056 – Creating Your Freedom Lifestyle – with Evan Price

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Podcast

Would you like to spend more of your time doing what you love to do? Would you like to be able to pick and choose the projects you want to work on? Are you thinking about becoming a digital nomad?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David interviews Evan Price, who shares the steps he took to create his freedom lifestyle.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Returning guest, Evan Price
00:31 – How do you package your creative skills to create a viable business?
03:08 – Streamlining you and your customer’s focus
09:26 – The value of being unfocused for a time
10:19 – Improving your product vs. improving your marketing
13:48 – Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich
15:11 – How do you identify your ideal customer?
17:40 – Evan’s best tips for building a team
20:24 – Content creation and giving away the keys to the kingdom
24:04 – Building trust with people
26:15 – The importance of networking
29:12 – What’s the right time to scale your business?
33:23 – How did Evan decide to take the leap of faith?
38:59 – What is it like to live nomadically?
45:39 – How much money do you need to live a freedom lifestyle?
51:12 – Closing thoughts

Summary:

The very idea of trying to create a freedom lifestyle can sometimes appear an uphill battle. You’ve got to get your finances in order. You’ll probably need a passport. On top of that, you’ve got to plan the logistics of where you’ll be going and when, where to stay, whether to bring your car with you and more.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David and Evan break down and simplify the process of becoming a digital nomad.

Bundle Up Your Expertise and Sell it

Evan emphasizes the value of the DLB (Do Less Better) offer model. Nowadays, many businesses are a little bloated – they offer dozens if not hundreds of products and services, and this scatters the focus of the business owner as well as the prospects and customers who might otherwise be interested in buying.

Evan suggests that you should find something you can do that no one else can. The more specific, the better. This allows you to create what Evan calls a “luxury” offer, something that can be sold for thousands of dollars rather than pennies. Evan says this is how he streamlined his business.

David offers that minimizing and optimizing seems to be the direction things are going in now. As opposed to having dozens of websites and products, marketers are creating central portals and leading prospects on different journeys depending on their interests.

David also shares an example from his life, stating that when he had one or two books, his customers knew what to buy and were happy. But as his catalog increased, his customers became paralyzed and bought fewer books. Which explains why he’s only promoting his latest book on his website.

Spreading Yourself Thin

Evan shares that it’s easy to spread yourself thin. When you’re young, and you’re not sure what you want to focus on, you feel like you could take on the world and try your hand at dozens if not hundreds of different things.

At the time, Evan was learning how to use Facebook ads, managing acts, booking tours, and more. But he noticed that none of the things he was working on were reaching the tipping point of success.

If you keep on that path, says Evan, you will eventually reach a point of burnout. So, he stopped doing what he was doing, made an assessment of his strengths and weaknesses, and bundled up his expertise to streamline his business.

David admits to having too many things to fulfill in recent years, including Members Only Audios, which he quickly realized was akin to running two podcasts at the same time. He would often think to himself, “I’m a superhero, and I can do it!” But he would either end up disappointing himself or his prospects and customers by trying to do too much.

Evan adds that this principle applies to social media and content channels as well. You can easily take on too much, becoming a Jack or Jill of all trades, never mastering any. There are more than enough people on any of the main channels for you to be able to build an audience. There is no need to take the Gary Vee approach of “being everywhere,” says Evan.

David summarizes that one content channel and one offer can be enough to scale to seven figures, at least according to marketer Russell Brunson.

But… You Should Also Try Everything

Despite everything just covered on focus, if you’re just getting started, says Evan, spreading yourself out and trying a bunch of different things might be the right approach. You need to figure out what you’re good at and what you enjoy, and if you have no idea, there is wisdom in experimentation.

Making Your Products Better vs. Making Your Marketing Better

David shares some of the challenges he’s had in getting the word out about his books.

Evan responds that the quality of the product might not be the issue, but rather, the marketing (messaging) might be. Maybe people simply haven’t been able to find the books to be able to appreciate them.

Meanwhile, Evan has observed how most musicians seem to think they always have a marketing problem and never a product problem. They tend not to consider that the quality of their product might not be up to snuff.

Ultimately, we need to examine both. Identifying the holdups and addressing them is the key to finding an offer that converts. Sometimes, the holdup is the product, sometimes it’s the marketing, and sometimes we must turn to other areas of our business as well – bottlenecks in project management, staffing, cash flow, or otherwise.

When you’re in the early phases of building your business, says Evan, you should be spending roughly 80% of your time doing things that bring in money – marketing and sales. And if you don’t know how to sell stuff, asserts Evan, you need to learn.

Most creatives don’t like to sell, but if they could see for themselves that it’s not some “icky” process of manipulating people to get their money, but rather a process of identifying problems, solving them, and making the quality of their customer’s lives better, they would realize that selling isn’t so bad.

Selling is improving the quality of your customer’s lives. Share on X

Think and Grow Poor?

David explains how Think and Grow Rich author Napoleon Hill wound up penniless late in life, only to be rescued and put to work by businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone as a sales trainer.

Think and Grow Rich sells millions of copies per year by accident. So, how did the legendary Napoleon Hill end up there?

Systems were the difference. Hill didn’t have them. Stone did.

Identifying Your Dream Customer

Evan says, rather than trying to figure out the demographics of the customer, first identify the problem that you’re going to be solving for them. Once you know what problem you’re solving, you can tie the design of your product to the pain points you’re addressing with it.

There are three types of pain that customers experience. The first is Source pain, the second is Secret pain, and the third… Evan can’t remember. But Source pain refers to something the customer would tell their friends. Secret pain refers to something they hold within themselves and would rarely reveal to anyone.

If you can identify and articulate these pains, you will know your customers better than they know themselves, reducing friction in the sales process.

David adds that another way of explaining this concept is External and Internal pain, where External is something that can be seen on the outside, and Internal is something the customer holds close to their chest.

Evan’s Best Tips for Building a Team

First, says Evan, you need to be the team. You don’t necessarily need to get good at everything, but you should gain some experience with everything. Learn the basics. This allows you to create your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) so you can hand things off to your team, and also know who would be a good fit for what position.

You need to figure out your sales and marketing, product creation, and then, who the “face” of your company is going to be. You need to create a persona / attractive personal branding to attract an audience. It could be you, it could be someone else, and there are ways of marketing without a “face” too, but ultimately you’ve got to decide what direction to go in.

Having gone through this process of learning the basics, you’ll have a much better idea of who to hire for what role.

The Myth of Social Media “Marketing”

David says you need different types of content depending on who you’re talking to. There’s content that Attracts, there’s content that Engages, there’s content that Nurtures (or Converts) and there’s content that Retains.

David asks Evan his thoughts on giving away your best material at the Attraction phase, and Evan says this usually works in your favor. People hear what it is they need to do to get where they want to go, and they realize just how hard or complicated it is. So, they end up wanting to hire you to do it for them.

Evan offers that this can open the door for “done for you” or “do it together” services that benefit the client.

David responds by observing that you can present a million-dollar idea in a video, and most if not all viewers will not do anything with it. Free content is not appreciated to the degree that paid content is, ever. But, as Evan says, it can still make people want to hire you.

Evan laments how cautious people have become in the digital age, as it has become harder to sell. Most people are trustworthy. David says it’s still important to beware of people who are texting you out of the blue, as they are often scammers.

The “Drudgery” of Networking

David addresses the benefits of growing his network and how he got to the point where he rarely had to book his gigs in Calgary because of the connections he’d made.

He mentions how artists oftentimes resist the very idea of networking, which can hold back their personal and career growth.

Evan points out that you can also connect with people digitally. You don’t necessarily have to go to in-person networking events. There are different ways to skin the cat, as it were, and it’s a matter of figuring out what works for you.

When to Scale Your Business

Not all businesses need to scale. In his niche, Evans has found that any business reaching $7,000 to $10,000 per month is ready to scale, but this will vary depending on the industry.

But you also need to think about what to scale to. Many businesses don’t need to scale. They should consider establishing consistency in their revenue for an entire year before worrying about growing bigger. This is still “scaling” according to Evan, as it sets the foundation for the business to increase in size and scope.

The danger of growing too fast can be burnout. And if you have no clear targets in sight, you can easily stay in “growth mode” perpetually, never noticing any of your goals or milestones as you hit them.

David has noticed how many businesses will make it to $1 million. Suddenly, their goal shifts to $10 million. And then some other arbitrary number.

But you don’t always need to grow. You don’t always need to increase revenue figures. Again, the goal is key – do you want to sell the business? Do you want to install a leadership team and become an advisor? You’ve got to know what it’s all for.

David adds that Russell Brunson says $20,000 per month in personal income is where things start to get very comfortable, and you might even have a tough time spending it all, even if you have a spouse and kids.

Sure, you could spend $20,000 per month. You could find a way. But the point is you can create a great lifestyle without going overboard.

Taking the Leap of Faith

Evan had a friend who was beginning to travel. So, he decided to go to Egypt with him. That’s when Evan realized that traveling while building a business could work. So, beginning this year, Evan has been living nomadically.

Evan has been to Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Morocco so far. He says he found a role model in his friend, and that made it a little easier for him to embrace a freedom lifestyle.

For Evan, the scariest part about becoming a nomad was stability. He used to work for Apple while building his business on the weekends, and he had benefits and insurance that protected him.

But when he realized that his business was making enough money consistently, he felt like the prospect of living nomadically was more approachable.

David dovetails off this and notes that Greg Wilnau of Musician Monster was an inspiration to him when he was beginning to look at becoming a digital nomad. He recalls grilling Greg at the DIY Musician Conference in the hotel lobby with questions about how to handle the delivery of mail, income taxes, and the like.

Living the Digital Lifestyle

Evan recalls working seven days per week. Making the shift to digital nomad gave him his weekends back, and he says that was a great feeling.

On his journey so far, he’s been putting a lot of time into researching Airbnbs, and ensuring that they have a strong Wi-Fi connection. He sometimes reaches out to Airbnb owners to let them know that he’s looking to book two months ahead and asks if they can upgrade their Wi-Fi. He’s been successful in persuading them.

During the days, he works at the Airbnb he’s staying at – joining meetings, giving interviews, and creating content. At night, he’ll go and have dinner and explore locally. On the weekends, he spends more time exploring. Sometimes, he does nothing.

He emphasizes the importance of experiencing local culture and is even inviting culture shock into his experience.

It’s Cheaper Than You Think

David asserts that traveling is generally cheaper than living in a major city like Chicago, New York, or L.A. Most people seem to assume that living a nomadic lifestyle is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

Evan agrees. He adds that there are plenty of ways to save money. Travelers can stay in youth hostels, and food tends to cost considerably less in other countries compared to North America. You don’t have to be a millionaire to create your version of freedom.

He adds that there may be some tax exclusions and incentives you can claim if you’re living nomadically. Some countries or tourist destinations are also incentivizing and paying people to come and live there.

Evan and David agree that the most difficult aspect of living nomadically is pulling the trigger. There are things you can do to offset every anxiety or fear and ensure that you’re safe and taken care of during your travels.