Today’s episode is very special because, for the first time ever, we have a white male guest on the show. Can you believe it? But you know, he’s not just any old dude. He is the one and only Tyler J. McCall. In his own words, he is gay, fat, an activist, and he’s also a successful entrepreneur who earns seven figures per year.
Tyler specializes in Instagram marketing, and he does it better than just about anybody out in these internet streets. He is the founder of the Follower to Fan Society, an online Instagram marketing training program, and he’s also the founder of The Online Business Association, the world’s only professional association specifically for online business owners and digital entrepreneurs.
Join us this week as Tyler and I talk business and how to make more money. We’re also discussing Tyler’s personal story, how his family sent him to conversion therapy as a young man, his activism, and how 2020 has helped him become even more outspoken than ever. Tyler is a shining example of what happens when you focus and simplify, so I know so many people with a tendency to overcomplicate their business need to hear this.
Hey, hey! My Million Dollar Focus Retreat is happening in September from the 22nd through 24th. This retreat is happening online, so you can join safely from anywhere in the world. But it is only available to members of We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club. So I suggest you click here to sign up now!
What You'll Learn from this Episode:
- How Tyler took his passion and turned it into something he could make serious money from.
- Tyler’s experience growing up gay in a family that was less than accepting.
- What caused Tyler to get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement.
- How Tyler started more intentionally incorporating diversity equity inclusion into his business’s values.
- The profound effect this inclusion had on Tyler’s client base and business.
- How simplifying and focusing on one flagship offer has taken Tyler’s business to the next level in every area.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Check out our new game-changing program, We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club today!
- Want to work with us at Hello Seven? We're hiring!
- Follow me on Instagram – ask me your million-dollar questions and suggest a name for my new segment!
- Come join us in the Hello Seven Facebook group!
- Tyler McCall: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
- Follower to Fan Society
- The Online Business Association
*** Some of the links shared here are affiliate links – we only serve as affiliates for products we believe in.
Rachel: It’s amazing what can happen when you just focus on one offer and really spend time like, “How can we make this better? How can we improve every single metric within this program and get our people better and better results, and make the community better and better and better?”
Then, once you get it to a really spectacular place it’s like, “Okay, cool, now I’ve got free time. What do I want to do with it?”
Rachel: Maybe I want to start a farm, which is what I’m doing, right?
Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother to four children, a lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro-wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let's get it going.
People, today’s episode is very special because for the first time ever insert air-horn sound effect, we have a white, male guest on the show. Can you believe it? But of course you know he’s not just any old dude, he is the one and only Tyler J. McCall.
How can I describe Tyler? Well, in his own words, he is gay, he is fat, he’s an activist, and he’s also a successful entrepreneur who earns seven figures per year. Tyler specializes in Instagram marketing and he does it better than just about anybody out in these Internet streets. He is the founder of The Follower to Fan Society which is an online Instagram marketing training program, and he’s also the founder of the very new Online Business Association, the world’s first and only professional association specifically for online business owners and digital entrepreneurs.
On this episode you’re going to meet Tyler and yes, of course, we’re going to talk about business and marketing and how to make a lot more money. We’re also going to get really personal. We’ll talk about his family sent him to conversion therapy when he was young because they wanted to turn him straight. We’re going to talk about his activism work and how he has become more outspoken than ever this year.
I think my favorite part about Tyler’s story is the fact that his income exploded once he decided to focus and simplify. He decided to pick one signature offer and focus and that’s when his revenue really exploded into the seven-figure range. So, all you people who are offering way too many things and feeling stretched too thin take note. Keep listening because you’re able to learn some gold from Tyler. Please enjoy this episode with Tyler McCall.
Hello, Tyler, and welcome to the podcast.
Tyler: Oh my gosh, Rachel, thanks for having me. I feel so honored.
Rachel: I’m excited because you are the first white male that has ever made it to the Hello Seven podcast, how do you feel?
Tyler: I feel a little bit like the weight of the world is on my shoulders right now. So, thanks for telling me that. I hope I don’t screw this up for other white guys, but they’re doing that on their own. Anyway, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me. I really am honored to be on your show. It means the world to me.
Rachel: Yes, I’m so excited to have you. So, my first question is, how are you doing with the pandemic and the insanity of the world that we are living in today? Literally, how are you feeling?
Tyler: Oh my gosh, I don’t know if anyone has asked me that question in months because I haven’t really like talked to or seen anyone, but COVID kind of got us a little bit in the beginning. It got me. I definitely got into my mindset drama and my fear all of that back in the spring. I felt like I needed to pull back a little bit, but then I feel like I’ve gotten into my groove and working from home for the first time in a while – we had an office space that we had worked out of for almost a year and then we moved back into the house. I’m working out of the closet in my guest room. All those years in the closet, here I am again.
But I really feel like I found my groove for the first time in a long time. I love my job. I love how I spend my days. I love having so much time around my husband. I’m on a fitness and health journey over here.
Rachel: Yeah, love it.
Tyler: So, I feel good. I actually feel really good.
Rachel: Awesome. I know, it’s like we all hit our COVID groove, believe it or not.
Tyler: Yeah, it’s kind of – I don’t want to say it’s nice because that feels shitty, but it is kind of nice. I don’t know, it just feels nice to be in this groove and have a routine. There just feels like there’s more space in life.
Tyler: And I love that right now.
Rachel: Me, too. Rha Goddess was on the podcast and she calls this “The Sacred Pause.” I love thinking of it that way. I mean, yeah, there are a lot of shitty parts to it, but one of the benefits is we’re not getting on planes as much or at all. We’re not traveling. We’re spending more time with our loved ones and the people who matter, and I think we get to just refocus on our work. Something about the energy of 2020 is just like a clearing away and burning down and what’s left is all the good stuff one hopes.
Tyler: I love that, yeah.
Rachel: Yes. So, I feel the same way. I feel like I’ve kind of hit my groove, my COVID groove. Although I do get restless sometimes and I’m like, “I need new scenery.” But other than that –
Tyler: I feel you on that. We are counting down to a vacation right now and, Rachel, I never have been so excited in my entire life to get in a car for seven hours and drive to an Airbnb and sit in a pool for a week and drink margaritas. My husband is like, “What are we going to do while we’re there?” I’m like, “We’re literally going to do our life like we do it here in North Carolina but just there but with a pool.” That’s the only difference. Maybe a little less screen time, but we’ll see.
Rachel: Exactly. That sounds delightful and I am a little bit jealous because I am in desperate need of a vacation myself, I have to tell you. So, one of my favorite questions to ask people when they come on the podcast is, what did you want to be when you were a kid? When you thought about, “When I grow up, I want to be a – “what was that thing for you as a kid?
Tyler: Yeah, I definitely went through different – some changes. I think my earliest memory is I wanted to be an architect.
Rachel: Oh, love that.
Tyler: Yeah, because I love art, I’ve always loved art. I loved creating as a kid, but I was bad at math. That was kind of a story I had, “Well, if you’re bad at math if you can’t be an architect.” For a while there I wanted to be a paramedic which now the most paramedicy thing I do is like giving Eric Band-Aids when he cuts himself like while he’s cutting an onion. That’s the extent.
I grew up in the church and I wanted to be a preacher for a long time. Which is interesting because I kind of am in a way.
Rachel: Mm-hmm, I was going to say the same thing.
Tyler: Yeah, it’s kind of like full circle. Then, by high school I had really figured out I wanted to be in the non-profit world in some way. That’s what kind of had my heart and I was really involved in community groups and dialogue and discussion groups that were being operated around my community and I really loved that. So, I just wanted to be in something that allowed me to connect and support other people.
Rachel: Yes. Well, I feel like right now you’re kind of all of those things, right? You’re part architect, you’re part helper, paramedic for people’s businesses.
Tyler: For sure.
Rachel: And part preacher, preaching from Instagram and wherever you are about the topics that matter. So, I love it. I feel like you did that. You did all three.
Tyler: Yeah, I know.
Rachel: You invented your own version.
Tyler: I really did, and I did the non-profit thing for the longest time. That was my career out of college. I did non-profit, I was a political organizer, community organizer, I did all of that, and now I just have the benefit of getting to pursue that same kind of work but make money.
Rachel: Yes, make money.
Tyler: And build wealth while I do it and that’s super exciting. I love that part.
Rachel: Yes. I started my career in government and non-profit, too, and it’s insane how little you make. You’re doing such important work and you make peanuts and everyone is stressed out and overworked and it’s nuts. I’m glad I started there and learned the things that I learned and I’m glad I’m not there now.
Tyler: I totally agree. I totally agree.
Rachel: Who wants to work hard and then not be able to buy organic raspberries?
Tyler: Exactly. I know.
Rachel: So, I want to talk a little bit more about your childhood and one of the experiences you had as a kid was, obviously, you were gay, and your parents or family members struggled with that. Tell me about what that was like.
Tyler: Yeah, so I found myself in a situation in early high school where I knew there was something different about me and I don’t know if I really had the words to describe what it was. Actually, this was in middle school. I actually distinctively remember in 6th grade sitting next to my friend, Ashley, in math school and then after school, she lived in the neighborhood behind where I grew up, and sometimes I would go over to her house and we would walk around the neighborhood. I remember saying, “I think I’m like that boy in 8th grade that everyone makes fun of.” She was like, “Gay?” And I said, “Yeah, I think I’m like that.” I remember that in 6th grade having that conversation.
Then, into high school I kept it deeply hidden. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, grew up in the church, grew up in all straight, white, poor family, like that was my life and in high school I was introduced to the joys of the Internet. Remember AOL Instant Messenger?
Rachel: Oh my God, yes! Oh my gosh, I remember when I first got my AOL account it was so exciting.
Tyler: Those were the best days and I met a boy in a chat room who like lived halfway across the state and he I would chat all the time. So, then I found myself in this situation where I – we eventually got a second phone line in our house because my mom was sick of me always being on the Internet, so I would put up my AOL away message and say, “I’m at home, around the house. Living my best life. Call me if you need me.” Like I was somebody. People were trying to get a hold of me.
Rachel: Look, you knew you were somebody, okay? Even if the world didn’t yet.
Tyler: So, I put my phone number on there and one time this boy called me and he and I talked on the phone. Then, we had talked a few more times on the phone. We were like the same age, we were both in like 9th or 10th grade, and his mom found the phone call on the phone bill and then found our address. I don’t know how, this was before all the craziness of Google and she mailed an anonymous letter to my parents.
Tyler: Yeah, talk about a Karen, am I right?
Rachel: Oh my God. Yes, absolutely. Wait, so she saw like what the transcripts from your chat conversations?
Tyler: Well, she initially saw like these initially weird 30-minute long phone calls to someone halfway across the state, like what’s going on here? This is a different area code.
Rachel: How did she even know? I mean, I guess she knew.
Tyler: I don’t know. Then she confronted her son. She saw the chat transcripts which – I mean, let’s be honest. It wasn’t like it was PG-rated. We were like teenage boys so what do you think was happening?
Rachel: Obviously, right? And this is why you don’t look. Don’t look. You don’t want to know when you’re the parent. It doesn’t matter if they’re gay, straight, whatever, it’s like, “I don’t want to know.”
Tyler: You don’t need to know. It’s none of your business.
Rachel: It’s none of your business.
Tyler: But yeah, she felt like it was her moral duty to let my parents know so then anonymous letter, my parents connected with her, and I was forced to come clean about everything. She introduced my parents to an organization that used to exist, thank God it doesn’t anymore, called Exodus International which was the world’s leading ex-gay ministry that was focused on therapy and strategies now all disproven and dangerous and using faith to convert queer kids and make them straight. So, I got into that world.
Rachel: That is horrible, oh my goodness. She had so many other options like minding her business.
Tyler: Number one, yes.
Rachel: Wow. That is really tough. That is really tough and how did you heal from that experience? Because I’m sure it was traumatic.
Tyler: It really was. I mean, I spent several years in conversion therapy with a Christian family therapist using conversion tactics. I was part of like online support groups. Even going into college, my freshman year of college I was still fighting this battle and I had this moment of clarity in my sophomore year of college that I had – there was kind of a lot going on at campus and a lot of people being outed, unfortunately, at that time. I went to a small Christian college in North Carolina and it was kind of shaking up campus and I realized that I was not being who I said I was. I was completely out of integrity. I hated my life and how I showed up in the world, so I just decided to come out.
For me, a lot of advocacy and community organizing that was a way I healed. A friend of I started the first gay-straight alliance on our college campus. We both almost got kicked out of college for trying to start that gay-straight alliance. It ended up not going anywhere. It was shut down by student government, all of those things, and then working in political causes. Then in 2011, 2012 here in North Carolina around Amendment 1 which was the marriage equality amendment went through on that ballot in May of 2012.
So, a lot of my healing came through doing, through the action. Yeah, through getting my hands dirty and then I had a lot of damage to repair with my family, with my parents. I’m grateful that my dad and I reconciled and found common ground before his death several years ago. I’m grateful that we were able to see each other eye-to-eye. He accepted my partner as my partner. He like, accepted me as his son. We got to a really good place, but it definitely took a lot of years to get there.
Rachel: Yeah, it’s horrible. It’s awful. I think it’s so amazing that you are willing to share your story because I know so many people have traumatic experiences that they’ve had in childhood or at some point in life and I think sometimes we think like you feel like damaged goods or I went through this horrible thing, how am I going to get myself where I’m making lots of money and super successful?
Sometimes we think those experiences, especially when we’re in it or still overcoming it we think that that’s going to stop us from being successful and clearly, you’re an example that that is not the case.
Tyler: Yes, you’re right. Oh my gosh, yeah.
Rachel: I love that and I love that you stood up for yourself and was like, “No, actually fuck this whole bullshit plan.” How about that?
Tyler: Yeah, and then taking that energy and then turning it into good I think that’s what – it’s like it is reclaiming your power and taking that back and saying, “I can take this,” and all the pain and all the sorry and all the grief and everything that has been to me and then put this out into the world in a positive way and now help others for sure.
Rachel: Yeah, I get exactly what you mean because I think that was key for me. I had all kinds of trauma in my childhood which really was related to having family members who were addicted to drugs and other things that went on, and also being black, I mean, that’s part of it, too. But I agree with you, sometimes speaking out and fighting for what you feel is right, it can be very therapeutic and healing to just go all-in on what you believe in, especially when you feel like you’ve been sort of hiding it or dulling it. I think so many of us can relate to that, just hiding who we really are in some way or in some form and feeling like we won’t be accepted.
I think what’s true is that the more honest you are about who you are the more likely you’ll be accepted. You attract people to you with your authenticity, the right people.
Rachel: Unfortunately, you tend to also attract assholes. I mean, I know you get asshole DMs, I get asshole DMs.
Tyler: Of course. Yes, if one more person comments on my weight I’m going to kill somebody. It’s ridiculous.
Rachel: It’s like who fucking asked you?
Tyler: Like, thank you, I didn’t know I was fat. Oh my God, thank you for telling me.
Rachel: This shit is ridiculous. It’s mind-boggling. You know what it is, I feel sorry for those people because I think what they can’t imagine is how can you possibly be happy without eight-pack abs? You need to DM them and say, “Let me help you out.”
Tyler: You’re right. I need to turn it back on them.
Rachel: Exactly. It should be the other way around because I think some people are just so obsessed, I mean our culture is so obsessed with a certain body type and I can relate to that, too. I’m a size 14, I’m not a small person at all, and haven’t been for most of my adult life and I’ve had those moments. I’ve tried all the diets, I’ve done all of the bullshit and then I was just like, “Actually, fuck all this. I’m just going to love myself the way that I am. How about that?” That’s new and different.
Okay, so you’ve obviously been an outspoken activist for LGBTQIA issues for a long time and you’ve recently become more vocal about Black Lives Matter. What caused you to get involved with BLM and this whole movement?
Tyler: Yeah, it was for me, this recognition that I had kind of like squashed down this part, this activist heart that I have always had and this desire for justice and for equity and for inclusion and things that I cared about since I was kid. Since I was a kid, I would point out that’s not fair, this isn’t equal. Not in a bratty, spoiled way, but noticing that from a young age.
I had pushed that down because I had been so focused on growing my business and kind of an echo chamber of a corner of the Internet where those things weren’t talked about, where those weren’t issues, where everything was just mindset and it was all just a belief. Everything’s just a belief, like that was it.
I had ignored it for so long and I am grateful that there was such a public reckoning earlier this summer and that people like you were having these conversations and saying, “Hi, hello, where are you know and also where have you been, and are you going to be on this journey with us? Are you going to support us? Are you really here for everyone?” Well, not everyone, but are you here for people who don’t look like you or haven’t lived the same life that you have?
I honestly felt really convicted, like I had to do something. Again, it was a moment of, “Oh shit, I’ve been super out of integrity with this.” It’s something that it comes so naturally to me for such a large part of my life, activism and looking at the world through that lens and then I just kind of stuffed it down to work on other things which feels shitty to say, but it really is true. That was the reality of where I was.
Rachel: Yeah, I appreciate the honesty and I think probably a lot of people can relate to that. We start to compartmentalize our lives or we say, “You know what, that’s for later. Let me just focus on this goal, and then later I’ll worry about this. Or later I’ll give back. Or later I’ll do activism again.” I think it’s been good this year that has happened for all of us to have a wake-up call and I think every person, even black people – I got messages from other black women who were like, “You know what, I haven’t supported you enough on your journey. I’ve seen you and I can send you messages of love and I can share your stuff and I haven’t done that enough. I’m going to do that.”
It was just beautiful exchanges that I’ve had with people, all kinds of people as a result of that video that wound up going viral and just talking about these issues. I’m grateful that it’s come to the forefront. It’s sad the way that is always has to wind up coming to the forefront, but I’m hopeful that this will create some real lasting change. Of course, to that end we did a town hall on how to build an anti-racist business, and gave business owners several steps because, for me, I was like, “Okay, now that we’re all fucking awake I cannot go back.”
We can never go back. Going back to normal cannot be a thing. We’ve got to do things differently going forward and we had lots of people attend and a bunch of people sign the anti-racist business pledge and you signed the pledge. So, thank you for that and I wanted to know since signing the pledge, what actions have you taken? What changes have you made in your business? How’s it going so far?
Tyler: Yeah, it’s going well so far. So, since then we had been planning for almost a year this launch of something brand new in August and going into planning this event I had said even before anything happened in June that I wanted to make sure we were hosting an online summit and I wanted to make sure it was incredibly diverse because summits are horribly white.
Rachel: Oh my God. Don’t get me started. I literally have a note in my instructions for handling email for my team is like, all the different things about emails and how to respond to them and I’m like, “If somebody invites me to this summit, a summit of any kind the answer is no because I fucking hate summits.” That’s it. I don’t care who’s running it.
Honestly, since then I’ve had invites to a couple of really great ones and I think yours was a great one as well, but most of them fucking suck, so it’s ripe for disruption, that’s for sure.
Tyler: For sure. I’m a summit hater who hosted a summit.
Rachel: I love it. I’m a membership hater who started a membership.
Tyler: Oh my God, see I love that. But then you get to make it your own, right? You can take all the stuff you hate and then you can be like, “Okay, I’m not doing any of that shit. I’m going to do it my own way and make it my own thing.”
So, we hosted a summit in August, which was incredible. We had over 3,000 folks join us for that event. Over half of our speakers were people of color, predominantly women of color, and that was a big priority.
Rachel: First of all, can we just pause for a minute? Because I saw the page with all the speakers and I was like, “Hell yes!” I was so hype. I saw some women that I love on there and it was just such diversity and I was like, “This is what I’m talking about. This is setting an example.” It’s not just like one or two, because you know how they do, it’s always Daymond John. Like, if it’s a large conference and there’s one going to be one black speaker, it’s going to be Daymond John and that’s it.
Listen, I love Daymond John, but also, no, okay? I fucking hate it.
Tyler: That was one thing, in planning the summit some of the things we did differently, we had no audience size requirements for someone to be a speaker. I reached out to people who I was like, “I love you. I love your content. I love your point of view. Will you please speak at this event?”
So, we had people there with audiences of like 100,000 and someone who has like 600 followers on Instagram who gave literally one of the most popular talks of the entire week. Like, her talk was one of the best and got –
Rachel: You mean that a person’s value doesn’t come from how many followers they have? Is that what you’re saying, Tyler?
Tyler: Who knew? Isn’t it so surprising?
Rachel: Oh my gosh. Wow, what a discovery.
Tyler: I know. So, that was one thing, doing the summit ensuring that it was super diverse and for white folks that are listening I just need you to understand that in doing that our audience and our customer base is instantly far more diverse than it’s ever been from that one action.
Like, the number of people that joined our new program and I’m just looking through and seeing people of color, black women – I have black men, Rachel, I have black men who have bought my products and that’s never happened before because I’m just like this goofy, gay, white dude over here, my audience is 98% female and that’s been the coolest thing in connecting with people in this way.
Rachel: What is it about black men joining your stuff that’s like high praise? Because I kind of feel the same way? I have a whole – one of our members in the club said, “Can we call it #Brothers for all the black dudes?” He’s like, “This is the brother’s contingent.” I’m like, “Yes, I love it! It makes me so happy. So, I know what you mean.”
Tyler: It’s like connecting with people that I just typically would not connect with in entrepreneurship and for me that’s just being more intentional about expanding my reach, expanding my point of view, talking to more people. So, that was a big event. That was a big step for us, this summit featuring so many diverse voices.
Working with experts has been huge. So, bringing in people to teach our team to support our community. We hired a mindset coach to come in and just do a session with all of our people of color and our black members in our Follower to Fan which is our Instagram training program.
Rachel: I saw that and that really touched me when I saw that. I thought that was so beautiful to have a black coach to come in to say like, “Let me hold space for black people right now with the world that we’re living in and let me give you additional support.” That’s what equity looks like. Equal is not equity.
Because we’ve had different experiences, we’ve had different challenges, so offering the same thing to everyone, and I’ve done that, too, where we’ve had specifically calls for black, indigenous people of color and they’re just for them. It’s been beautiful and so helpful, so I really loved that you did that.
Tyler: Yeah. My thought process at that time was like, “Hi, you’re in a program that’s teaching you that’s all about Instagram and one of the things we teach is to spend time on Instagram every day and yet every time you open your app right now you’re being confronted by all of this trauma, and also a lot of bullshit all at the same time. Let’s give you a little support right now that can help you navigate that.”
So, we’ve done that. Just this week, I’m really excited, we worked with Erica Courdae and India [Jackson] – oh my God, I’m blanking on her last name right now, who does Pause on the Play, they have a podcast in the community and we just did this really great – our entire team did this values exercise with them and excavated our values and re-evaluated our values and got really clear on how we can infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into our values way more intentionally. So, that’s a step that we’ve taken.
We’re getting ready to hire and this is honestly – hiring this time is going to be way more intentional than it’s ever been before. We’re hiring a full-time employee for the company and I want to take our time doing it, I want to be really thoughtful, I want to make sure we’re putting this job posting in diverse places.
I want to make sure we’re getting this in front of all these different communities and not just posting on Instagram and saying, “We’re hiring,” and then some bullshit three months later when I hire another white woman and saying, “Well, that’s just who applied.” That’s not an excuse anymore. Just because your audience is predominantly white females, or excuse me, white women, doesn’t mean you just cop out and say, “Okay, I’ll just hire a white person.”
Rachel: I know. I’ll just hire another white person. Poor white people, no one wants to hire you right now. No, I’m just kidding. But that’s so true. I love that so much and it sounds like really what you’re doing is just giving a shit. It’s not all that complicated.
I mean, for sure, you need to educate yourself because things do get complicated and there are nuances to all of this and I think that’s an important piece, but also it’s like, “How can I be more thoughtful? How can I consider how what’s going on in the world right now is specifically affecting some of my members? How can I consider how some of my clients have a different experience than others and what I can do to create more equity and support them through that difference?”
So, I think that’s really beautiful and it does require intention. It requires effort, it requires financial resources.
Tyler: Yeah, and not just always taking the easy way out. I think that’s been the thing. It’s very easy to just – and we’ve seen this happen on Instagram the past few months, it’s very to just go radio silent for a few weeks until everything blows over. It’s very easy just to post a black square, it’s very easy just to ignore the comments. It’s very easy to do all of that, but are you in business for everything just to be super easy or are you like actually trying to make a fucking impact? Which one is it?
Tyler: You can easily make an impact, but it has to be intentional and thoughtful.
Rachel: I agree. Exactly, and it’s not the hardest or most challenging thing in the world, you just have to care. I think it’s so challenging and hard because some people really don’t give a shit. So, they’re like, “Oh that’s so hard.” No, it’s not. You just don’t care. So, be honest about that. Be your racist self, only serve white, racist people and then you’re golden, right? There’s a market for that, sadly. So, go ahead and do that.
Tyler: Keep giving out your punctuation awards and just keep doing what you’re doing over there.
Rachel: Exactly. Exactly right, but thank you for being such a great example and I think it’s inspiring for people to hear and it’s an example for them of like, “Oh, those are some of the things that I can do.” I’ve been asked for years, how do you get so much diversity in your audience? I’m like, “I don’t know, I have friends who are different than me. I don’t know, I like look to serve people who don’t look like me. I try to promote my stuff at conferences and events that don’t just serve white people.” I feel like it’s the most basic shit ever that I’m giving as advice.
Tyler: I think a part of it really is, Rachel, a lot of the stuff is Business 101 and people have overcomplicated everything and they’re just at this place where they’re like, “Well, if it’s not a multi-step funnel with a down sell, up sell, side sell, and back end – “ it’s like, “No, fuck all that noise.” It’s not about all of that stuff. At the end of the day business is simple, you just help people solve a problem, that’s it.
Maybe if you got really intentional about helping more different people solve that same problem, you’d have more diversity in your communities and your programs.
Rachel: Exactly. I mean, that’s what you did, right? With your summit you were signaling to people that we are creating a safe space, we want to welcome all kinds of different type of people into our program and that’s what it is. It’s like when you see nothing but white speakers you’re like, “Oh, that ain’t for me.” You know?
Rachel: So, it’s important that you signal for people. They need to see that representation matters and then the proof is in the pudding. The results were that you had a very diverse customer base join your program which is beautiful, I love it.
Tyler: Yeah, exactly.
Rachel: Yay, that makes me happy. Okay, so let’s talk about how you make money. How do you do that? What are your revenue streams? Do you have a couple of offers? Do you have just one? Give us a little tour of your business?
Tyler: Yeah, so if you were to ask my mom, she thinks currently that I’m involved with the Mafia. For a while she thought I was a pyramid scheme, but now it’s evolved.
Rachel: Our poor parents. They’re like, “How does my child make money?” I know my mother is like, “This chick is buying a ranch. How is she making money? I thought you were going to be a judge. That’s what my goal was for you.” That’s my mother.
Tyler: Oh my God, I love it. My mom famously, her thing now is, “Well, I don’t know what you do but whenever you’re live on Facebook I put a heart.”
Rachel: That is the best.
Tyler: “I see your ads all the time,” but I don’t click on them. I’m like, “Okay, thank you, Mom, for not clicking on there.”
Rachel: “Thank you for not making me pay for that click.”
Tyler: Yes, exactly. So, almost three years, actually almost to the day, I launched a membership site called The Follower to Fan Society which is an Instagram marketing training program. So, we teach online business owners how to create their own custom Instagram marketing strategy and how to do it without always having perfect pictures, posting all the time, spending hours a day on Instagram because I’m all about balance and not wasting time on social media.
So, that’s been our signature product, our signature offer since October of 2017 which feels crazy to me.
Rachel: I mean, that’s like 100 years in Internet years.
Tyler: It really is, yeah. It really is. That product started as a $47 a month membership and has since grown to a $75 a month membership and we’ve generated over $1.5 million in revenue from that one product in the past three years. So, that’s been in our biggest thing.
In the past, we’ve done affiliate promotions. We do affiliate promotions still. Super purposeful about what we affiliate for and typically only like one or two a year. That helps us bring in – we’ve generated about a million dollars in affiliate revenue in the past couple of years.
Rachel: Wow, that’s amazing.
Tyler: Yeah, and I want people to hear me say that, too, and I know I’ve been in these affiliate contests with people who have been in the game for like a decade or longer and who have audiences 10 times the size of mine and came out on top and won the affiliate contest, and served the most people, and got this six-figure cash prize. That kind of stuff because I was willing to do the things that they were unwilling to do in how I connect with people.
Rachel: Exactly, and it’s about trust, right, and engagement, too? It’s not just numbers. I’ve had people ask me to be on their platforms and I’ll do an interview or whatever, and then like 9 people watch the video even though this person has almost a million followers and I’m like, “Oh, you have a million followers, but they’re not interested in what you’re doing. They’re following you, but they’re not really engaging at all.”
Rachel: It’s interesting to see that. I think trust and connection is such an important piece and people, they just get so obsessed with the numbers. Look, I love a number. Listen, I’m all about hitting seven figures, so clearly, I count the numbers, but it’s not just that. You can’t only care about that because then you could get to a million followers and still not be able to sell anything to them because they don’t trust you. You know?
Tyler: Yeah, well, there was that influencer last year who had like 36 million followers or some ridiculous number and started a t-shirt shop and she couldn’t even sell the 32 t-shirts she needed to place her first order. Stuff like that happens all the time.
Tyler: But yeah, those have been the main two ways we’ve generated revenue the past three years is through our membership site and through affiliate revenue. We actually just launched like last week our first new offer in three years.
Tyler: The reason I love saying those things is because I am a big believer and I feel like maybe we share this, I’m a big believer in one offer, one product, one path. Like focus, refine, perfect. Make this better, better, better, work it. Like work on it. I had a mentor early on, right after I launched my membership who said her rule for herself was, “I don’t create anything new until the last thing I created doesn’t require any of my time, effort, or energy, and then I create the new thing.”
Rachel: I love that. That’s an excellent rule of thumb.
Tyler: Yeah, so that was my rule. I wanted to get Follower to Fan and we finally did in February of this year, where Follower to Fan, which is our Instagram program, only requires three hours of my time every month. That’s it. Now, I can start something new.
Rachel: Yes. I love that, and I love you pointing that out. I say to my clients all the time that if you want to complicate your life after you hit seven figures, go for it. If you’re feeling creative and you want to create something new, do it, but don’t complicate it now when you’re trying to build something that can support a team, that can really support you and your family, that can have a bigger impact. Stay focused and let it do that.
It’s amazing what can happen when you just focus on one offer and really spend time, like how can we make this better? How can we improve every single metric within this program and get our people better and better results, and make the community better and better and better?
Then, once you get it to a really spectacular place it’s like, “Okay, cool, now I’ve got free time. What do I want to do with it?”
Rachel: Maybe I want to start a farm, which is what I’m doing, right? Maybe I want to launch a new offer, right? Let’s see what happens.
Tyler: Yeah, exactly, and I think, for me, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that perfecting messaging takes a shit ton of time. It takes time, it takes traffic, it takes people through the offer, it takes feedback, it takes surveys. In my experience, that has taken time. It took us a solid two years to dial in the messaging of the software and I’m not embarrassed by that. I’m just saying to get it to the place where this thing can sell at least one membership every single day of the year through an automated webinar that I don’t have to touch or do anything with, your messaging has to be really fucking good. That takes time.
Then, the other thing is growing a team which I know – I feel like you’re hiring every minute of every day.
Rachel: Me, too. I feel that way, too.
Tyler: It’s very like #HereWeGrowAgain over there at Hello Seven headquarters, but in hiring employees we’ve grown our team. It went from just me to me and my husband working in the business full-time alongside me, to hiring our first employee, then our next, then our third, and we’re getting ready to hire another one this fall. It’s a hell of a lot easier to hire and onboard someone when there’s just one thing to focus on selling.
Rachel: Hello, yes! All of the systems and all of the training and every single thing gets easier when it’s a very streamlined business. Otherwise, when you hire someone new and they’re coming into chaos it’s really alarming for people.
Tyler: Yes. I see this all the time and look, I’m not shitting on folks who are in this growth stage or trying to hire and manage this and make your money, but I see all the time, “Well, maybe I’m at the quarter of a million mark or the half-million mark, I just hired my first person,” and three days in they’re like, “Should I fire them? They’re not getting it.” It’s like, first of all, that’s now how this works. You’re taking this fire fast mantra a little too seriously. Give them a minute, and also your business is probably like a clusterfuck and that’s probably why they’re not getting it because it’s too much, there’s too much going on. No wonder they’re not getting it in three days because it took you three years to make all this up so it’s going to take them time to figure it out, too.
Rachel: Oh my gosh, yes, shout out to all the employees that support these crazy online businesses.
Tyler: For sure, all of our ops managers and integrators and COOs who – I got my ops manager like a “No” button. On her first day I was like, “Hi, welcome. Full-time. I’m so glad you’re here. This will be your favorite tool.” No, no, no.
Rachel: Is that to say no to you or to the rest of the world or both?
Tyler: Mainly me, but some of the rest of the world. I also play her as like bad cop most of the time. Like, I had to send two emails today to different brands that we had thought about working with for different things and I had to send both of them an email and say, “No, we’re not going to move forward.” I got to blame it on her both times, so I really like that.
Rachel: Yes, that’s great. It’s awesome. Listen, the more you grow your business you legit need gatekeepers otherwise you won’t be able to do the work that really matters because you’ll just have so much coming at you which is beautiful and I’m grateful. Because I remember when I used to launch things or put things out there and it was crickets. Years of crickets, so just understand that I get that and at the same time, you get bigger, more money more problems as they say, right?
Yeah, you need those folks that protect your time and also save you from yourself which is the biggest thing that I need my operator to do is save me from myself.
Tyler: That’s one of her number one jobs is I’ll have this grand idea, I’ll share it, I’ll talk about it and then she’ll say, “Okay, cool. But remember, by the way, remember you wanted to do this instead?” Or, “You wanted to take this time off,” or, “You wanted to not be work – all you talk about is wanting to work a four-day workweek, yet you keep putting yourself in these situations where you’re working on Friday and Saturday. Stop doing that. What are you doing?”
Rachel: Yes, exactly. And you’re like, “Yes, you’re right, I do love Fridays off more than I love this new thing I just came up with.”
Tyler: Yes. Exactly.
Rachel: I love it. Speaking of which, walk us through a typical day for you. When do you wake up? What’s your morning routine? Does it have 28 steps like all the bros teach? What kinds of things are you actually doing in a typical workday? Let us know what your like, not a fantasy, perfect, ideal day, but like a regular day for you is like.
Tyler: Yeah, this is so funny. I love this question because I don’t have some magic morning bullshit routine. I just don’t have it.
Rachel: I fucking hate the morning routine shit. Listen, I get a morning routine, I have one, I love it. It’s got like one or two steps and that’s about it. I don’t have time for 18 steps. I have kids waking me up. They’re standing at my door, the moment my eyes open they’re like, “You awake? Let me ask you for things.” So, I don’t what the – they must have amazing wives. I don’t know what it is because I don’t see how that’s possible. But yes, please continue.
Tyler: So, most mornings I’m up by 8:00 or 9:00. I love to lay in bed for a while – I’m a Twitter lover. The pandemic hit for me is Twitter. I fucking love Twitter again. Oh my God. It’s so funny. Gay Twitter, #Trademark is so hilarious.
Rachel: Gay Twitter, Black Twitter you will be highly entertained. That is for sure.
Tyler: Yes. I look at Twitter. Here’s what I do. With Instagram, it’s interesting because I’ve become known as the Instagram guy. I don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram anymore. This is like the first time I’ve ever said this publicly, but I can’t.
So, I’ll log in and I have a marketing coordinator so she sorts all my DMs. So, she puts the DMs I need to respond to in my primary folder. I may look at those. A lot of times I’ll read them and mark them as unread and I’ll come back to them later and then I don’t check my emails where dreams go to die. I don’t even look at my inbox.
Rachel: I know. Isn’t it amazing? You get to a certain level and you’re like, “Done with email. Not looking to read email.” So, basically, if someone emails me it’s like they email me, my team reads it and they tell me what I need to do or a lot of times my team will just respond and deal with the thing and I’ll never even know that it’s happening. You know?
Tyler: Yeah. I love that. Then, I get ready, I’m a morning showerer. I like my little skincare routine.
Rachel: Yeah, see that’s a routine I can get behind skincare, okay?
Tyler: Yes, trying to make sure – sunscreen is important, all of those things. I fix my hair with the last remaining hairs I have on my head. Oh, Rachel, this forehead is getting bigger by the minute.
Rachel: Listen, it’s all good.
Tyler: The hair plug is started. Hair restoration is on the menu. I don’t know when but the consult probably needs to happen sooner rather than later. Then, I’m downstairs listening to NPR, drinking my water, taking some medicine, taking some vitamins. I’m an intermittent faster. I started doing that about three months ago, so I typically do the 16/8, but I recently graduated to the 18/6.
Rachel: Okay, explain what this means to me because my husband has been trying to sell me on intermittent fasting for a long time and I’m just like, “That doesn’t sound fun.”
Tyler: Oh my God, Rachel, I’ve never been more obsessed with something in my entire life.
Rachel: Sell me on this.
Tyler: So, I started at the end of May and it was because what I noticed with being home during quarantine is, I for the first time, since everything slowed down I’ve kind of had this pause time. I noticed how my body felt throughout the day for the first time ever. I’m not a coffee drinker. I don’t really do caffeine because I’m a migraine sufferer and that’s a trigger for me so I don’t coffee. I just have to be really conscious of my energy throughout the day and if I would eat breakfast by noon I would be wrecked. I would be so fatigued, so tired, so foggy.
Then, I would have my afternoon when I would have stuff to do. So, I started trying intermittent fasting and I would eat breakfast at 10 instead of 8, or like 11 and then 12. Now, it’s gotten to where like I love intermittent fasting.
Tyler: My friends and I – because I have a couple of friends that do it too and we text. We call it our feeding hours. Like a petting zoo or something.
Rachel: That is hysterical. I want to do it just so I can be on that group text and laughing about feeding hours.
Tyler: So, we’ll like text and like, “Okay, my feeding hour is starting.” One of my friends is like, “Oh shit, I need to finish this bottle of wine. My feeding hour ends in 20 minutes.” Those kinds of things.
So, I eat for six hours out of the day, so normally from 1:00 to 7:00 I’ll have a couple of meals and then I don’t eat the rest of the time and I love it. I am obsessed with it. I feel so good. I have so much energy. I lost a shit ton of weight. I feel so good. So, that’s been fun.
Rachel: Wow. That’s amazing. You’re kind of selling me on this because my husband has been saying that he does it – he’s not so consistent with it, but it does it during certain periods he’ll do it for a couple weeks or a couple months and he’s been telling me, he’s like, “It’s the best thing ever. It’s like euphoric.” I’m like, “No, it’s not. That sounds like bullshit.”
Tyler: All day, I feel so clearheaded. I sleep the best I’ve ever slept in years. No brain fog, no fatigue. It’s pretty crazy. It’s fun. I like it.
Rachel: I might try it to get better sleep. I’m all about my sleep. I’m like hardcore with my 8 hours.
Tyler: Me, too.
Rachel: It’s important. But yeah, I also could see – feel like the liberation of thinking about food for so many hours a day. Because that’s the thing, it’s like, “Oh, I’m hungry. What am I going to eat now? What snack should I have? Should I have wine? Shouldn’t I? Yes, I should.” That whole game, it’s kind of nice to just not think about it. To just have that brain power back.
I mean, for me, I’ve actually been working on changing my relationship with food over the course of this pandemic, too, because in the beginning I found myself mainlining cheese doodles and shit like that, and I’m like, “What is up with me?” It’s just like in response to stress I’m just going to eat everything to calm myself down. I’m like, “That’s fucking bullshit. I don’t want to eat bullshit to calm – “I’m not even enjoying the cheese doodles. Can we get a better snack?
Tyler: I know. I was a Cosmic Brownie a day kind of girl the first few months of quarantine and I had to have a little bit of an intervention with Cosmic Brownies over here because it was getting –
Rachel: Yeah, listen, we all started that way. Shit was crazy in the beginning and then we were like, “Okay, we can do this. We will survive this.” Because in the beginning we were like, “Are we alive in the end of days? Like, what the fuck?”
Tyler: For real.
Rachel: Which is pretty scary so I think that’s a reasonable response eating brownies and cheese doodles.
Tyler: Totally, yeah.
Rachel: But after a while you’re like, “Okay, this is going to be a while and I can’t be mainlining cheese doodles for the next year so I got to figure something out.”
Tyler: My husband and I, we were talking the other day about the seasons of quarantine. We think we’re in season three, like if it were a TV show, we’re in season three. We were talking about all the seasons. Oh my God, see, this could be a whole podcast. Season one for us was like puzzles, we got a Nintendo Switch, so we were playing lots of video games, Tiger King was in season one. Lots of that.
Then, season two came around and for some reason Taco Bell came into our life in season two. We were literally, it was like back to senior year of college like we were stoned 24/7 with the Taco Bell, the Cosmic Brownies, the frozen pizza. Oh my God, we were going through like a dozen frozen pizzas a week between the two of us and he’s gluten-free so it was like one for each. Oh my God, it was a disaster.
Season three, we got our act together in season three over here.
Rachel: Season three it’s like you’re getting your new life on. It’s beautiful.
Rachel: I love this show. I can’t wait to see what happens in season four.
Tyler: Well, season four will be winter and I will be bringing the Cosmic Brownies back, I think, to make it through season four.
Rachel: Oh my God, it’s a journey. That’s for damn sure.
Tyler: I was going to say, I didn’t finish telling you about my day, but I’m in the office mid-morning, I’m working. I like to really have very little phone time. I don’t check social media. I keep my phone on do not disturb pretty much the entire day.
Rachel: Me, too. I just recorded a podcast about that exact topic.
Tyler: I love that.
Rachel: Don’t ring, don’t ding, I hate it.
Tyler: Then, one thing I recently did, too, is I took most of my work apps off of my personal phone and I got another phone just for work that has everything on it.
Rachel: Mm-hmm, I remember you posting about that I was like, “Hmm, I’m kind of jealous. That does sound genius.”
Tyler: Yeah, so then I can just turn it off and leave it wherever.
Rachel: Yeah. Is that really working for you to really disconnect where then you’ve got your phone and you can play games or do whatever you want, but you’re not doing work stuff?
Tyler: Exactly, yeah. I really love that. It has made a difference. I don’t have any notifications on my phone. Nothing notifies me of anything. So, that’s really nice, too. That way I can just be in a lot of deep work throughout the day. I like my mornings wide open so I can be creative and do fun stuff. Then, I like to take meetings in the afternoons.
Then, Eric and I have a nice little flow. I cook dinner a couple nights a week and then he’s in charge the rest of the week. Then, we just pile on the couch and see what’s happening on YouTube or what housewives are on. We just both sit there and read celebrity news back and forth to each other. And that’s our life.
Rachel: That’s my road trip activity. Whenever we go on road trips, I’m like, let’s see what the gossip is. Let’s get up on the gossip. I’ll be reading it to my husband and we’ll be chit-chatting about it and then we’ll listen to a podcast episode about it, and then we’ll laugh and cackle, then we’ll listen to the next one.
Tyler: Yes, oh my God. I love that.
Rachel: This is what we do on road trips. I love it.
Tyler: I love that so much.
Rachel: I love it. I love it. That’s great, and I do the same thing with keeping my mornings free. Afternoons is where I’m doing other shit, so I feel you on that. So, here’s an interesting question for you, what’s one thing that you really want to change about yourself, your life, or your business? Something that you’ve been trying to change, but you haven’t been able to really like nail it yet? An area where you feel stuck or frustrated.
Tyler: I would say in my personal life where I’ve always felt stuck is with regard to food and exercise. I’ve always felt stuck there. I understand the conversation about weight loss and things like that can be pretty triggering for folks, so I don’t want to add to any of that frustration or anxiety, but for me, I’ve always been bigger. Everyone in my family was bigger. My dad was big. He had bariatric surgery several years before he died. All of his brothers are big. Like, we’re just big people.
I was always a big kid, always bigger than everyone else and as an adult that’s been part of my experience, too, and I felt for the longest time, especially as business success came, that I became extremely frustrated. Also, I’m an Enneagram 3, so like very achievement oriented and as business success came the frustration with my body felt like I unlocked this area of my life and I had everything in this area. I worked through the money mindset bullshit. I started making really good money. We had our dream wedding last year. We rented a house for a week and had a private chef for a week and lived our best lives with our closest friends for a week. We bought a dreamy house last year, we travel all over, flew first class, like living our best life. I unlocked that.
I unlocked success in my business. I unlocked success in my relationship with my husband, all those areas, but when it came to me and how I interacted with food and how I interacted with exercise I just like banging my head up against the wall for the past 32 years.
So, that’s been definitely a journey for me and it’s honestly only been the past few months where I felt like okay, this is something – it’s interesting talking about it now, it felt like it’s something I finally have the space to think about and work on. You know?
Rachel: Yeah. I do think that that’s what it’s like because think about how much time and energy we put into our businesses over the years. It’s gotten so much of our focus and that’s why we’ve seen such results from it. Then, it’s like if you want to work on another area of your life it’s like you then got to put that focus there which means you do have to free yourself up from your business a little bit.
I agree with you. I mean, I’ve had the same thing. I was definitely a certified coach potato, definitely not something who was ever going to exercise and now it’s becoming more and more of a habit where I’m able to really enjoy it. I started running during this pandemic because I was like, “I just want an excuse to go outside. I’m tired of sitting in here.”
I was watching a show, speaking of coach potato moment, I’m watching a show on Netflix and one of the characters would go for a run and I’m like, “I want to be able to do that.” Like, when people go for a run I want to be like, “Yeah, me, too. I’m coming.” So, I just was like, “I’m going to become a runner. That sounds good.” So, I’ve been doing that and running two or three times a week and like legit doing it. I just get up and go.
Part of it is because I have Robin Arzon from the Peloton app in my ear. The outdoor running app for Peloton is so good. It’s like good music and it’s intervals. You don’t run the whole 30 minutes, which is what I used to think. I used to think everybody’s out there just running for hours. Like, how are you doing that?
Tyler: What a bunch of weirdos.
Rachel: Exactly. Now, I’m like, “Oh, it’s intervals.” You jog a little bit, you walk a little bit, you run a little bit. Cool, I can do that, so that’s what I’ve been doing and I’m actually really enjoying it strangely enough. I don’t know why.
Tyler: Maybe I’ll become a runner.
Rachel: Yes, and we can run together, it’d be so fun.
Tyler: I don’t know about all that, but – this seemed like a solo act. That’s like sometimes Eric will be like, “Let’s go on a walk.” I’m with him the whole time, he’s trying to have a conversation and I’m just over there hyperventilating.
Rachel: Listen, I’ve been with those people who are like – that’s my husband, just trotting up the hill. Moving all fast, power walking, and I’m like, “I need a minute.” So, it’s been really good. Honestly, I did it for my mental health more than anything else because I’m just like I feel like I’m going to lose my fucking mind. I need to not do this – because I’m an Aquarius. I need to be spacey and do new shit.
Tyler: My husband’s an Aquarius. Yes, y’all do.
Rachel: So, you get it. We get real bored, so I need to switch things up and so going for a run has been a fun, energizing thing and I agree with you. Going by yourself is great, especially in the beginning while you start to get into a groove. Because if you go with other people then you feel like you have to keep their pace and it sucks.
Tyler: Yeah, that competitiveness would start to come out in me and I would feel bad about myself.
Rachel: Yes, but I think honestly, for me, over the last couple of years getting into exercise I think the key has just been finding what works for me. I feel like a lot of people the exercise is like, “Ughh,” like super intense bootcamp shit and I’m like, “No, I have 50,000 children in my house, and I have an intense business. The last fucking thing I want is another intense to do.”
Tyler: For sure.
Rachel: So, finding things like I found Pilates and I’ve loved that because it’s like therapeutic, it’s slow, it’s quiet. You pull the thing with the pulleys. I enjoy that. I need serenity when I work out. I do it for the serenity. So, anyway, that’s been helpful in case that helps you, but I can totally relate.
Tyler: Thank you.
Rachel: I can totally relate, so thank you for sharing that.
Tyler: Of course, yeah.
Rachel: So, tell me, I want to hear about your new offer. So, tell us about the Online Business Association.
Tyler: Yeah, so this is an idea that I’ve had for a long time actually and it came out in 2017 when my father died. His death was really unexpected and really sudden and I ended up at that point – it was before my membership site, I was mainly running a one-on-one coaching business and I had an agency and I ended up being out of work for a number of months before his death because being with him and my mom and he was having surgery.
Then, Eric and I had actually planned to move to Chicago like six weeks after he died and we went through with that move. We had paid deposits, we had the truck, everything was set to go. So, I ended up being out of work for a number of months and I was broke. Like, I actually just shared the post on Facebook recently. After we moved to Chicago I was so broke that I thought – I was trying to think of what to do to make some money so I started an online sticker shop selling stickers. I was like, “This will pay my bills,” it didn’t.
Rachel: Wait, I love that because my first online venture was t-shirts and that was – that petered out real quick. It was going to be like specifically foreign language t-shirts for study abroad students. It would be say like, “Can you speak more slowly?” in Spanish on the t-shirt. That was my genius idea. It didn’t go anywhere, but I tried.
Tyler: You tried, yeah. But I remember in that moment, I distinctly remember Eric and I moved to Chicago and I got this notebook out. We had just paid our first month’s rent and I wrote down all our expenses on one side and all the money we had in the bank on the other side. Have you ever had that moment when they don’t match up?
Rachel: Uh-huh, many times.
Tyler: Not in a good way, not like you have more of one than the other. I was like, “Oh shit. Okay, we’re going to have to get creative and figure this out.” I remember back to when I worked for the YMCA, that’s where I started my career and as an employee of the Y you got membership in something called AYP, which was the Association of Y Professionals. AYP had this called the Emergency Assistance Fund, and I remember hearing stories of Y Professionals who their house had burned down or their spouse would be diagnosed with a terminal illness or their kid would get injured or something horrible would happen and they could go to this fund and everyone that was a part of this association contributed to it and the fund would give them money. Just give them a grant that they could use to make it through whatever that was.
I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, if something like that existed for me right now I wouldn’t be in this tough situation.” So, that’s where the idea was born three years ago and I didn’t think I could do it because I had become known as the Instagram guy over the past three years, like that was my thing. Last year, I really just had this realization of, “Oh my God, I have to do this thing. I have to do something new. I don’t want to talk about Instagram for the rest of my life. I want to talk about other things.” So, I’m going to start it.
Our team, we started working on it last year, we just launched and we called it the Online Business Association, and we’re calling ourselves, “The first and only professional association for online business owners,” because I think we kind of are.
There’s nothing that is really inclusive and open to anyone and saying, “No matter where you are in business or life you can come inside and you can be a part of this community with us.” My dream really with OBA is to create a community of 10,000 online business owners and digital entrepreneurs that are supported and that have the guidance and the training and the resources and coaching and community that they need in one place so that they don’t always have to feel like they have to go buy specialty courses or coaching or programs if they don’t want to in that they can find as much as they need inside of one place. And to have a place where we have the numbers to further legitimize our industry, to advocate for our industry on our industry’s behalf.
So, when things happen like that have happened this year when this PPP Program is put together to give people money to float their businesses, online business owners who run their business as sole proprietors aren’t left out in the first round of funding. Or when things happen like what’s happening in California right now with the legislation around contract employees that there’s so many online businesses that work with contractors on a retainer basis who are going to have completely change the nature of their relationship with those contractors because online business isn’t being considered in these decisions.
So, creating something that gives entrepreneurs access to resources and coaching and training that further legitimizes our industry so we can advocate for our industry and also supporting people in areas of their business that prove to be a little bit complicated or frustrating as an online business owner. So, navigating health insurance, liability insurance, retirement, really understanding how we can take all this money out of very high profit margin businesses and what to do with that money because traditional banks and insurance brokerages they don’t understand us and what we do.
So, connecting people with resources and experts to help them find the best solutions for those areas of their business, too. And an emergency assistance fund where when the worst happens members of OBA will come together and cut you a check when stuff happens.
Rachel: I love that so much. It reminds me of the Freelancers Union when that started in New York many years ago and that was a big thing to legitimize freelancers as a professional community, and providing health insurance to that community was one of the biggest things that that was meant to do.
I remember checking that out and being like, “It doesn’t quite fit what I do.” It’s close but not there as a young lawyer, and so I love that you’re doing this. I think that’s so exciting. I love legitimizing the industry, being able to take up political space and really taking care of people. I think that’s beautiful. It almost feels like a chamber of commerce for the Internet world.
Tyler: That’s what we call it, yes. It’s your online chamber of commerce.
Rachel: So good. It’s so good. I think that’s a genius idea and I’m so glad that you launched it and had such a successful launch. Yay, I’m really glad. That’s a beautiful thing. So, tell us what’s next. What are you getting into next? When is the next summit or thing that you’re doing? Or where can people learn more about the Online Business Association if they want to join?
Tyler: Yeah, so right now we are just welcoming folks to join us inside of OBA so you can go to onlinebusinessassociation.co to check that out and learn more. The doors are always open, so you can always come in and be a part of what we’re doing over there. We’re really focused on growing that community, and in these early months learning how we can best support our members and as our community grows, bringing in additional resources, support, coaches.
What I’ve been telling people as we started OBA and just being very honest with them of the dreams and vision of what we have for what OBA can be requires you to join. It requires you to be a part of this. It requires us to grow in membership because to get to a place where we can go to these software companies that we all use and advocate for discounted pricing or to have the numbers to write in to our legislatures when things are happening like what’s happening to the Postal Service.
What if 10,000 online business owners were saying, “I’m writing in on behalf of all the people that sell on Etsy and that have ecommerce businesses and all the artists that use the USPS to send their work. What are you doing to the Postal Service right now?” Imagine the power that that would have. So, to make that happen we need numbers. We need people to be a part of that and for us to be able to support entrepreneurs and have the emergency fund the way that we want we need people to join so we can take a portion of your membership dues and put that towards emergency funding as well.
So, that’s what we’re focused on. We’re all in on that. I’m working on podcast every week. I love it. We launched it this year. It’s called The Online Business Show. It’s one of my favorite things I do, so getting to do that and looking forward to 2021, like growing OBA, hosting virtual events. We want to host a lot of virtual events next year with OBA and hopefully host our first Online Business Conference as well. It may end up being online, but if things work out we would love to do it in person towards the end of 2021.
Rachel: Yeah, I think September feels safe, like September 2021 I think we’ll be good by then. You know why I’m judging that? Because Google says they’re sending their remote workers back in July, like their physical offices and I’m like Google knows.
Tyler: They know more than we do. Yes, definitely.
Rachel: I mean, all those tech conferences ended, they shut them down in January and February way before we knew that this was a thing, so I’m like, “They know what’s up.” So, I’ve just got one eye on them and then I know what’s happening. But I love that and I love that you started this association. I remember when I first saw it posted I was like, “Oh, that’s amazing. It’s something that I wish existed, especially early on in building this business.”
Also, too, sometimes you just don’t know who’s legit, who’s shady. It can be hard to judge where you should get your education from so I think that that’s beautiful that there’s an association that feels safe. You know what I mean? And is inclusive and diverse, I think that’s so important. So, yay for that.
Rachel: I’m so glad. This is amazing and thank you for this amazing conversation and taking the time to hang out with me today. We had a lot of laughs.
Tyler: We did. Oh my God, thanks for having me. This was so great.
Rachel: Yes, and enjoy your welcome party for the Online Business Association today.
Tyler: Thank you. I cannot wait.
Rachel: Enjoy your balloons.
Tyler: I’m so excited. Thank you. My God, you have to tell the balloon story.
Rachel: Yes, I’ll have to tell that at some point. Y’all missed that part. That was before we hit record on this podcast. But I will link up everything in the show notes so people can find you and check you out, and check out the association. Of course, we’ll just keep hanging out online together.
At some point we’ll have to get together in person because we’re in the same state, so that’s a nice thing.
Tyler: I know, please. I’ll be there, just tell me when. I’ll bring the bubbles.
Rachel: Come visit the ranch, bring the bubbles, we’ll have a pool party, it’ll be delightful.
Tyler: Yes, oh I cannot wait.
Rachel: So, you just listened to Tyler’s story. He explained that when he decided to simplify his business and focus on doing one thing that’s when he saw amazing results. I see this constantly with my clients. When you focus, when you commit to one message, one ideal client, one offer that’s when you start making some serious coin.
So, maybe you’re thinking, “Yes, that is totally me. I need to focus. I’m stretched way too thin,” and you’re wondering, “Now what? What can I do to fix this?” What you should do is come to the Million Dollar Focus Retreat in September. It’s happening September 24th through the 26th. This retreat is happening online so you’ve got no excuse to miss it. You can join it from anywhere in the world.
You will learn how to simplify and streamline all areas of your business. A simpler business plan, a simpler schedule, a more focused offer, and a more focused life. At the Million Dollar Focus Retreat I’m leading an offer clinic which is going to be fire. You will have an opportunity to submit your offer in advance and then I will pick a few for my presentation and explain how you can make this offer way simpler and way more focused and way more profitable.
It’s going to be so good and I might pick yours. But even if your offer doesn’t get picked you will still learn a ton from this offer clinic. The offer clinic is just one of the amazing experiences you’re going to get at the Million Dollar Focus Retreat. This retreat is not for the general public. It is exclusively for our club members, so if you want to come to the retreat you should join We Should All Be Millionaires, the club. Go ahead and join now.
Definitely be sure to join early, like as soon as possible, so you don’t miss the focus retreat that’s happening in September. To learn more about the club and all the amazing things you gain when you join go to helloseven.co/club. Sign up at helloseven.co/club and we’ll see you at the Million Dollar Focus Retreat. Can’t wait.
Are you ready for a revolution? Then download my free guide called Million Dollar Behavior. In it you will learn the 10 behavior shifts you need to make to build wealth, claim power, and have an impact. I’ve learned how to play the game of success by my own rules and in this guide I’m going to lay out the million dollar behavior required for you to define your own success and chase after your goals on your terms. Get this free guide now at helloseven.co/guide.
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