The Convo Couch - Ep62 (2020)

John North is a special guest on the "Convo Couch" to talk about and it's launch.


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John: But we invented the fridge, Australians invented the fridge. That Australians invented the hills hoist, the laundry, you know, where you hang up your washing, but they invented that. So we invented so many things that we invented. Basically built totally automated. And so that's the trick in any sort of business to make a lot of money.

John: I've been in America quite a few times and there's not a lot of cultural differences there. There have only been four or five kinds of major cultures, like Mexicans and the things I saw. So there's not a big diversity. While Australians got massive diversity. And so we speak Chinese, we speak Korean. We speak all those languages, Japanese and whatever. So we can actually deal with them. And so I reckon I wouldn't be surprised there's plenty of data centers in Australia that deal with call centers, staff that deal in Australia into China for America, I bet you. I think Australia is really positioned to do that. And why not deal with Asia? Because that's the biggest market. So smartphones are there amongst Indians, Android's the biggest seller in Asia. And take iPhones aren't sold as much as Androids anyway. But the reality is because it's cheaper than I can afford iPhones, you know, the reality is, is that that market still growing out is still getting more and more money as it grows. So what we want to do with that market. It's got billions of people coming through.

John: Fairly funny in Australia. The whole tall poppy syndrome still exists. And so what happens is you get to successful business, they won't pull you down, and then America doesn't really happen that way. It's almost like, I've been to California and it is completely different. They kind of support it. This is part of the problem in Australia. They never really support small business yet. We're the biggest producer of revenue for them. And I think the reason is, is because we're run by a bunch of lawyers, right. So virtually no one in parliament has ever been in business to understand and get small businessmen to stand them. So, you know, we had a prime minister for while that was in big business. But the reality is they've never been in small business most themselves and don't understand what a small business even looks like. You know, they've been lawyers and university lesson and so they've never actually had to do it. And so I think that, again, supporting small businesses, massive, you can look at in it that there are billion-dollar companies and put a lot of Australians. But I bet they got virtually no breaks from the government along the way. But if they actually help them grow in that scenario and, you know, like, you know, get the subject set up, employee tax or payroll tax, and New South Wales' nuts. Once you have a million dollars payroll you get taxed for that. So if you think the government's trying to help you and they actually tax you because you have too many employees, they won't settle a bet. So, yeah, I think it has to change. I mean, and the is contracting law, right. So in Australia, if you have a contractor that works, how many it to me ask for you, some of their employees according to the government, well, they're not, but they are, as far as they are concerned. and every day you get to pay remuneration, you got to pay work, have an eager to do all these things, or fire them. And get someone else and then work as long hours. That's just dumb, right. Because they haven't caught up and thought about the fact that contracting is a big thing now. But the tax laws still way behind it. So, yeah, I think the government, you know, these problems, technology moves so fast that the social media guys got away from them, didn't even notice. Well, those things are moving so fast they can't keep up. And I think the world's information is near doubling every hour. So the sum of everything we know is doubling every hour. It used to take 100 years, 50 years ago. 100 years for the world's data to double. So they can't keep up. Nobody can.

John: Maternity leave is a hard one. It's a big problem from Australia is, is they're not having enough kids. So the reality is, is that you can actually go backwards at some point, which was 7 billion people on the planet. It can be a bad thing. I really think about us. But I mean, maternities are hard on and that's a hard one. I don't know. But the reality is, is that generally speaking, in the traditional sense, most women get married, husband keeps working, the wife can get stay home and have a baby. That's the old way of doing it. But that doesn't really work that way anymore. So that's a hard one. Hey, you'd really have. It's almost like you have to get beyond the point of where money. So almost like you have to move most to a communist kind of culture. You know, make it so that basically money doesn't mean anything in terms of that rather than having to worry about paying for stuff.

John: Well, one of the things that automation or the cloud is that someone is maternity leave can almost work up until, you know, a month out or even they can come back to work much faster. They don't have to travel now. They can still look after the kid at home. They don't have to go out. To me, that's a huge thing. But with automation, yeah, I mean, my stay with maternity leave is like if has a situation if the job's not there for them when they come back, and it could potentially happen in business, now where champ jobs disappear, that could not be able to come back to work, after they have maternity. So, yes, another crazy thing that people haven't thought out probably. You could have kids because without kids you can't have a future, but they don't work on how you gonna do that properly.

John: What I've decided to do about two years ago ish is double my price in half my customers because I get sick of work until after too many hours. Right. So we decided to do that. So that's one theory of working less equals more. Right. And so we were smart about how we dealt with charging more money, provided more value and cost a bit more time. So I've got a couple of cool customers that do business where we do book publishing. But the future of having a platform in that re-occurring income, which is thing we talk about, there in that book as well, is that most people don't think about recurring income, right. So you look at the likes of Uber, like a huge recurring income base, right. Because once you book them once you're gonna book again because you on the app. Right. And so the same with us. If we have a platform owner that owns this platform, they're going to pay it because if they don't, then obviously e-commerce goes down, their podcast gets down, to the whole show stops, just like electricity for their business. But we don't have to actually done much of that, we just host that server and run the software and update it. So that's easy money in comparison, to actually to work for it. So that's a scalable business. We could have thousands of, to me, could be a hundred million dollar business and it wouldn't take much to scale.

John: Know you want, go find them. So we go find them a Linked in, normally, we message them and start a conversation. And that's the thing, start a conversation with the people that they're interested in, plus more referrals. So I've never, I think they have spending money on Facebook advertising to do anything or facebook, any sort of that marketing costs like in the last three years, virtually.

San: Ok, so it's just pure LinkedIn?

John: Pure LinkedIn or people finding you being referred to you, you know that kind of thing. And the danger with referral business is you can't control it. So people think, oh, great, I get a lot of referral business. Well, that's good. That's bad, too, because some stops referring you, we have lumps that we might get referred five times in that five new authors, one month and in four months, nothing. And then get referred again. Right. So can't control it. You can't manage it. So more Linked-In is one of the major ways we do it. But we're also talking, having conversations with people. And I think that's the trick with it, is rather than just say I would just rely on referral business, that dries up, you don't. So, yeah, well, people say I got a lot of referral business but well that means you can't market.

John: But Graham's a good example. He went public speaking. He's been on stage and on stage staff. He does webinars. He was scared to do any of that initially, but he grew up to the point where he could actually do it. That's generating business while he's talking and doing presentations. That's a marketing strategy. Like he is a professional enterer of awards. He wins awards. He won broker of the year or something just recently, or stuff like that. And he has a lot of awards. Right. Because not many people enter awards. Basically does that. And he gets a lot of business out of it because people trust him because he's won an award.

John: In Cairns, we got the guys from Sydney, come down, launched the software. Big launch. So we started doing flyer drops and we managed to get on Channel TV and I said, we'll run some ads and. And so they put the wrong phone number on it. Start with. And all these things went wrong. But what happened was we asked people to book tickets. But we they were paying for it initially and then we started selling them. So we knew who was coming and selling them. But we stupidly put the address where we were writing this of the event. So we thought about 100 people come in. In fact, we don't know how many were coming, one hundred. There were two, three hundred people showed up unannounced. Essentially, they just thought it was on them and we'll come.

San: Did they buy tickets?

John: No. So basically, you know, the more the merrier. Right? Luckily we had the ballroom. So we filled this ballroom with stuff, from chairs and stuff. And then the night to get in front of three and 50 people, which was, you know, I'm good. So when you see 350 faces it is very scary. I was never scared of public speaking after that.  

John: When you create a business, you create business one two reasons to sell it, in theory. Most people's business is unsellable so they shut them down or create a legacy. All right. And so I thought myself, well, if I could create a legacy because they started realizing how long you going to be on the planet. When's that day, no one knows. Right. So what happens is we create a legacy business. You've got a business that can be passed on. Then you ask yourself some questions like one is, can you scale the publishing business for your legacy business? Very difficult, right? Too many moving parts. You hard to teach, right?. There are fewer need requirements like you believe that Facebook's business is very simple. It's run by two people, that's it. They have no management structure whatsoever. Everybody just basically goes to the two people, Mark, and the other girl. Right? That's it. So it suffers such a much simpler business. So that's why I so I thought, well, if James were to have a go at something like that, I can teach him how to run a business, but don't run a complicated business. Run a business that's actually scalable and you can actually build and then you can figure out what he wants to do in that business.

John: I think the biggest problem with the school system is that they teach you to be worker bees. All right. So that's industrialism, right? That's basically what it used to. You go to school, you learn how to be a good employee. That's really what they're trying to turn you out us. Follow the rules. And the biggest problem with that it isn't great for a business person, I finished school at fifteen in Grade Ten so left as fast as I could. Never to see me again. Because the reality was it was just a waste of time for me. So the end of the day, if I can instill a concept of if you're a business person, you can make money, like I've considered getting back and getting a job, like so many times over the last 30 years. But I keep thinking to myself I can earn more in a day than I can earn in a month in a job. Just apply yourself.

John: Well, it's interesting.

John: Elaborate, James.

James: Not a public speaker.

John: Get to learn. He did some more training in acting than I did.

John: All right.

John: He did some acting training Brookvale for a while. It was just for confidence purposes.

San: Okay. Does it help anything?

John: No, not really. You got scripts.

San: All right. There are no scripts right now.

John: No. You make up stuff.

John: That's a hard question. Should have warned me up for that one. I guess the situation is that we created something and he got involved in a point where it was early. So hopefully he's bought into it rather than so here you go. So part of the legacy business, our concept wasn't just one guy. 

San: Second-generation.

John: Second-generation. It's like he's seeing me building a house for him to live in that it actually likes the house when finally gets it!

John: So that one's the best convince you that everything you actually know about marketing is wrong, essentially, right, but it sounds silly, but to show people that they actually what their preconceptions are wrong and that there's a better, smarter way to do it. Took me two weeks to write that book.

San: Right. That's quick.

John: Yeah. Because everything I had was already there. So it was a case of like pushing it together and saying like it will make sense. So that was basically making people understand that the stages, the steps to things. And if you miss a step, then that's where things go wrong.

San: And James had a lot to do with this book, actually.

John: We started with the cover design because that's the thing. When we write a book, the first thing we do is title and book cover. I don't actually write the book until we've done the full cover, now, the final is cover. None of these books were written until the cover was done. And come with the title. Then we write a table of contents and figure what's going to be in it. And we write the last page and then we wrote the book. So that's how that was done. And then basically we put in the whole process on how to write a book and how to market that book. And that more so about how to figure out what you should write about.

San: Hey, guys, thanks for hanging with us on the Convo Couch. And thank you to John and James for joining us today.

John: Thank you. It's great fun.

San: Don't forget to subscribe on the links below and we'll see you next time.

John: Well, I'd really love you to actually subscribe to Evolvepreneur podcast. We actually talk to a lot of different interesting people and the main reason I talked to them is that I want to learn something. So we don't actually go in there to promote anything. We actually go and learn something. So that's the whole focus on it. So everybody we talked to gives out advice and we try and get deep and try and get the best ideas out of them. So it's on Apple, iTunes, and all the other podcast platforms as well or you can get to and get there, too.

San: Hey, guys, thanks for checking out this episode in a series where we interviewed business leaders, tech innovators, and startup founders about their business journey, insights, and reflections. If you find value in these, please leave us a comment below. And also, like subscribe and hit the notification bell. Enjoy.

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