Justin Devonshire, international speaker and business growth expert for coaches, consultants and authors, says the real goal of creating a business is freedom. Most people lose sight of that along the way, getting caught in the daily grind, running on a hamster wheel, just doing things, strategies, tactics and work. He shares some insights on what has helped him come to grips with the struggle of balancing a job and making it work for you versus working for it. Learn more about Justin’s expert business blueprint for scalable income possibilities to set the stage for true freedom.
Do you ever find yourself in a place where you feel like you’re in the time for money trap, where it’s getting harder and harder and more expensive probably to get new clients? This episode is going to give you some insights on how to escape that trap and how to transform what you’re doing to have the ability to go out and build a scalable business, a scalable income, especially if you’re a coach, consultant, or trainer, or a change maker or a teacher looking to have a greater reach and impact.
Our guest is Justin Devonshire. He’s an international speaker, a business growth expert for coaches, consultants, and authors. He and I share a lot of very similar values. I’m excited for him to be here with us. Justin, how are you?
Dan, I am doing great and it’s good to be here.
I looked at some of your content and one of the pieces of content that struck me was this idea that you got 2,300 leads in seven days. That’s pretty phenomenal. I’d love for you to share with our audience what are some of the strategies that you’ve put in place to go out and generate 2,300 leads in seven days.
The first thing to know is make sure that you have the capacity and the system in your business to handle that. You were talking about the time for money trap and a lot of small business owners, coaches, consultants. They love the numbers like that. The truth is if we shuttled 2,000 leads a month to you right now, if the systems aren’t in place, if you can’t handle that capacity, it’s going to become your biggest nightmare, not your biggest dream. That’s the first thing I’ll mention as for how do I do that. That was for one of my gym businesses. I have several different businesses in the coaching space. We tend to average about 1,500 to 2,000 leads a month. This one was for a local gym business that we had that we still have over in Europe. We run this through a mix of paid advertising, a cool value-driven upfront offer and also having the capacity to convert those sales.
What people might not know about that is we were driving those leads into a seminar presentation where we then sold our product at the end of that. If we drove those leads to a one-on-one consultation, I’d either need to get a whole entire larger sales team or a lot of those leads would have not been served properly. We scaled up the reach on the advertising on the front end, but we made sure that we had the conversion mechanism that was leveraged and also scalable on the back end of that. Then some good follow up systems. That probably resulted in about 70 or 80 new recurring monthly clients for our business at that time.
Talking about 2,300 leads in seven days and a lot of people go, “Yes, I’d love that.” As you said, one of the biggest challenges is someone may not be ready for it. What do you see are some of the problems or the biggest threat or myths that people have about escaping the time for money trap, especially as a coach, consultant, expert, influencer, etc.?
The way that I see it most of the time is that it’s not just in the behaviors on what they do it. They stay in that trap because of the mindset that they have behind it. It’s your identity, your beliefs, your thoughts around what it takes and someone who’s self-employed in time for money as very different emotional drivers to someone who is more like a pure based entrepreneur. When we look at the entrepreneurs that seem to have it all together, they seem to have a lot more scale, a lot more sustainability, a lot more freedom. The difference, often, is that the person in the time for money trap that I’ve seen is largely driven by ego in their decisions. That doesn’t mean arrogance. It means their thinking is very comparative. It’s like, “I’m going to charge this much because I’m better than that guy or I’m going to charge a lower amount because I’m not as good as that woman,” and is always very reactive based. The ego tells you that you have to do it all. No one can do it like you. Everything’s going to fall apart if you’d lose control and so on.
Whereas, the difference with a solopreneur, compared to an entrepreneur, someone who has a system in place is the true business owner, thinks a lot more and is driven by the impact that their message on their product could make to the masses because they have a high level of self-competence. They have validated what they do and they’ve dis-identified that they themselves are not the value, but it’s their product, their service, their methodology that is the value and it can then scale beyond them. They get themselves literally out of the way. That allows them to say, “I’m going to need systems in place. I’m going to need a team.” The difference is that the solopreneur, the myth, is a solopreneur thing that building a team and systems is like a chore that they have to do. Whereas the entrepreneur sees it as an opportunity and a blessing and finds the real fulfillment in their business in growing and scaling those teams and systems.
It almost seems like most of the things you have done has been like the Midas’ touch turn to gold. What’s been your lowest business point or were you made your biggest mistake overall and what’d you learn from it that maybe our audience can learn from it, too?
While everything appears to be perfect and golden, it’s very much not like that in the real world. I’ve made so many mistakes and I continue to make mistakes, but I only see mistakes and is something that you don’t learn from. When we’re taking action as fast as we do, you’re not going to get everything right, but it’s all part of the process or part of the fun of learning. We don’t take it as we don’t try to avoid mistakes or failure, we anticipate things will come up and work around them. One of the biggest things that kept me stuck for a long time, it was being caught in that solopreneur, egocentric mindset where the business couldn’t expand beyond me because I thought the business was me. First and foremost, that is the biggest mistake that I see a lot of other people making, too, that they think they are the business. Another mistake then, which is the foundation of that what I said, is that most entrepreneurs never think about what they want the business to do for them. A lot of us, we leave employment and we start a business, but we don’t think of as a business, as a company vehicle. We think of it as a replacement job.
We’re always asking so much about, “What can we do for the business? What can we give to the business? How much time and energy can we give to the business?” A lot of entrepreneurs have never done the work of asking, “What do I want this business to do for me? How much time and energy and money do I want this business to produce for my lifestyle?” You can look at your business either like a job that you work for or you can shift the thinking of it as an investment vehicle that’s going to create assets that work for you. The real goal is freedom and that’s what we want to have. You all started this, but then we lost track of that along the way. That’s the biggest mistake I made, was losing track of that. I get caught in the daily grind, like running on a hamster wheel, just doing things and strategies and tactics and work, but then losing sight of why am I actually doing these things? That was a huge mistake for me up until now.
The great thing about this is that it’s always a journey. You overcome one thing, you learn, you get to the next level, but as an entrepreneur and investor now, not so much mistakes as much, but there are things we haven’t learned yet. There’s always ways to expand, always ways to improve, always new things to learn and it’s embracing that is part of the journey that we’ve selected. We’ve signed up for this. If you want certainty and stability and no chance of anything going wrong, you need to go back and get a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job. We have signed up for entrepreneurship. We’ve signed up for the ups and the downs, the left and the right, the uncertainty of it. For me, the best thing to do is the mistake I made was not embracing that. I wanted the outcome but without the responsibility. We do get freedom as business owners. We can create freedom but freedom does come at a price and it’s not always going to be clear cut. That’s a couple of things for me that I’m still learning to this day.
What would you say has helped you come to grips with the struggle balancing between we may have bought a job and we’re working for it versus it working for you. What are a couple strategies you put in place quickly that have helped you?
The awareness of knowing what you want. A lot of us will take on other people’s goals and ambitions that weren’t really our own. What most people look at how much money do you want, but how much free time do you want this business to give you? It’s Tim Ferriss who says in the 4-Hour Workweek, “When you have time, your money goes ten times further.” I meet a lot of people in businesses. They are earning more than enough money that they want. They just haven’t got the time to spend it. You’ve got to think about what you want your ideal lifestyle to look like. What’s the maximum number of hours you want to be working on or in the business? What kind of level of physical mobility do you need? Do you want to be traveling the world? Do you want to be staying put in one place? Know what you want. Until you do that, you can’t configure the business to provide that for you.
One of the thing that pops out for me as far as getting new clients, scaling a coaching business is if you had narrowed down one to three of your biggest breakthroughs in the last twelvemonths, either you’ve put in place or you’ve installed with your clients, what would those one to three big breakthroughs be?
The one to three things would be number one is embracing the leadership mindset. Number two is going to be putting in systems for a scalable infrastructure. Then the third thing is going to be putting an automated lead generation system in place. The leadership mindset is about embracing your new role as a leader. You’re going to make a bigger impact in the world and know that you want to grow a business that is going to serve way more people than just yourself. One of the important things about that is that it’s not very often talked about in coaching programs or business products, but there’s a certain mental toughness that you’re going to need to adopt as an entrepreneur. As me and you well know, there is a thick skin. There’s emotional resiliency. I’ve seen this across the board. Maybe you take your business up to maybe six figures or a mid-six figure level. You get the adoration of people, your friends, and family say, “Well done,” but then when you start claiming above that, you break out of the socially accepted zone. When you start doing seven figures and multiple seven figures, it’s a shock and a wakeup call for a lot of entrepreneurs, myself included. You suddenly distance from a lot of people and there are not many people you can usually find who can connect and understand our problems or challenges. How do you do a new launch for your seven-figure business?
Maybe you only take $200,000 in sales when you’re expecting $600,000 because everyone else in the world is going to look at that and say, “What’s the problem?” I’m not complaining but it becomes very hard and you can become very disconnected sometimes if you don’t have that social support network around you. That’s why I appreciate the work you do, and I know you work with a lot of groups in bringing entrepreneurs together. That leadership mindset of understanding what it takes to be a leader but also understanding that you are a leader and you need to connect with other like-minded people. Otherwise, you might have all the success but life can get pretty lonely when people aren’t against you. They don’t understand you because we’re doing very crazy things here. We’re upsetting the status quo quite a lot. That’s the first thing the good resilient mindset.
Secondly is the systems and infrastructure you want to get out of that time for money trap. You’ve got to first understand that your business is simply a series of functions of tasks that you are doing consciously or unconsciously. It helps to break down your business into four or five departments. We used to look at a marketing or distribution department. We look at a sales department, a fulfillment, a serving clients department, team building department, and then admin, legal financial department. Then you can start to remove yourself and you can start to look down on the business rather than trying to see it all from within. Let’s look at marketing. How many leads do we need to generate this month? What’s our target? What’s our sales target? We need to make X amount of revenue, X amount of profit. This is our sales target, a fulfillment. How are we going to track if our clients are happy? Are we going to do a net promoter score survey or what kind of hard and soft data can we track that shows our customers are happy? Especially as you scale because as a solopreneur, you might work with tenor fifteen clients and you can keep your finger on the pulse yourself.
If you want to scale up and there’s going to be hundreds of customers coming in and you’re going to need systems to even track that they’re happy. We’ve got the team development aspect. What are your objectives around team development? What roles are you going to need? By when and how you’re going to pay them? There might be some objectives for the admin department or legal structure. Maybe you want to open up a new bank account or change some legal structure or something like that. You start building systems by looking at what is this business made up of and we break it down by department. Then we break the departments down by the top three to five tasks that have to happen, not necessarily by you, but that has to happen to produce those outcomes. If we need 2,000 leads a month, what has to happen for that?
Maybe it’s going to be a powerful Google and Facebook paid campaign and maybe also a good outreach networking campaign. In sales, maybe we need a note X number of sales calls and we need sales training one to follow up system. You can do that for every element of the business and you start breaking it down. That gives you then the map of tasks that have to happen daily. Then you can take the next step of looking at the tasks and deciding which ones should you start outsourcing first. It’s not going to be all of them. You might start with maybe a few admin tasks and start giving away these tasks. Maybe you can hire an admin person to do ten hours a week for you and they can just take it. Maybe it takes you twenty hours a week to do the admin stuff because you suck at it, because you’re not an admin person. Maybe you can hire someone for ten hours who was a specialist in that. Not only does that stuff get done faster and probably better than you could do it, but it also gives you ten hours of free time.
The clients I’ve worked with, they’ve told me that that ten hours a week, extra two to three hours a day, even if it didn’t make them more money, sometimes it’s saves their marriage or allow them to see their kids once in a while. It all goes back to that, “What do you want for your lifestyle?” That’s putting systems in place and outsourcing one thing at a time. I usually recommend you focus on the critical 5% of the things that you excel at and that you love to do that drive the company forward and start offloading the rest bit by bit. Then you get more productivity freed up and the company can keep growing. That’s where it comes to the third step, which is then an automated marketing system. 90% of coaches, consultants especially waste all their time on marketing. They’re spending all their time trying to get new leads, door hustling and grinding every single day, posting 35 times a day on Facebook. It’s very ineffective for their reach. Whilst they’re doing that, they’re neglecting their current customers or they’re neglecting their team or neglecting their family and their life. It just causes more problems on the back end and then more clients start leaving and the team doesn’t feel satisfied. Then they rush out to get more leads, they get stuck in this trap.
I always recommend to business owners now we have so much access to paid advertising that is so cheap and so affordable for anyone that we didn’t have access to five or ten years ago. Any coach, consultant, trainer can start with $10 or $20 a day, whether Facebook or YouTube or Google campaign and you just put that money down. It’s going to reach thousands more people than you could ever hope to try and do all yourself.
You can spend as little as $10 to $20 a day if you were a new brand new as a coach? Never really done much advertising but wanted to grow and scale. Where would you lead people today with low cost starting advertising where it could also scale up pretty quickly done right?
The great opportunity we have right now are companies like Facebook and Google give you is something called their pixel, which is a little bit of code that they give you to put on your website. It’s very simple to do. I don’t get lost in the technical details, but you can find YouTube tutorials very quickly. Google and Facebook will give you a little bit of code that you put onto your website. What this does is it tracks every person that comes to that website and it will put them on specific lists or audiences for you. What you can do then is you can create adverts in Facebook or on Google or YouTube that target and are shown only to the people on those lists. This is what we’ve been doing over the last few years to segment our audiences and get good warm traffic. People that are more responsive to our office because they’ve already been to website or they’ve heard about us somehow. The first thing to do is get that pixel either from your Facebook ads account or from your Google AdWords account and get your web developer to put that into your website for you.
What we do then to keep things a bit simpler, I’ll stick with Facebook because Facebook is probably more accessible for a lot of brand new. if you’re talking about new people or coaches that are new to this. Facebook is probably a bit more user friendly. You can create. What we do is we build audiences on Facebook, a lot faster and a bigger scale than we could in the past. What we can do is we will start with, by making a short video, we’ll just make a little video on your Facebook page, make it about two or three minutes long and we call this in a way in this video. That’s because we’re going to put this video out there. We can hit thousands of people on a very small budget on Facebook. We’re talking under a cent per view. For a very small budget, you can reach a lot of people. I encourage coaches to make a little video that simply talks to the prospect, doesn’t try and sell anything it says something like, “I understand the problems and the pains that you’re in and you have these common situations in life, and I want to help you see that there is a new possibility.”
The first stage of marketing is always to show people that there’s a new possibility. We have to inspire them. That change is possible in a lot of coaches don’t do this. They try to educate people with their content, but you can’t educate someone who isn’t first believing in a solution or seeking a solution. We found great results by doing this. We make a short video. Let’s say we’re in the weight loss industry. It might say, “I understand if you’re a busy mom of two and you’re struggling to find time to go to the gym and you hate all the healthy foods or it’s too hard to cook up meals, whatever it might be. We totally get it and we want to let you know that there are people like you who are getting great results.” Then we reveal it. Whatever your principle is based on, so maybe they’re doing it by following short, 10-minute home workouts or they’re doing it by having easy, simple, tasty, healthy recipes, something that makes it more convenient. Then we would finish that video just by getting some engagement. We don’t sell anything. We sell the idea if anything but not a product and they would just say, if this is you or if this has resonated, drop a comment below, tell us what you’re struggling with or tell us what would help you out and let’s start a discussion. Then we advertise that on Facebook. We target our audience. In this case, it might be moms who are between 32 and 42 years of age or whatever it might be. For $5, $10 a day, this video can capture hundreds of people viewing it.
You’ll get a very positive response because you’re not overly pushy or anything. You’re not “bigging” yourself up naturally, but you’re showing that you relate to them and that there is a new possibility for them. I’ve got videos run like this for about three to four months on $10 a day. It’s wrapped up nearly half a million viewers. This is massive brand-awareness. What Facebook does with its Pixel technology is Facebook will track all of those people and all those viewers are put onto a list in your Facebook account. You can’t see who the people are specifically. It’s not an email list but Facebook will tell you 20,000 people who’ve watched this video, would you like to send these 20,000 people another message, another advert? That’s the second layer to our advertising. This is what we call a re-targeting campaign.
You’ve given a glimpse of some incredible strategies here for coaches, consultants, authors, to be able to escape the time for money trap. What I want to do to serve our community best is how can people go deeper with your resource. I estimate there are about a hundred and some case studies or testimonials or success stories with some familiar faces like Brian Grasso, Dan Meredith and Carrie Campbell who are amazing. I’ve got a chance to meet them through Genius Network and through some other mutual friends like Scott Olford and many others. You are helping a lot of people get amazing results. How can people go deeper with you? Where would you recommend they go?
If people want to find out more, they can go to JustinDevonshire.com. If you specifically want a video with a bit more information on Escaping that Time for Money Trap, if you want to be more specific, I’ve got a sixteen-minute video JustinDevonshire.com/freedom. It has a video right there on the page where you can find out more about the five steps we take the business owners through to create this, this level of freedom. You can find me on Facebook.
I want to encourage you if you want to go deeper, if you want to learn how to escape the time for money trap, if you’re looking for a way to create automation in your business, build a greater mindset and be met more mentally tough and be around other peers, go check out what Justin’s up to at JustinDevonshire.com or JustinDevonshire.com/freedom. You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure. He’s got a wealth of resources, tools, and support, to make available to you.
What are a couple of last comments you’d like to make about that? I know that’s become such a powerful tool for business owners who are using it right now.
You make that intro video that gets a huge awareness and reach and then we didn’t make a second advert that would re-target only the people that have already engaged on your content. That will bring them back to your offer to talk to you, to chat on Facebook, to book a consult, whatever it might be. That little shift has dramatically lowered our advertising spend, lowered our cost per acquisition, and increased our reach massively. That’s the two-part set up on a basic level that we would do. That’s what you want to be doing, warming up your audiences before driving them back to you because people are getting so saturated with advertising. There’s so many options for people because of the coaching industry is exploding so fast that those who take the first step and warm the audience by giving them a little bit of perspective and inspiration first without demanding anything are going to go a lot further. That’s been our most profitable traffic.
You mean you can do this without a book funnel, a webinar funnel, webinars and all those sorts of crazy things?
The problem is the cost of advertising is always rising as the market gets more saturated and people have seen it all before. They’ve got fifteen million PDF books downloaded, they’ve seen all the webinars, and so what we need is not to eradicate those tactics. We need to go out there and warm up the audience first. They get to know you cause then they’ll read your book and they’ll watch your webinar. They’re going to take the people they know over the people that they don’t, and no one wants to make that first step in the relationship. That’s the big gap in marketing today.
What actions steps would you hope our audience take as a result of our interview?
Number one is now what you want the business to do for you. If you don’t, you’ll keep doing everything for the business. Number two is take that 30,000-foot view of the business, break it down into divisions, break it down into tasks, and realize that the business is a series of functions that have to happen every day. Then you can start getting clear on what are you going to offload and to free up more time. Third of all, you’ll look into these paid traffic systems. Don’t rely on just hustle and grit every day because paid advertising gives you leverage and frees up your time that you can then spend on your clients, your team, your family, and yourself. Don’t forget those.
I’m going to encourage you to take action with what Justin has been sharing with you. Know what you want, drive the mindset, work with paid traffic, and apply what you’re getting here. If you want to go deep or go check out with what Justin’s up to at JustinDevonshire.com/freedom.
If you and your business partners got into a fight, who would win?
Me, of course.
If I asked them that question, what would they say?
Yes, they’d probably agree as well. I’m very stubborn. I will get my way.
What is something I should have asked you that I didn’t?
I was talking with my friends, Brian Grasso and Carrie Campbell. You mentioned very big in the mindset space. Something we’ve been talking about the last couple of days is something I’d like to share with the audience here is that remember the perspective of time. I see a lot of entrepreneurs that maybe have broken six figures or seven figures already and they’re always asking, “What else can I do? My marketing is running, my systems are in place, my team is working, what else can I do?” It’s that residual need to be filling up your day with tasks all the time. Sometimes, we can remember that after you’ve got the systems and the basics in place, it’s just time and patience. Someone like the Tony Robbins, he’s doing all the right things and he’s where he is because he’s got 35 years on the rest of us of doing it. I’ve been looking at perspective in my own life and with my clients, if everything’s working sometimes you got to wait it out a little bit and let things mature and grow and go enjoy yourself in the meantime and spend more time with your family and remember that’s why you’re doing all of this.
Sometimes the not-to-do list becomes far more important than the to-do list. Second was shared in the first segment of the show that really resonates with me and that first quote that I gave is a Tim Ferriss quote. Pedro said, “My ego is not my amigo.” It’s so critically important. You’re building and growing and scaling what it is you do and impacting thousands of people worldwide. What is something you’re most excited about right now?
I’m a new father. I got a twenty-month-year-old son, and so enjoying fatherhood. Knowing that I have the free time and the energy and resources to provide for my family, that’s teaching me a lot more about managing my time and energy as kids do. I’m enjoying it now and seeing this perspective of having freedom and a sustainable business. You can give back and be there for your family because we all want to provide money and resources to our family, but what they want is you. I’m enjoying that process of fatherhood.
For me, it changed me, like it did perspective on so many different things. My kids became probably my greatest teacher and it doesn’t stop after twenty months or 24 months. I have a twelve and ten-year-old and it’s a lot of joy, a lot of growth, a lot of learning, and just keeping things in perspective. It’s such a gift and such a blessing. Your son that’s twenty months old as you’re building and growing, what would you hope would be like the top one to three values that you hope to instill in your son?
The first value is honesty and transparency. Be honest with yourself and honest with other people, and not to be dishonest because of fear or shame or guilt or anything like that. Secondly would be the value always staying true to your dreams and ambitions and never settling or sacrificing your dreams to make other people happy, focusing on your ambitions and dreams. Three, be a force for good in the world. Make your time mean something, not just get a job, get married, get a mortgage, get a house, retire, and that kind of thing. Do something that people are going to remember, that leave this place better than how you found it. That will be three things off the top of my head.
I’m curious, what were you known for in high school?
Not a lot, actually. I was average in school. I was never engaged in the process though. I got pretty decent grades. I wasn’t dumb or anything. I was never engaged. The teachers and people always told me that I wouldn’t amount to much, I needed to focus, needed to get my head straight and did to figure out what I wanted and all these kinds of things. For me, unlike many of the people, it didn’t give the structure that someone is creative and expressive as I needed to tap into our abilities on what we love to do. People didn’t see me getting that far in high school. Only when I came out and had my own freedom to do what I wanted, then I was able to explore and find out what I was good at.
He’s Justin Devonshire and I would encourage you to go check out what he’s up to at JustinDevonshire.com/freedom. Take advantage of the tools and resources at his site. He’s got a ton of them.
Justin, it’s been an absolute privilege and an honor to have you with us here.
Thank you, Dan. It’s been great. You’re helping everyone and thanks for inviting me on the show.
I want to encourage you to take action with Justin has shared with you. If you want to come back to this episode, you can do that at GrowthToFreedom.com/170. If you never want to miss an episode, you can go to GrowthToFreedom.com/subscribed. Take action now. He’s given you a blueprint. Know what you want, identify your leadership mindset, work with paid traffic, and a whole lot more. You can come back to this episode of GrowthToFreedom.com/170. We’ll see you next time. Seize the day.
Justin Devonshire – International Speaker & Leading Business Expert for Coaches, Consultants & Professionals.
Justin Devonshire helps coaches, consultants & professionals to escape the ‘time for money’ trap and create a ‘real’ business that provides freedom and scalability. He mentors entrepreneurs around the world and is an international speaker & trainer. Justin has consulted some of the biggest names in the coaching world on how to attract consistent leads, widen profits & scale their business quickly. He has partnered and shared the stage with experts including Gary Vaynerchuk, Bill Walsh, Mark Victor Hansen and Dave Dee. His businesses have been featured in Forbes &, Men’s Health, as well as national TV & radio.