chats with Robert, Stefan is a copywriter extraordinaire. Stefan shares not just some copywriting tips, but business skills that all entrepreneurs need to hear. He saw the gig lifestyle and made himself an expert to build and market businesses.
A little bit about Stefan...
Considered by many to be the world’s best active copywriter, having sold over $1BN in products and services with his words. Stefan Georgi is an accomplished entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded 9 different businesses that have scaled to at least 7 figures - with several of those businesses reaching the 8 or 9 figure mark.
Today Stefan spends much of his time focusing on his Copy Accelerator Mastermind, which helps entrepreneurs to create sales funnels that can reach scale and impact more lives. He’s also an active investor and strategic partner in multiple D2C Consumer Brands and Web3 Projects.
Check out more of Stefan
Robert Peterson 0:11
Welcome to the Add valued entrepreneurs podcast, where we're on a mission to end entrepreneurial unhappiness. If you're an entrepreneur with a burning desire to change the world, this podcast is for you. We're here to help you transform your life in business so you can achieve the freedom and fulfillment you crave. This show is dedicated to entrepreneurs who want more out of their life, more meaning more purpose, and ultimately, more happiness. You deserve it all. And it's possible. I'm your host, Robert Peterson, Pastor turned life coach for business owners. I believe that success without happiness is not true success at all. But there's always hope for those who are willing to take action. Join us every week as we bring you inspiring leaders and messages that will help you on your journey towards success. Thank you for investing your time with us today. Let's get started. Our guest today is considered by many to be the world's best active copywriter, having sold over 1 billion in products and services with his words. Stiff in Georgia is an accomplished entrepreneur who has founded or co founded nine different businesses that have scaled to at least seven figures with several of those businesses reaching the eight or nine figure mark Robert chats was stiff in Georgia, copywriter extraordinaire Stephen shares, not just some copywriting tips, but business skills that all entrepreneurs need to hear. He saw the gig lifestyle and made himself an expert to build and market businesses. Well, Stephen, thank you so much for joining me today excited to have this conversation and look forward to sharing your wisdom with our audience.
Stefan Georgi 1:50
Absolutely. I'm really glad to be here. Thank you for having me.
Robert Peterson 1:54
So typically, have our guests share their entrepreneurial journey and what's led them to the impact they're making today.
Stefan Georgi 2:02
Cool. Yeah, I'm happy to do that. I'm going to go ahead and jump right in here. Yeah, absolutely. All right. So I guess the place to start would be 2011. I was working in a Outdoor School in Marble Falls, Texas. So what's an outdoor school like a outdoor Ed type of place where it was a summer camp during the summer, and then during the fall and spring, it was a place where kids from Texas would come in and learn about science and nature, living off the land, water quality, all these sorts of things. So I was living in a double wide trailer on the camp property with a roommate and five other chiller mates teaching kids about nature and things like that. And really loving life. Honestly, we paid $200 a week, and we can't do it. Yeah, exactly. But really, really enjoyed it. So I thought, you know, that was what I was going to do for the next decade plus in my life was sort of being an outdoor Ed instructor type of person. But then, very suddenly, my dad got diagnosed with cancer. So I hiked up a mountain with him. And I like April of 2011. And then the diagnosis came and May, rough time wise, like but basically on May. So about a month later, and it was stage four form of liver cancer didn't have much time to live. And so I left that went back home to be with him and my mom and sort of help care for him during the last months of his life. So I did that was obviously in a pretty dark and difficult time. Not like I mean, you know, dark has his cancer. I think I was mentally fairly tough about it. But it was obviously, you know, not saying Oh, when I went to go through, although I know unfortunately many do. And after he passed in October of 2011, I went about a month later to Las Vegas to kind of decompress and do something sort of for me because I'd been really 24/7 helping my mom and my dad and then kind of grieving. And while I was there, I was playing poker with a buddy at Caesar's Palace, and we were at a poker table and a girl walked in the room and a joke to the table. Oh, I hope that she gets seated with us. And then she did which is not as easy as it sounds because there's if you've ever played poker and a casino, they have a lot of different tables and you go see a host and the host kind of tells you where to sit. And so there's a ton of tables, but she got seated at my table just by luck. And someone at the table asked her Hey, what do you do for a living? And she said, I'm a writer, and I wanted to talk to her because I just thought she was really beautiful and had an attraction to her right away. And so I said what kind of writer and she said I'm a copywriter. And I said well, copywriting how interesting and under the table with my iPhone one or whatever. I had a I Googled, what's the copywriter? Because I had no idea. And yeah, that was that was the start of, you know, however many years now 12 years later and a billion dollars in sales. But um, but it started right there. And I don't know if you want to pause it points or do you want to kind of keep keep going with I could do either or?
Robert Peterson 5:18
Well, I guess I guess you talked about 12 years and how much money? Did anything else happen with this young lady?
Stefan Georgi 5:26
Well, yeah. And she became my wife as well. So. So you
Robert Peterson 5:30
wanna you want on both sides? That's pretty cool.
Stefan Georgi 5:33
Yeah, that's a pretty, pretty life changing event, for sure.
Robert Peterson 5:37
Absolutely. All right. So your Google, what is a copywriter? Where does it go from there?
Stefan Georgi 5:44
Yeah, so I see that it's about writing advertisements. And I think, Alright, great. And then I applied and took it into accepting a job in South Florida with a big consumer packaged goods company. And so it didn't start for a month. So I spent like a another month or so in Las Vegas, living off cheap hotel rooms playing poker, winning enough money to kind of be able to stay because I was really very broke at that time. And that's at this job, she came down for a weekend that we can turn into, hey, I don't want you to leave, you know, I don't wanna leave either. So she just kind of we moved in together very quickly. And I'm doing this job where I'm driving around South Florida to get outside sales job. And it was like a really like the best job I've ever had, I was getting paid essentially, the equivalent of around 40,000 a year salary to give me a car, brand new Ford Escape with a card, a gas car that I can use for personal use as well. You had benefits all this stuff, right? Yeah. And yet, it kept trying to do like, entrepreneurial things, and kind of like, having business ideas. And then meanwhile, too, I'd come home after like, a long day. And, you know, she'd be in her underwear, like drinking a beer. And like, she made $2,000 That day, and I'd only made like, 200. So eventually, I was kind of like, you know, I want to do it, like what you're doing, do you think that you know, copywriting and be a thing for me? And she was like, Yeah, I should try it. So I said, Okay, I wrote a, an ad, the first piece of copy, which again, for those who don't know about copywriting, it's really just a range of advertisements. So the first advertisement I ever wrote was selling my own services, I posted it on this website, it was called a Warrior Forum, I think it's still around. And it basically was okay, all right, you know, sales copy for you for, I think it was like $149, or something like that, and how to look at it, obviously, to make sure it wasn't a disaster. And then I went to bed, I woke up the next day, and I had, you know, whatever, the tuner 97 turned $8 my PayPal account. And I was like, that was like the feeling of winning the lottery, right? It was like, Oh, my God, because until then, I knew that I saw her making money. You know, until it happens to you, you saw that level of skepticism, but like, is this real? Is it really what people really pay me all that and so that created a monster, I guess you could say, in a good way. I mean, I basically quit my fortune is of a fortune 500 company, and I quit the job, like within two months of that happening, and just what is the role of freelancing and early on, it was a, you know, it was a struggle, sometimes it was great, because I feel like I had all this freedom. But I definitely had all those sort of dreams that I can be on airplane, you know, writing copy, or like a beach anywhere in the world, I'm going to travel and like, like, yeah, that part can happen. And it's cool. But there's also the part where you're like, crap, I don't have enough money to pay my rent, and it's due and you know, better find a client real fast, or go sell something, which I wish I did early on, right. It wasn't like I magically found, you know, kind of freelancing and just like, Mike was, you know, a nonstop upward trajectory. It was like, I had success, I was getting clients, but I wasn't charging a lot of money. And so, you know, it took a good period of time to kind of figure out how to figure it figure out how to charge more, but also to get the skills that may be deserving of charging more to write, you got to kind of put in the work, of course, and so eventually, I did figure that out. And, you know, in addition to doing copywriting, I would do other stuff for people like I built websites and SEO, really whatever they needed and whatever I could do to bring enough money and, and over over time, I really hope hone in on copywriting started writing for some direct to consumer companies that had a lot of reach and was able to start sharing a lot of sales for them. And, you know, we can we can pick we can go into any part in more depth, but basically from there. Eventually I started my own supplement company that I scaled to like eight figures in revenue in the second year, but made some crazy mistakes. And, you know, since then, have been involved whether as an owner, investor, partner or advisor to a lot of different direct response kind of orange Two companies that have generated a lot of a lot of revenue and also help freelancers and business owners and people to scale online with direct to consumer as well. That's a very abridged version. But yeah, no, it's
Robert Peterson 10:12
perfect. So let's so let's just dig into obviously you introduced, the idea of copywriting is, is basically writing for, for advertising. And now of course, there's there's different levels, right, you mentioned the email that you sent, basically saying I'd write your email. But really, copywriting could include website copy, email, an email, campaign social can be included in there. And then of course, actually, commercials are copy written, right? I mean, the copy that people are speaking, and so videos can be an element of a level of copywriting. What, what's your favorite? What's your niche? And and what drove you to that?
Stefan Georgi 10:54
So yeah, great question. A lot of what I do is, I do a lot in the health niche. So a lot of like health and wellness, supplements, fitness, things of that nature, I sort of just fell into I think there's two parts to it. One is that I'm sort of a contrarian person by nature and always have been. So I always had a bit of a distrust for the status quo, let's say and so when I found like that there's a whole industry where it's sort of like, alternative health, let's call it that, that resonated with me, because I thought was interesting. I also got to do a lot of research there, right? You didn't really learn. It's funny because I was not a good student for like science or math classes. And like, in fact, I had to retake biology. But I guess when it was like learning about stuff I was interested in getting paid to learn about suddenly being on like, a website like from, you know, the National Health Services are places like that, and reading about these different mechanisms in the body and learning Oh, it was actually very, I'm like, Well, I'm getting paid to learn how cool and interesting is this? And so yeah, I really fell into that. And I got done all types in all categories and niches, but that's when my strongest and most consistent ones and, and then really longer format, because I enjoy that we're sort of like infomercial style, or if it's online, sometimes we refer to sales letters, or video sales letters, but really, it's like online infomercials. And I enjoy those because, you know, they're the average scripts latest, probably about 6000 words up to sometimes as much as 10,000 words. And while that's like a pretty harrowing thing, I guess, on one hand, it's like you can really do a lot, you have a lot of room and you can be creative and you can really educate a consumer really tell a story really build rapport, and, um, have a long winded guy anyway, so I got it, it just works for me, like, you know, like, tick tock is not my friend because it's like, supposed to keep everything really short. And like, I like YouTube, where I can ramble for 15 minutes, much better. So I guess I like longer format coffee for that reason, too.
Robert Peterson 12:58
Nice. Alright, so we're coming right off the beginning of the year here and, and chat GPT drops, and in the whole world will have the world thinks Whoo, it's the greatest thing ever. The other half is freaking out saying, you know, are basically intellectual property is gone and lost and, and AI is going to take it all over. So I guess I wanted to get your opinion of GPT and how do you see it impacting the copywriting world?
Stefan Georgi 13:30
Yeah, so I think it's going to have a one is going to happen as having a massive impact. I am very, very bullish about it. I feel as though it's creating one of the most exciting opportunities in our lifetimes, at least in like the last decade or two may since the internet right as far as like, for innovation for creativity really is ushering in unleashing a whole new era of creativity. And that being said, I think there will be some disruption is a disruptive technology and that includes with copywriters and not just copywriters, but content writers, content marketers, video producers and video editors, voiceover artists, there's a lot of people whose jobs are probably at risk right now but I I feel like one if you're really good at what you do, then you're you're probably pretty safe because generally these are tools that and they're using AI enabled processes and like you know, to be more effective, more efficient to work faster I think those things are that's really what is happening and will continue to happen. So I think it's really those who are often in these professions for the wrong reasons they don't really have a passion for them they don't care they're just trying to you know, make money which was anywhere off need to make money and wanting to you know, need to keep a roof over your head but at the same time. I feel like if you you know the bottom end percent. And as far as like, it's easy asthma, passion, and like really, professional care are gonna be a lot of trouble. But I think the those who get into the top 20% are going to really thrive for the next couple of years and beyond. And, and then on a more macro level, I mean, not to sound like I thought about this more, but it's like when you're in an Uber, you don't sit around like crying for the taxi drivers who lost their jobs. It doesn't mean it doesn't mean it doesn't suck for them, but you want to, you know, it is it is what it is. And there's there's all these new opportunities. So I think for people who I would embrace it, and learn how to like, you know, I think you can you can earn way more money, whether you're a company or an individual, like a freelancer, or contract or whatever. And then, you know, beyond that, and yeah, look for new opportunities that are going to arise because of this, because for Yes, jobs will be displaced. But there's all kinds of new jobs that will come in to effect especially, you know, one very obvious example, is really people who are great integrators and get systems and processes and project managers and managing workflows, all these sorts of things. Because, like, Alright, great, now with AI, I can have exponentially more outputs, I can produce tons of ads, tons of videos, tons of content, but if I don't have a good system in place for actually like, organizing that deploying it tracking the results, then what good does it do me and in fact, I could become very overwhelmed very easily. So I actually think that, you know, there's gonna be a war of, for operators and integrators, they're already very popular for visionary entrepreneurial types, like myself, but I think now, so it's gonna really go into hyperdrive. And so if you get to start developing those skills, now, you're probably gonna be in a really good place for the next five years. And there's plenty of other examples of that as well.
Robert Peterson 16:39
Nice. I, I like your perspective. Like money, it's a tool that can be used, it can be used for good or for, or for evil, and people that are worried about it, taking their jobs are the people that are short sighted, and, and in panic mode, kind of like the taxi drivers. And well, if you want to stick with your old traditions, then then you're going to get left behind. And so I appreciate that. The idea of No, this is a great, man. It's like, the internet, like, embrace the internet. And let's see where it takes us. And now, of course, you know, kind of like the iPhone 2009, boom, you know, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or are we going to embrace it and see what kind of greatness it can bring us or freak out about? This device that everybody can't let go of now?
Stefan Georgi 17:32
Yeah, yeah, exactly. No, it's a very good analogy that I saw. Yeah.
Robert Peterson 17:36
So let's talk a little bit about, obviously, your your girlfriend at the time had some connections she was making $2,000 a day and doing some things. What did you need to do to create connection to create opportunities to bring in some leads when you made this leap?
Stefan Georgi 17:55
Yeah, great, great question. And I guess that I would even qualify, it wasn't that she made $2,000 Every day, but she would have days were more she does, that was good. He got super rich girlfriend, it was like, you know, but she would let you know, she would make like $10,000 in a month, which is a very good amount of money to make. So to this day, obviously, especially for me as the guy who's making 200 hours a week prior. I'm like, Oh, my God, right. But sit at home, right? Yes. Yes. Even more. It's like the dream. Right. Um, but yeah, as far as, um, you know, a couple of things, I guess, like one was, you're going on I want to freelancing platforms, like, what I say is Upwork at the time was Elance. And I really tried to treat myself as a professional from the beginning, I really looked at myself, I still do is like being in the customer service business. And so this is such a little thing, but it made such a huge difference where I would, you know, meet deadlines seems really, really simple. But copywriters are notorious for not meeting deadlines. I would proactively communicate, I would send a nice customized cover letter, the thing I applied for whether it was copywriting, or building a website or whatever, and sort of explained like, why I was the right choice, I'd be like you're gonna make you'll undoubtedly get lots of candidates. Here's why, you know, they aren't, they can't hold a candle to me, I will usually be too on the higher end of the biddings to say that the average like it was like a $30 an hour job, I'd come in at like 40 or 50 an hour. And I have a closer it was extremely high. If I go back like I am sure it's like really the top 1% of freelancers who ever used those platforms. And even I didn't have a lot of experience, but because I would I think because I charged a higher amount, but I communicated why it was worth it. I communicate expectations but what you could expect when you worked with me all these like sort of things and then provided great customer service. So that led to a lot of referrals very quickly. Because people you know, would be really happy. I really worked hard in each jobs, make sure it was, you know, they did a great, great job for my clients. But also, I gave them a good experience and good customer service. So they would then refer me to people who refer to other people. And that was really valuable. The other side of that was also going to live events, which I think is so important, like networking, and just being in the right rooms with the right people. And, you know, going there, and that's still to this day, something that's really important to me, I do a couple of live events per year with one of my masterminds, and I attend other people's events, and all these sorts of things. And like that, is both in the short term, you can get clients and opportunities and things. But also, the long tail of that is incredible. Like, I can't tell you now that I've been in this industry for, you know, 11 or 12 years now, like, how many people that I've sort of met some 20 and 2015 at an event, and we stayed friends, we see each other and then like, you know, six months ago, they randomly hired me for saying it paid me $50,000 a year, I mean, big things like that. And it's like, you know, so just having those that network of those relationships and understanding that there's a real long tail to that, if you value those relationships, and doesn't mean like, I'm not actually that great at like, maintaining, like, I'm not the guy who's gonna send you a thoughtful note in the mail. Right? I wish I was, but I'm not that guy. I'm like, occasional send attacks, but, but even just like, see being there showing up being at events being in the same rooms consistently, you know, with familiarity, there's the whole know, like, and trust thing, right. And so the more people are seeing you, the more they know you like to trust you, the more they want to do business with you. So yes, another really important one, I think, in addition,
Robert Peterson 21:37
so, so, obviously, you mentioned I don't send them notes, maybe I send an occasional text, but how are you making a connection? And, and why is that connection? You know, bigger than, you know, just seeing somebody in a room?
Stefan Georgi 21:54
Yeah, I think that I mean, I want to like, I don't for one thing, I advise the people who were earlier on on this as well, because so many people I think get networking wrong, where they, it's sort of like, Hey, here's my business card, what do you do? Can we have a transactional relationship, right, and it's sort of like it's Amelie puts you on the defensive and all that, whereas, you know, for me, I would really try to build like friendships first, and just get to know people, you know, find common ground things that we were both interested in whether it was related to business or not, if I had, you know, something of value to add professionally, or, you know, if I had an experience, or had experienced somewhere, we'll be happy to share very abundantly. You hop on calls with people, things like that. And I'm really, I think that's one of the biggest parts of it is just, like, get to know them as like friends. And then, you know, if you're, you're good, and they'll get to know you, and they'll know what you do, and they see your track record and things of that nature, then you know, it, they'll ultimately want to want to work with you. And then also, I think, not being afraid to publicize or share your wins. You know, there's an art to that, too, like the humble brag, but, you know, it's definitely good. I had posts maybe a few months ago, where I was somewhere, all the crazy stuff I've done in the last like six months and, and to be completely honest, part of it was like, remind people like, Hey, I'm relevant. I'm here, I'm doing big things, right? Because, like, I think it's important. And you know, especially if you're kind of like, have a bit of like a thought leadership space, you want to let people know what you're doing. But it was like, even put, like, you know, I don't want to, you know, feel like I'm bragging or whatever, but I guess you You're my Facebook friends and you know, friends are supposed to be happy for each other on their accomplishments. So I guess I'm gonna have to assume you'll be happy for me. Here's all the cool stuff I have going on. And then everyone's like, Well, I'm really happy for you, but also kind of took away it was like a pre emptive like that sort of feeling of resentment. So um, I got a crazy amount of engagement and multiple people tried to hire me from things based on that and all this so you know, I think I think being because even the CPA we met the events that you're friends with, defy at this point, your Facebook friends, they follow you on Instagram, or whatever it is. So even then, it's good to remind them like, Hey, I'm out here doing great things. So you're top of mind when you know when they need something that you happen to be good at.
Robert Peterson 24:10
We will be right back after the short break. Are you an entrepreneur who started their business with purpose and passion, only to lose sight of it amidst the daily grind? We understand how frustrating that can be. That's why we're offering free strategy calls to help you gain clarity on the barriers holding you back from achieving your dreams. In just 30 minutes. Our experienced coaches will work with you to identify obstacles and develop strategies for overcoming them. There's no commitment or pressure. Just a chance to get some assistance and clarity human scheduling is easy, simply visit smiling cole.com and select a time that works for you. Let's jump on a call and build your business together. It's time for you to add value and achieve your full potential as an entrepreneur. Welcome back. Let's get back to more great Well, and and it's important that there's a level of authenticity necessary in in that right. I think that's a huge bar in my space, you know, character and authenticity. And of course, we've seen, you know, plenty of people that are renting a car and an Airbnb for a weekend and using it to take all their social profile pics to try to convince you that they're at a level where they're not what's the value of being yourself?
Stefan Georgi 25:29
Yeah, I think it's, I think it's everything I'm, I'm very much like that, that's very important to me. So for my own kind of personal brand, you know, authenticity is huge. I mean, to the point where that the same the girlfriend a poker table, my wife like her and I separated at the spring of last, I guess, spring of 2022 and we then were able to kind of actually reconcile and we got back together but I really thought we were probably going to get divorced. And you know, fortunately, we didn't. But like I shared that on a Facebook on Instagram, it was my email list and it wasn't like a Hey Everybody look at me, but it was just like a you know, like, I'm going through this right now. Which I know seems like pretty extreme. But I wanted people to like to know because especially for I guess, again, I'm like, I joke that I'm like I'm niche famous right? So I'm not famous in general but there's very little niche of like kind of direct response direct to consumer marketers and copywriters. I'm famous for that. So this university audience of like 100,000 people, like I'm famous for that which is cool, right? That's I'm very blessed and happy about that. I don't really want to be like you know somebody famous because I'm good I'm good right? Um, but even so you know you what you find is there are people who then do kind of look up to you and other sorts of people who are getting I'm not trying to sound self aggrandizing but public figures and so if so many of them to your point show you the edited story of all the good and none of the bad so even with like my email list, so I was going through I haven't email myself send out emails almost every day and like, talking about you know, how to like clean up dog poop. Like you know, sometimes I got my hands and knees like clean up dog poop because like, you know, like and again how like when I have a bad day or I feel stressed overwhelmed or if I have cashflow challenges, which I've had like it's like not like you like everybody not like like academically but like um, but just being real about it cuz I think it's important for people like even that post of the wins. I was like, and here's some things I failed on and it was like you I wrote this for this client and it didn't do well and I really thought it would and it stunk right I did this like and so showing both sides I think it just resonates so much with people and and even in marketing I think you know one thing I was just talking to the copywriters in that are one of the programs I have just got one program for business owners one for copywriters, and I was saying to them how like, even for copywriters, they get taught with, like direct response type of copy to, like dismiss alternatives. What's happening is they start writing and they're like, you know, I tried diet and exercise to lose weight. And that didn't work at all. And like, you know, it's actually the worst thing you can do. And it's like, no, it's not like, what do you like? Shut? Shut up. Like, no, of course, like diet, exercise is good. Like, you don't need to, like people are dumb, like, don't lie to them. You can be like, and like, and yeah, that definitely helps. And like, I want to keep doing it. But I found like, sometimes I was busy, or like it was hard to say goodbye. And so, you know, when I found the supplement it helped, like, you know, in addition to what I was doing, like you can, you can be real, but people feel like they have to lie for no reason. And so just understand that even with your removing the personal brand side, just like, you know, be be real if people even like when you say something a big claim, but it's true. Like, Hey, I know what you're thinking that probably sounds like BS, I totally get it. Right. But like, you know, I promise I'm going to prove it to you and whatever. So just being being real, I think more than ever, people want authenticity and both with with individuals, but also with brands. I mean, people have like relationships with with brands more than ever. And so, you know, yeah, just being authentic is so crucial. And it's easier to write, that's the best part. It's like, it's actually way easier to just be honest in yourself, like warts and all than it is to try to portray and keep up some image all the time. Like that's actually exhausting. So it's way better to just be super real about stuff.
Robert Peterson 29:16
Yeah, so I thought of Russell Brunson throw rocks at their enemy, right. So diet and exercise is clearly an enemy that's easy to throw rocks at but it's also an effective strategy for the people that are disciplined enough to us it's so funny. So obviously, you you mentioned your niche famous, so let's talk about the value of that niche and, and why it's so important to to be in a in a narrow workspace.
Stefan Georgi 29:48
Yeah, I think that like, you know, obviously there's some sub niches within there, but like within the role of copywriters, and direct response marketers, you know, been well known in there, obviously, it leads to a lot of opportunities for me, and it helps me to have a lot of impact as well. Right. So, you know, with copywriters, if I want to help, this is a lot of credibility more than anything I think that comes from from being niche famous. But to that, so to your point, it's like I, I've have had interesting thoughts about this over the years, because like, I've made some pretty good investments. So I'm like, Oh, I could be like, I'm an investor. Right? And it's like, cool, but then that means people, it sounds good, right? But basically, people come to me all the time asked me for money. It's actually not that fun. Like, I'd rather be like, oh, like, I'm really good at helping other people make money and the people come to you trying to give me money, right? So thinking through the consequences of those things is actually quite important. When you're an investor. People might be like, oh, cool, I want to be like you. But they're not is like likely to be like, you know, let me hire you. They're like, again, oh, cool. I'll be like, up until then. Can you give me money so I can become like, right, so. So So yeah, something valuable about about thinking about the niche you're going to be in and then your positioning within the niche as well. And yeah, there's different values to those. I mean, an interesting thing is with the copy starter, which is my mastermind, specially kind of training program, here, we started out with business owners, and it was great. You know, doing a couple million dollars a year a really high margin, with much of direct response, business owners are doing between like seven and nine figures per year, and was like, not a ton of work. Awesome. Then my business part of the time who had bought out had idea, which seemed like a really good idea, and I don't mean this sarcastically I thought it was a really good idea, too. So I don't blame him. But it was like, what if we do like a lite version that's like, significantly cheaper, and they get like, 80% of the program, but the parts that are really time intensive, they don't get and it was like, Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. So we did it and we made like, you know, maybe we booked like an extra million dollars of revenue in a month right? Sort of like over 12 months. And then you know, at event we kind of pitched that and made another couple million dollars in revenue GM. Yeah, we're so smart. Right? But but it turns out the people who were coming in were more like copywriters, and they were earlier on in their journey. They were like beginners, so then they actually needed a whole different set of things. They had a whole different problem. So they need help getting clients. They're like, well, let me see your copy. Oh, your copy is not good. Oh, shit. We are oh, shoot, we were your, your copy, right? Like so then we're so now we're over there helping them so much. And all these business owners are like, well, I guess this isn't the right place for me anymore. Because like, you know, now I see people posting Oh, I just had a 10k month like, oh, like, you know, how should I negotiate this client? And they're the client, right? So they're really, like, what am I doing? So we started to kind of lose the market share positioning there. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I didn't want to lose that market share. And that's where the reasons why I ended up buying my business partner out of the business. And then now I've kind of got two different very distinct programs. So once for the copywriters and once for business owners, but it was a lot of work to have to rebuild the social capital with business owners, because it's crazy how quickly people do that. Oh, yeah, that's the thing for like, freelance copywriters. No, no, no, it was for business owners, and it's for business owners again. And they're like, Yeah, freelance comm. I don't I'm not a copywriter. So do I have a joined? No, no, no, it's not for copywriters any more. Right. And so it's a really good lesson. I guess it's interesting because you it's good and bad, because you can, you can shift or pivot and you can reposition. But also, it's very, it can be hard to build market share, and very easy to lose it if you're not intentional. So kind of interesting, I guess the lesson I learned as well.
Robert Peterson 33:40
Well, and the unintended consequences of something that seemed good, right. And, yeah, sometimes those are hard to measure hard to see what a lot of things in the entrepreneurial space are really experiments, you're testing something, and having a willingness to try it, learn from it, and then recognize either good or bad, how do we make it better? Right. And I think the best entrepreneurs are the ones that that they're willing to try it, test it and change it. And, and that really allows your business to, you know, when you recognize, hey, this taken away business from our, our higher end, we're hurting ourselves. And even though we're making money here, it's ultimately hurting our brand. To be able to, to have to restructure that and recognize the cost both in in repairing the damage, but also in in having to restructure it. But yet, in the end, you've got something so much better for both verticals.
Stefan Georgi 34:46
Absolutely. Yeah. And 100%. And I think I'm, I'm very willing to do that. I think that's a strength of mine. Of course, sometimes it's a weakness because sometimes you maybe want to pivot to mush or You know, you don't put a thought into the pivots. But I tried to be thoughtful at this point in my career. But um, but yeah, it's really important, but I'm also Yeah, I think, I guess like I always say that I think a hallmark of entrepreneurs is like just, you know, unbounded perennial optimism. Generally, for every one famous pessimist, you hear about me successful, there's, like, you know, 10 optimists who were successful. And I think that's like, there's a reason for that, because it's sort of like, I always believe that the best is yet to come. And that it doesn't matter if I had a terrible day, the day before, or I had like, a phenomenal day, the day before. I think that's important, too, because it's not like, oh, I had the best day yesterday can't top that. It's like, Man, how great tomorrow is gonna be even better. Right? Like, man, how crummy that day was, but Tomorrow's gonna be like, way better. And so even with pivoting, it's like, I don't worry about because I think there's always the worry of like, well, what if these things happen? And like, you're like, Yeah, so what if that happens, I'll deal with it. Like, that's part of like, you know, being human being entrepreneur or being resilient is like, it'll be fine. You know, like, like, buying out my partner was is not I've turned out to be a really great decision and great for him to write because we're still friends. Like, I love him. And, and he really wanted that like, lifestyle, business time freedom. I don't think it would have really, yeah, payments, seven figures. He's a happy guy, right? You got a bunch of money, and like, and he's doing his thing and love and life and like, and but I kind of made a shift and changes I think we really needed to make had we stay partnered, I think the business probably would have failed instead of now having a rebirth. And so um, but yeah, but it kind of, there's a period of time where it kind of sucked because I paid him all this money. And we didn't have many business owners, and I basically destroyed the copyright thing to rebuild it. So you know, my income and the cash flow went like way down as my payouts were way up. And going back to the cash flow challenges that can arise, right? I'm like, oh, man, we're all the money go. Um, but yeah, but then you just get through it. You're like, ah, stinks. But like, you get through it, you figure it out, like, you know, we're so resilient. And it's like, you know, the whole exercise of like, what's you can play it? I heard Tim Ferriss talk about this back in the day, but I'm sure there's that as well. But like, what's like the real worst case that happens, right? Like, oh, everyone leaves the mastermind, and lose all the money, like, Okay, well, like, then what happens? Well, I mean, I might have to pay my bills, like, Okay, well, then what happens? Well, I'd have to probably really hustle and go get some clients and do these things. But I'm pretty sure I could actually pay the bills. Like, well, then what happens? Well, once I was comfortable again, I'd probably actually start a new business. And yeah, when you do it, you're like, what? Like, well, like, who cares? Like, I think you just have to be. But yeah, it's not for everybody. I get that. But I'm very, very comfortable with like, you know, the risk, I guess. And that's probably an entrepreneurial thing, because because the upside, I love the upside.
Robert Peterson 37:48
So would you consider yourself an integrator or visionary or a healthy combination of both?
Stefan Georgi 37:55
I think I'm, I'm definitely a visionary, I can play integrator a little bit, I have a little bit more tendency to the average person, which I think has helped me in some cases, and contributed to some success. But I'm definitely more of a visionary who has anxiety when there aren't processes, but I don't really want to be the ones to create the processes.
Robert Peterson 38:15
Nice. All right. Sounds fair. All right. So we dabble a little bit into the personal what what's been your biggest challenge in running your business?
Stefan Georgi 38:26
You know, it depends on on the business and the the time. You know, so it varies, I guess, I think like, right now trying to think like, Well, right now, like one of the things we're doing is with my I basically have I bought out my former business partner I bought on to Jr. Or they're formerly protegees and copywriters, and marketers, and brought them on as partners in a variety of businesses. And one of those is like an agency which I've I've, so I can tell you, I mean, I've I've had multiple agencies, and I've kind of like always talked about I hate the agency model, when I kind of do, I'm very wary of most agencies, because I think most of the time, you know, they are poorly run, you get a poor product from them. So from a from a business owner perspective, I'm very wary of agencies. You know, and for most freelancers, I warn them against an agency, because what tends to happen is like they, Oh, hey, like, I'm making pretty good money will feel doing this providing service to clients, but I'm also working a ton of hours, and I can't take out any more on there's more opportunity, man, what if I hired other people underneath me? Oh, that'd be great. Then I could just go do the sales and not have to even do the work because I don't like to work that much. And I can just like, you know, grow from 20,000 to 100,500 that like, this will be great. So then they go hire a bunch of people, and they're like, Alright, do the work. Alright, and then the people were like, you know, okay, here. I don't really know what that means. But here it is. And they're like, No, that wasn't right. I just do it myself. And then so just because of A whole mess, right where it's like they because they don't. And it's not their fault, but they've just never, like, they've never run a business and never hired people. They don't have HR, they don't know how all these things, there's a lot that goes into it. So people, I think, always have that temptation to move to an agency model too fast. And there's some great agencies out there, but it often ends in disaster for a lot of people. And so I always caution folks, and myself, have you run agencies have had some, you know, very lucrative agencies, but also times where I'm like, Oh, my God, I hate this agency, what was I thinking? And yet, we're doing it again, after saying for a long time, I never would, where we're using sort of AI enabled processes to provide, you know, sales copy for clients. And but the difference I would say is that we're intentionally going fairly slow Look, when we booked a decent amount of revenue, like it'll be a seven figure businesses first year which is, which is I know, for some people like, like, amazing, and it's great. I'm very thankful for it. But I think we can do crazy stuff with it. But we're trying to go slow. Because I'm very, like, adamant of like, I don't want to go book a bunch of revenue, provide negative or mediocre kind of deliverables, and then have unhappy clients and, you know, all the headaches that go with that. I mean, basically, I told the guys, I'm like, I've been there done that before, I had an agency in 2018, that like, focused on revenue, hired a bunch of mediocre copywriters gave people mediocre copy. And, you know, got mediocre results, which led to people being some people were really happy. So obviously, there was a mean, right? So some things did well, but some did terrible. And I was like, not doing again. So basically, you know, we have these values that I've been working on, which I can kind of maybe share some of them, but um, it's like, the first one was we do everything at an elite level, or it's enough, right? So there's, if it's not an absolute a level, then it's an effort, it doesn't go to like the client. But in order to do that, as we're developing, we are working with junior writers, we've got all these processes, all these things, it's like, that means you've got to really have a super dialed in before we can scale, right? And so going slow can be like frustrating, because I'm also a visionary Quickstart. Like, I can see where this could be like a nine figure agency. So yeah, but yeah, that's what I'm like, we seek efficiencies, not shortcuts. Really important, right? So it's like, like, we want to be efficient, and AI enables that. But we're not doing shortcuts and shortcutting the process are the worst, because, you know, short cuts lead to poor results. You have others, I don't have to read off the all these values, but really talked
Robert Peterson 42:32
about the value of those of having these values. drive decisions.
Stefan Georgi 42:40
Yes. So maybe, you know, I'm a big believer in values in general, whether for a company or you know, your personal life. And when you have the right set of values, it's like a compass or a map. And that's not an original thought or idea If Stephen Covey talks about it, like all kinds of people, right. Um, but But it's true, because you don't get lost as often when you can go and reference your values, and then not only have the values, but really ranking your values too, right? Having a hierarchy, because there's gonna be things where a situation arises that leads to a conflict of your values. So how do you decide what to do? Unless you've actually waited or ranked your values to understand which ones at the top? If you've done that, and then you kind of see, well, like, what is like, what does the highest ranking value this role, let's say, and you go with this, it actually makes decision making a lot easier, it sort of acts as like a crucible on a clarifier. And then for your personal life as well, right, having those values. And I guess the other part to really think about from a personal perspective, is that, um, your values do do change. I didn't know when I was younger, I thought they did. But they do. So when I was in my early 20s, like, freedom was my highest value. And a lot of freelancers have that as a high value freelance, right, but, um, Freedom still cool. I still do like, you know, the idea of freedom, but it's like, not nearly as important to me as, like, impact impacts significantly more valuable. You know, I have a daughter, and I've got, you know, my wife, and I've got people that I am a leader to, and having an impact is something that is way more important to me than like the freedom to go fly off to like, Tahiti tomorrow for two weeks. I don't really care like about that, because they said I could I guess you know, and, but that's not that valuable. Um, so understanding that your values change. So even for somebody maybe who's listening who perhaps has done an inventory of their values, like I'm 37 now, right? So I didn't, I did my values in my mid 20s. And then like, last year, kind of reevaluated and was like, oh, man, like, there's actually we need to make some some tweaks and adjustments here. And so I think, you know, that can happen for a company as well, but but especially on the personal side, take at least every decade, you know, like I think taking time to reassess your values and see if they still align with who you are is really important.
Robert Peterson 44:57
Well, then making sure that the companies really Using them, right? Like, I mean, Enron had values and integrity was their first. And yet they were lying to clients in order to increase cash gains. And, and so you can have values, especially at the company level. But if the company doesn't use them regularly doesn't talk about them regularly doesn't engage them in, in their decision making or explain, hey, the reason we made this decision is because this value is our most important and it's, and it really makes a difference. And I think, like you said, if you don't review them, and you don't use them, or reevaluate them every, you know, 10 years, then then they're not really helping you in your decision making.
Stefan Georgi 45:39
Yeah, it's a really crucial point. I'm glad you brought that up. Because yeah, of course, it's like you can have the greatest list of values ever, but if you're not authentic, or living to them, or hearing them, or they aren't, you know, disseminated throughout your company, your organization or you know, your personal life or whatever. And then you don't again, you live them, right, because as a leader, you have to embody those values. First, you can't give people a set of values for the company. But these are these are these are like, this is our your Bible, our 10 commandments, and then you're off doing complete opposite things like, so you have to be congruent. Right? And that's really important. Yeah, absolutely.
Robert Peterson 46:15
Right. Here's, here's the fun question. What was your most memorable date with your wife?
Stefan Georgi 46:20
Oh, man, I'm chanting, I want to I want to expand the, the ages now to think of like, what would be
Stefan Georgi 46:32
Oh, my gosh, that's a good one, you know, I'm gonna give you like, as to be the most memorable one. Well, like, it's a
Stefan Georgi 46:41
funny one, I guess, which was like, last year. This is not that good of an answer. But I took her to like see, like, basically, like diehard done with sock puppets for like a Christmas thing. And she just was like, What the hell is this? Like, I'm like, trying to, like, surprise her. Like, it wasn't as cool surprise. And she was just like, You know what? Yeah. And we got separated? They're not related. But
Robert Peterson 47:10
all right. That's funny. All right. So typically, I let the guest share their words of wisdom to end the show. So Stephen, what would your words of wisdom to the entrepreneurs listening be?
Stefan Georgi 47:23
You know, I think, okay, I'll give two, I think we're entering an era of where there'll be actually an increased value of short term thinking, but I'm going to qualify that because it sounds like a horrible thing to say. So here's what I mean, right? I think you still need your, your vision, and your long term vision, you know, for yourself, your life, and also your company and your business like, right, like where you want to go. You want your principles and your values and things that help to guide you in that direction. But what I mean by short term thinking is because of AI, and the amount of new kind of platforms that are coming out technologies interfaces, you really need to shift your thinking to how much faster things get done, there's sort of this idea I been using, and I'm sure I didn't coin it, but I didn't get everyone else, but like exponential efficiencies, right? Because you can sort of like do things exponentially faster, and exponentially more efficiently. And so given that, like, while you submit your five year vision, when it comes to like tackling specific projects, and things of that nature, if you're being AI first or AI enabled, you have to shift your mindset to like, I could probably do this in three months, or six months, instead of a year or two years, or three years, and do it very efficiently. And so, it also helps you be say, adaptive, given that as we all these changes, right, because of all these, if you're like, This is my five year set in stone, how things need to go for my business, and then all these changes are gonna be happening and increasingly fast rate, you're gonna be a lot of trouble. But if you're sort of like, okay, we're going to do these Sprint's we're going to hit these milestones and you really focus in work that way more, I think you'll be in better shape with what's to come. So that's a really big one. And then the funny paradox of that is that at the same time, never lose sight of how your time is really on your side, generally, as an entrepreneur, and, you know, things that maybe, like, I guess, I think it was one investment I made, like a year ago, almost, and it felt like sort of challenging at times here. And then I just was talking to the guys and it's like, looks like it'd be like extremely successful. You will see a lot can happen right? But it's like so oh my god was only a year but during the year you just times where you're thinking like it's sort of like all you know, you kind of feel like all this doubt and all this kind of stuff. And so sometimes it might take five years, but remembering that on a longer, long enough horizon. If you're doing the right things in the right processes, you're going to generally get the right outcomes. So those would be the two big things.
Robert Peterson 49:53
Stephen, thank you so much for joining me today. What a fantastic I learned a ton about copywriting and you Running a business. And so I hope that our audience enjoyed their time with you.
Stefan Georgi 50:05
Yeah, thank you, Robert. Really appreciate you having me on.
Robert Peterson 50:10
Thank you for tuning into this episode brought to you by the power of intentional decisions that lead to massive action. Those aren't just buzzwords. They're qualities that can help you take control of your life and build a successful business. To support you on this journey, we're offering you our most popular survey to help you establish a baseline. Visit enjoy biz life.com to check it out and take the first steps towards changing your life and we often make things more complicated than they need to be losing sight of what's truly important. This tool will help you refocus on what matters most, so that you can start doing the things you've always wanted to do, like spending quality time with loved ones. And if you enjoyed this episode, please show us some love by liking, subscribing, or leaving a review, but most importantly, share it with someone who needs to hear it. In our next episode, Robert has a conversation about business growth with Travis Stephen, who has found a passion for taking ideas to profitability and then to exit. He shares the value of building a business with a growth strategy and an exit plan. His success is translated into helping growth create growth success for others, and he shares powerful tips for making that happen.