From Stressed Rush Hour Traffic To Relaxing With A Beer At 11:30AM - How Amar Found Freedom

Amar was a past graduate of The Foundation who hustled while on his commute to work. He was building his business while sitting on the train. He has the heart of an entrepreneur. And now... he's free! Wahoo! Listen to the full interview here.

 

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Podcast transcript:

Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast
Guest Name Interview – Amar Ghose
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: In this interview, you’re going to meet Amar, a past graduate of The
Foundation. Just over a year ago, Amar was stuck in rush hour traffic, one
and a half hours each way. Three hours of his day wasted in a car. Today, he’s
getting interviewed on his back patio drinking a beer. Today, he’s free. He’s
starting multiple companies.
What was his journey? What did he do? How did he do it, and how did he
start a business while working full time at another company? Sit back, relax,
and I hope you learn something in this Starting from Nothing episode.
Welcome to another edition of Starting from Nothing, the Monday episode,
where we bring on more established entrepreneurs. In this case, we’re going
to be talking with a past graduate today, Amar. Amar, what Foundation class
were you in, do you remember?
Amar: I was in the big class of like 650. I don’t know when it started or whatever. I
think it was June of 2000 … I don’t even know.
Dane: Like most entrepreneurs, Amar, has no concept of time. We launched that
class in October or November, but the class was quite a circus with about 650
students. We’re going to be talking with Amar today about what he’s done
since The Foundation, what he’s up to, who he’s become, and how he’s
gotten to where he is. I just want to give a brief little intro. Amar, how do you
pronounce your last name, man?
Amar: It’s [goshe], Ghose, but it’s pronounced with the H at the end, I don’t know
why.
Dane: Yes, Amar Ghose. He’s alumni of The Foundation 2013 class. He’s a CEO and
co-founder of zenmaid.com software. He previously ran a small maid service
in Southern California. In a previous life, you did sales for a tech startup in
San Francisco. You’re also currently working on a new concept called
processmarketplace.io.
Amar: Yes, that’s correct.
Dane: So you’ve been living in entrepreneurial scene for a while if you did sales for
a tech startup in San Francisco.
Amar: Yeah. I was actually there for the past two years. I actually just left that job
about four weeks ago. So very, very recently that I was able to get out of
there. I started the Zen Maid business, which is my Foundation project,
literally the same month that I joined this company. They ran in parallel for
two years. Now, it’s just one.
Dane: Great. Process Marketplace, is that a concept that you are heading up or
you’re joining a team?
Amar: That’s one that I’m heading up. It’s actually one of my first projects that I’m
kind of working on right now.
Dane: Awesome. [unclear 00:03:03] Zen Maid. You were in the entrepreneurial
scene doing sales for tech startup but you hadn’t ventured out on your own
yet.
Amar: I had already run the maid service at that point but I hadn’t escaped the nineto-five.
I’ve been working continuously nine-to-five since graduating college
and just got away from that a couple of weeks ago. I’ve always been kind of
involved in it but I still had the nine-to-five. This just happened to be at a tech
startup.
Dane: Awesome. You’re currently how old?
Amar: I am 27 years old.
Dane: Did you graduate college?
Amar: Yes, I did.
Dane: Cool. Where did you go, by chance? I’m curious.
Amar: UC Davis in California. It’s about 15 minutes south of Sacramento.
Dane: Cool. So UC Davis graduate and you immediately from there went into what?
Amar: I did recruiting first. I did recruiting and then I moved into sales, and I’ve been
doing sales since then until a couple of weeks ago.
Dane: I want to kind of just do a jump here to – Tell me about what your day has
been like so far today. Tell me about the days that you get to live now.
Amar: They’re pretty awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. My typical day
these days is I wake up, or my girlfriend wakes up – whoever wakes up first –
will usually prepare green tea and a green smoothie, often protein shakes as
well. We’ll do a workout first thing in the morning and usually be working –
usually before about 8 AM.
Today, we’re actually hanging out with another Foundation member who’s
local to the San Francisco Bay Area. Tonight, we’re going up. We’re meeting
Dwight Peters from BackersHub who’s not a Foundation member but I know
that you’ve met and I think two or three other Foundation members that
we’re doing dinner with tonight. We’re just stopping work around maybe
2:30 in the afternoon to go up. It’s nice. The freedom’s pretty amazing.
Dane: Didn’t you have a beer in your hand earlier?
Amar: Yes, I’ve got a Corona right here because me, Aga, and Jeff, we all had
successful calls this morning. I got an upsell and they both had very, very
productive calls so we just decided to celebrate a little bit early today.
Dane: Oh man, I remember those feelings. I remember that feeling. That feels great.
I can imagine. What did that feel like for you?
Amar: It was good. I’m really focusing on trying to on like the whole 10X your
business thing. I realize that upselling to our current customers is the
quickest way to do that. One called me today and I just pitched him on a
quick idea that I had and he was like, “Yeah, let’s get something on the
calendar next week.” I’m 90% sure I’m going to close him on that call next
week. So it felt pretty good.
Dane: What’s the upsell?
Amar: The upsell is for AdWords services so we do … For ZenMaid it’s management
software for maid services. Kind of the product pitch or the product line that
we have now is our software will help you to organize your business and get
things under control so you’re not having hiring problems, you’re not having
scheduling problems, you’re not having customer issues. Once our software
comes in and helps your business, then you’re going to be ready to grow. As
soon as you’re ready to grow, we can come in with AdWord services and
drive targeted traffic to your website. It’s a logical upsell for most of our
software customers.
Dane: Yeah. I am actually imagining you’re going to [trunk 00:06:32] your revenue
from ZenMaid’s pretty quickly with that service. What’s your current revenue
for ZenMaid?
Amar: It’s pretty low right now. We’re hovering around 3.5 or 4k so it’s pretty low.
Because it’s just me and my business partner Arun’s 50/50 split. It’s still
financially a little bit iffy going full-time, but we just decided that we needed
to make the jump and really get it a full-time go for about six months and
grow it as fast as we could.
Dane: Yeah. How’s that going so far?
Amar: It’s going really well. We did our first webinar about last week or the week
before. We did our first webinar and that went really well. We’re kind of
experimenting with that to sell in mass with Google AdWords and this site
called Capterra. We’re generating almost ten leads a day. We’re definitely
beginning to see a big pipeline consistently coming in. We’re beginning to
close those people as well. It’s looking really good. We’re already seeing a
big jump just from me going full-time and being able to sell every day.
Dane: Amen. How much are you going to sell that upsell service for on AdWords?
Amar: The AdWords upsell is – I think it’s about $150. The thing is that we cut into
our profit quite a bit on that one because I don’t do any of the AdWords
work. Then we brought on a consultant because we have a massive pipeline.
We literally just promote the service to our customers. If they buy it, we pass
them off to him and we get half the revenue that comes in.
Dane: Okay. So you get $75 extra a month and all you’re doing is having a
conversation, someone else is fulfilling the offer.
Amar: Exactly. It’s usually a one conversation, two conversation close.
Dane: I’m putting my consulting hat on for a second. Is the website that you’re
usually driving these maid sites to worthy of being AdWords traffic driven to
it?
Amar: We use a lead pages template that’s really, really straight forward. You can
check it out at zenmaid.com/video. All it is is it’s a two-minute explainer
video. Underneath it just says learn more or view a demo. That’s literally the
only thing they can do on the page is they watch the explainer video and then
we capture their email address. The following page, they can sign up for a
demo. It’s working really well but our actual landing page on zenmaid.com is
pretty bad. It’s just not where we direct traffic to.
Dane: Phenomenal. I was actually talking about the website that – who are you
smiling at?
Amar: Aga’s taking a picture right now.
Dane: She’s getting history in the making. Amar being featured in the Starting from
Nothing podcast while he’s hanging out with his Foundation family. He’s
going out later to hang out with more of his tribe. I love getting to see you in
this community, Amar. How do you feel right now?
Amar: It’s great. It’s amazing. A bunch of my friends now – the people that I talk to
the most are all from The Foundation with very little exception. That just
having that entrepreneur community and a couple other small ones that I’ve
joined since, it’s amazing to have those like-minded people. Other people
working full-time and just understanding what I’m striving for everyday.
Dane: Yes. I’m guessing that dog in the background isn’t yours. We’ll deal with the
barks.
I want to set some context and go on a deep dive for how you got ZenMaid
up to three-and-a-half to 4K. That was actually the exact revenue amount
that Carl Mattiola quit his job at. ClinicMetrics is now over 15K a month for
him. That’s not even his biggest business he started. He’s got a far bigger
business than that one that he built faster than he built ClinicMetrics because
he had the skills of entrepreneurship.
It took him a year, year and a half, maybe two years to get to 15K a month.
He built – I don’t know if I’m allowed to say the number but let’s just say
drastically more than that in a matter of months with the skills that he built in
The Foundation. I’m excited you’re at that mark, you’re driving traffic, you
got AdWords going to this video squeeze page where you get about ten leads
a day coming in. You’ve got an AdWords upsell for $75 bucks a month to
these maid services.
I want to tell you that I think you could probably sell that for significantly
more by also selling them a new website to help them get more business if
you wanted in the $500 to $1000 one-time range to update their website, if
you wanted to flood your business with cash flow. Even advising all of that
stuff, I want to hear your story.
I want to take you through our journey of the mindset transformation, the
idea extraction, how you sketch the solution, how you pre-sold, how you
built, and now how you’re growing. Let’s start back with your mind. How did
you get your mind to wrap around the idea of moving from the nine-to-five
to this world that you’re now in?
Amar: Yeah, absolutely. I hope the dog’s gone. I kept it on mute there for a little bit.
First thing is we are actually already offering website services for ZenMaid
that I put together like every possible upsell I could think of. I even pre-sold a
mastermind to one of the maid services I talked to the other day so we’re
really piling those things on.
In terms of my story to reach this point as an entrepreneur and all of that
good stuff, like a lot of people I know in The Foundation and just a lot of
people these days, I read The 4 Hour Workweek probably eight or nine years
ago. I played poker semi professionally in college where that was enough to
pay for spending money, beer money on the weekends, and a little bit more.
I’d had it in my head since I was maybe 16 years old, 17 years old in high
school that it was possible to make money online, live from anywhere in the
world, and just be in control of my own time. I’ve been working towards that
for a long time.
I tried a lot of the normal internet marketing stuff when I was much younger.
A lot of it was sort of black hat, no real value added to other people. Of
course, those businesses would never last. They might make me a little bit of
money but nothing major.
I started a maid service called Fast Friendly Spotless back I think it was in
2012 that I’ve started it with a friend down in Southern California. As that
developed, we worked on it for over a year, and I ended up leaving my day
job in Southern California and moving back up to Northern California. That’s
when I connected with my current business partner Arun. We’d been talking
about starting a business and just software and just some random
entrepreneur stuff even though …. I was busy, and he’s a grad student, and
all of that.
We listened to your podcast – or not your podcast, we listened to Smart
Passive Income and the podcast interview with you and Pat Flynn. I listened
to that sometime in the afternoon on my way back from work, thought it was
really interesting and sent it over to Arun. Arun – I know that you and I have
talked about him before but for those listening who don’t know Arun – my
business partner’s Arun Devabhaktuni. He’s a Stanford PhD, MIT undergrad
and just an insanely, insanely smart and academic guy.
I sent him over your podcast at about 11 PM at night – it is about an hour
long interview. At about 12:10, 12:15, Arun sends me three to four detailed
pages of notes of this is what Dane says The Foundation process is according
to this interview. He literally wrote out essentially your Foundation sales
letter about six months before you came out with that. We started doing idea
extraction at that point before we even registered for The Foundation. We
got fed up looking at a couple industries and around the same time we
decided to shut down my maid service.
Then, the next logical step was to do idea extraction with maid services. It
was way easier for me to get on the phone with them because I was a current
maid service owner at the time so they wanted to talk to me. We had
successful idea extraction calls, we validated the software that had been
created for me personally to use with my maid service and everything kind of
took off from there.
Dane: Would you guys be open to sharing the notes below this video that Arun
took?
Amar: Yeah, I think so. I’ll have to go through my email after the call and find them. I
know he sent them doing it in email so just take a second. But, yeah, I can
definitely take that.
Dane: Guys, if we do end up finding them, if we do get permission, you’ll find those
notes below the video. Maybe I could’ve just hired him to write the sales
letter, that thing was quite a beast to write.
Amar: That was a pretty amazing sales letter.
I remember that when I started reading it, Arun and I had – we obviously
knew it was a sales letter that we’re going to be going through and reading
through. We literally were like, “Okay, it looks like this sales letter is going to
break down everything we’ve already done. Let’s see how it compares.”
We’re reading through and we’re going, “Okay, phase one idea extraction.
Okay, we did this. Dane says he would teach us how to do these things. We
kind of did that, we can figure out how to do that on our own.”
By the time we got to phase six, we’re like, “Oh man, there’s a lot we don’t
know. Maybe we should sign up even though we already have five customers
and stuff.” That’s how we ended up actually joining The Foundation with The
Foundation business that already had customers paying before we even
enrolled.
Dane: That’s amazing. That’s hilarious. That’s funny. Those sales letters can be quite
seductive. One of the practices that we teach in The Foundation – how I
learned how to sell in person and also create a remarkable product, position
things, and just basically build a print money whenever I’m in dire need of it,
which isn’t really ever anymore, thankfully. When I learned those skills, it was
by copying sales letters by hand. I would actually take a great sales letter and
I’d write it up by hand.
The thing was I was copying such good sales letters, Amar, I wanted to buy
every sales letter that I bought. I wanted to buy these products that were
motocross racing. What am I going to do with a motocross racing product?
But I was copying that stuff by hand. Thank goodness it wasn’t for sale. It’s
funny to hear that you had that experience as well.
You joined The Foundation with five customers. You already had – your mind
was already wrapping itself around the entrepreneur stuff. You read the 4
Hour Workweek, you done those things, and you had this maid service thing
that you started but you couldn’t make enough money to replace your
income so you’re still working nine-to-five.
You had this idea that you did The Foundation process with before The
Foundation launched. You followed the Pat Flynn interview. You did idea
extraction on the maid service industry to validate a pain that you already
knew you had. Then, how am I doing so far?
He’s muted but he said good, just so you guys know.
You did the idea extraction on the maid service industry, validates the pain.
Then you start building the product before The Foundation begins.
Amar: Yeah. That’s a pretty quick little story, but it’s another testament to my
partner’s brilliance. We sat here and decided, we talked about it, and Arun
was like, “If you can sit here and handle the customer phasing stuff, I can
totally build the solution.” We’re like, “Okay, let’s do it.” Arun’s like, “Yeah,
let me do some research.”
Arun comes back to me a couple nights later and is like, “Hey, I’ve done some
research into this and I’ve determined that the best framework to use for our
software is what’s called Ruby on Rails.” I’m like, “Okay, sweet.” He’s like,
“Yeah, this will make it easy for us to put everything together. It will really
speed up the process and allow me to build this quick,” and then he’s like,
“There’s only one problem. I don’t actually know Ruby on Rails.”
He goes out and seven days later starts writing the first piece of code for
ZenMaid. Literally in seven days, while doing a PhD program at Stanford, he
teaches himself Ruby on Rails and gets started. He already knew one
programming language and he said it’s all math based and everything. Even
then I was like, okay, I got to stick with this guy.
Dane: What’s your relationship like now?
Amar: It’s pretty awesome. What’s funny is that Arun put in a ton of work in the
beginning that he put in a lot more work than me getting the product off the
ground and all of that stuff. He actually hasn’t been working on ZenMaid for
the past few months really. We haven’t really had much development going
because he finally got the product to a point that I can sell it as is. Now we’re
going to invest money into development, and he’s going to be more
managing developers and stuff. He’s still there whenever I need him for any
technical help and anything like that. He put in a lot of time to build us a
great product to get us off the ground.
Dane: What’s your percentage ownership in ZenMaid?
Amar: We’re 50/50 for the two of us.
Dane: 50/50 for the two of you. How did you guys meet?
Amar: We met through one of my mutual friends, Matt. When I was living in
Southern California, came back up, and was just visiting with old friends. I
don’t know if they went to Stanford together or how they knew each other.
Pretty much we just went out to the bars and we’re just hanging out. One
night we kept in contact and pretty much started hanging out when I moved
back to the area. We’d only hung out like a couple times before that before
we started the company. The company was really a big part of the friendship
that we now have.
Dane: Wow, the company was a big part of the friendship that you now have.
Amar: Yeah. We just spend a little bit of time together before that; we’d been
hanging out a bit. That was really – We started working together, that’s when
we started hanging out all the time and doing a lot of things together and
stuff. I’d say that was a really big part of it.
Dane: What’s it been like for you getting to hang out with someone that brilliant?
Amar: It’s pretty cool. I’ve learned a ton from Arun really just – A lot of it has to do
with the technical versus the non-technical and just our entire ways of
approaching problems. Any problem that pops up, he’s more likely he will
look for something that can be solved with a system or something that he
can do, whereas for me, I’ll look at the same web page or whatever that
we’re trying to solve. I’ll look at things like how do we change the wording to
make it more clear so this mistake doesn’t happen as opposed to like having
to code in a failsafe. We have really good communication.
My problem solving skills are infinitely better because he’s just shown me the
way that he approaches problems and the way that he breaks things down
when he runs into things that he doesn’t know how to do or isn’t
comfortable with or whatever. That’s really just a small part of everything
that I’ve gotten out of working with him.
Dane: You listen to this podcast on Smart Passive Income, you sent it to Arun.
Literally ten minutes after the podcast could be listened to, he already had
notes made and sent to you.
Amar: Yup.
Dane: You followed the notes, I’m noticing how honored I feel that this very smart
PhD student was profusely taking notes on this stuff that I was just talking
about. That feels wonderful. Then he takes these three pages of notes. Then
you guys used those notes to start this company. You got started with all this
stuff that was free. Then you joined with five students. What did you learn in
The Foundation or why did you join, or what happened to your business
when you got into The Foundation?
Amar: Over the six months that we were in The Foundation, we went from five
customers to 30. We’re at about 60 now. It might’ve been 25. Twenty or 30
at the end of The Foundation live event when we went out to that.
In terms of The Foundation content, the big reason that we signed up had a
lot to do with the scaling section, and then, also, just kind of tightening up all
of the things that we’ve done up until there. The mindset was a really big
portion for us. That was not actually really for me personally that I having had
a business before and having been in the mindset and stuff, I didn’t have a lot
of the limiting beliefs that were kind of addressed in the mindset and the
content. I don’t think that Arun really did either, but I think it was the content
on kind of the dips that you go through and the journey of being an
entrepreneur was a really big thing that we needed when we first signed up
for The Foundation.
One of the other reasons that we actually joined is because we weren’t sure
if we want to continue with ZenMaid. When we watched the mindset
content, it was really like, “Okay, this is just a dip. It’s normal along the
journey.” We were able to come out of that really strong that by the end of
our first month in The Foundation, I’d hit the phones again really hard and I
think we’d already jump from five to ten customers just in the first month
from the community and just all of the energy from The Foundation.
Dane: What were you actually experiencing around the time that you had this dip?
This is the thing that most entrepreneurs experience but they don’t realize
they experience it. You start an idea, and then you dip, and then you bail. You
reached a dip and you didn’t. Can you tell me about what the dip felt like for
you?
Amar: Yeah. The dip felt like - It felt like it wasn’t worth it. I think that that’s
something that happens to a lot of entrepreneurs early on is because when
you’re picking up those first couple of customers … Our price point’s pretty
low. Our lowest customers now pay us $49 a month. We have some early
customers who are paying us $19 a month. In the beginning, I was having to
put in way more work to sit here and sell these people. We’re not as
established, we don’t have the resources, I’m not as used to selling so it’s still
an experimental process. Around five customers, we were struggling to get
that sixth customer.
Arun was frustrated with just seeing the numbers and where the metrics
were that we’ve gotten five and weren’t really moving forward. For me
personally, I felt like I was working so hard to get that sixth customer at $19
or $49 a month or whatever it was going to be.
To be honest, it was a little bit disheartening. But then going through the
mindset content and realizing this is all part of the process; that figuring this
out is going to save us time in the future and we’re going to be able to
systematize it and scale it. The whole [PolyGram 00:26:07] concept of do
things that aren't scalable to get your company off the ground, that was, I
think, what we really needed in terms of the mindset at that point in the
journey.
Dane: There’s a lot you just shared. That really resonates with me. It didn’t feel like
it was worth it. What’s that feeling? What’s the experience with that?
Amar: It’s that feeling when you’re putting in time and you don’t know if there’s
going to be a payoff or a benefit. It’s one of those times where it’s just
uncertainty of you don’t know if what you’re doing is the best use of your
time. It’s very frustrating because you don’t know and you really can’t know.
That’s part of being an entrepreneur and having that uncertainty in the
beginning of just not knowing if this is actually worth it. If this is actually
what’s going to sit here and move me towards my goals and everything.
That was really a frustrating feeling because it’s almost a helpless feeling that
you have. It’s like do I give up and not find out if this is the right way to go, or
do I keep going knowing full well that there’s a good chance that nothing’s
going to come out of these specific actions. Again, if you’re learning then
you’re not really failing. As long as you’re learning from those actions, they’re
probably worth doing. That’s why it was frustrating for us.
Dane: Yeah. Are you in touch with a feeling in a word or two of what that felt like,
that moment, that dip?
Amar: Hamster wheel. It was just like calls over and over and over again. It still feels
that way when it comes to sale, that’s why I left my sales job because it was
the same call over and over and over again. In this case, it was that sales
hamster wheel but we didn’t know if what we were selling was actually the
product to go with. Now when I sell something, I know that people are out
there buying that product. I know that what I’m selling is possible to sell. It’s
the difference between my ability and the next sales guy’s ability. It just felt
like we were just going around in circles and we weren’t getting anywhere.
Dane: Hamster wheel. I’m spending a little time on this because I think people really
resonate with it – at least I’m resonating with it. I haven’t quite got to a
feeling yet and I’m really curious what a hamster wheel feels like. In your
body, do you feel stuck? Do you feel pain? Do you feel fear?
Amar: It’s frustration. Frustration, I think, is the best feeling. That’s what I kind of
meant by hamster wheel is like, yeah, the feeling of you just – you’re taking
action and you just don’t know – You’ve got no idea what the outcome’s
going to be and it’s very, very frustrating because you don’t know what to do
in that situation. It’s an incomplete information game.
Dane: Got it. You joined The Foundation getting frustrated, wondering if you should
drop ZenMaid. Then, 30 days later, you went from five to ten customers?
Amar: Yes.
Dane: What are you feeling at the end of that first month?
Amar: Pretty solid. Definitely like we made a good investment, that was for sure. I
think it was what me and Arun both needed. I think for him getting kind of
picked up on the belief side and all of that, for me it was I still believe that we
could do it but my work rate had dropped. joining The Foundation really
picked it up. We felt in control of our own destiny again after the first month.
Dane: You felt in control of your destiny again after the first month.
Amar: Yeah.
Dane: I did not pay Amar to say that, just so everyone knows. I’m curious, so you go
from this frustration feeling and then you leave the first month feeling like
you made a good investment, feeling like you’re solid, feeling like you’re in
control of your destiny again. What in the world happened in that first
month? You said you watched a video on the dip?
Amar: One more time, Dane. You cut out there right at the end of the question.
Dane: Sure. I’m just thinking you go from frustrated to feeling solid, and from being
frustrated to being in control of your destiny, from five to ten customers.
What happened in that month? I want to know in the depths of detail what
happened.
Amar: For Arun, I think that it was more of an internal thing and just like a mindset
shift of just kind of acceptance. This is just a speed bump along the journey
and some speed bumps are larger than others. We’re going to get through
this. For me, getting back into a community because I’d been in some
entrepreneur communities and I had a decent network. Having that network
of The Foundation folks when you were first starting up, for me it pushed me
into action.
Really what happened in the first month was I was hitting the phones hard. I
was probably on the phones that first month in The Foundation. My normal
schedule during that time was probably get up at 5:00 or 6:00 AM, be making
calls for ZenMaid from around 6:00AM to 8:00 or 8:30 AM and then go into
my day job where I was doing sales as well, and then come back at the end of
the day and work on emails like things like that. It’s just a lot of hustle that
first month, but I needed that push and that community to sit here and get
back to it because I’ve lost that before signing up.
Dane: What is your commitment to be able to wake up at 5 AM and do that every
day? What was your deeper commitment driving you?
Amar: Well, being able to sit out here on this interview in the middle of a
Wednesday afternoon and not having to be in the office. I’ve never been able
to see myself doing the office nine-to-five thing for the rest of my life. Yeah.
It was train hard now so you can live like a champion for the rest of your life.
That was really what it is.
I don’t even consider myself a hard worker. That was just something that it
became a habit of making those calls, and it just became such a part of my
daily routine that it just felt bad not to do it. It was really about getting that
financial freedom, and specifically the location and time independence.
Dane: I feel incredibly giggly inside hearing that. Well, just sit outside in the sun, and
have a beer on a Wednesday.
Amar: Yeah.
Dane: Train hard so you can live like a champion. While you’re living like a
champion, by your definition of champion, what is your life like these days?
Did you wake up at 5 AM still, or what time do you wake up now?
Amar: I don’t have an alarm set anymore. I did in the very beginning. I’m a morning
person so I tend to wake up naturally between 6:00 and 7:00 AM. But if I
want to sleep in these days, I can. But like I said, I rarely do.
Really, it’s such a massive change from the day job, not just in terms of the
time. My day job before, I was commuting about three hours each direction. I
love my day job, I loved all of the people there, I had a great relationship with
my CEO and boss and all of that stuff so it wasn’t that bad, but it’s also just
about having to plan everything around that job.
It’s like little things like being able to take care of laundry on a Tuesday
afternoon so that my weekend’s free, or being able to cook every morning
that I pretty much – I never cooked before. Now that I’m living at home, I
started cooking. I make eggs every day, I’ll sit here and make something for
lunch or dinner, and be able to go to the gym either in the morning when I
first wake up or in the afternoon at any time. It’s a lot of freedom.
The other thing that I found that was actually surprising is I’m way more
productive because I don’t have these artificial restraints. With my day job, I
would never sit here and start – I would never start work until about 9:00 in
the morning because it was an hour and a half commute to get up there.
Now, I can get more done before 9 AM than I was typically doing at my day
job just like in general.
Dane: Didn’t you say you would call until 8:30 then you’d go and do your day job?
Amar: Yes. Usually I’d still be making calls, or responding to emails, or working on
ZenMaid in some way or another on the train. I would actually be up at about
5:00 or 6:00 then I’d be on the train about 7:30 in the morning. I’m lucky that
where I’m at, it’s a pretty quiet and comfortable train that I can actually be
on calls if necessary.
Dane: Were you visualizing this on the mornings you didn’t want to wake up? I
imagine you might have gotten tired sometimes. Were you picturing this life
to keep you going? How did you not give up like so many others do?
Amar: Yeah, definitely. I think for me it’s just – I don’t know. I’ve been thinking it for
so long that it’s such a strong reality in my head that now sitting here, the
first day that I woke up being full time on ZenMaid, I didn’t feel like any
different other than the fact that I was able to sleep in.
It felt like I was getting up and I was just able to work on my own stuff, that
there was no going full-time and then not being productive. I just woke up
and just got back to work on ZenMaid my first day, like full-time on it, right? I
think that I have been envisioning that for a long, long time.
I can’t sit here and do a nine-to-five for the rest of my life unless I find
something I’m a hell of a lot more passionate about. That just hadn’t
happened yet. This is the only way. This is literally the only option that I saw
in terms of being happy in the future.
Dane: The only option you saw of being happy in the future. What’s it like to share
this with me right now?
Amar: Feels pretty good. It’s something that had occurred to me of just how long
that I had wanted this, but to verbalize it that way is definitely, definitely a
little bit different. I kind of took that for granted that it’s just – it’s been such
a strong reality in my head essentially since high school that … I don’t know.
I’ve never second guessed it and I’ve never really thought about that.
Dane: That’s the thing about – in my experience, commitments, when they are
100% sort of written in blood if you will. It’s like no other option.
Amar: Yeah.
Dane: There’s no back and forth in your mind. When you wake up at 5:00, it wasn’t
like, “Oh, should I do this today?” You just automatically did it every day. Is
that right?
Amar: Yeah. Well, there’s two things there. My motivation that I am not very selfmotivated
or disciplined, that it’s difficult for me to get myself to do things
that I know that I should do. That’s one of the reasons it’s been such a
blessing working with Arun was because in the beginning, a lot of that stuff
was don’t let Arun down. We had multiple times where Arun talked to me
and was like, “Hey, you’re not really pulling your weight here. There’s more
that you can be doing. I really need you to step it up or we’re not going to be
able to keep working together.”
We literally had that conversation probably two or three times over maybe
an eight or nine month period. It’s great that we had that sort of
communication because in those situations, I literally pulled out a notebook
and was like, “Alright, let’s make a list of the things you’d like to see me do”
and then I’d add to those and all of that. That was kind of the external
motivation.
When it came to – or that was the external motivation to get these habits in
place, but ultimately the phone calls came down to habits. The same way
that that some people have a habit of going to the gym where they feel
crappy if they don’t go to the gym on any day that they’ll sit here and they’ll
have low energy levels.
That’s exactly what started happening to me with ZenMaid where it was kind
of funny because I felt really depressed. I’m a really happy outgoing guy. I
never feel depressed, ever. I’m absolutely blessed in that capacity or
whatever. My first Sunday after going full-time on ZenMaid, I just felt like
crap the entire day and I didn’t know why because I had a great day with my
girlfriend, I spent time with my parents and my family, I got to watch some
great soccer in Europe that was on TV. It was a great day overall.
At the end of the day, I realized that it was the first time in almost two years
that I had done nothing to move ZenMaid forward. It’s just because it’s a
habit. It’s not even self-discipline. It literally feels bad to me to not sit here
and be improving some system or something along those lines.
Dane: I’m wondering if anyone is envious that they don’t have that developed
habit. How did you develop that habit?
Amar: Developing that habit had a lot to do with removing every road block that can
stop you in the morning. For example, I found that when I didn’t do it in the
very beginning when I was trying to get this calling habit down is it’s because
I’d wake up in the morning, know that I need to make these calls, and then I
wouldn’t know who to call. Or I’d sit here and I’d pull up my Gmail, start
going through Salesforce – that’s what we use for CRM. I’d be spending the
first 20, 30 minutes of the morning looking through different reports and
stuff like that to figure out who to call. We all know that takes a lot of mental
energy. It’s a distraction in the mornings.
One of the big things that I did was I had my VA start putting together call list
for me so that when I woke up at 5:00 in the morning I have an email in my
inbox with name, phone number, and company or whatever background that
I quickly wanted. Then when I’d hop on the train, it was literally pull up my
phone, check the notes quick, and click the number and I could sit here and
call them. I removed all of the barriers which allowed me to start doing it
without feeling like it was too big of a hassle, that I could sit here and get on
and at least make one or two calls in the morning.
Once I started doing that where I got to the point that I would just feel
crappy if I didn’t sit here and at least make one or two calls because there’s
really no excuse to not find time to do that, then it was easy to build from
there. The biggest thing was getting the daily habit and then pumping it up
until my Saturday list. I’d be making a hundred calls a day on Saturdays when
I had the entire day because it just became habit.
Dane: So you removed the road blocks.
Amar: Yeah.
Dane: Actually, I can relate to this too. I’m in a space with The Foundation right now
where I’m obsessed with it. If I’m not working on The Foundation, I’m
anxious if I’m not actually working on The Foundation. I can’t even watch
movies at night sometimes right now because I want to come and work. I
love it. I have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything that I want. I’m
here because – Actually, I guess I’m just saying I relate to that experience.
How is that to hear me share where I’m at with that?
Amar: It’s good. That makes me feel like I’m on the right path.
Dane: Good, man. You absolutely are on the right path. I can tell you that I love –
work feels good to me. It’s not work if you’re playing. I don’t know. My mind
knows the word work but I just love what I do. I get to see you sitting outside
because Andy pretty much forced me to start this years ago.
Amar: That’s awesome.
Dane: Kind of the origins of The Foundation where Andy and I were dressed up for
Halloween one night. We were drinking a little bit and we were past the
point of being buzzed. He showed me this letter. He told me – thanking me
for changing his life and then being, “What are you doing Dane, not teaching?
You have to teach.” That’s amazing to see you here all because of these
smaller moments that kind of built onto each other.
I want to talk to you about calling. Are you cold calling or warm calling when
you were doing this?
Amar: It was a combination of both. It was mainly just calling people that we were
emailing. Sometimes they weren’t actually responding to those emails, so it
could be considered a cold call. It would be, “Hey, I’m calling for Jerry. I want
to check if he received my email.” It was probably more on the warmer end.
Now, it’s all warmly. Now, everything is inbound for us, but at the beginning
it was more outbound.
Dane: In the beginning it was outbound, now it’s inbound. But no matter what it is,
Amar’s waking up and he’s getting shipped on. You’re not conditionally
taking action. You’re not like, “Oh, I’ll do it if X, Y, Z happens.” No. It was like
no matter what, you did whatever you needed to take. If you had no email to
send out, you’d probably cold called. If you had warm calls, you’d probably
warm call. Whatever you’re doing is taking action.
I remember Carl – Carl’s a roommate of mine, past graduate. He said that he
would take action so recklessly if you will that he would actually call the same
people twice in a day. “Hey, you just already called me.” He’s like, “Oh, oops,
sorry,” hang up. That’s how fast he was going. I want to comment on –
I don’t know how many fuels of gallons of gas it takes for an airplane to take
off. I’ve heard it’s significantly more than to keep it in the air, like drastically
more. The energy it takes to take your business off, you did it part-time. You
did it in the morning. But the energy was lifting off of a plane. Now that it’s
kind of in the air, now it’s a little bit of a different experience for you.
Amar: Yes, definitely.
Dane: That’s amazing. When you would call, cold call or warm call, how would a
crappy call go, and how would a good call go, and how would a so-so call go?
Amar: Let’s see. No such thing as a crap call in my opinion. The only crappy calls that
I’ve had is where someone actually manage to really upset me or piss me off
where it would actually emotionally carry over to the next call. That would be
people telling you to F off when you sit here and call them, when you’re
trying to offer them a service. I find that from a sales perspective, it’s a really
positive mentality to just look at everything in a positive way.
What I mean by that is that anytime I have a quick call where I sit here and
the person goes, “Yeah. Sorry, I’m not interested,” and they just hang up on
me. To me that’s a good call because I’m not going to call that person back
and I’m not going to waste my time. They just made it easier for me to focus
on the people that are actually going to sit here and buy.
The calls that didn’t go my way would just be quick pitch and “Sorry we’re
not interested,” or “We’re good with what we have now.” They’re not
interested in a follow-up, or in saving my information, or in giving me their
information or etcetera.
Good calls are people are interested, people want to know more, people are
engaged or want to pick my brains about running the maid service. Really, a
good call is anytime that I’m getting any sort of relationship started with the
person on the phone.
Dane: I really appreciate hearing you set that perspective. Do you have a big picture
idea? If you’re going to do ten calls, do you have that I’m just looking for that
one out of ten people that I can connect with? How does that look for you?
Amar: We’re still kind of figuring that out right now because we’re just changing up
the funnels and how the free trials work and all of that stuff. Our opt-in list is
probably around 600 or 700 people. We have over 50 customers. I think we
have about 60 customers now. We’re somewhere around there. It’s about
one in ten from people that opt-in to our email list that are signing up
currently. I’ve probably spoken with most of them. I’ve probably spoken with
at least 50% of our email lists. It’s probably about one in ten, I’m guessing.
Dane: I can imagine the freedom that I would feel if I was like, “All right, I’m going
to call ten people and my job is to disqualify as many people as possible,” or
not as many as possible. My job is to disqualify those that aren’t a good fit for
what I’m offering.
If I’m calling with that intention, rejection doesn’t even matter to me
anymore. I don’t need to do any limiting belief, emotional work, because I’m
just like, “Alright, my goal is to call ten people and to disqualify those that are
not interested.” If I call and say, “Hey, I’m calling about da-da-da-da,” “Don’t
call me.” Boom! Okay, I just disqualified that person. It’s nothing about me.
That’s a tremendous amount of freedom I feel from that perspective, Amar.
It’s wonderful.
Those of you that are listening, Amar, is one of the teachers/experts that you
are able to learn from and connect with in The Foundation. You actually led
or co-led a group of students through this last class. Is that correct?
Amar: Yes, I’m actually – I’m like the wingman for Josh Isaak for one of the August
class teams, and then I’m one of the team leaders for the November class.
Dane: That’s awesome.
Just so everyone listening, we’re actually shifting how that whole structure
works this next class to make it more efficient and actually get better use of
everyone’s time. That being said, Amar is available inside The Foundation for
these awesome coaching nuggets.
I often find myself thinking, oh man, if I had to start a business over again,
first place I would go before I started is my students and ask them for advice
on what they did.
I actually messaged a student the other day, I was like, “Hey, how did you
hire the developer that you’re working with? Because we’re looking at hiring
a new developer.” He’s like, “Dude, I used the job posting ad that you gave
me.” “Oh. Yeah. I made that like a year and a half ago. I forgot about it.: It’s
so funny to watch that stuff happen.
You’ve got this great calling perspective and you’re doing these calls. These
calls, since you already have – You had the pain yourself so you knew what
you wanted. What did the calls look like for you to validate? How would a
typical call go to validate, okay, I want to look forward with this pain?
Amar: The early calls were, “Hey, this is Amar. I’m a fellow maid service owner and I
run a small service in Southern California. I just had some quick questions
about how you were managing your business because we had to custom
build something in order to kind of manage things properly.” Then it was
really just digging into the systems that they were currently using and see
how they compared, and then finding the pain points.
We actually didn’t do as much idea extraction as we probably should have, or
rather we took my opinions and took my opinions way too seriously
compared to what our actual customers were telling us. At some point, Arun
cut me off in my opinions. Arun was like “No. No more opinions from you.”
We’re just talking to the actual customers.
It got us off the ground but it was really validating kind of the basic
framework that I had set up which was different than other softwares that
were already out there, and then adding in other features as request came in
and solving just a couple more problems for those maid services.
Dane: Arun cut you off, you said.
Amar: Yeah.
Dane: Isn’t that interesting? What do you think was going on for you that had –
What was happening for you in those moments where you just – Were you
afraid to talk to customers and get their ideas? Was it easier just to listen to
yourself? What was happening for you? I do this, we all do this.
Amar: Yeah, definitely.
One of the things to keep in mind is that when I was going through this
process, we didn’t have any of the content. I hadn’t gone through the
mindset or the IE because this was six months before The Foundation. It was
really me kind of like flying blind. I knew what I was like trying to do and I
thought that I was doing it right by talking to people and by listening to them.
What was really happening looking back on it is I was kind of asking those
surface questions and kind of getting the conversation started. By the end, it
was just me talking and it being a pitch about what our software would be
able to do.
That pitch was kind of overriding what was actually being talked about in the
conversation. If they were saying that they wanted mapping where they
thought this was more important I’d be, “Well, let me tell you what we’re
thinking.” That would end up being most of the conversation. It was more
just that – I didn’t really know exactly what I was doing until I was leading the
conversations far too much and I wasn’t really realizing it.
Dane: How did it feel to move from leading a conversation to then not leading a
conversation?
Amar: The thing is that by the time that we made that switch, we’d already
developed a pretty far along. I wasn’t doing too many IE calls at the time, but
it was Arun was asking for more validation on the ideas that I was coming to
him with. I’ve actually gotten a lot better in that sense, that experience. That
is probably in the past six months my listening has gotten a lot better. I would
say in the past six months if I were to start over with idea extraction, I’d really
be good at digging into people’s problems and letting them kind of go down
the rabbit hole rather than me sort of leading the conversation. It’s all part of
the experience.
Dane: What was going on for you is you just hadn’t been quite trained on how to
properly do IE yet but you’re still taking action anyway and that’s my favorite
thing to hear. You take action when you don’t know what to do. That’s one of
my favorite qualities about myself is that when I’m not sure what I do, I just
take action. Action is my answer because it’s through that action that I get
the feedback.
Amar: Yup, absolutely. It’s funny you mentioned earlier that Carl had said
something about moving so fast that you’re breaking things, you’re calling
people twice. We hung out in Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago. I spent
some time with Carl and Carl was saying … he mentioned that too. He talked
to us about that while he was there.
Last week when we came back from Palm Springs, we did a webinar. We did
our first webinar with ZenMaid and that was one of those things that I just
threw myself in on the deep end. That I sent out an email five days before the
webinar announcing a webinar. I didn’t know what it was going to be about.
I sent out another email three days before announcing the title of the
webinar. I finished the actual webinar slides about 15 minutes before we
were supposed to go live. We ran into technical issues, started 20 minutes
late with not a single person watching, and still closed two customers by the
end of that webinar. It’s just one of those things that like everything went
wrong and we still learned so much and actually got new business from it.
Dane: How did that experience feel from start to finish?
Amar: It was pretty hectic but I’m definitely going to do it again because … In the
moment it was hectic, and in the moment it was stressful. But coming out of
it in a five day period, I learned more about webinars than I would’ve in four
weeks of just going through all of the easy webinar content and all of the
webinars on webinars, and all of that stuff. That just throwing ourselves in on
the deep end was all that we needed to really learn and nail it down. The one
that we’re going to be doing next week is going to blow the one last week out
of the water. We were happy with the one last week.
Dane: You didn’t go buy any courses on webinars and how to do webinars?
Amar: No, not this time.
Dane: I think those products crack me up. They probably do pretty well, I imagine.
In the growth section of The Foundation we have one of the best guys in the
world at webinars teaches it, if you didn’t know that.
Amar: Nathan Latka?
Dane: Yeah.
Amar: Yeah. I actually just found on my Dropbox. I have the call from him from our
class that’s recorded. I was like, “Okay, I need to go back and rematch this
because it’s going to make so much sense now that I’ve run one.”
Dane: Yes. Yeah, run a webinar then watch our thing on how to do webinars.
Nathan’s also going to be at the live event as we are speaking.
Amar: I saw that email this morning. Yeah, it’s awesome.
Dane: I’m going to be excited to be there. Will you be there?
Amar: I haven’t decided just yet. It’s top of my list. It’s just I might be in the UK
during that time so we’ll see.
Dane: Okay. I hope to see you there.
Amar: Yeah, definitely.
Dane: I want to just wrap up talking about Arun for a second and how important
and pivotal of a role he was. We talk about the two things that will make or
break your software product are, one, the developer, and second is the
marketing. If you have really terrible marketing, you’re not going to work. If
you have really terrible developer, you’re not going to work.
It’s really critical that you choose the right developer – whether you hire
them on oDesk, hire them on Elance, find them on a job board, or find them
in a local programming group in your city – which we teach the three or four
ways you can do that – or if you end up partnering with someone. Now, if
you do end up partnering with someone, we advice that you partner with
someone who’s already successful.
If you can help it, like in this case Amar partnered with someone who’s
already successful, has his PhD, Stanford, he’s already on his way. If you have
partnership and you formed two partnerships with two people who haven’t
really seen success in business yet, that seems to be two people partnering
up out of an insecurity and not out of actually core alignment.
The energy that which you come to a partnership with is like, okay, I’m going
to crush customer facing stuff, you’re going to crush product, and we’re
going to come together and become rocks together. Versus like, “Oh my
gosh, I don’t know development. I’m so worried. I must find someone, must
partner,” because then you get together with that energy, you may end up
getting more of a percentage of a company than you get, you end up
overvaluing the developer because you’re emotional. Those are the
reflections I have on partnerships.
That being said, I’m all for celebrating what you and Arun have set up. At the
end of the day, did you have a business that had become successful, is it
working, and are you happy? Those are metrics that are more important than
any guide stones.
Do you have any tips or thoughts on those that are looking for people like
Arun, or those that are hiring developers?
Amar: I don’t actually look at Arun as a developer per se, that’s kind of his function
within the company. My advice should really be more for looking for business
partners in general because I think in my experience with Arun is not your
typical experience with a developer.
When it comes to business partners, the most important thing is
communication. That you have to be on the same page, that what you were
just saying Dane is very true. One person’s got to be, “I’m going to absolutely
crush it in marketing.” The other person has to be, “I’m going to crush it in
product development.” The communication and the connection between
those two has to be very, very tight because there are always going to be
times when those two overlap.
For me and Arun, one of the best things about our relationship is that we can
sit here and we can talk about things and agree on what’s necessary for the
business. As soon as we agree on what’s necessary for the business, we’re
both completely selfless and egoless that it’s what’s the best way for us as a
team to get this done. Does this fit Arun’s skill set better where even though
it’s marketing phasing, it’s Google Analytics, or it’s AdWords where it’s
numbers and Arun’s really good there. Arun will sit here and take that.
Then there are times where he needs to solve a technical issue and needs to
call a customer but I’ll step in and call the customer and be the middle man
to make his life easier.
We’ve had that relationship since the very beginning of talking things out.
Like I said, a lot of people probably would’ve just quit if they didn’t like the
way that I was working and Arun actually communicated with me instead,
told me what the problems were, gave me a chance to sit here, and fix them.
If you’re looking for a business partner, you have to find someone that you’re
comfortable talking to about just about anything.
If you can’t see yourself going to the person you’re considering as a business
partner and talking to them if you’re in a time of personal need because
that’s something that’s going to affect your business, chances are you
shouldn’t be partnering with them. That’s kind of my advice. I just think that
if you have good communication, you and any partner can overcome just
about anything. If you don’t, then eventually something’s going to throw a
huge wrench in the system.
Dane: Amen. I second everything that you said. I’ve really enjoyed my partnership
with Andy. Again, Andy and I partnered up out of pure alignment, not
desperation. We were both already successful entrepreneurs in our own
endeavors and so that was all nice. I was a solo leader, entrepreneur for
maybe six or seven years.
I want to wrap up on this, kind of land the plane on the interview.
What’s present for me right now is if you’re wondering how you could find a
business partner, or you could find a developer. I’m a big believer in trusting
the unfolding of whatever is supposed to happen will happen when you’re
connected to the right advice, the right guidance, the right network, and the
right community.
If you’re wondering how you would find this and you come in The Foundation
and you follow what you’re taught, and you’re in the community, I have a
deep trust that whatever’s supposed to happen will happen. Whether you
hire a developer of oDesk, or you find a partner, I trust the natural unfolding
of that and that will happen perfectly when you’re connected to all that.
Does that feel accurate to you, Amar?
Amar: Yeah, definitely.
Dane: Just kind of a trust in that, everything’s going to be okay, all this stuff gets
figured out, action is the answer, move forward. Before we do wrap, I’d love
just for you to talk about your latest idea that you’re working on and how you
kind of came to that idea, and what you’re doing with that.
Amar: Yeah, absolutely.
I actually want to thank you because you and one of the I Love Marketing
podcast kind of brought together the validation of this idea. What I’m
working on right now is called processmarketplace.io. It kind of ties back into
what we were saying earlier of when in doubt, you have a tendency to take
action, right? One of the big reasons that that works for a lot of people is
because most people find once you’ve implemented something once, even if
you do a really poor job on a webinar, it’s way easier to go back and improve
on that webinar than it is to get it out there the first time, right?
What Process Marketplace is, is I just realized that that was very much the
case when it came to entrepreneurs working specifically with virtual
assistants. That the vast majority of entrepreneurs, they know that they
should be sitting here and outsourcing things like list building and outbound
email if they’re using ToutApp, or Quickmail, or whatever it may be. What
they often times won’t sit here and get started on those tasks or on
outsourcing those tasks, they’ll continue to do them themselves when they
know that they’re wasting time. The big reason for this is that most
entrepreneurs absolutely hate doing that first time documentation.
What processmarketplace.io is is essentially a place that entrepreneurs can
go. If they’re looking for a list building process, they can actually download a
list building process that’s been submitted by other entrepreneurs who use
these processes and then they can pretty much plug and play the details of
their specific list building needs and pass that on directly to their virtual
assistant so that they can sit here and get started with that process. That’s
kind of the overall concept.
The reason that I was saying that I want to thank you was from our
conversation in Palm Springs, you were saying that you would take sales
letters and you would take them to your potential customers and have them
read the sales letter, and then kind of see what their emotion was when they
would get excited with what they’re reading, when they would get bored,
when they would zone out, all of that stuff.
What I actually did for processmarketplace.io is I actually wrote the sales
letter before I did any sort of product development or anything like that. I put
up a site, like a landing page at processmarketplace.io, and I took it to a
bunch of my friends that work with VAs. I’ve now done in the past week or
so, I’ve done probably six or seven iterations and not only nailed down the
sales copy but I’ve also actually adjusted what the product is going to be
based on what people were reading and what they were saying of, “Oh, this
would be really useful,” or “This would be something I would expect to see in
this product. That’s kind of how it’s developed thus far.
Dane: That’s amazing. I was reading the site as you were talking and I was like this is
written really well. You’ve got my full attention. I’m interested.
Amar: Yeah. I should send you over a link to the old page. I saved an old version. I
think it was maybe the second iteration. It’s so lengthy, and so terrible, and
then all that stuff. It was another one of those things that I threw it up there,
I got feedback from people, and after a couple iterations it was a lot more
concise and a lot better. I’m not a good copywriter. That’s me trying my best
and that’s seven iterations or whatever.
Dane: This is good copy. You iterated it seven times and you can tell. What you did
is you followed the process that I spoke about which is where you write it the
first time and you have your target market read it out loud to you. Then the
conversation just unfolds from there and you iterate it based on feedback.
Amar: Yeah, exactly.
The one thing that was cool about this … Having my friends read it and
gauging their reactions was an idea that I got from you. The idea that I got
form the I Love Marketing podcast was on the actual product. When my
friends and other entrepreneurs in The Foundation that I reached out to
were reading about processmarketplace.io, it wasn’t just about the copy.
For example, one of the things that’s in there is it mentions that part of the
modules that we’re going to have in processmarketplace.io will show you
how to find a VA, how to hire a VA, and how to train a VA. Now, that’s not
something that I had in the original idea, it was just going to be you can find
processes.
Multiple people were like, “Are you going to teach me how to sit here and
hire these people?” After enough people asked, I was like, “Okay, not an
informational product, but clearly that’s necessary.” Now that’s one of the
bullets on the sales page, and people don’t ask me about it anymore. They
read it and they go, “Okay, cool. I was looking for that.” Then they keep going
on the page.
Dane: Phenomenal. I think that this is – I want to spend some time talking about
this for just a second. How did you find the pain for this?
Amar: The pain for this was from my personal … It was my personal pain – again,
similar to ZenMaid – of I have a tendency to put things off because I hate that
initial documentation. When I was hanging out with a bunch of other
entrepreneurs, I just started kind of bringing it up.
Actually, what’s funny is the original idea actually came because I realized
that everyone uses Google Docs to manage processes with their VAs. I was
trying to figure out if Google Docs is the best way out there, then clearly a
software could be built.
I worked my way backwards from that and was like what would make a
software valuable? Obviously sharing processes, not just documenting the
processes. I pretty much worked my way backwards from that and then just
started talking to people of going, “Hey, would you be interested if you could
download the processes of Pat Flynn for example, that he uses for
podcasting? Or for Dane for idea extraction” and stuff like that.
A lot of people were telling me that they ran into the same issues, or that
they have VAs, they don’t have enough to do, and they’d love to have a place
they can go and just flip through a bunch of processes, find one that looks
good and implement it quick without having to write it out.
Dane: Phenomenal. You had your own pain, you saw how it was currently being
solved, you pictured an alternative solution, you validated it with people,
then you wrote the sales letter, then you had the sales letter written out,
read out loud, and you iterated both the product and the sales letter, and
now you’re at a place where you’re collecting leads to launch.
Amar: Yes, exactly.
Dane: What period of time did you do all this in?
Amar: This was about four or five day period. I validated it over the weekend in
Palm Springs two weeks ago, so that started on Thursday, and I talked to
about 10 or 20 entrepreneurs in person before Monday. I took Tuesday off
when I came home, and Wednesday I put up the first version of the sales
letter. Maybe like a nine to ten day period including the sales letter
iterations.
Dane: Income potential for this is probably quite exciting.
Amar: Yeah, it’s pretty sweet. It’s one of the things that a lot of people have been
like, “Dude, this is something that I would tell my friends about.” Yeah. It
looks like there’s potential for a lot of interest. The other thing is that these
processes are really valuable. The price point, there’s going to be lower ones
for people that are just starting out and doing basic stuff but we can also put
together processes on how to do an Instagram marketing campaign where
somebody that downloads that is going to directly get a ton of value from
that. We might be able to charge a lot more money for premier or more
exclusive sort of processes, or whatever.
Dane: Sounds phenomenal.
You go through the process of ZenMaid, you did the three and a half to 4K,
you’re committed to that, you moved through the dip, you build the skills of
entrepreneurship over six months building ZenMaid. Now that you have the
skills of entrepreneurship built – skills take time, take skills to learn how to
build a free throw, build skills to learn how to throw a free throw. You’re not
going to sink free throws all the time, you’re going to practice for three
months. But then once you go out, you can sink a bunch of them in a day.
Now in The Foundation, what happens is you learn how to build the real skills
of entrepreneurship, the real mind of entrepreneurship, the emotional
awareness of entrepreneurship, so that after you built all these skills, now
that when you want to go out and start an idea, in less than ten days Amar
has what looks to me like a nice seven-figure business on his hand in the
making, in less than ten days. That’s how quickly you can move when you
learn the skills.
Starting a business is not mechanically difficult. Starting a business is
mechanically easy, it’s only emotionally difficult. It’s emotionally difficult
because you haven’t built the skills yet. As soon as you build the skills and
learn the emotions, that falls away, and mechanically you can move quickly
and effortlessly. How has it been for you these nine or ten days, have you felt
in flow with this?
Amar: Yeah, definitely. I moved my focus back to ZenMaid for a couple of days, but
when I was working on this, it was like … I actually put it off so that my most
productive hours were still focused on ZenMaid. The reason that I knew that I
was passionate about this was because I would work on it during my low
mental energy time. 4:00 to 7:00 PM when I usually feel like taking a nap and
it just had me going. I felt great. I was able to focus. I felt alive when I was
working on it.
One thing that you’re just saying that’s very true is that it really is about
developing the entrepreneur’s skill set. I remember back when I was starting
out in The Foundation of hearing you say, “If I started over right now, I’m
pretty sure I wouldn’t even – I’d be able to just get pre-sales on the first call.”
I forget what it was, Dane, that you said, but it sounded unrealistic to me at
the time as I was going through that.
Now, looking back on it, that makes perfect sense. That for me is like idea
extraction would be easy for me at this point because like you said, it’s
mechanically easy. I know that all I have to do is pick up the phone, dial the
number, and hit the call button. If I do that enough times, I’ll find a problem
and start a business. It really just comes down to that experience and the
confidence that you get from going through the journey the first time.
Dane: You put in the time, put in the effort, you build the skills, you’re disciplined,
now you're free.
Amar: Nailed it.
Dane: Only the disciplined are free. Amar, thank you for your time today.
Amar: Yeah, definitely. Thanks for having me, Dane. I really appreciate it.
Dane: Any closing thoughts for anyone as we wrap? Actually before we wrap, I keep
forgetting to do this. I have to make a word for our sponsors in this podcast.
Over 60 minutes in.
Our podcast is sponsored by none other than The Foundation. It’s bought a
nice segment of advertising in this podcast. If you have any interest in having
the life that Amar has, living the lifestyle, having these kind of skills, finding
that kind of family, finding that kind of community, having a lot of fun in the
process and starting businesses, you can join us at thefoundation.com/apply.
Amar, do you have any closing words?
Amar: Yes. I would like to thank my sponsor Corona. I’ve got that right there.
Dane: Hopefully, that’s legal.
Amar: Yeah, right.
For anyone out there that’s watching, feel free to reach out to me. I’m
available on Facebook, through all of The Foundation groups and etcetera.
I’m sure there will be some contact information on the podcast page. Other
than that, if you’re working with VAs or if you’ve considered working with
VAs, feel free to check out the new service at processmarketplace.io. If you
happen to run a maid service – I doubt there are many maid service owners
listening here – you should totally check out ZenMaid because we have a full
suite of tools there.
Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom
action guide so you know exactly what action steps to take to grow your
business. Just head over to thefoundationpodcast.com to download it for
free. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

j