Launching Podcasts and Side Hustles with ChooseFI | Business Survival Livestream 015

Alan and Simon are joined by Brad Barratt, co-Founder of ChooseFI to talk about creating a podcast, running side hustles, and launching their new podcast with PopUp – The Rebel Entrepreneur. The Rebel Entrepreneur –


Note: This transcription has been generated with AI and there may be errors present. 


And we’re live. We are live on Facebook. And I think I would like to start with the fact that lockdown hair is a real thing.

Yeah, that’s in full effect. Allen

is in full effect.

trademark that date.

mode, lockdown hair. My wife is nervous about doing it for me. I’ve been telling her she needs to get the Clippers out and have a go. But she’s nervous. And to be honest, I’m nervous because I’ve never seen what’s under there. Have you had a lockdown haircut? Brad?

I have I have Yeah, my we bought some clippers from And yeah, Laura. Laura gave it a go about four weeks ago. I think I’m due for round two. Now it’s getting kind of long. So yeah. So far, so good.

So welcome to the show everyone. I am with my business partner, Simon as always on the pop up live stream. And I’ve been looking forward to this one because we have Brad Barrett, who is one of the founders of choose FSI, which is used by dependents. Welcome to the show, Brad.

Yeah, thank you, gentlemen. This is this is great. Simon. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I can’t believe it’s been. It’s taken this long. I’ve heard so much about you. And Alan. Yeah. Always good to

see none of it’s true. Whatever he said none of its true.

All of its true everywhere. Yeah, but I think so, Brad, we were very excited to have you on the show. Because I think, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think you really see yourself as an entrepreneur. But yeah, kind of built an incredible business.

Yeah, it’s been, I think, I think that’s a good way of looking at it. It’s, maybe when I look, take a step back. And in totality. I could say I’m an entrepreneur, and I think probably by any definition I am, but I don’t I don’t have that as like my I don’t know my story, I guess. But but it’s been it, but it has been a story. It’s been a journey. I think that’s one of the the wild things about about my life the last 10 plus years is it’s been a lot of like, entrepreneurial, like little kind of like dipping my toe toes in. And you know, similar to what you guys teach, it’s it’s never been a burn the boats, write the, you know, 50 page business plan and take out debt and all this other nonsense. It’s like, how do you pick up skills? Right? Like, how do you how do you try to succeed? Obviously, like, I’d be a fool and a liar. If I said, like, oh, I wanted to fail, right? Like, you know, things. That was always in the plan. It was just picking up skills, and then maybe someday it would it turned out, but you know that that would be an obvious lie. Like I started out, I think, I don’t know about you guys. But I read Tim Ferriss Four Hour Workweek about like, right,

that changed our world.

Totally. I met Alan in Starbucks in Winchester. And so I think it was our first meeting, I had a few things that we chatted about. That was the time that Alan complained about my boss and sent me to go and deal with the complaint. That’s another story. But one of the first conversations we had was Alan, you’ve got to read this book. It’s a game changer. And I think that the inspiration from that book was the catalyst for lots of our conversations that became later became the pop up business school. So that’s, it’s fascinating that you say that book. It’s also fascinating that you say you don’t identify as an entrepreneur, because I don’t either. I think Elon does want to put words in your mouth. But I think I think you were the guy, you were the guy that you were selling stuff to your friends at school teachers before the teachers shut you down. You’re an entrepreneur,

I guess I would be like, I don’t particularly like the word or calling myself out. But I’m probably your definition of an entrepreneur out there making things happen. I think, Brad, I’m really interested, that by setting the scene for the pop up audience that’s listening, you now have a podcast that gets between one to 2 million downloads a month. But that’s unbelievable. You’ve changed countless people’s lives and help them take charge of their finances. And sometimes when you see someone that’s successful, you think, well, that’s great for them. Like, what was your first that book? What was was the book inspired your first effort? Or was your first effort before that? Where did it start?

Yeah, yeah. I mean, thinking back so the book was definitely the start. And when I read that, so if for anybody who’s read that out in the audience, you know that Tim Ferriss talks about drop shipping, right like about basically selling real tangible products but nothing that you necessarily have ever right like it could be anything. It you don’t own it, you didn’t need to produce it or have anything to do with it, you are essentially getting the sales on your site. And then you’re obviously shipping this to them, but you’re not involved, you’re basically getting the manufacturer or whoever it may be, let’s say manufacturer is the easiest way to look at it, to ship it for you. That’s why they but that’s hence the Drop Shipping aspect. So you’re basically making the difference, right? So the difference between what you earn and what you actually cost for all the, you know, actually purchasing it wholesale puzzle shipping, etc. So anyway, long story short, I realised that a buddy of mine from back home, I live in that suburbs of New York City, a buddy of mine did that with ink. So cartridges for your printer. So he had a really successful site. I never talked to him about it. Like, I can’t believe how stupid I was. And then I said, okay, like I have not only am I learning about this from Ferris, but I have an expert who’s a really good friend of mine. I actually convinced him to go in with me on another business. And we didn’t know what it was going to be at that point. We I kid you guys not this is so if you look about today, right? So we’re getting Yeah, like you said about one, I don’t know, 1.2 million downloads a month on Chuza phi, one of the biggest podcasts in the world. But again, I don’t conceptualise myself as that I think of myself. 10 years ago, we bought a website called firewood, Dash I joke I kid you not for $512 on a website called Flippa I don’t even know firewood dash rack dotnet. Like the worst URL in the world selling firewood storage racks. Guys, I have never lit a fire in a fireplace ever in my entire life. And I’m selling $400 Firewood storage racks to people all across the United States. And like it was me It was wild. And then. So we wound up. And you know, we talked about lessons. And I’d love for you guys to jump in in a minute here. But let me kind of just finish this one part of the story is, at that point, we there was a lot of like SEO, like search engine optimization gaming, right? So people were doing what they call the kind of like grey hat or black hat SEO to basically just say, Google, I understand how you do this, I’m going to try to game the system and get to the top. And we fell into that. And, you know, to Google’s great credit, we got decimated. And, you know, while we were number one or number two in the search engine results, after we had done this gaming, we got just destroyed by Google and one of their algorithm updates. And we were nothing and we never got a sale again. And, you know, it taught me a lot of lessons. I mean, Alan, like, you know, it’s hard to imagine myself as being that you know, authentic now, you know, like, I like to kind of pride myself on the fact that like I’m real, I’m authentic. I’m I own up to all my shortcomings, which they are, you know, there’s a myriad of them. We’re on it. Right, right. Like you It’s so interesting to, to think that that was my first kind of, I saw that glimmer of success and then just crushed by Google to their great credit, you know?

Wow, what? What a place to start. Yeah,

I don’t think I’ve ever told you that story.

I knew about the firewood racks. But I didn’t know about that being crushed for Google being a grey hat. Black Cat. Were you having white keywords on a white background or something like that?

Oh, it wasn’t quite that bad. So it was though I wouldn’t have put a process that was

I get that I get Thank you sign. Yeah. Oh, that’s zero effect. But yeah, I did that. Yeah, I was gonna make some gag about you must have been a lot of cash with that firewood business. But let’s not go there quite early. Hey, look at the thing that was interesting to me is what was the pivot after that? Because it took me probably a good couple of years to bounce back from my first failure. Like, how quickly did you bounce back? And what was the next version of the entrepreneurial experiment?

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I you would, you would have hoped that I have learned my lesson at that point with doing things that weren’t authentic. But I well, I guess there were a couple things that ran concurrently. So the one thing so you guys call it football, obviously, we call it soccer. So I had a soccer website. I’m a lifelong soccer player called soccer And it was I just realised that, you know, it’s funny, I look back at all these things and their lessons for me it’s right. So like, I was telling Alan this on a previous Facebook Live, like, I was seriously quoting the English Premier League tables going back to like 92 for in HTML, because I’m like, at that point, especially in the US, like, the EPL was not as prevalent like here now it’s you can watch every single game or match whatever we want to call it and you know, it just wasn’t as prevalent. So, oh man, I’m at the vanguard of something, and I no joke, my wife can remember me typing laboriously, like, you know, Middlesboro, you know, four wins, 12, losses. 24. You know. And, I mean, it was it was absurd. And like, what I learned from that was like, passion is not enough. Like, I just I had a passion for the sport, but I realised like, this is not what I want to be doing. So, you know, there were a bunch of other little websites that kind of failed in there. But like, at that point, I almost gave up guys, even though, you know, I learned a bunch of lessons. And I learned I learned tangible skills. So yeah, you have to keep in mind that like, in my day job I was doing like the most mind numbingly awful work. Like I was a tax accountant doing corporate state tax returns. It’s like, the worst job you could imagine. And you would think like, I would have been, you know, I had this soccer website that was doing better. It was a passion of mine. Like, there was just something missing. And, you know, again, I kind of just put it all down and took about a year and change off at that point, Simon.

Yeah, it’s interesting, when you go through that period of, it’s not worked. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Yeah. And I think I had that period of lostness for some time, where it’s like, I’ve got a job, but I don’t know what I’m doing and nothing’s working. And then eventually, you just seem to find something that clicks. And I think my learning from that period was I should have tried more harder and faster. Because if I’d have tried more things quicker, I would have found the one that WORKED faster. And I think the difference between our now and lnn is Alan then would have a year’s Recovery, or six months recovery, or whatever it is, Alan, now the assignment, I’ll tell you is like it was two hours, but you have had enough of this, let’s do something different. And I’ll do something else. And it’s that speed with which you do something, I think,

do you think that that is that true for you, Brad, because I was just thinking about what Alan said, I don’t know if anything has clicked as such, it’s just clicking a hell of a lot more than it did. And it’s sort of a gradual increase of, hey, this is really working a little bit more than the last thing. And I think the deeper we’ve dived into pop up, and all of the things that that we’re working on around the edges of pop up, the deeper we dive in, the more we lean into it, the better results that we get. But I think you know, for both our alumni, we’ve probably got 30 to 40 business projects, at least between us that have been the next iteration. It was slightly better than the last one, but it’s still not quite right. It’s slightly better than the last. It’s still not quite right for a whole heap of reasons. Is that your experience? Or did you did the choose their five things suddenly go? Or maybe something before that?

Yeah. I mean, I think kind of before that was when I first tasted like a little touch of success. And, you know, I think it all kind of ties back to this financial independence, I realised that, you know, and this was, I think 2013. So it’s still still a decent bit of time ago, certainly. And, you know, it’s funny to look at your life and think, and this sounds a little grandiose, obviously, but like that you’ve kind of figured out like a little almost like secret to life. And that’s that’s how we kind of like looked at what we were doing, even though we live the most ordinary, middle class American suburban life, like there’s nothing all that interesting about us or special or anything, but yet, we were saving all this money, right? And we’re living the same life as the people next door or the people down the street, who were spending every dollar they had. So, you know, we kind of realised at that point, like maybe there’s something here like there, plenty of families like ours, you know, family with two young daughters who, who they, they want to save money, they want to live better, they just they don’t even know it yet. Right and, and maybe showing that we can do it. Right. So you maybe you can too, and it’s amazing how sometimes like when people don’t even have that language for, like, what something could be, or they’ve never seen an example. And I mean, this is right, like, Alan, I see you shaking your head. Like, it’s amazing how you see this, and we see this with our podcasts all the time, like, there will be episodes that we’ll record. And we’ll say, like in our own heads. And you know, we don’t do this very often like, but like, Oh, that wasn’t I don’t know that that was like a top 50 episode, you know, that we’ve recorded like, you know, trying to say like, Okay, that’s a pretty average episode. But almost invariably, we’ll get 10 emails from 10 different people saying, like, that person’s story, spoke to me. And it made such a difference, knowing that they did it. So even though it didn’t relate to me, it didn’t connect with me, stories make the world go round. And, you know, I’d love to hear hear your guys’s thoughts on that. But like, this is something that, that we’ve realised at use of AI is people want to connect, they want, they want to know, you, they want to understand and to also know that like, for me, like, I’m not a worldwide expert at finance, like, I don’t have a PhD from Oxford or Harvard, right? Like, I’m just a regular guy, like, you know, I’m reasonably intelligent, I suppose. And, you know, you know, I have a CPI like you could make a story, or you could just say, like, I’m a regular suburban dad, and we figured out a way to live our lives. And I think this can make add some value to your life, I think you’re that relatability. And also, like, trying to explain both your positives, but things that you’re falling down on, right, because everybody’s falling down in their lives on something like something is going wrong. And they don’t, they’re not looking for perfection. They’re looking for connection, and they’re looking for maybe to live a little bit better. And I think like, that was what led me to my first website, which is named after the little city that I live in here in Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. So it’s Richmond savers, calm. And, you know, I’m kind of going on and on here, guys, so I will let you in. But uh, you know, that was how that that site got in the map, because same deal. Like, we wanted to go to Walt Disney World, with our family with our two young daughters, but it cost about $5,000. And I found out a way to use credit card rewards points to go there for nearly free. Now, it doesn’t work quite as well, in the UK, unfortunately. But here in the States, it’s it’s like a free for all they just, you know, hand out these points, basically. And, you know, I realised there millions of other families like ours that want that would want to do this, if they even knew was possible. So I wrote up an article and it appeared in The New York Times and on NBC News, and CBS, it was crazy, and like my little Richmond savers website, because I realised, again, it’s that story. It’s like, I did it, you can too. And there’s a huge, huge takeaway for people from it.

I love that. I did it. And you can too. And I think that’s basically the foundation of pop up is, well, I didn’t do it. And you can avoid the mistakes I made. And then I did do it. And you can too. We have a lot of that as well as a trial and error stuff. But I think that’s awesome. So basically, you built a website that taught people how to achieve something. How did you get that PR to get that website? Because that’s what people pay millions for?

Yeah. Yeah. So that’s a really interesting story. I have never, I don’t think I’ve ever I haven’t thought of this since then. But and I’ve never mentioned this publicly, actually. So what I did was, yeah, this was really out of character. So I realised that this was something. There was just a huge value. Okay. And I think there was at the time, there was a New York Times columnist. Well, I’m going to Google this. Well. Just give me one second. I know this doesn’t make for great audio here. But there was a New York Times columnist named Seth kugel. I think he went by the frugal traveller, I believe, and he had this weekly post frugal

kugel. You couldn’t make it up good. Yeah.

Really? Yeah, it was it was the frugal traveller, okay. And I reached out to him, I just sent him an email, I found his personal website and I sent him an email basically saying, like, Hey, I haven’t seen you because he posted you know, an article in The New York Times every week. I’ve never seen you talk about credit card rewards points using rewards points. And he actually like I figure there’s a one in 1000 chance this guy’s gonna write to me back. He wrote back within an hour, actually, very politely but strongly saying, I actually hate credit card rewards points. I hate what how people use them. Um, I think there’s like, I don’t want to, you know, misquote him. But you know, my recollection paraphrasing is like, you know, he didn’t like the inequality of it and such and such like, you know, but and he said, basically, it’s a cool thing that you did. But thanks, but no thanks, I’m not interested. And then no joke. About a month later, he writes me back out of nowhere, and said, So I’m writing an article for the best things to do for travel in 2014. I think it was then writing this big column for The New York Times, your you and your wife are in the article with links to your website. He’s like, I cannot promise you that. It’ll get Pat. It’s a long article. I can’t promise it. My editor will keep it in. But you’re in the first version. Out of nowhere, guys. It was crazy. And then I’m sitting there refreshing hitting f5 Like refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. And of course, my website goes down the second that this thing gets published. But I mean, that was, that was it. It was one cold email out of the blue. And

it’s really interesting. You’ve just reminded me of something that Christy and Bryce said to us, the millennial revolution last week that they researched the journalist that was specifically interested in the stuff that they were talking about and targeted, kind of them. So it sounds like you did something similar. I guess. Just before I asked you the next question, just to remind everybody, we would love to hear your questions. We’ve got Brad from choose fi Brad Barrett, with his colleague, Jonathan have created a podcast that gets between one and 2 million downloads per month. What a phenomenal achievement that is. So if you’ve got any questions about how do you start a podcast? What are the things that might be on your mind about how to get started? And what are the important things to look for? Please post your questions there. If you’re interested in how Brad works up some side hustles if you’re interested in how Brad managed to retire at 35, and no, he didn’t win the lottery. We’re going to cover some of these topics here. So please post your questions in there. We’ve got people from across the UK, we’ve got people from Namibia, and from across America that are watching this live stream, which is super cool. So yeah, please post your questions, everybody. Brad, the thing that went through my mind is, I know that there’s a lot of people that watch this live stream, and we’ll watch it back tomorrow, who they’ve got, they’ve got entrepreneurial ideas, they’ve got creativity in their bones, and they’re, they’re constantly, you know, coming up with new ideas riffing on them, pushing them a little further forward, maybe not getting them over line, I’m one of them. You know, I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas that I’ve not got over the line over the years. I’m interested to know from you how important you think passion for the idea is because we talk about pop up, we talk a lot about, you know, making money doing something that you love doing knowing it’s really hard to get something off the ground, make sure you’re picking something that you love to do. But yet, you know, some of your experiments are no guessing you had some passion for doing the experiment, but not necessarily you don’t strike me as a guy that was that passionate about firewood, and energy kind of said that, you know, you never lit a fire in your life. But here you are setting up a fire stack business. I’m super interested in what your view is on, on passion, relation to side hustles and how important you think it is when you haven’t got something?

Yeah. Yeah, it’s a it’s a tough question. I don’t think it’s like an absolute prerequisite for like a nominal success. But I think I think for me personally, to follow through on something it does have to be a passion. And I think I realised like to your point, the the actual experiment of the early things like that was cool in and of itself. Like I thought especially as an accountant with a math brain like I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world that someone would come to my little website would pay $399 I would literally forward one email, that was the extent of my job, I would forward the email to my contact at the manufacturer, they would do everything else including hitting my credit card with the charge and we would net a 30 to 40% profit like that was the coolest business model of all time and I thought that was just incredible but to your point sounded like I had no passion about firewood or fires or anything like that. So you know that was not something that I could do for the long term I think even you know even the soccer website like that was in it but I think when I hit on personal finance and kind of just not just personal finance because I think even that would get tired or get tiring and and I think frankly, like, you know, even the travel reward stuff like it got boring to me after a while, and like, I eventually reached a point where, okay, this is successful. It’s, you know, making some money, certainly. So it’s a success by any measure, it’s helping people, I’m getting emails that, wow, you saved my family $3,000 Like, on this trip, you know, etc, etc. Like, I mean, that was amazing and gratifying. But like, it’s still and maybe this speaks to some, like, you know, problem I have or something, but like, it’s still wasn’t enough, like, because it wasn’t. It just, it got boring. And I think with with Chuza phi, one thing that we’ve realised is like, you know, the actual nuts and bolts of money. It’s not that interesting. And it’s not that difficult once you get once you get into it, but like, living a better life, right, like life optimization, as we call it, like, that’s something I’m truly passionate about, like, not only for myself, because again, we all are imperfect, and we’re, you know, just trying to live a little bit better, you know, every single day in tonnes of different ways. Right. But like, there’s a lot of things to work on. So, like, you know, I think, like, not only for myself, but then trying to teach people like, okay, you know, there are ways to improve your life. And that is something I am truly passionate about from the core of my existence. I love

that. And Brad, you’ve got a Facebook group for we actually have many, there’s a couple of UK ones for the Choose fi thing as well on there. There’s the London one the UK one.

Yeah, yeah, we have Yeah, if you go to choose There’s a list of all of our choose fi groups. And actually, when I when I visited London a couple years ago, we had a meetup at, I don’t know, some pub on the Thames, and I met Barney and Ken and that whole crew, and I think like 150 people showed up for that for that get together. So yeah, there’s a thriving, thriving financial independence community in the UK. And it’s just, you know, again, like, even if money is not your thing, like, even if just the nuts and bolts of like talking and thinking about money is not your thing. Like, it’s about living a better life. It’s about being intentional. So, you know, yeah, I would say to anybody, check that out.

And the main Facebook group, you’ve got with 65,000 odd people in which is incredible. You asked the question every Friday, saying, what’s the one thing you have done to improve your world this week? But is that something you actually do in your life? Where did this concept come from? And why do you keep asking me that every week?

I do. I do keep asking. It’s directed specifically at you? Well, no, I mean, I think I think taking action is what separates successful people from just pretty much everybody else, you know, like, there is so much content out there. There’s so much content, right? Like, you can learn every single thing about any topic in the world. But if you don’t get off the couch and take action, nothing good is gonna happen. And I think like psychologically, it can, it can just be that one tiny little thing that you did today that will kind of snowball into taking repetitive action that will progressively get bigger, obviously, right to to make your life better. And, you know, there’s this concept of the aggregation of marginal gains. And I think it actually started in the UK, right. Hold on, give me a sec.

It wasn’t the Olympic cycling team.

Yeah, it was it was the the Tour de France team, the the British team, were I guess they were terrible for forever for decades. Right, like truly terrible. And that

doesn’t mince your words. But yeah.

bikes that the wheels were different sizes.

Yeah. 1920s like, yeah, 10 gold medal. Yeah, British Cycling coach Dave Brailsford. So, I mean, he started looking at just little things like bringing the proper pillows on road trips, like instead of just dealing with whatever pillow that you know, the hotel happened to have and like, when you when you stack dozens or hundreds of these tiny, tiny little incremental gains, it turns into something, it explodes into something big, right? And, and this is what we talked about with compounding with, with money where it’s slow, slow, slow, and then all of a sudden, it starts going up because you’re building money on top of this other money. And again, it takes if you look at the curve, it takes forever to get to the point where you get to that inflection point, and then it’s absurd, right? It’s absurd.

It’s exactly the same in business. Exactly. be the same. If you’re making the sales calls every day, you’re sending the emails every day, you’re improving your message every day, just tiny amounts every single day. It’s like nothing happens for ages. And then all of a sudden, it just grows, and you just can’t believe it. And yeah, you’ve had that Simon Avenue.

Yeah, completely. In fact, we’ve had a question from James James Christensen, who says, He’s talking to this exact point, he said, if you’ve got any tips on getting through, is called at the trough of despair. That point when you’ve started the business, but nothing is happening. So I think both of you are kind of talking to that. I think, if I was to add a supplementary question, Brad, and I’d love to get Alan’s take on how you get through the dip, Allen. Brad, how long was it? Until you know, when you launched choose their fi? How long did it take before you were able to monetize that? And what was that period of time look like? Maybe you could talk to that. And that might help. Help James?

Yeah, no, it’s a great question. And if you don’t mind, I’m gonna just kind of go back actually to because it is tied directly to that. So you know, going back to this Richmond savers website, I, I try to look at the problem a little bit differently. And I think, I think that helped me dramatically, like putting together like, you look at your skills, and look at the different worlds that you live in, and try to see if, if, if you can think of something like novel that that might help you in some way that somebody else just isn’t thinking. So in my case, and I’ll make this very concrete. So in my case, I had a very little website called Richmond And I was never going to be the points guy getting millions of visits a month, I was never going to be Mister Money Moustache, like I actually said like, I vividly remember saying, like, I am never going to be Mister Money Moustache, getting millions of visits a month. But what can I do differently? So what how can I take a perceived limitation, right? Or a real limitation, frankly, of okay, I only get 5000 visitors a month. But how can I take that and still turn it into something successful? So what I did was I took my accountants brain, and my kind of understanding of lifetime value of customer and melded it with an online world. Okay, so I created like a real world online hybrid that nobody else was thinking of at the time. And I still to this day, don’t think anybody’s really tried to copy. So again, it’s looking at this limitation of having a small, small audience and saying, okay, that and this is where the monetization comes in, guys. So the credit card affiliate links, at that point there, they’re pretty lucrative for each conversion, okay. And I was able to do the math and say, what I can do is I can actually offer a free coaching service, where if you come to my website, and you fill in a form, I will literally jump on the phone with you for 30 minutes for free. And we’ll we’ll mock up an entire plan for you to take that next trip might be to Paris, it might be to Thailand, it might be to Disney World, and I’ll send you an email with step by step instructions. You know, if you want to use my links, there’s no cost to you, there’s no detriment to you, it would be a huge value to me, but I’ll never know if you click on them or not basically. And, you know, I made it easy for them to use it. But you know, I would have never known so totally free adding immense value. And again, if you take even just, I had two calls a day at lunch at my accountants job, I had a 12 o’clock and a 1230 I would walk around the parking lot rain or shine, and take my calls. And, you know, again, I was able to look at that as a as an accountant and say, Alright, I think there’s something here I think there’s a glimmer, so your that eventually then turned into this website called travel miles one Oh, which I realised I can’t I can’t scale one on one, right. It’s limited by my time. So I created I put all of my knowledge into a course which is basically a email autoresponder series, and then was able to scale that, okay, so, but keep in mind, guys that I’ve been learning and failing about websites and monetization for seven years at this point, and, you know, and now succeeding towards the end of this and, you know, I had a decent bit of information and, you know, and also contacts, right, like, it’s very hard to get credit card affiliate links on your website if you’re a brand new site, but I had built up such a relationship with the programme that when Chuza phi started, I was able to get us Credit Card affiliate links, obviously were able to get Amazon Associates links. And, you know, I had enough contacts at different sites to be able to monetize in a way that we should not have been able to, based on a website of our size. So, you know, it comes back again to like networking, which to me, is such a bad it’s such a negative word here, at least in the US like it, you know, it has, like pictures of somebody like going to a conference just throwing business cards at people, right, like, and just, yeah, just being totally spammy. And like, nobody, nobody wants to do that. So anyway, I built this kind of massive network. And it helped us dramatically at the very, very first, so Alright, guys, I keep talking for five minutes on end. So if you want to jump in, but I can, I can certainly keep going.

No, I think it’s awesome. I love it. If you I love it, I want to know more, I think a couple of thoughts on the trough of despair, which I love the new name for that we used to call it the dip, but the trough of despair. I think it varies in length, depending on what you want to do. But the quickest I’ve seen someone take a podcast is like six to 12 months to get something of a reasonable size. If you want to learn Chinese would that’s a good year of plus of hard work to get anything usable. If you just want to launch a cleaning business, you might be able to find clients within a couple of weeks, and get going very quickly. The dip varies depending on what you’re trying to do. And I think that’s a really critical indicator, if you want to build a YouTube channel, you’re probably in for a year plus, maybe longer. And it just, I think you need to know how long that dip is. And the second bit, I think really ties in what you’re saying is you went through that dip on lots of different things. And actually, every time you go through it, and you do one website business, and it’s a long one, and then you do the next one, and it’s slightly shorter, and you do the next one, and it’s slightly shorter. And then by the stage, you get to your fifth or seventh business, you know a thing or two, and the date might be a couple of months. But it’s a long time when you start and how do you keep going? The best way is to know it’s coming and know what you’re getting in for. And if you do that, you’re gonna feel a lot more comfortable. And Simon, you probably had a million, you’ve got to unmute yourself. I know you’re old. Now you need to learn how to use tech.

I know I’ve got some instructions here that my kids left me there. But they said press the button in the left hand corner. You can’t talk to me about that mute button until you get a comb through that hair. And listen, the really nice question you’re not far behind me a really nice question from Oliver after dark. It’s not his actual name, but I wish it was it’s an awesome name. So he his question is specifically for Brad, but I know that I don’t know another view on this as well. He said that, Brad, you’ve mentioned that you’re risk averse. How do you rationalise that in a competitive world when you’re trying to start something that you’re passionate about? But this feeling of risk feels a little bit uncomfortable? Just talk to that for a moment as to how you get through that? And Alan, I’d love your view to.

Yeah, no, it’s a great question. And yeah, I mean, I certainly talk on the podcast quite a bit that I am I am risk averse in in my life that. But like, I don’t think I don’t conceptualise that as being scared, though. Like, I think there’s a big, there’s a big distinction. So I try to cap my downside. And you know, and that means even just, you know, in regular life, like, if I need insurance, I’m going to be the one that gets more insurance than I need. I’m going to be the one that you know, with with my finances that has more cash than I probably need. Because I know myself well enough to know that I won’t sleep well at night if I if I don’t have these things, right if I could have taken simple measures to safeguard me and my family. And I didn’t take them I would I would kick myself you know, because, you know, that’s just how I think I just try to cap my downside. So I honestly, I can genuinely genuinely say I’ve never thought about my business ventures as risky. I don’t think I’ve ever even had that thought and that is from someone who is ultra risk averse. So, you know, that tells you how I think about it like and guys, I’ve been using me you know I believe I have at least pop up style tactics forever now which is right like, you go in you learn skills. You don’t spend a lot of money I mean literally that 500 $12 that I spent was the most that I think I’ve ever spent on something, it doesn’t cost that much to create a podcast, a website, a business anymore. It really doesn’t. And, you know, I mean, Alan, to your point about, like, you have to have a sense of what it’s going to take. And I think that is that’s a brilliant, brilliant point is that like, Okay, if you’re creating a website, a podcast, a YouTube channel, and you have no network, you have no experience with this, like, nothing to shortcut anything. And that’s, that’s most of us, right? That’s 99% of us. So you know, just assuming that’s everybody, you’re not other than lightning in a bottle, just freak chance, you’re not going to be successful. in under a year or two of just hard, consistent work. That’s what it takes, in my, in my experience, to see success with content creation is you need to show up. And you need to show up once, twice, three times a week on a schedule, roughly four years, until, like, it just kind of it seems to happen at that point, like, you lose. Because all along the way, you’ve been doing these little pieces of work that need that are all part and parcel of success with creating content. It’s, again, it’s having this network, it’s, you know, understanding how to monetize what you don’t know on day one, like it’s getting better at your craft, right, like you need to get better like we were terrible at podcasting. Three years ago, like terrible, we listened back those episodes and like, why would anybody listen to these stupid things? They’re horrible.

You know, episode one, everyone go listen to episode.

I think in fairness, I think Jonathan might have written over listen to episode two. But But no, guys, like you don’t even know like what your voice is, like, you know, my, we had an episode, one of the first five or so episodes is like, we thought it was going to be soapbox rant, don’t piss off the accountant. And that was me like me ranting about something like, you know, fees or whatnot, and like, to imagine that I would be ranting about anything now. Like, that’s not that really isn’t who I am. And that’s not certainly like, who I want to be. So like, you know, we moved on from that. And so yeah, it’s been, it’s been pretty wild. I was going somewhere with that, guys. But I totally, I lost my train of thought, I apologise. And you can jump in?

Well, I think it’s the risk that a new don’t see what you’re doing is risky. And I think people look at me, the textbook definition of an entrepreneur is someone who takes risk. And I don’t see myself as a risk taker. And I don’t risk money, but I will risk my ego. I don’t really care about that. But people reject me, I do care, it hurts, but I get over it quite quickly. And it doesn’t cost me anything. And I think it’s this thing of being an entrepreneur does not have to be risky financially, but the rest of the world thinks it is. So I would say to all of her, like, you’re going to have to risk ego, effort and time, but you do not have to risk money. And I have not seen any of my business ventures, any of them as particularly risky. Because I’ve never really put my money or my net worth on the line. Put my ego on the line lots, and I’ve had it tranced a few times. But then that’s not really that risky. Like what’s the worst that happens? I feel sad for a week. Oh, well, the upside is way better.

I think that’s where I’ve put my focus in recent years. It’s my thought processes. What if this goes right? Rather than what if this goes wrong? I love the thrill of the pitch. And, you know, we’re making some, some bold efforts in pop up land at the moment, you know, part of our response to COVID and kind of reinventing the business as well as it was always like this, you know, it’s always a continuation of the next thing. We’re just reaching for bigger and bolder targets, like we always did. And that’s really exciting for me, I think, if I was in my 30s, I might be more hesitant, you know, thinking that’s much more risky. But that’s because I was doing it the old way. And I was planning and, you know, spending money, and stuff like that. I wish I’d only spent $512 on a startup. And I think that’s a really good number to have up your sleeve. Like bearing in mind, we’ve got both of you here. We probably ought to talk about some podcasts specifically. I think I’ve got a question about podcasts in terms of how you start and I know both of you have got a view on that. For obvious reasons, but I think there’s a couple of people that are really interested to know how do you get started with a podcast you know, what are the what are the must haves, the you go you got to have this you got to have that And I guess you’ve got to know where to post it to, you know, what tips would you give to people that are watching this going? I think I want to have a go a podcast, but where do I begin? What What kind of stuff needs to be in the mind?

And you want to start and you want me to go?

No, I think like, I’m not even in your league Brown. I’m, I would definitely bow down.

No, no, no, no, don’t be sorry. Well, this is where I wish I had Jonathan, my co host, who’s the technical guy? But But no, I mean, I think yeah, that actually raises an interesting point about, about business partners to write is having complementary skills. So, you know, I am not the tech expert, by any means. Jonathan loves that. I mean, he lives for it. And, you know, he, he Yeah, I mean, has turned himself into a world class, podcast editor. And, you know, even, uh, like, I don’t know, web designer, like, he’s, it’s amazing the skills that he’s picked up, but so I mean, from my perspective, I think ultimately, what the question is, is like, is it expensive to start a podcast? And I think, I think the very, very simple answer is, it just isn’t. I mean, you see right now, if you can see my setup, so I have this microphone here. This microphone costs $70. It’s a ATR 2100. It’s not quite as good as Jonathan’s like, you know, ultra ultra professional one that he has, but it’s probably nine out of 10. On audio. I have a no joke, a $250. Laptop, that is a piece of junk. But that this is my podcast to do I have a lamp, that is a $10 lamp from my kids play room that if you saw it right now, like, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I think so many people get caught up with, oh, I need I can’t produce something unless it’s absolutely perfect. And it has like, I have to research this for months and months. If not years, take a $2,000 podcasting course. And maybe then I can start like, you’re not even gonna know if you like podcasting, or like producing content or whatever maybe like even think about your, quote Tim Ferriss again, like, you know, he got fed up with writing books after his Four Hour Chef, and he decided to just make it a quick project. He said, forget the exact number of episodes, but like, I’ll create sick, I’ll commit to creating six or 10 episodes. And what’s the worst that happens? Just my mom listens to it. Like that was? That was the downside. And I you know, again, it comes back to risk, right is like, you know, what was the risk for me and Jonathan, creating this a couple $100 in equipment, a couple hours of time. And, you know, to the actual question, I think you need to store these episodes somewhere. So we use a website called a service called Libsyn, Li B S, yn. But that is it. I think it cost $20 A month for storage. And no joke, that is the entirety. And we did that for probably the first six to eight months of just nothing else there was there was no need to spend any money. Like it just, you know. And then obviously, we could talk if, you know, maybe round two guys, we could do some time about how we grew the podcast. I suspect we’re gonna run out of time here, unfortunately. But you know, I wouldn’t mind if you guys are up for it. You know, me and Jonathan could come back on and we could chat about that. I think that would be super valuable. That’s

amazing. We’d love that. And Edmond T, who I believe you know, that, that choose fi create a podcast course, which I’m sure a whole bunch of people will be fascinated in and you certainly got the credits to your name to have the credibility in that space. Right. Love

it. Nice. Good, good. All that add is our, our CEO, choose a VI he’s just an incredible, incredible human being. And yeah, Jonathan has wanted to create a podcasting course for four years. I’ve tried to talk him out of it, but I think he’d produced probably the single best one in the world. So I think maybe I might get overruled here.

I think you might want IT admins written it down. It’s now in type in this thread. It’s probably going to become a reality the CEOs could be ever so annoying about this sort of stuff. I love it. Brilliant. Alan. How did you meet Brad and Jonathan? And you know, just how did the rebel entrepreneur podcast come about? Because just in case people watching haven’t seen it plastered all over every single social media that we can find? The rebel entrepreneur podcast in partnership with choose fi which is the podcast that Alan has been running, and there’s lots of pop up business school guests and some fantastic people on there from the from the FIA World as well. And launched yesterday on May the fourth that’s why we So it was a good idea to put Allen holding a lightsaber as part of Star Wars they, Alan, how did this stuff come about? And by the way, before I let you answer, I think, like, this is a great clue in the sense of if you want to, if you want to shrink the amount of time that it takes to get from complete beginner through to something successful. If you can find a trusting, authentic relationship with someone that’s already done it, it doesn’t speed things up. Elon doesn’t go into how we said the other day, how long it would have taken us to create a podcast from scratch without the knowledge and support and the infrastructure that the because these guys have been able to create from nothing, which is phenomenal. But how did it all come about?

Well, I tried Simon.

I actually got that. We still got episode.

Yes. Let’s not go there. I can’t remember. Brad, was it. You were Jonathan, he met I met you. But I didn’t really know you through this talk or in Ecuador. But we never kind of like it was a miles thing.

Yeah. Yeah. So that. So it’s interesting, right? How it all leads back to like being authentic and adding value. So like, I saw that you were a part of Chautauqua with Jim Collins. And I had reached out to Jim years ago and basically said, this is before way before Chuza phi like I want to be I want to help the financial independence community. And I offered i At that point, I couldn’t afford to go to Chautauqua and, or, you know, whatever, you could come up with what but that I wasn’t going to go to Chautauqua and, but I wanted to help. So I offered to help people with again, with that free coaching service, to help people get to Ecuador, or wherever it was for free using rewards points. So yeah, I mean, I think that’s how we initially got connected, right? Like you saw that I was that person you reached out to me. And, you know, that’s how we were vaguely acquainted. But then, years later, when she was a bike came out. And we came out with our episode, the pillars of financial independence, which is episode 21 of our podcasts. And we at that point is this sounds crazy on thinking about it now that we left off entrepreneurship entirely. And because it’s become such a part of the phi community because of you truly, that like, we just take it for granted now in May of 2020, that it is a pillar of the financial independence community, but it wasn’t in 2017. At least in my eyes, it wasn’t enough to even make a top 10 until you reached out to us and emailed us and was like, Hey, guys, I think you left something out. That’s really, really important. And we very quickly had you on the podcast, just a few short episodes later.

Yeah, cuz I was like, you’ve got lots of stuff about saving money. Where’s it about making more? Because surely that should be one of the things and yeah, I came on did the episode with you loved it, then actually, by trying to do my own podcast, I realised quite quickly, it was a lot of work, and I didn’t really enjoy it. And I much preferred being on other people’s podcasts. So I spent the next probably three years being on your podcast repeatedly until people were annoyed with me. And then, yeah, you were kind of expanding and thinking about other podcasts to launch and we had a chat and I was like, I’d love to do that. But by partnering it, like the learner, Jonathan was just able to say, hey, watch this YouTube video, use this microphone done. Now. Okay, cool. And I was recording 10 minutes later, that would have taken me so long to figure out on my own if I hadn’t have had your support on that.

Yeah, that learning curve. It’s amazing how when you can shortcut it, it’s It’s remarkable. But yeah, Simon, I’d love to get your your input on this. I’m sure you’ve had many of these types of emails from Alan, but like, you know, Alan was just somebody who was obvious that we wanted to partner with I mean, he is a force of nature. He’s just, he’s incredible. Like, we would get like, I can vividly remember just a handful of emails like, hey, Alan, we’d love to have you back on like, you know, let’s, let’s brainstorm some ideas. And we’re not I would get a 15 bullet point email, that probably would have taken me 20 hours to write and it took Allen probably 30 minutes of just brainstorming frantically and like, I mean, but each one was fully fleshed out and could have been an episode in its own right. It’s just like, this is a guy you want to partner with. I mean, this is someone who, you know, not only has the knowledge but I mean he he takes action and again, you know that I know that’s been a theme of this hour, but taking action separates successful people from unsuccessful And, you know, when we were thinking about expanding the use of AI network, Alan was a very, very obvious person. I’m Alan, truly, we haven’t even talked about this. But I’m so glad you’re on onboard on the team, like part of their, you know, you and Simon and pop up like this is this is amazing like you guys are, what you’re doing in the world is truly remarkable. And yeah, I mean if we can help expand that reach I mean that it’s that’s a successful life, right? Like that’s what we’re trying to do here we’re trying all of us. We’re trying to help people live better lives. And yeah, what you guys have put together is nothing short of amazing. So thank you truly, both of you guys.

Thank you. feeling’s mutual, for sure. It’s just phenomenal what you’ve created. I’d like

to pick up on one thing Brad said, which is the difference between success and not is taking action. If any of our audience have ever caught themselves saying, I know that that probably means you haven’t done it. And like so many people say to me, yeah, yeah, I know that Alan, like, I know you can do this. I know you can do that. But they’ve never done it. And I just think next time you catch yourself listening to a podcast, reading a book, listening to a live stream like this, and you say, Yeah, I know that. That’s probably the thing you need to do. Because there is a big difference between knowing and doing.

Y’all know that? I was just thinking actually. Look, you just you tee them up and are slam dunk. The thing that went through my mind was what Brad was saying about your email, Alan, I get about 15 of those every Saturday morning. So Brad, I feel your pain on that. But there is something here and I think you know, there’s something about, about putting stuff out there and keeping your foot on the gas until you’ve either made it a reality, or decided that either it won’t work or you don’t want to do it. Or I’m not going to do it now and so on. And I think that’s what we’ve got a lot in common here. There’s been a couple of lovely comments so can eat. from Charleston has said

she makes frozen custard. And she makes incredible. She’s launching a frozen custard business. Where are you in my life? Why are you in America?

Yes, we need to get Canadian here. She says thank you, Brad, for telling us about our business school on your podcast, I have the great fortune of attending the first also the last live pop up that happened in Charleston. And it’s been an amazing game changer. You and Jonathan add so much value. And there was another message I’m just scrolling down to see if I can find one here. Oh, from Paul Hamilton, listening to Alan on choose fi was what helped persuade my wife to come to a Chautauqua event with me and ultimately get fully on board with the whole ePHI thing. So there’s this sort of theme of just making those adjustments and taking steps. And every single one of us the people that are watching this live stream are watching, you know, after we’ve you know, put it up on the website, every single one of us want something to be slightly better than it is right now. And that’s why we’re investing our time and our energy to learn new things. So this is all good stuff. I think. I can’t believe that it’s now 10 o’clock. Like I could keep this conversation going for ages. Like we’ve just started. I know you’re just getting warmed up. So we must get that

hour over. Yeah, I’m happy to come back as anytime seriously.

Awesome. Awesome. We would love to have you and Jonathan, you guys make an incredible dynamic duo. And I think it’s interesting because you get a chance to talk about a whole different bunch of stuff on this show, because it’s about entrepreneurship that you just don’t get to talk about normally.

Yeah, it’s cool. I mean, I have to say some of these stories like that one with the New York Times writer like I No joke, had not thought of that in six plus years. And I mean, that’s just like a cool little anecdote that, you know, I wish I hadn’t forgotten. I don’t know where it came from. So yeah, that was it. Guys, this was a lot of fun. I mean, I like I said, this has been a long journey for me. And I think, you know, what I would kind of leave the audience with is like, they’re everybody always thinks like, oh, some like elusive Vai. Like they were preordained to be successful, or they had these advantages or whatever it is. And like, you know, obviously there’s some truth to that in the world. But like, in my in my experience. It’s not that it’s it’s just getting up off the couch and taking action. I mean, I’ve said it so many times. Like I was not preordained for success in any way like that. I this past decade has been littered with these little failures. But they were little failures. They didn’t ruin me. I didn’t go through bankruptcy. I didn’t. I never risked the future. or the house on anything, right? Like, he was just you learn skills, and you move forward. And you know, what’s your guy’s point, like, the time between them gets shorter. And then you also then have this entire snowball of skills that you’ve built up that eventually, like, for me when Chuza phi came along, I had all this knowledge. So it was easy to apply it. Right. So when the opportunity came along, I was prepared, because I had taken action, I laid the groundwork for nearly a decade. So, you know, please don’t get held up on Oh, that’s successful person. Like, they must have some elusive thing that I don’t have, like, you know, whoever you are. That’s not it. It’s just that they just kept trying, in most cases. They just kept trying, and they got up off the couch and they took action.

Yeah, you can’t keep them down. They just keep going. Brad, like, I really want people at home, to listen to your podcast. But there’s a lot of episodes. Where should people start? If you’re new to the FIA World, where’s the best place to start?

Well, first, thank you very much. I’d say first everybody, if you do listen to podcast, you should certainly subscribe to rebel entrepreneur, that’s a no brainer. But if you do want to Ha. If you if you do want to subscribe to Chuza phi, I would certainly I would start with episode 100. I think that will give you that’s kind of like our welcome to the fi Community Overview. I think it’ll give you a pretty good sense of what we’re about what the entire financial independence mindset is about. And you can pretty much use that as a launching point. So a lot of people just start then back at episode one, like he said, on his probably, you know, 300 plus episodes at this point. So that is, that is a multi month journey. But if you start with Episode 100, you’re gonna have a sense of you’re gonna enjoy it. So definitely start there. And also, if you don’t mind, we do have a page at choose So if you head there, you can put in your email address, we have a tonne of resources there. So you know, I would highly, highly recommend like that as a good jumping off place. And like we talked about, you know, there are local groups all across the world. So there’s, there’s lots of ways to get into the community. But start with episode 100. For sure.

I love that. I absolutely love that, because the people listening to our show are on an entrepreneurial journey. And I’ve been on that for about well, many, many years. But there is a second journey, which is your finance journey. And they actually tie in quite nicely. Because if you can build a business and be smart with your money, the life you can build is incredible. So like everyone that’s listening from the pop up audience, please work on the finance journey as well as the entrepreneurship journey because in combination, there is magic there. Agree. Mr. Payne, do you have anything to say to people at the end?

You Alan, you are as always a an Edwardian cat. So thank you for your energy and effort this evening. I don’t know what that means either. Now, look, I think we absolutely must get Brad and Jonathan back. Thank you, everybody, for watching. Please share this post and tag people that you think might be interested in the journey that we’re on, which is about helping people to start businesses and restart their businesses in the most challenging time in all of our lifetimes. And all of this stuff is being posted on the pop up Business School Survival Guide. On our website, we’ve had over 20,000 views of our live streams now since the lockdown began, which is phenomenal. So Jack has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this stuff happen. Please go to whatever your preferred podcast platform is. Download the rebel entrepreneur help us get it some momentum as it only came out yesterday. Subscribe to that subscribe to choose fi and we’ll see you on Thursday evening for some more podcast related magic and a few secrets that Alan’s gonna share on Thursday. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’ve got some big questions for him on Thursday evening. 9pm UK time. Thank you very much everyone for watching. Stay safe, stay at home and all of that stuff. And we’ll catch you very soon.

Rod you are a legend. Thank you Brad.

Right back at you again.

Ross is great, amazing.