Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast with Adam Dicker
Introducing Adam Dicker
My guest today, on the Join Up Dots free podcast interview is Adam Dicker.
He is a man who is a lifelong entrepreneur and domain expert who at age 18 received a $100,000 job offer while he was just beginning university.
He got online in 1985, right after he got his first Macintosh computer and in 1989, then started running a large computer store in Toronto.
He did this until 1994 when he started his own Internet Service provider, and as you can imagine by that time he was hooked on the internet.
But of course being hooked on something that in many ways was just finding its feet, is both invigorating and also unpredictable.
This was still four years before Google was formed?
How The Dots Joined Up For Adam
What did we say before we could tell everyone “Oh, just go and Google it?”
He registered his first domain name in 1996 and is one of a small group of individuals to sell a domain name for seven figures.
In 2003 he purchased DNForum.com, which is now the most popular domain name forum on the Internet.
He is considered the domain expert by many in the domain industry.
So looking back did he come along at the right time, when the world wide web, was finding its feet, or has he made smart decisions throughout his adult life?
And what would he be able to do if we didn’t have a network of information available to us?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only, yes, domain man himself……Adam Dicker
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Adam Dicker such as:
Why he sets his goals on a daily basis, and looks to ring a bell to signify his successes as soon as possible.
How lead generation is such an important part of his businesses, by using domain names to drive traffic and customers to his clients.
How it is so important to spend time every week with your family, no matter how busy you are in your life.
Why Adam believes that you have to be the hardest worker in an office everytime, and then the money will follow you.
How even at the age of ten, on a snowy day in Canada he knew how to find a business deal that worked in his favour.
How To Connect With Adam Dicker
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Full Transcription Of Adam Dicker Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Do you have a business that can’t get going or would love to create your own one that works whilst you sleep and is built around the things you love? Well, podcasters mastery is the place to go to learn the six simple steps to create a business that flourishes connecting with thousands of customers that tell you what products they want. podcasters mastery is the online route to business success. Check us out now.
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 [0:48]
Yes, hello everybody and welcome to Join Up Dots Join Up Dots for 27 quite astonishing. I say all the time, how quickly you can move through the episodes but of course, we do better them out. And we bang them out because you keep them coming back to us in such large numbers, wanting more and more content. So it’s with delight. But we’ve got a gentleman on today, who’s really going to deliver an interesting story. And it’s something that we all get involved in on a daily basis. And more often than not, we don’t know much about it domain names and working within the internet. He is a man who is a lifelong entrepreneur and domain expert who at age 18, received 100,000 job offer while he was just beginning University, he got online in 1985, right after he got his first Macintosh computer. And in 1989, when started running a large computer store in Toronto. He did this until 1994, when he started his own internet service provider. And as you can imagine, by that time, he was hooked on the internet. But of course, being hooked on something that in many ways was just finding its feet is both invigorating and also predictable. Now, this was still four years before Google was formed. What What did we say before we could tell everyone, I’ll just go and Google Anyway, he registered his birth domain name in 1996. And he’s one of a small group of individuals to set a domain name for seven figures. In 2003. He purchased dn forum.com, which is now the most popular domain name forum on the internet. He is considered the domain expert by many in the industry. So looking back did he come along at the right time when the World Wide Web was finding his feet or as he made a smart decision throughout his adult life and what would he be able to do if we didn’t have a network of information available to us? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Yes, the main man himself. Adam Dicker. How are you sir?
Adam Dicker [2:41]
Very good. And thank you for having me on the show. It’s an honour to be here.
David Ralph [2:44]
It is lovely to have you here. I almost wasn’t here I just in that introduction. I swallowed a fly and Adam was very kind to allow me to die live it would. It would boost up the downloads when it if I died on air.
Adam Dicker [2:58]
I probably not Probably never make it there. But you never know. Just glad you’re
David Ralph [3:03]
okay. You could take over. You’re a professional, you could do that. So it’s been an interesting story in your life because in many ways, sort of the World Wide Web has grown up around so many of us without us knowing it’s just kind of something there. Do you feel like you was fair at the beginning? Do you feel like it was part of the creation? Or do you also feel like it just kind of grew up around you?
Adam Dicker [3:26]
I guess when I look back, I was kind of there to see it start and to see it grow and, and to where it is today from where it was a long time ago. It’s obviously a huge change. We started up with things like dial up and we start up originally with text only computers that had no internet. Then we hooked up the internet to it and we were still in lower end monitors and black and white. And there’s lots of things that have changed over the years and now the monitors are much bigger the RAM, it’s much bigger than the potential what you can do with a PC and the internet is so much bigger. I almost don’t know how we would Live Without at this point because back then a computer without the internet was basically just a fancy typewriter with a backspace so you didn’t have to use liquid paper to cover up your mistakes or retype.
David Ralph [4:10]
Well yeah, I remember things. I remember a Commodore VIC 20. That was my first computer. And it used to take like 15 minutes to load a game and looking back on it, it was it was okay. But it was great at the time, wasn’t it?
Adam Dicker [4:23]
Oh, it’s fantastic. I mean, the big 20 was basically just a keyboard from what I recall. And it didn’t it was a computer and then they came out with the Texas Instruments and that’s about the time they came out with started to come out with the Atari 2600 video game system, which compared to today’s video games was just a bunch of dots and lines. And then it just kept going from there. We then eventually we hit obviously the PlayStation. The games changed so much as did the computers compared to back then.
David Ralph [4:50]
So in life generally as you get up into certain age, we start looking back with a sort of nostalgia to it or do you look back as in sort In this dodgy way to VAT or do you look back now and go, Oh, it was rubbish. This is so much better now, you know, is there any good parts to where it was compared to now?
Adam Dicker [5:10]
Well, I have to say no, because I mean, it had to go through those stages to get to where we are today. But the expense and the cost of computers back then was so high now you can vote for $399 or 399 pounds and get a really high end, decent laptop and stuff, whereas before it would have cost us $5,000. So technology advanced so much things have gotten smaller. Everything’s gotten faster. It isn’t a static for me, but I kind of feel like telling my kids the old stories about how I used to. My dad used to tell me about how he used to have to walk to school 10 miles to get there, and then this and that. And then I should tell him Well, maybe that’s why your grades weren’t so good. You were tired. Yeah,
David Ralph [5:52]
well, that’s true. I tell my kids when they moan but somebody has paused the television. I used to say when I was a kid, we just missed it. It You couldn’t stop live television like you can now is
Adam Dicker [6:03]
amazing. Not only. Not only that, but when when I was younger and probably when you were younger as well, there was no television remote control. I was a television remote control. I had to get up and go change the channels and the volume.
David Ralph [6:14]
Yeah, no, we didn’t we had them.
Adam Dicker [6:17]
Yeah, there’s lots of stuff that people take for granted. Now that they have that they could like most teenagers today don’t know what life is like without the internet. They couldn’t even imagine. I do.
David Ralph [6:27]
Obviously, it’s not gonna be to sort of middle aged men having a rant. But I do think in many ways, nowadays, it’s, it’s great. It’s brilliant. But we’re kind of too connected. My son and my daughters literally can’t walk from room to room without having it in their hands. And we’re we’re all gonna have this bad neck business where we’re staring down at our phones all the time.
Adam Dicker [6:52]
Well, the biggest problem is it social networking is now done on a computer cell phone, whereas before social networking was Going outside and playing baseball or football or soccer throwing a ball around or getting fresh air so and you knew when the street lights went out, it was time to go home. These days Nobody leaves the house unless they’re going to do something else with it’s just not as social as it used to be. So it’s got its downfalls. There’s no question about it.
David Ralph [7:17]
So if we take you back in time, Have you always been a Canadian? Did you grow up in Canada? Was this your your hometown of Ontario?
Adam Dicker [7:25]
Yeah, I mean, I grew up in Toronto, Toronto, Canada, I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve done a lot of travelling because I speak at about 20 conference 10 to 20 conferences a year. So I get to do a fair bit of travelling, but Toronto is always going to be an always has been my home.
David Ralph [7:42]
So when you go and talk, you talk about domains because I’m, in many ways, I’m very sort of technologically advanced to what I do. But on other ways I’m a complete idiot. And when it comes to like domain, I was very interested with the dn forum because I just can’t To go on to GoDaddy, try to find a name that sounds good. I’m buying it. Isn’t that much more to it than that? How do you become an expert in this industry?
Adam Dicker [8:11]
Well, it takes a long time. And like any industry, it takes a lot of experience. So when I go and I talk and I explain certain things about the domain industry, certain ways that you can make money by buying and selling domain names, or just buying them, and doing what we call lead generation. So for example, if you had a painter in London, England, and I was going to send him leads, he needed clients, I would set up something like lemon painter calm or.or.co. UK and then I would find clients for him and send him clients that I would get 10% of that forwarded to him. I’ve done that before with many clients, I still own the asset. I’m sending him the clients, he’s only paying me for close leads. And it’s very easy for me to ask somebody if I send your business and if you close it only if you close it Are you willing to pay me a 10% finder’s fee and there’s no Nobody really in the world that’s going to say no to extra business. So it’s really important that that’s one of the ways that you can make money. It’s lead generation where you don’t actually sell the domain name. You’re just basically making money off the leads, and you can make, I was working with a guy selling fences in Dallas, and his fences were a fence around your house about $13,000, I was getting 20%. So that’s 20 $600. For every lead, I sent him and I still own the asset. I sent him so many clients, he didn’t have enough people to build the fences, he had to send them to a competitor. So there’s certainly lots of different ways that you can make money with domains or online. And when I go to speak at conferences, that’s one of the things I teach people is how to make money, starting an online business and not so much buying and selling a domain name but how to build businesses or help other people build businesses.
David Ralph [9:46]
And when people are sitting listening to this as I was just sitting listening to you, they’re thinking, really Can you do that? Is that the kind of response that you get, but you can actually become a lead generator People will pay you.
Adam Dicker [10:01]
Yeah, I mean, some industries, obviously, it takes time to learn what industries will pay you more than others. For example, dentist and orthodontist. And those type of dentists seem to pay a lot. Because if you go to a dentist, I think you mentioned you have a son and two daughters. Is that correct? I have
David Ralph [10:17]
four daughters and a son actually.
Adam Dicker [10:19]
Okay, so that’s even better. So you go to a dentist, you like the dentist, then all of a sudden, your wife may go to the dentist, your daughter’s and your son may go to the dentist. Now he’s picked up about seven different clients. So they’re willing to pay $125 per lead cash, or check or whatever to get those leads from you because there’s potential to have you for lifetime, which is a lot of revenue in their pocket. And obviously, it’s such a large family, it’s even better for them. So there’s certain industries that pay a lot. locksmiths pay a lot for leads, and there’s quite a few others. So what I do is I try to target people and companies that can actually pay out or afford to pay up because they’re making good money on you don’t tend to Target products that are under $100. Because what can they afford to you $10 or $20. But if you target people that are making a lot more money, like swimming pool installers and things like that, they charge $30,000 for a swimming pool minimally, you can go up to 125,000. So 10% on that is good. You can target real estate people who when they sell even a $400,000, house or condo or whatever, they’re making good money. And they can also afford to give you a good tip for the lead, and still make very good money for themselves. So there’s lots and lots of different services and product industries that you can connect with that will be more than happy to say, Look, you’re not looking to just sell them leads that won’t convert, you’re only looking to get paid on unconverted leads. So it’s very hard to argue with that. If somebody said to me, I’ll bring you more clients for your web design business, and you’ll pay me 10 or 15%. For each one. I’m more likely to say yes, because then I know I’m guaranteed to get that client.
David Ralph [11:53]
And so how do you actually get the clients very, I can understand that you buy a domain name, but it is good is it just that it’s more clear A boy appears hiring Google whatever.
Adam Dicker [12:02]
Well, so what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll buy a domain name. And let’s just take an example Phoenix plumbers calm or something like that I’ll build a website, I’ll make sure I get it ranked, which is fairly easy for me to do. And I can do all that for for customers, I could do it for 100 for $100, or in that area. And then what I do is I go and look in Google and other search engines of who is buying those keywords now, and paying to be advertising as a phoenix plumber. And then I go to them directly, I can look on a site called SpyFu spy FAQ calm, and it’ll tell me how much that each company is paying for their ads. So if they’re already paying a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand dollars a month just to get new clients, and they’re not converting when I go to them and I say, look, I can guarantee I can get you converted clients, you only pay me for people that use your services. Instead of just paying for everybody that comes to the through Google and 99% of them won’t even be interested. They’re much happier, they get more return for their value. They only get paying again Converting clicks, and at the end of the day, I can choose to sell them that site, or I can keep it and just do lead generation with them. Whatever works out best for me at the time. And if that plumber decides he doesn’t want to use my services anymore, then I just pick another plumber in Phoenix. So he’s very easy for me to control the funnel.
David Ralph [13:18]
So is it a dream business as you work on it now? Do you think to yourself? Yeah, my dots have joined up. This is where I, I love being on a daily basis?
Adam Dicker [13:30]
Well, I mean, there’s so many different aspects to it. That’s certainly one that I enjoy. And I do it for lots of different companies. And I mean, there obviously are costs involved, but obviously take that into consideration. But no, I think it’s great. I think there’s lots of other things you can do. For example, you can buy domain names to sell and then go after companies in a similar way. So I could be selling that Phoenix plumber if I want, because I mean, it’s a brandable the guys in Phoenix, it’s a local business people aren’t calling plumbers from Miami. So you want to be known as the Phoenix plumber, then that’s the domain name that you want, and you’ll get indexed well, so if anybody ever types in Phoenix plumber, Phoenix plumbers, if the site’s SEO properly, you’re going to come up in the top 10 in Google, which means you’re going to get a lot of increased business. But I could also sell that domain. If I build it, and I find a plumber that wants to buy it. I pay $10 for the domain name, and I can sell it for 3500. No problem. And one of the big things is people think you need a lot of money to get in this business, you don’t. I’ve had people that have spent five to $800,000 buying domains, and then they come to me for advice, and it’s too late, I have to tell them, the domains they bought, were only worth about $5,000. That’s a hard conversation to have with somebody. But you only need about $100 to get started in this business that gets you 10 good domains. And it’s all about buying the right domain. If you buy the right domains, they’re much easier to sell. So it’s important that you learn how to buy the right domains. And by buying the right domains, what I mean is, if you’re buying them to sell, only buy a domain name that you think a business would want to operate on. So could operate on if you can’t figure out why a business and want that name or why they could operate on that name, then you’re buying the wrong names, you need to find 10 names are saleable. If you sell one for even 2500, which is very easy after $100 investment, you’re up 20 $400 already, and you still have the other nine names you can work on selling.
David Ralph [15:19]
So if we take you back in time, that job offer for 100 grand straight out of university. Is that something that you look back on now and go, I should have taken that or did you take it out? How did that come about? Because that is a hell of an offer, isn’t it?
Adam Dicker [15:36]
Yeah, when you’re 1819 and have you’re living at home and you’ve got no expenses. So I got the offer. I went to my parents, I told them about it. My dad basically said, You’re full of crap. I don’t believe you. So I said, Okay, come with me to the interview. He came with me. They put the contract down in front of me. And then I said to him, he said to me, Well, you can either you can go through school and maybe you’ll get a job for 40 or 50 If you’re lucky, or you can take this and hope you don’t screw up, and I actually took the job offer and luckily, I never screwed up. But it’s all about being driven, organising your time properly and focusing on the things that are important and not losing that drive. Drive is one of the most important things you can have to make yourself successful in any business.
David Ralph [16:22]
And have you always had that if we took you back right into the very early Adam which we’re going to do at the end of the show, but in the sort of the five year old, the eight year old, were you always somebody that was looking to create something and build connections and have that drive?
Adam Dicker [16:36]
Well, not at five or eight years old, but I was a pretty smart kid by around 10 or 11. I live in Toronto, so we get some snow and my dad and mom were going out my dad said look we got a bad snow he said I’ll give you $20 if you want to go out and shovel the driveway so I said okay, and then at 10 or 11 some kid came to the door to shovel the driveway because they go door to door knocking and I gave him $10 state Insider. It was more Warm, and he shovelled the driveway. My parents came home and it was all done.
David Ralph [17:04]
That’s the way to do it. And that is the way it is.
Adam Dicker [17:07]
It was, well, that’s what he knew I was going to be fairly good at business. And I could figure that out about 10 or 11. There was some hope for me there.
David Ralph [17:14]
So do you think business is teachable? Or do you think the people that really hit the ground running? It’s almost in bill? It’s part of their super talents and naturally born with?
Adam Dicker [17:25]
Well, I think it’s I think it’s very teachable. I think that and I tell people a lot when I do some public speaking that I can teach people anything about computers, I can teach them anything about domain names, anything about building websites, anything about the internet, the only thing I can’t teach people is common sense. So if people don’t have that, there’s not much I can do for them. But all the other skills are teachable. There’s no question about it. And you have to be driven. You have to understand that. Yes, and I treat every day Even now, as if I have to make enough money to pay for food for my family, and I keep a bill on my desk and Set daily goals for myself and it doesn’t matter what I did the day before. Every day is a new day and every day I get up with goals and the goals have gotten bigger over the years, but I still have something that I want to get done and I organise my time fairly well. So the first thing in the morning I do the customer focus things, the stuff that could be revenue that’s always revenue affected. So I’ll do quotes so I’ll answer customer issues I’ll deal with anything I have to do that has to do with the customer. And if I’ve got other things that I want to do for myself, those I can shelf and those I can get to if I need to build up my own sites, but the customer focus stuff is very important to get done right away. So anything that’s revenue effecting gets done first. And then from there, I move on.
David Ralph [18:41]
So you don’t ever sort of wake up and go oh, I’m just gonna lay on the sofa and watch Netflix all morning you you even now you keep on going keep on going.
Adam Dicker [18:49]
Well, you everybody has days like that. And one of the hardest things is when you’re working on your own is to be focused and get up and going at office so you try to get in a routine. I go for coffee every morning at 30 I sit with a couple of guys, we just have a basic chitchat. And then I get back in my office for nine o’clock. And you just have to find a way to stay focused. But if I do really well, and I have a big sale today, tomorrow, I’m not just going to lie on the couch or have a nap and or go for a massage or something. I’m going to get up like I made nothing the day before. And I’m just going to try to refocus and get back in there. But you really have to be able to focus and you have to be able to close yourself off. So I don’t get shopping lists from my wife during the day, I don’t get run around to this year. And when I’m in my office, my kids and my wife know that I’m working and not to bother me because it’s work. And the good thing about is I get to have dinner with my family every night and I’ve got four kids so it’s enjoyable and I get to do the things that I want to do. But I also know that if I have more work to do after dinner, the only person that I’m going to hold accountable is myself. So I have to go back in and do those meetings,
David Ralph [19:49]
which is the what is the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur I he was always in corporate lane so I clocked in and clocked out for many, many years and I had this vision of Being an entrepreneur and basically having pup lunches and floating around, it was all going to be great. But then my hours were like three times as much as I was doing in corporate land, and it was quite difficult to rein it back because I was so passionate about doing what I was doing. How do you do that? How do you not just spend another hour in there? How do you switch off, go for dinner and watch television in the evening? How do you not get obsessed like so many of us do?
Adam Dicker [20:27]
Well, there are certainly days like that there are days when you do feel that way. And there are days where you know, you have to get something done and you want to finish it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but there has to be a really good balance. The bottom line is when people pass away, nobody says I wish I would have spent an extra hour on the internet or on working. They all say they wish they would have spent more time with the family. So that’s one thing you have to find a way to balance yourself and make sure that you do have time to watch Netflix with the family and you do have time to have dinner with the family. One of the things I try to do is I take my kids out for lunch. Usually during the week, especially when they’re in school, individually, and I get to spend time with them and learn about them and get to know them better. And to me, that’s just as important as making that extra dollar, or $100 or thousand dollars. Because I don’t want to miss out, I have to balance things out. And that’s one of the problems that people have is you can go to the extremes on either side, but you have to find a way to balance it out. Because life The reason we’re working so hard is not so that we can have a prettier life or nicer things or find things but so we can take care of our family. And yes, we can live a better life and we can eat better, and we’ll have food on the table. But the bottom line is, you have to you’re doing it for the family, you have to spend time with a family otherwise you’re going to miss out on everything.
David Ralph [21:40]
But you’ve certainly sound like you’ve got it balanced. But will you ever on the dark side. Will you ever sort of not seeing your kids in that because you were constantly working or Have you always been able to balance it?
Adam Dicker [21:51]
No, I definitely was on the dark side. So I was recently working one job for from I would get on the train at 7am I get Back at 7pm, then I’d have dinner. And then I’d work on my own business from about 8pm till two or three in the morning and get back on that train at 7am. And we had little kids at the time, and my wife was complaining to me, because I was never around and I wasn’t here. I wasn’t there. And then my father in law stepped in and said to her, he said, Look, he’s not out drinking, he’s not out with women. He’s not at school around doing nonsense. Let him make hay while the sun shines, because you never know when it’s going to stop and he won’t be able to continue doing this and won’t be able to make the extra money but he’s doing it for the family. So back off. And after he said that to her, I’ve never heard a complaint since. So that’s why I that’s why it is true. And that’s why now as he’s in his later stages, him and his wife now live with us. And I love them as much as my own family because they they’re just good people. And they understood that I wasn’t out causing trouble. I was trying to build a business and build a better life for us down the road. But yeah, I used to work those 18 1920 I would meet people at a coffee shop, that God knows me Midnight or two in the morning because I had a meeting or something. And that’s the only time I could do it. So you’d be surprised how much time you have to put in. And for five years, I did that straight with that train and everything, and I got no sleep and had no life. But in that five years, we had back then a $200,000 mortgage. And I think we only paid off a couple thousand dollars in principle, but then the next year, I was able to pay it all off. So the work definitely paid off. But it was a long, hard stretch for my wife, and for me,
David Ralph [23:29]
and so deeply into that kind of that analogy of most people won’t work for five years like that. But now you can have the rest of your life like nobody else that that kind of you put the effort in at the beginning, while other people are floating around, but then you reap the rewards for the rest.
Adam Dicker [23:48]
Well, you have to have focus, you have to have goals. And if it was 10 years or 20 years, I would have still done it for the 10 or 20 years. As it turns out, my businesses started to take off and things started to get better, but I was willing to put in whatever it took to have a better life for me and my family, and you have to be able to do that you have to have that thing. Nothing’s going to come easy unless you’re going to wait around for people with money to pass away. Nothing comes easy. It comes with hard work, and you have to be willing to put the work in. And yes, it’ll be easier if you do put the work in. When you’re younger, it hopefully it’ll be easier for you down the road. But I still have the same drive as I had back then. And I wouldn’t let up even now if I had to. And I still say I don’t care what I do at any company. I’m no better than everybody else. And I would go in and I’d scrub the toilet or work at McDonald’s. If I had to to feed my family, I wouldn’t care. You do what you have to do, and you put the effort in that you would and you treat everybody equal. One of the things I’ve noticed and I was lucky enough to benefit from the whole way up is people usually ignore the secretaries or they don’t treat them with the same respect as they treat their boss. I treated everybody as if they were my boss all the time the whole way. And I’ve got so many different favours. If a boss was Talk to me, the Secretary would say, hey, Adam, just a heads up. Louise is going to talk to you about this today, be ready. And then I’d be ready. And I would go in and just treat everybody with respect. Because at the end of the day, nobody’s better than anybody else.
David Ralph [25:12]
Oh, I agree with that. Totally. I’ve worked in so many offices throughout London. And so the United Kingdom, where I would know everyone from, from the stationery department, through to HR through to the managers, whatever, and I used to pride myself on being able to walk around and know, everyone in a 400 office by name and that they would know me. And yeah, I used to test people and I used to say, who’s that over there? And more often than not, they couldn’t and I say you walk past them every single day. Do you not even know their name, but they couldn’t.
Adam Dicker [25:46]
And that’s not even about money. It’s just about being a good person and and caring about other people. It’s important to care about other people because everybody you’re working with has issues. They have problems. They have goals, and you want to help as many other people as you can to reach those goals. That’s part of the reason why I teach so many courses online and why I speak at so many conferences, because I get to pay it forward in an industry that’s been so good and so great to me. And I still say I’ve only done about 5% of what I’m going to do. So the next 95% is going to be a lot of fun, too. Good on
David Ralph [26:17]
you. Good on you. And I’m going to play some words now that really emphasise what you’re talking about going for the dream, going for something that you may not have all the answers at the beginning, but hopefully, it will pay off. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [26:29]
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 love.
David Ralph [26:56]
So your dad when he said you’re full of it with that hundred grand offer. Well, what was he doing? Why couldn’t he see you’ve actually he son was doing something remarkable. He had got talents.
Adam Dicker [27:12]
Well, he really wasn’t computer literate at the time computers were just coming in sort of so I mean, he just didn’t didn’t know what kind of talents or what kind of abilities that I would have that at 1819, a company would come after you and offer you that kind of money. He was in real estate. He ran a successful real estate company, but he didn’t know how to manage a business. For every dollar he had, he would spend $5. So he was always surprised at how he never knew how it came up with my business knowledge. And to him it was it was too shocking that somebody who would offer an 1819 year old that kind of money so early without any work experience without any proven work experience. It was just shocking to him. He wasn’t he wasn’t mean about it or anything. He was just hard to believe that it was actually happening. But he was very nice about it. I mean, it’s just the way it was
David Ralph [27:59]
and then do you Look at your parents as proof that generations have got more opportunities now than ever before, can you see a distinct difference between their time, your time and what your kids are gonna get?
Adam Dicker [28:15]
Oh, there’s definitely a distinct difference in how we were brought up and everything else it could be. I mean, I, especially with the internet, I always look at the Internet as a pyramid. So for example, my dad’s generation would be in his 80s. Now they’re about five to 10%, computer literate, my generation who’s late 40s, early 50s is about 50% literate, but our kids generation is 100% illiterate. So more and more people are going to continue to get online. And the internet’s just going to grow. People are going to need domain names, online businesses are going to grow. A lot of stuff’s going to change over. So the potential that I see for kids and my kids, I mean, when I was younger, you want your kid to be a dentist or a doctor or a lawyer or something like that. Now, you’d rather be in computers because the money and the potential is unlimited, where it stops Isn’t lawyers, maybe capital what they can make? So there’s lots of differences.
David Ralph [29:04]
Yeah, I agree with that i the way I look at it with my kids now, I don’t want them to have to commute to a desk like I did. Every single day, I want them to have the ability to have experiences within their work at a transportable income that they can take with them. So if they want to go off to America, or live in Canada, or whatever, they can take their business with them. And that wasn’t available wasn’t?
Adam Dicker [29:29]
No, no. And the other thing that is really available now is that you can have two incomes, you can work your full time job, make extra money doing online businesses, and that’s huge extra income. So your job can pay for your usual costs and your expenses but your extra income can give you a much better life. And it wasn’t until my extra income from my own businesses start to beat what I was making in my job that I actually walked away. So I mean, you but I mean, hell, you can have both. That’s why I went to work. at GoDaddy because I had a good income and if they knew what I was doing, I was still making good money. So, for me, it was pretty easy and easy decision to keep on with both until the other one got much bigger than what my salary was. And looking back, it was a great decision. I mean, most people when I left my job, my full time jobs, people thought I was crazy. They thought I was made my wife my parents again, they thought I was making a mistake that I would be on my own as an entrepreneur and see how it would go and, and I had a family and four kids to support but in the end, it was me who was laughing not so much them.
David Ralph [30:34]
So tell us about the feeling of when you were getting close to matching the income because you could have gone Wow, this is brilliant. I’m getting two incomes coming in. I’m laughing but what made you finally go right now actually, I’m gonna go back half again. I’m gonna go just back to one income but it’s my own money.
Adam Dicker [30:55]
Well, part of it was that first of all, I did love the two incomes. There’s nobody Question about it because we did have extra money for extra trips and things like that. But what really gets you is when you realise the potential you have for an hour at work is capped, but an hour on your own, you can make much more money, you never get rich, working for somebody else, you do need to run your own business, you’re just making other people rich. And one of the things I learned early on was, you don’t have to, when you’re working for a company or you’re working on your own, you just have to be the hardest working person at the job. And you don’t have to worry about anybody else. Don’t let anybody any man or any woman outwork you, and you’ll always get recognised at any job you do. And that’s probably one of the best advice I can give listeners is to make sure you’re the hardest working person in any job and then I find that the Money Follows. You don’t even have to worry about the salary because the money will follow.
David Ralph [31:50]
teach you. I don’t know if I totally buy that because I have seen people that have worked hard, hard hard, but then the person with the smart suit and Comments of things to say just breezes past them, you see in a different way?
Adam Dicker [32:05]
Well, I mean, you can never avoid the who you know scenario because that definitely will come to effect and you can’t fight it. But I’ve always thought today, even jobs I’ve taken, I’ve never really even asked about salary sometimes because I knew if I did a good job, and I increased the profit level, and I picked up the level that I knew I was going to get paid accordingly. So I never really concern myself with it too much. But I do see what you’re saying too. There’s still people that may try to claim work that you’ve done or sneak around. And there’s always reasons there’s always politics in the office. And that’s one of the good things about working on my own or working with my staff. I don’t have to worry but office politics, the dog doesn’t come after me. Rat me out to somebody else or something like that or take credit for my work. So but even with staff I mean, you other thing you have to learn how to do is how to delegate and that’s a really tough thing to do. If you’ve always been working for another company, delegation and trusting people to get stuff Done as well as you can do it. It’s tough. It’s like the guy that runs a restaurant and he opens up another one, they both end up failing, because he can’t be in two places at once. So you can’t be afraid to bring on people that are smarter than you. I’m
David Ralph [33:11]
so So how have you done Batman? How have you made these decisions about people are smarter than you? Has it been trial and error? Or if you hit lucky with the people that you’ve brought onto your team?
Adam Dicker [33:23]
Well, I mean, you do hit lucky sometimes. And then you do the trial and error a couple times, then you get a lot of people that even friends that I’ve had that I’ve brought in that have turned on me and eventually tried to start up a competing business with me and because they think that it’s all if you get $1,000 in they think it’s all profit, they don’t realise that there’s expenses and things and salaries and other things you got to take care of. So I know that the higher that anybody rises up, and the more successful anybody gets, the more people dislike you that have never even met you. I mean, so that’s just the way it goes. There’s jealousy out there and you have to deal with all kinds of different things that you don’t normally deal with, but you used to bug me In the first couple of years now I just put on blinders and forget about it. I’m not gonna worry about people that are in my rearview mirror. But you will get that as you get more successful. And you get doubters, doubters, or it could be family, it could be friends could be anybody, the people that say you’re making a mistake, you’re not gonna be able to do it. As long as you put the work effort in and you educate yourself before you take that step. There’s a lot of success you can have and then those doubters will come back to you later and ask you for favours. It’s amazing how they come out of the woodwork. People you haven’t talked to since high school now come out and ask me if I help them out with something or do something with them.
David Ralph [34:33]
He’s astonishing, though, isn’t it? Because we hear that time and time again, how people will project their own comfort zones on you. Now, Adam, that’s a bad idea, just because they personally wouldn’t do it themselves. It’s funny how that is the kind of advice I was listening to Michael Caine, the actor the other day, being interviewed on a programme and they said you do you’ve been around for 6070 years you’ve done all these films do give advice out to the Youngsters coming along? And he said, No, I don’t give out any advice you see, because when I was a youngster 99.9% of people told me not to do it. So I just keep it to myself. And I thought, that’s an interesting fact. But even at his age, he’s still holding back that ability, as you say, to pass the doubts on to other people.
Adam Dicker [35:22]
I mean, it’s a shame. I mean, you can you Well, two things are gonna happen, you’re either going to be successful, or you’re going to come up exactly the way the doubters expect you to the bottom line is, the more people that doubt you, the harder you push yourself and the harder you push yourself, the better your chance for success. And people listen, you only get fired by taking chances. If you if you continually toe the line. Then you’ll be working in the post office or wherever you are for the rest of your life. You have to have something you already thinking outside the box. If you’re thinking about doing something on your own. And the good thing about an online businesses, what I teach them is that you can do that with very little expenses. I mean, domains $10 hosting, it’s about $5 a month. You’re not Talking about huge, huge expense here and you have to know how to launch your business. There’s hundreds of ways you can get your business well known and out there without spending a dime. And you can build it so and there’s lots of home businesses there’s lots of people that run tutoring on the side if they’re teachers or if they just want to listen so many different online businesses need the Internet has killed a few businesses, but it’s also created thousands and thousands and millions of new potential businesses for people that normally wouldn’t be able to do anything. The stay at home mom the stay at home dad, they now can do something besides just sit there and wait for the baby to get up. There’s so much they can do and the world is limitless as far as their earning potential if they have drive.
David Ralph [36:39]
So we’ve we’ve talked about your work ethic and your hustle. But it seems like it’s been plain sailing for you have you had dramatic ups and downs. Have you had companies that have found or have you sort of breezed along quite happily?
Adam Dicker [36:54]
No, I have not raised along quite happily. So when we had one child and another child On the way, I was working for a company, a big cable company here, and I was pretty high up and my boss screwed something up, and I got blamed for it. And I was driving a company car at the time and I got dropped off and I was let go, I got dropped off on my driveway and my wife was in the garage, taking the garbage. And she said, What’s, what’s going on? I said, Give me a minute. And I’ll talk to you in a few minutes. And then we went inside. And I told her what happened. And I could have done two things I could have felt sorry for myself and depressed and had to deal with that for a long time. Or I could have done what I did, which was lock myself in my little home office, which wasn’t much of an office at the time. And I faxed out hundreds of resumes. Day after day, I pretty much didn’t sleep for like three, four days. And then eventually I got called in somewhere. And I got hired in a really senior position at Bell Canada, which is our phone company here. And that really changed things from that point on. But I mean, I could have felt sorry for myself. It was so bad that I had to borrow $200 for grocery money from my sister. So you have to really experienced those rough times to really appreciate the good ones. I was working outside at one point, we didn’t have enough money for a raincoat. And my wife took the last money we had and bought me a raincoat because I was outside and I still have that raincoat going on 21 years later, and it’s probably the most price thing that I have, because it’s got so much symbolism and so much meaning to me. That, no, you have to I’ve definitely had the rough times it hasn’t been all great. That’s for sure.
David Ralph [38:26]
Because well we talk about in Join Up Dots. And I probably mentioned this almost every episode, that your dark dots become your good dots. And once you’re far enough away from those bad times, you can actually go well, because of that this happened and this happened. So I wouldn’t be here without it. You can sort of connect it back. Do you see it in a similar way?
Adam Dicker [38:46]
Oh, there’s no question about it. Everything that you do in life in personal life, and professional life. It leads you to who you are and where you are today. And hopefully you learn from it and you learn from your mistakes. We learn from mistakes, we don’t learn from things that go well. And hopefully you take that and use that building block to make yourself a better person, a better human, and a better business person, if that’s what your goal is. But definitely all those dots Connect. There’s not one thing that’s happened when I think back that didn’t connect or somehow relate to the next phase and the next step. And sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And you have to always realise that you got to pick yourself up and you got to focus and you got to get going, because just sitting around feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help anybody. But it’s it’s definitely a tough thing. But those dots definitely have meaning. And some of the harder ones have much more meaning than the easier ones. There’s no question about it. The failures and the rough spots, like being let go from that company, outweigh the successes in our memories. Even as we’re adults, you only really remember the really good things and they’re really bad things you know, can’t remember everything in between because it’d be too much but it definitely leads you to where you are as a person.
David Ralph [40:00]
But that’s probably the words of the whole show. And you you brought it up quite nicely bear in in a different way. But it says the same thing. These are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005. And here’s why the show is called Join Up Dots. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [40:13]
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 the 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 [40:48]
So what is your big dot been Adam when you look back on everything what was the sort of the moment the situation whatever but really started to kick it off for you
Adam Dicker [41:02]
So one of the things I did when I, when you talk about the beginning of the show that I had a computer company, and then I went to an internet service provider, one of the things that kicked it off for me in the the internet service provider was I was having people sign up to my internet service while I slept. So I was basically making money while I slept. And that was a big thing for me to realise that with the internet, it’s a 24 hour business, and I could make money while I slept. So that made it a much more financially attractive situation. But the other big dog was definitely when I took a chance and left the company that I was working at, to pursue my goals and my dreams of being my own boss and being financially independent, right and really have to rely on other people. And that’s hard to do when you have dependents and you have kids. It’s much easier to do when you’re single and you’re young than it is when you’ve got dependents because if that’s the case and I can just live at home or move back home and things like that, but when you have kids and they have to eat you got to take care of spouse, and you’ve got a lot of responsibility. It’s much harder to make that leap. But it’s well worth it if you’re focused and you stay focused on the goals.
David Ralph [42:08]
And as you did, it wasn’t so much a leap, it was a slide of faith, you got to a point where you had a decision, but your bills were paid. And that’s, that’s what most people can do. They can put in four or five years hard work in the evenings and weekends to build up business to get to that point that you heard.
Adam Dicker [42:27]
Well, yeah, and like I said, the big thing is to do it when the risk is minimal. When you already have a job. When you’re sitting there and you’re learning, you can learn on the job of what you’re doing, or you can go home at night and you can start to create that company. And that’s what I teach people is how to build a successful online business. And then it’s up to them if they want to keep both incomes or if they decide they want to walk away and do it full time. I’m certainly not encouraging one or the other because I want them to be happy. And I don’t want them to regret their decisions for me, and for a lot of other entrepreneurs have worked out. And for most people, it will again, as long as you stay driven, it’s very easy to Teach Yourself anything as long as you’re focused. But again, the toughest thing to teach somebody is common sense. And you have to realise that everything you do in life is about sales and negotiations, even in your relationship, it’s give and take. So understanding and reading more about sales negotiation, how to understand people, I read a book when I was younger, called body language, by Julius fast. I think I read it when I was 15. And it taught me so much about people how to take a situation make somebody feel more comfortable, hadn’t had to make them feel less uncomfortable when you want to be in a position of strength, how to know when somebody’s lying to you how to so many different things that teaches you that it’s very important. So sales and negotiation and understanding people and having people skills, you’ll get a lot farther if you’re extroverted than if you’re introverted. So everybody has issues and everybody has things you’re self confident about or sorry, feel bad about. But you have to make sure you step outside your comfort box and you’ll end up much more successful
David Ralph [43:57]
and none of us have the answers, do we but we just The belief that it will work out.
Adam Dicker [44:03]
And sometimes that’s enough, as long as you believe in yourself, and you have those goals, and they don’t have to be huge long term goals, they can be daily goals like I think I want to make 50 or $100 a day when I started out. And I just kept working to get that. And if I didn’t ring that bell that day, I was aggravated with myself, I didn’t hit where I wanted to the next day, I had to work harder. And you just keep setting goals for yourself. And it could be small, it could be big. But you have to have something to get up and fight for every day.
David Ralph [44:29]
I love this image of the bell. And can you can you get in there and ring it really quickly? Or? Or do you get in there and it’s always end of the day that the bell rings?
Adam Dicker [44:41]
Well, some days it’s quicker than others and some days I gotta fight for it. But the goal at the end of the day is still to ring that bell and hit my goal. So yeah, some days it’s a lot quicker. Some days I could have lots of sales by 10am. Some days. There’s nothing and those are the days you fight for and you keep on pushing forward. And you have all days.
David Ralph [45:02]
Do you have a day ever? But you don’t ring the bell?
Adam Dicker [45:05]
Oh, sure, sure it wouldn’t be realistic if I hit my goals every day. But I still get aggravated when I don’t hit my goals because, I mean, that’s the reason I’m doing this is the hit goals for me and my family and grow the business. So yeah, there’s definitely days where you don’t hit the bell.
David Ralph [45:20]
Good on you. Good on you, sir. Well, this is the end of the show. And this is the bit where we’re gonna 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 Adam, what advice would you give and so I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mind.
Adam Dicker [45:42]
We go with the best bit of the show.
Adam Dicker [46:00]
So part of the advice that I would give if I was meeting a young Adam dicker would be say, hey, Adam, there’s a couple things you need to do. One is read a lot more, do a lot more research, understand things and learn about directions you want to go. Use your time wisely, and grow up a little bit instead of spending all your money on dating and having a good time. Maybe put a little bit away now and understand that you may need it later on and there’s lots of things you could be doing but definitely start to listen to more of the people around you. I realised that the the old Adam dicker which is what I am now didn’t really grow up until I start to learn and listen to the wisdom of others without having to make my own mistakes. So I tell myself to listen more to the people around you and learn a lot educate yourself and just lead a better life.
David Ralph [46:51]
Adam whats the number one best way our audience can connect with you sir.
Adam Dicker [46:56]
So I like to do something that a lot of people don’t do. I give out all my personal information. And then people are surprised when they actually call me to answer the phone so you can get ahold of me on skype at Adam dicker. You can email me at Adam at DC g calm. That’s Adam DCG like digital consultant group Comm. And you can even call me on my cell phone at 416-884-0535. I have people call me and they’re actually surprised that I answered and I say, Well, if you expect me to answer would you call for? I give it out. So you can call me and I have no problem paying it forward and helping other people. It’s part of the joy of being successful and being able to help other people reach their goals.
David Ralph [47:34]
We’ll have over links in the show notes. Adam, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again, when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Adam Decker Thank you so much.
Adam Dicker [47:50]
Thank you It’s been an honour to be here.
David Ralph [47:54]
You sit and dream about building a profitable online business that means you wake up every day with a yay Instead of, oh no. Well, you’ve come to the right place because dream starters Academy is the community that will help you group with people with different levels of knowledge, experience dreams, but one common goal yes to be the greatest and most inspirational version of themselves. If you want to build a business around the hours you choose to work, create a business that works while you sleep. Develop a service business that is a joy every day and take time off when you want. And of course, build a network of friends supporters and action takers who are available 24 seven then dream starters Academy is your global approach to business but doors are never closed and the dream never stops building. Come across to Join Up Dots coaching, look for dream starters Academy and join with us now. And what’s your dream materialise before your eyes?
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or 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.