E-Printables Expert Cody Berman Joins Us On Join Up Dots
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Introducing Cody Berman
Cody Berman co founder of Gold City Ventures is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired podcast.
This is a man with quite a story of success, focus and working hard to make things happen.
Cody Berman was 6 months into his banking job when he decided he never wanted to work in corporate again.
Sometime people take years to get the message, but this was obvious…but what could he do?
Well he started a disc golf manufacturing company, started an Etsy business selling digital downloads for the holidays (Halloween party invites, letters to Santa, etc), lived below his means, and picked up unit after unit of real estate during the pandemic.
He’s now splitting his time traveling the world and fixing up an old lake house.
How The E-Printables Dots Joined Up For Cody
As he says “Side hustling has literally transformed my life. On January 31, 2019 I quit my corporate banking job when my side hustle income started to cover the cost of my lifestyle… and since then I’ve never looked back!”
He spent the last month traveling through the Greek Islands while bringing in a six figure annual income with online business.
Cody’s goal is financial independence.
When he isn’t building his own financial independence, he blogs, podcasts, and runs his business helping others get Etsy businesses up and running through Gold City Ventures.
So do people make building an online business harder than it really is in his opinion?
And of course with everything great success there are downsides to explore and encounter so what has been his biggest?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one Cody Berman
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Cody such as:
How he tried every online business under the sun, whilst trying his best to stockpile his earnings to give as much
Why its so important to think long and hard about what you want to do then go deeper and deeper until you are lower than anyone else.
Cody talks about how he first discovered pintable’s and the scalable side of this amazing online business.
Cody shares his belief that everything that occurs in life good or bad can be dealt with as it happens. Take the leap with confidence and make things work for yourself.
How To Connect With Cody
Return To The Top Of Cody Berman
Full Transcription Of E-Printables Expert Cody Berman
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots, tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming God. Let’s join your host, David Ralph, from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:39]
Yes, hello. Good morning to you and welcome to Join Up Dots. Yeah, just looking at the old calendar, we’re moving up to the eight year anniversary of doing Join Up Dots. And some of you have been there right from the very beginning. And I always say to you, thank you so much. But even if you’ve just stumbled across the show, we appreciate you as well as our guests stumbled across the show today. So it’s a delight to have him on because he’s the co founder of gold city ventures. And he’s a man with quite a story of success, focus, and working hard to make the right things happen. He was six months into his banking job when he decided he never wanted to work in corporate again. He did it in six months I did in about 20 years. I don’t know what what I was thinking about. Sometimes people take years to get the message out that was me. But this one for him was obvious. But what could he do? Well, he started a disc golf manufacturing company started an Etsy business selling digital downloads for the holidays, Halloween party invites letters to Santa etc. And then lived below his means which is really important and picked up unit after unit of real estate during the pandemic. He’s now splitting his time travelling the world and fixing up an old a lake house. And as he says, side hustling has literally transformed my life on January 31 2019. I quit my corporate banking job when my side hustle income started to cover the cost of my lifestyle. And since then, I’ve never looked back. He spent the last month travelling through the Greek islands, while bringing in a six figure annual income with these online businesses. And his goal is financial independence. So when he isn’t building his own financial independence, he blogs podcasts and runs his business helping others get Etsy businesses up and running through gold city ventures. So do people really make building an online business harder than it really is? In his opinion? And of course, with every great successes, downsides to explore an encounter. So why is he’s been his biggest? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Cody Berman. How are you?
Cody Berman E-Printables [2:52]
I am doing awesome man, I am going to have to live up to all this excitement, all the hype, the amazing bio you just gave me but excited to be here, David. But
David Ralph [3:00]
it’s not hype. It’s not in any shape or form. And I’m going to get straight to it. One of the things that really jumped out at me was that you was willing to live below your means. And I’m a big advocate on that. I speak to so many people and I say you know, how much do you need to raise to get an online business. And they always come out with telephone numbers where I always think well just make your life easier and easier and easier when you don’t have to do as much work and be so stressed. Was that something that was always in you living below your means if the need arose.
Cody Berman E-Printables [3:35]
It was a very intentional decision. And it was especially easier when I was 22 years old. So back in that corporate job, I was doing commercial real estate lending, I was saving 90% of my income. That’s not an exaggeration, just stockpiling cash because I knew that I wanted to do this entrepreneurship thing full time. At the same time. While I was doing that I was just literally trying every salsa under the sun, selling digital products online, starting a blog, a podcast, freelancing, all this different stuff. But you know what allowed me to be so flexible was that I was spending between 1012 $100 a month. Now to some people that might sound insane. But to me that was kind of the key to unlocking my freedom is that okay, once I hit this 1000 to 1200 a month inside hustle income, then I no longer have to depend on that corporate job. And you know, like I mentioned David I was set I was saving 90% of my income from the corporate job. So in it was about six or seven months, I had amassed almost $50,000 it was a high paying job. I got a signup bonus. So for people who were like Cody, you’re making six figures straight out of the gate. Not quite, but it was a pretty handsome salary. I had stockpiled about 50k away and for me, let’s just do some quick math. That was 50 months potentially of entrepreneurial freedom where I could make $0 with all my entrepreneurial ventures, and I’d be fine. I had that kind of stockpile, you know that safety net, that emergency fund, where I had now the leniency to go and try these entrepreneurial things. So that’s kind of What I thought about living below my means, and I used it as a tool to go after these different business ideas that I had,
David Ralph [5:06]
I would as well I would basically prostitute yourself, if it meant I could get something that I really wanted. But a lot of people don’t do they still want to have the Amazon Prime and the Netflix and the, you know, all the new things that have coming out. And I think to myself, they come and go, they don’t give you fulfilment in the long term, that’s just a gimmick. That’s a gadget. That’s, that’s a whatever it is. But actually waking up every morning, knowing that you’re in control of your life. I don’t think any gadget or gimmick can sort of match up to that, do you?
Cody Berman E-Printables [5:41]
Not at all, no life freedom. And that’s kind of what my whole goal was, is just getting financial independence, getting the time freedom to you know, spend time working on projects I want to work on, not the ones that my boss tells me I have to work on from 9am to 5pm. Every single day, you know, I can go on vacations, I just came back, you talked about it in the intro from the Greek islands, I visited four of the Greek islands, I would basically took a month off. I was working maybe an hour a day. But just because I was intentional about it. You know, I’m still living below my means I’m still have a really high savings rate. And yeah, I totally agree with you. There’s nothing materialistic that I would trade for the life that I built right now.
David Ralph [6:18]
Now, what is the downsides, though? Because that there’s they’ve always there’s a yin and yang on everything. And no matter how we say, it’s great. There are times when you’re doing your tax returns, or you’re dealing with clients that don’t turn up or you’re trying something new, and it’s not working. What’s your downsides to being entrepreneurial?
Cody Berman E-Printables [6:40]
I think the most difficult part about being an entrepreneur is that there’s nobody telling you what to do. And you know, that might sound like a good thing. But at times, especially when you first get started, it’s overwhelming, it can be a bad thing, because instead of your boss saying, hey, Cody, you have this project, you have the next couple of weeks to work on, and we’re gonna pay the salary. Now, when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re like, I can work on these 100 different things. What do I work on? How do I set my deadlines? Are they going to be successful because, you know, in entrepreneurship, if you’re not successful, that you know, quote, unquote, salary could be zero. If you aren’t, you know, selling that product, or you aren’t, you know, getting clients for that coaching service, you could potentially be earning zero. So it’s a scary thing to get to jump into, into entrepreneurship, if you don’t have some kind of proven business or you have some kind of plan to get things done.
David Ralph [7:25]
I now because I’ve been doing it for so long. I quite like the the zero mumps, when I know that I’m not going to earn anything because I don’t actually have to do anything. Do you know what I mean? When I can turn the tap off on my business, and then go right, I’m ready now and turn it back on. A lot of people have businesses where they have to keep on doing it every single month, otherwise, they’d go under. And I always say to them, you’ve got to get the strategy right at the beginning, you’ve got to know how your lifestyle will be impacted by going into a certain business. It’s okay, looking at Cody’s doing this and doing that and thinking that’s what I’m going to do. But once again, that might work for Cody, and it may not work for you. Would you agree?
Cody Berman E-Printables [8:11]
I absolutely agree. And that’s kind of the beauty of you know, selling digital products selling things online is that a lot of them, they don’t require you to actively be involved in the business. It’s not like you’re toiling for X number of hours per week to get some paycheck. That’s a function of how much you’re making per hour. Instead, you can like build these assets that will kind of pay you in perpetuity. So I know you mentioned before, you know I sell printables on Etsy and Shopify and I have a whole course around it, the E printables. Course. And you know, with products like that, you can go and create, let’s say a business planner, for example. And you can sell it as a template to other people, you list it in your shop once and how people can buy that product or buy the online course, or buy insert whatever might make sense for your venture, you can that you can just sell it in perpetuity with like very minimal overhead. It’s just an awesome way to kind of build a passive income stream.
David Ralph [8:59]
So let’s go back in time, and obviously, we’re going to talk about the course that’s why we’ve got you on here gold city wrenches. But let’s go back in time, when you said that you you quit, and you were trying all these online courses. And well, why didn’t they work? Because I know the reason why things don’t work with me and I, I can see it clearly now. But why do you think they didn’t work at a time for you?
Cody Berman E-Printables [9:23]
So when I quit, I didn’t start online courses until maybe a year or two later. But I think one of the reason specifically the online courses, why they failed and I, you know, started to build a couple of different online courses around various niches. One was like blogging. One was freelancing is because I didn’t niche down I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, David that the riches are in the niches, you have to get really specific unless you’re a huge personality. And you have you know, hundreds of 1000s or millions of followers. You can maybe have a general course on something like a general money course for example, but if you’re just you know, Joe Schmo from down the block, you’re probably not going to have too much Success having a really general course. So once we started niching down and you know serving a very specific audience of people who wanted to sell printables, online or on Etsy or on Shopify, that’s when we started to have a lot of success. But with the other courses that I had launched back in the day, like the blogging course, and freelancing course, they were just so broad. And so general. And you know, a lot of our strategy was kind of getting affiliates getting people in the same sphere as us, like people who are operating in the same kind of markets to promote us. But you know, everyone and their mother who has a blog typically has a blogging course. So it didn’t make much sense for them to, you know, promote us because we’re just another generic course. So that’s what I say to you know, new course creators, people who are looking to package their knowledge into something that they can monetize is the niches, the riches are in the niches go as niche as possible. Don’t go so niche that there’s nobody that’s going to be interested, but don’t go so broad that you won’t be able to market properly.
David Ralph [10:56]
You know, I think that’s the only time I can highlight that the Americans speak better than the English because that works. The niche and rich hours would be the knishes. Get Rishi, it doesn’t work. Doesn’t work. I don’t know why we don’t just say niche and rich. So I think one of the reasons is because I look back on my entrepreneurial journey. And when I first started, I did things like Clickbank and building affiliate products and stuff, and I look back on it, and I think I didn’t have the passion. I was just trying to make money. And you could see through it, you know, you could see that my marketing wasn’t that good. My copyright wasn’t that good, because I was just trying to write about something but I didn’t love now. The love passion and the enthusiasm cannot be discounted. Kenny, when you see people like when I started many years ago, there was a guy called Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income. And I assume he still going nowadays, I never see him for some reason. Well, but But um, he loved it. And you could see he loved it. And he loved helping and it translated across to us. And so we, we bought into it, and we bought into his enthusiasm, his passion, and he his wisdom. But if you haven’t got that passion, and you’re just coming at it to make money, I think that is where things fall to pieces that that’s that’s my number one thing. Try everything, by all means. But when you find something that you really like, then go deeper and deeper and deeper. I think people start the wrong way. Cody Well, I try to find a passion first. And then they struggle. I think just try everything but then grab hold of something and become an expert.
Cody Berman E-Printables [12:36]
I couldn’t agree more. And just to clarify, Pat Flynn is still going strong. I’m a huge fan of Smart Passive Income as well. And you can definitely tell like you said, he is passionate about the stuff he’s teaching and hopefully it comes across I’m passionate about this stuff as well because I love what I’m doing. And I think you’re so right in that. I have tried so many things at this point like I again, disc golf manufacturing, like how does someone with that background start to build online courses. I’ve done you know, freelance writing, audio editing, video editing, writing white papers, writing, email, copy, running affiliate programmes market, like just all this different stuff. And you know, it took a while to kind of find the thing that clicked for me. But now I’m at a point where I love like, I don’t wake up and dread the work I’m doing. I kind of love it. It’s a it’s a fun challenge for me. And it doesn’t get boring.
David Ralph [13:21]
Nice. Hey, I’m Jim Carrey. And we’ll be back with Cody,
Jim Carrey [13:24]
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 [13:51]
Kay Kay message but it’s it’s alright to say go for what you love. But most people don’t know what they love today. And that that’s the problem. They work in, in insurance company, they work in a bank. And their whole focus is in the environment that they’re in by go out drinking with people who are in that environment. The key thing, first of all, is to break free from your environment. You think so Cody?
Cody Berman E-Printables [14:18]
I think yes, I definitely agree with that. I think a reason though, why a lot of people are stuck, kind of going back to the initial question, David is because they don’t have a gap between their income and their expenses. You know, they’re not living below their means. And if you’re not living below your means, you know, you might be living paycheck to paycheck, you don’t have the separation, you don’t have the luxury to go and try some entrepreneurial venture and take a month off from your job, because you need that job to pay the bills. So, you know, as a guy with a personal finance background, I studied finance and economics now I’m just like, huge in the personal finance space. I see that as one of the biggest obstacles that stops people from trying these different entrepreneurial ventures. They, you know, one they don’t have the financial bandwidth to try it because they’re living paycheck to paycheck, but and that that allows them or doesn’t allow them I should say, to have the mental bandwidth because they’re so stressed out from whatever job that might be working like an accountant.
David Ralph [15:07]
I make a fortune through Join Up Dots compared to what I used to earn, and I used to earn a very good salary, he will still find me riding around on the bike and things like that, you know, I have no qualms with going I don’t need something, I don’t need the the Cologne, I don’t need this. I don’t need that. I don’t wear a watch. I don’t have any gadgets. You know, I’m really minimal. The only thing that I wear is my engagement ring. And my underpants and my clothes. I have to emphasise that in case you see me on the bike. But yeah, stripping your life down, I think and Ben starting in the new, I think it gives you closure from your previous life. And once again, I think one of the issues is people kind of, they want the new life, but they’re not willing to say goodbye to the old one. They’re sort of dragging it around with them.
Cody Berman E-Printables [15:55]
Yeah. And to just kind of piggyback on what you’re talking about there. David, I think another thing I know, you mentioned, like your Netflix subscription, or I wasn’t, I don’t exactly remember those examples you gave earlier of like the fancy things that people want new over, you know, they want the new Amazon Apple product. Honestly, for me, it was kind of getting rid of those two really big expenses. And that was, you know, housing and transportation. And I think that’s where a lot of people get in trouble. A lot of people will be spending, you know, 1000s of dollars a month, whether it’s an apartment or a house. And then they might have a fancy car and they have a fancy car payment. Like if you can get those or eliminate those. And by eliminate your like, listeners might be like, What are you talking about Cody. So what I do right now is a strategy called House hacking, where I bought a multi unit property, and I live in one of the units and rent out the rest. So my rent, I actually make money from living here, which is just like a total flip on the, you know, typical personal finance script. And then for a car, I’m still driving the same car I was driving five years ago, it’s paid off. I you know, just pay for gas and insurance. But I think getting those things, right, David is a lot more important than, you know, cutting out the Starbucks or cutting out the Netflix subscription, because they just have, you know, they make up such a larger percentage of that personal finance pie. Then, you know, other smaller discretionary expenses might.
David Ralph [17:12]
So what excited you about the principal’s business, because I was looking at your course. And in many ways, it seems a no brainer, especially if somebody has got a creative bent and likes playing around on things like Canva and some of the design things. What was it that when you when I hang on, this isn’t just me playing around? This is something that can change lives.
Cody Berman E-Printables [17:39]
I love this question. So let me give you a quick story. So my co founder of gold city ventures, Julie was the one who actually introduced me to printables quite a few years back and she was like, hey, Cody, I learned about printables I had this woman on my podcast. I think her name was Laura from I heart planners. And she was making like multiple six figures from selling these printables and digital downloads. I had never heard of them before. I had never even been on Etsy before. But Julie tried it out she had made I think was like $6,000. And she had spent probably about 50 hours creating these printables. And they were still paying here and you know, month over month. So you know, at this point she was making about, she had made about $120 per hour. And we’re going by, you know, hours worked it but the money kept coming in. Because these were products that you didn’t have to really do much overhead, they just auto deliver once someone clicks the buy button. So I tried my hand at it, you know, it wasn’t the best designer definitely don’t have a graphic design background. So that didn’t look too good at first, but I started to get better. I was creating the printables in Canva. It wasn’t until the February after kind of my first year so I’d created all these seasonal products for Valentine’s Day. I knew that there’s you know there’s a large percentage of people on Etsy are women. Valentine’s Day is a really popular holiday where people want to buy, you know, love coupons. People want to buy these nice cards for their significant other people want to buy just all these little, you know, gifts and printables online. So I again created a bunch of these. I’m skiing in Lake Tahoe. This is the week of Valentine’s Day. So it was like the ninth to the 15th or something. And I had my phone on sound like the sound of my phone. It was in my pocket. And because I was expecting a call, and I just kept hearing the Ching Ching. And you know, David, if you’re not familiar with Etsy, like I wasn’t a few years ago, that means you made a sale that dinging sound that comes on the phone. And so I go in for lunch, it’s like noon at this point, I look at my phone I’d made over $100 from just two or three of these printable designs that I had created. And I was like wow, like this is a legit side hustle before then, you know, I was making a sale here a sale they’re making maybe 100 bucks a month total. But in just this one week, I had made almost $1,000 just from these, you know Valentine’s Day printables and I just started the shop a couple of months before. So from that point, I just became addicted to you know, finding the new fun thing that people wanted to download, you know, doing keyword research, figuring out seasonal products, and you know haven’t stopped since I love printables. It’s a really fun side hustle honestly, it’s a lot funner than other side hustles, where you’re actually getting to, you know, employ like 100% of your creativity, making these designs in Canva. And that’s kind of that’s kind of how I got addicted.
David Ralph [20:14]
Now, I’ve been on your, your sales page, and it’s cheap, it’s really cheap, it kind of blew me away, it’s at 247 US dollars, you get a discount, and then there’s monthly payments of $29. So it’s almost a no brainer on that. Now, let’s be totally transparent away from the cost of the tuition of the course. How much do people actually have to put in themselves is bare, you know, do they have to buy web hosting? Do they have to buy an Etsy shop, and what’s extra costs.
Cody Berman E-Printables [20:49]
So that’s one of the best parts about this side hustle is that there’s really no other startup costs. So you can use Canva, which is a free design programme to design your printables. So that’s the design piece out of the way, you don’t have to, you know, buy the Adobe suite and spend $600 a year on that you can if you want and you know a lot of our more senior members of the course have opted to go that route to have more professional printables. To have an Etsy account, there’s no monthly fee, it costs 20 cents to post a new listing, so it’s not breaking the bank there. And then Etsy takes a little little percentage out from each sale, but nothing significant. So all in all, David, it’s pretty low startup costs, like almost zero.
David Ralph [21:26]
Now, I’ve never been on Etsy. And to be honest, until you came along, and I’d heard a bit but he hadn’t sort of registered is it appear sort of a visual download site, or what’s on Etsy.
Cody Berman E-Printables [21:40]
So that’s a cool thing about printables. And digital downloads is that so Etsy originally was founded to be a handmade, you know, physical product site. So still about 90, maybe 85 to 90% of products on there are physical products. So it’s something that someone whittled or you know, it’s a wreath that someone made, or it’s a clay pot that someone created and painted. But there’s this little sub niche, the 15 to you know, 10 to 15% is printables and digital downloads. So yeah, Etsy has definitely transformed. And what another thing that’s awesome about Etsy is it’s kind of like Amazon, and that there are millions of people searching on Etsy for these various products. So it’s not like, you know, you start a website, you have to just do all the bootstrap marketing, you have to drive people there. As long as you’re kind of adhering and, you know, learning about keyword research and learning how the algorithm works, you can kind of game the system so that, you know, people, your people are coming to your shop, because you’re showing up in, you know, the top search results.
David Ralph [22:37]
I was as basically a search engine, just like Google like Yahoo, like, YouTube, I actually understanding where you position your keywords and the traffic in a tent, you can gain a head start, because it’s no doubt about it. The majority of people that go onto these platforms are crap, they really are. And they just kind of almost throw things on thinking that the magic is going to hit them. And there is work behind the scenes to actually understand the algorithms.
Cody Berman E-Printables [23:08]
Yeah, and that’s something we focus on a lot in the E printables. Course, is, you know, so many people on there, 90% of people on there, they just make stuff that they want to make. They don’t do the keyword research. They don’t understand trends, they’re not doing like the analytical work, you actually goes into making a successful business. So we have a really heavy focus on that. And you’re totally right, David.
David Ralph [23:26]
Now, I love over eight, eight arouses me, I shouldn’t say that. He does. It arouses me, I love getting a spreadsheet up downloading keywords, looking at the trends and finding things. And most of my coaching that I spend with people, I say to them, this is the gold this is you sifting through and yeah, it’s going to take better time. But it’s going to save you so much time in the future because you’ll be able to find your your search positions, and whether you’re going to win it on SEO and you know how many backlinks and all that kind of stuff. Now with xe, is there a kind of SEO basis as well? Can people you know, like Google does has a lot of backlinks, which means that you get more traffic? Is that how it works on there? Or is it something that far more plain sailing?
Cody Berman E-Printables [24:18]
So it’s probably somewhere in the middle? It’s not like a goo it’s not as complicated as Google. But there are a number of key factors that go into your SEO, you’re basically the rank of your product in your Etsy shop. So one is just title. And that makes a lot of sense. You obviously want to have a title that makes sense and you’re doing the keyword research to get like the optimised title, for example, like I was selling a business planner, and I you know, I use this tool called E rank. And I found out that there was way more searches for business plan template. So I changed the name of the product to that I changed. I’ll talk about tags in a second change one of the tags to that and my sales my conversion started going up the next day. So it’s a lot of that it’s tired listing descriptions and other big ones making sure that you have all the you know, the proper things, all the keywords that you want to include in your listing description. Listing images as another big one, I know Etsy will scan your listing images to kind of get the best, most visually appealing one in front of their customers who Etsy wants to make money at the end of the day, like that’s why Etsy puts the best products in front of the customers, because they get a percentage of it. It’s not a big percentage, but they want to make money. And then there’s these things called tags, you have 13 of them when you post an Etsy listing. And these tags are just to you know, further steer and guide the algorithm to say, Okay, this is what exactly what this product is about. And these are the types of people or the search, the search, the searches that we want to serve. That’s pretty much it, it’s, you know, title listing description, listing images, tags, and then obviously, you could have a pretty good product, and then you know, being competitive on pricing as well, kind of doing your research, looking at the competition, seeing what they’re pricing these products at, and then pricing your products accordingly.
David Ralph [26:02]
Now, two stumbling blocks, young Cody to stumbling blocks, I speak to a load of people that say to me, David, I’d love to do what you do. I’d love to do what Cody does, but I’m not very good on computers. They say that to me a lot. Is this something that you’ve got to have a real understanding of computers? Or could I’m going to be very generic and probably sexist. But somebody is Nan, who’s just got a laptop and is looking to earn a few quid? Could she learn how to do it?
Cody Berman E-Printables [26:33]
Yeah, so that’s a good question. And one of the most frequent questions we get is, do I need to be techie? Do I need to be a graphic designer? The answer is no to both. You know, I’m techie, I’m not a graphic designer. So you can uncheck those boxes. We have a lot of people who in our course, had no graphic design background, they even you know, before they started, they said, We’re not techie at all. So something we do is we provide people with a bunch of templates. And I don’t know, David, if you use templates in your life, whether it’s for responding to emails, whether it’s for you know, getting the show notes ready, templates are just super useful in literally every business capacity. So we have templates where you know, we give you a Canva template for, let’s say, a planner, or we give you a Canva template for an invitation or some kind of holiday game. And you can go and tweak that your doesn’t take much effort or skill to tweak it, you just maybe change some of the colours, change some of the elements in Canva, we have a bunch of videos showing you exactly how to use Canva. And then you go and list it in your shop. So it’s definitely not rocket science, it’s pretty easy to learn, you know, the course doesn’t take too too long to go through. And you know, once you start getting the hang of it, you’re going to get faster, you’re going to get better, you’re going to be more comfortable running your shop.
David Ralph [27:40]
Now one question I have as well is I’m a great one for keyword research. And I like to hold back on buying URLs and dumpings until I know that there’s traffic intent. It’s not a game changer for God’s sake. You know, I’ve heard of a company called Apple that’s doing rather well. And I know a company called Join Up Dots makes no sense until you actually hear the podcast and then you sort of come across to us. Now with that, and actually looking at sort of traffic intent, why gold city ventures why not? et Cie printables course where did that come from?
Cody Berman E-Printables [28:20]
So gold city Ventures is kind of the our overarching business. And we do other things other than just teach people how to sell printables that’s kind of our bread and butter, though. That’s where we started. And that’s where we focus most of our time. The course is called the printables course. But the company itself is called Gold city ventures no idea where that name from name came from David. Honestly, I think it was just the gold, the wealth, the city all encompassing and then ventures, we’re just we’re out doing all these different things, figuring out side hustles, figuring out how we can teach other people to kind of follow in our footsteps.
David Ralph [28:52]
We’re talking to Cody Berman, and we’ll be back after these words. You’re ready to make a full time living online. Check out the amazing Join Up Dots business coaching. Hello,
Unknown Speaker [29:03]
my name is Alan. And I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David
David Ralph [29:07]
before I started working with David actually, I had no idea at all, where to start.
Unknown Speaker [29:13]
I had a lot of ideas about why I probably thought was going to be good business. David was able to help me through that though, to find that passion.
David Ralph [29:23]
Within literally minutes. We had we had a business idea. And for the last seven weeks, we’ll be building on it and building on and the position I’m in now I don’t think I’ve ever got here
Unknown Speaker [29:33]
on my own because of the amount of information that David gives the structure. He’s got the full package here and he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work.
Unknown Speaker [29:48]
David helped me understand, okay, what were the next logical steps that I should do? How can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this as an excellent course helping you if you haven’t idea you have no idea, really teasing that out and some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business, whether as a full time job or as a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it for anybody thinking about setting up their own business.
Unknown Speaker [30:14]
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say David will totally save you years.
David Ralph [30:17]
Thank you, David, for all your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you. So you’re author. So if you would love to become my next success story and have your own life changing online business following my step by step system, fine tuned over many years to take away the effort and expense that others struggle with, then come across to join up dots.com and book a free call with myself. Let’s get you living the easy life as it’s there waiting view to get it right is join up dots.com business coaching. Right. Okay, so we’re talking to Kody Berman and we’ve been talking about the XC printables business. Let’s take you back. Let’s take you back to well, just recently, the Greek islands okay, you’re running a business and you’re you’re traipsing around the Greek islands with your rucksack with your suntan probably letting your hair go long, and growing the man beard and just looking like a general traveller. You go into a place and you go Have you got Wi Fi? And they go, No, we have no wiki. What do you do? What do you do when suddenly the wiki isn’t there? And you’ve got to actually work on your business?
Cody Berman E-Printables [31:34]
So that’s a good question. And one I get asked quite often as digital nomad what happens when you know the hostel or the Airbnb has crappy Wi Fi, and you can buy SIM cards and especially now in 2021, where if you buy a local plan, you can just you know, tether a hotspot. So if you need to hop on for, you know, X number of minutes to get some, you know, critical thing done that needs to be done right then, and you can go and do that. It’s honestly, it’s been kind of crazy how fast technology has revolutionised the digital nomad thing. And just working away from home over the past couple of years.
David Ralph [32:07]
One of the things I always ponder with digital nomads is how much of the business you can leave behind when you’re carrying it with you, you know, I structure my whole business, but I locked the door on my office where I record Join Up Dots, I walk away, that’s it. Nothing ever happens when I’m not actually sitting where I’m talking to you now. But if I had it with me all the time, I think I would just keep on sort of just jumping on and just just doing it. Is it difficult to separate yourself from work while you’re travelling around?
Cody Berman E-Printables [32:38]
I think it’s difficult to work on travelling around. There’s just so many other fun things that kind of pull you in that sometimes it’s difficult to, you know, set aside some time to actually get stuff done.
David Ralph [32:51]
Oh, you’re a single guy at the moment. Do you have you know, loads of wives and kids all over the place?
Cody Berman E-Printables [32:57]
I have a fiance no kids.
David Ralph [33:00]
Right. So Is that easier for you? Do you look at it now and think yeah, I started at the right time? Or is it easier? Because there’s one of these things where people seem to make the corporate leap when they had their first child, and the child comes along? And they suddenly think, Oh, God, I’m never going to be able to see this child and they’ve got to do something about it. Do you think that you’ve you’ve set yourself up at the right time? Or would you have been quite happy popping out kids in Greek islands all over the place? And then sort of dealing with it afterwards?
Cody Berman E-Printables [33:32]
Was it easier for me since I didn’t have kids? Yes. Do I think it would still be possible? If I did have kids? Absolutely, it would just probably be a little bit more difficult. I’d have less time to, you know, work, I guess I’d have less time flexibility to work on stuff. I’ve had weeks where you know, now I have a pretty solid work life balance. But I had weeks especially when we’re launching some of the first courses where I was working like 16 plus hours a day and it was definitely unhealthy. But you know, it’s kind of made me who I am today definitely learned a lot of lessons and definitely, from a monetary standpoint has helped me kind of catapult my net worth and my monthly income. But I probably wouldn’t have had that same luxury if I was someone who, you know, had kids to take care
David Ralph [34:13]
of. I asked that question as a kind of leading question. Because there’s very much a way of thinking when you’re already on the entrepreneurial route of Yeah, I can deal with it. It doesn’t matter. Something a lot will come along. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad day or a bad month or whatever. I can sort of deal with it. If you speak to somebody and I used to have conversations all the time at dinner parties, where people would say I’d love this, but I’d love this but oh, I’ve got two kids or you know, I’ve got a big mortgage, or I’m waiting for the bonus, or I’ve only got another six years before I get that corner office. There wasn’t that desire to go on deal with it. It was almost like they had to make the dots line up as stepping stones moving forward. would, instead of understanding the whole message of, Hey, you don’t know how they’re going to join up, you just kind of go with trust and faith, and then look back and make sense of it afterwards.
Cody Berman E-Printables [35:12]
I might catch some flack for saying this. But I think you’re completely right. And I just I really don’t like that victim mentality, I think that’s what stops a lot of people from getting ahead is, you know, I can’t do this, because of this, or, you know, I can’t succeed with online business because X, Y, and Z, or I can’t move to this location, because and it’s all just like, these excuses that many of us have made up in our, in our heads, I have totally been a, I’ve totally been a culprit of this, I have definitely done the whole victim mentality thing where I’m like, you know, what was me, this isn’t my fault. Like, it’s completely out of my control. But a lot of times, it’s just not true. So I think, you know, talking about joining up your dots, like you can kind of, if you dream big enough, you can kind of align your dots to wherever you want to go. And, you know, you can start to walk that path to entrepreneurship, or to financial freedom or to early retirement or to living in the country you’ve always dreamed of. But it just takes, you know, stepping out of that victim mentality and realising that you have a lot more control over your daily decisions than you might think.
David Ralph [36:10]
And even if you haven’t got control, it doesn’t matter if this is the thing, but I learned, I used to be a terrible stress it real did. And I was one of those dreadful stresses. I’ve mentioned this on the show, you know, the ones that looked like they were totally relaxed and haven’t got a care in the world. That was me. But underneath I was like, major stress it. And then when the pandemic hit, it caught me by surprise, like the rest of the world. And it forced me to slow down and since then, I literally sound a daily basis to my wife. It is what it is. And you know, she’s she’s gonna hit me in the balls, because she’s heard that so many times now it drives me mad. But my whole life is based on it is what it is. There’s there’s nothing that will bother me. There’s nothing that will stop me. You just look at it. And you just you find a way past it, don’t you, Cody?
Cody Berman E-Printables [37:02]
Yeah, it’s all it’s all about getting creative, and just kind of your frame of reference. Because there are there are a lot of things that suck, that might happen to you. Yeah, your car stops working a tree falls in your house, like, whatever the thing might be, but you just you just move forward, there’s nothing you can do after that thing has happened. All you can do is make the best out of that situation. And hopefully, you know, craft a good outcome for yourself.
David Ralph [37:23]
Right. So I’m going to jump back onto the Etsy business. And I’m going to throw out my, my, my brain is into creativity mode. Okay, perfect. And I’m going to say you to some ideas, and you’ve got to say yes or no, just to get the people out there and understanding. So something like Star Wars, I would think that’s great. That’s evergreen, but hey, they might be trademarks, is that going to be something that could stop me doing a printables business around Star Wars?
Cody Berman E-Printables [37:50]
Yes, you probably should stay away from copyrighted stuff like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney. Some people do get away with it. But you know, as someone who has seen people get in trouble, I tend to tell people to steer away.
David Ralph [38:04]
Okay, dogs wearing funny outfits, or is that something if you’re a dog lover and you want to smile? Could that be something that could be moved into a business like Etsy?
Cody Berman E-Printables [38:16]
The first thing that came to my mind, so there’s a programme that does have several programmes, programmes, actually where you can have your customers create editable printables themselves. So you know, you could have a funny like to to around a picture of a dog’s head, and you could have your customer go and put that their own dog’s head, like into that into that shape, and then print it out. That that was just the first thing that came came to mind that that’d be a solid idea, David.
David Ralph [38:40]
Okay, solid idea of what? Okay, let’s think about other evergreen things. Sports, your local favourite team. Would that be a good thing you’ve got? I don’t know, the LA Raiders? Is there an LA Raiders? Or the No, it sounds vaguely right. Your supporters want things and you can download it or would once again with the LA Raiders come after you with their baseball bats.
Cody Berman E-Printables [39:05]
That wouldn’t be another, I guess, kind of yellow grey area, you probably have to ask the local team in that scenario. But that’s the cool thing about doing a business like this. Like it’s probably not going to be that successful on Etsy per se for people outside of that geographic region and your specific example. But if you are someone who has a presence on Etsy, you do have experience selling printables then it just makes a lot of sense. People know that you already have the skills, and it makes partnerships and things like that a lot easier. Like maybe you have some kind of royalty deal where you do all the creation. They sell it out. Like they’re basically licencing the stuff from you. And boom, there’s another income stream.
David Ralph [39:43]
I can think of like work planners, calendars, invites, picture frames, I can think of loads of things like that, but give me a creative one off the top of your head. That’s not what everyone else is doing.
Cody Berman E-Printables [39:57]
So one that was really successful for me last year. Were these editable letters from Santa. So basically, it was this really like cute looking Christmas themed piece of paper. And it had like, you know, Santa his handwriting and had some other designs on the page. But you know, I use this design programme cordial that integrates with my Etsy shop, where people can go in and just type up their own, you know, it looks like a handwritten letter from Santa. And that was a really successful product for me last year. And it was kind of, you know, going back to the keyword research thing, I saw that this was trending, like tonnes of people were searching and letters from Santa editable letter from Santa. So I made a bunch of those products. And what was really funny, David, is how many sales I had on Christmas morning. So a lot of those parents who were woken up a little bit late and said, Oh, crap, we need a letter from Santa. But that was just that was a fun, you know, kind of strange example of a really popular product from last year.
David Ralph [40:47]
Well about Santa letter for bad kids, saying, you know, what do you expect, you’ve been bad this year, pull yourself together, make next year better.
Cody Berman E-Printables [40:59]
I guess that could be a product, I’m not sure how many people are going on Etsy to buy something to make their kids upset. That that could be a viable product. I’m not sure that to do the keyword research on that
David Ralph [41:10]
you want to you’re a parent, you don’t care about making kids upset, but you are a parent, they make you upset all the time anyway. So let’s enter the words of Steve Jobs that really tied up the whole episode and the mantra of Join Up Dots history,
Unknown Speaker [41:25]
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 [41:59]
Obviously, we’ve all heard those words time and time again. But the basis of all those is, hey, if I just do it and trust, is that something you grow into Kodi? Or do you think that at our core, we all kind of know that?
Cody Berman E-Printables [42:18]
I think it’s something you have to grow into. I don’t think that’s an innate feeling or an innate, you know, ideology that a lot of people adopt. I think it is something you have to learn. I think it is something you know, you you have to be unafraid of failure, you have to use failure as a building block, you have to maybe you don’t exactly know where your ship is going. But as long as you’re paddling in some direction, things usually work out as long as you’re working hard and making strategic decisions. Things do tend to work out and the dots do connect.
David Ralph [42:46]
And do you look back and have a big.in your life when you go yeah, that really was when when it all came together for me.
Cody Berman E-Printables [42:55]
Yes. And that dot for me was so right when I quit that corporate job I had networked and do networking has been another crucial part of my journey that we haven’t talked about maybe a future episode, David. But I met this guy at a conference grants a BA TA. And at this point, I was you know, just getting kind of started out with my entrepreneurial stuff was making like 1000 bucks a month, like I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, and I’m like, Hey, Grant, like, I would love to work with you in any capacity. I’ll work with you for free. I just want to learn, you know, what you’ve got, he was an SEO guru. He had retired at 30. He was just like, kind of everything I wanted to be, you know, eight years out from where I was at the time when I was 22 years old. So you know, I connect with them, we start working together, I end up actually managing his book tour for him and end up travelling around the country for him with him for three months. Like all around 33 of the states in the United States, we went 16,000 miles. And he just taught me so much about life of a business about entrepreneurship. And yeah, that was honestly probably the catalyst for my entrepreneurial success and my you know, growth mindset. And where I am today
David Ralph [44:00]
is funny, isn’t it when the big dots kind of comes along, because you’re ready for it, you’re looking for it. Because most of us would have had big dots all the time. But we were just not kind of looking in the right direction, our focus was something off, which takes me back to the beginning of the episode, I think that you’ve got to start disconnecting your your current life to be outward to allow space to see these dots back turn up otherwise, they’re just continue to sort of flow past you because your focus is off somewhere.
Cody Berman E-Printables [44:34]
Yeah, I think you do have to be, I don’t know if like, you know, people who are always looking for the big escape or like those are the types of people sometimes you want to hit the lottery or they want to have that million dollar idea. I think just you know, being comfortable. Being uncomfortable is really important and stepping out of your comfort comfort zone more often than you’d like to whether that’s you know, connecting with someone on LinkedIn, whether that’s, you know, going to some event that you might have been nervous about going to before Whether that’s speaking up in the local group that you’re a part of, I don’t think it has to be some huge grandiose thing. But just getting out of your comfort zone usually yields pretty decent results.
David Ralph [45:09]
Right? Well, this is the end of the show the partner we’ve been building up to. And we call this sermon on the mind 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 Cody, what advice would you like to give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the music. And as always, when it fades is your time to talk. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [45:37]
Here we go, who, with the best bit of the show, us sir man on the mic, man.
Cody Berman E-Printables [45:53]
All right, younger Cody, you need to dream bigger. So instead of just kind of seeing what your immediate circle is doing, start to connect with more people outside of your immediate network and seeing what they’re doing. Once you start kind of expanding your network and talking to people who are, you know, a couple years out from where you’re going to be, you’re going to just start dreaming bigger and your goals are going to start to seem so much more realistic. And you’ll set out action plans for yourself. And also, I know I mentioned this before, but don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is honestly one of the best things for entrepreneurs, it helps you become a better entrepreneur, it helps you succeed better with your business. And it’s something that you shouldn’t fear, it’s something that’s a building block, the more failures that you have under you, it kind of sets that base level, like you could never stoop below that last failure, because now you’ve learned that lesson. Now you won’t repeat that failure. So you’re just gonna keep growing that base level that you know that plateau higher and higher and higher, until you’re you are where you want to be. So don’t be afraid of failure, Cody and dream bigger,
David Ralph [46:54]
dream bigger. And then once you hit that dream, just realise that you still haven’t dream big enough. He just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until you look at and go. Wow, did I do that? Did I do that? I had no idea how to do it just kind of magically occurred. So Cody, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Cody Berman E-Printables [47:14]
Well, we talked a lot about the E printables. Course and my business gold city ventures. So check me out at Gold city ventures.com. I also do have a podcast on financial independence and entrepreneurship called the fi Show. Tune in and listen, wherever podcasts are played.
David Ralph [47:30]
Yeah, I’m gonna go and listen to that. And believe me, I don’t listen to podcasts because they’re so bad quality. The majority of them but you sound very, very good, sir. So I’m gonna go over here. And listen to that you’re going to have a subscriber. Well, Cody, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And 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 always the best way to build our futures. Cody, thank you so much.
Cody Berman E-Printables [47:59]
Thank you so much, David, this was a tonne of fun, and hopefully your listeners got some value happy to come on in the future.
David Ralph [48:06]
Mr. Cody Berman. So printables. And I went over and looked at his course and SPSS very, very good, because it will show you other people on there that are doing very well. And just you have a link to their business. And you can just highlight it and then put it back into Google and see what they’re doing and get some creative ideas. And for people that are looking for a way of supplementing their income or increasing their income bringing something new, Ben, it’s a real good way of doing it. So that’s a printables. And we’ll have the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Until next time, my friends thank you so much as always, bye, everyone that is rocking and rolling around the world of Join Up Dots. We’ve got some great guests coming up. You got some mad ramblings by myself. But hopefully throughout all of it, you’ve got inspiration, motivation to say to your boss, I can do this. I can do this. And I’ll tell you well, you can until next time you look after yourselves cheers, Sia. Bye bye.
Unknown Speaker [49:12]
David doesn’t want you to become
Cody Berman E-Printables [49:14]
a faded version of the brilliant sell fewer 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.