In today’s episode, we explore how to convince your spouse that online business is not a scam.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey y’all. On today’s podcast, we explore how to convince your spouse that online business is not a scam.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online. Now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right, let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again today. I am really excited about today’s show. I’m always excited about the show, but I’m super excited about this one because we are welcoming back Daniel Hulsman to the show, and this time he has brought his wife with him, Katelyn Hulsman is here too. So, Daniel, Katelyn, welcome to the show.
Daniel Hulsman: Thanks for having us. We’re really excited to be back and I’m really excited that Katelyn / nervous that Katelyn is here to talk about what she’s doing now.
Katelyn Hulsman: Thank you so much for including me.
Jocelyn Sams: Absolutely. We were so excited. Not too long ago, Daniel posted about you getting involved in the community and I could not wait to show Shane because the very first words out of our mouth was, “They have to be on the podcast.”
Shane Sams: They have to be on the podcast. For those of you who may not remember Daniel’s first episode on the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, it was episode 212. We actually just posted it again in a best of edition on Saturday of last week. And in that episode we introduced you to Daniel Hulsman. Daniel had written me, I like to call it a scathing email full of doubt and disbelief of what we were doing.
Jocelyn Sams: I’m not sure it was quite scathing.
Daniel Hulsman: I was trying to get as much fury into it as possible.
Shane Sams: There was some fury. There was definitely some fury in this email. But I remember looking at that email and I said, “Hey, I’m going to email this guy back and I’m going to be like, “Hey look, let’s talk about this bro. Let’s go back and forth.””
Jocelyn Sams: And a lot of times when we get emails that are hateful or, whatever, I will just say, “You know what, just delete it and move on.” But Shane made it his personal mission to get you on board with what we were doing and he was successful. And I’m happy to say that this is over a year later since we talked to you the first time and you still love us. We’re still all friends.
Shane Sams: I remember when you sent me that email, and I think I read the whole email in episode 212. So if anybody wants to listen to that, go back to episode 212 and check it out. But, I remember when I read it, at first I was mad and then Jocelyn was kind of like, “Delete it.” But then I was like, “I’m going to get this guy to join the community. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to get this guy to join the community.” I write you an email back, you joined the community, we bring you on the podcast. Turns out your online business was able to make a little money, right?
Daniel Hulsman: Yes, it was. It sure was. No, but let’s be fair. What you wrote me back was not an email, that was a short novel.
Shane Sams: Yes, I prefer a novella. That’s what I’m going to go with.
Daniel Hulsman: Of course, yes.
Shane Sams: I’m going to go with a novella. But yes, I wrote you an epoch. That’s what it was. It was an epoch. But it was awesome and I remember you writing me back and it was just kind of like, “All right, you’re right. Let’s go.”
Daniel Hulsman: Got enough now.
Shane Sams: But then, tell us just a little bit, catch us up what’s happened since then. You were back on the podcast again and gave us a little update in episode 263. So, tell us where you’re at now that we’re over episode … What is this? It’s going to be 300-and-something by the time we release it. So where are you at right now in your online business?
Jocelyn Sams: And I just want to say too, it’s not been all smooth sailing. Like if you listened to your second episode you were having a lot of like mental doubts and just trying to overcome some obstacles. So, we’ve worked through a lot of that through the community. We worked through it on the podcast, and now over a year later what’s going on?
Daniel Hulsman: So, I guess where things are at right now is that we’re treading waters the way I would kind of say, like the membership community is inside of our membership site with which we launched a year ago, almost to the day. And it’s been going well inside of the community it’s been fun. Like we’ve been doing more … Katelyn gave me some ideas that have like really been resonating with the people inside the membership community, but we’re having a really hard time growing it. We never broke in 50, and or we’ve been hovering between like 30 and 40 pretty much the whole time. We had a couple of months there where we just got slammed with lots of stuff outside of online business. And that ended up kind of showing in the results where we kind of lost some customers. So, we ended up getting the churn under control there, but now we’re just really struggling to grow it.
Daniel Hulsman: And at the same time we’ve got … Now we have two humans to care for instead of one tiny human.
Shane Sams: That’s right. If I remember correctly, Katelyn, you were pregnant last time Daniel was on the show, right? Like the baby was on-
Jocelyn Sams: Well, the first time.
Shane Sams: Yes. The other baby was almost here. So, how old is the newborn baby now?
Katelyn Hulsman: He’s six months old.
Shane Sams: Ooh, that’s a tough time you all. I remember.
Jocelyn Sams: And like, people always would tell us like going from one to two kids is so much harder than zero to one. And I was like, “Oh, you know, whatever.” But it really is very, very difficult.
Shane Sams: Very difficult. It’s a whole different animal when you’ve got two of them things running around. Do you know what I mean?
Katelyn Hulsman: I know. Now each of us has one of them at all times.
Shane Sams: What I can’t fathom is how people go to three and then you’re just outnumbered like at all times, or four or five. Or we’ve got a couple of members with like six and seven kids and I’m like, “I don’t want to be outnumbered. I like a fair fight.” You know what I’m saying?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah. I’m with you on that one.
Shane Sams: All right, so let me bring this back a little bit. So Katelyn, you were a bit skeptical of all this online business stuff in the beginning, correct?
Katelyn Hulsman: I was, yes. I’m a fairly practical person and fairly blunt. And so, when Daniel started to get into this stuff, I was kind of like, “Well, that sounds really exciting for the people who are able to make that work, but how many people actually are able to make money doing online business?”
Jocelyn Sams: Katelyn, you are my people. I totally get you. I totally understand what you’re saying. And like, that’s where I was too. I was like, “Well, that’s great. I’m sure that some people are able to make it work. They have some kind of special gifts and talents that we don’t have. And this is just dreams. Let’s move on.”
Shane Sams: I remember when I first heard someone making money online I was mowing my lawn. A lot of people have heard the story, but I was out cutting my grass. I was listening to a podcast by Pat Flynn, the smart passive income. He was talking about making money online, and I just knew it was our destiny, and I jumped off the lawnmower and I ran inside. I busted through and I remember Jocelyn was standing over by the stove and she was cooking or doing something for the kids lunch, or whatever. And I told her all about this dream and how awesome it was and we could do this. And I asked her what she thought and she was basically like, “Good for them. Go finish mowing the grass.” Like it was just total dismiss at that moment, right?
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. I often say Shane is a light switch. It’s like he goes from off to 100 miles per hour, and I’m more like a dimmer. So I start out and I’m like, “Eh, I don’t know.” It takes me a while to come up to his level of excitement. And I’m not sure I ever come up to your level of excitement.
Shane Sams: I don’t think you’ve ever been. It’s hard to get to this level of excitement all the time.
Jocelyn Sams: I’m thinking I’ve maybe been to like 25%.
Shane Sams: Maybe. I’m working on getting her to 50%. That’s my goal by the end of 2020, okay? All right. So, bringing this around, so Daniel starts making … I want to go back just a little bit in time to when he actually got in the community and these members started coming. Because listen, I know it’s frustrating right now being stuck. There’s all kinds of plateaus. Like we’ve hit three or four plateaus in all of our membership growth over the years. And you’re kind of at one of those plateaus now where it feels like, “Oh, how do we grow this thing?” It’s there. But when he started getting members and it was more consistent, like what was happening in your mind at the time, like when you saw Daniel get in the community gets this thing going. Oh, Daniel, real quick. Tell everybody about your business again.
Daniel Hulsman: Oh yeah, sure. That’s just probably important.
Shane Sams: That’s probably important.
Daniel Hulsman: Small footnote, the website is for new and aspiring composers who want to get into the gaming industry, writing music for soundtracks for video games and it’s vgmacademy.com.
Shane Sams: Vgmacademy.com. You basically help people compose like the score or the background music when you’re running through the level or playing in the background of a cut scene, or something like that. Correct?
Daniel Hulsman: Yep, we help them with that or help them with like kind of the business end of things, which is always really terrifying for folks, it seems.
Shane Sams: Is that like negotiating with the game companies and things like that, like how to talk to them?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah, contracts, naming your rates and getting a contract together, marketing yourself, that kind of stuff.
Shane Sams: Got you.
Jocelyn Sams: And if you didn’t listen before, Daniel is into this because he has done this in the past. Tell everybody just like the 30 second version of your experience with this.
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah, so actually I’ve never composed myself in the past, but what I did was I tried to get into it in college a few times, and there just was no good resource. So, out of college I ended up just getting frustrated with it and decided to make one myself, and leverage the expertise that I had in like some of the areas that are weaknesses for new and aspiring composers. But I did. I also work with a choir and a couple of times a year we record soundtracks for video games. So I’ve sent out a few, to big video games and that’s a lot of fun.
Shane Sams: Awesome. That’s amazing. I love your story because I’m a gamer.
Jocelyn Sams: Well, and since we’re on that subject, I have to bring up something that was in the intake form. I know we need to move on, but it says that you guys met in opera class. I need to know about this. Like this is just so fascinating.
Shane Sams: That’s amazing. Where did you all meet? Opera class.
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, Daniel was a music major in college and I was a music minor. And I guess, I mean, we had met before … I think we’d met before this, but the night that I really noticed Daniel was our opera teacher told us, she wanted to have a party at her house and could we all meet in this one location if you needed a ride. And she would make sure that the students who had cars would show up there and offer rides to the students who did not have cars. So, I showed up there myself waiting for a ride. Daniel picked me up in the car.
Shane Sams: Did you work with the opera teacher to set this up Daniel? This is-
Daniel Hulsman: Totally, you saw right through me, Shane. Actually, just saying, this is Katelyn’s version. My version is I picked her up on the side of the road. That’s the version that I like to tell.
Katelyn Hulsman: You tell that version. But so he actually played his car’s theme song for me on the ride to our opera teacher’s house. So I was sold at that point.
Shane Sams: Amazing. That’s amazing. We have a similar story. When we first met probably about a year. Jocelyn and I met in a stairwell. We ended up like I was a … You were a sophomore, was your … I think Jocelyn was a sophomore and I was a second sophomore. You know what I’m saying guys? That’s how it works.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, pretty much.
Daniel Hulsman: I know what you’re saying.
Shane Sams: You know what I’m saying. And I was coming downstairs to meet some friends of mine we were going to go out that night, and Jocelyn was coming upstairs and I guess … Where had you been, the gym?
Jocelyn Sams: I had been to the gym.
Shane Sams: She had been at the gym. I just fell in love on that stairwell. I was like, “Oh my gosh, who is this?” I stopped Jocelyn. I asked her her name and we talked for just a second and I was like, “Well, I got to go meet my friends. I hope I see you around.” And she was like, “Yeah, okay.” And then so she goes on upstairs. I go downstairs and I told my friend, “I just met the girl I’m going to marry.” Like I told him that. And I didn’t see her again. How many days was it until we met again?
Jocelyn Sams: I don’t remember. It was like maybe a week or two.
Shane Sams: Yeah, about a week or two. Jocelyn, I was standing at the desk at our dorm talking to the person that was working the desk and she walked in and we got to hangout and the rest is history, as they say. But, we actually realize later that we had met before. Actually, Jocelyn had lived in another dorm the year before us, or the year before we met and I was over there to see another girl and I was hanging out with her.
Jocelyn Sams: Your cousin?
Shane Sams: No, it wasn’t my cousin. That wasn’t Amber, it was Catherine. It was Catherine.
Jocelyn Sams: But Amber did live in the same building.
Shane Sams: Amber lived in the same dorm too. So we were all in this room together and Jocelyn, and we hear a knock on the door-
Jocelyn Sams: And they know this is going to date me a little bit.
Shane Sams: It’s going to date Jocelyn here. Jocelyn opens the door and goes, “Hey you all, can I borrow the phone book? I need those yellow pages, you all.”
Jocelyn Sams: Some of our listeners are probably like, “What’s a phone book?”
Shane Sams: What’s a phone book? If you’re a millennial, we’re sorry.
Katelyn Hulsman: They actually still deliver them to our house.
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah, we just got one randomly for the first time in years.
Shane Sams: Hang on to that.
Daniel Hulsman: We’re excited about it.
Shane Sams: Tell your kids that’s the only way you can look up a phone number for like 10 years and then like let it … It’s like making your kids watch ‘80s movies, like they have to watch the Goonies Neverending Story. Now you’ve got to find a phone number in the phone book guys, and then we’ll teach you about the internet later. But then, we figured out later that we actually had met and I kind of like, I kind of remember it, but it was like not really. So, maybe it was love at second sight Jocelyn, that’s what it was.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, I don’t know. One of the things that I need to know about this, do you guys like go around the house and sing like Arias? I need to know this.
Shane Sams: Opera. Are y’all blasting out some opera in the morning over coffee.
Katelyn Hulsman: You know what, maybe we should do that actually. It’s funny. I wish we did, although I will say our oldest son is really getting into musical theater now. And so, he definitely is walking around the house with a straw hat and a hanger trying to recreate Jolly Holiday from Mary Poppins.
Shane Sams: Nice.
Jocelyn Sams: Well, I’m going to need to see you guys do one of those viral videos where everyone’s like singing a video game part. Now that would be pretty cool.
Shane Sams: It’s going to happen. So let’s come back to today now. We’ve got, Daniel’s thinks, got this online business idea, he’s hating on Shane and Jocelyn. Shane and Jocelyn call him back. I was like, “Get in here.” He goes out, he sells some memberships and we get to the point where you are today. So, Katelyn is still skeptical, still not totally on board. And then one day in the forums I see this post in the success forums inside the Flip Your Life Community, “Success. My wife has joined my team.” I opened it up. I’m going to read this whole thing to you guys because it’s epic. All right? Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day. My wife and I have butted heads several times over the years about my former blog, now business.
Jocelyn Sams: I feel you.
Shane Sams: She has severe doubts that entrepreneurship and online business in general and will not believe that it can replace full-time income until she’s staring at that reality in the face. Has Katelyn ever read this, first of all?
Jocelyn Sams: I’m thinking not.
Daniel Hulsman: I’m asking her.
Shane Sams: All right. She is currently on maternity leave and has acknowledged that we’re really relying on the small, steady monthly income from the online business and has offered help. We’ve probably had this conversation starting from both ends, me suggesting her suggesting about 10 times in the past and it never landed anywhere good. How many conversations between spouses never land anywhere good? This time it ended with me just handing over the login to the business Twitter account and cutting her loose. The next morning I walk in to get our three month old baby out of the bedroom before he wakes up my wife since she’s nursing through the night I wake up early with our two sons in the morning and let her sleep a little bit longer. She’s usually laying there unconscious looking like she’s been clubbed over the head.
Jocelyn Sams: I’ve so been there before.
Shane Sams: Oh my gosh. Everybody with a baby’s like, “Yes.” All right. But the morning after giving her the Twitter account, I walk in and find her curled up looking at her iPhone. She looks up at me and says, “I’ve been tweeting.” She’s been awesome so far. Totally complimentary with the Twitter stuff finding and responding to relevant timely stuff. I don’t have time to see or react to making a list of people for me to contact for interviews with notes about why I have a good feeling about this. And then it says, now … What does it say here? Now if only I could get her to see the full-time entrepreneur light at the end of the tunnel. Baby steps. And it just got a mad response because everybody knows your story in the community. And that was a awesome thing to read, man.
Shane Sams: Because like, when two people unite together to do something, you’re stronger. It’s more than just two people’s efforts. You know what I mean? And it’s just awesome to hear that and to hear her coming right now. Now Katelyn, where are you right now like with online business? Like, you’ve seen it make money and you know about us and you know about these other people in the community that you can see that are making money. Where are you right now, whether you’re involved, you’re doing the thing, what’s the feeling right now?
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, I feel very onboard at the moment. Really, for years Daniel had been having me listen to podcasts with him, including yours. And it was hard for me to kind of come to the place of believing this was something that we could actually make money off of. But I actually had kind of an aha moment on the phone with my best friend. She had been telling me about trying to kind of take on more with the kids to give her husband time to work on his MBA. And he had all this coursework to do, and she was trying to kind of take some burden off him so he would have time to do that. And at the time we had gone years probably more of a hobby for Daniel. He hadn’t been able to dedicate as much time to it, and it hadn’t been generating any kind of income. But I guess I had this conversation with her probably a few months after he had launched the membership site, and it was actually generating some money.
Katelyn Hulsman: And I was sitting there and she’s telling you all the things she’s doing. And for a second I realized, “Oh my God, why have I not been doing this for days?” And I realized, I needed to invest in this business that was bringing in money that we were now depending on. The same way that I would be investing if he was going back to school for a masters or whatever it might be. I needed to actually treat it like a business now, because it had transitioned from a hobby to a business. And I think, when you’re in it every day, you don’t necessarily realize this has become something else now and you need to treat it as a business now that it’s grown into one.
Shane Sams: That’s amazing. We always tell people, we actually talked about this on stage at an event we spoke at recently. The interviewer kind of asked us like, “Well, how do you get each other on board?” And we have a course about this inside the Flip Your Life Community. And the basic moral of the story though is, you’ve got to prove it. Like, you can’t convince someone that it just works. You can’t come in sweaty off a lawnmower and say, “I got an idea.” And someone believe you. But when you see it and you do it and you grind it and all of a sudden it is making money, and not just money but like enough money to pay a car payment, or enough money to pay the bills or enough money to even pay a mortgage, then it becomes real. And it’s a lot easier then to open up to those aha moments of, “Wait a minute, what if I got involved?”
Shane Sams: Kudos to you Daniel for sticking with it. Because how long were you in business before you really launched a membership that made some good money? How long had you been doing the VGMA Academy?
Daniel Hulsman: I think I actually launched the website in 2014.
Shane Sams: Oh wow. So it was like-
Daniel Hulsman: It was several years.
Shane Sams: Three or four years.
Daniel Hulsman: Like three and a half, four years. And I even remember like this was … I don’t blame her even for being skeptical of what I was doing, because it was like a situation where I was spending time on it as a hobby. It was like pre-kids and I would like do all this stuff and then nothing would really tangibly happen in our lives as a result. And I remember I had an aha moment one day where I was kind of like talking in like sort of like almost like really talking about it like it was a business in order for trying to defend how much time I was spending, which obviously it was not getting huge results back then. And she said, well, it’s a hobby right now. It’s not a business until it’s making money. And then I had to kind of like really reassess how I was spending my time on it and figure out how to make it work.
Shane Sams: Wow. That’s awesome man. Well, I am so glad. And we’re going to kind of turn this story into the normal episode of the podcast because we really want to help you guys get to the next level. That’s our number one mission. When we get on the podcast is, let’s figure out where you’re at and let’s figure out where you’re going to go next. Man, I’m just so happy for you guys because it really is an epic turning point when both of you are on the same page, and both of you are working together, and both of you do see that light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s kind of like, “Man, if we can just get there together, how awesome is it going to be together on the other side?” And for everybody listening to the podcast right now, we totally understand the one person having an idea and the other person just kind of not on board. And we know there’s a lot of people out there.
Shane Sams: You’ve been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve been listening to other podcasts and you know that you hear these success stories and you know it can be possible in your life and maybe your spouse, whether it’s the husband or the wife. We see it both ways all the time. It’s just not on board. Doesn’t believe it. Doesn’t see it. Just go prove it. Go and make that first dollar. Go and make that first $50. Go get those first five or six members. And once they see that, that’s the only way you can get them on board with it, man, when they come on board it’s going to be amazing.
Jocelyn Sams: I would say too, just keep planting those seeds. You know how Daniel was having Katelyn listen to podcast and I’m sure he has entrepreneurial books laying around and all this kind of stuff. Like, all of those seeds eventually will start growing. And it took a conversation with a friend about something completely unrelated, but because he had planted those seeds and said, “Hey, this is possible. I need you to get on board.” Then that conversation was able to help her open her mind to the possibilities. And one day something clicked in her mind and she’s like, “Oh yeah, okay. Maybe this is possible.” So, don’t give up, that’s what I’m trying to say.
Shane Sams: And also too Daniel said something, Daniel did the work. Three years he worked. We find a lot of couples discover online business and they’ll just try to talk their way into it. Like they’ll talk their spouse on it, but they’re not actually doing anything. Well, you said that there wasn’t a lot of tangible benefit. But you had your group, you had your blog, you had stuff that you could show that you had actually produced, right?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah.
Shane Sams: You were considering the content, and all this stuff. So, you actually did the work. That’s the worst case scenario is when you hear our podcast, hear our story, and then go tell your spouse that this is going to happen, and then you don’t do anything. You just keep telling them how it’s going to happen. You got to do the work. So the work added up, the seeds added up, the conversations added up. Then you made some money and now it’s off to the races.
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, I think it’s also in marriage, I think probably everyone feels like this, where time is just such a precious resource. We found ourselves a lot of the time trying to prioritize what do we need to do today, what do we need to do tomorrow? And I think in that conversation I had with my friend, I realized that too often it wasn’t a conscious thing on my part. I wasn’t trying to prioritize lower than some other things. But I was doing that. It was the thing that I could kind of put lower and we had a more urgent issue. And it just kind of made me realize, “No, this needs to be a top priority because it really is something we depend on now.” And I will also say that, we’ve always tried to kind of support each other’s interests. And so, I had listened to a lot of the podcasts with him, even though it wasn’t my interest in the beginning.
Katelyn Hulsman: And it was really exciting for me when he started listening to yours because it was the first one I had heard that was really more like family first. And that was kind of eye opening for me because a lot of the other podcasts I had heard and stories that I had heard about other entrepreneurs had been single people going after it and kind of doing it on their own. And it was a little concerning to me, “How do you do it as a family? How do you balance that, and how do you allocate your time?” And so, that was a turning point for us as well when I really started listening to you guys, because you talk a lot more about how you’ve been able to work it out with your family and the choices that you’ve made to make it work for you. So, that was also something that really helped us out.
Shane Sams: Let’s, let’s go one step further. Like, so you listen to our podcast, and you see, “Okay, there’s a husband and wife, they actually care about their kids. They’re not living on a beach in Thailand somewhere on $6 a day.” Did the community show you anything? Like when Daniel got into the community and you see, “Wow, it’s not just Shane and Jocelyn, there’s literally hundreds of other people in there.” And the success story, a forum now has like … I can’t remember it. It’s something like 4,000 posts total in it. When you see like this community open up in front of Daniel, did that have any impact on kind of … Was that another seed that was planted like, “Wow, it’s not just an MLM, there’s not a big pyramid going on over here. These are all individuals doing it individually but walking together.” Did that make any difference in what you saw?
Katelyn Hulsman: Yeah. I mean, he started talking about posts that were being made in your community and-
Daniel Hulsman: Questions I was asking and getting answers to. She’s never jumped into the forum herself, which you can honestly tell because that was our first kind of hearing my little spiel about her joining my team. But she’s never jumped in there, but I started talking about how I was just going in there and asking questions and getting not only answers from you two but answers from other people and suggestions. I don’t know how visible it was because the community for me, like one of the biggest benefits that I get out of it is when I’m feeling stuck or in like in crisis or like in doubt I can kind of get in there and get support for that.
Shane Sams: Love it.
Daniel Hulsman: And now I don’t need that as much, because I’ve got my wife on board, which is awesome. Now we’re like talking about it together and just now she’s getting more into it. She’s kind of going through like a lot of like the phases that like I went through at the beginning of the journey. So like, little things are still there I’d like to go away. But it’s funny. I guess it’s a funny dynamic now where it’s like, I feel like she’s experiencing things that I’ve already experienced but I’m still experiencing, so I can talk about them, but I’m not over them myself yet. It was nice to go and be able to talk about that with her, but the community definitely was super helpful, especially during those months in the winter when I was really having a tough time.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay guys. This thing has come a long way and we’re very proud of you for where you have been and just where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Let’s talk about what is holding you back right now as you’re trying to move forward, what kind of fears or mindset issues are going on that’s just causing you some problems?
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, for me personally, I think because I’m really so new to all of it I get nervous every time there’s a new competitor. Daniel laughs at me because I’m like, “This person is doing the same thing.” I get very worried about it. I see everything crumbling the minute there’s a new competitor. So that’s been a little bit of a learning experience and also fear of mine. And also, we’ve talked about being plateaued a little bit. I think I’m a little nervous about, “Where do we go from here? What’s the next avenue you choose?”
Katelyn Hulsman: And is it possible we might choose the wrong avenue and kind of have to backtrack? Daniel has a really great foundation, but I’m kind of playing catch up a little bit. That’s sort of where we’re at, I think.
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah. And you’ve also talked to me about like, not being worried that we’ve hit the cap, like we’ve hit the ceiling already. And is this it? If it is, what do we do time wise if it’s not, what do we do next?
Shane Sams: Does every cancellation feel like an arrow to the chest?
Katelyn Hulsman: It does.
Shane Sams: Is that like anxiety and like, “Oh no, someone else left, how do we replace them.” Did you-
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, I feel like I’ve disappointed someone when they cancel.
Jocelyn Sams: Yes. I totally get that. I feel the same way when people cancel. But, I think that the competition thing is kind of hard sometimes because you’re out there looking and you see things because you’re looking for it. But a lot of times people don’t even know competitors are out there. You know, the Internet is a big place. If they’re happy with your membership, they’re probably not looking around other places. And if they find you just on a random search and or like say an ad or something and they get to you first, chances are they’re not looking around saying, “Hmm.” It’s not like Amazon-
Shane Sams: “I want to compare.”
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. It’s not like Amazon and Walmart. Like if I find something I want I’m going to see if it’s cheaper on Amazon or Walmart because there are two totally different products. Like you’re a different person, you have different skill sets and experience than this other person who’s doing something similar. You have different personalities, all those types of things. So, really it’s not competition so much because they’re totally different. Like, some of the people are going to be your people and then some of the people might be this other person’s people.
Shane Sams: I always consider online business a lot like golf. Golf, you have to go out and play your game. Like in full contact golf would be an amazing sport to watch because you could run over and tackle a guy right in his back swing, or like maybe you could scream at the guy ahead of you. You know what I’m saying? But that’s not how it works. Golf, all you can do is play your game and then you look up at the leaderboard at the end. Jocelyn and I don’t even look at competition a lot. We try to ignore it as much as possible because you get into comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. You can’t be happy in what you’re doing, and you just can’t focus on anything else. And the truth of the matter is the Internet is so big and all niches are big. If you’ve got 100,000 people in the world that want to do something, that’s a huge niche, and you only need 100, 200 of them to make a really good living on the internet.
Shane Sams: The best thing to do about competition is just ignore it. When you find someone that’s doing what you do, try to like not even look at them. I actually made this terrible mistake last week. Our history site, we’re ramping up for back to school right now. So we sell lesson plans to history teachers. And I got onto this third party marketplace called teachers pay teachers and I started looking and I realized there’s like 20,000 people selling worksheets for history teachers in this third party marketplace. So, technically, even though I have a membership where people can get all my lessons, they’re kind of my competitors, because people can go buy these one off thing. And I got to thinking, “Oh my gosh.” Then I found this one guy, he has 40,000 four star reviews on teachers pay teachers. 40,000. That’s insane.
Shane Sams: He probably got in early, he’s been there forever, but that, but our website still makes thousands and thousands of dollars a month. So I don’t need all of his one off sales, or his thing. I can’t compare myself to him. We’re not the same person. We’re selling a different product. It’s got a whole different vibe. Yes, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president, that’s the same … But like, at the end of the day, they’re different. And they’re going to be a little different and people are going to have different needs and I only need like a couple hundred of those people in the world to do this thing. So, try to ignore competition as much as possible on the Internet. It’s not like we’re both opening a fried chicken shack across the street from each other and we’re both trying to sell fried chicken. Like, we’re in a different town, we’re in a different place.
Shane Sams: These people are all over the world and our goal is just to get you from 50 to a 100, then 100 to 200 and now we’re off to the races. And if everybody else in the market goes somewhere else you’ve got your core. And that’s what matters.
Jocelyn Sams: And really it’s a good thing when somebody else starts something similar because they see that there’s a market there that there’s money to be made. And that’s good news for all of us. And I know it seems like, “Oh well, these people are competing against me. There’s a small market,” or whatever. But it’s probably bigger than you think. There are probably thousands of people out there who don’t even know that either of you exist.
Shane Sams: And also too, remember this, collaboration can exist online that can’t exist like in a small town, mom-and-pop type of business. You can eventually befriend these people and you can help each other because consumers on the internet are collectors, especially people who are learning stuff. If I want to learn something, like if I want to learn about … If I buy a book about real estate, I got into real estate a couple of years ago. So I bought my first book about real estate. You know what I did after that? I bought like 10 more books about real estate. So, sometimes there’s even opportunities to reach out to, quote unquote, competitors and be like, “Hey, I see that you sell your products in the first and third quarter, what if we did an affiliate and you sold mine in the second, third. You can make extra money. You could offer your people something new. I could do the same for you.”
Shane Sams: And we give people more information that they can go succeed with. They like you better because you introduced them to someone cool, and you get this more cyclical nature of helping each other instead of hurting each other. Now, there will be people who are just hyper competitive. They want to be the top dog and they’re not going to do that. So, collaboration is not always possible.
Jocelyn Sams: It’s not always the answer for everyone.
Shane Sams: That’s right.
Jocelyn Sams: You might not want to do it and that’s cool, but just look at it more as an opportunity than a threat.
Shane Sams: And get out there and just like run your race, play your game. It’s your shot, you swing. And then let the chips fall where they lay at the end of the round. Okay?
Daniel Hulsman: Sounds good.
Shane Sams: Does that make sense? That makes sense, right?
Katelyn Hulsman: Yeah. No, actually it’s hitting home. Daniel has a much better attitude with that stuff than I do. And you’re kind of speaking to some of the inclinations he probably already has to kind of befriend people who are doing this.
Shane Sams: Well, I’ll tell you another thing here. The danger is you’re dealing with a lot of the social media type stuff and the stuff like that, so you’re actually going to probably see that more because you’re not really making content. You know what I’m saying? When you’re in content on your cave, right?
Katelyn Hulsman: Exactly. And then I have the decision of, “Do I tweet this person now?” Do I do a tweet about somebody who’s going to compete with what we do? It’s very strange to me, but I’m playing catch up. So it’s a-
Shane Sams: Always ask yourself this, “Will it help my potential customer? Will my customers smile when I share this with them? Will my customer be happy that I helped them, that I recommended something that could make them go to the next level?” Even if it’s a little close to what we’re doing will they have affinity for me so much that they’ll come back and join us anyway, because I always lead them to the good stuff. That’s usually how you understand if you’re sharing somebody else’s stuff. So if I’m going to retweet something from one of our friends or somebody, like Pat Flynn is our direct competitor. He sells exactly the same courses we do.
Jocelyn Sams: Well, a lot of people sell the same things we do.
Shane Sams: A lot of people sell the courses that we do. But I share his stuff sometimes. Like we’re going to promote his book really hard here in a couple of weeks. Because, one, we’re in the book. Two, it’s our friend and he’s doing the same thing and I know the book will help our people. That’s usually how you kind of solve that dilemma is, is this going to help someone? Is it going to drive affinity back to me, and do those two things add up to maybe a potential member down the road? If they do, then go ahead, share it. Don’t worry about it. Think abundance, think collaboration, and think about running your own race, you’ll be fine. Okay?
Katelyn Hulsman: Yeah, that’s a great attitude to have about it. And actually Daniel had had a while ago sort of someone be a little prickly with him along time ago, and-
Shane Sams: I would never know what a prickly customer was like.
Daniel Hulsman: This is a new experience, Shane, I’ll tell you all about it.
Shane Sams: But what goes around comes around son, that’s what I’m talking about.
Katelyn Hulsman: It was not a customer, but it’s another industry person was a little prickly with him. And one day I was looking through things, I saw this person’s name and I kind of tried to avoid it and Daniel was like, “No, no. we should reach out.” And I said to myself, “Well, that’s a great way to look at it.”
Shane Sams: My Dad always told me, if someone’s like really like prickly, I guess that’s a great word actually. About like with you and when they do something that harms you or hurts you or they say something to kind of put you down or whatever, he said, “Every time you see them, do not let them avoid you. You walk up, you shake their hand, you get six inches from their face. And say, “How you doing?”” He said, “You never let them see you back down. You always go straight up to them and you just kill them with kindness.” And we were at an event a couple of weeks ago and a few years ago we had a little … I don’t know if it will be a disagreement. What would you call it Jocelyn? It was a moment of-
Jocelyn Sams: It was a slight.
Shane Sams: It was a slight. We were slighted by someone in the industry. And we came in and we saw him at this event, and I went right up to him and right in his face shook his hand, hugged him and like, “Hey, how are you doing? Good to see you again.” Just bam. But you know what, that opened a conversation and we sat in a back room one day and we really talked out the slight and we actually kind of had a good little … It was amicable. We were like-
Jocelyn Sams: Everyone was still friends.
Shane Sams: Everyone was still cool. Everyone was still friends.
Jocelyn Sams: No barroom fight broke out, or anything like that.
Shane Sams: That’s right. I would have won if it did, I’m just saying, I’m a big guy. I’m kidding. We did that and it was like, “That’s a great attitude to have even when your competitors.” You don’t have to share his stuff, but hey, we’re pulling for you. No big deal.
Jocelyn Sams: People don’t really know what to do when that happens. We had a situation-
Shane Sams: It killed Jocelyn. It scares Jocelyn to death. Because I look over and go, “I’m going to talk to him.” She goes, “Oh my God.” Then I just walk over there.
Jocelyn Sams: But I’ve kind of started doing this too. Like this has sort of rubbed off on me a little bit. We had a situation locally not too long ago with the one of the activities my kids are involved in. But anyway, we had a disagreement with some of the coaches and stuff. But, anyway we talked about it and I think some of the other people that I’m friends with they were expecting us to avoid each other. But like, I just walked in and I’m like, “Hey guys, how are you?”
Shane Sams: And went right into the room with them the next day.
Jocelyn Sams: People don’t even know what to do when you do that. They’re just like confused. But it’s fine now. There’s no big deal. Like everyone’s moved on and whatever.
Shane Sams: And again, you don’t have to be best friends with anybody. That’s why we try not to look at what anybody else is doing, especially when we’re making decisions. Like we’ll watch the magician’s hands a little bit, but most of the time we’re just like, “Let’s do our own thing. Let’s see what works.” And then compare it maybe to other people. Because then we’re not polluted by what our competition is doing.
Jocelyn Sams: All right guys. Hopefully that helps you bust through that fear of competition and competitors and all that type of thing. Let’s talk about how we can move this business forward. What questions can we help you with as you’re trying to grow?
Daniel Hulsman: So, I think we’ve got maybe a couple of things that we still really wrestle with. One is, like we were saying earlier that we feel kind of stuck between the 30 to 50 number of members in our membership. And then the other is that just sort of balancing business and family time. I think it’s still really tough for us to prioritize because everything, and everyone who’s got kids knows that when you’ve got two small children everything feels urgent. So, it’s still kind of tough for us to know where the … We’re still trying to find that balance I guess that’s what we’re saying.
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, and because I’ve been doing a lot of the social media, I don’t want to feel like when I’m with the kids, I’m like also on my phone, but then with … So, I’m having a hard time of figuring out when is family time, versus when is business time, because business time could be at any time. And I want to make sure that we’re still getting those quality family moments, but not neglecting the business because obviously in the past maybe I de-prioritized the business a little bit maybe when I shouldn’t have. So, that’s kind of what we’ve been wrestling with. And also, kind of an aside to that is just kind of finding my place in the business because, this is really Dan’s baby. And so, it’s kind of hard to figure out, “I’m not an employee, but I’m also not really a full partner.”
Katelyn Hulsman: And trying to navigate that kind of balance, I guess you would say.
Shane Sams: And I bet as you’ve gotten involved too like all your conversations are about business. Like it’s all you feel that you talk about.
Katelyn Hulsman: Yes.
Shane Sams: It’s like babies or business, that’s it, right?
Katelyn Hulsman: Yes.
Shane Sams: Yeah, that’s been my life for about the past seven years, something like that. Let’s address the family stuff first because I know all about mom guilt, and I’ve had it for a very long time, 10 years. That’s how long I’ve been a mom. But, the way that I like to deal with it is to calendar everything. So, we use Google calendar and we share a Google calendar together. We always put our family time on first. So like anything that the kids have to do, like if they have sports activities or other activities, we put that on first and that’s always our priority. We put quality time with the kids on, so if we take them to the waterpark, if we do another activity together as a family we put that stuff on, and then we put business stuff on. I’ve said it many times on the podcast, humans are terrible multitaskers.
Shane Sams: We think we can multitask, but we cannot. We are very, very bad at it. So, what you have to do is you have to block out times. Now, this is harder with babies because somebody needs a diaper change, they need a diaper change. You can’t really like be like, “Oh sorry, it’s business time. You have to wait a couple hours.” That’s not going to work. And we get that and we recognize that. But, at the same time you need to have times blocked out to work on the business. Preferably if you can get someone to watch the kids for you, even if it’s a student, high-school student, somebody who could even be in the house with you. Like if you can even pay them a little bit to just keep the kids away for just a little while so you can have really focused time to do your work, and that’s your work time.
Shane Sams: And anything else for the kids can wait. So make sure they’re fed, make sure they’re changed, all that kind of stuff. If an emergency comes up, yes you got to deal with it, but otherwise don’t feel bad about saying, “Okay, right now is mommy’s work time. You’re going to have to do something else for a little while and I’ll be with you in just a little bit.”
Shane Sams: And then also too focus on quality, not quantity. This is something that Jocelyn and I really wrestled with in the last couple of years big time because our team is growing, our websites are growing, our stuff is growing, and we’re really starting to see like literally one we’re together 24 hours a day.
Jocelyn Sams: Which is wonderful.
Shane Sams: Which is great, most of the time. But sometimes it’s like we’ve been together for 24 hours a day. And we’ve been really conscious of … And then all those conversations are like kids or business, that’s all we talk about. We’ve really focused more on like we drove down to Knoxville, Tennessee the other day to go to dinner. And Jocelyn basically said when we got in the car, I don’t want to talk about business until we get out of this car. This is an hour and a half where we could just not talk about business. Let’s talk about something else. So we might talk about a trip that we’re going to go on, or we might talk about something we’re going to do. So, even just blocking really disciplined-
Jocelyn Sams: Intentional.
Shane Sams: … intentional once or twice a week, “Can we just not talk about business for 30 minutes?” Like it’s off limits. We don’t get to talk about it. Both people have to come up with one other thing to talk about. Just even that at the house, I’m not talking about going out to dinner, I’m not talking about driving somewhere. I’m just like, “Hey, this hour right here on Thursday night from eight to nine no one gets to say anything about Twitter or the video game academy.” Stuff like that really goes a long way, and it doesn’t take much. It really doesn’t. You just need those gaps to let your brain kind of reset. And also to like get away from each other a little bit. Like, if you feelyourself like three days in a row, always talking about business even when Jocelyn, will come in into the room and just lay down at night and read or play a game on her phone and I might go just go sit in the other room and we’re just not in the same room.
Shane Sams: That way you kind of have some like absence makes the heart grow fonder in the house. You don’t have to be up in each other’s grill talking about business all the time, but people forget that because they think, “Oh, we worked on business for eight straight hours, now we have to go on a date and be romantic for two straight hours.” That doesn’t work. You can’t be together 10 hours and there be any romance. There’s a lot of nomance at the end of 10 hours together. So like getting away from each other even like if you did this right, like right now, one 30 minute block where you weren’t allowed to talk to each other for 30 straight minutes. Preferably with the kids at someone else’s house, and then one 30 minute block where you were not allowed to talk about business.
Shane Sams: You had to talk about something else that happened. That would go a long way to just giving you some boundaries in the house. You know what I’m saying?
Katelyn Hulsman: Yeah.
Jocelyn Sams: And I would recommend getting … Like he was saying, getting the kids like totally away from you. Even if you can do it one day a week, like the other day I was shocked. Shane had taken the kids somewhere and I had something I really needed to work on, and I got more done in that hour and a half than I got done with probably like a day and a half if the kids were here. And I was like shocked at how much I was able to get accomplished without them being like, “Mom, can I have a snack? I need your help pouring the milk. Can you make me some macaroni?” All those kinds of things. Like you would think that my kids are 10 and 8 they would be a little more self sufficient. Well, not so much so much.
Shane Sams: Not so much. It’s like it’s going to get worse as they get older. But like, even for each other. Like if you can’t find childcare, I know a lot of people are listening will go, “I can’t find childcare or a babysitter.” Well, you got two of you. So, one of you take the kids somewhere for an hour and just sit on a park bench if you have to and let the other person have a minute to breathe and then switch.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, we used to do that. Do a mom swap. If you know a mom locally who needs the kids to go somewhere for a little bit, but they don’t have a lot of money, swap with them. Take their kids for a day. You let them take your kids for half a day, whatever, and just make it work. Like that’s what we used to do before we had a lot of extra money to hire people we would do things like that. You have to get creative.
Shane Sams: And just don’t feel guilty about it. Like, when you feel yourself getting frustrated with each other because you will. That’s what Jocelyn always says. We bring out the best in each other-
Jocelyn Sams: Most times.
Shane Sams: … but occasionally the worst. And that’s going to happen. Just recognize there’s two ways to do it. Like, don’t talk about business and get away from each other for a few minutes and give each other a break. If you can do those things, then that’s going to calm that problem. All right. Let’s get into some more technical stuff about the business here, some deep strategy. Tell us a little bit about where you’re at. It sounds like you said earlier you’ve got the churn problem under control, so you’re at least adding enough members to cover people that cancel right now. But that’s a slippery slope. Like that’s the edge of the mountain. We’re walking on the edge, we don’t want to fall off. What’s happening? How are you getting the new members? How much are you promoting the membership? How much time and money are you investing in the membership?
Shane Sams: Because the goal now is to get to 100. 100 is an amazing place to be in your membership. That’s a stabilizing point. And we want to get this thing, you’re saying you’re floating 30 to 50. We want to float 100 to 150. So, what are you doing right now to promote this stuff? You’re being consistent, but like how are you being prolific in your promotions?
Daniel Hulsman: I’m not. I’ll tell you what I’m doing. There’s always more that you can do and I’m not doing very much. I’ve been pretty strapped with both kids at home this summer. I’m a teacher, so I’m at home during the summer. But the main way we’re getting new people into the site in general is through a quarterly 21 day challenge. So, every quarter I’ve been doing this. I started doing a quarterly after you told me to last year.
Shane Sams: And it worked.
Daniel Hulsman: And it worked. So, I’m getting anywhere between three to 500 people signing up for this challenge every quarter. And I’d say like 100 to 150 of those people are brand new people who’s never signed up for anything before. But then, at the end of the 21 day challenge, I do a promotion for their membership. And that’s when I really kind of like hit it hard via email. And I pitched them pretty hard with some of the templates and like some of the examples that I saw in the community. The trick is that … Sorry. The kind of the unfortunate thing is that we do these like three-week challenges. We get to the end and the first two times back in last July and then last October, that was like when I was in beta mode and promoting as like, “This is a beta. This is the lowest price it will ever be.” Those two went really well and I ended up getting like 20, 25, 30 for each of those two launches.
Daniel Hulsman: And then after that when I raised the price in January, and ever since then it’s been like two people, six people, one people. So, it’s really kind of grinded almost to a halt there. And I’ve really had to kind of fight to just get a handful in. Outside of that challenge.
Shane Sams: How much is the membership now?
Daniel Hulsman: It’s $29.99 per month.
Shane Sams: And how much was the one that was the last time it got like a good amount, like 15 to 20.
Daniel Hulsman: $19 a month. But what I’m doing is I’m also like, you can go to the website and sign up for the membership at that price now, and in January I launched it at that new price and I didn’t do any like promotional pricing or anything on it. And I got one or two people sign up for that price. And then the next time I did it, I tried it like a 25% discount for three days only for just the people who signed up for the challenge. And I got like six people that time, but then I just did the same thing. And I only got one person this last time. I think that I kind of painted myself into a corner a bit, like discounting a membership, like probably not a great strategy in general. But I think there are a lot of possible things that are not working. I just don’t know which to really dive into. Part of me says like getting new people in, like in general, but I don’t know.
Katelyn Hulsman: Well, and one thing that we’ve talked about a little bit was I had kind of talked to Daniel about, is there a way to make it easier for people to kind of come across the membership in times when you’re not running a challenge? Because, for a while I think that part of his website was a little buried. I think you’ve brought it out a little more obviously now, but I think we’re struggling with, when you use social media, how much are you … Does it come across as too salesy, if you’re using social media to sell a membership? We had recently, he put up a post in his Facebook group advertising the membership site after the challenge and we had somebody make an angry face at it in the Facebook group, which we were a little surprised by.
Daniel Hulsman: That like rocked Katelyn’s world for a day.
Katelyn Hulsman: Yes, it did. It rocked my world.
Daniel Hulsman: She was like, “Someone gave an angry emoji. Oh my God.”
Shane Sams: How many people are in your group right now?
Daniel Hulsman: I think 1700. If not, it’s really close.
Shane Sams: 1,700 people didn’t emoji the post but one person did, dan-dan-daa.
Daniel Hulsman: We gotta close up shop now.
Shane Sams: It’s the one Goomba at the end of the level that got you. You know what I’m saying?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah, exactly.
Shane Sams: You can’t let that bother you. Like that’s going to happen. People get mad at me. I had a guy on my history site last night I posted. I post these funny memes, and I posted a picture that was totally like benign and this guy basically … And I post my real name on that Facebook. It’s like 6,000 followers. And I post my real name on there all the time. And the guy said, “Shane Sams, you’re an F-ing moron.”
Katelyn Hulsman: Oh my goodness.
Shane Sams: Straight up, right on the comments of the thing. And I just posted a little picture of Sylvester Stallone with the word joke going over his head. Like I just totally trolled back. But like you can’t let them … Don’t let the emoji warriors get you. Don’t let the emoji warriors get you. You can’t be. Well, let’s break this down. One, I think you need to do more challenges. I actually think you need to do a week long challenge. You need to evolve that process, and you need to do it probably every month. Like, if you could do it one week, every month now, let’s ramp it up. But what you’re going to have to do is, do you have more than one challenge or is it the same one every three months?
Daniel Hulsman: It’s the same one, but the theme of it and like the content changes a tiny bit.
Shane Sams: What we’ve got to do is we’ve got to make them feel … You need two, that you can go rotate, like back to back. And this is going to be on you because you’ve got to figure out how this works within the context of what you’re doing. But like, maybe one is like all about … I know that your challenges about composing music, correct?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah.
Shane Sams: Maybe you could do more of a little bit of a challenge about maybe like the business aspect of getting into the business.
Daniel Hulsman: Let’s say that was kind of one concern I think I’m having is that the people getting into the challenge or like people who are doing it for fun. And so, I’m not getting people who are really serious about it professionally.
Shane Sams: If you had two challenges, one was all about the music, and one was like, you could theme it kind of like you show them the process basically of getting in and out of the business.
Jocelyn Sams: I don’t think there’s even a way of bridging those people who are doing it for fun. Like maybe even just put a bug in their ear, “Hey, did you know that you can make money off this?”
Shane Sams: That song could make you money. Right?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah.
Shane Sams: So I think you need to do the challenge at least once a month.
Jocelyn Sams: I would like to see it as automated as possible. When you do it the next time, really write out the procedures if you haven’t done this already, so that why maybe even Katelyn could help you, or eventually you guys could get a virtual assistant to help you to be able to roll those parts of the challenge out. So, it’s not so manual at the time.
Shane Sams: You did this for three weeks though, you said, right?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah. And just so you know, Katelyn had to step away for a minute to go check on the baby. He was with my mother downstairs.
Shane Sams: Our kids will be pouring in here at any minute. That’s what happens. This is real life, guys listening to the podcast.
Daniel Hulsman: It’s real life. So, but like I said three weeks. It’s 21 days, Once every three months. And a lot of it is automated or it’s automatable. Like the emails I’ve already written, they’re already automated. I just have to like basically recreate the workflow that sends the emails every time.
Shane Sams: If you could take that challenge and get it down to a week and they don’t do the whole thing … And this is a simple way of saying this. We’d have to talk about it more. But like, if you could take the first week and that was actually part of the challenge where they got to a point where they could feel the result but they weren’t quite done and then the rest of the challenge lived in the community I think you could pitch it every month. You know what I’m saying? Because like, the goal is to get them started. I know that you write like a whole piece of music or whatever. Right?
Daniel Hulsman: Well, it’s like you have to write, you write it like an idea. So it’s basically just like about like making sure you’re getting new ideas generated every day and not just like sitting there stuck with a blank screen stressed about not writing anything.
Shane Sams: If we could condense a part of that down to the one week challenge and we could change it just a little bit, you could open and close it more often. So like right now if you’ve got six every three months, next time you’ll have it. If you’ve got three every month, that would still be more right. It’d be none. I know you’d probably get more, because it’ll get more momentum because you open and close it. So it’s like open on Monday, closes on Friday. We don’t do it again for three weeks. So you just do your normal stuff then the challenges. The August challenge is opening. The September challenge is opening. The November … Whatever. You know what I’m saying? It’s like opening and closing more challenges is definitely like the next step. But now you do have to get more traffic. You’ve got to get more people in that group.
Shane Sams: That’s going to be the goal. I’m wondering like what you’re doing to get people to grow your group or grow your email list.
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah, I mean, when I talked to you in December I was kind of like in survival mode, so we just sort of … You gave me a lot of permission to kind of like not do that and so I’ve really been focusing on like the membership and stabilizing that. So right now I’m just starting to like get a little bit more content going. I’ve done a couple of interviews that I have posted on the sites. I don’t have a podcast, but it’s an idea that I’m kind of playing with. I’ve got a YouTube channel that I do nothing with. I’ve like put a couple of videos like years ago up as like just a way to embed videos on a blog post and I’ve got like 350 subscribers. I could go maybe in that direction. There’s a lot of directions I feel like I could go. I do have like an exciting opportunity later this month where I’ve got a grammy nominated composer that I’m going to be interviewing live probably on Facebook live.
Daniel Hulsman: And so, we’re going to hopefully get a good live audience for that.
Shane Sams: Awesome.
Daniel Hulsman: He’s going to be in our members only area a few days after that. I’m going to use that as not only a way to promote what he’s working on, but then too to plug the membership at the end. But, other than that, I’m not really buckling down and like creating a lot of content right now. I feel like I need to sit down and like plan out social media and then like get that all going. Because what Katelyn’s doing is great. It’s like really reactive. It’s really timely. And then for me, like really what I need to do is sit down like kind of thoughtfully slam the promotions, schedule all the automated stuff.
Shane Sams: Our general rule when we’re trying to grow our businesses is, and we say this all the time, is to be consistent, to be prolific and be relentless. Consistency always goes to that one piece of content that comes out every week, like it’s our podcast. That’s our consistent thing of content. Prolific always talks directly to promotions. Like, how are you going to promote everyday? I wake up every day and while my coffee is literally pouring into the pot I think to myself, “How am I going to promote today?” I don’t care if it’s one email, one social media post, one tweet. I’ve got to do something to tell somebody that I’ve got something for sale. It could be promoting content like on Tuesdays I always send an email out that we have a new podcast come out. On Wednesdays I might send an email that says, “Hey, did you catch last week’s podcast?”
Shane Sams: But on Thursday I might say, “Hey, we’ve only got 13 tickets left to flip your life live.” On Friday I’m going to say, “Hey, you need to join the flip your life community, you’ve been sitting around listening to the podcast for two years, what are you waiting on?” Right? And then I’m just constantly every day trying to figure out how can I promote, what can I promote? And I actually have a 30 day calendar at the beginning of every single month, I actually include this calendar in Prolific Monthly, my newsletter. And like it’s exactly like, this is what I do to promote. What I’m going to do in August or September, October to promote our membership. And that’s probably the next level. What you’re going to have to think is, how do I promote content to get more cold followers? How do I promote my membership to get more people to join? And then, how do I follow up with people I know are on the edge?
Shane Sams: That’s another thing I do every day, is reach out to people who I know are interested. Like if I get an email back off of one of our auto-responders, I got this one email goes out and it says, “What’s frustrating you?” I always write those people back because everybody’s one question away from buying your product. Stuff like that is the next level, and you’re going to have to figure out how to manage that with that little baby we hear talking in the background.
Jocelyn Sams: I love those baby noises.
Shane Sams: I love those baby noises, I miss them. But that’s where you got to go next is being prolific with your offers once a month, at least, as some kind of challenge. And then being prolific, promoting your content and then being relentless like every day someone needs to hear about this academy. They need to know it’s there. Even if it was just a social media post at 10:00 like, “Hey guys, the thing is open now, check it out,” every other day, that would be good.
Daniel Hulsman: I think that just really kind of paralyzed because there’s so many different directions I can run with in terms of like what to do. A lot of my content I feel like is old, like I’ve got a couple of newer things now, but I know a lot of that I wrote years ago, and a lot of it is still relevant. I don’t know. That makes me, there’s more I can be doing that’s like way more timely and relevant now. And then, in terms of promotion, again, Twitter is like mainly what I’ve been focusing on for years. And I’ve got this Facebook group, so I don’t know if I should just kind of just stick with those two and just try to get more people following in both of those places, or if I should try to do the thing where you make a video and turn it into a YouTube video on a podcast, or just like try to do a podcast and keep it super simple.
Daniel Hulsman: There’s so many different ways I feel like I could get new people to the site. It’s just a little overwhelming to kind of pick one and run with it.
Shane Sams: That’s what you got to do. You got to pick one and run with it. That’s what most people won’t do, because they all work. You’ll find a millionaire on every social media network. You’ll find a millionaire in every business. You’ll find someone making a living online doing everything. But they usually pick one thing like the pizza guy who runs the pizza shop picked pizza instead of hamburgers. That’s why he’s making money. Like, pick one timely thing to do a week and then promote everything else you’ve ever created every other day. It’s so much easier and that will keep you from getting overwhelmed. So, just pick that one path that feels the most right to you right now and just do it for six months and see where that takes you. That’s probably going to be your best bet.
Jocelyn Sams: You’re doing a lot of things right already. So, I feel like you just need to do more of the things right. You need to find a way to make it work where you can basically pitch these people more often. Maybe it’s not a three week challenge. Maybe it looks like something different. So, if challenges are working, how can you find a way to make one work more often?
Shane Sams: And you may have to rewrite the whole challenge model, but you know challenges work, and you just need a couple to rotate the way it’s not the same challenge every single month. Does that makes sense?
Daniel Hulsman: Yeah.
Shane Sams: That’s how you become more prolific with challenges. You say, “All right, this worked scrap the three week thing, I’m going to have, “Hey remember the 21 day challenge, now we’re doing a seven day challenge, or a five day challenge.”” The same amount of people are going to join. The same amount of people are getting involved. They’re just going to hear your offer more, which is going to equal more sales, basically.
Daniel Hulsman: I actually kind of really like the idea of like alternating and doing a different kind of challenge like with the more business centered stuff too, because then I know of at least getting people who are more interested in making a career out of it, then people who are really just enjoying the process of writing.
Jocelyn Sams: Absolutely. All right guys, we’ve had so much fun talking today. There are so many exciting things going on in your world and I’m really, really excited to see what is going to happen for the future of the site. But before we go, we always like to ask, what is one thing that you plan to take action on based on what we talked about today?
Daniel Hulsman: I guess for me it’s figuring out one way, one path to promote way more prolifically and decide what I’m going to do to grow, getting more … cold people into the website environment and then just kind of hit that same nail over and over again for a while.
Katelyn Hulsman: And one takeaway that I have is I’m going to stress a lot less over the competitors and the angry emojis.
Shane Sams: Yes. Oh my gosh.
Katelyn Hulsman: And focus more on the people who are receiving and enjoying the content and potentially giving us constructive feedback. Worry little less about the people I’m not going to reach.
Shane Sams: Worry about that baby. That’s all you got to worry about. Worry about the baby. Worry about each other, and everything else will kind of take care of itself. Well, listen guys, we are super proud of you guys. There are big things ahead. You’ve not tapped out the market yet. There’s a lot more members probably waiting right in your existing audience. And when you start pitching them more and you start promoting your stuff more, they’re going to really respond. So keep going. You’re doing it together now. That is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see the next amazing post to the success forum by you guys.
Katelyn Hulsman: We really appreciate all of your help. It’s been a blessing, honestly.
Shane Sams: All right. And I think, Katelyn, you have a principal that you’re going to share with us. A life related Bible verse or principles from the bible that you have that a you want to share with everybody.
Katelyn Hulsman: Yeah. It’s not a direct quote, but the bible verse that always sticks with me is, what you hear in the ear, preach on the house tops. And when I was preparing to join you guys today, it’s one of the things that came to mind because I actually think it’s something that you all do really well. You really have shared a lot of the knowledge and experience that you’ve collected and it’s made a difference in our lives. I’m sure it’s helped a lot of other people as well.
Shane Sams: Love it. I love it. We need to have a baby on every episode.
Jocelyn Sams: I know.
Shane Sams: If you’ve got a baby bring em on the show. We’re going to have to start interviewing the babies as well.
Jocelyn Sams: One time we had cattle mooing in the background.
Shane Sams: Yeah, we had some cattle mooing in the background. This is the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, that’s how it rolls around here. You know what I’m saying?
Daniel Hulsman: My next success story is going to be when the baby starts to tweet. I’ll put that in there. Baby is on board.
Shane Sams: All right guys. That wraps up another edition of the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. What an amazing discussion with Daniel and Katelyn Hulsman.
Jocelyn Sams: And their baby.
Shane Sams: And their baby. It is so exciting to see people get their entire family on board with their business. We would love to help you change your family’s future just like the Hulsmans. Go to flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife. We’d love to have you inside the membership community. We’ve got all the training, coaching and community support that you need to be successful in your online business. And maybe, like Daniel, you need a little support in your promotions. Maybe you’re not quite being prolific enough in getting your content out there, getting your message out there, getting your products out there. Well, I have a print newsletter. That’s right. A print newsletter that I send out every single month. It’s called Prolific Monthly. And if you go to prolificmonthly.com right now, you can sign up for the next edition of my print newsletter.
Shane Sams: I include a calendar and tips and copywriting help, everything you need to promote all of your content and all of your products every single day of the month. That’s prolificmonthly.com. You got to sign up really fast or you’re not going to be able to get it before we send the next print run out. So I go to prolificmonthly.com, I would love to help you promote your business every single day. All right guys, before we go, I know Katelyn shared an amazing principal earlier in the podcast, but I had to share this bible verse with you guys, because it’s one of my favorite bible verses and it really sums up what it’s like to work with your spouse and work inside of a community surrounded by people who are going the same direction as you. It’s Ecclesiastes 4:12 and the Bible says, though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Shane Sams: Hey listen, get your spouse onboard with your dream. Go out there and prove it to them. You may be working on this thing all alone right now, but you can prove that you can make it happen. Then get them on board. Then surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, other family focused folks who are going in the same direction so that your dream will not be broken and it will come to pass. That’s all the time we’ve got for this week guys. Until next time, get out there, take action, and do whatever it takes to flip your life.
Jocelyn Sams: Bye.
Links and resources mentioned on today’s show:
- Daniel’s Website – VGM Academy
- Flipped Lifestyle Podcast 212 with Guest Daniel Hulsman
- Flipped Lifestyle Podcast 263 with Guest Daniel Hulsman
- Flip Your Life Community
- PROLIFIC Monthly
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