Neil Robinson Joins Us On The Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Neil Robinson
Neil Robinson is todays guest on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
Neil first connected with us a few years ago after listening to the show and at that time he was running his own domestic cleaning business.
As you can imagine he was making appointments, turning up and his time wasn’t his own.
But that was going to change as he is an entrepreneur at heart and unlike so many people across the world, can see the opportunities that lie all around us better than most.
So alongside the cleaning business he then moved onto building a website design business called the furry frog, which was focused on design, SEO and optimisation.
He would build an maintain websites for a monthly subscription allowing his clients to do the things that they do better and leading the technical struggles to him.
How The Dots Joined Up For Neil
This has now pivoted to a Google Ads PPC consultancy business, which as we will discuss on the show has removed a lot of the hassles from the previous incarnation of the business.
But how do you take all these income producing elements and then move into a caravan, become mobile, start two new business and appear on an episode of Join Up Dots whilst sitting in Thailand?
Well today is when we find out?
So is the issue of starting businesses and gaining life freedom more to do with mindset and belief than technical experience?
And looking back at the changes in his life what would he say was the one that really started the ball rolling?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Neil Robinson.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Neil Robinson such as:
We share the realisation that everything in life is nothing more than a decision to be made – if its a bad then simply make another one.
Neil tells us the story of how he was moving towards burnout and needed to really change the way he operated to become who he is today.
We talk about the calculated risks that have to be taken when running a business. Dont do stupid risks, just look at minimising the downside.
Why its ok to say no to people to set your boundaries even if they are willing to give you money. The right money will always come along.
Why its ok to blend old school with new online techniques. Know who your customers are and think about how they would find out about you.
How To Connect With Neil
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots business coaching podcast, then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as David Kadavy, Dan Lok, Sophie Radcliffe, or the amazing Infinite Banking System
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Neil Robinson Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock. And start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host, David route from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:38]
Yeah, good morning to you. Good morning to you. Good morning to you and welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Well, today’s show is going to be one of those ones that I’m think will inspire so many of you because this is a normal guy doing normal things in an extraordinary way. He first connected with us a few years ago after listening to the show. And at that time, he was running his own domestic cleaning business. And as you can imagine, he was making appointments turning up and his time wasn’t his own. But that was going to change as he’s an entrepreneur at heart. And unlike so many people across the world can see the opportunities that lie all around us better than most. So alongside the cleaning business, He then moved on to building a website design business called the furry frog, which was focused on design, SEO and optimization. He would build and maintain websites for a monthly subscription, allowing his clients to do the things that I do better, and leading the leaving the technical struggles to him. Now this has now pivoted to a Google Ads pay per click consultancy business, which we will discuss on the show because this has removed a lot of the hassles from the previous incarnation of the business. But how do you take all these income producing elements and then move into a caravan with your wife and kids become mobile, start to new businesses and appear on an episode of Join Up Dots while sitting in Thailand? Well, today is when we find out. So is the issue of starting businesses and gaining life freedom more to do with mindset and belief and technical experience. And looking back at the changes in his life, what would he say was the ones that really started the ball rolling? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show, to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Neil Robinson.
Neil Robinson [2:25]
Good morning, David. How you doing?
David Ralph [2:29]
It’s lovely to have you here, sir. It is lovely. I feel like I’ve known you for you know, a long time now. But it’s probably only like two or three years. But you’ve had a big impact in my life because you’re one of those listeners, but took the bull by the horns and started doing stuff. So how long ago? Was it that you first connected?
Neil Robinson [2:49]
I reckon, yeah, I reckon maybe four years ago. Maybe even longer than that. I don’t know. But it’s, it’s the only it’s the only business podcast that I really listened to. Because it’s, it’s real. And it’s not full of fluff, like a lot of the others and it’s just really relatable. So yeah, I just reached out to you and my life has never been the same since to be honest.
David Ralph [3:12]
It is one of those things that I’m very aware of Join Up Dots. I want people to know that I’m a normal person used to do a corporate job, Ben decided to do something, and it’s the little dots that join up. It’s no huge, great master plan. It’s just sort of turning up every day and doing something now with yourself now you’re in Thailand at the moment, obviously you are a I’m gonna say English guy, but there’s part of me that thinks you’re Welsh is are you English.
Neil Robinson [3:42]
So I’m very English. Yeah. So I’m from Ramsgate, which is as se as you can go. But then, in the last couple of years, we we bought a van me and my wife bought a van, we converted it into a camper. We drove around the UK for two months, we drove through Wales and my wife said, we’re going to move here. So, so we did so. Yeah, about a year ago, we we moved to the Brecon Beacons.
David Ralph [4:11]
So let’s have that conversation. First of all, you’re sitting there and you’re saying, Mrs. Robinson. I feel like a change. Let’s set up everything. Let’s buy a van. Was there. Yeah, let’s do it sounds brilliant. Or was it? Oh, no, hang on. Hang on, Neil. I believe in you. But this is a bit risky.
Neil Robinson [4:29]
No, do you know it’s always this just go with it. Like, what’s the worst that could happen? If it all goes wrong? If things don’t quite work out, then? Fine. Then we’ll just we’ll move back with the parents or whatever. And we’ll work out our next move. But if you don’t try, you’re just never going to know and you’re going to get to the end of your existence however long we’ve got and you’re going to get our wish. We should try it and what if I just, I don’t want I don’t want what ifs? I I’d rather try something if it didn’t work out. No worries, we’d go again kind of thing.
David Ralph [5:04]
And did you always have that? Or was that sort of like, because I didn’t have that. And then a certain one or two things happened in my life. And I suddenly thought, hang on, hang on. I’m only on this planet once I need to start, you know, doing that I coasted for years.
Neil Robinson [5:21]
I reckon I was really. So when I left university, it was it was, I wouldn’t take any risks at all. But as I’ve got older, yeah, it’s just, I think, because I’ve watched a lot of YouTubers as well, like people that are just travelling around. And it’s just inspiring. And it just, you just realised that you can do it like, you make it happen. You put the things in place, step by step, you’ll reach the goal. And then you’ll just work out what to do next.
David Ralph [5:53]
That is the that’s the end of the episode. I think we’re finished with nail because that says that says everything is just step by step. And some of those decisions work. Some of them don’t. Some of them are just madness. Some of them you look back and think, oh my god, what was I doing there. But I keep on saying this on the show now, because a guy said this the other day. And so it’s in the forefront of my mind. And it’s so important. But this guy on the show said, every one of your worst days ever back was so terrible, you never thought you was going to see another one. If you’re listening to this podcast, you passed them 100% You’ve got past 100% of your bad days. And so literally 100% of your bad decisions you can get past as well. Yeah, so
Neil Robinson [6:43]
the clip that you played from Oprah and it’s, it’s so simple. It’s just saying like, it’s the next step, the next right move, and then you get there, and then what’s the next right thing to do? And don’t don’t think about the end goal. Just what should I do next? What’s gonna get me a little bit closer to the next, you know, to the goal. And then it doesn’t overwhelm you and don’t get bombarded in your head. And, yeah, just just keep it nice and simple. And yeah, just crack on with it. Really?
David Ralph [7:12]
Did you think you have to have a goal? Or do you just think you need to have a vague direction because I keep on pondering this, whether the people’s goal is sometimes too big for them to start, but just just having a vague direction of actually I want a job where I can earn money under my own terms, and travel the world. I don’t care what I’m doing, but just that kind of vague direction.
Neil Robinson [7:40]
When I spoke to when I spoke to one of my university lecturers after I’d left, she reminded me and I totally forgot about this but she said when I started my business I said all I want to do is to be able to work from home in my pyjamas and apparently that was that’s all I want you to be able to do. So yeah, I’ve made it my I’ve cracked it. I couldn’t do that.
David Ralph [8:07]
Did you do like working in your pyjamas? Because I know in the COVID thing that was the dream of everyone. I work from home in their pyjamas? I mean, when COVID Here, a lot of people went well actually, I don’t like this. I thought I did. You know, was that? Was that the dream? Or was that just something you’ve said? Because you couldn’t think of what the real dream was?
Neil Robinson [8:27]
Yeah, I guess I just I don’t want to overthink things because you just don’t know what’s gonna. What you’re going to be faced with next. So yeah, just as I’ve said before, like just just one step at a time and just see what happens really. The trouble is David if I work from my pyjamas a lot of the time I work from the mountain so I’m in my in my campervan, the doors are open, I got the coffee on. And if people, people walking past they just see this big bearded fellow working in his pyjamas on a mountain. I just don’t think it’s a good look, to be honest, I might, I might terrify some people.
David Ralph [9:02]
All right, I think it’s the perfect look. Because I think what it is, is somebody working under their own control. They’re they’re just doing what they want. And I think ultimate success is doing what you want when you want. I think that I think there’s no more success in that people might want millions of pounds and they want jets and they want this and they want that. But when you wake up every morning and you can’t say yes to things you want to do, just because you fancy doing them. If that isn’t ultimately success, well it might be successful other people it might be a kind of status driven success. It might be good to show the the neighbours how well you’re doing. But I just I personally like waking up and thinking can’t be bothered today or Yeah, I feel like it today or let’s go off and do this today. You know, my wife is always saying to me how you pace today I go fine. What do you want us to do? And I could You know that for years and years and years, it was always now sorry, I’m busy or no, I’ve got to go to work, or I’ve got to do this. But now it’s just yeah, let’s do it.
Neil Robinson [10:10]
Yeah, you know, I don’t, because I’m not motivated by by money. Of course, of course, I need to pay my bills, and, and whatever. But time is my currency. It sounds really cheesy. But if I can wake up in the morning, and I can spend a few hours with my kids, just just playing with the kids, we play a lot of board games at home, my kids are home schooled by my wife. And I can just, I can just be around like I hear from, you know, older, older parents, certainly my parents, they say it just goes past. So Quick Time goes so quick. So just make the most of it. So I’m just trying to make the most of every second that I can with a
David Ralph [10:47]
really, wait, let’s take you back then. Okay, because when you first connected with me, I know that you was running the domestic cleaning business. And when you decided to build the de furry frog, and first time I looked at it, it was about, we’re building a website, and then on a monthly basis, you pay us and we’re maintaining it, and you can go on and do your business. Now. I seen it’s changed. So that normally means that the business didn’t tick your boxes, or you found that the clients were causing you more hassles when you wanted and stuff to tell us about the mindset of that you’re in a domestic cleaning business. A lot of people would have said, well, that’s my business. That’s what I do. But as he was doing it, your brain was turning and he was thinking there’s, there’s something else I need to be doing. Tell us about it.
Neil Robinson [11:39]
Yeah. So with the with the web design, it was obviously I had to do my own design and stuff for the for the cleaning business, I had to run my own website. And so I learned, I learned a lot about it. But what when I started offering it to clients, it was technology was moving on so fast. And you’d have to keep up with so many different things that spin in so many different plates. And it got to the point where I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just I had to stop like, like yourself, I think I was suffering burnout, it was just, it was just too much. So I just I had to change the model. Like I knew that I wanted to be working for myself. And I wanted to help people online. But that just that wasn’t a particular way that I needed to move forward. So I moved into Google ads, and absolutely loving it, to be honest, absolutely loving it.
David Ralph [12:35]
Now the beauty of what you’re doing. And I work with a guy in Serbia, who runs all my pay per click marketing, and he’s got multiple clients, we pay him on a monthly basis, he drops me an email and says, I’ve been looking at the figures here and we should increase the budget here and we should decrease this one, we should pause his campaign. And I go yep, fine. You know, I trust you do what you need to do with it. And he’s very much under his own steam. He wakes up and he does his work when it suits him. But he knows that the month end of month, he’s got to drop me a line, he’s got to give me a report. He’s got to sort of set it up. So if he wants to work late in the night, he can do if he wants to work early in the morning, but it gives him carte blanche to sort of like fit in. Now. To me. We’ve always got to be in sales. We’ve always got to be servicing someone because somebody wants something from us, and they will pay us for me. But that seems to me a great business model where you go, yeah, I’ve got work to do. But I can do it when I want.
Neil Robinson [13:45]
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s because we homeschool the kids, it gives us flexibility. So sometimes one day a week, we’ll go to some Botanic Gardens, and the kids do outdoor learning. They put a teacher on it. And they do outdoor learning and horticulture and stuff like that. And that’s the sort of stuff that I want to get stuck in to I want to and I’m learning as well, I want to be able to do that. But then that’s that’s on a Wednesday, but then on the first day, I might be driving up the mountain. And working working from the, from the van. On the Friday, I might have to do a few hours in the evening. It’s just the flexibility is so nice. And you know what, when, when there’s when there’s cricket on if there’s cricket on the radio, if we’re playing in Australia, so it sort of goes through the night. I’m in my element, I will happily just listen to cricket for seven hours. Do some do some Google ads. Yeah, that’s me. That’s the dream.
David Ralph [14:41]
Well, it is the dream isn’t any seems so simple. You know, if I remember leaving my job, and somebody said to me, what are you planning to do? And I said, What’s clouds? And what I meant by that was just be totally free and just allow life to sort of pass by, I lost track of that terribly, and I got into a terrible old state. Now, if you look at it now, that is ultimate success for you. But you couldn’t have articulated that at the beginning, you couldn’t articulate it actually, what I want is a business that I can sit and listen to the test match, and do work when I want in my pyjamas, and just had that flexibility, it seems too easy to gain but also so difficult for people to believe that it’s possible.
Neil Robinson [15:31]
I think all the time, all the time, you can visualise what you want, where you want to be. When you start putting those those vibes out there. Things will just fall into place. And opportunities will appear. And it will just it will just open up and you’ll just you’ll end up naturally on the route towards the success that you’re you’re going for really?
David Ralph [15:57]
Yeah. So So do you think it’s as simple for the listeners out there? It’s as simple as just doing stuff, doing stuff daily? Yes, some of it, you may like some of it, you may hate. But after a while, the things that you hate, you kind of drop. And the dream kind of forms in front of you. At that standing point, when you’re in a crappy job. You don’t like your boss, it’s almost impossible to know the next right step, but by just trying things, it becomes visible to you. Yeah, I
Neil Robinson [16:29]
mean, one of the one of the mottos, I guess that I that I listened to a lot is, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. But just just take action. And even if you find it may be alright, that’s not the result I wanted, but you’re still a little bit further towards the goal. So don’t Don’t be. Don’t be scared to, to think oh, yeah, but what if it goes wrong? Yeah, what if it goes wrong? Or what if it goes, right? If it goes right and happy days, then then you’ll just do it again. And you’ll just, you’ll just get there. I think a lot of people maybe almost a little bit scared to take to take the leap. And guess that’s totally natural. But if possible, just just go for it. Just go for it. What is the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t work out? You take a step back, and then you just you just go again?
David Ralph [17:30]
Well, you referenced these words earlier, let’s hear him again, Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [17:34]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, oh, I got all of this. What is the next right move. And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [18:05]
Now, the biggest problem is the starting point. When you’re in a job, you’re being paid, you’re not happy. It’s easier to be sacked, I got sacked. And that was you know, that was a decision taken out of my hands. And I went in one day did a very stupid thing. And they basically said, I could laugh at eight now. But at the time, it was terrible. And they say well, we don’t want you anymore. And that was it. By half past nine, I was sitting on the step outside thinking, What the hell do I do? Now? When you haven’t had that taken away from you? It’s quite difficult, isn’t it to listen to us and risk what you’ve already got? What would you say to people out there? Is it a case of risking? Or is it a case of just keeping what you’ve got? And doing the classic side hustle.
Neil Robinson [18:56]
For me, it was always a side hustle. Started as a side hustle. So just see where it goes, see if it is something you want to do. And if not, then try something else. Yeah. Whenever I had, whenever I’ve had a job, I’ve always had a side hustle I’ve never gone in to feet first. As much as I’m saying, take a risk, calculated risk. Of course,
David Ralph [19:22]
I just leaped when when I got sacked. I then became a student for a while and I learned Oracle relationship database management which kind of led me on to Understanding Computers and different beings. And which then led me to it was just one of my thoughts. Now, I didn’t realise at the time it was one of my dots. I just thought it was I don’t know what to do. I don’t fancy working for a while that’s become a student. And so I did that. But when I finally decided to leave my job, I just basically said that was it. I didn’t have any plans at all. I didn’t really He had much financial runway, I just thought to myself, I can’t do this anymore. So with furry frog, I’m interested in this, you’d built a business, you were getting clients, it decided, it kind of decided for you that it wasn’t the right business because your health was going downhill and you was having burnout as you referenced. That’s a difficult pivot. Because once you get in money in, I know from past experience, it’s kind of like, I put all that effort into that, you know that. I can’t just walk away from it. What made you make that decision?
Neil Robinson [20:36]
I guess. Because I was always a small business, it was, I couldn’t just get someone in to do it. Because I would steal a buck that stuck with me. And I would still have the stress of it all. So it was, it was just better for me to say to people, I can’t help you anymore. I’m really sorry. But I, you know, here’s, here’s somebody that can help you with it kind of thing. I didn’t realise that I was suffering, burnout until, until I’d actually made the decision to stop. And then my wife, my wife said, oh, yeah, by the way, you were really stressed during that.
David Ralph [21:17]
And why’d you realise? Go get can you look back on it now and realise, because when I went out, I didn’t realise at all, and I’m always wondering whether it was just me being stupid.
Neil Robinson [21:29]
Yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t realise I just thought, I’m just working for myself. You’re gonna it’s just normal. Stress. You know, you’re just, it’s just what you as I said before, you’re spinning so many plates. And I guess that’s the compromise you’ve got. You’ve got so much going on. And you, you’re gonna get down about it. But yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t realise until really, my wife had told me but now looking back at it. Yeah. 100% I’m, I’m glad I made the switch. Because, yeah, it would have. I mean, it could have could have ended the relationship with my wife. I was, I was getting stressed at home. So yeah, I don’t know how that would have had it would have gone really?
David Ralph [22:16]
Now looking back on it. Good dot when you get yours that it was a bad thought at the time. But do you look back on it now? Okay. Yeah, that was rough. But because of that, I’m so much better now.
Neil Robinson [22:28]
Yeah, it’s a great job. All the all the dots I have. They’re, they’re good dots, because they’re either. They’re either point in you. They’re either taking a success, or they’re teaching you about going into a different direction. It was yeah, it was definitely a good 100%. I’ve got I’ve got no regrets. And it’s really it’s taught me you can say no to people. Like that’s, that’s okay. Don’t take on. I found myself like some some particular websites I was taking on wasn’t really the sort of thing that I was an expert in. But I was taking it on because I didn’t, I didn’t want to let them down. I like to please people. But then you get a little bit further down the line, you realise my skill set isn’t isn’t right for this. And then you’ve got to have an awkward conversation anyway, we’ve really sorry, but I can’t, I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how to do this anymore. So
David Ralph [23:32]
because I actually asked you to do some work for me. And we reached out to you, and you came back quite happily to say. So it’s not in my sort of remit anymore. And that’s an important part of business, turning business away knowing what your client is, and really understanding what you can bring to the right client. Because ultimately, if you had taken on my work, you would have been stressed, it would have been in your skill set, it would probably been inferior to what you wanted to do. And ultimately that brings more stress. So in business, it’s really right to turn money away is not just about grabbing, grabbing, grabbing, it’s about saying no. But right money will come along.
Neil Robinson [24:21]
Yeah, absolutely. And I I just I like to go to sleep at night knowing that tomorrow I’m going to be working on these projects, that’s going to be great. As opposed to oh no, I’ve got I’ve got to do that thing tomorrow. And I don’t know how it’s gonna go and we’ve got this awkward nurse and just don’t want that I just, I just just want to keep it nice and simple. If if I can’t help someone more than happy to point them in the right direction of somebody that can but yeah, knowing what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, and just being okay with that. Really. Yeah, it’s okay to say no, if it’s if it’s not for me, then that’s that’s fine.
David Ralph [24:59]
It’s a scare City, isn’t it because at the beginning, when you’re building a business, you are obviously looking for income. And it’s, I think it’s almost impossible to turn stuff away, right at the very beginning is going to be a brave person who, who starts a business and the first client that comes through you say to them now actually, it’s not for me, you you grab hold of it, and you learn so much from that experience. Now, has that dictated your decisions moving forward? IE, do you have a fixed customer avatar now, which you never had? Do you know who you’re working for? what their requirements are? Why are you reaching out to them? Why are they reaching out to you?
Neil Robinson [25:41]
Yeah, definitely. In fact, just before this call today, I had a, so I send out a form to anybody that reaches out to me, I send them a form with just some questions in and it’s basically asking them about their business, what they want to achieve. And then from that, I can get a good idea of, can I help this person? If not, where can where can I point them to kind of things? So yeah, I had one this morning. And unfortunately, I couldn’t help the gentleman. But I’m able to point them in the, in the direction of somebody that can, as I’ve said before, and a few years ago, when in when I first started, there’s no way I would have done that I would have always taken it on as you say, you’re always you just want to take the work on, almost like I’ll take it on, then I’ll work out to do it after. But as as my career has gone on, it’s just a lot easier, nipped in the bud earlier. If it’s not for me, if I’m not for them, that’s absolutely fine.
David Ralph [26:40]
Now, let’s share with the listeners where we are at the moment because last time I connected with you, you was at this position, ie you’d started to be pay per click marketing agency, you were travelling the world. And you said to me, Oh, I’ve started a new business as passive as it could be at this time. I’ve started a new one. And I went, Oh, brilliant. And then about three weeks later, you started another one. Now, is that spinning? Too many plates? Or have you now got the understanding of what needs to be done to just get things going?
Neil Robinson [27:19]
Yeah, I don’t, I don’t think it is spinning too many plates I’ve got. So it’s a couple of little cleaning businesses that I’ve started one one back home in Ramsgate. And one in Wales, where I’m at now. And I have the work. I’ve found the work obviously from from the online stuff that I do. I have people in place that are able to help me out and do the work. And I kind of manage the diaries. So I’m not getting involved too much day to day, I’m just kind of there answering. I’ll send a couple of emails or whatever. And again, with the flexibility that I’ve got with my days, that’s okay. But yeah, it’s all it’s all passive. It’s not going to, it’s not going to make me a millionaire. But, but that’s fine. It just, it just ticks over in the background. And, and I love it, David i i Absolutely. I absolutely love it i i get a buzz out of when I when I create something, you create a small business and a logo and a website and a colour scheme and uniform and your flyers, and you then put it out to the world to say, right, this is what I’m offering. And I get a real kick when when people come back and say, I like that. And I’m gonna give you a couple of quid and you can, if you come and help me with, you know, come and clean my gutters and what my carpets or whatever, I just get a real kick out of it. I don’t know whether that’s, you know, whether you’re born with that, or it’s something that you use or pick up as you go along? I don’t know. But yeah, I love it. I absolutely love it.
David Ralph [28:56]
Because one of the things that I say to so many of the people that connect with me is the goal you have is in your own environment in the town that you’re in, don’t think about global businesses just think about dominating your local market. And with you starting these cleaning businesses effectively, you could start one in every town in the United Kingdom, you could have hundreds of these very small micro ones. Because local businesses are predominantly incredibly badly run at getting customers they seem to almost want people to trip over them. They they have word of mouth. They have you know, let’s salute John Barton. There’s a guy that we both know called John Barton and he’s got a cleaning business. And when I connected with him, he was talking about pay per click and different things. I said no, just stick leaflets through people’s doors. Just get a load of cheap leaflets go and print them and put them through the doors you know, just go old school and in your local environment. You can Do that and you can get something up quick, it doesn’t take a lot does it, you get a couple of your mates, you start at a tiny little business going around cleaning people’s gutters, for example. And then once you get a bit of weight of income, you then separate yourself and your mates do a bit more work. I mean, suddenly you’ve got income coming in, and you’re not involved in it. It’s not hard, is it?
Neil Robinson [30:24]
It’s really, it’s really not. I think a lot of people just overthink it. And they, although I’ve run Google ads, sometimes I’ll say to a customer, or a potential customer, you’re better off not not using Google, you might want to use Facebook ads, or don’t use flyers like where is where’s your audience who you’re trying to target. Like if you’re trying to target this, the older generation, although everybody’s got a computer now. There’s something, something quite nice about getting a flyer through the door, nice. Quality, paper printed nice, just simple and professional. And we we still get a lot of work that way. And if that’s if that’s where the client, your potential client is, then go with that. That’s that’s absolutely fine. But I what I did when I, I started so when another friend of mine who’s got his own business, we just went to two sided, a five flyer so we could split the cost. We got local delivery company into delivery. And we’ve just went from there really.
David Ralph [31:33]
I have got a car spares business. And it’s been going for 50 years now. And the last 10 years I’ve owned it, I bought it and we’ve we’ve sort of turned it around. And we’re doing really well now we’re doing really well. And one of the things that I did was and I kind of enjoyed this I decided to get a bit fitter. And I realised I was I was spending a lot of time just sitting. And so I got 40,000 leaflets printed and it was like 40,000 for 440 pounds or something it was it was ridiculously cheap. And methodically using Google Maps, I plotted out the town’s and I just walked along, sticking them through letterboxes, and I did it myself, and I’m not you know, I’m not too ego driven to say I’m not willing to do that. But I used to do two or three streets at night, I used to park at one end, walk down stick and stick and stick and through, mark it off on Google Maps that I’ve done that area, and then go again. And how many bits are bits of business we’ve got from this is you know, it’s phenomenal. Where people go, I never knew he was there. You know, we’ve lived in this area for 30 years, I never knew you was there. Because you’re actually sticking it in their hands. You’re not waiting for them to do some search online, you’re not looking for them to you know, find a Google ad or a Facebook ad or stuff. You’re actually just going old school and sticking it through their door. And I think there’s so many local businesses and small businesses that you can start at home. I saw one yesterday that I drove past. And it was we will cut sponge to size for your cushions. And I thought, wow, yeah, I suppose that’s something that people need never thought about it. How many other people are offering that? So as long as he sort of gets that to the right people? That’s that’s a good business.
Neil Robinson [33:24]
Yeah, absolutely. And I think certainly with flyers, it’s don’t get despondent, or you might give out 1000 or 2000, you might get nothing. And that’s, that’s fine. Just keep going. Because you don’t know how many of those have been put in a drawer, or you know, some or all? I don’t need it now. But I’ll just keep that for later. And if you keep targeting the same, so if you’ve got 10,000, for example, instead of doing 10,000 houses, what we generally do is, well, we’ll do 3333 Three times. So we know that we’re going in front of the same person. Yeah. Yeah. Like three times, I think, I think they call it so many touches, before somebody is going to transact with you. But the more times they see it, the more chance obviously, you’ve got of getting a sale. Really that’s that’s how we do it. I’m not saying that. No, that works for everybody, but certainly for us. And it’s just just keep going that as well as Google ads that I’ve that I run and I obviously run it for my cleaning businesses as well. We have always got flyers going out. So we use a local delivery company. They’ve always got at least 10,000 flyers, and they’ll just, they’ll just keep going.
It’s think it’s the way that the world is going. People think I’ve got to go online. I’ve got to, I’ve got to do a website. I’ve got to do Facebook. You haven’t always instead of having one tap that’s just gushing. Just have a few little taps just drip feeding, working. So yeah, you might have a Facebook page that you can, you’re going to post to you can have a website, you might do some, some flyers, and just all the little, little, little, little streams, revenue streams, you know where where the work can come in from. And it will just, things will just work out. Like magic David
David Ralph [35:27]
is like magic. And I was pondering now I probably would give advice to people don’t do a website, I would do a Facebook page, or an Instagram page, because when I’m not paying for hosting, I’m not paying for anything. I would print up a load of leaflets, I would direct people to that. And I would just put reviews, I would put pictures my work, I would put whatever I’m doing just just images, images, images. And when directed that way, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time building websites and doing SEO and but I would just go really, really old school. So that’s think off the top of their head for people out there thinking oh, what we can do any thinking that your house, but I have a needs cleaning or repairing. Is a business with we’re saving anything in your garden that needs to be done. fence panels, lawn being mowed, your patio needs to be done, weeds being taken up anything that you think, oh, I need to do that this weekend. It’s a job. And people are lazy, people are lazy. And they will always go oh, I need to do that this weekend. Leafly comes through the door. And they are I just pay for it. I just pay for it. So a business that is effort taking away. And it’s also something that repeats, repeats, repeats. That’s something that people should look at, they should just look at what they’re paying out for. Yeah.
Neil Robinson [36:55]
Absolutely. And don’t try and reinvent the wheel. But just yeah, just keep it simple. Just keep your eyes open, there is opportunities absolutely everywhere. And don’t just don’t be too proud or not, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to I don’t want to go into drain, unblocking getting covered in po know there’s an opportunity there. If people’s drains are getting blocked up, and you’ve got an unblocked or you got a drain on block. Great, you know, go for it. And then from that, you don’t know what service you’re going to be able to provide after that. And after having a small little, little business all of a sudden, you might it might turn into something a bit bigger. And you could employ and go that way. Or you could just keep it keep it nice and simple just for yourself. But yeah, there’s there is opportunities absolutely everywhere. Just keep you’re keeping your eyes open. And you just keep looking for really
David Ralph [37:48]
one of the ones that I think when when I was a kid we used to wash people’s cars, we used to knock on the door. And we used to do a pound a car. Now that’s a bargain compared to nowadays. And I haven’t had anybody knock on my door to say do you want your car washed at all, we sort of go to these, these sort of Romanian people that sort of just stand there and they do it in mob handed. And I was saying to my wife the other day, that’s a good business because once again, people don’t have to take their car somewhere. You can do eight pounds a car we say 10 pounds a car on your driveway. You do 10 A day 100 pounds, but 700 pounds a week is 2400 pounds a year though, adds up really quickly. And when you think to yourself, Okay, 2400 pounds a month. That’s a lot better than a lot of people’s salaries. And they’re doing it in their own terms, you know, 10 cars. It’s quite easy, isn’t it? It blows my mind but more people aren’t doing it.
Neil Robinson [38:50]
I actually used to have a car cleaning business many years ago and it was exactly that we’d go to people’s houses because there was car washes where people would go to them but we were offering was a will come to us you sit in have a cup of tea or even while you’re at work, we’ll come to your work and we’ll we’ll clean your car. We’ll get a few done a day. Yeah, it was it was good fun it The trouble is with that certainly for me it was whenever it was raining, you couldn’t you couldn’t polish and being it being in the UK. Weather can be can be a bit of a pickle for us working outside.
David Ralph [39:29]
Now all you need is one of those gazebos that you just build up and then put it over the car do to carve and move it to the next one don’t you? Yeah, there’s always a way around these beings.
Neil Robinson [39:40]
Absolutely. Whenever I need to campervan washed out David I’m I’m going to be bringing you up and seeing if you can do for us that’s it
David Ralph [39:47]
and I’ll tell you why. I’m not fasci You know I told a story on the show where I went man to my accountant to do all the the books all my business and stuff and I’m not sure I have a few quid you know, I done very well for myself. And he was on the phone to his cleaner. And he needed his cleaner to go around and clean a cup of these flats. And he said, our cleaners turn you down all the time. And I said how much he said, Look, I just need it done really quickly. He said, I offered a 200 pounds, it’s only a couple of hours job. And I said I’d do it. And I wasn’t fussy at all. And me and my wife went round, the flat, hardly needed cleaning at all. And we were there about, I don’t know, an hour and 20 minutes, we had 200 quid, you know, and that was 200 quid in our pocket. That was cash in hand. You know, I think that if you throw your ego out, there is money everywhere. But it’s the people that go, I’m beyond that. I’m not doing that. Just throw your ego. roll your sleeves up and give it a go.
Neil Robinson [40:54]
Absolute as my father used to say to me, where there’s muck there’s brass. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah,
David Ralph [41:00]
no, absolutely. And that’s a good phrase to have. So let’s talk about these two new businesses again, because I know one of the things you did you found employees on Fiverr, you tapped into the world of freelancing. What was your reasons for doing that? Why didn’t you just do it all yourself?
Neil Robinson [41:19]
Time really, people that are on Fiverr? How you know, they’ve got such a great skill set. utilise it. I’m not saying I’m not saying don’t sort of go down the traditional route of employing but using Fiverr. Yeah, that this isn’t great people. I never saw great skills,
David Ralph [41:39]
the podcast episode at the beginning, that will we play that was done on Fiverr. And literally, I wrote a little script, I sent it to the guy came back in about 30 minutes. And I went, Wow, I said that was bloody quick. That was really good. He says, it’s what I do all the time. I know how to do him. And I thought, yeah, there you go. So he’s sitting there, he knows exactly what he’s doing. He charges the money. He might do, I don’t know, five of them a day, or 10 of them a week. Once again, it’s little passive income. He just does it says why you’ll get it back in three days, I got it back in about 30 minutes and job done. And he’s made a few quid. The Fiverr route is great for you know, little things where you just don’t think that anyone will pay for go over to Fiverr look at it, and then think, Oh, well, I could do that. And I could do that and just sort of get some ideas. It’s another way of creating these, these small income streams, isn’t it?
Neil Robinson [42:36]
Yeah. When I, when I transitioned from web design to Google ads, I used Fiverr. So I, I contacted one person, I’m not sure where in the world they were. But one person, can you please create me a list of 100 plumbers in Wales? So one person was doing me a list, and I spoke to another person, can you please write me a sales script that we can, you know, bring all these plumbers, and then I contacted someone else who made the calls. So instead of like me, thinking, Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to work out where the plumbers are, what to say. And then go through the nerve wracking thing of doing it or just implying on Fiverr. And it was just, it was just done. And and the plumbers were called the scripts was used, and I got work from it. So when you find a system like that, and it works, repeat it, rinse and repeat, just just keep doing it. And when when we run out of plumbers in, in Wales will go of electricians or will go for solicitors, or whatever that as, as we’ve said before, there’s just there’s opportunities, absolutely everywhere, to be honest.
David Ralph [43:48]
So you’re saying that somebody could Well, I’m saying base, but hopefully you’re agree. But somebody from this moment of listening to this podcast, within three days, could have income coming their way?
Neil Robinson [44:03]
Yeah, absolutely. With Fiverr, Fiverr and Upwork. Yeah, you can use, use whatever skills are on there. And as you said before, you don’t you don’t necessarily need to have a sparkling website. In fact, the way that things are going now, I agree with what you said about Don’t Don’t worry about it, get get a Google business profile. Obviously, everybody’s wants to be seen in Google. And Google’s got this Google business profile. So of course, they’re over time, they’re going to be given the the profiles more credit than websites because they kind of control it. So for free, yeah, absolutely. Start start a Google business profile. Get some photos on it, a description. You’ll you’ll get, you’ll get seen really early, early days on it. And yeah, you can have a business so quick. And as I said before, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress, just just take some steps. And then when when you find it works, you’ve only got to have one, one customer comes in. Then they say, look, I love what you’ve done here, then you see it works. Great. Then do it again. Do it again. And all of a sudden, you’ve got a business is, is it’s as simple as that. Just yeah, don’t, don’t overcomplicate it, don’t think, oh, my gosh, I’ve got to do all of this stuff. Wow, I didn’t really turn into Oprah, then. On her little clip, but yeah, just keep it simple. And there’s, there’s so many people out there that can help you you’re not you’re not on your own. Like, it can seem like a daunting place to kind of start your own business. There’s so many, so many people out there that can look and help you.
David Ralph [45:47]
Yeah, and you don’t have to be involved. That’s the key thing. You’re, you’re the ideas person, you’re the one looking around going, Okay, this is it. And it’s already been done. That’s the beauty of it. whatever idea you come up with, it’s already out there somebody else is doing it. Look at what they’re doing. And then look at your own area and think to yourself, can I bring this into my own area because that Google My Business Profile? My my shop, I get about, I don’t know, three and a half 1000 people a month looking at that, you know, and get get a few of those each day coming through the door and spending 6070 quid you know, you’re up and running. Doesn’t take long doesn’t take long. So just before we send you back on the Sermon on the mic, as we always do at the end of the show, Mr. Robinson, what’s your happiness now compared to you know, a few years ago? Well, well, is your happiness gonna keep on growing? Or do you just go now it’s quite nice. Now. Well, what do you think?
Neil Robinson [46:49]
I’m just, I’m just quite content, David, to be honest. I’m looking at a shack, I suppose you could call him in a shack on the beach. And I can see my pits in a hammock. And they’re doing their homeschooling. And as soon as I finish this call with you, I’ll be out there, I’ll be able to help I’m never gonna go and play in the sand. That’s, that’s happiness. For me. Obviously, it’s different for for everybody. But for me, just yeah, just want to spend time with my kids. Because before I know it, they’re going to be grown up. And they’re not going to want to already, they don’t want to spend any time with it, then they’ll have their own lives and just trying to make the most of every, every little little opportunity I’ve got really. So yeah. I’m quite a simple, simple guy. To be honest.
David Ralph [47:41]
I think we’re very similar, very similar. I used to want global domination, as I used to say, you know, and it was all about that. And now it’s about global simplicity really, is about quietness is about controlling my own time. Sitting there at lunchtime, watching a film with the wife, because we got a couple of, you know, it’s just those kinds of things. And yeah, you can have the audit jets, you can have whatever you want in life, but you’ve got to sort of know yourself. And I think building your dream life is easier than you think. Because it can be as simple as you think it can just be not having to get up each morning, like you’ve always had to do, because you’re not a morning person, that could be your dream life. It could be the case that you know, you get to spend more time with your family or your ageing parents, that could be your dream life, wherever it is. It’s your dream life doesn’t have to be sexy doesn’t have to be global companies. It just needs to be what makes you happy.
Neil Robinson [48:42]
Yeah, just, yeah, just just do you just, you don’t have to prove yourself to anybody and have all this, you know, this expensive stuff. Massive house and a shiny car. If you don’t want that, don’t go for it. But it feels like Society said we’ve got to have that now, if you haven’t. I’m happy as a pig impo. And I’m just, you know, I’m just ticking over to be honest. But yeah, if other people want that, absolutely great. But certainly for me, I’m not about that. I just, I just want to tick over help whoever I can help. And just go and play in the sand with like, it’s
David Ralph [49:25]
not bad at all. And all I want to do is play the Sermon on the mic theme, because we’ve got to that part of the show when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And this is a time for you to connect with that young Neil, and give him some advice. But what advice are you going to tell him? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the theme. And when it’s your time to share this is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [49:52]
here we go. With the best bit of the show I
Neil Robinson [50:11]
yeah, I think I’ve just got five pieces of advice for, for younger Neal. Number one. As I’ve said before, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Just take some steps, whatever small the steps are, just take action. And you’ll get to where you want to be. But don’t worry about the bigger picture just one step at a time. Number two, it is okay to choose time over money as your currency. As I said just a moment ago, I don’t want all those sparkly shiny things. They’re just they’re not necessary. So it’s, it’s okay, just to tick by number three, if it doesn’t, if it doesn’t make you happy. Don’t do it. Make decisions based on what’s what’s gonna make you happy. If If something’s gonna make you feel stressed. Please don’t do it. It’s just it’s not worth it. Number four, learn to say no to say no. It’s kind of ties into number number three and finally number five, just by that point.
David Ralph [51:16]
Yeah, and by that caravan as well, and the mobile home and yeah, whatever you sit there in your pyjamas, making your cup of coffee, looking over at the mountains and stuff. And going live. So, Neil, yeah, for the people that have been listening that I’m sure will be inspired by the content that you’ve shared. What’s the number one best way that they can connect with you?
Neil Robinson [51:39]
Yeah, so on Facebook, it’s the furry frog, or drop us an email. At firstname.lastname@example.org, I reply to everything. As I’ve said before, if I can’t help, I’m more than happy to point in the direction of somebody that
David Ralph [51:55]
can and even if it’s somebody out there that just wants to just say, can I buy a mobile Kevin caravan? Can I do this? Can I do that? You’re happy on the personal stuff as well?
Neil Robinson [52:06]
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, if I can, if I can help anybody, whatever their goal is, or you know, if they just need a bit of reassurance that it’s gonna be all right. Absolutely. Yeah, drop, drop me an email, no problem at all.
David Ralph [52:19]
Really, Neil, 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 always the best way to build our futures. Mr. Neal Robinson, thank you so much.
Neil Robinson [52:37]
Thank you, David, for absolute pleasure.
David Ralph [52:40]
Well, that’s as raw and honest as we could make it. He doesn’t want global success. He just wants time he wants to be with his kids. He wants the ability to, you know, do what he wants when he wants. And I agree with that. I agree that 100% You know, it is nice to think that you can have 1000s and 1000s in the bank. And funnily enough, if you work on something really simple, and you just build up multiple income streams, especially when you are still working, you know, the side hustles you can have that all as well. We all want to be millionaires. It’s not that hard to be a millionaire if you suddenly get in additional income streams in that you can stick in a bank and then you can get compound interest on that. Why you earning money. It’s all there out there for you. It really is. And yeah, connect with Neil. He would love to speak with any of you that wants to do the same things. And of course, connect with us at join up email@example.com Where the show that tries to keep it on is tries to keep it real, and tries to show you that it doesn’t have to be big, sexy, and sort of global, it can be very, very small, but life changing. Until next time you look after yourselves and for everyone out there. Stay sexy. See you again. Cheers. Bye bye.
That’s the end of Join Up Dots. You’ve heard the conversation. Now it’s time for you to start taking massive action. Create your future create your life is busy only you live God we’ll be back again real soon. Join Up Dots during the gods Join Up Dots. Jolene, Jolene