Side Hustle City

Transitioning from Side Hustle to Self-Employment: Insights from Marketing Maven Chris Knudsen

November 14, 2023 Adam Koehler With Chris Knudsen Season 4 Episode 55
Transitioning from Side Hustle to Self-Employment: Insights from Marketing Maven Chris Knudsen
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Side Hustle City
Transitioning from Side Hustle to Self-Employment: Insights from Marketing Maven Chris Knudsen
Nov 14, 2023 Season 4 Episode 55
Adam Koehler With Chris Knudsen

Send us a Text Message.

Are you ready to transition your side hustle into a main hustle, but uncertain of how to do so? Enter Chris Knudsen, marketing maven, former CMO of Purple Mattress, and author of Trust Me, I'm a Consultant. Through amusing and enlightening stories, Chris takes listeners on a journey through his book, detailing how it can serve as a roadmap for navigating the shift from being an employee to self-employment.

We also traverse the fascinating realm of the $15 billion mattress industry, examining the intriguing link between mattress sales and self-employment. Gain insights into the differences between memory foam and purple mattresses and the vital role of good sleep for entrepreneurs. We then touch on the disturbing trends of management crisis, frequent job changes, and the growing appeal of self-employment.

As our conversation develops, we tackle topics like best practices for entrepreneur management, the worth of an MBA for entrepreneurs, the role of marketing in business and education, and the essentials of consulting agreements. Hear Chris's valuable insights on how MBA programs may benefit entrepreneurs and the pivotal role of mentorship. Wrapping up the episode, Chris shares his knowledge on the skills required to be a successful independent consultant, emphasizing to listeners the importance of selling their value rather than their time. Don't miss out on this enlightening episode packed with real-world tales and actionable advice to help leap into self-employment.

As you're inspired to embark on your side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more, visit www.reversedout.com. We also recently launched our YouTube Channel, Marketing Pro Trends,  which summarizes all of our blog posts.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Are you ready to transition your side hustle into a main hustle, but uncertain of how to do so? Enter Chris Knudsen, marketing maven, former CMO of Purple Mattress, and author of Trust Me, I'm a Consultant. Through amusing and enlightening stories, Chris takes listeners on a journey through his book, detailing how it can serve as a roadmap for navigating the shift from being an employee to self-employment.

We also traverse the fascinating realm of the $15 billion mattress industry, examining the intriguing link between mattress sales and self-employment. Gain insights into the differences between memory foam and purple mattresses and the vital role of good sleep for entrepreneurs. We then touch on the disturbing trends of management crisis, frequent job changes, and the growing appeal of self-employment.

As our conversation develops, we tackle topics like best practices for entrepreneur management, the worth of an MBA for entrepreneurs, the role of marketing in business and education, and the essentials of consulting agreements. Hear Chris's valuable insights on how MBA programs may benefit entrepreneurs and the pivotal role of mentorship. Wrapping up the episode, Chris shares his knowledge on the skills required to be a successful independent consultant, emphasizing to listeners the importance of selling their value rather than their time. Don't miss out on this enlightening episode packed with real-world tales and actionable advice to help leap into self-employment.

As you're inspired to embark on your side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more, visit www.reversedout.com. We also recently launched our YouTube Channel, Marketing Pro Trends,  which summarizes all of our blog posts.

Everyday AI: Your daily guide to grown with Generative AI
Can't keep up with AI? We've got you. Everyday AI helps you keep up and get ahead.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Subscribe to Side Hustle City and join our Community on Facebook

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevy, my co-host. Let's get started, all right. Welcome back, everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. Today we got a special guest former CFO of Purple Mattress, writer of books and overall side hustle expert, chris Knudson. How you doing, chris?

Speaker 3:

Adam, it's good to be with you. I hope they didn't tell you I was the CFO at Purple Mattress. I was the CMO there.

Speaker 2:

CMO, cmo, all the marketing guy. You were just talking about marketing and design and stuff right before this, so you're a marketing guy, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm a marketing guy, that's right. I've cut my teeth in independent consulting and, like you, my independent consulting evolved into an agency as well, and we can talk about that path and how that works out and actually what it really means to your listeners too, because I think there's important lessons there. But yeah, yeah it's it. Marketing has been my background, mostly marketing and sales, mostly a direct consumer, although I've done quite a bit of lead generation and software, software services businesses as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you've got a website sevenfigureconsulting and you've written the book. Tell us about the book. Trust Me, I'm a Consultant. I love that title, by the way.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so, trust Me, I'm a Consultant is a book that had been in my mind probably since about 2017, 2018, and I just started writing down all of my experiences and my lessons and my takeaways. Part of that is I'm a part-time professor, so I like to bring real world in the classroom as an adjunct and not a full-time like academic professor. And I just sat there and thought, you know what's the best way for me to put all this down relate to students, you know, and all those types of things. So I just started making like copious notes on everything for a couple of years and I had like a hundred pages of notes and then I started organizing it. And when COVID hit in 2020 and we all went to lockdown, I was like, hey, this is the perfect time for me to sit down and write this book. And so I just started like organizing all my notes and I was like, man, I've got maybe actually two books here, so I had to cut it down into what was really what I really wanted to talk about, which was the thing that I really wanted to make the book about, was how do you make that leap from employment into self-employment? And it may not be there. It's a middle layer that's not really talked about much. I would say there's not a lot of books written about it. There's not a lot of we don't talk about a lot in academia or even in podcasting. It's more prevalent now because of the gig what I'll call the gig economy. But what I wanted to teach people was that there's a roadmap for leaving your job and going into what I'll just broadly classify as independent consulting. And not leaving your job and going and raising money and building a product and hiring a bunch of people and trying to go and like start this big business. You don't actually have to do it that way. There's this really nice middle step where you can go into business for yourself, you can be your own person, you can take that skill set that you have, that you've acquired over many good years of service with probably your employers, and you can go make a lot more money and own your time as an independent consultant. And so when I say consulting, I want the audience to know I broadly define that. We were just talking before we came on, before we started recording, right out of my saying hey, a graphic designer could be a quote unquote consultant. You're just farming out your skill set to another entity or organization that needs to rent those skills from you in some way. So, yeah, that's what the book is about and I didn't want to write another boring business book. To be honest with you, we have plenty of boring business books in the world. So it's almost written in a memoir format and I was like, what are all my crazy stories I've ever run into Like crazy stories and I incorporated those into the book and, as a marketing guy, I wrote a lot of chapter headings that are, like you know, kind of link baity, if you will, in a way, right, the cocaine professor, that's what it really was.

Speaker 2:

I was like what is it?

Speaker 3:

I've got two chapter headings with cocaine. I've got the cocaine professor and I've got the devs are doing cocaine in the bathroom again, which is all about these, this technology group of this company, all going to the bathroom and doing cocaine all the time. So little things, like you know. Like I forgot about that million dollars. I have my PayPal account and you know the worst advice of venture capitalists every gave a room full of women, how I helped to broke inventors fall backwards into hundreds of millions of dollars. That's actually the story of how purple mattress came to be, how I got paid in a job interview. I literally got paid in a job interview. I've never met anybody in their life that's been paid in a job interview and I tell that story in the book. And so I wanted to tell. I wanted it to be a lot of fun and I wanted to use the stories to convey what I think is really actionable. Actionable information that the reader could take and be like oh okay, I see how I can apply this in my life and I can make this jump that Chris is talking about to get into self-employment, and so that was the whole purpose of the book was to be entertaining and educational at the same time.

Speaker 2:

Well, if people get this book and they look at these chapter headlines, they're going to be. They are a trip. I love these things like how to lose your sister's millions on a podcasting startup I mean, yeah, these these are great headlines and their true stories, too that's the thing is is there.

Speaker 3:

You know, I never had a midlife crisis. I had a 3d print startup. I mean, it's like you know. These are all things that either happened to me or happened to somebody that I was in some situation with. You know, one of the tragic stories in here that I have as one of the headlines is Navy SEAL's laws of combat and a board coup d'état where I watched the CEO get totally taken out by his co-founders and I applied these Navy SEAL rules of combat to that situation and how he should have been thinking about how to protect himself. And it's real Like it really happened. It was a really tragic kind of a thing to witness, and so there's a lot of really hard stories in there like that. But there's some really inspirational things too, just in terms of things that people have gone and done and things that have happened that I want the reader to look at and go. Ultimately, I want the reader to look at, identify and say if that guy can do it, I can do it too, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's. That's what I think the best thing about doing this podcast for me is that people can relate to the folks that we bring on. They're not just saying, oh, you know, this guy grew up with a bunch of money and you know, of course he did okay. You know he could have failed a million times and dad would have picked up his, you know, picked him right up and helped him along. Not everybody that we talked to is like that. I mean, most people, I would say, are guys that you know they weren't the best employees, they weren't the best at school. They were, you know, like me. I mean, I used to. I mean I went to an inner city school and had gangs and stuff everywhere. So I was a C student. We didn't have anywhere to study or anything. So, plus, I didn't care, I didn't pay attention. There was nothing that was really that interesting to me, especially about the academic side of things. And you know, when I went to, you know, into my first jobs, I wasn't necessarily the best employee. I can't just sit there and do one thing all day and obviously, based on your background, I mean you're an inventor on top of everything else. You know, cmo CEO, you know you were a purple mattress. You were now the inventor. Part of this was that the 3D printing thing that you did.

Speaker 3:

No, not really. I would say that was actually somebody else's idea that I got invited to, which I was lucky to be a part of, but ultimately it failed because of the cost structure and that was a company where we had a deal with Disney. We were doing a deal with Disney and it's a little bit of that story in there about doing a deal with Disney. It's not. Actually it doesn't sound as good as you might think. It is right Like working with Disney is actually really difficult and I didn't realize that going into it I thought, man, we got to deal with Disney. And not only that we had a deal with Disney, we had to deal with Warner Brothers, we had to deal with all the big studios Ubisoft, microsoft. I mean we had all these really big deals in this 3D print business and we really couldn't make the unit economics of the product work at the time. But the technology there I didn't invent, was actually invented inside of Disney research and we just took it out of Disney research, and so it's actually a really interesting story about especially like being a small business and working with a company the size of Disney and all the things that can happen to you in that type of a situation. I've invented two different things. I've invented a back roller which is called the Hella Roller, which I think is a really cool product. I've invented in the bedding industry. In fact, we're in talks right now to license this technology off to a fairly sizable manufacturer in the bedding industry. But it's a. It is an application of utilizing gel as a spring inside of a mattress. So it's and that all was born out of my experience working at Purple Mattress and getting to understand the mattress industry and how the mattress industry works and componentry and material science. Behind, like what you're sleeping on top of, there's a lot of like. I have this like really weird knowledge about the mattress space because of my time that I've spent in the mattress space. I had not only, like I'd like, work with Purple from day one, but in my consulting and agency work I've worked with probably 10 other fairly sizable, some massive you know temperceely, casper and some of these other really large mattress companies and just know a lot about that industry, which is a really strange thing to know a lot about. But it was by interacting that industry and by working and consulting and doing agency work in that industry that I invented this thing that is. I think it's a very, very compelling technology that will probably eventually find itself into some products in the market. So so yeah, I've been, I've invented things, which is also weird. It's weird to like write stuff. It's weird to be an inventor, but so I've certainly not taken like whatever you would call it like the normal path, right, oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, not, I don't think any of us do, and you know. One question I have for you is why are there so many mattress stores everywhere? It seems like every time there's a new, it's like every single time there's a new strip mall, like one of the first things to move in is like mattress firm.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, having you heard the mattress firm conspiracy that like there's so many mattress firms in the because they're like a front for like an international drug money laundering, like cartel or something, there's like a really funny conspiracy theory about mattress from out there and mattress from just got acquired by Temprasele, which I thought was a brilliant move on Temprasele's part, especially given like the recessionary world that we're in right now in furniture and mattresses, and so they're going to own that retail space and it's going to be very difficult for other companies, like purple, to compete there. But yeah, it is strange, there's some. You know most people want to sleep on a mattress, they want to try the mattress before they buy it, but some will just buy it online. But even purple realized at one point, you know, when we were just direct consumer, was like, look, there's going to be some people probably the majority of people are going to want to lay on this thing and sure enough, that was the case, right? So it's that's why you see so many mattress stores out there. It's, it's a funny thing, though I've seen as well. I guess I would say it's wild, it's an unusual thing in our society right, so many.

Speaker 2:

It's like, how many mattresses are these people selling? I mean, what do people do they buy? I mean they buy a mattress what? Once every 10 years or something like that, maybe. I don't know what the status is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you actually know this is about once every nine years. Yeah, that's right, and it's about a $15 billion industry, so about $15 billion in mattresses sold every year. About 10 billion of those are straight memory foam mattresses. So yeah, it's a weird.

Speaker 2:

I got it. So I got a memory foam, so should I switch to a purple mattress? What's the deal with the purple?

Speaker 3:

I think they're great mattresses, especially since purple acquired um uh IntelliBed, which IntelliBed has a higher quality gel in it than uh. Then the purple gel. We don't have to go into all the details of why, because it's a really weird thing, but the higher end beds at um purple have a really really high quality uh gel in it and I sleep on one of those and it's it's, it's a really fantastic bed. Uh, I mean superior to uh memory foam, for sure, and most people prefer memory foam. It's, it's, it is the. The number one selling mattress in the United States is a memory foam mattress.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, so if I'm going to go purple, I got to go high end purple.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, You're going to spend, you know, four or five grand or so, but it'll be like it'll be a good night's sleep.

Speaker 2:

That's what I need. I need better sleep. I mean, being an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur, you know the deal Like people underestimate the mattress and the pillow that you use. I mean, you know, sometimes I'll fall asleep watching YouTube on a on the couch, so that that's not a problem. I go down the rabbit hole and I start discovering things. But you know, I mean, the one thing is is going back to another point that I had made. You know, most of us aren't the greatest students in the world. Most of us aren't the greatest employees in the world. What is that about? Like, what is it about people that are like that, um, and that are attracted to self employment?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think. Well, first off, the big problem is that we have a crisis in America that I'm going to call it a management crisis, and our management crisis is what's driving people to have somewhere between. The statistic is somewhere between nine and 14 jobs. By the time they're 35 years old. Wow, Um, when I was younger let's call it your younger my career early 2000s and we see resumes that came through that had that somebody been at job two years and a job two years for that, two years before that, and like they were jumping jobs about every two years, Like that was a huge red flag. I never see a resume that doesn't have that on it right now. Ever, I never see somebody who's been like it's unusual to see somebody who's been at a job for 10 years and uh, or longer, or something like it's super unusual, where that used to be the norm. Um, and what that is indicative of is the fact that we've got this management crisis in the United States and people are not really quitting their jobs, because it's not like they're quitting being an accountant and then going being a graphic designer. They're not. They're going to quit being an accountant and go be an account somewhere else. They're, they're. They're they're firing themselves from their bosses is what they're doing. They it's like they don't like their boss and in most cases, that's the situation and a lot of people out there hopefully somebody's driving home right now and it's been one of those weeks and they can resonate with this. Resonates with them is they're working in an environment where they have a boss they don't like. They can't figure the boss out, the boss is bad at management and they're bad at managing their boss and the company has a bad culture. So what that means is you got to wake up in the morning and, in order to get into work, you're like caffeinating yourself like crazy, because this is what we do and then you're putting on invisible armor, and that invisible armor or persona is the uh, is the armor that you take into the workplace to protect yourself, to protect your true identity from all of the daggers that you're about to encounter as you sit there for someplace for eight hours and just try and survive, Right, and this is what a lot of people experience. And then they leave work and then they take their armor off and they're actually their real person again when they're at home or on the weekends or whatever it may be, but like a lot of people and maybe you've experienced this I see it all the time that that person they are in the office is not their real person. It's not their real persona, it's their, it's their fake persona to, it's their survival persona to try and get through the day. Um and so people, that only lasts so long psychologically, and and so there's certain people that they'll. They'll either what they'll do is they'll just jump jobs or they'll become so fed up with it that they'll just quit and they'll go into self-employment. And which was my situation. I was like, forget about this. You know, damn the torpedoes I'm going to jump in. Which was kind of a bad idea. We can talk about that. It was kind of a bad idea because I didn't really have a plan. But I was so frustrated with working in bad companies, with bad um, you know, and I was a C level executive at that time at 35 years old, and, uh, I was so frustrated and annoyed with culture and manager problems and incompetency, uh, and people just being total a-holes to people and all the other stuff that I was like, look, I'm out, I'm done, I'm firing myself from this existence and I'm going to go try and figure out how to be an independent consultant. I'm going to make it, and that's exactly what I did. It was around 2010. So I've been doing it for 13 years Wow.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean also a buddy of mine when I talked to you about this. He calls me today and he says, hey, I'm fed up, like I can't take it here anymore. You know the culture's changed and I think people, there's a lot of folks I mean I'm almost 50. He's almost 50. That you've got a. You've got a lot of changes that have happened in the workplace, with COVID, you know, with um, you know them, them saying, hey, you can work from home. And now you got to come back to the office with you know sensitivities. You know there's a lot of sensitivities and, being a more of a conservative guy that he is, I think he's just too old to be calling people by their pronouns and like all that other stuff. You know, to be frank, and I just think there's a lot of people like that that are like Whoa, there's too many changes going on. I can't just come into work and be myself. If I say something, I'm walking on eggshells and you do. You're right, you do have to go into it on both sides, not just if you're a conservative president, I mean even if you're on the other side of things. Politics has kind of changed the workplace to a point where people can't be themselves, and it's getting worse and worse because of the polarization. And you know, a lot of people are finding freedom in self-employment.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yeah 100% and it's it's freedom from the politics of the workplace, but it's also it's graduating into owning your own time, and that was the thing that was most important to me. I'm like how do I control my own time? It's funny that you mentioned he's like 50, you're close, I'm going to be 50 on Tuesday, so we have a bunch of 50 year old guys right, so good for 50. Yeah, you get. You get to a point where you just don't want to tolerate certain things anymore, right, and the workplace? It's funny because companies get this and it was. This was kind of invented in the internet industry. They were very software guys. They were super tricky about this and what they did was they said how do we make? Like just disregarding the fact that they had a management problem, because everybody has a management problem. It's like they're like how do we make this place more tolerable? Oh, I got an idea, let's do. Let's bring in lunch, right, let's do a cost benefit analysis on doing lunches. Oh geez, this is actually really. This is this is actually really good. Let's do this, let's do lunches. How about on-site dry cleaning? Yeah, on-site dry daycare, perfect. How about and the biggest, the one that I think is the biggest scam how about unlimited vacation, unlimited vacation time? That's a total scam, is it total scam? And those who are listening, who work in office spaces or companies that have unlimited vacation, understand exactly what I mean. Because what happens is people actually end up taking less vacation because they get policed by the culture into taking less vacation, because it's not. There's no definition of like well, okay, well, did I get two weeks or do I get it? Okay, have I taken too much? Have I taken too little or what? And people, and it just turns into this like I better not do it, and people are looking at you. That guy sure takes a lot of time off, right, and it goes very high school very quickly. And so so these, these work environments, or these companies invented these things and I call them Venus. I call them Venus fly traps, right, so it's like it's invented to capture you, hold you there and basically destroy you, because they don't want you leaving for lunch. That means you're not going to be in the office as much and the potential to get back to work faster. Google serve you dinner. They'll serve you food all the time, but that means all you're there for dinner. That means you're staying late, working right, and they just want to own you and own your time. And what happened when COVID hit is that people woke up to these Venus fly trap scams. They woke up to it and they were like, wait a minute, I'm getting totally scammed. Yeah, right, yeah, there was. There was this article recently on Malcolm Gladwell, the author, matt Gladwell. It was complaining bitterly, maybe last year in an article I read in the New York Post about how his employees didn't want to come back to the office and he was ripping on his employees. He was like, oh they just want to stay. they just want to stay home and they want to work in their underwear and all this. And I'm like, dude, you just told me exactly what's wrong with your workplace You're an a hole, you got a bad culture and you got a bad environment there. So you need to fix your freaking Venus fly trap first if you want your employees to come back, because obviously they left and figured out that working for you and working in your company is not very fun.

Speaker 2:

Well, he's a great author, yeah he's a great author, but I've heard him in a couple debates and he does seem like very arrogant, I mean.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I don't know Malcolm Gladwell. his books are amazing yeah but, I, just, I saw it as this massive mess for him, like this huge dark spot on his map where I was like, look, as a manager in a business, as an author, you're amazing, but as a manager and a business owner, you have not internalized the problem with your Venus fly trap and you're turning your anger to the employee because you're not seeking to understand the employee and to understand why the employee doesn't want to come back to the office. Yeah, they don't, you know, and it's a problem, right. So, yeah, and a lot of companies are this way. So we're in this war right now and we're kind of settling out like our business is like this. We're a hybrid business. I'm sitting in my home office right now. I never go into the office on Friday. I work from home on Friday. Every Monday, I'm in the office, we're in the office, we meet, we come together, we talk about clients or whiteboarding things. We do a lot of video work, spending a lot of time looking at video and it's very productive, right, but I find that my team is probably more productive working at home the other four days of the week.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. And also you know guys like Malcolm Gladwell, they're writers, they're used to kind of, you know, closing a door and sitting at their computer. They're not used to managing people and there's a lot of folks out there that are probably like that and I would suggest you know people pick up the book. I mean, all the stuff you're saying makes sense, but that's hard. Like you just went from working for people you hate to potentially starting your own business and then hiring people and then becoming the guy you left in the first place, like becoming the boss that you wanted to get away from.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So I spent a lot of time in the book talking about management best practices, which is a really MBA-ish way of saying, hey, here's how you should act as a manager. Like this is what you should do, right, because we, you know, here's the thing. I'm a little bit hard on baby boomers in the book because I talk about how baby boomers were trained to manage it by generation of degenerate alcoholics and it's like you know, it's kind of true, it's kind of insulting. But then Gen X showed up and Gen X like I don't want to have anything to do with this, like this is pissing me off. And this is where you started to see companies like Google that came along as Gen Xers. They started to change how do we change work culture, how do we change these things and it. But MBA schools kind of noticed in the 80s or so. They kind of figured out hey, we have a management crisis, like we have a lot of problems, like we have people just don't know how to manage human beings, and they tried to create management training programs and they've mostly felled at it because management is a practice, not a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are easy to teach, but management as a practice is, you have to be in and you have to be doing it, and this is where academia traditionally fails is in, in practicing is where that's where this is where they fell. So they can stand up and say, well, I've got some good management best practices to put on you, but if you're not sitting there coaching a new manager through through their situation, which is always hard and they're going to resort back to probably what their manager if they had a bad manager, they're going to pick up on their bad manager's habits and they're going to use them as a manager as well. And that's what we've seen as a cycle of abuse. I'll call it. Yeah well, oh yeah. It just kind of continues and perpetuates and those people the very few of them who are lucky to get really good managers, who gave them really good skill sets, as bad makes them, it makes them a lot more successful in the workplace.

Speaker 2:

So, okay, you mentioned academia and this is something that you know. I went back to school after a while because I thought I needed to get. I went to art school, to your art school as a private art school. I only had an associate. It's when I got out of school, and this was back in 97. I started working for a while. I was like you know what? Everybody seems to have a bachelor degree. Now, like you remember, there used to be a few people with bachelor degrees at one point. Now everybody's got a bad bachelor degrees the new high school diploma, right. So I'm like why did you get a bachelor? It is, it is. And so I went back I was me in the 90s too, man. I got to get my bachelor's degree Seriously, man. And then you got to like, well, how am I going to pay for it and all that other crap. So I went back to school, got my bachelor's degree in marketing, and then I'm like, okay, now I got this, I got this debt and then I ended up becoming, like a year or two later, an entrepreneur and started working for myself. Now I'm like you know what I want to do? My wife really loves Harry Potter. So we're like you know, let's move to England for a couple years. I'll go to Oxford or London School of Business or something and I'll get an MBA just for the heck of it, right, just for GP, not because I need it, but just for the heck of it. What do you think about the benefits of getting an MBA for an entrepreneur? Because you've got a lot of academia, like Indiana University is not far from here. I'm in Cincinnati. It's got one of the best online MBAs for entrepreneurship in the country, right? So, now you've got these entrepreneurship focused degrees because they're trying to get those people that are like hey, well, I don't want to work at nine to five and I don't want to be a CEO of somebody else's company, I want to do my own thing. So they latched on to that and they pulled in. And what's the value of getting an MBA nowadays?

Speaker 3:

Well, it's very cliche, right? Because and this has been this way for about 20 years where business schools are like oh man, we got to offer an entrepreneurship program, we got to be in with the entrepreneurs right, because it's the cool thing and it also attracts venture capital people, right? So then venture capital people are coming into the school and they're doing stuff in the VCs and these guys all have money and maybe they'll give us some. And I went to a private, very prestigious university and those guys were total liars when it came to entrepreneurship. They're like we're big entrepreneurship advocates. They were not, not even remotely. They were all about getting you through the MBA program and getting you into a Fortune 500 company so they can brag and say oh yeah, this guy from the class of 2006 is a senior vice president at Proctor Gamble and this guy's at Goldman Sachs and this guy's at you know, he's a senior VP at Disney. That's what MBA schools want, right? So they generally pay a lot of lip service to entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship is very difficult to teach because it's not really an acquired skill, like the most successful entrepreneurs that I see are pretty much natural born entrepreneurs. Now, yes, there are skill sets you need to have. I talk about this actually a lot in the book. I talk about my experience at MBA school, which I went to a small liberal arts MBA program at Westminster and it was. It was a pretty good experience for me, but like I really didn't learn much, honestly, like there was a lot that I just I just kind of already had a natural knack for what I was doing. But I talk about an experience in there because that school that hired me as an adjunct professor and I would tell my students I would say, hey, you're kind of in the wrong degree. Like if you're, if you already have a natural knack for business and you know what you're doing, you really should be getting a psychology degree, because business is really about the human mind. It's about persuasion and getting people of understanding what makes people buy and how they make decisions and emotion and all those types of things that come into play in business more than anything else, because debits and credits and all these things in accounting and finance and all this that's. You can learn that stuff pretty easily. But but the reality is, you know, elon Musk and Peter Till and these guys are like, hey, you don't need to go to school, you know just, and these guys are natural entrepreneurs, right Like they're. They're visionary entrepreneurs. They're above an entrepreneur, they're like up at that Steve Jobs level of visionary, world-changing type of individuals. The reality is, most of us are not that person, and so if you're going to go into business and you're going to go on entrepreneurship, the more knowledge you have going in, meaning you went to business school and you learned, like, what accounting is, and you understand finance and you get marketing and you learned about theory of constraints and operations and all those types of things that can only benefit you. That can only benefit you. So for the majority of us, going into an MBA program or a business undergraduate program is a really good idea, and those programs will never go away because most people are not Elon Musk or Steve Jobs and they need that type of an education to then go out and be successful, even as an entrepreneur. And so so I think it comes down to the individual, like what's good for the individual. If you, I can point back to my MBA. Even though I didn't learn a lot in MBA school, I didn't try very hard. I got a really good mentor, who I talk about pretty extensively in the book, who was also an author, chuck Coonratt, who wrote the game, the game of work, in the 1980s, which is still kind of a management classic to this day. I got paired with him in an entrepreneurship program and I didn't realize at the time how lucky I was, and so it had this dramatically positive effect on my life and I wouldn't have got that if I hadn't gone to MBA school and so and other things happened that people would look back oh, you went to Westminster. You got to be, yeah, okay, that's really cool. And then it was like you taught there yes, I'm an adjunct professor, right. And that was even cooler because then people were like, whoa, this guy's just some like MBA, like he actually, like they looked at him and said, hey, you can come here and teach because we think you're that good, and that became like this huge boon for me, like like I got into a lot of opportunities because of that and so so I think academics is there's some people where they're just going to go and it's never going to matter to them that they went and they did it. I have a very good friend who's like three credits short of graduating and he's like 50 years old. He dropped out of school in his last semester and he's very wealthy now. Like he didn't need it, he just went and did it. He was a natural entrepreneur, he's extremely smart and he's done right At 47, he was retired so and he's a good case study and probably the 10% of people who really don't need it, but the other 90% actually really do yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, and I think you know entrepreneurs are going to kind of get bored with school anyway by the time they, by the time they get their badgers, yeah, you just kind of get bored and sick of it and like what am I doing here? Like I'm wasting time, I can be doing something else.

Speaker 3:

But also you also get really annoyed when you have professors where you know more than them oh my gosh, and that sounds pretty arrogant for me to say that. But there were some classes where I was like this teacher is a freaking clown, yeah, and I know more about this than they do Like that was just the way it was and it sounds kind of cocky to say that. But there's a lot of entrepreneurs who are way out ahead of people in academics, especially like in the field of marketing. Academia is 10 years behind marketing 100%. You are correct 10 years behind, like it's it's. It's stupid how far behind they are in marketing, because marketing is so dynamic especially digital marketing is so dynamic that they can't keep up with it. They literally can't keep up with it. It's not like accounting that doesn't change very frequently, right, it's it's. It is always changing, always evolving, and they're so far behind, it's like it's it.

Speaker 2:

I don't even take a marketing the marketing teachers need to be there more than the kids, because the kids are going to do projects and teach them what the next thing in marketing is all marketing and MBA school should be adjunct professors who own, who are either CMOs or own marketing or own advertising or marketing agencies.

Speaker 3:

That's what I think, man you got on the front ad that they are on the front and leading edge of what's going on in marketing. And the professors who are sitting there on tenure that? Did you know? A marketing PhD 25 years ago. They have no freaking clue.

Speaker 2:

They just don't. You got me wanting to go be an adjunct now up at Miami University. You're a. It's great. I love to teach.

Speaker 3:

I love teaching. It's hard, like there's some aspects of it that are difficult. I hate teaching MBA students because they are just like me they're they're cocky and they're they want to fight and debate with you. The undergrads are way more wide eyed and they love to hear fun stories and you know they like they get really into it. But the MBA students are all jaded and pissed off and just want to go home.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, well, do you get into MBTI, like, are you into Myers-Briggs stuff? Because I think that it helps to point out like I'm an ENTP and I'm not the I'm not necessarily the starter, but I'm the idea guy, the debater, kind of like you. It sounds like, and you know, one of our personalities, or the ENTP personality type, is one of, like, I'd say, the four of the 16 that are more geared towards entrepreneurship and we actually have a VC down the street and they actually have a test. They make anyone that wants investment money from them take. And if you aren't one of those like four, you don't have one of those four personality type people on your team, they just don't give you money, you're just filtered out right away.

Speaker 3:

It's become pretty common in that VC world for them to do that, which is super smart. And this is where I think business in general is a little bit behind, and I think there's a political aspect to this where the VCs are like hey, we want to know if we're putting money into the right person here, because we want to know if this person is a killer Like that's literally what they're looking for. They're like are you a killer? Are you going to go kill? Good, because we're not looking for some manby-pamby who's going to show up and cry because something didn't happen or something didn't go their way, and that's not who they want to invest in. And business is that there's certain. There's particular attributes that you see in this regard to Myers-Briggs. That really pertains in sales, and I've started to see some companies that are applying these types of tests just to the people that are hiring in their sales organizations, and I'm like you really need to apply it kind of everywhere, right, like you really need to like figure out who you're hiring in. Like what type of personalities are you hiring into certain jobs? Right, when I was in MBA school, something that was really interesting, that they did that I thought was really smart, was when we were in finance classes, we were talking about marketing as it pertained to marketing and when we were in marketing, we were talking about how it pertained to finance, and I thought that that was extremely smart. So you would go through a marketing exercise and you would have to figure out the financial outcome of your decision making and in finance, you were figuring out, like the marketing, what was the marketing outcome of your decision making on the finance side, which I thought was really intelligent because it's, I see, way too many. I just got done with a client that their CFO was incented to cut as many costs as he could and he went right into the, through the muscles, straight into the bone, and was cutting all this stuff that was extremely productive and making the company a lot of money that he thought was worthless and had no data to back it up on. And I was like you just blew it. You've like he blew it, but also the CEO blew it. The incentives were totally misplaced. I mean completely misplaced and at 50 years old, I've gotten to a point in my life, especially with clients, where I'm like I will just send them an email or get them on the phone and be like. You have to stop Like this is your, but you're the problem. So, because I'm just tired of it, right, like I just got to the point where I'm like I'm not just going to walk away quietly anymore, especially this year, like where I'm just kind of frustrated with some of the decision making that's going on in business. Oh man, I and I've talked about this in the book, I've been a, I've been the CEO whisperer on more than a hundred occasions where I had to pull the CEO side, say this is really my assessment, this is what I really think, and I find that they're generally pretty open to my opinion, as long as I can back it up with data and you know and be like methodical in my assessment. And if you're not emotional, if you're walking in emotional and you're like, hey, you got to fire this a hole over here, this is that or whatever, they don't react well to that and they shouldn't. But when you're walking in with data and you're calm and you're like this is your situation, this is your problem, you're paying me as a consultant to tell you these things, and so I'm telling you. And if you don't like my opinion, that's okay, you can fire me, because I got to line out the door, and so you tell me what you want to do, right?

Speaker 2:

And you're in a position to do that. That's really difficult for a lot of people to do because they don't have a backup plan. They don't have the confidence that you have, and I think that's also probably one of the reasons people just stay in jobs and are afraid to become self-employed. They don't really believe in themselves, but for some reason they believe in somebody else.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they believe in the guy who's sitting in the back room running the numbers on like earnings per share and he was like, dude, how do I boost this two cents on the quarterly? Oh, I got this guy here. We could lay this guy off, this guy off this guy. They have more faith in that guy than they do in the cells. And so you're like one person's bad decision away from being unemployed, and I don't think most people realize that they don't get that. So the thing that holds them back from running into self-employment is knowledge and lack of knowledge and fear, uncertainty and doubt what we call FUD comes from lack of knowledge. So if you have the knowledge that you need to exit employment with a really good plan to getting into self-employment, then you dramatically increase the odds of your success. But you dramatically, dramatically increase the odds that you're not going to get caught up in a situation where somebody else makes a bad decision and then fires you. Now are clients going to fire you or are you going to get? Yes, you're going to run into that stuff. But the thing that's interesting about client work is is you're spreading out your risk. There's always people who will come to you. You're always going to have some base of group that you're working with and, as people fire you or go into another thing or whatever, the thing that I always run into is it's there's always a new.

Speaker 2:

Whenever I have a client that hires a new CMO, I'm like, ok, we're done, let's see how long this lasts, because hey, I hate it when my clients hire new CMOs because I got to convince them to keep me versus some guy they worked with at whatever Kroger or something years ago.

Speaker 3:

You know you just nailed it and I'm like, hey, I'm sure you got a guy that you want to hire that you worked with over at XYZ company. I had a really bad experience of this last December, right where you know. I sat down with them and said here's the data of everything that we've done for this company that you need to take into consideration before you go and bring your brother-in-law in here or whoever. It is Right, but that's the. We run into that situation all the time. So we have this big inside joke that, oh, they hired a, they hired a new CMO. Ok, great, let's start placing bets on how long until we get our 30 day notice, right, because it's just so political, it's so stupid, right? So it's yeah. I don't even know how I got on that tangent, but well, yeah it's, it's, it's.

Speaker 2:

And I've got a friend who just he started his own. Oh, he's got his own agency for a while now, but you know, he calls me up the other day and needs me to help him with this RFP wants to respond to Because the company that made up about 30 percent of his overall revenue had just hired a new CMO. And now he was. He was making all of their, all of their marketing agencies and anyone who did anything for them, their contractors, it didn't matter, everybody had to resubmit a new RFP for what they wanted to do. And he had to go through and I'd help him with a deck and everything. But I mean, this guy had his own relationships and he went into it and said, yeah, you can bid on this, but I've got someone else that you know I trust and it was just like, oh man, as soon as you hear that, you're like, well, great, there's a waste of time, but if I don't do, it. I look like I don't care, you know, and it's like that's another thing people got to consider. It's like you know, you, you hear well, you know, being your own boss, you don't have one client anymore, like if you're employed. You have tens of clients or hundreds of clients or whatever. It does diversify you, though, but you can get into a situation where you become really heavy with just one client. They keep you busy and you never know when that's new CMO or somebody's going to come in to chop you down. And now this is the agency world, but it applies to other things as well, I would think.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you can be an independent consultant and be really like too heavy in one client. You may have four clients, but you have one client that's taken up 50 or 60 percent of your time. That's not a great idea, right it's. It's better to be diversified out on your time and it'll be tempting because I'll just want to give you more money and stuff. They'll be dangling employment in front of you and if you're smart, you'll be like I already did that I don't need this, why I'm over a year, right, like, just keep giving me that 1099 and I'll get out of your hair. Right, it's like I can't tell you how many times I've been in advising a company working with a client and I have four or five. This is especially when I was an independent. I was just by myself and I you know you can max out about five clients in my world, but that's like that's 40 grand a month in income, easy, or more. 50 grand a month in income. Right, that's the kind of money you can make in marketing consulting. We're doing like fractional CMO work and I would see be involved in a company and the let's say something. I had this one situation where something happened really bad in manufacturing in their manufacturing operations and and they were staring down the barrel of like having to lay off like half the company because of some really bad mistake their VP of operations made. And I was sitting in their fractional CMO and I'm like, ok, they might have to kill my contract, but I have four others and I got other people who are interested in hiring me and I'm sitting there in their company meeting kind of watching all that unfold and thinking to myself, what am I going to do this weekend? And everybody else is sitting there thinking, holy crap, I'm about to lose my job. My one source of income, like my one stream of income, is going to be gone because somebody did make a really stupid decision in operations, right, and I'm just sitting there going, oh, I guess I'm just on to the next thing, right, like it doesn't matter. As the consultant you just you have multiple clients, you have multiple streams of income, so you diversify out your risk where, if you have one stream of income with one employer, I just don't think people realize how risky that is Like, especially in this day and age, if you got one paycheck coming from one company, you have an extraordinary amount of risk. That, yeah, I mean, you might need a fast growing company and they need you and there's all that. That's great, awesome, right. But the second the economy turns or something happens with the stock or something else, there's always a ton of reasons why someone can lose their job, even when things are going really well.

Speaker 2:

So keep that into consideration 100% and I think you know people don't. People don't understand how you become a consultant. They don't get how. Why would someone, why would a company hire, especially a company that's got, you know, $10,000 to throw at you every month or $20,000 to throw at you every month? Why would a company hire a fractional CMO? Why wouldn't they have a CMO in place and why would they pay you all this money, like on a, you know, on a consistent basis, versus just paying you hourly or finding somebody that'll just do it for hourly. Explain that to people a little bit.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I don't do hourly arrangements intentionally. I always do retainers and I actually talked about that a lot in the book why you shouldn't do hourly arrangements. Retainers are better and I never try to allow someone to boil back. You're hiring my skill set, not my time, and so I'm going to give you the time because time is required to go get the job done Right. But frequently I've found what it takes me to get something done is a lot less time than it takes a lot of other people to get done. And that's 25 years of experience and just knowing what I'm doing Right, I can move a lot faster than other people. But I try to make it very clear when I'm setting up an arrangement for a consulting that you are hiring my skill set and sometimes they're hiring me for my connections and you know other things as well and I'm going to give you the time and I'm going to tell you what how much time I think it's really going to take. But if you boil that back into like some type of an hourly rate, you're doing it wrong because I'm actually really selling you my value Right. So companies will hire fractional CMOs because they can't afford a full time CMO. So if I'm doing 10 hours a week in a company, that's not unusual. To do something like that 10 hours a week would be pretty common where maybe they have a staff or they've got a couple of agencies. I'm just managing their agencies or maybe one or two internal people. That's pretty easy to do on a 10 hour week type of an arrangement, interacting with the CEO and talking about strategy, maybe even helping them hire people in the full time person to replace me. That's not uncommon. I'm totally okay with that too. Where they're like well, we're going to do a point where we need a full time person. If you're not going to be the full time person, we're going to get someone in here and I'll say let me help you hire them. Right, because I've got somewhere to be on Friday and it's not here. Like that's just kind of the bottom line, so you don't own my time. So that's why I got into this, because I want to own my time. Like I said this year, I was like look, I don't really don't want to work that much in July. Like I have a Brandon grandson and he was going to be here the whole month and I was like this is what I want to do so, yes, I was working, but at the same time I was making my schedule really making my schedule in July of this year Right, like I wanted to own my time. That's what's really important to me. So when you're in those consulting arrangements, it's really important to sell yourself as your value. Your value is what you're selling, and company and in the fractional CMO world it's again it's companies just can't afford. You know the like. Cmos are expensive. Good CMOs are really expensive, especially in industries like direct consumer or software as a service. You're going to pay a lot of money for a CMO because a good CMO is a rare find. So that's why they might employ someone. To your question, someone like me is in a fractional CMO role.

Speaker 2:

Well, and that's what I call my agency is a fractional offsite marketing team, because what we really are is that group. That manufacturing companies are one of the biggest ones that we find that we end up working with, because none of them have marketing people. They always have some sales guy and he's doing some marketing stuff, right? He's like, oh, I need to. I'm the marketing guy too, now, you know, and he wears multiple hats, but he doesn't know the first thing about SEO. He doesn't know. You know, he doesn't know anything. He doesn't know how to do paid Google ads. He doesn't know how to do I mean, you name it. He doesn't do it. Doesn't even know how to go on his WordPress site and update it.

Speaker 3:

But that's a classic mistake that, like you would not believe. How many, how many management teams, investors, boards, ceos that I've advised where they're like. Wait a minute, sales and marketing is something different, yeah it's something different.

Speaker 2:

They don't know. It's incredible. To me it's because you always see it together sales and marketing. Right, you always see it.

Speaker 3:

Well, accounting and finance are two different things. Those are two totally different things. But they frequently see those things operating together inside of a company that think well, sales and marketing is basically the same thing. It's not even remotely the same thing, right.

Speaker 2:

And it's like you know, when you hire a group like ours, you're not just getting a marketing person, you're also getting a front-end web developer, a back-end web developer, an application developer. So you're getting all these different people that I'm connected to. So the value in hiring me just like the value in hiring you is I know all these people, I know how to distribute that work and I can put a schedule together and I can say look, here's what the year looks like as far as marketing, here's what January is going to look like, here's what February is going to look like. We're going to go to this show, we're going to need brochures, we're going to need a backdrop, we're going to need video animation, we're going to need this and this and that. So you help them put that plan together. There's no way, if they haven't done marketing in the past, they even know how to do any of that stuff. And they definitely don't know how to pull together a team.

Speaker 3:

Marketing is diverse as medicine, because you have psychiatrists and brain surgeons and orthopedic surgeons and you got chiropractors and you got pharmacists and you got and marketing is the same way, like, I mean there's. So there's so many different skill sets in marketing that any one person cannot be good at all of them, right, and a good CMO is kind of is a good CMO, in my opinion, is someone who is really versed in those areas and is a master of none of them. Maybe they were at one point a graphic designer. Maybe they were at one point. That's me, yeah. Yeah, maybe they were at one point, but they graduated from that into the broader picture, right, and you know there's so much, and in our world we focus really heavily on data and I spend more of my time as a quote unquote marketing guy inside of spreadsheets and Power BI reporting and those types of applications than I do, you know, coming up with some kind of like cool app. We do a lot of that too, because we have a big creative component of our agency, but it's really numbers and so that kind of going back to that MBA thing I was talking about, you know, applying those lessons I learned in finance and understanding how to evaluate things from a financial standpoint in business totally applies in marketing, which we're marketing used to just be, as in the nineties, marketing was tell. The internet came along and was like, yeah, let's just go buy some magazine ads and let's cross our fingers. Yeah, yeah, that world's dead. That doesn't exist anymore. Everything is measured now. Everything is measured and everything is paid, so even SEO. You might consider SEO free. It's not. You're still paying for SEO because you're paying somebody that has the skill set to go and do it for you. So it's not free, that's right and it's an important practice, right? So, yeah, there's so much diversity in marketing, which is actually one of the reasons it's always changing, and that's one of the reasons why it's such a fun industry to work in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think for people that are entrepreneurial, it's almost like the perfect side hustle to turn into a hustle. And it's people thing too, like generally. I think we're people, people, you know, like we love being around people, we love meeting new people, we love talking to new people Not everybody's really like that and you just end up collecting freelancers and collecting people with skills and, honestly, man, if I had to go get a job now, I wouldn't know what to even apply for. Yeah, I wouldn't. I'm like, what would I be? I guess I'm like a marketing technology ringleader. But is that a job? I don't know. You know it's like I wouldn't want to do any of the work. I'd want to just manage. You know, I'd want to just put the things together. I don't even know if anybody wants to hire for something like that. Do you know what I mean? The longer you're an entrepreneur, the more you kind of paint yourself out of the job market, in a way.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, you become unemployable is what it is. Yeah, like you. Just, you get to a point where you have and this is the thing that's really hard sometimes for the people who are not quite there you were like, okay, well, how do I, how do I get in and make money, and all that. Once you figure out, like all of those ways that you make money, right, the way that you like I talked about charging a retainer and do that, that's really common for you know, in our world, in the marketing world. Okay, well, I'm going to come in and do this level of work for years. My retainer fee, here's this contract, and we're going to go do a thing together. Here's the statement of work that defines that. That's the most common like way. But I make money off of referrals and all kinds of other stuff too, right, and so, yeah, once you get into that world where you're like, yeah, you're like, I just know how to make money, like I tell my employees this, I'm like, hey, if our business ever falls apart, I know how to make money. But I'm really concerned for you guys, because you guys like I, you, I give you your money. Yeah, yeah, like, you just show up hoping. I'm going to like that this thing is like going to be like working and you're just going to get money, and it is, it's working, you're going to get money, right. But but like if this, if the world ever fell apart, I'd be like, okay, the world just fell apart, okay, well, and wake up tomorrow morning. How am I going to go make money? I would know how to do it. I know exactly how to do it.

Speaker 2:

Well, and the thing is, is it? You know? It's crazy. Your people are never going to leave you, like you mentioned earlier, like they leave bad bosses and they leave bad employees. No, they want to keep getting work from you. These could be freelancers also, and you're helping to be the ringleader of all those freelancers. Like you don't have to fire them, you can just stop using them, right, like that's a lot of employees too, right, but it's not a lot.

Speaker 3:

We're a pretty small agency but we've got those employees too that, like I'm their, their sorts of income, right and so. But but yeah, the, the, the um, yes, the freelancers too. You collect them, like you were talking about Adam, which is a really funny point, because I'm the same way. You start to find the really really good ones over time. And the thing that's really good about good freelancers, when you hire them as an agency, is they make you look really good, and when they make you look really good, you don't lose deals, right. And so we we're like really adverse to working with new people that we don't know, and we have certain people that, like we will never stop working with them because they're so good at what they do. That's right.

Speaker 2:

That's right, and then they just won't leave you because they want to stay living in Bali or Thailand or wherever they decided to go be a digital nomad at. Or maybe they're here in town, like I got a lot of people there in town. I got one guy. I just got him a visa to to move to America and or in in be here now. Right, and it's great because we can have those Monday meetings right, we can do those things where you sit down and you actually talk about projects instead of people being on the other side of the world or whatever. But you've got groups of people that you start to build up over time. You filter out the crappy ones who didn't deliver on time or they don't put 100% into their work, because that does happen. I think when people start freelancing, they can slack a little bit because they don't have a boss hanging out over their shoulder, so so a lot in the book.

Speaker 3:

So I talked about the 80, 20 rule, where if you're a 20% employee right now which means you're in the top 20% and I define what that is in the book of what a 20% employee is and what an 80% employee is If you're a 20%er, you have set yourself up very well for self-employment, meaning that you're probably a self-starter, you're probably a really good communicator, you're probably not a slacker, you probably didn't need a boss when you had a job and you're just going to get out there and basically go, going to go make it work for yourself anyway. So so if you're in that world, if you're sitting there right now thinking, well, I'm a top performer, I'm good at all those types of things that Chris talks about in the book, like you're in a really good spot. If you're in the 80%, that doesn't mean that you can't be good in self-employment. It means that you just have some things that you need to change or go learn to get you to that place where you're going to be really effective in self-employment. But you're 100% right out of like. No one is looking over your shoulder. If you wake up and you slack off, well, you're going to fire yourself from self-employment. That's basically what you're going to do Right Now. You get it up and you get it running and you get it to a point where it's like, like in 2018, I had this goal in 2018. It's going to sound really funny. I didn't ever want to work on Friday. I'm like I'm not going to work on Fridays this year. I'm going to go do my own thing on Friday. So I'll work Monday through Thursday, but I'm not going to do any client work on Friday. And I did all that year. No, no Fridays. It was perfect. But you have to build up to a point where you've got momentum in your consulting practice or your gig practice so that you can go do those things Right. So at the beginning it's a little bit more difficult, but it's totally liberating once you get to that point where you're like yeah, I just decided, like, even right now, I don't really work on Fridays. I mean, I do in the mornings but in the afternoons, because nobody really works in the afternoon Friday anyway but I'm usually out Friday afternoon. What are we doing? We're having a podcast right now. I'm not working right now.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's the same reason I can do it, because nobody really bothers me. After like noon they're checked out. Yeah, they're just digging around on the internet looking at the clock waiting to leave work, but yeah, so. So, as far as the book goes and this has been great, by the way I think a lot of people just listening to you I mean I know you're legit, you're saying the right things. I mean it's just when you're an entrepreneur, it almost feels like you're the only person that feels like this. But when I'm listening to you, I'm like there's another person who gets it. This can't just be me, right? This is like this is. It's everything right, and we talked about graphic design and agency world and all that stuff being one of the one of the best ways to get out of this. But who should? Who should read your book and why should they read it?

Speaker 3:

If you have a technical skill let's call it graphic designer, computer programmer, agent, engineer you know anything sells, even right. There's a lot of technicality in sales that make good salespeople like work their way to gold, like really good technical salespeople. You marketing anything in marketing really right. Like if you're a really good copywriter, seo person, media buyer, especially the ad designer, you know whatever it may be, video, person, video like you, you can work in video. You can work in video as a contractor for the rest of your life. You will never run out of work. I mean it's, everything is video. I mean it will never run out of work. I feel the same way about graphic design. There's a massive need for graphic design and you're in the right business out of it because you know this right. So if you're sitting there going, I got this really good skill set. I don't think my employer appreciates it and I'm just trying to figure out how to own my own time, own my own destiny. Like make my own paycheck. Go find you know one, two, three, four, five, whatever it is. Clients you know charge a good amount of money. Make you know, call it 100, 200,000 more a year than I'm making right now. I have written the book for you to go do that. It is a blueprint, because when I left my job at SEOcom when I was in 2010, when I was the chief marketing officer there and said I'm never going to work for somebody ever again dude I just went for it, right, like it was damn the torpedoes, I'm going to go for this. And I didn't have a blueprint or a plan or anything and it was a really bad idea. I should have ended up back in employment within six months, but I didn't. Like I got super lucky. So what I said to myself was over the years, I have tons of people who approached me. I have this chapter called Pad Thai and how to break into the secret life of independent consulting right, which is the culmination of me bringing all this knowledge to me. Sitting there with a guy who was a perfect candidate for self-employment, we were sitting there over Thai food and he's like just tell me how to go do it. And I lay out. I just put the entire roadmap right in front of him, like this is exactly how you do it and that's what that chapter is. This is exactly how you break out and how you actually go and do it, and so the book is not a 30,000 foot view of like oh, this is what you know entrepreneurship looks like and this is all the cool, this is the thing, right, and that's. And you're not getting any detail. You know those business books, they drive me crazy. They don't give you any detail. I'm gonna tell you something this book is details. This is exactly the roadmap about how you go and do it and how you get away from your bad situation that you're in now and get into a really good situation that's going to make you and your family a lot of money and give you a lot of stability going forward, and it's and you're going to be happier, I'm happier. It sounds like you are too Right. I'm happier doing what I do than I am working for somebody else. I'm just cut out that way. But you got to have a plan. There's a there's a right way and a wrong way to do it, and I wanted to give you the right way and that's why I wrote the book.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's right. And you never know If you ever want to go back to a nine to five. You got clients that would probably love to hire you full time.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's not uncommon for people to be like, hey, what's it going to take to get you in here full time and I'm like way more than you're willing to pay.

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

The amount of money that I will require to come work for you full time is not amount of money that you are willing to pay me, so it'll change the economics of your company, so you probably don't want to do that Promethically.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, chris, this has been awesome. Man, I appreciate all this information you've given us, and guys definitely go check out the book. Is it already out there? Is it on Amazon? Is it on Amazon right?

Speaker 3:

now, in fact, on October 10th. We'll call that like the launch date, but it's available right now because I'm trying to sell as many as I can for reviews before we do the big marketing push behind the book launch, which is on October 10th. So so, yeah, go get the book right now. This I would imagine out in this podcast, probably going to publish after next Tuesday, which is October 10th. So, as so you're, you're listening to this now it's already there. We'd love to have you go buy the book and and thank you in advance for doing so.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, trust me, I'm a consultant. Trust me, I'm a consultant. Guys, check it out. Is there any other ways people can reach you or reach your?

Speaker 3:

agency. I have a website, sevenfigureconsulting. My agency is Stoic Yeti, so you can find us at Stoic Yeticom and I'm Chris Knudsen on LinkedIn and Instagram and those types of places, so I'm really easy to get to. It's really easy to contact me and find me on a number of places online. Love it, chris.

Speaker 2:

Well, sir, thank you very much for being on the podcast. People appreciate this and hopefully we get some people reading that book.

Speaker 3:

Yes, sir, thanks for having me on. Really appreciate it. And to the audience, like, one final thing is just go for it. You know, like I know, it's scary, but it's an amazing place to exist and you're going to do just fine. Love it, love it Great, chris.

Speaker 2:

Thank you sir.

Speaker 3:

Okay, thank you, take care.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle City. Well, you've heard from our guests, now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank you.

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