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When I was 19 years old I was provided with a dial-up internet account from the University of Queensland, where I had just enrolled in a business management degree.
I remember using my dial up account at home, struggling with all the line drop outs, yet marvelling at what that little modem could do.
I started out browsing newsgroups and websites, then expanded to online gaming, connecting with other people around the world to battle my tanks against theirs in Command & Conquer Red Alert.
By the end of my degree I had learned a lot, but I felt my real education came not from all those expensive university subjects, but from what I was experimenting with online.
I always knew I wanted to run my own business, and thanks to that dial up internet account I opened a door to a new form of business – online business.
My experiences growing various businesses during my twenties are well documented in this blog. You can review my business timeline if you want the longer stories from each of my projects.
If you ask me why I had the success that I did I would tell you there are two reasons –
My primary learning mechanism is and always will be through experience. There’s nothing better than action taking to teach you what works and what doesn’t.
However, in order to guide you to make smart decisions on what actions to take, I turned to people who had done what I wanted to do.
I studied people by watching what they did (learning through osmosis) and proactive study of training materials they published online.
I can honestly say if it wasn’t for all the bloggers, internet marketers and entrepreneurs around me in a virtual sense, I wouldn’t have forged the path I did.
During the early to mid-2000s I began investing in online training programs, something I continue to this day.
My best learning modality is audio. This means I prefer to listen to training materials rather than read or watch videos (video is my least preferred, text is in the middle).
I still “read” most books today via audiobook format. It’s just so much quicker when I can speed up the audio to two or three times speed, making a ten-hour book take half the time to listen to.
Because of this I always looked first for interviews or recorded conversations (let’s not call them lectures – that’s too academic), which were provided in training materials. Sometimes recorded teleconferences were made available, or one-on-one interviews were recorded with experts and provided in MP3 format.
Itunes is largely responsible for the resurgence of the format, with so many experts starting their own podcast. Dedicated business shows like Rise To The Top, Mixergy and Entrepreneur On Fire, have demonstrated that a content rich podcast, like a blog, can be the basis for an entire business.
Whether it is a podcast, a teleconference, or some kind of audio training product, I’ve always loved the interview format for learning.
Provided you have an interviewer who knows how to ask the right questions, and you have a guest willing to share the important details, you can learn a lot about how to do something.
When I started doing my own interviews, I learned so much from my guests. It helps that I have a personal incentive (growing my own business) that results in a natural curiosity to find out how people do things. This translated into an interview style that people seem to enjoy.
If someone tells me on an interview they got ten thousand visitors to their website, or they made $20,000 in sales of their product, I want to know how. Hence I ask them and in most situations that’s where the gold nuggets come out. The real “in the trenches” techniques that work are revealed.
My podcast has been a powerful learning tool for my audience and me, and a great way to attract new people back to my other online resources.
Although I’m not as prolific as many other podcasters, over the years I’ve had consistent positive feedback that people love my interview style.
I’m often told that I ask the right questions and seem to pre-empt what people want to know about as they listen to the interview.
As a result of so much positive feedback, a long time ago I contemplated the possibility of producing a regular interviews club.
I considered creating something that would deliver regular interviews for a small monthly fee, similar to CD of the month clubs offered by people like Tony Robbins in personal development, David DeAngelo in dating advice, or Brian Tracy for business content, among many others.
Of course CDs are old technology and a bit redundant nowadays. I figure MP3 is the way to go today. That being said I haven’t ruled out CDs because I think it’s fun to get something tangible in the mail – it increases perceived value and grabs attention, which is important with so much audio content out there today.
When I made the decision last year to get back into teaching and training, I decided I had to include interviews as one of the products I would create.
I want to have something to offer to people who love my podcast, and want more in-depth interviews on a consistent basis.
I began recording interviews last year, and came up with the overall umbrella brand for my new training company.
It’s called the “EJ Insider“, which I’m sure you can guess means Entrepreneurs Journey Insider – the next level up from this blog for people who want more in-depth training from me.
You can go now to the EJ Insider signup page and learn all about this special program.
I’m very excited to release this. I love audio, I love interviews and I love that I have a program I can offer you that is focused on these two things.
Learn and stay inspired through amazing interviews, join the new EJ Insider Interviews Club.