Dylan Jones is an entrepreneur and cofounder of ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels has grown into a massive, massive online success allowing anyone to create sales funnels online with just a few clicks of the mouse. Their goal this year is to hit $100 million in revenue up from $30 million a year ago.
We’ll be discussing how he started ClickFunnels with Russell Brunson and how he was able to buy a condo for his mom. He discusses the growth trajectory of the business and how the business generating $30,000 the very first month was actually a huge failure. He also discusses how free self-education online can absolutely change your life and the best way to get started in business today.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Hear as Dylan shares more about what he did prior to starting ClickFunnels.
- Find out why Dylan dropped out of high school early on in Grade 10.
- Why Dylan’s first product was an absolute failure, and what he would have done differently.
- Understand the importance of knowing your customer, and not trying to do too much at once.
- Learn more about ClickFunnels and the different roles each founder plays in the company.
- Dylan shares more about how their team at ClickFunnels is structured and functions together.
- Hear about the management and communication tools Dylan’s teams uses to work remotely.
- Find out more about the ultimate vision for ClickFunnels as a company, going forward.
- Learn why Dylan believes it’s crucial to find company partners who love doing what you hate.
- Dylan shares how he gets outside of his comfort zone by not overthinking the situation.
- Find out what failure means to Dylan, and why he believes it is just a part of life.
- Hear Dylan’s advice and action steps to those just looking to start a business.
- The quote that had the most profound impact on Dylan’s life, and what it taught him.
- And much more!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Dylan Jones — firstname.lastname@example.org.
ClickFunnels — https://www.clickfunnels.com/
Dylan on Twitter — https://twitter.com/getnodo
Dylan on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/dylan.dub.jones
ClickFunnels Facebook Group — https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClickFunnels/
Pivotal Tracker — https://www.pivotaltracker.com/
GitHub — https://github.com/
Slack — https://slack.com/
Flowdock — https://www.flowdock.com/
Trello — https://www.trello.com
Stripe — https://stripe.com
Braintree — https://www.braintreepayments.com/
“DJ: I remember even going out, I didn't — I don't really drink. I didn't start drinking until I was like 20, and I would go with my friends on the weekend and they’d drink, because you’re like just doing that. I remember thinking, “This is such a waste the time. You guys are going to spend here four or five hours going drinking and doing stuff, or I can go home and learn C++.” I would just leave and then spend my whole night trying to learn something. I just felt like I needed to learn and I needed to do it before anyone, because I didn't want to wait for anybody anymore.”
[0:00:32.1] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields, through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result.
Now please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:56.9] RN: Hey there, and a welcome to the show that believes you are destined for more and that bailing your way to an inspired life is the only way to get there. Today we are sitting down with Dylan Jones, he is an entrepreneur and cofounder of ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels has grown into a massive, massive online success allowing anyone to create sales funnels online with just a few clicks of the mouse. Their goal this year is to hit $100 million in revenue up from $30 million a year ago.
We’ll be discussing how he started ClickFunnels with Russell Brunson and how he was able to buy a condo for his mom. He discusses the growth trajectory of the business and how the business generating $30,000 the very first month was actually a huge failure. He also discusses how free self-education online can absolutely change your life and the best way to get started in business today.
But first, if you'd like to stay up-to-date on all the Fail On Podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest, simply go to failon.com and signup for our newsletter that's at the bottom of the page. Again, that’s failon.com.
[0:02:09.6] RN: Hey there and welcome to the Fail On Podcast. I'm extremely excited about our guest today, it's Dylan Jones. Dylan is the cofounder of ClickFunnels, which allows individuals and businesses to set up online marketing funnels in just minutes.
Dylan, welcome to the Fail On Podcast my man.
[0:02:29.4] DJ: Hey man, I’m excited to be here. This is awesome.
[0:02:32.6] RN: Beautiful. Obviously, ClickFunnels has turned into a massive success. You guys just hosted that event in Dallas, which my entire social media for I think, the 3, 4 days was literally of just funnel hacking. That’s literally my entire Facebook feed during that time.
[0:02:51.1] DJ: I felt like the whole world was there. All my Facebook was just like, “Is there anybody not of this event at this point?”
[0:02:56.7] RN: It looked awesome. You guys had Tony Robbins. It looked just, it looked phenomenal. All the feedback that I got was great.
[0:03:03.3] DJ: That’s awesome. Thank you man.
[0:03:04.3] RN: The thing is I don't think many people actually know you exist, not in a bad way of course, but I mean Russell Brunson's obviously the face of the company doing most of the promotion and marketing and I just don't think many people realize that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes. So I'm really excited to hear and share your story with the listeners.
[0:03:22.1] DJ: Perfect. I'm excited too. There's a lot to tell.
[0:03:25.2] RN: Can’t wait to get into it. So what were you doing before even getting on that crazy ride with ClickFunnels? Give us an idea of how you got started in business pre-ClickFunnels days.
[0:03:34.3] DJ: Pre-ClickFunnels, I was basically doing what a lot of internet markers do which is like the whole launch thing. Basically I was a web designer and a developer partnering with other people that were the face which is exactly the situation I'm in kind of now, which is Russell is the face. He’s the one that can sell everything, but we’re the ones that can actually create the software and do a lot of that kind of stuff. This is a pretty normal situation for me to be in where I’m behind the scenes doing all these launches.
The problem with before was we did launch constantly, like every month we did a new software. So I think I created like at least 50 different software products doing the designs and programming. It just gets exhausted. Finally, when we partnered with Russell to do all this awesome stuff with ClickFunnels, it was like, “We’re only going to do one product, right? It’s just going to be the one thing and we’re going to do it for the next five years.” Like, “Sweet. Thank God. Let’s just do that.” That's what I was doing before ClickFunnels.
[0:04:25.0] RN: That's crazy. 50 different software products. That’s obviously —
[0:04:27.8] DJ: That’s what I can remember. There’s probably even more.
[0:04:31.7] RN: Just take me back to one of those projects. For example, how long would it take you to create that software? Were they all pretty similar, or were you rebuilding it from scratch? Was it an ongoing product that people used for years and years, or was it kind of just a smash and grab type thing?
[0:04:47.1] DJ: That's a good question, because a lot of them were WordPress related, so back in the day, like a few years ago, WordPress and WordPress plugins was the easy way and that was because you can create software and people can just use it right away because the issue was they have to install it and they have to setup PHP, and it was just harder. WordPress came out and it was just easy to develop on it and everyone was using it, so we just made a bunch of WordPress plug-ins.
Honestly, near the end of it, I just built my own framework so it was easy to make plug-ins. The hard part was the idea and the design and making sure people wanted it. It actually was maybe a few weeks of just actually making the stuff. Most products are pretty easy, like they do this and then they output this and you just keep doing that. So it wasn't a big thing.
[0:05:28.8] RN: Got you. Going back to all of those, I mean I'm sure even before that, how did you get into — Are you more on the design side? Are you more on the development side?
[0:05:39.6] DJ: I’m on both. This is the Fail On Podcast, I have some interesting story of how I actually started doing this. So I'll start when I was young and how I got basically into the whole entrepreneur game and everything like that. That would kind of answer the question that you just asked.
When I was in high school, my mom was sick. She has a disability, right? When I was in grade 9 I wanted to be a video game designer. So I found out that all or most videogame designers work with Epic or Ubisoft and all these places actually were like modders for video games. I was like, “Sweet. If I can get a videogame and I can mod the videogame, show what I can do and then I get a job at Ubisoft so I can go to college and do the whole normal career path thing.”
Then in grade 9 I started a rock 'n roll kind of hard-core punk band. I was kind of a rebel when I was a kid, and we needed a website, so I was like, “Oh, man. I’ll do that.” I was making videogames and stuff, so I was like, “I’ll make a website. That’s no problem. I probably needed needed a website for my videogame anyway, so sweet. That works.”
I started making that, and then near the end of grade nine, I remember one teacher came up to me — It was like part of the class and these people in the class were kind of being annoying. Then he just stopped everything he was doing and he's like, “What’s the point of teaching you math,” that's what it was, “You’re just going to be working at McDonald's anyways.” I was like, “What?”
[0:06:57.5] RN: Motivational teacher of the year, huh?
[0:06:58.2] DJ: Yeah. Yeah, great, but he actually was the favorite teacher of the school. Everyone loved this dude, and so I was kind of excited to have him teach me, and he just became this huge jerk and then I was like, “This is the guy who’s teaching me? He says the best I can do is McDonalds? What the heck?” That’s when I was kind of getting started to be disillusioned by the whole system as a punk rocker.
So I remember one class I had, I was doing some web design stuff and a teacher came over, a different teacher came over and he’s like, “Oh! That’s great. You should maybe do web design as your career.” I was like — The first thought I had was like, “F that! I will never work for a client.” For some reason in my head I thought this was working for the man. I was like, “I’m never going to do this. I’m not going to work for the man,” like a punk rocker dude.
[0:07:39.8] RN: What year was this, by the way?
[0:07:41.9] DJ: What’s that?
[0:07:42.4] RN: What year was this? Just for some context. Was web design still really new at that time? Where it was like a —
[0:07:47.5] DJ: It was like 12, 13 years ago, so I’m not sure what year that is. Whatever the math is. But yeah, I wanted to be like a web — Or, he told me I should be a web designer. I was like, “No. That’s not what I want to do. I never want to work for a client.” For some reason, I thought that was the worst thing ever.
Then I started getting more disillusioned with school, and then school stopped becoming about learning and more about just going to work at McDonalds and then also started becoming, “I just have to go to school, because if I’m not in school my mom doesn’t get her disability check, or at least to support us, right? Like a thousand bucks extra a month.
So school stopped becoming being relevant at all only for me to actually just be physically present and I was always skipping school because I was learning coding and I was like, “It’s more important for me to stay up all night and code than it is to go to school.” So again, all these pressures to go to school, but only because I needed to — Basically it was framed as “if you’re not going to school, you’re screwing your mom over money and you’re being the worst kid ever”. I was like, “That’s terrible!”
Then a week later after the teacher told me to be a web designer, I went and find — I was like, “How to get a job as a web designer?” I found this website, getafreelancer.com, and then I found a little job for $200 bucks. I did it. It took me a day to do, and I did a few more jobs and then I made a few thousand dollars. Then the week after, I dropped out of high school because I realized the biggest F.U. to the system is to go my own way and not let them stop me and give me all these bullshit, really. That’s how I started being a web designer. From there —
[0:09:15.3] RN: What grade were you when you dropped out?
[0:09:17.1] DJ: All that kind of stuff happened in grade nine and it’s basically the start of grade 10.
[0:09:21.1] RN: Oh wow. So pretty early on in high school then.
[0:09:22.6] DJ: Yeah. No, totally. Like right from the start, basically.
[0:09:25.6] RN: What was your process there, like your thought process? What did your mom think in terms of you doing that to not be able to get that disability check?
[0:09:37.2] DJ: I think everyone was kind of scared, but I just knew that like if I can make a few thousand dollars in the first week, I probably can do it consistently. Then I knew like even a few thousand was enough to where all the external stuff became irrelevant now, because it’s like, “Oh, we can do this on our own. We don’t have to wait for some teacher to tell us what to do or we don’t have to wait for some jerk from the government being mean to me coming into my class seeing if I was there,” and all that stuff. I was like, “I’m going to leave and just do it myself.” Then I got my own apartment and then I had to real bills and stuff. It was exciting also —
[0:10:11.8] RN: I think there’s a good lesson there. You didn’t actually quit high school. It’s almost like — I think a lot of listeners are in jobs right now that want to start their own business or have bigger aspirations than working for somebody else. I think a lot of the times people think that they have to just quit their job and start a business and then hope it works. It really puts them in a bad spot if they have bills to pay, if they have a family to support.
With your experience quitting high school, I’m trying to make a parallel here. You already had money coming in from the freelancing gigs before you decided to turn down or to quit high school and turn down that disability check, correct?
[0:10:51.4] DJ: Yeah. Totally, that was the reason I knew it was possible. Otherwise I would have continued to play the school game and try and get a job as a developer at a game company. So yeah, most definitely had the — I knew it was possible and I knew I can keep doing it.
From there, one of my first clients — This is how I got into marketing as well. So I had a few clients here and there, but one of my first clients was a guy who made me design popup ads that was like, “Win a free TV, put your email in.” This guy was paying me a few grand of month consistently for about six months. It was direct deposit right to my back account, and I didn’t question it, because I was like 16, 17, there’s no way I’m going to — Yeah, you can pay me and I’ll design these scammy popup ads all day long. There’s totally so many ways you can design it by the way, like TV on the left, TV on the right, TV in the middle.
[0:11:39.2] RN: Pretty limited with your created, huh?
[0:11:41.5] DJ: Oh, no. Totally. Near the end of the thing I was like, “Dude, this is a total scam, right? You’re not giving TVs away? This is kind of bullshit.” He’s like, “No man, I’m giving TV away, about like 60 TVs a month or something.” I was like, “What? That’s insane. How is that even possible?” He’s like — Then he introduced me to the whole idea of CPA and he was selling them to mortgage companies and I was like, “That’s insane. That was the most insane thing I’ve ever heard when I was that age.” That’s how I gotten to the marketing world too, kind of just stumble upon it, by designing stuff.
[0:12:10.2] RN: You’re 28 now, right? That was when you’re 16?
[0:12:12.6] DJ: Yeah.
[0:12:12.8] RN: About 12 years ago?
[0:12:14.8] DJ: Yeah, and it was pretty crazy. Then from there I just kept doing it until I got into more of the programming side of stuff. That was the thing that kind of took me off into this world was just knowing that I can do it, especially the skills of being a marketer or a designer where you don’t really the schooling, you can learn it by yourself and then just run with it and go as far as you can with it.
[0:12:37.2] RN: Got it. So to kind of recap so far in your journey is ninth grade you started — Maybe a little earlier, you started rebelling. You didn’t want to work for the man, thought there must be a better way. Started learning coding at home, designing, developing, started getting paid for through some freelance sites. At that point you decided to drop out, quit, and then I'm sure you could actually have more than that $1000 disability check for your mom at that point, right? Because you're probably making more than that check it provided. It’s actually win-win there.
Then you moved into doing bigger jobs for the CPA guy and then eventually started doing launches before getting into ClickFunnels. Is that kind of the timeline?
[0:13:19.6] DJ: Yeah, that was — Sorry to cut you off. That was kind of leads into the first — My first product after that was like one of the biggest failures that I did. I wanted to make a product that was a video marketing software. Like you had a video and then at the end of the video it would redirect to a page, but it would be people's affiliate links. Then people can share that video with the other person's affiliate link.
It worked really well for the MLM world, but I didn't know that world, so I only had one paying customer and it was like some MLM guy that I didn’t understand that. It’s like, “You really got to know your customer.” So that failed.
One of things that failed was I was doing the design of it, so I was like a designer. I knew how to design it, I knew how to do most of the coding, at lease the front-end coding but not the backend coding. When I was 17 I was paying this developer three grand a month, which is basically all the money I was making. All the money I was making, I was hiring this guy for about three grand a month, did it for about six months. At the end of, it you just never worked. It was his constant — There was always this issue, it can never launch, and then I got so impatient with it. I was like, “Hey, I have to like learn what you’re doing. It was PHP, doing all the database stuff.”
They had failed because I couldn't give any money to it anymore, but it did make me the other skill that I have, which is all the backend stuff so I can design it, to market it, and I can do the front-end stuff but I can also the backend stuff because I'm incredibly impatient with people and with skills. If I have to hire, I might hire it out once or I’m just going to learn it myself and do it now, because like I can probably learn in the next few hours and get it done in the next few hours than spending much time to go hire somebody.
Which is a great skill when you’re starting, but when you’re actually getting to a business like the size of ClickFunnels, you have to start letting stuff go.
[0:15:01.6] RN: You have to delegate, right?
[0:15:03.0] DJ: Yeah.
[0:15:03.7] RN: Going back to that failure, looking back now, what would you have done differently, if anything, to have a different outcome there with what you've learned from it?
[0:15:12.4] DJ: Yeah, and this is probably what everyone does, is we try and do the ultimate thing. We’re like, “This is going to be the ultimate product and it has to have this this this this and this and this before it ever can launch. That’s your own made up fantasy for a reason like this has to be the ultimate thing.
In reality, it could've launched with like half of — It being like 1% of all the things I wanted to do, it could've launched with just the 1%. In some other MVP version of it, and I would have been finding out like if people wanted it, and I knew people wanted it but then also one of my, as I said before, the customer really was the network marketing side of stuff, which I didn't understand at all. Because it was sharing their feelings and they’re putting on blogs and all that stuff and it made more sense for the multi-tiered stuff, and I didn't understand that so I ignored those people and I tried to do the ultimate things. Those are the two things; not understanding your customer and trying to do too much too soon.
[0:16:09.1] RN: If you’d have launched faster, you could have gotten more feedback to see if it's even something somebody needed and it would allow you to understand who the market was a lot better to better create that product.
[0:16:18.3] DJ: If I wasn’t so tied to the idea of like my idea as who I wanted to serve and who I thought this was good for, I was blind to everything else. If you weren't my specific — If you weren’t like me trying to buy it, then I was like, “I don't understand you. Why are you buying this?” Yeah, sure. It was a learning experience for sure.
[0:16:38.3] RN Very good. Let's get into ClickFunnels now. As the cofounder, what exactly are you responsible for in the business? How many partners are there and what's everybody's kind of role and responsibility?
[0:16:50.3] DJ: Yeah. Right now, my main focus is on the higher-level stuff, which is like the product design and how that kind of like fits into making everything easier and then marketable and that stuff. For my day-to-day job, what I do is mainly the editor, so making sure the editor works, making sure you can drag-and-drop and all that kind of stuff. It started with just three of us, so Russell Brunson, Todd Dickerson, and myself. Russell does all the selling, obviously, and then Todd is more the backend guy.
So I could do some of the backend. He was teaching me some Ruby on Rails, but he's just like so much better at it and it was just like — I don’t have to worry about like the hard problems, he can do that. It just started off as us three. Now we have a few more partners. We have the CTO, and he takes care of a lot of the bigger problems that like basically trying to make the product even scalable and written in a certain way that is more of a normal company.
One of the things we found is that we’re all founders, and founders do everything very fast and we do everything our way and we just want to get done and out there as soon as possible. Then there is the bigger challenges, especially like of a tech company where you have to do certain things in a certain way. You can’t just release code when you want to. You have to get QA. You have to get people. You have to get testing. You have to do this.
Now, that’s what he does and make sure our QA testing and all that fancy stuff is working. That’s a whole learning experience too, is like since I dropped out of high school I never actually had a real job, especially not as programmer. So having to be like the least qualified programmer on that company, it’s like, “Oh, yeah. Teach me that thing,” and I’ll learn it.
[0:18:26.3] RN: How big is the team? The development team and the design team?
[0:18:28.8] DJ: The development team, I think if you include like QA and that type of stuff, it’s maybe 20 people.
[0:18:35.5] RN: Okay. What about the whole company? How many total employees?
[0:18:38.6] DJ: Last time we — It might have gone up since the last time, we’re probably between 70 and 80.
[0:18:43.9] RN: Oh, wow! Okay. What’s been that kind of growth trajectory year-over-year? Or what year did ClickFunnels actually launch?
[0:18:51.2] DJ: We actually launched in 2014, I believe. Yeah, 2014, but that was like — And then the whole year of coding it and then actually launched in 2014, and I think we did — Actually, I’ll tell you a funny story about that. When we launched, like anybody launches anything, especially we were kind of used to like launching stuff, especially Russell and myself and Todd, we’ve been a part of things that have done pretty well. We kind of had the like, “Oh, we’re geniuses. We can do this. This is the best product ever, so it’s going to, of course, it’s going to be a million-dollar product, obviously.”
When we launched, the hardest part was getting all the technology done so we can actually to do it, because we had a very specific date. Then when we launched, we’re like, “We’re going to make $1 million like the first month and that’s going to be awesome from there.” We launched, a lot of things went wrong and then we ended up doing only $30,000 like recurring as the first month and we were all kind of depressed about this, because it was like, “This is not $1 million. What’s going on?”
Then I was telling my girlfriend and she's like, “Wait. You wanted $1 million but then now you’re only making $30,000? That’s still a lot of money.” I’m like, “Yeah, it is a lot of money, I guess, but like it's not million, right?” We wanted to make the million dollars. Then the next month we were at an event. I think it was Mike [inaudible 0:20:02.2] Marketing Genius event in San Diego and Russell had a talk to do. He’s like, “What if it don’t sell and whatever?” He came up with the idea of funnel hacks, which is which is basically like some training with ClickFunnels and then also six months of the actual tool.
He did his presentation, and we didn’t know how well it was going to go on, but as soon as he was done he sold the room. I think he like 40% of the room and I think he made over $100,000 somewhere in between there. Then we’re like, “Whoa! This worked,” and it was a small room too, so it wasn't like very huge and we’re like, “Damn! That worked? Let's see if we can do this online with webinars and everything.”
I remember right after that we sold to people, we’re counting how much money we made and we’re like — It was myself, Todd, and Russell and we were going to dinner in an Uber. We’re like, “Okay, sweet. Maybe we’re going to make the million dollars in the first month or second month that we wanted to do.” Russell was telling a story about how there's this marketing guy that we do radio ads for people and once he figured out the certain ad that would work he would call his client up and say, “Hey, your ad worked, congratulations, you’re a millionaire,” because he knew once it worked it would work at scale, right?
Russell is tell the story to us and he’s like, “I think this worked. It seemed to have worked. Congratulations guys, we’re all millionaires.” Then I was like, “What? That’s crazy.” Then that month we did the first million dollars. That was really exciting.
[0:21:25.3] RN: Was that just from taking the lesson of, “Okay, Russell's great on stage. He's great at selling from stage. Let’s scale that and let’s make that our primary channel.”?
[0:21:33.8] DJ: Yeah. Totally, it was all about from webinars, selling the funnel hacks. I think it was combining, especially for our market at the time like was very Internet marketing type of entrepreneur focused, is they needed the training and then the tools. The tool wasn't enough. It was they needed the assurance, and then they also like to buy a one-time fee. It was like 6 to 12 months and then they okay. Now, they got the training and then they can have the tool for this without worrying about it because a lot of entrepreneurs when we start, adding extra expenses, especially monthly expenses kind of freak people out especially for a new company. You don't want to invest too much.
So I think that was the key and then we just blew up there. What we all started doing is every time we did a webinar we would do at least $250,00, $300,000, and then since everyone was still in the launch phasing like launching a product and then like not supporting it then not launching and everything, the whole thing that people are doing.
We’re like, “Okay, people are doing this, so let's be the backend to everyone's product launch.” So everyone do a launch, get 3,000 people in, they’re automatically added to a webinar for funnel hacks and then that’s like — So some people would make more money off our webinar at least for profit than their whole launch. That was a pretty sneaky and awesome thing that we did there.
[0:22:45.4] RN: Walk us through that a little bit more in detail. Somebody else is doing a launch. Walk me through that whole process of how you’re attached to that backend.
[0:22:53.8] DJ: Okay, yeah totally. People would launch whatever it is, especially — It was mostly for the internet marketing marketing world. People would do a launch for some sort or product or a service and then on the back of it we’re basically like auto opting them into webinar and then they would get an email once they bought their product and say, “Sweet.” Like, “You’re automatically opted in for the Q&A webinar for product X. Also, we have a special guest, Russell Brunson, is going to be talking about funnel hacking and ClickFunnels.”
It was more like a chance for all these customers to talk about the product they just bought and then see how they can go with what ClickFunnels is and everything like that. Most of the webinar started with just some Q&A about the product okay, “Yeah, we’re pushing that update. We’re doing this. We’re doing that. Anyways, let's talk about this.” It seemed like a part of the launch. It wasn't something, “Oh! Over here, we’re doing something different.” It was very much a part of it.”
[0:23:47.2] RN: The continuity was there in terms of terms of —
[0:23:49.1] DJ: Yeah. The customers were more likely to buy-in to it.
[0:23:52.7] RN: It seems it would have to be a launch related to online business in some form or fashion, like biz opportunity.
[0:23:59.9] DJ: Yeah.
[0:24:00.4] RN: Got it. In terms of the current team, 70, 80 employees, is that a complete virtual team?
[0:24:07.0] DJ: Mostly. We have the office in Boise, Idaho, and that’s where Russell's from. We had his DotComSecrets’ success etc., type of office. I think now we just how we just got this huge, huge office now. I think we might have maybe 20 people there and that's mostly like the advertisements — It’s mostly the marketing side of stuff for Russell and the people like that do all that kind of biz dev and everything like that. We do have a few support agents in there. For the dev team basically — Yeah, dev team is 100% remote and most of the sort agents are remote.
[0:24:42.4] RN: Got you. Do people directly report to you?
[0:24:44.5] RN: It depends on what — Because like some of the things — We have a fragmented design team because there's designers that help with like some of the marking stuff with Russell. Then there's kind of like some of the UI designers. We have another UI guy, Dave Wasmer, he's awesome, but he also helps more on some of the front-end stuff in the app, like the stats and those types of things. We don't cross paths as much, but mostly like the high-level. So anything super high-level that try and like know what's going on, if can I help, I try and help. A lot of the times, he just have to kind of let some of the guys just take ownership with things and be like, “Okay, you run with that, you’re awesome.” Making sure everything's good.
For the most part, anyone related the to the editor team, so like myself, my brother, and we have a few other guys that do that type of stuff, we all work together. There’s no one really reporting to each other, it’s like we all trust each other to make sure we get the job done and that type of stuff.
[0:25:37.4] RN: Got it. What are some tools you guys use to work remote, and task management, project management, communication, all of that.
[0:25:46.0] DJ: I think an easier way to say it is we probably list the tools that we haven't tried because I think we've tried literally everything, and it changes like probably every 3 to 4 months where we have a different way of doing it and find out how Spotify does their dev team or their stuff and we try and model them. We find out how that company is doing it.
We’re always trying to improve. Right now, especially with the dev team, we’re using Pivotal Tracker and GitHub and Slack. We just moved from Slack from Flowdocd, but we've used like Trello, we’ve used [inaudible 0:26:14.2], we’ve used all the tools — Skype. We’ve used everything.
[0:26:18.9] RN: Got you. This is just the latest flavor of the corridor.
[0:26:22.1] DJ: Yeah, what’s working now in the way we want to work and then we might — Even the way we've tried to structure the company in terms of teams and like not just with the dev team, but with the support team how we’ve all tried to do that was we try and mimic what we think is going to work like either Scrum or all those different things and then figure out where we kind of falling apart in some areas, trying to improve on it and then kind of get to where we — But I think that’s going to be a challenge for any company that's this size, especially bigger companies. You’re always going to try and figure out what's worked best and especially what works at 20 people and 10 people doesn’t work exactly well at 50 people. As you go, things stop working as well, so you have to adapt along the way.
[0:27:02.5] RN: Yeah. On that note, at 70, 80 people right now, what is the ultimate vision for the company? I mean are you guys looking to create new software products? How are you looking to scale? Just more customers?
[0:27:15.6] DJ: Interesting question. I think the one thing that we always say, and we always end our Monday funder meetings always with like — Is to take over the world. What that means — It might be a little bit different for what Russell means and that what I mean. Russell is very competitive so he might think of the whole world. When I think of the whole world is anyone who sells anything online is we want to be a part of the conversation at least of how to sell better, and so that's kind of — One of the things that I really like about this company is like this is, and as a side note, this is the one thing that I've always wanted to do.
Of all the products I've ever created and all the things I’ve done, I always thought creating a marketing software that did all the stuff that I did for other people was going to be the best thing that I wanted to do. So I've done other products that I didn’t like that I did. I always has to ask, “Who’s the customer? Why are they using this?” Once you start asking who's the customer and why they’re using it, like you're not in the in the business you should be.
This is like my favorite thing in the world. I love ClickFunnels, I love what we’re doing here. One of the things I like even more and this kind of goes to what we’re trying to do is if you go up to like somebody that works at Microsoft and you asked them about their software, they’re going to talk about the features they have and how you can do this and that with the software. If you ask anybody in the company what they can use ClickFunnels for, they’re not going to tell you the features. They’re going to ask you, “What is your business? How are you selling?” Then giving them just the knowledge of marketing and stuff. Now that you've helped them, now like, “Okay. We just make it easy. Everything I just told you that we just do, that's like to make it easy.”
But we care so much more about their business. However things change in the future, like if funnels or if website stop being relevant and everything's in VR and there’s VR funnels, we’re going to be right there. We love helping people so much, especially the marketing and the very geekiness of like having countdown timers and upsells and all that stuff, that will make it work regardless. World domination is basically the goal.
[0:29:09.5] RN: World domination and staying on the kind of the leading edge of how selling is evolving online.
[0:29:15.8] RN: Yeah. We want to be there, and even — I was thinking about this a few weeks ago. I was talking to Russell about this and I was like, “What is the one thing—” It was a questioning. I can’t remember what it was. It was some book and it was like, “What is the one thing that allow your business to take off now opposed to before?” Sometimes it's like yourself, like, “Oh, I’m more motivated now.” Sometimes it’s technology and the way stuff changes.
One of the things that I believe made ClickFunnels and competitors like us really possible is tools like Stripe where they made the merchant account accessible to anybody. Because if you remember, like 6, 5, even maybe three years, to do a one click upsell inside Infusionsoft, you had to pay someone 5 to 10 grand to make that happen just for that one feature. Now with Stripe and Braintree and all these things, now it just becomes easy.
That was one of the thing that made it easier, and obviously a better browser speed so we can make editing in the browser easier. There’s all these things that kind of come up to make this happen. I'm always trying to figure out what's the next thing that’s going to make things that like is currently hard really easy that everyone’s going to do? It’s basically democratizing some sort of technology that just going to make everything easy.
Finding out what that is is kind of a challenge and kind of being ahead of where selling is going and, like you just said, it's a challenge, but it’s a really exciting challenge because once you discover it, it’s like, “This changes everything.” We don't know what that is yet, but we’re looking.
[0:30:36.7] RN: Yeah, on the note of actually software and staying on the leading edge, actually in some of the prep I did for this conversation, I read that you had spent six years building that website editing technology that ClickFunnels uses. Tell us more about that project. I mean six years a long time. Then what made you start building it?
[0:30:53.1] DJ: Yeah, six years — It wasn’t consistently six years on the same thing, but it was probably about six years ago, maybe even longer because, yeah, who knows? I had to LeadPage Pro and it was basically — Because I was always fascinated with, as a web designer you’d always have to get your client to like change stuff and be like, “Oh, edit the text and all that stuff. Move the logo. Make it bigger. Move it smaller. Do that.”
I was always fascinated with like CRMs, like system that would — CMS rather. Allow your client to edit the page. There was stuff back in a day that would make it easy and interesting way. I was always trying to build like the ultimate CMS for my clients that was more visual and I launched LeadPage Pro probably 2010, maybe 2009, someone in there. I can send you screenshots of this if you want to look at it, it’s pretty fun.
It’s basically like here’s the text on it and you edit it and you popup a little editor and you edit the text. That was the first version of what I'm doing especially with the editor and I remember launching it and Russell was actually my first JV partner on this, so he sent an email and then sold a bunch stuff and I bought a car and I gave it to my mom and it was pretty sweet. I don't think I had any other affiliates beside Russell because I had other projects to do.
But from then I had the simple version. Then for the next six years I kept redoing it and then kind of also — As I said, even the first product that I failed on was I kept trying to do the ultimate thing, because I felt like — It was also starting to get being so tied to me personally that I would accept other jobs and other projects with people then I would literally have no passion for it. I’d be like, “Oh, sweet. An SEO tool? I can build that, whatever.” Then we launch it and then I make a few hundred thousand.” It’s like, “Sweet.”
But I would never want to give up the editor part because I was like, “That's me.” As soon as I give this up into the world and it fails, I was almost scared that I would have no identity anymore because I was able to do other people's ideas and things I didn’t care about, but I was like, “This is — I’m keeping it.” I didn’t want to find out that I had to do something different. Kind of that.
Yeah, so it was kind of a psychology thing. What happened was I built it probably four or five times getting better along the way, figuring new technology, making it easier and stuff. Then when the story with me and Russell, because I’ve known Russell for about six years before we started. Maybe now eight years, seven, eight years. I was basically just doing designs for him along the way. He messaged me one night and he’s like, “Hey, do you want to come to Boise and do all these work?” I just got back from Thailand and I was doing Muay Thai and stuff, so I kind of took a year off doing that.
Then he's like, “Hey, do you want to come down? I'll pay you some money to come design some stuff.” I’m like, “You know what? I love you Russell.” I never actually met him in person until at that point. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll come to Boise. That's fine. I'm kind of traveling right now anyways.” I was like, “Hey, I can help you as long as you’re not going to be be doing anything related to this.”
At the time it was called Pulse Editor and that was like my editing technology that I was going to release and he's like, “Oh, man! That's exactly what I want you to do.” I'm like, “Dammit! Why do you want to do this? Can’t you do something else, Russell?”
[0:33:48.7] RN: Do your own thing, yeah.
[0:33:49.5] DJ: Yeah, seriously. Like, come on now. Then he’s like, “Okay. But like, I’d really appreciate if you come down. There’s two other products that I want you to work at, which was [inaudible 0:33:57.2] and Backpack, which we’ve ended up putting into ClickFunnels. By the time they were all three different products. I was like, “Okay. Fine. I’ll fly down to Boise.” I flew down there. Helped them design it even though they were my competitors, and I told them that. I was like, “I love you guys, but I’m also competing against you.”
So I left them and then I went for six months building out what I had to build, and at the end of that, I made a video, showed it to Russell and he’s like, “This is—” It was like a little sales video of like, “Here’s how to use the editor,” and whatever. I spent eight hours on it, but it was like a minute video. Russell watched it and he’s like, “I hate ClickFunnels now.” I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “Because your thing is so much better.” I was like, “Well, damn!” I think I told him, I was like, “I didn’t tell you everything. I just designed what you told me to do. I didn’t add anything to it, because I was your competitor. I can’t give you everything.”
Then he’s basically like, “Okay. I hate ClickFunnels now.” This was both three months before we launched in 2014, or maybe even a month. It was ridiculously soon, and he’s like, “Okay. What is it going to take for us to merge those two companies into it and launch ClickFunnels the right way?” Because I had changed his perception of what ClickFunnels was. I remember going to Popeye’s Chicken with my girlfriend and being like, “Should we do it?” The one thing I wanted was, I was like, “Hey, I don’t want to stress anymore being the sales guy. I don’t want to do that whole thing by myself or run this company, because I knew it’s hard. You have to get partners.”
If I can tell anything to anyone, you have to get partners that do the thing that you hate and do it really well. If someone wakes up, loves selling, and you hate selling, partner with the person who loves selling and wakes up loves selling. I don’t like selling that much, he loves it, right? It was a big thing for me to try and give up, and especially it was an equity that it was lower than I’m used to, because I’m used to working with two people 50-50, right? There was a lot of more people involved with ClickFunnels. I was like, “Okay. Fine. If I can make $100,000 and buy my mom a condo, then I’ll do it.” That was like my thing in my head. I was like, “Okay, let’s do it. Let’s get it done.”
I flew back down to Boise, took about two weeks to mash my code into their code and make it work, and then we launched, and then we didn’t make a bunch of money, so we were all kind of stressed and depressed, and then that’s when the next month when I told you the story of how we made our million dollars. Then from there, I was able to make the $100,000 after all the expenses and stuff and I got it wired to me. I was like, “Sweet. It’s $100,000 U.S, just enough to pay for this condo for my mom in the small town.” Bought it for Christmas. Had an awesome Christmas and it was like — It all worked out perfectly.
I’m so grateful for Russell and the team and then Todd my other partners for making all these things happen and allowing me to actually work on stuff that I’m really good at every day and doing that and that I can see Russell is the greatest sales person ever, and he’s my partner. Then every time he sells something, I’m like, “Keep selling them bro. I love you. It’s awesome.”
[0:36:46.6] RN: That’s amazing. That’s a great story.
[0:36:48.7] DJ: Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.
[0:36:50.6] RN: Obviously, ClickFunnels shot up after that $30K initial month, but surely there had to be some really crappy failures along the way building it, stuff breaking, stuff not going as planned, revenue dropping, or has revenue dropped since that?
[0:37:06.9] DJ: No. That’s one of the things that we haven’t really had to deal with as much, is the revenue dropping. We’ve been growing pretty consistently. I think the first year was — Because since we only had in the first 2014, there’s only a few months we were actually like creating revenue. I think we only did like a million something. Maybe closer to two million. Then the next year was $10 million, and the next year, it was $30 something million. Our goal this year is $100 million. We’re trying like three Xs as long as — As we go.
There have been times most definitely, especially when we had server issues where we’ve been down for six hours and things like that where everything is questioned. It’s like the worst six hours of your life and you’re just thinking — Oh, and especially when you start knowing the numbers more, how much page views people are getting and how much money is generated. If you look — I think we’re — Just in our [inaudible 0:37:59.0] in Stripe alone, I think we’re doing over $10 million a month, or even more, just for our users. That’s just through people using Stripe that connected through us. That doesn’t count people using PayPal, Infusionsoft, Braintree and all these other tools.
When you know you’re down for like an hour or you had — We were down for I think two or there hours earlier this year because of an Amazon thing, that wasn’t our fault. Amazon screwed some stuff up. But it was terrifying because you start thinking of the numbers and the peoples and the opt-ins and you’re just like, “No! We need to fix this. This is —” And you don’t want to stress people out, but you want to shake everybody in the company especially the developers fixing it. You’re just like, “Hey, you’re fixing it, right?” “Yeah, we’re all fixing it.” But it’s like you want to shake them, like, “You know what’s happening right now? You know how many people are losing money?” You’re freaking out. There’s most definitely time where you just get super scared.
[0:38:48.2] RN: On that Amazon note, obviously there’s a big outage these past couple of days.
[0:38:52.0] DJ: Oh, yeah. Totally.
[0:38:53.3] RN: Did that affect you guys?
[0:38:55.0] DJ: Yeah, I know it affected intercom, so we couldn’t do support. Then it affected also our images. Some of our images are on their caching server, which great, so it worked. Some of them were just straight from S3. Your images weren’t working and sometimes even the editor would try and load those images. Until those images were loaded, it wouldn’t say it was loaded, so you couldn’t use it. It affected everything.
I was trying to get some stuff with some designers and they couldn’t send me the thing. It was just like, yeah, I think the whole — Amazon controls the the world on the internet. When they go down, everyone goes down.
[0:39:29.2] RN: Out of all the struggles along the journey, not just with ClickFunnels but throughout your life, which one really makes you think to yourself, like, “Man, I wouldn’t be where I am today if that hadn’t happened to me.”
[0:39:39.2] DJ: There’s so many, right? Because it would be hard to give you those single one, but probably the whole high school experience. I remember even when — When you go to high school, people start drinking and they start doing the whole teenage thing. I remember even doing that and going through this whole period with the whole pressures of disability and people — How high school changed. I thought it was going to fun and awesome and it turned into those weird thing that was happening.
I remember even going out, I didn't — I don't really drink. I didn't start drinking until I was like 20, and I would go with my friends on the weekend and they’d drink, because you’re like just doing that. I remember thinking, “This is such a waste the time. You guys are going to spend here four or five hours going drinking and doing stuff, or I can go home and learn C++.” I would just leave and then spend my whole night trying to learn something. I just felt like I needed to learn and I needed to do it before anyone, because I didn't want to wait for anybody anymore.
That was the biggest thing that I — Even now, I was just watching a thing about machine learning, which is one of our developers wrote a book on machine learning. Super smart guy. He just did a webinar with HackerEarth. Now, I’m learning about machine learning and I’m like, “This guy’s so smart and we have him on our team.” I just love learning so much and I love applying it. That was the biggest thing. It was just having — Not letting this education system where you wait and you show up to class, you sit there until he starts talking. Learning before he even starts talking, learning before you can get to the room. You got the Internet, look that stuff up. If it is anything, just look it up, read it, figure it out. I love education. I love it. I don’t like the education system but I love education.
[00:41:15.8] RN: It’s crazy that you have literally your fingertips an entire world of free education from YouTube, Google. You can literally look up anything you could ever want to learn and probably find it for free.
[00:41:27.9] DJ: Totally. It’s even crazier than that. I was with some people, and their parents were there and they had their one kid and they’re asking me like, “Oh what’s advice for people to stay in school and stuff?” They didn’t know my story because I was a drop out, “Don’t do that. I’m the opposite of that.” But then they wanted to be a developer or something. I was like, “Dude, you go to iTunes right now. iTunes University. You can take Harvard classes. At Harvard, all these stuff for free.” Then, they’re like, “Oh, that’s cool, but you don’t get a certificate.”
[00:41:55.4] RN: Oh goodness gracious.
[00:41:56.3] DJ: I was like, “Who cares about a certificate?” You get to learn. You’re not going to go to Harvard. Especially in Canada, you’re not going to go there. You might. That’s awesome. But you can learn. You can watch it right now. Then, you can just tell the mindset, it’s like, “You’re not going to get that piece of paper that’s going to recognize you for a job later on.” That’s a different type of person.
Sometimes, I also have a hard time understanding that there’s normal people in the world that aren’t like us. I assume everyone is super passionate and super entrepreneur and wanting to do these things. So I just can’t understand how people don’t get excited about this. You want to do make-up? Watch freaking tutorials and start making your own tutorials. Start giving back. We are all bunch of digital hippies trying to make the world Internet-better, so just contribute.
[00:42:39.6] RN: Totally. It’s also the mindset of consumption versus producing. Everybody is worried about — I was just walking around at the mall with my wife and just looking around, these people are just out trying to buy stuff, which obviously, consuming’s fine. I just like going back to thinking, “You should be producing more than you’re consuming. If you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.”
[00:43:02.7] DJ: Yeah, totally. Recognizing what you — If you purchase something, think of it like why did you like it? What was the thing you liked about it? How you can learn from it, and all those things, but again, that’s a pretty entrepreneurial thing to think about, a very creative mind.
[00:43:20.8] RN: Fail on is, obviously the mantra we live by here with the idea being that if you’re not failing, you’re not growing. How do you force yourself to get out of your comfort zone?
[00:43:30.0] DJ: I think there’s two things that if once you get to start to know me as a normal guy, I’m very Mr. Magoo. So I do, I’m very clumsy. I’m also one of the silliest persons ever, so if there’s anything to do it the right way, I’m probably going to do it the wrong way first and embarrass myself. What I do is I don’t think about the thing I’m going to do until I’m doing it.
For example, if I’m going to get on stage, like at our event and talk or do something. I don’t think about it at all because I don’t like going on stage and doing that, because it’s uncomfortable, but once I’m on stage, I have no time to think about being uncomfortable. I have to do something. I don’t like rollercoasters but I still get in to the rollercoaster. Once I’m strapped in, I can freak out all I want. I’m doing it.
I don’t like helicopters, I don’t like flying in planes, but I don’t think about it until I’m doing it. I can get myself into any situation. The key is just not to think about it, or at least overthink about it, until you’re there. Then usually what happens when you’re there, you have no time to think or to freak out because you’re usually actively engaged. The rollercoaster’s a bit different because you’re sitting there. Now, you have all the time in the world to realize it’s going to break at any minute.
[00:44:33.8] RN: Right. You’re standing in line for probably 20 minutes before you get on.
[00:44:37.8] DJ: Yeah, totally. Just keep a conversation going and don’t think about it.
[00:44:40.7] RN: It’s actually interesting. I love that approach, is don’t let the fear build up. It’s more of just, “Okay, keep it out of sight, out of mind,” and then, “Boom,” you’re doing it, and then you have no choice but to make it work.
[00:44:52.7] DJ: Even if it fails, it failed. So what? You have to keep going. My favorite thing to talk about which is why I like your podcast so much is I love to talk about what failed because I noticed when — Have you ever met somebody who just talks about how great they are and how successful they are? It makes you kind of insecure about stuff because you’re just like, “Oh, wow! This guy hasn’t failed,” or, “This woman is the most — She’s not even human.”
Then as soon as you talk, and especially if someone perceives you as successful, and then all you talk about is the human reality of actually — The experience that we all go through, which is the failing, the insecurities. They identify your product as yourself and all that stuff and telling people your product —It’s hard because as an entrepreneur, you are everything. It’s you. It’s your identity. So it’s hard to not attach yourself to it, which you have to at some point, but you have to attach yourself to what you’re actually trying to do rather than the thing itself.
Those things are hard and those things you have to go through, especially a lot of woman want to do tutorials for make-up, telling them, “There’s always going to be that one person that’s even more prettier than you or looks at better lighting than you. You know what I mean? You just have to do it. Then, there’s someone else going to think that you’re the most amazing person ever.
The more you talk about the reality, the more everyone feels better, the more everyone’s allowed to say, “Man, I really screwed up.” I bought an advertising, the first advertising I ever bought for a thing that I was selling, I forgot to put the Buy Now buttons. I didn’t put a link to PayPal. Until a few weeks, I was depressed. I was like, “No one’s bought this. This is stupid.” I’m so stupid for thinking that anyone would buy this. I go look, click on the thing. I’m like, “Oh, no one can even buy this anyways.”
[00:46:32.6] RN: That’s crazy. What’s failure mean to you?
[00:46:36.2] DJ: Failing means you haven’t figured it out yet. It’s just like the market saying nope and then you fail. As long as you want to do it, you’re going to find the way, and so, I tell people all the time the idea might be wrong or the approach might be wrong. It doesn’t mean what you’re actually intending to do is wrong. Unless it’s just a terrible idea for a product that no one really wants. Again, if you’re idea is to help people, then it doesn’t really matter.
Failing is like, it’s just what happens. If you ever tripped on something, does that mean you failed walking, you can’t walk anymore? No, you just tripped and now, you look a bit silly. Lucky you don’t do in front of a hundred people like I have done many times. You know what I mean? It’s just what happens. It’s a trade. It’s a thing that’s real. We all do it. It’s just reality.
[00:47:21.1] RN: Then, you learn from it and you get better the next time.
[00:47:24.5] DJ: Yeah, totally. Just try not to trip as much or pay attention to where you’re walking. I was on a big street and I was looking at a sign across the other street, and there’s all these bikes. There was a few hundred people just walking downtown. I tripped over three bikes. Every bike I tried to get out of, I tripped on to another bike. I was super embarrassed but I got up and looked at everyone. It’s like, “I’m good,” and I kept walking. I can still walk. I failed walking miserably, but I can still do it.
[00:47:50.8] RN: Mr. Magoo. I believe that repeated trying, failing, and learning is really the primary factor in how quickly people and businesses see positive outcomes. So if there is just one directive or action item that you could give somebody that has a burning desire to create a better life but just aren’t sure of what business to start or what action to take, what would that be?
[00:48:12.7] DJ: You really got to know — If you don’t know what you want to do, if you don’t know what problem you can solve, one of the easiest ways to do is to think about what are your friends constantly asking you for. If there’s a thing or if you’re the guy they always ask for, the lady, if it’s cars or this or that, and if you tell them the answer, and their eyes light up and they’re like, “Oh, you are awesome. I never thought of that,” and they’re constantly coming to you, that’s one of the easiest ways to do it. Then, you can know that that’s your area. If it’s hair products or if it’s whatever, then you can get inspired to go for that.
The other thing is just like even if you’re not sure yet of what it is that you want to sell or how you’re going to start, just start educating yourself like listening to this podcast, going and watching free videos on YouTube about traffic, about marketing, learning all this stuff. The more you learn, the more you reveal how things are done, and so you start noticing how retargeting ads on Facebook work and you start to know why people have opt-in things with the emails and the buttons and what the button’s say. Things become a little bit easier.
So when you feel more inspired to figure out what you’re going to do, you’re not faced with, “Okay, I figure what I’m going to do now with the next step with all these marketing, and it’s super intimidating.” The more you know, the easier it gets and the more you know where you focus on. Education, learning, and then figuring out what it is you want to sell.
Also, just as a side note, I tell people this, too, is you can get really successful doing something you don’t like. If you don’t like your job and you’re like, “Oh, I hate my boss and I don’t like doing this,” well you can do the same thing if you do pick a business that you don’t like but that’s profitable or easy to do, get really big, make a bunch money, and hate it. You’re in the same spot. You might be making more money but you’re in a business where you hate your customers.
I’ve been there where you’re like, “I don’t even want to talk to these people anymore, yet they’re ruining my Coachella and I have to go email them on my laptop,” which has happened. You don’t want to get into this position like that. So you have to really assume that you can — Or not assume but think that you can solve this problem.
You’re going to have the lows. You’re going to have the times where you just don’t like doing it, but you have to have the reason why. Like, “I want to do this because I’m grateful for this thing.” Success happens and sometimes, success happens on bad ideas, and things happen where you aren’t happy with it. So I hope that makes sense.
[00:50:35.3] RN: Yeah, no, I’m following. On the notion though of education learning, how do you find that balance between — because I know for me, before I got started in business, I was looking at that one perfect idea. I was always trying to look at blue sky ideas that were just huge ideas where, in reality, there is no perfect idea. It’s just a matter of you can make money doing a lot of different things. It’s just go do it. So how do you balance education and learning versus actually just going to do it, go take action on it?
[00:51:05.3] RN: Yeah, that’s a great question, because you’re right. You can learn all these stuff and you learn so much about it. Then, it starts becoming intimidating because you know everything about it and you know that you can’t possibly do it yourself, because there’s too many areas to do. What I’ve learned with programming is once you learn the little key thing that’s going to spark everything, for example, programming. Once I learned an if statement, which is if this, then that, then you can just build on top of that and you can build a whole system. If you think about anything, any logic, it’s, “Okay, if I got a blue thing, then do this. If it’s blue and red, do this. If it’s this and this and this, do this.” It’s a simple system that turns into a very complicated system.
For business, you need to find one of the simple things that you can get really attached to and then start getting that into becoming more complicated. That might be learning how to do an email list and email marketing. I get someone’s email, I can email them, and then if I just do that at scale, now it looks like this crazy complicated auto-responder series that does all these stuff when in reality, it’s just one email that goes to a page.
I would focus on wherever that makes sense whatever the marketing tactic that makes sense for your audience and for your thing you’re doing. It’s going to be different if it’s a retail product, if it’s a coaching product or whatever the product is. Find the one thing that you identify with and you’re like, “I get that.” If it’s email marketing, if it’s blogging, whatever it is that you’re like, “I understand. This statement just made sense to me. I can rock in this statement like nobody else.”
If blogging is your thing, figure out the thing about blogging and that little thing that’s going to compound itself and just start doing that one thing, because things can get overwhelming. I don’t do polymorphic object-oriented crazy algorithms stuff machine learning. I just do if statements. That’s what I focus on. If you focus on the one thing that you love, or that just resonates with you, and just go from there. As soon as you find it on your education path and you’re watching YouTubes, stop and do that. Stop, you’re done. You learn the thing and just rock it.
[0:53:00.9] RN: I love that. Whose had the most profound impact on your life and what did they teach you?
[0:53:06.4] DJ: Yeah, I was thinking about this, and there’s a bunch of people. Obviously my family and some of the good teachers I’ve had and then also some of the bad teachers I’ve had, and like business partners. There’s a lot of people that I could say here, but one of the things that is like a non-person that I really really like, I remember when I was doing video games, I wanted to do — not only did I want to make the videogames. I wanted to do the music. I want to do all the art. I want to make the engine. When I was making the music — This is how crazy I am, I want to do everything, is I was making the music with a software online that you can make stuff like VSLs and whatnot.
Then I heard a thing, it was like some composer and it was like, “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” It was talking about — That’s a quote that Steve Jobs apparently said it. Basically, Gandhi, Bob Marley, everyone has apparently said this thing. I didn’t understand it at first because I was like, “Okay. Obviously, stealing is bad. I don’t really understand what that means.”
Once I understood it actually meant, and especially for what I meant for music, was if you find a violin that’s really good or a tone or something that’s like really good and makes you feel a certain, is like steal the tone. Steal the scale that they’re using in and make your song with that. A good artist will borrow ideas. What they do is like, “Oh, I kind of like that, so I’ll take half the idea, or I’ll take what I think they meant,” and then they end up doing their own thing, which is good, but you have to identify what’s great and steal that exact same thing.
That’s one of the thing we do with funnel hacking, which is knowing what’s great and stealing it, like a great sales funnel. Don’t even be creative. If they use a button that’s blue and green and that has something on it, it says “add to cart”, just use that damn button. The problem with that is you need to know what’s great. Because a lot of people what’s good and they borrow it and they think that they’re going from somewhere but then they just literally have to take what’s great and find out what’s great. The challenge is, know what’s great.
[0:54:58.1] RN: Got it.
[0:54:58.9] DJ: Yes. That’s my profound thing, which might not make sense to most people until you’re into that situation where it’s like, “This makes total sense.”
[0:55:06.1] RN: Sure. There’s not any one person that you would attribute anything to?
[0:55:10.4] DJ: Besides my family and like — I’ve had so many good partners and bad partners and things. There’s just so many things. I’m not sure —
[0:55:18.3] RN: Just a culmination of all the people you’ve met that’s led you?
[0:55:22.2] DJ: Yeah, and all the great conversations we’ve had at events and dinners [inaudible 0:55:26.0] we were at and all sorts of stuff.
[0:55:29.2] RN: Love it. What’s next on the horizon for you? What are you working on now within ClickFunnels that you’re most excited about?
[0:55:35.2] DJ: We’re working on a lot more features, especially the survey stuff a lot more. What we’re trying to do is upgrade our game in terms of sales elements and especially like converting better. Anything we can do little tweaks here to make people more money with conversions and stuff like that. One of the other things that’s more exciting is opening up some of our areas inside of our platforms for other developers to add into. So like an app marketplace where other developers can make new integrations with like a Shopify or other tools that come out.
What’s happening is once we get to a certain scale, especially with 32,000 customers we have, we want to get to 100,000. We really need to leverage our community and showcase our community inside of the app and with the marketplace where they can — Like a developer can make something that’s very specific for one person or a very group of people. We don’t have a time to create it. Instead of telling them no. We can say “How about you create it and then we’ll showcase you, so you can turn the app on.”
Basically what Apple did with the app store is that they’re not going to create every calendar version or every feature of a calendar, so they let other people to make these calendar apps even though they have one. That’s one of the more exciting things that I’m personally working on. Then also as a company, we’re working on. Expert Secrets, which is the book that Russell is coming out with, a lot of cool marketing and a lot of plans. We have some really fun plans that are in the works that are kind of secret about, some viral videos. We want to get some pretty hilarious comedians to come and make some stuff for us. There’s a lot going on.
[0:56:57.5] RN: Very cool, man. Just to wrap up, how can our listeners learn more about you, ClickFunnels, and where can they actually find you personally?
[0:57:05.4] DJ: All right, so clickfunnels.com which is our thing. You can also go to Facebook and go to our ClickFunnels group on Facebook. That’s one of the best places to see our community. Then for me personally, you can follow me — I don’t really have a lot of social presence. If you want to email me, it’s email@example.com. Dylan, like Bob Dylan, D-Y-L-A-N. Then you can find me on Facebook and we can become friends, yeah.
[0:57:27.1] RN: Awesome, man. I really appreciate you taking the time today and looking forward to catching you next time.
[0:57:32.1] DJ: Awesome, I appreciate you man.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:57:35.2] RN: All right, you can find Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s @getnodo on Twitter. That’s @getnodo. Of course, all the links and resources Dylan and I discussed, including more information on ClickFunnels can be found at the page created specifically for this episode. You’ll find it all at failon.com/009.
In the next episode, we’ll be sitting down with entrepreneur and speaker, Joey Coleman, and digging in to simple, actionable advice that you can do immediately that will help kick start your entrepreneurial dream. And, as I continue to build up this project with the simple goal of getting people to once and for all decide that they’re going to fail their way to creating an inspired life, if you could do one thing to support that cause, I’d be super grateful.
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