Dustin Riechmann | The Journey from Poverty, to Engineering, to Entrepreneurship, to Purpose
So what do you do when your childhood hero is also your childhood villain? This week’s guest shares his personal journey from poverty, to hardship, to college, to trouble, to living with purpose. In the first half of this episode you will hear todays guest’s life story, how he overcame difficult circumstances, and how you can too. Then, in the second 45 minutes of the podcast, you’re going to get marketing gold. A free Q&A session that answers questions like, “How do I become an entrepreneur?”, and “How do I grow my business?”, “How do I grow an email list?”, “How do I …?” All this and so much more in this episode of the Remarkable People Podcast, the Dustin Reichmann story!
Copy of 4 INTERVIEW Dustin Riechmann The Journey from Poverty to Engineering to: Hey, Dustin. How are you today, brother? Doing awesome. David, how are you? I’m I’m great. I’m excited for our episode. I was just telling our listeners all about you. So at this time, man, let’s just jump right into your story. Where were you born? What was your upbringing? Life? You know, mom, dad, brothers, sisters.
Where did Dustin’s life start? Absolutely. So it all started in a town called Jerseyville, Illinois, and this, this town comes up a few times in my story. It’s a farm town county seat out in rural Illinois, about an hour and a [00:03:00] half or so from St. Louis, Missouri. And actually I’ve never lived more than an hour from my hometown.
I live in a, in a bedroom community of St. Louis now with a, where we have university, that’s where I went to school. So but yeah, so my upbringing was very chaotic. I actually, my, my dad was kind of my hero and my villain sometimes in the same day, he was an alcoholic and quite abusive, especially to my mom, but also to my half brother who was his stepson.
He was a literal redheaded stepchild who was six years older than. And so, yeah, we grew up with a lot of chaos, a lot of you know, I’ve, I’ve had vivid memories of him, like throwing my mom across an open stove, like, or, or oven in the winter, we would use our oven to help eat the home. And she actually fractured her back.
She had a nervous breakdown at one point, and I had to go live with my grandparents for a while. Yeah, there’s, there’s a lot there in my, in my early years. And we can definitely talk about any of that, that we’d like to do, but I, I will give him credit and [00:04:00] that there is a redemption to that story later in life that he did get clean eventually.
And my parents pretty fun fact, they were married twice. And so they got married, got divorced, he got clean and sober. And then got married again when I was in college. And my now wife, who was my girlfriend at the time and myself were the attendance at my parents’ second wedding so we, we kinda got to see a full spectrum.
He passed away about nine years ago, I guess at this point he was he was much older than my mom. He was 18 years older than my mom, and that was part of the dynamic there. She had her own father issues and apparently sought that out and her husband and yeah, so that was that. That’s a lot of how I would relay my relationship with my dad on the kind of negative side.
On the positive side, he was a union laborer, very strong, very is a six, five, you know, two 15 guy. So I really looked up to him from that standpoint and he was huge into outdoors and hunting, especially raccoon hunting for fur, which is something that’s kind of what used to be big around [00:05:00] here. And so I, most of my childhood, I remember being out at night in the woods, chasing raccoons and shooting 22 rifles with him.
And then those were the good nights. And then the bad nights were when he would go out on a bender and not come home or he would come home and we’d have to flee the house and, and escape to my grandma’s or to a woman’s shelter or whatever was available at that time. And then was it just you and your stepbrother?
Yeah, my, yeah, so me and my half brother, so we share my mom different dad. And then I have another half brother who was much older, so my dad had a son without my mom in a previous marriage. My dad, my mom had got pregnant in high school with my half brother who I lived with. He was six years older than me.
So he left when I was 11, he left high school early and went to the Marine Corps just to escape the house, I think more than anything. And so, yeah, he’s, he’s still in the area and I think I still have keep in touch with him. So I, I have two half brothers basically. And when you were growing up.
Because you were born into that type of [00:06:00] family, did you know, like, okay. The other families around us aren’t like that, or were you in a neighborhood where everybody was in the same boat? Did it seem kind of quote unquote normal? I knew from school that it definitely wasn’t normal. I, we lived down the middle of nowhere, so we lived about 10 miles from the nearest gas station.
Yeah. So my again, it is like this dichotomy of good and bad. Like I love, I have a huge appreciation for the outdoors. I spend most of my time outside when I can spent all my childhood climbing trees and taking guns out and shooting them recreationally and fishing. And and we talk about my grandpa, but I, I had a really good release with my grandpa who lived in town.
But yeah, as far as my peer tope stuff, it was, I had friends at school, but I didn’t really have any friends at home. So I would essentially go out by myself most of the time, or sometimes my brother and I would, you know, play basketball again. He was six years older than me, so he didn’t we’d fight and wrestle , but we didn’t do a lot of other things recreationally together.
But yeah, I, my mom and dad [00:07:00] were, were, were quite characters. They. I remember as a child, they were growing marijuana on our farm and they smoked it and, or not my farm at our house on the neighbor’s farm, who wasn’t their property. And I remember numerous times saying they got a call from someone in town that the sheriff was coming out there and had to go help them hide the plot planes.
So yeah, kind of wild. I mean, they were never violent. They never sold it or anything. It was like they were using it recreationally and they would, but they grew their own, I guess, nowadays they’d be considered cool. But back, back then it was illegal. So yeah. Yeah. It was a whole different world. Once the government figured out how to monetize and control the, the supply, it became the wonder drug, right.
A hundred percent. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s all about the money. It’s all about the money. Okay. So now with that, so your mom, like you said, she, she had daddy issues. She married a guy is 18 years older and he was your hero and your villain all at the same time you’re being raised and. When did your parents split at that point in your life?
How old were you then? They, they split when I was a freshman in high school. [00:08:00] Okay. So yeah, we had we had lived in that one house for like 12 years. We moved to a very urban area where I, you know, got arrested, got my ear pierced. This is all when I was 11, actually I was 11 years old and sixth grade. So it got in a lot of fights and was vandalizing.
And, you know, I kind of, that was my rebellious time. Luckily they took me out of that environment. We moved back to a different part near my near Jerseyville in a different part of the country. And so it was around that time, that, that second move when I, when they shortly after that second move that they got divorced.
So then my dad moved out when I was a freshman. Like I said, they got remarried. I was a freshman in college, so it was about four or five years there where they were separated. And I didn’t realize they had actually started dating again. And I get this call saying, Hey, will you, we’re gonna get married on the courthouse steps next week or something.
Can you end Bethany? My wife be there with us. And I’m like, holy Mo, I knew they’d been talking, but I didn’t realize it was that, that serious. And. So the rest of their life was somewhat normal. he had, he had his issues and he had ultimately ended up with dementia and [00:09:00] had a lot of health issues later in life.
But he had some, he had some good years there where he was, he was sober and pretty healthy. So, and so you were a little bit more rebellious than normal when you said when you were 11, you got into some trouble. Yeah, I would say so. It was really the change of environment. I feel like that triggered it.
Actually I, I thought a lot about this. I wrote a whole essay when I, I got a, a full scholarship to college and part of that process was writing in this introspective essay. And it was really, for me as like this change of environment, like all I had known was isolation being out in the country. I had all my frustrations with I’d go have outlets out in the country.
And then we moved into this town where we lived in subsidized housing and, and a bun among a bunch of other kids. I mean, Elop poverty. I was always, we’d always been impoverished. We, I was always on free lunches and all that stuff. And food stamps, but I was put into an environment now where. I had people to hang out with and my parents didn’t give me any boundaries.
Right. So I’m literally, now I think about it. I have a child who just, just finished up sixth grade today and I have a [00:10:00] 17 year old and a 15 year old. But I think of my, my child who’s that age. Like I can’t imagine what they were thinking. Like I was out till midnight with these kids running around. Of course I’m gonna get in trouble.
I was smoking cigarettes. They were having me drink like little airline things of alcohol and I’m 11 years old. It seems insane now to think about, but I was only there for a year. And so that after that year I got back, I felt like into my better environment. And you know, I didn’t have access to that stuff and it’s never been an issue since.
So I’ve always been a straight a student even during that, that sixth grade year. But, you know, I, I got taken to the police station a couple different times for stupid stuff and, and just got into, just got into the wrong crowd. So I’m super thankful. I was extracted from that. Cause I really feel like I would’ve easily went down a.
Of teenage pregnancy drugs or something. If I would’ve stayed in, in that environment. And then once you got back to your town and your mom at that point, still separated from your father, they got divorced. What was that like your brother, you said [00:11:00] as Oraa house, he joined the Marine. He was out in the house at that point.
So you’re pretty much the only child. You and your mom. Yeah. What, what was that like at that point? What were you? It was, it was, it was tough because she. Kind of was ready to sew her oats. Right. She had met my dad when she was 22 and had been abused and all this stuff had been going on for what, 15 years probably cause I was 14.
So yeah, there was a lot of, I don’t, I don’t like blame her at all for this, but there were a lot of nights where I was left alone, you know? And so I’d be set the house by myself or she might bring a guy home and might, it was a very small house. So I knew when that happened. I would sometimes have to go up to the bar, which was within walking distance of her house and ask her to come home and, and things like that.
So she kind of, she went through a spell of maybe a year there where she was, you know, being selfish and just like, I’m sure taking a, a deep exhale from all the, all the pains she had been through and, and was just doing her own thing. Never trying to neglect me. But you know, in some ways I definitely felt that.
Yeah. And then, [00:12:00] so where does your life go from there? You start getting to the point of graduation. You had straight A’s and you mentioned you, you wrote an essay to get a scholarship. Yeah. So where did you go from there? Yeah, before we leave the childhood, the one, one really key figure that I feel like saving me in many ways from making some really bad choices or just.
Who inspired me was my grandfather. So he was actually my mom’s stepdad. So not even by blood relation, but very consistently as a child on Sundays, my parents would drop us off at my grandparents. We’d stay there all day and then they’d pick us up in the evening. I don’t know what they’re doing while, while we were, while we’re there, but I have my thoughts now, but but so very often, almost every Sunday I’d go fishing with my grandpa.
If it wasn’t too cold out, or my grandma would take me out on country roads and we’d pick up like beer cans and we’d sell the aluminum. So I could have some money to, to spend it kind of started my entrepreneurial journey in some ways. But my grandpa was a very much a strong father figure for me. And he passed away when I was in high school.
So, [00:13:00] but a lot of stability, I would say during my, during my young years was from him. And I think part of that move away into that more urban environment. I, I lost contact with him. I didn’t have any way to go see him every weekend, any longer. Cause we were much further away. And yeah, I think that’s part of that in hindsight, that’s where some of that rebellion came up.
So anyway, given him his, his just credit he’s a military veteran world war II, injured in the war. Like, yeah. There’s so much. I wish I would’ve talked to him about that. I wasn’t mature enough to realize at the time what a gift he was. Mm-hmm . But yeah, so after high school, one thing that happened in high school was I started dating this girl when I was 16 and she was 15 and we never broke up.
So she’s been my wife for 20 years now. So we were in high school sweethearts. Yeah. And and in meeting her family. So growing up, I had no faith background. I was never baptized. I went to a few random churches with people from time to time when they would invite me. One of our neighbors at one point was Mormon.
So I went to some of their social activities. But yeah, but her parents [00:14:00] were Catholic and, and practicing Catholic devout Catholics. And her brother was actually in my, my grade and we were friends and then she was one year younger. So as I started hanging around with her more and hanging around her family a lot, like they were a huge influence and I give them a lot of credit for me.
Valuing the idea of marriage and like having a model for what that looks like. Cuz I would say if you asked me when I was 15, I had no desire to ever be married. I thought it was a trap. I thought it was like, look, look what it did to my mom. You know, like if she wouldn’t have been married to this guy, she wouldn’t have had to endure all this stuff.
So what’s the point. And I also had no faith life. So I had no basis to understand why people would, would value that. So I’d say those last couple years of high school being around my wife’s family was a huge influence on me. I went away to college. I say I went away. It was only, it was like an hour away, but I did move on campus.
So I was definitely not, not, you know, back home. My wife was still in her senior year of high school. So most weekends were spent going back and dating her. But had a very, very enriching freshman year [00:15:00] of college. So I. I mentioned a scholarship. It was not, I had needs based stuff and Pell grants and stuff cuz of our income level.
But you know, I was a good student and I did really well in a C T very strong in math and science. And so I was one of 20 students in my class of, I don’t know, however many people 5,000 or something, but I was one of 20 people at, at this university at the time was called a chancellor scholarship.
So it was a full ride scholarship completely, which was complete blessing. I never knew if I’d go to college, like I knew I had this desire and had the aptitude. I had no idea how I would afford it. So I, this was a huge blessing that I appli, I even applied to this college. I was gonna apply to a different school.
I found out my wife had a desire to go to this school and I said, well, what the heck? They didn’t wanna have a strong engineering program at the time, but I’ll apply, turned out. They were really trying to bolster their engineering program and they saw me as a great candidate. And that, that really helped.
So as fate had it, it ended up in a great school and that freshman year was very. Tied into that chancellor scholarship, [00:16:00] cuz they basically made us peers. Those 20 students lived near each other. We had a lot of special classes together, like seminar level classes. I was in, you know, like honors level classes with some of these guys I found out quickly that they had a much better high school education than I did.
I’m jumping in the university, calculus and chemistry and stuff that all my transcript looked like. It should be qualified, but I really wasn’t. So freshman year was a huge wake up call academically how rigorous it was. I had 8:00 AM, five day, a week classes of calculus or chemistry. But you know, we had a good social time.
I, I found in high school. You know, I never went to a bunch of parties. I, I always had this huge fear that if I, the first time I drink alcohol outside, when I was 11, the first time I really drank alcohol though, consciously that I might become my dad, like the Dr. Jel, Mr. Hyde. He was very much a split personality with, and without alcohol, luckily I found that that wasn’t the case.
And so socially in high school, most of my evenings on the weekends would be either working or going on a date with Bethany, or I’d be out my friend’s house. We’d [00:17:00] fishing have beers and stuff like that. But in college, you know, you’ve exposed to much more of those opportunities. But I, I still found that kind of that peer group was, they kind of held me in check and I, I never really partied my way through school.
I always had a good social time and we did things, but I, I guess I say all that to say, I, I was very blessed to land in this group of 20 people. I, I think all but my brother, so I think all but one of my groomsmen when I ultimately got married were from that group, like it was a very tight-knit group.
So that was my freshman. And before you go on, just so people know, we have listeners from all over the world. When you go to university. And especially within America, you know, different tracks of study, which most countries have, but the engineering, the nursing programs you are with like the same group of people, eight to five every day labs at night, I mean, was at your experience like it was, although I, yeah, so the under the chancellor scholar [00:18:00] umbrella, I would say like out of the 20, like five of us were in engineering there was, there was all, every major was represented, like liberal arts nursing and whatever.
Oh, okay. So, so I was in there with a, actually a very diverse group, racially interest level in what we were doing in school. But I also, yeah, you’re right. I kind of had like the engineering group that I was forced to be around and I had the chancellor scholar group. And then, and ironically in hindsight, the intersection of those, all three of my roommates throughout the rest of college were both engineers and chancellor scholars, different field of engineering.
So we actually didn’t share that many classes, but this is kind of funny to think about. But it gave me an identity. Like I, I knew growing up, I, I loved the idea of construction probably cause my dad had worked on these really major projects in our region. And I geeked out on like documentaries about those kind of projects.
So I, I was, I had, no, I didn’t even know what an engineer did. when I was in high school. But they kind of said, Hey, you have this aptitude, why don’t you try it? And it turned out to be a really, really good path for me. And yeah. So my freshman year, the other major thing that happened was [00:19:00] like, one of this is where I was going with the drinking one late night, two in the morning during room thing, we’re just sitting around, we play video games, we were talking, someone’s playing guitar.
We were drinking beers. We got into this like philosophical debate about religion. And I just felt this like. Intense need to defend like Christianity and Jesus Christ and this stuff. And I, again, I I’d been around some of it with Bethany’s parents. I’d been to mass the Catholic mass ONM, but I didn’t have a full appreciation yet, but really that night I realized it was something important to me.
I ultimately entered the the program to RCA a, to enter into the Catholic church. Bethany became my sponsor. And this was all before we had, you know, decided we were for sure getting married or anything, we weren’t engaged. So she was my sponsor. And so this was also when I was like 19 years. I entered the church.
So that was a major change in my life. I started becoming a regular churchgoer and part of that was fleshed out. Like I didn’t have a political identity. I didn’t have a faith identity. I didn’t understand like what kind of career I might want. But that freshman year of my college, like all this intense stuff happened because I [00:20:00] was in this group.
And then these like really thought provoking classes with the best professors on campus who made us debate some of these topics and take positions and defend them. And that was really instrumental for, for me and my, my future and how I would even apply my engineering degree. So yeah, the rest of college was fairly, fairly normal, I would say.
Right after like a week after I graduated with my undergrad Bethany and I got married. So we were pretty young, but we’d been together a long time. So I was 21. She was 20 when we got married. So she was finishing up school and I was starting my engineering career. At that point. And yeah, I mean, from there, I, I ultimately ended up working full time engineering consulting, and then I was doing night classes and, and earned my master’s degree in traffic engineering, which the specialty I worked in.
And what was your undergrad in mechanical electrical. Civil, yeah, civil engineering. Yep. Yep. So it very much in line, my dad worked on roads, bridges, dams and, and so in my, in my, in college, I [00:21:00] also worked for the Corps of engineers as an intern and worked on lock and dams and, and big dams at lakes. I got to go inside of them and measure performance and make sure things were structurally sound.
So yeah, it was, it was a pretty cool experience in college. Yeah. So from there, the the short version of I did had an engineering career for 18 years during that time had a lot of side hustles and built online businesses and several brands. I still have three, three businesses I helped run right now.
So we can talk about any of that, that you’d like to jump into. But yeah, so we had got married and I was 21. I had her first child when I was 25. And he’s now 17 years old. So that gives you an idea of, of where I’m at in life. And like I mentioned earlier, I have three kids right now 17, 15 and 12.
Beautiful. Yeah. So, I mean, when you’re going out of college and you got married, You started having kids that’s a full load, and yet you still were looking for other avenues to have a side hustle. [00:22:00] Was that a necessity? Like I need more money or did you just have that inner drive? I want to do more. Did you have a passion love what led to those side hustles?
I think it was all of the above. I mean, we made some of those typical mistakes. I didn’t know anything about money, you know, or like how to handle money. I grew up with no money so we, you even having a decent salary, we definitely overspent that. I think just not like crazy stuff, but like furniture loans.
And, you know, we bought a house pretty early on. That was a pretty big jump for us auto loans. So at some point we were like $60,000 in debt and that wasn’t student loans. I didn’t have any student loans. My wife had some, but we paid those off. So we kinda had a wake up call at some point, probably about five years into our marriage.
It was like, this is not sustainable. This is like, this is dumb. Like I make so much more than my parents ever made and we. Negative, you know, like wherever have a negative net worth. So we found Dave Ramsey and, and got into like, passionate about paying off our debt. So it was really, I think it was in part that, that urgency of like, if I could earn some more income here, it would really help.
[00:23:00] And I later realized what I was really doing in most, in most cases, a scratching, like a really deep entrepreneurial itch that I had, that, that I didn’t know how to name. I didn’t realize it was even an option for me. I was so dang grateful to be given the opportunity to have an engineering education that, you know, was a full scholarship.
And then my employer paid for my master’s degree. So I like, I was like, man, like, that’s my identity? And like, why would I, how ungrateful would I be to give that up? So I hang, I hung on for, I’d say eight years longer than I really wanted to in that career. But yeah, so our, our, I, I did all kinds of crazy stuff for side, for side money.
Like I was buying golf clubs on I back in the day, it was Craigslist and eBay, right side buying stuff on Craigslist locally. Shine ’em up. I got really good at selling on eBay and I’d resell ’em for more than I bought ’em for. And we were, you know, making $1,500 extra a month, doing that and paying off debt and had my kids involved my very small kids at that time and had a lot of fun with it.
But didn’t realize now I’d [00:24:00] probably be killed in like the first month. like going to these people’s garages and in St. Louis like off of Craigslist. But you know, so I did some fairly creative things like that that were pretty laborious, but the very first brand we created is engaged in marriage, which anyone see in the video can see, I have a, have a, the sign behind me.
So I was in 2009. And so I started my engineering career in 2001. So it was about eight years in that that was like the first legitimate brand. And that grew out actually of marriage and ministry. So something that’s been very constant in my adult life is marriage ministry. So even we were only a few years into our marriage.
I think we just had our first child and friends from our, our diocese asked us to attend a marriage retreat. We thought we were going there to participate and we did, but really we were going there to be trained, to help give in the future. Cause they saw that we, you know, were passionate and we could talk and those sort of things.
So we, for several years we were doing marriage ministry through the church and I just felt this calling. I, I [00:25:00] was reading a book on vacation, actually. It was called no more dreaded Mondays by Dan Miller. And it was just talking about how. You’re not just one thing, right? Like you have this ability to be creative.
And I was like, that’s what I need a creative outlet. So engaged marriage was basically me writing blogs back in the day in the heyday of blogging starting in 2009 about our life and about the lessons we’re learning and these things that we’re experiencing at marriage retreats. And I was reading a lot of books about marriage and parenting.
And obviously I, I was trying to overcome my own childhood in hindsight, I was, I wanted to be a really good dad, a really good husband, and it’s not easy. And I was figuring it out. So engaged marriage kind of really grew out of that experience. It intended just to be a place to Chronicle our life and our experiences, but I started getting a lot of traction pretty quickly.
And I started realizing that I was quite good at collaborating with other online business people. And I was kinda always the one coming up with creative ways to do projects together and, and, and, and spread our messages together and change our brand. So, yeah. [00:26:00] So 2012, I wrote a book. Called 15 minute marriage makeover is kind of the engineer’s approach to having a great married life.
And it was quite popular and we did speaking. And then in 2015 is when I like decided I really need to get outta engineering. I have something here with engaged. Marriage is making money. It’s, it’s got, we had some great courses and a membership site and this book. So I dove really deep into digital marketing.
At that time, I was taking time off of work to go down to conferences and learn digital marketing and get certifications and, and things like that. So that was really pivotal because engaged marriage grew. And I developed all these skills over those years and people started hiring me as a marketing consultant.
While again, meanwhile, I’m still working like 50 hours a week in engineering. I’m a manager at this point at a, at an engineering firm managing about $4 million of projects and 18 people. But I was also growing the side business with the marketing. And so finally in 2017, I, I, something hit me over the [00:27:00] summer and I had this like.
I felt like it was really like an epiphany, like. Oh, my gosh, like I’m, I’m treating this engineering thing. Like if I ever leave it, it’s like this permanent decision I’m leaving my whole identity behind. It’s like, you’re dumb ass. Like why? Like, why are you putting all that pressure on this decision? Why don’t you just quit?
And then you could always go back cause like, you’re good at it. You’re not getting fired. You know, like. Or blacklisted from the, from the industry. So I finally decided I, I worked really hard the second half of 26 17 built up a war chest, and then yeah, quit, quit engineering. The first day of 2018. Still did some contract work here and there, but basically at that point I was a full, I was doing engaged marriage and I was basically doing gigs, freelance marketing, mostly for local brick and mortar people.
So like my dentist became my best client, you know, and I had a real estate broker friend who was a client, a restaurant owner. So it was kind of random, but I was learning a lot about marketing by working with all these different people. And they gave me enough income that I replaced my engineering income because in the course of life, from the time that [00:28:00] we had our third kid on my wife actually started to stand home.
So, yeah, so there was a lot of pressure on that decision. Like I gave up healthcare, I gave up a really good salary. Again. She stayed at home, she put her faith in me and allowed me, you know, and said, she, she believed me. She supported, she supported my decision. If it’s what I really felt like I needed to do.
And it was like one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. So that was. That was a big transition point in my life. Going from that identity of engineer, engineer, engineer. I still introduce myself as an engineer for people when people ask me, because I it’s like it infers that I’m intelligent or something like there’s some, some identity still there that I have a hard time saying I’m not.
So, yeah. And a lot of times too is
you had so much going on and you’re constantly moving forward and constantly in a good way, adapting and evolving to your surroundings and seizing opportunity. You had that epiphany moment where you’re like, I can leave. It’s okay. [00:29:00] It’s no physically have golden handcuffs. It might feel like it, but yeah.
Yeah. It’s like an elephant on a rope, you know. Do you ever hear if people haven’t heard that elephants, when they’re like baby elephants, they literally put a little rope and a nail knock ’em into the ground and the elephant can’t pull off. You know, a year later, they’re like a ton and wait, they could sneeze and break the rope.
Right. But they don’t even try. They’re just conditioned not to pull. Yeah. So that’s how we get, sometimes in life you were told you’re an engineer and you work for an engineer and you’re an engineer, that’s it? Right. So talk to the listeners, let’s start. And, okay. So between your birth and this point in life, is there anything significant we missed before I start asking questions and we move forward?
Anything significant that you can think of? Well, I feel like I went off on numerous significant tangents between the people in my life, my faith life ministry getting an entrepreneurship. So no, [00:30:00] nothing nothing’s coming to mind that we missed. Okay. So now looking at the opportunities you, you think differently and you act, and those are two things we all need to do.
You know, the Bible says the talk of the lips tend to only to pen. Some people read that they don’t even know what it means. It means talk’s cheap. You gotta do. Right. That’s what it means. Talk’s cheap. So you have an analytical mind which usually doesn’t tend to entrepreneurship. So how do you look at your surroundings that helped you to see the opportunity to analyze if it’s a good risk and then to take it?
Yeah, it’s a good, it’s a good question. It’s something that I’ve definitely feel is developed through practice and repetition and modeling. So I’ve, I am an engineer. I am analytical. I am left-brained It, but it’s funny, like you look at my ACTT scores, math and science were the lowest actually I had really high reading in English’s like, [00:31:00] so I’ve always been able to communicate well and write well persuasively, so that kind of lended itself to marketing in particular.
But yeah, but I, but I also see the world in systems and I see opportunities constantly. So like, if, if there’s one thing I would critique myself on as an adult, it’s like trying too many things all the time. I always have too much going on because I, I have just see opportunities everywhere. So, and, and I really do think that’s a lot of that comes from an engineering training where everything is viewed through the lens of something, being a problem or a potential problem, and then reverse, you know, it’s called reverse engineering for a reason, coming up with an action plan to address that issue.
That mindset, it can be really healthy and it can be really destructive the early years of our marriage. We had issues often because I was always trying to solve problems that my wife didn’t want me to solve. Right. The, I, I, I was not a good listener. I was a great instructor and like, let’s fix this issue.
And all she really needed was to be heard, but in the [00:32:00] business world, like people pay to get their problem solved. And so that I realized pretty quickly I could add value just with the, the way I approach problems. So yeah, if someone’s listening and they’re like, how do you ever see opportunities? Like get coached, be around people who like, think this way look like when you’re at the supermarket next time, look around and try to see problems, see things that can be improved and you’ll come up with creative things.
Like, so for me, it kind of started at a necessity of the golf. So I’ll, I’ll give you two examples real quick for how this has developed in me before I ever could call it anything or recognize it as entrepreneurial. So we are in debt. I really wanted some new golf clubs, but we were in debt and I like, I can’t justify spending money on golf clubs.
So I figured what I’ll do is I’ll order a couple different drivers off eBay and then I’ll test them out and then I’ll resell. ’em right. I’ll get my money back. And I did that, except when I resold them, I wrote persuasively and I took really good photos and they sold for more than I bought ’em. So then that was the [00:33:00] Genesis of this idea.
And then I realized that like buying from EBA, selling back on eBay, you can’t get a big spread because it’s the same market. And also it’s, they’re shipping and it’s expensive. So that’s where this idea, like, what if I get really good at understanding the value of certain brands of golf clubs, and then I can buy them locally.
Through Craigslist. People don’t know what they’re worth and you know, I can negotiate and all that. And so that’s where I, that I, I became an entrepreneur really at that moment. Right. And that was even before engaged marriage and then engaged marriage was a direct application of trying to grow a ministry that eventually became a business.
And then shortly after that, I was, I, you asked about significant things in life. I would. I got, I got challenged to be in a, have you heard of tough mud? Like these obstacle course? Yeah. So my brother-in-law who’s much younger than me. had challenged me, Hey, you wanna be on our team? And I’m like, sure.
Turns out he is on there with all these air force people. And they’re like, they’re all super fit. And I, I had ran a mile since high school. I’m like, oh crap. So I, I started running and running and running. My wife has always been a [00:34:00] great runner and I to prepare for tough mud did that realized I love these like big, challenging things.
But what also happens is I got shin splints, like really bad shin splints, which if people aren’t familiar with that, you run, when you’re not in shape, you will get like intense pain along the, the tendons in your lower legs. It’s debilitating. And so I’ve searched all over YouTube and trying to figure out how the heck to get rid of shin splints.
And I kind of took a combination of different things like some icing, some stretching, some mild facial stuff like foam rolling. And I realized that like this routine really helped me. And then I, for some reason recorded it one day, like in my living room and put it on YouTube. I think I put on my engaged marriage channel, just like some content and it like went viral and all these people were commenting.
Like, where’d you buy the foam roller? How much is the, you know, where’d you get these gel packs for the ice. And so I decided, you know what, I’m gonna put together a shin splints treatment kit. So I did that. So I, I realized that like I could buy these gel packs from the manufacturer as a wholesaler. They didn’t know who I was.
I’d just buy a bunch of ’em and I’d buy [00:35:00] foam rollers the same way. And I just, then my kids would assemble these boxes in my garage. and I was paying them to do that. And so they got involved and they, they see entrepreneurial now too. And then for like two years, we sold these boxes online, you know, I’d say it cost us $18 of stuff, probably in the box.
And we were selling ’em for 50 bucks. Zero marketing. I just had this one video that everyone found. So again, I saw an opportunity, like I didn’t even, I had shin splints, I fixed them. And then I was like, I wanted to make a video. I had no intention of ever doing anything other than like helping my listeners who were maybe fat and trying, trying to run for the first time.
But then boom, I saw the opportunity. And like within a week I had a business, I had names. I had a, a store, like I spun up a store online to, to do the checkouts. So, you know, is that natural? Is that innate? I don’t know. I’m sure some of it is right. I told you like, going back as a kid, I always loved money.
And I always, because I never had it and I always like want, I was always craved like the, not even like. Affluence, but [00:36:00] security, right? Like I wouldn’t have enough money. So like when my grandma would take me out and we’d spend a Sunday afternoon and we’d pick up these beer cans and along these gravel roads and she would save ’em up and she would always get, let me have all the money.
And like, now I realize how special that was. Cuz she also, they live in a trailer and sort of, we like, they didn’t have any money either, but she, she really helped support this idea of, of like you work hard and you can go out and you can like get money in exchange for that. So I don’t know. And maybe that’s a bit of a tangent.
Maybe people find some interest in like, wow, who would’ve thought getting shin plans could turn into, you know, a five figure year business, which it did. With those, with those kits they’re on Amazon, I’ve actually wrote a Kindle book about it. And the Kindle book was like a lead in to get people to buy the kits.
So it kind of evolved over time and I’ve gotten. Pretty skilled at marketing and, and strategy. And that’s a lot of what I do for other companies at this point. But that, that, that was the Genesis was golf clubs and shin wins. Yeah. And I think if you’re listening to [00:37:00] Dustin, if you have something that frustrates you yeah.
And you need to find a solution, that’s something that other people are looking for as well. Are people overcome a problem or you’ve had a life experience? There’s no coincidence that engaged marriage was my first major brand. . Yeah, exactly. I went from the, like the guy who, like, if you go to our about page, it’s like the guy who hates marriage meets the family who had changed it all or something.
Right. And it’s that legitimate story of a broken kid who met my now wife and whose parents inspired me so much that. Not only joined the church, but I became a marriage minister. Right. and that, so it, yeah. Think about that as a, yeah. It’s a great point. Reflect on your own life. If you don’t think you’re entrepreneurial, you don’t have to be.
And maybe you don’t wanna be, but if you’re looking for those kind of business ideas, what’s a current pain, what’s a PA past pain you got over, what’s something from your, from your background. And, and a lot of times there’s intersections of like those problems and like your skill sets and that people will definitely pay money to, [00:38:00] for the combination of those things.
Yeah. And I think what’s a huge, it’s super interesting. And like, it’s heartwarming not to use like a, a cheesy hallmark term, but like your grandmother and you would spend time together. Yeah. But she was instilling in you good work ethic and value. And then you get older. And the first thing you do is it comes naturally.
You put your kids to work and you’re teaching them these values and these techniques, and they don’t even know they’re learning. And I don’t know, they might have complained if they’re normal kids, but like, they might have loved it, but who knows, but either way, you’re continuing this trend. And I think for our listeners, myself, a big takeaway here is I think all of us have these ideas, but you have to act on.
Yeah. And what Dustin did is he made a habit of acting on it. And then once you start moving, God bless us. [00:39:00] And it just snowballs and gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but you have to take action each step. So like you said, you got chin splints, you started looking, you put the video, then people start asking, so you start selling products.
Then you start writing a book and you learn marketing and now use this in other areas of your life. So I think the key is just beautiful. That you’re just doing your best at that moment and moving forward. And one thing I find really awesome is that you, a lot of us the same tries to work in our heads.
Oh, you can’t do that. Or nobody needs that, or you’re not good enough to do that. Somebody else will do that. Did you hear those evil voices or did you not even hear it cuz how you were wired? You know, your, your grandmother told you be productive, you know, you, you, you wanted to break free from poverty or did you have the demons in your head trying to slow you down or did you just let’s do it?
No, I don’t. I don’t think there’s a lot of naysayers. You know, they say you learn through failure. I’ve I’ve done a lot of things I shouldn’t have done in hindsight because I could have because of the opportunity [00:40:00] cost, but I’ve never had like a true business failure where it’s. People would point at me and laugh, you know, cause a lot of these things were very small.
They were kind of happening in my basement and you know, people didn’t even know about it at all, unless I would start writing about it, like on engaged marriage, because it was an, in a strategy for other couples to get outta debt, that sort of thing. But no, I think for me, it’s the thing that held me back the most and it sh and rightfully so was my wife saying things like, Hey, you work 80 hours a week.
Like you wanna hang out with me tonight? And because, and that was so I talked earlier about not being a good communicator with her and that that would cause a lot of issues. And then my business drive while can be positive. You can overdo those things. And I, I really failed at boundaries for several years of our marriage when it came to how I use my time.
So I still have a lot of stuff going on and we’ll talk about the current businesses and stuff, but I’m quite rigid about boundaries. So I work at home, I’m [00:41:00] in my home office. There’s magic to that door though. And this laptop doesn’t come out of this room. It’s not to say I don’t work some nights and things like that, but I started to realize like, I’ve gotta have some better boundaries.
And so I would say the things, the naysayers, if they were was, was really my wife. My kids might have felt that way, but it didn’t verbalize it, but she would, you know, she would, she would rightfully so again, she would reign me in from time to time. Like it’s getting a little out of control again.
You’re right. Okay. And then now we are gonna go to bed at the same time, watch a movie, whatever, like, and I’m gonna turn this stuff off because when you’re a driven person and you’re entrepreneurial and you see an opportunity, it’s real easy to like, not get outta your desk chair and just work, you know, way too much.
And I, and I definitely fell into that trap numerous times. So then now you got three kids, a wife, she sounds, she’s a great wife. She’s helped iron sharpen his iron. So the man accountants, yes. A friend, you know, a good Proverbs, 31 wife helping you stay balanced. She is that and more? Yeah, she’s awesome.
Yeah. That’s fantastic. So. [00:42:00] When you’re doing this, you decide to take the step and go into marketing full time. And you said you had a dentist, a real estate agent, and there was a restaurant where your first three? Yep. Yep. And all three were literally just by talking about it. I, I was still an engineer.
I’m like, literally in my, this is something I talk to tell business people all the time. It’s like, don’t be shy about what you do. You have no idea when you’re talking to someone, if they made them or a friend may need what you do. And I’m like was literally in my dentist chair, we were kind of friends.
And known him for a while. And so he said, one day I was getting a cleaning or something. He was like, how are things going? Dust? I’m like, oh good. You know, I’m actually pretty excited. I’m, I’m still doing the engineering thing, but I’m looking to transition out. I’m doing a lot of marketing now, you know, he said, what kind of marketing?
And we should talk. And then yeah, he ended up becoming my biggest client up until COVID actually, I mean, he COVID changed a lot of things in my world. We’ll talk about that. But for, so probably for like three [00:43:00] years, he was a, a significant client and a really, really good supportive friend. And we’re still great friends.
But, and that would’ve never happened if I would’ve just, if I was being vocal about what I do, and a lot of people are just a little too shy about talking about what they do out loud with people. Yeah. And that is huge. If, if people Don don’t know what you do, they’re not gonna hire you. Yeah. And , you’re missing opportunity.
So, okay. So go on me and you were talking about hockey before the podcast started and we won’t talk about the Bruins, but you can talk away I love my bings, but they, they didn’t do it this year, but you know, Wayne, Gretski always said you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. Yep.
And that’s a great quote by one of the greatest hockey players of all time. And you might as well tell I was at dinner was friends one time and the dude told me how he spent in a seen amount of money on a website. And I’m like, you spent how much on a website. And I’m like, yeah. He’s like, well, I needed it done in 30 days.
[00:44:00] I’m like, 30 days. I’m like they should have done in three days for that price. Yeah. and he’s, and I’m, he’s like, do you do websites? I’m like, yeah, my company does websites and I was like, it’s I wasn’t mad at him at all. I wanted to punch myself in the face. Cuz number one, he got robbed. Number two, I could have helped a friend and number three, I could have been paid to do it.
Right. But so listen to Dustin, ladies and gentlemen, if people don’t know what you do, you’re not gonna get hired. And then if you get upset, cuz they go with somebody else, just look in the mirror, it’s your fault. Yep. Exactly where, so now you got these companies going, life’s going good, but you’re working a ton if we didn’t miss anything from their back, let’s move from there to today.
Yeah. So I left engineering, like I said, early 2018 life was pretty chill. I mean, I had these probably four or five marketing clients, few online, lot, lot of local. I was still doing engaged marriage, you know, and it’s always been kind of a consistent income stream. And a creative outlet and a ministries.
It is all those things. [00:45:00] But so yeah, in 2018 you know, I’m six months out from full-time engineering. I picked I’m in a local, this is where Jerseyville comes back, but I’m in a local butcher shop here in our town at ever Edwardsville, Illinois, where the university is that I went to and I’m there with my wife.
This is brand new shop and I’ve always like, I’ve always eat kind of keto, low carb. So I’m always, I like meat and I like grilling and smoking meat and all that. So we’re in there and. We’re buying some steaks and then like, there’s this jerky and I pick up the bag and this is, this looks, it’s a cool brand.
Like I’m gonna buy this and so get home, eat it. Like, this is like ridiculously tender and good. Like, this is where is, where is this? What is this brand? And I flip it over and says, this distributor manufactured in Jerseyville, Illinois. And I’m like, this is insane. Like, how could this be made in Jerseyville?
So turns out I researched like the new company that this Hanon meat company, this butcher shop they’re based in Jerseyville too. And I’m like, oh, okay. So this same guy, I must be making both this completely different brand. [00:46:00] So through a high school friend, I got an introduction to this guy, cause I’m like I had to talk to this guy and turns out he’s a third generation owner of this business.
He’s my age, a 60 year old business as grandpa started in Jerseyville. And one of the cool things about that is, is we got to know each other. This is something I realized only like last year I was actually on a podcast and we were unpacking some of this stuff about my, my grandfather and Realized that they were both in the American leg.
They’re both war veterans. They’re both in American Legion in the same color guard in Jerseyville. So like it’s a hundred percent chance my dad or my grandpa and his grandpa had, you know, drank beer and played cards probably in the same Legion. And we didn’t know each other growing up at all, cuz he was like two grades different than me.
And I never knew his grandpa personally, but they both of course passed on, but how cool is Alec? So anyway, the reason this is relevant is because after this meeting he hired me to do brick and mortar marketing for his butcher shop. And I thought that was the extent of it. I, we, the fire Creek thing barely came up the, the new brand that I’m gonna tell you about.[00:47:00]
But then the, the second half of 2018, we, we were doing well, the, the marketing was working and he said, look, I, I, I want to confide something in you. Like I’ve got this jerky. I have partners in it. I really want to make it a snacks stick brand, you know, like change the format. It’s way better to easier to make self shelf stable.
He thinks there’s a better market for it. At that time, it was a more unique product. I was like, I think that’s a great idea. And he is like, well, we’re breaking up. As far as that partnership goes. And I, I will pay you, you know, whatever. And he goes, I wanna bring this brand online. Cuz he had been selling it in his local shops and golf courses and stuff.
And he like literally built a Hickory smokehouse in the back of his butcher shop and he’s like this product genius. I was like, I love the product. I’m happy to help you. So ultimately what I ended up doing was I build a Shopify store. I’d never done e-commerce before, but saw an opportunity but like, yeah, I’ll help you and I’ll, I’ll do it for free actually.
And if it works, we’ll work something out, you know, maybe gimme a rev revenue share. We’ll do something I saw there’s big [00:48:00] potential, but I didn. You know, I did, I didn’t wanna make him feel at risk. So I was like, you know, I got some free compared to how I used to work. I got all kinds of times. So let me make this website.
So I did and built an email list and we worked, got some pretty quick traction with it. And we ultimately ended up in 2019, him and I traveled tonight or to 12 different trade shows throughout the United States. We got into a bunch of brick and mortar hardware, golf. Ultimately ended up in some Walmart stores and it’s a pretty, pretty cool story.
But in the course of 2019, we got very close and I I’m now a partner in the business. So a big part of what I do today is the fire Creek snacks brand. It’s a better for you craft snack, stick protein snack. And we sell a lot online on our website. And then we also, you know, have these wholesale relationships with other brick and mortar companies.
So yeah, so that’s, that’s a big part of what I. The other big part of what I do is a company called simple success coaching, which like many of my stories came [00:49:00] out of the ether as an, as a, as a organic opportunity. So as I’m out talking about fire Creek, I should, I should preface this by saying we did the whole trade show circuit.
And we were doing quite well. We were in 55 Walmarts in our local region in March of 20, 20 and then COVID hit. And I also still had my marketing client with my dentist and my restaurant, and then COVID hit and the dentist and restaurant could no longer pay me cuz in, in our state they were shut down for like eight weeks and and then had such a backlog of work.
They didn’t need marketing. So that happened personally. And then all of our fire Creek momentum died because the Walmarts were closed. There there’s no foot traffic in there and there, they certainly weren. Pushing impulse food items. at that point, they were pushing sanitizer and beer. More so, so we, we had a pivotal moment in our fire Creek business.
And what I decided to do from a marketing standpoint is. I knew we had a really cool story. Ryan’s story with the brand. His kids have food [00:50:00] allergies and it’s it like the way this brand came about was really special and and his family’s heritage and all those things. So I was like, I wanna, I had a friend, a loose friend who had a podcast.
I’m like, I wanna go be on a podcast. I’m gonna tell this story, see if we can sell some snack sticks. You know, I, you have a coupon code. And lo and behold, we sold some snack sticks. You know, I was like a couple hundred bucks, I think. And I was like, this is pretty cool. It was a lot better than spend money on Facebook ads and all the traditional e-commerce stuff.
So I kind of went down that rabbit hole in 2020 and was on, I think like a dozen shows and just started building this crazy momentum of direct sales. But what I didn’t expect and understand at the time was the relationships that spun out of that. Like all the people who heard me and heard our. a lot of ’em would reach out.
And we had a lot of influencers and brand collaborations and distributors, and like, it really helped to grow the business. And the other thing that happened out of that was all these other e-commerce brands started contacting me and saying, Hey, how’d you go on this podcast? Hey, how do you sell like this?
Hey, [00:51:00] you know can I pick your brain? We had marketing interns working for us for free that had heard me on podcast. So this whole podcast thing grew out of the COVID change and became a whole nother business for me. So simple success coaching is my business coaching business, and it’s basically all online businesses.
I don’t do any of the local, you know, I don’t, I don’t do any actual like implementation. Like I used to do like running Facebook ads and doing all that stuff. It’s all strategy, which is the part I really love and thrive on. And it’s really centered on partnership marketing. One ver one piece of that would be like podcast guesting.
So, I know that’s a long story, but that kind of gets you from leaving engineering, having a bunch of a hodgepodge of marketing clients and cutting my teeth. One of them became a business partner with this e-commerce company that I’m still heavily involved in. And then by marketing the e-commerce company, I created a whole business coaching company, which is now my primary, you know, source of income and my true passion.
Like I always say, someday, we’ll buy, sell fire Creek. [00:52:00] Who knows what else? I’ll end up what other opportunities will come up. But I don’t see myself ever not coaching people and doing strategy around business because I just love it. Like it’s, it’s definitely my favorite thing to do now. Yeah. And it’s everything just built.
You are moving, you were doing, you were trying things you were willing to fail. You were ready to succeed. And it just kept building, kept building and growing. You’re not done yet. You’re still got plenty. Not done. Yeah. Who knows where those dots lead, but it’s really funny to look back cuz I, I sometimes joke people like Dustin, introduce yourself.
I’m like, well, I’m an engineer who does marriage ministry sells meat sticks and does business strategy, you know? And it’s like, those things don’t go together at all. But for me, because you’ve heard my whole story, you see, they’re all in evolution of the same thing. Like to me, they’re all just, it’s applying my engineering mindset and systems thinking to new problems.
So it could be a Shopify store. It could be helping someone grow their marketing agency. It could be some helping someone sell cosmetics. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just the, the lens of strategy and I, and, and that’s really what I’ve come to [00:53:00] embrace. Yeah, no, I think it’s fantastic. So let’s do this.
We’re gonna get into the just practical application things that we’re gonna have you break down in steps for our listeners. Some things that they can do. To help themselves and their businesses grow great. But before we get there between your birth, and today we’re gonna end this show with where are you today and where are you headed so we can help you get there.
But is there anything we missed between your birth and today that’s significant or you want to add in before we move into the question and answers I will say that I got out of, I got rid of the shin splints. My, my treatment kit worked. I ultimately went on to run a marathon, a bunch of trail, half marathons.
That’s, that’s become my things like being out on trails and running half marathon distances done triathlons and. I’ve really re embraced this outdoor stuff that I had as a kid. You know, for the longest time I was a suburban dad and, you know, made me go out, take my kids out fishing [00:54:00] a couple times a year camp once, twice a year.
And that was fine. But now every chance I get I’m out, I’m out doing stuff. So I like last fall, I went on a backpacking trip with some people from my church out to Wyoming and did a, a five day through hike out in the wind river range. And like, I’ve done yeah, I’ve done a lot of like hiking backpacking white water rafting, like, so that I love that stuff now.
So I, I guess for anyone listening, who resonates with that, like my current lifestyle and what I do with my businesses has really enabled me to do a lot more of that. Like there was no margin in my life for so many years when I was trying to do everything including engineering as a, as a consulting full-time career.
So that’s, that’s really nice. Like, I, I feel when I think about things I’m proud of very first and foremost is my faith and my wife and then our kids. But the fact I’ve been able to reintroduce some recreation in my life and particularly outdoors. And there’s [00:55:00] so many times for whatever reason, I associate my dad with Cardinals.
I don’t know if it’s the St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball team. I’m not sure why, but I often, simply every time I’m outside doing something, riding a bike, running, whatever, you know, I encounter a Cardinal somewhere along the way. And if, if it brings me peace, cause I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing and being outdoors.
I like to do a lot of solo activities. It didn’t really click to we’re talking right now that like, that’s exactly where my child, like, that’s where I found peace as a child. And I’m feeling a lot more at peace as, as a 40, almost 43 year old man, doing that again. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do it physically at the level.
I do it right now, but yeah, that’s that’s a super important part of my life that we didn’t really touch on. So yeah, no, I mean, and that is so huge, cuz. Some people find joy and peace. Just reading a book on the beach and some people want to be in the mud. Yes. Some people want to be skydiving, so it’s all different, but it is interesting that the hero side of the relationship with your father and you, you said you were always outdoors, you’re always [00:56:00] hunting.
You’re always fishing with your grandfather. So it’s, there’s definitely a connection there that brings you into that, that good place. There is. Yeah. We have an annual trip that it’s just in the, within the state of Illinois. I started going with a small group of much older guys, 15 years ago, but I, I bow hunt, but I really don’t have a place to do it very frequently for, for Whitetail deer.
And so we have this one weekend, that’s like the first weekend of November, it’s kind of sacred time. The only time I ever missed it was actually my grandfather passed away. And it, well, what’s cool about it though. Now is I have my brother-in-law and my father-in-law come. They don’t hunt, but they can’t So, again, kind of that full circle thing of they’re my new family, you know, like they’re in involving them in the outdoors and even a small way like that.
Cuz that’s not something they really grew up doing a lot of it is pretty cool, pretty fulfilling. So I look forward to that weekend every year and my wife doesn’t complain when I go, cause I’m hanging out with her brother and her dad. So , she’s made trouble too. Yeah. Everybody’s together. Everybody’s screwed.
You [00:57:00] got it one or the other all right, well let’s do this then let’s start off. There’s people listening and they’re afraid to try something or they’re like, I don’t have any good ideas. What’s your advice to them? So these are people who want like a business idea, no people who want more outta life, they’re going to, you know, they say over 70% of the workforce across the world, hasn’t found their purpose or passion.
They’re the walk dead. Yeah. So you have people like, oh, well Dustin has all these ideas and Dustin. No, we’re all the same. Yeah. I mean, we have different roles and we have different places in life, but if you’re thinking like you want more, you probably should act on it. So to those people, how would you encourage ’em?
What would you say to them to get them moving and out of their rut to start at least try and something? Yeah, for sure. I, I would say depending on the personality to, to tools, super practical tools that I use every day would be journaling [00:58:00] and. Like long walks, right? Like I, I get, I get all my best ideas on long walks.
I can get ’em running, but it’s a, it’s a little intense, but I like to go on like a 45 minute. Jat just a walk in silence, no earphones or anything. And I’ll get some crazy ideas that come up. And I, I jot ’em down to my iPhone or whatever. Right. So I don’t lose ’em. So I think a lot of times we, a lot of us have great ideas and a lot of us have things we’re encountering that would foster good ideas, but we don’t document them.
And we don’t, we don’t give ourselves credit enough to think they have value. So I have like tons of these notes on my iPhone that are just like ideas. Like, they may be an idea about one of my current businesses, something for our client, something I wanna do with my wife or my kids, but like, I, I don’t, I try not to let these ideas escape.
And I think we also lack ideas. And clarity because we don’t give ourselves space for it. So I’m amazed, honestly, at my own story and at how crazy busy and I was that [00:59:00] I still had new ideas in spite of that. Now I feel like, I don’t know if it’s the maturity or what, but like I really have to give myself that space for those things to, to bubble up.
And so I document ideas pretty feverously and then I process them in two different ways to like bring them to life and get further with it. So journaling is important to me. Most of my journaling is like gratitude stuff. So it’s like, you know, gratitude journal every morning kind of sets the right tone, makes me centered on the good things in my life, not complaining that sort of thing.
Other people journal. And if someone’s listening, they don’t know gratitude. Journaling is that simple. You’re writing down all the things you’re grateful for. Yeah. And just think of three things and write ’em down. They can be the same three things. It doesn’t matter. But the idea is to your mind, Wants to continue to focus on what is focused on, right?
Like you control ultimately your, your thoughts. And so you can, what you focus on is what is what grows in a simple way. And so journaling before, you know, early morning for me, or it could be at night, that’s really helpful. [01:00:00] One thing I’ve discovered in the past, I’d say six months really in this, the, the, the very long dialogue monologues here on this interview would, will let people understand this I’m a verbal processor, right?
Like I’m a super introvert. I love, I love talking to people and meeting people, but then I’m like, so drained afterward that I just wanna go home and lie in bed because I don’t, I get, I give energy by interacting with people. I don’t receive it very well, but blessing and occurs. I’m a very much a verbal processor.
So I use an app called Voxer. I’ve got a couple close friends that we just exchanged these messages all day. It could be, Hey man, I have a problem with this in my business. Can you gimme some advice or for me it could be, I feel stuck. Hey man, I’m feeling just so you know, I lost a client today. I’m feeling down and it’s like, it might be these two or three minute, little blurbs, or basically voicemails that you trade back and forth.
Or obviously it could be a discussion with my wife or it could be actually calling people. I do that too. But if you find that you develop your thoughts better [01:01:00] in conversation, then you need to have conversations. Right. And so I, I think a lot of people feel like there’s only one, like I need to be a writer.
You don’t only if writing really helps you. I used to think I was much more of a writer when I, in the early days of engaged marriage and what I found now with my current business, I don’t write anything. I can get so much more done by talking about it. And if it needs written, it can be transcribed.
Right. But. That’s how I process. So I think someone feels stuck. They don’t really feel like they have a lot of ideas, document the ideas you do have talk to people. You like talk to people you trust about things that excite you. And then the whole Jim RO quote, quote that we all hear every week is you’re the average of the five people you spend your time with.
It’s ridiculously true. And I, I tried to resist it for a long time. So I my businesses have exploded in the past couple years, and it’s not a coincidence that I’ve been in mastermind groups. I attend events with, with higher level people that I feel like I’m the dumbest person around in the room. Like that’s when I grow, they challenge me.
They change [01:02:00] the way I think. So I think if you’re, if you’re out there and you wanna improve in one area, the most direct thing to, to wrap up these thoughts is you probably need a coach, right? So you may need a business coach. If you wanting to grow your business, you may need a life coach, a marriage coach.
Fortunately, there are tons of coaches out there because the industry is exploded. Unfortunately it can feel a little overwhelming and some people aren’t the best. So they get, get referrals and references, but having a coach can give you this structure, right? Like if I could spend half an hour with someone, I can really understand how they, what their interests are, what their background is.
Some things they’ve overcome. And we could definitely come up with a bus business idea for them, if that’s what they want and give them like action steps. Like you said numerous times today, David it’s ideas are great, but until you take some steps in action steps, they don’t do anything. And so I think people get frustrated a lot of times they’re like, oh, I had that idea.
And so, and so’s over here making money with it or whatever. It’s like, well, what did you do with the idea? Well, I didn’t do anything. Well, don’t complain [01:03:00] so, yeah, exactly. And what Dustin said, you’ve heard me say this on the podcast. Dustin said a lot more tactfully, but if you’re looking for a coach, you know, reach out to Dustin, if that’s the kind of coaching you’re looking for.
Absolutely. But if you’re starting from scratch and whether you’re going an online search or you’re doing a, you know, personal around town, If someone says we have hundreds of thousands of clients or thousands of clients, that’s impossible. Yeah. Those people are liars because if you have a dozen clients that you’re actively coaching and helping them grow your business, you freaking busy.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And Dustin, myself, anybody who does coaching knows. How hard it is. You can only have so many clients. So if somebody says they have thousands, they’re lying or they’re so bad at what they do, they have a client for the day and they get fired. I mean, I mean, I don’t know how to say it nicer, but I’m, they’re counting every visitor to their website as a client, which is a ridiculous way to [01:04:00] state your credentials.
Right? It’s a lie. Yeah. Yes, yes. It’s a lie. So anyways, now, if you had a massive company and they have 4,000 consultants and each one of those has their own client base in history, and they said, combined, we have thousands of clients. Well, that’s reasonable, but if you’re out there looking and you’re gonna pay someone money, you want real results.
You want people who are gonna be doers and get things done. Like there’s some people who are very famous and they’ve never done a damn thing in their. I mean really famous people who write books, who do seminars, who tell you how to do things. And they’ve never, the coaches are the worst, right? Like the coaching industry, I should say is the worst at that.
Like my, my tagline at simple success coaching is like, I’m a business coach who’s actually ran businesses or who actually does run businesses. Right? Like, yeah, my businesses on there, cause there’s such a differentiator, many coaches have gotten trained on how to sell coaching and that’s their whole business is coaching people how to be coaches.
And it’s just like the incestuous [01:05:00] cycle, but they don’t have any actual experience of real world practicality to bring to people’s lives. So that’s kind, they’re kind of my my enemy, I guess when you think in marketing, I always say to have, have an enemy. That’s, that’s my enemy. Like those things drive me crazy.
Yeah. And if you’re thinking, if you’re listening, whether you’re in Mozambique, whether you’re in Australia, whether you’re in Canada, whether you’re in the good old United States, when you are a doctor. If you are a restaurant, if you are a realtor, if you are a dentist, you know, those are the things we mentioned today.
Mm-hmm , it doesn’t matter if you’re the best at what you do. If no one has heard about you. Yeah. And what the other side is, that’s really frustrating for talented people is there’s people who are crappy at what they do, but they’re great marketers, or they hire a great marketing agency and they’re business explodes.
So now you’re poor and bitter . So get someone like Dustin to help you [01:06:00] grow your business. And I’m gonna say it flat out. And Dustin, you tell me if I’m wrong, but typically physicians are the worst at marketing out of all your clients, because their minds are so wired differently. That’s what I’ve experienced.
What have you experienced? I agree. I so whenever I was leaving engineering, my, my best friend, he’s a business banker and he basically just does loans for dentists. Right? So mm-hmm, he tried to push me right into this dental network. I went to events with him and it was, I was very grateful for the whole thing.
I tried to work with like five dentists and I I’m not anymore. Right. Like I had the one client who was my actual dentist who happened to have. The the right mindset for it. Mm-hmm but those other ones are super difficult. They just, they don’t, they don’t think like, you know, they don’t think about marketing.
They don’t, they don’t, they see everything as an expense, not an investment and yeah, it it’s difficult. So I, I agree. I haven’t worked with any doctors aside from dentists, but I would think a similar oh, it’s ego. I don’t, I mean, I, I don’t mean to [01:07:00] paint too broad of a brush here, you know, but I feel like what you said definitely feels right.
yeah, no. And looking at it, that’s a huge key. Write that down unless you’re driving, don’t worry about investment. Worry about return on investment. It’s not an don’t think of things as an expense. I had a client, I was just. There were partners two great guys. One of the partners died. Oh, wow. Yeah, it was just not expected.
Right. So now the partner that’s left is looking at the numbers, like expenses and I’m like, whoa, I’ll never work with you again. That’s this isn’t me trying to get money. What I’m saying to you is make sure you’re looking at return on investment if you’re spending a hundred dollars a month or 10,000 a month, but you’re making 50 giddy up keep putting in that money.
Right, right. Don’t worry about what you’re spending if you’re getting it back. But if people are taking your money and you’re not seeing return yeah. That’s a big issue. Yeah. So, yeah. And what, and I spend a lot of money personally on coaching and like, [01:08:00] like kind of high ticket masterminds. So again, some of which have a very bad rep rap, but I’m in, I’m in another one.
That’s just like been life changing and like it’s very expensive to be in, but the people that are there are super high quality, lots of great referrals, just the type of people I wanted to be around. And it’s in my world, even, even now I live in a nicer town. I live in a nice neighborhood. I can’t find the five people to be around who are, who understand what I do, who understand entrepreneurship, who think, you know, who have aspirations.
Like I do all my friends in my neighborhood have nine to five jobs and they’re successful and that’s fine, but they don’t, they don’t get it. Right. So, so like, and if you feel that kind of isolation doesn’t mean matter whether you’re an entrepreneur or a dentist or whatever, like think about what you aspire to be, and then you’ve gotta go plug yourself into those worlds.
So that could just be through friendships. If you’re lucky enough for that, it could be through hiring a coach, if you can’t afford at any of that, it could be buying the right book. And at least having a mentor through a book, you know, as, as a starting point you know, [01:09:00] but I, again, I, I found so many great shortcuts to success by investing in myself comfortably, you know, but then doing it and then looking back.
Six months or a year later and be like, that is the best decision I ever made. I’m scared, scared as heck to do it at first. Yeah, so that, I, I totally agree with what you’re saying there, if you can think about the return on the investment, not the raw numbers as an expense. Yeah. And neither duster or myself were saying, doctors are bad.
They’re amazing people. The doctors I’ve worked with for fantastic what they did and they were fantastic humans. They just could not wrap their mind around the simple things that we did in marketing. Right? Yes. So the next question is digital marketing. Mm-hmm again, we went to, you can have the best widget in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you’re not gonna sell one.
What are some tips you’re talking to business owners right now, they have a [01:10:00] website. What are just some low hanging fruit tips that, Hey, this is a starting point. If you just start seeing results, then we can talk and do more. What are some good digital marketing tips to help get your business rank and higher on Google, getting more attention, closing more deals, whatever you see fit.
Yeah. And so this is great. Cuz when I do a strategy session with a business owner, I mean, one of the things I’m trying to unpack is for sure, what are their goals? What are their what have they tried? What’s worked what hasn’t worked so well, all those things are relevant. I really try if it’s a, so most people I work with are typically like solo entrepreneurs.
They have small teams, right? I’m not working with fortune 500 companies. I like to work with the brand owner and typically the brand owner, while they may hire a marketing agency, they’re still the face and voice of the brand and, and their brand has a personality. And like I found the secret sauce. A lot of times you can cover a lot of those bases.
You just mentioned with either learning it yourself like I did. And like you [01:11:00] did, I’m sure at some point you know, SEO is like, I like I can build WordPress websites now and I can write keyword oriented articles about a certain topic. And I would do that as like for my dentist, I would write articles about Invisalign and stuff, you know, like to, to, and for local businesses, it’s super easy to rank high.
And you can do Facebook as you can hire people to do all that. And, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. What I’ve specialize in and what, how I’ve grown fire Creek. And now my own coaching business is much more relational because I found that that’s how I perform better like that, that fits my ality and it fits my brand’s personalities.
So a lot of people I work with are similar. So. I mentioned earlier podcast or partnership marketing. And I think if we want to talk about that, I think we’ll get some, we can unpack that a little bit. And I, yeah. Actually anyone listening that has a business will think of examples like, oh crap. Yeah. I could do that.
And none of this costs money generally. So yeah, so partnership marketing in a general sense, it’s, it’s the term I call [01:12:00] getting your brand in front of your target audience on someone else’s platform. Okay. So that could be for a local business. Let’s say you’re a local digital marketing agency and you work with a local tax accountants, right?
Like a partnership marketing could look like you going to doing a lunch and learn and a midsize company who would be a great client for you, or maybe, maybe you do personal finance. And they’re all the individuals who work there would be great clients for you and you go teach them something and you share your expertise and you give value with no expectation of return.
You will get clients from that, right? Because you’re leading with value. So every partnership marketing arrangement also is a win, win. Because there’s always a guest to host and an audience, right? So podcast guesting would be a super simple example cause anyone listening listens to podcast. So I am not here.
This is really to unpack my story and, and let people relate to hopefully some, some, some nugget of what I do. I’m not here to sell services. However, if I was, [01:13:00] then this is an example of partnership marketing, right? The win for me would be exposure to people in my target audience. If there’s people listening who need business coaching, and really like the idea of partnership marketing excuse the dog, who’s to bark at the delivery guy here.
So I’m this episodes sponsored by FedEx. , it’s sponsored by handsome, handsome Hugo, which is our little dog that we got during the pandemic. But as I was starting to say partnership marketing is a win, win, win. In the sense that so a win for me would be brand exposure. If I’m out here marketing to my people, a win for you as the host would be, hopefully I provide great value and it’s a good episode and it helps grow your downloads.
And obviously the win for your audience is to get some takeaway. They get these action items, they feel inspired. They hear a great story. So podcast guessing is one example. I talked about the local example. Another example would be like subscription box placements. That’s been really big for fire Creek where we’ll donate or at cost, give our product to a subscription box.[01:14:00]
That’s a win for us. Cuz we get exposure to our target customers. It’s a win for the subscription box owner cuz he gets product to that. He’s selling through a subscription and it’s a win for his consumer. Cause they find great new brands that they really enjoy. But like just think about. Podcast guesting specifically.
And if it’s easier, I don’t know. David, you wanna throw out like an example of someone with a certain business or certain business idea. We can like strategize around how they could use partnership marketing to grow that. Otherwise I, I come up with yeah, no, I mean, let’s do this. There are a lot of realtors out there.
Okay. And the market out now is crazy. So I’m in Florida. So our economy’s booming. I mean, they can’t keep houses. They’re needing houses cuz we have people from all over the country moving in. Cuz our economy’s so strong. Right. But there’s realtors who are struggling in other regions of the country. So let’s talk to realtors cuz there’s a lot of them trying to grow their business.
What, what advice do you have for them? So if so, yeah. So if you’re a realtor [01:15:00] one form of partnership marketing would be referrals and this is not gonna be new to realtors cuz they, they kind of live in that world. Right. They but, but the, you know, if you’re not already doing this, then the obvious things would be like.
Develop referral relationships with painters, contractors, you know, home services, type people carpet cleaners, all these people who, whenever a house transaction happens, they’re typically also involved in, in some form or fashion. So if someone’s like, I’m gonna put my house in the market, I’m gonna come.
Remodel my bathroom. First, that person should be talking about their favorite realtor. Oh, you’re gonna list your house. That’s why you’re doing this. You gotta talk to Sandy. Sandy’s my best realtor. I know. And then Sandy can make sure that when clients need a bathroom remodeled in exchange, you know, before they list their house with her, you gotta talk to Phil.
Phil’s the best, you know, plumber in, in the, in the region. So I think that’s one thing is to develop these peer to peer relationships for people in your industry in the case of a realtor, you know, it’s a regional business, obviously, but you could do like [01:16:00] a regional podcast. Sometimes people have regional podcast, like, you know, Tampa bay, whatever, like news type of podcast.
And they interview local people. So, you know, local TV, local radio, local podcasts, where they can go on there and talk about. Their business. And I, and I think for a realtor, if I was a realtor, I would really try to find some point of differentiation. Like I would get super niche if I was a realtor, I I’m, you know, I would be like the military relocation specialist, or I would be like the blended family specialist or something.
Right. So like I have a calling card that would, my name gets out there and passed around because I’m special. And not because I’m like just every other realtor. Like, I feel like there’s a huge lack of that opportunity. Like for me, like I do business coaching, but like, I really focus on people who value relationships and wanna use partnership marketing.
I didn’t always do that. I started off very general. I worked with every type of client unimaginable because I didn’t really know who I, who are my people, but I think if you’ve been a realtor for a while getting a niche, getting a specialty, getting something you’re really known [01:17:00] for. Makes you super attractive to those buyers and it makes you super interesting to interview, right?
Like tell me, oh man, you’re the military relocation specialist, like, come on and talk. We’re near an air force base. Come on and talk to us about the special challenges, some stories from that. What are, what are some considerations? Like how long should someone, when does it make sense to buy a house?
Like based on how long you’re you’re you’re stationed somewhere. Like there’s lots of interesting questions come up when you’re a specialist. Yeah. If you’re just like Joe realtor, I mean, no one wants to talk to you. so yeah. No, I think that’s great advice. Okay. So that’s something that again, and you don’t have to be a realtor, but if you are a painter, it’s the same concept.
You’re building relationships. And if you had one massive company with multiple business segments, you’d call it. Cross-selling. So basically you’re just cross-selling. With your friends. Yep. So you’re forming good relationships, like the same target market, right? Same target market. So let’s move then [01:18:00] to people.
So many people are at home or they have a nine to five, they’re kind of exhausted, but they’re like, no, I gotta get my own thing moving. I gotta make this passive income. Everybody’s talking about what are some list building tips for people. Okay. So for email list, building email list building, cuz you first off talk about the important cause me and you know this.
Yeah. But for the people who are listing, who are like, yeah, I had a list or I use a list or what’s a big deal about a list. Lists are very important. Lists are gold. So Dustin’s gonna tell you about the importance of a list and then how to grow your list. Yeah, for sure. So email lists are super important.
Basically the only asset, the only customer base that you own, right? You can be very successful on TikTok or running Facebook ads or whatever, but all those things can go away overnight. They can change their algorithm. They always do. They always want more money for the same exposure. Right? Your email list though, is a database of people who have given you permission to communicate with them.
And so they live with you. So I have an email list for engaged marriage, which [01:19:00] is very important to that business. I have an email list for my coaching business. We have an email list for fire Creek snacks. And by far, in a way, the most of our revenue comes from those email lists, especially for fire Creek and engaged marriage because they’re repetitious businesses, right?
They’re, one’s a membership site. Fire Creek is like it’s reminding people to order more snacks. So we’re all on the receiving end of emails. And maybe we find them annoying, but as a business owner, it is super important. So yeah, so like, When I started working with Ryan with his brick and mortar butcher shops, he didn’t have any email list.
When I started working with my friend at the restaurant, they didn’t have an email list. So what we came up with in those scenarios is a VIP club, right? So Ryan, the front and center on the website, when you’re in the store now with like QR codes and stuff it’s given someone an incentive to let you communicate with them.
It could be as simple as the status of being a V I P being the first to know about our specials, being the first to know about our, our, our truckload sales or whatever, it could be a discount off their first purchase. You know, there’s lots of ways to incentivize people to be on a list. [01:20:00] Those are brick and mortar examples online it’s often depending on the, the type of business that you do.
So for fire Creek snacks, it’s a simple coupon code. You know, it could also be a free plus shipping type of offer where we give you four snack sticks for free. You just covered the shipping and by virtue of doing that, you’re now on our email list. So we’re gonna follow up with you and see, which is your favorite flavor.
And then, you know, maybe ask you to get on a subscription for that flavor, et cetera. But like, so those are very simple examples in information businesses like engage marriage. It’s often like a, what we call a lead magnet. So it might just be a really tight key piece of information that provides a very powerful but quick transformation in your life.
Like so engaged marriage, our top lead magnet is like a, it’s a, a communication. It’s basically how to do reflective listening. It’s like how to, how to be a better communicator with your spouse in, in 15 minutes. And it’s very effective and it doesn’t take very long. It’s just a cha a flip little flip in mindset.
So for simple success coaching, I’m just going through [01:21:00] examples from, from my own life. But simple success coaching. We kind of too, depending on what level you’re wanting to interact with us. So we have this partnership marketing blueprint, which is a free, like quick video course that runs you through the framework of how to think about partnerships and how to like, like the examples we just went through, like how to strategize for your business.
Through our framework and that’s free. That gets you on our email list. we also do free strategy sessions. So if you’re really thinking, I do want coaching, I I’m, you have to apply for these, not like everyone gets a strategy session, but if you’re qualified and it seems like something that really makes sense for you, then we’ll, then I’ll get on call and we’ll do a strategy session.
So that would, that’s a much lower volume way to get emails, but everyone on their super high quality and they’re, they’re a very powerful lead because they took the time to think about the offer apply. They realize they’re gonna have a 30 minute conversation with someone. So they’re very serious versus the blueprint is great for many people.
You know, those people made by a course or something in the future. They [01:22:00] probably not gonna be a coaching client unless they get educated enough to realize that that’s really a benefit to them. So I, I, and go through examples all day. No, no, no. I know itness, but is that, is that helpful? So like if you’re sitting at home and you’re kind of have a side hustle or you have an idea for a side hustle, one of the very best things you can do.
Especially if it’s like a service or something is to go sell one, like, like literally go sell one. So if you’re like, you know what, I think I could probably prepare taxes on the side or, you know what, I could probably do bookkeeping for people. Like it’s different than what I do during the day. And it’s something I can, I do, you know, for my, my wife’s business or whatever.
Cool. Like go on social media, like call your friends, text people and say, I’m gonna do bookkeeping services for these types of businesses. Do you know anyone in your network that I could talk to and sell one, like get money. And once you get money, then you have a valid idea and then you could grow the business.
But I F. Frustrates me a lot. And then people come, ah, this great idea for a business. Cool. Like what have you done about we, this goes back to what we said earlier. [01:23:00] What have you done about it? And it’s really hard to truly validate a business idea until money has been exchanged. You can tell me all day, you think it’s a great idea, but until you pull out your wallet or gimme your PayPal, and even if it’s five bucks, the fact that there’s a transaction changes, it makes it legit like a validation of the business idea.
So, yeah. I agree. Question about the list and a question about growing the list. Yes. Every industry’s different and you and I are talking about wildly vague and large generality. So yes, thank you for your patience, but I want to try to help the listeners, hearing you and seeing your success kind of rethink and, and program their brain more like you to seize opportunity.
Yeah. So email list. What do you see in most industries as a healthy, but non annoying amount of communication? once a week, once a month, five times a day. I mean, for, for what you’re seeing, working out there, what, what’s your opinion? [01:24:00] The honest answer is the more money you wanna make. The more often you email people.
And that’s cliche for a re, but it’s a stereotype for a reason. I don’t do that. I just don’t have the comfort or the, really the bandwidth. It’s like, I, I want my emails to be each to be high quality. So so we typically, so for like simple success coaching, again, it’s a smaller list. It’s a high, it’s a higher end service.
I have less frequent communication with that list, but I’d say like every other week I’m sending out like an in depth. Email that really shows what I know. Right. That’s whereas engaged marriage on the other end of the spectrum is a, you know, that we sell digital courses a $19 a month membership site. We sell books like it’s, it’s more transactional.
People come in, come out. They find us a lot on organic search. So we’re sending emails typically like three days a week for that brand. But they’re typically like links to a blog post linked to a resource we’re doing a flash sale today. So, so they’re a lot less involved emails, but we do ’em more frequently.
[01:25:00] And I’d say fire Creek snacks kind of falls right in the middle of that. You know, it’s a physical product people. So we segment our list, which is really important for people when you get some maturity to it. So for fire Creek, for example, we speak very differently to subscribers versus one off customers versus people who have never bought from us.
And if you’ve on our list, And you’ve never bought from us. You’re probably gonna hear from us most frequently. Cause we really need to, we’re trying to compel you to try it. We’re talking about our guarantee. We’re talking about our different flavors. We’re talking about the brand story. Cause we have to compel you to make a first purchase in the middle bucket you’ve purchased from us.
We just wanna make sure you liked it. We’re gonna ask for your feedback for review, for what you know, we’ll give you a special coupon, so you can go try a, your next, you know, choose your next your, your, another flavor to try our sampler pack. And then the subscribers. We’re just, we’re trying not to annoy them.
Like they’re already subscribed. They, they get it every month, but we’ll still send them things on, you know, you change the frequency of your ordering. [01:26:00] We have a great holiday special coming up a gift box for your family and friends. We got a special for father’s day. So those tend to be more event driven.
So you can hear there’s a kind of a wide variety of frequency for what I do with our own businesses. But I think if you’re like kind of a basic email marketer. Definitely more frequently than once a month. And I’d say once a week, it’s a really good cadence for people. It’s typically a comfortable cadence for people is once a week.
If you’re not, if you don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself that like every email has to be life changing. Cause it really doesn’t like you can have a three line email that really makes someone think and follow it up with like an essay sort of thing, you know? And, and all those things are fine with people.
It has a lot to do with your, your brand and what you sell, cuz you know, what, what you sell is gonna inform a lot about how you communicate about it. And what have you seen now? So people have a website, people have a email list that integrates with their, their CRM. How do you bring that in front of Virgin viewers?
How do you [01:27:00] bring that in front of people? So they’re exposed to your product or service mm-hmm and then they. Convert. Yeah. So there’s basically inbound and outbound, right? So inbound would be things like search engine optimization, which means there’s content on your site that people do a Google search, for example.
And they end up on your site in an article. So what you have to do on site is be very visible that you have this thing there you’re offering. So that’s where the popups come in. Things that slide under when they try to leave, it says, Hey, don’t, don’t leave. Get this great resource. So that’s, that’s like, like nurturing inbound traffic to get them to convert onto your email list.
Outbound would be people who have never been to your website, but you’re defining it out about you on an external source. Typically what you wanna do is direct them straight onto an email opt-in like straight into your email list. Let them email or let them opt in your email first and then they can go explore your site versus if they come on your site.
And they’re like, oh, this is interesting. There, there may never, most of them 90% will probably never think of you again versus again on [01:28:00] your email list. Now you’re you get to welcome them, nurture them, tell them about your story. And then you have this kind of permission. And at any time they can opt out, but you always have this permission to then communicate with them on a weekly basis, for example.
Excellent. Excellent. We can talk. I mean, the outbound is like more my specialty, you know, like I, I understand SEO and stuff, but like I teach people this whole partnership marketing, getting on podcasts, doing partnerships brand collaborations, doing giveaways with other brands to grow your email list.
Like there’s a lot of those kind of opportunities out there. Again, I tend to go to the free side, not because I’m against paid ads. Like we use paid ads in with fire Creek, but. So our whole fire Creek thing is we built fire Creek to seven figure revenue before we ever paid for ads. So we built a foundation based on telling our story, and we have a huge retention rate with that brand.
And a lot of subscribers, it’s a great product, but I think a lot of that has to do with many of the people that discovered us, heard us on like a 45 minute interview telling our whole story. [01:29:00] It’s very different than finding something at the gas station. Young, this is good. Like, you didn’t even know the name of it.
Like people are seeking out our brand because they like the story. And I think that’s the power of partnerships. And there’s like this implied authority too, because people trust you enough to let you come tell your story. Well, this guy must be legit, so I’m gonna go try his stuff. And, and they honestly start to love the owners of the founders, just as much as the actual product.
And there’s, there’s a lot of power in that. Absolutely. And that was the last question I had for you for today. Not that I couldn’t ask you a thousand but the business owners out there are doing it all themselves. Or the people are like, I’m gonna start this. I’m finally gonna take that first step in entrepreneurship and they get this idea.
They have to do it all themselves. And you mentioned you’re an expert at building collaboration and running with it and being very successful from it. So talk about ways that people can look at partnering and collaboration in a new light and some ideas for them to market their [01:30:00] business. Yeah. I mean, there’s obviously like hiring a partner.
Like you can always hire an agency, hire a consultant to come in and maybe help you with the strategy or actually to run the stuff. Now, obviously that requires money. So if your business is already generating money again, it’s, it’s not an expense, it’s a return on investment. So the fastest way to scale is to really hire experts to help you do the things that you’re not an expert in yet.
If you’re more wanting to like be organic about this and grow your own skillset and maybe compliment it with things that you don’t have the bandwidth for that that’s been more of my case in a lot of my businesses, you know, I’ll hire out very specific things like. I know how to do SEO, but I have a SEO person who helps me with engaged marriage, writing articles, doing stuff on Pinterest, like stuff that he actually loves doing.
And I find annoying and, but I’ve got enough of a business there to, it’s easy for me to pay him because I know I’m getting that much and more back. It could be as extreme as finding a business partner. I typically stay away from partnerships, but I told you [01:31:00] all about the one I have with fire Creek.
It, it, it was like a partnership is very much like a marriage when you’re at that level. So we dated for a long time, we vetted each other out and we realized that we have similar values. We have a similar vision and we have very complimentary skill sets. Right. So Ryan is a wholesale product development fulfillment guide to this core.
That’s been his whole family business. I am a direct consumer out there doing partnerships and doing, you know, sales and marketing. And so that’s a great partnership. So if you’re someone who’s like, you really do have a great idea. It’s been validated, but you are the product person. You’re the service provider.
Like, so a lot of the people I work with are B2B service providers, right? So they’re coaches, consultants, agencies, those sort of people. The, the, the music to my ears as, as a, as a coach. And the moment I know I’m, I’m gonna be a great fit for them is when they say I’m really good at what I do, but I’m not good at marketing.
It’s like, perfect. So you’re really good. And some [01:32:00] of these people, many of these people are marketers ironically, right? So they may be like the best people ever at Facebook ads for food brands, but they don’t know how to sell their own agency to get more food brands to come in the door. So then, you know, it’s hire, you hire me, hire a coach, hire someone again, it doesn’t have to be an ongoing, like forever relationship, but sometimes it’s like a lot of the people I work with one on one, it’s like a 90 day engagement.
So we’ll strategize, like, where are you stuck? What do you need help? And that could be directing them to resources that they do themselves. It could be partners, you know, that, that they hire, or it could be skills that can go acquire easily on their own, but they have a 90 day plan to follow. And so my whole shtick is let’s do a consultation.
I’ll give you a 90 day plan to work on. That’s all free. And they’re like, if you wanna hire me, that’s the coaching aspect. Like, if you want me to help you with it, then that’s coaching mm-hmm . But I can tell you what to do without the coaching, but there’s a reason I do an application. Cause I can’t have a thousand people requesting, you know, meetings all day.
They [01:33:00] have to be the right kind of client who I think could benefit from the coaching clearly. But so that’s a lot of different, you know, all the way from true business partners to just collaborators to contractors. You know, I have virtual assistance for reaching my business that really help me offload a lot of the day to day task work.
So I can focus more on strategy. That’s ultimately my goal is to sit up here and think about strategy for reaching my businesses and not physically be sending out the emails and you know, doing the outreach for clients and, and all that kind of stuff. That’s not say I’m perfect at that. I, I continue to get better, which gives me more time to be outside.
visiting the Cardinals. But but yeah, that’s that’s, as I evolve as a businessman, what I find is the more stuff I can hire out It’s often much easier to hire it out than I expect. And once I do it, I’m like, why didn’t I do that two years ago? You know? So yep. That, yeah. So if you’re listening, that’s the reality.
We all face, I think, yeah. Dustin, once again, you’re spot on. If Dustin’s income is X dollars an hour [01:34:00] and he’s gonna write an article or he can pay someone, a fraction of X to write that article, to free him up to do something more profitable or something he just loves. Yeah. It makes sense. That’s the return on investment.
So thank you for bringing that up though. If someone’s listening, they’re like, how could I make money? They’re like, wait, I loved to write article. Like, why are these guys are crazy? I love to write article well then maybe that’s your service, right? And you find the Dustin of the world. We spend 15 minutes a month talking and it gives you five article ideas to write.
And I pay you by article. Like that’s, that’s how a lot of people start their business. Freelancing and the stuff that they think is fun, whereas other people think is super annoying. and that’s that’s that’s, you know, that’s how you start businesses. Yeah. Like I opportunities like that everywhere.
Exactly. I enjoy writing. I enjoy marketing. I love sales, but man, I wanna break a bottle over my head if I have to get into the accounting. I hate it. Yeah. I, I mean, it can be simple accounting. It just stresses me out. So I’m. I love my [01:35:00] accountant. He’s my friend. I know we’re gonna wrap up. Huh? I wanted to point out in this vein, like all my kids have businesses.
And so two of ’em do it together. He’s probably gonna be out of it now that he’s like a senior, but my son and my youngest daughter during COVID like, all the stuff happened during COVID they wanted money. They were trapped in the house. They wanted to buy stuff online. They, I said, go walk around the neighborhood and come back and tell me like three problems that you could solve.
Right. And they came back with the dog, poop, cleaning up business and something else. And what they ultimately settled on was trash can cleaning and it’s perfect for them cuz they just do it in the summer. So like every summer everyone needs their trash cans cleaned again. Cause they stink and they’ve got, you know, stuff in them and, and they’re not afraid of getting dirty and they make good money.
They make 25. To do two cans. It takes, ’em like 10 minutes. And so we have flyers, we have a Facebook group, and so that’s like their summer money. They go out and clean trash cans in our neighborhood. And then my other daughter’s very artistic and she’s like, how can I make money? I’m not getting she well, I’m like, I’m not touching that stuff.
[01:36:00] So she has developed a skill of like calligraphy and like hand lettering. And so she does throughout the year, but especially in the holidays, she does like custom gift tags. Mm-hmm so a family will say, here’s all our presidents. These are from Santa. These are from grandma. And they’re like super fancy, nice looking gifts.
So my kids, I literally said, go find problems. And they said, well, these trash can stink. And that was actually our trash can, there was like some nasty like meat or something in there that had went bad. And I was like, well, clean, my trash can I’ll pay you. And they’re like, we could do that for everybody.
Couldn’t I’m like, yes, you could. So they, and then that turned into egress windows and flower beds and all kinds of stuff. But so that, that was a pretty proud dad moment when, when they realized they had a business idea on their hands and it, yeah. And that’s, so I love it. So beautiful. Your teaching, your kids, this, whether they even realize it or not.
Yeah, but I was with a gentleman today dropping him off at the marina so he could pick up his boat and I looked around and I’m looking at this marina packed and they’re building and constructing. And I’m like, [01:37:00] obviously there’s money in this business. Yeah. But the growth right now is exponential. And I looked at somebody pressure washing a boat, and I’ve had this idea multiple times.
And this is one of the ideas you and I are talking about. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you don’t act. You don’t get it. Yep. I said, how hard is it to get your boat detailed? He’s like, he’s like, if you don’t schedule ahead of time, there’s a waiting list. He’s like, you just, people can’t keep up.
And he’s like, they make good money. And I’m like, really? And so it confirms everything I’m saying. So I’m looking at a, a parking lot full of like 30 boats waiting to be detailed. And there’s like four guys doing it. So my neighbor across like literally over my computer screen this morning had a guy in his driveway detail in his car.
Yep. And and so our, the four corners are kind of like friends. So we’re tech group techs, like what’s going on? Who’s this guy. And he is like, well, I talk to him after. And he said, when he comes back, he’s gonna come back every month and do my car. And if we wanted to just park all our cars over there, you’ll give us a group [01:38:00] discount.
And I’m like that guy’s so smart. Like. Most of his cost is the time driving to all his gigs. Yep. And he, everyone to bring their cars to one spot, he can knock 10 bucks off the price. We’re all happy. He’s happy. It’s that whole win, win, win. It’s like a partnership. And then we’ll post about it in our family, our neighborhood, Facebook group.
He could have his whole business just servicing our neighborhood because he is thinking about the opportunity to serve more than just one person at a time. So that that’s really cool that you, you had the boat detailing. I had the card detailing right in front of me today. So, oh, both today, both today.
And what I’m saying is the reason why I bring that up is in talking about my personal life. It’s just to say. Even as adults, it’s the same. Don’t think it’s just though the kids are picking up cans or the kids are taking out trash. No, as adults, we see opportunity in what are we gonna do about it? And I, same thing with like pressure washing there’s I know a guy that does pressure washing.
He wasn’t even doing it full time. He was making two 50, a year, $250,000 is good money in America and probably in most countries, but he was [01:39:00] just pressure wash and kept his most shut sprayed. A lot of hoses when he went commercial made a ton of money. So people would drive by in their Mercedes that they have a payment on.
Yeah. And look down on this guy. Yeah. This loser. Yeah. And he has his truck paid for and his house. So there, so do what you love, do what God calls you to do. So. Alright, Dustin, where is Dustin today? Where are you heading and how can we get ahold of you? If someone wants to reach, like I said, I On the business front fire Creek snacks.com.
It’s only in the United States right now, but you get the best tasting snacks protein snacks out there. We got a hundred percent money back satisfaction guarantee on that. So if that’s your thing, check that out. But for me personally, I spend most of my time working with with ambitious clients at simple success, coaching.com.
So that kind of where I’m going, you know, I’ve got, got courses and I, I kind. [01:40:00] Help people wherever they’re at. But it’s evolved from one-on-one coaching. I still do a little bit of that. But it’s mostly in these, in masterminds now. So I’ve benefited greatly from being in masterminds and a mastermind from people who aren’t familiar with with what that is, is basically a collaboration of like-minded ambitious people, right?
So I’ve, I’ve gathered 12 people, typically in a group will work together for 90 days and will implement this partnership marketing system in their business. These are typically online business owners, mission driven, you know, they, they like to talk about their brand. They’re passionate about what they do.
And so that’s where I spend, most of my time is running the mastermind groups there. I get tons of fulfillment from that. And that’s really where I see the trajectory of the business continuing, but definitely if anyone’s interested in that business, It doesn’t have to be cuz you wanna be in a mastermind or whatever.
Like I said, I’ve got other tools that I’m happy to help anyone. Definitely reach out though. So I’m super transparent. My email address is Dustin, D U S T I N. Simple success, [01:41:00] coaching.com. And you can also go to our website there. There’s you’re gonna see a thing called strategy call up in the right.
That would get you the application if you wanna unpack some of the stuff with me. And then right next to that is a, is a link for partnership marketing 1 0 1. That’s that free blueprint that we talked about earlier that you can get on my email list and receive all my emails. So yeah, David, good point.
He just prompted me about coupon code. So yeah, for sure for fire, I don’t have anything like that for simple success coaching, but for fire Creek, if you actually did wanna try some of our snacks, we’d love to have you you can put remarkable 15. I forgot to mention that earlier, but so that you’ll go through and check out.
It’s a Shopify store. You get to the end, you’ll see a thing for a coupon code or discount code, but in remarkable 15, and I’ll give you 15% off your order. And we’d love to have you check out our products there. Nice. Yeah, I’m looking for it. I’m gonna check ’em out myself. I love jerk. So I wish I, we should have talked a week ago cause I’m going on a trip and I’ll be gone for two weeks.
It’s been nice to have some on the road. [01:42:00] Yeah. Get a lot of that this time of year. Well, how fast can I get ’em we got a camping trip or a, you know yeah. An excursion. Yeah. It’s I sell ’em. So I guess I’m biased, but they’re legit the best, the best type of from that category of products out there. I, I think their hands down the best tasting and they’re super clean.
So no allergens, no artificial ingredients, no MSG, no gluten. So we kind of took all the, the healthy stuff that people care about. And we have like a real Hickory smoke process that it goes through like the old fashioned way. And it, we really think it’s the perfect marriage of healthiness and taste. So, yeah, remarkable 15.
If, if the snack sticks caught your attention. Beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. So if you’re listening to this and you’re working out or running, don’t worry. Check out the show notes, everything Dustin and I talked about will be in the show notes, but reach out to Dustin. He’s got a lot going on, check back in in a year.
I mean, the way that our lives change. All of us things move fast, but check in with Dustin again, if you need coaching or consulting [01:43:00] help him work out a strategy with you. Get some tasty snacks. Yeah. And again, I’m, I’m spitballing this, but fire Creek, I’m assuming with the story, there’s some, a native American Indian in there.
Is that where that name came from? Or am I actually not? I, I actually have a lot of native American in me, but the brand existed before I did before I was involved with it. Right. It was a fire Creek jerky. And now it’s fire Creek snacks. I actually. There’s not, the Genesis is really, Ryan loves camping and it was like, he was sitting out one night with at a Creek fire camp fire, and he is like fire Creek fire Creek.
And then there’s actually a movie called fire Creek. We’ve of course found out through all our Google endeavors. And there’s actually a coffee called fire Creek coffee, but we’re the only fire Creek snacks. All right. Well, see, I was wrong, but there you go. I just thought, like I met one of my buddies. I don’t wanna say his name on air, but it was like very descriptive.
It was his last name. Like how’d you get that last name? It’s like, cuz my great grandfather killed that many men. I’m like [01:44:00] my last name’s reman, which is like it’s German. And I was actually on the call with a woman from Germany recently and I, I kind of, I kind of have researched enough to know what it was.
She goes, oh you are a smelly man. So it’s like, we think of the word reek like R E E K. So I was pro likely my ancestors like sold fragrances, like cologne. Yep. And in Germany. So I’m like the reek man. So it’s pretty, pretty funny. How, how you bring that up. That’s that’s. That’s how my last thing came about as well.
Yep, exactly. And a lot of peoples did. They just don’t even know it. Have no idea. Well, listen, Dustin, you’ve had a remarkable journey. I’m really happy that we got to meet and talk. Thank you for sharing. You’re not just your life story, but so much business and marketing knowledge and just entrepreneurial, like inspiration with our community.
And if you ever need anything, man, please reach out. And again, thank you for being here today. Yeah, I will will do. It was a lot of fun. I obviously have a lot going on a lot of different stories. So I, I know you like a long form podcast. Will we provided that for your people? So I, I hope people find some [01:45:00] value in, in all the different things that we covered today as a lot of fun.
Yeah, man. It, the more you listen to good content, not just this show. It’s great. But like our slogan says, don’t just listen. But do the good each day. Repeat it over and over again. So you can have a great life in this world and more importantly, an attorney to come. So I’m David Pasco alone. This was our friend.
Dustin. Tell your friends and family share the podcast again. Not so any of us benefit, but so they benefit and grow and we can all have just a better life together. So thanks again, Dustin. Have a great day. My friend, you too, David. It was my pleasure. Have a great one. You too. And to our listeners, we’ll see you in the next episode.
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The remarkable people podcast. [01:46:00] Listen, do repeat for life.