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This is Part Two of a 2-part series on membership businesses. Click here for part 1.

With over 15 years in web development and online marketing, Mike Morrison now makes up one half of The Membership Guys, specializing in teaching business owners and hobbyists alike how to build, launch and grow successful membership sites and communities.

He now considers himself a “reformed web developer” and enjoys nothing more than helping others escape the time for money trap and teaching them how to move from one-to-one services to a one-to-many model.



  • Minio Cloud Storage – Microstorage Architecture. Erasure Code & Bitrot Protection. Written in Go.


Key Takeaways

  • It’s critical to understand your passions, skills and experience before launching a membership site. If you don’t have the passion or skills, you’re not going to show up and neither will your members.
  • Market research into potential customers’ needs will help you sharpen the value-add proposition you are thinking about.
  • What are the specific problems real-life individuals have?
  • If you don’t have an audience, build a following or find an existing audience and get in front of them.
    • Having your own audience is best long-term.
  • Form a focus group within your demographic / market and offer free coaching to pick their brains.
  • Read one-star and two-star reviews to get ideas for your product.
  • Membership sites are more scalable than traditional 1-to-1 services.
  • Dropping crazy nutbag clients can be truly life changing when you take complete control of your business.
  • Membership business models with recurring revenue can be more stable than freelancing.


Resources Mentioned


Contact Guest



This transcript was generated from an automated closed-captioning service and thus is far from perfect. There is no punctuation, no paragraphs and it’s difficult to tell who is speaking. That being said, if you’d like to access the podcast in written form, let me know and if there is enough demand I’ll formalize the process.

Full Transcript with Mike Morrison – How Freelancers Can Drop Nutbag-Crazy Clients By Starting a Membership Site

hello tech pros episode 125
when it comes to your career when it comes to your life when it comes to your
you don’t have to wait for something good permission to do it on your terms
welcome to the podcast where i chat with professionals who are getting the job
done using technology seven days a week each week we start with motivation
monday tuesday is about productivity Wednesday leadership Thursday technology
friday people in communication Saturday entrepreneurship and sunday being
all right let’s get started
hello tech pros this is Chad Bostick and I’m excited to introduce our featured
guest today
Mike Morrison happy Saturday Mike hey sandy shot great to be back
welcome back this is the first time that I’ve had a guest back to back on the
episode so that we’ve done a hundred and twenty five episodes of hello tech pros
so far and you’re the first guest that I’ve had in a back-to-back episode
you should feel like amazing about that i do I feel genuine a generally on it
awesome well if you didn’t already catch it go back and listen to episode 118
before you listen to this episode because that’s gonna that’s going to
clear things up for you if you already know what a membership site is if you’re
already convinced that you need to build a membership and you want to get really
really tactical on on like okay what are the next steps that I need to take to
build my membership site then this is the the podcast for you to listen to if
if you are a little bit confused on what we’re talking about
after listening to this for a few minutes just jump back to hello tech / 118
or if you’re on iTunes or Google or wherever you listen to tune into episode
118 and you’ll get the back story on what we’re talking about today
so to recap Mike Morrison has over 15 years of web development and online
marketing and he now makes up one half of the membership guys specializing in
teaching business owners and hobbies like how to build launch and grow
successful membership sites and communities and now considers himself a
reformed web developer and enjoys nothing more than helping others escape
the time for money trap and teaching them how to move move from one to one
– 12 mini model and Mike that’s exactly what we talked about last week and you
help me identify you know what
hang on timeout chair before we get into whether or not Chad is going to start a
membership site
you had me break it down into a two by two grid where we talked about first
identifying my passions
then my skills the things that I’m really good at or have expertise in a
third of all what does the audience one
what does my market one and care about and then the fourth thing are the the
gaps in the marketplace
yeah definitely Fisher and I think so many people rush ahead into or which
membership platform should i use watching the tech be and especially if
your techy anyway
well yeah I know your your crowd is and yeah i got amongst them the temptation
to start crunching through all of the technical options and kind of thinking
of all the faster the fancy custom Sophia caught up that pulls people away
from get enough foundational stuff done of making sure you actually have an idea
someone would be willing to pay for and that typically tends to be at the root
of membership size that just go nowhere because actually their idea was terrible
so this initial stuff this is what’s going to make a big difference to
whether or not a membership idea takes off or whether you open the doors to the
sounds of crickets writing on the back of tumbleweeds
so I but yea or i love the first to that you pinned together here that the number
one the passions and number two the skills because i have i actually have an
Evernote notebook
that’s called idea junkie and it’s just a I come up with ideas constantly of
what I see as potential gaps in the marketplace or things that people need
arm and so I log them in in Evernote so that I have like a running list of all
the things and someday I would like to build and I did that specifically
because like i have a domain buying habits and it’s not and and I i have all
kinds of crap that I’ll never actually build calm and just my my recurring my
recurring expenses on renewing my domain names is astronomical every month and I
have you know never completed these primarily because once I start like
getting into it and say okay this crazy idea think that I wanted to build com
now that i’m actually working on it it’s kind of boring
I don’t really care about it or I really have no idea what the heck i’m talking
about and what I’m doing
so why am i working on this again and then I just kind of let it expire
I don’t exactly the same thing in the past i’m not ever known for so I’m what
I’m might be the only person in the world who just hasn’t jailed with
Evernote I’m still an old-school panoply of a kind of guy so I used to carry
around this
I just be proud of the fact i have these black nor books that were my idea
journals and you know i would say within these with these books there’s got to be
millions of dollars worth of ideas here
if only I had the time to do it right funny thing is when you actually land on
the thing you want to do it usually doesn’t come from the type of ideas you
put into those books and when you do land on the idea you stop doing that I
used I at one point at 300 the man I used to trade the main aims to flip
websites in my early internet marketing days and i think i’m down to maybe about
25-30 now a nicer but I wasn’t part of a conscious effort that was literally just
because I stopped
I stop dicking around a hand I landed on something I generally was interested in
that was passionate about that also happened to server need on a dressing up
in the market and exactly the same as you the idea that I had were very rarely
stuff i actually wanted to do
there were opportunities that I thought existed so I was purely thinking along
the lines of people want this and this may be a gap
I wasn’t thinking all this is actually something I mean president is this
actually something I’m good at
so so important especially with a membership because you need to show up
and serve in your membership and if you’re not passionate about what you’re
teaching people if you don’t really have the skills and you don’t really have the
experience in the area that you’re teaching
you’re not going to show up and if you don’t show up near the world remembers
and that’s that’s so so true like
if you don’t if it’s not a priority to you then your heart’s not going to be in
it and if your heart’s not in it than the quality of the product or quality of
the service it’s going to show right and peace are going to see right through it
and they’re gonna be like yeah this is this was obviously farmed out by a team
of people that you know have no idea what they’re talking about her
no passion as opposed to the things that if if you’re really really passionate
about whatever you like losing weight like really passionate about hey I I you
know went through this journey and I lost a lot of weight or got in shape
that’s a great story that you’re going to be passionate about the rest of your
life or a transfer transformational moment in your career or just something
an entertainment value thing that you just you know game of thrones dude i
have right there with you and tell you what next season
I’m gonna have to open up like a channel on my on my slack channel where it’s
just game of thrones like alive and we’re live told her it was
let’s not even go there with next season because that doing it later there were
only doing a shoulder season are all right yeah all right yeah I’m still
rageful over the line
alright well we’ll reel it back in so yeah i can i can go off on on that as
yeah I’m gonna have to we’re gonna have to bring that back for bringing back for
maybe I a Sunday unplugged episode to talk about a game of thrones and
problems that make me cry
yeah so so Mike I filled out your grid between last week in this week and I
have a lot of information on cells number one and two and I have a little
bit of information I i still need to do a lot of work on sales three and four
but maybe that’s a good enough place where we can start and really identify
ok now that we have this grid filled out
then what are the next steps so again to recap the the grid is number one your
passions the things that you’re just so fired up about and you love doing and
you would do it for free
yep but you don’t want to number two is your skills the things that you good at
the things that you have experience with and number three is that
that the wants and needs of the audience and the market so what are people asking
for what are people complaining about what other people say that they need
help with and then for is the the market opportunities the gap so other people
are our may be serving this market in other ways but maybe there’s you know an
unfilled gap there that that we can tackle
so in my box number one arm you know from a web developer to a mobile
developer to an IT leader
– I team management what i found is the thing across all of those that has in
common with me personally with Chad is not it’s not the technology and i know
this is you
many of you tune in to this podcast because it has the word tech in it I’m
sorry but I like people now more than I like technology and and one of the
periods in my life that I really figure that out and really identified that is
when i was in IT leadership and I would have one-on-ones with my employees i
would have one-on-one conversations every two weeks with every single
employee in my in my department and that for me was always like the highlight of
of everything and if I could cut out all the other meetings all the other crap
that I had to go to like as a manager all the other product meetings and stuff
i could be and just focus on the employees that I I I could definitely
make a career out of that I would love to do that but so far I’ve never found
an employer that allowed me to do that right but just helping the other
employees arm identify things like coach them through whatever issues they are
going on and sometimes it’s a motivational thing where
hey you know what Mike here is is really down in the dumps about stuff that’s
going on either personally or at work and I need to just be that guy that kind
of lifts him up and says no man that we’re gonna get through this together
you can do it you’re smart you’re capable
you’ve got through worse times you know and kind of pick him up out of the dumps
or somebody who’s who’s just not being productive and they’re not getting
things done and instead of like paid person you suck
you need to step up or you’re fired
really dive into what’s going on at work what’s going on in your head you’re
you’re better than this you’re capable of more than this
so what can we do is it tools is it process is it schedule is it you know
you’re you’re on too many projects at one time what’s going on to keep you
from being as productive as possible and just on and on and on I got so many
stories about that but that’s my passion is helping people like identify what the
problems are that are keeping them back from from growing the career and getting
into the positions they want or getting their products build and shipped out the
eventually helping people with their business as well but I don’t think I’m
there to help yet so just if I could focus on the career building and the
product building i think that’s those are my passions and things I’m good at
the skills are kinda incidentally those things because i have actual spiritual
experience there
so that’s the market that’s the audience that I want to serve now
ok what do they want you know people want to grow their careers
people want to move up from that entry-level position to that senior
position to that lead sometimes they may or may not want to move into a lead
position or move into management many people hate that idea and don’t want to
do it but they do want to grow their career and they do want to make money
more money next year than they did this year and they want more job security not
necessarily at the job that they’re at but just across the career so that you
know they they have options and can move around and their respected and liked
ok we need to hire this lady because she’s awesome you know and they want to
feel like when they’re building their products that they’re doing it for a
reason and not just because i love the technology but like people are actually
going to use this thing right
and they’re going to love it and they’re gonna want it and i am i am i love
working in software development or are we love working in technology but the
things that I’m putting together is for actual real-life humans that are going
to actually use it so those are my passions and skill sets and a little bit
of what the market and audience wants but i still need to do a lot of refining
there and get real specific use
cases I feel like that it’s yeah that’s absolutely that specificity and really
drilling down into answering the question first of all one of the first
questions anyone’s going to ask you if you take a product to them as what
what’s in it for me in terms of actual deliverable what results my gonna get on
the one specifics and so with with the kind of stuff you’re talking about now
it does need sharpening
yeah in terms of in terms of what that outcome for a potential member would be
because if if the outcome is well it could be one of these 20 different
things and then it’s it’s less relatable for potential member who may be you know
does but they’re not involved a pro development
they’re not going to move into management that don’t have confidence
problems may be that you know there they have a mishmash of different things so
if you’re giving people a list of here’s twenty or thirty possible ways in which
this can help then it’s much harder sell and said they seized kind of
specifically you know what this memorable to solve that research for you
i feel into your marker and their needs is going to be the exercise that really
sharpens and applies the stuff you’re passionate about you’re interested in
and some you know what’s a good thing with this grid as well as trying to
think of actual standalone ideas just within the interest opportunities market
needs and and skills as well and seeing whether anything crosses over so you can
start kind of shooting
you no spit balling and potential or case or a career advice or career skills
for IT managers know that’s a potential
this is this is what a membership or a course or something could be around and
that fit into one sort of area then you might have you know i’m i don’t know
helping helping product developers get on stock could fall into another area
and then you start a kind of
you know see where’s where’s the sort of all apps can you can you form a picture
of I do X to help why achieve said you know to complete that sentence through
the different ideas i come up with but I think that getting that market research
and and asking your your tribe what they want
specifically what are some of the specific problems that you have
I’m you know that that’s going to really shape and sharpened focus the the more
interest passion based off as well I think
okay great so arm we need to get a lot more specific
I realize that I’m gonna own up to that so what are some actual tactical things
that I can do right so arm i have i have an audience of I don’t know so many
hundreds or thousands of people that that listen to this every day or every
week and I can obviously say like right here on the podcast hey guys like good
answer this question like what what what what can I help you with
like what are the problems in your career whether you’re a software
developer or you’re a web admin or your you know a dupe administrator or
whatever it is in your career what are the things you’re stuck at right are you
trying to get a promotion and you can’t
are you trying to get job security and you feel like you’re getting laid off
everywhere are you trying to get hired and you know that the interview process
sucks like what are the specific things in your careers that you’re having
problems with and I hit me back up hit the comments on
hello tech pros calm / 1 to 5 episode 125 or join our slack channel at hello
tech pros calm / slack and let me know like specifically let me know
so Mike that’s an example of something that I could do and I’m actually doing
right now right
inviting people to give me feedback but what are some other examples that the
audience can do to if they if they don’t have a podcast if they don’t have an
audience say to to ask that question to what can they do to get specificity and
every don’t have an origin statue number one priority before anything else build
a following
find where your audience are and go there so you know if you know that the
origins you want to serve are all active within a particular forum or a
particular facebook group go there
speak to the people and the influences within your market and see whether there
are opportunities for you to gain access to that audience in order to ask the
kind of questions you just asked your audience so let’s say I was putting
together a membership specifically and at the tech industry then I could come
along to you and asked to be on your podcast if I didn’t have one of my own
all my own audience
I come along asked on your podcast and suggest a topic that would you bring
open organic opportunities to put that question out there for my own needs
so this could be me on your show for saying i love your audience could hit me
up at membership guy on Twitter member of guys on Twitter cheap pop and hands
and let me know what kind of you know you can do that
I’m partner o partner or joint ventures with people who have audiences you want
access to some of them some of those kind of influences or figures might
I’m you know if they were on blogs or podcasts
you can’t review content and again through that have some sort of way of
gathering data so nice they just run Facebook groups all their own membership
sites and you can actually pay get into their membership and then see if there’s
ways in which you can ask questions that are going to reveal the sort of
information that you want wherever the your origins are you should be ideally
it’s a place that you control your own facebook group your own slack channel
because then you don’t have to worry about asking for permission to send a
survey out or something like that but you need the audience is the best focus
group you’re going to have when you have that saw once again kind of being short
cut it you can actually put out there that you
you’re looking to form a focus group and for an actual focus group where maybe
you offer
a degree of you know free one-on-one coaching in exchange for being able to
pick the brains of people who you think best encompass your potential members
are the type of demographic but I professionals you want to to be
delivering products for and young again there’s only five or six people for
their five or six people who come together
I’ll come to you specifically because you said I want you to really go in
depth with you won this
then again they will still tell you especially again for comes back to
always the last resort you’re solving problems and people like to gripe about
their problems
yeah so it won’t take too much probing to get people to kind of say ok when it
comes to your career while your top three things that really grind your
gears one of the top three stumbling blocks you feel exist
fighting professionals today that you personally experienced Delta there will
jump at the opportunity to complain about glass ceilings to complain about
dodgy recruiters to complain about arm outsourcing to overseas developers being
a major problem
they will tell you you just need to get in front of that audience and either
just ask one simple question to a huge origins or ask a bunch of more in-depth
questions to a small segment of the origins
you can do more and more research out there again if you kind of roll on the
idea of people griping and complaining about the sort of problems they have go
to the Amazon review section four books that are aimed at IT professionals that
are aimed at giving career advice for teaching soft skills to people in
certain industries
look at the one style the two star reviews see what sort of stuff people
are saying i’m missing from those books
that’s the stuff people want to know about
you know just little things are not tapping into la that human nature
I’m element of all that makes us all want to have a little bit of a morning
from time to time and that will fuel the ideas and i’ll shop nope
you know here all the commonalities here all the things that someone is in middle
management in a footstool on hundreds
I’m company managing a hundred IT professionals have the same gripe as
face this guy using a team of three people trying to get the app startup
so there’s my crossover universal problem and i know that i can provide
this particular solution that is going to help both of those guys even though
their situations are completely different
that’s where you’re going to find the most compelling stuff and it it does
involve time it does involve research you can decide how much you want to
spend on this how much time you will spend on this
but you know as soon as you get that club party and that Claire is only going
to come from speaking to to your audience being to your market soon as
you get that clarity that you’re going to get yourself you’re going to find
yourself in a decent position to move forward
so Mike I almost want to cry a little bit about the information that you gave
me because the biggest the the first big there’s a lot of big points that stick
out in my mind of the first bigs . that stuck out in my mind is what when you
tell me you don’t have to have an audience in order to find this
information out to get specific
like when I was listening to the podcast guys membership
excuse me the membership guys podcast arm and was thinking okay well before I
figure out what membership site i want to build first I need to build an
audience and that means let’s see either blogging or podcasting or videos and now
I’ll try podcasting and so you know I spent months and months like really
working my butt off trying to put the seven day a week show together and i
have i have no complaints
I love it this is the best thing that I’ve ever done it’s amazing but it’s a
lot of work and I could have skipped that step
by taking your approach here of just go to somebody else’s audience go to the
ideas however however the way you’ve done it the way you should do it
ok you know because getting in front of other people’s audiences is tougher is
genuinely tougher
you’re going to get rejected you’re gonna get turned away usually if you
want to
I’m you it’s a lot easier for me for example
– how to build my own audience and invite someone to my podcast who I would
consider an authority or an expert in a particular area than it is for me to go
to them as a complete or no one without any orders that the following and say
would you like to put me on your podcast they’re going to see who the hell are
you so you know it’s there’s a balance to it
I’m it’s been a few long run at some point the people’s audiences need to
become your audience
otherwise you’re constantly going to be on rented ground and for your membership
but you need your own audience you need your own following because it’s you know
if it’s one thing to go to an influencer and kind of see you know is that
something we do together where I can survey your origins
it’s one thing to ask that it’s another thing to say is there any chance you
could like sell my product to your audience
that’s a very different conversation you need to get those people into your
so what you’re doing building your audience you don’t need to do that
before you’re able to do research for your idea but I would argue that you
definitely need to do that before you launch your membership so Mike on the
last episode i feel i did a poor job as a host of of allowing you time at the
end to to explain to people where they can get in contact with you and what
your site and what your podcast is all about because i was so excited that
we’re going to do a quick interview
so when we come back from break I want to ask you about your site about your
membership and what you’re doing there to help people like me like get their
stuff together and put their memberships together but first we’re going to take a
quick break and thank our sponsors
this episode of Hello tech pros is sponsored by Mineo cloud storage video
is a cloud object storage server for developers and DevOps written and go
the go programming language is the emerging language of choice for modern
cloud infrastructure projects and it allows me Oh to be highly concurrent and
lightweight material is amazon s3 compatible built with Viper storage
architecture in mind but at its heart video is simple
scalable and supported by a passionate developer and user community in episode
89 of hello tech pros
I talked with a be periyasaamy one of the founders of Mineo about the
importance of community support and recruiting software developers who are
as passionate about the products code as artists are of their art check out that
episode at hello tech pros calm / 89 and check out miniel cloud storage at Mineo
. I oh that’s mi n io . i oh
ok we’re back with mike morrison one half of the membership guys who who
teaches people like he’s been teaching me for the last episode and a half about
why and where and how to build a membership site and this is uh it’s all
about finding a community of people who have needs who have problems who you
know I have complaints and gripes about whatever else
whatever is going on in their life that you have the passion and the experience
to fix and then identify like a specific gap in the way that other people are
trying to solve that problem that you can apply a little differently and help
them out with that and so Mike’s given me so much great advice here on the last
two episodes about first of all identify those passions and those skills and and
what the audience wants and then the market gaps and then on this episode we
talked about how to get really really specific and drilling down into how you
can query that audience or how you can get in front of somebody else’s audience
or how to build your own audience in order to ask them those questions and
come up with the exact specific problems that you’re going to solve and how
you’re going to do it
so Mike what is the exact specific problem that you help people like me
solve on your show and in your membership group we help
I’m anyone with a membership thinking about a membership weighing whether it’s
it’s the right thing for them
we help them to do what they need to do to plan build launch and grow a
successful membership sites and that’s you know but that’s the the broad topic
but again going back to solving problems we help people get away from time for
many traps we help people to create a business and not a golden goose not a
jar of snake-oil not something that’s going to let them retire at age 25
having never done it is work in their life we teach memberships on the
business model as a mechanism to who better leverage your time knowledge
experience and expertise to create a business that’s scalable that
doesn’t have a single point or a small number of points of weakness in terms of
clients nor crazy deadlines know crazy clients just a good solid business model
built on recurring revenue that comes from teaching people helping people are
solving their problems so we do the overall membership member site we take people right from pretty much where you are now the idea
step by step we have a whole membership world map light takes you step by step
from just a head full of ideas to narrowing those down researching them
validated in the flesh them out earn them into something that is a product
then put together the tech creating the content launching it growing it
scaling it and turning it into a 10 15 20 year business plan we do all of that
we have courses we have free downloads we have discount perks all that kind of
stuff and also in community and there too so I’m as you might be able to help
me as possible
I was always i love this stuff this is what was we’re passionate about myself
my part of cali and so we’re we’re helping a lot of people within the
economy and we’re having a lot of fun doing that
so that’s that’s kind of all product that’s where we make the big differences
but we also blog we podcast we have a facebook group so blown a podcaster at
the membership guys . com
we put out a weekly show I’m talking specifically just about various things
with it to membership site and we have a facebook group of rat talk
memberships . com we got that dress that will take you through facebook group
it’s free
got about 2,000 our membership site owners or people interested in starting
a membership site in there too
and obviously you can just get advice and stuff in there so
we yeah that’s I think that’s everything we do
apparently we’re going to be would go with jumping in the video blogging some
time in high school the week so yeah i’ll be a lot of fun huh
all over the board and you doing so much
it’s this is not something I I want to make this clear because there’s a lot of
folks who are in the make money online passive income you know a recurring
income that this is not easy right we’re not talking about throwing up something
and just walking away and go by in an island and and cashing in the checks
monthly that come in this is like and like you’re talking about it’s a lot of
stuff that you’re constantly working on its original business
yeah we teach memberships as a business model
there’s a lot of people out there will teach membership sites as a marketing
tactic or I was a get rich quick turn k scheme we teach it as a business model
we teach it to people who came more about how they make their money and how
much they can make and tell me wrong there is potential to make a lot of
money with a membership site in the same way that the potential make a lot of
money with the coaching business or services business
we don’t sell it as this key to unlocking riches or this is passive
income which is my favorite myth on front
always you know this this this holy grail kind of thing we just teach it as
a business model that is better than trading time for dollars working
one-on-one with clients and so you don’t certainly for ourselves we got into
doing what we’re doing with member site Academy dog on and with the membership
guys . com
we started doing and service model building memberships for for private
clients on a one-on-one basis
we’ve been involved in some highly successful membership site all the years
but since we decided to plant a flag in the Sun and start teaching this stuff
and you know start helping more people with this
our entire business has transitioned away from doing one services to being
completely a whole business is just members our economy our membership site
so what we kind of one talking about here as moving away as a as a tech pro
from if you’re self-employed from dealing with clients want to one through
to having a membership site as an alternative business model and a while
not easy to scale that is exactly what we’ve done with our side we have gone
from being web developers on a service base
how you know doing services building websites doing the web strategy in autos
. through to purely one hundred percent teaching this stuff no more clients are
thank God mm no no more lines in deadlines completely on your own terms
and a lot more for a lot more fulfilling
so I was going to ask specifically like you know you talked about these these
high-level goals of it can allow you to to switch transition from you know
one-on-one services to one too many service and stuff like that but what has
been the actual tangible changes in Mike in your life in your business
like what it what difference has it made that you’re like yes I’m so happy that
we made this transition
I want to tell you about a a chronicle linda linda was crazy that a real name
that is one letter removed from Homeland ok for how is she had one of those
really odd names out
linda was crazy I remember a particular day where my phone just kept buzzing and
buzzing and buzzing and it was it was a weekend and I was playing playstation
and I didn’t want to answer the phone so I just like bows and it just didn’t stop
any 30 minutes and when I took a look at it
I had seven voicemail messages from Linda she was a client who worked on who
worked for a florist just a small business this was maybe six seven years
ago and linda was screaming on the messages about the front sighs well I
website what the font size and font size where she felt should be two pixels
higher than it was and felt so strongly about that that she was calling me over
and over and over again so i called her back a little but I had a few room and
cook so I was a little less professional in my deals with clients and you know
since since a few years into into freelancing as a web dev I kind of had
this mental switch where you know I kind of that you know what these guys are
looking to be working with me and therefore i’m not going to put up with
the usual rubbish that wall street lamps do so I’m kind of fairly unforgiving
with that with with clients who are a total nightmare
I love like I loved my clients i love my member but if you if you are just bring
me six or seven times and brought complain about fun-sized
I’m not going to you know yes sir no sir three bags full sir kind of response
so am I wrangle in the back and was that ok of what the hell’s going on with this
one size and she reamed me out down the four and I mean I thought she was going
to burst blood vessel with how our issue was how terrible i was in my job for
having the tenacity temerity to set the fun at 14 pixels instead of 16 pixels
wow how dare you how dare you sir
I made it is unlimited by half and forcing raisins really 14 pixels
you should know better you call yourself a tech pro you call yourself a professor
I’m having a flashback
sorry look at this this rage she was our original and the first two messages and
boiled over from the fact that she had that I haven’t called her back sooner
7 messages in the space of 30 minutes she was incensed that they take me 30
minutes to call her back on a weekend out and this was ten
this was about ten o’clock I want to see Jenna clock
ya wanna say technically you may think morning it was evening and it was all
over Christmas
oh my gosh the tangible benefit of my business from now being solely focused
around memberships is I don’t have to speak to linda or hair like ever again
yeah it they stress the anxiety the crazy stuff we put ourselves through our
social violence dealing with ninety percent perfect fantastic wonderful
people who are clients but doing with the ten percent of absolute nut bags
isn’t worth it
it really isn’t worth it because we all know when you sit down to the master
when you’re self-employed
sit down to the master you feel good about yourself you’re charging fifty
seventy five hundred dollars per hour but actually when it’s all said and done
you’re pretty close to minimum wage because the so much extra stuff goes
into it it’s not worth it for hassle that you get from these crazy client is
not worth it when someone decides that they want to this project you are all
mapped out you had it all planned out how thinking you’re gonna finish in
you’ve got two months to work in and then the turnaround the need in two
weeks time
it’s not worth it really isn’t worth it
you can earn your money in such a more fulfilling more enjoyable less stressful
with so I don’t check
I don’t have to worry about check my email when I wake up in the morning
I don’t have to PI oh you don’t have that anxiety of our care what’s up and
now what’s crushed
what do they want Oh what deadlines changed what supply hasn’t come through
so that that release of pressure is genuinely life-changing you know I I 17
years my first seven years of my freelance career without holiday because
I was convinced the world would end my if i want to hold it
yeah we don’t take holidays on it seriously and before I actually took the
first holiday
I spent weeks preparing our for backup developers just in case and I had
the two or three different web companies there is emergencies and redundancies
and all of our and i want to hold in like nothing happened
it was just fine how you know so you know now I don’t even think about it you
know I’ve we met over in Chicago podcast movement between the month or so before
that I was all over the UK at different events and April I was over in san diego
for social media marketing world mean Kelly went there
we don’t have to think twice because we work wherever we want whenever we want
we can run our business just from one more while form because most of our
businesses just answering questions on the community or will record some
content which I record a podcast interview from a hotel room
yep I put out so yep yeah that is its transformational it generally is
transformational when you take complete control over what you’re doing what your
business is where you will not subject to clients and on the financial side of
things that that comes true as well because you know if you feel about the
situation where someone you were counting on paying that big invoice for
the project you spent the last six months working for the science that they
actually don’t pay invoices on anything other than 90 day payment cycle and they
hadn’t told you up front that can put you on your knees
as a service provider it can generally cripple you and your business and you
know i know a lot of people who have had those moments in this industry as well
where they be royally shafted and they’ve yeah they’re close to me to
having your clothes on their business because someone just hasn’t paid the
invoice on time man with a membership model as a business model again not as
some ridiculous how this is going to make you insanely rich kind of pie in
the sky rubbish as a business model
if you get that recurring revenue you’ve got hundreds of 200 people paying fifty
dollars a month if one person decides to cancel attend people decide to cancel if
you have a bad month we don’t get any sales this month then the impact of that
is a drop in the ocean because you know if you’ve got to climb to fifty percent
of them side and open you this month then you can hold it
yeah yeah so it just changes the complexion of your business that changes
the complexion of your life and it just makes me so much easier to deal with you
ya I’m not watching the clock on our interview here are single interview
turning it all into you and I don’t generally don’t care cuz I’m enjoying it
because i don’t have to get off the phone to talk to a client
I don’t have to clear my afternoon
so when i’m done with this I’m done no just because I can I don’t need I don’t
need to work to anyone’s time till I don’t need to work to anyone’s terms and
our members in the economy they’re using that to for the first time
some of them some of them would be running their memberships for years and
are refining things and you know finding more stuff to enjoy our membership our
and appreciating the freedom and it gives them we get to be around by and
partner transformation everyday answer
it’s a pretty awesome I’m sorry i well when it’s almost evangelical more pre
TRL previous
hey listen man the new hire is listening I am right here with you
and I’m listening and preach on because this is such great stuff it this is you
know for a lot of people for some people you know it’s it’s not their style and
that’s cool
yeah there’s a lot of different revenue styles there’s a lot of different
business styles and this is one and for me it’s one that I’m not there yet but
i’m very passionate about finding I think it’s a great model that works with
my personality for the reasons I said back on episode 118 right is because of
like you said that that diversification of income coming from
instead of two clients or one client if you’re employed by you know an employer
or two or three clients if you’re a freelancer
– don’t diversity that diversify that into a hundred people are month or a
thousand people are months right and once you build up those numbers
there’s going to be some turn right there is constantly going to be people
leaving without going on them right but you don’t need to be in a panic of oh my
gosh three people left this month i’m totally hosed
okay well if i could sell three more memberships over the next month or two
then I’ll get back to that level otherwise I’ve taken a one-percent
Deborah half a percent done or whatever you know when we talk about this as a as
a business one
you know I make sure and I be people over half of the fact that this is it
it’s probably less work for the return that you doing now but it’s still work
and its work on your terms and work you’re going to enjoy but don’t think
you’re going to spend your life sipping cocktails
I don’t know anybody I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone who read the
4-hour workweek
I’m who only works for hours a week well it’s yes I I do know one person but he’s
a year oak
yeah yeah yeah he only works for hours a week and and he lives in a box under a
bridge but you know it’s there I was
yes so that if that’s what you’re after this isn’t the model for you it really
isn’t you will need to turn if you do need to do work
a membership is a value exchange people only add value to you in terms of money
in the bank if you want value to them in terms of solving their problems giving
them content answering their questions and so on but it’s you know you’re doing
that now
already you’re just doing it on a one-on-one basis and you’re probably not
getting the appreciation that you want and you know you maybe not as for failed
but you know the membership model as a business model
if you can get just one member per day 10 / dates not a breeze to get into a
position where you’re attracting one do you remember day when you get one member
per day
your membership with a pretty normal level of churn
that’s going to put you in a position where you’re probably going to be
earning a bit more than you’re owning now in employment or its self employment
and unless you know you are dead set on being a multi-millionaire and a lot of
toys – that’s one member of day is going to give you revenue levels that most
people will be perfectly happy with the right
you know we’re not we’re not about you know this is a route to becoming a
– actually if you can take home 10 grand a month from doing something like this
it’s not too bad right that’s not too bad not too bad at all
so you came more about how you make your money and how much you when you make it
only wrong
we’ve worked in projects and we’ve been massively involved in project where you
know one of our favorite clients start off as a guy with the blog and a paypal
donation button teaching people how to play bass guitar he’s now got a
membership lasko 15,000 members turns over 2 million dollars yet
yeah there is yeah and that’s within two years
wow they is money to be made if you really going to it and you you know if
you hit hard nation you are massively talented at what you do and you are
willing to work your ass off
you can make money so when I talk about you know it’s about came about how you
make me know which one you make you going to get the best of both worlds but
that’s not the picture we sell we don’t you know we don’t look memberships just
because we think everyone is that a man should be aiming for a
two-million-dollar mark and this guy does a lot of work to get that a level
of income but yeah there’s definitely more potential there’s no real ceiling
so what you doin memberships in the same way the word to you in a career or even
offering services you know you want to go to so many hours in the day and if
those hours only generating you know income from a single salt so they’re
single use ours then you got a limit on how much you can learn according to how
many hours you actually have to do billable work so emotionally fragile
from not awesome Mike you have inspired me and taught me so much on these past
few episodes
I really appreciate your time coming on and sharing all this stuff because now
I’m fired up to like after this call
like go start really targeting specific people in my audience so another call to
action that i’ll give my audience right now is a leave me some feedback on
Twitter at hello tech pros or on the website there’s a lot of different links
this is hella tech pros calm / 1 to 5 episode 125 or joining our slack channel
at hello tech pros calm / slack and join the conversation and give me some
feedback about the problems that you’ve got in your career or in your product
development and i would love to hear that but I’m going to after this call
get really really specific and like reach out to a specific individual
people that i know that i’ve had kind of generalized conversations in the past
but I’m going to really dive into
out to figure this stuff out and coming down to what are the the specificity
that the specific problems that individuals are having and could i come
up with a solution to those problems but before we go my can you share any
parting words of wisdom for the audience
the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye
how interconnected with me you can hit me up on Twitter at membership guys I
was we got our blog and our podcast at the membership guys . com our facebook
definitely check that out if you even just thinking about memberships it’s
free myself and color in there all the time with a couple of thousand other
people like you and you can find that art talk memberships . com
and in terms of parting words of wisdom my own that struggle with my mind
anytime I get the kind of what general advice would you give people in general
it’s I suppose the resounding thing that has stuck with me for years
is it just that you don’t have to ask for permission to do things on your
terms and this isn’t just to do a memberships isn’t just do a particular
business model when it comes to your career when it comes to your life when
it comes to your business
you don’t have to wait for something to give you permission to do it on your
you do not have to deal with Linda calling you up seven times over
Christmas and a 3 mana . don’t have to stand for that you have complete control
over the way in which you earn a living
you can control that you can change that we’re not happy about it
set your own terms set your business out according to those terms don’t just
stick in something because you know it’s it’s the way that it’s always be in
order to wear that its doors because that’s how someone else is doing you
don’t leave a job and going to self-employment and just become a
freelancer because that’s kind of just what you’ve always done is a living
explore opportunities for the business models like membership sites like
group coaching you know if you don’t want to go full-blown in your membership
site do some sort of group coaching or e you know something that isn’t just one
to one type of money kind of stuff so again I don’t know how wise the words of
wisdom are awful
yeah just do it on your terms one dude on your terms especially be
self-employed because you left your job so you could be your own boss right so
be your own boss set your terms and refused to compromise for anyone
Mike thank you so much for joining me on the low temperatures today I really
value your your education your inspiration your knowledge or wisdom
that you shared with us today and the coaching that you’ve provided me here on
this podcast i really appreciate your time and appreciate you joining me on
the show today a man i appreciate you having me on i hope i didn’t ramble too
much that’s a that is a side effect of actually having a business and running
somebody around
so we’re passionate about is whenever people talk to you about it you just go
you seriously do so if i rambled a little too much for her listeners
hopefully you added it down with your door hopefully that all mind and yeah I
look forward to hearing how you get on with plans for your own membership when
you know what on every single episode there are some audience members that the
message is not right for and they’re going to turn out you know that’s the
beauty of podcasters you have the ability to to jump to another track and
and do whatever you want that’s that’s great no problem but for the folks like
myself who are listening to this going
holy moly like this is awesome
then they’re right here with us all the way to the end we appreciate it
ghost of awesome tech pros
if you feel like you need permission to write to implement some of these big
changes in your life or your career you have it i’m giving you the permission
right now you don’t need it but if you feel like you need to hear from somebody
that just tells you do it
I’m telling i’m giving you permission you got it from Chad Bostick I give you
permission to talk to your spouse if you have a spouse go talk to them
get their permission to but go do it whatever you want to look at lots of
different business models
think about your passions think about your skills
what does the audience want to find an audience that you can tap into look for
gaps in the marketplace and then solve problems that’s what we’re here to do
you’ve been listening to mike morrison and I’m Chad Bostick and until next time
take care
the show’s page for this episode can be found at hello tech pros calm / 125
do you use slack for team communication join the hello tech pro slack channel at
hello tech / slack if you enjoyed this episode please leave a
subscribe to this channel and check back tomorrow
this has been entrepreneurship saturday but tomorrow my featured guest and I
will not be talking about work because it’s sunday being unplugged on Monday
will get motivated once again to face the week with motivation Monday followed
by tuesday productivity Wednesday leadership Thursday technology friday
people communication and saturday back to our entrepreneurship and i’ll talk to
you tomorrow

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