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Why newbie entrepreneurs WANT things to be complicated

“You don’t need a fancy business card. You don’t need a website and a nice logo.” On this episode of Money Savage, I share with George Grombacher my most surprising discovery in coaching students to build digital marketing agencies—people want things to be complicated.

They want some cheat code for profitable Facebook ads or some secret setting for profitable Google ads. When I show them what I do, they tend to say “It can’t be that simple.” But it is. Focus on the fundamentals, niche down, and keep hammering at your craft … and you’ll be great at a profitable, scalable skill faster than you ever thought possible.

We also discuss...

  • Why I encourage students to build their website in one night, not three weeks.
  • Why my job as a coach is to remove options, not present them.
  • My #1 game-changing tip for success (hint, it’s one word, and it’s not “eat your veggies.”)

About the Show: George Grombacher is the host of Money Savage.


Full Transcript

George Grombacher: Come on! Hello, dear listener. Before we get into today’s show, quick ask: if you find value in today’s show or you’ve gotten value out of a previous show, please leave us a quick five-star review. I’d be super grateful. Thanks a lot. Welcome to Money Savage. Savage approach to personal finance. This is George Grombacher, and the time is right. Welcome today’s guest, strong and powerful Dylan Ogline. Dylan, are you ready to do this?

Dylan Ogline: I’m ready, man, I’m pumped. Let’s do it.

George Grombacher: Let’s do this. Dylan is the founder of Ogline Digital. He’s heling people start and grow their own hyper profitable digital marketing agencies. I’m excited to have you on. Dylan, tell us a little bit about your personal life, some more about your work, and why you do what you do.

Dylan Ogline: Sure. That’s a loaded question right there.

George Grombacher: Go.

Dylan Ogline: So, yeah, you mentioned it. I own a digital marketing agency called Ogline Digital, and basically, we help people. We help businesses with direct response digital marketing solutions, or in layman terms, we manage Facebook and Google ads for folks. I believe in being a super focused, hyper focused, ruthlessly cutting unnecessary stuff. So I don’t have a lot going on like some folks do. I have my agency, which is pretty much I build it so that I could live kind of four-hour work week lifestyle and travel the world-- at least pre-COVID. And, yeah, so I have that, and I have an education company where I have a training program called Agency 2.0 where I teach folks how to start a digital marketing agency, like the one I have. And the education company is where probably 90% to 95% of my focuses are these days. Personal life, travel, whenever we could back in the old days, pre-COVID. Spend time with my girlfriend and our two dogs, and play hockey, and that’s pretty much it.

I like to keep things really simple and hyper focused. Why do I do what I do? Which is a fantastic question. The agency is I enjoy. I do like marketing, I like business growth, I like helping businesses with their growth, but that’s less to do with passion, and more simply to do with it’s a high profit margin business. The education company is much more a passion project, and that’s simply kind of my way of giving back, and being thankful for all the mentors, and coaches, and training that I’ve had to get me to where I am. So did I do that in under a minute? I think I did. That was pretty fast.

George Grombacher: Well done. Well done.

Dylan Ogline: Yes. Thank you.

George Grombacher: What position on the ice do your dogs play since you like playing hockey with your dogs?

Dylan Ogline: So we live in Florida now. They don’t like snow. No, they wouldn’t handle it well.

George Grombacher: They’re like, “What in the world? We’re usually at the beach and now there’s all this freezing cold white stuff everywhere.” Got it.

Dylan Ogline: Yeah. They can’t handle it. No way.

George Grombacher: Not interested. All right, so being hyper focused, ruthlessly cutting things out, doing only the essentials, how’d you figure that out?

Dylan Ogline: That was it took ten to 12 years of pain and suffering of doing the exact opposite for me to reach a breaking point, and then it was a conversation with a long term mentor where I was at that breaking point making very little, way too many projects going on at one time, bouncing around from one project to the next, chasing the shiniest object, getting absolutely nowhere, exhausted, not knowing what sleep was anymore, forgetting what the concept of a vacation was. It reached getting to that point.

And then I had a conversation with a long term mentor and basically was like, “You need to get focused. You need to stop doing 20 different things.” What is it? What’s the saying? More than one rabbit catches none. There’s a better way to put it, but that was basically the advice I got. And so I ruthlessly cut everything, and just focused on one single thing, and it was an uphill route from there.

George Grombacher: Was it a function of there’s so many different things you’re sort of interested in and wanting to pursue? And then you just recognize, “Okay, my mentor is right. I need to really figure out my one or two things that are super key to my success and then only focus on those.” It can’t have necessarily have been just an easy thing to break that habit of doing lots.

Dylan Ogline: Well, I think there’s two factors. A lot of entrepreneurs always have ideas. I just could walk around my town and just constantly I’m like, “Oh, that’s an idea,” or, “That’s an idea.” Or the other day I was like, “I think I can create a lawn care company, and like use digital marketing, and like have a really efficient system and everything.” And you have to like stop yourself and just be like, “No, I can’t do that. I got to stop.” So it wasn’t necessarily passion. That was passionate about all these different things. It was I always had all these new ideas. It was a factor of desperation. When you are broke and you have nothing going, you kind of end up chasing the shiniest object because you’re like, “If I could just get this thing to work, then I could focus on all these other things, and then I’d have ten things that at working.” But I can’t really focus on one of them because I’m not making anything.

George Grombacher: Right.

Dylan Ogline: So it’s what’s the saying? It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face, like that’s what it is. And I see a lot of business owners doing that. Was it easy to just cut everything? For me, again, it had reached that tipping point where I was so frustrated I had spent over a decade of my life spinning my wheels getting nowhere. So that when I metaphorically got slapped across the face and kind of woke up after this conversation with a mentor, that yeah, I was relatively easy to just go down into my basement, and get on my computer, and just delete everything that wasn’t making money because I had reached that tipping point.

George Grombacher: Got it. Nice. So we talked about how entrepreneurs are just sort of a lot of the time visionary idea people. They see opportunities all over the place and it can become very distracting, and a time suck, and everything else. I imagine in your world when you’re helping people to develop their business online, what sort of popped into my mind was strategy versus tactics. And I bet that a lot of people are just kind of victim to trying different tactics without every really having a broader strategy.

Dylan Ogline: I could agree with that. Yeah. I think what I have seen now that I have my education company, I’m working with folks who have zero experience in business, or maybe they’ve tried a few things here and there, and it went nowhere. What I see is people want things to be complicated. Whether it’s marketing, or your product market fit, or anything. They’re looking for the advanced tactic or like the cheat code to Facebook ads, or like what’s the secret setting that I need to have in my Google ads to make them profitable or something like that?

And I tell people, like that stuff doesn’t exist. Like you just need to stick to the basics, keep things really fundamental and really simple, it doesn’t need to be complicated, and that’s it. Like when I’m teaching students, like, “Here’s my business model. I have a seven-figure digital agency. I’m going to teach you how to start your own digital agency.” Like all the time I hear, “There’s no way it’s that simple.”

George Grombacher: Right.

Dylan Ogline: Like there has to be that secret setting in Google Ads to make it profitable. And I’m like, “No, it’s not. Like you just need to keep things simple.” And once people get the hang of it, and you just keep focusing on the same thing, you get better and better and better.

George Grombacher: So how do you go about-- and obviously, you have an entire program that teaches people how to do this-- but are there certain… I don’t really have the right words for this. How do you structure that so that people get the right amount of knowledge in certain areas and do they then pick the area they really want to focus on and go deep on? Or how does the program work?

Dylan Ogline: So with my program it’s I’m teaching people how to start an agency. So the kind of the game plan for them is I’m removing the paradox of choice. The really only thing that they kind of have to choose is a niche. You have to target a certain industry, you have to target certain needs in the market. Beyond that, I purposely remove a lot of the choice, and then I just repetitively encourage them to keep things lean, mean, and scrappy. Like when I’m telling people like setting up their website, as an example, getting your domain, just silly things like that that are just the fundamentals, I’m like, “I want you to do this tonight. Don’t spend the next three weeks building out your website. Like do this right now, tonight, force yourself to just do it right now.”

And it’s small things like that, that add up. Because if you spend three weeks on your website, and then you spend three weeks on building out a landing page, and all these things like a lot of time goes by. And you just want to constantly be moving at break neck speed so that you break things and you’re getting things out into the marketplace. So I think, like I said, removing the paradox of choice, removing options, is the best thing that I have found as a-- I can’t believe I’m going to use this term-- educator. As a coach, I’ll use that, that’s a little bit better. But removing the options so that people don’t even think that there are options. Does that answer your question?

George Grombacher: Yeah. Yeah. I think that that makes a lot of sense. The paradox of choice and just people’s desire for complexity, I could definitely see that. People want to, for whatever reason, apparently we are wired in a way that we want that, when in fact, that’s not what’s going to get us to where we want to go.

Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Certainly somebody who’s smarter than me could tell you why we want that.

George Grombacher: Right.

Dylan Ogline: I don’t. I have no idea, but it certainly was that case for me, and I see it all the time with other folks. Can’t tell you why, I just see it.

George Grombacher: So that then just allows people to, once they have the framework set up, you say “Okay, listen up. You’re going to get this done tonight. Here’s how you do it.” And then, for lack of a better term, you have your marching orders everyday you need to get up and do your job, and it’s X, Y, and Z.

Dylan Ogline: Yes. And whether you’re building an agency or building some other kind of business, I encourage people to follow kind of that same pattern of just ruthlessly cut things. You want to focus on getting your product market fit, getting something out there into the marketplace, and testing it as quickly as possible. So like I talk about like I had a seven-figure agency, and I didn’t even have a website. So you don’t need to spend six months building your website. Like I hate to tell you, it’s not that important. Like I encourage you to have a website. Depending on your product, or your service, whatever, but like that’s an example of just how ridiculously simple you want to keep things.

And it’s truly just about proving that product market fit as quickly as possible. And then once you have that, focusing on marketing so that you can get growth. Like you don’t need a fancy business card. You don’t need a fancy website and a nice logo. Like that stuff isn’t going to move the needle and make the cash register ring.

George Grombacher: So I go through your course, I now am the owner of a digital marketing agency, what am I doing? Who am I approaching?

Dylan Ogline: So like what’s your niche?

George Grombacher: Yes. Or just yes, and what am I doing for my end user?

Dylan Ogline: Sure. Sure. So generally speaking, the service that my students are offering is very similar to what my agency offers, which is direct response digital marketing solutions. Which in layman terms, you’re writing say Facebook ads, or Google ads, or both. You’re building the landing page for the client and you’re just selecting who to target, you’re building out the ads, all that stuff. And then once the potential customer reaches that landing page and they fill out the form, or they make a purchase whatever, it’s up to the client then to handle things from there. That’s essentially what we’re doing.

What niche? That’s where the kind of choice comes in. What I recommend to people, the first thing is look at previous experience that you’ve had. This is in regards to selecting your niche, how do you do that? Look at previous experience that you’ve had. Maybe you’ve worked with an accounting firm before as a, I don’t know, just an office rep or something. Maybe your parents are dentists. So you can then target dentists. Maybe your family member, your brother, or your cousin, or just a friend works in the auto body repair industry.

A niche that I targeted, would still do to this day, is plumbing and heating companies. I have no experience in plumbing and heating, I’ve never worked in that industry. I just simply made friends with somebody who was in that industry, talked to them a little bit about their work, knew a little it about the industry, and that was it. And then I was able to target plumbing and heating companies, and because I had just that little bit of industry knowledge I could talk about what their true wants and desires are. That’s all you need to do.

George Grombacher: Yeah, that certainly makes sense. Nice. Have some kind of affinity and a natural starting place to get started. A natural starting place to get started. I love it. I have in my notes that you are, I don’t know if you’re passionate or what the right term is, but that you are a practitioner of stoicism?

Dylan Ogline: Practitioner. I wouldn’t go that far. I study stoicism.

George Grombacher: A student.

Dylan Ogline: Student, I am a student of stoicism, yes.

George Grombacher: So tell me a little bit about that.

Dylan Ogline: So don’t ask me to quote anything because I am terrible at remembering specifics, terrible at remembering names. But for me what stoicism has helped with is I would summarize it with two main things. One is remembering mortality. I don’t know how to stay it properly because I’m not a stoic, but momento mori is I think how it’s pronounced. Which is basically remembering that you will die. And that just motivates me on a day-to-day basis to kind of do the best that I can. And remember that, hey, your time is limited and tomorrow is not a guarantee. Which I think is healthy for pretty much everybody to think that way.

And the second thing is, my takeaway, is to kind of when you’re making decisions, don’t base them off of emotion. Understand your emotions, realize that they are there. Whether it’s anger, or fear, or excitement, anything like that, or panic. Realize that those emotions are real, but just simply recognizing that the emotion is there, and try to look at the decision that you are making whether it’s in business or personal whatever. And just kind of look at it and be like, “Am I making this decision logically or emotionally?” Simply just having that kind of filter or that fail stop has been very useful for me.

George Grombacher: Yeah, in the same sort of vein that we like complexity as human beings, and if we have too many things on our plate that we’re not going to be very effective. Recognizing that the vast, vast majority of the decisions that we make about everything, about money, and are really based on emotion. And once we become mindful of that and aware of it, then we can start to move towards more logical decision making. So I think that’s such a valuable thing, so amen.

Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. 100%.

George Grombacher: Well, Dylan, Savage Nation is ready for your difference-making tip. What do you have for them?

Dylan Ogline: So we talked about this pre-show. My tip is to eat your veggies. No, I’m just kidding. I hope that stays in the show. No, my single difference-making tip is would be focus. Focus no matter if it’s on one product or one service. Realize that if you try to do ten things in a day, you’re not going to get anything done. But if you do one thing every day, you’re probably going to be able to get that done. Just always think, “Am I being hyper focused right now?” That would be my difference-making tip.

George Grombacher: Well, I think that is great stuff, that definitely gets a come on. Come on! Even if your one thing is eating your vegetables, Dylan.

Dylan Ogline: Yeah, got to eat those. I got to get those greens in.

George Grombacher: I love it. Well, Dylan, thank you so much for coming on. Where can Savage Nation learn more about you? How can people engage with you?

Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Dylan Ogline. My website’s dylanogline.com. I do have a free ebook that I just put up. If you go to dylangogline.com/six, all spelled out, S-I-X. I do have a free ebook. And then on the Instagram, Facebooks, and LinkedIn @dylanogline.

George Grombacher: Love it. Savage Nation, if you enjoyed this as much as I did, show Dylan your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Go to dylanogline.com. That’s D-Y-L-A-N-O-G-L-I-N-E.com. And then do the /six and get a copy of the free ebook and find him on social media. I’ll list all those on the notes of the show. Thanks again, Dylan.

Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

George Grombacher: And until next time, keep fighting the good fight, because we are all in this together. Spending too much time on social? Is your daily screen time over two hours? Are you a little bit overweight? Not saving enough money? Any or all of these are familiar. Strive could be for you. The Strive two-week online boot camp will help you to detox your mind, body, and money. Getting you on your way to a happier, healthier, wealthier and more competent life. Go to strivedetox.com. S-T-R-I-V-E-D-E-T-O-X.com and get your mind, body, and money right.