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May 4, 2023

201. Your Message Matters - How to Get Paid for What You Know with Jonathan Milligan

How Teachers, Coaches, Writers, and Speakers can align their preferred media and product offerings with their style to effectively grow their business and serve their customers.

How Teachers, Coaches, Writers, and Speakers can align their preferred media and product offerings with their style to effectively grow their business and serve their customers.


In this episode, you will learn:

  1. Discovering your message so you can best serve others
  2. Embracing the journey rather than expecting immediate results
  3. Building credibility and understanding client needs 
  4. Assessing and nurturing core motivations
  5. Understanding the benefits of self-publishing and book funnels



Jonathan Milligan is an author, blogger, speaker, and online business coach. 

He has spent the last decade guiding and directing creative professionals on how to pursue meaningful work. Since 2009, Jonathan has run his own portable lifestyle business online. 

Today he teaches others how to build a business with their passion, story, or message. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife, Charity, and their two kids.











I want to teach and I want to help people and I want to serve them. But I want to do it in a way that it fits my lifestyle, that I can work wherever I want and still make an impact and make a bigger impact beyond a classroom with a certain set number of students.


Welcome, everybody. Today, I am super stoked to have Jonathan Milgan with us. He is the author of Your Message Matters. I've been doing the work on that, really great stuff. He's going to be talking about how to rise above the noise and get paid for what you know. Thank you so much for joining us today, Jonathan.


Hey, I am excited. We are going to have a great conversation today. Wait and I can't wait to jump in.


Thank you. Jonathan is an author, blogger, speaker, and online business coach. He spent the last decade directing creative professionals on how to pursue meaningful work. Since 2009, he's run his own portable lifestyle business online. Today, he teaches others how to build a business with their passion, their story, their message. And like I said, I've done a lot of work in this stuff. I've seen a lot of people. And from knowing a little bit about his story and then also doing the work in his book, really just find he has a very good, solid, practical, down to Earth, granular understanding of how to make things happen. So, Jonathan, when you just started out a little bit, tell people how you got into this work, what you got you passionate about this, and maybe a little bit about your journey as an entrepreneur. Because I think that's something that a lot of people sometimes take for granted. And I try to make sure people really see that because a lot of our listeners are in that initial stage. So you and I who've been doing it for a while might say, Oh, let's just go to step two.


Step times, step one is very important.


Yeah, I think knowing the journey is vitally important because today I do webinars, run membership sites, live streaming, podcasting, blogging, marketing, the funnels. But the truth is, I knew none of this stuff. So it wasn't like I just was born and bred a marketer and marketing and understood this. I was a high school teacher. T hat's where I started. Both my parents were teachers growing up, so I grew up in a home of teachers. I even married an elementary teacher, even though now she stays at home and works in the business now. But that's where I started. I love the kids. I love teaching. I did not like the environment. It was that Bell to Bell teaching, the constant, rigorous schedule. I'd often tell people it's like a 12 month job crammed into nine months. I think we don't realize that. Your teachers understand that. Your grading papers in the evening, you got all this stuff going on. It's like, I want to teach and I want to help people and I want to serve them, but I want to do it in a way that fits my lifestyle, that I can work wherever I want and still make an impact and make a bigger impact beyond a classroom with a certain set number of students.


Back then, I had no clue what that was. People were making money on eBay, but I didn't know, so I went on a journey. P art of that journey was I tried real estate investing, had family members that were successful with that, so flipped my first house, made 12 grand off of that. I realized even though I made money on it, it's not what I wanted to do. I just kept in my 20 s, I was searching and I was trying a lot of different things. And lo and behold, I fell upon the idea or the concept of blogging about 2009. So that was about a seven or eight year journey that I just washed over. But it was really me trying to figure out, what do I want to do? What do I want to be when I grow up? What is the thing that I... And here is a pivotal thing, Wade, in my journey is I was always trying to find purpose out there somewhere in something, in a title, in a company, in a job. But what I realized, and it came from coming across an old out of print book now called acres of Diamonds, to help me realize after reading that fable, and it really hones in on basically the idea that what you're looking for is right under your nose.


That's when I started looking inward and like, Well, what strengths do I have? How do I show up best for others? Maybe I should start there first. Once I started discovering that, I started realizing, I'm a writer, I'm practical, I'm a teacher, and I just fell into blogging. So that was a eight year journey caught up to the idea or concept of starting a blog.


Awesome. Thank you. I think so many people today are very in tune with the idea of looking to connect with their purpose in some way in their work. I know a lot of the people, the millennials, people in there, the Gen Z, they, perhaps even almost to a fault at times, can almost think it's a birthright as opposed to something that you actually have to earn. And at least in my experience, there's a lot of even in the 80 20 of just highlighting what's awesome or maybe like the 991 where in Instagram or TikTok, where very often people are only showing the success, the outcome, the result, and people don't see the parts. I know a lot of people are trying to connect with these. Sometimes they have jobs, they have bills. And as you and I know, as people who are part of a family and part of something bigger than just ourselves, if you can't pay your bills, that's not sustainable. So for the person, let's say, who's starting out and saying, Okay, I'm in a job. I'm thinking I'd like to start pursuing some of these things. You talked about you started with blogging, and then you and I are both involved in podcasting different things.


How can somebody start doing this journey in a way that doesn't require them to take that huge, dramatic entrepreneurial leap of quitting a job or something dramatic, but something that then they could say, Okay, I can invest five hours a week. I can invest 10 hours a week. And maybe it takes five years, maybe it takes 10 years, but it's something I love. I'm going to do it anyway. Or I'm going to work towards something. I think of parents, our kids are 16 and 13, and we even have a different plan for once the kids are out of the house that I might travel more as a speaker in different things. So going back to the start, how can somebody who's looking to start down this path begin doing this in a way that they can feel like they're making progress? And what markers should they look for? Should it be down the load? Should it be books produced? How do they start and how do they know that they're making some progress?


Excellent. So two thoughts here. The first part of this is where I talk about discovering your message. I think you have to start with what are your strengths? How do you show up best for others? I think that's important. One of the things that I noticed working with people is that there were four primary influencer voices. I primarily work with people who have a transformational message to share. I don't consult on e-commerce or how to build a subscription box business. It's more for people who they were more in alignment with being a speaker, writer, or coach. What I realized was there were four types. There was a teacher, a speaker, a writer, and a coach. If you understand that one of those provides more motivation, I actually create an assessment because I had the idea one day of like, Why don't you isn't there an assessment for us messengers to know what our primary influencer voice is? Not from a competency perspective is not what the test does, but it's more like motivation because I believe you can develop skills in all four of those. You can develop income streams in all four of those. I've seen many people do that and I have in my business.


But start with where you're the strongest. First of all, it starts with understanding what your own strengths are. Once you get that's the second part. I continually, especially over the last five or six years, I've been constantly refining and trying to make it simpler for people to validate their message. The way that I use this word validate in my coaching program is how quickly can we get something out there to see if someone will buy something? Because at the end of the day, that's what we're trying to validate. Is this a big enough problem? D o I have the strengths or do my strengths can serve this problem to help people? Quick example because I think examples are helpful. One of the people who came into our program is a gal who suffers from chronic illness. She is always waking up every day and battling chronic pain. S he's been speaking, a lot of times free speaking. She goes out and speaks. She's been doing stuff on Instagram, building up people. But she came going, I don't know if I can actually make money with this idea. What we did is we had her start a Facebook group.


In her case, she started a private Facebook group so she can collect email addresses of everybody who came into her world. Then you got a community. She called it chronically happy. It was her concept or idea behind her Facebook group. She was able to get a couple of hundred people, not a whole lot, but in the beginning she had about two or three hundred people just from her own social media reach and people inviting people who had chronic pain. Then she ran a three day challenge on helping them with affirmations around you can still be productive and you can still have purpose even though you're facing chronic pain. Then on the third day of doing this live in her Facebook group, she offered a one day workshop on Zoom. That was just a two hour workshop where she was going to go more in depth and have some teaching around this. She sold, I think, somewhere between 10 or 15 people on, I think it was $100 two hour workshop. So $1500. And she was ecstatic over the moon. And what we did is we like short cutted the whole process to say, okay, people do want to pay money to have this problem fixed.


And now I feel confidence that I can do this. Now she's moving on to writing her book, which is going to be called chronically Happy. We have a whole concept around a compact book, shorter book, and then building a funnel. And then she loves to speak, so she's going to get out a bunch of podcast interviews to bring people into her world. Now things can get ramped up. H opefully, taking a moment here to share a practical example, I could give four or five more of people doing the same thing. Not that a Facebook group works for everyone, but for about 90, 95 % of our clients, it's perfect to help them just get started.


Yeah, I think that's the piece is the idea of there's this fear. Remember Brendan Richard once saying that there's a few different fears, and one of them is the fear of doing the work. The other is the fear of doing all the work and then getting back nothing or feeling like you've gotten back nothing. Usually, you get back something, you might not see it. There's relationships, there's connections, or even people see you in motion. From that perspective, this person now has this sense that, okay, there's this bit of confidence. And as you and I know, it doesn't guarantee that they're going to ride off into the sunset. But as somebody... Gosh, I don't know about you. I've probably at least had in 20 years at least 200 ideas that I've tried in some way. And it's not a brag, as you know, as an entrepreneur, it's like, Wow, if I could have just done 20, it'd have been a lot better. And a lot of them you don't figure out. It's like hiring employees and realizing how quickly can you find out actually that this person is not a match or if you're dating how quickly.


Not that it's a rush to get married, but if you meet somebody, it's just not connecting. Okay, great. Let's figure that out sooner rather than later. When you say validating a product, I know the idea I like about that and maybe share a little bit more the difference between getting people to like your content and then actually committing money to it. How does that weigh? What's the value of each? X %, one's worth more than that. Because that's something that's been a huge thing for me. Would you share a little bit on that?


Yeah. There's an important distinction here. Let's use the girl's example that I gave her. Let's say she did all that and she got nobody to buy her workshop. That's worst case scenario in this example. But here's the cool part of that. You didn't spend eight months designing a membership site, a course, wasting all of this time, and it's not a total failure. Here's why. Because I encourage all of them, regardless of how many sales you get, to do a survey to find out why. Ryan LeVec calls us a do you hate me survey. I think that's a little bit aggressive, but I like to phrase it on like, Hey, I noticed you didn't purchase. Can you tell... It'd be helpful to just know why. Was it a timing thing? Was it money? Let me know. Then you grab all that intel and now you know, Oh, well, if I wanted to try this again, first of all, no one knows that I didn't have anybody by. But here's the important part, Wade, the people in the group knew that this person or using you as an example, like ourselves, that we're open for business because we're not just dabbling here, we're actually providing paid offers, which is a switch.


Now, all of a sudden we're more of an expert because this person has a paid offering, even if they didn't purchase in that moment. That was a part of it that I think is an important piece of it is whether you have to tell yourself in your own mind that this is just a practice business and I'm going to do this thing because I want to learn. If I make sales, I'm going to be surprised by that. If you need to give that low of expectations, I think it's okay. But it helps you to launch because you only learn after you launch. Otherwise, you're just sitting here with an idea going, I don't know, could this work? T he other thing is there are so many options for us in building audiences and platforms these days. It can just feel overwhelming. It's like, Okay, so I start a podcast. How long do I podcast? Do I podcast for two years and then evaluate? Do I blog for three years? I think that also is something that can be a challenge in this genesis of getting a movement going is how much time, energy, and effort do I invest in this thing?


T hat's why I need to go back. That's why I like, how can we shorten the process, shortcut it, and get some quick feedback and actually promote something or sell something before we create it? It makes a lot of people nervous to do that, but I promise you it's a lot better than spending a lot of time building something only to find out nobody really wanted it.


Yeah, absolutely. There's so many things there. I remember I once heard Joe Polish say, Make your sales page first. And if nobody buys your sales page, well, then you'll offer your sales page, well, fix your sales page. Because if nobody buys it, it's really not worth doing all the content because for some reason it didn't resonate. And of course, as you said, I like the idea, and I'm sure he would agree with this too, that when you then create the value, have more of that connection. You've done the three day challenge, or you've done the Facebook group, or you've done different things. I've definitely found as well that sometimes I'll have other products that I do. I'm known in one field that I've been doing for a longer period of time. In my case, it's insurance agency growth and coaching those businesses. I might be doing something for this podcast and I'll get business over there because there's overlap. But more than anything, people are seeing me, my stuff on LinkedIn, they're seeing, Okay, like you said, Wayne's open for business, he's active, he's doing things. And I can even think right now, actually, of a specific person, Allen Callan, who is young guy, he's about to graduate college.


He's been doing podcast interviews. And he's one of those people that you've seen, he's like, Dude, I hired him tomorrow. If I had what I thought he'd be for. Because he's in motion, he's doing things, he's connecting with people. I get to see who he is, his character, what he's about, how he shows up, how he produces his episodes. I'm even telling our kids that are 16 and 13 now to say, Look, if you ever really want to put something on your resume that beats the poop out of, Well, I was in the Spanish club. No offense to the Spanish club, unless you found that it almost doesn't matter. And even then, but to say, Yeah, here's my podcast on such and whatever the such and such, almost doesn't even matter. It's not like it has to be matched to their major. But you've got person A who has a four point... I don't know. Today they can get a 10.2 or whatever GPA, these crazy numbers. But they've got, let's say, a 4.2, and this other person's got a 4.0 or even a 3.9, but they've got a podcast or a book or something.


And I don't know if I'm in the admissions office, I'm like, I'm really intrigued. This person's 18, they're 19, they've already written a book, they've already done something. I think that's the other part people miss. It's not so much that you and I are famous, or people who write books are famous, or people are like, Oh, I want to be like him. But at the same time, there is something when you finish a book and you put out a book and you say, Yeah, I actually do have something to say. I'm willing to let people criticize it. I'm willing to get that one star review of the person who just can't stand me or who has different views of the world. For the person who maybe is now hearing us talk and saying, Okay, this is overwhelming. Now I'm hearing two people who've been in business for well over 10 years, that stuff, talk a little bit about, if you don't mind, the compact book. Because you shared something that I've always thought I naturally did in the books that I've, the first books that I wrote. And as entrepreneurs, sometimes we have short attention spans.


Some people do. And I know certainly in the publishing world, you have to publish, write a certain amount of pages, at least in the old school, and maybe some of that's changing. What's a compact book? And for somebody who perhaps says, you know what, that writer voice is sounding like me, Jonathan, but wow, I've heard that writing a book is a big deal, and where do I find a publisher? And then they start going into that whole, the dance of all the different things. In fact, let's go to that person. Maybe we'll go to hit on one of them at a time. So the writer, what's that compact book and maybe what does it look like for that person to get started in a way that, again, and I'm going to speak to a specific person because people will sometimes mention different things to me and they'll say, look, it doesn't matter if you have a job or if you're an entrepreneur with a business. My business is my job. I've got to take care of that or I lose my money. And then I've got my passion project. So I don't know if you're like this.


I always have some side hustle. It's just a side hustle from me, but it's some new thing that hasn't made money. So I'm always balancing, Okay, how much do I have to invest in my business to pay the bills, to provide the lifestyle I want for my family and myself? And how much can I play, so to speak? What's that look like for a new person? And where might that compact book that fit in for them?


Yeah. So this came out of a few years ago. I think it may be... Well, first of all, I've self published and traditionally published, so I have the perspective on both sides. There's pros and cons to self publish. There's pros and cons, let me tell you, to traditionally publish. Everyone sees it as the Holy Grail. But then you're right. I have friends who've been traditionally published who their contract minded required a certain word count. I'm not a fan of that because I'll give an example. I think Mel Robbins is great. I absolutely love her five second rule, but it's like I got it in the first two chapters. The rest of the books was about, Well, you could do it in this context and that context. It felt like she was writing to a word count, and nothing against her concept. It's great. It was an awesome TED Talk, and it can really help people get out of their heads and get going. But that was my opinion is like, and I'm an avid reader of books, and I don't know if you've experienced this, Wade, but it's like, books that start off really well, and then the last half of the book, it's like they just lose steam.


They lose purpose and focus, and the best of it was in the beginning, I was just determined not to do that. But that being said, that was a ton of work. Like traditionally published, it was an 18 month process, 60,000 words. The people I work with, they don't want to wait a year and a half to go through that process, and you don't have to. This came out of a couple of years ago, I had a good friend who travels and speaks a lot, and he helps reduce the drama in teams. He works with organizations. He came to me and he said, Jonathan, I want to do a book. I'm not a writer, but I can see the value of a book in my business. He said, Will you fly up here to Greenville, where I live, and let's spend a day mapping out the book. So we did. We came up with the eight qualities of a drama free team. I said, Let's keep this book short. This book is... We're just going to get it in the hands of your person that is making the decisions to hire you as a coach. They're busy.


They're running teams, they're managing people, they're leading people. Let's just keep this 15, 20, 25,000 words and just give them those eight qualities and the goal of booking you. That's where it started. It was revolutionary for him. It really helped him to have something that he could give to people at his talks. He promotes on his website, he sends it out to prospective clients. That compact book philosophy is what we now teach is, let's take your framework and we teach people you need to have a framework. What is your... Stewart calls it a success path. I've heard Brendan Breshawn call it a framework. I think the best books have frameworks to it. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there's a framework. If you look at the Brands story with Donald Miller. He's got a framework. Good to Great, Jim Collins. He's got the hedgehog concept. Great books have a framework, something between three and seven key points. Then you write the book just teaching those frameworks. What it does, Wade, is it teaches the what, but then it leads people to your courses, coaching, membership site, speaking that teaches the how. The book teaches what?


That's what my book does. It's like, here's what you have to do to get a business off the ground. I didn't leave anything and I was intentional about not leaving anything on there. It's not a sales letter. It's what you need to do. But people are going to say, Okay, this is great, Jonathan, but I need more hand holding. I need how to do it. I need screenshots. I need examples, feedback. That's where your coaching comes into play. We've had people do this, Wade, where they've been able to write and publish a compact book in about three or four months. Then we encourage them to create a book funnel. Then you have a primary acquisition funnel to bring people into your world because people love getting books. Because it's smaller and people's attention spans are shorter, they'll actually consume the book because at the end of the day, we want people actually reading the book. If I get a book and it's more like 100 pages, Oh, this is doable. I'm going to sit down and read this in an afternoon on a Saturday. Now, I want to go book a call to get their coaching.


By doing the book funnel too, you're actually capturing the information so that you can follow up with people. My book is available in the bookstores, but how many books have you read? I know I've read a lot where I never bought anything else from that author, but I really enjoyed the book. But if they had captured me on their list, they kept giving me value, I would have been more likely to join their membership to implement the book or their coaching. That's another reason why I'm a big fan of self publish. It's much easier to set up a book funnel and keep your cost low on getting a free book plus shipping offer. Hope that gives the philosophy of why I encourage our people to do that.


Yeah, I think that's great. There's so many points that you made and one of them, I think one of the first points you made, which is sometimes the argument against the compact book is, okay, now you're just going so short. All it is a lead magnet. It's like, No. And I think the way I've thought about it is in a similar way. First of all, as you and I know, we're not going to get 100 % of the people that watch a podcast or listen to a podcast, watch a video, opt in, whatever, to buy our stuff. Some of them can't afford it, some of them never get to it. I just think of it as if I could get somebody to get a concept. One of my favorite authors is Wayne Dyer because one of the things that he did, and as a speaker, I never remember him giving me homework, saying, do this, but I've learned so much from listening to him, and I've taken action. He does give instruction, but I almost feel like one of my first books, there's a lot of exercises. On one level I think that's great. On another level, it reflects that I haven't yet gotten good enough to have it be that the book just has it right in the story and you just get it without ever being told, Okay, now go do ABC, because most of us don't really like homework.


One of the things that I found is if I can get somebody to understand my framework, whether it be from a YouTube video, podcast episode, or from a book, like you said, it's almost like what's their love language or how do they consume content, then now they know about me and they might give the book to somebody else. And that's what I love about book. You and I both know this. Having the book, the physical thing, having it, having real estate, being able to look at a book and just seeing the cover and having that trigger all that you read in it, all those different pieces. And yet what I think that you said that's so important is it's like the book's done when it's done. The book is when you get your message across and you said, This is what I'm about, and maybe given them some things. So let's go to that. How far the distinguished... You and I have probably both heard this, your courses and stuff are more into the how. For that person who's then thinking, Okay, so I'm going to write this book, I'm going to teach my framework.


I'm assuming, well, at least I'm experiencing in your book, that there is still some exercise. There's a certain level of high level of doing certain things, and it almost acts as a filter. For example, if somebody's not going to read your $10 or $20 book, chances are they're not going to take your $10,000 coaching program, or they probably shouldn't because if they're not willing to read your book, they're not going to do the work. They might even write the check and then be one of those not so great clients. For the person who's writing the compact book, then, so part of the goal is teaching your framework, what would you say precisely then is the goal that the person is then who's reading it, is going to say, Yes, I took this out of it. It wasn't just because, again, I'm reading your book and I know it's more than just a lead magnet, so to speak. What would be the goal? What do you want to hear the reader say? Or what do you read? What did the reader say about your books where you say, Okay, yes, I did my job with my book?




So I think the key is you got to not hold back. Even if it's a shorter book, doesn't mean that it doesn't have value. In some ways, it removes all the fluff and gets right down to it. So if you do it right, people get right into it. For example, my introduction, I didn't want it to be... What a lot of books do is they will spend 10 pages telling you about what you're about to read before you read it. And then it's like, Okay, it's just repeated information. Let's get to it. So for me, I just jumped in with my story and I wanted people to connect with me. Even though I don't have a sensational story, I don't have a rags to riches, it's pretty ordinary. But here's what I found, Wade, that I thought was fascinating is because my story was ordinary, people have told me that's what I connected to. Because you being ordinary, I feel ordinary, and yet you got this result. So this is for ordinary people. I was like, Wow, I never thought about that way. I think if you can tell your story, even if it's ordinary, and try to draw people in and then provide a lot of really good value into exactly what you do to help people, your framework, then you're going to be set up for success because here's what we found.


Because we actually asked this question. One of the things we do is we've got about three or four offers in our business. Each of them serve a certain type of business building thing. I do teach this later on in the book, but the thing that we're doing with our book, our free book, is we are inviting people to our high ticket coaching program, which is our group coaching program where we can help them the best with me and my team. We ask on a simple application, have you had a chance to read most or all of Jonathan's book? Yes or no. And we've seen these stats now. People who say yes, they're a better client. They say yes quicker to join the program. They're already sold to, even though I wasn't trying to sell them in the book, but they already know, like, and trust. They've already processed this. This is what I want. Now I want Jonathan to help me. So we found that you get a better... People who read books, I think are better clients because they are self development people. They recognize their own need for agency, their own need to do the work, and so they don't come in as tire kickers.


They come in and say, I've read the book, this is what I want. I've processed it. I've done some of the work, but I want feedback on some of the work. T hey come in as a way better client, I can tell you that. That has.


Definitely been my experience. I would think most people would say, whether it's a funnel or different things. And funnels are interesting because as much as I love video funnels, there's something that's passive about them. So the person might have even watched the whole thing. I've watched a lot of TV shows, and it doesn't mean I'm committed to taking action on them. For me, reading is not my default. My default is the audiobooks. I'll listen to a lot of audiobooks and I can listen to it while I'm driving. And then there's certain books where you almost can't listen to them while you're driving because they're so deep and you have to be present with them, not just because they have, let's say, a close your eyes meditation exercise or whatnot. And to your point, the book being tight, I feel like it's this reciprocal thing where you're basically saying, going back to about not holding back when you write, it's about the author saying, Okay, I'm going to give you the best I got. I'm going to give you my absolute best because there's seven and a half billion people on the planet. I'm not going to get all of them and it's okay.


But I'm going to give you my best. I explained this when we were working with people that are hiring people. It's like, look, if you lowballed somebody with a job offer and they don't respond to your job offer, you never know what would have happened. And you almost kick yourself like, well, shoot, I didn't give this person my best and I'll never know. Whereas if you say, This is the best offer I have, and the person says, Hey, thanks. You know what? I can make more money somewhere else. I'm just not interested. It doesn't light my fire. Whatever it is. Okay, good. There's no regrets on that. I never asked her out or I never told the person how much I loved them. It's like, Look, that's it. No, well, you did. And they're like, No, sorry, not interested. I'd rather join the circus. Great. Okay, I can move on from that. I can totally move on from that. And yet at the same time, when the client will then read it, and that is a more active thing, they have to put in the time, I feel as the author, I owe them to make it, like you said, as tight as possible because that's what I want.


And it's not just because I don't think it's that self centered. It's why people love TikTok so much. It's why people say, well, people are lazy. No, I'm trying to figure out of these 30 people out here that are saying they do such and such, what's the one person I want to work with? I don't have time to read 30 books. But if I can get a sense, if this person respects my time and I believe there's that reciprocal there, and to your point, definitely filtering clients with a book I'm not sure if people realize it's like what you've said. You've mentioned now two filters, filtering the validating the offer. Hey, the offer stung, or it worked or it didn't work, and then filtering the client with the book. Now, and actually, I'm going to go to this. When you talk about the writer, go a little bit if you wouldn't mind, what is that difference between the teacher, the speaker, the writer, the coach? I know what I resonate with, and I'm doing that exercise. I'm writing out the point in your book where I'm doing that exercise where I'm asking people for feedback. I'm getting back a lot of teacher, a lot of coach, a lot of help people.


From having done different things, I know there is a big difference between being a teacher and even a coach. They're very different in a lot of ways, though there's similarities. There's a lot of love behind it and caring, but there's a different energy to them and the writing and the speaker. How are those... For the person who says, I want to help people, because as you've said, you're looking for people that are transformational. That's people you and I both serve. For the person says, I want to do that. How can they now take a step back? How can they decide, is it that they should be more of a teacher or a speaker and a writer or coach? Is it 100 % one and 0 % the others? Is it a mix? How does that work out?


Right. What I have is an assessment that shows you teach your writer, speaker, coach, what comes out on top. You can actually see first, second, third, or fourth. But what I explain to people is it's not competency because I think it's very important to say, Oh, writer came out of top, so I must be a really good writer. What it's doing is it's assessing motivation. Because what happens for us, like, take my friend I mentioned earlier that wrote the book, he was struggling with writing. He was even wanting to have a blog and he struggled with blogging, but he's more of a speaker. So I said, Why don't we do this? Let's take one day and let's come up with 12 topics. Let's set up a video camera and then we're going to record you speaking to the camera on these 12 topics. He goes, Man, that was so much easier than sitting down looking at the blinking cursor and trying to write my thoughts. Stuff just bubbled out of him. That's because he's more of a speaker and he works really well in that environment off the top of your head, stories, illustrations, quotes thing.


The point of it is now he had those 12 videos, he could schedule one per week to be released and he had his content planned for the next 90 days. That's where his motivation lies. The application to the teacher, writer, speaker, coach helps with the marketing part and it helps with the offer part. Again, you can develop all of these things. For me, when I take the assessment, teachers first, then writer, then speaker, then coach. But I've learned how to develop skills around being a coach, where at the beginning, I was like, not a very good listener. I wanted to cut them off and jump right to giving advice. I wanted to jump into teacher mode. What they're saying is validate me, validate that you understand where I'm coming from. Before you start giving me your three point teacher outline, why don't you ask some clarifying questions first to get to the issue is really the issue. I had to learn how to become a coach. You can develop these, but just to bring it down to practical ideas, let's say your teacher, okay, then maybe live streaming, doing a weekly live stream show in a Facebook group is really good for you because you're interacting with live people, you're teaching them.


Maybe a one day workshop that you sell is really good on the offer side because you love having that virtual classroom of people in Zoom. Now you are aligning your marketing and your offers to your core motivations. That's the fastest path to income and impact. Take Coach. Coach, there's lots of ways you do this, but on the marketing side could be an interview podcast where coaches are really good at asking questions. What makes for a really good podcast interview is like, what you're doing right now, Wade, is you're asking the question that's in your listener's head that they're hoping you're going to ask. You're not working necessarily from, I'm going to just ask these four standard questions, and I'm not going to ask him, When you said this, what did you mean? That's what a good coach does. Then obviously on the offer side, there's coaching. For writers, blogging may be a great landing place for you on the marketing side, and writing books and creating funnels is maybe an ideal place to start for you. And then finally, speaker. So again, YouTube could be a podcast. In both those environments, you're doing more speaking than you are writing.


And then a paid workshop, something like that can still work for you because you love to speak. The point is, there are lots of options, but what you need to do is narrow those options down to where some of your natural tendencies and core motivations are. I find that those tend to work best.


Wow, that's awesome. I've never heard it. I told you, I think you do such a great job teaching and simplifying this because I've been doing this for over 20 years, and it's blowing my mind right now that a teacher should do a live stream in a one day workshop and a coach. This is because I look at certain things, I've written three, what I'll call full size books. They're probably about 25,000 words, like 100 ish pages, just a 6x9 book. And all three of those books, I literally wrote 20 years ago when I was younger and had a lot more energy and was more disciplined and more excited by the process. And now in 20 years, I've like, Maybe I'll write a book and go, okay, can I dictate it? Well, maybe if I dictate it, and it doesn't quite come out the same way. You still have to massage it. And yet for me to interview podcast, to speak, those things come naturally for me. And the only thing that I find that maybe is required for me to be better, not the only thing, but one of the main things is as a speaker, it can be easy.


I guess as a writer, it can be. The speaker just said, I'm just going to talk. As opposed to, like you said, what is it that my person who's listening is trying to get out of this? And you nailed it. I am trying to ask questions, as you and I discussed in the pre interview, that I think the people who are listening want answered. Another way I'd see a podcast and views in a way is, and I know you know this, is that I'm basically saying, okay, I'm going to pull from Jonathan the best stuff I can pull for you all. Hopefully, it helps you all. And my hope is that the people that really could be served by your work will say, Wow, I need to check out his book because I believe everybody has some match or some stage they're at. I just think what's so interesting about what you said there is just this idea of starting with one thing. I've heard it said different ways of people saying, I know what, gosh, Perry Marshall said, Master one form of social media. I know Brendan Bichard said, Take one business and build it and get it to a million dollars.


And once you've got two million dollars now, work on your second business or your third business. So for that person then that says, I'd like to start something, what does phase one look like? So I believe, and you can correct me if I'm wrong in this, that phase one for the author is the book funnel. For each of those four things, again, the teacher, the writer, the speaker, the coach, what does, Okay, I just did my first thing. I've launched it. It's complete. It's not half a book. It's not a... Put it this way, it's a car with four tires and a wheel, and it's not a car with two tires. It's like the full deal. What's that first stage look like where the person pulls up their head and says, Okay, now I've put something out there. I've got an offer, and I can see what's happened. The reason I'm asking this is for that person to say, Okay, well, how much time the parent or whatever the person who schedules tight say, Okay, well, wait, Jonathan, how long is this going to take for me to get something that I can say, Okay, now I've got something.


It might not be the greatest book I've ever written. It's going to be version 1.0. It's going to be something. What does that look like for each of those people in your experience? Yes.


This goes into the offers. Here's the good news is you can design a business how you want. You don't have to feel like, Well, so and so does this, and they're really successful, so I have to do that. I often say that we don't suffer from lack of options. We suffer from too many options. That's what we suffer from. What we need, and especially what your audience needs for everybody as you're building your audience is they need you to help break things down to the simplest parts. When it comes to designing the business, we teach the great place to start is to have three core offers, and then I would add a potential fourth. At the very bottom is activate. Now, the activate offer is what do you have to turn prospects into customers. Oftentimes, this is a low dollar thing. That's where a book works great in my business because it's low dollar, low commitment, but they read it and they are more sold or understand or got value from me. Next here is the validate offer, which even though it's more in the middle, it's actually where I like people to start. That is to go do what we said earlier, validate.


Can you actually sell something before you create it? See if we got some interest in it. If we do, then that's when I have people go to the activate offer and say, Now, let's start building a business, but we got to do it in a way that we have some low cost thing that's going to create and expand our customer base. Then you put in the monetization or monetize. That's the third offer. Now that is more bringing in profit in the business. That is going to be a little bit more high dollar and it's going to be something that... Let's say if people want actual examples, I would say something between $3,000 and $30,000. Once you start getting over about $2,000, $2,500, you're more in the high ticket. What is that thing? Is that group coaching? Is it a Mastermind? Is it one on one coaching? Is it a done for you service? What is that thing? That's what we help people do is validate. Now I've got this validate offer and I could run that validate offer two to four times a year and continue to bring people into my one day workshop because I've got a Facebook group.


Every quarter, I'm bringing more people into the workshop, making it better. Meanwhile, I've got the book, I'm creating that activate offer. Then what we do is we teach people how to get out there. Now your efforts aren't just come visit my website, which is a lot of people do, but it's funneling them to getting the book. When they get the book, then the first thing we do is we say, Hey, one of your bonuses is our Facebook group. Come join the Facebook group. Now they're going to hear about that validate offer at some point. A lso, we're trying to get them, if they want, to recognize the monetization offer. So activate, validate, monetize, all three do something different in your business to help your business grow. And the fourth one is subscribe. I like to eventually add in some kind of a membership subscription thing. Usually this is more on the front end is what I like, where it's lower commitment. Your high end monetization offer is only going to be ideal for 2 % to 5 % of your audience, maybe. You need to have something for people who are needing something but they are not ready to join your bigger thing.


That's where that comes into play is how can we get regular subscribers? The reason why I love this model, if you've ever heard of J. A. Abraham, he teaches there's three ways to grow a business, and these offers help you to do that. How can you get more customers? How can you get more customers to buy more often, which is a subscription? How can you get customers to purchase your higher core product? It brings in stability because the goal of the subscribe is to match the expenses of the business, so you don't have to ever have to worry about that. The activate is just bringing new people into your world constantly, and the monetize is where profit comes in the business. I know that was a lot in that, but hopefully that will generate some ideas. I like to start with validate, move to activate, and then put a monetize on the back end of it.


That's awesome. I like the simplicity of that. I know there are so many people that want to make a difference with the work they do. I think it definitely depends, of course, if you're doing things that are more business oriented, you can usually charge more than if it's personal growth oriented. There's certain things in general, but when you get to that monetize, if you truly are doing transformational stuff, all of a sudden it's not that difficult to have that higher ticket offer. I remember once I was in a program and we were talking about creating a big ticket offer, and there was a gentleman there and he was talking about his thing was he helps couples who want to stay together and not get divorced. And it almost sounds weird, what do you mean they want to but they can't? Well, sometimes people have a hard time, they have emotional baggage, whatever. They can't seem to do it. But there's that basic generic sense of, yes, we want to make it work. He or she is a pain in the butt right now, but yeah, I still want to figure this out. And it was one of the first times I thought of something like, Wow.


Before being in that course, I would have just seen this as, Well, that's an emotional need to keep people together and family. And he didn't even have to say it. Wow, the financial cost of divorce, so huge. And not that was the only reason. He wasn't just coming from that angle. He was talking about just the cost on so many levels. And it just became so clear that, Wow, $10,000? Nothing. If you could help deliver what he's promising, wow, that's easy. Now, of course, someone say, well, I wouldn't pay 10,000. Well, then maybe your marriage is in a good place that you don't need to pay $10,000. But there are many people, and that's not a knock on people, who wouldn't pay $10,000. We all have something that we'd say, I'd pay $10,000 for that, or whatever it is. And someone say, Well, I don't really know how to do that, or whatever it might be. One of the things that I found is most people I talk to say they'd love to write a book, but they very often say it's too much work. They have some idea in their mind, some story that it's either too difficult, they can't do it, somebody else can do it, somebody else is smarter.


Whether it's the negative voices in the head or what some people would call laziness, or maybe they don't know how. I'm going to ask you for a second. Specifically, if you would, for a moment, that person's in front of you. They're a friend, and I know you've had this conversation doing what you do. That person's in front of you. They're saying, You know what, Jonathan, I don't have time. I'm not smart enough. Whatever those reasons... Two things. What do you find the reasons are people tell you that they can't do it? A ctually, sorry, three parts. I'll remember them in case you've... What are the reasons they give? What's the pain of them not doing it? Then what would you tell that person to try to say, Here's why you do want to do this.


I had to battle this even when I wrote the book. We all have gremlin, we have writing gremlin. Here was my writing gremlin when I was writing the book Your Message Matters. Jonathan, this is too good of a book title for someone, a writer like you. There's people who are way better writers. Brendan Richard should be writing this book, Your Message Matters, not you. Jonathan, your story is too ordinary. You don't have this amazing story that people are going to connect with. What I'm trying to say, Wade, is the person who wrote your message matters had to believe that his own message mattered. I had to teach myself before I could teach others. That's why I think this book takes people a little bit by surprise because it's not just a marketing book. The first half is more of a self development journey. Part one is believing your message first, trying to give examples of Walt Disney and other people and how they had to believe in their message. That part is very real. It's for everybody. That answers part one of your question is, you have to get to this place where you believe your message does matter.


One of the arguments I make in the book is that your confidence comes not from you as a good writer, as a good coach, as a speaker. Your confidence comes when you believe that your message can help someone make a difference in others. It's almost like you shift the focus away from yourself onto the message. That's where your confidence comes from. Brendan Brashard, we've been talking about him a lot today because you and I both are fans of his. He used to say that when you lack confidence, that means the ego is in charge. You're thinking too much about yourself, then you are the message in this case. What I found that's helpful for me is when I feel like I'm not a good writer, not a great speaker, or some of those, yes, some of it is lack of confidence, but sometimes if we dig down in there, there's a little bit of egos in the charge is in charge a little bit sometimes. We have to be careful of that. The way to get over that is we shift our attention away from our self onto the message, and that's where our confidence comes from.


So that's part one. I'd say the second thing is, reasons why you want to do this is, one thing is I think books leave legacies. Books encourage other people to have courage. I like my kids seeing a dad who is doing things, is taking risk, is putting himself out there. I want them to see I want to be like my dad because he's working hard to write the book. He's working hard to do the things. He is pursuing his passion. What that does is it gives courage to other people. Not only that, but it leaves a legacy well beyond you. That's what I love about the books, like your books, Wade, my books is after I'm gone, those books still have value to them. We're leaving a legacy beyond ourselves, and that's contribution. Those are just a few thoughts around your questions. Sure. Then the.


Middle part was for the person who doesn't do it. I don't like to spend a lot of focus on FOMO, fear of missing out, or that stuff, but I'm also 50. There are certain things that while I don't... I do believe everything happens for a reason, so I don't regret them. But if you gave me a second chance, I'd do them differently. What would you say to a person who's thinking of this? They have it at the top of their mind, like, Gosh, I need to get this done. What are they missing out on? What are they going to experience when they do this? What are they going to feel? What do you hear that your clients say, Wow, I did this. Here's what's different because it's not always money, at least in my experience, but there is something that comes from it. What do you find that they say? The thought that.


Comes to me is, and I've talked about this a little bit in the book, was the book called The Five Regrets of the Dying. I forget the lady's name. I think her last name is Ware, who wrote the book. She was a palliative care nurse, so she helped look over people who were in hospice. A lot of them were in their 80s, 90s. To sum it up, it was I worried and had fear about things that ultimately didn't matter. I spent too much time letting fear and worry reign in me. There's a quote that I love that I've used over and over again. It says, Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. What happens, Wade, is we start feeling doubt and when we feel doubt, we think it's a good thing. Well, if I'm doubting something, it means caution, right? It means maybe I should not do this thing. Maybe in some cases that's true, but oftentimes doubt is actually more of the dream killer. We fear failure, but failure is probably number two, number three, four, number five on the list. What if we started treating doubt as the dream killer? The cost is you live your whole life letting doubt rule the day, only to realize that caution, that doubt that we thought was a good thing in our lives actually ended up being the dream killer.


And so the cost is, are you going to let doubt be the dream killer in your life? Wow.


That's one of the things I can definitely say. I feel there has been a sense of relief every time I've finished writing one of my books. And to be able to physically have it in the hard copy, I almost felt like, Okay, good. I got this done. And I remember I told one of my mentors, and he still hasn't done it yet that I'm aware of, but at some point I said, Well, why don't you make these books on this life work that you've done? He said, Wade, I'm good. I don't need the money. I said, No, this has nothing to do with you. I said, You've learned so much that I've been one of the few people that's been blessed to be in your inner circle to learn this thing. I'm telling people when they tell me when I tell them these things, they're like, Wow, Wade, you're brilliant. I'm like, No, I learned it from that guy over there, but the work's not out there. And so it just feels like... If I were hardcore, I'd say it's a selfish thing to do. And he's not a selfish person by nature, so it's not that.


But I almost feel like he still doesn't get like, No, you don't understand. This is something that's huge. Maybe it's not the wheel, maybe it's not sliced bread, maybe it's not fire, but it's still something that's big enough that you say, Wow, if everybody knew that, there'd be this huge jump forward. And I feel the same way about so many of the things that I've learned, being blessed to have parents that have raised me well and to learn from mentors. And so to your point, how I would perceive myself for being too afraid to do that is a bigger fear. I really don't operate a lot of fear, but I'm more committed to, Okay, I put it out there, and somebody said it was stupid, or somebody said that. I'd rather be that person. I'd rather be the artist. If I had to choose, I'd rather be the artist than the critic because there's lots of critics, as you know. I can still also be a critic, but I'd rather at least say, I put my stuff out there. And no, maybe it wasn't as good as whatever by some measure, by copies, by downloads, but we'll never know how many lives truly got impacted.


As you and I know, there's a lot of interesting things that go on when you do a book launch that can artific inflate numbers. Hey, I'm going to get my buddy to buy 10,000 copies or this and that. And it's not a knock on it, but it's a different... Or actually, I don't know what it was 20 years ago, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a better book, anymore than somebody with more... Or a cat video is more profound with a million views. That's something that's really wise. But I really appreciate.


What you're.


Sharing and I knew this was going to happen with you and I that we're already... And I still have so many questions to ask you, so what, I have to have you on another time for other stuff. Where can people find out... And I'll put the exact links and whatnot in the book, but where can people find out about your work? And what message for the people that are listening right now, and I'm going to ask you this, I don't usually do this. For the people listening right now are thinking, Gosh, I've been thinking of writing a book. I'm not too sure. What would you tell that person? If that was your child, your friend, what would you tell that person? What's your message for them? My message for.


Them is that you have to have present courage. If you look at any influencer, anybody who has been a mentor to you, you can trace back their story to a moment of present courage where they decided to write the book, they bought the domain name, they started the podcast, and they often did it in complete obscurity. That's where most people start. You have to have present courage that the people you will most want to help, their future help depends on your present courage right now. I often liken it to you have this wall and there's this brick wall, it's 20 feet high and there's a single rope dangling down. What you don't know is on the other side of this big wall are thousands of people who are waiting for you, your message, your influence in their lives. The question is, are you going to have the courage to scale the wall to go help them? Present courage matters. You got to have present courage. You want to think about it this way, people's future health depends on this. Real quick story on this is my very first live event was back in 2019. I decided for the very first day to open up the whole event.


It was a two day event actually. I was going to talk about show my very first YouTube video and how horrifically awful it was because a lot of people who were coming to this event thought, Well, Jonathan is just great behind the camera and Jonathan's just really good at speaking or whatever. S o they laughed and they chuckled. It was creepy. It was terrible. I don't know why I still have it up live. But here was the thing. The night before when I went to go find that video to share it, the date caught me by surprise. It was actually 10 years to the date earlier. The event was June 21st, 2019. The first YouTube video was June 21st, 2009, exactly 10 years to the date. And, wait, it was one of those moments where like goosebumps. I was like, that kid back in 2009, if I could hop in the Delorian and go tap on his shoulder, I would say, Jonathan, you don't know this, but there's a whole room of people waiting for you 10 years into the future. You've got to hit publish on that video. You've got to go through the pain of doing things that are uncomfortable that you don't know how to do.


And the pain of like, Well, man, if I added up all my hours, I would be making $2 an hour for the amount of time I'm investing in this thing. But I'm telling you, Jonathan, it's going to be worth it because there's a whole room of people who need your help specifically from you. So a little bit of a preaching session there, but that's the motivation. That's the thing that I want people to leave with. Then to finally wrap it up is you can get a free copy of the book if you'd like. We've set that up. We bought a couple of thousand copies from the publisher, and you can go to yourmessagemattersbook. Com and get a copy of the book in the mail and read it for yourself. Awesome. Thank you so much.


And as you said all that, it just made me think about, with an athlete, we expect that. If you're going to be a pro athlete, well, you've put in years. Nobody paid you in Little League and this and that. And at some point, you didn't just show up. So yeah, I've done the ROI in some of my passion projects sometimes, and at least if I only measured them financially, it would not necessarily be worth it. But the journey is so worth it. Thank you so much. There's so much in this and I hope this resonates with you all. For those of you who are looking to get started, promise you, just give it a try. Take that first step. I've never met a person who regretted moving forward and starting a podcast, publishing a book, doing a starting a YouTube thing. They might think some of it looked ugly, the first ones or so, but they've never regretted that. Thank you again for joining us and for those of you listening, as always, look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time. Do what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life.


Thanks so much for listening.

Jonathan MilliganProfile Photo

Jonathan Milligan

Jonathan Milligan is an author, blogger, speaker, and online business coach. He has spent the last decade guiding and directing creative professionals on how to pursue meaningful work. Since 2009, Jonathan has run his own portable lifestyle business online. Today he teaches others how to build a business with their passion, story, or message. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife, Charity, and their two kids.