This week’s guest on The Digital Entrepreneur is motivated. And he’s not just motivated to achieve his own goals, he’s motivated to help others achieve theirs as well. He’s uncovered two big secrets to getting more of the right things done. One is putting his back up against the wall. The other takes place every night …
In this 35-minute episode, Sean McCabe and I discuss:
- The two biggest benefits he derives from being a digital entrepreneur
- How he wrote a book in a month
- How an interest in hand-lettering led to the burgeoning online empire he now oversees
- The essential lesson he learned from launching his first course
- How hiring full-time employees changed his perspective
- The biggest challenge he’s currently facing in his business
- The two life hacks that have contributed the most to his success
And much more.
Plus, Sean answers my rapid fire questions at the end of the episode, which a great story about the non-book piece of art that had the biggest influence on him as a digital entrepreneur — which includes a happy little reference to Bob Ross. Don’t miss it.
The Show Notes
- This episode is brought to you by Digital Commerce Summit
- Sean McCabe on Twitter
- Jerod Morris
Sean McCabe’s Tried-and-True Techniques for Getting More Meaningful Work Done
Jerod Morris: Hey, Jerod Morris here. If you know anything about Rainmaker Digital and Copyblogger, you may know that we produce incredible live events. Well, some would say that we produce incredible live events as an excuse to throw great parties, but that’s another story. We’ve got another one coming up this October in Denver. It’s called Digital Commerce Summit, and it is entirely focused on giving you the smartest ways to create and sell digital products and services. You can find out more at Rainmaker.FM/Summit.
We’ll be talking about Digital Commerce Summit in more detail as it gets closer, but for now, I’d like to let a few attendees from our past events speak for us.
Attendee 1: For me, it’s just hearing from the experts. This is my first industry event, so it’s awesome to learn new stuff and also get confirmation that we’re not doing it completely wrong where I work.
Attendee 2: The best part of the conference for me is being able to mingle with people and realize that you have connections with everyone here. It feels like LinkedIn Live. I also love the parties after each day, being able to talk to the speakers, talk to other people who are here for the first time, people who have been here before.
Attendee 3: I think the best part of the conference for me is understanding how I can service my customers a little more easily. Seeing all the different facets and components of various enterprises then helps me pick the best tools.
Jerod Morris: Hey, we agree — one of the biggest reasons we host a conference every year is so that we can learn how to service our customers, people like you, more easily. Here are just a few more words from folks who have come to our past live events.
Attendee 4: It’s really fun. I think it’s a great mix of beginner information and advanced information. I’m really learning a lot and having a lot of fun.
Attendee 5: The conference is great, especially because it’s a single-track conference where you don’t get distracted by, “Which session should I go to?” and, “Am I missing something?”
Attendee 6: The training and everything, the speakers have been awesome, but I think the coolest aspect for me has been connecting with both people who are putting it on and then other attendees.
Jerod Morris: That’s it for now. There’s a lot more to come on Digital Commerce Summit, and I really hope to see you there in October. Again, to get all the details and the very best deal on tickets, head over to Rainmaker.FM/Summit.
Welcome back to The Digital Entrepreneur. I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital, and this is episode No. 26.
On this week’s episode, I am joined by someone who is passionate about helping other people make a living from work that fulfills them. Someone who’s goal is to “demystify the path toward building a sustainable, profitable, audience-driven business.” He recently took the month of July to write his book Overlap. He’s the host of a couple of podcasts: one on creativity in business and another with the goal of helping others build a thriving, sustainable business and achieve huge goals.
He is the founder of the brand called seanwes, where he teaches two courses. One is on how to grow your business with writing, Supercharge Your Writing, and the other is focused on how to stop trading time for money and start pricing your work on value, Value-Based Pricing.
He is Sean McCabe, and he is a digital entrepreneur.
Get the Inside Scoop on RainMail — The Rainmaker Platform’s Integrated Email
Jerod Morris: Real quick, before I bring you my discussion with Sean, I want to let you know about a webinar that I participated in recently with Brian Clark and Chris Garret that you may want to check out. You’ve heard us talk a lot about the Rainmaker Platform here on The Digital Entrepreneur. Rainmaker, of course, is the complete solution for digital marketing and sales, giving you more power, less pain, and higher profit. It was designed by digital entrepreneurs, the team at Rainmaker Digital, for digital entrepreneurs, people like you.
Well, did you know that Rainmaker now includes integrated email marketing as well? It’s true. It’s called RainMail, and it’s built right into the platform, integrating with all the other features of Rainmaker — like landing pages, marketing automation, and memberships. You can really create an adaptable, personalized experience for your audience when email is baked right into your online platform, like it is now for Rainmaker with RainMail. Oh, and your first 999 subscribers? They’re free, as in they’re included in your regular platform payment. You don’t pay a dime extra.
Want to see how RainMail works? Well, one way to do it is to check out the replay of the webinar that Brian, Chris, and I did recently. The live event was only for Rainmaker Platform customers because we wanted to answer customer questions, but we’re happy to share the replay with prospective Rainmaker customers like you so you can see what RainMail is capable of.
To watch the replay, go to RainmakerPlatform.com/Webinar1. It’s about a two-hour replay, but the nice thing is, on that page, we actually have a bulleted list of all the topics and questions. It was based on a lot of FAQs that we often get, plus some use cases and examples, so we could show folks what RainMail can do and how you can use it on your site, too. So again, RainmakerPlatform.com/Webinar1 — the number ‘1,’ not spelled out like one.
And now, here’s my interview with digital entrepreneur Sean McCabe.
Mr. McCabe, welcome to The Digital Entrepreneur.
Sean McCabe: Hey, Jerod. Thanks so much for having me.
Jerod Morris: It’s great to have you on here. Let’s begin here, Sean. I’ve always believed that the number one benefit of digital entrepreneurship is freedom — the freedom to choose your projects, the freedom to chart your course, and ultimately, the freedom to change your life and your family’s life for the better. What benefit of digital entrepreneurship do you appreciate the most?
The Two Biggest Benefits Sean Derives From Being a Digital Entrepreneur
Sean McCabe: Freedom is a big one for me, for sure. I’m also an introvert, so I love working from home. I love the ability to work from anywhere. Usually, that’s home. I wrote a book last month, and I was thinking, “I’m going to travel,” because I like this romantic idea of getting a cabin and looking over the scenery, but my friend said, “Do you get your work done really well at home, or do you get distracted at home?” I was like, “Oh I focus great at home. I have so much focus at home.” He’s like, “Why are you going to go anywhere else?” I’m like, “You’re right, you’re right. This is where I get my work done.”
So I like being able to work from home. It was just me at first. I was a solopreneur. Now we’ve got a team of eight people, including myself. I consider the people I work with to be some of my very best friends, so it’s also fulfilling to give them freedom as well and give them the ability to do work they enjoy. We have a remote team, like you guys do at Rainmaker, and it’s such a joy to give them a sense of fulfillment as well.
Jerod Morris: Yeah. Working from home is so interesting because it can be a blessing and a curse in so many ways. You really have to learn how to manage it for yourself. I’m the same way. I can focus really well at home. And then there’s every now and then where I find my focus is jumbled, and I’ve got to get out somewhere else and spend a day somewhere else. But then usually I can come back and my focus is back.
That really is a big benefit, just to be able to have that freedom. Especially for me now starting a family, it’s been really nice to have that flexibility. That’s definitely a big benefit.
Sean McCabe: Yeah for sure. And then nothing beats waking up in the morning and finding out you made a few thousand dollars, right?
Jerod Morris: Right, exactly. You said something interesting there. You said last month you wrote a book. Did it only take you a month to write the book? This is a pretty big project for you, isn’t it?
How Sean Wrote a Book in a Month
Sean McCabe: Well, it’s been in my head for several years, so I did actually write a book in a month. I actually set a really ambitious goal, really, really ambitious, which was to write three books in a month just because I’m crazy. I set out on this goal to write three books in a month. I figured they would be about 80,000 words apiece, which means I would need to have written 240,000 words. That comes out to about 8,000 words a day, which I have done before. I’ve topped 10,000 words in a day, but this was going to be an intense sprint.
During the process of this, I was actually journaling the whole process. I was doing a live stream every morning, just sharing the writing process. On day four, I decided, “You know what? This three-part series really should be a single book. I really should put it all in one book because it’s for the same person.”
I was at first thinking, “Oh this is for different people,” but it’s really for the same person in different stages. I decided, “I’m going to compile it all into one book. I’m going to make it nice and concise, condensed, nothing that you don’t need.” And because I set that super-big goal of trying to write three books in a month, I actually wrote the one book in 14 days. That’s 75,000 words.
Jerod Morris: That’s the Overlap, right?
Sean McCabe: Yes, the book is called Overlap. It’s on getting from the life you have to the life you want, basically like a really practical, step-by-step guide. Especially people who are in a day job and they want to be able to start their own thing, it’s just a really practical guide for getting where you want to be.
Jerod Morris: Let’s talk a little bit about your story, then, of getting from where you wanted to be to where you are now. Take me back to before you became a digital entrepreneur. What were you doing, and what was missing that led you to want to make a change?
How an Interest in Hand-Lettering Led to the Burgeoning Online Empire Sean Now Oversees
Sean McCabe: Well, honestly, Jerod, I started pretty young. My first business was a computer repair business when I was 17 years old. Before that, I was three stories up, washing windows.
Jerod Morris: Oh my.
Sean McCabe: We had a 32-foot ladder leaning against a three-story residential building, and then on top of the roof, there was another window, yet another window, a little bit higher, maybe a good 12 feet up or so. We had a four-foot ladder on top of this roof, on top of the 32-foot ladder, and my partner was holding this ladder because the roof was slanted. I was standing on the top of the four-foot ladder where it says “Do not stand,” reaching as far as I could to wipe the drops of water from the corner of the window. At that point, I started thinking, “Maybe I should do something else.”
Jerod Morris: My fear of heights is getting activated just listening to the story.
Sean McCabe: It was an exciting time, but not what I wanted to do forever. I ended up starting a computer repair business just in high school, passing around flyers, learned the importance of relationship marketing and referrals, got into this nice … basically, a retirement community where everyone had computers they didn’t know how they worked, and they wanted to pay someone else to fix them. They just kept referring me and referring me, so that’s basically how I got into business.
Jerod Morris: Talk about how hand-lettering fits into this because that was your entryway into working online, correct?
Sean McCabe: Yeah. I’m a musician. I’m a creative person, but also very logical. I enjoy business. I enjoy computers. When I started the computer repair business, I stepped down from a band, and what I didn’t anticipate was losing that creative outlet. I eventually started a web firm with a partner, and I enjoyed creative work.
I started pursuing things in my nights and weekends, just creatively, creating hand-lettering — so drawing letters by hand, kind of like the Coca-Cola logo type. It’s not a font. It’s drawn by hand. I was really enjoying this process, and I started sharing my work. No one really noticed it for a couple years, but after about two years into it, people started to notice my work. They were asking for T-shirts and prints. You know, “Can I hire you to design my logos,” and I ended up going full-time freelance. I sold my other businesses. We hibernated the web firm, and I went full-time freelance.
Jerod Morris: Wow. So tell me about the milestone or the moment in your career as a digital entrepreneur. Maybe take us from where you were doing what you were doing with the hand-lettering and then to what you’re doing now, which is teaching people how to build their own online businesses. Tell me about a milestone or a moment that you are the most proud of.
The Essential Lesson Sean Learned From Launching His First Course
Sean McCabe: I’d have to say the moment that made me realize that it was possible was when I launched my first course. I had a bunch of people … they were buying my products and hiring me, but a lot of people wanted to learn how to do what I did. I took about six months to create a course and launched this course.
During that time, I was learning from a bunch of people, especially people on Rainmaker and Copyblogger, and books, articles, and videos, everything I could learn about marketing online. I applied that knowledge to the first launch of my course, and thanks to people who were willing to share what they learned for free with me, my course actually made six figures in the first three days of launching. That was when it was like, “Wow, this is actually possible. I can actually do this.”
As much as I actually enjoyed doing design and being an artist, people started asking me, “How did you do that? How are you able to launch a course and make so much money in a few days?” I said, “You know, I’m just going to share it.”
I started sharing on my podcast. I started sharing articles and case studies. I’m just trying to help people, and I started seeing, over time, these people were taking this advice and they were going on and starting their own businesses, quitting their day job, moving across the world. Even more than actually doing the work of art, or design, or working with clients, I found a lot more fulfillment in helping others realize their dreams.
Jerod Morris: A good story. When you talk to people who have been successful in digital entrepreneurship, especially a teaching kind of digital entrepreneurship like what you’re doing, that love for helping people and helping people achieve their goals just comes out time and time again. It’s such an important lesson to remember. The more that you help other people get what they want, the more that you’ll get what you want. It’s such a beautiful cycle in that way.
Sean McCabe: Completely agree.
Jerod Morris: On the flip side of that, tell me about the most humbling moment in your career as a digital entrepreneur and what you learned from it.
How Hiring Full-Time Employees Changed Sean’s Perspective
Sean McCabe: I think the most humbling moment for me was when I started to hire. This was my third business, Sean Wes, but it was the first business that I had full-time employees. I’ve had contractors before, but I brought on five or six full-time employees in a year and really quickly started to feel that the gravity, the weight of that. You think, “I want to hire employees for my business so they can do work for me,” but you realize you’re actually supporting their livelihood.
I don’t have kids. I’m the oldest of 13 kids, so I have a little bit of an idea of what it’s like. Especially growing up, when they were young, I changed probably 1,000 diapers, so I’ve got kind of an idea.
Jerod Morris: Thirteen kids? Wow.
Sean McCabe: Yeah. Never a dull moment. They’re super awesome. I never had kids myself, but I can only imagine I’m getting a glimpse of that as a business owner. I obviously have my own dreams and ambitions, but somehow those really fade away in the face of having your own employees and realizing it often comes to you to take care of these people. That becomes your number one priority, or at least for me it did.
Jerod Morris: In episode 162 of your podcast, you talked about how people put other people into boxes, and I really enjoyed this. What did you mean by that, and why is that important to recognize?
How to Project That One Thing You Want to Be Known for Next
Sean McCabe: Probably the simplest way to start would be to refer people to Dunbar’s number, which is to say that we really can only process about 150 close relationships, give or take. People can’t process the complexities of individuals beyond that. On a surface level, we can. You can obviously follow more than 150 people on Twitter, if you want, but you can’t get super deep on those relationships.
What we tend to do is categorize people. “What is this guy about? What do I think of when I think of Jerod?” People put them in a box. They say, “Okay, you are a podcast guy. You are an entrepreneur. You are an artist, a designer, a developer.” They put you in a box based on what you share, what you project.
What a lot of people do is they project everything that they do. I was a full-time designer for about six or seven years, and during that time, I did all kinds of things — illustration, animation, user interface design, logos, screencasts, all kinds of things — and I was projecting all of them. Whenever I made a new piece of work, I wrote on something, or I produced a video, I shared that. I think I might have gotten a few followers. My audience grew a little bit, but the inflection point in my growth, especially the growth of my audience and revenue online, was when I started to curate what I shared.
What I mean by ‘curate’ is selectively projecting a single focused thing. Just taking one thing of the many things you do — we all do many things, we’re all good at many things — but projecting just that one thing that you want to be known for next.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be for the rest of your life. We go through seasons, and everything is a stepping stone. But putting up that one thing that you want to be known for helps people process you because they’re going to simplify. They’re going to simplify, simplify, simplify. They can’t process all of your complexity, so if you project everything, you become known for nothing. What you can’t control is the fact that people will put you in a box. What you can control is what box they put you in. You can define that box by what you share.
Jerod Morris: Great advice. If you project everything, then you project nothing. That’s great. Let’s fast-forward to now. What is the one word that you would use to sum up the status of your business as it stands today?
The Clarity That Comes From Recognizing What Metrics Best Track Your Business Growth
Sean McCabe: Growing.
Jerod Morris: That’s good.
Sean McCabe: This year’s been a lot of growing pains, really getting a solid idea of what our business model is. I think a lot of us stumble into revenue, and we don’t actually understand the core fundamentals of business and what our business model is. I put myself in that category. I stumbled into things that were working. I kind of figured out ways to make revenue here and there, but I didn’t have a solid idea of our business models that we spent the past year really refining that. It’s been a growing year.
Jerod Morris: What was the biggest thing you learned about your business model, maybe that surprised you?
Sean McCabe: I think that monthly revenue isn’t necessarily the right metric to track. It depends on your business model. I have my ear in a lot of industries. I pay attention a lot to the SaaS app industries, and I listen to a lot of the people in those spaces. We are developing a SaaS app behind the scenes, so I try and pay attention to that stuff. But our revenue right now is not at all coming from SaaS.
We are the very definition of the digital entrepreneur in every sense. We have a membership site. We have digital products. We have physical products. We have our community, a podcast network, a conference — everything you can think of. But we don’t currently have a SaaS app.
I’ve been so obsessed over this monthly revenue figure that it’s actually been hindering for me. This is the kind of clarity you get when you go on a mastermind and have smarter people give you advice from the outside. Our business model is more conducive to being seen over a 12-month period and really planning out everything we do holistically.
Jerod Morris: That’s an important realization to have.
Sean McCabe: It was a moment of clarity for me.
Jerod Morris: Yeah. So what’s at the top of your priority list right now, and what are you doing to get there?
The Biggest Challenge Sean’s Currently Facing in His Business
Sean McCabe: Top of the priority list right now is getting our consistent revenue to surpass our payroll and expenses. That sounds really scary, but we hired really quick. I got my start by launching online courses, and what you’ll recognize and realize quickly when you get into online courses is you have these really big spikes of revenue and then not so much in between, for the most part, even if it’s an evergreen type of a situation.
It’s been, for me, transitioning from that spike-driven revenue of a business to something that’s more diversified and more sustainable, where I can not have to worry like, “Okay, it’s going to be a dry spell for three or four months, and make sure everyone gets paid,” but something a little more reliable.
Jerod Morris: What are some of the specific ways that you’re trying to do that and smooth that out?
Sean McCabe: We are diversifying our course offerings. Basically, we’re wanting to be the place where people go to build and grow a sustainable business. We want to give them the resources for that. We want to give them access to a community of people who are doing the same thing. Diversifying our flagship courses, which are separate purchases, as well as inflating the value of our membership — because obviously that recurring revenue is a lot more steady.
Jerod Morris: You just mentioned a challenge that you’re facing here — getting your consistent revenue to surpass payroll and expenses. Are there any other big challenges that you’re facing right now, or would you say that one’s the biggest?
Sean McCabe: Well, it’s definitely the biggest. There’s some articles going around that are like, “Everyone’s saying video is the next big thing, and it’s not the only thing.” Honestly, I think video is the next big thing. Video is already big, but it’s going to get even bigger and bigger. Especially with the coming virtual reality world, you’re going to want to be good on video. You should be doing live streaming. You should be doing way more video.
We’re trying to ramp that up, and I’d say the most difficult part of that is having a remote team. We have tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in our office here where I am, but our team is remote. Getting more of them on video, up to our quality standards, it’s difficult.
Jerod Morris: That’s a good one.
The SaaS App at the Top of Sean’s Toolbox
Jerod Morris: Let’s open up your toolbox, then. You mentioned some of the video equipment that you have there. Let’s open up your toolbox a bit. What is the one technology tool that contributes the most to your success as a digital entrepreneur?
Sean McCabe: Am I allowed to say something we built?
Jerod Morris: Of course, absolutely.
Sean McCabe: For the past several years, we’ve been building a system for our community. We have several hundred people inside our community, and this system is what could best be described as a live chat system. However, it’s something we would like to build into something that’s … it’s so hard to describe, but I would say a hybrid between archivable, long-form discussions and real-time discussions.
Basically, we are wanting to eradicate forums. We’ve had forums. There are some issues with forums that we don’t like. We have chat, but there are some things that chat can’t quite do. So we’re developing this feature called ‘Conversations,’ which threads discussions, makes them searchable, makes them filterable.
You can essentially zoom in and out of what you want to hear and what you don’t want to hear, get notified by follow-up responses. It has live-streaming built in, both audio and video. You’ve got people with profiles. They have badges for whether or not they’re going to the conference or whether or not they took a certain course. We can send push notifications from it. It’s very, very powerful. We can use it for live events as well, so it’s good for people who stream their podcasts, do webinars, or are community organizers.
We have commands where we can toggle a call to action button, so people who are watching a live event video and at the right moment, while it’s live — it’s not even a timer, like how people do that with recorded videos — on cue, we can animate the video where it zooms down to the side, and there’s a button right there, whatever color, whatever call to action text you want, going to whatever link or add to cart you have.
It’s a very, very powerful system, but as many of our members really, really want this for their own communities, I’m dedicated to making this the best it can be for our own community before I make it available to others. I know when I turn this into a SaaS app, our customers and clients of the software will become the primary people we focus on. They’re going to ask for features. They’re going to ask for things, and we’re going to need to address those.
If we keep it in-house first … this system was built around the needs of a community. When people are like, “I wish I could do this. I wish I could do that … ,” we build it. I want to preserve that as long as possible, and I really want to make sure this is built around the needs of the user.
Jerod Morris: Wow, that sounds like a really, really interesting product. It really is.
Sean McCabe: It is absolutely our strongest piece, by far.
Jerod Morris: Wow, very cool. What about the non-technology tool that contributes the most to your success?
The Two Life Hacks That Have Contributed the Most to Sean’s Success
Sean McCabe: I would just say getting your back against the wall. Commit to something, and schedule it. A lot of us wait for a motivation to find us. We see it as a source, and really motivation is a result. It’s a result of making a commitment and showing up consistently.
I started my podcast and said, “I’m going to podcast twice a week.” This was before I knew how hard podcasting was, or editing, and newsletters, and show notes, and all that stuff. I set a commitment, and I did it for the better part of two, two and a half years. We did two episodes a week, and I think that has really helped us.
It’s not just podcasting, but anything that you do. I would say get your back against the wall. You’re capable of more. Just make the commitment. Say, “I am going to do this weekly.” Tell your friend you’re going to do it weekly. Tell yourself. Write it on a note and put it next to your bed. Tell your audience you’re going to do it weekly. Be consistent. Get your back against the wall.
The other thing I would say is all of our team … maybe not all of our team, but most of our team have adopted the habit of going to be early and waking up early. I know you’ve heard this a million times. You hear successful people wake up early. You maybe have even read articles that say, “Wake up whenever you want. It doesn’t matter.” I would just say, try it for yourself. Try it. Just go to bed early, wake up early, and log your output.
Are you a writer? How much do you actually write at night? You go throughout your whole day. You’re getting all this baggage. Your mind is full with the day’s events. I’m a night owl by heart. I don’t like waking up early. I like the person that I am when I do.
I would say, if you’re a writer, if you’re anything, just log your output. Whatever your output looks like, log it. Log it right now for several weeks. How much are you getting done? Then try this out. Wake up early, and log your output. This is what I did because I wanted to prove the early birds wrong. I was like, “I’m going to show them that it doesn’t matter,” and I doubled my output.
As much as I like being right — Jerod … I love being right — as much as I like being right, I like being successful more. Even though I was wrong, I’m like, “I’m sold. I’m going to do this.”
If you try this out, this would be my recommendation for the transition. Instead of thinking of this ideal where you go to bed super early, at 9:00 or something, you wake up at 4:00, you write several articles, you go on a run, and then you eat this healthy breakfast … instead of picturing this ideal that’s super hard to get to, start by defining success by when you go to bed. That’s all it is.
It starts the night before. Successful morning routine starts the night before. Just say, “If I can go to bed by X,” whatever that is for you, “This is a success.” Even if I don’t wake up early, even if I don’t write the next day, just define it as a success if you go to bed when you said you wanted to. Do that for a few weeks. Just a couple weeks, try that. Then, start redefining success. Redefine success as when you wake up. Then define success by whether you went on a run or whether you started writing.
Jerod Morris: How important is that, to have your own definitions for what success is, and to make them like that? Not easy, necessarily, but simple, and maybe outside of what people would think because I think they would think, “Well, success is writing 5,000 words,” but you’re redefining it by saying, “No, success is going to bed at this certain time, before then.” How important is that as a mindset shift for people?
Sean McCabe: In terms of defining success, no one can or should define success for you. If you’re able to live the life you want with the people you love, that’s what it’s all about. Getting to that point, it takes individual steps, and what’s overwhelming is looking at the conclusion and the place you want to be and saying, “That’s success. Everything I do in between that isn’t perfectly that is a failure, and I’m a loser.” That’s why I like defining success as the next step. Then just redefining it as I basically level up.
Jerod Morris: All right, let’s look forward now. Earlier, I asked you for the one word that you would use to sum up the status of your business as it stands today, and you said ‘growing.’ If we talk again in a year — and hopefully we will, we’re going to talk, certainly, in six or seven weeks at Digital Commerce Summit, which will be fun — if we talk again in a year, what would you want that one word to be?
Sean McCabe: I am very much looking forward to the conference. That’s going to be a fun time.
Jerod Morris: It is.
Sean McCabe: I would say ‘thriving,’ and to add onto that word, once our business is in a place that we want it to be, and once we have our solid business model and we’re sustaining ourselves and our people, I then want to start by defining our success by our members’ success and our students’ success. I really admire the people who, they don’t toot their own horn and say, “We’re so great. This is what we’ve done,” but, “This is what the people that we’ve helped and the people that we serve have done.”
Jerod Morris: I like that. I like that a lot. All right. Are you ready for some rapid-fire questions here to close this out?
Sean McCabe: Let’s do it.
The One Book Sean Would Insist You Read
Jerod Morris: If you could have every person who will ever work with you or for you read one book, what would it be?
Sean McCabe: I require them to read The 10X Rule.
Jerod Morris: Do you?
Sean McCabe: I buy it for them even.
Jerod Morris: Very nice. Why that one?
Sean McCabe: The 10X Rule, it’s by Grant Cardone. He’s basically saying “You’re not taking enough action. You’re not taking enough action. You have this goal, you have this thing you want to do, and you do the amount of action that you think it will take to reach the goal. That’s 1X action. You need to do 10 times the amount of action that you think it will take to reach your goal.”
Number one, you have no idea what it’s going to take to get there. Number two, worst case is you surpass your goal, which is awesome. The other thing he says is, “Success is your duty.” The author sees it as unethical not to fulfill his potential. It’s just all around an awesome book.
Jerod Morris: Very cool.
Sean’s Ideal 30-Minute Skype Call to Discuss His Business
Jerod Morris: Next question: if you could have a 30-minute Skype call to discuss your business with anyone tomorrow, anyone, who would it be?
Sean McCabe: I wouldn’t mind talking to the author, Grant, but if not him, I would say Gary Vanderchuck. He’s an intense guy, and he knows the value of a few minutes. He could turn around your life and your business in a three-minute conversation, for sure.
Jerod Morris: He could, and you’d be able to have 10 of them in 30 minutes. That would be an intense 30 minutes if it was with Gary.
The One (or Two) Email Newsletter(s) Sean Can’t Do Without
Jerod Morris: What is the one email newsletter that you can’t do without?
Sean McCabe: While Gary’s on my mind, I do have to give him credit. He has an incredible newsletter, and it’s very straight to the point. You can glance at it in 30 seconds and get a little hit of motivation, and he’s also started giving things away. He’s partnering with people, and if you open a newsletter early enough, there’s legit stuff in there, pretty solid.
The other guy, I would say, is Ramit Sethi. Brilliant guy. If you’re like me, the first year or two you heard about him, you’re like, “Eh, I don’t know about this guy.” When you come back around, really pay attention. There’s so much, so many layers to everything he does that you can learn from.
Jerod Morris: There was a really interesting episode recently of the Tim Ferriss podcast that reintroduced me to him, which was really beneficial, so two really good recommendations there.
The Non-Book Piece of Art That’s Had the Biggest Influence on Sean as a Digital Entrepreneur
Jerod Morris: What non-book piece of art had the biggest influence on you as a digital entrepreneur?
Sean McCabe: One of my community members sent me an original watercolor painting. He’s an incredible watercolor artist. His name’s Eric Lin. If you search for ‘Eric Lin watercolor,’ his work is amazing. I would say he’s the next Bob Ross, but he’s really the next Eric Lin. That’s how good he is. He made a painting from a photo that I shared on Snapchat of a mastermind retreat that I was at in San Diego just of the guys in front of me walking along the beach, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
But honestly, it’s more the gesture that he felt like he had received so much value from me, he wanted to create this, and send it to me. It hangs in the foyer of my house, and I’m just super proud of it.
Sean’s Biggest Productivity Hack for Doing Meaningful Work
Jerod Morris: Finally, what productivity hack has had the biggest impact on your ability to get more meaningful work done? You may have actually already mentioned this one when we talked earlier.
Sean McCabe: I’m going to say it again. I’ll say either get your back against the wall and commit, or just try the waking up early and log your output.
How to Get in Touch with Sean
Jerod Morris: What is the single best way for someone inspired by today’s discussion to get in touch with you, Sean?
Sean McCabe: If they made it this far, I think they probably like podcasts, so I would say check out the seanwes podcast at seanwes.com/podcast and feel free to drop me a line. We talk all about the intersection between creativity and business, marketing, online entrepreneurship. That’s the best place to find us.
Sean McCabe: Yeah, we do have a network there. It’s really all about helping people with everything they need to do business online, whether you want to start a podcast, we’ll start talking about client work and pricing, video, all that good stuff.
Jerod Morris: Excellent. Well, Sean, thank you so much for joining us on this week’s episode, and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of months in Denver.
Sean McCabe: I’m very excited about that. Thank you again. Really appreciate the opportunity, Jerod.
Jerod Morris: Absolutely. Thank you, Sean. All right. Well, thank you for joining me on this episode of The Digital Entrepreneur. Happy to be back. We will get back with our regular schedule of weekly episodes, so check back next week for another brand-new episode of The Digital Entrepreneur.
Again, go to RainmakerPlatform.com/webinar1. Check out that webinar about RainMail, see how it works. There’s a good chance that if you have questions about RainMail, they are probably answered in that webinar, so go check it out. Get your questions answered. Check out some use cases, some examples. See if it’s for you. If it is, you’ll be right there at RainmakerPlatform.com. You can take the platform for a test drive, see if you like it.
Thank you for listening, and I will join you next week on another brand-new episode of The Digital Entrepreneur.