Rising Star: Nick Cownie’s The 4 M’s to a successful business. (plus aiming high, pregnancy and trimming steak)

Headshot-NickCownieWe are very proud to feature our Wonderful Web Radio Rising Star interview. In this segment, we speak with Nick Cownie.

Nick Cownie is Australia’s super-fast mindset change expert, author of ‘7 Minute Mindset’, and in-demand speaker, coach and mentor to thousands of business owners all over the planet. Nick is an award-winning entrepreneur known for his unconventional approach to rapid mindset improvement, sales strategy and lifestyle business design. He lives in the Blue Mountains with his wife Alexandra and their two beautiful kids.


Transcript of the Interview

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Announcement: Welcome to Rising Stars Radio, where we share the stories of ordinary people taking action to create extraordinary changes in their businesses. They are the true rising stars to watch. Get ready to take notes around no fluff, cutting to the chase, 20 minute interview.

Janet:               Hello and welcome everybody. Janet Beckers here from Rising Stars Radio. I’m very excited to be introducing you today to the gorgeous Nick Cownie. Nick has been a member of our community pretty well from the very, very beginning when we started Wonderful Web Women. He has been active in taking action in what he does, but importantly in supporting everybody else in our community from the very beginning and continues to do that today. I’m really excited to introduce you to him. Hello, Nick. How are you?

Nick:                Hi, Janet. I am very well. Thank you. How are you?

Janet:               Yeah, I’m great. Nick and I were just talking before we got on the phone here. Nick lives up in the mountains and I live near the coast. Yeah, we’re just waiting for it to snow up where he is because it feels like it.

Now our intention today is to be able to give you, my beautiful listeners really, really actionable content, things that you can implement into your business this week. We’re going to try to do that in about 20 minutes. Nick and I are going to get stuck straight into it and we’re really going to focus on being to help you to be able to take action really simply and be able to start getting results.

Let’s dive straight in, Nick. Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself, who you are, who you help and how do you do that?

Nick:                Sure. As you mentioned, Nick Cownie, that’s my name. Essentially when I explain what I do to people, I usually say I’m a business coach, but that’s just because it’s easy to explain. Really I’m much more than that. My wife and I run a group of companies from home, up here in the Blue Mountains. We’ve got four companies between us at the moment, each of them is minimum six-figure business and we run them all around our two beautiful kids who are just under 2 years old and 5.

In my coaching business, I help service professionals, anyone who is essentially working face to face with clients and would like to leverage that in some way because maybe they’re sick of chasing prospects or selling their time for money, getting a little bit tired of the face-to-face delivery. I help them take what they know, what they’re an expert at, and build a six- or seven-figure business out of that that they can run in their spare time.

It’s really fun and essentially, I do that by showing them three things. The first is how to automate your marketing to drive a flood of high quality prospects to your websites, webinars, and live events on autopilot. Once we’ve done that, we install simple, consistent conversion systems that turn those high-quality prospects into high-paying clients fast. Then we bought a leveraged value delivery model that delivers exactly what your clients want whilst massively freeing up your personal time. It’s pretty easy to do and it’s a lot of fun, and make a lot of money and live an awesome lifestyle. That’s me in a nutshell.

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Janet:               Fantastic. I love how really succinctly you’ve put that, Nick. This is actually one of the things that I’ve recognized as Nick’s strength as being able to really simplify what I know is a huge suite of skills that he brings to what he does, but being able to simplify that down so people can go, “Okay, I can see what the outcomes are.”

I think for one, for you to be able to see clearly what Nick does, but another thing that I want you to think of when you’re listening to this is wow, Nick just really made it easy for me to understand how it is that he can help me. If I was to ask you the same question to introduce yourself, could you model just what Nick has done then and be able to really simply state for me in outcomes what it is that you do for people?

Two thoughts here, listen to what Nick can tell us, but also Nick is a great person for you to be able to model. That’s one of my … My first challenge to you is to listen to this recording again, listen to Nick’s introduction, and see if you can apply the same kind of intro to what you do. Thanks for being such a brilliant model there, Nick. That’s just awesome.

Nick:                Thanks, Janet. It’s my pleasure.

Janet:               Let’s have a look now about our relationship. As I was saying, you and I have known each other for quite a few years now. Now you’ve studied a few of my programs. What I also love and this is the reason why Nick is here is he’s implemented with just 100% focus. What programs have you done that you bought from me through the Wonderful Web Program, through the Wonderful websites?

Nick:                It’s funny, Janet, I knew you were going to ask me this question and I’ve been racking my brain to remember the name of the program. You’re going to have to help me out with this.

Janet:               Yes.

Nick:                Originally, I think we’re going back about five years now. I think you had a program, I’m sure you still have on interviewing experts. Remind me, what’s that one called?

Janet:               Yeah. That was actually the very, very first program that I created that was my higher end program. It was called the Passion to Profits Program. It’s interesting you say that I probably still run it because I actually took it off the market a few years ago, that was very much about how to interview experts and how to get positioned because things had changed quite a bit with the business model behind it and I knew that people needed … If they just did the model now, that it was the way that it was doing a few years ago, it wouldn’t have worked as effectively for them.

I’ve actually taken the guts of that program out and included into our Shine Online Program. Now people will get the Shine Online Program as well as that there as well. That was called our Passion to Profits Program. Yeah, so you started with that one.

Nick:                I did, the Passion to Profits. That speaks volume for your integrity. I know there’s a lot of people out there who’d just continue to sell something that they knew wasn’t in the best interest of their clients, instead of taking the bits that are still working and leaving the parts that are old technology. That’s awesome that you’ve done that.

Passion to Profits, that’s one of the things that got me started really with internet marketing. I used that program when I … It’s funny. I was broke when I bought that program from you. I’m not sure if you remember or not, but you weren’t even selling it at the time. You mentioned it. I was sitting in the audience at a seminar you were speaking at as a guest. You didn’t sell the program. You just mentioned it and I tracked you down in the lunch break after you got off stage and said, “I know you’ve got something to sell and I know I need it so I want to buy it.” I had to go home and get my tax money that I’d saved to pay for that program because I’m all about taking action. I took a big risk by investing in that program.

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Janet:               Wow.

Nick:                I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you that before, but it’s paid off immensely for me. I wouldn’t be where I am now if we didn’t do that. One of the things that I did …

Janet:               Wow, great story.

Nick:                Yeah, I’m really happy that I did it, took the chance. I used it to create one of my first ever information products. It was called Inside the Millionaire Mindset. When I put that program together, I managed to interview some of the top marketers in the world at the time including yourself, of course, Joanna Martin, Tracy Repchuk, Ari Galper, Michel and Sylvie Fortin. I also was able to secure an interview with the one and only Tim Ferriss. Actually met Tim last year, but at the time going back five years …

My son just busted into the office if you can hear him in the background calling out Papa.

Janet:               Yeah, I can hear his little voice.

Nick:                One of the benefits of working from home. I used the emails and the templates that you had included in the program and I went straight for the top. I secured an interview with Tim Ferriss, the author of 4-hour Workweek, 4-hour body, 4-hour shifts. Amazing guy. That was all set to go through. He actually pulled out. He’s not in the program, the recordings. He pulled out at the last minute to go snowboarding, which is a very Tim Ferriss thing to do apparently.

That program was fantastic. I ended up with joint ventures out of that with some of these top internet marketers, cross-promotions, became … I was actually tracked down by a lot of other people who wanted to work with me based on the strength of the experts that I’ve managed to attract as an absolute no one.

Really, one of main reasons that I was able to do it is something that I picked up from you when you were on stage that day and you talked about aiming for the top and starting with people at the top because if you aim low, you’ll obviously get to low results and then it’s harder to scale up from there. Whereas if you go to the absolute top, even if you miss, it’s like shooting for the moon and at least, you’ll hit the stars or however that saying goes. I went for the top marketers knowing that even if I didn’t get them, I could leverage off their name and their credibility to get the next level down. That was pretty cool for me when I started.

The other program that myself and my wife have gone through, and we use quite consistently is the Me TV program, which I actually named, which was pretty cool. You have a little competition at one point saying …

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Janet:               You did.

Nick:                I’m very excited about that. One of the things that I’m … I’ve just have this kind of quirky skill to come out with good names for products, which is certainly very well. You run a little competition saying come out with a name for the Me TV program and as a thank you, I’ll give it to you. This just popped into my head so I sent that through to you and that turned out to be the winner. That was pretty cool. My wife …

Janet:               Yeah, I love it. I love that.

Nick:                Yeah, I’m glad you do. I spent hours laboring over it. It came to me in a flash of inspiration. My wife, Alex, used the Me TV program even more than I did. She created quite a smash hit online TV program called Smart Dances TV and generated a ton of traffic and now two six-figure businesses off the back of that, which is cool. She …

Janet:               Wow. Oh, we’ll have to have Alex to come in and tell us all the details on that one, too.

Nick:                She’s amazing and she’d love to do that. I’m sure that’ll be right up her alley. She loves sharing with people what she’s been able to achieve. Her story’s probably even more impressive than mine to be honest as a doting husband. She …

Janet:               You have to say that, you have to say that.

Nick:                I do. She’s not even in the room, can you believe? I’m saying that of my own volition. Smart Dances TV, that teaches ballet dances, how to become professional dancers in a smart and healthy way because there’s a lot of misinformation and negativity, and things like eating disorders and stuff like that in the dance industry. Alex is on a one-woman mission to eliminate all of that stuff and she’s just done incredible things with that. Like I said, built now two six-figure companies off the back of that and actually, we’re about to launch another one right now. It’s really exciting.

Janet:               A couple of points on this for people who are listening on the things that I’ve picked up that Nick and Alex have done that’s going to be able to help you to able to emulate some of their success is a couple of things.

If we talk about the Me TV, the thing that I can always remember about it and I talk about this when I tell other people about how you can use the program, is I can remember that Alex was getting quite pregnant with your second child and she was saying, “Oh, I really want get this Me TV. I really want to start getting that launched because things are getting close.” My advice has always been in the program, “Look, maybe shoot say three or four episodes to start with because until you feel … ” to just make you feel confident and that way you can send them to us. We’ll give you some feedback.

Then after that, the way to make the most of this program is to shoot 12 episodes at once because the way that I teach you how to do it, you’re only going to have to shoot now for a couple of hours. Everything is minimal. You’ll have it all done within a day and you’ll have three months’ worth of marketing. That’s what I teach people to do and that’s what people who use the program will do that.

I can still remember you coming into our private Facebook group and Alex saying, “Nick’s helped me here. He’s been holding the camera. I’ve got to action.” Between the two of you, over one or two days, you shot enough episodes that you didn’t have to worry about doing any of that kind of marketing well into the last few months of the pregnancy and for months and months and months after your child was born. I was just absolutely gobsmacked at how focused you both got, the quality of what you produced, and that you just both got in and did it, and actually just knocked over … That was something like six months’ worth of marketing. It was incredible.

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Nick:                I can’t remember the exact number, but I think it was either six or nine months’ worth. We hired a ballet studio because one of the things that you teach is have the setting be something that’s appropriate to your audience. That was a lesson that we … The most appropriate setting for this is going to be a dance studio. We hired one.

I don’t know if we’re just crazy or not, but we hired the studio for four hours and we had a one shot per episode policy. All of the videos were between 3 and 5 minutes each. I think we only had to reshoot maybe three of the videos. Let’s say it was six months, that’s weekly. We shot let’s call it 26 videos in four hours. We only had to reshoot three of them. Alex was about five or six months pregnant so they’re all shot from just above her belly, from memory, so you can’t really tell she’s pregnant. She just looks glowing and gorgeous. She was wearing very loose dance clothes to hide the baby look.

The result from that is that we uploaded the whole thing, scheduled it to be automatically published with the emails coming out to the list the day after, just like you teach in the program. We didn’t have to lift a finger to market that business for six months. We got to enjoy spending all the time with our then two children, a newborn son and our little girl, who was about 2-1/2 at the time. It was absolutely magical.

Janet:               Wow. That is such a brilliant story. The thing that I love about that is I’ll have people that say to me, “Oh, I can’t find the time to do it or the energy. I can’t get … I’m not happy with the way that I look.” There’s lots of things that go through everybody’s minds, the things that can stop you from taking action.

I always think you know what, if you’ve got someone with a little child and they’re five months pregnant so they’re starting to get pretty tired and they can work out right, I’m just going to get this done. The clever part of making sure that you filmed above waist height so that it wasn’t going to be come on she’s been pregnant now for six months, she’s just excuse, folks. I think it’s such a brilliant example of how you can actually really take action and just automate so much. Thank you for just …

That was just a great example and I really challenge who’s listening to just challenge yourself and think you know what, have I not taken this massive action? What am I using as my excuses? Keep in mind here, Alex, Nick, they’re together and that great story of actually just getting it done is just brilliant.

I think the other thing is that also is that same theme that came through from the lovely story that you told, Nick, about investing in the interview program that’s now part of Shine Program is just deciding yeah, I’m going to do it and then going for the top. That was really great advice, too. The results that we’ve actually been able to see from you now is just starting there, going for the top is that now you guys have got multiple businesses that are automated and that are actually creating great profit. Just inspiring, you’re both incredibly inspiring, just brilliant. Thank you.

Nick:                No, thanks. One of the principals that we … It sums up the whole thing for us is we’ve lived by this for a long time, but it actually comes from Harry Truman who was the 33rd president of the USA. I’m not a huge fan of US politics, but I really like this one quote, which is “Imperfect action trumps perfect inaction.” I’ve always thought that was just magical. Any time we have something and we need to decide are we going to do this, even though the circumstances aren’t right … When you have children, you know it’s never the right time to have kids. It’s never the right time to launch a business. It’s never the right time to write a blog post. My opinion is imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time. We just make it happen and then adjust as we continue, and it’s served us really, really well.

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Janet:               Yeah, that’s just brilliant. I’ll tell you what, that is absolutely great advice there. If you’re listening to this and you’ve been moving towards getting a particular thing launched, and the big thing that I find holds a lot of people back is this fear of failure, that I’m going to do this and then people are going to go really, they’re not that good. Look what they stuffed it up or who do they think they are because they really haven’t done a very good job is just get started and then mend it and get going. Really fantastic advice, Nick.

Now I’m just having a look at our time and I want to make sure that we stick within our time here. Now I also just want to focus on, just briefly I just want let people know where they can find out more about you to get … Because you’ve obviously got a lot of resources and also I just want to also just give a little bit of an introduction to your first book that you’ve written and your upcoming book. Would you mind just, first of all, letting us know where people can go to contact you and to get some more help from you or even just to get to know you?

Nick:                Sure. The best place to go to find out a bit more about what I do and more importantly how we help people is actually, the title of my upcoming book, which is 7-minute Marketing. If someone wants to check out 7minutemarketing.com and then go /rising star, we’ve got some cool resources there, but I can either talk about it now or a little bit later if you like, Janet, that are going to help everyone …

Janet:               Yeah, it may as well now. That would be great.

Nick:                Sure. One of the things that I’ve done in our businesses over the years and one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful is I consider myself a simplifier. As you mentioned, I’m quite good at taking a concept and making it easily understood like explaining what I do, and that came out of my training as an acupuncturist where I learned Chinese medicine diagnostic principles. I apply those to everything that we do.

I’ve been studying business for decades now really and I’ve pulled everything that I’ve learned over the time into a very simple one-page flowchart that starts right up at the start if you’re just starting out in your business or you can start a little further down if you already know your target market or your niche or your advertisers, those kind of things. It takes you step by step through exactly what you need to do to build a six-figure business that you can run in your spare time. When you’re ready to scale, then you can apply the same processes and scale it up to seven figures and still run that in your spare time.

I call that the six-figure flowchart. I’ve PDF’d that up, a little bit of additional information on how to use it and how to make sure that it’s going to work for you, and that’s what I’ve made available for your listeners to help everyone out, that’s 7minutemarketing.com/risingstar, all as one word.

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Janet:               That’s awesome. I’m going to go and get that, too. I think that’s … I love the idea of flowcharts. I’m a bit of a flowchart fanatic. You’re right, simplifying is definitely one of your skills, Nick. I recommend if you go into this, 7minutemindset, and that’s the number 7, .com/risingstar and just to connect with Nick there as well. Now …

Nick:                Actually, that one is 7minutemarketing.com/risingstar, 7minutemindset.com

Janet:               What did I say? Mind? Sorry.

Nick:                Yeah, 7minutemindset is from the …

Janet:               7minutemindset is actually …

Nick:                … the first book.

Janet:               Yeah, your first book, 7minutemindset. Sorry. Thank you for clarifying that, Nick. That’s really good.

Now I really want to give the important thing for me and I know also for you, Nick, is to help people to take action. I’m really encouraging everybody who’s listening here to challenge yourself to take at least one action step based from what Nick has shared with us today. Nick, keeping that in mind and the stories that you’ve been telling us about the action that you’ve taken, do you have some tips that you can share with the listeners that they can apply and take action on this week?

Nick:                Yeah, absolutely. Probably, there’s two things. Is it cool if we do two things … ?

Janet:               Yeah, go for it.

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Nick:                The first of the two things is that from all my study and all of my research, and simplification of the results of that, I found that there’s actually only four things that you need to get right to build a successful business that easily makes you six figures in your spare time and seven figures if you want to put in a little more effort and scale it up. To make it easier to remember, they all start with M.

The first one is mindset because without the right mindset, you’ll struggle, you procrastinate, you self-sabotage, have the fear of failure. You and I’ve had conversations about this privately with clients, this fear of putting themselves out there and selling and things like that. More importantly, without the right mindset tools, you won’t know why you’re doing it or how to stop it. The first one is you must have the right mindset.

The second M is model. You need to have the right delivery model or business model that delivers exactly what your clients want in a way that doesn’t chew up all your time. What I do is I constantly reduce what I offer. I’m taking components out of my paid programs, as strange as it sounds, while simultaneously putting the price up until I find what I call the minimum viable product, which is something that makes my clients happy and still sell at the price that I’m happy with. It takes me the least amount of time to deliver, it makes me the most money and the clients are happy. I know that it’s like trimming off a steak. It’s the absolute minimum necessary to get the result. That’s mindset and model.

The third M is marketing. You can have the best business model in the world and it’s absolutely pointless as you would definitely know if no one knows you exist, right. The model when created the right way frees up your time and the marketing gives you money. We generate clients. We convert them. Then when we have time and money, then that’s lifestyle because if you’ve got heaps of time and no money, you can’t do what you want. Heaps of money, no time, you don’t have any time to spend it. The magical formula is time plus money equals lifestyle.

Then finally, the fourth M, we’ve got the right mindset in place, we’ve got the right business model, we’ve got the right marketing to drive people to that model and we’re not self-sabotaging, the fourth M is mentor. Many people I find are actually smart enough, like I’m sure your listeners are smart enough to figure it out on their own. Intelligence isn’t the issue really. Lack of time is the issue. That’s why they come to me. That’s why they come to you because you have proven skills, proven processes, proven results, and it’s a massive waste of time and you’ll need a ton of money on the table by trying to reinvent the wheel when someone else has already figured it out and tested and proven it to work, right.

I say that you should find a mentor who’s produced the results that you want to have and then adopt before you adapt. Actually, do what your mentor says before you go, “Oh, that’s a great idea. If I add this or take this away, it might work better,” because if it’s been tested and proven to work a certain way, you want to make sure you can replicate the results as your baseline before you start testing against it. Too many people change the plan before they implement what their mentor told them to do. In my opinion, that’s a recipe for disaster and even more wasted time. If you implement it first exactly as you were told, your likelihood of success increases dramatically.

You get those four Ms in the right alignment, mindset, model, marketing, and mentor. In my experience, actually, you have to try to fail. You actually need to self-sabotage intentionally once you’ve got those four things happening because success, it’s just around the corner. It’s super easy. If you miss one, you’re in a lot of trouble. If you don’t have the right marketing, but everything else is in place, it’s great, but no one knows who you are. You don’t have the right business model and you end up generating a lot of clients and then, it chews up all your time to service them. You really have to get all four.

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Janet:               Wow. That’s fantastic. I’ll tell you what, Nick, what you were saying about you want to … How did you put it? Was it master before you model? Is that the … ?

Nick:                I said adopt before you adapt, but master before you model would be cool as well.

Janet:               That’s right, adopt before you adapt. That is such a good point because that can be one of the things that as a mentor can be very frustrating when … Because entrepreneurs love to create. It’s just part of our nature. You’ll see somebody that’s just about got everything right and then, they’ll change something, which is at the strategic level because they’ll want to be creative and make their own changes and then you think, “Oh, no. No, no, no. You were so close and you’ve just complicated it. It didn’t need to be that complicated.” That’s really refreshing to hear you put it that way is really good advice. Do it as you’re told the first time. Then you can learn from what you’ve done and then, see what tweaks you want to make. Brilliant advice.

We’ve come to the end of our time, Nick. I just really want to reinforce where people can go to contact you and that was 7minutemarketing, got it right, .com. If you go /rising star, that’s where you’ll be able to get that very cool one-page flowchart that Nick has talked about.

I really do encourage you, one of the most rewarding things for both, for Nick and I is to hear back from you, but importantly the ahas. What is it that you’ve learned from us today that you’re going to take action on? I really do encourage you to either leave a comment below here if you’re listening to this over on iTunes. If you go to risingstarsradioshow.com and you’ll find us there, if you’re listening to this a few weeks after it’s been published, just go and search for Nick, Nick Cownie. When you get there and you’ll find the exact episode, and leave a comment. Tell us specifically what is it that you’re going to implement this week as a result of what you’ve done. Because that’s one of the best feedback that you can give to us. Then just also give some feedback on tell him what a star he is because I think he is.

Nick, before we go, is there any final messages, anything that you’d like to say before we head off?

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Nick:                Yeah, I think we’ve covered a lot of really awesome stuff. There’s one thing that I want to make sure that people leave with and that is that really it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s easy. Chances are if you’re finding it hard, you’re probably doing too much. Like I mentioned, I constantly am paring down what I offer in my products whilst simultaneously raising the price, and that’s a very strange concept to a lot of people. They think they need to do all of this stuff and offer all of these amazing bonuses and things and that’s got its place, but if it’s hard right now, you want to do less, not more. It’s not supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be easy. You’re probably doing too much.

If you want to get my six-figure flowchart and see how easy it could be, 7minutemarketing.com/risingstar. That’s my gift to you. Go and check it out and simplify the process.

Janet:               That’s brilliant. Awesome advice to end on. Thank you so much for your time today, Nick. Thank you so much everybody that you would trust of us with your time today. Go forth and create something fantastic. Bye, everybody.

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