Kirk Bowman Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Kirk Bowman
Kirk Bowman is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a man who when it comes to knowing the true value of something is the guy to go to.
You see Kirk Bowman is the owner of the Art Of value, where he works to assist entrepreneurs, companies, and guys with a product to sell decide on what they should charge.
Most of us in the entrepreneurial world have these great dreams of working for ourselves, having time freedom and seeing the money flow effortlessly into our bank accounts.
And most of us, at the beginning at least struggle with setting fair prices for our services.
We have those self-limiting thoughts that make us go cheap, when actually we should go double.
How The Dots Joined Up for Kirk
Now our guest can trace his path back to 2009, when he found himself sitting on a panel discussing hourly billing. Set the fee per hour. Do the work. Job done.
Another developer on the panel was an advocate for value pricing, and told the audience “If you bill by the hour, there is an artificial limit on your income.”
And with those words, our guests life changed forever.
So why were those words so profound to him? Was he just at that right moment when his mind was ready fro such a message?
Or deep down did he always have the belief that you should get for value of what you offer, but wasn’t brave enough to bring it to the table?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Mr Kirk Bowman.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Kirk such as:
Why it is so important to find out the reason why the work that someone asks you to do is so important to them to decide the value.
How he grew up in an entrepreneurial environment and saw that hard work and hustle can really bring about huge rewards.
Why it is so important to believe that what you can do easily
How he tells an amazing story of a man who learnt to make duck calls from
How To Connect With Kirk Bowman
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Kirk Bowman Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com. The premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro check us out now. podcasters mastery.com
when we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:37]
Yeah, Yes, hello, bear world. It is a lovely evening at the back of the garden today. It certainly is one of those sort of glorious just about summer kind of evening. So hopefully, wherever you’re listening to this, it’s blue skies in your life, but if it’s not, you can change your attitude to make it blue skies. So this is Episode 392. And we have got a guest on today’s show who Suppose when it comes to knowing the true value of something is the guy to go to you say He’s the owner of the art of value, where he works to assist entrepreneurs, companies and guys with a product to sell, decide on what they should charge. Now most of us in the entrepreneurial world had these great dreams of working for ourselves, having time freedom and seeing the money flow effortlessly into our bank accounts. And most of us at the beginning, at least struggle with setting fair prices for our services, we have those self limiting thoughts that make us go cheap, when actually we should go double. Now our guest can trace his path back to 2009 when he found himself sitting on a panel discussing hourly billing set the fee per hour due to work job done. Now another developer on the panel was an advocate for value pricing and told the audience if you build by the hour, there’s an artificial limit on your income. And with those words, our guests life changed forever. So why were those words so profound to him? Was he just the right man at the right moment was he’s mind ready for such a message. Deep down Did you always have to believe that you should get the value for what you offer but wasn’t brave enough to bring it to the table? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Kirk Bowman. How are you sir?
Kirk Bowman [2:13]
Hey, David. It’s pleasure to be on the show with you. Thanks for having me.
David Ralph [2:16]
It’s lovely to have you here, sir. Because I’m gonna really I started saying that a lot. I used to do a preamble at the beginning of shows, but I now go straight to the nuts and bolts. So I’m going to cut to the chase. It is a big problem, isn’t it value when people start anything by more often than not go cheap. I was listening to Chris Ducker the other day and he was talking about double it double your price, double your price and everything he sort of mentioned it was double your price. How do people overcome their self limiting thoughts at the very beginning when they’re trying to make their mark and find their feet in the marketplace?
Kirk Bowman [2:51]
Well, I think you’re exactly right. The first step and learning to truly value what you do is to believe you create value and we all naturally undervalue what we do is just human nature. And so the first step is to be willing to accept the Prop, the proposition that you actually do create more value than you realise because most of us do. And then you want to systematically step back and begin to look at how are you creating value? How are you helping your customers get to a better place than they were before their interaction with you. But how
David Ralph [3:23]
do you judge that as that’s the key question, isn’t it? I suppose this whole episode could be about four minutes. And we’ve answered the big question straight at the back. How do you judge the value of something when it’s something new that you’ve created? You think it’s a great product? You have personal belief in it, but when you throw it out to the marketplace, they might see it differently? How do you do it?
Kirk Bowman [3:45]
So first, I should say, you know, there are differences between pricing something that’s a service, particularly a customer service versus a product, and so we could have either of those conversations, which one would you want to tackle.
David Ralph [3:57]
I’ll go with both of them. So I’m going to be greedy.
Kirk Bowman [4:00]
Alright, so let’s talk about professional services. Well, the great thing about professional services is most of the time, whether you’re a software developer, designer, Attorney, accountant, so forth. Whatever you’re doing to help your customer is unique to them. They have particular circumstances, they might be similar to another customer, Britain, they’re never exactly the same. And so it’s easy for you to offer something unique because their situation is unique. And so in that situation, it really boils down to having a conversation, I say, you need to talk about the why as well as the what, whenever a customer calls you, they’re going to have something they want. They’re going to say, I want a website, I want to build this app. I need to fight this lawsuit, whatever it is, but you want to get beyond just what it is to why is it Why is it important? So for example, why do you need a new website? Well, my competitors all have new websites and our businesses gone down. Well, can you link the fact that they have a new website and their businesses gone up and yours is gone down? Or do you just think it’s intuition? Or maybe there’s something else but you want to explore that and learn to get good at what I call having a value conversation. For example, one of the questions you can ask is, why is right now the time to solve this? Why not six months ago, why not wait another six months, a lot of times there’s going to be information about why they’re trying to tackle this. Now, it could be something along the lines of, you know what, we just got finished with this huge project before. We didn’t have the time to dedicate to it or you know what, I’ve been trying to do this for a year, but I just got the budget for it. There could be a variety of factors. And that’s part of the why that you want to explore. So that’s kind of the nutshell of how do you do it for a service. For a product. It’s different. Because with a product, you are not doing something custom for one person you are trying to offer something that can be sold to multiple people at the same or similar price and deliver similar outcome. So what we take for granted when we’re pricing a service is you have to talk to the customer, it’s one customer. And so you have to talk to. But when you’re selling a product, you still have to talk to your customers. And you need to find out how do they perceive the value. And that’s really what we’re going for, in either cases out as the customer perceive the value, what’s important to them. The challenge with a product is you’ve got to segment who you’re selling to down to a small enough group that you can really target the value and set not only the price, but the value they’re going to get out of that product. So that in the customers mind, why would I not spend this money?
David Ralph [6:36]
So we have a product? Would it be advisable for somebody to launch with a finger and then Canvas feedback from the people who buy the product and then increase it later?
Kirk Bowman [6:48]
Certainly, and I mean, that’s a common technique. You see a lot in the internet marketing space, people start out at a lower price and gradually raise it. I think it’s great to actually try to identify some early customers it might be as few as 10 or 20, and get their feedback, maybe let them use it for a while. And then, you know, say, hey, you’ve been using this for a while, I’m going to set the price at this, get their feedback. Now, customers always want to pay the lower price. That’s just human nature. And that’s what that’s part of being a customer is you want to get the maximum return for your dollar as the provider or the publisher or the Creator, you want to get the maximum price. And so what you’re searching for is to transition the conversation from what’s the money they’re going to spend to what is the value they’re going to receive. And if you can create a situation where the value is extremely high compared to the price people will buy, because they’re not focused on how much they’re going to spend. They’re focused on how much they’re going to achieve, how much they’re going to get out of it once they’ve used your product.
David Ralph [7:50]
So if we take you back in time and get more personal about yourself, Kurt, why was that panel a life changing moment for you Well, Where was your mind before that? What was you doing and what led you to being in that position?
Kirk Bowman [8:05]
So I have had a software company for over 20 years at the time when this panel happened, I’d been in business for 15 years. And the most common way to charge for professional services is to build by the hour, you somehow come up with an hourly rate, usually, it’s a guess. And then you just track your time, although not real reliably most people and you multiply, and that’s how you get your price. And I was developing custom software. And so I literally thought, it’s custom product, we don’t know how long it’s going to take the only fair way to do it must be to just charge for the time. The problem with that is, time is irrelevant. Time is a precious resource, but the value of something is not determined based on what goes into it. It’s actually a Marxist idea. Karl Marx didn’t come up with the idea but he made it very popular. The idea that whatever something’s worth is the amount of time the labour the results versus the raw materials that goes into it. But that’s not true. There’s an alternate theory of value called the subjective theory of value. And it comes kind of out of Austria, Austrian economists. And they basically say, look, the value of something is determined by the customers perception of value. And so the specific statement that was made was, if you build by the hour, there’s an artificial limit on your income. I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. And the idea that I was doing anything that would limit my income really haunted me. And it caused me to study this business model called value pricing for about 90 days, and then I decided to make the switch. Basically, what I realised in a nutshell was I had been charging the customer in a way that did not equate to the value I was creating.
David Ralph [9:47]
And was it a homer simpson moment was it
Kirk Bowman [9:50]
What have I been thinking? You know, for me, it really boils down to I truly believe the statement that I was doing something that was limiting my income, and I’m an entrepreneur. Heart and so anything that I’m doing, that would limit the amount that I can earn. I felt like I truly had to explore and see if that was true. That was really the change point for me. And so yes, you could describe it as a dull moment. Although I really believe that it literally haunted me it was something down inside, that I couldn’t let go that I had to export or
David Ralph [10:24]
so so where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? If you’ve if you’ve always been an entrepreneur, most people that I have spoken to normally will go into the corporate route, they go into the standard route, which is almost expected of them. Was that what you did? Or were you straight out of college straight into earning your money? Or perhaps you might even been earning your money before College in school? You might have been the very small entrepreneur, how did it all pan out?
Kirk Bowman [10:49]
So you’re exactly right. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I grew up on a farm in Arkansas, which is one of the states in the US and I watched my grandfather and My dad and my two arkell uncles earn their own living. I saw that through hard work comes great reward, you take risk, and you achieve. And so that started for me as early as seventh grade. And every summer in between school years, I worked on the farm. And then when I became like a junior in high school, I actually wound up having three jobs. I literally was working on the farm during the day at a radio station night and at a restaurant on the weekends. And so it was just instinctive for me, I didn’t go to college and go, I want to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t go to college thinking, Hey, I gotta hurry up and get out of here in four years, so I can open my own business. But I did literally start teaching music lessons. I was a music major when I came out of college, and so I literally did start my own business. So it was just ingrained in me.
David Ralph [11:50]
And was it something that because it was ingrained? It wasn’t scary. Did you just see that? If you have to hustle muscle and you apply it consistently We focus that it was doable.
Kirk Bowman [12:02]
You know, I would love to sit here and say that there was a very carefully crafted plan. But there wasn’t I literally at the time, signed a mortgage on my first home and then two weeks later, quit any type of reliable income. I had to start up the software business. It was just in my spirit, I could not let go of it now, as I’ve grown and study entrepreneur, I now realise where it came from, but at the time I didn’t have the realisation it was just, it was to me how things should be done.
David Ralph [12:35]
So it wasn’t scary, though, that you didn’t have moments when you feel Oh my god, what am I doing? Because you just seen it and you grew up with it. It was just commonplace that that’s how you operate it.
Kirk Bowman [12:46]
Well, I wouldn’t say there was no fear. There’s always fear, but the balance of the desire inside in my heart to do this, you know it really I did work Somebody else for one year wasn’t directly out of college but sometime within say the first five years out of college I did work for somebody else for a year and that was so energy zapping it just it didn’t fit me and it just got to a point where Finally I just went and resigned because I quote couldn’t take it anymore.
David Ralph [13:18]
And what did you do? Oh, cool. What was that job?
Kirk Bowman [13:21]
I was literally I was selling musical instruments at a retail music shop here in the Dallas Fort Worth area. I did that for about a year
David Ralph [13:29]
being a salesman It doesn’t matter what product you sell was it was it but it wasn’t your rules and regulations that you will apply it just didn’t
Kirk Bowman [13:38]
bit at there were there were things that I you know, I wanted to be creative, more creative in the job I wanted to try to do things I always had to get approval was told no on things. You know, it was a lot of time it was well this is the way we do it. And that just didn’t sit well with me. And I was paid on commission and I did make a decent living at it. But yet the limitations of being able to be creative being able to try new things. Or there. And that just finally got to a point where I knew I needed more.
David Ralph [14:06]
It’s fascinating how we get to that point, but you might be earning very good salary, you might have short hours, you might have a great boss. But when you know you want more, that is the question that so many of my listeners struggle with. They know they want more, but they don’t know what more they want. They’re just kind of generally dissatisfied with the life that they found themselves in. Can you see that being a problem in your environment as well? I know you’re very entrepreneurial, doing your own thing, but your clients, your customer base, is there that that kind of vibe of or I wish I could do what you’re doing as well
Kirk Bowman [14:44]
Kirk? Well, I think all of us at some time in our career experience, what I would call a restlessness. How great that wrestles is, is in other words, the degree of it, how long you have that restlessness, those are all things that come into play. You know, for some people, there may be a high degree of restlessness but at the same time, they’ve got great job security. And so it’s really, you know, How comfortable are you with risk taking, like, for me, I grew up not even realising I was in a family of risk takers, farmers are some of the most courageous risk takers I’ve ever seen, particularly during the 80s when I was watching a programme earlier this week, and like 200 to 300,000 farmers went out of business in the 80s in the US, which is when I was working on our family farm, so you know, I was fortunate that I grew up in it.
David Ralph [15:31]
Yeah, so what do I do that’s creative, because that’s, that’s an environment I know nothing about. So I always a farmer risk taken
Kirk Bowman [15:38]
and most farmers the way they run their businesses, they take out a huge line of credit at the beginning of the season, they use that line of credit to pay for the seed, the labour, the materials, everything to raise the crop, and then they hope prices are high at the end of the season, sell it off, pay off the line of credit and have money left over. And you know, depending on the size of the farm, you’re typically talking millions Or more amount of money. So it’s a huge risk.
David Ralph [16:04]
I had no idea I kind of thought that farmers just kind of grew stuff and they just brought it up and sold it in a way they went. No, it’s it’s a huge capital intensive business. And, you know,
Kirk Bowman [16:17]
obviously, all businesses would prefer to be bootstrapped. But farming, both by tradition and the nature of the business generally is not bootstrapped. It’s it generally, you know, uses lines of credit. So So nowadays
David Ralph [16:31]
for the people that are in a job, and they’re in a situation and it looks risky, and I suppose the key thing nowadays is most jobs are risky to a point any day the company could say, we’ve had a bad run of it and we’re closing down and you’re out on it. Are there ways being an entrepreneur as you are, but they can start doing a side hustle on the side obviously, that’s why as a side hustle, but starting playing around and bringing things in The practice is that a good place to start?
Kirk Bowman [17:03]
Certainly. And even in my story, I mean, I didn’t. I made it sound like I just quit and start a full time job. Well, that’s not the full story. A year prior to that I was doing things part time on the side. And I literally at one point, I was working as a contractor for a computer reseller, and I was on a help desk. And so I would go in at 6am in the morning, get off at 2pm. And then I would spend the rest of the afternoon doing software development on the side. I think all of us start as a side hustle, very few people are able to start fresh out of the gate full time. And so I think a side hustle is a great way to do it. I think it helps mitigate the risk.
David Ralph [17:40]
Is it something that you can hustle on and pivot or because that’s one of the things I get a lot of people coming through to me and I pretty much think that it’s going to be a straight line. They make a decision have a go for it, and then it works out but of course he doesn’t. So with you yeah, I suppose you’re somebody. That’s been hippity greatly in what you’re doing, is it more natural for you now than before? Or was before more natural than what you’re doing now?
Kirk Bowman [18:07]
Now, I think pivoting anytime you’re moving, whether it’s from, say a corporate job to being self employed or transitioning from one business to another, or you have one business, you’re starting a second, granted, you learn from the experience, but at the same time, there’s always risk there. And so you may be more comfortable risk taking, it may be more natural to you, but it’s not easy every time it requires nose to the grindstone. I mean, you hear stories every now and then have, you know, the overnight sensation, but if you go back and really understand their story, it’s not an overnight sensation. You know, I’ve been in software for over 20 years, and it was 15 years before I even came to the idea that I might want to change my business model. Right. So there was 15 years of doing it. The old way before I switched over
David Ralph [18:56]
is passing. I’m trying to judge how old you are because you’re quoting 15 and 20 years, I kind of ask how old you are? Sure. I’m 46. You’re 46. And so that that is pretty much a quarter. Well, it is a quarter of a century. Can you see yourself doing the same thing when you’re 75? Adding another sort of 25 years on top of it?
Kirk Bowman [19:15]
Well, you know, it’s interesting. You mentioned pivot, because, you know, I did start to make a pivot maybe a year, year and a half ago by starting art of value. Software is still a business I’m operating, but it’s no longer where I see my future. I see my future in being a pricing consultant in helping people embrace the value pricing business model learning how to set better prices, and determine better value with their customers. And so that’s actually a pivot and I’m in the middle
David Ralph [19:42]
and is it an appealing pivot? Or is it something that you have just got an interest in? Can you see yourself doing this for the next 25 years? Like you did the software before?
Kirk Bowman [19:52]
I can, I definitely can. I mean, it’s, it’s something that I naturally talk about, you know, you found something that’s probably going to be appealing. When you do it for free, if you could, yeah, but obviously, you know, unless you’re independently wealthy or win the lottery, you still have to make a living. But this is something that even if I’m, you know, I had a conversation with somebody, we went out to lunch after church, and he’s a physician, and we just start talking about his business, and course, you know, healthcare, insurance and all that and a huge mess in the States. And the long short version of it is I said, Well, what can you offer to your customers that they might not all want, but some of them would, and the ones who do want it would pay extra for it. And it’s something that would never bring insurance in the equation, and I didn’t come up with the idea. But by instigating the conversation, he came up with an idea. That was amazing. And I could have those conversations left and right. I love that
David Ralph [20:46]
and was amazing to him as well. When he came
Kirk Bowman [20:49]
up with it really was it really was I need to follow up with him and see if he implemented it, but at the time we were having a conversation he just, he was excited to try to implement that
David Ralph [20:59]
he Amazing, isn’t it that for most of us, we will be looking around for that idea. We’ll be looking around for that business opportunity. We’re just constantly looking around. But most of the time, we’ve kind of got our eyes closed somehow. And we can’t see it until a stranger comes along and just points out what’s right in front of us. And more often than not, the true talent is actually ourselves. It’s something that’s ingrained in ourselves. That has been with us since a very early age. We’ve nurtured it. We’ve kept it safe, but we haven’t kind of utilised it because it’s always asked we don’t see the true value in it the true value of what we’re carrying around in us.
Kirk Bowman [21:36]
Yes, on one of the recent shows that I did, I think it was Episode 45 of the art of value show I interviewed carry over Brunner and Carrie basically said, We don’t realise the value we create because it’s so easy for us. It’s something that comes so easy, so natural for us that we just assume it’s easy for everybody else and nobody would pay us because it’s so easy. We don’t realise that other people, what we do almost looks like magic. And so it’s getting that outside perspective. That’s why I say you know, if you have never looked at the value create, if you’ve never really examined that, ask your peers. So if you’re a software developer, ask five other software developers. Here’s the last five projects I did. What do you think the value of these were? What do you think the outcome to the customer and then go to the customers and ask them the same question?
David Ralph [22:28]
Hey, she’s now there. hasn’t she? Really, when you when you think about that, when you hear that, that statement? We that’s where the self limiting thoughts come from. It’s not actually self limiting. It’s not it’s lack of personal belief.
Kirk Bowman [22:41]
It is. And it’s funny, scary is actually a guy. But he’s, I do apologise nobody. No, that’s all right. Well, I laugh at it because because one of the things Kerry says he says he’s a bald guy with a girl’s name. But you’re right, Carrie nailed it. Carrie nailed it.
David Ralph [22:57]
But I’m going to play some words. Now that sort of leads us seamlessly on to the next stage of our conversation. And these are words that Jim Carrey said recently, Jim Carrey.
Unknown Speaker [23:06]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you
David Ralph [23:31]
love. Good wants to
Kirk Bowman [23:34]
to hear on a daily basis. I agree. I agree. Now, I don’t think you can solely base a business on passion. Right? There has to be a balance of Is it a viable business? can you offer something that customers are willing to pay for but the seed of it does come from passion. And so you know, as Jim said, there, his father could have been good, great comedian, but he probably took the safe route was an accountant. And as you’d mentioned earlier in the show, this idea of That if you have a job, you’re secure, it’s gone. Okay, jobs are not secure. And so more and more people are becoming freelancers. And so there’s been lots of books written and lots of blog articles and lots of conversations about, you know, as a country as even and even as a Western civilization. How are we transitioning from our continuing this transition from being people that were employed to becoming a bunch of self employed,
David Ralph [24:28]
and is naturally going to happen, isn’t it? We’re with the internet in front of us with the ability to set up a website network like never before. You can literally find your tribe and provide value to them, not easily, but you can do it quite quickly.
Kirk Bowman [24:44]
Yes. And I would, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen. It’s something that is happening. And so you either are aware of it and begin to see how that’s going to affect your future or it’s going to surprise you at one point.
David Ralph [24:57]
So did you take a risk and He said, Did you take the risk of doing what you love? Or did the thing that you love find you really,
Kirk Bowman [25:05]
I think the thing that I love found me in both cases. So I originally was a musician that was about the first five years of my career. And basically, I had to develop software to handle the accounting end of my music business. I taught a lot of students and did a lot of other things. And there were just a lot of complexity in it. And so I built the software. But then through that process, I discovered I actually enjoyed that I was actually good at it. And it led to some opportunities to do that for some other people on the side that led to creating the software business. And then 15 years into that software business, I switched the business model. And I found there a passion not only for implementing it in my business, but for helping others do the same. And so for me, it has been those things found me. But I know other people, you know, I guess there’s two, at least two types of entrepreneurs to me, there’s those who kind of follow their passion and creative business out of it, then there are those who maybe that’s where they started. But they get to a point where they just become business creators, they actually get good at identifying other opportunities. A guy I think of is Brian castle. Brian just has a knack for creating businesses. And I think you can start with one and become the other.
David Ralph [26:18]
And wherever you are you sort of a hybrid between the two.
Kirk Bowman [26:21]
I’m very much it finds me and then I create it.
David Ralph [26:24]
So So what makes you different than CO what makes you different from all the listeners out there that desperately trying to think of a way to bring extra income in how do you see an opportunity where others will let it whizzed past him?
Kirk Bowman [26:37]
Well, I just pay attention to my passion. And my guess is most of your listeners if you went to them, and you ask them a question, if money were not an issue, what would you go? Do? I think they could answer that question. If they can’t answer it immediately. If they sit down and think about it, or if they ask their friends, they can get some kind of an answer. And it might be I’m just really good at video game, or it might be you know, what I love Helping people come up with the brand for their business or whatever, fill in the blank. there somewhere. Now the question is how far you removed from that. Right? For me, I’ve been fortunate that when I was in one thing, and I started something else that was always somewhat related, so it was easier for me to transition. It’s not like I was an accountant. I said, You know what, I’m going to become a celebrity chef. Right? Those are kind of there’s no connection between those two. I’m sure somebody out there has made it. But you know, it’s not an obvious connection to me. And so I think paying attention to what you’re passionate about, talk to other people, what are you good at? What is what is the thing that what questions do people keep asking? And how are you able to help them answer it?
David Ralph [27:40]
But But the thing is, once again, that ties that with the personal belief and the ability of charging for it, isn’t it? So many people go, Oh, I’d love to be fishing. I love fishing. That’s what I would do over time. But of course, how do you bring value to the world by being efficient, and that’s the creative aspect, but the Top entrepreneurs seem to have mastered they can find the angle in the mundane, which most of us can’t,
Kirk Bowman [28:06]
right? I mean, if you take the example of fishing Well, number one, you can catch fish and feed people, right? Number two, you could teach people to fish, right? You could be like a tour guide or fishing guide. Number three great fishing courses. Number four, you could come up with some unique type of fishing rod or fishing lure or product. There are several ideas. I mean, you know, you think about this show that’s been very popular in the states for many years. Duck Dynasty, what guys dropped out of college. It’s called Duck Dynasty. Oh, you said that I manifold. No economist said
David Ralph [28:37]
duck. Right. Okay. Duck Dynasty, okay.
Kirk Bowman [28:40]
Yes, Duck Dynasty, and it’s basically about a family leaves in Louisiana who the patriarch of the families now the grandfather, he basically dropped out of college and he started making duck calls by hand. And from that beginning, they now have a multimillion dollar business.
David Ralph [29:00]
What up calls Yo, Join Up Dots. How was he done? They summarise the story because
Kirk Bowman [29:05]
that’s a leap, isn’t it? It is a leap. I mean, probably one of the most interesting things about that story. So it’s a guy named Phil Roberson and Phil went to I think it was LSU. And he was actually on the football team. He was actually the starter ahead of Terry Bradshaw. And if you’re familiar with the NFL, you know that Terry Bradshaw was the quarterback of the Steelers that won four Super Bowls back during the 70s, one of the best ever play the game. And Phil Robertson was the starter ahead of Bradshaw. So if he hadn’t dropped out of school, Bradshaw may not have, you know, become who he did. But nevertheless, Bill dropped out of school, even though he had a talent for football. He just wanted to hunt and fish all day. And he basically was like, you know, what these calls that are being made, they don’t work, I want to make my own. And he you know, he made them by hand, I think in a shed out behind his house, and basically, other people started using them and it kind of caught on and I don’t know the full story, but that’s where it started. That was the See it. And now you know, they’ve taken that business of selling calls and spun it into a reality show to you know, other products speaking those kind of things. So they’ve literally created businesses around their core business, but it’s because he followed what he wanted to do. And he was very much like me, he didn’t really have a business idea at the time, he was more, you know, kind of winging it. I think it’s better to plan it if you can, but I’m just saying realise that a lot of us just follow that instinct. And that’s where the seed is.
David Ralph [30:31]
Well, I’m not sure if it is better to plan it. As such. I know some people that do such incredibly detailed plans. And when they don’t achieve what was on the plan, they feel it’s a failure. I kind of think that a vague sense of where you’re going, allows for fluid creativity
Kirk Bowman [30:48]
of it all. I would agree. I mean, I think there’s a balance. You can’t plan it out because things are never going to occur. I think it was Dwight Eisenhower that said, plans are worthless. Planning is everything, the idea that the whole purpose of having a plan is so that you will have a direction to start in. And when you change course you’ll know it. And then you can decide, well, is this course change relevant?
David Ralph [31:12]
So have you got a kind of vague sense of where the value is aiming? Could could you have reality TV shows and all that maybe you wouldn’t want that but have you a wider sense of what is achievable with it?
Kirk Bowman [31:26]
I do. I do. I’m I’m planning on writing a book about value pricing. I you know, I’ve already got the podcast, we’ve got about 50 episodes out so far. started doing some speaking around it. Got some ideas for some courses. What I realised is when people like the idea of value pricing, but the question is, how do you do it? How do you get started? And I’ve realised because I’ve been down that journey, there’s a lot that I can offer to help people make that transition is and it’s scary because and let me just say it value pricing is hard. It’s it’s Much easier to build by the hour billing by the hour requires a calculator value pricing requires courage. But I’m so passionate about it. And I love to see the light bulb go on for people. I mean, I did an interview with somebody from the UK, I think it’s the interview, we may have this coming out the next couple weeks, or best developer from UK, who he heard one of my podcasts and he literally went out and made another thousand pounds on a project based upon what he heard from the show. And that’s what excites me is hearing people come back and go, you know, what I made more money in the customer was a static.
David Ralph [32:33]
Well, I must admit, I’m having cogs going through my mind at the moment about certain things that are spin offs of the show. And I think my logic was, this is a figure. Does it sound reasonable enough? But of course, I don’t think I’ve reflected enough on what are those people going to gain from what I’m providing? Are you going to save hour upon hour upon hour of additional work? Yes, they are. So that is huge value. And I, my colleagues are certainly working. So I have to say that
Kirk Bowman [33:08]
Well, I’m glad to hear it. I mean, I think a podcast is a great foundation to then begin other things. And I mean, I have the same kind of things from my show. In fact, I’ve got, it seems like every couple weeks, I think of a new way to take the shows. We’ve done the content, repackage it, repurpose it and do something new with
David Ralph [33:25]
and so is it just a show? Or was it just a show for you? Was it a way to expand your branding and get your expertise out there? Or was it something that you just felt was something different to do and something you’d never done?
Kirk Bowman [33:39]
So I enjoy public speaking. And to me, podcasting is just another outlet for that. I much prefer speaking to writing. And so the idea of doing the show, really, that was the first thing I wanted to do with the art of value was to do the podcast. Another factor for me was the idea that If you want to really learn something, teach it. And I could say you could also if you want to learn something, interview others. And that’s where I’m probably getting the most value out of the show is because I get to interview people that I want to learn from and ask them the questions that I’d like to hear asked. And I guarantee every show I pick up new ideas, new terminology, new ways of thinking, helps clarify for me this idea. And so it was kind of all rolled together. It was a passion that I had, it was the way I wanted to market. It’s what came easy for me was opportunity to learn. But yeah, the podcast for me was was, from my perspective and my personality and obvious way to start.
David Ralph [34:39]
Well, I’m going to play the theme of the show. Now, these are the words that Steve Jobs said 10 years ago now. And he’s the reason why we call the show Join Up Dots. This is Steve Jobs.
Unknown Speaker [34:49]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [35:24]
If you buy into those words, Kirk?
Kirk Bowman [35:26]
I do. I do. I agree. I have much. I have incredible 2020 hindsight into how things have been connected, but I could I see them coming. No, sometimes I’m literally going on instinct. I think the one thing that I would add to that is I think you have to balance instinct with wisdom. And what I mean by wisdom is, you know, you can’t recklessly do something with no idea how you’re going to feed your family. Right. I would never advise somebody to do that. Seek out the input of others. Get yourself in a mastermind group of people who are trying to do the same thing. Find a way to be smarter than yourself by putting yourself around people that are as smarter, even better, smarter than you and learn from them. But at the same time, there are times where you have to go with intuition. And there are times where I’ve literally had to make a decision between what looked like the reasonable thing to do. And what I felt like was the decision I made and how I made mistakes. Yes, but because I was willing to make some decisions based on intuition, I think that’s where I’m at.
David Ralph [36:30]
And so what is your big result? When you look back on everything? was it was it that that sitting on the panel, was it starting a software company? Was it further back? But where do you think your moment was that started to really move you in the true direction that you should be going?
Kirk Bowman [36:46]
I guess I have two answers to that question. I think the first big dot for me was growing up on a family farm that instilled in me the nature of being an entrepreneur, even though I didn’t even know what it was or what to call it. And I and then the second dot for me Was that panel where somebody said, If you build by the hour, there’s an artificial limit on your income, I can point to that little second in time and go, I changed in that moment, and things have not been the same sense.
David Ralph [37:14]
And do you find that kind of doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo? Or do you just accept it, but it was a moment in your time and you was at the right place?
Kirk Bowman [37:22]
I accept it as it was the moment in time and I was listening when it occurred. Simple as that. Yep. Because we all have those moments. You know, I can’t sit down and say, okay, a year from now, what’s going to be the dot that will have pivoted you over the last year, you can’t see that ahead of time. But you can see it in retrospect, you just have to be paying attention and be listening to your intuition, and balancing that with wisdom from others.
David Ralph [37:49]
But a key thing about what he says is the fact well for me, but you literally don’t have the answers, but as long as you’ve got the faith that you will find the answer, then more often But not it will connect. And I see time and time again, every single episode album one, somebody will say to me, yes, I buy into those words totally, I can look back, I can connect my dots, I could join up my dots, and I can see how it got there. But a couple of guys have said, well, what’s the difference between looking back and connecting the dots and looking forward and making those dots into stepping stones? What’s the difference between setting your goals, setting your dots, and then pivoting whenever you need going forward? You set up that plan. And they have got to a point in their Join Up Dots timeline where the faith is so strong, they already know that it will connect to going forward. So it does become the quick route the stepping stones.
Kirk Bowman [38:42]
Yeah, and I agree with that. I mean, I alluded to earlier that I think there’s two types of entrepreneurs. I think there are those who follow their passion. And then there are those who I guess have followed their passion enough that they have learned to create businesses and those would be the goal setters. And I think learning to set goals and achieve those goals as part of a skill. Yes, that will help you connect the dots faster. It can even help you, to some degree decide what the dots might be. But the plans never work out exactly. Again, going back to Dwight Eisenhower, plans are worthless planning is everything. Planning is setting an initial target, but then being willing to adjust and in those moments where you literally don’t know what to do, being willing to trust yourself, trust your intuition. So it goes back to that self belief. It goes back to what I say that the first step to value pricing is believing you create value.
David Ralph [39:35]
And what’s the second step? And
Kirk Bowman [39:37]
the second step is learning to discover value from the customers perspective. Learning to be able to ask questions to put yourself in their shoes and see what you’re doing for them with their eyes, and you’ll never see it 100% but the closer you get, the better you get to not only creating better value, but then being able to set better prices. You love it, don’t you? Do I could talk about it for an hour.
David Ralph [40:03]
But you could as well did you keeping everyone out there listening to this show? could love what you’re doing as much? Or is it because it’s you? Is it a value that you found in yourself that has made it so useful and powerful for you?
Kirk Bowman [40:16]
Yes, it’s very much something that I found love in, you know, it’s something that’s the way I’m wired. It’s something that resonated with me at the time when I put it into practice in my own business, but most people just want to put it into practice in their own business and going doing what their business is. Where I’m different in this case is I actually decided, you know what, I want to help other people do this, that I’m actually interested in not just implementing the business model, but creating a business around helping other people make the change. So it’s definitely you know, I stumbled into something.
David Ralph [40:47]
Well, I’m glad that you have stumbled into it because it is great to hear you and hear anyone sounding so passionate and enthusiastic about something that they’re doing on a daily basis. So good on yourself on this side of the United Kingdom. I said Lou, you.
Kirk Bowman [41:00]
Well appreciate that back at you.
David Ralph [41:02]
Well, this is the end of the show. Now this is the part when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Kirk, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades you out. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [41:29]
With the best of the show,
Kirk Bowman [41:44]
hiker, this is Kirk. You know, when you’re a junior in high school, around 16 years old, you see your whole future in front of you. You’ve got all the passion, all the desire, you want to hurry up and rush through life and get things done. What you don’t have at that point is the wisdom. And so my goal would be to encourage you to follow that passion, intemperate with wisdom, and get that wisdom from those around you that have walked the journey before. Because if you’re able to take that passion and enthusiasm from that young age and combine it with the wisdom of others, that’s a combination that will take you far. So what does that wisdom look like? Regarding college, I would say realise that college is about figuring out what you don’t want to do, not what you want to do. I would say regarding your financial future, start investing early. start investing $100 a month, as soon as you get your first job and can seem to do that religiously. Because you will be so far ahead. Two or three figure out what you value. Where do you want to be in 4050 years and I don’t mean career wise In other words, what would your legacy be? What do you picture your funeral? What would you want people to say about you at your funeral? If five people were going to give testimonies about you at your funeral, what would they say? Hopefully, when you answer that question, the answers are going to come back about your character. Think about the character. And I mean, you know, your your core, the things that you value, the things that are most important to you. What are those things and put those first, realise that life is based on the idea of abundance, not scarcity. Whenever fear sets in your thinking, from the viewpoint of scarcity, you want to think from the viewpoint of abundance, never be scared to give to others, it will come back to you, but realise that that is not our human nature. That when we get scared, we tend to retreat back and it’s in those moments, taking the courage to stop Brothers in spite of how it may appear to you, it’s in those moments that you will make steps for value your relationships, relationships are incredibly important. Always put relationship ahead of other things, whether that’s relationship with your wife, relationship with your children, relationship with your family, relationship with the people, you work with relationship with your customers put relationship first, other things will come. think hard about whether you’re the type of person that wants to run your own show, or wants to be part of a bigger show that somebody else is leading. There’s nothing wrong with either position, but figure out which one is you. Try both of them out. Try starting your own thing and see how that goes. Try following somebody else work for somebody else. That’s going to help you learn
I think that’s the advice I would give you.
Those are things that are broad. But those are things that if you apply them, they’ll help you get where you’re going. You don’t need tactics right now you need strategy.
Unknown Speaker [45:16]
That’s what I tell you. Coke.
David Ralph [45:18]
How can our audience connect with you, sir?
Kirk Bowman [45:20]
So the best way to find us is at art of value.com. We have the podcast there so you can find the episodes, we’d love for you to take a listen to the show. Give us the feedback. If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe. If you’d like to reach out to us and ask us a question on twitter at art of value, or you can contact us on the website through our contact form. We’d love to interact with you. We’d love to hear from you. If you’ve listened to this episode, shoot us an email or reach out to us. I’d love to hear about it. Just thanks for having me on the show. Well, thank
David Ralph [45:54]
you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again when you have more dots to join. Enough as I do believe it by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Kirk Bowman,
Kirk Bowman [46:06]
thank you so much. You’re welcome. Thanks for having me on the show.
David Ralph [46:11]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcasters mastery.com
Unknown Speaker [46:28]
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.