Welcome to the Steve Jobs based Join Up Dots Free Podcast Interview with Johnny FD
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Introducing Johnny FD
Johnny FD is my guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a man who has really turned his life into the one that he wanted by taking bold actions.
A travelling entrepreneur, the host of the Travel Like A Boss podcast, the founder of the Johnny FD travel blog.
He probably is waking up with a smile everyday of the week too.
When you hear how he got to where he is today, then we hope you think “Why not me?”
How The Dots Joined Up For Johnny FD
As he says “I was born in San Francisco which is an amazing place to live, but wasn’t the best place to grow up.
I battled with fitting in.
Self image issues, and trying way too hard to be someone I wasn’t throughout my childhood were my troubles.
After graduating from University of California I started working a corporate job, but still wasn’t happy.
Something was missing and I didn’t know what it was.
Then in 2006 I discovered the self help scene which ultimately lead me to the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
This gave me the courage to move to Thailand in 2008 and pursue my first ever real passion, which was scuba diving.
When The Travel Bug Hit For Johnny
I began being a travelling entrepreneur when I traveled around the world from Australia, Borneo, all across South East Asia to the Caribbeans.
All the time I worked as a dive master and scuba instructor.
In 2011 I decided to focus on my second found passion, Muay Thai kickboxing.
After six professional fights and years of living as cheaply as possible, I turned 30 and realised I couldn’t even afford a plane ticket home if I wanted to.
And that is where we will start today’s show.
So what do you do when you realise that you are at a crossroads in your life?
You’ve got nothing in the bank to ease the way to future adventures?
Now he is living the life that he wanted, is it always a happy day in his life, or does he still have moments of “Really, i’m not sure I’ll want to be doing this for another ten years”?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Johnny FD
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Johnny FD such as:
Johnny shares the reasons why he was glad that he experienced corporate life in California and nowhere else as he already was living the dream and it wasn’t good.
We talk about the period of flatness when the challenge of building a travelling entrepreneur business is replaced by success and you think “This should feel better than it does??”
Johnny FD shares the moment when he realised that he needed to get away from the naysayers and doom mongers in his life or he would be stuck forever.
Why Johnny is so glad that he documented so much of his journey, so he can always go back and see the realism of what he went through.
How To Connect With Johnny FD
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Johnny FD Interview
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 [0:25]
Yes. Hello, a good morning. Well, good morning to every single listener of joining us. Thank you so much for being here. As always with today’s I think it’s going to be a remarkable show. We haven’t even recorded it, but I think it is going to be a great one. Because today’s guest I don’t even know where he is in the world. But he’s going to be somewhere in the world of course. And he has really turned his life into the one that he wanted by taking bold actions. He’s the host of the travel LIKE A BOSS podcast, the founder of the Johnny fd travel blog, and properly is waking up with a smile every day of the week to he says I was born in San Francisco, which is an amazing place to live but wasn’t the best place to grow up. I battled with fitting in self image issues, and trying way too hard to be someone I wasn’t approve out my childhood. After graduating from university of california started working a corporate job, I wasn’t happy, something was missing. And I didn’t know what it was. Now in 2006, I discovered the self help scene which ultimately led to the four hour workweek, not for the first time have we heard that book and gave me the courage to move to Thailand in 2008 and pursue my first ever real passion which was scuba diving. I traveled around the world from Australia, Borneo all across Southeast Asia to the Caribbean, working as a dive master and scuba instructor. But in 2011, I decided to focus on my second found passion, Thai kickboxing, that after six professional fights and years of living as cheaply as possible, I turned 30 and realized I couldn’t even afford a plane ticket home if I wanted to. And that is where we will start today’s show. So what do you do when you realize that you’re at a crossroads in your life, and you got nothing in the bank to ease the way to future adventures? And now is he living the life that he wanted? Is it always happy day in his life? Or does he still have some moments? Or? I’m not really sure I want to be doing this for another 10 years? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up. Does we have the one and only Johnny fd Good morning, Johnny. How are you?
Johnny FD [2:26]
I’m doing really good, David. I’m really glad to be on the show. And it was funny as I was listening to your live intro, I was thinking, what would I be doing right now if I didn’t make this move? If I was still living back home in the US? I’d be waking up right now. You know, ironing my shirt that I bought at Kirkland, you know, at Costco, working with some churches in the cheapest ones. Yeah, I’d be driving to work in traffic stopping by McDonald’s to get a you know, 245 dollar sausage McMuffin and to see on my desk and just kind of being, you know, either looking forward to the next vacation, which is God knows been, or just kind of going through the motions of life? Well,
David Ralph [3:06]
that’s how most people do. And I must admit, I did that for about 1520 years. And I didn’t even query it, Johnny. So you hit the four hour workweek. And I must admit, that was my turning point as well. I’d be fascinated how many people have actually been on my show who have quoted that book. But if you did go back now, and you was in that life, how long could you actually put up with it? You think? Is it an absolute? No, no, you’re not doing it.
Johnny FD [3:34]
I mean, to be fair, I was living in California. So I grew up in Texas go, but I went to school, downtown in Orange County, and lived in LA for a bit, so wasn’t a bad life. And to be honest, I’m really glad that I got to experience corporate life in California and not in Minnesota or summer, in Middle America, because my aspirations would have been different people who grew up in a small town somewhere in the US, they spy, you go to LA or to California. And once they’re there, then they kind of stay there because they’re like, I already made this huge move. This is what life should be. So let me just working hard. So I can buy a nicer car, I can move into a bigger house or I can start forwarding, you know more things. I’m very lucky that I already had all that. And I still wasn’t happy. So I realize this, isn’t it happening to me.
David Ralph [4:27]
And when you get to that point, you start looking at everyone. I’m a member going and I talked about this quite often on the show. But it was a defining moment. For me. I’m a member doing really well. My salary was going up and up. Everybody thought I was a success. And I used to walk into supermarkets and see people go beep, beep and just put food through. And I used to think, I think I’d quite like that job. I don’t have to think about anything. I just knew that mentally I was kind of broken. I needed something different. So California is a great place. But wear pants now what about so you speaking to us?
Johnny FD [5:03]
So I want to be users to try to guess right now. It’s the middle of the summer. And I have a passport. I have an online business I can work from anywhere in the world, where would you be? And the answer is actually something that I would be willing to guess nobody has has imagined. I’m in Odessa, Ukraine.
David Ralph [5:25]
He sees for the World Cup. Are you are you getting closer to the soccer? Are you excited by this? You know,
Johnny FD [5:32]
it’s funny is no one ever talks about soccer, at least none of my American friends for four years at a time. And then every time there’s a World Cup, everybody’s the biggest fan. So it is fun. Last, the last World Cup, I was in Lisbon, Portugal. And it was fun. It was I’m not even a soccer fan, to be honest. But just being around other people in the middle of the street where they set up these big screen TVs people are drinking beer. Every street every bars kind of set them out an outdoor area. It is a fun environment.
David Ralph [6:03]
So So Odessa, Ukraine, I’ll be honest, when you said Where would you like to be? I thought you’re gonna go loving from the back of the garden. Because that’s that’s the best place to be in it. That’s where I operate every single day. But what was it about Odessa? Is it just that you now look at the the map of the world and think I’ve never been there? Let’s try that out. You know,
Johnny FD [6:24]
honestly, pretty much I spent the first seven years of my life really just exploring Thailand, going to the different islands and then thinking, Okay, what other cheap places Can I go to the Philippines, you know what, to Cambodia, I went to kind of just two places close by having Bali as well. And then I realized, hey, Europe might suck in the winter when it’s cold, but it is the most amazing place MSRP in the winter, when it’s cold, but it is most amazing places in the summer. And the only reason why people don’t spend, you know, more than a few makes it in the summer is it’s it’s expensive, you know, so even if I can afford it, I don’t really feel like spending, you know, $100 a night on a hotel room, or eating, you know, $30 meals, you know, every single day and in Italy and France. But places like in Odessa, you have a great beach, you have great restaurants, you have a really cool culture. And it’s really cheap, it’s dirt cheap, it’s probably half the price and being in Miami, for example. And so when you when you
David Ralph [7:29]
go there, are you still in that sort of fantasy world, in your mind where you’re walking around thinking, this is amazing, this is brilliant, or has it just become life to you Do you not? Are you not as grateful because I see the real high achievers being really, really grateful every single day. But the kind of middle ground people that are doing very well for themselves, they kind of it’s their expectation levels, they’ve just kind of settled, this is what it is, and I don’t sort of look at in the same way I used to in fantasy world. You know,
Johnny FD [7:59]
let’s see, for a while, I would say the last you know, year or so when I was a little bit down I you know, I was doing well financially still. And I kind of got to a slump where I wasn’t, you know, you know, all died and bushy tailed every day. And I realized, hey, this needs to change, I need to change my scenery, I need to go somewhere else I need to start, you know, working on projects and love. That’s actually why even though I was making pretty good money, I was making 50 grand a year doing e commerce I was selling things online. I was it still felt like I was I had a job, you know, and even though I was able to do it anywhere in the world, I was doing some time and I was doing it from Bali. It was a it was a stress every morning when I would wake up thinking, are there gonna be any customer service issues, you know, you know, am I going to have some email app to deal with. And honestly, it wasn’t that much work, it was only a few hours of work, you know, per day maximum. So it should have been a dream, especially because I was able to do it from anywhere in the world. But I knew that that excitement that I had the first couple years, you know, start to dwindle down like I used to it. So I need to change it, change it up. So I sold that business. I took all that cash, and I stashed away in some investment. And all of a sudden, I had all this free time, I had no responsibilities. And I started seeing the world. You know, from the point of view again, and I love it.
David Ralph [9:24]
I love the fact that you assessed and you realized you had to do something because it is it’s rubbish, isn’t it when people are really achieving big, and they’re still walking around moaning and groaning, I think to myself, You don’t know the half of it, you don’t know the battle, you don’t know. And of course, there’s always a journey to get to that point, but 95% of the people, but I don’t think people actually experience that the journey is the gift. That’s the learning. That’s the challenge. Once the challenge is gone, then it’s it’s a bit flat somehow and you’ve got to keep on challenging yourself. So salute you, Johnny from afar.
Johnny FD [10:00]
Appreciate that, actually, the the best advice I ever got was from a friend who sold a much bigger business. You know, he sold his for, you know, millions of dollars. And one day, you know, he he called me and he said he was on a bus going from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which is a little mountain town and just a lot of time in Thailand. And I asked why are you on a bus? Why aren’t you flying? You know, business class or first class you have, you know, 10 million plus dollars. And he said to me, I got from Hong Kong, I really enjoyed it. And now my expectations are so I that I need to be set it. So the next time I fly business class again, I can enjoy it. That’s why I’m on I’m on a $15 bus. I love
David Ralph [10:44]
this. I love this conversation. Right? So if we take you back to that time, when you was in San Francisco, you were going down to McDonalds, you were getting your breakfast you were I mean, you’re sure as you were saying, did you have conversations with people around you saying that I’m not happy I want to do is because that to me seems to be one of the big dots. That’s the the starting dot where if you’re not surrounded by the right people at that time, that dreams never going to take hold and run away with you. Did you have those kind of conversations with people when they say Johnny Johnny doing another 10 years you have the corner office? You have the secretary, you’ll you’ll be you’ll be all right. You’re just going through a phase?
Johnny FD [11:27]
Yeah, actually, I remember having that conversation with my boss where I saw know where I can be in five or 10 years. And he was a really cool guy. But I didn’t want his life. And he was, you know, the boss. So everyone else was just a few steps of, you know, just looking at their lives kind of slaving away. I thought, What am I doing here, like, and it’s crazy, because you’re at the bar at the nightclub. Everybody’s putting on a show where they seem so happy, you know, you know, on their Instagram, or on their social media page. New one looks like you’re having the greatest time in the world. Everybody’s driving a cool car, very cool clothes. I thought maybe just me maybe you know, maybe something’s wrong with with me. And it wasn’t until I read the four hour workweek and particularly kind of a test trip, I went to three weeks. But the only goal for my life not to fall apart when I got back. And I realized then, hey, there is a different way. And as a people just they have everyone has an excuse why they can’t do it. And I had the probably more excuses than anybody. And I had just signed a one year lease, I had cars at the time. I had a career I just started building. I had many reasons not to make the leap, not to travel not to go. But I found ways to say hey, let me give this a shot. And maybe the reward would be bigger than this risk. And it was
David Ralph [12:56]
so so the brilliant thing you did I love was you tested drove you You did a little journey you didn’t do the leap of faith, you just did a kind of a step of faith.
Johnny FD [13:07]
Yeah, actually, even my first trip, I didn’t say I was moving out to Thailand forever, I’m gonna travel forever. I told everyone, hey, I’m coming over three months, and even then, everybody freaked out, my friends freaked out, my parents freaked out, thought, you know, you’re throwing your life down the drain. And they started giving me the list of reasons why I shouldn’t go. And I kept thinking, this is just for three months. It’s like, it’s not that big of a deal. And even then, it is, it was almost like the end of the world. And luckily, I didn’t tell anyone that my actual plan was to go It’s my money right now.
David Ralph [13:46]
And so so why don’t you buy it thing to two questions there. Why do you think that they saw it in such a dramatic way? And then the second question being? How did you force yourself through that? How did you not go over it? I think you’re right.
Johnny FD [14:02]
So I think the reason why people see it that way, or freak out is to let me be part of it. They they do it through love, you know where they are trying to point out things that maybe I haven’t thought about yet. What am I going to do about my visa six months from now? Or what my What am I gonna do about health insurance two years from now. And these are legitimate concerns. But I think the only reason why they actually bring it up is because they are afraid, you know, of, of what if? And if it’s so easy, why haven’t they done it? So they have to have these excuses. And they have to submit these excuses. In other people’s minds, you know, or they themselves are, you know, are not living the life that they could be living. So I think when it comes down to it, it’s kind of a reflection of their fears and their insecurities and not necessarily just love for me to, you know, to make sure I’m going to be okay.
David Ralph [14:56]
And how did you push through then the second question, how did you go? No, I’m hearing you. I understand, but I’m still doing it.
Johnny FD [15:05]
So that was actually the first chapter in my first book, 12 weeks in Thailand, the good life in the cheap. I think I actually published the letter that I wrote, all my friends and my family’s in there. And it was a dramatic kind of going back and reading. And again, basically I did was I had a six month plan to move to Thailand. And I made the mistake of telling people about the six month plan. And they would kind of, you know, stock up five years more, you know, worth a six year before before I can go. So I just stopped telling people I I moved up my plane to get I can leave in, I think it was three weeks instead of six months. And that way I had to just get everything done. So I knew I had three weeks to sell two cars to get rid of all my stuff. Everything I’ve ever acquired a three bedroom house with the furniture, tons of clothes, two cars. And I had to make that move. No no matter what. And I think having that that shorter time window that’s still technically possible. It’s not easy, but it’s possible that forced me to just do it.
David Ralph [16:15]
Well, let’s play some words. Now then we’re going to delve back into what happened when your money ran out. But here’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [16:21]
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 [16:48]
Now, what jumped out to me bear listening to those words, was conservative, safe survival? And are you in flourishing? Or are you still in adventure? Safe survival? What what’s your financial situation like now? Do you have to worry about it? Is it income streams just coming to you, Johnny? You know,
Johnny FD [17:10]
what’s funny is when I left a lot of money in the corporate corporate world of making $50,000 a year, which was you know, to me at a college was a huge amount of money. And the goal was to be able to make 100 grand, you know, someday and be able to retire. But I’ll 65 To be honest, for a long time, for the first you know, seven years, and I was just working as a dive master and I was doing more time, I wasn’t making very much money, you know, I would make $600 a month and barely kind of scrape by. And that’s literally what the that first book was about 12 weeks in Thailand, was just how to be able to enjoy a good life for very tiny budget of less than $1,000 a month. And I’m glad I did that, because I had a essentially an early retirement, as you talked about in foreign work, and I really loved it. But when I turned 30, I realized, you know what, this might not last forever, I need to be able to make enough money succeed. And I can think about the future. And that’s when I started looking to online businesses. And that’s the whole basis of my second book, life changes quick, which is all about goal setting and achieving it. And I’m really proud to say that I went from having less than $1,000 in the bank, to hitting my first goal of having 30,000 in the bank, which to me was enough to live in Thailand for the next five years on the shoe budget. And today sitting in this random, you know, place in Odessa, Ukraine, my network is now over 600,000, which is probably more than most people have working a corporate job the whole life to retire.
David Ralph [18:46]
Well, he absolutely is. And but what was that 30,000? Was that the hard part? The 30 to 600,000 is easier, because I think so many people just get those first shoots growing of financial remuneration, and then they switch to something else. Was he focused that led that to where it is?
Johnny FD [19:07]
Yeah, what’s crazy? And the reason why he mentioned that 30,000 even though I think now some people might wonder, like, why do you even care about that $30,000 when you have 20 times that much now, and it’s because that 30,000 seemed impossible. And going from having, you know, $800 in the bank, to going to having $30,000 a month to me seemed like going to the moon. But once I got to the moon, I realized, Hey, you know, I’m a short shot to the next planet so we can keep doing what I’ve been doing.
David Ralph [19:36]
And how did you do that, then I think everybody is now reaching forward with their pens and papers. They’re looking at their passports thinking, Okay, I’ve got a couple of years left on this, let’s do a Johnny was it wasn’t a sequence, is there something that we can share with the listeners?
Johnny FD [19:53]
Yeah, so I want first, I thought I was going to do it through some books. Turns out that wasn’t the case. Now I’ve made a couple hundred dollars a month from selling 12 weeks in Thailand, you have a nice amount of money to be able to have kind of as a side income. So I’d highly encourage you to look into you know, publishing as another source of, of income. But while I was exploring how to sell more books, and how to be a better marketer online, you know, to essentially grow my book sales from $200 a month in profit to you know, 1000 seconds live and just be happy. I discovered e commerce and a fulfillment method called drop shipping, where instead of buying inventory, up front, we’re having a store in a warehouse, you basically become the authorized dealer for companies that are willing to send the product directly to your customers. And I did that by going to all these meetups, you know, actually, ironically, in Thailand from and I met this guy from New York, and Tom Fraley, who really generous with his time and he was helping me figure out ways to sell more books due to grow my book sales from $200 a month to 500 a month. And when I finally asked him what he did, and he told me like all I so you know, expensive furniture online, and it I realized what am I doing? What am I trying to sell your $10 books when I could be selling these 500 or $1,000 you know, tattoos on you know, add he turned out yet of course, Anton method calm. I joined it. Put in the work. It wasn’t easy, but you know, took me two months of really just grinding every day probably working harder than I’ve ever worked. The End it paid off. I
David Ralph [21:38]
the last guest I had on the show just before recording with you was Anton crazy, funnily enough. And you know, I it was it is a weird joining up the dots moment there. Yeah, I’ve just actually spoken to Anton. And he gave us the eight step sequence really of drop shipping. And to be honest, I have so many guests come on. And they say yes, I do this. And I do that. And I go, Yeah, I think that’s great idea. And I get to a point ago, I could be bothered that there’s always a bit but I think I can’t be bothered to do that. We’ve Anton, I thought to myself, this is genius. And I don’t understand why the majority of people aren’t doing that. So when you spoke to him, did you see that in the same way? And being VCs? The answer to all my problems?
Johnny FD [22:26]
Yeah, definitely. And I was pretty lucky where I didn’t really have any other options. I didn’t do too much research. I just like, oh, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Obviously successful. Linnaeus Go for it. I think what, where people get stuck today? Is there so many options? I mean, honestly, I’m kind of at fault with it. Because on my podcast travel like a boss. We interview different people every week with different types of online businesses. So essentially, every week, change your mind and say, Okay, well, this week, I’m going to drop all this next week in Amazon sounds great in this next week, you know, so the sounds great. And my goal is really for people just to choose one thing, because they all work. And they all have downsides. And I think if people just give up the first time there’s a road bump, then they’ll never get started, they’ll never, they’ll never see through. But what’s great about having a course like Anton that actually paying quite a bit of money for it is then you’re dedicated. And you have a place we could ask other people questions, you can see other people. So any of you have no excuses why you can’t do it. You got to have skin in the game. That’s a key thing, isn’t it? I, I in the early days of join up doors, I don’t really do much coaching now, because the show is going so well. I make all my money from the show, really. So it’s great. But at the beginning, I was doing, you know, really cheap courses. And I couldn’t sell them for love nor money. And I remember one of the guests coming on going is too cheap. And I was saying Yeah, but that’s good, isn’t it, you know that that means you can sell more, you got to have skin in the game, because otherwise people do not take you seriously, do they that is a key thing. And it’s a mindset you’ve got to go through as an entrepreneur of doubling your prices and doubling them again. Well, if anything, they don’t take themselves seriously, because if they pay, you know, $20 for course of you to me, first off, you’re they know the quality of the content can be very good, because nobody in the right mind would spend that much effort making a, you know, amazing $20 course. And they’re definitely not going to spend the time to follow up with you and answer your questions one on one, but of the course is $1,000 Plus, now, you know, hey, this person value their time, but they’re also going to probably going to have a good, you know, support system where you pay $1,000 I’m sure they’re going to be there to answer your questions if you get stuck.
David Ralph [24:44]
And isn’t a key thing, just jumping back on to there because it’s a leading question I think it is. But I just want to sort of summarize this for the listeners that you find the thing that you think you can really do well, and then you find a solution within that area. And when you do that thing, and you keep on doing it, for example, I wasn’t a podcaster now I’m a podcaster. And it’s the only thing I do is my whole business being a podcaster. And it’s the first business that I’ve stuck with, I always got it to a certain point and being switched to something else and then switch to something else. And four and a half years down the line thousand and 15 shows. It’s it. And what be as become obvious to me, Johnny is that people can understand what you are, and it makes your marketing easier somehow.
Johnny FD [25:36]
Yeah, definitely. I To be honest, when I was making the most amount of money it was because I was known as Johnny fd the drop shipping guy, because I was running a big drop shipping store, I was making the majority of my money to do this business and I was openly talking about it on, you know, my podcasts on on interviews, and I was blogging about it because I was really excited about it. And it net profit, you know, I was making over 100 thousand dollars a year and I was very happy because I was doing this from a beach in Thailand, I was doing this while traveling. And when I sold the business even though it was a nice chunk of change, and they it was able to give me a lot more freedom. My income has dropped significantly since then. And I’m still happy you know be able to have more freedom and be able to work on new passion projects. But I know that you know bottom my heart that I ever just wanted to grow my salary up again. I just wanted I just wanted to make more money and be successful I would absolutely just become you know Johnny fd drop shipping guy again. And
David Ralph [26:35]
it wasn’t you though was drop shipping guy you because that there seems to be a desire for freedom that is a desire for choice. There seems to be something in you that wants to reinvent yourself. And so what’s the drop shipping guy apart? You were playing even though it was financial? It was it you’re keeping?
Johnny FD [26:57]
Yeah, definitely was for about three or four years I love you know, so excited. I you know, I would wake up every day. You know, even though stress from you know, worrying about customer service issues. I’d be so excited every time I got a notification my phone with a new sale, or you know, somebody want to talk about Joshua, I’m so excited to help them and see their success. I you know, I even started a partnership where I found a bunch of people who wanted to start store together, you know, we’re out, help them set it up, run a day to day. And luckily, I did all that because, you know, I still have money coming in from those a stuff a couple joshing stores now that are making a few thousand dollars a month that I’m getting a percentage of. But I think my personality, just a type where I get bored after a few years of doing something. So that’s why you know, I went from, like self help to scuba diving to, you know, more Thai kickboxing to drop shipping to writing books to podcasting to you know, like, now I’m trying to learn Russian I, I think I just had the personality where, you know, I can do something for a few years. And then if I’m no longer excited about it, I don’t really care what the reward is or how amazing it is. And it doesn’t make it any less amazing. You know, and I think that’s the biggest key there. I don’t want anyone to think oh, Johnny stop scuba diving, scuba diving must suck. No, it’s amazing. It is the best thing in the world. And I did it for four years. And I loved every minute of it. But now I’ve moved on to not scuba diving, because I, you know got, you know, pretty much all the benefit out of it than I that I wanted. And I had that experience and I want to learn something new. And I don’t want anyone listening at home thinking Oh, the last four years now I might you know not want to scuba dive anymore, so I shouldn’t get started. No, code dude, right now, if you haven’t spent four years scuba diving, or if you haven’t spent four years building adoption Empire making a bunch of money. Go do that now. And then talk to me again for years and say, Johnny, what’s next?
David Ralph [28:59]
down? One of the things you keep them talking about. And it’s funny because it ties into so many episodes of join up dots is four years, four years. And we hear about the four hour workweek. But actually, it’s the four year getting their work week kind of thing. Did you see that? Because I I certainly see it. I talked about it all the time. First Year, you have this idea of what you’re going to do. So you go for it really hard. Second year, you’re in total confusion, because you don’t know where you’re going Virginia kind of untangle it. And it’s the fourth year that things become clean. And I’ve certainly experienced myself and the majority of guests have as well, there seems to be about three or four year journey to the overnight success.
Johnny FD [29:39]
Yeah, everything takes a lot longer. I mean, technically, you know, I built my my joshing store within two months of first hearing the term and joining the Corps. But, you know, I had years before that, where I was kind of setting the stage for me to be mentally ready to be able to do it. But also, you know, just committed enough, even though selling books on on Amazon is very different than selling physical products. On Shopify, I’m sure a lot of the lessons I learned on how to like, besides an image or how to upload a file, you know how to write a good description, or good title, all those things helped me. So I think wherever people are, you have to get started today, you can like stop looking around for for the next greatest thing. I mean, just you know, from these thousand episodes that you’ve had on, or from the 200 episodes we’ve had on travel like a boss, there is more than enough information in 2018. Going forward, there is never a lack of information that is no longer your excuse of why you don’t have life that you’re living where you’re not successful, I guess is, you know, having too many too many options. Yeah, absolutely. Because I get a lot of emails through to the show, where somebody will say in January, I David been listening to the show, thank you so much. I’m really inspired to do X Y Zed, and I go back to them and say brilliant, you know, if you want to listen to this show, if you want to listen to that show, be guests have done that, you know, let us know how you get on. And about four months later, they come back to me and they literally tell me that they’ve had another idea. And they’re going to go off in a different direction. And the same people just going round and round in circles. And is normally the third time they connect with me I say to them, Look, guys, you know enough is enough. Just focus, just find that one thing and just do it and keep on doing it. Because you’re not going to get anywhere. You’re just going from pillar to post all the time. Yeah, I hundred percent agree with that, you know, it’s good to have some inspiration. So yeah, weeks or maybe a month, looking at all the different options. And then when you choose something, commit to it, and just realize everything in the world has its downsides. Everything in the world has obstacles, you’re always gonna hit a barrier, it doesn’t mean give up, it means push harder to go over them
David Ralph [31:52]
decently Johnny being totally transparent with the listeners, but your downsides aren’t about the doing. It’s about the upscaling for the next level. Because I get really bogged down when I think what I want to do this new thing I want to bring this in, and it’s not quite working, and it shouldn’t work straight off the bat, you know, I need to find the way through, I need to hire a coach, I need to do something. But the actual doing is always right, because I I’ve already done that. And I’ve experienced it and I’ve learned it, but it’s the next bit. That’s what gets me down. That’s what gets me a little bit depressed every now and again. Because it’s a new environment. And it just seems to be so much learning involved.
Johnny FD [32:32]
Yeah, I mean, honestly, sometimes it stopped me from wanting to learn something new. I mean, for example, I wanted to do Amazon FBA, because I had so many friends who were successful with it. But, you know, I kept thinking to myself, hey, why would I learn a new skill when I can just build another drop shipping store? Because I know it works. I already know the backend. I already know the nuances. You know, it makes more logical sense for me to just do that again, versus I have a friend who she wants she wants to start. It’s actually business but she already has a successful Amazon FBA business. And I told her like, Hey, you know what you already know FBA just do that. And I think sometimes we get in our own way of enjoying learning something new, because we want to go that rational, logical, conservative route that our you know, our parents, our grandparents taught us and say, you know, hey, just, you know, just go for the unknown and avoid the unknown.
David Ralph [33:26]
I’m only interested in being a podcaster. I was watching David Letterman on Netflix the other day. And I said to my son, I said, it’s amazing, really, I said, if you look at Letterman, back in the 80s, and the 90s, when he was firing on all cylinders, to this old guy, he just seems like a totally different person. It’s like he’s totally lost his edge. But he’s still interested in that one thing, having conversations with people. And that’s going to be the thing that he takes to his death. And I just think that’s that there’s always something in that, and with you is probably reinvention of yourself personally. But something that has a process, I can see that drop shipping has got a process. Scuba diving has gone a process, I believe that that’s what really makes you come alive. The fact that you can go A to B to C to D to the end, you can get to the end.
Johnny FD [34:22]
Yeah, I definitely agree, I think everybody should get a black belt or something in life, you know, and when I say, go from not knowing anything to being proficient enough, where somebody is willing to pay you to do that job, or you can get paid to do that job. And for me, I instead of getting, you know, to the second or third degree black belt, but the process exactly as you described, of going from zero to be able to do it very professionally, and then saying, Okay, what else can I learn, kind of from zero to hero? And I think the reason why is I’ve always been really, really curious and I, and I think there’s a big chance that I never would have gotten to experience any of this if I had stayed back in my corporate job in California back my normal life. So now I’m thinking, Hey, I have one life to live. And you know, I’m not getting any younger. So let me just do recognize many of these experiences as I possibly can, even if it’s a sacrifice, of not, you know, having as much money as as, as I could have or not having as much success as something else I could have.
David Ralph [35:29]
And does martial arts teach you the soul? We all know why pawn a wipe off. And the fact that the karate kid had to do 1000 of them. And is it that repetition that makes actually entrepreneur or life easier? Because you got to do the same thing over and over again, I’m always fascinated, where you’re kicking. I think Bruce Lee said, I’m not scared of the person who’s done one kick 10,000 kicks, I’m scared of the person who’s done the same kick 10,000 times.
Johnny FD [36:01]
Yeah, I think martial arts can can teach you a lot about life and success in business itself. And actually, when I was a kid, I went to during the summer, how keto classroom $99 and doing a uniform. And honestly, I was really disappointed, really turned me off to martial arts. And that’s because, you know, it just wasn’t, you know, a program that I really enjoyed. And I kind of lumped it all together, it’s almost kind of like somebody loving all online business, you know, into one category. But when I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I found more Thai, I realized, hey, these are the two martial artists that actually really identify with me, they really work and they are the ones to strive for. And once I pick those up, and I started with my tie, I spent four years learning and thinking, Wow, this is amazing. This is something I wish I would have done, you know, much, much earlier. And I’m glad I found it now.
David Ralph [36:57]
And then boy, well, why did you like that one, then Johnny?
Johnny FD [37:01]
Because it actually worked at from day one, you are, you know, you’re punching something you’re sparring? You know, literally from day one, I think I was sparring it, I was actually saying, Hey, is this work in real life? Or is it just theoretical? And I think that’s, you know, that’s what I thought about some types, you know, types of all my businesses, where people will just kind of in theory, you know, this, you know, this has this result. But what I liked about it, like, for example, Josh, basically, from day one, you know, you picking a product day to year, like uploading them onto a demo site, you can kind of see it working. And then the goal, at least with Anton method is to make that first sale as quickly as possible just using, you know, paid ads, and then saying, okay, I’ve tested it, I know, it works. You know, now, you know, let’s, let’s kind of work backwards and, you know, find other ways to get traffic and, you know, get SEO and all that. It’s why other methods or other businesses that they have you do all this kind of theoretical work, before you ever know if it’s, if it’s going to the position on and
David Ralph [38:09]
it’s fascinating, isn’t it? Because as you say that it’s made me realize, but there’s not many businesses that you get the rewards so quickly, and then you can increase that reward most things is the grind, isn’t it just plowing through is that faith is the hope, as we will hear later, when Steve Jobs speaks, it’s bad belief, it’s going to work more than actually experiencing it, and then sort of making it better.
Johnny FD [38:35]
Yeah, actually, still, remember, I found an old blog post a month on Johnny fd calm on the day, I made my first sale. And it changed my life because it that it was that much money. And I made, you know, $80 profit or something from that, from that, that order. And I had to wake up at four in the morning to process it, because I was in a different time when I was in Thailand. But I was excited to do it. And I knew him changed my life, because I did the math. And I thought, if I can make one sale a day, and I’m you know, and I can do this online. So basically, I can do it seven days a week that, you know, 30 days, a month. And now, you know, able to live in Thailand forever. If I can make to those day, well, if I can just cut up my margins a bit, I’ve now replaced my entire nine to five corporate salary that I used to slave over. And I’m able to do this from anywhere. And even though I had just had one first sale I I knew it worked for and I was lucky where you know, pretty much since then, it never stopped, it continued to snowball. And actually, I ended up making a lot more than I initially calculated. But it was if it wasn’t for that first win to then I don’t know if I would have had the excitement or the energy to continue it.
David Ralph [39:57]
And it is a bit you kind of go, right? I’m going to tweak it and can you kill it because I see certain people get a certain bit of momentum going, and then they tell you to tweak it and then it dies. And then they’re not really sure how to get it back. Can Can that occur with drop shipping, or once it’s going, it just keeps on going?
Johnny FD [40:21]
I think this is why it’s so important to build things on a on a foundation. I think this is kind of the main reason why I’m so glad I took this course I didn’t just try to do it on my own. Because there’s a chance I would have got lucky and said, Okay, let me just throw some things out and see what sticks. And if I gotten a few sales, and I’ve actually heard this from from a bunch of people, you know, they just kind of threw up, you know, randomly found a product randomly set up some ad somewhere, and they got a few sales, they’re like, Oh, I don’t need a course. And it seemed like $1,000. But what happened was then they couldn’t figure out what they did wrong when the sales are drying up, because they didn’t have a proper foundation. And it’s almost like building a house where, you know, you start having problems after a while and you’re like, what is you know, like, what is the source of the problem, but if you didn’t build it up, you know, from ground zero, it’s really hard to figure that out. And that’s actually the same reason why I don’t recommend people buy pre existing stores unless they know how to build on themselves unless they Radwan themselves, you know, I’ve sold a couple of suggestions, so it’s now and I always try to sell it to people who are part of Anton’s course, first, first off, it makes it easier for me to transfer it over because they they know the backend, they know how it all works. They know the customer service and not a fulfill products. But mainly because I want to I want someone who knows the foundation knows how the house is built, even if they don’t build that particular house themselves, be able to know the bones of it. And I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck is when they kind of pick, you know, hundred recipes of different you know, baking, you know, based on online, don’t all together. Yeah, there’s a chance you might make a really good chocolate cookie. But the second time, third time, you know, my cloud mission, you have no idea why.
David Ralph [42:07]
It’s a key point to everything, isn’t it is it’s obsession, I suppose, is doing the work, getting down getting dirty, and actually doing the grind when it’s not sexy to do it.
Johnny FD [42:22]
Yeah, and I think it’s the stuff that you don’t see. You know, I think there’s that that photo voc that there’s like little little mountain sticking up a little peek sticking up in the water. But what you don’t see is under neath, it’s a huge foundation. And you know, people, they just see that, you know, the success, they don’t see the foundation, the work to build it.
David Ralph [42:45]
Yeah, right. We’re gonna hear some words now from a guy who, basically, the global success and its success is staying with us. He’s no longer with us. But he’s words are here, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [42:56]
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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [43:31]
In those words resonate with you where you are now.
Johnny FD [43:35]
Oh, yeah. I mean, looking back, everything I’ve ever done, even the mistakes I’ve made, has led me to where I am today. And I love who I am. So I love my you know, I love my life. I love my friends, I love my family, and they love me. And I don’t think that if I, you know, if I was a different person, let’s say I didn’t make it, it’d be. So I’m really, really unfortunate that, you know, things kind of turned out well, but looking forward in life. I think everyone should just have fate. And as long as they’re, you know, good intentions, even if they means a mess up, you know, even if they completely fail. They will learn something from it. I guarantee you 10 years from now, you look back and be like, Oh, I’m glad I made that mistake. Please help me now with what I needed to do.
David Ralph [44:24]
And do you have conversations with those people? where we’re going, Johnny, Johnny, what you’re doing? You’re going mad man, you’re going mad? Did? Did they now sort of say? We always knew it was going to work out for you, Johnny?
Johnny FD [44:36]
Yeah, it’s insane. Actually, my my mom said to me the other day. You know, she said, You know, my idea, like, I always wanted you to give up your job and go travelling. I wish I would have recorded our conversation. Like a madwoman. When I first told her I was going to go to Thailand just for three months. It’s crazy that I think people, they can kind of look back and say, Hey, you know, like, I be fine. I was just warning you just in case. But I think it’s really easy to have 2020 hindsight and vision. But you are the only one that can that can kind of create that future. So even if it doesn’t work out, I intend it to work on the future. Just go for it. Because I mean, for example, I really thought that, you know, when I first got my first option was Joshua store that was gonna be my life for the rest of us, you know, mess my life, I thought, Hey, you know, if I can make one work, why not build 10 of them and just run this full time, hire a bunch of employees, you know, and build a huge drop shipping Empire. And I could have done that. But, and the only reason why I’m successful enough to get to that point where I could do it is because I had that vision of saying, Okay, this is what I’m gonna be doing. And what’s nice about, you know, kind of connecting the dots in the future is we can we can make our own destiny. And we can say, Okay, I have that option now. No, I, I’ve created those breadcrumbs. But now I’m going to pivot into something else. And maybe that is in our new destiny. And that’s okay, but you don’t have those dots, you’re not gonna be able to do that, unless you have that vision in the first place.
David Ralph [46:24]
And it does become easier, doesn’t it? I think I think the first dots are really, really hard. Because you know, you’re walking through mud, you’re trying to change your life. But once you get to a certain point, it becomes easier because you just had you got a track record of failure and success. And you can see that the failures weren’t game changes. Yeah, I heard they were painful, financially painful, whatever, but you got past them. And the successes kind of lead you forward. I think it’s the first few dots, which are the hardest to you.
Johnny FD [46:55]
Yeah, I 100%. Agree. And that’s why I’m so happy that I documented all that and life changes quick, because I actually read read it again, sometimes, which is kind of strange reading your book again. But I’m glad I did when I was at that stage and kind of that, that nervousness, but in that excitement, and having it kind of just worked, because, to be honest, if you had me write a book today about making my first $30,000, in probably be a very short book, because you know, in my mind, and you know, my God wasn’t that big of a deal, you know, make a lot more now. But at the time, when it seems impossible, it is it is the world and it is so hard to even imagine that we’re to remember it. And that’s why it’s so good to follow someone who’s who’s, you know, just one or two steps ahead of you. So, you know, if you want that level, read that. But then if you want to get to let’s say, you know, a billion dollars, I can’t help you, but find someone don’t find someone who already has 100 billion, find someone who is just getting to that.
David Ralph [48:01]
Well, why say
my just getting to that point, and not already other point.
Johnny FD [48:07]
I actually think that once you have it, you know, you start kind of justifying like things in your mind of how it works. And you’re like, what the deal would have happened anyway. But let’s say someone is that $999 million, or something or, you know, dead, like, whatever it is just just shy of a billion, whatever they just did, you know, those last couple years is getting into that point. You know, it’s, and I guarantee you, if you interview them two years from now, they’re going to look back, they’re going to have kind of a different story on what it took to be, they’re gonna say, Oh, you know, wasn’t as hard as I, you know, actually supposed to be, or you know, it all kind of just lined up. But when right before you hit that goal, you know, and I think that’s probably the best time for someone to write a book is start writing it before you hit the goal. And then have that last chapter, right? When you finish hitting that goal that you really celebrate. And I know this is true, because when you have when you you know, everyone dreams about becoming a millionaire, except for millionaires, where they kind of every millionaire I’ve met now. They, you know, they’re like, Oh, yes, actually, you know, stop how much money? The Bellman kind of downplay their little bit depressed about it. But if you are, if you start writing a book, as you’re growing, and you’re making that first million, and then you write your conclusion, right, the day becoming or the must become a millionaire, I guarantee you that excitement is going to capture in, and it can be very, very helpful for someone who aspires to become a millionaire. versus if you talk to someone who, you know, has already been a millionaire for many years. Yeah, their advice going to be like, Oh, you know, a million dollars, not so much money. You know, my life hasn’t, you know, didn’t change that much. You know, when you really need it, you need $30 million. And,
David Ralph [49:57]
and so we’re looking back over where you are. Now, I suppose it’s always our last question. But do you have a big.in your life? Do you have a moment, a conversation? a situation that you think Yeah, without that, without that I would not be where I am today. You know,
Johnny FD [50:15]
really ironic, I had zero idea that you had had punctuality on on the last show. You know, I haven’t actually spoken to him in a few months. He was he was it, I think meeting him in Thailand, he was just pretty much on vacation. He had just, you know, started his kind of Nomad journey. And I think now he’s settled back down in Austin. But I had met them really like the first week they started traveling. And he changed my life. No mini him in person, you know, hearing about job shipping, taking that course, starting my first store, that was the big dot that has done everything else for me now.
David Ralph [50:54]
But you had to accept that there was something that’s the thing, isn’t it? all the dots are floating pastors all the time. It’s like conveyor belt. I mean, every now and again, there’s one that that excites you, or you see something in it differently. And that’s the one you’ve got to grab, and you’ve got to start polishing it, because it’s going to be rough, it’s not going to be a perfect, you know, gift for you. But you then have to convert it with your own talents.
Johnny FD [51:18]
Yeah, like 100%. And that’s why I’m so happy that I have a blog, and I’ve been so transparent about this whole journey, you want to check it out, Johnny ft.com. And basically, I’ve been like writing income reports, the last two years, even when I wasn’t making that much money, that’s kind of a reflect at the end of the month of what I did, and what my goals are for the next month. And I think I, you know, I really think that going back and reading those, even just for myself, who can be back in that, in that mindset of what it takes to get to the next step versus where I am today, and just being comfortable.
David Ralph [51:54]
And were you going now, Ben, Johnny, have you got plans for the future? Are you just resting on waiting for England to lift the World Cup, and to inspire us for greater glory?
Johnny FD [52:06]
So I might be waiting for a long time for that to happen.
David Ralph [52:10]
How dare you?
Johnny FD [52:14]
To be honest, my goals are spent every summer in Europe, every winter, in Thailand or somewhere, you know, warm writing scuba dive in different locations, and really just enjoy life. You know, I my original goal was to become a net worth millionaire. And I think it’s still in the back of my list, because I really would like to write that that third book, The day I become a millionaire or finished Brynn book, maybe I start writing it now. But it I realized that my my purpose in life is to first work on myself and you know, accomplish goals for myself, whether they’re financial or physical, or no figuring things out. And then to just share that love and share that knowledge with everyone else. Because I really hate seeing people struggle, because I knew there was a big chance if I didn’t meet the people I did or didn’t learn the lessons I learned. That would have been me, you know, I would have been, you know, this unhappy kind of depressed guy back, you know, sitting at a cubicle and just thinking, hey, options. So now that I’ve escaped that rat race and escaped that life, I want to be able to leave, you know, a ladder, or I leave some breadcrumbs for people to follow.
David Ralph [53:27]
Yeah, good stuff. Good stuff. Well, we have been leading breadcrumbs forward, can you lead forward to cosecant, placing them forward to this part of the show that we call this sermon on the mic, 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 Johnny, what age would you choose? And what advice would you like to give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m gonna play the music. And when it fades, Europe, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Johnny FD [54:18]
Alright, so Johnny, talking to you. You’re, you know, really, between 16 and 27, you know, those, those last the last decade where you thought the only way to be happy was to be you know, to have girls in her life and to be able to be, you know, and I want you to know that it really doesn’t matter, and that you are good enough to where you are ready. And as long as you focus on yourself, and you do the things that make you happy. You know, life will be great, and you don’t need anyone else to justify who you are. And that if you just follow your dreams, and you follow your passions, no, that kind of automatically makes you the most attractive version of yourself. And you know, the love of your life will come. So don’t worry about it. Go out, enjoy yourself, do the things that you know make you happy, whether it’s travel or more Thai. Definitely start more time jujitsu sooner. And let it come just let it come. Because wherever you however you feel right now that you think this is it and you feel like you’re stuck. If you’re not, you know, and even if you feel like you’re not good enough. The way you are today, you are you’re good enough and you will become better in the future. Just keep working towards it.
David Ralph [55:38]
Great stuff. Great advice. And I hope the young Johnny is listening. So Johnny fd what’s the number one best way that our audience have been listening today can connect with you.
Johnny FD [55:49]
So if you guys listen to podcasts look for travel LIKE A BOSS podcast Ralph have a second one called invest like a boss and people that you know, like finance. But really my blog, Johnny ft calm is where I hang out, I’ve written about everything I’ve ever done to the search bar or kind of scope to the archives. But you know, really, Johnny ft.com is where I hang out, I love
David Ralph [56:10]
it. And it’s a good way It really is. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this weekend, looking at that, and I recommend it for everyone. Well, Johnny, thank you so much for spending time with us today. And joining those dots. Please come back again when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Johnny fd thank you so much David
Johnny FD [56:33]
feel free to reach out to them all capital.
David Ralph [56:35]
God, Johnny fd all the way from Odessa in the Ukraine, I still find it amazing when somebody comes through and they tell me where they are, I think really, really and this is possible, I just have to press a button in where we are connected. So there you go, he’s gone from $800 to 30,000 to 600,000 old by finding something and working really hard at it becoming that person, and rinse and repeat. And you can do that once you find one thing, but you can really do well, then it’s quite easy to do it again and again. And again. It’s keeping it fresh in your mind. And that’s the hard thing. You know, it’s all like being focused and carrying on. But once the original sexiness goes and it becomes your job, do you want to keep on doing it. That’s why it’s so important to really understand who you are right at the very beginning. Don’t just go for the money don’t go by what other people are doing and thinking, Oh, that’s my escape route. Because an escape route can lead to another prison if you don’t like it at the end of it. That’s my my words of advice for you people. But until next time, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for every single person. And I’m getting more and more emails from people saying I’m telling friends, I’m telling colleagues to listen to join us. I appreciate every single one of them because it really will help us grow the show. Until next time, that was David Ralph that was Johnny fd I’ll see you again
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow.