Business Technology Guru, Miles Austin, Challenges You To Get Better Friends On 'Bring Your Own Awesome'
Today Dan and Broc interview Miles Austin from Fill the Funnel -- the guy, Dan calls the "Smart Tech Nerd in Business."
Sometimes all we need is a good friend to push us when we are overwhelmed. Breaking our larger goals into small tasks can be a good way to get started.
Helping people get past the fear of technology can be a great first step in growing your business.
Read his blog. Ask him for help. Join his revolution, here: https://www.fillthefunnel.com/
Dan: [00:00:01] Hey guys, it's Dan Waldschmidt here. Welcome back to the Bring Your Own Awesome podcast. I'm joined with, I'm joined by not with, my amazing partner Broc Edwards. Hey, Broc.
Broc: [00:00:11] Hey, how's it going, Dan?
Dan: [00:00:11] Fantastically, which means if I can get my technology in order we have got an amazing guest today, Broc. If not, you'll hear Broc running most of the episode, right?
Broc: [00:00:24] Yes. Whenever Dan drops away, I did not mute him his mic cut out on him. So we're good.
Dan: [00:00:32] [inaudible] right now? Before this call, I tell Broc that Miles Austin, who is our guest today. One of my favorite people. We've been and several small groups, accountability groups together. We both get lumped into these top 50 experts in sales. What's funny is either of us are really in the business of sales, we're in the business of generating business ideas and make money but neither of us are in sales and I don't want to speak for him. But why don't I just welcome Miles to the podcast. Tell us, who you are? What you do? Did I get that right, that we're not really in the business of selling but what we do, we help people make a lot of money?
Miles: [00:01:08] Thanks, Dan, glad to be here. Broc, thanks as well for guiding me through all of this. Yes. I spent my life in sales. I spent my whole career in sales and I started doing all the things that I deal with blogging and all this talk about sales. The fact of the matter is though, that not only has a lot of things in my life. One of my struggles, we'll talk about, I get bored, I kind of lost interest because I hear so much the same old, same old, same old. This whole discussion about, "What's the hot buzzword for the day?", that looses my interest very quickly. I think we're all in sales, we're all selling our services, our personalities to everyone around. But I really don't look at myself as a sales guru anymore.
Broc: [00:02:02] Miles, for those that don't know, what do you do? What is your business? What keeps you occupied during the day?
Miles: [00:02:08] Absolutely, I write about, teach about, training and share and help expose my audience to what I call web tools, technology, online tools, downloadable tools that can help them in their day to day business on a personal level and most of the time at some level of business activity. I share all my help of. My goal and some people say, maybe dream job, my goal and my job, day by day, literally, every day of the week is to go play with all the shiny objects that he get in the market. I was working, I was like prepping for my weekend. I've got those 90 tools, not quite in my queued to review that are not even either on the market yet. I got a full time job for 14 years, I've been doing this now and really interested a lot and listening to learn and plug-in to a lot of developer. Community, plug-in to many of the venture capital community who come to me and say, "Miles, here's this new tool we're thinking of investing in it. It will help X, Y or Z problem. Tell us what you think and should we put our money into it?" I get to played all of this stuff, ususally, way before it release and my readers will tell you the thing that I see helping them understand, is what I write about a tool. It's usually right where it is to the public. It will usually never be less expensive and you can wait and buy later and spend five or ten times that much. That is just the reality of what I do.
Dan: [00:03:50] For those of you who are wondering how good Miles is, because he's been in business and generating revenue, he has access to all these little tools that help you solve challenges. I remember buying one of his products. I think it was Convert Kit and there were three or four tools that I was paying. Probably, I don't know Miles, two or three hundred dollars. I'm having a casual conversation with Miles and again he's not a pitchy sort of guy. He just said, "Hey, I've got this product. Here's what is does. The same sort of things for like 50 bucks a month", I was like, "What? It's impossible" Not only was it better buy from me but it's like sold my business challenge. Then Miles came back and said to me, "By the way, there's this whole platform that does all of these things and we eventually shifted our entire company over", I spent many thousands of dollars on this platform and most recently I know Miles as new tools and again I know this won't be a technology discussion entirely today but for those of you are thinking about tuning out. Please don't because this is wildly important. Well, I think it's interesting, Miles, I've admired about you is there's not a gimmicky sort of like, "Buy this right now. Do it! Do it! Do it!", I'm observing that your business is this, you're selling cupcakes and here's a cool thing that would help you sell more cupcakes. That's how you've always approached me and it's like, "Oh yeah, it's a no brainer" Is that a style that you've had throughout the years, is that when you've developed? Am I the only person you sell that way to? Tell me more about that style. That seems to work so well for you.
Miles: [00:05:33] No, I think you're right. I appreciate you saying that. That tells me that I'm doing my job correctly. I believe what I have right kinds of people will look at me and say, "Well, I can go get a 20 year old to go do all these new social tools or whatever", and what I always tell them, "What you're getting with me is the guy the train some of the biggest sales organizations in the country, in the world. Whether it was jail run with 3 billion dollar inside sales organization for large corporate accounts to 3 year of my own startups that I started from zero built and sold all around that faith and so on as well. The difference between me and the shiny object crowd is I'm talking about your business and your business challenging your business problem is and I'm in your shoes. I walk that path so you can do. You can choose to a X or to a Y. Tell me what are you trying to accomplish here?", and I'll tell you from my own experience, from a business perspective, just when I think about be the best one for you.
Broc: [00:06:39] What's your goal for this year, Miles? If that's your business model, where are you looking to get to at the end of this year?
Miles: [00:06:49] Wel, I tell you, a whole lot of things but probably the main goal, the focus if you will is, I put together now about 40 online courses that each one of them is on a technology. So for people that want to learn how to work with their email client like a mail ship or a webre. I use male ship as an example, it's very common and the largest one out there. I've got 40 modules, video modules in mastering Mail Ship course. It's about a two and a half hour course which took one after the other but it gives people an ability with a real life onscreen, watching me do what we do and we literally break it down to the ridiculous detail and that's part of that course. Imagine 40 of those courses and more we have way more than the queue. So right now, we're just finishing up of course that a lot of people asked me about and that's how we use this thing that he cared about from Amazon, the storage service called S3. How does it work? Why would you use that versus the Dropbox? what are the advantages? So we build out again, this case happens to be 40 lessons in learning how to use all those things. So that's this whole program, it literally hasn't, the public doesn't really know about it yet because we're still assembling all of of it things but my goal by the end of the year is to have 2,000 people, 2,000 students in that program and we structure it in a rate that you can't just from access to one of those training programs. But also then can at least view you all the other programs. As an example if someone coming in new and they said, "Look Miles, I just started with Clickfiles", and it's overwhelming. Well, we've got a training program that, 30, 40 modules that's audio and video base and you can go and see her and try to create membership's say we've got a course for that. We've got a course for, you name it, we've got courses for things like Trello which is an organizational group manager tool as part of what I found early on. There are so many tools out there and as a business person you are hurting yourself. In my experience, if you go out and explore all the options. I would tell people, "I don't care who you pick, pick me, pick someone else" Pick someone that you can build a level of trust with, ask or listen to what they are telling you about the topic and just go with their recommendations. If they got the time to know what you need, then why go and try or do daredevil as trials of eight different email services. Explain what you need, clarify and make sure you clearly can articulate what you need and your goal is and say, "From that, I've done all the homework. Why would you bother?".
Broc: [00:09:51] It sounds like. So that's one place you see businesspeople getting stuck. I hope I'm not putting too many words in your mouth here but just they could be spinning a lot of time. They don't need to spend trying to find the tools that they desperately need in order to accomplish what they want to accomplish. So folks like you are able to help them kind of vet through all that. Where else do you see people getting stuck or getting in their own way when they're trying to build their businesses?
Miles: [00:10:20] Great question. I think most common and probably the most frequent thing that with is people are frozen. I always envision, when I'm talking to someone for the first time or we're engaging over e-mail or something or we're social media. My vision of what they usually asked me, the tone of what they're looking for is seeing in front of that computer screen or that laptop and their heads in their hands. They know and everyone says, "Well, this is easy to build the Web site or builde the landing page or create an e-mail campaign or a funnel, just the hot term, right. If you listen to all the work. I know what they're doing, they're looking at a screen. Their heads on there hands and you're frozen because it is the fear of that because it is not as clear, in most every case as it sounds on the pitch or on the promo or on the power point diff, right. How can we get people cast the fear that technology is going to wipe them out yet pass that. Technology and its tools are a force multiplier. They are enabler of progress in scale that you can never do if you don't implement the tech and the tools to your business but they're frozen. It isn't just the dead fear of either doing wrong, it shouldn't take too long. I've got all these things I got to worn. As a result, they stop. It's not an excuse. If we have video, I asked everyone in the audience. Raise your hand if you got two, three or four or more to all of you who bought and maybe still paying for. Their on your hard disk right now, you haven't even look up, might not even remember to log-in.
Dan: [00:12:14] Yes, that's powerful, that's powerful. I often draw this one line about when I'm on stage. Choosing to stay stock is a decision. As soon as you take a step forward, you're no longer stuck. I mean, by definition you take a step, "Oh, you must not be stuck because now you can move", so not taking that first step is a choice. Now, I agree with you that fear is paralyzing. It paralyzes me. I mean, I've moved away, I've kind of shared in bits and pieces moving away from consulting which is seven, eight figures or eight digits to now doing courses, very similar what you're doing but in a different world on revenue generation and there's so much new that you feel like you're moving from failure to failure to failure. How do you stay motivated? How do you keep your people motivated when you're right, there is no one tool you can hit a button and magically your future is like this golden destiny? So What's the end between?
Miles: [00:13:21] Well, I think as human nature as we all go through our daily lives. One of the things that is most important is communication and connection. What I found Dan on one of the things I enjoy about your group based for Kiran is you have to have others that you can share your frustrations, share your questions, share your passing and because as soon as I know that I'm not the only one struggling with this, you are too and you're going to make a comment that will save your site and it's working for me right now and I'm going to try that. There's something about human, we're all in it together. I used an example that comes up to me just recently like I change. All of a sudden, you buy a new car whatever brand, it doesn't matter and all of a sudden, every third car on the road is with the same brand and maybe that's the same model. You never noticed it before but noow you're aware of that. So I think a community of like minded people who are in a similar situation, similar stage in their business, even in their life really can make a huge difference and I think it is that camaraderie and that comfort level of being open and honest with each other whether it's in a private bank or mastermind type of group or accountability group or it's open forums and facebook groups and things like that. that's where people can really, I think break through because we're all scared of a lot of this stuff but if we realize if we're not in this completely on our own way, pwhat a hug difference and that's what I think for me, building this community behind the curtain if you will. People are going through all these courses that we're building. It's amazing to listen to the commentary. They're sharing stories with each other like, "Wow, I never even thought about that" I'm learning from them, they're learning from me. We're sharing an idea and you can just feel that energy, that adrenaline starting to pump through people. It moves the conversation forward very quickly.
Dan: [00:15:39] If you had one piece of advice for most of us who are venturing out and trying something new and you've done this many times in your career, whether it's company level or new start up level or even now what you're doing. What's that one piece of advice that I have to hold onto?
Miles: [00:15:59] It's scares when you say this because it's uncomfortable sometimes. Find partners that are accountable that they can hold you accountable. Accountability partners especially in Canada work from home or work in a very small environment or remote office kind of scenarios. You need someone to hold your feet to the fire. It is so easy to look it all up, lets say, you're doing some training on a video on the right hand side of that video, the newest music release, the newest MTV, whatever it might be. You need people in your life. I think if people that are, especially there are that start up, that working from home environment, they're entrepreneurs. You have to find a group or specific people that have the guts and the commitment to you as a person to hold you accountable for what you say you're going to go do.
Broc: [00:17:00] So that's a pretty scary thing there Miles what you just said. Being able to stay. Here's what I'm going to go do. Unequivocally, I need you to hold me accountable to do it because that just changed it from, "Yeah, here's this idea that I really enjoy dreaming about and spending a lot of time quote unquote researching on the Internet and made it" Well, now it's really real. It's a real thing in my world that I have just put out into the universe, put out to me, to my friends that I'm going to go do this. One of the challenges that we often see is kind of the misery loves company rather than a partner that hold you accountable, you get a partner that empathises a little too much that can commiserate lets you off the hook versus a partner who just makes you miserable because you never want to talk to them because you feel like you get beat up every time. So how do you find that sweet spot of someone where you're comfortable being vulnerable and saying, "Hey, I need help with this", and they are going to hold your feet to the fire but they're not going to burn you?
Miles: [00:18:06] I wish it was an exact science, Broc, it's not, from my experience anyway. What I found is you have to first of all build the level of trust and respect and you have those two things on both sides the equation works very well. You're absolutely right. You get sat down a rat hole of negativity and whining and complaining pretty quickly. Get out of that group did, very simply and sometimes it can be family and I have more than one frame discussing saying, "You have got to stop listening. Just quit hanging around people that are going to do nothing but to tell you that tell you're an idiot and how foolish and what you wish your money on crazy idea for?".
Broc: [00:18:48] The crazy ideas, one of the things that we see is and I think this is what you're seeing in your business as well that the world tells us that it's easy. You'd use build the business, you buy the store, click a few buttons. You're a multimillionaire bringing on Instagram. It just moves that quick and of course that's not how the world works at all. I think, I suspect, I don't know that in light of looking at it like, "It was supposed to be easy but it's not that easy for me. What am I doing wrong? I might be doing it right must not be worthy of it" I don't know if that's a question Miles or just an observation.
Miles: [00:19:25] Well, it is real. I mean, I think it's just other stuff. We all live through this. I think the biggest challenge is to say, "Okay, I want to do X, whatever that. In my case, I'm having 2,000 students on my course at the end of the year. Well, that's great work. I hope you do. That's great. But what I found is, I get better not to simply, no commitment, I just stay it, let's move. If someone is holding me accountable because the first question if you have accountability partner is really this. What's your next step? First, I have to build the web right, I don;t want my membership failed, okay. Well They finally taught you that the accountant great job and so excited about it. What's your next step? It's too easy, "Go for it! Go for it!", I don't want some who is blowing smoke. I really don't. I want someone is that a bunch of crap. You that two weeks ago. What were you doing?
Dan: [00:20:25] I love it. I love it and you know it's funny? Because we've asked this question a lot of people about entrepreneurship has this kind of sexy label, "I'm an entrepreneur", or, "I'm a startup guy", whatever, but no one sees those late nights when no one's around and your website's down and this broken and you've got to figure this thing out and it doesn't seem like you have a plan. I like that accountability. That's something I'm committed to doing more of this year. But I know this went around, even in running, your around people who push you and you go, "Wow, I need to be better" For example, I was running, I did this race up in Georgia and ended up DNF effing you know. You know whenever we talk about a ligament to my foot there was a big disaster. Kind of disappointed on the truck ride home with the guy was running with his his son is doing cross-country and he's running like four minute, 50 second miles and I've been trying to find somebody who can push me and now I find this person who can now like drive me to that next level. No longer me running against guys who are 39 like I am. I'm running with this kid who's not even 19. It's either put up or shut up because this guy's not run has run the wheels off. He's crazy and that accountability, I think that's what's missing from my life when I'm not performing. I look back and say, "No one called me out on my own shit".
Broc: [00:21:59] And Miles I love the question. For me, if I took nothing else from this conversation is that question, what's your next step. Stupid, simple example that I needed to change Dennis and kept having you know on my own on my to do list you know like go to the dentist and unable for whatever reason I was unable move for them when I realize it not what I need to put on my to do list as they go that s it's just schedule it just what's the smallest step I can do to move forward and then suddenly it's no problem. You know and I say that that's a stupid simple example but I think when we think about it like being entrepreneurs and starting businesses it's really easy to get overwhelmed in all that needs to be done in how things are going to go because you know the Internet guru told me that it's going to be seven figures next week. But just all right. So what's your next step like. Just get the website up. You know what's your next step to do that. I love this. The powerful simplicity behind that.
Miles: [00:23:02] We have t-shirt that we use from some of our consulting work with us. But you're OK. No it's not. Maybe that's just to figure out where you going to host it. The next step, what re going ot do? Are you going ot use word press? Can you tell me what do you do. A great way to get down to very small steps because I know for most of us every step forward is progress. And I don't know about you guys but I have yet to find anyone in my circle of friends that would say progress really sucks. It donesn't, it feels good that it has the adrenaline the drive you over every possible step forward, every step of progress will feel you ot th enext level. So break down the smaller ridiculous things and one big step towards long maybe your health to make steps.
Dan: [00:23:58] Things that I've done by the way my own quote unquote sit is when something feels overwhelming. I my go to tactic Miles is to research it. So I will literally carve off no more than than 35 minutes. Put it on the calendar for example. Find a tool that does social media like your converted just a snippy you know some way to broadcast posts in a better way before letting a problem consume me. I go and look at what other people have already gone to solve this problem. I may not copy them or use their ideas but now I know there's a solution. Before I would let a problem overwhelm me and they would not get done like Miles saying or like Broc saying. You need to go, you know you need to go. You just don't pick up the phone and schedule it. So for me, my scheduling hack is actually just part time on the calendar to research it. No commitment to solve it. Have a solution. Just research what other successful people have done who are exactly in my scenario.
Broc: [00:25:01] So Miles, what we're at a point here where I feel like this conversation could go on for quite a while because I mean just like in the last five minutes I've come away with several takeaways myself. Let me ask this of you though and I suspect we will definitely need to get you on for a part to hear at some point to continue this conversation on out because there's so much here, so much we could dig into. You know so you've given a lot of great advice out there. What advice are you needing? Where are you feeling just stuck or crushing or were people from the edgy empire chime in to help you out?
Miles: [00:25:39] There's probably two things. First of all, what are you stock on? Sometimes we get so closely involved in that text I forgot what it's like to open it up again for the first time. So a lot of that is just repeat. Sure enough. I am aware of that. First there is the for me some of th basics, the core of business was the first step to get my e-mail. Everyone said I should get my email list. I have one, I haven't met them I met several people. Well what can I do. So I think a lot were helping what people are struggling with a bang in their head against the computer screen for. I think the second part is that I'm always looking to find more individuals and networks of people that are fighting the battles I fight near that thing in their business there at the same level. I'm a big believer that in life you often change as you get older and those changes that are different. Where do I find and how can I identify those accountability partners for me? And it's not one person probably in my life usually, right? Can be a parent or you know a brother or sibling or something for that. But I'm looking at as an example. I right now really struggling with the ability to keep clutter on my own. I get so much clutter his day I crap everywhere. If you saw my office I got rid of it it's killing me. It's this crappy. So those are the kind of things were some ways and I need people that they can help me with those kinds of things. And they came from time to time. It's really good but the next thing I tried to focus a all right. Nice. Well I think we're going to wrap this conversation up right here. Dan any final words for we sign off there's a deep sadness I have but also that we have to end the conversation but I'm excited for round two. Thank you
Dan: Miles for joining us today. This was incredible. And you definitely brought the awesome Lankershim nice words over to your fire. Well I love that I love it. I love working out. I love the conversation you know there. I hope you like. I love participating. That sounds great.
Theme music ("Runaway") by Shadow of Whales: https://www.facebook.com/shadowofwhales