PP 278: The Difference in Doing What You Love with Maxwell Finn
“Do what you love. If you wake up and your first instinct is ‘I don’t want to do that’, you’re doing the wrong thing. You need to figure out what you’re passionate about that you wake up excited to do that for the day. That should be your mindset” -Maxwell Finn
Max became an entrepreneur in college, and raised several million dollars in venture funding. Through that company, he learned he had a passion for digital marketing, specifically direct response. Today, Unicorn Innovations offers digital marketing services and training to small businesses and corporations.
Max and I chat about the meaning of the word “Unicorn,” the importance of knowing our ideal client — and only working with them, the mistakes we’ve made along our entrepreneurial journeys and more!
01:03 Get the Right Message for the Right Person
11:16 A Pricing that Makes Sense
18:06 Charge Your Worth
24:39 Pros and Cons of Corporate and Entrepreneurship
30:33 What It’s Like to do What You Love
34:26 How to Increase the Gap Between You and Your Competition
41:00 Work Your Own Routine
46:50 Do What You Love
In this episode, @thekimsutton and @maxwellfinn talk about the meaning of the word “Unicorn,” the importance of knowing our ideal client — and only working with them, the mistakes we’ve made along our entrepreneurial journeys, and more! Listen at: https://www.thekimsutton.com/pp278 #positiveproductivity #podcast #Unicorn #marketing #startups #volumeplay #chargeyourworth #dowhatyouloveClick To Tweet
13:26 “Just because it’s easy money and just because you can be the lowest price option to a lot of clients, doesn’t mean that’s going to be the best thing for your business growing long term.” -Maxwell Finn
16:48 A lot of people don’t want to get turned down. They don’t want to hear no’s. Unfortunately, that mindset caps your business.” -Maxwell Finn
19:30 “Charge your worth. Do not worry about competing with other people. Instead, look at your “competition” as referral partners.” -Kim Sutton
21:15 “If you’re working with people that can’t afford to pay what you’re worth, they can go out of business tomorrow.” -Maxwell Finn
34:03 “You need to be prepared that it is not going to happen overnight, that you’re going to be working hard for months or even years before you have a huge payoff. But the reality is that if you’re doing what you love, it shouldn’t matter that much.” -Maxwell Finn
36:48 “Doing nothing is fun for a few days… But it’s very challenging when you have the mindset of an entrepreneur, where instead of letting the world pass you by, you’re looking at problems and ways you can improve things.” -Maxwell Finn
38:33 “I don’t work– I do what I love to do. Everything I do on a daily basis is super fun. And it’s things that I would do to have a good time. So I wouldn’t be retiring from anything.” -Maxwell Finn
40:33 “When you do follow your passions, and you work on your passions, you do better work, you work harder. And as a byproduct, you’re usually more successful.” -Maxwell Finn
46:57 “Do what you love. If you wake up and your first instinct is ‘I don’t want to do that’, you’re doing the wrong thing. You need to figure out what you’re passionate about, that you wake up excited to do that for the day. That should be your mindset” -Maxwell Finn
Connect with Maxwell
Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Maxwell Finn was raised to have an eye for creative opportunity. He attended prestigious Babson College, top-rated for entrepreneurial education. While there, he started “Loot!” a mobile platform that connected brands with fans and customers. Maxwell’s first eCommerce endeavor, Startup Drugz, ushered him into the potential of Facebook advertising. Startup Drugz hit a $500k run rate in just 6 months.
Maxwell co-founded his first agency, Quantum Media, with Jeremy Adams and Kevin Harrington (the original Shark from Shark Tank.) The agency ran Facebook ads and sales funnels for several Fortune 500 companies, including 3M. While at Quantum he sold over $4M of Trump coins during the presidential election, winning a “Two Comma Club” award from ClickFunnels.
Max has inspired and mentored ten startups in the past decade. He is passionate about helping everyday entrepreneurs succeed. Maxwell Finn’s Facebook course and his brainchild, Unicorn Academy, have generated over $1 million in profits and have educated over 3,000 students. Small businesses, multinational companies and nonprofits have all experienced the purpose, passion and persistence that define Maxwell Finn.
When he’s not helping businesses grow, he’s speaking, writing and educating about entrepreneurship and profitable marketing strategies. Max is a regular contributor to major publications like AdWeek, and he’s a popular speaker on podcasts and at worldwide marketing events.
A top-rated, proven entrepreneur, Maxwell Finn loathes the status quo, likes the color blue and is 2% of the good kind of crazy.
Connect with Unicorn Innovations:
Kim Sutton Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton, and I’m so thrilled that you’re here to join us today. I’m also thrilled to introduce our guest, Max Finn. Max is the Co-Founder of Unicorn Innovations. Max has a phenomenal background and rather than me trying to share it with you, I’m just going to ask, Max. Hi, Max, to come on in and tell us all about himself.
Maxwell Finn Awesome. That’s a great place to start. Well, it’s good to be here, Kim. I appreciate having me in your podcast and I appreciate getting the bloopers and everything out early is good, right? Instead of starting off on a perfectionist foot, make the mistakes early on, and then you’re ready to go.
Kim Sutton Oh, absolutely.
Maxwell Finn So this is my least favorite part, I think podcaster or any type of talk is the introduction just because it’s very unnatural and strange to talk about yourself. And, but I will do it nonetheless. So I’ve been an entrepreneur for 10 plus years. Since college, I’ve been involved in the startup space, and founded my first company while I was still in school. We raised several million dollars in venture funding. It was a long tail kind of micro influencer platform that allowed brands to incentivize the everyday customer and reward them for creating content and doing certain action. So if Domino’s was launching a new pizza flavor, new special, they can run a campaign in our app to like pay $1, or a discount or some micro word for people to take a photo like a selfie with the pizza. And so we’ve worked with a lot of big companies, Adobe, Domino’s. We worked a lot of local companies, very successful, we have about 500,000 users at our peak, and the mobile app world has changed dramatically and last since we had this company back in 2001 2012. So back then it was all about organic, you couldn’t really pay to do anything. So very challenging. We had a pretty big team at the time, made tons and tons of mistakes, but we learned a lot. And what I learned towards the end of that company was, you know, my passion really was all about digital marketing and more. So the direct response aspect of it of being able to get the right message to the right person at the right time to convince them, motivate them to do something, whether it’s by something, like something, share something. It’s a really interesting phenomenon that you can do that. I think people take for granted as marketers how powerful that is able to stop somebody in the tracks in Facebook and get them to click something and then pull out their credit card and purchase something when they didn’t know about five minutes ago. And so that kind of put me down my journey of getting more involved in the direct response, digital marketing world, ecommerce world. Started a first store called Startup drugs right towards the tail end of the daily 100, which is the name of my first startup. And it kind of took off out of the gate, we got really lucky. On the organic side of things, we got founded this company called producthunt, which is a huge company now. It was really early back then. But basically, it lists like the top apps and startups a community votes demand and they upload them. So if you get the most voted App of the day, or start with a day, you get tons and tons of traffic. So we got like 30,000 people to our site in a week. And, and that kind of took off and we still have that company. It’s a lot of fun. It’s basically an entrepreneurial lifestyle brand. So we make t shirts and posters and canvases and all kinds of cool products for entrepreneurs and startup founders.
Kim Sutton Thank you for explaining what that was. Because when I initially saw startup drugs, I was like, Huh, I know, the cannabis industry is growing. But then when I saw what it was, I was like, Oh, I need to check this out.
Maxwell Finn So that the name always gets people. It’s really, you know, the funny things people ask me like, “Well, do you ever think about the implications of having drugs in the name?” And I was like, you know, when I started the company, it was not supposed to be a company. I was doing it for fun. I thought this would be a fun thing. Maybe some my friends would buy a T shirt. I had no idea at the time that this would be a business five years from now that it would still be growing and we have you know, customers like Miami Dolphins and Russell Brunson and Tom Bill and all these huge people but sometimes that’s how it goes. Usually the things that you don’t expect to be homeruns end up being your most successful. So just to fast forward to today over the last kind of three years I’ve been really involved in the agency world. Jeremy Adams, my partner and I had a digital marketing agency with Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank. We’ve known Kevin for a few years. We’ve been friends with him business partners. We still do deals together today but the the agency, we worked with some big companies like [inaudible] and Sam’s Club. We launched a lot of really cool innovative products. And that helped us get a to comical word with clickfunnels for building a million dollar funnel for a single product. And we actually did four and a half million dollars in about a four month window with one of our products. And so that kind of put us on a map on the direct response world. And flash forward to today, Jeremy and I have a company called Unicorn Innovations, which is a kind of a hybrid company, we do a lot of customer acquisition. And then we also have an educational side of the business. So we run traffic for or select group of companies, they have to be usually doing high six figures and growing rapidly, or at least seven figures. And then we have a coaching and info product side of the business. We have our Facebook ad IQ Academy, which is our Facebook course, that has 100 plus video training videos, 40 hours of content, we have 2000 plus students in there. It’s been a really, really fun experience. And the success of our first course, inspired us to start building more of a robust training platform. So we’re launching a lot of courses in 2018. We’re launching Amazon courses, LinkedIn courses, basically bringing in the smartest people in the world that are experts on these topics to create these programs for business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers, and even companies at an enterprise level that want to take their marketing, their eecom stores or businesses to the next level. So that’s where Unicorn Innovations is today. That’s where I’m at today. And it’s exciting to get to share with lots of people. And hopefully today we get to talk to a lot of cool people that listen to podcast.
Kim Sutton Well, thank you so much for that awesome introduction. Listeners if you haven’t listened to it yet, Jeremy, Max’s partner was on episode 258. So you can go back and listen to his episode at thekimsutton.com/pp258. I didn’t even think to ask him Max, how did Unicorn In– how did he come up with a name?
Maxwell Finn My fiance actually came up with a name. So the idea of having a unicorn– So unicorn is a term for a billion dollar company. It’s a very common term in Silicon Valley and in the tech world and startup world, because that’s been the term for the last 15 years. I’m drawing a blank on her name right now. But she was a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, I believe, Ellen. I think it’s Ellen Page, not Ellen Page. I’m joined by her name, but she came up with the term of a unicorn. She’s a venture capital investor, a while back and that kind of stuck. And so now that’s what you call a company that that’s valued at a billion dollars. So it kind of made sense that unicorn IQ is like a billionaire IQ, a billion dollar company IQ and unicorn innovations, obviously the parent company on top of that. So it’s a fun character, we got to have a fun mascot, which is awesome with a fun branding. And it fits in with what our long term goal is for both our company and the people that we’re teaching and running traffic for.
Kim Sutton I had no idea that that’s what unicorn like, there was that association. Because I see unicorn, I see entrepreneurs sharing images of unicorns all the time. And I always thought that it was actually about how original they are and how unique and let me be a unicorn. And–
Maxwell Finn What is that? That’s mythology. So the reason that word stuck with startups is that they’re rare. So they don’t exist, but they did exist, they’d be incredibly rare and a billion dollar company is a very rare thing. So the underlying definition and like mythology behind unicorns inspired the terminology that was used to explain these startups that are achieving this massive, massive status as a billion dollar company.
Kim Sutton Oh, fabulous. learn something new every day.
Maxwell Finn And it’s Eileen Lee I needed to make sure I gave the right credit. So Eileen Lee is the woman who actually first termed the unicorn that came with that idea for you calling a billion dollar company unicorn. So want to make sure I gave her the shout out as the originator.
Kim Sutton I have a feeling you just educated a whole lot of listeners. Max, I need to share that my first business was not intended to be a business either. I bought a scrapbooking magazine for my ex mother in law that I was going to give it to her for Christmas. It was six months before I was pregnant with my second child. And I have to admit, I started looking through it. I wasn’t even a scrapbooker but I saw this cool, cool tool that I wanted. It was a die cutting tool, and I just had to buy it. And it wasn’t a lot of money. It was $75 but at that time, it was a lot of money, so I decided I needed to pay it off. So I started selling die cuts on eBay for $1 or $1.50. Which was ridiculous because some of them took me two to three hours to make six to 12 die cuts and I was selling them for $1.50. But I made all the classic mistakes that you could possibly make, including Google AdWords. I had no idea what I was doing when I set up my terms. And I accidentally spent $800 in one day, which was, well actually is more than a house payment, where I live in Ohio. I just wanted to cry.
Maxwell Finn That’s amazing. That can happen. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily spend a lot of money. The easiest thing in the world to do is spend money on Facebook ads, or Google ads, or pretty much anywhere online. If they have your credit card. It’s pretty, pretty easy to spend money fast.
Kim Sutton I’m so happy to hear that your Facebook IQ. I’ve worked with so many clients and I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs out there who when they’re asked Who is your ideal client, they say everyone. And I used to be one of those people as well when I started this round of business. The scrapbooking business never made me more than a quarter a day. That’s how bad it was. But when I started this business, I thought everyone was my ideal client as well. And I could never understand why my conversions were so low. It was because I just wasn’t going after the right audience. And I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and people are talking about.
Maxwell Finn Let me pickup over there. So let me while you recover on that one, let me tell you. So the amazing thing about most businesses, it’s not unique. And if you’re if your business falls those categories, you feel bad about it. But when you’re a new entrepreneur or a new business owner, your focus initially is I need to make money. It’s I need to get customers, I need reoccurring sales, I need to pay the bills, especially if you’re coming from a nine to five job. And now you go your first month or two without a paycheck, people get scared, you know, I’m blessed in that I never had that. So from day one, since I was 19 years old, I’ve never had a consistent paycheck. So I’m used to it, like it’s nothing to me to not have money for a month or two, you know, you get used to that very fast. Fortunately, no one had to worry about money anymore. But for 10 plus years, that was my world and a lot of people can’t handle that, especially if you’re coming from somewhere with the safety net. So you end up taking any business you can get, any client that you can get. And the problem is that the lower paying clients, the people that are willing to write you check and, you know, finagling with you, and nickel and dime you and trying to get your price down. 10 times at attend, those are going to be your most time intensive clients. What’s amazing is that we work with some of the biggest companies in the world, and some of the biggest people in the world. And so with whether it’s Three M or Pat Flynn are some huge figures we work with, those people require such little hand holding. They’re such easy clients. They check in, you know, once a month, twice a month, maybe they’re no headaches. The people that are paying way, way less, are the ones that need daily updates. They’re on you every day, “Hey, we didn’t make money today.” Because they need that money, like $1,000, somebody only has $5,000 in the bank, that’s 25% everything have, I mean, 20% what they have. So they’re gonna be really, really all over you. So it’s important while you’re looking like what type of clients take on, what type of business I should take on to understand that just because it’s easy money and just because you can be the lowest price option to a lot of clients doesn’t mean that’s going to be the best thing for your business growing long term or the most profitable thing. In fact, you’re probably getting to a point which everyone gets to in the agency world, we got to that point where you take on lots and lots of clients, because it’s easy money they’re giving to you. And then you realize two to three months in that we took on a bunch of one clients, they’re a huge pain. We can’t make them happy. There’s very little upside in this deal. Plus, they’re also missing a lot of things. This is the other critical piece that agency owners or marketers don’t think about. When they’re taking on clients that can only afford $1000 $2000 $3,000 a month is the businesses that aren’t successful yet, don’t have, you know, $500,000 $1 million $2 million, $5 million $10 million run rates, they don’t have all of their stuff figured out. Meaning, if you’re a new business, you’re still trying to figure out the right price for your product, who your ideal customer is. You’re still maybe you’re tweaking your website and your funnels, you don’t know your ideal brand, identity, your voice. You don’t have branding guidelines. You’re missing all of these critical components that a successful business needs to have in place. So what ends up happening as a digital marketer or the agency or whoever you are in that relationship is you can do an exceptional job. You can drive the most profitable, the best traffic, and the best retargeting ads, the best sequence everything you do can be great. But if the pricing doesn’t make sense, and they don’t have user generated content, the product has been tested, there’s all the other things that the business owner doesn’t have in place yet, you’re going to fail, and the business owner is going to blame you not themselves. They’re either going to ask you to help them with it, or they’re going to try to fire you or nickel and dime you because it’s not making money. So when we made the switch from taking on, anybody wants to pay us to a very, very specific type of client that we’re charging the most for, everything improved. Our clients satisfaction improved, our results improved, our retention improved, we are more profitable, we work less, literally across the board, every metric you track was improved by getting rid of the low quality clients a business that are just getting started that haven’t seen success yet. And just focusing on already successful businesses that are growing rapidly, and really need the specific marketing expertise that you can deliver, and they’re willing to pay for it.
Kim Sutton You just described about a two year span of my clients.
Maxwell Finn Yeah, and it’s for a lot of people, it can be way more than two years. Some people it can be 10 years, they don’t figure it out, or they know it, but they’re not– what’s even scarier is people that know what I just said but they don’t want to make a change, because they’re scared to not get the price they’re looking for. So a lot of people have a fear of, if I asked for 5000 a month, they’re gonna say like the people on the rise, the worst thing people say is no, that’s the worst thing can happen. If you go into a client negotiation and say, “This is what our monthly retainer is, we charge 5000 a month at minimum, or 10% of adspend, whichever is higher. And we do this because you know, we’re the best at what we do. We, you know, deliver results, we need to be incentivized, we’re not gonna be the lowest quality option, lowest price option, or the highest quality.” A lot of people are scared to do that, because they don’t want to get turned down. They don’t want to hear no’s. And, you know, unfortunately, that mindset caps your business. You’re not going to grow past a certain point, because you just can’t your volume play then. And volume plays, especially in a service based business, are very, very hard to scale. Because you need to bring on human capital to handle those accounts. Each one of those individuals is a pretty, you know, heavy fixed cost. So it’s very, very hard to do that. Whereas our model is incredibly lean right now, we only take on a handful of clients, and we charge anywhere from 10 to $35,000 a month minimum on a retainer basis, plus ad spend, plus a percent of ad spend, and potentially a revenue kicker. And that allows us to be really lean. It allows us to do really, really high quality work because we only work with a handful of businesses and an ensures that we can be very, very profitable and scale and bring on really, really high quality people, like a A level talent, because we can afford to pay them instead of having to only afford, you know, low quality work, kids that are just out of college that aren’t really skilled or talented. Now you got to train them, you got to handhold them, there’s one more quality control. It just has ripple effect across your business. If you become a volume play in a service based business.
Kim Sutton Max, when I came back to my business after having my twins in early 2015, I had no clients and I was a new Infusionsoft certified partner, I wasn’t confident in my rate, I was charging $50 an hour, which is very low for an Infusionsoft certified partner. So when I was putting out proposals on Upwork, because I was still getting all my work through Upwork. I was winning just about every project I put out for because I was an Infusionsoft certified partner. And because I was charging the same as the other contractors who weren’t. So all of a sudden, within a month, I had 30 new clients, which is it’s scaring me just to think about it like I would never want to go back three years ago to that point. So I ended up having to hire the contractors that I was bidding against. And unfortunately wasn’t the end of me charging that rate, but the one of the final straws was that I was on vacation with my family. And there was a client who had had tremendous scope creep. And the way that he was getting more and more was, while I was on vacation, he actually sent me a text message with a suicide threat if I didn’t help him. Yeah. Listeners, charge your worth. Do not be worried about competing with other people. Instead, look at your quote, competition as referral partners and get really clear on who you want to work with. And if somebody comes to you, that’s not yours, find a partner that you can send that person to. But what I also noticed is that when I was charging that amount, just like you were saying, Max, like my clients were actually in scarcity mode. They had no idea what they were wanting. They were messaging me, slacking me, texting me at 10:30 11:00 on nights and weekends, can you build out this funnel for me tonight? Because he just came up with a brand new idea. And that’s not how you’re going to be successful. John Lee Dumas says it perfectly his definition of focus follow one course until success. It took me three and a half years to get that into my thick head. You know, I couldn’t be launch hopping. Is that what it’s called? Like going from one product to the next.
Maxwell Finn Yep, no. It’s a very, very real threat for business owners, especially on the the agency side of it. And unfortunately, it takes people in our world getting to a point where they’re literally on the verge of either bankruptcy or just going crazy to realize that, like, I made a bad decision going this route. So what you said in a few minutes ago is really important, which is, you know, we I’ve had multiple companies that had lots of employees. And it is so easy to hire people, like hiring and when I say easy, I mean, relatively to what I’m about to say, hiring obviously, hiring the right people is challenging, a lot of work goes into it. But getting somebody to agree to work for you is a relatively easy process compared to firing. So it is a lot easier to offer people a job and money and bring on your company than it is to go into somebody’s office and say, Hey, we got to fire you. Like it takes a lot more planning a lot longer. If you have you know, their w two and you have you can have severance packages, you can have you know, contract, there’s a lot of issues that come with that. So what happens a lot of people is they, on the volume play side, or they’re charging a little amount, they stack up rapidly. So all of a sudden, you get 30 clients 40 clients, like, Oh, I need a lot of work. So I’m gonna go out there and hire a bunch of people. And all of a sudden you hire, you know, 8, 10, 15, 20 people, you’re not gonna onboard all the people, you got to train them, you got bring in managers, you can put systems in place. It’s a lot, a lot of work. And then if those 30 clients after month, two, and month three, all of a sudden, they run out of money. Because remember, if you’re working with people that can’t afford to pay what you’re worth, they go out of business tomorrow. If you’re dealing with a client or a company, where they’re nickel and dime you at $1,000 a month or $2,000 a month, is very likely that six months from now, they’re not gonna be in business. They make one bad bet, one bad investment, they’re done. And now they’re no longer a client for you, even if you have a contract with them. If they don’t have money, they can’t pay you. So now you got to go and you got to fire people, you got to downsize, you got to, you know, get rid of 10 people, 15 people that crushes and rally your company and there’s a cyclical up and down swing. Whereas if you focus on staying very lean, and finding partners that are very, very high quality that you can sub work out to on a project by project basis, it is so much more profitable, you control a lot more of the elements. It’s not, you know, they’re not on contracts with you, they’re not hired for other work, it’s literally Hey, we have this client just came on, they need these funnels built, we’re gonna pay x for this. By that point, you’ve already collected the money from the client and now you’re collecting the spread. It’s a lot more control or less risk. And that’s what we do at unicorn, we obviously, you know, still do a lot of stuff internally. I still run a lot of campaigns for our high level projects. But we have people that are better than me at SEO, at native advertising, at funnel building, at email marketing. We know the best of the best and for better or worse, it depends on whose perspective you’re looking at. A lot of people who are very talented don’t charge their worth. That’s what we’re talking about here. But there’s an arbitrage opportunity for agency owners, because you can find very talented people who are just not confident in their skills yet. And I can recognize talent. They might not know how talented they are yet. They’re just getting started on a track record. So they’re totally undercharging what their value is. And you can get an incredible deal. They’re happy because they’re getting paid well. They don’t sell anything, you’re doing it all for them. They didn’t do what they love. You’re charging ultra premium, because you know the quality of the work is there. And the caliber the clients there, and everyone’s happy. And so that model is much more profitable and scalable than trying to build a very personnel heavy volume based agency early on.
Kim Sutton Did you know when you were young like and I mean, middle school that you wanted to be an entrepreneur and have your own business?
Maxwell Finn Yeah. So I’m a unique case because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. And I like to talk about this a lot when I do podcasts or interviews because it is unique and it wasn’t until probably the last few years that I’ve realized how lucky I am, like my grandfather is an entrepreneur, my dad’s an entrepreneur. They both built some incredibly large companies, international companies, one of which is the largest privately owned commercial real company in the world called NII global. And so I lived through that. I saw the ups and downs. I saw the benefits of that, the negatives of that. But that’s like, all I knew was that that’s what you do. Like I didn’t, I wasn’t exposed to, you know, the dad, or the grandparent, or goes to work at 9:00 comes to home at 5:00 and off on weekends. Like, I just didn’t see that world, at least at home. And so, by the time I got, you know, middle school and high school, and sort of thing what I want to do with my life, that was never an option. Like I just never, I never understood how, and again, this isn’t like an insult or a negative thing, but just from my perspective, I could never rationalize my head doing something for 50 to 60 years of my life, Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, where I didn’t have any control. I get to say, Why we’re doing this? What the goals are? What the long term vision is? That I didn’t love doing, that I didn’t have a passion for. And I didn’t have tremendous upside in. And for a lot of people, that’s you spend almost your entire life doing something that the biggest chunk of your time is working. And you’re building somebody else’s stream, you’re building somebody else’s vision, you don’t have the level of control that you have as an entrepreneur. Now, the argument for that on the other side is, well, there’s a lot more stability, there’s a lot less risk, there’s more consistency, there’s retirement, all that angle of it. Which used to be the go to argument for why I would take the corporate job, the 9:00 to 5:00 job. What’s crazy, though, is that, you know, 2008 2009, like that level of security and stability that we all thought we had is 9:00 to 5:00 workers got evaporated. He saw companies that were multi billion dollar companies that had pensions, and 401K’s and all kinds of retirement plans go out of business. And when that happens, all of a sudden your pension, it’s all gone, right? If the company goes out of business, and it’s private, it’s you know, the 401 K’s are private, you don’t have that stability. And so when I look at that, say, Well, I can either go and do something I don’t love, I don’t control over that I now don’t even have, like security end, job security end or I can do what I love every day, follow my passion, build my own future, and have the upside that I own control 100% of that I don’t have to worry about some other person making a stupid business decision and ruining my future, which is what happened in Wall Street. It’s what happened the real estate world, like a group of people made very, very stupid bets that cost millions of people, their job security in their future. And that’s why now you have, you know, 85 year old women working as baggage clerks at Whole Foods for that. So that’s my rant on. Like, why I think the 9:00 to 5:00 model is interesting if people still take that nowadays and why I can never do it as just from my perspective.
Kim Sutton Yeah. My mom is actually asked me a couple times, because we had our we’ve had plenty of financial struggle in the last five years. And she asked me a couple times, so don’t you think it’s time to go back and look for a real job. And then my 12 year old son had asked me, “Well, do you think you can find somebody that you can do what you do for like, work for them full time so that you get paid what you get paid now for eight hours a day, 40 hours a week?” So I had to explain to him that that’s not how it works.
Maxwell Finn Yeah. Unfortunate that’s not how it works.
Kim Sutton No, absolutely not. I mean, I went to school to be an interior architect. And I know what I got paid. I mean, I got paid about 40,000 a year. So what’s that about $20 an hour. And I know that my billable rate was $125 to $200. So I had to explain that to my son, that it’s not going to be my billable rate that I’m getting paid full time. Somebody else is going to make that money. And thankfully, eventually he got it. He began to understand that. But I can’t even imagine, I actually lost my job at the end of 2008. I was designing schools in Ohio, which is where I live and– I’m outside of Dayton, Ohio, so our GM factory and DHL like we were really hard hit around here and all school improvements had to be approved by bond issues like the tax issues, and the community stopped passing them. So there was no more schoolwork to be done. So I unfortunately fell victim to the recession myself. But I can’t imagine going back. I was actually just thinking about that this morning. You know, what I miss about working a 9:00 to 5:00 job. And it was never 9:00 to 5:00 because you have to account for commute. I don’t miss people watching when I go to use the restroom to see how long I’m gone. I don’t miss people like looking at their watch when I come in or leave. The only thing I think I really miss is like the potluck lunch that we would have. But there’s ways around that I mean, find the entrepreneur group and do a potluck.
Maxwell Finn Yeah. It’s interesting. It’s perplexing to me. And I guess, you know, again, I realized the fact that I’m unique, and I kind of have blinders on because it’s so I’ve done. Like in high school, college, I work plenty of crappy jobs. I think everyone should work, you know, a deli job, a service job. Like I work in a deli from 6am to 8pm, for multiple summers. And I think it’s important understand, like an 80 hour work like a manual, like on your feet work week is like everyone should have to do that. That’s super important to build character and ethic, and understand what it’s like to truly have to do work. And, like, that’s important. But at the same time, it’s so hard to understand how I could ever just wake up every morning Monday to Friday and like, not be happy, like not be excited to do what I do that day. It’s like when you’re going to school, right? When you’re in high school. In middle school, you’re like, Okay, I’m looking at a clock, Okay, last class, it’s almost over, it’s almost over. And I feel like that’s the way it is for work for a lot of people. It’s like, I can’t wait for this to be over, so I can go do this. Like this is just a means to an end. I got to go through this, you know, 8, 9 hours so I can go home and do things I actually enjoy doing. And for me, it’s the exact opposite. It’s this is like what I love to do. I’m so blessed and fortunate that I get to do what I love to do. I get to work with my best friends, I get to work from home. There’s all these benefits, but at the same time, it’s when I want to make sure people don’t think is that it’s people think that’s easy, because that’s the other misconception that the media I don’t want to like them the media, but like Silicon Valley, and TV shows and some things have made it seem like there’s this golden world in Silicon Valley in New York and Boston and major cities where you go there with an idea, and somebody writes you a check for $5 million and you get this fancy office and you live this elaborate life. I think some people have that, like thought about that’s what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, that your overnight success. All these people that all of a sudden became billionaires overnight are millionaires overnight. And the reality is that the only reason you think that is because you didn’t know who that person was the last 10 20 30 years because they weren’t nobody. So the only time you know about is when they’re successful. So you think that they just became successful overnight. The reality is that they’ve worked every day, not just weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays, around the clock, sacrificing everything else to get to that point. And that is a truth for every entrepreneur. That’s the truth for my grandpa, my grandpa went through it, my dad went through, I saw it personally over, you know, many, many years of paying everybody else in the company and not paying himself, you know, taking care of everybody else to get to the point where he has everything he wants and same things for me. It’s the last 10 years, I’ve sacrificed, I’ve borrowed money, I’ve maxed credit cards. I’ve done everything possible to scrape and crawl to keep going to finally get to a point where the rewards happen to the point where you know, now, I don’t have to worry about those things anymore. But it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to get to that point where all sudden people think you’re an overnight success. So it is important for anybody listening to understand that it’s not something you just decided that I’m going to quit my 9:00 to 5:00, become an entrepreneur, and you know, make a ton of money next month or several my income next month or two months, or three months from now. You need to be prepared that it is not going to happen overnight. It’s not gonna happen in the next month or two months, that you’re going to be working really hard for months or even years before you have that huge payoff. But the reality is that if you’re doing what you love, it shouldn’t matter that much.
Kim Sutton I love Mondays. Do you love Mondays as much as I do?
Maxwell Finn Yeah. I always said the funny thing is that it’s like a Monday isn’t their day, right? Because I work Saturdays and Sunday. So it’s not even, like it doesn’t have the same impact as it does for most people where to start the work week because my work were in weekends. I actually like weekends more than Mondays and not for the reason that people are listening by think. I like weekends because it’s two days that a majority of my competition and other people out there are not doing anything, that I’m improving my skills, that I’m growing my business, that I’m on I’m doing things to improve my intellect and my skills and my business. And that gives me two days, every week, you know, eight days every month that I get that gap that I keep increasing that gap between my competition. So I actually like weekends a lot more for that reason, but Mondays are great too. It’s the same thing people are, you know, tired, they’re lazy, they’re not working fully and you’re just in the zone because you’re doing what you love.
Kim Sutton I should clarify, I love Mondays because I can send all my kids back to school and focus.
Maxwell Finn Okay. I don’t have kids, so yeah.
Kim Sutton If you ever want to borrow five for a weekend, you might not like weekends as much. I love my kids listeners, do not get me wrong. But I love the quietness when everybody is out of my hair on a weekend because it’s also when team members and clients are off doing their own thing. And I can really get in and focus on my business and not in my business. That’s why I love weekends. But with all my kids, that doesn’t usually happen because it’s always mom something. You know, I need this, I need, you know, give me more milk, whatever. So my husband thinks I’m crazy, because he’s still working out of the house. But every Sunday night, I’m like, I’m so ready for Monday. And he’s just, yeah. He’s working on– he’s a video game developer, and he’s working on his first game. But in the meantime, he’s working full time out at home. And it’s not always the ideal situation for him. Do you think that you’ll be able to retire? I don’t mean financially.
Maxwell Finn Yeah, not in the traditional sense, I don’t think so. It just doing nothing is, when I said doing nothing, I mean, just kind of sitting around and relaxing. It’s fun for a few days, and then all sudden, you get and this isn’t just now, because I haven’t really taken a vacation My family haven’t taken many vacations in the last few years for a lot of reasons. But it’s very challenging when you have the kind of mindset of an entrepreneur, where you look at the world very differently. And instead of just kind of letting the world pass you by and looking at, you know, just as a car passing by this person doing this, this person is doing this, you’re looking at like problems and flaws and ways you can improve things like, hey, wouldn’t it be way more efficient if you could do this? Like, wouldn’t it be cool to have this other product, this software, this feature, and that’s the way I look at things on a daily basis. And I know it can frustrate my fiance sometimes and people sometimes do like, just enjoy it, just you know, just ignore it. But it’s very hard to do that. So I don’t envision that there will be a point where I will be able to say like, Okay, I’m done for the next 30 years, I’m just going to like, hang out and travel and, and do nothing. I think that would be very, very difficult to do. And I think it’s important to take breaks and realize the benefits of all the hard work. But at the same time, I think it should be like interment like maybe you take a few months out of the year at a certain point you try and transition. So it’s, you know, instead of working 12 months a year, maybe you’re working, you know, eight months or seven or six months and the other months are mainly you know, traveling and doing things other than work. So it’s kind of like a partial retirement. But again, like I don’t work– I do what I love to do, like everything I do on a daily basis is super fun. And it’s things that I would do to like, and have a good time. It’s as crazy as it sounds. So I wouldn’t really be retiring from anything because I’m not working on a daily basis.
Kim Sutton I don’t think I’ll be able to retire. To be totally honest, the five minutes before bed is hard enough. I have chronic idea disorder and I get ideas in those five minutes. So I can’t even imagine. I can’t imagine an hour, week, maybe I need to try it. But I just can’t imagine because yeah, it drives my husband crazy because I whip out the phone or have to turn on the light to write something down. He got smart, though, and he bought me a book light for Christmas. So now I don’t have to get out of bed. And yeah, I can. I always have my notebook right there. So I can write it down and then try to get to sleep again. But usually it’s a little bit of a battle with whatever’s going through my head.
Maxwell Finn Yep. It’s definitely a challenge. And I think it’s so different that you look at Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, or, you know, the kind of laundry list of Jeff Bezos or you know, people that are billionaires that are incredibly successful and have no need to work anymore. They probably haven’t needed to work for the last 20 30 40 years but they do it because that’s their– they’re doing something bigger, right? Like, what Jeff Bezos is building an Amazon. It’s not about making him money. And like building a company that makes money, it’s about changing the world. Ilan Musk, the same thing. You know, he’s building companies that are genuinely solving massive problems and impact our entire civilization. He’s trying to colonize other planets, and he’s trying to figure out a fossil fuel crisis and save our planet. He’s working for that not to just keep making money. The interesting thing with when you start doing that is, when you do follow your passions, and you work on your passions, you do better work, you work harder. And as a byproduct, you’re usually more successful. So what’s interesting is the people that are doing their passion, following their passions, and following their dreams, actually, building those companies end up being the most successful financially because of that factor.
Kim Sutton Max, you have a routine that you follow every, a daily routine?
Maxwell Finn We kind of talked about this offline a little bit before we started the call. But for everyone that’s listening, I am a very unorganized person. And I probably need to work on improving my organization, and like, kind of writing down tasks and tracking things a little better. But, you know, honestly, I kind of just, I have a calendar and people add things to it. It’s a shared calendar, and I show up where I’m supposed to show up. But for the most part, I just, you know, when I wake up, like, I do what I think I should be doing at that point. Like what’s interesting to me what I wanted to do. There’s really not a consistent structure of, you know, I think some people say, Hey, I wake up at 9:00 every day. I drink a cup of coffee, exactly this time. I check emails for 30 minutes. I do this for an hour, I do this for two hours. For me, and maybe I’m unique or different, but like, it’s hard to do that, because every day is different. There’s so many external variables. And it’s contextual that, you know, if I get 200 emails tonight versus 1000 on load day, like, I shouldn’t have a block of time checking emails, like some people do, because it might take me five minutes to do it each day, or might take me an hour to do each day. And that throws off the entire rest of the daily schedule. So it’s interesting to meet people that have very, very specific schedules and routines. How that worked, because every day is different. The situations are different, the timing is different, the seasons different, there’s so many other variables out of control. So I kind of have goals that I set for myself, both like short term and long term goals. And each day, I’m working to achieve those goals. So whatever that looks like for that day, to move closer to accomplishing that, that’s what I’m doing. But in terms of a daily structure, and you know, broken down like hour by hour or minute by minute, I’ve never been that person and I probably never will be.
Kim Sutton No. I don’t have a structure either. I have started blocking out my calendar so that you know, there specific times during the week when I have coaching client calls or Infusionsoft client calls or podcast, you know, podcast interviews, but outside of that my day is very relaxed. My alarm is set on my phone, but most days I ignore it. I guess I’m we’re fortunate as entrepreneurs that we can do that. And if I have an appointment in the morning, then I know I need to get up. But most days I don’t have one that’s that early. But I have the kid alarm too so they won’t let me sleep that late. Yeah.
Maxwell Finn That’s true. You do. Yeah, I have a bad habit. I actually started in like, I started and I spent a long time that I’ve been doing this and it’s an it’s almost like an OCD thing now that I do. But I was back in college, I used to love the feeling of like, waking up. And knowing still like an hour or two hours, like waking up early and supposed to wake up. So I used to start I would set like two or three alarms. So my first time I woke up would actually be like, well before I go back to sleep and now like feeling able to go back to sleep. And I’m sure you could talk to like a sleep doctor. And they would say that’s probably terrible for you. You’re probably supposed to get up but that’s kind of stuck with me. So I still do that to this day where, like I’ll set an alarm for like 6am and there’s no way I’m ever gonna have at 6am but I’ll set it and then I’ll turn it off and there’s another one ready to go for the actual time I should be getting up. It’s just something that has stuck over the years that probably isn’t isn’t great and isn’t super efficient, but it’s what I do.
Kim Sutton That’s so funny. In my mastermind group I just need to share this. Listeners, I will include a link to this in the show notes which you can find at thekimsutton.com/pp278. In my mastermind group we use app called habit share, and we’re keeping each other accountable for our daily habits. And a couple of the mastermind members are trying to get up at 5:00 and 6:00 every morning. I’m like, Yeah, have fun with that. That’s never gonna make it. I mean, my biggest feat right now is taking soda out of my daily consumption. I’m a month in it’s amazing, coffees next, we’ll see how that goes. Listeners, do not do both at the same time. That’s bad news. Yeah. Max, this has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for joining me on the positive productivity podcast today. Where can listeners find you online gets know more about you and everything that you’re doing?
Maxwell Finn Sure. So unicorninnovations.com is our primary website that has info about our company, our courses, our resources list, it has my info on there. So that’s a great place to go and check out. You can also follow me on Facebook. So Maxwell Finn, you can follow my public figure page, you can shoot me a friend request. I don’t accept friend requests. So if you’re not mutual friends, I might not accept it, but definitely follow my public figure page and check out unicorninnovations.com and our courses and all that good stuff there. And if there’s anything that I can do to help you with your business, you know, with Facebook ads with anything, feel free to reach out to me and ping me. There’s I think my emails on the informations website, so you should be able to reach out to me that way.
Kim Sutton Fabulous. Thank you so much. And I know I’m going to be checking out a few of your courses as well. Especially the Google adverts, I don’t want to go through another $800. That would be bad.
Maxwell Finn So we’ll definitely be sure to let you know when that’s available to the public.
Kim Sutton Fabulous. Thank you so much. Do you have a last piece of parting advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?
Maxwell Finn Sure. And there’s two things that I can end with. One is it’s been a reoccurring theme to this conversation, but do what you love. It’s very simple piece of advice, but very few people actually follow through with it. And so what I ask people is, if you wake up on Monday morning, or if somebody asks you to go to work on a Saturday, if your first instinct is like, I don’t want to do that, like if it’s a negative feeling, you’re doing the wrong thing. You need to figure out what you’re passionate about what you love doing, and find a job or a career path or journey, that whether it’s as an entrepreneur in your own business owner or a company to work with, that you wake up excited to do that for the day. Like you’re genuinely excited to go to work and build things and help clients and work on things. That should be your mindset. And then the second thing would be more specifically for entrepreneurs, people building their own their own businesses. Only e commerce world, this is a big mistake a lot of my students make and so I figured out shared here, don’t just chase money, and build things purely to make money. So a lot of people right now are– they’re trying to dropship, they’re trying to keep on demand. They’r basically just they’re looking at trending products and trying to piggyback on them, so they can make a quick dollar. And there’s too many people doing that right now it’s so saturated. And the reality is that there’s a very, very, very small percentage of people doing it that actually going to make hundreds of 1000s or millions of dollars. And I know the people that are making the millions of dollars and they have been doing this for 10 years, 20 years. I mean, they’ve been in the product space in the marketing world for a very, very, very long time. They have massive teams, they have massive resources, both financially and timewise and connection wise. So my rule of thumb here is that like, you can test things about demand but your goal should be to build a company, to build a story brand a business that you can add products who expand the product line, you can have an identity inner voice, it’s not just a random dropship product. Today, we’re going to sell this drone and tomorrow, we’re going to sell a fidget spinner and next month we’re going to sell this, that’s not a sustainable way to grow a business online. And it’s gonna be very, very difficult for you to do that profitably. So those are the two kind of on the wide spectrum of things that I’d like to share with people.