In today’s episode, we have Lucas Marino with us and he is going to tell us the story of teaching technical courses and how it transitioned into helping other instructors get their online courses launched.
You will also get to hear why it’s important to niche down and find your ICA, the most common mistakes new instructors make, and the best benefits of being an entrepreneur.
In this episode, you will hear...
… Lucas’s story on teaching technical courses and how it transitioned into helping other instructors get their online courses launched.
… why it’s important to niche down and find your ICA.
… the most common mistakes new instructors make.
… the best benefits of being an entrepreneur.
… The importance of being adaptable as an entrepreneur.
… the value of what you are providing is more important than the production quality.
… why Lucas advises to not aim for perfection, but instead aim to eliminate distractions.
… why there is no success without some measure of failure.
… the importance of finding someone to help you develop a strategy for your business.
… how to be authentic with your audience when selling your course.
Hello, everyone, thank you for checking out the podcast today. We have a special guest with us, Lucas Marino from Marino Training, who is an expert in business. And I'm excited to have you on the show today we're going to talk all things entrepreneurship.
And I'm super excited to dive into the topics of you know, just the overall strategy of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, you know, the creative process that goes into it the experimentation putting a strategy together, which I know is your area of expertise. So glad to have you on the show today. How's it going?
Oh, it's going great. Thanks for having me on, Jeremy. I really appreciate the opportunity to come meet your audience and, you know, nerd out on entrepreneur stuff, because that's what I love to talk about.
Yeah, me too. You know, people say, do what you love. And this is something I truly love to do. And even in my downtime, you know, this is what my topics and conversations usually evolve around.
So I'm glad glad you're here to nerd out with me. Yeah, before we get started, and we talked about some of the implementation of being an entrepreneur and business in general.
Why don't you just take a moment and you just let our audience know a little bit about you? And what were you doing in the past before you got into the entrepreneurial space? And then what led you to being a business owner?
Yeah, so I started out in the military, which is probably, you know, probably not a place most people would assume someone in this industry starts out. But I spent 21 years in the Coast Guard.
And during my time in the Coast Guard, I was fortunate to spend two full tours in training. One is an instructor and then one as a branch chief of the engineering and weapons School for the Coast Guard. So basically, like the dean of the school, kind of running everything.
And I just absolutely love the impact training has on people. I knew when I left the military that I wanted to, you know, keep performing in the technical areas of engineering, and specifically in, in sustainment. But I had this passion to never work for anyone ever again, besides myself, I wanted to get out there and take on the adventure of entrepreneurship.
So I launched a LLC, and kept it slowly growing while I worked in some engineering capacity, external to to my own business, I was, you know, working with designing landing craft for the army and working on sustainment strategies for nuclear submarines with the Navy.
And all the while I was building my business. It started out you know, fairly technical, put some technical courses together, get those out to people that are interested in that type of stuff.
And it evolved into something much bigger, I found myself enjoying the entrepreneurial journey, more so than I think I thought I would and I was helping other technical instructors get something out to the world that they hadn't previously experienced, they were very good at being an engineer and asset manager.
You know, they weren't versed in launching a learning management system, like Thinkific, they weren't versed in running a training business, this is different than running other types of businesses.
So that's where I started to fall into my niche and really found that I was excited everyday waking up to help other people like that. So I decided to pursue that more so and I've been having an absolute blast doing it.
Yeah, that's totally awesome. I mean, to be able to combine the things that you love, education, the engineering side of things, the you know, getting to help other people who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs and business owners and just finding you know, your place in the world.
That's super exciting for anyone. So just to back up a little bit. The first technical courses that you mentioned, putting out what were those courses on?
Yeah, so those were all with EAST Partnership, the first small business kind of online training platform that I launched. And EAST Partnership specializes in asset management, reliability, centered maintenance, corrosion prevention, lifecycle engineering, lifecycle management, so they were kind of like management level engineering focuses.
And I was basically teamed up with a bunch of my friends that were consultants in the same space and we were all like, "Hey, let's get this word out to people. Let's help our consulting clients." But for us to stop consulting and teach with takeaway from our opportunity to consult them.
And they needed some more one on one time with the leadership. So we created the platform to get our courses out there so that their staff could attend our courses. And we could work intimately with them on on consulting.
And it was just this one-two-punch for our clients. It was very successful for these technical consultants. So that's how we started out was we started out small with asset management, lifecycle engineering, and RCM and we kind of expanded from there.
Yeah, that's really cool. I like the idea of online education being supplemental to a business. And that's kind of what it sounds like as you had the consultant thing going on. But then you're able to provide them with additional training that they can take at their own time to that business.
And this is something I've spoken about before that, you know, any kind of business, even if it's a gym, or something like that, where you could provide additional resources, to those people to help them along their journey, I think is just really awesome.
Absolutely, yeah, that to me, it was a force multiplier, right? So it gets them more intimate with you and your product, because you can get down into the nitty gritty with details.
And they have time to immerse themselves in it's not like a conversation where you have to stop and ask for clarification, and, "Can you go over that one more time. And can we look at this from a different perspective?"
You could go really deep on the course material, and allow the students to do that at their own pace at their at their own time.
Another differentiator for us was most of our I don't want to call them competitors, most of the other people in our space that were doing something similar, you know, providing training to these same types of clients, they were doing it almost exclusively live which is fantastic, because that's really what people said they wanted, but it put them at a severe disadvantage when it came to, you know, opportunity costs.
And this is a little bit more on the business side. But you know, whatever you're doing, you're not doing something else. So if you're teaching today, you're not consulting right now. And it's like, in some cases, teaching was less profitable than consulting.
And in some cases, they needed to teach a vast number of people and the client didn't want to have to stop work so that people could attend training. So this gave us the ability to give them a more flexible training option than we would have done if we were live face to face and those in those same spaces.
Yeah, very good. That makes a lot of sense. So you do this, this program, the EAST Partnership, you go out and you're doing your own courses, which is great, because you're learning the process along the way, you're learning how to create online courses, use these learning management software and systems and everything like that.
And then did I understand you correctly? Once you did that, then you moved into a position where you were helping other instructors start creating their own programs?
Right, yeah, so one of the key points behind these partnerships, you know, the business model was that we bring expertise from various consultants in our industry together. And so you had a one stop shop for all of this training, even though you know, they're related, but they're different disciplines.
Asset management is different than reliability centered maintenance, which is different than lifecycle management. So we were able to bring all these top tier, you know, senior consultants, and trainers into the same organization, and deliver these courses to an audience that would want access to all these different things.
But definitely wanted experts in each area. And so it was helpful to us to be able to do that. But what I found was, those people weren't just coming to me, because they needed a platform.
They were coming to me because they didn't want to stop what they did, to go and learn how to put together a good curriculum for online delivery, how to load and manage a learning management system, how to run all the back end, I already knew how to do that, they could basically just turn on that force multiplier.
And we were up and running in no time, it was a tremendous lift off of their shoulders, because they're all entrepreneurs, they're small business owners that are way too busy to stop and learn how to do all this stuff. So it was mutually beneficial that I could take the experience that I'd gained over several years of working with learning management systems, prior to my retirement from the service, and post retirement from the service.
And I can immediately provide that value to my partners, that was one of the biggest selling points for EAST Partnership was, "Hey, why not do this on your own? Well, because you're gonna have to stop and learn all this. And we could get you from zero to launched in no time compared to what it would take for you to do it yourself."
And so that was kind of the premise. And it fell in love with that process of working one on one with people. I really care about great consultants, experts in their fields.
And I was like, "Man, if I could do this for more people, it's really enjoyable, being able to help them overcome that speed bump," if you will, in the beginning, because I was meeting a lot of people that had this desire to get their own courses launched to get all their own expertise out there so they could share with more people.
But they knew that there was going to be this uphill climb with learning how to do all of this on their own and it was just fortuitous that we met make it a trusted partner and agency to help them along the way.
Yeah, I love that. That's great. It's just really cool that you were able to take that knowledge and then start sharing that with others and helping them get up their their platforms, because, like you said, a lot of people are the experts, and they don't understand the back end the technical, like you said, putting together a good curriculum, so it was great that you were able to help them in that way.
And then I also think that it's pretty awesome that you found a certain niche to help. You didn't say that you were going to, you know, just try to help everyone in general, but you had, you know, these technical type people who had a specialty and, you know, niche, and utilize that.
And that's something that I like to, you know, tell people to is, like, when you're trying to start a business, you know, try to niche it down a little bit, you can always expand later. But I feel like if you start with, you know, a very select group of people, you're able to help them at a higher level, do you agree with that?
I do. And it's so challenging, right? Sometimes to, to let go and say, "All right, I'm going to niche down." And I think I was, you know, Thinkific's THRIVE event this week, they had a panel talking about this same topic of, you know, if it's hard to let go, because you feel like you're leaving work out there.
But what it really happens is, you establish authority in a space much faster, and people that are closer to that niche, identify more rapidly with you. And in many niches, you may be the only person they know of by name that even has anything to do with this type of thing.
I had people coming to me asking, "What is this that you're doing? I've never met anyone that's doing this in our space." And I'm like, "Yeah, it's, you know, kind of the perfect combination of my two, my two professional lives coming together."
And I absolutely agree with you that that's a great recommendation. And the next question that often happens in entrepreneurs heads was, "What if I choose the wrong niche?" Well, you have to be adaptable, right?
You have to be agile, you have to be able to pivot. It's that way with anything in entrepreneurship. You know, just because you identify in ICA doesn't mean it's going to be the one you end up staying with.
It took me eight months to realize that, although I had the right courses, and I was talking to the right audience, the right learners, I wasn't targeting the right ICA for sales to close deals and things like that.
And as an entrepreneur, you can only do so much of one without the other, right? You have to sell courses, you have to sell whatever it is that you're selling, I was talking to my learners not realizing that I really needed to be talking to someone else to control the budget and the time and the training schedule for those learners.
Yes, niching down is very important. And it spreads across the business, not just in your product that you develop. But it's also in the back end on the business side. It's who you're marketing to, it's who you're engaging in direct and referral sales with.
Part of that journey of entrepreneurship was learning that. Even with Marino Training, which is, you know, admittedly more broad than what I was doing with EAST Partnerships. I've even niched down a bit there without being intentional about it. At first, I have a lot of authors that come to me to convert books to courses.
I didn't set myself up that way. But this is the group of people that I've founded attracted to my work, and who I happen to be interacting with, on a very frequent basis through my established network.
So niching down to help authors take their books from, you know, publication, to course, has been especially beneficial to my Marino Training business. And without that I wouldn't be anywhere near as successful as I am right now. So yes, I 100% agree with your point.
Yeah, that's great. I spoke with someone recently on the podcast, too. She had done the same thing. She started off teaching online courses to a very general audience, and was really kind of struggling to get any traction.
And she realized that she liked dealing with people who were music teachers, that just was her audience. And that's who she enjoyed hanging out with and talking to, and when she niched down into that section of music instructors who wanted to turn, you know, their live trainings or in person trainings into an online course, then her business really took off.
So I think that's a great point to make is, like you said, everyone's fearful that if you niche down too much, you're gonna leave money on the table. But in doing so, you generally make more money, because you really can target and find the specific people who need your services. So I agree with you, 100%.
I want to get into some of the business, just entrepreneurship, business strategy, some things that you think about regarding that.
But before we do when you have these instructors coming to you, and they want to turn, you know, their live training into an online course or they want to turn their book into an online course and you're you're having to walk them through that process or you're helping them through that process.
What would you say is some of the common mistakes or common themes that you find people who are just getting into this industry tend to make or follow?
I love this question. Because I believe in tailored services for my own business. I try to tailor them to the client. And you'll find that certain people struggle with certain things, right? It could be personality based, could just be experience based could be levels of confidence, mindset, whatever, we all carry certain strengths and weaknesses.
And so in each situation, I treat them individually, but I do find some common threads, one of which is people underestimate some of the simple yet multiple elements of like recording audio, for example, right?
Like, if, you know, shield a microphone on the back, it can cut down on a lot of the room echo, you know, if you don't have a top tier, you know, expensive recording setup, you can still do very high quality recordings with some simple tricks like, you know, sound buffering on the table and removing flat hard surfaces from your immediate vicinity.
One of the tricks I like to tell my clients is, "Hey, if you're just going to do an audio over something like a PowerPoint," which I know people's, everyone wants to fall over dead when they hear that, but the reality is, with certain very technical topics, people need to see a lot of material on the screen, they don't necessarily need to see you talking about it, they need to hear you and they need to see the information.
And in those cases, I tell them, "If it's strictly audio, go in your closet, shut the door." It's a fantastic sound booth, right? Like, I got that from my time in recording. I used to be a recording musician. And we would do that with singers, we tell them, "Hey, go record your vocals in the closet." At the studio, we'd put them in a closet that was buffered with blankets, but your clothes do the same thing.
And it's just little tricks of the trade like that people underestimate that. So they go through all the trouble of recording a course, there's tons of room echo, there's tons of background noise, because they rushed it or they didn't consider the fact that that stuff was gonna bleed through the recording.
A couple of other things are overspending initially on things like ads, right? So this is a little bit more on the entrepreneurial side, but they're so desperate to get their courses out that they just start firing money into the ether for ads. Without a real strategy.
I mean, I tested a little bit and found that it didn't really work for the people I was advertising to. Ance I stopped doing that stepped back and said, "Of course it didn't, those people aren't there."
That's not how they're finding my products. They're not just randomly searching around on Google for reliability centered maintenance training, it's just not one of those people in that space do.
So this was a total waste of money. Whereas if it had been something that was more common, it may have been a better investment. But the reality was most of the people that were investing and trying to find services were doing so through networks.
And so it was better for me to spend time being present in those networks, and becoming a source of authority in those networks on these topics, and particularly on developing training for them.
So yeah, it was, you know, paid advertising, that was something that I went way too hard on it first without good strategy. I find a lot of my clients underestimate the time commitment that it's going to take to record video.
Because with video, there's so many more variables to control, there's lighting, there's imagery, there's your camera, there's the size of the files, you know, "Oh, I'll just hit record. And when we're done, we're done." Not quite. You know, and you get it.
And people that have done this, get it. But for those who've never done it, it's quite eye opening for them, I think to look at the time investment that it takes to record a good video. So sacrificing quality should never be the initial decision to hurry up and get something done.
You can do it with great quality and not spend a tremendous amount of time doing it, if you do it right. It doesn't mean you have to spend 1000s and 1000s of dollars on someone to do all your professional video for you either.
Working with someone to help you develop a strategy, something that fits your brand, whether it be someone that you pay to do that, like a consultant, or if it's just someone that you know, that is experienced in these things that you can reach out to and you can confide in, you know.
You're better off, if you're not doing it alone, if you have someone to talk to, you're better off if you don't just invest in things hoping with your fingers crossed that they'll work out. And just be patient with your product development, but also have a sense of urgency.
And I think those are kind of some of the initial things people stubbed their toes on when they get into this. Oh, and one last part for the love of goodness, there are so many software options out there.
It's like no matter what you're trying to do, whether it's an LMS or a you know, CRM software, customer relationship management software or, you know, blogging or whatever, there's like a bazillion options out there.
And I think people just like paralysis by analysis, you know, just spend a ton of time just deep diving, I actually went out and experimented with a few options and just picked the ones that worked best for my situation and moved on. There's nothing saying you can't change your mind later.
You know with certain types of software. But spend time and money investing in the real core software that you you truly are going to depend heavily on like your LMS. Spend that energy there and don't don't waste it on every little thing that comes by
It's so funny to hear people's stories and some of the things they say sometimes because me and you, we come you know pretty much from different backgrounds, and we come from different angles of getting into this space.
However, we've come to a lot of the same conclusions. I mean, I would agree with you on a lot of these points about you know, ads and how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to take. And I am by trade am a perfectionist and just I want everything to be perfect, you know?
So, I spend months researching the right microphone and video equipment before I make a purchase. And that's very detrimental to the success of your business. Because business thrives in fast action and getting results quickly.
And if you are spending a long time researching every single platform and every single microphone and camera and light, you're not actually helping anyone and therefore you're not you know making sales and running a sustainable business. So I totally agree with you on that, I find that all the platforms have their pros and cons.
And until you get in there and use them, you're not really going to know what you like and don't like about them. I mean, you can read blogs about it. But even ones that I thought were going to be the best options. I get in there. And I realized I don't like the interface or I don't like the way they do something.
And I switched and some that I didn't think were going to be that great end up being ones that I stick around with for a long time. So I totally agree with that. The time commitment is a huge one. I've learned to batch record, and then render at night before I go to bed.
It's like as loud. I can't tell you how many times I was like, "Oh yeah, I finished this video. I can't wait to get it up." And I hit that render button. And it's like three hours and 27 minutes still finished.
Like, wait a minute, I wasn't planning on this.
Like, oh, no, I guess I'm gonna have to go find something else to do for a little while.
Yeah, you're 100% agree with you. And you know, and in the video even gets, you know, a little bit more complicated when people are like, "Oh, I've learned the most fashionable thing." And I'm thinking, "Okay, well, that's going to expire."
I have a friend who launched courses, and she got she got all dressed up. And she hired a very, you know, professional team to do her videography. And, you know, you can tell what time period that course was created in and still putting it out because the informations just remarkable, but I always get a good chuckle when I turn it on.
You know, it's like, oh, look at what you're wearing, dude. You know, so yeah, there's just like, you know, like you said, there's this little things you just underestimate. And, you know, having gone through those processes, we can look back now and kind of laugh about them.
Yeah, well, and hopefully it helps people going in the future. Like I've become really good about getting rid of that perfectionism. I've become good about not worrying about perfecting the video and the lighting and the audio.
I mean, I come from a production background, like I used to work in music venues and in conference halls and theaters, doing lighting and audio and stage performances. So I am very well aware of good sounding audio, what good lighting is what good video is.
And I used to have the studio and when we started traveling, I had to get rid of all that stuff. And nowadays I, you know, basically I have my business in a backpack. And I just use very minimal things and I've come to realize that people don't really care anyways, like the clothing, the lighting the video.
As long as it's decent enough to get across your point, the value of what you are providing is more important than the production quality. Would you agree with that?
Yes, absolutely. And the thing I tell people is, it's okay not to aim for perfection. Instead change your perception of this: Aim to eliminate distractions. If anything you're doing is going to become a distraction from the learner.
That's the thing to correct. Don't waste a ton of time trying to fix something no one's going to really, I don't want to say care about but no one's really going to possibly notice or like you said, they're not going to be a perceived loss of value there, because they just don't see it that way.
If there's anything that's distracting to the learner, absolutely eliminate that. Spend your energy doing that. And there is a place for perfectionism, I don't want to make it sound I hate to speak in absolutes, and that's one of the downsides of doing a doctorate is that you'd like become very aware of the fact that you know, absolutes are dangerous.
I can completely agree with the the focus on high quality when you are, or exceptional quality and very, very well polished things when you're charging exceptional amounts of money for a product, and all of your competition is there, right?
It's that level of of production in detail, then you should absolutely spend the time investing in that. But to go from zero to that is very difficult. And the return on the investment has to stand as a good business.
If you're going to be extremely detailed in the production side and nitpicking down to the smallest detail, then you have to have the luxury of that time. And you have to have a greater guarantee of an ROI by doing so.
And if those two things can align, you're much better off than you would be if that wasn't the case. And I couldn't agree more with your earlier statement about like time being very important, because you're essentially even if it's not a first to market thing, right?
I had people say, "Why are you doing training and reliability centered maintenance? There's already a ton of people out there that do that." And I said, "Yes, but it's not that person's course. And people want that training from him."
And so this is how you get him is to go through this, and he doesn't even need to be perfect. He just needs to be him. And people are automatically enrolling. Now, if that he didn't have that kind of power recognition in industry, it would be way different.
For us to charge those prices, he would have to be the absolute top quality option. And he would have to have some type of value above and beyond what his competitors had, besides just, you know, the personal power that relationship with these learners that he carries.
So yeah, it's a multivariable equation. And you have to consider your business's context, right? It's all about your business's context, not someone else's, it's about your situation.
Yeah, I love that. And I'm glad you said that about it being about the person, that's a question I get asked often is like, "Well, there's already a course on this subject. I'm afraid mine's not gonna perform. And I don't know if I should create a course."
And it's like, well, not everyone is you, you teach differently, you look differently, you talk differently, you resonate with people differently, you know? Me and Lucas can teach the same exact course and the same exact material, but for some reason, some people are going to be more drawn to him, and some people are going to be more drawn to me.
And that's okay, you know, people are gonna like your style, and the way that you address the material. I'm just glad you said that, because you know, it shouldn't hinder a new one from moving forward with creating any kind of educational content because you have information that people need to hear, you're going to teach it in a different way. And I feel like, you know, you should put it out there.
Sure thing. Yeah, that confidence to step forward is huge, right? And don't worry about rejection. I mean, you know, when you step back and look at being an entrepreneur, there is no success without some measure of failure.
There is not a single successful entrepreneur out there who just experienced untouched growth, never ran into a problem, wasn't rejected in some way, shape, or form by some segment of the population. It just doesn't happen.
And I think we overcomplicated because it is us, right? We take it personal. And it's an emotional thing when it's your business when it's you, especially when it's your product, because you feel like it's a reflection of your personality and developing something that's got your name on it.
And there's a certain amount of your identity that goes into that. And I think that holds a lot of people back. But we don't even think twice about that in other areas of our lives. You know, think about like a major sports team that you invest in. You have a favorite football, baseball basketball team, you're all in, you don't think twice about it.
You know, that team is unique. That team is something that the other teams aren't. There's something about it that attracts you. There's 32 professional NFL teams out there. But you're a big fan of that one for a specific reason.
And I feel like it's the same way with your learner's, they're going to be a fan of yours because it's you and you did it your way. And the value is there. And the experience is there. And that's really what matters most.
Perfect. Yeah, very well said. So I guess I just want to wrap up and ask a couple more questions just around just business and entrepreneurship in general, not so much about, you know, courses, just your take on, you know.
What is it like to be an entrepreneur, what is it about entrepreneurship that you really love and what are some things that people can take away from this talk today? If they're maybe just starting out on their journey and being an entrepreneur?
I think the things I love about it is the autonomy, you're empowered, you have an amazing amount of flexibility with what you want to do with your business. It's not the easier route by any stretch of the imagination, it's a lot of hard work, it's a lot of personal investment, there's a ton of ups and downs.
But I think once you realize that is just the way entrepreneurship is, if you can work with that, you're going to be fine. Trying to ignore the realities of it, I think, is when people run into problems, you know?
Knowing that you're gonna have up months and down months, knowing that you're gonna have some products that launch and do very well and others that maybe not, knowing that you're going to have moments where you're on fire, and it seems like everything's working out just right.
And then other moments where it seems like the whole world is falling down, like everything you touch, is is failing, you know, all of this is normal, it's okay, and becoming comfortable with that, I think is a really cool growth process for any professional.
So I'm in love with that whole process. What terrified me was leaving stability, especially when you have a great amount of stability. So to me, you know, the greater the amount of stability in your life, almost the harder it becomes to, in some ways to become an entrepreneur, because you're going from a stable life to the wild, wild west.
And I feel like as long as that's exciting, and you're okay with managing that risk, and being comfortable with it, then it's extremely exciting, it's invigorating, it's awakening, and it's enjoyable.
And there's a certain amount of pride when something you build succeeds, and you can pour yourself into and it doesn't feel the same as if you're pouring yourself into something for someone else, that maybe isn't as personally rewarding.
You know, you have to find out what motivates you, you have to find out whether it's a good fit for your personality, you can be multiple types of personalities and it works out, you just have to make it work in your context, in your situation.
The topic of money, and the topic of mindset are probably the two things that were most difficult for me, I didn't understand the importance of mindset when I first started this, like, how to think about the challenges, how to think about finances. I knew finances, I just didn't know how to feel about them, you know, and that sounds super weird coming from an engineer.
But I can do all the profit and loss projections I want to do on a spreadsheet out as far as I want to go. And the rules don't change. You need fun flows to work for the business to stay afloat. But how you feel about it. That's a whole different ballgame.
I have coaches in my life to help me with that kind of stuff. Because no matter how comfortable you think you are, no one's perfect. And we all need somebody there to help us when we're not seeing things clearly. So invest in coaches, I think that's a fantastic, very valuable thing to do.
Don't try to be an expert in everything. I handed certain things off, I'm not a web developer, I'm not going to become one. I have people that helped me do that stuff. I have people that are branding experts that I can lean on for my clients, you know?
Build a network of people that you can lean on and work with and trust, all of those things were very kind of like at the core very important to me, lessons that I learned through the first few years of entrepreneurship.
And they're still very exciting to me, because the stronger your network gets, the better the experience is. Both for the entrepreneur and for their clients. My clients benefit from the strength of my network, it's not just me, you know?
I can provide excellent people for my clients to work with, if it's not gonna be me, because I have excellent people in my network, to recommend to them. And this just drastically changed the way I did sales as well.
I think one of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is selling. I spent, I don't know $10,000 on sales coaching, learning every which way to sell I possibly could not because I was trying to be a salesman, it's the last thing I want to be. I'm not very comfortable in that skin.
But I realized that that wasn't a bad thing. And it was actually a strength if I just needed to harness my my my feelings about sales to not be salesy, because it doesn't come across as genuine and no one likes to be sold to and I hate being sold to. So, you know, I had to figure out how to reconcile that with myself.
How do I sell when I'm not comfortable being sold to? So I got a sales coach, and then I got another coach. And what I realized was I work much better in some sales systems than others. Cold call direct sales is not my game, I got to do it. It's just not my jam.
I would hire someone else to do that for me if that's what I felt like my business needed, but it's not, thank God. So, you know, I had to figure out, "Okay, well, if referral sales is really what I want to be involved in, how do I nurture that framework? You know, how do I build it so it's repeatable? How do I build it so it's dependable? How do I do this?"
And it's relationships and, you know, exploring new groups of people and you know, I'm throwing a ton at you, but the reality is, you know, you're going to have to do this for yourself to a certain degree.
You're going to have to get out there and experience sales, you're going to have to do it, you have to go out and do it, you're going to have to get experienced with running your money. You don't have to be a CPA, but you need to go find one.
And you need to know enough about your money so that you don't need someone to bail you out. Because you just did not understand how fun flows work. You need to understand branding is important.
One of my dear friends and partners in training, she told me something one time that I thought was fantastic. We were very careful about how we behaved on social media. And I was telling her that I, you know, was glad that we were that way.
And she said, "Oh, yeah, you know, someone told me one time that when you own a company, and you own a social media account, you're now a public figure. And you need to behave like one." And I was like, "Wow, I never thought about it that way. I've just been doing it that way."
So there's a lot of that I think, as an entrepreneur that you have to kind of grab a hold of and run with, you have to start experimenting with these areas of business, that you aren't an expert in, that you have to become comfortable with it to be knowledgeable.
And so you can make good decisions about those areas, even if you're not going to be the one that does it all.
Yeah, definitely. And you know, just thinking about all the points that I wrote down here about what you just said, I feel like, the main thing is to know that it's going to take practice, it's going to take time, you're going to have to work at some of these aspects of the business.
Maybe like you said, things that you're not comfortable with or things you don't know how to handle right now. I know from personal experience, I've grown so much as a person, just by having to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to do things like marketing and sales and just running a business in general, the finances, those kinds of things.
But if you stick with it, you know, you will come to greatness. Just gotta keep, you know, going at it and keep working on it. And I feel like the coaching thing was a big eye opener for me. When I started investing in coaching, I really started making waves a lot quicker than trying to figure out everything on my own.
Because it's so difficult for someone especially who maybe doesn't have a lot of money and is trying to bootstrap. And it's like, "Why would I pay for a coach 5000 or $10,000, when I can't really afford that right now?"
But if they could only understand that paying for a coach, even five or $10,000 is going to make them a you know a lot more money and get them to that result a lot quicker. I wish I could take people and show them that, you know, because it really moves you along. And the coaches and the consultants and the people who have gone before you have figured out all these mistakes.
You know, someone like Lucas is telling you he's been doing this for a long time, he's figured out those mistakes, he knows what pitfalls people are going to have, where they're going to mess up, what questions they're going to have when it comes to production and lighting and platforms and technology.
And so why not pay someone to push you through those, you know, a lot sooner and a lot quicker, it'll get you to your result you're trying to get to. So I just really appreciate all that. I just think that this has been a great talk and you're a wealth of knowledge.
And I feel like people are going to want to learn more about you and maybe how you can help them out in their business, if that's a possibility. So where can people find you online?
I appreciate that, Jeremy. Yeah, so you can find me at www.MarinoTraining.com. Very present on LinkedIn, Lucas Marino, the nerd engineer guy. So you can see, it'd be pretty easy to find me on there. Because I'm very active on LinkedIn.
You can also find me at my email address, you could just reach out to me and send me a message. I'd love to meet new people. You can find me at Lucas@eastpartnership.org.
And yeah, just anytime you need to get a hold of me, just shoot me a message. I've got contact forms on all my websites. I'm the one that answers them. I don't have somebody on, you know, sitting in a desk somewhere that screens all my emails and calls and all that stuff. It's me.
So reach out. And I'd be more than happy to help you and talk to you.
Very good. Well, we'll make sure that we link everything up that you mentioned in the show notes today. So if anyone needs that information, you can go to today's episode shownotes on the website, and you can have easy access to Lucas.
And we appreciate you being here today and sharing all this great information with the audience. And I just really hope that you have a lot of success going forward in the future.
Thank you, Jeremy. And likewise, I appreciate the invite, and I wish everybody out there a really, really strong year this year.
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