The Personal Finance Podcast

How to Become a Million Dollar Creator with Jay Clouse

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re going to talk about how you can build wealth with the creator economy with Jay Clouse.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're going to talk about how you can build wealth with the creator economy with Jay Clouse.

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On this episode of the personal finance podcast, we're going to talk about how you can build wealth with the creator economy with Jay

Klaus. What's up, everybody. Welcome to the personal finance podcast. I'm your host, Andrew founder of master money. co and today on the personal finance podcast, we're gonna be talking to Jay Klaus about how you can build. With the creator economy. If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter at master money co and follow us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or whatever podcast player you love listening to this podcast on.

And if you want to help out the show, leave a five star rating and review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. And if you want to watch this interview, you can watch it. On the androgen cola or the master money YouTube channel as well. So today I am really excited to have Jay Klaus on this podcast. So Jay is a creator who has really been building his business over time.

And the reason why we want to have Jay on today is I think that there is a lot of people out there who do not understand the creator economy and understand that a lot of people may have content that they can create where they can. Earn an additional income, and it may even be able to become a full time income if you understand how the economy and how fast it's been growing over the course of the last 10 years.

And we're going to talk about, in addition, is it too late to get started in the creator economy? Then we're going to talk about how to become a creator and what a typical day or week would look like, how you can actually build out your content plans, all of those different things. We're going to talk about how creators earn an income and how you can start to.

Or an income potentially in the first year and beyond. And how long you think it would actually take to earn a full time income. We're going to talk to Jay about that. And we have some other questions like his, some of his favorite creators to use for examples. We talk about some of our famous questions that we always have in this podcast as well.

And of course, what wealth means to Jay. Now, if you've never heard of JJ has an amazing podcast called creator science and creator science is a podcast that I actually listened to every single week. And dive into his episodes. I think he's got some really cool stuff there if you're interested in the creator economy.

So definitely check out that podcast in addition to his newsletter and everything else we talked about in this episode. So without further ado, let's welcome Jay to the personal finance podcast. So Jay, welcome to the personal finance podcast. Excited to be here. Uh, money makes people nervous and it used to make me nervous.

So there was a time when I'd be nervous to be here, but I'm no longer nervous to be here. Well, I'm really excited to have you on here as well. And that's our entire goal is to kind of reduce that stress and anxiety around money for people. And I'm pumped to have you here today because we're going to talk a little about the creator economy and how creators actually make money.

And we're going to go through that entire process. And I think this is a really interesting concept. For a lot of people out there. Cause I think a lot of people have things that they could share, uh, within the creator economy, maybe even earn an additional side income, or it becomes a full time income.

And so that is why I'm really, really excited to have you here today. Now you have a really cool story and I've been following your story for about the last year or so, but I know your backstory is really interesting and you've actually become a full time creator. So can you kind of talk about your backstory and how that happened?

Yeah, well, I grew up in a farm town and my parents, my entire extended family, they were like K through 12 educators. I just thought that's like what life was. I thought you grow up, you go to college, you get a degree in something and you do that thing for 35 or 40 years and then you retire on a pension thinking that like every job had the same model as teaching.

And I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to college. I just knew I didn't want to teach. That's what I thought. I was like, well, I don't want to do that, but I'm going to go to a big college. I went to Ohio State so that I can have Whatever I figure out, I want to do like I'm sure I can learn it at a large university.

My freshman year, I was lucky that I had a common wall in my dorm with a couple of guys who started businesses in high school just blew my brain wide open. I did not know you were allowed to do that. I did not have any entrepreneurs in my life growing up. I had no model for that as an option to build your own path.

So I got really interested in entrepreneurship, which at the time I really Thought was just like tech startups. This is when Facebook Uber, it was like the big explosion of those apps. And so I started in startups and I co founded a company in 2014. We went through an accelerator and raised funding and sold that company.

Then I started working in another venture backed company in health care, but I hated it. So in 2017 I went out on my own. And right around that time, I started working as a coach, too, because I knew I wanted to go back out on my own, but I didn't, I just couldn't get myself to do it, and I didn't know why.

And we discovered that I had this underlying, limiting belief that I was not a creative person, and I thought that I needed somebody else's ideas. They're like vision for me to make it happen. And so in 2017, I started the process of flipping that belief on its head, started doing some writing, some freelancing.

And that's when I started to discover beginnings of we're now calling the creator economy with email and courses and things like that. So fast forward to today and. Now I'm doing the creator thing at a pretty high level on a bunch of different platforms, whole diversified business plan. It's like I'm doing a startup again, but now it's a startup where the product is content.

And I love that. And I think that it is so cool that you kind of figured that out along the way and kind of learned how to do this along the way. And I know you've worked and met with a lot of different creators. And on your podcast, you interview some of the best creators in the world, which is really, really cool to kind of see how you start to take some of those things.

And you've been implementing them and mastering some of these different platforms, which is really, really interesting. Now we have seen the creator economy grow to massive scales over the course of the last 10 years, as you alluded to, you started to see it grow in 2017 when you were working through the creator economy.

So do you see this growth continuing over the next 10 years or is it too late for someone to get started? Definitely not too late for someone to get started. I think that 10 years from now we'll look at people who are starting today and think that they were ahead of the curve and they were just geniuses for starting when they did.

So I don't think it's too early to get started. I do think there's some nuance here. Where I see the creator economy itself as kind of a spectrum with two poles on one side, you have what I would call creator entertainers. People like Mr Beast, Emma Chamberlain, Logan Paul. On the other side of the spectrum, I would have people that I call creator educators, people that are really teaching people new skills, new abilities.

Way of understanding things. I'm much more on that end of the spectrum. And of course, there's a middle ground where people are both educating people and being really entertaining while they do it. That is a great place to be. But now you're trying to be really good at two things at once. So you gotta kind of start on one.

I think 10 years from now, there's gonna be a continued explosion of people on the educator side of the spectrum because there is so much room for growth there. Last year, there was more for that. enrollments in higher education institutions in the United States than any year prior. So there's still huge value on education.

And tuition continues to rise and rise and rise. We're seeing institutions when they hire people, they don't care about certification as much. So you're going to see that there's more and more people who teach independently skills that maybe you learned at a university level. Maybe you learned on the job and there's so much space for people to get into that game right now.

I think it's just the first inning.

If you can even think through people who are trying to level up in their careers. For example, there's so many things that you're learning within your career that you could teach other people and you can, there's so many different cool things that you can do. One example I think of is like Miss Excel, where she's teaching people how to kind of go through Microsoft Office and Excel and all those different pieces.

And she's making millions of dollars per year now, just by teaching them those simple things. So sometimes people who are in the creator economy don't even realize that there's little small things that people really want to learn. And it can help them accelerate. Their path to making more money and or becoming a better person or all these different things that can happen just by doing that.

So I absolutely love that. I kind of want to shift gears here to how someone can become a creator, because if they've been thinking about this for a long time, a lot of people think about doing it, but they don't ever start it because maybe they're nervous to take that first step. So if someone wanted to become a creator, what platform would you kind of tell them to start with?

Or how would you think about that? If you're trying to decide which platform to start with. So I have a framework for this called parts and the whole thing if you want it in depth is at creator science dot com slash parts. But P stands for premise, A stands for attention, R is revenue model, T is trust and S is systems.

And this is a step wise approach to doing this. Uh, and we could talk about platforms, but I think before you jump onto any platform, you need to know, well, what am I making and sharing? What is the thing that I'm even teaching? And to me, that is your premise. And I like this word premise a lot. A lot of people will say, choose your niche, find your niche.

And my issue with that is even niches get competitive. Or you go so narrow that it becomes completely restrictive. You start saying things like, okay, well, I am for dads who live in Iowa who love Lego and it's just like, okay, this is really small now, like this is something that's going to be hard to grow over time.

A premise is looking at a type of audience who wants a type of outcome and you are delivering that in a unique way, or your message is delivered in a unique way. There are lots of people who have. A similar like audience avatar and thing that they teach, but their premise is slightly different. Their viewpoint on it is different.

Their personality is different and there's room for people to teach the same process, same outcome. With a slightly different viewpoint and build a viable business. So you gotta ask yourself, who am I trying to create for? What am I trying to help them do? And what is my unique viewpoint on this process?

That is step one. And then we can talk about attention or the platforms next, if you'd like. Yeah, absolutely, because when they're trying to think about this, obviously, that's a great point there is to make sure you understand what you're going to be teaching first because that is going to be a huge thing.

Huge, huge factor and kind of nailing that down. And one thing I remember doing early on is before I even started this podcast, I wrote out a entire list of, do I even have enough topics to talk about when we do something like this? So I would write down an entire long list of the topics that I wanted to go through.

And all of a sudden, when I started writing them, I had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of different topics. And I knew, okay, I have enough information that I can talk about on this podcast. And that's kind of how I went through with each and every platform that we try to kind of go through and grow.

So when you have someone who comes to you and says, You know, I have my premise. I know exactly what I'm going to be talking through. Which platform should I use? How do you tell them to think about that? I think this is another bifurcated decision. There's two options here. There's two things you need to understand.

There are platforms that I classify as relationship platforms, and there are platforms that I classify as discovery platform. A discovery platform is something that has built in discoverability to it, so that people who have not already explicitly chosen to view or consume your content May see it. This is social media.

This is YouTube. This is anything with a search engine in it. Those platforms are incentivized to connect great content to people who want it, even if those people have not connected yet. That's what the algorithm does. So a lot of people start here. A lot of people go straight to social media and they say, well, there's a lot of people on tiktok or instagram.

I'm going to start teaching there and that's okay. That's a great way for getting in front of new audience, which in the beginning when you're trying to grow an audience, you've got to do. Yeah. Then you have relationship platforms, which are things like email, podcasting, SMS in private communities. There is no built in discovery mechanism there for new people to discover you, or at least very small.

You know, there's a little bit of it now in email, there's a tiny bit of it in podcasting if you're like listed in the podcast discover page. But generally, there's no third party that's incentivized to connect other people to your content. You've got to do that hard work. Bye. These are systems of distribution that you own and control.

You know, somebody follows you on Twitter, I guess it's X now, whatever we got to call it. Right. They may not see the thing that you publish. It might not even go in their feed. They might not see it. If you send an email, it's going to that person's inbox. What do they choose to open is up to them, but it's going in their inbox.

You know, that is happening. Same podcast. When you publish a podcast, it's going in their RSS feed. So the game is, How do I leverage discovery platforms to get my message in front of a new audience and get them interested in joining me on some relationship platform where I control that means of distribution it's.

More likely that I can go more in depth, have more long form conversations, discussions, content there, and that's really where trust is built over time. So that's the whole game in my view is understand your premise, create content on discovery platform, get people over to a relationship platform. For me, that process has been Twitter.

And from email to podcast, you know, so it's kind of a funnel in that way. Exactly. So you could pair a couple of them together in that way, which is I think is really, really interesting. Would you recommend someone do multiple discovering platforms? Do you think they need to master one before they actually go through that process so they can get people back to their relationship platforms?

Historically, I've not recommended doing multiple. Discovery platforms at once, because if you're doing one discovery platform in one relationship platform, that's still two things that you have to do well, right? And the thing about each of these platforms, they're all their own game and their games within the game.

You know, you think that, hey, if I am publishing on instagram, I just have to learn how to make great content on instagram and that's how it will work. I wish that was true, but like there's still other things within instagram that you have to learn how to do well, like you have to format things well, right?

You have to understand how different elements of the platform work. You really have to understand who are the other players in the game and how do I collaborate with them. So you could spend all day, every day, just doing Instagram well. So to try to do multiple things well, that's really, really hard. Now, what we're seeing right now is...

An interesting time where if you do short form vertical video, you can essentially cross post that same vertical video to Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube shorts with very little change and see a good return on that effort. So it might be worth doing. If you're doing short form vertical video, you could Try to take on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube Shorts at the same time.

If you're good at short form writing, you could take on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Threads at the same time. But, I really would pick one platform in that paradigm where you say, this is the one that I'm really trying to do the best. And the others, I'm going to cross post and hope for the best, hope it starts attracting people, but I'm really playing the game of Instagram, really playing the game of TikTok.

Exactly, because it takes some time to even master each platform, and I think doing some of the things that, uh, and getting that practice in on that one single platform so that you can put them back towards your relationship avenue is going to be really, really important. So I think that's a really powerful way to think about it.

So a lot of people think through and say, Hey, I don't know what creators do all day and they don't know that how they actually build their business on the back end. So I kind of want to talk through what a typical day for you would look like as you're building this business that is growing every single year.

Yeah, well, I'm a big fan of what I call theming your days. And this is how I try to avoid context switching because the reality is as a creator, especially in the beginning, when you don't probably have the resources to hire help. You're doing everything. You're doing creative work. You're doing editing.

You're doing scheduling. You're doing conversations with people. You're doing engagement. You're doing accounting. You're doing, you know, like, literally everything. You're wearing all the hats. So, what I try to do is theme my days so that there are some days where certain things happen and definitely not other things.

For example, I do not allow any scheduling on my calendar on Mondays or Fridays because those are my deep work, creative days. Those are days when I am either doing planning or the literal creative work of filming, recording, writing, stuff like that. Tuesdays and Thursdays are what I call people days.

They're when I'm doing podcast interviews. They're when I'm having conversations with people in my membership, The Lab. And so those tend to be like back to back people days. Wednesday is kind of a flex day in between where the morning is usually open, but the afternoon if I need to use four calls, that's when I do that.

But it's important, I think, to do that because Especially because our businesses are set up to proliferate distraction. Like, literally, if things are going well for you, you're just getting ping, ping, ping, ping all day. You're getting engagement on social media, you're getting emails. Thankfully, I don't really have a reason to get phone calls, so I don't really talk on the phone ever, unless it's like a scheduled thing.

But... Yeah, it can be really all over the board. So I try to separate creative time from people time. Exactly. And I kind of do the same exact thing. And interestingly enough, Monday and Friday are the two days that I don't do any calls either. I kind of batch those off where we're doing content and all that kind of stuff.

And I try to batch everything together on specific days because it's just so much easier than trying to switch over each and every single time you can go and get so much more work done. Like for example, if we're filming videos for tick tock or something like that, we'll film 15 in a row. Instead of actually, you know, doing one or two a day, like what people see that we actually produce.

So that is one of the cool things that I think a lot of people need to understand. You can do this within any type of business as well. It's kind of batching the stuff that you put, you know, the stuff that you do together. It's just so much easier that way that I found in some of our other businesses.

So I think that's a really, really cool way to think about that. So when you plan out your content each and every single week, so you have a newsletter, you're writing tweets. You have a podcast. You have all these things going on at the same time. Plus, you also have courses. And in addition, you have your community as well.

So how do you kind of plan out your content every week? Well, I have a schedule per platform. Essentially, I know that for email, I have a newsletter going out every Tuesday and every Sunday. I know that for the podcast I'm releasing every Tuesday. If we have a YouTube video that goes out on Monday. So you start to see like if I have these slots Every day, any platform that I'm active on, something is going to go out.

So it's kind of like this game where you look at the calendar, you see where the open gaps, and I need to produce something for that platform for that day. We've started publishing short form vertical video on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. When I publish something to like Twitter and it does well, then that can become repurposed for LinkedIn and Instagram really trying to get the most out of that.

And a lot of my short form stuff is actually derived from my long form. I'm really putting most of my creative effort into writing long form essays that go out on Sundays, right? Making a podcast episode that goes out on Tuesday and YouTube videos that happen on Mondays. So it's, it's really there where I'm putting most of my effort.

And then the short form, I have a small team now that helps me pull out some things and say, this should become a thread. This should become something on LinkedIn, so on and so forth. And that's fantastic. I think focusing on those big, big ticket items that really, really matter for you, which is the longer form stuff is the way to go.

And you can repurpose some of that content down to some of the shorter form stuff so that people still get those bite sized nuggets that are the biggest thing. So do you have any tips for people who are just starting to create to create content? truly resonates with with their audience or people who are out there who are trying to find to discover them.

People hire your content to do a job. I really like that framework. Like what is the job that your content does for people? If you're just entertaining, then your content is being hired to entertain them, to help them pass the time. I would say sometimes help them waste time. But for me, my content is being hired to help people become a professional creator.

So the lens that I apply to anything I create is this thing. When people's eyes or ears meet this. Is that helping them become a professional creator? If the answer is no, I don't publish it. That's really how I think about it is I know what you're trying to do. Does this help you get there? And of course, there are lots of different steps along that journey.

Whatever your customer journey is, there's probably different stages. And so I would actually encourage you to do the exercise of saying, what is the journey here for me? I know that people go from considering being a creator to scaling their way out of like the day to day. That's the full journey, but there are steps within there.

After you figure out, you know, am I going to do this? The question is, okay, what am I going to do? Once you figure out what am I going to do, the question is how do I find traction? Once you find traction, the question is how do I make this sustainable as an income stream for me? And then after that, you have the scaling your way out of it.

Once you choose those different stages or define those different stages in the customer journey, you can say, where do I want to start? You can pick one of those stages, create content that's helping people on that stage of the journey. And once you feel like you've done that effectively, You can expand outward either later in the journey or earlier and I love that thought process of kind of thinking about where they are on that journey, starting at that point in time, then kind of building your content out from there.

I think that's a great way to think through this. Now, before we dive into how creators actually earn an income in some different ways to think about that, do you think this can also be a great side hustle for people? For some people who want to earn an extra income, they have things to talk about. They want to provide value for other people.

Do you think that's something that they could definitely do is work a full time job and do something like this? Yeah. For sure. But the less time you're willing to give it, the more I would exercise restraint and what games you're playing. Like if you're trying to do this as a side hustle, don't try to be on all platforms.

Pick one, you know, and you can even just pick one discovery platform before you do the relationship platform. There are a lot of people who got started as saying, I'm just gonna do tick tock. Well, and the benefit of starting as a side hustle where you're not depending on this for a financial return is that you don't have to make compromises.

Of what you do for the purpose of money, you can do this to your vision, your creative vision, the way that you think it should be done well, you can bank a ton of goodwill from people because you're not asking them from anything up front. I think that's definitely a viable path to get started, but things will be slower, you know, if I'm willing to put 40 hours a week into something and you're willing to put 10 hours a week into it.

That compounds pretty quickly if we're doing relatively the same effort in that time. So, you know, I think if you're doing it part time, it's even more important to figure out how is my premise different so that you have a little bit of a competitive advantage and you can build a moat around that unique premise because if you're just trying to copy someone else who's doing something similar but they're putting way more time into it, you're, uh, Almost certainly going to be second fiddle.

Exactly. You have to almost have that differentiator that's going to make you unique. Especially, and it could be the way you present it, it could be so many different factors, but you have to have that differentiator there because there's no reason to just regurgitate someone else's content that's already out there.

So this is the next big piece that I think a lot of people want to know is how creators earn an income. And I think there's a bunch of different ways obviously that you can earn an income as a creator, but what are some ways that you think are interesting right now to earn an income as a creator? Well, it depends a little bit again on what side of the spectrum you're falling on between educator and entertainer, because on the entertainment side, you're limited a lot to sponsorships, affiliate type deals, whereas on the education side, you have a lot more direct revenue sources, direct meaning the transaction happens directly between you, something you're selling and the consumer of the content, whereas in sponsorship, you The transaction is actually between the advertiser and your content and the consumer.

So I like to build direct forms of revenue direct to the consumer. And I think educators have a lot of opportunity there. You can do literal educational stuff like courses or live teaching experiences, coaching, things like that. You can also build digital products. You know, I'm working on something right now.

That is a content management system that is predominantly a notion template notion database. And that's a valuable thing. That's not Really a course quote unquote, there will be supporting videos to use it, but really what people are buying is a system. And so I encourage people to think pretty expansively about what is possible.

To serve your audience. There's a woman named Sarah Renee Clark. She's a YouTuber. She does videos about coloring for adults and her highest grossing product is something called the color cube. It's literally a box that has hex colors all over the outside and inside. She has a, like a bunch of decks of cards that have pre designed color palettes.

That are actually based on photographs of nature. So she'll like take a photograph or find a photograph that's beautiful. She'll pull out the actual hex colors and say like, Nature says this works, it probably worked for your website. And all of those are pre designed color palettes. Nobody is saying... To creators like, hey, you should design a physical product.

That's it built in a cube with decks of cards within it. But she saw that's something that her audience would benefit from. And it's a form factor. She was interested in creating. So I try not to get people stuck in too many ruts of what is possible here. The question is, what would help your audience?

How can you most effectively deliver something that will help them go from A to B in what they're trying to do? Exactly. And I think that's such a cool example. And it's really what's going to provide the most value to your audience. And I remember originally we were talking about that with Pat Flynn, who I know you know as well.

You know, he always used to talk about, you know, bringing value, serving your audience, that type of thing. And if you do that first, if you serve your audience first, I think it's gonna be a really, really interesting way to kind of create that connection, that trust, build that rapport with your audience so that you can actually change lives and help people get from point A to point B and whatever that is.

And so as people start to think about this, maybe they're starting to think of things that they can make as a creator, especially on the educator side. How long does it take for someone to actually earn an income? Typically, would you say, and or, you know. What is a realistic income for some creators who may want to go do this full time?

This is such a hard question to answer because it's all over the board and a lot of it really comes down to how badly does the market need what you're providing and how quickly can you spin up something that gives you like product market fit? You know, there are some folks who work for years. I would say, you know, I'm six years into this.

There are people who have earned a lot more than me and done a lot faster. And part of it is because when I started, the market was a little bit immature. I've had to like, I've grown with the market. Essentially, there's more demand in the market now, so I have grown. I have a friend of mine who she serves teachers who are thinking about leaving the classroom.

That market has exploded and she hit it at the exact right time. When I look at The graph, she shows me of like growth in her email list. It's the steepest incline I've ever seen. And that only happens when you are hitting the market at the right time with the right product. So it really, really depends on that.

Generally though, I encourage people to think in a three year time horizon, to be honest, like that's when you can really develop meaningful. Revenue for most people. And that's still with some discipline, you know, I hope I'm overshooting it for you and I hope it doesn't take you that long, but if you have that frame going in, I feel like you're much more likely to stick with it long enough to really see the return on your effort.

I think that's important. I think that's important as well, because I've seen most of the creative friends that I know, they started to, you know, it takes them a year or two before they actually earn that income. So I think that three year income time frame is spot on for most people. So when you kind of think through this, how do you plan and structure your product launches for some of these things?

So say, for example, you want to launch a course, or maybe you want to launch a community or something else. How do you kind of think about planning those and structuring those launches? There's a little bit of a stylistic question here because I have some friends who are creators who they are like launch magicians.

They are so good at designing and executing on a launch and it's this like well orchestrated thing where they build anticipation for weeks and then they have this short launch window and they're really leveraging urgency saying we only have a couple of days. I don't go that. Intensely because I want most of my sales and most of my products to be evergreen.

I don't like the effort of launches. I also don't like the feeling of launches where I'm basically manufacturing urgency that doesn't need to be there, but some people, they want to do that. They see that as a healthy way to create tension and make people take the leap into something that's going to help them, but see that away as a way to really generate a lot of revenue quickly so they can use that to reinvest in the business, I think that's all valid for me, the baseline is.

I'd like to have a good idea of something. I will often create a sales page before it exists. I'll send that sales page to my audience and say, this is in pre sale. If X number of people purchase this, then I'll make it. And then once people purchase that amount, I'll email and say, okay, enough people made it.

This is still in pre sale. Now instead of 50 percent off, it's 25 percent off until I finish the thing. And I'll build it for a month or so and then launch it. I think I'm leaving a lot on the table by doing that. And I think product launches can vary by the type of product that it is. Like if you are Sarah with the color cue, you actually have inventory limits.

You have very real scarcity where it's like, I ordered a thousand of these. And so if you want to purchase this, now's the time to do it because we only have a thousand of them. It really varies by type, but I like the idea of doing a pre sale. To validate the products before you even make it and then continuing the pre sale until the point of finishing it so that you can put it out and say, okay, now it's available for anybody at any time.

I think it's a really cool idea to it. It is something where you can still, you know, build a rapport with your audience and kind of go through that, but you're not putting pressure on anybody. And you're kind of going through that process, especially if your content is evergreen, because I think that's a really, really cool way to do that.

So you have an incredible community of creators that you created over time. How has that community made an impact on you and the content that you create? It's been transformational for the business, honestly. Uh, today the membership, uh, it's called the lab. It accounts for about 70 percent of my overall revenue.

And that's not because other things have earned less. It's just earned so much that has dwarfed everything else. So that's been awesome because not only has it had a huge impact in terms of revenue on the business, but it's given me this wonderful feedback mechanism with my own audience. Like I really tapped into what people who are in a later stage of that customer journey that I described people who are going pro or even scaling.

But I really understand what they're going through. And um, Anytime that I want to validate something, I can go and ask that group of people. It's been phenomenal. So I really, really enjoy that. The question that I face is I focused a lot on like the getting traction and even going pro stage of creators.

Should I continue to go further in the customer journey towards I'm now scaling my business? Or do I go earlier on to people who are getting started? There's definitely more people in the earlier on phase, but it's still a choice to make because it may be you've experienced this even with this podcast.

Andrew, when you presume intelligence and experience and make your content a little bit more in depth. Not only do you attract people who are further along, but people who are earlier will still tune into that to try to learn more quickly. So I think I'm heading more and more towards the end of people who are already doing this professionally or, you know, are earning a good living and want to increase it.

I think I want to focus more on that end of the customer journey. And I would agree the same thing for us. So we have people where you think about personal finance, and it's the beginning of the financial journey. And you kind of walk through that entire process and you go to some really advanced stuff.

And what I've noticed is we try to kind of touch on both again. But a lot of times we are going towards more of the advanced stuff because a lot of people have been here since the beginning of the journey, and they've learned that. stuff, and you can always reference back, but it seems like a lot of people have a hunger for some of the more advanced stuff, which is really, really interesting.

And it is a struggle because it's a struggle to figure out, you know, which direction do you need to go? And so that's one thing that we're kind of testing and thinking through as we go through that process as well. I think that's a very natural thing. So it's really interesting. And I think you're thinking about it, you know, perfectly right on the right line there, because really taking people through that journey and having that evergreen content, which is our number one goal, too, is going to be really, really powerful over that timeframe.

So. Are there any creators out there that truly have inspired you along your journey? And are there any examples that you can provide for people who have inspired you? I mean, a lot. Early on, I was really inspired by Brian Harris. If you're familiar with him, he had a website called videofruit. com. He was really early on to the train of just how big of an asset building an email list could be.

And he was also very, very good about Doing rigorous experiments and then really thorough write ups of the results of those experiments. I think a lot of his stuff was way ahead of his time. In a lot of ways, I'm retreading on a lot of ground that he did years ago. So Brian Harris comes to mind for sure.

I've been really inspired by Tori Dunlap. Is in the finance space. People may love to worry, may hate to worry. We'll see. But the speed at which she's grown and accomplished a lot of things that I hope to accomplish one day, it really speaks again to the power of having a unique premise. There just weren't that many people who are doing personal finance for women specifically.

And she came in. I'm a woman. I'm gonna do this for you. The market says, finally, someone that looks like us That we can learn from. And so when you have a good premise, it really unlocks faster growth. And I try to look for examples of, okay, who came in and grew quickly? What can I learn from them? Andrew Huberman's another example.

Why was Andrew Huberman able to grow so quickly? Well, he combined a couple of really rare things. A lot of deep earned insight over decades within Stanford and the ability to make that feel accessible to people. There's not a lot of people who would spend decades doing stuff in neuroscience to the level that Andrew Heuermann did and then be able to explain it in a way that other people not only can understand but want to learn like here, you know, so that's Where I'm trying to learn as people who make a splash quickly, typically it's a long standing history in the space and a lot of great stories, a lot of great earned insight or a really unique premise that the market was just ready for when it comes to your way of thinking of building your specific business.

Do you follow along the lines of like, for example, there's a great book called company of one. Uh, and Justin Welch talks about this a lot too and on how it's a big inspiration for him. Do you feel like you are creating this business as more of a lifestyle business or do you want to scale this business to even larger magnitudes than maybe Uh, where it could go to right now at this time.

I'm really only interested in lifestyle businesses because like, I mean, if you heard the story of the fishermen and the businessman, it's one of my favorite ways to think about things in terms of longterm retirement and stuff like that. I'll try to hit this really, really quickly. So people who haven't heard of it can understand there's a fisherman.

He fishes two hours a day and that's all he needs. He goes home at the end of the day and he feeds his family. He has a nap. He spends time with his wife. He goes out with his friends at night. After a couple of days of seeing this, a businessman comes up to him and says, why do you only fish two hours a day?

If you fish eight hours a day, you can catch more fish, sell the fish, and the fisherman says, why would I do that? And he eventually says, well, because then you can buy more boats, hire more fishermen, make more money, build a whole fishing business. Well, why would I do that? Because once you own this large fishing corporation, you'll have all the time in the world to spend with your wife, take a nap in the middle of the day, and go out with your friends at night.

The point being, a lot of things that you want, you can have now with, like, restraint. We think we want all the money in the world so we can do anything we want with our time. But to get there often, you have to, like, sacrifice all the time that you have, and I'm really interested in impacting more people growing this thing intelligently.

But I'm constantly trying to claw back more of my time to do with it. You know, fun things, interesting things in the moment. I don't really subscribe to the idea of the solopreneur, though. I have a lot of friends who talk about it, and I think they mean really well, and they think about it the same way I do.

But, the word solopreneur, I think, is unintentionally misleading. There are people who wear that as a badge of honor, and they get to a point where they are so exhausted and stretched, and they're like, I can't do all of it by myself. And it's like, oh, then hire, you know, outsource some of it. The goal is not to claim I'm a solopreneur.

The goal is to do whatever the business is intended to do for you. And I think that the term prohibits people from making smart. Business decisions and hiring decisions early on that would save them a lot of time and heartache. And I'm of the camp as well that where you need to really be outsourcing all the things that are taking your time away from what really matters within your business and within anything else you want to do in life.

If you want to spend more time with your family, outsource some of these tasks so that you can spend more time with your family and have that flexibility. And that's why we talk about money so much in this podcast, because truly what money is there to do is to be a tool to create financial freedom. And that is why it is so important for us to do that.

And Some of these creator businesses, you can create the lifestyle you want just around having that creator business, but becoming a solopreneur, like you said, is a little bit misleading because you have to have folks in your corner who are going to help you, especially if you want to scale up to the levels that some of those people are at least contractors or something along those lines where you can have that.

And they're taking over some of those tasks that you don't need to be doing every single day, specifically some of those really small, tedious tasks as well. So love that line of thinking as well. So. As we go through this, if you were looking at a pie chart, how do you actually take your money that you earn it from your creator business?

And how do you invest those dollars? Do you invest it back in the business? Do you invest it in some other different things? Or how do you think about that? This has gotten a lot more sophisticated than it used to be. The first thing that I did was I implemented profit first. Some people love it. Some people are not into it.

I like it because it gave me a very simple set of rules that on a twice monthly basis, I say every dollar that came into this one income account is going to be divided into these four or five ways. And one of those allocations is owner's compensation. Out of owner's compensation comes my salary. I'm now W two under my own company and also distributions.

If I take distributions in that way. It also Is what funds my solo 401k. So about 60 to 70 percent of the money that comes into the business stays in the business, uh, about 30 to 40 percent goes out to owner's compensation, which is me. And we'll soon also include my wife. And of that 30 to 40%, some of it goes into a solo 401k.

A lot of it goes just to fund my lifestyle. I do also invest. Basically just into stock market, not actively picking. I'm not Robin Hooding. I'm doing diversified portfolio. I actually have a financial advisor who helps me direct to that. Same with my 401k, very boring stuff, nothing all that exciting. I do get some opportunities to do some private angel investing, and I've done some of those in the past because it's fun for me and they're people I know, and it's kind of a big bet.

I expect I'll lose all that money, but mostly it's boring stuff in the solo 401k, a Roth IRA, and a basic market investment account. We love boring stuff here. That's what most of us invest in who listen to this podcast as well. So that's fantastic. I think that's really, really cool to kind of just look and see how people actually handle that side of it as well.

So Jay, I want to shift gears here to some of the questions that we ask a lot of our guests and we get some really good, interesting answers out of some of this. So what part of your work or life makes you come alive? I like. Playing around and tweaking stuff like yesterday, I just, I love making things better and knowing that the thing I just did is going to continue to work for me for a period of time.

Yesterday I made this systemic change where my membership, the lab, we have a 200 member limit and we typically have like one to three spots open up per month. But there's so much incredible educational content in there, stuff that I sell off the shelf as one off courses, but also a lot of stuff that I make just for the community that's not publicly available.

So I made a lower tier membership in the lab. That I originally called the starter tier and the idea was this is like the starting point for your membership in the lab typically people. who churn out of the lab. If there's space for new community members, the starter tier members get first access. They join.

What I realized, though, is people hear the word starter and they think that this is for people who are just getting started, and that's not. So yesterday I was like, I'm changed the name. I'm just gonna call it the basic tier. I had to change a bunch of stuff on the back of that. I updated the sales page.

I updated email copy. I made the copy better on the sales page in the email, went to bed, woke up this morning and there was new purchases in the basic tier. I did it. Like this, this improved this. I'm going to see outcomes because of it. Love doing stuff like that. Similarly, last week I put this new little widget on my website homepage at creator science that if people answer some questions, they get a personalized offer right away based on their responses and that's generated.

New revenue every day since I've implemented it. So like, that gets me to come alive. It's like when a lot of this feels like a puzzle to me, when I feel like I am building out the puzzle and pieces are clicking together and things are working and it's going to keep working after I'm done working on it, that's what like really fires me up.

I love that. And because you get to work on so many different interesting things and tweaking them and trying to figure out those pieces, it's so rewarding to kind of go through that and see success after you do something like that, which is so cool. What is your biggest fear when it comes to money? Uh, that'll stop coming.

You know, I think it's like everybody's biggest fear, but what's really helped me in this realm for the last two years, I've kept a pretty in depth KPI spreadsheet for my business, and the biggest part of that is I track revenue and expenses month over month. And now I have two years of data, historical data, look at monthly revenue, monthly expenses, monthly net income, and then a whole bunch of other stuff too.

When you look at two years of data, it gives you a lot of confidence and stability because you say, Oh, there's actually not that much variance here. And I know what like the lowest performing month is. I know what the highest performing month has been. There's some safety and comfort. When I can battle my natural fear and anxiety with a lot of months of pure data.

And so, really, my biggest question now is, am I being a good steward of the funds that come in? As I earn more, I'm definitely a little less stringent on every single dollar than I used to be. And, uh, I'm trying to get back to being a little bit more... Prudent with my spend, trying to save more in the business in case someone really does come in disastrously low for some reason.

But I've really hired slowly been a pretty good steward of that money so far. And I think it's so powerful when you start to track some of the stuff, even with a personal budget for someone's personal finances is. Is you start to track some of this stuff and you have KPIs that you're looking at, it reduces that stress and anxiety because it's predictable.

And that's kind of what we talk about where a lot of people get stressed out about creating things and tracking things like that, but really it can reduce the anxiety you have surrounding those funds, which I think is so cool. Another question is how do you plan to level up your finances this year?

Maybe it's investing in the business or doing something else along those lines. I'm feeling pretty good about the system that I have in place, but it's been recently that I've started working with an advisor who helped me feel good about where I'm directing things. I started working with my accountant to do a better tax strategy for the company as an escort.

So it really came down to hiring some people that I really trust to help me direct some things. I think an interesting next step, this is more strategic than it is like with the finances, quote unquote, but it is related to the money in the business. I think in the coming months, I'm going to pull more and more of our.

The sponsorship part of the business in house because historically I've worked with partners, which has been great because they do a lot of the work we are aligned in our incentives, but with my wife joining the business, I think we have an opportunity now with expanded capacity to take more of that in house and actually have a better outcome for us for the sponsors.

And so that's exciting for me, but really, I'm feeling pretty good right now. I have systems and I just let the systems go. Exactly. And I love that. Once you have those systems in place, you can kind of scale naturally just by doing what you're already doing. So I think that's really, really interesting way to think about that also.

So if you could tell your younger self one thing about money or it could be about business also, what would that be? It's very comforting to have a growth and abundance mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Over the last few Months, maybe the last 18 months or so, there have been times where we've had unexpected expenses or things that we just want to invest in.

If I was on a fixed income, I would think, how am I going to do this? How am I going to budget for it? Become a painful thing where other things would suffer in order for me to achieve this thing. And because I've built a business. I now have this growth mindset where the question is not where can I save?

It's how can I generate more money? How can I generate more revenue so that I can bring this in? And there's always an answer, you know, when you have something that generates revenue, there's always a way to say, well, how can it generate more? And so I think that's one of the most powerful things people listening to this can do is if you're already good with your money.

But you're on a fixed income, finding a way to create an income source for you that is not fixed is such a powerful, because now the world has opened up to you and you suddenly don't feel the ceiling of your, your fixed income. Man, life becomes a lot more fun in my experience. And that is why I wanted to have you on here, because I think a lot of people need to understand how this creator economy works, because the earning potential is possibly endless if you do it the right way.

Whereas if you're working at a W two job, it's obviously capped at whatever your salary is. And the differential between those two can be truly, truly massive. And you can work both the same time. It just depends on how much time you're willing to put in all those different things. But this actually gives you that potential to have an additional income stream and to do something that you absolutely love.

For example, if somebody loves fishing, they have fishing content that they're talking about. There's so many cool things that you can do there where you're working within that content that you absolutely love. So that's why I think it is so incredibly powerful. Now, the last one I want to ask you is one of my favorites, which is what does wealth mean to you?

Wealth means complete agency over my time. It's autonomy. It's the ability to do what I want without the worry of the financial impact. I feel wealth in a lot of small ways right now in the way that like my wife and I don't feel like cooking. We order in and that has not been a problem. Like, do I think, man, we paid a lot of money on the MX bill last month.

Yeah, sure. But it's never been like, Oh, now we're in debt and we can't pay our credit cards. Like wealth is. Being able to spend on the things you want to spend on without questioning the spend or having to work so much that you don't enjoy the rest of that because I think we call it spending money on things that bring you true value and I think it's just one of the most powerful things that you can have in your life is to be able to do that and to create that wealth and have to generate that wealth and having that autonomy over your time is everything when it comes to and that's really the tool that wealth actually provides for you.

So Jay, this has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for coming on here. Where can people learn more about you and what you have going on? Subscribe to the newsletter at creator science. com. If you're interested in getting started on your own here, I've actually put together all of the tools that I use in my business that helped me run this thing.

That's at creator science. com slash toolbox. That's free. So yeah, just get started down the path and that's where I can help you the best. Fantastic. And Jay's newsletter is absolutely fantastic. We'll have his newsletters, podcasts, and everything else. All his socials down below in the show notes so that you can check those out.

If you guys have any questions, we can reach out to us as well. Jay, thank you so much for coming on.

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