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This episode title is tongue in cheek: The reason you can’t MAKE money is because making money is illegal. That’s called counterfeiting.

This isn’t just a silly play on words though. It’s to illustrate an important concept: You don’t MAKE money, you GET money.

You have to go GET money. Someone else has your money. A stranger has your money. You need to go get it from them.

Who are the people you want to reach? Who has your money and what do they want? What can you provide them? How can you give them a solution to a problem they have that they’re willing to pay to make go away?

You need to figure out a way to create value and exchange it for money.

This episode is about selling. The degree to which you are sold you will sell. Read that last sentence again, it’s important.

If you’re not selling, you’re not sold on your product. You don’t actually believe in what you’re selling.

This episode will remind you that you are a BUSINESS and help you focus on the things that matter.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • The money you want is in someone else’s pocket—you have to go get it.
  • Align doing what you want with creating what other people want.
  • If you’re not selling, it’s because you’re not sold on your own product.
  • Infrastructure doesn’t matter—where the people are matters.
  • If you don’t start with money, you don’t have the fuel to see your purpose to completion.
  • You’re not doing anyone any favors by giving yourself out of business.
  • The 2 numbers that matter are replies in your inbox and money in your bank.
  • If people are freeloading on your email list, they’re not keeping you in business, they’re actively taking you out of business.
  • If you keep giving people value for free, they’re not going to take action on it and you’re doing them a disservice.
  • Make great products that help people and then sell unapologetically.
  • When you’re sold on something, you’re going to turn people off.
  • Send more emails.
Show Notes
  • 03:39 Sean: The thing about making money is that it’s illegal. Of course that’s not what people are talking about when they talk about making money. I’m really liking what Grant Cardone has to say. He’s smart and he knows about money. Something he says is, “A stranger has your money.” Your friends and family don’t have your money. You don’t have the money you want and you can’t make money because it’s illegal. Someone else has your money. It’s out there, in the world, in someone else’s pocket, wallet, or bank account.
  • 04:23 They have your money and you need to go get your money from them. How do you do that? You have to figure out what they want. Figure out what problems they have and you have to solve those problems. You have to go out into the marketplace and create solutions. What are they spending money on and how can you make them spend that money with you? You think I’m just coming up with a silly example so I can say you can’t make money, but you really need to understand this. Do you want to make money?

Figure Out What People Want

  • 05:20 You have to make a decision. If you don’t make a decision, you’re not going to make money. In the Community chat, Kelly Lockett says she doesn’t want to make money, she wants to get money. If you want to get money, you have to go out and take it. I’m not talking about stealing, I’m talking about receiving someone else’s money in exchange for products or services. You’ve got to figure out what they want. Think about this with your business. What do people want? Who has your money?

The money you want is in someone else’s pocket.

You have to go get it.

  • 06:36 You have to do something for them. What you have is time. We all have the same 24 hours and you can do anything you want in that time. You need to figure out who the target is, who has your money, and then you need to do something for them—sell something to them. It’s really simple but it’s not an easy concept to grasp.
  • 07:11 A lot of us are starting with the thing we want to do. We’re selfishly thinking, “I want to wake up and do this thing.” Cool, you can do that if you want, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to make money. You have to start with the money. Doing what you want is a luxury. You can do what you want and make money—it’s possible.

You have to align doing what you want with creating what other people want.

  • 08:01 Ben: This is something that I know, but it’s one of those things where I understand the concept and implementation is difficult. I love the way Grant Cardone puts it: strangers have your money. I couldn’t go up to some stranger on the street and say, “This is a thing I do, do you want to pay me for it?” I would be much more successful if I found strangers who are already looking for it.
  • 08:46 I would need to do some research and know there are a group of strangers out there that like this specific thing, or they need a specific service, and that happens to be something I know how to do. I need to find those strangers. Inherently it comes with this idea that you have to sell. A lot of people are uncomfortable with that. If you’re approaching a stranger, you have to sell. There’s nothing you can do, that doesn’t involve selling, that’s going to convince them to give you money.

Don’t Be Afraid to Sell

  • 09:37 Sean: A lot of people don’t like selling. They feel weird about selling. You’re having difficulty selling because you’re not sold on your product. You don’t believe in what you’re selling because if you did, you would be selling to everyone. Everyone needs to sign up at You don’t have a system for client work. You’ve pieced together parts of contracts, emails, and ways to price. You haven’t spent years on a system. You’re making it up and guessing.
  • 10:40 Steinway makes pianos. When they go to make a $78,000 grand piano do you think they’re hoping it turns out alright? They’re not guessing! They have a process, a system. Doing client work shouldn’t be rolling dice, it should be a system. Every problem you’ve encountered is a problem that can be prevented if you implement the right system. We’ve build this system and spent the last two years refining it. We’ve tested it with people. You will make more money, spend less time working, work with more enjoyable clients, love the work you do, and have your freedom back. I want everyone in the world to sign up for Value-Based Pricing.
  • 11:40 There’s three ways to make money: client work, products, and teaching. Client work and services is the fastest way to make money—you do the work and you get paid. You can make money raking up the leaves of the person who lives across the street. Wash their car, walk their dog, and that’s money. Products and teaching are great ways to make money, but it’s a longer term investment. When you’re starting out, you need to do client work first to get money, to give yourself traction, to build a runway, to eventually expand, and to build yourself an empire with these different facets and income streams. It starts with client work.
  • 12:29 What isn’t going to help you is doing work with bad clients. There’s no such thing as bad clients, only a bad professional. No one can be a client unless you make them a client. They’re not a client unless you take them on. You’re focusing on the wrong people, you’re desperate, and you’re in Scarcity Mindset. You need to figure out the right way to do this and we’ve built that system. I’m selling this with conviction and certainty. Sign up, take the course, try out the tools, and use them on your next project.
  • 13:09 If it doesn’t work for you, we’ll give you every penny of your investment back within 30 days because we’re confident in the system. There is zero risk. We’re not going to ask you why you didn’t want it. We’re not going to ask you if you did the quizzes. We’re not going to ask you if you put the right things into the tools. That’s how confident we are that this works and we pent two years on it. That is how you sell.

The degree to which you are sold, you will sell.

If you’re not selling, it’s because you’re not sold on your own product.

  • 14:05 You don’t believe in it. You need to educate yourself on your own product or service. Is it actually good? Then get on board and sell it. If it’s not, then quit and do something else. If it’s unethical, immoral, or illegal, don’t do it. Get sold on your product or service.
  • 14:35 Ben: If your product needs to be improved upon, make the necessary improvements.

The Only Two Numbers That Matter

The 2 numbers that matter are replies in your inbox and money in your bank.

  • 17:22 You should be doing email marketing because the conversation rate is unbelievable. Did you check your email today? Yes, you did. Everyone does it. Email is not dead. You’re going to get 20 times the revenue from email than you will social. Compared to something like Twitter, email engagement is off the charts. I’ve actually made multiple multi-thousand dollar sales on Snapchat through personal engagement. The medium doesn’t matter!
  • 18:08 People on Twitter don’t get it. Gary Vaynerchuck says not to get romantic about how you make your money, but also don’t get romantic about how you reach people! Let’s say there’s a group of 20 people that like to hang out at the park pavilion and they’re hungry. You buy bulk Costco snacks and sell them at a markup. The group stops hanging out at the pavilion and they go to the gazebo, but you’re still standing over at the pavilion. You think that gazebos are stupid.
  • 19:15 “Why do Snaps expire in 24 hours? I don’t understand it. It’s not comfortable to me. It’s strange. It’s dumb. Why isn’t it there forever like YouTube? Why aren’t things the way it used to be?” It doesn’t matter! The people aren’t at the pavilion anymore. Do you want to sell? Go where the people are. The chrome and the infrastructure doesn’t matter—where the people are matters.
  • 19:44 I was on Snapchat and this guy from Scotland sent me three 10-second videos in a row and he was telling me he found me from me commenting on a Gary Vaynerchuck video and he’s been following me ever since. He was sending these videos live, one after the other. Snapchat now has live video, like FaceTime. You can do live calls and audio or video snippets. It’s a messaging platform but a lot of people don’t know this!
  • 21:02 Snapchat has every form of communication—drawing, speaking, writing, photos, video, etc. I tapped the video call to do a live video call with this guy. He had just got on Snapchat and he had just bought an iPhone. He didn’t even know what was happening. He thought we were on FaceTime. That’s how easy and seamless it is! I hear a lot of people complaining about how hard it is to learn from people my age or even over 30. I resisted it for a year and I’m a dummy too. I just care more about being successful than about being right.
  • 21:58 I got over it and now I’m making money, and deepening engagement with people. We get on this call and talked for 20 minutes, and now he’s buying Value-Based Pricing. He might want to come to seanwes conference in the future. Where else does this happen? I’m talking about making money and it’s about where the people are. Pay attention to the attention. Forget the fact you hate yellow icons, or ghosts, or the fact you don’t understand why the Snaps only last 24 hours. The people are there. I’ve never had anyone send me a message on any other platform and within three seconds, I’m on a live video call with them. That kind of engagement is huge.
  • 23:26 70 people would have to buy a t-shirt from me in order to make one sale of Value-Based Pricing, this system we’ve built for two years. You think it’s easier to spend all of your time and effort promoting your other stuff and getting 70 people to buy it instead of spending a few minutes engaging with someone who’s targeted and tuned into what you’re saying, who can’t believe they’re on a call with you when they’ve been reading your blogposts, listening to your podcasts, watching your videos, opening your newsletters, and following you on Facebook or Twitter.

If you don’t start with money, you don’t have the fuel to see your purpose to completion.

  • 24:26 People must not like money. It’s not about money for money’s sake. Money is an enabler of purpose. You have to focus on the money first. Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. You have to have it to exist and operate. You have to pursue things that will make money in order to be able to do the things you want to do.
  • 25:19 Ben: When you say replies in your inbox is the number that’s important, a lot of people think, “I can’t have conversations and engage with people indefinitely. That won’t scale.” I think they get scared of that or they don’t think about how effective that really is. At whatever level, if you can have a one-on-one interaction with someone and make that truly meaningful, you should always find a way to do that.
  • 26:23 Sean: Every single day I see people on Twitter that I either follow, or they’re getting retweeted by other people, mocking Snapchat and getting 17 likes. They say they can’t figure it out and UI is terrible. What are you doing? It’s not Snapchat, it’s the concept of Snapchat. The reason I’m going to talk about email is only because email works and it’s relevant right now. As soon as it’s gone and the next thing comes along, I don’t care. I care about the effectiveness. People are getting distracted by the wrong things and the wrong metrics. Stop looking at your unsubscribes. When you’re sending a newsletter, it doesn’t matter how many people unsubscribe.
  • 27:33 Ben: If you’re spending your efforts, energy, and focus on trying to get those numbers higher and thinking about what those metrics could mean for your bottom line vs. what a personal interaction with a human being means for your bottom line, the difference there is staggering. Don’t spend any effort whatsoever on trying to change those numbers. Focus on the numbers that really make the biggest difference. When you deal with people directly, that’s going to indirectly influence those other numbers in a positive way. You’re doing yourself a disservice is you’re even thinking about those things.
  • 28:28 Sean: Stop doing things that are going to make you irrelevant. It’s not about joining Snapchat, it’s about the concept of joining something new that makes you feel uncomfortable. Be willing to become a beginner again (Related: e270 How to Create an Interesting Story That Gets People Addicted to Tuning in to Your Content). When it comes to email, unsubscribes don’t matter. Take them off your MailChimp dashboard or whatever you use. The only two numbers that matter are the replies in your inbox and the money in your bank.
  • You have a list… why are you not using it?

How to Build an Email List

  • 29:11 First, I need you to make a decision. Are you running a business or are you operating a charity? If you’re operating a charity, my message is not for you. I hope you get something out of it, but I’m coming from a business perspective. A business must profit. A business exists to make money. First understand you’re operating a business, not a charity. Your email list is comprised of people who are interested in what you have to offer and you should provide value to them.
  • 29:56 Come up with a target audience—who are you trying to serve? Give them value. That’s going to establish you as an authority and it will kick off the reciprocity loop. It’s good to give value, but what I’ve learned the hard way is it’s an irresponsible thing to set yourself up to where you cannot be sustained in giving people that value. Make sure you’re focusing on the money and staying in business so you can continue delivering value. It would be irresponsible and disrespectful otherwise.

You’re not doing anyone any favors by giving yourself out of business.

  • 31:00 Ben: With the idea of giving value and then making the ask, there has to be an actual business model there. There has to be a way for you to stay in business so you can continue providing value. I like to think about it as giving value and then when it comes time to actually sell something, you can sell it effectively by believing in it enough that it’s easy to talk about and believe it’s going to add value to what you’re doing. In a sense, you’re out-giving what they’re providing. The lifetime value of Value-Based Pricing is far beyond what someone would invest to have that system.
  • 32:07 Sean: Most of our students right out of the program are making five figures on their very next client job. You’re making that money back on the next job, not just in the first year. Even if it was in the first year or the first two years to get your investment back, it’s totally worth it because you have that system for the rest of your life. Similarly, the system is built around this idea of out-giving because you’re price anchoring your quote against the value your client receives and it’s always a fraction. What they’re giving you in payment is dwarfed by what you’re giving them in value.
  • 32:50 Ben: You’re making a sale, an ask, but in doing so, you’re actually providing even more value. It allows you to continue giving. Sometimes the best way you can give someone something is if they pay for it so they can truly appreciate the value. People don’t always appreciate what they get for free. They don’t get the intended value when it’s free because it didn’t cost them anything. When it costs them something and they invest in something and they want to make a return off the investment, they’re actually going to use the system. They’re actually going to implement your solution, because it costs them something. Then, it’s even more valuable to them.

Send More, Sell More

  • 33:52 Sean: It starts with providing value through whatever medium, but remember, you’re running a business and not a charity. You have to transact. If you’re not paying for your email list yet, you’re not taking enough action. Grow it to the point where you’re forced to give them money instead of just having the free plan. If you’re doing anything right, you’ll grow to the point of having to get off the email service provider’s free plan.
  • 35:08 Eventually, you’re paying per subscriber to be able to give them value. You need to transact here. Find something to sell and come up with a target number of buyers (Related: e177 How to Determine What Your First Product Should Be). Let’s say you have 3,000 people on your list and you’re thinking 5% of them will by, so that’s 150 people. You’ve got this goal in your mind, now subtract 150 from 3,000—you’re left with 2,850 people.
  • 36:58 Your job is to get 2,850 people to leave your list. Oh no! If people are freeloading on your email list, they’re not keeping you in business, they’re actively taking you out of business. You have to transact. The reason you have this list of prospects for your business is to sell. You’re providing them value.

If you keep giving people value for free, they’re not going to take action on it and you’re doing them a disservice.

  • 37:47 Do them a favor and sell a product you believe in to them. Believe in your product! Make great products that help people and then sell unapologetically. Stop looking at unsubscribes like they’re a bad thing. Look at the fact you have 500 subscribers and not 2,800, because it’s not about the people who aren’t invested in what you’re doing, who don’t want to benefit from your material. Sell unapologetically and if anyone leaves, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had people come back all the time.
  • 38:48 Open rates don’t matter. Is there money in the bank? Are people writing you back saying, “I’m so excited about this thing you’re making. I don’t have the money right now, but I’m going to go make the money because I know this investment is going to set me up for success?” I’ve been sending daily emails to my Value-Based Pricing list. There were a couple days I slacked off and I guess I just wasn’t sold enough those days. It’s my duty to sell to these people, because they deserve to invest a small amount and get a big amount back. I’m doing them a disservice when I’m not doing that.
  • 39:45 When your replies are more than 50% negative, then you can start correcting. You’re not getting replies, let alone negative replies, let alone 50% negative replies. The replies are what matters. I’m getting unsubscribes and awesome replies—I’m polarizing and that’s where you want to be. You don’t want to be in the middle. The middle is lukewarm and that’s gross. You want to be polarizing. You want to be turning people off.
  • 40:46 If you don’t have people actively hating on you, what makes you think you’re going to have people actively loving what you do? You aren’t invested. You’re not invested in what you’re about, because if you are, your audience will polarize. Some people think of me and they think, “This guy is just always talking about success. I don’t like the word hustle. Here’s why hustle is bad for you. Here’s why hustle is going to make you run yourself into the ground and you should focus on balance.” Everyone just wants to be counter-culture.

When you’re sold on something, you’re going to turn people off.

  • 41:45 “Why doesn’t this guy take a break? Why doesn’t he go outside? What’s wrong with this guy? He’s just all about business, success, helping people, being motivated, and updating his Snapchat.” Good! That’s what you want. If you’re not getting that, you’re not all in and you’re not invested. You want unsubscribes and awesome replies in your inbox. You want money in your bank. That’s the only numbers that matter.
  • 42:19 Ben: When you say “replies in your inbox”, that can also mean engagement on social media platforms. It’s huge when someone takes time out of their schedule and puts together words to send to you.
  • 43:00 Cory: Cory Miller says, “Sean texted me and said, ‘Light a fire under me Cory. I need to right these emails. Don’t let me not.” You were saying earlier that maybe you weren’t sold enough on your product on those days. Light that fire again and believe in it.
  • 43:24 Sean: I’m trying to create an environment around myself where I stay motivated and stay sold on my own products. It boils down to: send more emails. Send and sell. Think about this with whatever medium you want, not just emails. Email is the most effective when it comes to selling so I’m going after that. Email is the best for transactions. Email is where people do business, they’re not doing business on social media as often. Send and sell more often. If you’ve got daily emails going out, people are thinking about you daily.
  • 44:22 Ben: Some people might be thinking about you negatively daily, but the people who really appreciate and understand the value you’re providing, they’re thinking about you positively and those are the people who matter.