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In episode 2 of The Get Entrepreneurs Online Podcast I interview Matt Lloyd, founder of My Online Business Empire.
I’ve written many posts about My Online Business Empire (like this one) so I won’t add anything more right now.
I have actually met Matt in person a few times and he’s a really nice, down to earth kind-of guy. If there is a Home Business Summit event that you can get to by train, plane or car – Do It!
Meeting Matt and other entrepreneurs is what you need to propel your business into massive momentum.
Interview with Matt Lloyd transcript
David Gilks: Hi. Welcome to the call. My name is David Gilks and thanks for joining us this afternoon. I’m really excited this afternoon because I’ve got one of my great mentors on the line. His name is Matt Lloyd and I first heard of Matt probably about 9 or 10 months ago and he was beginning to get quite well-known online and his business is doing quite well.
About six or seven months ago, his business really exploded and that was doing sort of over 100,000 a month. So I’m really excited to have Matt online and to talk about how he managed to get there and his journey as an entrepreneur so far.
So Matt, are you there?
Matt Lloyd: I am. Great to be here, David and yeah, I’m excited to talk to you about this.
David Gilks: Excellent. So as quite a young guy, what caused you to get started as an entrepreneur so early in life?
Matt Lloyd: Well, so I’m 25 now. I got started when I was 21 towards the very end of 2008. I’ve always been interested in business and wealth creation. I grew up on a struggling farm so from a young age, I saw what it was like to build a business and sort of challenges and that kind of thing. I was always fairly entrepreneurial but really the decision to get started online was in 2008.
So I’m in my third or fourth year at university doing finance and accounting, stuff like that. I liked it and I thought I could have a pretty good career if I went into banking and that sort of thing but at the same time, I wanted to work for myself.
So I had this targeted mind of reaching $100,000 by the end of that year in net worth and I was a long way off. I was saving and doing everything I could but I was still like quite a long way off.
So I started to think about, “All right. What’s the fast way to make money besides mowing lawns?” which was what I was doing at that point. I go online and probably like most of the listeners here, I saw an ad, an ad like how to make $2000 per day, working from home, that kind of thing.
I responded to that. I became a lead and someone called me back and they actually sold me into their direct sales company or what you would call a network marketing company and this was before I even knew what network marketing was.
So I like the idea of it and I thought, “Geez, I could probably do that and I could definitely see the potential,” so I invest two grand. About a month or two later, I find out that if you want to earn the big dollars in this company, you’ve got to go all the way. You’ve got to be fully invested which meant about US$25,000 and you might remember being from Australia like me, the exchange rates around that time. This would have been early 2009. They weren’t too good so it was more like $40,000 Australian. So it was a lot of money.
David Gilks: Yeah.
Matt Lloyd: So now I was pretty committed. I decided to quit university. I even quit mowing the lawns. I was getting like a government payout at that point because I was a student. So we have something called Oz Study here in Australia for poor students. I actually went and canceled that just so I was all the way in with the business.
So it was sink or swim and it actually took nine months to get my very first sale. I was working full time and really working hard at it. But I got my first sale and slowly but surely, I started getting more sales and yeah, I guess ever since then, it’s really all I think about. I love doing it.
David Gilks: So I mean looking back to your life living on the farm, is there any like particular activities which you could say really prepared you for the entrepreneurial life?
Matt Lloyd: Well, I remember when I was – I would have been about nine years old or something like that and my parents, they’re still struggling on the farm. They’re definitely not wealthy or anything like that but my mother sort of knew that she should encourage us to be entrepreneurial or to learn how to take care of ourselves, to read books and things like that.
So she would always get us to watch shows like Money. We had this show called Money back then, teaching different ways you can save money and things like that. So she would really encourage that. So my brother who was two years older than myself at the time, we decided to start a business selling potatoes of all things. We were growing these potatoes in the backyard and so what we did is we got a piece of tin and we wrote “spuds for sale,” the number four, “spuds for sale”.
This is like – I guess you would call it the outback. Our nearest town has about 25 people in it or back then it did. Today it has got like 10 people in it, very small town. So this road next to our house, it didn’t have a lot of cars going by. Maybe one every three or four minutes but we went and set up our little store at the end of our driveway and we put up these tin signs about 500 meters either side of it and I still remember clearly getting the first sale and what that was like.
I think I’ve been hooked ever since then on being an entrepreneur. Now we’ve got three sales that day. I remember it was $10 revenue and then I remember going home and so there I am. I’m nine years old and I started doing those sums in my head and I started thinking, “Hey, $10 per day, that’s 100 bucks in 10 days.” I thought, “I’m going to be rich.”
But then I ended up getting into an argument with my sister and she went and ripped up all the potato plants. That was the end of that business. But ever since then, I had lots and lots of little businesses from a young age. Like another one was marrons. They’re kind of like lobsters.
David Gilks: Oh, yeah.
Matt Lloyd: We brought some marron and we put them in one of our dams and I was going to start a marron farm. They all died so we never actually caught any but yeah, so lots of little businesses like that from a young age and that’s really what – I don’t know. That sort of prepared me I think for getting into business later on and just that idea of being able to go down to the end of my driveway and sell something, that I had potatoes and have someone hand me the money.
That’s where I really saw that I could create or I could – I didn’t have to rely on someone else to write me a paycheck. I could be fully responsible for whatever financial results I got. So I think that that was pretty important.
David Gilks: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a great story. So OK, so in 2008, you started in a network marketing business and you’re pushing along with that. You got a few sales. What was the turning point to – when things really began to take off online for you?
Matt Lloyd: There were a few turning points. So I had a lot to learn when I first got started. I really did not have the slightest idea on what I was doing. So the thing is, when you get started in your own online business, if you never ran like a real business before – like I hadn’t up until that point. I had little hobby businesses when I was a kid but if you had never ran a real business, you don’t know which activities you should be doing and which activities you shouldn’t because you just don’t know. You haven’t experienced it yet.
So I didn’t really know what I should be focusing on and as a result, I spent a lot of my time on the wrong things. Like for example, I might spend an entire day trying to figure out how to build a WordPress blog. Doing things like that and I think it’s OK if you have some basic technical knowledge like that. But at the end of the day, we’re not in the business of selling blogs or websites. We’re not in that business. If you are, then sure you can learn that.
But for you and I and most people listening, that sort of work is not – that does not bring revenue in the business and one of the key turning points for me was after a few sales, I realized, “OK, I just took those actions and they resulted into money.” They resulted in me getting paid. Therefore, I’m going to focus more on those actions.
So back then, $1000, getting a $1000 commission which was what I got if I sold that product, that was a really big deal. That was like if I could get one of those a week, I would be really excited.
These days, best month has been 150K. We’re consistently doing over 100K per month and for people who are wondering, “Well, what do you do so differently today than three or four years ago?” the difference is when I come in to the office – I have a rented office for my business. But when I get into the office in the morning, all I really focus on is – well, first I ask the question, “What is going to bring the revenue today?” What activities do I need to do to bring the revenue?
Then I focus on those activities. I don’t get caught up doing things that just take up time but don’t move the business forwards. So that’s really my advice to anyone listening. You got to identify what things bring the money in. That’s going to be sales and marketing.
So it could be picking up the phone and calling back your good leads. Make sure they’re good leads though or it could be sending an email out to your list or hosting a sales webinar. Those are the kind of things that you need to be focused on because that’s your role. That’s your job. You got to bring in the revenue.
I hosted my first event a few months ago in San Diego and one of the things they said was there are few things in your business or there are few problems in your business that more cash won’t solve. So therefore, cash should be your focus in the beginning. That should be really your focus.
Some people might misinterpret that and say, “Well, shouldn’t you be focused on delivering value and that sort of thing?” But when you use language like add focus on delivering value, it doesn’t really mean anything whereas if you focus on cash-producing activities, when you have cash flow, this business is a lot easier.
I know what it’s like when you have no cash coming in. It’s really not fun at all. That’s what it was like for me for a long time but when you have consistent cash flow coming in, there are few problems that you can’t solve. So if you can’t get a website up, that’s easy. You can find someone to join your team who can do your tech work.
It’s like if you want a more scalable business and start selling on the phone, selling high-ticket, you can afford to hire people to come and be in that role and you can pay them on commission. So there are very few problems that more cash flow won’t solve and therefore that’s what you want to focus on.
David Gilks: Yeah. Well that kind of leads into what my next question was going to be which is, “Somebody who’s quite new and they’ve got like a complete lack of time, because they’ve got a fulltime job or they’ve got no money because that’s why they’re looking for an online business, what would you suggest for them to do as their first step?”
Matt Lloyd: When I do have people say that, “I don’t have much time,” or “I don’t have much money,” and I hear that a lot. To be honest, that is a pretty big warning sign because the truth is, there’s no way around – there’s no getting around the fact that you’re going to have to invest time into this.
So sometimes when people say things like, “Oh, I don’t have time. I can put in 30 minutes a day.” Well that’s OK but don’t expect to build a million dollar business if that’s what you’re prepared to put in.
For me, doing seven figures now, I will tell you I do work pretty hard. It’s like a fulltime thing for me. So my advice to someone who says, “Well, I don’t have a lot of time,” really that statement – everyone has the exact same amount of time. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s just how you use those hours. So it’s really a matter of what’s a priority in your life.
So if you do want to start an online business and you want to build something substantial, you got to have to make time. Some things are going to have to get pushed aside for your business.
So for example, recently, I will tell you a story. Recently, I was looking at my numbers and we’re consistently doing over six figures a month which is great. I’m very happy for that. But part of the reason I’m in business is I don’t want to accept limits. So I’m always thinking, “How do I get to the next level?” How do we go to multiple six figures or seven figures per month? How do we scale up?
I was looking at how I manage my life and one habit that I had was watching a movie every single night and I’ve been doing that for a number of years now, watching a movie every single night. I love watching movies. But I was looking at that behavior and I thought to myself, “Is this behavior going to help me get to the next level? Am I going to build an eight or nine-figure business with that kind of behavior?”
Possibly but it’s really not going to help. I thought, “Well, I could be spending that time. That’s two hours per day doing something else that’s going to help me get to the next level.”
So what I did is I had to break that habit and it wasn’t easy. If you’ve been doing something for three years or more, it’s very hard to suddenly stop but I did do it. And now I don’t watch a movie every night. I only allow myself to do it once per week. Saturday night, that’s it.
Every other night, I’m reading business books and right now, I’m focusing on investing books because I’m getting more into investing now that we have good cash flow. So what I’m saying with that is it would be very easy for me to say, “Oh, I don’t have time to read those books,” but the truth is, I do have time. It’s just that the movie is more of a priority to me just a few months ago than educating myself for 2 to 3 hours everyday.
So I got rid of that behavior. So anyone saying they don’t have time, you just have to make time and then usually they will ask something like, “Well, how much time do I need to invest?” and that really depends how quickly you want to grow your business and how serious you are about it. I would say bare minimum, you want to put like a bare minimum, a one-hour a day into your business if you really do want to build something seriously.
Now the second part of the question was, “What about if someone has got a lack of money?” Again, when someone says, “I’ve got no money,” to be honest, that’s also another warning sign because one of the most valuable skills an entrepreneur can have is to be resourceful.
Someone who’s always saying, “I’ve got no money therefore I can’t do anything,” that to me is just an excuse. That’s all that is. Money is just a store of wealth. If someone wants to get some funding, let’s say they want to get some traffic so they can get leads, they might not actually have any cash on them but they might have something else of value that they can turn into cash.
So for example, you hear about people like Mike Dillard, people who built seven-figure businesses. So for example, Mike in the earlier days when he was making no money, he sold some of his belongings, like his racing bike so he can raise some funding to go and buy traffic and get in the game.
I’m not saying that you have to do anything extreme like that but if someone who’s always saying, “I’ve got no money,” I don’t think that’s how true entrepreneurs think.
A true entrepreneur thinks, “How can I get the money?” It’s like when I was in university, something like 20 or 21, I wanted to start making some money so I could start saving up and building some wealth.
Now it’s kind of hard to get a job when you’re at university and you’ve got that sort of schedule. So I could have said, “Oh, I don’t have time to go and get a job or something like that.” But instead, thinking like an entrepreneur, I asked, “Well, how can I get some money?” rather than saying the statement like, “I have no money.” Stops you in your tracks and you don’t move forward. You ask the question, “How can I get some money?”
Now start looking for solutions. So what I did is I thought, “Well, maybe I can do gardening and mowing the lawns and that kind of thing because I happen to be in a fairly wealthy part of the city here in Perth.” That’s where the university was.
So I printed off some flyers advertising my services. I said, “Look, I will do your gardening. I will sweep up. I will pick up rubbish, whatever you want for 15 bucks per hour,” and I printed them off and then I walked around for about four hours, handing out these flyers.
No one called me at first. About two days later, this older gentleman calls me and he says, “I’ve got some gardening probably about two or three hours per week,” and I said, “Great.” I went along and I did a really good job.
Then I asked him, “Do any of your neighbors need someone to do their gardening?” So he asked around. So soon I had three clients. I get referrals from them and surely after that within a few months, I had about 12 clients and that was all I could take on.
So I started off. I was getting $15 per hour cash and eventually I put that up to $20 and then I started doing things like washing cars and instead of charging per time, I would charge per job. So I would say, “I will wash your car for $50.” I worked quickly. I could get that done in 9 minutes. So now I was making more per hour.
But the reason why I tell you that story is because that’s how an entrepreneur responds to the problem, “I don’t have any money,” whereas someone who’s still thinking like an employee, they just say, “Oh, I’ve got no money,” and then they don’t do anything.
David Gilks: Yeah, that’s valuable information and I can relate to that totally.
Matt Lloyd: Yeah.
David Gilks: So for somebody who is getting started, what would you say is the most important thing for them to invest in, in products or tutoring or whatever?
Matt Lloyd: Well, when I first got started, I did want to learn everything myself. So I heard that there were people who were making big money online and I knew that they offered consulting but when I would read their rates, like it might be $400 or $500 per hour. I would think that’s ridiculous. I mean that’s like a week of mowing lawns. There’s no way I’m going to pay someone that amount of money for such a short amount of time.
However as I’ve built up my business, I know a lot more than I did four years ago when I was pretty naïve. I realized that one of the best investments you can make especially when you’re new is finding someone who’s a little bit further along who had the experience and then getting advice from them.
Now you’ve got to make sure that the person giving you advice is in a position to give advice because truthfully, there are a lot of people online. You really might not have good results if they’re going around pretending like they do.
But if you can find someone who has got results and you can just learn directly from them, that does two things. Number one, it saves you a lot of time. Like for me, I spent nine months before I ever got my first sale. So I had a really hard time getting my first sale.
That’s a lot of time. I also made tens of thousands of dollars worth of mistakes. I’m glad I did that because those mistakes gave me the knowledge that enabled me to make a lot more now. But I could have avoided a lot of those mistakes from talking to someone who had already gone through all that and just asking them, “Hey, what’s the shortest point? What’s the shortest or the quickest way to get from point A to point B without me having to invest months of my life and thousands and thousands of dollars?”
So I think one of the best investments you could make is to learn from someone who really knows what they’re talking about and what you want to be learning is sales and marketing. That’s where your focus needs to be. That’s your role. You’re running your online business. Your role is to acquire customers and maximize the lifetime value of those customers.
Those are really your two jobs. So everything you do, much of what you do as possible should be focused on those two activities. So that’s what you want to learn how to do first and also I think that my biggest teacher has probably been experience, learning from my experience.
So that’s going to be a big teacher but unfortunately a lot of people don’t get to learn from their experience because they don’t take the action necessary to get feedback from the world, to get that experience.
So you’ve got to be willing to take action even if you don’t really know what you’re doing. A lot of the things that I’ve done, I really did not have the slightest idea what I was doing when I was doing them, but I made it up as I went along and found out from getting feedback from the real world.
It’s like a few months ago hosting my first live event. So we had about 50 people in a room in San Diego. At that point I had only ever spoken on a stage once for an hour. Now I was going to host a three-day event.
I really did not have the slightest clue what I was doing in that situation. But now that I’ve done it, I’ve got the experience. I know how to do it and two months later, we’re putting on a much, much bigger event. That’s going to be about five or six times the size of it but that’s how it works.
So those two things. Learn from someone who has gone through it all before and they’ve got the experience and they’ve got the results. But also as they give you advice, you then got to go and apply it and the feedback that you get from the world, that will be your very best teacher.
David Gilks: Yeah, sure, because I was actually going to ask you. I mean learning from a powerful mentor is one thing but getting your own experiences can sometimes be more powerful because it’s something which you can relate to a lot more.
Matt Lloyd: Right.
David Gilks: Would you agree with that?
Matt Lloyd: Yeah, I think that a combination of the two but definitely getting advice from someone who is in a position to give advice and then going and applying it and getting the experience. I think that’s the smartest way to do it.
If you just go and find and figure things out blindly, then yes you will get experience but you will make a lot more mistakes than what’s necessary.
David Gilks: Yeah, and it takes a particular tenacious kind of attitude to keep going and not to think, “Oh, this is too hard,” and then quit really.
Matt Lloyd: Yeah, yeah. Especially in the beginning, there are sort of temptations to quit but yeah, you really have to approach this with this sort of do or die attitude. I can remember one particular evening pretty clearly. This was 2009. I was probably about five months into it. So at that point, I’ve invested $40,000 into this particular company.
So I’ve been doing it for five months. I quit university so pretty much throwing away that future and I was suddenly one year away from graduating and I remember I would call back my leads but I could not get any of them to want to partner with me.
They would always go and join some other company or some other mentor in my particular company and I just remember I was so close to getting a sale one time. But I think that no one really wanted to partner with me because I was just this young kid and they had a choice between me and someone else closer to their age who probably had a lot more life experience.
So I remember I had this couple and they were just about to partner with me but then they went with someone else and I just remember going for a run that night. It was just me. It was completely dark and just running and started thinking to myself, “I’m not going to let this stop me.” I had so many close calls at that point and I was getting pretty sick of it but I remember just thinking to myself, “No, I’m going to keep on doing this and I’m going to keep on doing this until I get it, no matter what it takes.”
So I think that you have to have that sort of attitude. You can’t really just be doing this because you want to make a few extra hundred dollars per week. That’s not enough. If that’s your goal, my advice is don’t bother with your own business. Don’t bother with business. Get a job. Stay in a job. But if you have a much bigger goal than that, it doesn’t just have to be the money. It could be that you’re doing it for your kids or to be able to call your own shots, that sort of thing.
If you have a much bigger goal than that, well then that’s something worth working towards and when you have those difficult days, that’s what motivates you to keep on going.
David Gilks: Yeah, I go running myself and I can totally relate and I kind of liken it towards training for a marathon or running a marathon. You have to keep going. You can’t stop, just giving up and quitting.
Matt Lloyd: Right. I was going to say that and I think I was actually going to say it’s like training because I do a fair bit of boxing mainly for fitness. It’s kind of like training. I think of myself as I’m training for a bound or a fight and I try and bring that across into my business as well.
I think that’s actually a pretty valuable lesson to anyone who’s building their business. I highly recommend that you take up some sport like that, even like running. I like going for the long runs and like really pushing myself because if you can keep on running when your body is aching and that voice in your head is telling you to stop and every part of you is telling you to stop but you keep on going, that sort of discipline, that spills over into your business, I think. And if you have that sort of approach – I’m going to figure this out no matter how long it takes. I’m not going to stop – then eventually you will get it.
David Gilks: Yeah, cool. I mean in your own business, what have you found to be the most difficult thing to do or the most difficult thing to get over?
Matt Lloyd: For me it was I want to get everything perfect and because of that, I procrastinate a lot. So I would really struggle to get things done. So for example, creating my first product, that took a good two years because for a long time, I didn’t think I was ready and also I wanted to get it so perfect. So I thought, “I’m really going to plan this and I’m going to plan it for the next few months and it’s going to be a lot of work.”
So because of that, that really slowed me down in the beginning but then I realized. I remember like I created my first product and I started selling it and I observed. OK. I can do that, right? So now what I’m going to do, I’m going to go and do this again. So the second time I did that, it was much quicker. Now once I knew how it went, so I got it done.
So now these days, when I do something, I don’t spend a lot of time planning it at all. It’s kind of like the title of that book, Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson. That has to be your approach in your business. Not ready, aim, fire but ready, fire, aim. You’re going to just implement stuff really, really quick and my best tip to people who struggle to do that, this tip, I believe it has made hundreds of thousands of dollars for me.
So I think it can probably do it for you listening to this as well. But you got to create accountability. The reason why so many people struggle when they get started in their own home business is they have no accountability or very little accountability especially if they come from working in a job.
Now they’re there at their computer. They don’t have a boss looking over their shoulder. So they can spend hours checking email and on Facebook and watching YouTube, all of those kinds of things which don’t move you forward in your business.
They don’t have any accountability. That’s what I did for a long time and I made money when I used to do things like that.
Then what I realized is, “Hey, I can actually create my own accountability.” So for example, let’s say I want to create a product. Well then what I would do is I would go and schedule a live webinar and schedule it maybe four days out and I quickly think of a topic. I might put 20 minutes into thinking of a topic and I would schedule that webinar then I would invite people to it long before I’ve actually created the content for what I’m going to say on the live webinar. But people start to register for it and I might promote it everyday leading up to the event, so for four days.
By the time I get to the day of the event, I could have 100 people registered. If you’re just starting out, you might have 10 people registered or maybe five. It doesn’t matter. The point is now you’ve got third party accountability. You’ve got people who are expecting you to deliver. Now you have a deadline in place and if you care about what people think like I do, well then you will take the actions and you can’t make excuses anymore. Now you have a deadline so you have to get it done.
So then I might do the webinar and I might make an offer at the end. I might sell this live coaching program I’m going to be doing over the next say two weeks. Then a couple of people might buy it. So now again I have real accountability.
Now people have paid me money for a product that I haven’t yet created and I have to go and do it. So with that deadline and accountability, now I will get the product done. Now I can’t procrastinate. So I’ve removed that natural behavior that I have. That’s no longer a problem and that’s how I do pretty much everything in my business these days.
I will first create accountability for myself. If I don’t have that accountability, I know that I will procrastinate and nothing will get done.
David Gilks: All right. OK, awesome. That’s a great tip.
Matt Lloyd: Yeah.
David Gilks: Excellent. Our time is pretty much up here. I know you’re pretty busy. So where can our listeners hear more from you and find out what you’re doing with your business?
Matt Lloyd: Well, if someone wanted to get on my list, I can give you a link, David. You can put it below the recording of this if you like.
David Gilks: Yeah, sure.
Matt Lloyd: I mean they could go to MyOnlineBusinessEmpire.com or David will put a few links below this audio. But yeah, just get on my list and then you will see what I’m doing. You will see how I market to my list and if you want to look at any of our training, you can do it that way.
But yeah, you should get on my list anyway because a last tip I can give people. If you want to do well in your business, find someone who’s doing well. Then you model them. That’s what I did. I found a few people who were doing over a million dollars per year when I was doing maybe less than $10,000 per year and I modeled them pretty closely.
Now as I started getting some results, then I started to develop my own style but definitely model people who are doing well. You just model them. Don’t copy them but model them and if they’re getting a result and you do something similar, you’re likely to get a fairly similar result.
David Gilks: All right. Cool. Excellent. All right. Well thanks very much, Matt, and I hope you listeners have enjoyed hearing from Matt and his wise advice. Yeah, I hope you enjoyed the recording.
Matt Lloyd: All right.
David Gilks: Thanks.
Matt Lloyd: Thanks.
David Gilks: Bye.