Richard-Branson_2127506bHowdy solopreneurs and welcome to episode 327 of The Solopreneur Hour.

This is our weekly Friday Q&A. You send in a question, I answer it on the mic. It can be about anything from relationships to business to cars, and anything else you can think of!

Want to join in the fun? Join us in the Proudly Unemployable Facebook group, look for my post and submit your question there. I’ll answer it on one of these Q&A episodes.

Enjoy, and please text “Solohour” to 33444 to get my 8 3/4 steps to becoming a successful solopreneur. Now let’s get to this Q&A on The Solopreneur Hour!

More About Your Questions and Sir Richard Branson

Q: Hi Michael, I discovered your podcast a few months ago and absolutely love it! I know you sometimes answer listener questions, and I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to create a successful business with a traditional store front?

I know your tag line is all about location freedom and time freedom, and everything is digital now, but my dream involves not just selling items, but creating a local community based around it. I’m having a terribly difficult time finding resources that support the idea of being able to excel in a business that also has a traditional brick and mortar store. Any thoughts/advice/resources would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

A: 1. Focus on getting people on your mailing list. Have a physical clipboard where they sign up or an iPad where they sign up. Or try Square. 2. Depending on the type of the store start holding free clinics. If you are a bike shop hold free bike clinics.

Q: Well I have an income problem. I make $20,000 a year before taxes. I thankfully have no bills but I would like to not live with my parents some day. I’ve also recently started a business on Amazon but it hasn’t really taken off yet.

I’m having trouble deciding if I should devote money and time to get some more education for a job I don’t really want and but would give me more money and allow me to work from home (which I do want).

Or if I should just stay at my current job, keep working on my Amazon business and see where I am in like a year. Which seems like a very long time to live at such a low income and 9 to 5. (I’m not known for my patience.)

A: Split the difference: is there something that can work with the knowledge you have and you spend money on an online course so you become really, really good at that thing. I don’t know your niche or what you do or what you want to do I could give you more suggestions. Look at the trends: are their things you can do and learn really, really well? Try your hand at copywriting, it is the Holy Grail!

Q: Hello Michael! I have really been enjoying your Q&A sessions for a while now, so I am hoping to participate finally. I have a couple web businesses that I am slowly getting in order. The first one I put up was emulating an already existing business so I could learn from that business model and try to get a little income flow.

Another one that I started is called and has taken a backseat due to not really knowing how I was able to monetize the concept and going down a bit of the wrong website rabbit hole. Started as a fan site for people that take their gourmet coffee black and wanting to promote the aeropress and other preferred methods to achieve the most delicious cup of coffee. But I don’t necessarily have the time to blog as a priority.

These two sites I am wanting to work toward semi-passive income so that I can eventually stop working as a freelance photographer and devote my time towards my true love and brainchild a site called RawFire Life,which would be a food first, food/fitness/fun lifestyle website with a with a restaurant chain idea as it’s end goal.

So I’m asking for a brainstorm session on the coffee idea then a breakdown on time structuring to accomplish the goals for these businesses. Thank you for your time.

A: First and foremost you have to pick one and go for it. The coffee world is very intense and loyal so if you’re going to go into that just do that. Use your photography skills for your coffee site; you have to figure out how to zag in that industry to set yourself apart.

Pick up a copy of Zag and get into SoloLab; we’ll help you narrow down the best idea to work on right now, and get that one moving along so you can work on the next idea.

Q: What do you think of people naming their podcast by their name? (Ex. Joe rogan experience or Tim Ferris show) does it still work if you are nobody??

A: No it does not work if you are nobody. No one knows and no one cares. No one would have cared if I started The Michael O’Neal Show at the beginning, today they might but that’s because I’m two years in with this show. It’s what I call letting your brand be the fullback: TSH lead the way, then I could add my name to the title of the show but only because TSH paved the way.

Q: What do you mean by losing track of zeros?

A: It means you have enough passive income coming in from multiple sources you don’t have pay attention to every dollar that comes in.

Tony Manzo
Q: Hey Michael, Did you make Solopreneur Hour an LLC or do you have a Parent company? Before becoming an LLC did you file taxes as a Sole Proprietor? If so, were you able to claim deductions as a Sole Proprietor? Thanks!

A: I’m NOT a tax accountant or lawyer; I was a sole proprietor before this and wrote off whatever TurboTax allowed me to.

Todd Walton
Q: Several questions for you Mr. O’Neal: if you could be anyone else, living or dead, who would you be and why? If you’re into personal and spiritual growth who are or would be your gurus? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Sir Richard Branson?

A: Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr or Justin Timberlake. I’d be Richard Branson.

Tony Huynh
Q: Can you talk about podcasting networks (i.e. Rainmaker.FM, PodcastOne, etc): what are they and is that something aspiring podcasters should shoot to be a part of?

A: I think we’ll see more and more of them. Major media is going to take over and pick up the independent podcasts. You become a part of their revenue share when that happens, I think it’s a great thing to be picked up. I haven’t seen any loss of creative control, that would’ve been my only concern.

Mateo Echabarne
Q: Michael, you’ve surpassed the magical (in my mind) 10lb/hp power to weight ratio! How does the car compare to the previous iteration? Take me on a verbal ride, please.

A: It finally earns its tires and it is a pleasure to drive!

Thom Singer
Q: How do you stay top of your solo business game when facing personal issues?

A: No matter what happens you’ve got to work toward something, even if you don’t know how. And please if you have a dog who is over the age of 5 get pet insurance. Dexter’s care put me in a very challenging place.

Parker Dent
Q: If you get to the point where your knowledge is great enough in a subject area to coach others, how do you start? I’ve started YouTube videos, but don’t have a landing page or any other avenue to sign up potential clients. Thanks for everything – love your show and knowledge bombs!

A: Be conscious of building your audience as much as you can. Accept all Facebook friend requests, promote your skills by offering a 2 for 1 session (buy 30 minutes of my Excel ninja session when you buy one). I’d post it on Facebook. Create a course, do free webinars to support it.

Steve Bader 
Q: Hey Michael, we are entering season 2 of CavsFanCast (our podcast about the Cleveland Cavaliers) is it possible to rename/rebrand your podcast and keep people subscribed to your feed?

We are considering phasing out the word Cavs from the title. The thinking behind this is that we want to apply for media passes for post game interviews and are assuming that we will have a better chance being accepted if we don’t have the team name in our url / title.

Also, do you have any resources on how to acquire press passes? Thanks dude! & please don’t rip my beloved Browns today, I’m hurting bad enough.

A: The press pass is pretty easy: show you are a legit podcaster with your download stats. I think if you eliminate the name Cavs from your show you’re eliminating the entire point of the show.

Jason Harper 
Q: I remember you asking others this, and I’m curious what your answer would be. If you had $1000 and was starting over from scratch, how much could you turn that into in one month, and how would you do it?

A: At this point I would do a landing page (like I did for Rennch). I would do a one day mastermind of advanced podcasting techniques, sell tickets on EventBrite. I’d advertise on Instagram and Facebook, get t-shirts and catering and the room.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What other questions would you like answered on our Q&A shows? Let us know in the comments below!

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