James: Yes. So, what can people do to start getting into this Laptop Lifestyle? From your point of view, you’ve got some ideas people can implement?
Yaro: No. Not really. You haven’t had that answer.
James: I was kind of expecting…It is the Holy Grail question.
Yaro: It is. Everyone answers it differently. I know James you would have talked about this countless times. But I really think, making the intention and action – that intention is obviously step one.
James: So it might be building up enough dissatisfaction with what they’re doing that they take action.
Yaro: You know.. I had a chat with a female friend of mine on Facebook last night. She’s young. She’s 23. She’s in the world of fashion. She’s got a Creative Industries in Fashion degree and she’s working in fashion retail for most of her adult life and she’s struggling with her own label. She’s nowhere close to making a living from her own label, which would be be what she really wants to do and she’s sort of realizing that maybe, that’s a pipe dream. What do we even talk about that?
She was coming to me saying, she writes a blog, she writes a fashion blog and she has a minor in Journalism, she’s got some background there, too. So, because people make money with a fashion blog. There are people out there living and probably then some author a fashion blog. And I was saying to her, she asked me this question, “Yaro, do you think I can make a living from a fashion blog?” And my answer to that question was, “Maybe,” to be absolutely honest. I said, “Do you have the work ethic and the intention to do it?” Because you can get excited and tell people, yes, you work everyday, write blog posts everyday, go out there and tell people about your work.
James: You got to put in a coffee shop somewhere. Got to be doing it from a coffee shop.
Yaro: Well, if it is a Laptop Lifestyle, yes, certainly. Coffee shop by the beach. You know, whatever. Stand-up desk is really good.
James: It’s funny because I don’t think I’ve worked from a coffee shop often at all in the last eight years. I’ve almost always worked from home, and when I had a job, I worked on my lunch hour or whatever on my laptop, but I do work from airport lounges, hotels, you know, a little less glamorous than the coffee shops but I’ve got to get out a little bit more maybe.
Yaro: Maybe. Yeah, it helps if you got a family. So, you know…
James: Yeah, I’ve had other things going on. But, so, this girl, what’s she going to do?
Yaro: Ah, to be honest I don’t know what she’s going to do. I’m always skeptical with people who haven’t shown the work ethic in prior aspects of their life. Whether, you know, just saying “go do this” and they’ll go do it because it’s a consistency thing. If you don’t have consistency…
James: Well, I remember when I was reading about hiring that people tend to repeat what they’ve done in the past. It was like 80 something percent of the time, 82, I’ll just make something up, 82%. But maybe it was 78. Anyway it was a high amount, enough for me to pay a lot of attention to historical behavior, so that’s a good indicator. So, listener, you can think about what have you done in the past that could give you the confidence that you could do this. Let’s talk some deliverables here. I mean, how often would you open up your computer and type stuff?
Yaro: As in blog content or in general? Because obviously everyday, we’re doing the tweets and…
James: Well you’re a dichotomy of content. You like writing, but you do audios and videos. You see, I don’t like writing.
Yaro: I love writing.
James: I do not write. If I’m typing something, nine times out of ten, it’s coming out of our email. That’s where I can’t really escape it, also, there are a lot of times they have come from me dictating it into the Mac app, so the majority of my written content is the transcription of an audio or a video. Someone will be transcribing this audio and saving me from having to think about it and typing it.
Yaro: Sure. I will not sound nearly as succinct on this audio as I will when I write content.
James: So, are you one of those, you draft it and then you edit and edit, which is recommended by some other people, like Ed Dale? He says, do you first run unfiltered and then go back and clean it up?
Yaro: Ah, I’m kind of that way. I’m not… It’s blogging, so I’m not getting, you know it’s not like one-time only, it’s one article. I publish many a year, so I will sit down at a cafe shop. I’ll open my laptop. I can write a thousand words in half an hour to an hour, depending on the subject; so, you know, a two-hour session, you’ll finish a fairly solid blog article. And I will read it once before I publish it and i’ll go in and add the links, add pictures, add video, whatever it is that needs to go with it. Quick publish, and currently I do that once a week to maintain a dialogue with my audience and to my newsletter as well, so that people, you know, will get something.
James: I tend to, if I do, when I do actually write a post, which is pretty rare, I usually publish and then I go back and edit it several times. Just like, when I go to the history, it’s like 20 different versions. I go wait for the emails to come back. “Oh, you got a typo…” I’m more of a ready, fire, aim. That is interesting, once a week; now I think you’re ahead of your time, Yaro, because you were doing epic blog posts before there was a famous post about epic blog posts.
Yaro: True. I never liked short. I mean, I can do short, but I don’t know. Every topic is in depth, it’s like us talking for five minutes, two minutes. It’s probably why I actually kind of struggled with video sometimes because two minutes is supposed to be the attention span for the average video watcher. I’m like, what can… you can’t teach much in two minutes.
James: Well, you can put in some B rolls and extend it a little, stretch it a bit.
Yaro: A little bit, but we’re not talking an hour; that’s what I like about a podcast interview. I’ve always done an hour-long podcast interview which is…
James: I think people hang longer with audios. I have a very popular podcast called ThinkActGet.com and we’re up to I think 15 or 16 episodes…
Yaro: With your buddy, right?
James: With Ezra. Ezra Firestone who’s hilarious. Who can, he ate 27 bananas.
Yaro: That’s quite the fame, eh?
James: I found that out. We talked about that level of stuff on that show. But I’ve noticed the statistics. People listen to that thing and it’s a 42-minute episode. Generally, 40-something minutes. We have over 3,000 people listen to that, it’s a new podcast and it’s been bouncing on number one on the business iTunes in Australia for the last few weeks. And people will stay with an audio.
But when I look at the video, in Wistia or YouTube analytics, there’s a dramatic tail-off. Even my training content, where people will have the huge return on investment, after that first 15-20 minutes, they’re gone. A Hollywood director told me, never make any video more than 12 minutes, which is great since that’s a Canon’s limit.
Yaro: That’s true. Yeah, it’s a good point but you know i think the main reason that is, is most people take their audio content on the run and they don’t take their video content on the car.
James: Agree. They filtered out other things. They can listen to it in their car, they can listen to it when they’re walking, in fact I know people who time their walks, in fact yesterday I was…I spat some coffee out on my keyboard. I was reading a post in my forum, SuperFastBusiness, and Dave had gone out to get some milk and he forgot his wallet.
He had that horrible “Oh sh–” moment when he’s at the checkout and he didn’t have his wallet. But he was OK because he was able to call his wife. And while his wife was coming, he tucked into a few episodes of ThinkActGet and FreedomOcean and by the time she got there, he had his fill of podcasts. So, you know, podcasts are great little in-between things you can do, when you’re in transit or travelling. I listen to a few podcasts and you get sort of addicted to them.
Yaro: I almost feel now if there’s a period of time where I’m travelling without something in my ears, I feel like I’m…
James: You’re wasting?
Yaro: Like I’m insufficient and I can’t be right now.
James: I still have that Brian Tracy where “your car is a mobile university” or whatever.
Yaro: Yeah. I do think, like, there’s people who are richer than me right now and they’re richer because they listen to more stuff using the time that I do.
James: But I also, you know, we were joking about this before, I…I have..
Yaro: Rich Schefren, here we go.
James: Yeah that’s it. I …you know, there is this famous video with Rich Schefren with oxygen shoved up his nostrils on a treadmill, screaming through Kindles that he’s fed into there by ripping the spines off. And I think, “Huh?” You know like..
Yaro: You’re jealous, James. I think that you…
James: I’m not jealous, no, I would rather sit…
Yaro: You had an oxygen high?
James: I just… life is my high, Yaro. But I like to just sit there in a leather chair and just quietly read a book slowly, without an oxygen or a treadmill. I think to digest content peacefully is one of the great pleasures.
Yaro: I skate, as we mentioned before.
James: That’s inline skating?
Yaro: I do rollerblade outside because rollerskating outside is kind of hard. That’s my cardio and I take, that’s when I do my podcast, where I do music.
James: Do you wear Lycra?
Yaro: I try to wear Lycra. I have no helmets or knee pads or wrist guards. I’m trying to..
James: Leaning on the edge.
Yaro: It’s amazing, you walk down the street with a skateboard under your arm and you’re cool. You put a pair of rollerblades on your feet, you’re a nerd. It’s not fair. It’s what it is, it’s discrimination. But, anyway, I do exercise like Rich does, while I listen to audio content. And I listen to it at two to three times speed. So if you’re doing that with us right now, you know, I applaud you, that’s a great way to go through all the rambling that James does in his audios and…
James: Just useless information.
Yaro: Yeah, so, I’ve got my little app on my HTC phone and I use Audible for audio books. I’m actually going through Brian Tracy’s, what is it, “Eat that Frog” one, right now for the first time.
James: My favorite was “The Psychology of Selling” by Brian Tracy. I listened to that a hundred times when I was a salesperson and I would say that was the biggest influence in my early sales career up there with “Spin Selling.” So the audio tape’s on full cycle, and the “Spin Selling” book dog-eared. Those two things got me extreme success in selling.
Yaro: But not on the treadmill, right?
James: Not on the treadmill, no. In fact I lost about seven kilos in my first month selling cars because I was running up and down the ramp to the up and down carpark. And II’d work without any days off.
Yaro: Missing a few meals in there?
James: My boss was a hard a**. He didn’t want to give me a day off for the birth of my son.
James: And I was 24 and I worked so hard I thought I was going to die. So I do appreciate those moments of solitude and just kicking back because I feel like I found the edge and I was lucky I didn’t cross over it – the working edge.
Yaro: I don’t know how necessary it is to have read every single book in existence, which I think is not the goal for a person like Rich, but I do notice there’s some uber successful people who are extremely well read, like I remember hearing DeMartini, Doc DeMartini? He’s read 400 thousand books, claim. I don’t know how real that is, but..
James: I think the average CEO in America reads 50 books a year, one a week.
Yaro: One a week, which is slow if you go by Rich Schefren.
James: So that’s fast by, I’d say…
Yaro: That’s fast by my standards.
James: No, no, by the adult population. I read some stats, some statistics…
Yaro: One a year?
James: No, no, after school, people just don’t read a book after that. They read … you know, the Sunday paper with the horse racing. So I think if you read any business books here in this massive minority, and if you read a few… I mean I read a lot. I’ve, like, my iPad’s jammed up with Kindles to the limit. I’ve got at least a thousand books in my bookshelf, which I’ve read slowly. I read all the words out loud, but I do seem to absorb it and as part of my role as facilitating a mastermind, I have to be knowledgeable.
Yaro: You do.
James: How important is it for someone who’s going to be a Laptop Lifestyle person to be able to be knowledgeable about their craft? Seems to me, there’s a few people out there suggesting that anyone can be an expert, they just have to publish that.
Yaro: Who says that?
James: I’m not going to name names. It’s not important. But the important thing is the question. Do you need to be knowledgeable to be able to make money from a blog?
Yaro: Well, knowledgeable is pretty subjective isn’t it? As I was selling, you’d know more than another person does. So yeah, everyone’s knowledgeable. Whether it’s mandatory, I don’t think it’s mandatory. We have to define value.
James: Maybe it depends on the role. If you’re going to be a reporter, then you don’t really need to know about the subject.
Yaro: Well look at the biggest blogs in the world. I know, I think The Verge right now is certainly up there in the possible top 10, certainly in Tech, or any of the Mashable, TechCrunch, Boing Boing, all the biggest blogs which are mostly magazine-form Apple blogs so multiple authors, 10 to 20 to 30 authors a day, bite-sized content, certainly not epic content like we’re talking about. Those articles, it’s journalism. It’s going out there, reporting…
James: Funny stories.
Yaro: Yeah, and sure that’s knowledge. That thing, those journalists know more than the person, that’s why a person comes to those blogs.
James: So, that’s interesting, the 30 to 50 posts per day, because some people would say, “Oh, how much content should I put out?” You know, is one a day too many? Because their readers can’t keep up with it. In my case, a lot of my subscribers have got my emails in their inbox but they don’t necessarily go and look at it that day, because one a day is quite a lot compared to other people in my industry.
Yaro: I really think timing nowadays has a lot to do with it, like those guys will do what those entitle, do 30 to 40 to 50 a day. Their corporate magazine style business is…
James: Like Huffington Post.
Yaro: Yeah, they employ people full time. They…
James: Is that the business model you think is the pinnacle?
Yaro: That is not a Laptop Lifestyle.
Yaro: Because the journalist is working full-time hours in the office.
James: So what’s your Laptop Lifestyle pinnacle?
Yaro: Well, I think…
James: What’s the benchmark?
Yaro: What I love right now – and this is the way I’m going forward, I will teach everyone to do this – is do find something that you want to be knowledgeable about, and maybe you already are because you sit there and you play the guitar for eight hours a day…
James: This is like your friend, Alborz