Today’s guest helps you start earning an ROI. Not “return on investment.” Instead, “return on intellect.” He walks you through how you can take your expertise, no matter what it is, and turn it into a source of income while helping people, too.
Please welcome Ronan Leonard.
DOT System recommended by Ronan: http://www.eccountability.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DOT-Ssytem.pdf
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Joining us from Australia. Ronan Leonard works with the self-employed professionals that are frustrated with the financial returns, from their expertise and existing services, and might be struggling to stand out in their market. What he does is helps them quickly identify and then package up the most valuable part of their expertise to create a high price.
Group training package, which creates a whole new six figure business asset for them. And on top of that, the additional hidden benefits are increased in both authority and time as they are selling via the one to many model. Ron. And thanks for jumping on today, Damon. Thanks for having me looking forward to this.
Cause we met on LinkedIn and now we’re, we’re finally talking. Yeah. As you said, it’s nice to put a voice to the name. We do a lot of engagement online and so I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you. Again, once again, thanks for having me on your show. We’re really looking forward to it. So it sounds like what you help people with is basically to, if we were to sum it up, you help people create masterminds.
Is that fair enough to say. Yes. The, the star starting point for that is as an ROI I came up with, which is not a return on your investment, but a return on your intellect. And I think as, as, as a small business owners, we, we should, and we. Often are always looking for, am I getting the leverage? Am I really sort of using my expertise in the best way?
But what happens is that when we all sort of niche down and we become experts at certain something, we can tend to get laser focused on that, but also stuck. We’re delivering just in one mode. So trainers trained, cooks, cook cantons accounts, and then the true way to sort of become. I put it, the niche rock star is that you’ve got to come up.
You go from mastery to innovation. You find something that, and we see it all the time. We see everybody that is a, is a niche leader. That’s what they’ve done. They’ve cost defied, something. They’ve built a training program around that. They’ve created a mastermind. They’ve added additional things on top of just doing what they do.
So it’s, it’s that first conversation about that ROI return and injector saying, am I, am I using my skill sets? Everything. I know that 15, 10, 20 years I’ve been in business. Am I using it to it? Best ability. And is there a way that I could potentially do this in a different way to someone else and again, create that authority and also additional revenue.
So what’s your, what’s your background to be able to come into this industry and be able to deliver a product like this? Well, I created my own niche just over a decade ago. I used to work on cruise ships, way back when I worked in the casino and I went from casino dealer to pit boss to manager. And then when I came to Australia, I started my own business and it’s the usual story I started with nothing pretty much put my life savings into.
Come to casino tables. And I grew from two tablets for 50 and one event a year to 300 and pretty much this niche, everyone else followed me into it, but did a worse job at a cheaper price. It was, you know, and you, you eventually get so that’s sort of commoditized, but then like a lot of people that I work with and know, sometimes there’s more value in, in, as I said, the information you have the than what you do.
So I began to sort of unpick that over decade of, of creating that nature. What did that mean? How did I do it? What were the benefits from it? And as well as a lot more education around the sort of masterminds, so going to masterminds the four years ago, I just went down this obsession, I call it. So I don’t call it a passion.
I just call it obsession. You just want to know more and more about that, the industry and how it works and what works and what doesn’t. And, and I’ve joined masterminds myself as well as running them. And you. Like anything, when you sort of specialize in something you begin to sort of really and pick what works, what doesn’t, why is that?
And then more and more people were asking me, well, how do I run a mastermind? So I had to reverse engineer. And this is what you almost have to do is if you want an expert reverse engineer, the bits that work. And one of the questions I ask people, is it teachable? So it’s great to have this skillset and this knowledge, but if it’s not teachable a replicable replicable, you can’t can’t do that.
So that’s the genius of then came to the finally saying, okay, well, I can teach this to others because it’s oven picked that, that process and that formula. Why don’t you take a moment to give a simple explanation of what a mastermind is for some of the newer entrepreneurs that might be listening? No, everyone’s got slightly different variations of this, but, but effectively it’s either it’s group learning group coming together to, to achieve an outcome.
And. So, for example, the, you can have a general mastermind where somebody has a lot of business expertise and people join and he’ll help them unpick the bits where they’re stuck and just keep them on track. The big part of the mastermind is accountability is that there’s you turn up each week having done it, your homeworks, so to speak or each fortnight.
And that’s the sticking point that a lot of people sort of. Need when they are in small business, just like we all go to personal trainers now because it’s the, it’s the tipping point to get us to do what we’re supposed to do. Cause we know it, we’re all smart people. That’s why you’re in business, you know, but you just need that accountability.
Uh, so that’s that group aspect of that and it becomes this. It becomes a sort of group learning where the, the right answer doesn’t always have to come from the person leading the mastermind. These light bulb moments happen when two or more people come together and, and somebody says something and somebody else will, well, have you thought of this?
Cause that worked for me. So you’re getting these light bulb moments that you don’t necessarily get in. In a course or just from learning information. And I basically call it, you’re adding the context to, to content because there’s content everywhere. Right. We were all producing air to have a WellMed with it, but businesses are failing at a faster rate than they were before.
And then one of the reasons, partly the accountability and partly the context, that’s a great idea, but how does that apply to me? So getting that context and getting past your own sticking points. So that’s that group sort of shared environment. I mean, if you’ve ever been to sort of high school and I had those study groups, it’s a similar sort of concept.
Where do you start at? You know, walk us through the process. Um, somebody coming to you and, and how do you, how do you start working with them? Well, if they’re looking to run their own mastermind, I really just did it. We’ve had that conversation with them because I can’t help everybody. And we’re not a, we’re not a bathroom.
One size fits all. Hey, come and join these. So I reject about 30% of people that come to me just because I can’t help them, their expertise. Isn’t isn’t right. For a mastermind. It might be right for a book or it might be something else, but it’s not right for a mastermind. So we really just sit down and, and one of the key things you ask is, and this is what subject matter experts tend to miss because they suck.
So laser focused on what they do, their genius zone, they dismiss it. So easy. Two things we tend to ask them. One limit is, um, What do people always pick your brains about what are they sort of asking you? How do you do that? How do you that? And they must talking to you all the time, Damon, you know, in your SEO is missing.
How do you do that? So, and you probably guide, I just, I just do this. Yeah. It’s simple, ultimately dismissive, but for all those other people that want to do what you do, that’s the, that’s the one. And the second one is what great results do you get? For your clients. And if you can replicate that on a, on a bigger scale and teach others, then that’s again, that, that, that formula.
So they’re the two key things that, that, that I look for as a starting point to, as I said, almost take the blinkers off people that, that narrow down and are so focused on delivering what they do. They don’t stop to think. Wow. You know, I’m getting some great results here or people keep asking me, how do I do that?
And that’s how you can potentially start to look for this bigger picture of how can I become that authority and, and, and teach that. Yeah, it seems like that, uh, in addition to. People saying, Oh, it’s easy. And then, uh, dismissing it. The, the other common trait that probably accompanies that is, is imposter syndrome.
You know, am I good enough? You know, why me? Why do I like you undermine the expertise that you actually have because you’re so used to it. Absolutely. Yeah. One of our, one of our many models, this is about, about the expertise and labeling, and we debunked some of those things and start to get people to think like that.
And the ultimately authority comes down to just one thing. It’s teaching, teaching what, you know, so the more you teach and the more you sort of spread that out there, the more you become an authority. For example, you talked before he came on air about podcast. He hadn’t tried it before. So you probably had the imposter syndrome the first time you tried it and then you try it in said, well, it’s not as bad as I thought it was.
I’m actually start to know my stuff. And as you interact with your guests and especially, I’d imagine when you talk specifically SEO, All your, all your expertise just comes bubbling back up to the surface and you start sharing your wisdom, your knowledge, your failures. I learned this, you light bulb moments.
So you, you tend to draw out your expertise, but in a day to day situation, we can very quickly dismiss it. And as you said, sort of self doubt ourselves in the background going, well, why me right now? What part of, um, What you help people with is, is a mastermind versus a course. Do you also build out courses or do you focus on the group environment?
I focused on the group environment. I, my personal opinion is that the, with the course, I, I spoke to several people that, that bill courses and stats, and most people back this up is that roundabout 80 to 85% of people don’t ever finish a course. And that was my experience. I, I did one about four or five years ago about how to build software as a service.
And it was a $5,000 course and they wouldn’t sign up and they’re super excited and they’re motivated, they’re pumped. And then they’re dropping out like flies having spent, you know, that, that $5,000. So the reason that I’m obsessed with the mastermind is that it is that accountability. And you’re walking people through the sticking points in that context and allowing people to do, as I said, sort of say, look, I’m stuck here.
I don’t understand this bit. Now that context of content having said that, yeah, I believe the mastermind can be your, uh, your, your teacher bullet point. And if you on these masterminds, if you answering everyone’s sort of questions and you’ve got. Content for that. You probably can. Cause if I, but you’ve, you’ve proved it with the mastermind by, by being closer to your students and asking all their questions.
And again, one of the things that I teach is that you want to be teaching what people learn, not what you want to teach. And there’s a subtle difference between the two that, and sometimes you can dump it all down in this, this blurb of information. This is all the stuff I know. And then you find out that it’s not what your students want to teach, what to learn from you.
There’s, there’s other different things that are more important to them, but you have to find that inflection point. So you can’t, if you’ve got 50 people, people come through and 50 people, who’ve got 50 different questions, then, then that’s not so scalable. But if they, when they start coming up with the same questions all the time, then you build that answer and you build it once
And then you’re, you’re effectively looking to then classify that. I noticed that, um, some experts as, as I built out my SEO course last year, a lot of people will say, ah, you know, granted, I already have the area of expertise that I know I want to focus on, but when other people teach, uh, about building a following and of course of finding content, it was really interesting to me to learn that a lot of the experts say.
Don’t build a product and tell you, talk to someone. So sell it first. So you don’t even know what you’re selling and then you go talk to people and then you basically find out this is what they want to learn. And then you build, build your content around that. And it’s kind of a little bit, we talked about, about the 50 people.
You’ve got to kind of find the balance, but that was interesting for me to learn. Uh, it’s often taught that way. Yes, it’s it really is. I teach the same thing in this mastermind. It really isn’t. Um, you can almost just build the first week and have an outline of what you want to talk about and get your students to say, well, next week, we’re going to touch on this silo.
What are your questions? And you can build your mastermind around their, their questions. Instead of just, as I said, the middle information, finding out it’s not what they want to want to learn. So absolutely that’s that is the lean method to do it. Instead of spending six months building something that people don’t want, which is we’ve all done it before.
And so many small business owners do that is their general business. They build something that people don’t want. So, yeah, it’s, it’s the smart way to do it. On on the comment about 80% or roughly 80% failure of courses. Um, do you think that the, the missing ingredient in that is, is also accountability, do you think there’d be a better success rate if, um, you know, I know there’s third party accountability programs where you can, um, Have companies or groups basically be your point of contact for your customers once they start just for that one, that one goal of that touchpoint, that accountability.
Do you think that that’s the missing ingredient in courses or it’s just the concept as a whole. I think it’s a bit of both. So sometimes it’s, it’s that accountability sometimes it’s that context. Just sometimes our goals change all the time. We were constantly moving the goalposts on ourselves and, and I think sometimes sitting back and, and spending a little bit extra thinking time, and I’ve now built that into my weekly schedule allows you to have those.
Better decisions at the end, instead of cause what we do is we, we fill our week 40, 50, 60 hours and we’re always doing, and, and what we find is that the end goal is not what we imagined and B it’s not necessarily the solution. That, that is the right one. So spending that extra thinking time. So I’ll give you an example.
If you decide that. You need more customers and your website’s a bit old, you’ll say, right. I need new websites and you’ve convinced yourself. Now at that point, it’s just a question of which website developer is gonna. Get your money and how much you’re going to spend most website developers. Won’t say actually, no, you don’t need any website.
I think your message is really weak or your product isn’t good enough, but we jumped to that conclusion and we’re without actually having anyone to really sort of either, um, questionnaires on that or spend that extra critical thinking. And when you say that extra critical thinking, you come up with better decisions and you really evaluate that that’s the answer that’s popped into your head so that you don’t spend all that time, effort and money on something that isn’t the right answer.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Um, the, the gentlemen, um, Tim Paris that had talked about how, uh, in an interview and he, a woman asked him, you know, what’s your daily routine? Like, uh, and he says, well, it’s a lot more boring than you would probably think, because what I do is most of my time, I spend trying to figure out what that one big domino is to knock down all the other things.
So he doesn’t necessarily tack the little things. He just. He’ll take days or weeks to figure out the one thing to just do it all for him. Yeah, he’s lucky enough to be incredibly smart and be, um, already have the income that’s that you do that. So that’s not a, it’s not an option for, for the majority of us, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t spend.
And an hour a week, a couple of half hour sessions a week, just to, just to really sort of think about these decisions before we then go and build something, which is completely the wrong machine for us. And doesn’t really serve that purpose, but we’ve jumped to that conclusion. Haven’t tested it. Haven’t really thought about it.
And then we go ahead and we’re in solution, problem, problem, serving mold away. We go, and then you get the end and you go, man, it’s not, it’s not what I wanted is not the results. You know, it happens to all of us. Yeah. Well, let’s go back in time a little bit and talk about your casino ventures. So when you started that, had you always kind of had the entrepreneur.
Spirit or how did you decide to make that jump and go down that business path? I don’t think I was a born entrepreneur, but, uh, but I certainly was a born. Curious enough to know there was more to life than just working a job. There was several jobs that, uh, I, I, I was in them and I looked around and thought, if I’m here in five, 10 years, time, just shoot me.
And I quit. Well, I’m being serious. I quit one job. That I asked to go traveling unpaid for three months and my boss said there you’re too good an employee. Um, the other guy they’ve does nothing. We’d let him go. Not you. So I was being punished for being good at my job. So I quit and I had so much annual leave lined up that I quit on the Tuesday and finished on the Friday.
So, and, and, and bought my round the world ticket and started my travel travel last. So did that several different times. Which got me onto cruise ships, which got me to travel, to travel around the world and what I. Uh, you know, I spent nearly a decade working with people who were gambling and lose their money and they’re smart, intelligent people, and they know that gambling, you don’t win.
You can’t beat the house. It’s why they can afford to, to employ the staff, these lovely, shiny lights everywhere. And they can give you free drinks and coffee. You’re all those things because you’re losing money. So I saw quite a bit of a human. Psyche. And then that ties into the mastermind. I saw quite a bit of the human psyche, that these really smart people for whatever, the first, certainly lots of different reasons have this motivation to go there and spend their money and lose it.
Um, you know, they think they’re trying to win, but they’re not there. They’re smart enough to know they’re not there to win. They’re there to, to show off that they’ve got enough money to they’re there to, to, to, to something is not right with them. They’re there to have a bit of fun. one guy just sits me.
I’ll look, I’m here to spend $200 a night and this is my entertainment. So I saw the full sort of range of human psyche around sort of gambling. And although, uh, gambling for most people can be quite bad cause it was on cruise ships. People could afford to gamble. They wasn’t the people that had this compulsion addiction because it was just a week, 10 days to two weeks holiday.
So I saw the nicer side of gambling and it was a lot of fun. We worked for tips when I was a dealer. So it was entertaining. We would, I did cut checks, chip checks. We’d make fun of people. We just have this, I have this whole camaraderie around the, on the craps table and the dice table. So it was just a lot of fun.
And I took that into that, that business because when I, I quit ships and immigrated to Australia, I just didn’t want to go back to working in an office. So that was my main compulsion I’d seen. Let’s see more of the world I’d seen, uh, met amazing people, traveled to some, some fantastic places. And I just didn’t want to be stuck in this box then of just working for someone else in a nine to five job.
So in a long way, that’s how I ended up being, uh, my own sort of business startup. Now it’s I imagine working in a casino environment, there’s gotta be at least one. Wild story that stands out. Oh, so are they? Yes. I’ll give you one. So we sailed out of Miami on this shore. Three-day cruise down to The Bahamas and at this stage, I’m, um, I’m a pit boss.
And there’s these guys walk in and they started laying down all these brand new hundred dollar bills, and we had this pen that’s you marked it. And they would supposedly tell you is counterfeit or not, but we’d never know I used it. And I think we didn’t know whether, if the color turned it would be kind of fit or it wasn’t.
So, so we went through the motion of like, we know what we’re doing, they get to it. And they’re all sequential as well. And it turned out that. This guy was a Saudi Prince, him, his entourage, there was about 10 of them and they had no idea what they were doing. They lost a hundred thousand dollars in one night.
Wow. They were just the worst gamblers you’ve you’ve ever seen. They weren’t, if you’ve ever played blackjack, they did all the wrong things. You just didn’t know what they were doing. And they, every time the waitress came up, $25 tip for a $10 drink. They were just throwing money around, like, like it didn’t really matter.
And they had this huge bodyguard behind them with his bag full of money. So he’d just put his hand up and say another five, $5,000 account, another team. So the next day they got off the ship because we were in, uh, we’re in NASA. And we’d heard through the office of something they got off because our, our minimum or maximum bets were too low.
And we close too early. I think we closed at two o’clock in the morning. So basically what, what they were saying there is that we couldn’t lose quickly enough on the ship. We’ve got to get up and go to the casino. So, yeah, that was, that was a, that was pretty crazy. Uh, how would that be? Uh, you know, offline, we talked briefly, um, I w w we had talked about some achievements and what’s interesting when I talk to guests and I asked him, No.
Is there any greatest achievement that you’d like to talk about? And usually it’s, um, you know, very business oriented or, or monetary, and I really liked your response at, at 23, you had helped rescue passengers and fellow staff off of one of these cruise ships that you are working on. Is it saying off the coast of South Africa?
Uh, tell us more about that. So I only just got the job on, on cruise ships and they sit there. This one’s going down to South Africa. You want to go? Yeah. Sounds great. Amazing. It was the middle of the winter and the two oceans meet around the Cape of good hope in South Africa. And it’s the wild coast and it’s aptly named the wild coast because it’s really bad in winter.
So. We had this huge storm, 60 foot swells and a hundred mile an hour winds. And, uh, all the, the, the turmoil of the, the sea going up, uh, Dan and, and the next thing the lights go out and our captain and the crew on, uh, on there. Well, predominantly old Greek, apart from the entertainers and a few other people
So they all told each other in Greek that the ship was sinking, but we didn’t know. And they didn’t follow all the safety procedures. I continued to work on ships and then eight, nine years. And they drill into you the sector procedures, none of that happened. So it was this. Free for all where we didn’t know what was happening.
Um, I barely had any sort of trained in, so I didn’t really know what to do, but I still sort of just jumped in and helped. So we filled the first life, but we women and children on the one side and on the other side, most of the senior officers left. The crew there wasn’t a single passenger on there. So there was this really crazy thing where there was people on the bridge and they try to use the, the, the, the Mayday on, on the, on the radio
And they said, what’s your position? Well, yeah. What do you mean? W what’s your status on the ship? He said, well, I’m the band leader? Well, where’s the radio offset. I don’t know he’s gone. So we had this, had this amazing experience where the ship sinking, but we’d done. Some people knew. I still didn’t know til about three in the morning.
It’s not some quite slowly. We’re helping put people off into lifeboats. We’ve run out of lifeboats. We stuck there. It’s cold. It’s raining the ships sort of. Rotating from side to side when sliding up and down, and then lucky enough, because we sang so slowly, the helicopters came in the morning. And then we’re, we’re winching people up often these helicopters and got off.
I jumped off the front of the ship into one of old Zodiacs and got picked up by this cargo ship, going to South America then had to pick up about 30 of us and drop and detour to drop us into, into port the next day. So, yeah, crazy, crazy emotional, uh, scenario and lucky enough, cause we sunk so slowly.
Nobody died, but it was no thanks to the people that were in that position of supposedly the staff captain and the chief engineer and all these people that were supposed to do their duty, a big chunk of them didn’t but lucky enough, you know, several people just stepped in and, and, and did, did what they could and, and, and help these people sort of survive.
That has to be a, obviously an unfortunate circumstance, but at the same time, yeah, there was probably a lot of beauty in what you’re able to see in, in how other people took responsibility and took action. Yeah, it was a really good lesson for me. It’s good. It was a good lesson for me too, to challenge authority because these people that were supposedly in authority and you automatically defer to people in authority, didn’t do what they were supposed to do.
So it’s more about, for me, it was more about the integrity of, of people and you sort of try and sort of question that and look for, for that integrity of doing what they’re actually supposed to do. To do what they say they’re going to do. Uh, and yeah, the, the beauty was that, um, we all came together as, as, as people to help and, and still in touch with a couple of them today.
And, and I had, I had an amazing times Africa. I had no money. I had, I got the clothes I got off in, but the kindness of strangers, people were buying us drinks after the next day. And the bar, we. Um, I had a two week holiday there where people put me up and, and, and just that gratitude and, and that amazing experience.
Yeah. Something that will stay with me. Always. Do you ever find yourself reflecting back on the, how things could have been different in that situation? I don’t think it’s something that you, you can really sort of think about. I was quite young and, and, you know, males in their early twenties where we think we’re Bulletproof.
So it’s there’s, there was kind of that almost denial of this is really, really serious. So I didn’t really panic at any stage. I didn’t, at one point I thought, Oh, I could be in trouble and we might die. But it was a fleeting moment in a, you know, an eight hour experience. The rest was just. Um, some really funny moments or these things that have happened.
So, uh, not, not too much. It’s just, it’s just one of those experience that I used it certainly later in life. Cause I dismissed it for a big chunk of time. I used it as the motivation for masterminds at that, that helping thing. Okay. What’s my core value. What, what would I do without even thinking about it and it’s, and it’s helping people.
So I love helping people that are, that are stuck and, and, and the mastermind is a great way for me to. To help them in that group environment, because I’ve got to say it comes naturally to me on the topic of helping people, you had mentioned, uh, something called the Rockefeller dot system. Uh, tell our listeners about that.
Yeah. So I had some coaching about four years ago and one of the best parts of it was we started talking about the Rockefeller dot system. So JD Rockefeller, huge oil Baron made billions, and he was a huge proponent of habits. So what happens to small business owners, myself included is that we. We start a business because we want this freedom.
And the reality is the Xact opposite. We need to be encrypted, terribly, be disciplined. Otherwise our time gets frittered away on shiny object syndrome on chasing the latest and greatest thing instead of just being consistent. And I would imagine as an SEO person, you know, this build your links consistently.
You can’t do a couple of one week and then none, the next you’ve got to be. Incredibly consistent. And a goal is nothing more than a series of habits that you’ve broken down that become consistent. So he showed me this Rockefeller dot system because we. We keep promises to our friends and family. We definitely keep promises to our clients.
They’ve got a client deadline. Cause if you don’t keep promises to your clients, you end up out of business, but we are terrible at keeping the promises to ourselves. So the Rockefeller dot system is something as simple as, okay. On the left hand side, you write down all the habits you want to do. And some of them are.
Could be really, really simple. Um, can I do five minutes outreach every day, whatever your, whatever your key habits are for me, I’ve got things around meditation around journaling each day. Um, can I use the, can I write a blog 25 minutes? So whatever they are, those habits that will get you to your end goal.
And then you print that off and you just put a tiny.next to it at the end of the day. And you see this pattern of, okay, well, I’ve one of my goals is to do X every single day. And then you see that, Oh, there’s no doc three days in a row. Okay. Is this, is this habit still really important to me? Yes. I need to go back to revisit that and I need to skip back in and see those dots across there.
So it’s just a good way of, of being accountable to yourself in a. In, uh, 15 seconds, um, snapshot of, of, uh, my own tracking. Am I keeping those promises to myself? It’s always interesting to find out a lot of times the more simpler the strategy, the more effective it is. Yeah. We build this complexity on phone complexity when often the exact opposite is yeah.
Something simple as that. And I’ve been using it for four years now and it’s just a really good way of, of keeping me on track and, and look, I’m not perfect. I fail even at the moment. I’m trying to do my 25 minute writing and I looked at it yesterday and I can see that okay. As missing. So I’d miss. That was going to be three days in a row.
So I got out my, um, uh, I did this thing called the pink sheets, which I teach in the masterminds where, um, there’s a process for writing better, this critical thinking, as you start with this concept, and then you flesh it out and you come up with a model and a metaphor and a story, and it just helps you flesh out your, your ideas in some summits.
The better ideas that people understand, they gravitate towards the message. So I got that out tonight to spend 25 minutes catching up and making sure that I was at least, you know, filled that data. Right. Because otherwise I didn’t want to see three days in a row. So yeah. Happy to share that with you, with the audience.
There’s no hidden paywall. I’ll just put that in the show notes and people can use that. Great. Uh, you know, in addition to that strategy, I had asked if you could summarize what’s contributed most to your success, and you said, perseverance, well, why don’t you talk to us about perseverance? Well, we all know business is hard
If it was easy, everybody would be doing it and doing it well. And, and they’re not. So it really does come down to, to perseverance and, and just sticking out something a little bit longer than other people. And I think Albert Einstein says, you know, it’s not that I’m the smartest person. It’s just that I work at problems longer.
And when I sat down and worked out what, what’s my. What’s my sort of genius zone or what am I good at? And it, um, you know, I’m not the fastest business owner. I’m not the most successful, but I do stick at things. And my very first business, uh, for the first year I didn’t, I had zero customers and I’d sent my life savings into this casino party business.
And I’m thinking, what am I going to do? I, I, I was already working full time and trying to do this as a side hustle. Spend all this money, zero customers that all I’m done, all my initial sort of training and hassle business should be doing. They should be doing that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I just stuck at it and I just kept reaching out to people.
And I finally met someone who showed me. Uh, SEO way back then about how to put your keywords in the right spot and how to, to track them and to, to start to put your message in front of the people who are searching for it, something as simple as that. And that was, that changed my business. And I always, I talk about this guy he’s passed away now, unfortunately, but talk about him has always been my.
My first mentor and the person that really showed me something, his kindness and his expertise, and he pretty much gave it away was it was so cheap when everyone else at that time was charging thousands or a hundred dollars just to change a line of code on the website. So he showed me the way and I’m always grateful for that.
Um, so that’s that perseverance of, of looking for the answers and, and, and keep looking and keep looking because it’s out there. You’ve just got to find your path. So I have to ask on the SEL, uh, topic, uh, you, you got to a Google penalty. For paid links at one point. And so I’ll explain to the audience what that means if you’re not familiar with SEL.
So as Ronan was saying, there are certain things you do on an externally to a website to show up higher on search engines. And when you have another website link to you, that’s kind of like a boat in the popularity contest and moves you up in those search results. Um, so one strategy is that you can pay other websites to place one of those links.
And so it sounds like you got deemed for that at some point. Yes. Uh, I hadn’t sort of questioned where the links were coming from a tender or 40, they said, we’ll give you 40 links, et cetera. Certain domain authority, uh, as you said, it’s sort of popularity contest and the higher that, the more popular the sites, the more authority they give to that link.
And it turned out all 40 were from Russia sites and Google it immediately picked that up and gave me a penalty. So yes, it was a. It was a harsh lesson in the reality of a sort of questioning some of the service you get and that’s for everybody. But also try to do, try to do a shortcut in my defense. I was frustrated because all these other companies that were only a couple of years old, these websites and they were outranking me and I was looking and most of their links were pretty crappy.
It was forums and spammy. So the links and I say, well, my, my, my website is 10 years old. And, and why am I getting at ranked by son was about two years with these crappy links. So that was my frustration. Doesn’t excuse it. But yeah, it’s harsh lessons, but you move on. Yeah. And you, and you find your ways past that.
And that ties back into that perseverance. So. You can get out of a Google penalty eventually, which I did. Uh, but it’s cost you time, money and effort. And thinking about those, that thinking time probably would have helped me in that, in that instance. Yeah. I wanted to elaborate on thinking time, actually.
Um, you had said that that’s something you would tell your younger self is to spend more of that thinking time. Um, so, so what’s, what’s your schedule? How do you work that into your schedule? Aye, walk it out. We know that if we don’t block things out, we just don’t do them. We put them on the, to do list, but we don’t share module time.
Certainly we were always reprioritizing and I had, that’s not important. What we tend to do though, is, is that the hardest stuff we leave to last, and then it stays on the list and it does get done the next day, the next day. So when you schedule something in, if you’ve got a client meeting or if you’ve got a podcast interview and you schedule it in, you turn up you’re right.
That’s the time between six and seven, I’m doing this or between one and two. So I schedule it in each week. I schedule in my thinking time. And it’s it’s anything from, how can I better outreach? How can I find better leverage with wifi? I want to partner up with what can I do to, to, to help them. And, and you start to then sort of really find these answers by.
Just thinking about it. Cause they come, as I said, we’ve once you’ve been in business awhile, or even if you haven’t, you’ve got these life’s experiences, things come back up. If you give them the time we all go to these conferences, we all have this learning. We listened to podcasts. And then the information just, um, in theory, seeps in one ear and out the other, but it’s in there and, and that time to writ the bubble back up and go, Oh yeah, actually.
I remember that this, this works. So you, you write that down. Okay. Here’s another idea. And, and as you spend that quiet time of really thinking about it, They come and, and all the good stuff that you’ve learned, and most people call it shelf education, where you read a book and then stick it on there and never, never implement it.
It comes back up cause you you’ve you’ve lent it. So spending that time is really important. And, and I’ve, I’ve seen so many benefits from it and I’m just working through a, a problem that I’ve got and coming up with a far better solution than if I’ve just gone. Got this. Yeah. What about, yeah, that’ll work and then yeah.
And you move on and you think that you’ve, you’ve solved it and you haven’t. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m, you know, as we, as we get closer to wrapping up, I always like to kind of end on a more personal note and ask what you like to do outside of work is, uh, any of the casino hobbies carry into your personal life.
I used to play a lot of poker and I haven’t so much recently. Um, and it’s something I need to get back to. Yeah. I think we, we tend to lose as we get older, we tend to get more and more focused on just work and we forget all the playful things that we really enjoy. So I’ve started playing table tennis with my, with a buddy of mine that.
Has his own business and he moved office and went in, he’s got a table tennis right in the middle of his office. So we were like, yeah, let’s play, you know, cause I used to play on ours, on ships and back in my twenties. So I do that, uh, hiking as well. I, uh, I really enjoy hiking just partly for the physicality of it and being out in nature.
Cause we’re not sort of, a lot of us are not touched by that we’re in front of our laptop all day. So it’s, it’s a little, yeah. But like the, the dot system of, of looking at those habits and things you do. And you can include an I do. Yeah. One of my habits weekly is to do date night with my wife and I schedule that in.
So it’s finding. Finding the time and booking in those times for fun, not just let’s get all this work stuff done. Um, let’s be a bit more playful. So that’s what I, that’s what I do. I, I, I, aye definitely gone back to all of the things that excite me and never fund and I’ve stopped doing because life got in the way and life is that.
So it’s building those back into my routine and being a bit more balanced. Yeah, I agree. Scheduling things in, you know, I schedule, um, when my kids have school in the morning, I walked them to school. So I blocked that off. So no appointments can interrupt it. No phone calls come in. So yeah, I agree. It’s important.
Um, I’m going to w when we get off offline here, I’m going to send you an introduction to a gentleman, too. He was a guest on our podcast. His name is Dale majors. He is a table tennis. Guru. And he’s one of those guys, like you watch his videos on YouTube and he’s doing the craziest back 20 feet. And, um, you know, he’s a big outdoors guy too.
So you might be interested in following him. Sure. Sure. That sounds good. Yeah. It’s just, we, we, we gravitate towards people that, that interest us, that excites us and, and, and we can learn from so, so yeah, it’s great to do that. Thank you, Ronan Leonard, it’s been a pleasure. Uh, why don’t you put out your contact information or any information you want to share with our audience?
Sure. So if anybody’s listening in there, they’re thinking, how do I unpack and pick my genius? How do I get that better return on income? You can contact me on Eaccountability.io or as we’re active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s a great way to start that conversation with people. So LinkedIn I’m running and leonardthemastermindguy.
So they’re the best two places to contact me. And, and let’s see if you got that ROI that you went to unpick. Okay. And last thing, we surprise our guests with a random question generator and I have a fancy jingle. Now let’s see if I can do it right this time. This is only like the second or third time we’re trying to do this.
So let’s go.
Beep boop random question generator. Alright, Ronan. What is one of the top things on your bucket list? Top things on my bucket list to retire to Italy. That’s what I want to do. Yeah. What’s, what’s the draw to Italy. Uh, everything, to be honest, the, the language, the lifestyle, the architecture, the diversity, uh, the weather, Venice going back to Venice again.
Um, pasta, wine. They do cheese and honey, uh, really well. Literally everything. Do I need to go on when you say everything you mean it? Yeah. I mean just about everything, the crazy cars that they park next to each other, the bumper to bumper, just the Amalfi coast Lake Como. Uh, the diversity of it. Yeah.
I’ll stop there. Italy. I like it.Ronan Leonard. Thanks for your time. Uh, Damon, thank you for having me on the show. We really appreciate it.