Podcast 16: Managing Your Fears of Asking for Money with Espree Devora
Espree is very honest about her fears of asking for money in this show and we discuss ways to manage and conquer that fear.
In the pre-show, Lucas and Eliot discuss Tony Robbins and wonder if he has any fears before his big talks. Tony Robbins just interviewed some of the worlds top money managers all around the world. He spent hours recording interviews, taking notes and learning from them. He asked their secrets and asked what the common person can do, when it seems the whole deck is stacked against you. He talks about what he learned in Tim Ferriss Show with Tony Robbins (View on iTunes) about his new book, Money: Master the Game. Lucas and Eliot discuss investment portfolios and talk about the book. Don’t miss this episode to hear all of the money conversation.
We then discuss the importance of investing in yourself. It can be through education (reading, courses, mentorship) or even by writing books. Monetizing books doesn’t have to be directly be selling them, the simple fact that you wrote a book could change your career. Most people underinvest in themselves after college is over. Having a bachelor degree is not a competitive advantage anymore.
Investing in yourself allows you to have some control into whether it achieves success or not. If you own Google, you can’t control how well it does. But if you start a business making sculptures and sells them on Etsy, and invest the money you would have spent on Google stocks into your own business, you would have some level of actionable input into the success of that venture.
Eliot’s first book, Uncommon Stock, came out last March, it is a thriller novel about a startup company. He doesn’t have huge checks coming in but has met some amazing non monetary benefits. He has met tons of leading startup CEO’s because they read it and enjoyed it. By investing in himself, it opened so many doors that would not have opened without it.
One thing unique to our generation is that the tools needed are a lot cheaper than ever before. There is a TED talk, J.J. Abrams: The mystery box where he talks about how you can make a movie like Star Wars, with a computer that a highschool student may throw away today. The tools are so much more accessible now.
Here is just the audio for those who are interested in listening:
2 Resources To Invest In Yourself (18:41)
Eliot feels that people are still trying to figure out how to leverage audio and tell powerful stories with it. He asks Espree what some of the lessons are she has learned about storytelling.
She takes podcasting very seriously but always remembers to try and be herself. She tells us that so many people try to be someone else. She tells us that she heard that Tim Ferriss had terrible episodes for the first two, and maybe because he tried so hard to be the perfect podcaster. In the past, Espree has struggled to be the perfect entrepreneur. She tells me that she listens to her own podcast over and over again to learn from it.
She knows that she should not expect to be at the level of the podcasters she loves that have 15 years experience, overnight. Espree would like for you to take away from this show, to trust yourself and be yourself. She likes to really put herself out there and really struggles with the notion of making money from your art. There is this whole debate out there about if you can really make money off your podcast. She just opened a Patreon page, and it is not live yet, and she watched a really great TED talk by Amanda Palmer, the question is not about how to make people make money of music but how to let them pay for music.
Espree has been a bridge to help entrepreneurs with start ups and now she is starting her own podcast. She has fears about how to create a podcast and she has given herself a runway with has savings so she can really give this her all. She has never reached out to sponsors in her life, and has a lot of great questions about how to do so. She is so honest, and so passionate that you are going to want to watch the show to catch the whole story.
Lusas shares with us that there are two podcasts that he is a huge fan of that talk about this. One is Joanna Penn and the Creative Penn and another is Entrepreneur On Fire, with John Lee Dumas. He has a free resource guide for podcasters to help them with all these questions.
Eliot tells us that we don’t want to ask for money and people don’t like to be asked for money. People do like to be included, so if you can make them feel included somehow, that is a good place to start.
How Do We Get Past The Fear? (32:35)
Eliot gave her an off the cuff idea that she could perhaps sell tickets for people to view her recording the podcast. She asks, and the core of it is, how do you get past the fear? You need a ticket page,to set a price and then send it to someone you know. That is really hard to do.
Espree tells us that Lucas raised a ridiculous amount of money and asked Lucas if he had any mental blocks about whether he was worthy of that money. He tells us that everyday, he woke up scared and had an internal track in his head that told him it was a stupid idea and he needed to stop trying.
He was three months away from his son being born, when he quit his job. His wife didn’t work and he had no income or health insurance when his son was born. He didn’t get the money as quickly as he hoped, and it was three months after his son was born before he could start paying himself any salary at all.
It was the most scary time of his life. That moment was the most rewarding as well because that is when he realized that you can hear those things in your head and then decide. He tells us it is like standing on a rock and thinking about jumping in; you can think of two million reasons why you shouldn’t jump in. At some point, you give up on that soundtrack and do it anyhow. At some point you have to trust yourself and just go for it. You realize that the soundtrack playing is not a call to action but a recording on repeat; you close your eyes and jump in!
You will never convince yourself that it is a good idea to ask for money is because it is probably never going to be a good idea.
A lot of product entrepreneurs love AB testing their products. They have never thought about AB testing your life?
Espree learned early on that people can think that your product is not very good if it is free. She thinks that she will launch her page and talk about it with her audience. Maybe she will split test them, maybe it will work and maybe it won’t.
She asks, what is the worst that happens? She shares a story about a kickstarter cooler that never made it the first time. It was put on again, the cooler never changed but the way it was presented changed and they got something like a million dollars.
Podcasting has come up many times, but this information applies to all entrepreneurs. There may be a handful of people that don’t feel fear, but most of us do.
Espree tells us that Lucas and Eliot are doing this show because they feel passionate about being an entrepreneur and they want to share that passion.
There is so much passion, vulnerability, honesty and energy in this interview that you are going to get a lot of value from watching it.
- How about AB testing your life?
- It is never going to be a good day to charge for your product?
- The fear that is part of being an entrepreneur.
- More ability invites your audience and listeners into your own mind and soul.
About the Author
Lucas Carlson is an executive, author and entrepreneur. He helps founders discover opportunities for growth, both for their companies and for themselves. He was the CEO and founder of AppFog, a popular startup acquired in 2013 after signing up over 100,000 developers and raising nearly $10M in venture funding from top angels and VCs.