Welcome To Join Up Dots business coaching with Mitchell Levy An Expert on How To Become An Amazon Best Seller
To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:
Introducing Mitchell Levy
Today’s guest is Mitchell Levy a global Credibility Expert, a TEDx speaker and international bestselling author of over 60 books.
He is also an expert at teaching people How To Become An Amazon Best Seller within a month.
As The AHA Guy at AHAthat.com, he helps to extract the genius from your head in a two-three hour interview.
His team can ghostwrite your book, publish it, distribute it, and make you an Amazon bestselling author in four months or less.
He is an accomplished Entrepreneur who has created twenty businesses in Silicon Valley including four publishing companies that have published over 800 books.
He’s provided strategic consulting to over one hundred companies, and has been chairman of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company.
Mitchell has been happily married for twenty-nine years and regularly spends four weeks in Europe with family and friends.
So did he always plan to move into publishing or was this an Aha moment of his own?
Why is their such a clamour for everyone to have a book out nowadays?
And does he really have the know how to become an amazon best seller in such a short period of time.
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mitchell Levy
During the show we discussed with Mitchell Levy, such weighty subjects such as:
How to become an amazon best seller (even if it is for only a minute)
Why the opportunities that we have everyday should wake up with excitements.
Why so many entrepreneurs feel the issue of not knowing how to structure their days for maximum effect.
How 99% of the effort of making a book sale occurs
Mitchell shares how the process of getting an amazon bestselling business.
How To Connect With Mitchell Levy
Or of course you can check out thousands of podcast interviews in our archives here
Audio Transcription Of Mitchell Levy 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 there. Good morning. Well, good morning. And thank you once again for being here. The join up dots podcast is a show. Is it a podcast? Is it a platform? Who knows But whatever it is, is going to inspire you to take control of your life and move on into past years new? Well, today’s guest is a global credibility expert, a TEDx speaker and international best selling author of over 60 books. As the AHA guy, aha vac.com. He helps to extract the genius from your head. In a two three hour interview, Ben, his team can ghost write your book, publish it distribute to make you an Amazon best selling author in four months or less. Yes. Now he’s an accomplished entrepreneur who’s created 20 businesses in Silicon Valley, including for publishing companies that have published over 100 books. He’s provided strategic consulting to over 100 companies, and he’s been chairman of the board and NASDAQ listed company. Now, he’s also been happily married for 29 years go him and regularly spends four weeks in Europe with family and friends. So did he always plan to move into publishing? Or was this an aha moment of his own? And why is there such a clamor for everyone to have a book out nowadays? Well, let’s find out as we start join up dots with the one and only Mr. Mitchell Levy. Good morning, Mitchell. How are you Sir
Mitchell Levy [1:49]
David a very great, thanks. Thanks for having me. And, and it sounds like this is gonna be a fun a fun show. I love your attitude.
David Ralph [1:58]
Well, wait. So what about having fun this because we spent so many years many of us in corporate gigs in cubicles thinking, how long till five o’clock? Right? If you then go and do your own thing, you should be having fun at the same time when you think
Mitchell Levy [2:14]
if life is about figuring out how how work equals play, so you could play all the time.
David Ralph [2:21]
Well, isn’t it? Isn’t that what you do? Do what? What’s the percentage would you say about yours is work and play?
Mitchell Levy [2:28]
Oh, well. So I actually did a TED talk. And for those that are interested, take a look at the take a look at the TED Talk. And if we’ve actually sitting right next to each other, I might actually pull it up, it’s 17 minutes and 34 seconds of your life, it’s well worth it. And it’s it’s what I what I talked about there, and this is sort of how I live my life. And that is we are in as a society, we’re in the most massive transformation we’ve ever been in between 1920 and 2019. In that hundred year period, we’re we’ve made it about 50% from this old industrial society way that life existed to a new way of living, which is a social age. So having made it 50%, the interesting part is the next 50% is going to happen in the next decade or two. So if you think the last 10 years have been a tremendous transformation, just buckle your seats, because the next 10 years, everything you know will change. And as a result, the opportunities for you to be able to do what you do have fun, educate, learn, grow, make money, is absolutely all at your fingertips. And so the way I’ve lived my life for most of my life, I last time out of corporate travel was 1997. So since 1997, I’ve been doing what I’ve wanted to do when I’ve wanted to it and who I’ve wanted to do it with. And every now and then you get a bad client. And so then the question becomes, and so then it becomes work versus play. So how quickly can you fire the clients you don’t like? And how quickly can you continue to do the things you do like to do? In which case? You know, it’s the for me the the answer question, what percentage is work or percentages play? When you see me if I’m with family, with friends, with customers with prospects, it’s always the same me. I don’t have to put on pretenses based on who I’m with or what I do. And, and actually, I love everything I do. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I’d go away and do something else. Now good on you. Good on you.
David Ralph [4:42]
I’ll tell you why, as you were talking about the sort of how things have moved on in the last 50 years compared to the next decade, my son and this is a fact Mitchell that will make you sexually attractive at parties, I promise you. But if you if you think that the pharaohs of Egypt and stretch out there tell him line, Cleopatra would be closer to the moon landings and van the very first Pharaoh that is how long they were there doing their thing. And if you think about that, and what I actually left, which was a few pyramids, think of what we’re doing now, every single day, we’re doing something creative, something inspiring, we’re training people across the planet to get to Australia in 30 seconds, we’re sending people up into space just to have a look around. It’s astonishing, isn’t it?
Mitchell Levy [5:29]
I’m still trying, I’m still stuck on the beam sexually attracted at parties thing about being halfway married. That’s not necessarily a requirement for review phase.
It is absolutely spectacular, that we were still in this stage. And it’s it’s been about 20 years now, when the stage where everyone who wants has a microphone, everyone who wants has a camera. And and so just like this show, right? You’ve made it what you’ve wanted to make it the the ability to have a life and have a living, and be able to survive and do this and make it fun and interesting and entertaining matters to you. Because that’s what makes it really powerful. But to make it entertaining, fun and interesting to other people where they not only want to listen, but they want to engage in you. That’s what that’s what tomorrow. That’s what today is currently about. Actually, so many people haven’t put their arms around. what they think about David is they say, Hey, I got this microphone, I got this camera. Let me scream into this camera and microphone on how cool I am. And people are going to then recognize me. But that’s not what you do. That’s not what, that’s not what success is into social age. Social age is about educating. It’s about entertaining. It’s about informing it’s about doing the types of things that allow you to share with an audience who’s interested, who they are, and and who you are. And in this particular case, you’re bringing on the cast. So who is the cast? What does he do? What’s interesting, what’s fun, and, and then if the audience is intrigued, they’re like, I want to know more. I want to know more about Mitchell Levy, hey, let’s let’s check into his network. Let’s figure out what he does. I want to know more about David Ralph, let’s check into what he does. Let’s check into his network. And, and that’s really the core essence of what we’re doing today. The core essence of being an expert at being a thought leader, being somebody who’s an influencer. You could use any of those terms, so anonymously if you want. But the the core essence of that is providing value in such a way that you’re recognized as an expert. And people say, give me more
David Ralph [7:53]
why I’m going to slow you down there because there was so many questions going through my mind as she was talking about it. Now, I’m coming up to five IBS as we are we’re doing base of join up dots and when I started here, I felt like I was in a very small pool of podcasters. There wasn’t a lot of us, and you’d spend half your time telling people what a podcast was. Now, every Tom, Dick and Harry, as we say, opening United Kingdom say they have a podcast host. Does that mean that I should be a podcast host? This is my question to you just because the technology is there now. And a lot of people are doing it. I think that they the majority of people should be stopped from doing it. And they should find other ways of actually boosting their credibility that’s unique and authentic for them. What do you think Mitchell David
Mitchell Levy [8:43]
you have a really interesting attitude in life. But we won’t go there.
Unknown Speaker [8:49]
You’re the only one that hasn’t.
Mitchell Levy [8:54]
So here’s what’s interesting. And this is so I’m going to give you two different answers. Right. First one is, is one that I I have given to my son who’s now 20 since he was two, when you’re bright and you’re capable, and there’s many things you could do in life. My statement to Duncan was always just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Yes, right. So that doesn’t mean that doesn’t I’m not saying anything about the people doing things right. Now,
David Ralph [9:24]
let’s listen to this show. Mitchell, go and go on this. What What do you think,
Mitchell Levy [9:30]
dude, you’re, you’re telling me you’re making good money with this show? Of course people listen, right?
So the the interesting part is, this is one of many ways in today’s world. Yeah, let’s step back. Let’s talk about let’s talk about the Cotswolds. And let’s talk about let’s assume a time in which was just horse and buggy. Well, what happens when you did business in the console? You did business in your village, maybe you’d go out to your next village. Right, the podcast was the local person who just was the gossiper, who just told everyone everything at what’s going on, if
David Ralph [10:08]
that’s what you’re saying.
Mitchell Levy [10:10]
You could call it the village idiot. Or you can call it the the village sage. Right? And, and maybe in some cases, they were the same. So the the interesting part was, if you did something wrong, if you hurt somebody in some way, if you let’s say you were the butcher, and and somebody said, Give, I’d like to have some meat on Friday night, have it at the house and you didn’t deliver? Well guess what people would? Everyone would know? Right? It’s, it’s everyone knows what’s going on everything. Everyone knows what’s happening. So right now, we were we’re in this we’re in this world where there’s not as much awareness of what’s happening from from area to area. And so, you know, you look at let’s say, 100, podcasters. And they all from the outside look the same. But all of them have different numbers, they all have different engagement, they all have different audiences, right. And, and they are not all the same. And so in some cases, there are people who just 100% do podcasting, and they do it well, and they build an audience. They grab engagement, they were able to monetize, and it’s worthwhile. For other cases David the people who are doing podcasting, but the word podcast for them is really just a credibility piece that they use to then allow them to do other things. So their monetization vehicle may not be in podcasting, but some other vehicle. And so in that case, if you compare their podcast viewers maybe put in 10 x more time, making sure that it’s effective, making sure there’s awareness, making sure there’s marketing, making sure that the the audience that you do work with is fine, right, maybe you do more, but it may not matter because the other person’s monetizing elsewhere. So little. So the answer your question is, should they be doing podcasting today? Yeah, I’m not sure I would never say no to that. Right? The question becomes tomorrow, when it’s easy to be able to look at your podcast or your podcast for some versus somebody else. And to know exactly what your audiences what reach you have, what engagement you have, how you doing? What is it you know, if I have a choice of going on 10 podcasts I did 150. Last year, I’m going to choose based on those that will have the largest reach of who I want to get to. And we’re not as as society. And as technology would not quite there yet, but we’re getting pretty close.
David Ralph [12:46]
Now, one of the things that interests me is, nowadays people know too much about everything. And as you alluded, it’s all out there, people are showing what they’re having for dinner, and they’re showing what they did yesterday, and everything seems to be reality. Now. I saw Oprah the other day, and at the moment is a documentary going on about Michael Jackson. And we won’t get into that. But um, Oprah made a point where she said, You don’t realize how big Michael Jackson was at his peak. Stars don’t get back big anymore. And I thought No, they don’t because we see behind beyond the curtain too much we see the sort of reality. Now when you’re building create credibility by jumping on to LinkedIn and doing a post and doing this and doing that. Are you actually diluting your credibility? Should you do less of it? But good stuff? Or should you splatter it around everywhere, like people seem to be doing?
Unknown Speaker [13:43]
Well, there’s no David
Mitchell Levy [13:46]
here. I love I love the questions. We should actually come on out and, and sit on a pub. And as long as I’ve got a Guinness in front of me, I’d be happy. The there’s no right or wrong on this sort of stuff. It the probably the biggest, the biggest wrong most people make is they don’t identify who their audiences. Right? That’s the most important thing you should be thinking about in an in a question when you talk to somebody. So let’s say you talk to somebody and you shake their hand and you look them in the eye and and you go, you know, I’m very curious, who are you? You know? And what do you serve? Right? Who are you who’s your audience? And what you’re listening for in that first five to seven, maybe even Max 10 seconds? As soon as the audience they serve? Because the answer to your question is one that I cannot address until you tell me who the audience. Now most people make a mistake of assuming their audience is everybody. And that’s absolutely mistake because if you do everything in nowadays, that generalist that does everything, they get to do nothing. So the the audience, if you don’t mind, can I tell my audience? Would you you
David Ralph [14:59]
know, good, exactly your podcast guest you can
Mitchell Levy [15:02]
say what you should tell it is absolutely my job. But I’ve asked you permission before I actually do what could be perceived as a bitch, but I’ll do it. And in a short period of time, I work with busy, successful professionals who recognize the need for either their first book or another book or a series of books, but they don’t have the time. So over a four month period, we will go straight publish, distribute, make them an Amazon best selling author. And the amount of time they’ll spend in that four months is about five hours. We press easy button.
David Ralph [15:37]
Yeah, but how do you do Oh, god, I’m gonna jump into there because I’ve actually got a book out. And my publishers always saying you don’t mention it and up, you don’t mention it now called podcasters mastery, where we teach you how to define your celebrity by the power of your voice. Now, with a book it’s take, it took me by surprise how much effort it is after words, books don’t just sell themselves, books don’t just become Amazon best sellers. And so how do you actually do that for them? Do you throw it at the client and say, run through the street shouting, bye, bye bye, or do you? Do what you do it Metro?
Mitchell Levy [16:12]
If it’s the right street? Yes. So So, by the way, great question. Same, that same as you. Yeah, like three questions in there. So first question is, do you and we’re going to come back to does it make sense for you as for anybody to actually write their own book, I want to come back to that. Let’s talk about one statement you made. And I would say I used to always say 90% of the success of your book comes after you’re done writing. Let me rephrase that 99% of the success of your book comes after you’re done ready. So it doesn’t matter how much time energy you spend writing a book, it’s absolutely irrelevant. Unless your book is utter garbage. You know, there’s a range of what’s reasonable for good for a book, everything else is up to you to market. Now, the term Amazon bestseller, what most people do is they figure out a way to get bestseller status, because it’s in the best interest of both amazon for you to mention their name. And for you to actually have that as best status, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve sold a ton of books and made money. What it means is you’ve been able to work with the system to be able to have it say that you’re one of the top hundred sellers, or in many cases, I want to get to be number one. But here’s the important part, if you’re number one, even if it’s for a minute, you are, by the way, a number one best selling author. So we just we work with the system and work with the author in such a way where we can make them a best selling author in many cases. And number one selling author, what I’ll always say to every author and anyone, it absolutely doesn’t mean anything, but it sounds good. So then what happens in next time, you mentioned your book, you then mentioned you put in the verb, Amazon best selling author, or number one best selling author, and you have the ability to do that, because you have legitimately made that happen for a period of time on Amazon.
David Ralph [18:16]
Now the problem with that is Bo, it’s like chicken and egg. You’ve got to sell the books to get the reviews, and you got to get the reviews to sell the books. And I found when I had my book, I’ve still got my book out, I’m going to mention it again. podcasters mastery, and it was almost impossible even to get my friends and family to buy it. And people would say Oh, yeah, go over and buy a copy of people. And I didn’t. So So what where’s where’s the missing ingredient, Mitchell. So,
Mitchell Levy [18:45]
so first thing is getting reviews before you do anything, and you list your book on Amazon, you want to get five, five star reviews. So typically, what I’ll do with people is when I asked for review, I will actually say listen, I’d love to have a five star review. And if you’re not comfortable with five star, no problem, don’t do a review at all. And typically, typically what happens is most people will feel comfortable doing that. In Amazon’s case, it’s better if they could purchase the book. So one of the things you might do is is if if you give Amazon exclusive rights to sell your book as a Kindle version, that means you’re not selling your ebook version anywhere else you have to give Amazon exclusive rights. It’s called the Katie p KD be program, K. Kindle Direct Publishing Katie p program. You do it for 90 days. And what they do is they will give you in that timeframe, five days in which you can sell your book for free. So first thing you do you put your book on Kate, on the Kindle Direct Publishing program. For some odd reason those three letters coming together for me, Don’t even ask me the same five times fast. You put there and then you go out and you ask people to give you reviews. Now when you first put it up there, you could price it at 99 cents. So if you price your book at 99 cents, you go out and ask five or 10 of your friends, Hey, could you please give me a five star review, if you wouldn’t mind. If you wouldn’t mind giving me a buying the book first become a verified purchaser. And what I’ll do is I’ll buy your buyer beer or do something for you the next time I see you, right, and so having at least five reviews makes sense, then what happens is you you pick a day in which because you’ve given Amazon exclusivity in that program, they will give you five days where you could offer the book for free. So that’s the interesting part, that’s when you need to get a couple hundred people to actually I’m putting my fingers in the air, the double quotes in the air. That’s when you want people to buy your book. And this and since it’s free, you want them to buy your book for free. So you get two to 300 people to buy your book for free on a particular day, you’ll become an Amazon best selling author.
David Ralph [21:12]
I understand. So totally. But people don’t do. It’s like in podcasting, you hear podcasters I don’t ask about iTunes ratings and reviews very often. But it’s almost impossible to get anyone to do anything for you. In this regard. Everyone seems to be so wrapped up, I would think to have I’ve got a very large audience. But if I said to them, to 100, people go and buy my book, and I’ll buy you all a beer. I don’t think they would.
Mitchell Levy [21:41]
So here’s it so so that’s interesting. So I area. So there’s a couple of so for, let’s say there’s somebody says let’s let’s, let’s start over for us, we have a number of techniques. So when we work with an author, we, for instance, as a book publisher, I’ve published over 850 bucks, we now have bundled into our products, two of our products that we sell, we actually bundle in the Amazon bestseller and campaign. Otherwise, if you’re interested $4,000, we actually we actually can work with somebody to make them an Amazon best selling author, normally, people charge three to 5000, we do it 4000. And we do we have enough techniques and enough things that we work with that even if the author did zero, we would make them a best seller, if the author gets involved, we have a chance of making them a number one bestseller. So so in your case, one of the things I might recommend is, is create a gateway page, create a landing page that people can go to. And and in that landing page, there’s one and only one thing they do is they put in their email address. And then they get directed to purchase a book directly. Or you can even have a link right after that. That is the purchase of your book, your Kindle version of your book that’s available for free. And then you say to people, so you give them incentive. So instead of saying hey, go buy my book, that’s you shouting, you say, hey, pick up a copy of my book today for free. My publisher has made it available today and today only for free. And as a reward for you doing that. I’m going to pick five of the people who who suggested and I’m going to give them a special price.
David Ralph [23:33]
Well, I have to sleep with them. I offer to sleep with five people and it didn’t do anything.
Mitchell Levy [23:39]
I could understand that. Now I don’t see a picture of you. So I I can’t even tell you but a obviously it’s not going to work for me.
David Ralph [23:47]
Oh, come on. Come on. Yeah, yeah.
Mitchell Levy [23:51]
Maybe Maybe if we drank a lot and we were in a pub together.
David Ralph [23:55]
To raise money mouth is a work when it on you Americans, we have a special relationship.
Mitchell Levy [24:00]
Do the accents. Beautiful, but that doesn’t get me into bed. So so but the thing that be thinking about is what is if you know your audience, and you know who’s listening and you know you’re targeting, you know, something they’re interested in. So give them something you’re interested in. So if you have a one of the things that’s fascinating, since you sell training courses, you could actually say, Hey, listen, I’ve got this amazing training course I’ve trained over 1000 people, and I’m going to pick the of the people who actually do my book, I’m going to pick one one person to give my course away for free. That’s pretty big incentive. Right. And, and and here’s what’s interesting, your as you’re talking about what you give it away for free, other people who don’t get it may want to and by the way, everyone who signed up, you send them a follow up message saying, so let’s say 100 people or thousand people signed up, right? Because they’re all wanted your course. The you send out a message saying so and so this person’s name, actually, one, thank you so much for getting my book, can I please give you if you’re interested for the next two months, here is a coupon that you can get 25% off my course if you’re inclined. Right. So it becomes what you have to think about in these sort of ways as as Yes, you’re getting people to do something for you, but they’re doing it really for themselves. And what they’re doing for themselves is they’re entering into a contest or getting something getting something they want. Right if in your particular case, your audience may or may not be directly people who want to learn more about podcasting. So where you have to make that offer is in places where people who want to learn how to be podcasters are hanging out. Right. And so that’s where that’s where it has a little bit of ingenuity of trying to find the people who have an audience that tailored to those who want to be podcasters. And that’s where you make your offer, because then you got people who are directly interested in, in the content of the book. So a lot of times when when, as a publisher, we have books from so many different authors. There may be an audience that may or may not be interested in any one particular book. Right? So we just published a book called The key to being a highly successful woman. Wow, I don’t know, maybe you’re interested in that, but for not buying it. Done? Well, hey, take a look. By the way, we, we it’s on Amazon, it’s called the key to being a highly successful woman, if you went to our Aha, that platform, we actually have the AHA messages inside of the book that are available to share on social media for free. Now, something that could be interesting to you is we have another book called Building your sales team. Diane Updike, who’s been VP of sales at a ton of companies in Silicon Valley did that. And and I’ll give you a third more and then I’ll tie the thread together five tracks of working with a marketing CTO or marketing Chief Technology Officer, right? Those are such disparate pieces of content, that if I have somebody in my audience, that one person is most likely not going to be interested in all three books. So you got to make it easy for them to potentially want to consume water share want to support you and and providing the that interactivity that engagement if you just say bye bye bye or do do do. It’s not the same as a listen, how can we play together? How can I help you? And this is how you can help me
David Ralph [27:47]
along the way that you say do do. It amuses me. I don’t know why maybe I I’m not as mature as I thought, well, as I
Mitchell Levy [27:55]
I knew as soon as I said that, that I was up for something, yeah, ABC down or something
David Ralph [28:00]
they would do always wins with me. Let’s play some motivational words. And we’re going to come back with Mitchell Levy,
Jim Carrey [28:06]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:32]
Now, he was saying bear that he had to do everything to survive. And you seem to be a guy that can basically pop out a business at will and make a success of it. What What is the difference? And you know, have they all been home runs or they’ve been struggling failures once you sort of percentage rate.
Mitchell Levy [28:52]
I say for me personally, I’m pretty happy when I when I come out with singles and doubles. I’ve had a couple a couple triples. I don’t think I’ve ever had any home runs. But these are all definitions of like, what out of the park home runs. Other people might say yes, but for me, you know, I think if you look at somebody like Facebook or or Amazon, those are Grand Slams, right, those are just absolutely spectacular out of the park, right. So doing things which are singles and doubles just valuable. I’ve had one of my one of my most intellectually beautiful projects I ever created. I loved it, it was great. It was valuable. It really rocked the world. But I could never make I could never make enough money to make it sustainable. So I closed it down. Right. And and so the not everything works, right. And and I think I think what happens so for me, here’s here’s how I do things today. Right now we’ve published over 850 books, almost every author I have is in some way a partner with me. And and what I’m doing now because we we have that done view service. What I do now is I’m now looking for at the end of last quarter I interviewed 100 potential partners I picked 25 to play with. And so what I look for when I’m playing with partners is is or isn’t fun. And what I deliver, I have an Amazon best selling book in four months period. So Amazon best selling book. And so imagine if you and I partnered Amazon best selling book, and we teach you how to be a podcaster that can generate revenue. Well, that’d be interesting. Well, what do we charge for that, right? I’ve got a speaker coach that she guarantees after you take her training, her cost is 10,000. After you take her training, she guarantees you will make 150 to 200,000 as a speaker or she’ll book you to be a speaker, that’s a nice model, I got a firm that will do a 10 city tour. So for 10 K, they’ll put you on a 10 city tour. So let’s put those together for 30,000, you can be guaranteed to make 150 200,000
to attempt to tour and be an Amazon best selling author. Right? So So for me, I’m actually playing with different partners and delivering different value. And so the question, they asked me what works, what doesn’t work, I don’t know. So so here’s I’ll give you my my success, my formula for success. You meet somebody you really like them, you you engage with them and you like I this is a person I want to I want to potentially play with. So So then what happens is, the best thing you could do is, is you sort of shake hands, and you know what your business model is, at the end of the day, I like to split profit 5050 with whoever I work with, right, so. So you, you decide what you want to do, you shake hands, and you get your first client. Now, notice, I didn’t say anything about contracts, or any of this other silly stuff. So you get your first client because sometime when you’re working with a client shits gonna hit the fan. And when that happens, you want to be working with somebody that when they’re in the room and you’re not in the room, they’re saying the stuff that you would say, and and so the fascinating part is you get your first client, you see how it works, you step back, you see if it’s profitable, you see if it’s fun, and if it is and all that’s true, and you want to go forward, then you do the contract. And so that’s kind of how so in many cases, you can talk to somebody to you’re blue in the face, you never get a client, it’s it’s a waste of time. So you get somebody, you you pull something together, you even get your first client like, oh, man, this is great, let’s do more. And then you could decide to spend more time money energy to figure out how to get more clients into the funnel and see how it works. And so, to me, it’s it’s how do you make sure you do stuff that’s fun? Will you you engage in an environment where you, if you’re doing what you love, and you get paid for it, then that’s beautiful. So the question becomes, how can you supplement the things you don’t do? Well do what you do well, and some of the things you don’t do well, right. And and so for me, when I’m looking at all these partners, there are partners who today, they may be in your case, like like podcasters, or I’ve got PR agencies? Well, every PR agency, when they’re working with a client, at some point in time, they’re still looking for good news for the client to create. Having that client have a book that can be used over and over again, is really nice, having that client have a new book every quarter or two times a year, is also powerful. So for me to partner with PR agencies, it’s a really nice win win for both. And for me, as you said, If 99% of the success of the book is the is the marketing that happens when the book is done. I want to take all of my office and say By the way, you got to talk to these PR companies, because this will help you really drive home your messaging. Right. So I’m constantly looking for when wins. And and I think to answer your last question, when you structured something where it doesn’t work. And particularly if if I have a partner, and we have one client together and only one client together, and let’s say we’re we’re hopefully we structured in such a way where we’re profitable. And we never get another client together. Instead of saying that was a failed business. What I say is that was a successful experiment. Right? Because the experiment was, hey, we made money wasn’t as much fun as I want or wasn’t as interesting as I wanted, hey, let’s not do it. Again. That’s a experiment definition of an experiment is you know what the outcome is, when you’re done, you have a decision that you’ve made, either Hey, let’s go forward. And let’s try.
David Ralph [34:50]
But you could say that now because you are Mitchell Levy, but at the beginning, when it was your first foray into it, that would have been a failure? Surely?
Mitchell Levy [35:00]
Let’s see. No, I think since I started so so let’s go back to let’s go back to the the the baby days, right, 1997 1987,
I left my son, my job at Sun Microsystems, I was running the e commerce components and supply chain. And I I was doing stuff in e commerce, the internet Internet’s been around for a while, but the web just came out a couple years earlier with Marc Andreessen coming out with mosaic. And the I left my job and I hung up the shingle and said, I am a strategic consultant, I’m going to help companies figure out how to deploy e commerce inside their business. So I started talking to people a week or two went by no real bites. My first bite was one of my old bosses who said to me, then and classic, here I am, I’m thinking I’m going to do strategic consulting. And he says to me, hey, Mitchell, do you know anything about SEO? And and you could imagine, in my mind, my disappointment, wait a second, I’m a strategic consultant, you want me to do SEO? And, and but instead of saying, instead of saying, Oh, my God, don’t say anything about that, because that would be stupid. You’re in business, by the way, somebody comes to you with an opportunity for you to say no, immediately stupid. Okay, so. So then I said, What? Tell me Tell me why what’s going on? He says, Well, my company web development firm is busy beyond belief. All my people is stretched, I don’t want to take any of my resources to have them learn about SEO. But I have a number of clients that keep asking me for it, and I need to be able to deliver it. And I know you could figure it out. Okay, well, that’s different than Mitchell, do you know anything about SEO? So my response to him was, well work. Let me let me research it and get back to you. Let me get back to you in two weeks. So in 1997, so I bought everything on the market. And in 1997, that was not that hard. So I bought all the tools. I did all the research, I figured out what to do. I came back and I said, Hey, work, I? Here’s what we should do. Why don’t you charge your clients? $15,000? And I’ll charge you 10. He goes, Okay, we sold five. Now, once again, I was still slightly disappointed. I mean, money is money. Right? And that was good money. I was slightly disappointing, because this is not really what I wanted to do. So So can you say I was upset? Yeah, I wasn’t upset. But I was like, well, that’s okay. Hey, listen, money’s money, I’ll do the job. At the time. And this is still true. today. If you’re doing SEO on a website, what you do is you talk to the person who owns the website or the company, you go, and you say what is your 32nd elevator pitch. And in that elevator pitch, they’re going to use a key phrase, or a creek key term or a key word, two or three times. So you listen to the keyword. And that keyword, that key phrase should have individual separate pages on their website, because that’s how you that’s how you say, to Google and other search engines. Hey, by the way, this is an important turn to us. We have our own web page just dedicated to that term. Well, when I asked all five clients for their 32nd pitch, all five clients took 10 minutes. And I go, aha, and two of them actually became strategic clients of mine. Right. And so, so what’s interesting is, even back then, I think, I think what happens with most people, is they they kind of have this pass fail mentality. This is good, or this is bad. And unfortunately, that’s, that’s a construct of fun the industrial age. We’re told, when we go to school, you got an A, or you got an F. And if you if you got an F you fail, right and but but that’s not really true in real life. Right now. I guess if you’re a doctor, yes, the client lives client dies, that’s pass or fail, I got that.
The the interesting part, though, in business, is there are so many permutations. And so the the thing I’d like to leave behind the lesson I’d like to leave for for everybody is in every situation you’re in, in every encounter you have, there’s an opportunity for a present to come your way. Right. And so the president, when I talked to Rick is he he already knew me, he already trusted me, he gave me something that he just his firm didn’t want to deal with. But I turned that into something interesting. It not only wasn’t it wasn’t bad, just to make 50,000. But then I turned him into clients and made a whole lot more. Right. And, and the thing is, when when we do an experiment, like if you if you are starting a business with somebody, instead of spending all the time, all the energy, all the money, getting lawyers doing all these contracts, all this silly stuff, why do you actually just pick up your first client. And then when you’re done with it, see if it works, that anyone could do that. You don’t need to be a Mitchell levy to do that. You can just say, hey, I want to put David you and I decided we wanted to do something fun together. But first thing I do is say let’s pick a client. Let’s see if it works. Right? And and then when we’re done with that client, we’re like, Okay, this wasn’t good, or this wasn’t what I wanted. But we could still shake hands, or this was fantastic. Let’s double down to do more. I think anyone could do that. You don’t, you don’t have to just be me. It’s just simply, it’s really how you look at any situation. It’s how you line things up. It’s not like when people say I’m starting a business, and this is either going to work or not work. Well, what they started today should be, by definition, different tomorrow than it is today. Because once you start dealing with clients and customers and prospects, and they tell you what you want, or they tell you what they’re really interested in, what then you’re going to morph your business to be something slightly different than when you started with it. And and that’s not a bad thing.
David Ralph [41:05]
Now, one of one of the interesting things I kept on wanting to jump into your bear is in the introduction, I said he was a global credibility expert TEDx speaker, blah, blah, blah. But really, you join up dots you connect your connector, aren’t you? You You see, you know, and you bring it together and say, let’s make some coin out of this. Yes.
Mitchell Levy [41:30]
I’ve been giving such long answers. I decided just to say yes,
David Ralph [41:33]
yes, he’s good. Yes. Works. Not all the time on the podcast, but it certainly works on that. So when you look at your join up dots Is it something that has only come with the experience? Could you have done this as an early? Because I think a lot of people out there would go, yeah, they’re not gonna work with me. I’ve only just started I’m, who’s gonna say yes.
Mitchell Levy [41:56]
Oh, it’s such a beautiful response. So I think with years of experience, you get better at this. But when I talk to younger people, and younger people who are bright, motivated, capable, right, they have something I don’t have. Right and, and so I’m gonna let you guess what that is. But hey,
well, that’s probably true, too. Damn. Okay, they have one more thing that I know now. They have time. Right? This is what most beautiful thing is, the when you’re young, you have so much time and so much energy and so much enthusiasm. And if you’re smart, and you’ve done a good job, and you love what you do David you still see me Susie ask about you do I have to tell you, I’m still I’m in my 50s I’m enthusiastic about what I do, I still have energy for the stuff I’m doing because I love helping people be successful. When I what I don’t have, I my fingers are in so many pies, I just don’t know a lot of time. So I buy time, by taking the stuff I don’t do really well. And I hire people to help me. Now here’s what’s really fascinating when I meet young, entertaining people who, you know, who don’t necessarily want to be contractors, for me, they want to build a business and do something themselves. I work with those sort of people. Why? Because they have time, right? So I have I have experienced and I have an infrastructure, and I have a system in place. And I have people who can work. And what I’ll tell those people I work with is listen, let’s run a company together. Here’s what you do. And here’s here’s how we structure it. And here’s how we move forward. And the thing they may feel Mitchell, why would you want to do this, because I’m going to use your money, I’m going to use your infrastructure, I’m going to ask and I’ll look them in the eyes, I’ll say it’s simply because you have you have this precious commodity called time that I don’t have. So let’s play together. And that’s part of connecting the dots. So connecting the dots is really simple, is you can either look at, if you’re just starting out, look at other people who are successful in the field that you want, and figure out what they’re not doing and go to them, you know, here are your clients, here’s how you satisfy them, you know, if there’s a piece of of service that I think they need, that you’re not giving today, is that something I could we could take one of your trusted clients and try it on and see if it works, that’s connecting the dots. If you can see anyone who’s out there, for instance, for me, if you’re listening to this and go, Oh my god, I know exactly the number of people I need to recommend to Mitchell because they if they had a book, they would be able to open up so many doors. Great, I got a nice referral program, happy to talk to you happy to pay you for any referral. Right? It’s connecting the dots is simply saying, aha, I know like and trust. That’s what my TED talk was about. I know, like and trust this person, or this company, or this activity? How can I either bring them business? or How can I add more value to the product they’re selling today? Or how could we create something new together? That’s connecting the dots. And I think, I think as you get older, it’s it’s easier because you get to see bigger trends and bigger opportunities. And, and sometimes when you’re young, you’re unrealistic. And, and that’s not a bad thing, because dreaming and thinking huge is is a beautiful thing. I sat down on a bench with Jeff Bezos and 1996 right after Amazon got its series be nobody, you know, everyone on the street just thought they were it was really stupid. He’s trying to automate this thing called books. You know, and, and, you know, I talked to that guy. And, and I knew then, now I didn’t know he’d be the richest man on the world. But I knew then he had something really cool. Because he was focused, he knew his customer base he knew he wanted to do and, and the short thing he’s said to me, then and he’s still saying today is I can see in the world, places where there are inefficiencies. It just so happens that the book industry is the most pervasive, we’re going to start there. But anything I bought anything I build, to help solve this, whether we use it internally or externally, I’m going to then turn into a product and sell it. So he wasn’t talking about AWS. Yeah, which is the online system that he now they host, they host applications from around the world. But in order to make his infrastructure work, he had to build a system in place at work for Amazon, while He then took that system to turn into a product and then sell it. Well, he mentioned that back in 1996. And it’s just simply, sometimes having a vision and having a broad is beautiful. And, and so I I’m always interested in that. And it’s really about David goes back to the time the dots, the dots are at the end of the day, is there an audience that needs something, they want something, and they’re not getting it served to them today. And if you can recognize what that audience is, and what that need is, well, then can you figure out how to tie that need how to service that cause that audience how to make that happen. That’s that’s joining the dots. That’s the stuff I do every day,
David Ralph [47:18]
when I play the words from a man who also used to join up adults. And not only did he join up the dots, he left these words as well, Steve Jobs,
Steve Jobs [47:26]
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 [48:01]
I’m always interested Mitchell, when I listen to bat, do you need to live a life without plan to be Alberta gain enough experiences to then start building your dots forward? dg does life actually have to be a bit messy before it becomes linear?
Unknown Speaker [48:19]
Unknown Speaker [48:23]
I have to think about that. I,
Mitchell Levy [48:26]
you know, it’s open ended very focused questions like that are hard to answer because this is not true for everybody. There are many people in the world who want to live life linearly, who are happy, working for somebody else, having a job making money. And if they didn’t have to work at all, and could live without working, they’d be happy. And there’s a there’s a component of society that is like that. And they won’t change. Always, they won’t change in in the future that I confer mercy. So I can’t universally answer that for everybody. What I could say for guys like Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos and Mark Cuban, and, you know, the the types of people who, who completely have transformed the world, their vision of where they’re going to go tomorrow, in many cases are just not foreseeable in the technology that exists today. And in which case, yeah, they have to live outside outside the norm. That said, there are still many people who just are making minor tweaks to what happens today, or even just taking what happens today and making it easier. The best example that that immediately comes to mind is is Ray Kroc and McDonald’s. Not that I want to push fast food and McDonald’s. But he saw an opportunity to both give average Americans the ability to own their own business, I McDonald’s franchises, he saw the opportunity to produce a consistent product that was the same every time I the putting a process in place that would deliver a valuable product food at a reasonable price. And as he was running his business, as people were coming to Him To talk to him, when he first opened his business, he didn’t realize what he was really doing is opening up a real estate franchise. Right? That’s really what McDonald’s is, is the owner of a ton of physical McDonald’s that they rent out and lease and a franchise system that’s helping other people make money. It’s he didn’t realize that when he opened the company. And so what happened is he had a vision to solve a problem. And as people started talking to him, as he started seeing what he was doing other opportunities came his way. And he was able to see the present. So can you say he was living life without actually knowing? Yeah, you could say that, I just wouldn’t put it that way. What I would say is, whatever you do that’s solving a particular need today, because the definition of an expert is that you do something and somebody else pays you for it. Okay? And and and you could take that in any way you want to take it, the definition of a recognized expert is many people get to know about it, and you get to continue to make money. And what happens is, if you’re listening and paying attention to your prospects to your customers in terms of what they want, you end up having an opportunity to grow and do more things and more for your business. And my business today, what I’m doing right now in 2019, is significantly different than what I did between 2005 and 2017. So we’ll just say, between 2005 and 2017, I, I my company, we published over 800 books. But what was happening as I serve the wrong audience, starting in 2018, I started serving the right audience. And now in 2018, I get to, I get to grow what I’m doing. It’s such a significantly different way, because the audience of going after is different. And and the big difference and audience for me was whether or not the books I used to write, or the books I used to publish were between 2005 and 2017 is when people were writing their own books. Nowadays, it doesn’t make sense for me, if you’re in business today, if you’re writing a book, it’s a hobby, you you should not I mean, I will get your book done in four months, and you got five hours, there’s no reason for you to waste your time writing a book. So the question becomes, when I’m dealing with the type of audience who recognizes that is what do they do with their book, that’s the fun part. So what I’m doing now is, is gathering the partners to play with so we can not only write the book for somebody quickly and easily and effectively, but also they could use it in the new way. I didn’t know that when I started my publishing company. So could you say I was meandering for that many years? Yeah, I guess you could. But it’s, it’s really every now and then people are going to give you presents. And I could tell you honestly, probably in 2012, 2013, 2014,
people are telling me my business model needed to change and I ignore them. And so it, you know, we all fall prey to not necessarily listening to the marketplace. But in in towards the end of 2017. I really heard it loud and clear and 2018 This is a different company than I was last year or the year before.
David Ralph [53:39]
I love the measured response you gave when you said I can’t speak for everyone, you know, never stops me, Mitchell, I will give an opinion on anything. And I like the way that you actually thought about the audience out there before you laid your words of wisdom. On to our is is that the way you do things generally? Are you measured in your response?
Mitchell Levy [54:06]
Not let’s see, I have to hard to think a baby. Yeah, yeah, I guess the answer is yes. Because what happens normally what happens when you wake up in the morning? People say How are you? And everyone has the same Pat response? Good, great, awesome, whatever it is so so for me, I’m like, well, so I have generally speaking, I live my life, my calendar, I have a calendar tool, I saved two to three weeks last year by having people book time on my calendar through my calendar tool, I have between eight and 15 online video conference calls a day. So when people say Hawaii, I don’t immediately say good, I give it a second. And I say well, hmm, that last call I had. That wasn’t the best quality. God, I’m doing amazing. Every call I’ve had today was so spectacular. You need to be added to that list. Right? I mean, it’s just I, you want to me, you want to wake people up, right. And you could wake people up by saying one thing shocking, that applies to everybody. But if you really think about it, there isn’t we as humans are not one size fits all period. Right. And so if if you want to be successful in business, you have to figure out who the target market is that you’re going after, be able to define who they are and how they work. And for me, when I talk, I want people to go, I want that. I like how Mitchell speaks, I think he’ll understand my business and the nuances that exist in my business, I either need to hire Mitchell as a consultant, or I need him to do books for us, and then have him bring other partners on base. And so the reason I’m more measured, is so that when you when you hear somebody like Mitchell Levy, and I make a strong statement, you’re like, oh, there for that audience he’s talking about which, and then if you’re if you’re listening, you may decide that you’re part of that audience or not. For that audience he’s talking about Yeah, he really is, he really is hitting the truth.
David Ralph [56:23]
I can handle the truth. And so I will take whatever you say, Mitchell, but um, we are in a bit of the show now that we’ve been leading up to. And this is where all your dots are going to join up. This is the part that we call the 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 Mitchell, what advice would you give him? And what age Mitchell would you choose what we’re going to find out, because I’m going to play the music and when it pager up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [56:56]
Here we go with the best.
Mitchell Levy [57:15]
So imagine, Mitchell, you just graduated from B school. So you went directly from your undergrad to to get an MBA. And you in your personal life your your mom was remarried a couple of times, you never really had a father figure. And that first boss you God, and and you only stayed with him for a year, he was sort of that first real male role model. And he taught you essentially how business was supposed to be run from his perspective. And he was so beyond wrong. Because he was hedonistic he what he did, he was he was one of those guys that was so self absorbed and, and the world needs to revolve around him. And you. Unfortunately, if I’m looking back at your at that life you had, although he was with you for only one year were you stayed with him for only one year, he actually was in your mind for 13. And so if you could figure out how to find some other mentors, some other male role model or a female role model that you could have actually found as a mentor to help craft your way of doing business, it turns out in retrospect, that that that woman you married, was the best mentor that you could have ever had in your life. Now, you could have rushed that. So there’s somebody else that you could have met, that could have helped you see the world in a different way. And that would have, I think I’ve made so many mistakes, because I was following in the footsteps of that first mentor who was so wrong, that it would have been better to, to see the world the way the way I see it now.
David Ralph [59:16]
Great advice and great advice throughout the whole episode. So Mitchell for all the people out there listening, what’s the number one best way that they can connect with you.
Mitchell Levy [59:26]
So there’s a website, Mitchell, Levy, 360, MIT, CH e Ll last name, le ve y 360, calm, you’ll see a video testimonial of customers that have worked with me and social media sites, feel free to connect to me on the sites that are appropriate to you. And if you want to spend time together and see whether or not your ideas are make sense, you can actually book time directly on my calendar. That’s Mitchell Levy, 360. com,
David Ralph [59:53]
we will have all the links on the show notes. Mitchell, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Mitchell Levy, thank you so much.
Mitchell Levy [1:00:11]
David, thank you so much for a great interview. Appreciate it.
David Ralph [1:00:16]
Mr. Mitchell levy. Yeah. So what was he a global credibility expert? Yeah. Was he a publisher Was he a join up dots Was he a podcast guest. Um, I don’t know, I couldn’t really get a steer of where that guy’s talents are. But I’m going to lead to he’s a connector. He looks at what he does well, and where he’s lacking. And he finds where people have got strengths, and brings it together. And that is a really good way of starting a business. Because certainly in the early days, when most people think they’ve got to be a website designer, they’ve got to be a salesman, they’ve got to be a lead generator, when there’s people around the world that can do that. And it really does pass track you and speed you forward to where you want to be by tapping into the knowledge and experience that other people have got. Mitchell does that really well as you can hear on the show. Now until next time, I will be here waiting for you. dependent on when you get this we are going to be doing another business master class teaching you how to structure a business to make a multiple six figure income on line. And the next one is going to be the ninth of April, but we do it once a month. Just jump drop over to join up dots and book yourself a place. We are very prompt if you’re not there at the time, we do close the doors and we don’t allow anyone else in you get a lot of people barking and we’re not turning up at the last minute I suppose life overtakes them, but I will be there waiting for you to show you how I’ve done it and how you can do it too. Until next time, thank you so much for being here. Look after yourselves and I will 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 dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.