Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Tom Libelt
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Introducing Tom Libelt
Today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast has had a very interesting story to where he is today.
Starting his life in Poland, he learned from a young age how to sell and negotiate business by getting haggled by Russian
His family moved from Poland to the US to escape communism, and his parents took any job they could to survive.
This was a huge learning curve for him, and seeing his parents work their tails off truly motivated him to never want a job.
He didn’t care what it was as such, but certainly the drive to earn his own cash, scaled his earning potential and living the life of his dreams was now his to work towards.
And that is what he did, moving forward as an entrepreneur, publisher, salesman, and one of the top Polish hip hop artists.
All of these hustle and online commitment allowed him to move where he wants to be across the world, leading him to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
How The Dots Joined For Tom
He now runs Smart Brand Marketing and We Market Online Courses, and too many seem like one of those guys with the Midas Touch, where everything he works on turns into gold.
He has published around 5000 Kindle books, built a successful SEO & online course marketing business, partnered with a Muay Thai champion, owned a coffee shop, a retail store, a record label, created a documentary, and released two albums with five hits on top ten Polish radio.
All of it was bootstrapped and done with zero outside funding.
As he says ““If you can’t sell, then you’re not in business. Marketing and Sales are the backbone of a company.”
So of course with so many strings to his bow, is there something that he loves more than anything?
And what would be his advice to someone who says “I want to do what you do….how long will it take to make it happen?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Tom Libelt.
During the show we discussed such deep weighty subjects with Tom Libelt such as:
Why it such a great idea to network with entrepreneurs who attend conferences, but not necessarily attend the event themselves.
Why the education system is 100% tailored to teach people how to work and not to think they have choices.
The reasons that people that really get rich aren’t truly workers, but work 100% on their core skill set everyday
Why it is so important to push customers away so that you can get the right customers into your business. Be fussy.
How To Connect With Tom Libelt
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Tom Libelt 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. Good morning. Good morning. Well, thank you so much for being here on Join Up Dots. Yes, of course. I am still at the back of the garden in the UK coming up to nearly 2000 shows we’ve been doing over the last six years and leading you guys out there to create your own life, create a future but create a future that is stress free business doesn’t have to be hard, but most people do it the wrong way. Well, today’s guest that’s joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast, has had a very interesting storey to where he is today. starting his life in Poland. He learned from a young age how to sell and negotiate business by getting heckled by Russian vendors. Now his family moved from Poland to the US to escape communism, and his parents took any job they could to survive. Now this was a huge learning curve for him, and seeing his parents work their tails off truly motivated him to never want a job. He didn’t care what it was as such. But certainly the drive to earn his own cash Scally his own potential and live the life of his dreams was now he’s to work towards. And that is what he did. Moving forward as an entrepreneur, publisher salesman and one of the top Polish hip hop artists. Yeah, I didn’t even know they existed. All of these hustle and online commitments and now team to move where he wants to be across the world, leading him to Chiang may in Thailand and probably killed that name. He now runs smart brand marketing and we market online courses. And too many seem like one of those guys with the Midas touch. But everything he works on that seemed to turn into gold. He has powerful published around 5000 Kindle books built a successful SEO and online course marketing business, partnered with our muy Thai, again, champion, owned a coffee shop, a retail store, a record label, created a documentary and released two albums with five hits on top 10, Polish radio, all of it was bootstrapped and done with zero outside funding. As he says, as he says, If you can’t sell, then you know in business, marketing and sales are the backbone of a company. So of course we have so many strings to his bow, is there something that he loves more than anything? And what would be his advice to someone who says, I want to do what you do want to do it? How long will it take to make it happen? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Tom Libelt. Good morning, Tom, how are you sir?
Tom Libelt [2:51]
What’s up? Dave?
David Ralph [2:52]
is great to have you here on the show. I am at the back of the UK. whereabouts are you? You could you literally could be any anywhere across the world.
Tom Libelt [3:02]
Well, I just flew to Chiang Mai from Chicago a few weeks ago and heading to Bangkok soon for a conference. So yeah, at the moment in Chiang Mai. Yeah, I like this place this season of the year. The weather’s amazing. And a lot of people here that work on their laptops. So it’s a good crowd, too.
David Ralph [3:22]
So you are Eastern European, you are from Poland originally. Yeah. Could you go back? Could you go back to Poland, or now you’ve seen the Promised Land of walking around with Lady boys and sandals on all the time is where it all happens?
Tom Libelt [3:38]
Well, you know, here in Asia, right now we’re having a conference season, right? So this is where all the conferences are happening, I think around six or seven around Asia, some in Bangkok, some here, some in Bali, different places, then the conferences and moves to the US, you know, so like when you think of traffic and conversions and funnel, whatever that Russell Brunson thing is and there’s some wars happening around. Yeah, so that one, and in the summertime is you know, Europe is a good place for conferences, you know, like web summit, and there’s a few others happening. Baby bath water has some event. So I usually kind of move with the weather and with just where the networking is happening, you know, and I tried to stay in a place for at least like three, four months at a time because I do work. I like having my own place. But I like to move like that. Thailand is ok. For short amount of time, you know, things are fairly fairly developed. But you know, the logic here drives me crazy. After a couple months, I need to get out. But it’s good. It’s good for shorter amounts of time. Poland, I like to visit maybe once every two years now, for a while I took a break from when I moved to the States, I didn’t go back like 20 years. And I started going back a bit and I like it I well, Warsaw, I like the central Warsaw. It’s very developed, easy to live, easy to get around. And everything works well too. So I enjoy it. But once again, you know, when the weather changes, I just you know, get tired of it. And it’s funny too, because the one question I have because I do love horses. Like I said, you know the people there always ask me, like, why do you like it here? We all want to go, you know, like why are you happy to be here? It’s such a weird question. I’m like, why wouldn’t I? It’s a nice place.
David Ralph [5:30]
But the thing that I wanted to jump in there is your you obviously like networking and you like conferences now. I’ll be honest with you, Tom, I hate conferences, but I I hate them from years ago when I was forced to go to them when I was a corporate guy. And I used to have to go to these really boring ones where nobody wanted to sit be there. And I different now, am I missing a trick? be out there in the conference world?
Tom Libelt [6:00]
Yes or no. So what I mean by conference season, right, this is why I kind of stress they’re not the conferences itself season is if you’re in the right area, and they already have a good network. And you do too. I mean, you got a 2000 podcasts, you should have a good network. What happens is if you put yourself in the breakdown in the conference season, you will get invited to all the top dinners all the top meetups, all the top events without even stepping into the conferences, which for me, and you know, tire me out to, but you will be in the same spot right where all the movers and shakers are going around, like you’ll be invited to all those spots, because all of them are coming for these different conferences. So that’s the trick there.
David Ralph [6:40]
So it’s it’s great to get out there in the bars, having meals and stuff. But the actual content, the content itself, is something that we can we can leave behind.
Tom Libelt [6:51]
Yes, it’s mostly nonsense. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but most public speakers don’t have to do anything else. But speak you know, everything else is just nonsense. So there good speakers, usually a content it’s like, okay, I was invited to the world domination summit before, right. And, and I had some friends and I was hanging out with the speakers like come in, you know, look at some of this stuff. And one of them was the duct tape marketing. Again, that’s the name of the book, right? Very cool guy, very good book. And then, you know, I went to see him excited. I was like, Oh, this should be fun. It was such a simple, stupid message. Like, just be yourself and be unique. And like, really, that’s it, like, that’s what you’re selling. That’s that’s this big insight. And the scary thing is, you know, like, especially with the world domination summit, it’s full of life coaches who don’t make any money, right. So, you know, they were sitting next to him, like writing this stuff down like happy, unique, you know, be be yourself. I’m like, seriously, I’m in the wrong room.
David Ralph [7:51]
In it, Tom jitter jumping in there. Because if you get your message, right, and your business is congruent to the way you live, it becomes so much easier for a long time through Join Up Dots was a long time, it wasn’t too bad. To be honest, I wasn’t making any money for it because my message wasn’t right. And people come across, and they were confused about what I was offering to the world. And once I actually blended back in with my lifestyle, how I actually operate, that’s when the marketing kind of took care of itself. So I do think he’s right about being yourself. But there’s so much behind the scenes of being yourself isn’t there, you do have to have the right marketing, you do have to have the right branding. You do have to build sales funnels, you do have to build the email marketing, all of that is vitally important, which he obviously wasn’t actually getting involved in.
Tom Libelt [8:46]
Yeah, but I mean, if you’re like 30 something and you take be unique as an insight, you know, I have some other questions for you know, what have you been doing for the last 15 years?
David Ralph [8:57]
Yeah, but JP so ingrained, you know, I’m gonna be devil’s advocate here at some point. And we know that the majority of the world went through school, and they were told not to be unique. They were told to be generic, they were told to be grey, when they go into companies and basically keep your head down, work hard. And then there isn’t that ability to understand that. Now. That’s actually why I left my corporate gig because I was so unique and authentic. I didn’t fit in with anybody else anymore. And I knew that my path was going somewhere else. But I can understand why people get to 30 and 40. And don’t actually assess who they are. I totally understand it.
Tom Libelt [9:43]
Yeah, I mean, I get the, you know, the education they makes you want to work like it makes you a worker, that’s all it does. It doesn’t teach you how, you know, think or anything else just helped to be a good worker, then yeah, at work, you’re just supposed to just do the job. Don’t question. Yeah, I mean, we all know that what it’s for. But the thing is, like, we know it, you know, like, sometimes you do need to work because you know, either you’re broke, or you need to learn from someone, but we know that’s what it’s for, you know, and at some point, you know, where’s the exit? Like, I was thinking about the exit before I even graduated high school.
David Ralph [10:15]
Unknown Speaker [10:16]
well, boy, was
David Ralph [10:18]
it purely because of your parents? Because, you know, most people do go through high school and being go into college, because that’s what people do. That’s, that’s the route, you know, why were you looking for that exit so early?
Tom Libelt [10:31]
Well, two different reasons. Right? When you think about all the successful people, they’re not workers. Right? If you if you just read biographies, I looked through different biographies. When I was younger, older people I looked at none of them were workers, but people who are successful usually are either famous or have a business or you know, have a lot of money from something else that happened, like you know, now Bitcoin or whatever, but but no one that’s really rich or successful as a worker, like, it’s impossible, it doesn’t, that doesn’t happen. But when I seen how my parents were treated as workers and myself when I first started getting sales training, because that’s, you know, that was my idea. And they go to all these different corporations, have them paid train me, and then I leave. I seen it, I was just the number, right? Like, every single day, we’d come up and like, what did you sell yesterday, you know, and the whole team is like, I sold one I sold to goose egg, you know, they were just like, this was their life. I was like, Man, this is horrible. And with some of the companies, what I seen is like, for example, when I was selling life insurance, like, okay, I sold this life insurance to someone, I get six months commission, you know, which a lot of people like, Oh, this is great, you know, they were like arguing which companies better six or nine months, but I was like, Look, you guys are not seeing that once you get the six or nine months for the rest of their life for that person, this company is keeping the rest of the money, right? So the recurring money goes off of this company. So if you just use simple math, you know, because most of us don’t really learn much more in school, we have two simple math. It’s, you know, think about this, if you’re selling, let’s say, commission, $250 per month, right? How many clients do you need, if it’s recurring to never have to work again, it’s not that simple, right? All you need to do is figure out how much you spend per month and want to spend to be comfortable, and then divide that by then, you know, I’m out of commission. And then you just gotta think if I can make my own product or service, instead of selling it for someone else, all I need to do is, you know, get these 3040 or 50 clients, and I’m set. I’m set up my own life insurance, business model, you know, I come keeping all the money now. So instead, you know, when I was at those companies, I was like, okay, so we need to sell, you know, four or $5,000 per month. And I’m like, if I just did that for four months for myself, and had this type of business, my life, he said, Yeah, because we’re $20,000 a month, you’re fine anywhere in the world, you’re fine. It’s not the
David Ralph [12:58]
Tom Libelt [13:00]
Yeah, you know, and, you know, I was around New York at the time. So in Manhattan, you know, that 20,000 per month is like your kind of little middle class. So you know, I was a little like, tilted in the weird direction, because he but anywhere else in the world pretty much you just like when you set really set. And yeah, but that was my thinking all the time. I like I thought in models, and like I was a little more analytical a thing.
David Ralph [13:23]
But if I take you back then into what you were saying that the rich aren’t workers, I kind of agree. But they work to get to that point. Don’t be, you know, somebody who is famous doesn’t just become famous. They’ve done a lot of auditions. I’ve done a lot of something to get to that point. There’s got to be work and hustle at the beginning, surely?
Tom Libelt [13:44]
Yeah, yeah. So like I said, myself, I went to learn sales, you know, in the corporate world. So I did my thing, like for you to learn skills, you need to hustle to your first you know, whatever, five figures, like, that’s easy. That’s the easiest thing, just hustle the five figures. And you’re gonna have a whole lot of other problems with scaling. But, you know, you can hustle to that. But initially, that’s why I said people take jobs in the beginning, because, you know, either you’re broke, or you need to learn skills, or you need to just learn from someone else. Just there’s different reasons, you know, we take jobs. But once again, once we figured out what we need to know, that’s the exit, you know, there’s no point hanging around. If you’re just making the bus, get a new car, you’re not doing anything for yourself. So that was always my thinking, just learning skills. Like what hip hop to I wanted to be in the music industry, I loved doing music, but the one skill that I learned from it is I could perform in public, without any problems. Now, when you think about a sales skill, being analytical performing in the public, if you start combining these these different skills, you get something that’s very powerful in you.
David Ralph [14:52]
And so did you actually, you was the hip Hopper, were you with a Polish and
Tom Libelt [14:57]
well, not the m&m, we had a group. I had a couple other guys it would be too much work for me. But
David Ralph [15:03]
men, boys, was that the only thing the Backstreet Boys take man, I we are we touching what your vibe was?
Tom Libelt [15:13]
Not really, it’s pop music. But I mean, you still get that point, right? They still perform they have to do you know, the finish her album was it? It was just a skill thing. I know it plus I wanted to get it done. You know, like some people you know, and I kind of feel sorry for them. Like they get their second when when they’re 50. I want to become rock stars. I’m like, know what, let me just get this out of my system when I’m younger. And when it makes sense, and then just get serious.
David Ralph [15:36]
Let’s play some words. Now. Then we’re going to come back to Tom to continue with the storey. He’s Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [15:42]
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 lesson lessons from my father, not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [16:09]
Right? You’re young man, Tom, you’re still a young man. I’m moving into my second half of my century. And my mom and dad linking in with Jim Carrey. My mom and dad used to work hard. I still work hard. They’re in their 80s now and they’re still out doing stuff all the time. Now, I see you but last generation as real hard workers. But the next generation after me my kids are so lazy. It’s untrue. And it’s almost like they have seen so many people be out but click a few buttons throw up a website, but I don’t have to put in. Do you see that as well? Do you see that there is a sort of dichotomy between the old guys are I need to work for a living and the future stars I’m saying? What’s the point in working for a living? I can just make it happen?
Tom Libelt [16:57]
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think we’ll see that will we’ll see it on.
On YouTube and an Instagram like, so like being in Chiang Mai. It’s kind of interesting, you know, you have to Old Guard, making good money just hanging out being serious. And then you have all these digital nomads coming through who want to make your first thousand or you know, making 1000 working for someone and just, you know, want to make things happen. And yeah, I do see it, I do see people that just don’t have an idea. Some of them, you know, have some ambition, decent, maybe work ethic, but just don’t have a good idea of how to do things like they think backwards. So instead of having something to sell, and then figure out how to build momentum and influence and how to sell it, it’s like, Okay, I’m going to build influence. And then at some point, I’ll figure out what to sell. And usually they they’re broke and have to go home before that happens. But yeah, I do see that. But I mean, I don’t know if it’s just you know, that generation when I remember myself, and just the people around me, they always my friends always said like, I was just the hardest working person around always in like, five or six different projects. They were lazy people back then to you know, it’s I don’t think it’s just generational. Um, maybe we see it more because of just the age difference and who we are, like, if you put out 2000 podcasts, and you will get your kid who’s you know, taking advice from some idiot on YouTube about how to be an influencer, you might think like, are so lazy thinks it’s going to be a shortcut. But if you are some guy that’s in a regular job, work at a gas station, his best days were when he won a football game in high school. And he looks at this kid graduating college, you know, he’s got nothing to say, you know, I mean, because he was that guy that we’re talking about now. So I just I think it’s the perspective of who you you know, who’s saying what to, there’s a lot of, you know, losers from our generation to a lot
David Ralph [18:55]
is a key thing that you said there, though, that so many people and I reflect on it because I think I did the same. I had to work to become an influencer, before I determined what I could bring to market. And for a long time, I was just podcasting. Just knocking out knocking out knocking out, and it took me a while, once again, to find out what I could actually make a living from. Do you think that is the right way of doing it, you think it’s the wrong way of doing it, you think that people should actually learn marketing before everything else,
Tom Libelt [19:29]
is a horrible way of doing things, especially if you don’t have a way to support yourself. And you know, like, I know, people like close to starving before they made it. You know, they built up an influence. They had 2000 people on the mailing list. And it was just like this one lucky thing. Like they were about to go back to a job, just everything collapsing, and they finally hit it. I don’t think that’s smart. I mean, it happens. And you know, the thing is, you know, even if you do the wrong thing, you know, some people sometimes will get lucky and will happen. So like for yourself, you are one of those people who some, you know, one of them that just did the wrong thing, but got lucky and figuring it out. What’s much easier is to just sell something first, like with me, with the marketing online courses thing, right? I went into that because of you know, just my past experience, like I was working on them. And the first thing was like I’m doing marketing courses. So I got five clients, they paid me like 15 or 20 G’s. And I was bankrolling from day one. I wasn’t trying to build influence. Now,
David Ralph [20:31]
because our listeners will be going well, how did he do? He’s going to say get five or 10 clients, how did you do it?
Tom Libelt [20:38]
Well, couple different ways, right? So when I started getting serious about this business, I had the podcast that was just messing around with but I quickly figured out Okay, let’s get our perfect clients on the podcast, right? So people who would be our perfect clients, and you know, we did the interview, and every single one of them asked me afterwards like I, you market courses, I think it would be a good idea to talk like, Well, yeah, I know. I already know this. I went to some of the networking events, I spoke with some of my friends Listen, like, does anyone doing online courses, I’m doing the marketing now. But the thing is, I had the skill sets being built up. I’ve done many, many different things before that. So people know Tom gets things done, you know, just now he’s getting online course marketing, right. But I didn’t try to build up influence to be like the next. I don’t know who’s who’s big in this space. But I didn’t build influence. I just went to get clients, right. And then now I’m saying this thing like, Okay, I know what they have in common. And I’m thinking about, you know, products and services. What else can I sell them that I don’t have to fulfil at all myself? And how to build that marketing traction, right. But the first thing was not to do any marketing just to sell, you know, you got to validate and sell. So one of the other businesses I was testing alongside was the Coursera. Creation, right to help people create courses. So I messaged the few people that I know, speakers authors. Would you like to create a course they said, yeah, we started working on that I quickly realised I hate it. It’s a lot of babysitting. And I shut that part of the business down. But I sold before I started really doing anything I like with my SEO business. Before I read about SEO online, I had no idea how to do it. This was like 1012 years ago, I went to my mechanic told him Look, I’ll get you more traffic this and that. I sold him on the idea. I went to a restaurant sold them on the idea. They paid me first I started learning how to do it. And they were my guinea pigs. Which is not maybe the best way to do it. But back then I was like, You know what? I’m getting into this internet thing. So but you
David Ralph [22:50]
were wise man, weren’t you? Because you, I think a lot of people, I think the majority of people think that offline and online are different. But they work hand in hand. So many ways Don’t lie.
Tom Libelt [23:02]
They do they do. But that’s the thing, right? Like, that’s why I said if you can’t sell you’re not in business, like I can sell my idea before I’m made anything tangible. I didn’t have an SEO website and have an SEO business card, anything. I just sold people an idea, right. And that’s, that’s what’s powerful about selling, you’ll never go broke. If you can sell things like with the marketing, online courses, we could have put me against two other people back then. And I bet you, I would get the four or five clients and they would speak to the same people and walk away with empty hands, because they can’t sell. I sold them on the idea. Like I know what I’m doing. I know what the vision is, I this is what I can do. This is how we’re going to get there together. Right? Like I like that’s the thing about selling. So I always say you gotta learn how to sell marketing your secondary, because marketing amplifies your sales skills, right. So if you can sell in person, having an online funnel or online system, all it does is reproduce what you’re doing in person online, so it’s like a sales guy that’s there every single day without you actually doing that selling. But in order to make that person like this, like fake salesperson sell this stuff for you, you need to know how to do it in person. So we can just transfer everything. Like a sales page would be something I would just say to a person when I’m selling them in person. That’s why it’s so easy for me. But what I find is a lot of people don’t know how to sell, they try to market build influence, and they actually don’t have anything to sell. That’s, you know, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. Like, where are we going with this? You know?
David Ralph [24:32]
Yeah, but they must have got back from somewhere they must have seen it most people won’t just or maybe they do because when I started I start everything. I look for three or four real high level movers and shakers and I re engineer everything that I do and I spend time just researching it you’re not going to sit there behind a computer and just make it up as you go along or perhaps you are
Tom Libelt [24:59]
really get what starts with research and look at the big influencers like that’s the thing like you’re never going to get there anyways like you’re not going to see ball game is the biggest guys
David Ralph [25:08]
but you can still see how they operate kind of you can still see how they’re there they’re finally working and their email marketing and their their sales scripts.
Tom Libelt [25:17]
That’s fine, but once you know something that you’re going to sell, but if you don’t know that and what are you doing? You’re copying the system for what to sell what like what’s the point? That’s the thing most people don’t have a point to what you’re doing.
David Ralph [25:31]
You’ve got to have a point at the beginning. But if you’ve got that point and you know what you want to bring to market why would you not look at what other people are already doing that do and copy their success that’s what Tim Robbins always says, you know, the quickest way to success is copy somebody who’s already doing it.
Tom Libelt [25:49]
Oh yeah, that’s that’s perfectly normal. Like we’ve did that with the first online course. Well, I met the Muay Thai champion and he asked me to you know do an online course with him I had no idea what I was doing Yeah, we looked really quick and what is competition she was doing pretty much copy that he went as far as just copy the whole email sequence was like, I was like, that’s pretty shitty because now we cannot target those same people with our Facebook ads because he will be like, Hey, I think we went through the sequence Yeah, that’s what he did right? But that was before I had the marketing’s skills that I do now like I could sell but I you know, like it took me a while to figure out how to sell and market online courses. That was a whole different beast, but he was just always like, okay, we made this you write up the sales page I’ll copy to this I’m you know, so we did that we did copy it. And it shows you know, produce results really fast. But you know, then you obviously want to make it unique like you want to figure out what the sequences like what he’s doing in there but still make it your own.
David Ralph [26:45]
So which takes us back to the guy standing up with the duct tape saying be unique, be your own. So you know, he is right, isn’t he?
Tom Libelt [26:53]
Me Maybe what to for me to listen to for an hour to somebody to find out that I should be unique is like the you know, the biggest waste of time in the world? That’s why if you don’t go to an ego these public speakers because it’s nonsense,
David Ralph [27:07]
yeah. But it’s just not your it’s not your audience is it? You’re too far down the curve is like, you know, if you are a Formula One driver, you wouldn’t want to be sitting listening to somebody teaching other people how to drive you’ve, you’ve gone past that your mind is elsewhere.
Tom Libelt [27:23]
Yeah, and this is why I’m saying like when I’m at the around the conferences, I usually just hang out with the more high level people and just you know, I take advantage of the fact that everyone’s in the same area. But I don’t actually care much about the conferences, because most of them is just like, very simple stuff like that. Like you’ll have someone be like, Oh, you should advertise on YouTube, like, Yeah, I know. Yeah, great advice.
David Ralph [27:44]
What what what is it then about online marketing and online business, other than the obvious, but you can transport your business around the world? You can scale? It might be? I’m answering the questions, but for yourself, what is the key enjoyment of doing what you do?
Tom Libelt [28:04]
The key enjoyment is that it’s one of the easiest businesses in the world. And when you think about it, right, like I’ve had brick and mortar businesses before, so you got a lot of overhead, you got to make sure someone’s always around. A real life person is open, the store needs to manage. We had food, we had inventory, we had spoilage. Insurance, we have fire departments coming by every couple weeks looking at nonsense being like, Oh, you know, this light bulb needs to be 10% darker, or you’re going to get a fine, like all this nonsense, which doesn’t happen with online businesses, like you don’t have I don’t have anyone coming up to me being like, Hey, is your laptop up to standards? Again, doesn’t matter. You know, like, this stuff doesn’t matter. Like they they would, you know, they could they will come and measure my, my keyboard. And I think, you know, if you can’t get it us inch longer, you know, I think there’s going to be a violation of some sort. Like, what that things happen all the time time with the brick and mortars right. And, you know, even with insurance, right, like we hire remote workers, I don’t know if you do, but we do. And when I pay remote, remote worker, I’ll say $2,000 a month, they get $2,000 a month, not the case at all, with brick and mortars, especially in America. For every dollar I paid for an employee when I looked at the taxes, unemployment, all this other nonsense. I was paying $2. So employee making 15 bucks like boss. Why can’t I make 20? I was like you’re making 30 already. Just go to the government to get your 15 bath. Yeah, yeah. I mean, things like that. Yeah. So things like that are why these businesses are much less stressful. They’re easier I can take them with. And that’s why I enjoy them. You know, it’s way less hassle than a regular brick and mortar business.
David Ralph [29:51]
Right. Now, let’s do some quick yes or no is vain? I don’t ever do this. But I’m interested with you. Okay. So yes, or no answers to this. You wake up on a Monday morning you decide, but you don’t want to work? Yes or No, you can do that. Yes. You want to go across the world, and you get to somewhere and there’s no Wi Fi and suddenly you think my business is going to fail? It won’t? Yes or no?
Unknown Speaker [30:19]
David Ralph [30:20]
You go into a room and you see loads of people and they all want your thing. You can explain it within five minutes. So about their buying.
Tom Libelt [30:31]
David Ralph [30:32]
Well, those three are pretty bloody good answers to have, then you’ve nailed it. Mr. Lee build.
Tom Libelt [30:39]
Thank you, it took a while to get to this point. And you know what, this new business? Yeah, if I show up somewhere, there is no Wi Fi, the team will carry it. But you know, not for too long. Right? Like, my previous thing, when I was working with the Kindle books and other stuff was even easier, I could show up somewhere with no Wi Fi for a year, and not know this money after coming in, like now we do handle clients. So after, you know, a week or so, you know, there’s going to be some some problems, right? So, but the good thing about me if I show up somewhere, I’ll hang out for three, four days and get a ticket somewhere else. It’s not a big deal. And do your clients need to see you then Tom of us? So no, they don’t? No, no, no, we, the way our system works is they go to the sales page, they enter a lot of questions, what my sales page is designed to do is to push people away. So once every one we think that we want to push the way is gone. Okay, the last few will go into some of the questions and then book a call, then I’ll look if there’s something I want to work with, you know, like if someone’s trying to build an online course about abundance, meditation, rubbing sticks together or any other nonsense, we tell them No, thank you. Otherwise, we have a call with them. 1520 minute call, I figure out whether it’s a good fit, ask them for some more information. I send a proposal, they become a client and we work until their systems are working well. And they don’t need me anymore. And I push them along and get some money. It’s a very easy system. We never see we don’t need to talk that much. It’s Yeah, it’s done pretty well. But I mean, it’s still a fulfilment type business, right? It’s not perfect. It’s as perfect as you can get a client system to be but it’s still a client system, you know. So there’s work involved. And what
David Ralph [32:35]
I loved about that for for the listeners was, but you try to push people away. Now that’s key, isn’t it? Because of time? Yeah, I think in the early days, I took horrible people just because I was desperate for the money. And you know, you were really babysitting every step of the way. And now, I have very few clients because they’re only the right ones.
Tom Libelt [32:57]
Yeah, I’ll give you two examples. So we can ago, a guy sneaks in through the messaging thing, and is about to get on the phone with me, I look and I look study selling how to manifest things into your life online course. So I sent him a message. I was like, we’re not going to do this call. If you know how to manifest things. Go manifest yourself. Some clients you don’t need. That’s one. A second one, he asked for some coaching. But budget, huge competitive niche is like, you know, I just want some coaching from you a strategy. So I’m like, Okay, if you really want I can write out the strategy tell you exactly how I would run this business and what I would do, then he messages me, like, how do we make this tangible? I was like, I don’t. That’s what coaching and stuff as you make it tangible. If you put in the work, if you follow the plan, you’ll be successful. If not, you won’t.
And thankfully, he didn’t show up again.
David Ralph [33:50]
Why he interests me, because what you’re saying, and for the listeners out there, this is go this go back and listen to this episode time and time again, because it’s much gold here. But it’s Tom sharing. But why do people clamour to get crappy customers? When if I just held firm like you’re doing and you’re saying it works, and it does work, because I do exactly the same, it becomes so much easier and you earn more money anyway. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Or we once again, Tom, too far down the line now.
Tom Libelt [34:24]
I think it comes with confidence, right? Usually, when I see someone clamouring for a client, they don’t have money to pay rent. They’re not very confident in that, that they can deliver. And usually the product just doesn’t make sense, right? And sometimes I’ll point these out, like, you know, if one of them comes across, in front of me on Facebook. So here’s an example what I’ve seen a lot of people now they think webinars sold everything. You can sell anything with a webinar, not what’s a great way to sell things. Don’t get me wrong. Usually they do work, but I’ll see these things like okay, if you pay me $500, and you put in $500 of paid advertising, and I will market your webinar and make it successful. And I’m like bullshit, right away. Let’s look at his numbers, right. Usually, when you pay for cold traffic, right, it’s going to be a one x return maybe 1.3 x. That means for every dollar you put in, you get like $1 $1 30 back, that’s in a good scenario from cold traffic. The remarketing is where you can get like a five or 10 x return. So on your remarketing dollars when someone visits the webinar but doesn’t buy and then you follow them around those ads, if you put in $1, sometimes you’ll get like a five or $10 return. So let’s look at this budget, someone has a $500 budget, they’ll put about $400 into cold traffic. Let’s say they make 460 back to the fall and they put $100 into that. Maybe they’ll make 250 from that that’s $750 made from $500 investment $250 profit, you are still alive $250 with this idiot that selling the service, right? It doesn’t make sense. Like usually it’s the offer. So you can see by the offer. You know, like, I see why you’re going after clients like this, because no one sticks around. They can’t stick around, right? You have a shitty offer, these first two people leave, you’re churning clients, you’re not delivering. And you have to pretty much get new clients all the time. With me. I’ve had some clients being four or $5,000 a month since last year. And they’re making money. And I just keep that client until he’s completely ready to move on. And I get a new client like I’m completely booked for October, I have 90% people that want already November, I have some for December. But I still keep pushing them. I’m like look like this is probably not going to work out if you’re delusional one. I don’t need you as a client. You know, like, I had this one lady, she’s like, I have $1,000. But I would like you to make me $50,000 in two months, I was like, lady, if I make 50 thousand dollars for you in two months? I probably want 100 k for that. Yeah. Because you’re going to make that back. And for me, I mean, you know, so like, I will tell people, you know how things are. And usually that’s the thing to you know, when clients see that you know, what’s going on, like you will teach them because that’s the thing, right? If you can teach and entertain your clients in a way that’s being entertaining, as you know, someone that you know, it’s not super boring or dry. That’s half the sales right there. And people like most my clients, when they talk to me or prospects are like, man, I like the way you are. I like the way you explain things. Because I’m not trying to sell you I’m just telling you the reality first, and then if we’re on the same page about the reality, we can move on, right. But if you have one delusional person, or one client that has no idea what’s going on, and the person selling is just greedy and scamming, there’s always a disconnect. That’s where the problem comes, right? But if you get the person to the same reality right now, okay, you really don’t have anything. So we’re starting from scratch, are you with me on this, and then we kind of move forward, you know, it’s a much easier process to work with people, you don’t need to sell them. So
David Ralph [38:09]
I agree. I agree. I agree. Let’s listen to some more motivational word, this guy created, not just Join Up Dots, but so much more Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [38:19]
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 [38:54]
Now we hear those words time and time again. But did I sort of can you reflect on your own Join Up? Dots Tom?
Tom Libelt [39:04]
Huh, my own life? Well, when you try to accomplish anything, you know, you’re you’re going to hit obstacles, you will need to pivot quite a bit. You all need to break through a lot of walls, you know, which which stop many people from success. And, you know, the main thing like with me, you know, I hear a lot of my friends, when they look at my background, or even some clients like my God, you’ve done so many things. You know, the reason I’ve done so many things is because I finished the things that I start usually until unless I just see that they don’t make any sense. But the key here is just to finish what you thought, right? And often, the best ideas and the best pivots happen while you’re actually working your ass off. And something else comes up and you’re just like man, I would have never seen unless I was completely in it and just working right. Like many people I see. They wait, they wait for this perfect idea, I find that waiting is a horrible way because your brain just kind of goes into this kind of mould right? Like, oh, we’re just not doing anything. But if you continually push yourself, these ideas often come in a weird form. And you’ll be like so well in green in the industry, we’re in that you will be able to see something that no one else is seeing. And then already have the momentum and the bankroll and the network to kind of capitalise on these ideas. So that’s usually what happened with media spirit. Some of them did come when when I was bored, but those are my least successful ones. Anything that I’ve really done that’s, you know, kind of done well, was a pivot, right. So I’ll give you this one example. When I was in SEO business, we were doing a lot of AdSense sites at some sites for these very simple five page websites. Like I would go into a store like Walmart, I would look at stuff that’s selling, I would buy a domain. So for example, like storage bins or computer chairs, right, and but back then you could get domains very quick. We would put those up, we would write blogs on them, we will get into get a lot of links, and those will make money right? Click on it, Google will pay us like 3050 cents for each one. And I made 1020 $30,000 a month. So we had to get backlinks. We were part of this blog network. And my team 14 writers they would write articles, they would send them in I would pay a monthly fee, and they would give us links to our websites, those would rank higher. Now, one day Google decides they don’t like being gamed so hard. And they shut down all these blog networks, right? So I had 14 writers. And I was an industry, you know, I was we already had a system, but just this part died down. And you know, someone told me like, Hey, you know, this new Kindle thing is coming up, you know, people are writing books and making money. And I was like, Well, why not try that. Now, since I’m in the industry, I know how to write things my team can do that. I was like, Alright, guys, we’re switching it, we’re going to take different topics, let’s look for what people are searching some skills, and start writing books, within three months already paid for themselves. And that business grew to also about I think, a quarter million dollars. We had over 5000 books until that kind of you know, Amazon didn’t like being gamed to, but it was just, you know, a side hustle. But that pivot happened because I was an industry were working super hard. We were ready. Like we could move in one second from writing blog posts, or to writing short books, right, it was a very easy pivot. And that’s what usually happens.
David Ralph [42:50]
When it does work, how quickly does it work? Is it an instant feeling is an instant? You know, because a lot of these things it takes time to set up. He’s saying this pivot into Kindle books, but you’ve got to learn what that actually means.
Tom Libelt [43:05]
Yeah, so that’s why I said being in the industry, right, like understanding how things work, you know, the way keywords work for Google are the same way that keywords are going to work for Amazon, people are still searching for. A lot of these skills were transferable. And that’s why I said, you know, being an expert in one thing, as long as it’s kind of similar, but maybe just a different type of service or product, it still works. And, you know, if we didn’t have all the skills from SEO, we couldn’t do the Amazon, whatever SEO that was, you know, because we were using the same thing, we were putting keywords into descriptions, we were using putting keywords in the titles like we were still doing the same thing. We treated Amazon the same way which you have Google, you know, just google then really like what we were doing, and Amazon didn’t know what was going on yet. You know, because they were too new, they wanted as many authors as possible, it was a very easy transition, right, we’re going to go into a untouched territory, you know. But usually, when you try something, it should work pretty quick. If you’re getting too much resistance, there’s going to be one or two things that are off, either your product positioning is off, or more often your audiences off. But if those things are tested, and they’re still not working, well, I would, you know, pivot into something else. Or like I tried, you know, I said about the course creation and course marketing, I just realised I don’t like one of them. I don’t like babysitting someone to finish their course, where I do like trying to figure out how to position the course in front of the right audience and making it sell it’s a much easier thing I get to control it, I’m the one thinking about it, I don’t have to wait on someone to you know, record over their slides so we could finally finish the work. So that was you know, one of the things with me, like I just don’t like babysitting, I don’t like people holding me back. So I will go into a business where I don’t have that. with of course marketing. It’s usually you know, our team, we do the work, we do the thinking we get things done, I don’t care what the client is doing, honestly, once the course is done. Just you know, just sit there, you know, sit there and look pretty. And then when we need something will ask you.
David Ralph [45:18]
Sounds pretty good today, sir. Sounds pretty good to me. So before we send you on the journey on the Sermon on the mic to have a one on one with your younger self, where where are you heading in the future? You You seem to be in a pretty good place at the moment on? Are you looking at scaling it? Are you looking at just you know, enjoying at the moment what’s coming through for the rest of the year?
Tom Libelt [45:40]
What’s interesting, right? Like, I always think about that with businesses. And with this one, you know, we are at the moment like a high end beauty, right? So we take a couple bigger clients and and we’re booked up for as long as we want.
Now, as I’m starting to build some influence, now
this business doesn’t scale Well, in the way that I want to do it, you know, because just to make sure that everything is done properly. So we need to come up with some kind of a product Iser, it’s not the big push, now we’re testing different ideas. So basically selling something that I don’t have to fulfil, you know, something that I can have a team fulfil it so much easier business, I can still keep one or two clients. But that’s scalable. And then it makes sense building influence still, because what’s the point of me building a huge influence where I can only keep those five, six clients, right? So now when I have like six or seven prospects, sometimes calling every single week? I’m like, Well, you know, I don’t know when you want to get booked next November, you know, like we are so it doesn’t really make sense. Like marketing isn’t always the answer. Right? Sometimes you gotta fix your business systems and model before you can really market because I can get more clients. Players can fulfil them right now. So that’s, you know, that’s the chat. Now it’s a good problem to have. But it’s you know, as, as you know, with with a business, you’re always going to have the next problem, right? And then question, are you going to push through it? Or are you okay, where you are. And I get bored doing the same thing too long. So I always want to push through, you know, and then so, so yeah, that’s my next challenge. And we’ll try to figure it out.
David Ralph [47:19]
And so many people say to me, David, what do you do for a living? And I say, well, 90% of the time, I’m learning, I’m upscaling, there’s, there’s always something that I need to do to move things out. And it’s valuable, isn’t it? It’s so valuable to spend the time digging into it, because ultimately, you got some more strings to your bow that you can then bring to market.
Tom Libelt [47:42]
Yeah, I mean, businesses 90% problem solving, you know, that the thing with businesses, you know, when you have a successful business, it’s usually easy. You know, you’re doing the same few things, you know, that make you money, and you know, becomes boring. And often when you have a good business, you paint challenge for guys like us, it’s not to touch it. Yeah,
David Ralph [48:05]
I try to leave mine as much as possible. Really? I really do I, more often than not, I walk up to the handle of my office and thing, it’s going to be something else to do, there’s gonna be something else to take me away from this.
Unknown Speaker [48:21]
What is the truth? Why
Unknown Speaker [48:24]
don’t you tell me what
Tom Libelt [48:25]
you just want, I just tell you this, because some listeners will probably appreciate it, I just have a friend, he’s been building his Amazon business, you know, going crazy for the last like six years. And you know, he finally realised You know what, I’m good where I am, I’m stocking money away, I think like 3040 k per month, the business is fine. It’s not going anywhere. And now, he spends five hours of his day on the golf course, I think one hour yoga lunch, and then he works on the business for maybe 30 to 45 minutes. But by just stopping, you know, trying to like accomplish more and more and more and go crazy with it. He just realised this thing. That’s it. And that’s all it takes. It doesn’t end, you know, his His love and His life. But yeah, sometimes, you know, you just got to step away. So there is a you know, silver lining at the end for the people like all you still want to burn out forever and keep doing this. I mean, you know, if you if you get the right business model, like it’s, it’s going to be super easy to continue. And the best thing to if you do it right, you can exit you know, I had a friend that was able to exit with $8 million, after like a year and a half of work by building a piece of software, I have another one who’s now valued at 2.6 million just spoke today. And he’s built his Amazon brand, maybe less than a year and a half ago. So, you know, like, you gotta think to like, the exit is also a very good thing to look forward to. Because then like, okay, I can sell my brand, I can get two and a half million, and I can start a new one the next day. But I have two and a half million with me now, which makes me sleep super well, right? Just different ways to go about this.
David Ralph [49:56]
Yeah, with that kind of money you can buy a very nice pillow always, always helps you to sleep. Well, this is the part of the show 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 Tom, what age Tom, would you like to speak to? And what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it finds you out, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Tom Libelt [50:43]
I would talk to my 20 year old self, right before I moved away to college. And there’s not much I will tell the change, you’re going to go through a lot of stuff and you know all it’s going to build you into what you need to be but one thing, you know, your health, you take care of it a bit more than you’re doing to, you know, you’re always worried about the downside. And the downside, the biggest possible downside, and losing everything is not you know, having a wrong idea wrong with it. It’s being with the wrong person. They can they can drag you down more than anything. And you know, if you just want to get extra lucky, you know, there’s going to be one day we’re going to be sitting in Manhattan with a friend of yours, he’s going to give you an article about bitcoins, until you get into it. Get into it much stronger than you will normally. And then when you start seeing other people like truck drivers and strippers getting into it, get out. That’s all you need to know you’ll be served.
David Ralph [51:54]
And that’s that was the most perfect bit of advice. I got caught on the strippers, and I thought miss it. This is going well. I want it this is. And you stopped. Tom, you stop? Well, Tom, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir.
Tom Libelt [52:10]
I just come to smart brand marketing, there’s a contact form, Miami super easy to get ahold of. Right, we’ll have links on the show notes
David Ralph [52:17]
to make it as easy as possible. Tom, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots. And please come back again when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is actually the best way to build our futures. Tom, thank you so much.
Tom Libelt [52:35]
Yeah, thank you for having fun.
David Ralph [52:39]
Mr. Tom leap out. Now that that was, I think, a really good episode, there was so much in there. That that really cut through the journey. Now. You might be right in the very beginning. And you’re sitting there listening to these podcasts because you want to do something, you know, the thing that I would take from that episode is don’t space months and years trying to grow your brand, trying to grow your your influence, as all vitally important, really is important. But I can come best thing is find people that want something that you can offer and vain, sell them, sell them that thing before you’ve even built it. Get people to go Yes, that sounds brilliant. That’s what I want. And then when you get enough of those, you can then go out and actually start sorting it out. Okay, it’s so much easier to start a business when you’ve got customers already. So I think that was a really good episode. Until next time, thank you so much for listening to Join Up Dots. We are looking at taking a few more people on to our next online course. If you want to look at building your own scalable stress free six figure business where literally you can take it wherever you want across the world. We are teaching you live steps step by step by step to make that happen. We only take the right people as Tom says. So if you want to do that, drop us a line. I’m clearly Mark but you want to be on the business master class, and we will connect with you shortly. Okay, until next time, we’ll see you again. Cheers. Bye bye.
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.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai