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294 – This guy gets up when he wants to: Tom interviews Greg Jameson
From:
Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Virginia Beach , VA
Friday, June 05, 2020

 

Episode 294 – Greg Jameson
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Everybody it's Tom here with episode two hundred ninety four of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Greg Jameson and this guy's been doing the Web thing from the start. Just like me and the computers way, way back. So can't wait to introduce him to you. Hope you didn't miss Episode two ninety three. Adam Schroeder was here. He's edited over two thousand podcasts for many different hosts and is co-host of the Work from Home Show podcast. Plus, he's a stay at home dad for four young children, so he created a lifestyle business for himself. Now, how would you like to hear your own voice here on screw the commute? Well, the show's helped you out at all in your business or giving you ideas to help you start a business. We want to hear about it. Visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says send a voicemail. Click on it and talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the shows helped you. Remember to put your Web site on there and you'll get a nice big shout out in your own voice on a future episode of Screw the Commute. Now, hope you didn't forget if you've been listening to the show to download your copy of my automation e-book. We sell this thing for 27 bucks, but it's yours free for listening to the show. And it's helped me handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and 40000 customers without pulling my hair out. Saved me millions of keystrokes and allowed me to grab business from other people who were too slow to get back to their prospects. So grab that at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're at it, grab a copy of our podcast app, which is screwthecommute.com/app for your cell phone or tablet. You can take us with you on the road. We have video instructions and screen captures, so figure out how to use all the fancy features screwthecommute.com/app. Now we're sitting here in the middle of this pandemic and people are searching for work, for home on Google like crazy because they're not used to it. I'm getting calls from people that have known me for 25 years. I say, oh, man, Tom, I should've listened to you back in 1996, you know. Yeah, you should have. Because you wouldn't be stuck nowadays because you can sell around the world from your desktop. You don't have to wear a mask while you're sitting here, OK? You can if you want if you're into that kind of stuff, you know, you don't have to do that. So we have a school. We have the only license, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country. It's IMTCVA.org and. Oh, it's great. Nuts and bolts skills that teach you how to do all this stuff that Greg and I do. And it's a great legacy gift. You know, rather than sending your kids or grandchildren or nephews and nieces to traditional college where they spend four years learning how to protest and racking up massive debt, get them a scholarship to my school, and within a couple months they'll have a career possibilities that's in high demand, that we have people making money before they even graduate and take six months to a year to graduate, but they can make money along the way. So beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So check it out at IMTCVA.org. Give me a call and I'll discuss your future online.

[00:03:56] All right. Let's get to the main event. Greg Jameson's here. He's an Inc 500 award winning entrepreneur and the author of number one bestselling books, The Amazon's Dirty Little Secrets and the Influencer Effect. And he's partnered with some of the most successful influencers on the Internet.

[00:04:15] Greg, are you ready to screw? The commute?

[00:04:19] Absolutely. Let's do this.

[00:04:21] Hi. Hey. So. Oh, it's good to meet you. We met through some other influencer on a thing that Steve Olsher was doing. And that's that's great that we were able to cross paths like that, because you've been in this a lot longer than me. I mean, I was doing computers before the Internet started, but not to the level you were. So. So let's tell him what you're doing now, and then we'll take you back and see how you came up to the point you're at now.

[00:04:47] All righty. Well, right now I am helping people sell more online. I develop e-commerce Web sites for people, get them up and running where they're actually selling products. And then I do Internet marketing with them, show them how they can actually. Not just have the Web site out there, but actually start selling stuff on the Web site.

[00:05:12] So are these one on one programs or how do you how do you work with people?

[00:05:18] I've got a couple of different ways. One is certainly one on one where I'm building out their Web site and then teaching them on an individual basis how to actually run their Web site. But I also do a series of online courses for people where they want to learn how to do it themselves.

[00:05:37] Ok. And what do you what have you seen? You've been doing this long time.

[00:05:41] So what have you seen or some of the biggest mistakes people make that they do try to do it themselves?

[00:05:48] Exactly. That they tried to do it themselves. And, you know, there's lots of giants whose shoulders you and I stand on that.

[00:06:00] It's like Tony Robbins says, you know, that success leaves clues. And that's really one of the things that I talk about in my book about Amazon's dirty little secrets. People think, oh, that was a exposé about Amazon. It's like, no, that's a book that shows you how Amazon got to the point where they are different types of things that they did utilizing the power of other people to market and sell products on their behalf. And how you can do those same kinds of things yourself if you'll just watch what.

[00:06:36] The leaders in the industry have done and you can mimic those things and do it yourself.

[00:06:42] Yeah, I think that they kind of were the ones that really, really developed the affiliate marketing mechanism to the highest to high degree. I don't know if they invented it, but they sure ramped it up massively. And that's attributed to their growth, right?

[00:06:59] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, they did not invent it, but they certainly were the ones that took it to the level where. You know, there were literally hundreds of thousands of people promoting products for them. That's key to any one success. Doing business online today is to get other people to promote your products for you.

[00:07:23] Yeah. And now they're getting a little snooty about it.

[00:07:26] Now, if you don't sell enough, they kick your ass kicked to the curb. And in some states, I remember they had trouble with California about something, right?

[00:07:36] Yeah.

[00:07:37] There they definitely have gotten a little bit too big for their brand now and kind of feel like they they no longer need all the people that got them to where they are.

[00:07:48] But the thought that, you know, that that that happens with with all large businesses to some extent, I think is that got them there.

[00:07:58] Now they're on to other ways of doing things. But certainly as you're growing your business and obviously growing it, you can grow it up to the size of an Amazon type thing by doing something like the affiliate marketing.

[00:08:12] Yeah, no, I never pushed my students that direction because the commissions were so low.

[00:08:19] Now I'm thinking about even myself now doing feel fulfilled by Amazon, you know, finding products and where I don't have to mess with it too much in the in the sea. See how that goes.

[00:08:32] But just straight affiliate marketing for commission, if your time is probably better spent, just, you know, create your own products in e-book or finding e-books that pay a much higher commission or digital products that pay a much higher commission. I think.

[00:08:47] There's no question about that. The fact is, is that if you are trying to make a living being an Amazon affiliate, you will starve the story.

[00:08:59] And that's that. That's true.

[00:09:01] Even before they got to where they were, you know, cutting their commissions to their affiliates. The fact is, is that what you want to do is exactly what you said. You want to create your own product and you have your affiliate program where other people are selling on your behalf. So I'm not suggesting that people become an Amazon affiliate, but rather that you take a look at what Amazon did and say, hey, you know what? Maybe I should create an affiliate program for my digital products and get 100 people out there helping me promote what I have to offer.

[00:09:42] Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I was bad before the commissions and then it just got worse.

[00:09:47] So.

[00:09:48] So, yeah, I'm all for your own products but or products that have a really significant affiliate commission, you know, because something that you'd make five percent on Amazon and you might make 50 percent on Javy ZEW or Quick Bake or you know, somebody is proprietary product. So that's OK. But killing yourself to get traffic and influence people to get a minimal commission is you're right, you'll starve to death.

[00:10:18] So that's a deal. I'll take 50 percent off of a thousand dollar digital product all day long.

[00:10:24] Exactly. Yeah. So let's take you back.

[00:10:26] So you were telling me before we got started that you had a situation where as a very young kid, you got exposed to a computer. Right.

[00:10:35] Yeah, it was interesting.

[00:10:37] I grew up in the mid 70s and my father worked for Colorado State University and he had a research project that allowed him to bring home a portable teletype machine. Wow.

[00:10:51] So I was in we actually had an account at the county mainframe computer. So I got to start playing with a computer at home about a decade before personal computers came out and kind of got a head start, a little bit of a jump on everybody else there because of that.

[00:11:12] Well, I remember in college doing something with these punch cards, but I have no idea what the heck I was doing. But yeah, they go and you stick them in this enormous you go in this enormous room with these enormous machines and stick these cards in.

[00:11:29] And you know what I was doing. Do you remember what that was?

[00:11:34] You know, it's funny. I actually still have a couple of punch cards laying around. Oh, yes. I make great bookmarks part and everything else.

[00:11:44] But yeah, I spent many an hour in the basement of the engineering building in front of a punch card machine, and then you'd carry these at the time, you know, some of the programs I was working on were fairly complex and we actually had like two boxes of punch cards.

[00:12:02] There was stacks of them I would have to take in the area and then they would feed them all through the punch card reader. And if any one of them, of course, was out of order, it's just like I mean, it was a computer program.

[00:12:17] Right? Right.

[00:12:17] So each card was the next line in the computer program. So if you dropped the cards or got them out of order at all, you I mean, talk about being screwed.

[00:12:30] Yeah. So what do you remember?

[00:12:34] What's your first P.C. was the very first computer that I purchased myself was a Texas Instruments T'ai ninety nine.

[00:12:46] And that was one of these that.

[00:12:49] What year was that roughly.

[00:12:51] Oh, good question. Seven the.

[00:12:58] About 1978, I just remember, and I was in college from 73 to 78 and bought my first Texas instrument calculator. All it would do is add, subtract, multiply and divide. And it was seventy nine dollars and ninety five.

[00:13:15] Yeah, calculators were expensive. I bought that same timeframe. I got a Hewlett Packard calculator and it seems like it was about a hundred but.

[00:13:22] Yeah. So.

[00:13:26] So then what I kind of remember my first P.c was a, was an apple and it had a 40 megabyte hard drive.

[00:13:38] And so I said, this doesn't work. How am I going to do it then?

[00:13:42] Do you ever remember CPM machines? I do. Yeah. That was six thousand dollars, I had that in the 80s to run my nightclub. And it was six thousand bucks that it wouldn't Dorothy too much of a thing either.

[00:13:57] Yeah. I never had a CPM. I did have after the t'ai. Ninety nine.

[00:14:02] I did have an Apple two, which was actually a great machine. Steve was niac was the real brainchild child behind that and that was an awesome computer.

[00:14:16] Then I went to an IBM P.c 80s which was their advanced machine. The other advantage I had here. Oh, you have a team that was advanced. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:27] My my father in law worked for IBM, so I actually got to buy IBM machines at the employee discount.

[00:14:35] Oh, that's good. So did you ever have a job?

[00:14:40] Well, I went to graduate school in Arizona.

[00:14:45] For what? And for what would you do for landscape architecture. Oh, I would. I was gonna be a landscape architect.

[00:14:52] And that was at all writing, you know, making stuff by hand.

[00:14:57] Then or did they have any kind of computer programs that would help your layouts?

[00:15:02] Oh, no. It was it was definitely all by hand.

[00:15:05] I was I was the person that got the whole thing started, actually, for doing things on the computer. Because what ended up happening here is that I got out of graduate school and.

[00:15:20] Went to work for a local landscape architecture firm. And it was maybe only about a year into it, I guess, of work in there, that AutoCAD came out and we had a couple of.

[00:15:37] Reps for AutoCAD come and show us one cad is computer aided design. OK.

[00:15:46] So they showed us this program and I thought, hey, this is actually pretty cool, you know, you could draw on the computer originally. And so I convinced are the principals of our office that we really ought to do this.

[00:16:02] And they spent like 50 or 60 thousand dollars over a cab station in there.

[00:16:09] And after we did that, they discovered, you know, just really doesn't do landscape architecture at all is just kind of an expensive toy. And they looked at me and they were like, Jameson, you better fix this.

[00:16:24] So I was like, you know, this actually looks kind of fun. I would go in on the weekends and stay in the evenings and stuff. That's one of the reasons why I bought the IBM 80 at the time because it was powerful enough to actually run.

[00:16:40] So they wanted you to fix commercial software to work for what they needed, right?

[00:16:45] Yeah. And how did they get into commercial software? Didn't they have it locked up?

[00:16:51] No, actually, they didn't.

[00:16:54] One of the premises of AutoCAD from the very beginning was we want to allow people to customize us. Great. So I went in and I did that in about three months later. The people that sold us the system came back to see how we were doing, and I showed him some of the stuff that I had done and their eyes lit up. You know what? We could sell this stuff.

[00:17:20] Did you have the rights to the company, have the rights to the company, did you? Because they paid you to do.

[00:17:27] Right. So I basically made a deal with my boss and said, you know what, I would like to do this. I would like for these guys to sell it. I would like to develop this further. And we made an agreement at that point. We basically were 50/50 partners where they would fund it. I would do the coding and we would sell this.

[00:17:50] I was smart. Yeah.

[00:17:53] And kind of one thing led to another. It took about another year, I guess, of going to some trade shows and my company deciding that they really didn't want to be in the software business and me deciding that I really did want to be in the software business.

[00:18:10] And I ended up creating a buyout agreement with them over a period of time. And I now own the rights to it. And that was my first real company. And I've never had a job since.

[00:18:26] So. So that was the transition, a buyout agreement. But you were smart in the first place to make make the deal with them rather than just get work for hire kind of stuff. So that's a really smart thing. Folks out there listening to this is it? You know, he couldn't have done this without him and it wouldn't have gotten done. So he had a position where he could make a deal, you know, 50/50 and then eventually buy them out. And there's a way to start a business right there and get funded to do it. So did you have when you when you actually left, did you save up money? Had you had any of your own business experience, really?

[00:19:09] You know, I was fresh out of grad school. I think I still owed money on my student loans. No, I had no money at all because I had a graduate degree. The credit card companies loved me.

[00:19:24] Yeah.

[00:19:26] Quite honestly, I racked up about one hundred thousand dollars worth of credit card debt. You get started.

[00:19:34] I fortunately, I had all of that paid off in about a year. Wow.

[00:19:40] I had my buyout agreement with my former employer paid off in about three years.

[00:19:49] So. At one point in time, I decided, you know, I'm going to expand this business a little bit. I ended up growing that business. We were in twenty five different countries around the world. The software was translated into about a dozen different languages. We had like 60 distributors. And I think it was two hundred and fifty resellers kind of going back flitton somebody else. So your product. Yeah. But. Yeah, it it ended up being a fairly big deal before we ended up merging with a another software company and taking the whole thing public. But.

[00:20:34] Not even sure where I was going with all that. Well, the thing is, is how you transition money saved. OK. I went in debt to do it. Right, because, you know.

[00:20:44] I know. Yeah, I know. But you did pay it off in a hurry, so you had something good going for you. And then. So then. Then did you get other software business? How did you get into what you're doing now?

[00:20:57] Well, what ended up happening was that, like I said, we merged the company with another software company and went public. And I thought, OK, this is great. But with the FCC rules, I kind of had a pile of stock there that I couldn't sell because of insider trading regulations. And by the time I could sell it, it wasn't worth anything. Fortunately, I was on a trip and I was in the Chicago airport and ran into one of my past employees. And we started talking about what he was doing and the fact that I kind of had worked myself out of a job and needed to do something else that was fun and interesting.

[00:21:47] And we decided to join forces and we built another software. This one was for school scheduling where our schools could go in there and rent out their facilities when they weren't using them for purposes, whether it be a soccer field, you know, for a soccer team, their gymnasiums, maybe for a church or something. Certainly all our classrooms.

[00:22:15] I was pretty innovative at the time when really activities.

[00:22:18] Yeah, we had school districts that were making an extra half million dollars a year by renting out their facility. I thought we were pretty cool for having created this software, which was basically a database application running at that point on the Internet.

[00:22:36] And there was a software as a service.

[00:22:39] It was a software as a service. We were using a Microsoft sequel database. We were programming in cold fusion to do it. And it was doing well enough that I was talking to my partner just because I had done this before with the Land CAD program, I was like, hey, you know, we really ought to take this national and maybe even international and let people utilize this. And he was not on board with that at all. He basically wanted a lifestyle business. And so we didn't do it. But I was like, you know, I want to do something a little more significant than just sitting here writing computer code. I really want to be helping people. So I ended up at that time, the Internet was really just taken off. And I ended up splitting off from him. I'd let him buy my shares in the partnership out.

[00:23:41] And I started developing again, a third piece of software for people that wanted to sell online and specifically wholesaler's people selling big pieces of machinery. For example, one of our early clients was a concrete pumping company that was selling quarter of a million dollar concrete pumps.

[00:24:05] And those people certainly weren't going to be creating a store where somebody would look at different concrete pumps and say, I want this one, put it on my credit. Right. So it was a wholesale application where. Basically, a store could end up buying stuff from. An importer is an example or a contractor could end up buying something from like this concrete pumping company or whatever, we add one company.

[00:24:38] I remember that actually accepted ninety nine different payment terms, which you would never find in an online store for a retail application. But so there were some real significant differences between a wholesale application and a retail application at the time, I was the only one doing it.

[00:24:58] So I got the opportunity, I guess, to kind of grow that, but. The interesting thing about the Internet is that it changes so fast and it changed so fast then that within a few years there was a lot of programmers out there doing things that were a whole lot better than anything I could do in terms of creating online stores. And so today, I don't write any code anymore. It just evolved. There's like there's these other people out there that are much better coders than I am. I'm just going to be creating applications for people using kind of off the shelf stuff that, you know, anybody can do. And now today with like WordPress and wew commerce and all of the thousands of plug ins that are out there, anything that I could do. 15, 20 years ago. Anybody can do it now. Just with a word, press and commerce website.

[00:25:59] Yeah, that's funny because my whole career I've only used off the shelf stuff that's been frustrating in the early days. But but yeah, like, I've used the same shopping cart for 18 years now and it's runs up and candid on its own server.

[00:26:15] I probably got 70 different Web sites going through one account, so.

[00:26:21] So it's all off the shelf stuff because the people that I deal with are never going to program anything like you are. I can't. I'm sitting here thinking cold fusion. I know. I heard of that. Is that something with your when your freezer is going bad or so?

[00:26:39] Yeah. So we got to think a brief sponsor break here.

[00:26:44] When we come back, we're going to ask Graig, what's a typical day look like for him now and how he stays motivated.

[00:26:53] So, folks, how would you like to have a Freesheet Strategy Session all about the business you want to start or the business you want to improve? Well, if you qualify and it makes sense for both of us, I'll review what you have going and get on a zoom or phone call with you and give you a customized strategy session.

[00:27:12] So check it out at. Screw the computer. Com slash application. Screw the computer comp slash application and we'll see if it makes sense for us to get on a call together.

[00:27:24] And of course, I want you to join my mentor program. It's the longest running, most successful ever.

[00:27:30] A triple dog dare anybody to put there is up against mine with all the unique features mine has, including one on one consultation with me and my entire staff for a year, includes a immersion trip to my retreat center. That's, of course, when the pandemic lifts up because you actually live in the house in this biggest state house we have here. And we have a TV studio here that we shoot video with. Yeah. And so all kinds of really unique features to it.

[00:28:02] And you also get a scholarship to my school that I mentioned earlier. So it's a very, very powerful program. So let's see if we can get on a call and kick it around a little bit.

[00:28:13] There won't be any big machine gun nest or high pressure, but I am looking for people that are interested in high level training and either starting an online business or taking theirs to the next level.

[00:28:25] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Greg Jameson is here and he's been in the game a long time and he knows the computer's front and back. But he's got a transition, too, like me either.

[00:28:38] I don't want to come.

[00:28:39] I want to try to program or even hire a programmer. I definitely shoot myself in the head with there because they speak a different language than us entrepreneurs. That's for sure. But Greg has made the transition. So, Greg, what's a typical day look like for you now that you're not doing a program or you're just helping the people with their online stuff?

[00:29:00] You know, during the time of this pandemic, people have certainly asked me that question a lot. And the reality is for me is that not a whole lot has changed. Same with as I kind of get up when I want to, I will. You know, sometimes go for a walk first. Sometimes I'll check my email first thing. It all depends upon the day. But I live in front of the computer not because I have to, but because I actually enjoy it. The people ask me all the time, you know, hey, when are you going to retire? And I'm like, you know, if I retired, I would probably be sitting in front of the computer.

[00:29:42] And as long as I'm doing that, I may as well get paid for it to go.

[00:29:47] So it's safe. I say, that's really why I like you. There was the same exact thing. When are you going to retire?

[00:29:52] I'm like, from what? What I'm retiring from. I'm not going to some job where I got to listen to some idiot. Tell me what to do. Yeah.

[00:30:01] So like you, I. I live in a big house. I'm out in the country. It's actually a log house that I built. I sell nice. I designed it myself on AutoCAD. I was the general contractor. So I've got this thing that people kind of refer to around here as the Log Palace. It's I sit out here on eight and a half acres and the pine trees and set up where whereases.

[00:30:31] I'm about halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs. OK. At the location where you're at.

[00:30:39] Sixty eight hundred feet.

[00:30:40] Wow. Oh, so great.

[00:30:44] Great views of the Rockies from here. It might have been a Ponderosa pine forest. What I end up doing, I don't have a specific schedule from one day to the next because it varies depending upon the clients that I'm working with. Right now, I'm doing a live online course where once a week I am do have a schedule with my students where we're meeting vs Zoom and they get to, you know, I, I give them lectures.

[00:31:16] I do teach at the local college level. So right now the college is.

[00:31:22] Wait a minute. We have to stop this interview. No online courses. We've got to stop the interview because you commute now to the college and I don't.

[00:31:31] It's all online. Oh, okay. All right. You can keep going.

[00:31:35] And the what I'm doing with with my own students are obviously online courses as well. So occasionally I have something scheduled. Peoples will schedule my clients that have websites with me that I have developed for them. They will schedule calls with me. But for the most part, my day is pretty unstructured.

[00:32:02] Tell him about the podcast because your time at the.

[00:32:07] Yeah, so one of the things that I do is I've got my own podcast as well. It's called 20 Minutes of Influence, which is all about. You can probably guess using other people's influence to help you sell your products online. Yeah, I am. As you mentioned at the beginning, I've written a few books. I'm kind of constantly writing new things. I put out a blog post every week. I put out a podcast every week. But it's unstructured and it allows me to kind of go out and enjoy the pine trees when I want to. I during the winter, I will take off usually one day a week and go skiing.

[00:32:52] Or, you know, what I hate about skiing is when some three year old kid stops to ask me if I'm OK after I crashed.

[00:33:03] Yep, well, I started my kids skiing as I always had this joke that with my wife that, hey, if they can walk, they can ski. Very good.

[00:33:15] And and the funny thing was, is it's probably been fifteen years ago now. I guess I was showing off for some exchange students that we had living with us at the time. And I launched myself off of one of the big jumps in the terrain park. And I came down and I shattered my left knee.

[00:33:34] Oh. Yikes. I could not walk. I literally could not walk for six months when I did start walking again. My boys looked at me and they said, you know, Dad, if you can walk, you can ski.

[00:33:49] Payback.

[00:33:51] Oh, yeah, payback. But it was worth it. So. So tell them how they get a hold you.

[00:33:59] The best way to get a hold of me is through my primary Web site, which is webstoresltd.com.

[00:34:10] The Webstoresltd.com. And I actually put together a short.

[00:34:18] Online course here for free, just for the listeners of your show, it's how to create the perfect product listing when selling physical products in a digital world. Right. And they can get to that actually by going to WebstoresLtd.com/screwthecommute.

[00:34:39] Very creative.

[00:34:41] You are. Oh, that's great. So. And then how about the podcast?

[00:34:49] The podcast. You can just get to that. If you do go to 20minutesofinfluence.com, that will take you to it. It's actually a subset of my personal Web site, which is Greg Jameson.com.

[00:35:04] All right. Well, we'll have all of this stuff in the show notes so people would just click on it. They don't have to worry about it. Write that down. So thanks so much for coming on and then give us a picture into your lifestyle business and how how you got there.

[00:35:16] A lot of good tips on the poor people that are interested in making deals and moving through businesses and going public and having worthless stock Chattaway that.

[00:35:29] So thanks a lot, Greg.

[00:35:31] Thanks for having me. Tom spent fun. All right. We'll get to everybody on the next episode. See you later.

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