Jonathan on Everyone Hates Marketers with Louis Grenier
E337

Jonathan on Everyone Hates Marketers with Louis Grenier

Jonathan Stark:

Hey, everybody. Jonathan here. Today's episode is a cross post between myself and Louis Grenier. Louis had me on everyone hates marketers to go behind the scenes on how I run my business. It's kinda weird, so you might be interested in it.

Jonathan Stark:

Much to my delight and true to form, if you're familiar with Louis' stuff, He asked a lot of very specific and pointed questions so we could avoid the typical BS that you hear on business podcasts. If you'd like to watch a video of the interview, you can check the show notes, and I'll link to his video on YouTube. If you enjoy it, please let me know, and find Louis on Twitter or LinkedIn to let him know too. Alright. Onto the episode.

Jonathan Stark:

What? Money wise? Yeah. I'm a weird bug because I don't really care about money. I care more about time.

Jonathan Stark:

So So I only work about 5 hours a week, and my average hourly rate's $1500 an hour, so you can do the math.

Louis Grenier:

And welcome to another episode of everyone hates marketers.com, the no fluff, Actionable marketing podcast for people sick of marketing. Bullshit. In today's episode, you will learn how to increase profits with without selling more hours And the behind the scenes of business that I've been dying to know about in details for the last decade, maybe 5 years at least. Yesterday is the secret twin brother of the billionaire from Marvel, Tony Stark. He has more podcasts than I have pair of socks, true story.

Louis Grenier:

He's a former, software developer on a mission to get rid of hourly billing, and he runs a very cool business that I'm dying into know more about. So I'm gonna use that to be selfish and to learn everything about it. He's the author of Hourly Billing is Nuts as well, writes a daily newsletter. He's the inspiration behind why I started mine. Jonathan Stark, welcome.

Jonathan Stark:

Thanks for having me. Glad to have you back in podcast land.

Louis Grenier:

Thanks. I missed it. I'm very excited to be here. It's one of those things where you need to let go of it to miss it, to understand how much you like it and how much Others enjoy it as well. I started doing the reason why I stopped is, at first, I started do doing solo episodes where I compiled Former episodes on, like, into kind of this mix of a specific topic from voices from different people.

Louis Grenier:

And I lasted, like, 17 episodes, and I fucking hated it. Right? So Uh-huh. I just didn't like the narration, me talking to the mic looking at myself.

Jonathan Stark:

It's hard. The solo shows are hard.

Louis Grenier:

Yeah. It's really tough. Like, I still advised today on Twitter saying, you know, if you're new to podcasting, start with solo shows, and I think that's the the stupidest advice. And then I had my daughter, and I stopped. So it's been almost 2 years that I hadn't recorded, and you kind of interview a episode like that.

Louis Grenier:

So yeah. Now it's it's good to be back, man. And I feel I needed the break, but now I feel like I'm in different. Yeah. It's getting better.

Louis Grenier:

Anyway, it's not about me, it's about you. So I think people know you. I think you've been around for a while. I'm not saying You're all older than me at least. You've been around for a while and you've been very consistent about the mission you have been fighting against, like the thing you've been fighting against.

Louis Grenier:

I'm not saying this is not interesting, and for sure we can talk about it. But what interests me the most right now He's the type like, the business you're running and the behind the scenes and how you've achieved it. Right? So why don't we start with Jonathan Stark, the secret twin brother Pardon me. Billionaire.

Louis Grenier:

Right? And Yeah. That we can Talk about the before all of this. Before The business that you have that has many different components, who are you?

Jonathan Stark:

Sure. If we just go back to the previous life, not 2 or 3 lives ago, I graduated with a music degree so I have a whole, you know, I was a musician for a decade, I was a coder for a decade, I was a consultant for a decade, and now I'm into my coaching decade. And so the previous one was consultant and that I had been a coder and the iPhone came out and I was immediately instantaneously, like, okay. That's all I'm doing from now on. That just completely captured my imagination.

Jonathan Stark:

And as soon as it was available, I got one. I took it apart digitally speaking. And I was a web developer at the time, so I wanted to find out how to make websites amazing on this thing because they stunk. If you might not remember, but, like, the New York Times was the website in the demo that they did and Stunk. It was, like, terrible.

Jonathan Stark:

It was, like, oh, you can tap on a paragraph.

Louis Grenier:

I wasn't born when the 1st iPhone was released actually.

Jonathan Stark:

Is that right? Anyway, I just was obsessed with that immediately. It was a eureka moment and he was brand new so nobody knew more about it than Me really other than unless you worked at Apple. So I just completely learned everything I could about mobile Safari which was the browser at the time. And there was no Android, it was just that, and so I really focused in on that and I wrote a book for O'Reilly.

Jonathan Stark:

I was talking to a senior editor Durt O'Reilly' at a social event and he was like, oh, I had written books before and he was like, oh you got another book in you?' And I was like, 'Actually I do. I've been thinking about doing a book on the iPhone and how to build apps for it using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. And he was like, oh, well, let me run it up the flagpole and see what happens. And 2 days later I had a a book deal with O'Reilly and that book was very it was timed beautifully. It was very successful.

Jonathan Stark:

It was translated into 5 or 7 language. I don't know. It was translated, sold all over the world. And I launched a consulting business essentially off the back of that book. So I became speaking.

Jonathan Stark:

Every month, I was flying around to speak somewhere, and I was getting a lot of all of the cutting edge leadership type people, CTOs and founders, and even Fortune 500 companies were starting to to finally get the message like, wow, this iPhone thing is gonna be really big. And this was, like, 2 years after it came out, but they were the enterprises were finally like, oh, everywhere I look, Somebody's on an iPhone. Maybe we should make our website look good on one of these things. Yeah. So then I just writing, speaking, and consulting.

Jonathan Stark:

And it was great. So I wasn't coding for money anymore. I was basically giving people advice.

Louis Grenier:

Yeah. It's being paid to think instead of doing is much better. Yeah.

Jonathan Stark:

I just spent all my time researching.

Louis Grenier:

So as of today, this interview is taking place in 2023. How much did you generate in the last 12 months with your business entirely?

Jonathan Stark:

What? Money wise? Dunneback. Yeah. I'm a weird bug because I don't really care about money, I care more about time.

Jonathan Stark:

So I only work about 5 hours a week, and my average hourly rate's $1500 an hour, so you can do the math. But No. I

Louis Grenier:

can't. So times that's seven 7,500 times 4, that's Yeah. Around 30 grand times 12, $360.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. That's about right. Yeah. I think last year I did that. Maybe it was 400.

Louis Grenier:

But hold on. So you said you only work 5 hours a week. Yeah. But what does work mean? Because is that work, what we're doing now?

Jonathan Stark:

No. Okay. I wouldn't count this work. This is hardly work. This is the No.

Jonathan Stark:

Like, anything that is a 1 on 1 client engagement.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. Got it now. Okay. Okay. K.

Louis Grenier:

K. K. Dier. But overall, because let's explain your business model a little bit, at least from what I can gather, and please correct me if I'm wrong. Sure.

Louis Grenier:

You have group coaching community that anyone can join for $99 a At the stage, right, where you talk, you coach people every week?

Jonathan Stark:

No. Every other week, I'll do, like, a office hours kind of thing, but it's mostly Slack. Yeah.

Louis Grenier:

Then you have courses on, like you do those temporary not temporary, but Look. Explain. Why don't you explain? Because I fucking Yeah. You know, the challenge like, for example, I took your calls about how to send daily emails, basically.

Louis Grenier:

Right? Right. So you do those kind of stuff.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. Those are workshops and they're sort of cohort based online workshops that you can do be doing Slack, they drip out over time, and I mapped them on the structure of the marketing seminar that I took with Seth Godin. I'm sure you your Seth interview is the best one I've ever heard, by the way.

Louis Grenier:

Thank you.

Jonathan Stark:

And I was like, I love the structure of these workshops. There's like there's a community, but it's not this binge watch thing where you can just go through everything like it's a infotainment and then never do anything about it. So it it like drips out over time. And so I emailed him. I'm like, is it okay if I copy this structure for my own content.

Jonathan Stark:

And he was like, yeah, go for it. I want people to copy it. So I created a a really big course called the pricing seminar that's 12 weeks long. And that's a real marathon, and each week has a theme. So I broke that up into a series of individual workshops in case people just wanted to learn How to podcast or how to do a daily mailing list or how to write proposals better, how to create systems in their business.

Jonathan Stark:

So I've got 4 or 5 of these workshops that launch 1 a month all year round.

Louis Grenier:

Let's, like, tally everything together here. Yep. So how much revenue is the business generating Through all of those products and services. I mean, you can give me a ballpark. You don't have to tell me the exact number.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. It's $400 working 3, 4, or 5 hours a week. Great. I I calculated last year. If I worked 40 hours a week, I would have done, like, 2,500,000.

Louis Grenier:

But how many people do you have on your group coaching, for example, at the minute, roughly?

Jonathan Stark:

I think there's 600. It's a little over 600, but a lot of them are people who are in private coaching that get in for free. So they're not all paid right now. D'Arcy, but, yeah, there's like 600.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. So that's a pretty impressive business of someone who's barely doing anything. Right? It's are you happy?

Jonathan Stark:

I had to start scheduling more podcasts like this because I had so little to do that I was forgetting to do it, Like, the little bit. In 2022 I

Louis Grenier:

love that flex, gray flex.

Jonathan Stark:

I was just forgetting to do it. Like, I had a little bit of stuff to do, and I just forget. It's like, oh my god, I forgot to do my daily email today because I was just I'm, like, staring into my backyard, and I would just walk the dogs or push my daughter on the swing. You're just like, oh, I guess I'll clean the garage. I had nothing to do, so I had to amp it up a little bit.

Jonathan Stark:

So I've been podcasting like crazy on other people's shows so that I can just stay in the mix and not get rusty.

Louis Grenier:

So, yeah, that might sound very Look. That's my sound crazy. It sounds crazy to me. It sounds crazy to pretty much everyone. And I'm pretty sure that what they are thinking right now is how the fuck did he do this?

Louis Grenier:

And I wanna do the same. Let's be clear. Because when I talk to people in our audience, sort of businesses, independent consultants, freelancers, whatever, they all say roughly What you said, like, the ultimate dream is freedom. Like, freedom of choice, freedom of being able to stay whatever the fuck, freedom of Choosing what to work on, freedom of who I wanna work with, freedom to spend time with my family. Like, it's always that as the call seems.

Louis Grenier:

As you said before, you're like a cat. You had, like, many lives. And obviously, your experience throughout has kind of you know, you learn from that and whatever, so you didn't arrive a few years ago just without any knowledge. But why don't we try to highlight the steps that allowed you to be where you are today?

Jonathan Stark:

I went from the consulting to coaching step, so like the previous life to this current one, was I already had a taste of advisory work from from consulting because I was just doing advisory teamers, where people would pay me 5 figures a month to pick up the phone when they called essentially. And they were large companies that had, like, Nokia staples, like big companies, Time Magazine, I did a bunch of different ones. And they would have these big projects that they knew they didn't know enough about it to really undertake it on their own. So they would be like, who wrote the book on this? We wanna hire that person.

Jonathan Stark:

So then I already had this taste of having a disconnect between my time and my money. It was still like a solid god, I'd say 20:30 hours a week and there was a fair amount of travel. So it was definitely not it's not like now I swear I feel like I am retired. It's which isn't great. It's anyway.

Jonathan Stark:

D' so what happened? So what happened was, when I went solo as a coder, I was fairly well known in the community. I was a FileMaker developer, and I was fairly well known in that space because I would speak at the conferences and I wrote for the magazine, the actual paper magazine back then. So when I went solo, I left this really good firm to hang up my own shingle and people are like, what do you why are you doing that? You're like, you've got the cherry job in the industry pretty much.

Jonathan Stark:

And I was like, we bill by the hour, and I just had this epiphany moment. That's a mistake. And I didn't know how to transform our firm. I had no idea what the solution was, I just knew that there was a problem. And so I went solo to do that, and it went really well.

Jonathan Stark:

And so a lot of my old colleagues and friends from that space. I think they were probably imagining I was gonna come crawling back after a year, but I actually didn't need to. It was fabulous. So they I started getting invited to speak to those groups of people to be like, how did you do that? And that started happening a long time ago.

Jonathan Stark:

That might have been 2008 or 2009. I went solo in 2006. But I kept thinking about it. People kept asking me about it. I blogged about it for a while and that ended up being that effort ended up being what turned into the book, Hourly Billing is Nuts.

Jonathan Stark:

That's where that seed started. And then in 2016 I released that book on my website and put it on Amazon or anything It took a few years to make the switch, but that was clear to me that I was going to.

Louis Grenier:

So you're already a sought after expert, and it seems to me like there's a trend Is that you know how to support trends pretty early. So you knew I think so. Like, let's be honest. When I say compared to the rest, I don't mean The small sphere that we're a part of, talking about the general public, you're definitely early in most things. Right?

Louis Grenier:

So You spotted the call based calls before it became very sexy. Obviously, was, like, one of the very first to do this. The hourly billing thing is definitely not wasn't as popular as an ideology. I mean, again, entirely billing Wasn't as popular as an ideology back then. The iPhone is yet another one.

Louis Grenier:

It's easy to think in retrospect, oh, yeah. Smart move, obviously, duh. But, like, so many people doubted it as well. Right?

Jonathan Stark:

Oh, tons of people. But it's not really it's survivorship bias. There were other trends that I spotted that didn't go anywhere.

Louis Grenier:

Like what?

Jonathan Stark:

VR. I was pretty hot on VR for a while. Crypto's in the dumper right now. I was interested in crypto, but I never really went down the Rabbit Hole too far.

Louis Grenier:

Never did. Not real.

Jonathan Stark:

As just it was interesting from a technology standpoint. It does create some very interesting possibilities, but I never saw a use case for it. Right. I could not see it. I'm like, what is the use case?

Jonathan Stark:

This is a hammer looking for a nail. Exactly.

Louis Grenier:

What else? Like, did you invest any, like, Get a large amount of money and or time into something that you thought was gonna be big and you massively failed that?

Jonathan Stark:

No. I'm not that type. I invest in my own businesses. I don't invest in other businesses. I goofed around with Bitcoin and stuff, but nothing serious.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. So sought after experts, and then you had this Epiphany about, like, what if I charge, but not based on errors. Right? So I know you've talked about that many times before, but let's just for the story, What was the epiphany about? Was it more about the fact that it felt almost unethical to charge by hour because it means, like, you're incentivized To work more hours?

Jonathan Stark:

No. I didn't get that at first. The thing that hit me was I was managing a team of 10 employees and I was the VP, so I knew all their salaries and all the compensation and I station and I had to deal with hours constantly. And it just hit me one day because I could see reports that you wouldn't see as an employee, as a sort of regular employee. And I was like, we're not making any money on our best guy.

Jonathan Stark:

Because it was a blended hourly rate, everything was billed out at $150 an hour, and he had a really high salary. And I was like, what are we doing? Our worst guy, our most junior developer was practically an intern. We're making a 100% on top of his salary because it was slow. And I was like, this isn't fair.

Jonathan Stark:

It's not fair to the developers. It's not fair to the clients, and it's creating a bad situation for us. And I just I was just like, wait a minute. Donau. I've gotta be thinking about this wrong.

Jonathan Stark:

It took me a long time to really be like, oh, wow. Trading time for money is idiotic.

Louis Grenier:

So there is something that is quite Interesting about your story because and please correct me if I'm wrong about my assumption, but it sounds like a lot of businesses, a lot of successful creators, business owners, solo business owners like yourself. What tends to happen is they end up teaching Something about their business to others. Like, it basically leads them to like, from developer or technical person to figuring out something about their business To seeing that others are interested, to basically just focusing on that. Am I dreaming, hallucinating? Or

Jonathan Stark:

No. That's true. So I do see that a lot. You see a course about how to create online courses, stuff like that. But for me, from musician to coder was a huge identity shift, but then Coder to Consultant wasn't really.

Jonathan Stark:

It was like little pivots. A lot of little pivots, like from FileMaker to PHP, and then from PHP v more broadly to the web than to the mobile web and JavaScript. There's little pivots where I go farther and farther down a specific rabbit hole from a technical standpoint, D' but my clients really never changed. My clients were all they got bigger and bigger over time which value pricing kind of incentivizes you to get bigger and bigger clients because that's how you scale your business as a soloist, but it wasn't a massive shift. It was I call them half pivots where I have 1 foot in the old world, 1 foot in the new world.

Jonathan Stark:

So it was pretty smooth and it didn't really change anything about my marketing or my business. I would just write books and speak at conferences and that was plenty. D' and then when I pivoted to you can almost it feels like going from b to b to b to c, even though I'm still selling to business people, it they're like soloists. So it's more like a b to c purchase. So it's smaller purchases, it's way smaller dollar amounts, so you need to have a much bigger audience to support your lifestyle.

Jonathan Stark:

So it takes time to build that up, which was that was what I was doing during my transition years.

Louis Grenier:

So let's talk about that. Let's talk about those transition years because I can bet that most people listening interested in doing this, so are really, like, in those transition period as well. Let's talk as well as the big robotic elephant in the room. At the time we're recording this, AI is absolutely, like, on everyone's tongue. It's massive.

Louis Grenier:

It's not like crypto. There is No. Millions, billions of use cases there. I'm using it To do so many things already, it's fucking nuts. To.

Louis Grenier:

I can guarantee that it's definitely creating some identity crisis for a lot of folks. Let's try to give them advice right now. When it comes to those transition years, maybe let's try to put them into perspective of today's world because you're old. Right? Remember?

Louis Grenier:

What do you advise or what did you do in those steps? How did you manage to move from b to b to b to c, basically?

Jonathan Stark:

Okay. We'll have to tie this to AI after, but because it's so new and that it wasn't not even a Dream, the concept of it back then. But this shifting from I think it was 2019 or 2020 when I I essentially had 2 jobs at the same time where my consulting business was ramping down. I had 1 long term client that was still had me on retainer, and we were slowly ramping down. As I was ramping up my daily writing.

Jonathan Stark:

That was the big thing that I did to ramp up an audience. So as I was building that up D' I was selling high ticket 1 to 1 coaching programs to people in that audience. So it was a similar field to my old business where I would have a small number of very high paying clients, and I still had a small number of very high paying clients in the coaching world, but I knew that was over time I was going to want to stop offering 1 to 1 things because my mission is to to rid the world about early billing, and I can't do it 1 person at a time. It's not gonna I won't live long enough for that. I started up to get the cash flow I needed to continue working on building up the mailing list.

Jonathan Stark:

I had I think at the time I started doing coaching programs it was something like $75100 for 6 months or something like that. And it's now it's 25,000 for 4 months. So I would just raise it over time to decrease the demand for that while I was able to build up the middle of the business, which was the workshops. So those are anywhere between 250 to $800 for a workshop. And as the audience got bigger I could just get more sales there.

Jonathan Stark:

So it was it turned from a small number of clients over time into a big pool of customers. So that takes time, though. Like

Louis Grenier:

How much time are we talking about just roughly so people can visualize?

Jonathan Stark:

I think my income So there was a point I remember I had a graph for it. I didn't know we were gonna talk about this or I would've pulled it up, but there was a point, I was graphing it, where my income from the old business was atrophying and the income from the new business was coming up and there was an exact month that they crossed. And then I was, like, sweet. This is gonna work. How long did it take?

Jonathan Stark:

I from 2016 is when I mentally made the switch that I was gonna do this and I didn't do it. I think my last coaching client, I think we parted ways the end of 2019. Yeah. So it was a 3 year period.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. So you said daily emails. Am I right in assuming that you were influenced by Seth Godin again, Dan?

Jonathan Stark:

Oh, yeah. Okay. I'm a huge Seth fan.

Louis Grenier:

You read all of his books, followed him everywhere online. So when did you start the daily list? Do you remember?

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. It was July 2016.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. So in July 2016, I was checking just there while you were speaking. I think you said starting in 2002?

Jonathan Stark:

Something like that.

Louis Grenier:

Fucking hell. Yeah. So he started yeah. For those who don't know, he's writing he's been publishing something every single day for the last fucking 20 years, Which in the Internet world, in the creator world or whatever, that's less that's 1000 years. Right?

Louis Grenier:

It's Yeah. It's incredibly

Jonathan Stark:

It's insane.

Louis Grenier:

It's nuts.

Jonathan Stark:

I was on his list, so I knew it was doable. And I knew and I do really short emails like he does too. Sometimes there'll be a 500 word, D'or, but my average I think my average is almost 2 2 50 to 300 words. So people can read it in, like, 60 seconds tops. It's like you might as well just read it instead of archive it.

Jonathan Stark:

It's just you might as well.

Louis Grenier:

You might as well just fucking read it. Yeah. Okay. So what made you say I need let me just start sending daily emails. Because he said, if I'm understanding correctly, that's probably was the turning point for you and your marketing in term of the big audience.

Louis Grenier:

Right?

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. I had a crappy mailing list before that, really sporadic. I hated it. It was always, like, torture. The night before I was, like, D'Arcy.

Jonathan Stark:

I'm supposed to write something for tomorrow. What am I gonna even write about? I didn't have any ideas in that moment when it's, like, time to go on stage, essentially, and you Dennel on your lines. You're just like, it's terrible. I hated it.

Jonathan Stark:

But at the same time I was on Seth's list and Dump. I was like, okay, this is doable, and I knew how it affected me and I liked the way it affected me and I wanted that to have that effect on someone else. It's very thought provoking and I think that's a good thing. And I had a friend named Philip Morgan who started doing daily. I think he's been on the show.

Jonathan Stark:

And he started doing daily. And he dragged me kicking and screaming. He's like, dude, you're gonna love it. You're gonna be great at it. I'll help you do it, get started because I had a 1,000,000 questions.

Jonathan Stark:

Like, oh, I've got all these campaigns. I don't wanna hit somebody with 3 emails in one day. I'd have a bunch of stupid objections, and he's like, just do it. And he was the greatest. It was great.

Jonathan Stark:

In what way? It's just easier. I had a 1000000 ideas or something flips in your brain where you know you have to write today, Dump, so you just notice things. You never run out of ideas. I have something like 2,000 ideas in my folder of ideas and It's just crazy.

Jonathan Stark:

It's like it turns on this detector in your brain. It's almost like I see fireflies everywhere now, and I'm just trying to capture them in a bottle before they disappear. And then when I sit down to write I'll never get through the ideas that I have. There's literally 1,000. They're everywhere.

Jonathan Stark:

And so it's great because it turns on this sort of observational capability that probably everyone has. Certainly everybody that goes through my email course, it happens to them too and I've interviewed people about it. It happens to everybody. They start seeing ideas everywhere. Makes it really easy to build a body of work, to attract an audience, to deepen your expertise, Keys to go way down a rabbit hole, crystallize your thinking, and it's remarkable in Seth language.

Jonathan Stark:

When somebody hears you have a daily mailing list, they just can't believe it. It's just great all the way around. I think it's amazing.

Louis Grenier:

I've been doing this for, I don't know, since January now, so it's May. Woah. Woah. Okay. Yeah.

Louis Grenier:

I've been doing this for 5 months, and I say to people, I find it so much easier to write every day than every week. And they're like, what?

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. I know. Is paradox.

Louis Grenier:

Because ex exactly as you described. Yeah. It's the paradox of, yes, the ideas never ends. I think once you make peace with the fact that It's okay to repeat yourself. You just need to find different ways to say the same thing.

Louis Grenier:

Right? That's the nugget. Yeah. It's yeah. Don't try to say anything fucking new all the time.

Louis Grenier:

Just Say the same thing, but the different examples. Say the same thing, but make it a list. Say the same thing, but you know what I mean? You do that very well.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. Thanks. The way I look at it is Dump. You wanna find a way so after a certain point, I would be like, I don't know if I wrote this already. I'd just sit down to write and be like, did I write this already?

Jonathan Stark:

Because I'd have a draft and it would be a really complete draft and be like, did I publish it? I couldn't even remember. So what I started doing was just picking something that happened to me that day and using that as the nugget of the story. Even if I didn't mention the thing that happened, sometimes I wouldn't. But I knew that I didn't write this email before because it happened today.

Louis Grenier:

But you talked about the same thing before, the same topic or whatever. Right?

Jonathan Stark:

Right. And now the thing that I hear back from people is I I get emails like this all the time where they're like, I know you've said this a 1000000 times, but for some reason, the way you wrote about it today made it click.

Louis Grenier:

And that's the fucking key. If I Yeah. People are not busy like you in your business knowing everything about it, they don't fucking care. They only think of themselves. And if they think about you for 5 seconds every day, you have, like, a a thriving business.

Louis Grenier:

So, like, thinking that you're gonna piss them off by saying the same thing is wrong, and that's true. Right? So You might be saying something over and over again to the same person, but then their circumstances are changing. Maybe they get hired. Now they are in house instead of Freelancer, whatever.

Louis Grenier:

And boom, Dave. Oh, yeah. That now that makes sense. So I I've seen that too as well. Anyway, this episode is not about how to send daily emails even though I'd love to have you back for that.

Louis Grenier:

It's more like how do you become, you know, you? How do we work only 5 hours a week and be happy and feel like, you know, we can clean the garage every day? So Tell him, how did it grow then?

Jonathan Stark:

Slowly. Linear. It was I started with I think I had 500 people when I launched. The hourly billing is nuts. I got a little bit of a spike during the launch for some reason.

Jonathan Stark:

And then sometimes I went on the future one time and I got a big spike from that, Christo's show on YouTube and you get spikes from appearances, but if you look at it over time it's just like a straight line. I'm at like 25,000, 30,000 now. Just slow build, there's no big win, you know, there's not like a huge spike anywhere. If there's a huge spike it's usually some spam bot. It's like you found a form, an open form, and then you gotta clean them out.

Jonathan Stark:

But I know you just said this isn't a show about daily email, but that is it. That is the heart of the business. It's it's the one thing I wouldn't stop doing. It's the last thing I'll automate. It's I mean, I would be terrified to stop doing it.

Jonathan Stark:

That would throw everything into risk in my mind.

Louis Grenier:

So you talked about Clarity of thoughts. You talked about the fact that it's easier than writing weekly or monthly or whatever. But in term of benefit of the business For you, when you started out, like, at 500, what kept you going? Because you still work. Right?

Louis Grenier:

And you're probably not as experienced then as you are now.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. Well, there's a combination of excitement and the mission. I'm like, not it's not bullshit. I want my headstone to say this guy actually helped destroy hourly billing. So yeah.

Jonathan Stark:

It's that. I had been doing it informally up to that point. A few people had kind of like, could you coach me on this or could you teach me this or that? And I found that it was much harder to teach it to someone who wasn't me. There were certain things about it that were a really good fit for my personality.

Jonathan Stark:

Value pricing in particular was a good fit for my personality. Not everybody has the same personality, so it can be harder for other people to learn and it could be there's a whole it's like one thing to understand something to be able to do it. It's another thing to be able to explain it to someone in a way that produces action. So you have to come up with a lot of different ways to explain it to different types of people, and I found that very exciting. I think it was like a a real you know, I'm the oldest of 5, so I just naturally Trulie, tell people what to do.

Jonathan Stark:

They naturally think my opinion is important. So I don't know, it was just a combination of the mission and just being excited about it. Plus my original early focus was specifically on pricing, which is the most fun problem in the universe. Pricing is the best Rubik's cube for your brain of all time. I've never found a puzzle that's more interesting than pricing.

Jonathan Stark:

So I just love puzzles dismantling that and trying to figure out what makes it work in pricing psychology and all the condiments stuff, and there's just so many great thinkers have talked about pricing in not so much macroeconomics, I think a lot of that is not useful in a business context, but microeconomics and behavioral economics. I've just super just loved it. It was just one of those things I would just read about constantly.

Louis Grenier:

So did your new clients come through The daily email list then?

Jonathan Stark:

I don't track anything, so I don't know really. I mean, I track 2 things, revenue and or really profits, but so I have practically no expenses. So I track revenue numbers and I track subscribers. Those are the only 2 things I track. I don't have any tracking code on my website.

Jonathan Stark:

I don't know where people come from. Anecdotally for a while I would say anecdotally it was people from my list D'or podcast, but usually they're on both. But lately, when I get clients now, there's a question like, Do you know, PS, do you remember where you heard of me? And nobody can answer the question. They're like, I don't know.

Jonathan Stark:

You're everywhere. Like, I just I've just always known about it. So it's been long enough where people don't even know where they first heard of me. It does shock me when someone buys something from me and they're not on my list. So I guess I would say that most people who buy something from me are on my list.

Jonathan Stark:

Because I don't advertise, and social media doesn't do anything in terms of sales. So it has to be a list. Otherwise, where would they hear of it? It's either the list or the podcast, and the podcasts are really tough to make conversions from, so I'm sure it's the list.

Louis Grenier:

You've been flexing on so many things just casually. I know it. I barely have any expenses. I work in 5 hours. I don't fucking track anything, but it's I think because you have such a to talk a little bit of marketing lingo, you have such a Heavy top of the funnel where you have the flywheel going now.

Louis Grenier:

Everyone knows about you. Right. You're in the podcast, whatever, that you don't need to worry about the rest. And I've never seen I say that all the time, but I've never seen a thriving business that didn't have that. It's like once you have this New pool of people discovering about you naturally, then you don't need to track shits under.

Louis Grenier:

Like, it's just you know, I worked for Hotjar for a while. It was a startup software with the exact same feeling. It's like there were so many people coming through. Our websites were shit. The logo was 99¢ with that we bought on the thing.

Louis Grenier:

The software was also shit compared to what it is now, and yet it was growing and growing and growing. So once you know you have that, you know you are in demand. Right? There is There's demand for that stuff.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. It's so easy to say that there's no moment where you're like, oh, now I can stop tracking anything. Like, I never tracked anything. So it was always my extent of my marketing capabilities when I was doing consulting. Duh.

Jonathan Stark:

I was just copying my ex boss who wrote books and spoke at conferences. So I was like and the phone would just ring like magic. It's like he planted this garden and tomatoes would just grow. And so I was like, that's what I wanna do. So I'll just copy Chris and I'll write books and speak at conferences, and it totally worked.

Jonathan Stark:

That was the extent of my marketing. I had a blog, but it was stupid, and no one read it. I didn't have a mailing list, which was insane, and I just got leads. So I was extremely naive about I didn't even I wouldn't have if you asked me do you do any marketing, I would have said no, but that wasn't actually true. So when I started the list and I started doing coaching, D' I was copying Seth.

Jonathan Stark:

I'm like, I know if I write daily, I'll make money. That's not why I wrote daily, but I knew if I just stuck with that. That books would come out of it and that attention would come out of it and that people would be helped. T. You show up every day and help him and after a while, they're like, this is great.

Jonathan Stark:

I'm gonna give this guy $99 or I'm gonna give this guy $250 to take the course of the thing or the year, and I just knew it would it was like no doubt in my mind. And I had income still coming in from the old business. If I didn't I would have been really panicking. I don't know why I wouldn't have been able to do that. Like, it takes a while to ramp up that kind of a business, like a product it's basically a product business now, so that takes a while.

Louis Grenier:

And probably that's the key insights right here, which is Maybe don't quit your job right now after listening to mister Stark. Right? Keep it and then start. If you have time, if you can, I started doing that on the side of it, just a daily writing practice? It's funny.

Louis Grenier:

This writing is really much at the center of everything. I'm realizing it more and more now because Those daily emails then can be create can be turned into like, the most popular can be turned into, like, a YouTube script. It can be turned into LinkedIn post. The replies can then be reused, and it's really like it clarifies your brain so much. Sometimes what I tend to do, I don't know about you, but Sometimes I don't remember what I would say in this particular scenario, and I search back at what I wrote.

Louis Grenier:

Oh, the Internet code. That's it. That's the shit. Yeah. That's what you should do.

Louis Grenier:

Like I'm some someone else.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. I've got 2 I have 2 different people who, one I approached and another one approached me that was like, could I train an AI on your back catalog. And I was like, hell yeah. Yeah. Let's do that.

Jonathan Stark:

Because I do the same thing. I, like, Google myself. I'm like, I know I wrote something about this. Where was that? Was that in the pricing seminar or it was on my mailing list?

Jonathan Stark:

I just wanna write the exact same thing over again. So, D. Yeah. Just pull it up and, like, oh, there it is. There's the answer.

Jonathan Stark:

So it does get weird after you've got several years. And you can see why Seth has switched into climate and education. He did education for a while because it's like, what's he gonna talk about marketing wise? He hasn't already said.

Louis Grenier:

Yeah. That's actually very true. I've actually trained my own AI as well on the using there's a tool called Ask My Ask AI. I don't know if you'll be around when you listen to this, but it's very easy to do when you're not Technical like I am. It's pretty cool.

Louis Grenier:

So going back to the advice we'd give, folks right now. So as of right now in today's context, What is the advice? Obviously, maybe speaking in books is what they should be doing, but from the context of today, what's the advice?

Jonathan Stark:

It Depends on the business model. So if you're gonna have a consulting business model, speaking at conferences and writing books is tried and true, it will work. If your stuff is good, it will work. I love your suggestion. You just kinda, like, just casually mention.

Jonathan Stark:

If you're at a day job and you wanna start to build an audience while you're there, start a mailing list, not a blog. Start a mailing list.

Louis Grenier:

D'Oh, a podcast?

Jonathan Stark:

Do not I would do both. I would start a podcast and a mailing list. But if you're only gonna do 1, it wouldn't be a podcast. D'affiliate. The mailing list is magic because it's broadcast out and it's private in.

Jonathan Stark:

So when you send it, you can send it to 10,000 people and every single one of them by default the way email works is the reply is private. It's It's not like comments on YouTube where people can like virtue signal or posture or they're trying to kick up controversy or something. It's private. So they share stuff that they would never share publicly. And it's so helpful to understand what you should write about next or what people are struggling with or that you're not doing a great job explaining something with the words that you're using, you need to use different words.

Jonathan Stark:

It's like free school, it's like free money almost. So mailing list absolutely do that. Everybody that starts 1 is like, I should have done this sooner. Every time, I wish I had, everybody says it. But the podcast, the 1 two punch of a mailing list plus a podcast is powerful.

Jonathan Stark:

To me, it's the more modern version of writing books and speaking at conferences because it's obviously it's remote, it's asynchronous, but having a podcast especially if you have guests on is great for networking, is great for your professional Connections. It's great for just getting better at speaking. I even tell people to, at least for the first 20, 30 episodes, edit your own podcast because it'll make you a better speaker. You'll stop saying and so, and, you know, making stupid sounds and because if you have to edit them all out then it gets annoying, it's easier to just not say or whatever, it makes you a better speaker. It also builds a lot of trust with people who listen regularly because to them it's almost like this celebrity status.

Jonathan Stark:

Like, when I first came on you're like, oh, if you said something like that and I'm just like, Yeah. Because you listen to probably a lot of my podcasts. It, like, creates this fake celebrity that has an effect on people that they just trust you. They feel like they know you even though you don't know them at Paul because podcasting is completely anonymous.

Louis Grenier:

For the record, you also said you felt like you're talking to a celebrity talking to me. Let's be clear here. Both of us. Right. Yes.

Louis Grenier:

Both of us complimented each other.

Jonathan Stark:

Right. It works. It totally works. Yeah. It's weird.

Jonathan Stark:

Right? It's asymmetrical intimacy, I call it. Yes.

Louis Grenier:

I I was about to try to search that web, and that's where I I remember reading an in email about that from you, which is the reason why people would be stalking celebrities, like, real celebrities and All of that is that they feel a connection, but the other one doesn't. Right? Okay. So I think we can turn that advice almost into, like, a first principle Because email is here to stay, podcast is here to stay because both of them are technologies that are not owned by anyone.

Jonathan Stark:

Exactly. Right?

Louis Grenier:

Any other ones that technology that are not owned by anyone that we can put it on an instant, or is that it?

Jonathan Stark:

So I kinda actually got this this very same question recently and this is gonna sound wrong, but I would say as long as you have people's contact information, a platform like Slack or Discord that's not algorithm driven. I think that you can own that community because I have a bunch of Slack communities, but if they since it's not algorithm driven and they're not forcing you what to look at or anything like that. If Salesforce, I don't know. Got rid of the free plan or something, and I had to pay $80,000 a year for my group coaching. I wouldn't do that.

Jonathan Stark:

I would just switch to Discord or Circle or some other platform that's, like, doesn't matter. It's just plumbing. And as long as you've got the contact information for the people, like if Slack shut down tomorrow, I've got everyone's email. So I could just be like, hey, everybody meet me over here in Discord, or meet me over here in in discourse, or wherever circle load. And it doesn't matter.

Jonathan Stark:

So I think one of those kind of like a web forum, anything like that.

Louis Grenier:

So it's not about whether or not the technology is no one owns it. It's really like, is it Direct is the algorithm directing who and what you're gonna see or not. Right?

Jonathan Stark:

It's definitely that. But it's also if you have, like, a Facebook group and they just rip it out from under you, or you get kicked off or deplatformed or whatever. Not that really probably happens to normal people, but the social media to me is, like, almost useless for anything like that. So D'oh. I just stay off of platform.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. I mean, it's kinda like the business model where the platform matters. Pretty interested in Mastodon and the activity pub or whatever it's called, but I don't really care about that too much. I think email absolutely amazing, podcasting absolutely amazing, and if you have some kind of plumbing style online forum then that I'd say that's still you still own that audience, you can move that audience somewhere else very easily. That's what it is.

Jonathan Stark:

Is the audience portable? If the audience is portable, it doesn't scare me.

Louis Grenier:

Okay. So what's next? So we figure out where to say things. Let's talk about the p words, and let's talk about positioning maybe now? Is that the next piece?

Louis Grenier:

Because you you know a thing or two about it.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. Super important. So if you want to start a let's just stick with mailing lists. Wherever you're projecting your ideas, you have to publish your ideas, you have to put them in the world for anything to work. Obviously, I mean you have to put yourself out there.

Jonathan Stark:

So if you're still working a day job and on your lunch break you're gonna write your daily email every day or Monday through Friday whatever, D'A common question is what do I write about? So you gotta decide. And a lot of times it's tough to just pull that out of thin air. I couldn't do it. I knew there were some things I was interested in, D' they were all related to my business, and I was just trying to teach people how to build a business like mine when I was consulting.

Jonathan Stark:

So I knew they were related, but I wasn't sure what the organizing principle was with the sun in my solar system. I wasn't sure what that was. I thought it was value pricing because that was the thing that I was spending most of my time learning about. But I found myself as I was writing this daily list, apologizing that this particular message wasn't about value pricing. I'd be like you're talking about, like, a productized service type of thing, and I'd be like, dot.

Jonathan Stark:

This is a really cool thing if you're getting started, it's like, it's not value pricing. It's still at least it's not trading time for money. And it took me a long time, I don't know how long, but months at least before I realized the sun in my content solar system was ditching hourly. I thought it was value pricing, but like I said, I had all of these other topics. There's all these planets in the solar system that don't revolve around value pricing.

Jonathan Stark:

In fact, they're completely different than value pricing. It's like, and it just took me a while. I was actually on a podcast when it hit me because someone asked me, Joel Pilger, as a matter of fact, he's like, You don't want to be just 1 of many, you want to be the 1 and only. And he said he shared this great hack. He was like Next time somebody asks you, or just as a thought experiment, ask yourself if somebody said what do you do?', would you say I'm a marketer' or would you say I'm the insert thing here, and he put me on the spot and he was like, what would you say you're the one of?

Jonathan Stark:

And I was like, I guess I'm the ditching hourly guy. And he was, like, yes, that's great. And we googled it, and I was just, like, the first 3 pages of results on Google for the ditching hourly guy, even though I had never said that ever. And then I was like, that's the central theme, which seems obvious in retrospect, but it wasn't at the time.

Louis Grenier:

So your advice I love your advice on Picking the planets on the sun. So you talk about having diverse planets is fine. Right? So I would talk just talk my example briefly. I would talk D.

Louis Grenier:

Maybe confidence. I would give stories to inspire in term of creativity. I would talk on positioning, differentiation, whatever, but it revolves around saying the Fuckout.

Jonathan Stark:

Exactly. Yeah. That's what I was gonna say.

Louis Grenier:

I'm the fuck out guy. Yes. You are. And everyone hates marketers.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. If you weren't gonna say that, if it wasn't obvious to you, it was obvious to me. It's It's good that you knew. But yeah. So the moral of the story is write every day about stuff you care about, and the sun will reveal itself eventually, but you have to write first.

Louis Grenier:

And that's the key as well. There's many keys in here in that episode so far, but the key is really to not thrive D'for having all your docs in a row and everything perfect and a perfect planner in fucking Excel and all your system ready to go. No. I used to do this a lot. I used to use planning for shit as a way to deal with my anxiety instead of getting shit done to get the results.

Louis Grenier:

So now I've learned that I just Fucking execute on stuff. Even if it's not ready, I won't care. I really don't. So, yes, start writing and you'll see what your brain likes to talk about. I love to give examples of Brands and artists or whatever have that have nothing to do with tech and b to b because I'm fucking sick of hearing about them.

Louis Grenier:

That gives me a lot of energy. I love talking about Lady Gaga. I'm gonna talk Talking about Ed Sheeran. I'm talking about Houdini. That that's the kind of shit I like.

Louis Grenier:

The other really good advice I learned from you was the clues to help you identify those planets. And I like what you said because we're very similar in that. So you talk about having a contrarian stance. What pisses you off?

Jonathan Stark:

What drives you crazy?

Louis Grenier:

Yeah. It's such a great Energy to channel in the right way. Right? It's what PCG office, something you wanna fight against, and therefore, the opposite is what you cannot strive to be. That helps me so much.

Louis Grenier:

Like, I use that so much.

Jonathan Stark:

Well, look at the name of the show. You know what I mean? It's like you've been doing it. It's like the no b s. How many shows like this?

Jonathan Stark:

Are there none at just this one? I don't know. I don't know of any other ones. You own this space.

Louis Grenier:

There's a few that I've seen when I was searching for it on Apple Podcast the other day, there's a one that is copying the structure. I think it's everyone hates brands or something like that. But they clearly it's one of those things where It's easy enough to copy, but fuck. It's difficult to execute because you need to have the everything around That works with it. I'm not playing a game here.

Louis Grenier:

I'm not playing a role with you. I'm genuinely being myself. I just like to ask questions that I wanna ask. I'm not Trying to pretend anything. So start writing to figure out those stuff.

Louis Grenier:

So you have 6 you say, like, contrarian stance, unique worldview, tips and tricks, infuriating competitors, Biotraps surprising philosophy you had written. So, yeah, start fucking writing. Okay. And then positioning. So let's talk briefly about positioning maybe statements.

Louis Grenier:

Now that we've written for a bunch of times, what do we do next?

Jonathan Stark:

The planets will come into you'll start to see these ideas everywhere. You'll start to see them fall into patterns. If you write for 30 days, like 1 month, you're going to have 30 articles. You can categorize them, you can play around with them, like which ones Got a lot of reaction, which one should you do more of? Your positioning can be reflected back to you.

Jonathan Stark:

It's very difficult to position self. You almost need to bounce the ideas off of other people to help you figure out what it is because it's even for me, I feel like I'm pretty good at positioning for other people because I can See the Forest for the Trees, but when it's for yourself, it's really hard.

Louis Grenier:

I hear that all the time.

Jonathan Stark:

But I know who to ask. Yeah. It's brutal.

Louis Grenier:

Who do you ask? Philip Morgan?

Jonathan Stark:

Dump. Absolutely, yeah. I have a group of friends who get it and have been around me long enough that they get me too, so that they can help with stuff like that. But let's say, what would I do next? Depends on a lot of things, but let's say your list you get up to a 100, 500 people, something like that.

Jonathan Stark:

Maybe a lead magnet next, maybe you take some of your best stuff and turn it into an email course, then that will accelerate your sign ups a little bit. It'd be something you could talk about on other people's shows. You could come up with a product type service or an info product based on the feedback that you've gotten from the list. Something simple just like a checklist or a PDF or maybe if you're a developer or you make a little tool or something, a browser plug in, it could be anything. It would be nice, especially if you're still at a day job and you're building this audience, It would be nice to sell something, to start allowing people to flex their pay me money muscles and start thinking about copywriting for a sales page.

Jonathan Stark:

Like these are marketers listening, so they should be able to do this, but a lot of people still it's not easy. Takes practice, so come up with something you can sell for $9 or $49, $29, $19, whatever. You know, a 2 digit purchase that if you can create the value and if you can capture some of the value, I'd probably do that next because as soon as you sell that first one you will be Hooked. You'll be like, this is the best thing ever.

Louis Grenier:

It's mad.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. When I work with people, if you're still at a day job, I like the ground up approach where you start with the mailing list, maybe then a lead magnet because it takes you know, don't start with a lead magnet, you'll get it inside your head too much. Maybe a lead magnet, then maybe a small product, then a bigger product, maybe a workshop, then you build up from the bottom. If you've been working for yourself for a long time and you're already doing like low figures and you don't want to jeopardize that. Then I start top down and I build a product ladder from the top down where you start with you've been doing project work, Now build a productized service right under that that's like 4 figures.

Jonathan Stark:

Some kind of a road mapping thing, something like that depending on what you do. Or at the very least put a paid phone call or strategy session or some kind of lightning round workshop thing, where it's just a paid phone call, you can spin that up in a half an hour and have it on your website for sale and try and start selling that. So it depends on where you're at, but you can either build the product ladder down from the top or up from the bottom.

Louis Grenier:

That's a really good advice. So if you're starting out with an audience in a small audience Working on a day job or, like, just building that to start the staircase approach or whatever. What's his name? The guy who runs the starter for the rest of us, Rob Walling? Rob Walling.

Jonathan Stark:

Oh, Rob. Yeah.

Louis Grenier:

Yeah. Talk about the staircase approach, which is exactly this. But you also have the other side, which is, as you said, if you make 6 figures or so, selling most of it, most of your time, really. And you don't wanna jeopardize that business then starts from the other side by productivizing. Just so so that everyone understands in layman terms, when we say product device service, what does it mean?

Jonathan Stark:

It's a combination of a product and a service. So it's a service sold like a product, packaged like a product. When you go to CVS or the pharmacy and there's got a migraine? Buy Motrin. It's got this label on the front.

Jonathan Stark:

It's got a price tag on the front of it. All the ingredients and stuff are on the back, but that's the fine print, nobody cares about that. All they care about is, do I have the problem that this thing solves? Find something. If you've been doing a lot of project work and you are starting out from that end of the spectrum, there's probably something that you usually do at at the beginning of each project, maybe at the end, but usually at the beginning of each project, that something like a design session or a strategy session or an architecture session, something like that, an audit, right, some kind of diagnostic with recommendations.

Jonathan Stark:

And you can package that up and sell that. There's a lot of benefits to doing that, but that would be like a example of a productized service, like a road map. Dom. So what is the definition of a productized service? It's a fixed scope service that you sell at a published price on your website.

Jonathan Stark:

And the sales page is like that label on the bottle of Aspirin or Motrin or whatever. These are the benefits, this is the price, here's what to expect, and it's not all about you, it's not all about your process, it's not all about that. It's like, here are the benefit, here's the pain that you're experiencing, here's the dream that you want to have, 'here is a fix for it and this is the price'. So once you start selling a few of those, it's not gonna change your overall revenue dramatically, dom, but it does separate your time from your money, allows you to optimize and increase your profits by doing less and delivering as much or better value over time. And a lot of times it'll lead into project work anyway.

Jonathan Stark:

And you can charge higher prices because they already trust you, you're the one that did the road map. Can you just give us a proposal? Well, I'm gonna be the most expensive. No, please give us the proposal anyway. Okay?

Jonathan Stark:

And I interviewed Alex Hillman on my ditching hourly show and he exclusively did I don't know if he still does it, but he exclusively did this as an approach. He would just road map, road map, road map. D'Am and then if he wanted the execution business that would potentially come after that, he would get it 100% of the time. So if you are doing project work, a road map type of first step phase is a really good next thing to build.

Louis Grenier:

So before I ask you the usual question at the end, Just wanna share something. I took your course about daily, building a daily map. And the biggest nugget that I got from you is Not from the course itself, but from the Slack message you sent me after. If you're looking into maybe practicing your writing a bit more often than once every month or 2, whatever, The best advice I got from you in that context was and I was very worried about my weekly ish email list starting all of a sudden to have daily stuff. And you said I have seen 2 things that work poorly.

Louis Grenier:

1, forcing your existing weekly readers to opt in to stay on the list As you transition to daily, because I was about to do that, so thank you. And then keeping the waiting list and starting a separate daily list. So don't do any of that. Instead, Just fucking start writing daily. And that's what I did.

Louis Grenier:

Yes. I got a bunch of unsubscribe at the start, like, way higher than usual. That's normal. And I panicked. But then after 2 or 3 weeks, it started to really go down quite a lot.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. Exactly. That was one of the things Philip Morgan dragged me kicking and screaming into. I was like, what about the same thing. It's like, don't just do it.

Jonathan Stark:

Just do it. Stop thinking about it.

Louis Grenier:

What are the top 3 resources you recommend listeners today? Could be anything.

Jonathan Stark:

Yeah. I mean, Obviously, anything Seth. But if you are already pretty familiar with his work, I think they're still doing the marketing seminar. He's got a couple of really things in there that opened my eyes. The 2 things in particular, 1 was his lesson on tension and the other 1 was a lesson on positioning yourself.

Jonathan Stark:

And he talks about positioning in a very different way. It was more like finding an axis that none of the competition is competing on and making that your axis. Very interesting, worth the price of the whole thing just for that video. And I've never seen him talk about it anywhere else. So the marketing seminar is one, there's a book called How to Measure Anything by Douglas Hubbard which is D'Altering.

Jonathan Stark:

I was never the same after I read that book. It's super critical to understand the concepts in that book if you're gonna try value pricing which we haven't really talked about today, but if you are going to do that then that's super important. But in general in business you need to measure intangibles all the time and my audience is very engineering mindset so they feel like if they can't measure something exactly why bother, but you have to get over that because you're never measuring anything exactly, you're always measuring it enough for the decision that you're about to make. So you just need to measure it enough and there's no like you don't know how tall you are, no one does. Exactly.

Jonathan Stark:

But it's six one's close enough. That's, like, close enough for any reason you would ask. That book is great. And then The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy is like a legendary, sort of direct marketing copywriter and I think everybody listening to this should be writing every day or at least a lot more than they probably are. Getting better at writing will never go out of style, AI notwithstanding.

Jonathan Stark:

D'So that book, specifically for copywriting, that book it's almost like uranium. There's like danger in there. There's like some black hat stuff that you might wanna stay away from, but that guy knows copywriting. So if you wanna get better at copywriting, sales pages, direct mail, offers, It is it might seem a little dated, but it's solid gold

Louis Grenier:

It is.

Jonathan Stark:

Cover to cover.

Louis Grenier:

Great. That's, yeah, really good stuff. And, obviously, if you wanna learn more about So why you should ditch Charlie billing and all of that? Please just Google mister Stark. No.

Louis Grenier:

You'll get the other one. So Google Jonathan Stark, And you'll find him. Obviously, I didn't wanna talk about it too much today because I feel like they can read about it pretty fast from you. And the information that you shared today, I don't think you've really I shared that much around, so I'm happy about the choice. So, yeah, where can people connect with you and learn more from you?

Louis Grenier:

Do they just have to Google you?

Jonathan Stark:

If you did wanna find out what I was talking about with value pricing. You can go to value pricing boot camp .com, and there's a free email course that'll take you through it pretty quickly. But yeah. It feels like a cop out to say, just Google me. If you go to jonathan stark.com, right at the top.

Jonathan Stark:

There's, like, first time here, and there's, like, a bunch of popular links so you can choose your own adventure.

Louis Grenier:

Well, man, thank you so much for your time. It was great.

Jonathan Stark:

My pleasure. Anytime.

Creators and Guests

Jonathan Stark
Host
Jonathan Stark
The Ditching Hourly Guy • Author of Hourly Billing Is Nuts • Former software developer on a mission to rid the world of hourly building
Louis Grenier
Guest
Louis Grenier
Stand The F*ck Out in Crowded Markets