Launching His First SaaS In The Foundation - With Peter Valley
Peter has been rocking Amazon.com for the last 5+ years. Watch his episode now.
Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast
Guest Name Interview – Peter Valley
Introduction: Welcome to Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast, the place
where incredible entrepreneur show you how they built their businesses
entirely from scratch before they knew what the heck they were doing.
Dane: If you’re watching this video you’ll see I’m sporting a good little aisle of
Hey everyone, it’s Dane Maxwell and welcome to this edition of Starting from
Nothing. You’re going to be hearing from Peter Valley today who is a hilarious
interview. You’re going to hear many stories about him from how he broke
into abandon houses, to how he is planning to have a 30-50k per month
software business with a software product for Amazon sellers. What a cool
interview. You’ll also going to hear his thought-process for how he filters
decisions through his identity of who he says he is and how he has his
relentless commitment to the pursuit of freedom and choosing adventure
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another edition of Starting from Nothing,
the official Foundation podcast. I am your host Dane Maxwell. Today we are
talking with Peter Valley. A very recent graduate of The Foundation. Is that
Peter: Coming up in about a week graduate.
Dane: Coming up in about a week graduating of The Foundation. Peter Valley is a
long-time entrepreneur in the Amazon seller niche and current Foundation
student. He publishes info products to create successful Amazon sellers at
fbamastery.com. He’s a partner in the soon to launch
sevenfigurebooksales.com and is developing an upcoming SaaS product for
Amazon sellers via the – probably because of the Foundation. We’ll find out
in a second.
Since 18 Peter’s line in the sand has been to never work for someone else – I
relate to that. He’s been formally employed for less than 18 months. His work
of militant unemployment has taken him on cross country hitch hiking trips
to multiple online and offline businesses and to The Foundation and soon to
launch SaaS Product.
Peter, how is that to hear me say all that?
Peter: Well, it’s been a crazy journey. We’re talking about going from—I used to live
in broom closets and now I’m here with you building my first SaaS product so
Dane: What had you living in broom closets?
Peter: I’ll try to keep it interesting.
When I was 18 I had the option –kind of the crossroads that all of us are
where you get a job, you can go to school and I chose kind of a third path
where I decided I didn’t want to work for anybody formally ever again. That
did not initially for many years take any sort of entrepreneurial form. I
decided I was going to live as cheaply as possible and kind of live the punk
I started travelling around the country. I would tour with bands, I would just
live as frugally as possible, and decided I was just going to chase adventure.
That was really my only goal in life. That took the form of a lot of travelling, a
lot of sort of unorthodox living situations, and then slowly over the years that
progressed into getting to more entrepreneurial endeavors. I then became a
successful Amazon seller and then got infoproducts and then here we are.
Dane: But what had you in the first place decided to tour with bands?
Peter: I can tell you – I remember this one moment where I was like on a military
base and I couldn’t tell you why. I don’t come from a military family but I
remember looking out at this – it’s kind of a weird story but I remember
looking out at this like group of kids hanging out inside like a roller rink on a
military base. So just thinking like I’ll never know that slice of life. There’s so
much to this world that I’ll never know unless I just run out and chase it. I
decided I was going to do as much as I could, travel and see as much different
facets of life as I could before it’s all over.
I literally went to the I-5 in Seattle and put my thumb out and hitch-hiked all
the way to Silicon Valley. I saw so many things in that trip. I was living on an
abandoned boat on the coast of Oregon. I got picked up by – I just had so
many crazy stories. But I feel like I was really living for the first time. You can’t
go back to a job after that. Ever since then it’s been a pursuit of freedom for
me which I think you could probably relate to.
Dane: You said your only goal was to choose adventure. I’m curious about the first
decision that you made where you chose adventure. Do you remember it?
Peter: I remember – I do. This is going to be a weird story.
I went to high school in kind of an affluent suburb outside of Seattle. When I
was sort of at this situation where my dad was sort of compelling me to
either enroll in university or get a job, I literally walked up and down the
street of every block in my neighborhood. You’re not prepared for this.
You’ve never heard this on your podcast before. I found an abandoned house
that was owned by the Department of Transportation. This was a multimillion
dollar house. Like I said, a very wealthy neighborhood. It had a view of
downtown Seattle just like gorgeous.
I did some research on the house and it turns out this house was surplus
property. Its status was not up for renewal for two years or something. So it’s
basically just abandoned property.
I ended up moving into this house. I squat at this house for two years – this
multi-million dollar house in this rich suburb. That was my first taste of
anything is possible. Literally, if you don’t have that thing in your head that
tells you something can’t be done, anything is possible. It’s the most absurd
situation imaginable to move into a multi-million dollar house in one of the –
I think it’s like the second richest zip code in the state of Washington, and live
there for two years but that’s what I did.
The way all this relates to The Foundation is like this is the kind of stuff that –
we all have different journeys to get to where we are in our entrepreneurial
life and mine came by way of sort of moving away from approach. Instead of
just a lot of us saying we want to move towards freedom, a lot of this might
be – my mindset might have change a lot but back in the day was a strong
aversion to working for somebody else.
So the form that took was I’m going to squat this abandoned house in this
rich neighborhood and live there rent-free and that’s what I did. That was the
earliest version of how can I escape this sort of nine-to-five prison that I’ve
been fed since the day I was born. Bet you weren’t expecting that story,
Dane: What if I told you I was?
Peter: I’d be disappointed with myself.
Dane: You’d be disappointed in yourself. Or you could just call me a liar.
Peter: Listen, we’re on the air so I’ll save that for later, Cancun.
Dane: That has me feel a little bit like I hope you’re not saving anything for later. I
don’t imagine you are. I’m imagining that was just more a phrase of
Peter: Yeah, no. I’m not holding – I don’t have any other scandalous facet to that
story that I’m holding back up now.
Dane: Okay, yeah. I imagine. The first time that you chose adventure was you found
this multi-million dollar home and it was list just unlocked?
Peter: It was – Wow you listened! Maybe this is the part I’m holding back on.
I was 18, okay, so keep that in mind. It was not unlocked. I chose to sort of
make it unlocked by way of the basement door. With the full understanding
and full knowledge this house was abandoned and it was surplus property. It
was not occupied by anybody, it was owned by the government. I
subsequently installed my own lock on the back door.
Dane: This is amazing to me. I like the little – Is that an evil laugh that you laugh
Peter: No, it’s sort of a like how-is-this-been-interpreted laugh. I listen to your
podcast and I can tell you I’ve never heard anybody tell stories like this.
Dane: So, it’s more of a nervous laugh. Maybe anticipating like, “Man, how is this
going to be received?”
Peter: Well, no. It’s not how it’s going to be received. We can get to the business
stuff right now if you prefer to. Listen, I have another one because you’re in
North County San Diego, is that right?
Dane: Before you go there, I want to pause for a second because I personally – I
really appreciate the story. I can see how it’s little edgy to share and I also
think it’s very indicative of an entrepreneurial trait. You mentioned that if you
don’t have that voice in your head telling you you can’t do it, anything is
possible. Where have you heard that before? Is that yours?
Peter: I’ve done some writing and I like to think that’s me, as far as I know. I may
have picked up the sentiments from somewhere but I remember writing that
some years ago. I remember that was the lasting lesson I tried to carry with
me. That particular day when I literally said I’m going to walk down every
street in my neighborhood until I find an abandoned house, that’s something
that like – Even if I was 22 I don’t think I would’ve had that kind of naiveté.
But without it I wouldn’t have had two of the best years in my life. I wouldn’t
have an amazing story to tell, I wouldn’t be here.
Dane: So, it even goes back but further than the house. You actually had a desire to
find an abandoned house for two – and you knew you wanted one for two
Peter: No, the two years was the time I lived there. Prior to that I had read – I come
out of the punk rock scene, a punk rock background and so there was a lot of
sort of like self-published literature at the time about people living in
abandoned houses and squatting. So I kind of picked up from that subculture,
Dane: I didn’t even know it’s existed. It’s very entrepreneurial of you to make
something that you don’t have it. You did have a voice in your head saying
that you shouldn’t do this?
Peter: I didn’t have a voice saying I shouldn’t do it but more importantly that I
couldn’t do it. Both of those were absent.
Dane: Yeah. What was present for you when you were breaking the lock?
Peter: It was – it’s metaphorical but it was – Most people don’t make it this far,
that’s what I was thinking. I remember thinking I went so far as to find an
abandoned house, most people don’t make it this far. How can you turn back
now? And if this is what I think it is, this will be the best time in my life, which
Dane: Most people don’t make it this far but what else was going on for you when
you’re standing there looking at that door and you’re about ready to crowbar
it in, break it in. There are things going on inside your head, conversations
you’re having with yourself, and one of them was most people don’t make it
Where I’m going with this is this is no different other than the fact that it’s
slightly illegal. The principle is no different than the entrepreneurial journey.
What goes on in your head before you’re about to take an action and what
happens when you actually take it. I see this as an early [seat 00:12:34] of an
entrepreneurial trait that you did this.
That’s why I’m asking. I’ll just give you some context and give people listening
context. What are the conversations were going on for you?
Peter: The consequences of turning back are much greater than the consequences
of going forward which was exactly the mindset I got into when I took the
leap to join The Foundation. What does this say about myself if I don’t take
this leap? This is much more devastating than possible legal consequences or
the possibility of failure.
Dane: What does this say about myself if I don’t take this leap? Wow.
Peter: And knowing that the answer would linger for the rest of my life. Not
necessarily with that particular decision although it would but also just a
general sort of pattern that I would lock myself into if I started to turn away
Dane: Which is why I asked you about the first time that you chose adventure
because this first decision seems to have cascaded very nicely for you. Does
that fit for you?
Peter: Listen, yeah, very much so.
Dane: You’re sitting there at the door but you said there was something that – It
was the same reason you joined The Foundation, it was the same reason that
you chose to break this door down and go to this house. What was that same
reason? I missed that. It was a quote or something.
Peter: The reason was – I don’t remember my exact quote. I said the consequences
of going forward are much bigger than the consequences of turning away in
terms of the positive. The consequence of turning away would just be
devastating. When you’re at the precipice of victory, essentially, or
something so close you can taste it, which has also been the case with every
sort of entrepreneurial endeavor I’ve had. If it’s easy everyone would be
doing it. The fact that I made it that far and the fact that I was about to take
that leap was – that’s what separates successful people from unsuccessful
Dane: You’re sitting in front of this door and you’ve got these dialogues going on.
First, you’re looking at the door and you’re like, “Oh my gosh! Maybe I should
turn back. Wait, no most people don’t make it this far.” Then you’re like
“Well, if I don’t do this what does it say about myself if I don’t take this leap?”
What would you have said about yourself if you did not take the leap?
Peter: That I was not living consistently with my core identity and my core values.
Dane: That you’re not living consistently with your core identity and your core
values. What is your core identity?
Peter: Pursuit of freedom at any cost.
Dane: Yeah, holy cow! This is great. You’ve got this identity that you are a pursuer
of freedom. Any decision that you’re making seems to be filtered through this
identity based decision which is probably the most potent kind of decision
you could make. It’s up there. Which is what does this say about myself if I
don’t take this leap? It would say that you’re not a pursuer of freedom, huh?
Dane: What would that say about yourself if you were not a pursuer of freedom?
How would you view yourself then?
Peter: I would view myself as not living harmoniously with who I am and therefore
in this sort of real world consequences would be I would’ve worked at a gas
station. Very literally, it was much less esoteric in my head. It was very much
like I’m going to have to work for somebody else. I said the big drive for me
was I’m moving away from sort of frame where I have this intense aversion
for working for somebody else. The flip-side of that is obviously pursuit of
freedom and I don’t think those two things are necessarily … I still have a
strong averse into working for somebody else, and I think it’s healthy,
because fear is a big motivator.
Dane: Can I stop you for a sec?
Dane: Thank you. I’m noticing having a desire to feel you a little more because I feel
like I might relate to you so much in this aversion to working for someone
else. You were saying that fear is a big motivator. I’m really also just going to
say that I’m really enjoying myself right now. I’m having a lot of fun talking to
you. What is this aversion? If you were to go – picture yourself. Picture
yourself working at a gas station right now and let me know when you’ve
pictured it. You got it? What does it feel like?
Peter: It feels like every day on repeat like no hope and just monotony. The pursuit
of novelty is very tied into the pursuit of freedom but that might even be
drilling down a little bit deeper. I am obsessed with novel experiences which
is why I do all the weird stuff that I do. I don’t know why. I’m excited about
The Foundation and the product I’m going to build because it will allow me to
do all the things on my list that I have not been able to do that are weird and
cost money that I just don’t have time for. It’s really exciting.
I’ve got a list from high school, literally. One of those things in the list is doing
a hip hop album. I’ve never had the time, resources, anything to do that. This
has lingered since high school and I’m in my 30s now. But this stuff, once you
have that drive – this stuff never goes away. Once you get your mind on
something you’ll never part with it when it comes to novel experiences.
Dane: For you that’s the case, yes?
Dane: You’re obsessed with novel experiences but I want to go back for a second,
we’ll go to that in a minute. You’re in the front of this door and you’re saying
what does this say about myself if I don’t take this leap? It means I’m not a
pursuer of freedom, it means that I would be working at a gas station and
that would mean I had a loss of hope. No wonder you broke the door down.
Peter: I wonder how could you not.
Dane: Now how many other people standing in front of that door would have so
many other different conversations inside their head? But now here you are
an entrepreneur, your first real business. Does this same pattern go on for
you when you’re about to take this next leap for a business?
Peter: Oh, absolutely. All of my entrepreneurial pursuits have been born out of
emotional necessity. It’s never quite so much been a financial necessity but
it’s been like what’s the alternative and what will that mean for me
emotionally in terms of like how I feel about myself. I started selling books on
Amazon, literally dumpster diving for books, and just built that. It’s always
come at times when the alternative was – even if there wasn’t necessarily
employment always, it was equally devastating.
Dane: Ladies and gentlemen, 19 minutes into the podcast, I believe we have already
given you the most valuable thing you could probably get which is insight into
Peter’s mind and how he makes his decisions. If you’re ever wondering why
certain people are more successful than you or unsuccessful or whatever it is,
it’s because of the conversation that goes on in their head when they’re
about to make a decision.
Now we’ve just given you insight into how one successful entrepreneur
makes a decision. He’s sitting in there, he asks himself an identity-based
question, and then the identity-based question has very real negative,
consequences if he does not take the action which include a loss of hope.
There’s something very unique about that, Peter, because as most people
sitting there make a decision they don’t have the awareness and foresight to
be having three conversations going on than have awareness of what might
not happen and that project into the future. They’re just locked into one
decision. You seem to have this gift of multiple awareness going on. It’s very,
very unusual. I love it. Is this resonating for you?
Peter: Yeah. I think that people – Say they’re standing at the door and they would
say they’re going to turn away and they would mask it as a pragmatic
decision, right, so they would say, “I might get arrested.” But it’s a very one
step forward with thinking – I like to think that I was thinking two steps
forward like, “Yes I might get arrested. However, if I don’t, and I probably
won’t, then two steps forward is I get a free house in the middle of a really
posh neighborhood.” Projecting beyond that, as you said, what will this
One of the reasons that I joined The Foundation was to get myself enhanced
freedom to write a book about all of my crazy experiences that came out of
that abandoned house. Everybody says they got a book in them but I got a
really good book. I can promise you that because I spent a lot of years having
Dane: Choosing adventures, your only goal I imagine.
Dane: Closely listening, it’s not about whether you’re willing to break into a house
or not, it’s about if you’re making decisions that are against your true
identity. That’s the point of this. If you find yourself distracted by the
content, here’s a little fascinating self-sabotage tip. If you find yourself at all
distracted by the content, “Oh man, he broke into a house. I would never
break into a house.” Instead of focusing on – and you’re not as successful as
you want to be, you have now just found an area where you’re selfsabotaging.
If you’re not as successful as you want to be and you’re focused
on the content, your mind, your body is actually purposely focusing you on
the content so you don’t see the principle of this which is are you making
decisions that are aligned with your identity or not?
That being said, you mentioned that you joined The Foundation to write a
Peter: That was a huge part of it. When I was 18 after I moved into abandoned
house I went to a family vacation down in La Jolla, California near where you
are. Ever since then, La Jolla has been my pot of gold at the end of the
rainbow. Every time I think about where I want to be, it’s very crystal clear.
I’ve gone through all the Anthony Robbins’ exercises. I know exactly what my
life is going to look like. It’s La Jolla, I’m writing, and writing is one of my
primary passions. That was like one of the drivers was like chasing that vision
of what I want my life to be, where I want it to be, and what I want it to look
Dane: You joined The Foundation so you could eventually go to La Jolla?
Peter: Yeah. If you wanted to get really specific, that’s exactly what’s in mind. Yeah.
Dane: So, you felt like The Foundation would give you the financial skill, muscle to
afford La Jolla.
Dane: Yeah, it will.
Peter: I know it will. I’m in Boulder right now and that’s just a notch below La Jolla
so I’m close.
Dane: What is your income goal per month?
Peter: Income is 30.
Dane: 30k per month?
Peter: Yeah. I’ll get that very quickly.
Dane: Yeah. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things. It’s a thousand bucks a day
and if you really take a step back and learn, “How could I add a thousand
dollars of value a day of the world?” It’s not really a whole lot in the grand
scheme of things. It can seem like a lot based on identity of how you view
money. I want you to know that I see that as easily attainable for you.
Peter: When you start running the numbers with software and this product I’m
developing, it’s very attainable very quickly.
Dane: How do you feel about software?
Peter: I haven’t told you this but I saw you speak in Boulder at the Success 3.0
Summit and I feel the same way about it that you expressed on stage which is
why I joined The Foundation after seeing you speak that day. It’s not about
software, it’s about the freedom. It’s just a vehicle. Like you said earlier, it’s
the principles behind everything.
Here’s the thing. I got into selling used books on Amazon and those margins
are addictive. My friend calls them heroin margins. You can buy books for 50
cents and flip them on Amazon for $10 all day long. That was huge. Then
what’s better than that, right? Infoproducts. So I got into that. What’s better
than info products? Software, and there’s nowhere to go from there. Maybe
there is but I don’t know about it. That’s what brought me to software.
Dane: Perfect. Tell me about how you do this used book thing real quick.
Peter: It’s really a very crude model but it just involves sourcing used books for very
cheaply. Books have a very low perceived value in our society and so you can
buy books for 50 cents anywhere and then just pocket the difference on
Amazon. I started to sell on Amazon then I got into Fulfillment by Amazon
which sort of automates the shipping process of it. You ship your books to
Amazon and they ship them out for you. I wrote a book about that
eventually. I just got very good at working 15 to 20 hours a week, making
decent money selling used books on Amazon. It’s too much to get into but I
have a lot of different sources for books but that’s [unclear 00:27:32].
Dane: Give me an example like how many books do you sell a month?
Peter: I don’t know units wise. I mean I do roughly like $6,000 a month in deposits
and the margin are huge. Most of that’s profit. I actually bought a – I know
you’re from Des Moines. I bought a used video store in Des Moines and
bought out their whole inventory across the street from Drake. That’s an
example of some of the ways I source. I’ve got 3,000 DVDs from them. It’s not
just books, its other media as well.
Dane: An empty DVD that you burn onto?
Peter: No, no, no. It was a video rental store that I bought out. I bought out their
inventory when they closed down. I do.
Dane: That’s awesome. How do you find these places that are closing down? Do you
search a video rental storage for sale?
Peter: That was literally – My friend owned the shop in Des Moines so that’s all that
was. That was just a personal connection. I don’t often do huge buys like that
although I’m drifting more in that direction. Although I can tell you, software
takes on a bigger role in my life which I think it will. It might just phase that
business out entirely.
Dane: Yeah. There is no greater form of income that I’ve seen in software. You
know my Paperless Pipeline business just cracked 90K last month.
Peter: Wow! That’s exciting.
Dane: Three-and-a-half years ago when I started The Foundation it was at 40. It just
grows without me.
Peter: That’s so awesome.
Dane: Yeah, I want that for you. I want that for the world.
So, you’re doing this used book stuff, what kind of book – Does any kind of
used book sell on Amazon? What are the books you want to avoid when you
Peter: It’s largely intuitive and there’s really no checklist I could give you. The
people, they’re scanning apps that tell you what the books are going for on
Amazon. So you take your smartphone out, you have a Bluetooth barcode
scanner. You go on any one of those books, you scan the barcode, it tells you
instantly what the sales rank is, what the book is selling for. And then you
make a buying decision based on the margins you want. It’s really just a
matter of finding sources of books at that point.
Dane: Okay, cool. That’s good enough. That’s great. The other thing that you do,
there’s another thing you do for income other than used books?
Peter: Infoproducts, yeah. I have a site where I sell – I teach people how to –
Basically I had to duplicate my model and get successful selling on Amazon.
It’s in e-books today.
Dane: Do you have an affiliate program for that offer?
Peter: I do. Yeah, through JVZoo. I do.
Dane: I’d like to look at it. We’d probably be interested in The Foundation in
Peter: Very cool. Yeah. So, I have five books out, different facets of the Amazon
business. My affiliate is through JVZoo.
Dane: Yeah, man. We’d love to chat with that. Yeah. Love to support you and also
help support The Foundation and also give other people just different ways
of finding freedom that might fit more their personality. So that they can
build up to come to the Mecca of software.
Dane: Tell me about your Foundation journey. You joined in November, what was
the first month like?
Peter: The first month was …
Dane: Actually, pause. What are you actually building?
Peter: I’m building – when I talk about this in our weekly Foundation meetings,
everybody’s eyes glaze over and I learn to just not go into the details.
Essentially it’s an online arbitrage tool that allows people to find items they
can buy on Amazon and then resell on Amazon. It’s a little bit different in the
stuff you teach where it’s not addressing the pain; it’s actually just making
people money. It’s not a mass appeal like get rich quick thing. You really have
to know Amazon to get this product. It’s a very select number of people that
really will be my customers. Essentially, that’s it.
Dane: How did you come up with this idea?
Peter: Two reasons. Another Amazon seller said, “Hey, have you ever thought about
doing this thing?” and he proposed this way where you could buy something
low on Amazon and resell on Amazon. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I never
thought of this.” I started to do it myself manually, not automated, no
software and it was working.
Dane: What’s an example of something you bought and resold?
Peter: I’ve been doing all books. Initially with my launch, my software will just deal
with books; although we like to expand to other categories. It will just be a
book that is maybe slightly undervalued and you can resell it in a way where
you add some features and free shipping and so forth and then get a lot more
money than you otherwise would be able to. Say you pay $4 for a book which
is the lowest price penny plus postage and then you can resell for $35. You
can do that all day long.
One dilemma that I have right now with the software is do I limit the
subscribers to avoid some sort of tragedy of the common scenario ensuing
where you have all these people fighting over this data and then it’s not
useful for anybody. I’m actually considering maybe limit it to 100 people and
charging premium versus opening up the doors to everybody and possibly
everybody being frustrated because you got thousands of people fighting
over limited data.
Dane: How much are you able to make a month with this kind of approach?
Peter: I don’t actually do it that much, I just see the potential for it. Tell you this, I
have a friend of a friend who makes – I think this is sales although the
margins are still huge but I think her sale is at $400,000 a year doing this.
She’s doing this manually, no software, no automation. The potential is
Dane: Would you like my recommendation on how to position the software just like
first out of the gate?
Dane: I’ll tell you in a second. I don’t want to lose our train of thought too much.
You had this guy say have you ever thought about this? Had you been in The
Peter: No, not at all.
Dane: So you had a software idea before you joined The Foundation?
Peter: Actually, no. It didn’t take the form of a software idea at all. The story’s
probably too long to get into but there has been a very weird role The
Foundation has played in my life well before I joined; very serendipitous.
I had an ex-girlfriend – I show up at her house one day and she’s like, “I heard
this thing about these people online. They had this system where you can
develop an idea and then you prove the idea and you validate it and then you
build it.” She couldn’t remember what the name of The Foundation was. I
was freaking out. I was like, “Get on there! Get on your Google history, figure
this out.” She couldn’t figure it out. And so that lingered for like a year.
And then my next girlfriend, I told her that story and she found The
Foundation. She said, “You got to join. You got to join.” She’s sending me
links. “You got to join.” This story could go on for so long but I moved to
Boulder. The week I show up in town I see three people – I don’t know if you
have staff here or what. I know Andy’s here. I see three people with
Foundation sweatshirts at Whole Foods and I was just like what’s going on?
Later, I see some of The Foundation sticker on their laptop at Ozo Coffee on
Pearl Street and I’m like what’s going on.
And then I stumble literally. Forgive me but I literally kind of gate-crashed the
Halloween party at the St. Julien in Boulder by accident. Me and my girlfriend
was walking through the lobby and we’re like here’s a party. I walk in and
there’s Jeff Walker walking by and I’m like, “Where the hell am I?” I had a
friend – connected friend – that pulled some strings, she got me a guest pass
into the summit where you spoke at and I saw you speak. It’s just crazy. I had
no software ideas going into it but I just—The Foundation penetrated my
consciousness eight times before I joined. Totally, totally insane. And then
here we are.
To answer your question, I had no software ideas at all.
Dane: That was a phenomenal story.
Peter: It’s longer if I were to tell. I’ll tell you in Cancun but …
Dane: We Coca Cola’d you.
Peter: Seriously. It kind of wasn’t – Yeah, it was through your internet marketing
credit but it was also like why did I see some random people at Whole Foods
with Foundation sweatshirts. Like what is that? It’s crazy.
Dane: We have them all over Whole Foods.
Peter: That’s a good strategy.
Dane: Man, The Foundation has had its mark on you for a while.
Peter: It’s weird. It’s really weird.
Dane: So you joined The Foundation. What did you think of the talk in Boulder by
Peter: Dude, that’s why I joined The Foundation. I was like, “This is the best thing
ever,” and I …
Dane: What was the best thing ever about it?
Peter: Dude, it was that line that you said about – it’s not about software. You were
kind of tearing up at that point and it was sincere. You said, “It’s not about
software, it’s about freedom.” I was like throwing my checkbook at you. I was
like, where do I sign? You weren’t even selling anything but that was it. That’s
the voice in my head. It’s not about filling the blanks, it’s not about living in
abandoned houses, it’s about freedom.
Dane: Amen, preacher. Preach it all. Freedom! Freedom ain’t free. It cost $1.35.
You’ve seen that movie?
Peter: I haven’t.
Dane: Team America. From the creators of South Park.
You saw that, you liked it. It’s not about software, it’s about freedom. You
joined The Foundation but you didn’t have software in your psyche yet.
Peter: No. And as a matter of fact – I don’t want to put words in your mouth but
part of The Foundation material is sort of – Correct me if I’m wrong but you
sort of very, very subtly dissuade people from working in their own niche
because you’re kind of blinded. You think you know everything. Your problem
is the same as everybody else’s problem.
I started out, it was not Amazon related at all. I was actually going after
publicists. I was getting a lot of traction with that and getting a lot of good
ideas but at some point I just said, “I got to pull the trigger on something. Let
me just do this Amazon product and just see where it goes.” I’m really excited
Dane: That is incredible. We have been dissuading people from going into their own
niche. As I’m evolving as a teacher and as we’ve got 1400 students in The
Foundation now, things are shifting for me. I’m like, “You know what? Stay.
Stay in your niche. See what you can find,” and here you are. I’m
recommending that now because of this.
Initially, I had a bunch of very big rookies staying in their own niche and not
having any success and coming up with really bad ideas. But it wasn’t about
them staying in their own niche, it was about their mindset. So we’re
teaching you the great mindset then you’re welcome to stay in your own
Dane: Anyway, you’re welcome to do anything as long as it gives you freedom.
So you joined The Foundation, you started publicists, you got some good
traction, what’s an example idea that you found in publicists?
Peter: They’re all unhappy with the software that manages all of their contacts. I
wish I have my notes. I don’t have my notes here.
There was something around that and this is going back four, six months at
this point so I’m a little bit fuzzy; maybe not four month. I remember that
every single one was just like, “I hate whatever that service was and how
nothing was auto updated.” They had to do a lot manually. Forgive me if I’m
missing a lot of details but a lot of it had to do with stuff not being synced,
parts of their database not being synced with other parts, and things related
to that. It’s all about your contacts when you’re a publicist. That’s it. That’s
your asset so a lot of frustration there.
Dane: What had you ultimately come back over to Amazon?
Peter: So Sandy – I don’t know the title. I heard like it’s a team leader – team
[unclear 00:39:32] is what were called. Foundation’s grouped into like groups
of 8 or 13 or so. She said something where she’s just like, “If you’re feeling it
and you’re confident in it and you know it’s not – just do it. Get the ball
rolling.” I felt that a lot. Speed of execution, let’s just do this. That’s
ultimately why I did it.
I started out with a different Amazon idea and I found out it was illegal
because it involved screen scraping. I don’t know anything about software.
That’s the thing. I came in The Foundation knowing less than nothing.
I had this idea that I found out, it’s not really that [unclear 00:40:15] so I had
to scrap that and then I was like, “What about this other thing?” As I started
to sketch out the solution, it really came to life. I was really seeing the
potential. And then when I hired a developer I found out he can make it even
better than I thought. It was just like this whole thing that’s got so huge.
Dane: I feel like one of the most satisfying experiences for me is building software.
When you build that user interface, how gratifying was that for you to watch
your user interface come to life?
Peter: Dude, I wish I could pull up right now. It’s like the most glorious piece of art
I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s so beautiful.
Dane: How did you go ahead, go up putting it together?
Peter: I uses Keynotopia and just mapped it out. I had two weeks in a Starbucks, I
just went to the supply store, I bought this notepad, drawing pad; just took a
pen. I was in Starbucks, dude, for four hours a day for two weeks and I just
sketched everything out. I actually sketched out three whole products. So I’ve
got two more chambers but the first one is the one I’m doing. I did the user
stories. The developers are so impressed. They’re like you’re the coolest guy
ever. We don’t have to do anything, we just do the coding.
Dane: Did you learn to design UI from The Foundation?
Peter: 100%. I cannot stress – I knew less than nothing about anything. Starting
from nothing podcast. I’m starting from less than nothing. The mindset stuff
that you teach, I was schooled in most of that. I know all the stuff. I’m a very
like “how to” kind of thinker. Here’s how you hire a developer, here’s how
you sketch it out. I was massive blind spot there.
Dane: How did it feel while you were sketching a solution?
Peter: There’s no better feeling than – I don’t want to get trapped in clichés but like
making something from nothing. Moving into an abandoned house, there
was nothing there practically speaking until I gave it life. You’re taking a …
Dane: Hold on a second. Did you like move in to the house with furniture?
Peter: No. Well, I mean I brought my own furniture eventually.
Dane: Did you hide in the rooms in the back so no one saw you?
Peter: Exactly. That’s why I had to do it. Yeah. I had a whole room and I [unclear
00:42:41] up all this lighting and I had to black out all the windows so they
didn’t look blacked out from the outside. I had this whole super undercover
like fugitive existence.
Dane: Very devious of you. Do you feel an integrity with all areas of your life as of
today or do you still feel like there are some areas where your integrity might
be a little more grey? Like moving into an abandoned house for example.
Peter: Yeah. I do feel very much some sort of inconsistencies. This is growing pains.
When you understand the concept of leverage that’s when things start to
change because you’re talking about putting a lot of work in upfront. On a
day to day basis you’re not doing everything that you want to do at the exact
moment you want to do it but you know the payoff is huge. The concept of
leverage has been really hard for me to get my head around because it was
always like living in the moment for a lot of years for me. It’s not the same as
trading out time for money either. I skipped that part.
I went from living in the moment. I need a meal. How am I going to go out
and get my hands on this meal? It’s sort of like caveman existence. A lot of
people just go on trading time for money but I just kind of skip that. I’m going
to how can I leverage my time for the massive pay off. Until you get that huge
payoff it is very uncomfortable because you just don’t – Psychologically I’m
confident in the outcome. You do it for a couple of years it’s like, man … I
gave up a lot for this dream. It’s going to pay off but I hope it comes sooner
Dane: What do you mean you gave up a lot for this dream?
Peter: I gave up a lot of – whether its friends who don’t get what you’re doing,
whether it’s I’m working 16 hours a day for 6 months trying to build
something. This goes back – not just Foundation stuff, I’m talking about my
infoproducts and all the stuff I’ve been doing. You’re just putting a lot of time
in and you’re not hanging out with people as much. For me it doesn’t have to
be that way, that’s how I’ve done it.
Dane: What I was asking more about is you’re in this abandoned house, you’re in
the back, you’ve kind of manipulated the windows and you’re kind of hiding
out. No one’s going to be using this house. You’re not causing any damage so
you’re not really doing any harm. What I was asking is do you feel like you’re
stretching the rules still to this day like you did back then or do you feel like
more of a rule follower in terms of what would be legal or illegal?
Peter: I’m definitely not breaking laws at this point. I can tell you – Rule bending is
very much a part of my identity. Dude, I told you, I stumbled into that
Halloween party at the Success 3.0 Summit in October. I didn’t have a pass
and I just was walking by and said this looks cool. Me and my girlfriend were
like let’s dance. We were bending rules. I didn’t ask anybody permission for
that. There’s stuff like that. That’s very much a part of my identity.
Part of what I teach with my Amazon books is there are certain Amazon
policies you can bend and make a lot of money. That makes people upset but
it’s victimless. That’s obviously the bottom line, you’re not harming anybody.
So yeah, very much so.
Dane: So you join The Foundation, you don’t have any ideas yet, you go onto
publicists, you find this pain with publicists. How did you eventually decide
that you just want to sketch a solution for this arbitrage thing?
Peter: I think it was hearing that a friend of a friend was doing $400,000 a year with
this exact technique. I had this idea already but that’s when I decided to pull
the trigger on it.
Dane: How did you have the confidence to know that you could do software? Oh,
you’re in The Foundation.
Peter: I was in The Foundation at that point. Yeah. This is going back to February.
Dane: So you’re four months into The Foundation building your skills and software.
When your skills and software are getting built, you start to recognize
Peter: Right, exactly. Exactly.
Dane: You sketched the UI. I got to tell you this. Very few things that are as
gratifying for me as creating a UI from nothing. Blank page to a user
interface, it’s more gratifying than writing a book for me, it’s more gratifying
just about any part of businesses to, let’s say, a visual page and watch a piece
of software come to life and know that people will be using it. It’s a great
feeling. You didn’t know how to design a UI, you completely took the courses
inside The Foundation to learn how to do that.
Dane: And now you feel like it’s a work of art.
Peter: Absolutely. I look at these sketches often like they’re glorious.
Dane: Glorious was the word you used before too, I believe. Have you pre-sold it?
Peter: No. Here’s my thing, I have not and that’s a big part of The Foundation that I
skipped. The reason is I have an email list of almost 5,000 Amazon sellers. I
have a built-in audience for this. I’m confident, you know, through my blog.
I’m confident in my ability to sell this and I’m not concerned about that. That
is a big part that I did skip over which …
Peter: Well, for that reason I’m just much –become a theme for this idea that I
mentioned earlier about speed of execution. It’s just fail fast. It’s kind of the
mantra you hear. I don’t need the money for development. I had the money
so that wasn’t so much the issue. I didn’t need a pre-sell for that reason and I
was … My price is a little different because it’s not just solving a pain, it’s sort
of like if you really know Amazon and you’re really ninja level with it, you can
use my product to make more money. There’s nothing more – no bigger pain
than not having money, right? I was confident that people would come and
so that’s why I took that approach.
Dane: So you felt like it will slow you down to pre-sell to people?
Dane: Are you secretly afraid of selling?
Peter: Yeah, a big part of it. Yeah.
Dane: It’s more about the fear of selling.
Dane: Do you know in the past I used to kick people out of The Foundation if they
built a product before getting it pre-sale?
Peter: No. I didn’t know that. Are we still cool or what’s up?
Dane: Well, what do you think?
Peter: See you in Cancun I guess.
Dane: Why not try and pre-sell?
Peter: I don’t know if I could expand more than I did with like I just want to get.
Dane: No, I don’t want to hear that answer.
Peter: It would come back to avoiding uncomfortable conversations which is like,
“Dude, that’s all you teach right? Get over it.” That’s huge.
Dane: Well, I don’t teach get over it.
Peter: Well, it’s more than that.
Dane: I’m with you now and I’m noticing your shoulders kind of bouncing now. I’m
wondering, if you don’t mind stepping into a vulnerable space with me here,
would you mind if I could ask a few more questions or would you like to
pause on this?
Peter: No, let’s do it.
Dane: Wonderful, thank you for that permission.
The sales conversations are kind of awkward for you. You’ve gotten by pretty
good. You’ve been able to manipulate/control your environment so you
haven’t had to do this. Someone searching on Amazon, they’re buying a
book; they don’t really have to talk to you. All these different business
processes. So you’re trying to continue, take that same business process
where you’re not really needed to directly talk to people because you didn’t
even really talked to anyone to get this idea. Some guy gave you the idea so
you weren’t even really speaking to people there. I love that you’re getting as
far as you can. And I imagine when you launch this you’re going to have
buyers no problem and I want to get into how I would probably position it,
too, right as we get into the end of the interview.
My encouragement for you would be to watch yourself in this discomfort
while you pre-sell it. Get an email out, get five people on a walk through,
walk them through your UI and then just ask them, “Hey, will this be
something you would pay for?” That’s all you got to do. “Hey, I want to show
you how to make money on Amazon. I’m going to give you a personal walk
through of a new product I got. How does that sound to you?” They’re going
to say great and you get them on Skype, you walk them through it and you
say, “What do you think? This is pretty cool. Is this something you’d pay for?”
“Yes absolutely.” That’s all you need to do.
Now, technically that’s pretty simple, emotionally it can seem kind of
daunting. How does that sound to hear so far?
Peter: There’s really no reason to not take that approach so, yeah, I’m with you.
The only obstacle would be – and it’s not an obstacle at all as far as an excuse
to not do it. There’s a lot of consumer education. It’s not something where
people are doing this already and I’m just giving them an easier way to do it.
There are people but it’s not like – When I bring this product out, most
people are going to think I never thought that was possible before. You know
what I’m saying? My obstacle in terms of selling is educating the customer on
not just how the product works but why …
Dane: I’m going to stop you. You know that is not your obstacle.
Peter: No. I was trying to preference by saying but that is like it is an extra hurdle in
the sort of the selling process. No, it’s not a reason to not do it at all.
Dane: I agree. Not a reason not to do it but I love this. This is really good and I think
that your vulnerability here I want to celebrate this. I feel super connected to
you and super – I’m like for you, big support. I want you to win like crazy and
I believe in you. I love what you’re doing which is why I’m kind of leaning into
an area that normally I wouldn’t. Normally I would probably drop this
because I care about – I feel a lot, I care for you. I wanted to go here.
Bro, it’s not an obstacle. You could probably educate someone in about 120
seconds. How long did this guy take to tell you this idea? It’s probably not
that hard. Look, the scraper goes here, goes here, it goes here, it does this.
Did you know you could do this? It’s probably 120 seconds in reality. Not an
obstacle. The obstacle and the growth for you and you becoming – What
does this say about yourself if you don’t take this leap to do this sale? I’m
curious actually. Let’s try your framework right now. What would you say?
Peter: I believe very strongly, and I think this is kind of a re-appropriated quote. The
quality of our life is in direct proportion of the number of uncomfortable
conversations you’re willing to have, right? I do believe that but I have a long
way to go in that category for sure. It says nothing good.
Dane: Let me slow you down. [Unclear 00:54:03] take a breath with me maybe and
slow down. This is uncharted territory. It’s edgy territory so I encourage just
like a little bit of just slowing down for the last five minutes or so of this. Do
you feel freedom in this area of pre-selling? Yes or no?
Dane: So if you just kind of rest into that without saying anything else, what is it like
for you to recognize that?
Peter: That I’m sort of constrained by those fears. That’s what it feels like.
Dane: Constrained by those fears. Kind of just dropping you deeper. What do the
fears feel like?
Peter: When I really meditated on that for a split second, it feels almost like childlike.
It’s like regression to childhood where you have those sort of like
irrational fears because you don’t understand the outcomes.
Dane: Yeah. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening. Great awareness. You feel sort
of like a regression to childhood and you don’t understand outcomes. What
does the fear feel like while you are regressed back into childhood?
Peter: It feels like – I’m having a hard time putting myself there. It feels like there’s
just a whole world that’s being kept from me, like a glass. I’m like in a glass
Dane: Yeah. You’re having a hard time going there because likely your nervous
system has decided it doesn’t want you to go there because you were there
once in your life, something terrible happened likely, and you swore to
yourself, “I ever let myself feel this particular fear at this particular time.” You
can’t mental your way there.
Dane: Does that fit for you?
Peter: Oh, yeah. Listen, brute force is the only way and I’ve been there with other
sort of mental blocks that I’ve had, an emotional blocks.
Dane: Hold on, brute force is the only way for what?
Peter: To overcome. Like you said, you can’t rationalize your way into being
comfortable, you just have to go forward.
Dane: I’m going to pause you again. Thank you for your willingness to play with me
I mentioned that mentaling your way there isn’t there and then you said
brute force is the only way. I want to encourage you that it’s not because if it
is you would probably have the problem solved. Brute force will not, under
any circumstances, resolve this for you.
Peter: Let me tell you what I mean. Brute force by way of picking up the phone and
making the call. I can tell you, the people in my group in The Foundation will
tell you I was like the worst case of phone phobic before I joined The
Foundation and I started doing the IE calls. I brute forced my way through it. I
don’t think it’s inconsistent with anything you’re saying.
Dane: It doesn’t feel inconsistent. I agree with you. You can continue to pick up the
phone and take the external action but until you change your internal reality,
you go back to this regressed childhood feeling and you gain. There’s a little –
was that a yawn? What was that?
Peter: I don’t think so.
Dane: Okay. Your jaw just kind of opened. I tend to yawn when I regress to
Peter: Oh, interesting.
Dane: I’ve been doing a lot of this stuff lately. Personally, I love this kind of stuff.
You can continue to pick up the phone and I encourage you, and you can
muscle through it. It’s like there’s this barbed wire road if you will and every
time you do it you’re kind of just cutting along the friction. You can continue
to take the external action but until you go on and change the internal world,
it’s not possible.
We don’t have the time to actually do that here but I would like to bookmark
this that we work on this in some fashion possibly in Cancun but maybe just
as a gift. Maybe a possible sometime one-on-one where we can get you
feeling free so you’re just like naturally pulled to the phone as opposed to
Peter: Like when it becomes who I am, not just what I do.
Dane: Yeah, when you feel ease you’ll know you’re there. Because you’re sitting on
the easiest sell of your life and it’s still difficult for you. It’s a great
There are five levels of consciousness that I’ve heard recently. Level 1 is
disoriented, you look in the past. Level 2 is future oriented, you just think
about your goals. Level 3 is journey oriented where you have your goals but
you’re not attached to them. Level 4 is value oriented where it’s not about
the journey, it’s but about who you become. Level 5 is faith oriented where
everything is completely surrendered to God.
Now level 4 is about who you can become. If you can sort of manufacture
yourself in the 4th level of consciousness where it’s like, “You know what, it’s
not even about me making a sale, it’s about my freedom. Because who I am is
I choose adventure. What does this say about myself if I don’t take this leap?
It means I’m not free which means I have a loss of hope which means I might
as well go sit at a gas station.” Your pursuit is that you want to be completely
free. You move into level 4 consciousness, take this action not to get a sale,
not to get rejected, not because of the fear, take it for who you’ll become.
How is that to hear?
Peter: That’s everything. It’s all about – Again, we go back to how we started this.
What does this say about me? That’s powerful.
Dane: I want to say that I feel a tremendous amount of respect for you and I feel
like I just want to commend your courage and bravery to talk about this
openly on the call with me. I feel like it takes way more courage for you to
bring this to the call than to talk about everything you’re doing well. This, to
me, is courage, bro. This, to me, is warrior is bringing this. It’s like so much
respect for you [unclear 01:01:27] for doing this, man.
Peter: Thanks, man.
Dane: Yeah. It’s been cool. I’ve really enjoyed it. I want to mention – Well, before I
do, just kind of slowing down. How was that last bit that I just said about the
respect? This is what warrior really is. How is that for you to hear?
Peter: It’s very much sort of synced with my psychology. It’s powerful for me.
Dane: You felt powerful for you.
Dane: You felt resonant to it.
Dane: I notice I have a desire for maybe a little bit more on the feeling context. I’m
wondering what more you may have felt during that. Because I was feeling
something over here, I was feeling really moved and I felt like I don’t know.
I’m not sure. I’m just curious. Is there anything else that you felt beyond
Peter: We speak about warrior and that is – We’re talking about the fight for our
lives, right? It’s really crazy when you think about how we get one shot at
this. Everybody just talks about you get one – When you really meditate on
that it can send you a couple different directions. It will turn you into a
warrior or it will send you cowering it. When you say warrior I think about
somebody’s fighting for our lives.
Dane: I asked you how you felt another time and you gave me a very good mental
answer. I’m wondering, again, what did it feel like for you? It felt powerful
but is there any other – If you really allow yourself to receive – I’m sitting
here over here telling you, dude, you just buried your heart, you buried
vulnerability and you’re willing to go somewhere, that’s courageous. That’s
Peter: It doesn’t feel that way, it feels very natural. I don’t feel like anyone’s
listening to us right now so it doesn’t feel courageous to me.
Dane: Okay, great. I lose you on that a little bit. That feels good to hear. It feels
natural and powerful. Awesome, thank you, that’s sweet.
Here’s how I might position this software. I would find this gal that’s doing
400k and depending on – I should probably [duck 01:03:53]. I don’t want
other people to know what she’s doing.
My initial positioning is if you’d like to make 30k a month in profit, and that’s
your goal. We’re going down to what you want. You would get 40 or 50
people at a thousand bucks a month. You get 40k to 50k a month on the SaaS
– which is 40 or 50 people. It’s very limited, maybe it’s even by application,
maybe you already have to have an existing Amazon business and that’s it.
This is very well known to people that only 30, or 40, or 50 people are getting
this software on the planet. It’s very premium. Now you’re going to be
making 50k a month and then your positioning statement to these guys is
you’re going to pay 12 grand a year in order for the potential to make 400.
How is that? Does that sound like something you were thinking a lot similar
to what you might have been thinking?
Peter: No, but I needed to hear that. One of my problems along is pricing things too
low and not having confidence in my material even though you get feedback
all day long from people making a lot of money off of what I teach. I think I
needed to hear that. Because I was thinking $250 top end.
Dane: The fuck? No!
Peter: The math doesn’t make sense when you put it in those terms and how much
potential there is.
Dane: Yeah. Pricing is a fascinating concept.
Dane: You got 12k to make 400, why aren’t you charging 2 ½ grand a month? 30k
Peter: It takes a certain person to do with 400, though. That’s not going to be most
Dane: You could have 20 people at 2 ½ and that’s still 50. But make your goal 50k in
revenue which gives you 20k for servers, devs, even a little for taxes, so
you’re getting 30 clean. You could be there pretty quick.
Peter: Okay, that’s good. That’s a good number to shoot for.
Dane: The exclusivity will be great.
Dane: Dude, Peter, you’re a very wise man. You said some incredible quotes. One of
my favorites is if you don’t have that voice in your head telling you you can’t
do anything, anything is possible. I’m like, you’re right. I just think back to like
“Dane, why did you do those things?” I’m like, “Why not?”
Dane: I love that quote. I love that your identity goes to your decisions with
freedom and I’m grateful that you now have that connection with pre-selling
and I’m excited to see what happens for you there.
For those of you that are interested in The Foundation, interested in hanging
out with Peter, being a friend of his inside of the community of The
Foundation, and building your own software product – what I think is one of
the most fun, lucrative businesses in the world – you can apply for our next
program at thefoundation.com/apply.
We’ll probably have an affiliate link on Peter’s Amazon programs if you’d like
to check those out to expand your income, we’d love it. As a thank you to
watching The Foundation podcast on the free content we put out. If you’d
like to buy that, please do purchase through that link. Otherwise, you can
find it at fbamastery.com if you’re just browsing around. If you would like to
do the affiliate it’s thefoundation.com/fbamastery. Again, we thank you for
Peter, I’d love for you to take us away with that you’d like to leave us with—
what’s on your heart.
Peter: Well, since I was 18 the dream has been La Jolla and it’s been a lot of other
details. But that’s been, like I said, kind of my pot of gold. I would really look
forward to the day of coming back on and I’m there and I’m living the dream.
I would really owe it all to you. I hope that day will come very soon.
Dane: It will and when you’re in La Jolla I’ll drive down to see you.
Peter: Yeah man, let’s do it, Whole Foods, hanging out.
Dane: With Foundation sweaters.
Peter: That’s right.
Dane: Thanks, Peter.
Peter: Alright, thanks, man.
Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom
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