Overcoming Fear: How I Almost Cried At My Bachelor Party

Over the years, I’ve taken some calculated business risks that usually turned out okay. So you’d think I’d have some good strategies for overcoming fear. But I never anticipated how my idiot friends would surprise me on my bachelor party.

On the day of my party, my best man convinced me we were going golfing. We were in Las Vegas. And if you’ve never been, there is a nice golf course a few miles south of the strip, in front of a small airport. And it wasn’t until we drove past the golf course that I realized there would be no golf…

“Just kidding. We’re going sky diving.”

My friends didn’t seem the least bit concerned that I had a fear of heights. Or that the absolute last thing I ever wanted to do IN MY LIFE was jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

overcoming fear

The Truth About Skydiving (And Overcoming Fear)

Now if you’ve never entered a skydiving facility before, the first thing you do is watch some terrible video that tells you literally, the top 10 ways you will most likely die. Then they make you get on a table, lift your legs to your chest and pretend you’re falling. That’s it. That’s the whole training. A video and a leg exercise.

Then the skydiving place makes you sign a waiver, which once again assures you that your parachute will probably fail and you will plummet 18,000 feet to your doom. All of which filled my mind with horrific imaginings of how my beautiful bride would be left alone, crying at the alter.

At this point, I was pissed. Any strategy for overcoming fear was replaced by an irrepressible desire to punch my best man in his stupid, idiot face. And while the memory is still a little fuzzy, I remember YELLING within earshot of a dozen other prospective skydivers.

“BACHELOR PARTY FAIL!”

Another buddy sort of pushed me outside and assured me that he also thought the idea of falling from an airplane was stupid. He said that him and I should just go back inside and wait it out.

But back inside, he was like: “Just kidding.”

Think about it. Those guys had months and months to mentally prepare for the jump. And I had like fifteen minutes to decide. At that moment, I had two choices:

— I could wait on the sidelines and miss out on a life changing, memorable experience.

— I could DECIDE to overcome fear and go for it.

The skydiving facility had already pegged me as “the terrified wimp” so when I turned in my fully executed waiver, they put me in tandem with the ex-special forces guy named Demetrius who I’m sure could pass as Jason Statham’s stunt double.

“Do not worry. I will not let you die today.”

Next thing you know we are 18,000 feet above the earth and Demetrius is telling me to put my legs out the door. Before I had a chance to protest, I was free falling.

jason_brubaker_skydiving

Free falling to the earth (at approximately 120 miles per hour), I realized  three important lessons about overcoming fear:

1. Once you “go for it” crying and complaining (and screaming) is not going to help.

2. Time is limited. So find some way to enjoy the process.

3. When you achieve the goal, you wonder why you waited.

I would love to tell you that some aspect of my life profoundly changed that day. But I mostly realized that my friends are jerks who cannot be trusted. The good news is, there are more dude trips in our future and I’m already thinking up ways I can trick help my friends find new strategies for overcoming fear.

If you’d like to get past your own fears so you can start your online business, check out InfoMarketing101

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

When I was in college, I took a job selling spas at a local carnival so I could pay for classes. Having had no prior sales experience, the first few weeks on the job were tough. People go to carnivals to ride rides and eat ice cream. They don’t go to carnivals to buy ten-thousand dollar hot tubs…

I arrived early each morning to set up our booth. I armed myself with glossy brochures and made sure the hot tubs were spic-n-span. Then I spent the rest of the day enthusiastically demonstrating the value of our hot tubs. Many times people would feign interest, ask for a brochure and walk away. And you know what? I never heard from those people again. And I never made a sale.

if you don't ask you don't get

Then one day, a co-worker took me aside. He was one of these old salts, from the old school of selling. And unlike me, he had dropped out of high school and never looked back. His lack of formal education didn’t matter. He was the top sales pro in the company and had the respect of everyone, including the owner. Suffice it to say, he knew a thing or two…

OLD GUY
You know why you ain’t selling?

ME
Nobody comes to a carnival to buy an expensive hot tub?

OLD GUY
No. That’s a negative belief. And it ain’t true. Most of us are selling fine. With your energy and enthusiasm, you could outsell everyone on this team, including me. But you got one problem. Out of all the people you talked to, never once did you ask someone to buy. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

The advice was simple. Obvious. And profound.

From that moment forward, anytime someone showed the slightest interest in buying a spa, I asked for the sale. And you know what? Even though I heard the word “no” hundreds of times, I also heard the word “yes” enough times to make me one of the top producers. That summer I not only made enough money to pay for my classes, but I learned a lesson far more valuable than anything I leaned in college: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

The Minimalist Guide to Selling Digital Products With Zaxaa

A few months back, I started selling digital products with Zaxaa. Prior to migrating my business to Zaxaa, I was a huge proponent of Clickbank. But that changed when I received a sobering email from the CB staff mandating that I install a goofy looking “trust badge” on all my sales pages.

Suffice it to say, I decided to find a new shopping cart solution.

zaxaa

[Disclaimer: You should assume that the owner of this website is an affiliate for providers of goods and services mentioned on this website and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider.]

Selling Products Online With Zaxaa

While the idea of avoiding heavy handed shopping cart services seems obvious, my decision didn’t come easy. When I first got into selling products online, I simply needed a way to take payment, deliver digital products securely and communicate to customers via my auto-responder.

This basic setup is fine if you create your own information products. But as my business grew, I started co-authoring eBooks with partners. If you only have a few partners, you can manage your own accounting. But as you add more products and more partners, tracking royalty payments becomes a nightmare.

One of the reasons I loved Clickbank is because the software allows you to easily split your revenue with your partners at the point of sale. They also manage all the stupid tax stuff, like sending out yearly 1099s to your partners and affiliates. This is a major benefit and the primary reason I stuck with CB so long.

Outside of Clickbank, there are only a handful of shopping carts that perform “split payments” and Zaxaa is one of them. But unlike CB, with most other solutions, you will need to manage your own tax paperwork. In my case, the increased sales conversions more than paid for my accountant.

Getting Set Up With Zaxaa

In addition to splitting payments, Zaxaa also allows you to easily set up sales funnels, membership sites, digital product delivery and affiliate management. So it seemed like a great solution.

There are three ways to get started with Zazaa. You can pay a yearly fee, a monthly fee or set up a free account. With the free account, you pay Zaxaa a commission on each sale. And because I wanted to test out Zaxaa, I opted for the free account.

Once you sign up, you’ll get step-by-step training, including this video:

Zaxxa is robust. I was able to quickly upload an eBook and modify my thank you page. I was then provided with a “buy now” link that I promptly added to my sales page. And after some basic promotion, I made a sale. After several sales, I decided to fully migrate away from CB.

From there, I added mutiple products, one-time-offers (OTOs). When creating one-time-offers, you will have the option to create and host the pages via Zaxaa or provide your own URL. I chose to host my OTOs on my own site.

For example: I started with my 7 dollar eBook, then offered the 17 dollar eBook I wrote with Scott, then offered the 27 dollar eBook I wrote with Jared. And then the proceeds are split accordingly!

What About Membership Sites?

Membership sites were another challenge. While Zaxaa provides their own membership plugin (which you can download here), most of my sites are set up using the Wishlist Member Plugin. I was initially worried I’d be forced to migrate my memberships. But after some noodling, I was pleased to find out Zaxaa also supports WishList.

My only headache with Zaxaa is their checkout page limitations. While Zaxaa does provide you with multiple templates, you do not have the ability to change or spit test colors. With this said, while analyzing sales stats, the shopping cart is a clear winner (for me) over my previous.

Suffice it to say, I got so excited with my own results, that I became an affiliate and now promote Zaxaa. So in addition to providing an awesome ways to sell and deliver digital products, they also created a free report full of practicable tips on how to get more sales. Hopefully your experience with Zaxaa will be as awesome as my own.

Should You Quit Your Job And Start An Online Business?

If you are dreaming of quitting your job so you can start an online business, you’re not alone. Creating an additional revenue stream helps you sleep better at night. And as your online business grows, sooner or later you’ll start getting the itch to break free.

This question sparks the memory of my first info product launch. Long before I had anything that resembled an online business, I wasn’t sure if online success was possible. Not because people didn’t make money online. I personally know many people who are successful online. I just wasn’t sure if having an online business was possible for me.

Call it a lack of confidence or a skewed worldview. But where I’m from, people actually WORK for a living. My dad worked at a factory. My mom worked for the phone company. And I believed if I wanted something, I had to WORK for it too.

online business

Should You Quit Your Job And Start An Online Business?

The early part of my career was spent selling everything from hot tubs to household appliances to commercial real estate. My life consisted of one cold call after another. Sometimes more than sixty calls per day… That was real work.

Then the recession hit and everything went bonkers. Out if the ashes, I started a blog. I kept writing until I eventually reworked a few dozen articles into my first info product. I then sent out promotional email to my subscriber list.

Email Marketing RulesSuddenly I wasn’t making cold calls. But I was still making sales. I spent the rest of my day obsessively refreshing my email inbox for the little word that felt better than any Vegas jackpot.

“SALES”

But unlike Vegas, this wasn’t a gamble. People were giving me money in exchange for the value my product offered. People were paying because they wanted my experience. They wanted me to help solve their problems.

And this was possibly the most amazing feeling I ever had. Can you imagine? I was getting money thrown into my inbox.

My launch wasn’t spectacular by guru standards. I ended up making just over $800 dollars that day. And while the experience didn’t change my lifestyle, it certainly changed my life. Selling stuff online is a gazillion times more fun than cold calling.

Since my initial launch many years ago, I have repeated the process over and over. With each new product launch, my income increases. As a result, I have reached a weird stage where I care a lot less about my resume. And I care a lot more about spending time with friends and family.

I know this sounds odd. But there is a certain loneliness to running an online business. None of my friends get it. And I am not yet at the John Chow stage of my business. (John Chow makes more than 40K per month.) Even so, I have created enough value to support myself financially and pay for a pretty okay lifestyle here in LA, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

I have started thinking in terms of problems and products. What problems can I solve? How will I solve those problems? Who is my target audience? Is the market large enough to support a product?

Those questions keep me up at night. And those questions are more exciting than asking if you should do this online business full time or merely get a job… Because if you’re still reading, I think we both know the answer. The question is, will you do what you need to do? If you liked this article, you’ll love my blogging checklist.

How to Use Email Marketing to To Accelerate Your Blogging Success

Here’s the deal-e-o. Despite all the hype out there, many bloggers DO NOT get results. It’s a sad fact, but true. Many bloggers spend months grinding out articles only to make a few dollars. And this is the sole reason (I think) why the internet is littered with millions of abandoned blogs.

If you’re not getting results with your blog, it is because you’re not focused on getting email subscribers. Unbeknownst to most, successful bloggers are also proficient in email marketing. So in our short time together, I am going to share a few email marketing tactics that can save you years of frustration.

The reason my popular filmmaking blog didn’t make money the first year was not for lack of traffic. It was because I didn’t know email marketing rules! (And I didn’t know what rules to follow.) Suffice it to say, had I not discovered email, I too may have given up on blogging. And I may have never known how awesome it is to sell stuff in my sleep.

email marketing

How to Use Email Marketing to To Accelerate Your Blogging Success

As a blogger, your primary goal is to add value to your readers. And one way you add value is by building a genuine, caring relationship with your audience. From day one, you will want to start collecting email addresses.

For this, I recommend using a reputable third-party email marketing service such as AweberIn full disclosure, Aweber does pay me to promote, but it is the company I utilize for my own blogging business. With Aweber, as soon as you sign up for one of their affordable accounts, you can create ways for readers to connect with you.

Email Marketing Rules
My Morning Inbox (Sometimes)

Step 1: Create The Ethical Bribe

If you’re anything like me, your email inbox is a twitter feed. It’s hard to read all the emails that come through. It is even harder to respond to any emails. . . Unless you immediately see the value. Your audience is the same.

Presenting value is one email marketing rule you must never violate. This is why it is vitally important that you establish your value from the very beginning. One easy way to create value is by offering something called an ethical bribe.

An ethical bribe is something of tremendous value that you offer in exchange for an email address. For example, the day after I started this blog, I set up my own ethical bribe. Here’s the link.

If you just clicked that link, you were redirected through a series of baby steps that resulted in an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Assuming you clicked, you received my blogging checklist as well as some awesome blogging tips like this one!

While I am obviously utilizing this list-building example to create a more meaningful relationship with you… Take the next few minutes to set up exactly what I did here.

Here are three steps to building a blog business:

  1. Set up a blog via my Bluehost affiliate link.
  2. Sign up for an account via my Aweber affiliate link.
  3. Add your Aweber links to your blog.

(If any of this is confusing, get on my mailing list for up-to-date blogging tips.)

Why you let a 3rd party manage your email marketing.

Whenever I give talks, invariably someone will ask me why they should utilize a 3rd party email provider instead of their own email account. While there are tons of professional reasons why you would never send commercial email from your personal account – One major reason for utilizing Aweber is due to some email marketing rules (also known as Spam laws.)

While I am not a lawyer and can’t offer any legal advice, there are email marketing rules and spam laws set up to protect people from jerks. Utilizing a 3rd party email service provider helps you abide by these rules. They do this by insisting that you:

  1. Use a double opt-in sign up. (Person opts in and then gets an email saying: Are you sure?)
  2. Emails sent from these providers include a way for subscribers to unsubscribe.

Why I Think Email Marketing Rules

The biggest reason I love email marketing is because it allows me to automate my business. This is done by setting up an email sequence and putting the emails on an auto-responder.

Aweber provides the following video to explain auto-responders:

Try AWeber’s Autoresponders for Free

As soon as a visitor opts-in to your list, their contact information is added to your database and managed for you, automatically! These subscribers are now part of your “list,” and you can email them with updates, deals and other valuable information. Again, if any of this is confusing, download my blogging checklist and get on my mailing list for up-to-date blogging tips.

How To Grow A Profitable Blog Working Your Day Job

If you want to grow a profitable blog while working your day job (so you can eventually quit) you’re not alone. A quick Google search on the subject reveals a gazillion training courses promising that four hours is all you need to free up your life. But you and I know this is BS. But yet still buy the courses.

If you think about it, the reason you aren’t yet a full time blogger (or internet marketer) is because you are bound by negative beliefs. Think about it. From a young age you have been conditioned to seek the approval of family and friends. Can I do this? Can I do that?  Is this a good idea? What should I do?

Your ongoing need for outside approval has spilled into your professional life. Instead of growing your own profitable blog (or writing your own book), you feel an intense responsibility to get a good paying job, create a family and buy a home. You do this because this is what people do.

Even though you have the talent, interest and desire to grow an profitable blog, you still have an intense desire to find and keep a job. Heck, if you’re like most budding bloggers, you probably make a few internet sales each week. Then you drive to work and suffer though nine or ten hours of feeling like a caged animal.

Why do you do this? Why do you keep a job when you obviously have the capacity to make money to free yourself to continually grow your own profitable blog?

It is because you don’t yet fully believe in yourself enough to take the plunge. You don’t believe your blog will survive. You don’t have enough gumption to quit the dead-end job and live life on your own terms.

It’s true. You are doing okay at work. And you are on your way to making a modest amount of passive income through your blog. But you are also miserable. You spend each day eager to get out of the office – just so you can rush home and work on your own blog.

But by the time you get home, you’re too damn tired to do anything.

profitable blog

How To Grow A Profitable Blog Working Your Day Job

One thing is certain. Asking for permission to live your life is a loser’s game. Asking permission makes you feel like a little kid. Asking permission makes you feel like someone else has power over your life. And without venturing too far into hyperbole, asking permission makes you feel like a slave.

The powerful never ask permission to create their world.

I learned this lesson the hard way. I learned this lesson after many years spent living in quiet desperation. And I officially learned this lesson when I started hanging out with successful people.

I know you’ve probably heard this voodoo stuff before. So I’ll spare you the eye-rolling nuggets of wisdom. But I will tell you that all the stuff they say about having a network is true. You really do become the people you spend the most time with. And your network becomes your net-worth!

When powerful people want to accomplish something, they do it.

So if you want to be powerful, you need to stop asking permission and go after everything you want. Powerful people never ask: “Do you think I can grow a profitable blog?”

The powerful say:

“I’m saving every penny. When I reach 20K, I am going to quit my job and start my own blog.”

Does that mean that you should be reckless? No. Not at all. What I am saying is, you need a prudent plan of action. You need to ask, and then answer some serious questions:

  1. What do I want in life?
  2. How much will it cost?
  3. What small step can I take today?

Since I live in Los Angles, maintaining a reasonable lifestyle is expensive. As a result, my desired baseline is set at $10,000 per month. If I can maintain 10K, I’m doing okay. Depending on where you live, this number may be much lower. And that’s a good thing.

When growing a profitable blog, small steps add up.

One more guest post…

One more blog article…

All of these tasks become a solid foundation for your future blog business. But nothing will happen overnight. In fact, you will likely not see any results for weeks or even years. But one thing is certain. If you do NOTHING, you’ll never get there.

Throughout this blog, I’m going to provide you with experience from the front lines and provide you with success secrets I wish someone shared with me a decade ago. I believe growing a profitable blog is possible for anybody smart enough to read this article.

If your definition of success is personal freedom, then there is only one course of action: You need to start today. Your objective is to start small, build your experience and create an internet following. Once you have a following, you can write your own ticket. And if you like this stuff, download my blogging checklist.