the right clients that could afford larger retainers.
Josh Harris: They could spend thousands of dollars a month and you could include other things like landing pages and start to get a little bit more niche focus. That's kind of what led me up through I think that summer of '15 before you had your next product that you put out. I was starting to look at doing more retainer stuff like that and I was getting some traction there with different clients and different niches.
Sam Ovens: Got it. What happened after that?
Josh Harris: After that, I think you came out with your mastermind, your first launch into that. I remember it was the most expensive thing. I'd never bought something that much. Up to this point, I'd spent probably $20,000 or more on different things. Bought all sorts of different programs trying to make stuff work. You put out your program, and it was very expensive relative to everything else I'd done, but I kind of knew that I was stuck at this plateau and I really needed to make an investment to really push myself through the next level. Around that period, you came out with this event and I really only had enough money to pay for the initial down on it and maybe a month or two, but I was like I have to make this work in order to continue to participate in this.
Josh Harris: I took the plunge. I went for it, and then went out to your event that you had. I want to say that was in San Diego maybe. That was, I think it was in August of 2015. Around then, you started talking more about how to be upgrade from direct outreach to using Facebook ads more consistently for your own clients. You covered that at the event, and then we basically implemented, we kind of niched down on a target market and we were going to help with advertising. Started advertising to them on Facebook, started getting some inbound strategy sessions from that, and then really started working on growing the recurring revenue business. Around that period, I went from maybe $4,000 to $5,000 a month. By that December I was at about $20,000 a month, and then through the spring I plowed through to, I think I got up to about $40,000 a month with retainers and kind of kept growing it from that point.
Sam Ovens: Got it. You went through the typical kind of path, the evolution of a consultant. You started out generalist, done for you. Then you went to kind of niche specific done for you. Still doing the same thing, but you were doing it for a niche and at a higher price. Then you went a little bit more specific done for you, which was the agency and then you went from using organic to using paid methods, and funnels and automation, things like that. That got you up to like $20,000, and then it got you up to about $40,000 a month. That path makes total sense, and I think a lot of people see that. There was the big turning point in terms of scale for you, I remember was when you transitioned from done for you in agency stuff to selling a program.
Josh Harris: Yeah. For me, one of the things that I developed throughout that period there from that, I would say fall of '14, actually no, fall of '15 up through spring of '16 was really a really effective LinkedIn method for targeting my market because they were a little bit, they weren't quite as large. There wasn't quite as many of them. That helped me develop a process that really was working quite well inside the LinkedIn side of things. When I was looking at making a transition into a program or consulting thing or a done with you solution, I was trying to look at what I had that was really effective that I could pass on to other people that they could implement.
Josh Harris: My first failure to launch into high ticket was taking a lot of the strategies that I had developed, a lot of the paid strategies we developed and trying to teach those to business owners, going a done with you solution for small businesses. What I really realized doing that was a lot of business owners, their biggest challenge is they just don't have the time. They really don't, the ones that have their stuff together. It was really difficult to get them to implement any sort of a paid strategy for themselves, and I underestimated the learning curve of teaching someone Google AdWords or Facebook ads who was in the service business. That kind of didn't really go anywhere. I was having trouble getting it traction, so that's when I really looked at what I had.
Josh Harris: Actually my wife was just telling me, she said, "The one thing that you've done," is that throughout this entire period, a lot of other people have watched me make that transition. They were asking me, "Hey, what did you do? What did you do different? What were you doing?" The one thing that I had that I wasn't really seeing it as very valuable was the LinkedIn thing. I thought it was fairly simple. There's more than one person I showed that to, and their businesses kind of took off. I started to see this pattern where I was like, "Okay, here's this thing that I don't think is that valuable or unique, but a lot of people saw it and they were like, "Wow, this makes so much sense," they did it and they got results. I saw ah-ha, there's a little proof of concept right here that I could actually teach this and help people implement it.
Josh Harris: To me, what I saw then as my program is working with people that are in that startup phase of their digital agency, helping them select a niche that's not really, really perilous because one of the things that I found is that there's a number of niches in the digital marketing side that just are really a dead end for somebody unless they have a lot of very specific advantages. I was able to help people steer clear of niches that would end up being dead end, and then give them a lead generation process they could do that wasn't extraordinarily expensive to get going and get some traction that they could then use to pivot to paid ads through LinkedIn and then also teaching them, really helping them implement high ticket selling and how to sell over the phone for marketing retainers, because that in itself was its own separate thing from selling over the phone for programs. There was some distinguishments there.
Josh Harris: That was really what became the program I had was teaching startup agencies, guys doing less than $10k a month and helping them break the $10k barrier and grow up from there. It's actually a couple people I've worked with that have gone into seven figures since I worked with them and then there's a lot of people that have hit $10,000 a month working with me on that.
Sam Ovens: Nice. It's interesting, I found the same thing too, that you can't just teach people ads because ads cost money and they're pretty complicated. They absolutely work but it takes time and it costs money, and a lot of people don't have both of those. They can't wait time, and they can't just spend money, especially both at the same time. You need to cover the interim. That's why having powerful organic methods is crucial, because if you can get something working there, then that can cash flow that and that works in the short term, that works in the long. They pair together perfectly.
Josh Harris: Yeah. I would agree. My mind I tell people, look, you got to come to the table with at least one of those two things. If you don't have money, you're going to need to have time. You can't come with neither of those things because we've got nothing to work with at that point.
Sam Ovens: If someone doesn't have money or time, where are they putting their time? Usually someone doesn't have money because they're not working that hard and they've got free time, and usually someone either has one or the other or they're just wasting it and being stupid. That's a good method. Let's talk about why you wanted to switch from the agency model, where you're making like $40,000 a month, to the training model, the programs. Because I know there's a lot of people that wonder why did I move? I used to have an agency. Why did I make the transition to programs? Then why did Andrew Argue do it? Why did you do it? Why does everyone seem to make that switch? I want to hear specifically in your case why you wanted to.
Josh Harris: It's a good question. I look back at it and I don't honestly have a really great answer for that. There's a few different reasons. One, which I'll just be transparent, I saw a lot of other people doing it, so I thought, okay, well if other people are doing it, maybe I can give it a shot. The coaching model does have a lot of advantages in that you can leverage your time more effectively and you can rely less on other people. That was really, for me, it was okay, there was either two steps. I had to become really, really good at managing people and systems or I had to find a way for me to go farther. I had to leverage myself more.
Josh Harris: The reason I went that way was that there was a way where I could leverage some of the things that I learned and leverage my own skills quite farther than that. At a certain point, when I hit my first $200,000 month, it was just me. I didn't have anybody. Now I've got an office, I've got four full time staff, I've got salespeople on top of that. We've got a lot of contractors. We've grown tremendously since then, and ironically it's come full circle in the thing that you think you need to grow that you skip, you always have to come back and eventually hit that, so you do have to learn the people and the system's thing. We've made a lot of strides in that in the last, I would say, six to 12 months.
Josh Harris: The reason I switched is because it was, in a word, leverage. I was able to leverage what we did, what we had developed. Then from that, I'll get into later on the call some of the things that I learned in hindsight from that. There's pros and cons to it. In the digital marketing space, there's some churn. You don't keep clients forever. You have to rely on other people to make sure that service gets delivered properly, and so there's not a lot of people that have built solutions around that where the service delivery piece can be really handled and that if you focus very niche specific and you have the best service in that niche, there's a massive opportunity there.
Josh Harris: I'll talk about later in the interview where our latest pivots have gone down to is from looking back at the past mistakes and the weaknesses of what I did and then seeing opportunities there too because any time you see a big problem and you solve it, there's usually a lot of money on the other side of it because a lot of people ignore that. They just go, "Oh I'm not going to solve that. I'll solve some other little quick thing here that doesn't really last as long," but all the lasting money's on the other side of solving really, really big problems.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I agree. One thing about moving from the agency model to the program model is there's nothing wrong with the agency, but once you've been making ... like $40,000 a month for most people, that's like a dream. A lot of people would still probably believe that it's not even possible, if only I could get there. It's awesome, but once you do anything for like six months, you're bored of it. You want more. You want to grow, and when you look at the mechanics of it, you're like, "Well I've got all of these humans, I've got all of these channels of conversations going on in all of these different places." You've got a lot of complexity with an agency business, even with $40,000 a month. You've got to manage a lot of stuff.
Sam Ovens: When you think about scaling, you're like, "Do I really want to just get more humans, more complexity?" The program model is a way to get that extra scale without adding that. It makes total sense when you get to that point, but before that, there's nothing wrong with that model. You'll feel the desire ... I'm just saying this for people watching. You'll feel the desire to change to programs once you've maxed out the agency model, but until then it's an awesome model that I definitely recommend.
Josh Harris: I think one of the mistakes I see too is that I think some people, they get a couple clients and then they jump immediately. I think a lot of people look at that and they don't realize there was a period of time, six to 12 months. Of course before that, I did this for years. I just didn't do it very successfully because a lot of the scale things weren't built in that I needed. A lot of people look and they think that I did it for a couple months and then I started teaching. The thing that drives me nuts are guys that are like, "Hey, how to get your first client" and it's a month after they got their first client. It's like you're not really helping anybody at that point. You really need to hone your skills because the only thing you know how to teach is how everything goes when it goes right.
Josh Harris: The big thing I learned over the years was all the different ways that it won't work, and that was really what gave I think some of the stuff that I taught a lot more depth because I had a lot of context around dead ends that other people could avoid by failing so many times over and over again. That's really what you try to do as an expert or a mentor is shorten the odds of failure for people. One of the best ways is helping them not repeat your own mistakes.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I agree. I like to look at that stuff too because in my experience pretty much everything I do goes wrong or not to plan. It's only a minute few things that go to plan, and when that happens I'm like, "Wow." It's like it barely ever happens. You've got to get really good, and the program has to have contingencies for all of the wrong that can go wrong, which is most of the time and it's infinite. It's got to be able to catch those things and bring them back. I think the weak programs expect it all to go right, which it doesn't and then when it does go wrong, they have no contingencies to pull it back, and so everyone just jumps ship and then the ship sinks.
Josh Harris: Couldn't have said it better myself. That's exactly the problem with programs is that they're not built around all the failure and all the different contingencies of what to do when it doesn't go according to plan because that's pretty much life right there.
Sam Ovens: It's interesting because I work with a forensic psychiatrist who trains pro athletes. He trains the Arsenal football team. He's like really good. He said the one thing that really pro athletes have in common is that they obsess about what could go wrong. The reason why they work with him is when something goes wrong in a match and all the pressure's on, they don't want to break down there. They want to thrive there because when things are good, it's easy, but it's all about real competitors and really people who dominate at what they do. They perform when everyone else folds. It's quite interesting. They all look to the dark side to master that, and that's true in programs too. That's a really interesting point.
Sam Ovens: Now let's talk about we know why you moved to programs, and let's talk about your program. Who it was for, what the niche was, and then what problem you were solving for them and what your offer and pitch was to them so that people can understand the mechanics of it.
Josh Harris: Yeah. My offer was effectively, look, are you a newer agency. The funny thing too is that when I first launched I wasn't appealing to new agencies at all, I was just trying to sell to established. A lot of the established ones, they almost dismissed my solutions as even though I would have been making more money than them if they were already at $10k a month, they almost looked at me like, "Hey, it can't be that easy or that solution won't work." I had a really hard time selling to those people, and then I found my first sales to people that didn't have clients. I disqualified those people. I said if you didn't have any clients, I didn't want to work with you. I had multiple people keep begging me. They were like, "Please, show me your thing, just give me a shot."
Josh Harris: Finally, I sold a guy, and he went out and he implemented what I showed him, and I think he got two or three clients in four weeks and he was all the way up to like $6,000 a month. I was just like, "Man, it took me years to get from zero to that amount and that guy did it in just a few months with some of my help." The program after that became basically I helped anyone doing less than $10k a month in digital marketing, niche down, develop a predictable lead generation process through LinkedIn and then sell effectively over the phone, how to position your offers and navigate all the selling and the closing of deals. That was kind of what it was for.
Josh Harris: We'd do it over eight weeks. We'd include some support for that period of time, and then it was a combination of a digital thing with some coaching calls and stuff where we would go talk to each other a couple times a week. I'd review some of their materials and give them pointers on things, and so I think we were selling that. We started selling at $4,000 and then we went up to $5,000 and then we went up to $6,000 with that program. Then after it got better than that, I think we went up to $8,000 and that was around where it started before we pivoted to the newer thing we've been doing more recently.
Sam Ovens: What was the main problem that you were solving for these people? Explain what their situation would be like when they need what you were selling.
Josh Harris: Got it. That would be they were really struggling to narrow down a niche in digital marketing. They didn't know enough about the digital marketing niches to really know which one to choose. If they had a niche, they were really, really struggling to get any appointments consistently. Maybe they had their niche down, but they couldn't. They didn't have a huge budget for ads, and they really needed to nail in their messaging and everything. That's where our LinkedIn solution did it. Then the more rare solution was I had people that had their niche, they were getting calls and they weren't closing them and they needed my help to do that. Most people I was helping solve all three problems, but then some people only came to me with one or two of those problems.
Josh Harris: It was kind of like a three digit combination. It was really the niche, the leads and the sales and just solving whichever stage they were stuck at, helping them get through the rest of them.
Sam Ovens: That's interesting. They basically knew that they wanted to be doing digital marketing, and they already had a couple of clients, and they knew that they could do the work and deliver. They had the, what's it called? The specialized information and the specialized knowledge, sorry. They knew what to do and they were skilled at the craft, but what they were totally missing was the business side of how to attract clients, which his you need to know who the target market is, then you need a system to get leads and then you need a system to close them, which is like 50% of the business.
Sam Ovens: That's what I noticed too. All businesses, all experts out there, like lawyers and accountants, they know how to do law and they know how to do accounting. Well the agencies, they know how to do digital marketing, but they don't know the other side. It sounds like that's what you nailed for them. You taught in a program, you've said how much it was. Now let's talk about how you were, because now we understand who it's for and what it was, but let's talk about how you were able to sell this thing from end to end. How did you do the targeting? How did you generate the leads? How did you sell it end to end?
Josh Harris: Sure. We started by running Facebook ads. For me, I did a video sales letter funnel. I just wrote up like, "Hey, I got to write up some copy to describe their problems." Draw them in with some good copy. Write up the problems they're experienced so that when someone sees that ad and they're my ideal customer, they're going to say, "Oh that's me," and they pay attention. We ran ads. Those then went to a landing page that spoke to that promise a little bit, and then from there it went to a video, a little video sales letter. I made a video sales letter that was I think my first one was maybe 15 minutes long, and so they'd watch that video, and I think we'd call it a value video now. It talked about their problems and that most of them are struggling to get clients and all that stuff.
Josh Harris: Then after that, offer them to fill out a survey, which after they fill out the survey they'd get on a call through schedule ones. Then I'd get on the call. If they looked like they were a fit, if they didn't look like they were a fit, I'd just tell them, "Hey, it doesn't look like a fit," and we wouldn't even have the call. We'd get on the phone and we'd just diagnose, "What's the problem? Why are we talking? What's not working? What are your goals? Why haven't you reached them," all that kind of stuff. If it seemed like a fit, presented the offer to the person and if they went for it, then we started working together. Then from there, they'd get into our, we had a little Facebook group. We had our program was, I think we were using Kajabi, still use that. They get into that, and then they'd get on a couple calls a week and I laid out the program as eight weeks, like here's the different steps you do for the program.
Josh Harris: They'd go through that. They'd have assignments after each one. They'd submit that. I'd give them feedback on it, and yeah, that was kind of the whole thing end to end.
Sam Ovens: It's interesting. This is how I see it happen all the time. It's like early on in 2014, you had an agency and you didn't know how to get niche specific and get clients, and then you learned that and then it worked for you, but then you mastered it and then it really worked for you. Only when you had mastered it to the point where it was totally impressive and valuable for most other agency owners, then you flipped around instead of just doing it for you, then you started teaching it to other people, which is the exact way it always happens. Once you master something to the point that you're above the rest of everyone else, then a pocket of opportunity opens up for you not only to execute it for yourself, but for you to teach it to other people. It sounds like that's exactly what happened there.
Sam Ovens: Now let's talk about how you went to $250,000 a month, because at the point you made the switch from the agency to selling the program, were you making about $40,000 a month?
Josh Harris: Yeah, I was doing about $40,000 a month before I switched to programs.
Sam Ovens: Cool. How did the first few months go after switching to programs?
Josh Harris: Well that's where I had the failure that I told you about with trying to sell the done with you marketing stuff for service businesses and that didn't really go anywhere. Then in May of that year, May or June was when we made our switch and we started promoting that. One of the subtle things that really made an impact for us is that I felt that I was kind of stuck in a little bit of a feedback loop with where I was in my life because the place where we were living and everything was kind of stuck in this making less than $10,000 a month world. There was a lot of stuff tied to the way I was before, like the environment I had. One of the things that you had done that at the time I didn't understand but in hindsight made a lot of sense was that you changed your location. You changed your environment.
Josh Harris: Sometimes when you have a dramatic environment change, it kind of shake loose a lot of things that are holding you back that maybe you can't identify but they just are gone when you leave. In June of I want to say '16, we were at an event. You were talking about that experience, and then you just said it and then I just suddenly in that moment was like I know what I have to do, part of what I need to do to really break through the next level because I just launched the program and it was out of the gate, was doing okay, but I knew I needed to change my environment. We were living in Michigan at the time, and so at that point I decided, hey, we need to relocate. My wife and I had always talked about where we wanted to live and where we wanted to raise our kids, which were our two young girls at the time. Florida was always that place we wanted to live, and so we said, "Hey, let's move to Florida."
Josh Harris: I called my wife and I was like, "Hey, we're going to move to Florida in a couple months." By August 15th, we had sold our house and we had relocated to Florida. In that period of time, that was kind of like me leaving any safety net and anything that I'd known behind, and that's when the program started to get some traction. It was struggling a little bit because at that point, I was focusing on the guys that already had clients and the bigger shift happened when I started to realize, you know what, a lot of the guys that didn't have as many clients or maybe they had one client but were struggling had the most to gain and were in some cases the easier ones to work with because I'd give them a couple things and there was so much more for them to learn in a short period of time versus the guys that they almost were stubborn in some of their ways and they'd already developed some bad habits they didn't really want to get out of. They were just too busy on keeping their current business.
Josh Harris: That's really what helped was that I started getting results. I did a lot of organic stuff too. As people would follow me, I'd just talk about results that I was getting with people and that would draw a lot more people in. That was kind of what led up to that next growth spurt was just consistently building that up and then training the sales team, training people to sell and working on scaling the business, which I started doing in I would say April of last year, is when I really started working on building the team. That's when ...
Sam Ovens: I want to zoom in on a spot here because there's a few things you mentioned. The first one is you changed your environment, which I know that that makes a big difference because it's when I made the biggest difference in my entire life, and then when Andrew Argue did it, it made the next big difference for him. I can pretty much remember that event. Was that the one where we were in Miami?
Josh Harris: We were in Miami, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. I remember you saying, yeah, you were thinking about doing that, and then you did it and then this is a really, I just want to highlight this because this is a really powerful hack for anybody that is trying to get to that next level up. It's like at a certain stage, you don't do it in the beginning when you're broke and it's impossible and it would be totally irresponsible to go and get a nice place and totally move. You want to do this move at a time when you've got money and it's a stretch, but it's not like going to completely wipe you out and be totally irresponsible. You want to move into a place that is better, it's a better place in a better location and you're surrounded by nicer things and everything like that so that your confidence goes up and matches with that place.
Sam Ovens: A lot of the time it's best if you actually change cities or states or things like that because then you leave behind all of those other behavior patterns. You moved from Michigan to Florida and you got a nicer house, I know that, because you used to work in your basement in Michigan, didn't you?
Josh Harris: Yeah, my cold drafty basement.
Sam Ovens: I remember you saying it had no windows, you're down in this basement and you would wear pajamas down there too.
Josh Harris: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: It doesn't matter how good you are. If you're in a basement, in pajamas with no windows, there's always going to be that feeling in the back of your mind that you're not successful. You know what I mean? Even if things are, because it just doesn't feel that successful. It makes a huge difference. People who are listening, at that point you're at like $40,000 a month and I know at the point where Andrew moved, he was probably doing about the same too. If you get to like $10,000 a month and you're still living at home or something, you want to get out of there and get a better place, but when you're at $40,000 a month, you want to get an even nicer place, some place that is quite impressive for you because it makes a huge difference.
Sam Ovens: When you did that move, what happened pretty much immediately after that? Let's talk about before you hired the salespeople because you got to, what $200,000 a month just selling this program by yourself before you hired anyone.
Josh Harris: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: What made that happen and how quickly did that happen?
Josh Harris: We got to $200,000 a month by that fall, I want to say November/December was when we hit that. I would say the environment had a lot to do with it. The stuff I was teaching was working. There's a lot of people getting results, there was a lot of momentum and a lot of people sharing that. That really helped. Really it was I can't point to anything specifically other than the environment change made a big difference. I was really focused on what I was doing, and we really got to a good rhythm there before we got to that point.
Sam Ovens: When you were at $200,000 a month by yourself, let's explain what was making that happen. How much did you have to spend on ads, and then how much were you getting a strategy session for on average or an application? How many calls were you doing per day, and what was your closing ratio like, just so people can understand what variables have to be existing day to day to hit that level?
Josh Harris: That's a great question. I'm going to do some math here. If I was doing, I think I had sold about 30 of them, and I just started launching my mastermind at the time. 30 times 6,000. Basically it was a sale a day, but per week, I would say I was closing 20%. It's a good about 40 calls a week is what I was doing. 40 calls a week. That was about eight calls a day. It was a full time job just taking sales calls.
Sam Ovens: I'm just going to do the math on this too because the math makes it so much clearer. If you were making $200,000 a month divided by your program was like $6,000, so you had to do 33 sales a month, which would be one a day if you were working every day of the week including Saturday and Sunday. Well then we times that by, if you were closing it at 20%, we times that by five. You'd have to do 166 leads, so call that 170 strategy sessions a month. How many days a week were you working back then?
Josh Harris: I was working every day, but I would say mainly Monday through Friday and then Saturday, Sunday I'd work on other stuff. I'd work on my ads, work on my program, things like that. I wasn't working 40 hours a week if that's what you're wondering.
Sam Ovens: Let's call it like six days a week. Then we've got to do, that's 24. 170 divided by 24. That's seven strategy sessions a day. Yeah. People who are listening, that's the number right there. That's what makes this happen. It's like if you're sitting there in your room and you're like, "Man, why ain't I making seven figures," or if you're like, "Man, why I ain't I making six figures," or if you're like, "Oh man, why don't I have a client," well look at your bloody strategy sessions. How many have you done? I see some people and they say things aren't working, and then I ask them how many strategy sessions they've done, and they say they've done two in the last three months. Well Josh was doing seven a day every day, six days a week and that's what makes this happen.
Sam Ovens: I always tell people, what's the one thing that you can zoom in on and look at to determine how much money someone's making? Strategy sessions. This is cool, to break it down like that, it makes it a lot simpler. That's a lot of work man. That's like what were your hours like then? What time did you wake up? What time did you go to sleep?
Josh Harris: The last few years I pretty religiously going to bed at like 10:00 and I get up at 6:30, 7:00. I just get a good night's sleep. I can't really function without it. I pretty much got up and I was at work by 8:00, and sometimes I'd work until 8:00, or I'd be back at 6:00, come back for dinner. I had a lot of days working about 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Yeah, it was a lot of work.
Sam Ovens: It's like 10 hours a day, like six, seven days a week, so 60, 70 hour weeks, which makes sense.
Josh Harris: Yeah, Saturday or Sunday would be like a half day. Sunday or Saturday we'd do some sort of family thing, get out and do something. Stuff like that.
Sam Ovens: That makes sense, because if you're working 10 hours a day and you've got seven strategy sessions, that's like seven hours of that 10. Your time distribution was 70/30, 70% sales calls, then probably 30% I'm guessing working on your ads to generate those calls, sending emails, doing organic things and actually working on your program.
Josh Harris: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: 70/30 for people who are listening to that. That makes sense. Now let's talk about how you are able to generate those because that's a lot. To generate seven calls per day every day, what was making that happen?
Josh Harris: Facebook ads. We were spending about $30,000 a month.
Sam Ovens: About $1,000 a day.
Josh Harris: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: That makes sense.
Josh Harris: Strategy sessions were around $200 but we got organic ones too. It's kind of where you look at $25,000 to $30,000 a month.
Sam Ovens: That makes sense because if you're getting seven strategy sessions a day, spending $1,000 a day, that's $143 per strategy session, which that makes sense. You said you were probably paying closer to like what, $200? You're probably canceling a bunch of the applications, which makes sense. That's the difference there, because for people listening, to do seven strategy sessions a day, you really need to generate at least 10 applications, because they're going to be 30% of them that aren't a good fit that you want to cancel, and you want to make sure that your day is full of the cream of the crop. You need to generate more than what you actually need by a margin of at least 20% to 30%. That's what would make that cost go up a little bit more.
Sam Ovens: Then you were running Facebook ads, running through your funnel, doing strategy sessions, closing them, working on the program. That all makes sense. Then at that point, you got to $200,000 a month. Then what did it feel like getting to that level?
Josh Harris: It felt pretty good at first, and then just like with everything you get a little bit bored, and you're like, "All right." You can kind of cruise here, and that was when I made that decision, there was a lot of guys I saw out there that they liked to hover there and stay a one man business, and I said to get to the next level I basically have to build a team. To me, that was the next challenge that I was, after a few months of that, I was like, "All right, the next mountain is I have to build a business that doesn't rely 100% on me," because at that moment, it really did. If I wanted to take a vacation for a week, I had to get off the phone and not take calls.
Josh Harris: That was the first place I looked was I need to get sales going, get somebody else that can sell.
Sam Ovens: This is an interesting one. Most people, if they're making $200,000 a month by them self, they'd be stoked. They'd be happy back at $40,000 a month. What is it that makes you want to want more and want to go to the next level?
Josh Harris: That's a good question. It's one that sometimes I don't know the exact answer for even myself. For me, I've always had a vision of making a giant splash. To me, money, it's a thing, but I think the people that just chase the money, they end up not really getting much of it. It's really about chasing the impact and the result. For me, I've always been results oriented where the money is a side effect of how well you are performing in the business world, because the money's always going to flow to the results and the people that are getting traction. To me, it was like, one, I didn't want to have a business that relied solely on me to actually function. It was partly out of necessity. I really felt that I needed to do that, and then of course obviously the flip side of that coin of not having the business rely on you is that you can grow it to be much larger because you can build off of other peoples efforts and momentum and create an environment where they're happy and you're happy and the whole business is growing.
Josh Harris: It was just naturally the next challenge. I think a lot of people that become entrepreneurs are naturally competitive. I'm sure you consider yourself competitive, I'm competitive. That's like that core thing, and so the nature of competition is always wanting to level up, and I'm like a game where you can win the MBA Finals and become champion there. Even the guys that win that, the only thing they're looking to do is do that again the next year. There's always that how can I push the envelope. For me, it's no different. It's a competitive nature is I want to go out there, I want to make an impact. I want to help other people with their businesses. If I help them, I know that helps me at the same time, but that's what's required to really grow is to do that, and so I wanted to be able to do that and build a team of people that can do that with me.
Sam Ovens: Business is funny because it's like you get to crush other people. Well you get to crush your competition by helping the world. It's like you get to like crush people by helping a lot of people. It's quite a weird scenario, you know what I mean?
Josh Harris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sam Ovens: You've got to help your market and you've got to help them better than anybody else, but if you're helping your market better than your competitors then that in turn crushes them, which is quite funny when I think about it sometimes. Let's talk about now the lifestyle changes you're able to make. I often skip over all of this stuff. I ask you how you felt. I never ask questions like that, but I know people want to know things like that. What changes to a lifestyle were you able to make? I remember you got a better house and then you got a Tesla. Explain that stuff.
Josh Harris: I think that there's, and I'm probably stealing this from somebody, but there's like three different phases people go through. The first phase is you really don't have any money. You're maybe average, middle class or lower middle class, and you're looking at other people that are successful, and you're initially driven by that. You're like, "I want to be successful and I want to get all of those things." You become successful and you can buy those things, then you get to those things and you're like, "Hey, now I've got all those things." Now it's like this weird mere moment where suddenly you're the guy with all those things and everybody else is looking at you, like, "Oh I want to be that guy."
Josh Harris: That's kind of a weird thing to do to go from looking at the people that are successful, then being that successful guy. We changed our environment. We saved a lot of money. We could eat out anywhere we wanted. At this point, it's like monetarily, with reason, there's Michael Jackson had $100 million in debt or some obscene amount of thing. It just goes to show no matter how much money you make you can always spend it. Relatively speaking, the things that it would have avoided. Like I shopped at Aldi for many years. In the States here, that's a really, really budget grocery chain, and the food there's not bad. If you're getting basic ingredients and stuff like that, Aldi works, but that's what it takes. We had such a tight budget. We lived off of a few thousand a month at times.
Josh Harris: To not care about the brand of something you get and to not worry about being able to afford the tip for the people at the restaurant, not going to too fancy of a restaurant so that you can always cover the tip, to not worry about those types of things was really, really great. Coincidentally, what happens is maybe this is on a year and a half or a two year fuse, but after you go into the second phase where you have all that, and I noticed that you did this a little bit yourself, like you get to that phase where you start to look at these things that's just baggage that inhibits you playing the game at a higher level. For me, I've come down from that where now I look at the cars and a lot of these other things and I'm like, "They're not really helping me achieve my goal." They were nice, but now it's like I look at it and I just say, "That's money I could be putting towards this or I could be investing this in that."
Josh Harris: It's kind of interesting, it's like it goes almost full circle. You go back to basically choosing to live a less extravagant life because you don't really care. If you notice, I'm wearing a tee shirt, you're wearing a tee shirt. That's kind of ironic, this is probably a $10 tee shirt. There's a lot of guys that try to look successful and they're not that successful. The guys that are successful you sometimes wouldn't even know it by looking at them because they're not wearing some really fancy stuff. That was that third phase that happened more in the last six months where I started looking at that and said, "Huh. This stuff isn't helping my bigger picture goal." Now I've gone through a process of unloading that and then investing and focusing more on the business, and that's helped the business a lot.
Sam Ovens: Have you sold your Tesla?
Josh Harris: I'm about to.
Sam Ovens: Oh you are going to? Nice.
Josh Harris: Yeah, finally [crosstalk 00:52:02].
Sam Ovens: That's a big move when someone gives up the car. I remember I had cars like Ferraris and stuff, and it was like a hard thing to do because it's like, it's the thing you've cherished, but it does feed a bigger goal that's way more meaningful than a Ferrari.
Josh Harris: Yeah, that's absolutely the case. My wife was even like, "Are you sure you want to get rid of it?" I was like, "Yeah, I feel like I've gone through that phase," and it's just weird because I never would have guessed that, I would have thought I would be going for the next upgrade or the next upgrade. Instead I'm like, "No, I'm really focused on our goals."
Sam Ovens: Yeah, well I've seen the guys who keep getting the next upgrades, and they end up getting wiped out. There's no good end to just continuously upgrading your lifestyle. It ends up taking you. Then you've got to keep things simple to grow. There has to be a symmetry between the growth in your income and the lifestyle expense you have. Most people keep expanding their lifestyle at the same rate that they keep expanding their income, so they're never actually making any progress. Keeping it, you look at Warren Buffett and stuff, they fix it. He's still got the house, still got the same car, but his income is growing. That's how he's growing to be where he is, he doesn't keep growing it. That's an interesting point.
Sam Ovens: One thing I want to put in here is that you did all of this. When you are working 10 hours a day, six days a week and doing seven strategy sessions a day, you have a family too. That's an important point because I'm sure a lot of people listening are like, "Oh but Josh could do that because he's probably single or he's probably just married, doesn't have any kids," but you do. Explain how you were able to work that much and have that much focus and put in that much work when you had a young family.
Josh Harris: My daughters are five and six now, so when we moved they were probably three and four. They were very young. For me, there's no easy way to put it, we had to make a choice. I said, "Look, we can do the whole dad's around for every moment and everything, but this business isn't going to grow." My wife and I, we just had a lot of discussions. We talked about it and talked about it, and we made a decision where we said for us having the freedom of movement, having the lifestyle choices, knowing that we're financially secure no matter what, that was more important than ... it was worth going for that initially if it meant that we could hit that.
Josh Harris: It was only in the last six months, six to 12 months that I really started to have more time, when I started building the team in spring of '17 that I was able to start to have that time. I just said, "Look, this is going to be a season of our lives. They're young now. They'll remember some of it," but to me, it was definitely not easy. It's tough to go through that, but now having more time to spend with them, being able to have complete flexibility on my schedule if I want to and all of that stuff, a lot of people will never get that. That rarely just shows up. It does take a push. It does take the effort there. For me, the important part was making sure my wife was onboard and we were 100% down to do that. It worked out, but it was definitely tough. It was a lot of sacrifices.
Josh Harris: A lot of time we could have spent that I focused on the business, but I look at that and I say for where we are, it worked out, but I know that that's definitely not an easy thing.
Sam Ovens: Got it. Then we've covered your story pretty much from the very beginning all the way up to the point, $250,000 a month, selling this program. Now let's talk about some of the recent things you've been doing, because I know you've been looking at doing some more innovative things recently. Talk to us about that.
Josh Harris: There's the last two things I would say that I'll talk about is the innovation stuff and then also the team building stuff because I think that's an important turning point is in early '17, I started realizing all right, I've taken this as far as I can go. There's only so many hours I can work in the day. I wanted to spend some more time with my family and have that flexibility and not just be like, hey, if I don't have any strategy calls for myself today we don't make money today. That is one of the limitations of the high ticket business is that when you have recurring revenue, you can count on getting paid every month, but if you don't have recurring revenue, if you take a month off of high ticket, you don't get paid anything that month except any re-bills from what you sold previously.
Josh Harris: That was that, it kind of felt a bit like a hamster wheel because it was all on me. I was running the ads. I was doing the coaching. I was doing everything myself. In some ways, and this is not to put a knock on it, it was really just a very, very highly paid self-employed person. I didn't really have a business, meaning to me the definition of a business, I've heard this before, is you can take a two week vacation and it's not like your revenue plummets and the other one is you can buy a customer. I had the first one, I could buy customers but I couldn't take a vacation. Most people can't do either. They can't buy a customer and they can't take a vacation in their business.
Josh Harris: That's when the first thing I looked at, I said, okay, the easiest thing or the biggest chunk was the sales. I started training an individual who I knew this person and I trusted them, and so I thought, okay, this is someone I trust who's very moldable, very pliable. That just turned out not to work out because the person just didn't have the raw talent to really make it work. For me, the lesson I learned was that the most important thing the person needs is that they must have the raw talent.
Sam Ovens: What is the talent?
Josh Harris: The talent is ...
Sam Ovens: Is this more of a characteristic, like they're good with rejection or a skill, like they know how to close?
Josh Harris: It's hard to perfectly describe because we're still working on, like I can spot it more easily now but at the time it was basically, I can't describe it anything else than just a killer instinct. Not that they're going to kill somebody, but just they have that people smart. They can just pick up on nuance, because selling over the phone is very nuanced because you're not sitting across from somebody. The vast majority of human communication is nonverbal. A lot of body language stuff. You have no body language on the phone. All you have are the words. More importantly, the tonality. The pacing, the words, all those different things. If you can't pick up on the subtle hidden meanings of what someone's saying versus what they're actually saying, you won't close. That was something I learned.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I know what you're talking about. It's like a hyper awareness, right?
Josh Harris: Yes. Right. Understanding what someone really means when they say something, listening for that slight hint in their tone to know where to dig into something or when someone's actually told you what's really going on. If you don't know that and you can't pick up on that, you're just not going to make it. That's almost something that I couldn't really figure out how to teach. I just had it innately and the only thing that happened to me was mine became much sharper just after doing thousands of calls. One of my students had that. She was selling very well, but what she didn't really enjoy was the fulfillment process. I approached her and I said, "Hey, I know you're struggling with this business because you don't like doing the work after you sell it, so would you consider selling it for me?"
Josh Harris: She said, "Yes." Immediately she had the raw skill and she had the motivation and so it was very easy to teach her, train her and develop her. She really crushed it. She was selling 20 units a month for us at one point, just herself, which is pretty impressive. After that, by the time the fall came around we started developing a few other salespeople and everything. At a certain point we had three people selling. We kind of built up and established our team. Not having to sell on the calls myself gave me a lot more time to focus on other things, like the program, focus on the ads. One of the other things we did was we then started hiring people to run our ads. To me, those are kind of the two pieces is getting the ads and the sales team. If those things can really stabilize, then you can really start to focus on the product and innovation.
Josh Harris: That leads into the second phase of what we're doing more recently. To me, the biggest challenge that I found, and the whole digital marketing industry has this, and it's kind of ironic because it's not what you would think, is they're just not very good at digital marketing. There's a lot of people that can do digital marketing but they can't really get really good results for people. I spent a lot of time thinking about that because I had students that were successful in that they sold people, they got a great niche, they sold people, and they had clients and they would lose the clients. I would just be like, "Well why did you lose the client?" It was always, "Well the results weren't there." I never really focus on that much because to me, I just assumed once you get the client people can get the result.
Josh Harris: That just kept coming up as this ongoing problem was that the results, people weren't getting good enough results, and there was a few reasons. One of them was they wouldn't be niche focused, but even then the niche focused ones, the process didn't cover the whole spectrum of end to end. When you think about us, imagine teaching someone how to generate strategy sessions with Facebook and then not teaching them how to sell it. That's more or less the best way to describe the problem a lot of people had is that they would send leads to companies and companies would be missing a few of the pieces to actually ROI those leads. If they couldn't ROI the leads, it wouldn't matter whose fault it was, you wouldn't keep the client.
Josh Harris: The farther up the ladder you go in learning to solve the problem, the more money there is. To me, this is what led us to our current iteration where we said, okay, the problem is people know how to market. They get into a niche, they know how to market, they know how to sell and do the lead generation, but then after they get the client, we need to develop a done for you process that does that. Our program shifted to now what it has is we basically have a white label contractor that we work in lockstep with. They're already running campaigns in niches all over the U.S. They are able to know the baselines because if you get a client in San Diego, the results are totally different than Kentucky because San Diego's a more expensive market. Someone would get results in Kentucky and sell someone in San Diego and they can never figure out why.
Josh Harris: These were all problems we started to put together and develop a solution. The solution was really, it's almost like we got into the providing a proof of concept business, as you would call it. It's like a lot of people didn't have the proof of concept, they just wanted to sell. We basically now sell a proof of concept around digital marketing where they come to us, they sell in a niche, we already have results in that niche and the results are replicatable, meaning that we know exactly what the baselines are, the pluses and the minuses all over the U.S. so they can go to, one of our niches is mortgages. They can go to a mortgage broker in San Diego and they can say, "Hey, right now we're getting these results and we're closing loans for $1,000. If you pay us $5,000, you should get five loans. Does that work out for you economically?"
Josh Harris: Most of the time they're like yeah, because the national average for a mortgage is like $2,000 to acquire one. We basically now develop this fleet of niches where we have the contractors where agencies come and partner with us. They get access to our contractors and all the data we've built around what works in those markets, so when they sell a client they can hack our proof of concept and jump to the front of the line. Instead of starting at the bottom of the mountain they're starting at the top. That was the big chain was that now we're building our business more around a recurring revenue model with our clients instead of just teaching them and then sending them off, we're saying, "Look, we'll build with you. If you get clients, we'll basically be your back end," and because we have so much data about what's working and we leverage all sorts of proprietary data, we can get better results in a lot of different really competitive niches.
Josh Harris: That attracts a lot of people to us who are trying to start their agency but they want to have a product that can actually compete, or they're already established and they're getting so-so results, but they see that our results are actually better than theirs and they don't want to not be selling the best in the marketplace. That's kind of our most recent pivot is doing that, and then only putting a certain number of people in each niche so that there's not an endless amount of competition.
Sam Ovens: Got it. That makes sense because I know everybody's first need and problem is getting a customer, but once they get the customer, it becomes delivering a service or a product that's good enough so that the customer stays and repeat purchases. It seems like once you solve the first level, because once you've gotten one problem, another problem arises from solving the existing problem. It's like first, second, third order effects. You have solved first and second order. That makes sense.
Josh Harris: Yeah. That's exactly where it led us was what's the bigger problem upstream? To me, no one would want to tackle getting results in the digital marketing industry. They think, oh, that's a huge problem. There's not even an easy solution. We're starting to carve out a really effective solution. Some of the results are pretty crazy. A mortgage lead in, just using Facebook, a mortgage lead might cost you $15 to $20 in San Diego, which is the most expensive real estate market. They make the most money there. We've got guys using our data and stuff, they're getting them for like $3.75. If you can get leads that are the same quality or better for 75% less than everybody else, that's almost a license to print money.
Josh Harris: It's like you're finding a pocket between that you can find a lower acquisition cost. That's what we pass onto our customers. They come with us. They use our contractors, they use our data. They just effectively become the sales and the customer service, and of course, as I just told you, that's the easiest things to outsource is the sales and the customer service once it's working. We're trying to build our business with our clients that they're making money and we're making money with them. The most recent thing we're putting out is a new product, I can't go into a lot of details, but it's one that will be less niche specific that will basically just help people sell to their website visitors that haven't bought from them that are interested.
Josh Harris: It's going to help identify who those people are and then allow them to market to these people. Do direct mail retargeting to reach out to people that have clearly expressed interest. They've looked at a whole bunch of stuff on their website, but they haven't taken action with them and then allow them to reach out and make an offer to those people because that's where a lot of money is for a lot of different businesses.
Sam Ovens: That's like I can see that coming. It's just around the corner, where the whole internet's going to get personalized. Wherever you go, you're going to see something different than what somebody else sees.
Josh Harris: Yeah, and that's exactly what's behind what we're building is basically the ability to identify who people are so that we can make the most relevant offer to that person whereas everything now is you have to build a landing page that appeals to the broadest audience of people. You can't really have it personalized. For us, we're trying to pioneer ...
Sam Ovens: Unless you build lots of them, which sucks.
Josh Harris: Right. Even then, you don't know who the person is that's visiting. With this, it would know everything about you. For us, that's what we're building is an identity graph so that when someone comes to the website, we know who you are and we know what you want to buy. If you're looking to buy what we sell, we can personalize that experience, and then also know who's going to buy what you sell before they've even gone to somebody. It's kind of like predicting, minority report for crimes for buyers, to know hey, this person's going to buy this because they're starting a pattern that matches what everybody else has done on this established purchase.
Josh Harris: If everybody else that buys a mortgage does this research process and then we now know when that person starts it, we can just market to that person instead of marketing to everybody and hoping that we scrape to the margin the few people in that haystack that are actually looking to buy.
Sam Ovens: It's funny. I heard when we're reading this story that this woman, she just started seeing ads about being pregnant on Facebook and on display ads and stuff, and she was like, "Why am I seeing these? I'm not pregnant." Then she got a pregnancy test and she was. Her behavior was signaling it.
Josh Harris: Target actually had that.
Sam Ovens: Which is fascinating.
Josh Harris: Target had this years ago. They had their way of doing it is with loyalty cards. Every time you purchase something, you swipe the loyalty card and so all that behavior's attached to that person as an individual. As they go out and make purchases, they can look at future purchases and look back and say, "Okay, these people bought baby cribs. Was there any patterns in the people that bought the baby crib before they bought it?" They found things. This teenage girl got a personalized advertisement mailed to their house for that and the dad went into the Target and he was furious. He was like, "Are you trying to get my daughter pregnant," and then days later found out his daughter was pregnant. It was because they would basically trigger personalized advertisements.
Josh Harris: Then after that, a few years later, Target did an integration with Time Magazine where Time Magazine sent out personalized ads. Everyone that got their edition of Time Magazine had a personalized ad from Target based on what they were looking to buy at that moment. That's basically what's happened is that every single placement is going to become inventory for a centralized data solution, and that's what we're building is the ability to then know who's going to buy and then push out advertisements on any channel that they're on, online or offline.
Sam Ovens: Got it. Now let's talk about, because we've been on for just over an hour here, so we'll try and wrap it up now with two questions. The first one is in your whole experience of going through all of these different things, what would you say has been the one most transformational part?
Josh Harris: That's a good question. I think that there's definitely, I don't know if this is the most transformational, but definitely very impactful was the move. Moving, changing your environment really does help you. I'm almost, like I can see how some people could get addicted to that. I'm almost at a point where I want to do that again. I want to make another major environment change. I would say that's a big one. Once you hit a certain level of success, to hit that next level is just push out of that and change your environment. That would be one. Then I think the second most impactful thing was really just that constant search, that heat seeking desire to find something that works and to not feel like you have to reinvent everything.
Josh Harris: I think a lot of people, they tried to go too unique. They're like, "I'm going to do some very bizarre unique thing that's unproven," and there's a lot of rewards there if those things work, but there's a high chance of failure. For us, I think you can focus on a high chance of failure stuff when you have a bunch of things that are already working. We make a lot of, like Amazon does that, like the moon shot bets. I think, what was the wording he had for it? If there is a 10% chance or maybe it's even like a 1% of a 10,000 times return on investment, they take that because that's what basically adds up, some formulation of that where they just basically play the odds, but they didn't do that the first day he built on Amazon.
Josh Harris: He focused on a sure thing, that people were going to buy books. I think a lot of people, they focus on the moon shot thing because then they basically tell themselves if this works, then X, Y, Z. I think that the better thing is to focus on what's already working. Leverage things that work and don't try to create something from complete scratch. It's like they want to bake a cake that doesn't have a single ingredient that's ever been used before, like no flour or sugar or anything. It's like most good recipes are 90% something else, and it's only that 5% or 10% that's something else that you add to it or synthesize it differently. Don't try to create a totally different recipe, just create a recipe that works that you can leverage. I would say those are the two things.
Sam Ovens: A good point there, because you were talking about the Jeff Bezos thing. They take those massive bets, which are risky, but only because they can take a lot of them because most of them fail, and he says that. Nine out of 10 of those bets that we take will fail, but the one that does more than pays for the ones that don't. If you're taking those moon shot bets, you need to be able to take more than 10 of them. You need to take 10 or more of them because most of them are going to fail, and then you need to be able to cover those losses and those investments, which is huge. Until you build a platform first, which can have the people, like the employees and it can produce the capital to go into those things and survive that term, then yeah, it's like Jeff Bezos now is doing Blue Origin with the spaceships. Imagine if he was doing that day one.
Sam Ovens: He would have been bankrupt in his first 10 minutes. It's a really good point. I like that. Then the second question is you've been in the consulting community for as long as anyone has, because you were like one of my day one customers I'm pretty sure, since 2014. You've seen a lot of what goes on in there. What would be your number one piece of advice for other members?
Josh Harris: Good question. I don't know if there'd be one piece, but a few pieces. For one, get a niche quick and leverage something that works. For me, the first niche I worked with wasn't ... You don't have to be married to the niche. I think that's a lot of people, they look at the niche and they assume that they're signing a lifelong contract. It's not a lifelong contract. You can't get any feedback unless you try. I think a lot of people spend way too much time in the niche selection phase trying to get that perfect, and it's not going to be perfect. Pick a niche quickly so you can start getting to work. Don't just throw a dart at the board, but set a time limit. Give yourself a week at the most and be like, "Hey, within a week, I'm going to get this thing done."
Josh Harris: The next thing would be that, once you've got that, put a very solid plan of attack, spending the vast majority of your time interacting with that market, learning from the market, understanding their problems. You'll understand their problems by talking to them. I see people that will say, oh, they'll have a call with someone but they almost want to qualify the call. They're like, "Well I want them to fill out a survey." The direct outreach, the only thing you want to do is talk to somebody so that they can start telling you things because all of the best copy, all of the best messages, I didn't make them up. Other people told them to me on phone calls.
Josh Harris: That's where you really figure out what's going on in the market, what people are saying. That's like basically what you need right there is those two pieces. It's just getting to the niche, find out the problems, they'll tell them to you and then formulate that into your offer. Whatever you're doing, leverage something that will get you the results. Anything you can leverage, do it because if you try to invent the market, invent the solution, you're going to fall hard and fast and you'll get discouraged. Focusing on leveraging 90% there's something that works already. You're going to lower your odds of failure but still have an edge. Those will be the things is just don't just sit there. Get to work. Get to work quickly. Know that you can pivot. We've pivoted dozens of times. I'm sure you've pivoted many more than that in your own business, but the important thing is get the boat moving.
Josh Harris: It's like there's guys, my analogy, they sit in the speed boat and before they even go one inch forward, they're trying to get it perfectly pointed at the island they're going to when in reality the guy that's already gone 100 miles the wrong direction will get there even with going out of his way and the wrong direction, he'll still get there before the other guy even turns his engine on, starts going forward. It's the same type of thing is that the movement creates feedback, which creates the information to make the pivots to what will work. The people that succeed, they do a lot. They implement. They don't just sit there thinking. I spent way too much of my life thinking and not enough time doing on this stuff. Don't think yourself out of taking action because you can't think yourself out of a mistake. You have to make some mistakes.
Sam Ovens: Got it. It's good advice. Then where can people learn more about you? What's a good place for them to go?
Josh Harris: A couple places. You can find me on Facebook. You can search for me in the group. Josh Harris, I'm right there. I'm fairly active on that. Our current site right now you can check out is AgencyGrowthSecrets.com, and that has information about us and what we do. That's Agency Growth Secrets. Those are the two places, you can connect with me on Facebook or there, and yeah, that's it.
Sam Ovens: Awesome. Well thanks a lot for jumping on and sharing your story. I'm sure it's going to help a lot of people in the group and also probably inspire a lot of people to get started in business for them self as well.
Josh Harris: Perfect. It was a lot of fun.
Sam Ovens: Cool man. Speak soon.