In the episode:
01:57 – The book that got things happening
03:41 – A paradoxical mix
06:52 – A life-changing journey
09:03 – From shoebox to posterity
10:49 – An idea come to life
12:54 – Advice for aspirants
14:51 – Unlocking your skills
16:30 – Releasing that limited mindset
18:34 – It’s not too late
21:36 – The entrepreneurial learning pattern
23:23 – A surprising personal aspect
26:43 – When you believe in your product…
27:41 – The role of family identity
28:46 – Saving the memories
30:04 – The buy-in that counts
Need guidance in your business journey? James is here to help
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness. com. This is Episode 671. It’s a case study about coming to the online marketing party as a late bloomer. I’ve brought my special guest and friend Ian Freestone, welcome.
Ian: Well, thank you very much James. Great to be here.
James: This is really a highlight for me, because I know you through the surfing community. You and I were flatmates on the very first Maldives cruise that I ever went on. And at that time you were… Actually, tell people what you were doing, because you explain it in a better way than I am. I’m going to use the wrong phrase. But you were in a very different field than what I was used to and what I would have expected from my surfing flatmate, let’s put it that way.
Ian: Yes, well, we were guests on another surf trip, not one that you were organizing at that time. This is the very first one, right?
James: Absolutely. The first one ever. It was someone else’s that I paid for.
Ian: So it was all about surfing. And yes, I was flatted with you. And, you know, we got to talking about what each other did. And we couldn’t be two more further worlds apart. I had been pastoring a church for about 25 years, or near to, and you were doing what you were doing. And yeah, we got on quite well. And I thought, oh, he was a nice sort of a bloke. And a couple of years later, I think it was, you asked me back to the Maldives on a trip that you were running.
The book that got things happening
James: Yep. And you came, and on that trip, you actually read the first draft printout of Work Less Make More. You were one of the two proofreaders, you know, my feedback readers, I’ll call them. I asked two different people.
One person had similar background to me, a car industry background. He was quite ofay with the online stuff, and knew me quite well in my material. Adrian Crawford, lovely, lovely guy.
And then I chose you, because I was sitting up there doing a beanbag mastermind and you were asking a bunch of questions, because you were looking to transition from your current role into our world; it sort of grabbed your imagination. And you asked a lot of questions that I knew were in the book. And I said, “Ian, are you a reader?” And you said, “I am.” And I said, “Would you read the draft of the book?” And you said, “I would.”
And you sat there with a pen and scribbled all through it. And you were so valuable, because you asked lots of questions like, “What does this mean?” Or, “I’m not clear on that.” Or, “You could expand this more.” And you even made some English grammar changes, which was very kind. Because you have, you know, that strong academic background. That’s why we’re so chalk and cheese. And you’re very particular, and I’d go so far as to say, almost fussy. I wouldn’t border on pedantic, but I’d say you like your ducks in a row. And that was always going to be a challenge for you in a world like mine, where things aren’t as black and white, are they? And I’m sure we’ll dig into some of the challenges you’ve had along the way. But that’s just sort of setting the scene of how we met and where you were at, absolute ground zero, at a mature age and looking for a career transition. Would you say it’s a fair assessment?
A paradoxical mix
Ian: That’s a very fair assessment. In fact, I remember reading words like “churn”, which is a word I’ve heard a gazillion times in the last 12 months. But at that point, that was a new word. There were so many new words. The whole concept of an automatic customer… everything that you were talking about in that book was a completely foreign world to me. But in a funny way, it resonated with something deep within me. And I think what it is, is I’ve always had this entrepreneurial lean in what I do, and I’ve always started things, I’ve always initiated projects, I’ve always got people involved in crazy ventures. And, yeah, I tend to have an idea for something and then start out and then go, oh heck, you know, I need to think about this more. And that’s when I get all my ducks in a row and then I go off again.
So yeah, I’m a paradoxical mix, I think, of both, I’m comfortable with risk, but I do like to think it through as well. And like you say, I was preparing to actually do PhD studies, I’d had an interview with one of the universities and they were going to take me on as a sponsored student. And then, yeah, I was in amongst your crew, and I remember you asking people, put your hand up here if you’ve ever been to university, and not a single hand went up. And I’m like, oh, heck, yeah, I’m just running from life. I’m running from something deep within me in going into more study. And it was being amongst, you know, your crew of entrepreneurs and business people that I thought, this is really what I want to do. And so it was entirely transformative that week. I was just going for the surfing, pretty much. But I came back and I knew what it was I needed to do.
James: You know, I’m really inspired by what you’ve done, because it is a case study of what’s possible. And you do have great skills. Like, most people at your stage in life – I think you’re just a little bit older than me – and you’ve achieved a whole career. And now it’s like the next phase. You’ve got skills, but you need to harness them in a way that could be monetized. So you’ve got the ability to connect and communicate; you’re organized; you have musical talent, you can play instruments, you can sing; you have, on paper, education – you know, great grammar skills and those sort of things.
“The most difficult piece of the puzzle is finding an offer that converts.”
When it came to learning this brand new alien language of online marketing, it was very challenging for you. Yet, a little bit down the track, you have conquered, I think, by far the most difficult piece of the puzzle, which is finding an offer that converts.
I remember, initially, you went into a bit of a cocoon. We didn’t hear too much from you, because you had made a commitment to put aside a portion of your day or week to study. And you disappeared for a while. And I thought, oh, okay, maybe that’s that. But that wasn’t the end of it. You resurfaced a little bit later. As you said, you had done your study, and you had made use of the private forum, and you started asking some very good questions. And then you went to the public forum. And you asked great questions of our other members. And I think you’ve received some great advice. But you have now actually created a business of your own, from scratch, that is financial. And it’s now starting to really snowball, which is super exciting. So tell me about some of that journey.
A life-changing journey
Ian: Okay. I think what I need to say first up is, I couldn’t have done it without, one, your prompt. And it was quite a sneaky move to get me to read your book, because it just smashed the ceiling that I had over my head. My whole life, really. Like, I don’t come from a background that would imagine that I would never be employed by somebody. You know, I just thought that was the way life would be. So yeah, to have your encouragement and inspiration, and in this journey, to have your coaching and to have you just a few clicks away from getting your advice and picking your brains and, you know, being able to ask dumb questions, and you take them seriously and just guide me through.
And when I’m bamboozled by a dozen things I could be doing, for you to say just focus on this one thing – that’s been so helpful. And also being in the forum, the public forum, and being able to ask questions, and just recently, you know, people like Justin, and people like Sean, who go out of their way to help me when I clearly don’t know what I’m doing. But I just ask my questions, and they come back, and they break it down, and they prepared to put the time in and provide that feedback.
So I think having that community, for me going from just total green, and also reading a few books along the way; some of the members have said, Okay, well, why don’t you read this, or try reading that, or this Audible or that. And all of that’s kind of cementing in my thinking and in the way that I understand what it is I’m supposed to be doing. So I can get overwhelmed at times. And it’s then that I come back and I’m like, I look at some of the conversations that we’ve had, and I go, Okay, I was asking that one month ago, this was the response. I need to just stick on that track and not get sidetracked by this or that.
So yeah, you guys have been like, the, what do you call it? The lanes on either side of the bowling alley to keep the ball going down the path that it needs to go. And that’s been great. It’s been scary, because I’m doing something completely different. Sometimes I’ll feel like a fraud, like, should I really be doing this? Will I be able to do it? Will this whole thing fall over? But the whole idea of a lean startup and just getting an offer that converts and just keeping it simple, that’s what I’ve tried to do.
James: You know, in terms of the imposter syndrome, which is what you’re describing, I think the real validation is when someone actually pays for your service, or your product, whatever you happen to sell, and you deliver. And what sort of feedback are you getting from your clients?
From shoebox to posterity
Ian: Yeah. Well, what I’m doing is I’m scanning people’s photos. So people have got photos lying around in shoeboxes, or at the top of wardrobes or in boxes in the garage, and they’re at risk of damage, and they’re not being enjoyed and they’re not being secured into the future for the next generation. So what I really wanted to do is help people get those out of the shoeboxes, get them scanned, and then returned to them as digital files that they can store properly and that they can share with others.
And I’m getting an amazing positive response. And I wasn’t anticipating the degree to which this would be a personal exercise. I thought of it in the beginning as like a mechanical exercise. I’m using equipment, I’m scanning photos, I give you the files. But as I’ve sat down with people, and we’ve opened and looked at their memories, and they’re crying, and I’m finding a tear come to my eye as they talk about a memory, or maybe they get back digital files of a roll of film that nobody’s ever seen, it’s really quite a moving thing to be a part of. So yeah, loads of positive feedback.
And people are referring others. I just had someone come this afternoon with a job that she got from someone else when she was talking about it. So now I’m getting that referral happening. So it’s fantastic. I’ve had 27 different jobs since starting the beginning of February, and I was overseas for six weeks for that. So I’ve been busy.
James: You had, like, the internet marketer’s trip of a lifetime. Like, what I was impressed with your trip is like at the caliber of the sort of trips that I was taking after five or six years of full time, like you got there really quick.
Ian: Yeah, well, I had them booked in prior so I had to go.
James: Bit of a slingshot retirement boost, but I think you could take comfort in the results you’re getting. If you’re causing your clients to be emotional and bring up that sort of level of feeling, like, this is the part where I say you are a good human, Ian, and that’s what I like about you.
An idea come to life
Let’s talk about your website. So it’s called scannedandsecure.com.au. And again, like, the thought of making it, even registering a domain and then getting a website, is a massive hurdle when you’re starting out. But you’ve transitioned that to get a domain; you’ve got a website on the domain; I saw you having a discussion about how to collect money on the website, like the cart, that’s a whole thing. And now we’re talking about paid traffic campaigns and Google search engine optimization. So these are like the stepping stones that start to take it from an idea to a business system. And I think we were also having a conversation now about starting to have some helpers to do the actual fulfillment side of it, as you continue to develop the relationship in the marketing side of it.
Ian: Yeah, that’s right. So all those elements I’ve had to learn and get some help with. And piece by piece, it’s falling into place. And I find, like, I hear about one thing that doesn’t make sense, and then I just put it on the shelf. And then I come back, like what I’m doing at the moment, in fact, what I did for most of today, even though I’m surrounded by three jobs. I just went back to the podcast, I’ve been listening from about 590 and upwards, to where we are now. And just making notes on the podcast, because I find I listen to them, and then a lot of the terms are new. But I go back, I have a list, and I’ll write things down. And then I highlight the action points that come out of those podcasts for me at this point in time.
So yeah, I’ve got to read, I’ve got to listen, I’ve got to learn and I’ve got to keep revisiting. Part of it’s my age, probably, too. I don’t pick things up and recall them maybe as well as I might have in my 20s.
James: Well, I can relate to that. Because my relationship to you in a business sense is like the reverse of our surfing relationship. You’re a talented surfer with lots of ability, and I’m the rookie learner who falls off and struggles to catch waves and you give me tips and help me catch the right ones and indicate to me that my board’s the wrong size, and those sort of things that helped me progress. So it’s been a symbiotic relationship.
Advice for aspirants
What sort of advice would you have for someone who’s perhaps reading Work Less Make More, and listening to this podcast and being inspired by Ian and thinking, wow, Ian’s approached this. He’s had some discipline, he’s read the material, he does the work, and he’s getting a result. He’s actually making sales and building a real business. What sort of advice would you give to someone in that phase?
Ian: Number one, I’d read Work Less Make More by James Schramko. And because it just unpacks for me. You know, that’s foundational. I’ve got it sitting on the shelf there. I’ve probably read it three times. And, you know, I probably need to go back and read it again now, because just having some framework in which to step out an idea.
And another help for me was Jay Abraham, and one thing he talked about was determining your assets. And so what I did is I listed everything I can do. I listed all the key experiences I’ve had; I listed all the people I know. And at the end of it all, I identified that I could probably do a couple of things with a reasonable chance of success. And one was this, to develop a scanning business. I knew nothing about the whole online scene, I had some reasonable technical ability, but I didn’t know how to build a business. I knew nothing about building a business, nothing about systems, nothing about managing teams.
So yeah, I think you start by reflecting on what you do bring to the table, because we don’t come with an empty plate. You know, we all have experiences and skills that we’ve developed over many years. And a lot of people say that they can only do one thing. But maybe you can do that thing in a different context and you can actually make money from it. I was talking with a chef the other day. And he said, “Well, all I can do is cook.” And I said, “Well, you can do a whole lot more than just be a chef in a kitchen, though. You could actually develop a business where you’re providing help for other people who might want to cook a meal.” So for me, this has lifted the lid on how our experiences and our skills which we have imagined only can be used and utilized in one context, how that can be multiplied out for the benefit of others.
Unlocking your skills
James: Absolutely. Like, once you understand this language, you see the world in a different light. The other thing I noticed was you can actually go deeper on the skills that you have when you can unlock them in this new game.
For example, I notice you’re really good at writing. And you sent me across some things that you’d somehow found yourself someone who wanted some help with writing, and you offered to help them, because you obviously saw opportunity for them that they couldn’t see. And you sent me across your writing, and I said, “Ian, this writing is top level. This is what paid writers would produce and feel confident about.” And, you know, you developed that skill. And there is a whole next level thing that you could be offering when you feel that you’re at that point, and you’re ready for it.
And I notice also, you’re now utilizing some other forms of marketing, some lost art forms, like direct response marketing. Once you unlock that, and apply that to long-form ads, and to webinar-type trainings, etc, you’ll also have a skill. So it’s like every person you bump into, whether it’s the guy running the Maldives boat trips, the chef in your local restaurant, the person moving your furniture when you move house, everyone becomes someone who you could help if they were open to it.
Ian: Well, I think you’ve given me that bug too, James. I remember being with you in Maldives in their first time, and we were sharing that room in that pretty dingy little hotel on the corner there in Mali, and you were spending time with the owner of the hotel just because you had a passion and a heart to see his business be more profitable and more attractive to tourists like us.
Releasing that limited mindset
And I thought, Yeah, that’s it. You know, this is about helping other people live a better life and achieve the potential that they have. It is something, you know, you asked before, what would I say to others, I’d say, just be prepared to think outside the box. And I think it was in Work Less Make More you talk about the impact of our family upbringing, and the mindset that we grow up with. And I think it’s important to identify how we put these boundaries around us. And we don’t imagine that we could ever do anything else or be anything else. And yeah, to be able to identify, okay, that’s my thinking that’s been limiting me. Which part of my thinking is helpful, and which part of my thinking is holding me back? So that’s part of what I’ve had to do – a lot of reflection.
“These skill sets we build, they just unlock the world.”
James: Yeah, and the other thing, it’s interesting you mentioned that hotel. Firstly, I want to state, anyone thinking about coming to our Maldives mastermind, we don’t go to that hotel. That was on the other cruise. But the hotel owner owner was very interested in chatting to me because all the skills I have, like running an actual business back from the Mercedes-Benz days through to running an online business, which is what hotels do these days, they have a lot of online components. And then the staffing element – a lot of his staff, turns out, came from the Philippines. And we have a lot of experience with that too, where we’ve decided to build teams. So these skill sets we build, they just unlock the world.
And it was an interesting experience, that hotel. I’ll never forget the first morning when we walked out to the beach, and it was filled with rubbish. And, I was like, wow. And then I discovered that whole island that we were on was man-made, actually, like constructed it, and that the place will end up being underwater one day.
James: So like, it’s opened up doors, that ability to travel and have a universal skill. It’s kind of like doing a bar course. You could work in a bar in a ski resort or on a tropical Club Med somewhere, like you can use these online skills in your life.
James: I wonder if you’ve noticed that. Things you used to do before, like family catch ups or hanging out at the cafe with locals or even sitting in the lineup – have you started to think about things in a different way?
It’s not too late
Ian: Yeah, I have. And I’ve found myself catching people, when they are limited in their thinking about what their options are for life, particularly, you know, people I hang out with, guys in their 50s mostly, right? And a lot of them are at transition points or feeling maybe stuck, feeling maybe that they’ve got to hang in there in a job that they don’t like for the next 10 or 15 years, until they get enough super together or enough this or enough that, when really they’re young enough to do something else. That’s what I’m thinking. Because I’m having so much fun doing this. I’ve got a whole new lease on life. And even though I’m working hard at the moment, there’s not an hour that goes by that I don’t enjoy. I’m so glad that I made that step in my 50s and I didn’t wait another 10 years. It was only going to get harder to do it, and now I’ve set myself, you know, I’ve got a good amount of time to actually learn it. Like, I’m hoping that within three years, I’ll be in a place where I can actually help other people with this stuff.
James: Ian, I have no doubt about it. Because I’ve seen a lot of people. We’ve trained over 3,000 people inside SuperFastBusiness. I’ve trained quite a few in SilverCircle. And I’ve been in this game since the end of 2005. And that’s why I wanted to bring you onto this show, because you are a great example. It’s also what Gary Vee talks about, that it’s not too late – you can get started on this.
And I know exactly what you mean about people having closed ideas or thoughts. I remember when I was in a workshop at the last place that I worked at. We had some expert come in talking about unpacking past bad experiences and shifting our possibilities and stuff. And there was a fully-grown mechanic there in his 60s, just burst into tears, because he never realized that he could write his own script on life. He went from school, you know, like from year nine or 10 becoming an apprentice mechanic, right through to being a 60-something-year-old mechanic and never realized that he could have done whatever he wanted.
James: So I think that’s a big revelation. And I imagine the people you’re hanging around with are feeling very pressured by things like elections, and housing markets and consumer confidence because they are going to be caught up in whatever happens. They are passengers in their current state where they don’t feel like they can actually grab the controls of their own destiny.
Ian: Yeah. So I can imagine in years to come, if I can give a hand up to people who are in that position, I’d love to. But right now, I just want to focus on having a profitable business, serving my customers the best way I can, learning all these systems that I need to learn, hopefully building a team and empowering them to do the work. There’s some wonderful stories on the way. Can I share a couple of stories of some of the people that I’ve met and what they’re doing?
James: I’d love to hear about them. That’s why you’re here. I’m just keeping in reference that these stories wouldn’t have been possible had you not flicked the switch and gone from, I think you were going to do a doctorate or something or be a professor versus this. So this is what you chose. What’s happened since?
The entrepreneurial learning pattern
Ian: Yeah, well, I’m in my own university right now. I’m learning so much. I feel like I’m fast tracking. I guess the only thing is, I’m not learning module 1.1 and then 1.2 and then 1.3. You know, I learned module 1.4, and then the next thing I’m learning module 2.8 or something, you know, so it’s jumping around. And sometimes I find it hard to join the dots. But anyway, it’s a little bit chaotic.
James: Well, I just want to jump in on that. That’s what we know as entrepreneurs. Like, I’m not an academic, and I never finished university. In fact, I didn’t go beyond one term of a marketing degree. And I feel more like life is a bit in tune with the wabi-sabi philosophy, the Japanese concept that there’s beauty in imperfection, and there is simplicity in the transient nature of things. The online world, the entrepreneurial world, is not a straight line. It is not step by step, it is not black and white. There’ll be constant changes and curveballs. And once you embrace that, and celebrate it, and enjoy it and revel in it, that’s when it turns on. So I’m glad you made that distinction. Because that, I believe, was the single biggest challenge you had to bridge, was to let go of the possibility that it all could be, you know, studied in a step-by-step fashion. By the time any online marketing hits the university, it’s already out of date.
“There’s beauty in imperfection, and there is simplicity in the transient nature of things.”
Ian: Yeah. I wouldn’t swap this, I wouldn’t swap this journey for anything. I mean, I was happy in my job. I wasn’t someone who was feeling like, geez, I want to get out of this; I’ve had enough. I wasn’t feeling burnt out. I felt like I could continue doing what I was doing. But I just felt that I needed to call time on it. I felt there was something else for me to be doing, and I didn’t want to miss that opportunity. So that’s why I ended up stepping away from what I was doing.
A surprising personal aspect
But like I said, the personal side of it, getting involved with people’s lives and touching some pretty raw emotions has been a surprise to me, but one that I feel like being prepared for because of the background that I’ve had. And for instance, one man who’s older than me, said, “I’ve got some things that I’d really like to show you that have been given to me by my grandmother when she was alive. They belonged to my grandfather, but I never met my grandfather. And would you take a look at them and scan them for me so that I can see what they are?” So I said, “Oh, sure.” Anyway, he hands over this box. And turns out, it’s all in envelopes. He’s never opened the envelopes. And inside the envelopes, are letters that his grandfather as a young man sent back from the trenches in World War One to his then fiancée who lived in Bondi, talking about his experiences of war, talking about his love for her, talking about his hopes and dreams for the future, talking about his depression, and his frustrations. And I’m scanning these going, this is going to blow his mind.
Doing what I’m doing right now, scanning this letter just feels like a sacred moment for me. And it was quite moving for me. I felt like I was starting to know the life of this man who was sending these letters to his young fiance. Well, they ended up marrying, and that fellow, back in the 20s, comes back to Sydney. And he becomes one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs. I’m not going to identify him, but he does all these amazing things. Now his life, the stories of his life, were an inspiration to my friend who himself became an entrepreneur. And what he wants to do is capture these memories into a book about his grandfather. And then he wants to give that book to his grandkids. So now we have four generations away from the fellow in the trenches. And I just think, this is cool. This is what legacy is all about. And to be in a place where I can facilitate capturing those memories, and having them shared with others, is just such a special privilege.
James: I really resonate with that one.
Ian: How’s that?
James: Because, well, someone in my family did that exact exercise. I’ve got here the 1919 diary of Thomas Hammond Martin’s trip to USA and England; the 1916 diary of Thomas Hammond Martin, trip to Russia in Siberia; diary of trip to the Gold Coast colony West Africa 1906.
James: The 1881 diary of Thomas Hammond Martin, voyage to Australia and New Zealand. And I’ve got all these pictures, his handwritten notes, and it’s just mind-blowing. My middle name is Hammond, as well. I’m James Hammond Schramko.
James: So that gift that he’s passing on to his children is amazing. So like, for example, for my kids, this will be their great, great grandfather. And he was in the absolute pure sense of it, an entrepreneur. He was buying gold and silver mines and then selling them. He sat on the board of the Sydney Stock Exchange; he had a huge house in Mossman, and then Gordon. And his daughter, my grandmother, was an actor on radio as a kid, and she was the one who taught me to paint and taught me about light and shade. A real character. She rolled her car on the way to tennis and broke her arm when she was like, 86. You know, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents.
When you believe in your product…
But what a moving thing to do. What a fantastic business to have that you can believe in. Like I’ve always said on this podcast, you’ve got to have a good product.
James: If you believe in your product, then you can convince someone else that it’s going to help them out. Clearly, this is a story you should document and put into your marketing, because other people will connect to that.
Ian: Well, my product’s better than I imagined it was. You know what I mean?
Ian: I’ve gone into it and I’ve gone, wow, this is really good.
James: Like, you’re a pastor to start with you. You’re one of about six in our community that I know of.
James: We seem to attract them. You’re good at selling and marketing anyway, from your background, because you spend a lot of time spreading a message.
Ian: Yeah, persuasion.
“If you can align your core values with a good product, it helps people.”
James: And you believed in your product. So if you can align your core values with a good product, it helps people and then get that message out there. It can really take off. I think this is great. Have you got another story?
The role of family identity
Ian: I’ve got a few. But the one sitting to my left here, I’ve got black and white photos, all in piles. Now, this fellow, he was a guitarist in a band that I was in, and his family came out from Malta. So that must have been post-war, before he was born. And well, he’s never seen these photos before. His father died this year, and in the settlement, these photos were uncovered. And it’s got the boat trip from Malta to Australia via Africa. And, you know, all these photos of his dad and his grandfather when they were little kids.
And I don’t know, I think story and family identity is so important. My brother is adopted and I know for him, family identity and where he’s from… He loves his adoptive parents, but knowing his natural parents was important to him. And I think our place as a human being in this world is framed a lot by where we’ve come from and it helps us to work out where we’re going. So I think if we can connect our story through photos with the past, then we become a healthier person; we become more whole, and we become more aware of our destiny.
Saving the memories
So that’s to my left here. Another one was a lady in her 60s who tragically lost her husband in an accident when he was in his 40s. So her kids were only very small when their father died. And what she wanted to do was to put a photo book together of the early photographs. And her plan was that these photos that she had would be scanned and then digitized and then we can produce a photo book out of that, which is what we did. But the other thing that had happened for her, the few photo albums that she had sitting in the garage, a flood came through – they were living up in Avalon and a flood came through through down the hill and went through the garage and totally destroyed all bar one small box of photo albums. And so for her this is like, “This is all I’ve got. I want to make sure I look after these.” So yeah, you’ve got the tragedy of her husband’s death; you’ve got the flood that wiped out 90 percent of the photographs. You’ve got her now adult son, who hasn’t seen these photos of him as a kid with his dad. So, very moving stuff. And so we put that photo book together and gave it to her, and she has now passed that on to her son. And I don’t know the upshot of that. I’ll tell you the rest of the story when I find out. But stuff like that. I mean, I’m happy doing what I’m doing, James, it’s great. If it doesn’t make me a million dollars a year, that’s okay. I’m happy.
The buy-in that counts
James: Well, it sounds like it’s going to keep you afloat.
Ian: Yeah, it should do. My wife will be happy about that, won’t she?
James: Well, you know, you talk about that. But it is important to have a buy-in from the person around you. Because when you start this journey, you’re going to get resistance on some occasions. And it’s good if you can get the support. And the resistance is really well-meaning, and in some cases completely valid. Like, if you sit in that spare office, and keep clinking your credit card up to 50 grand a year and never producing anything, they would be completely justified in calling you on it.
James: However, if you start producing results, which is obviously, as you said, much easier, having the support of people who’ve already been there before, and you can show progress, and you get that buy-in, that’s something you can actually seek a tremendous amount of comfort in and significance and journey. Like today, my wife and I and our little baby Lucy went for a lovely walk along the Foreshore and had a beautiful Barramundi and salad lunch and shared a dessert (and by shared, I ate most of it) and a coffee and an English Breakfast tea.
That is our lifestyle. There was barely a soul around. And you know how busy Shelly Beach and the Foreshore walk can be during the height of summer. Well to do that, during the middle of a Wednesday, during winter, was just magic. You know the little bird, I’m not sure what bird it is, but it sits up there with its wings spread out on the rock. And it’s the life that can really deliver if you put the effort in. There isn’t a shortcut; it’s not step-by-step. But it is possible.
“Being an entrepreneur really is about value creation on a larger scale than you can do just by yourself.”
You’re proof of that, Ian. I really applaud what you’ve done. I’m tremendously excited for you, both from a business perspective, to see you go from zero, and reading that book to where you’re at now, with a validated business model that delivers great value. But also, personally, as someone who knew you in a non-business sense first, it’s great to see your personal journey and the amount of goodwill that you’re able to create for others. And that’s what being an entrepreneur really is about. It’s about value creation on a larger scale than you can do just by yourself. When you start leveraging a team and a system, a website and the online medium, you can really reach and help more people than you can just on a one-by-one basis. Thank you for coming and sharing, and I look forward to charting the next phase of your journey.
Ian: Oh, it’s going to be exciting. Thank you for your help and I hope that’s been helpful for others.
James: Very helpful. Ian’s a member of SuperFastBusiness community. We’re very grateful to have his worldly experience there. And if you want to check out Ian’s site or if you’ve got some old photos you need scanned and secured, check out scannedandsecure.com.au. Will catch up with you on the next episode.
Ian: Thank you. See you in the Maldives soon.
James: I hope so.
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