In today’s episode, we have Sal with us and he is going to talk about the importance of selling and how you can sell any product or service you’d like with one simple system.
You will also get to hear how to become saleable and scalable, how marketplaces can be mutually beneficial partnerships, and the three factors you need to concentrate on to provide an excellent course to the customer.
In this episode, you will hear…
… Salil’s story before becoming successful in the online business world.
… how you can sell any product or service you’d like with one simple system.
… how to become saleable and scalable and how to create a sustainable business through time.
… how marketplaces can be mutually beneficial partnerships.
… the importance of creating and presenting valuable products that will truly benefit your customers.
… the three factors you need to concentrate on to provide an excellent course to the customer.
… the basic building blocks every entrepreneur should take to sell their products successfully.
… how to find the right value of your product and content and how to increase value in your product and content.
… how to harness the power of a marketplace and how to let it help you grow your business.
… why Salil says it’s very important to have multiple income streams and his tips on how to create multiple income streams.
… Salil’s number one piece of advice to anyone who is just beginning their online business journey.
Hey, everyone, thanks for checking out the podcast today. We have Sal from Business Mentor, who is going to talk about sales and just the world of selling and how we can use that in our business and in our online course. And I'm just really happy to have you today, how are you doing?
Thank you so much for having me. It's a privilege to be here. You know, I've always seen your courses, and they've inspired me. So it's great to be here. And considering the work you do for entrepreneurs, like all your courses are geared towards entrepreneurship.
So that's kind of how I started as well because I always thought I didn't have the skill set required for an online business. But you know, like, I took your course on Canva, which was just like Canva for entrepreneurs. And, you know, that made graphic design so much simpler and easier.
Because I was always, like, intimidated by the software's that, you know, through all these courses is why I became a better entrepreneur. And that's why I started online courses as well because if I'm gaining this value from people, I'm sure I can provide the same as well. So that's what you know, got me to this place.
Oh, yeah, that's awesome, great to hear that you took one of the courses. And we're living in an informational era. And you know, it's just really great right now to be able to take something that you're an expert at, something you know, and being able to provide that information to other people.
So that's really cool that you've taken some of that information, and it's moved you along, and now you're helping other people. So let's take it back before you got into the world of online courses and online business. What were you doing before this point?
So the best name that people have called me is a serial entrepreneur. That's just been always who I am, like, I've always been into business, I've always been into sales. I've been selling since I was in high school, you know.
When there was a need, when they were the kids, like, "Hey, where can we find this stuff?" I would be the first one to find the wholesaler or like the manufacturer, and you know, get it like sorted out for my entire like, school.
So that's always been; sales has always been part of me. And so, I started multiple businesses. I did an Amazon, or I currently have an Amazon business as well. I have a wholesale business as well that originated from the Amazon business because I got a lot of wholesale requests from there.
Now I have an online course business as well. So all these businesses stem from one or the other. And it's just me figuring out of finding new ways to expand, to grow, to learn, and keep taking on new opportunities.
And also because I believe a business should be saleable and scalable, which is just simply I make it big enough, and I get professional management in there. And I enable them to run it so that I can focus my energies on the next opportunity. And, you know, so that I can get some investment in that.
And so that's how I've always grown. And that's what led me to like start online courses is because it's just something I wanted to share. There's a lot of knowledge that I felt was relevant to me, a lot of mentors that influenced my journey my life. And that's why I wanted to give back, and you know, share those things as well.
Awesome. Yeah, that's great. I really love that. And it seems like a lot of people who are entrepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs because I think I've had about 16 businesses myself in my lifetime. So yeah, it's really great to hear that.
So what was that Amazon business like? Was that your first online business was Amazon business?
Yeah. So a friend of mine just showed up at my house one day, and he said, "Hey, can you help me set up an Amazon seller account?" So it was just like fate. While helping him out, I said, "This is pretty easy," you know? To be an Amazon seller, you literally need nothing, right? You just go on and become a seller.
So the start was very easy. And then I just wanted to, you know, face one challenge at a time. So it started off with the listing process, like the photography, the catalog quality, so so on, and so forth. So, you know, I just kept helping him out in the meanwhile, I kept learning.
So it was sort of a trial run for me helping him become successful. And once his account started doing well, I gained that confidence to you know, do well myself. And, you know, so Amazon's been great. It's just a great opportunity that's open to everyone. You know, it's made business accessible.
Anyone sitting in their house can be a businessman, business person. And that's just a great way to, you know, start something start somewhere. And then you know, obviously you keep growing from Amazon into Various streams of revenues as well. So yeah.
Okay. Yeah, very cool. I never got into Amazon myself. But I know it's a great niche to be in. And so once you created that Amazon business, you had that growing. I'm sure you were learning all kinds of great business and marketing things at that point.
Yeah. So Amazon is a lot about just learning Amazon, to be very honest. It's about learning the ins and outs of Amazon. It's like, let's say you're playing soccer, right? So you have to understand the rules of soccer. Similarly, when you play on Amazon, you have to learn the rules of Amazon, what they want what they expect.
So the first and foremost thing Amazon wants is high conversion rate, right? They want that whatever product is on their first page or on their landing page, or the product that is being clicked by the customer converts. They're spending so much money on digital advertisement. They're spending so much money to bring the customer on the platform and to maintain that customer that they want high conversion.
So if you can give a good product that has a good product quality, good catalog page, good reviews, good social proof, everything's perfect, and the customers converting, Amazon will boost you because you're adding value to them. So that's how I see it.
So if you help Amazon, Amazon helps you, and it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship. Whereas let's say you sell a bad product, and Amazon gets one or two complaints from a customer, they'll block your listing right away and eventually block your account.
It's a mutually beneficial relationship, and it works on the basis of profit. You help them grow, make them more money, and they help you make more money. So that's why I think it's very beautiful. Anyone can be a seller, anyone can do well at it, anyone can learn it, and anyone can just go on Amazon. And that's just the beauty of it.
And a lot of times, people who are working in jobs are trying to figure it out. But even on Amazon, even just one small product, or you know, a small capital investment, you can have a decent living, or you can have it become a source of livelihood, which is beautiful so that you are independent now.
Amazon, after a certain period of time, does not take enough time. So I would say once it's all set up, you're in a good place. It takes maybe an hour or two of your time. And you know, the drop shipping method also takes maybe an hour or two, even three hours a day.
So it's beautiful, you know, it frees up all your time. It gives you all this opportunity. And that's how you can grow, right? So I think that's a beautiful thing about Amazon.
Okay, awesome. And then once you started growing this Amazon business, and you mentioned you had a wholesale business. So how is that different from an Amazon business?
Oh, it's worlds apart. This is what I learned about Amazon is on Amazon, you will have very few successful products and even fewer successful SKUs. SKU's are just like one specific product and one color. So Amazon, when I was on the first few pages, will sell like hotcakes. When I was on the 100th page, no one will get to it, right?
So on Amazon, the inventory, you need less number of products but a higher amount of volume for each product. Because if it's on the first page, you'll be selling a lot of it. Whereas in a wholesale business, you need to have a lot of options. Because if you enter a retail store, right, you don't see just one product, and the entire store is filled with that one product. You see multiple products.
Similarly, in a wholesale business, you need to have multiple skews, but very few inventory of each. So it's just completely different businesses. And it comes with its own challenges, right?
One of the things I talk about is you know how you sell in two different ways. One is the physical way where I'm just like, selling to you, talking to you about my product, which is a wholesale business, I can talk to my clients.
And the other is a proxy way, right? If I'm selling on Amazon, I'm not there to convince you about my product, I'm not there to answer the questions, and I'm not there to guide you through it. So all you have is just my product page. You don't know who I am. You just see the product page, the reviews, and everything on it.
So it's completely different businesses. It's a completely different focus. A great salesman who's a great in-person salesman may not be a successful entrepreneur on Amazon because it requires different skill sets.
And similarly, I was successful on Amazon. But that didn't translate immediately to my wholesale success because I may have a great product quality page, but that doesn't mean that I have the salesman skills to convince a wholesale or a retail account to keep my products and maintain it and you know, pay me on time and all of that.
So it's a lot of different skill sets. And that's a challenge in itself. So when I was selling on Amazon, I, you know, started reading about how to be a great salesman, and you know how to maintain b2b customers. While I was doing Amazon, I learned more about how to create a great Amazon product page, great catalog, great a plus listing, higher quality content.
So you have to add the different skill sets required for each business. And when you do that over a couple of years, through experience and learning, you know, you become successful. So that's how I approached both businesses.
Awesome, perfect. So, you have these two businesses. They're going well for you, and you're learning a bunch about sales, wholesaling, marketing, all these different things.
And then you decide, "Okay, I want to take this information that I've learned and now put this into a digital product like an online course." So what did that stage look like when you decided that you wanted to move into the online course route?
So all my businesses and you know, in general, what is a sale, right? Sale is just fulfilling a need at the desired value of a customer, right? So we all have needs, and providing it at the right value is literally what business stands for.
While I was doing marketing for my business, I took Phil Ebiner's course on video editing. And he said something that really hit me. He said he went to film school, and he ended up paying, you know, around $50,000. And he was teaching me the same thing on how to edit for just like $10.
So if I can provide someone the value or things that they will learn in MBA or like, you know, they won't even learn at an MBA from what they will learn post-MBA on, you know, doing real businesses and the real experience. And that too, for just $10. That's very powerful for me.
And that's the power I feel whenever I see a review, saying, you know, "You helped me so much," or "You created this impact in my life." And the value I'm creating for people that I don't even know, or the lives that I'm impacting, the lives I'm touching.
That's just so beautiful. And that just motivated me to just keep going on this journey and, you know, make this a serious passion or serious thing that I'm considering right now, simply because I'm adding a lot of value to people. And I'm not charging, you know, like what college and I'm not putting people in debt. It's just $10 to teach them actual things of value. And that's just beautiful, right? So that's empowering as well.
Okay, very cool. So when you decided that you wanted to take this information and help other people with it, Udemy, is that the platform that you went with?
Yeah. So I also believe through Amazon, the power of a marketplace, It's just a shortcut, I would say. Because if you start your own website, or if you start your own platform, it takes a while for it to pick up. Whereas I always look to harness the power of these marketplaces.
So Amazon, for example, is already spending billions of dollars advertising and marketing for you, right? It has all these customers. So all you have to do is play by Amazon rules, come on the first few pages, and you'll be set, right? You harness their marketing tools.
Similarly, I did not want to start my own platform. I just said, you know, Udemy is already doing all this marketing. People already trust it. People are already comfortable making a payment on it. Because there's a trust factor, I just leverage that platform all the opportunities it can provide to me.
So Udemy is the only place I am right now, and I am having a great time because I don't have to go out there and market the course. Of course, I have to, but at the same time, I don't have to establish trust, I don't have to maintain cost, I don't have to do any of the things.
I just promote a link to my course. People go on Udemy, they already trust it, and then they purchase it. So it makes my life easier where I can just focus on content creation and actually providing value to people's lives while I provide value. Udemy takes care of the rest. So that I think that's the beauty of being on a marketplace like Udemy.
Yeah, nice. I think you made a good point for it. I was listening to earlier talking about Amazon and how once you start driving, you know, conversions and sales to your Amazon products, the engine picks up and sells more.
And Udemy is the same platform. If you can get a great product on that platform, and people are already coming there, and you can get some sales coming in, then the Udemy algorithm will take over and start selling that course for you, also.
Have you also seen the same similarities?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's just like a train, you know, like, it just takes time to get it going. But once it does get going, and once it's rolling, there's no stopping it. So and then again, you yourself are an example. And you can look at other top instructors.
Top instructors are earning a lot of money. And they are generating a lot of students, and they're, you know, getting all these great reviews. And so there's a reason why they're top instructors, because success leads to more success, right? The rich always get richer.
So in the same with Udemy, if you're on the first page, you're on the first page, and you're providing great value, you will always be on the first page. And that's how you maintain that.
So I'm a true believer in the power of harnessing the power of a marketplace and being on a marketplace and let it grow you and help you. And in the meanwhile you're helping them. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.
Yeah, that's awesome. And like you said, it's a great place for someone who's just starting out who doesn't want to get confused with all the different technologies and software and platforms and different things that you have to do that Udemy does for you.
They handle the payment processing. They handle the videos. They handle q&a from the students. And so, it does make it an easy solution for both the instructor and the student.
Yeah, absolutely. And to be very honest, like I tried doing digital marketing myself. And let's just say that I haven't found the right formula for it yet. But let's say someone buys my course for $10, and Udemy takes it to skirt around $6 and some cents, that's fine. You take that for marketing. You take that for creating the website, hosting it. I'm fine with that, right?
There's nothing that's coming out of my pocket. There's no upfront investment. There's no high-end server costs. I'm not paying a developer to create a website. I'm not spending my main hours learning how to create a website.
So all of that adds up, and all of that is real value. So I think Udemy is a great place for that. It just lets you teach. It just lets you be the instructor, which is what you want to do in the first place, right?
Okay, so let's switch gears a little bit. And let's talk about some of the sales tactics and strategies and different things that you know that could help anyone out there who might need help selling their online course or their digital product, or maybe even their physical product if they have one.
So I know that your background is in sales. So let's just start at the beginning. You said a great quote earlier that sales are fulfilling the need of the customer. So when someone wants to get into sales or say they're struggling with sales, what are the basic steps? What are the building blocks that they need to take to start moving in a direction that will help sell their products?
Yeah, absolutely. I think when people enter sales, they start just selling the product. They do not think about what they're actually doing, right? So the way I see it is three things. It's matching the needs of a customer, matching the value they require the product at and the features that they require.
So let's start with needs, right? What is the primary benefit I'm providing to the customer in their life? You really have to think about a lot of people are selling products, but they do not see how it impacts people's lives, how it's changing life, how it's influencing their daily behavior or their daily life.
For example, a pharmaceutical rep, right? They're just busy convincing doctors to prescribe the pharmaceutical, but they need to go to actual patients whose life has been saved, or whose life has been changed or become better by the drugs you're selling. And then they'll see the value of what they're doing.
So it has to be; you have to realize the value you are adding to someone's life. The need that you're fulfilling in their life. And that's always true with us, right? So right now, like whatever needs I have in digital marketing or whatever needs I have, in general, someone is fulfilling some of the other needs. And that's what you have to figure out, what need you're fulfilling.
And then comes at what value you're fulfilling that need at. So that's where it comes to value matching. Of course, let's say I need water right now. But I don't need a $1,000 bottle of water, right? So it has to be at the value I desire it at. And that's the great thing about Udemy and the courses is people desire the education and people desire the knowledge but do not have 1000s of dollars.
So it's about providing them at the right value, which is around $10. And that's why Udemy is so successful. 5-10 dollar course, and eventually, if they launched a subscription at around, let's say $20, that's a brilliant value. So it's providing the right need, fulfilling it at the right value, and ensuring all the other features that are desired are met.
So features in terms, a lot of time what happens is, the need is being fulfilled at the right value, but there are additional benefits you seek. Let's say in terms of cars, right? Some cars might have Bluetooth. Some cars might have some other features. So a car will have 100 different features.
So all these additional features are also sometimes more desires. It's like when I'm comparing, let's say Udemy with Skillshare or some other platform, they are both equal in the needs and value. But the other features that some have that the other did not. Or there's some specialization that one platform does more than the other. So that's the feature matching.
So if you're selling something to anyone, just think of these three things: The need that you're fulfilling, the value at which you're fulfilling that need, and the features or additional benefits you're providing with your product. And when you think from these three perspectives, you will always be selling, and you will always be a great salesman selling products successfully because you're doing what is needed. You're doing what the customer wants.
And I think that's the recipe for success. And I always put myself in my customer's shoes. I always think from my customer's perspective, and as soon as I start thinking that I think, "Okay, I'm a customer, this is my need. The best maximum I'd be willing to pay is this much. And I also need this, this, and this."
Whenever I think of the thing from a customer's point of view, it becomes very clear, and then you know, I just keep selling, and that's it. So I think that's the secret of, you know, being a good salesman and selling well.
Yeah, I like that. I like what you said about making sure that you're stepping in the shoes of the customer. Because I know for especially course creators, we have this passion, or we have this expertise of something that we want to teach. And we get so focused on everything that we want, that we want to teach this, we want to talk about this.
And a lot of courses are just filled with so much extra information that doesn't need to be there that's unnecessary, because it's coming from our own point of view first, instead of thinking about, what does the customer need? What does the student need? And how can we fulfill that and get that person to the quickest place possible?
And that's because you're a creator, right? So you're a creative person. So I was reading Tony Robbins. And he says there are three types of people. There's the salesman, the leader, and the creator.
So a lot of people, a lot of course creators on Udemy right now, are creative people. Like you have a passion for design, right? But you do not necessarily have a passion for marketing, or you're not necessarily a qualified CEO for a big company, because they're different passions, right?
So usually, artists always sell well in galleries that do the promotion for them. So you always have to figure out what you are and then add the skills to make yourself successful. And I think that's what you've been able to do is add your creative thing with the digital marketing skills, and then that leads to success.
So a lot of creators that are on Udemy need to not only think of the creative aspect of how great of a course they can create but also how can they market it, what's the value they're providing, what's the need they're fulfilling. And I think that's very important.
And that's the beauty about the course that I saw that you created. I've seen a lot of courses on Canva. I've seen a lot of courses for Photoshop. But then the fact that you said, "learn Photoshop for Entrepreneurs," or "learn Canva for entrepreneurs doing these seven projects."
And that's beautiful, right? Because I don't care about all the other Photoshop features that I'll never use in my life. But as an entrepreneur, I really care about the features that will help me on my, you know, creating my social media content or promoting my product. And so that's relevant for me.
You thought of an actual customer, you put yourself in an entrepreneur's shoes and thought, "Hey, what things do they need? And the best tool for that is Canva, and how I can teach them to use Canva to fulfill their need." And I think that's why that course is doing well as well.
Yeah, it's becoming very specific on the market. Because the more specific you are toward the market, I believe the more success you're going to have. If we just created a Canva course, like you said, there's hundreds of those. There's 1000s of Photoshop courses.
So how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the market? Well, you speak to a certain, you know, group of people, you know? So we picked that idea, let's go for entrepreneurs. That way, we're talking to that person who specifically is trying to learn this software and is doing it for their business. And I think that that played out really well. So that's great. I love what you said there.
Now, talking about the value, so stepping outside of Udemy for a minute, because as you and I know, Udemy will discount your courses at different price points that are pretty consistent.
But let's just think about someone who has any kind of product, whether it's a physical product, of course off of Udemy, an informational product. You talked about the value for the customer. And so, how do you quantify that? Because like you said, you don't want to sell someone a $1,000 bottle of water. It's unnecessary.
So, where do you find the right value and price of, say, an online course or an information product that you'd like to sell?
I usually split up the value for any product, one is perceived value, and one is actually received value. The case study that I recently talked about in my course as well is, let's say, an Apple product versus a regular Windows product, right?
I'm sure Apple will always be more expensive. But if you look at the lifetime value, and Apple product can last even ten years, right? But a Windows laptop usually does not last more than three or four years.
So on the paper, perceived value would be that that is more expensive, and that is cheaper. But the realized value of it is that you gain a lot of more years. So per year cost in an Apple laptop will always be lower. Always, always, always be lower. It'll always be faster. It'll always be better. And that's why Apple is so successful.
So when it comes to course creation as well, sure you're selling a $10 product, but if you're providing real value, you will have people message you and say, "Hey, I want on one on one coaching," "Hey, I need more help," "Hey, where are the other courses?" There will always be add-on sales. And you know, that's what more has motivated me.
I have students who have just bought one course and then ended up buying the other three as well. So I just have four courses, but there are people who are buying all four. So that's the beauty of it that when you provide real value, and real value comes post-sale. I can convince you right now is a good salesman to buy anything. But what value you will get when you go home with that product is the actual received value, and that will determine if you come for sale or not.
And so that's how I determine the value that it's the received value or the value that actually the customer could realize. And that's the most powerful value that you can provide. And that actually leads to the three R's: The reviews, referrals, and the ratings, right?
So if you provide genuine value, you will get repeat products, repeat orders, you will get reviews, and you will get referrals of people saying, "Hey, I bought this product, it was great." You have no idea how many people have, you know, promoted your course to like Phil Ebiner.
Well, of course, I promote. I just said, "Hey, you want to learn this? This is the course. That's it, don't do anything else." Right? So they're offering referrals as well, word of mouth as well. So all of that happened because I actually received value, rather than just some perceived value, or I was scammed or something like that.
So I think when it comes to value, the more value you provide, the more you will benefit. Even if you're selling a $10 course, you will sell it to millions of people. And you know, you can do add-on sales, and you can do a lot more. If you look at the amount of value you put in people's life, that's invaluable. That's not quantifiable by money. So I think it's both, and I think that's how I define value.
Nice. I like it. That's a great answer, Sal. Thank you so much. And then the final one that you talked about was the features and the benefits.
So with an online course, it's hard to think outside of the box, sometimes for some people. You think, "Okay, I have an online course. It's just videos." So what other features or benefits when we want to sell this course could we add to make it increase its value or make it look more appealing towards people?
I think people have taken a unique approach to this as well. I think I was discussing with other instructors, and a lot of people are selling courses that are just full of practice assignments. Because the coding courses, especially nowadays, have a lot more practice rather than just someone instructing how to teach. And they have actual resources.
The video editing course I took had just raw footage, and it asked me to, you know, edit it and upload it on YouTube as well. So I think when it comes to features, there's a lot more you can do. With just an online course, you can ask for assignments.
As soon as I started adding assignments, my engagement level increased a lot because people got to practice what I was teaching them. And it was not just me talking. It was them interacting and giving their feedback and their input. It comes to practice assignments, online tests, actual resources they can download and read.
So there's so many features and so many things that you can add to make the life of the student that's on your platform easier. And the best way to do it is actually put yourself in their shoes, right?
Think that if I'm a student, what are the sources? Or what are the tools or resources? What are additional benefits that I would want in my life or from this course? And when you start thinking from that perspective, you definitely start adding more features. And the more features you add, the more successful you get.
Perfect. Yeah, I had this conversation with someone last week. And I said the same thing. If you were the student, what would the student need in order to complete the goal that they're trying to achieve?
Because everyone's taken an online course for a goal, they're trying to learn a new skill so that they can do something, get a new job, start their own business, learn how to play a song, whatever it is.
And I always say if you can think about what that student needs to get to that goal faster. That's the features and the benefits that you can add or the bonuses or anything else that you want to put in there.
Yeah, I think there's a course online on Think and Grow. Sorry, the Rich Dad Poor Dad courses online on Udemy right now. And it's just him talking, literally repeating words from the book, right?
So when I took that course, I was so disappointed that I got no additional value. I thought an online course would provide me more value. He would give me more insights. But it was just what the book I read.
So that sort of led to a disappointing experience, right? That's a perfect example of how there was no value that was added in my life. There was no additional features, there was no additional bonuses, there's nothing. So that sort of led a bad example in my life.
So you have to have value. You have to provide value. There's no other way around it. And you have to give as many features and as many opportunities to make your product better. And that's the way to go for it.
Okay, cool. Perfect. Now, I wanted to talk on one more point here. At the beginning, you mentioned something I love talking about, which is diversifying your income streams.
And I wanted to just hear your thoughts on how important is it to have multiple income streams? And what are some ideas that people could have to create these multiple income streams with this type of business?
There's definitely one thing that COVID taught us is the requirement for multiple revenue streams. A lot of people who have had difficult times during COVID are the ones that were dependent on one stream. Either they were laid off, or you know, the business they were running was a brick and mortar business that had to shut down.
So a lot of these people struggle, and you know, definitely, there is a need to have multiple sources of income. The best way to do it or the best way to create any source of income is to just do it for three years. That's the sort of rule of thumb I follow. No matter what I've done in my life, if I've done it enough for three years, I've become good at it. And that has always led to revenue, so on.
On this online course, it's just been almost like not even a year. But I'm always on a good trajectory that I know, in three years, it'll be a very substantial source of revenue.
Similarly, with my Amazon business, it took me a year to understand how Amazon works. And then after a year, a year and a half, it sort of started getting on autopilot, and I, you know, brought in a couple of employees, and who would, you know, take care of the day to day operations, and then so on, and so forth.
So after three years, it was a good source of revenue. So I would just say that, you know, pick something, even a small business, which has become business like an Instagram page, right? You can just start an Instagram page. And, you know, over the course of a year, two years, you have enough following that it becomes a decent stream of revenue. And that's easy to do. Become an online seller, start drop shipping.
In the day of the internet, there's so many opportunities, like affiliate marketing, blogging, whatever it may be, there's so many opportunities to create an additional source of revenue. The only thing is, yes, it does take time initially, even affiliate marketing like it won't just be $1,000 a month right away, you know? You'll have to start with just $1, In fact, at times.
But that's the beauty of it, you stick with it, you stick with anything for a couple of years, it becomes a source of revenue, and then I try to figure out ways on how I can automate it, how it shouldn't take enough of my time, how I can put it on autopilot. And eventually, you are able to do that.
I was seeing Phil's update, 2020 update, and he had kids, and you know, he took off around six months, from the, you know, course creation business, as you would say. And in the six months, his revenue wasn't that deeply impacted, you know? That stream of revenue did keep coming. And you know, all the other streams of revenue were there as well.
So you should just keep creating more streams, keep working on them, don't give up on them, always the start will be slow. But if you stick with anything for a longer period of time, it will become a substantial revenue. And then you know, you can move on to the next obstacle or next opportunity that you have in life.
Very awesome. And I know that a lot of problems that people will have is when they try to grow that income stream. So you mentioned, you know, putting in systems of automation and things like that.
But how can someone scale these revenue streams? Because I always think about when I create a new revenue stream, I want to kind of detach myself from that as much as possible so that I can build other revenue streams and grow different parts of the business. But what are your thoughts on how you are able to scale these businesses and create a sustainable business through time?
The first place that most people are sort of not heading in the right direction is the difference between active income and passive income, right? To be very honest, I thought Amazon was going to be a passive income thing. But when I started out, it required my full time, it required 24 hours of my life, because, you know, I had to figure out fulfillment, I had to get the inventory, I had to meet the suppliers, I had to meet the vendors, I had to keep taking care of my catalog quality.
So it was a full-time business at first. But then, obviously, when you move on, you have to figure out what tasks we can handle or can be done better by someone else. We all have 24 hours in a day. But the way we can increase the time is we can buy other people's time. We can increase the total amount of manpower at our disposal.
So when I first started off, I was doing the packaging myself, you know? But then, as it started scaling, I got someone to do the packaging. Then I got someone to do the purchasing and managing the vendors for me. He was a purchase handler for another company for the past ten years. So you know, he already knew how to go about it.
Then I started hiring, you know, other people like customer service executives. So eventually, the team started getting bigger. And you know, I started delegating more responsibilities that were taking up our time. So similarly like, it's easy to say that you need to start an Instagram page and generate revenue, but growing an Instagram following being regular with content, which is a critical key, takes a lot of your time.
Early on, you have to figure out that content creation process, you have to try to figure out how I can automate the content creation process, what are the tools that helped me save time, and eventually you get to a place in a couple of years where you know, okay, this is how it's supposed to be done. This is how I can generate revenue. This is my strategy.
At that time, you start, you know, transitioning from the active income aspect of it to the more passive income aspect of it. So that's how I see the transition and how I see we can make income from active to passive.
Perfect. Okay, very good. I guess one of the last questions I had for you was just, if the person out there who's listening right now who's just starting in this world, the beginner you know, who's just come into the online business world online courses, maybe affiliate marketing, some of the things you mentioned.
What would be one of your best piece of advice that you could give to someone who is just getting going in this journey?
The best piece of advice would be just to dedicate yourself to it. There is no instructor on Udemy who's successful, and he says, "You know, I just did it part-time." They started off part-time, but then they dedicated a lot of energy to it, a lot of time to it.
So whatever you do, whatever online business you do, if you want it to be a substantial part of your revenue stream or your income, you will have to devote a lot of time. So just be prepared for that, it does get easier, after a couple of years, it does sort of go on autopilot, like you have a decent amount of following after that. So generating that business is a lot easier.
Someone who already has 100,000 students, if he launches a new course, he has a ready audience to promote it to. Whereas when you're starting out, you have zero. So over time, it gets easier. So that's the only thing.
When you decide to create any online business, just say, "This is my decision. I am going to do this online business. I know it will not generate revenue at first. I am aware that it will take at least a year, two years for it to be a substantial amount of money. And I know I will have to dedicate my life to it."
When you make all the decisions to yourself, so this is the conversation you have to have with yourself that you have to say, "Yes, it will take time. Yes, I will have to work hard. Yes, it will not be great at first."
But the growth is exponential. The possibilities are endless. And when you accept that, the sky's the limit. So I think anyone who's starting out just make the decision. Tell yourself it is going to take time, but at the end, it'll be worth it. And it definitely will be worth it.
Sal, that's brilliant. And I don't have a lot of follow-up things to say to you because I think that you just answer every question so on point and so perfectly. And I just really appreciate you coming on the show today and giving your advice.
Where do you see your business moving forward from here in the next, say, one or two years? Where would you like for everything to end up?
In the next year or two, I have a certain amount of courses lined up, a certain amount of things that, you know, I do want to impart. A certain amount of obstacles that I overcame, and I want to provide that value.
So, for example, I have a sales forecasting course. It's not the typical Excel-based complex formulas and software-based business, or software-based forecasting model. It's just simple, you know, just forecast, just predict what you're going to do, and plan your business according to that.
So that's just something that, you know, I always did. It just kept it simple. And that's what I'm teaching and then sales, like, you know, I've sold in so many businesses through different mediums. So it's something that I want to teach, I want to impart. And so, going forward, I'll just keep sharing more value on how I can provide value in people's life. And then they can go on further and provide value in people's life.
Because that's what business is. It's providing value. It's making lives better. And that's the beauty of business. So that's what I plan to do. Empower people, give them more value through my courses, through my education, through my knowledge, and then help them create a difference in people's lives.
And that's the beauty of it, like, any time in your life, just create value, create something of value or help someone in some way. And you will feel this energy in your soul, energy in your body, that you know, you helped someone. They learned something from you. They were able to grow because of you. They had this impact because of you.
And when you start creating impact for people, you have this amazing energy and amazing positivity. And after that, you're unstoppable. And that's why all the greats have become great because they did help people, they provided value in people's lives. And that's what I'm out there to do. Like, I just want to help people, and I want to provide value.
And right now, for right now, I'm keeping even money aside because right now, I do have other streams of revenue. But my main objective is just to provide value. Just see how many people I can help, what value I can create in their life. And as soon as I do that, I know I'll be successful, then.
Yes, you will. And I can't wait to see just more success from you. I think this has been a great podcast episode. I really look forward to airing this because I think people will get some great nuggets of information out of this.
And if people want to follow you, follow your journey, where can they find out more about you online?
I'm on Facebook. I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on all social platforms. My courses are only on Udemy. As I said, like, you know, I'm harnessing the power of Udemy and letting it help me grow. So all my courses are available on Udemy.
I constantly update all my courses. I always answer all the questions because I just don't want it to be a dead course. I'm always active on Udemy on the instructor forums as well on Udemy, where I'm part of the instructor community.
So these are all the places you can find me, and you know, connect with me. And that's the thing like I've always grown or I've always been successful because I've always connected with people that have common goals. And when we connect with each other, we help each other grow in a mutually beneficial way.
So definitely reach out to me so that we can help each other, we can find figure out ways so we can grow together.
Awesome, perfect. We'll definitely link up all of those social media platforms and your Udemy profile in the show notes of this episode. And I appreciate you coming on today and just sharing your knowledge with us, and I just hope you the best in the future.
Thank you so much. It was my pleasure to be on your course. And you know, I followed you on your journey as well on the course creation journey on Facebook groups where you're helping all the people to your knowledge and your expertise.
So it's just great to see someone who's helping all these people. And it was just a pleasure of being on your program. Thank you.
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