For over a decade I’ve known Jason Fladlein, an incredible information marketing expert, who runs a thriving online business creating and selling infoproducts.
Once upon a long time ago, in preparation for one of his many product launches, Jason invited me to participate in an interview.
It was about how I built my infoproducts business, using it to raise funds that sponsor heart operations for kids from under-privileged families… a purpose that continues to drive my work online, and has led to 152 children having expensive treatment until now – with many more to follow.
Recently, while searching for other stuff, I found a transcript of that interview on my hard drive… and thought you’ll enjoy reading it.
So here’s a lightly edited version below.
And as quite a coincidence, my dear friend Barb Ling mentioned that she was offering a fantastic guide co-created by Jason, along with another specialist infopreneur and crack programmer Robert Plank… which is about how to quickly create and launch a new product.
Now, when a guy has built an 8-figure business doing exactly what he’s teaching, you should drop everything else and listen… especially if he’s letting you do it for less than 10 bucks!
Just for taking a look at what’s on offer, I’ll give you a little gift.
It’s actually a pretty cool one – that was once on sale for $19.95 – and that I like to call “The $500 Infoproduct”!
It’s yours – free.
Okay, here’s my interview with Jason Fladlein:
Educational background: Heart Surgeon, Author, Fund raiser
Year started business: 1996
Type of business: Info-preneurship
Main Website: https://www.DrMani.com
List your products and services: https://www.DrMani.com/bookstore/
Most important website: Spread CHD Awareness – http://www.CHDinfo.com
1. What inspired you to create an online business?
I’d like to take some time to answer this, because I believe it has been key in just about everything I did – and continue to do – online.
My inspiration was born from necessity. I work in real life with children, as a heart surgeon. Unfortunate kids born with heart defects. Often serious, life-threatening conditions requiring complex – and expensive – treatment. Many of them come from families that cannot afford this cost… and so do not receive treatment.
Seeing this happen on a daily basis provided the inspiration to do something to create a change. Give these little fighters a chance. So when the Internet came around to India, I seized the opportunity with both hands.
It has been an exciting, up-and-down journey of learning, working hard, networking, observing, trying, failing… and after a while, succeeding at first in a small way, then a little bigger, and bigger still.
Today, I’m not even halfway to where I want to go – but am more certain than ever before that I’ll get there… and that gives me all the inspiration, energy and optimism to keep doing it with increasing determination.
2. How much did you invest initially?
Very little in money – a LOT in time.
I devoured massive amounts of information available across the Web for free. I’ve often spent upto 4 hours a day reading and studying the material of experts.
I discussed web design issues with a guy who was doing Microsoft’s MSN.com homepage at the time. I talked programming and scripting with some of the best minds behind popular
software you use today. I exchanged copywriting thoughts with top notch writers. Studied graphic design, email marketing, database creation and management, audio recording, video editing, flash movie-making and so much more, it sounds crazy!
In all, for the first 5 years of my work online, my entire investment was less than $50 – and I had only bought ONE book, for $19.95
3. What was your first product?
Ezine Launch – How To Create Email Newsletters
It launched in early 2000, and was created in response to a need expressed by many people on forums and mailing lists.
4. How many months did it take until you turned a profit?
Almost instantly. I did the entire product creation myself, and sold the first 50 copies for $5.95 by mentioning it in my signature files on forum and mailing list posts.
Then, as feedback came in, I kept raising the price little by little – and today it sells for $67, and sells well, and is a bargain even at this price! It has undergone only one modification in the 5 years since I wrote it, because the content is pretty much timeless.
That’s one of the ‘tricks’ of online success – and I learned it from the late Corey Rudl. Create a top notch product which will last forever – and then set up an automated sales process for it. Then repeat the process with another product, and on and on.
5. At what point did you believe you could make a living online? (What was the turning point for you)
Strange as it might seem, considering I didn’t make a nickel online for the first 3 years and even after that, was averaging less than $100 a month, I always believed I could do what I set out to online.
There simply wasn’t any doubt about the end point. What did keep changing constantly was the system and method I applied to reach this goal.
And today, I firmly believe the only thing that set me apart from the thousands of others who started out like I did was this belief system. Many got frustrated too soon when things didn’t go the way they expected – and dropped out just before they had a real chance at making it big.
I’ll admit I did have spells of similar feelings – but they were always temporary. And my inspiration and purpose helped refocus attention when these ‘blues’ hit!
That’s why I recommend that you, and everyone else reading this, tune in to the ‘reason why’ first, before starting out, so you have a touchstone to keep referring to when you’re not doing as well as you had first hoped to.
6. What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome in your business?
Lack of knowledge, lack of resources and lack of guidance.
I was in India. At the time I got my first Internet account, I was one of the first 1,000 subscribers… in my city of 8 million residents!
Today, my city alone has over 1 MILLION active Internet users, 5 different broadband service providers offer upto 8 MBPS connections (Editor note: this was in 2012, and back them, it WAS big deal! :LOL:)
And there are many online marketers and entrepreneurs to bounce ideas around with, meet and network, or just plain emulate.
In 1997, everything was new. I had to learn, work around restrictions in fund transfers, getting an online payment processor, limitations in poor quality Internet access (anyone who has worked on a 4.8 kbps modem running practically at 1,200 bps will know what I mean).
But even bigger than those technical blocks were the ‘mental’ blocks. I’d wonder how ever I was going to compete against folks who had such a head start over me, so many ‘advantages’, support systems, experience and knowledge.
Inherently, though, I’m competitive. Even HYPER-competitive. It was a helpful trait. I decided to win at this game – and did my best. Slowly, surely, things got better. They always do – it just needs the right attitude and approach 🙂
7. Best decision you ever made for your business?
Deciding to invest in my education. It’s hard to decide to spend $197 on an info-product when you factor in a x45 multiple while converting Indian rupees to US dollars.
But after realizing these investments pay-off many times over, it became a lot easier – and profitable – to gain more experience and knowledge from high quality products.
8. Worst decision you ever made for your business?
Trying to do everything myself. I had my eyes opened to this very recently, at a seminar I went to. And since then, have been avidly working on streamlining everything in my business.
I’m now doing projects with some wonderful partners who share the work – and the profits. This leaves me more time to focus on new projects.
I’m seeking helpers who can take on portions of the tasks related to running an online business – and offering them a choice of payment, education or tapping into my network, in exchange.
I’m using technology (autoresponders, scripts, help desks) to handle most repetitive tasks not requiring human intervention.
Very soon, I expect to be able to have things running hands-free, and growing automatically. And realize this could have happened YEARS before!
9. Briefly take us through a typical day of running your online business. (Daily tasks, etc)
I’m not a full-time online marketer, so this may not be typical.
My day begins around 6:30 a.m. I check my email, answer important ones, browse my favorite online forums, and leave for work.
Often, I find time to get online for a while in the evening, when I again check on email and forum discussions, and work on one element of my projects I’ve decided on the previous night.
My ‘core time’ on my online business is between 9 p.m and 2 a.m., during which I get around 3 hours of work done exclusively on this. It includes product creation, joint venture deal making, setting up marketing campaigns, copywriting and streamlining sales processes.
It also includes a mandatory 30 to 60 minutes of studying – I have a bundle of books, reports, courses and audio material, some of it free, a lot of it stuff I’ve paid thousands for. And I read, listen and learn daily. It’s the *only* way to retain a competitive edge!
Before going to sleep, I try and make a list of the most important things to do the next day.
10. How do you keep yourself focused on your daily routines?
It’s easy when you have very little time, and have to get the most out of it. I’ve often got less done when I’ve had an entire day free to do it!
After trying many different ‘systems’, what works best for me is to write a list of tasks to do today, and then do them one after another, scoring them off as they get done. I don’t even bother prioritizing them now, though automatically I tend to do the important tasks, even if they are harder or take a little longer.
But setting priorities for items on your ‘to do list’ is a key component of being effective, and I strongly advocate it for beginners.
11. Where do you invest most of your marketing budget each month?
Very recently, on pay-per-clicks. Earlier, on ezine advertising. But most of my marketing is free.
I don’t pay cash for it, but invest my time. In this way, I have developed a vast network of friends and partners who will happily endorse my products and services to their list – because we share a relationship, and I work on making the deal at least as beneficial to them as it is to me.
Being focused on giving more in your dealings with others will surprisingly bring you a huge return – even if you don’t expect it!
12. What is your most effective marketing technique?
Joint ventures. They have been the key to everything I’ve achieved. They are not easy to set up, which gives me an edge over the competition all the time.
13. What software is the most vital to your business?
I’d say my email client. I use Eudora, and rely on email for most communication – sales, client support, affiliate management, joint venture deal-making, and more.
(Now that Eudora isn’t updated for the Mac, I use Thunderbird, which is almost as good)
14. What advice would you give to someone just starting an online business?
Be persistent. Don’t give up too easily. It is hard to stick with it when you are not seeing results quickly. But as my friend and mentor, Stephen Pierce, says: “If anything is worth having, it’s worth waiting for!”
Have a purpose. Define it clearly. Let it fire your enthusiasm and energy. I learned this in the most dramatic way, not at school, not at college, not in the online marketing world, but at a fund-raising workshop I attended recently.
One speaker, an accountant, was talking about how he tackled the ‘boredom’ of running through rows and columns of figures for the non-profits he helped out. He said:
“When I tot up columns in my spreadsheets, I don’t see numbers. I see the faces of the children I’m helping to save!“
What do YOU see when you work on your online business?
Isn’t that really the most important thing about doing what we do?
(End of interview.)
Hope you enjoyed it, at least a bit.
And a quick reminder to give ‘Infoproduct Creation Strategies: Evergreen Content’ a try – go here: click
If you’d like to read my “$500 Infoproduct” report, get in touch to let me know you’ve looked at the link above… and I’ll send you a copy.
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