How to get rich by ruthlessly guarding your time
Working from Home
December 3, 2020
“You need to take proactive steps to insulate yourself from the distractions.” In this episode of Working From Home, we talk about the importance of creating obstacles to create bad habits, like the browser extension I installed to limit my access to my email. The extension would literally taunt and berate me fifty times before it let me access my email.
We also talk about how the very nature of work is changing. There will be winners and losers in that change, but for the people who embrace change, I think the future will be very bright. Consider that you can be upper-middle-class on a $10/hour salary while living in Southeast Asia, but you can move to San Francisco for a $200k salary and barely get by because it’s so expensive. In a digital future, who will opt for that?
We also discuss:
- How to leverage other people to discover solutions that were staring you in the face the whole time.
- The difference between “managers” and “makers,” and why they have to structure their workday differently.
- Why instead of cutting up your credit cards, it may be better to freeze them in a Tupperware full of water.
- The one trick that made writing ad copy take a fraction of the time and energy it used to.
- Whether or not the Harry Potter movies are Christmas movies.
About the Show: Nelson Jordan is the host of Working from Home.
Dylan Ogline: I would argue that it’s probably the most important thing that people need to learn when it comes to just work in general. You need to take proactive steps to insulate yourself from the distractions, from your phone. Like my phone is always on do not disturb, it’s always on vibrate, like only if like my girlfriend or family members call me or text me do I get a notification. Otherwise like every single call is ignored. I check my email once a day like and that’s it.
Nelson Jordan: Hello, and welcome to the Working From Home podcast with your host, me, Nelson Jordan. Today I have Dylan Ogline who is the founder of Ogline Digital, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook and Google ads, as well as the owner and founder of dylanogline.com, which is an online education agency that teaches people how to grow their own digital marketing agency. I said agency a lot in that introduction paragraph, so Dylan, thank you for joining us.
Dylan Ogline: Thanks, Nelson, glad to be here man.
Nelson Jordan: Cool. What’s up?
Dylan Ogline: There was a lot of agencies in that intro there.
Nelson Jordan: Too many agencies these days. I was going for a really meta introduction that made that point. I’m sure you picked up on it.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. And the training program, it’s called Agency 2.0. We got to get more agency in there. We going to talk about agencies today?
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, maybe.
Dylan Ogline: This episode is just going to be called The Agency.
Nelson Jordan: The Agency.
Dylan Ogline: I like it.
Nelson Jordan: Times two. So the last time we talked, Dylan, you reminded that we were two days before the election or was it two days after that?
Dylan Ogline: After.
Nelson Jordan: Two days after?
Dylan Ogline: Two days after the election.
Nelson Jordan: You were still kind of unsure of which way the wind was blowing and what was going to happen.
Dylan Ogline: I was obsessively checking my phone every ten seconds.
Nelson Jordan: That was it.
Dylan Ogline: Refreshing.
Nelson Jordan: I pretended not to notice at the time, but yeah.
Dylan Ogline: It was bad.
Nelson Jordan: But we’re all still here, at least for now, which is fantastic. But amazing, well, thanks for joining us. I think the first thing we’re going to jump in is find out, I mean, how you grew your own agency first, and obviously that leads into what you learned and how you teach other people to do the same. So I think that’s as good a starting point as any.
Dylan Ogline: I would say how I grew the agency is relatively simple. And it’s a stark contrast to everything I was doing before I decided to focus on just one single thing, which was digital marketing solutions for my clients. But once I made the choice to just focus on one specific service, one specific business, and then I took it a step further and just focused on a few verticals, a few niches. I think the most I had ever done before 2016 was $50,000 in a year. 2017 we hit multiple six figures and then 2018 it was seven figures.
But it was really simple, just reached out to previous clients that I had worked with and said, “Hey, offering this digital marketing solution, you want to jump on a call?” Jumped on a call with a few people, got one or two clients, started to get some revenue from that, and then started to do some Google ads to bring on a few other clients. And as I onboarded more clients, I got better and better and better, got them better results, and they scaled up their ad spend. And with my particular business model, we charge a percentage of our clients’ ad spend so it’s not a fixed fee. So as we get our clients better results, say they were spending $20,000 a month, they’d be like, “Okay, well, let’s double our budget to $40,000 a month.” So that’s really how we continue to scale up very, very quickly.
Nelson Jordan: So by scaling as they scaled, I suppose.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Yes.
Nelson Jordan: Fantastic. So that actually doesn’t sound too hard as the way you’ve explained it and that like running a digital marketing agency myself, I know that nothing could be further from the truth, even if you are able to kind of map it out in terms of “we did this and then this happened.” But a lot of the time there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in terms of managing people, managing clients and their expectation. What did you kind of find that the things that you spent most of your time on during that period?
Dylan Ogline: So once I decided we’re going to just focus on one particular service, I put all of my focus. Everything I was doing was just about executing that service for the a few clients. That really was, again, a stark contrast to everything I was doing before. What took up most of my time at the beginning was just going back and forth and kind of working out the systems and processes with the clients in terms of like basically putting roles in place, which is very important. Like you don’t want to get into the habit of like constantly answering your phone for your client because the clients will constantly want to jump on calls with you. They’ll constantly be sending you emails. And if you respond to the emails right away, they kind of think it’s like an instant messaging thing or it’s text messages where you’re expected to respond right away.
It took me probably about a year, a year and a half to really put in place systems. I already had a few team members that I was working with, but put in place all those systems and kind of the rules of just this is how we do it and this is what our service is. That’s what I spend most of my time for after I decided to focus was just on the operations. But then once I got that figured out, it kind of just like took on a life of its own and just continued to grow. And because I had put in place those systems and processes and rules. There wasn’t really anything holding us back.
Nelson Jordan: Nice. So a lot of that sounds about like expectations that your clients have. So when you’re going to be reachable, how quickly you’ll get back to them. Was there anything that you like put in ahead of time because you were thinking “I don’t want to get into this situation” or was it very much like a “oh wow, I noticed that so much of my time or my team members’ time are being eaten up by these clients” and like more of a reactive rather than proactive thing?
Dylan Ogline: Unfortunately, and this is not the way to do it, I would say most of it was reactive. I can’t think of anything that I’ve really put in place. As far as like expectations in terms of results, I certainly think I was pretty good with telling the clients like, “Don’t expect your first month to have a positive ROI,” things like that. When it came to the operations though, it was just like being shot out of a cannon, very much so, and figuring out everything on the fly. Which, for me, I had spent so many years building out the processes and systems for businesses that never went anywhere. So when I decided to just focus on one single thing, one single service, it was like I was on purpose trying to not have everything figured out from the beginning if that makes any sense.
Nelson Jordan: Sure. So I think a lot of that is the stuff that you decided not to do, right?
Dylan Ogline: Yes. Yeah, I was the type where before I even offered the service, before I had even sold anybody on it, I would have had a complete operations manual written. And I had done that for so many other things, so many other services or so many other businesses, and then never got any clients. That when I had reached the tipping point and decided to focus, I was like, “No, I’m not going to do any of that stuff.” Because what if it doesn’t sell or what if I need to pivot and change things? Like now we have an operations manual. Why would I write out an operations manual for like Facebook ads if Facebook doesn’t work for the clients? I would spend so much time writing that out and talking to the team and whatnot whenever I haven’t sold anybody. So yeah, it was a lot of just shooting from the hip, and taking it as it came.
Nelson Jordan: That’s interesting because like I’ve gone the opposite way. So I’ve always been kind of like fly by the seat of my pants sort of thing. And then as I’ve just I suppose grown in my career and got more of an understanding of what’s happening, and also want to generate repeatable results, rather than just one-off getting lucky but not really knowing why. I’ve actually moved from that to being more process driven I suppose. So I think we’ve come at it from slightly different angles.
These days in particular, taking like content strategy as like an example, there is like an actual manual playbook that like I’ve written down that I go for that maps exactly my research process. So understanding what tow rite and why and then the how comes later. That sounds like something that’s incredible simple, but the amount of the number of hours, the amount of kind of mental bandwidth that that’s taken to understand the actual intricate steps. Like you could spend literally months-- and I probably have-- months in terms of time mapping out all of these different steps for digital marketing.
I think this is why something like your agency kind of model, your education company, I think that’s why it’s having a lot of success, right? In terms of people kind of think, “Well, I could spend all of this time mapping out all of these processes, and I guess making all of these mistakes myself or I could shortcut that and find somebody who’s already got to this level of success, this kind of, I suppose, revenue goal, or client goal, or lifestyle goal, or whatever it is that they’re shooting for.” Is that kind of what you’re finding when people come and talk to you?
Dylan Ogline: 100%. Yeah. So most of the students that I have coming on-- we’re going to talk more about the agency term, Agency 2.0-- most of the students I’m getting have no experience in digital marketing. They might have started their own business doing something completely different. But a lot of them haven’t even started any kind of business. But there are a few, maybe 10%, that are currently doing some kind of agency work. Maybe their pricing model is different, maybe they’re charging like a flat fee for social media management, something like that. But now those people, they’re the ones who come on, and it’s kind of almost an epiphany for them to see these processes and systems in front of them and be like, “I can just copy somebody who’s already doing this.”
The students that have no experience it’s like they’re just going through the process so they don’t even realize. Like they know what they’re learning but they don’t even realize like how transformative it is to just simply copy the processes and systems of somebody else. And a lot of the stuff that I have learned and put in place in my business is from masterminds, and training programs, and books, and stuff like that where I copied somebody else’s system. Maybe not from an agency. It might be a completely different business model, but I looked at it, observed it, and then I applied a lot of that stuff to my business. And that certainly makes it a lot easier. 100%. No doubt about it.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, I think it’s a great shortcut. And I’ve always seen that like the biggest acceleration in my career through other people through like leveraging their knowledge through understanding what they’ve been through by learning from their mistakes. For example, when I’m talking on a copywriting or a content client, I charge 50% upfront. And if it’s like under $1,000 for example, then I charge all of it upfront. Now the people that told me to do that told me to do it for a reason. They told me because they got burnt on completing a project, I’m handing over the copy or the content to the client, and never hearing from them again. So the other reason that I haven’t made that same mistake is it’s not because I’m smarter than those people, I most definitely am not, it’s that—
Dylan Ogline: Oh, yeah.
Nelson Jordan: You agreed with that.
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah, yeah, somebody else gave you the advice.
Nelson Jordan: Like I’m not smarter than them. You were like, “Yup, yup.”
Dylan Ogline: No, I 100% agree with that. This is actually funny because it’s uncomfortable to me when somebody is like, “Dylan Ogline, this marketing expert,” or something like that. They use that expert term, and I’m like, “Dude, like really? Like I certainly don’t think I’m an expert in the slightest bit.” And half of the stuff I’m talking about is stuff I learn from other people, but I think that’s okay, I think that’s totally natural.
And taking this one step further, another thing that I find so transformative about having somebody else to talk with or just reference or mentors, things like this, is that they’re not caught in the day to day. There’s been so many times where I’ve talked to other business people, mentors, people in masterminds, and like I can’t figure out the solution. And then they’re like, “Well, here’s the solution, it’s right in front of you.” So many times that has happened to me.
And the reason you can’t see the solution is because you’re caught in the day to day where these other people, they can just talk to you, get some details, and get that birds eye view. That to me has been absolutely priceless. There’s no way that I would be anywhere close to where I am if it weren’t for the simple ability of me to have conversations with other people for them to take a birds eye view of my situation and provide advice that was right in front of my face. So many times that has happened to me.
Nelson Jordan: So important. I had a call earlier in the week with my cousin, he like owns an outdoor clothing company. And like at the end of the call, he just said something like, “I knew I had to do it, but I didn’t know I had to do it, until you told me.” So it’s like it’s this concept of being aware of something on some kind of like subconscious level, but not necessarily being able to put a name to it, or put your finger on it. I think those are the moments like the epiphanies when something finally crystallizes. Like they don’t come from nothing. There is something inside you that thought you’re aware of this on some sort of level, and then somebody says something or happens that something just clicks. And you’re just like, “That’s it. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying but I haven’t been saying that. But that’s what I’ve been grasping at or trying to grasp at.”
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. No, 100%. And I was actually thinking about one. I don’t know, something we talked about earlier made me think. I think we were talking about your business and everything that you do. And I remember I was having this conversation with a friend of mine-- and this was two years ago or something-- and one of the issues I was having was like Facebook ads in particular will kind of get burnt out. It’s not like every day you have to put out new stuff. But like maybe six to three months you have to like put out new versions of the ads, and test them, and whatnot.
And at the time, I had yet to come up with a kind of a manual for somebody else to write this. Like that was still my main thing that I did was I would write the ad, I would write the copy, I would come up with the headline, et cetera. And I actually enjoy it, I still to this day enjoy that part. But what would happen is like my team would message me and be like, “Hey, we need new ads for such and such client. We need them written,” and so I’d like scramble to write the ads. And this was happening like once a week, once every two weeks, and like I would randomly pop in, and then I’d want to do it like right away because I want to get fresh eyes out there to start testing, to start getting the algorithm, to learn them, et cetera.
And so I was talking to my friend, and I’m like, “Man, like I’m so burnt out because like it just randomly hits, and then I have to stop everything and work on this.” And he’s like, “Why don’t you just pre-write them? Why don’t you just write out like ten of them? Like sit down for a whole day or however long it takes and write out ten versions of the ads. And then your team can know, like okay, like watch these metrics and if the ad’s starting to look a little burnt out, just try this new copy, try this new headline, et cetera.”
And like when they’re down to like five on the list, then they can email you, but you got time then. That was so simple but it changed everything. Because then I wasn’t scrambling to do this work, it was like once every month I would sit down, and I would have a whole day where I just sat there and wrote copy. And the solution was right in front of me, just instead of writing one write ten. That was it.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah. I think that like some of the most important things that come along and hit us in the face are those that you’re almost embarrassed to admit how simple the solution was. It was like, “Guess what, guys? Instead of writing one social media ad, I’d just stay there a bit longer and write ten.”
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Nelson Jordan: That was it.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, and my perspective of the operations, then it was much more calm. I wasn’t scrambling to do anything. That was a game-changer. It didn’t make the business more profitable or anything, it just the operation solution was so ridiculously simple and never would have been slapped up side the face with that simple solution had I had not had that conversation, and it was that easy.
Nelson Jordan: Can I tell you mine? My like simple one that like I should have known but didn’t?
Dylan Ogline: Please.
Nelson Jordan: So like I had this annoying conversation with my wife for like years about-- just should clarify the conversation is annoying, not my wife-- just about like whether multitasking actually exists. And I think it doesn’t. I think it’s just like rapid context switching. Like you do one thing and then you do another and you’re not necessarily either of those things well.
Dylan Ogline: 100%.
Nelson Jordan: Anyway, fine. So given that that’s my viewpoint, I really should have actually put that into practice and not allowed myself to do that, right? Like it’s something that I know at a logical, rational level, but just didn’t put into practice into terms of like habitual this is what I do day in and day out. So my big thing that in the last like four months even, so like not a long time at all, has been like task batching. So very, very similar to yours in terms of that you just do one and then you switched to ten, but I kind of have done that with my days. So I’ll only do certain tasks for the business on certain days, but I’ll try my hardest to group them all up into like one day.
So you’ll notice, okay, it’s Thursday today, so I take my podcast recordings, I try them and do them on either a Thursday or a Friday. Very rarely-- I mean, I did at the beginning because I just hadn’t put this into practice yet-- very rarely do I do a podcast recording on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday unless it’s like completely unavoidable. And most of the time it’s not unavoidable, it just gets rescheduled, because I can’t do those days.
And I get into a specific mindset when I’m doing sales calls, podcast discovery calls, podcast recording calls where I really struggle to do any copywriting or any content work on the same day. I’m just in a completely different frame of mind. They occur to me at two like very different energy levels. Like I have to very much on for sales calls, and on for like podcast recording calls and things, because well, just by their nature. Like nobody wants to buy from somebody who’s kind of not listening, not engaged.
And whereas with writing, what I’ll do that’s a very like insular task for me. So if I’m doing a day on writing I might do half a day that’s just on research so I won’t have my emails open, I won’t have my phone on, sometimes I don’t even have my phone in the room, Slack won’t be on, nothing like that, and it will just be researched, get this, understand it, put it onto this piece of paper, don’t even bother to write it well. Like that is all my task it is for the next three hours. That’s it. Whereas before, it was this ridiculous hodge podge of like, “Oh, an email’s come up, let’s answer that.” And like, “Oh, I need to do that.” Or, “Oh, I really should have done a LinkedIn post today. I’ll go and do that.” And then you get to like 5: 00 and you’re like you’re not really sure with what you’ve done with the day. Somebody asks you like my wife will ask me, and I’ll be like…
Dylan Ogline: I don’t know what I did today.
Nelson Jordan: I have no idea what I did today. Like I must have done something, I seem to be sat in the office all day. So I must have done something but I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what it was.
Dylan Ogline: Especially as we move more and more towards people working at home, people working by themselves, and technology. We all know technology has become so addictive. You can instantly be sitting there, your phone will ding with every text, with every email. I would argue it’s probably the most important thing that people need to learn when it comes to just work in general. You need to take proactive steps to insulate yourself from the distractions, from your phone. Like my phone is always on do not disturb, it’s always on vibrate. Like only like my girlfriend or family members call me or text me do I get a notification. Otherwise, like every single all is ignored. I check my email once a day, like and that’s it.
If you don’t put these rules in place, like you say, you will sit there and you’ll put in a whole ten to ten hours. But because you were continuously checking your email you were constantly replying to every email when it came in, or every Slack message, or Skype message, or all of this stuff you never get anything done. Or it’s not just batching and constantly checking stuff, it’s batching tasks. Like a good example is like the writing the ads.
Now of course that was something that was like once a month but you’ve got to look at other tasks that you might be doing where, say it’s podcasts, this is a good one. If you’re putting out like a podcast a week, well instead of editing every single week, edit say once a month. You edit say four podcasts at once. Or what you mentioned about having podcasts where you only do podcast recordings on certain days is an absolutely perfect example. You have one day a week or two days a week where this is all I do on these days or these are the days that I allow these things to happen. And then the other days you’re doing maybe the creative or the big work. This definitely sounds silly, and again, I would argue it is the most important part of work in our modern day of working at home and with all these distractions. You have to protect your time.
Nelson Jordan: No, I think you’re so right. I mean was it Cal Newport that wrote Deep Work?
Dylan Ogline: I think I’ve heard of it.
Nelson Jordan: Which is a book on exactly that and he partnered with somebody else to kind of teach this stuff and to kind of teach methods to kind of, I suppose, insure that we are actually doing work that matters rather than just the surface level tasks. Because if you’re spending like ten minutes on a task and 15 minutes on a task, there’s no way you’re ever doing a deep level on that.
Dylan Ogline: You’re not getting anything done.
Nelson Jordan: There’s certain tasks that you can do, like yeah, you can fire off an email, or you can hit like slack, or you can check on something. But in terms of like actual stuff that’s going to move the needle, that stuff needs like thinking about.
Dylan Ogline: Time.
Nelson Jordan: Like some of the things that when I know that I need to think through a task, like I will go for a run specifically to think through that task. And like when I run I go incredibly, incredibly slowly, and but I’ll be out for like—
Dylan Ogline: So you walk. You walk you don’t run.
Nelson Jordan: I mean like maybe like a swift amble, maybe, I don’t know.
Dylan Ogline: That’s a British term for sure.
Nelson Jordan: I don’t even think there’s that many people in the UK that would ever say that, but I just do it to be funny.
Dylan Ogline: Speed walking.
Nelson Jordan: Speed walking, there we go, there we go. Like I have had way like quite large unfit people overtake me routinely, and like I’m not joking. But I enjoy that and it gets me out of the house but I was saying is I do that and have a specific task because I know that I won’t take any headphones with me or anything, I will just be out in the woods running, and I will think through that task. But like the first half an hour of me thinking through that task by and large is just rubbish. Like it’s just the thought going through my head, but I’m not actually making any progress on that. It takes like dedication and approaching that from a few different angles, and over time, giving your brain the space to go over that stuff. And the lack of electronic stimulus and the lack of other people kind of taking over your time to be able to actually get into that. And if I’m only having like decent thoughts an hour into a run, if I’m sat there at my desk banging on a new task every 15 minutes, I’m never going to get to that.
Dylan Ogline: No, I do the same thing. For me, it’s cycling. No headphones, no nothing. And like my entire training program has come as a result of me cycling. I go for a ride and I have a certain topic or whatever that I want to create a training on. And I have to look nuts because I talk to myself out loud just trying to think of how to explain something. You said if every 15 minutes you’re stopping to check your email or whatnot, you will never get anywhere.
There’s a really good kind of short essay on this. I’m going to butcher this, so the folks out there are going to have to Google it. It’s I think the makers versus manager schedule or something like that, by I think, Paul Graham. Don’t quote me on that. If you just Google “makers versus managers schedule” that should pull it up. It’s a short, short kind of essay that talks about something similar about this. Like when you’re making something, when you’re writing content, you’re creating a training program, making videos. Anything like that you need kind of a deep work where you can get focused. You have to be honest with yourself and take an objective look of where the issues are.
So me, like I can answer my emails in the morning, and then I can close down Gmail and I know I won’t go back there. No, let me back up. I personally had to-- this is probably a year or two ago-- I kept checking it. So what I did is I had to put in place some systems and processes for it. So there was an app, like a Chrome extension that I downloaded, where it limited the amount of time that you could-- and just Google like “Chrome extension for time management,” something like that.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, I think there’s like Rescue Time, and…
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, there’s a ton of them, ton of them.
Nelson Jordan: Like we’re not sponsored by anyone so we can say whatever we like in terms of products.
Dylan Ogline: But, yeah, like it would limit me to like, say, 25 minutes a day or something. And then if you absolutely need to, you need to like enter this secret passcode, and then it like makes fun of you, and it’s like, “I’m telling your mom. Like you should be ashamed of yourself,” and you have to click on the button like 50 times while it’s showing you all these images, and then you get access to Gmail again. Like I had to do that because I couldn’t control myself. What I’m getting at here is like everybody needs to come up with their own custom solution. So, for me, there are a few emails where like I want to know when they come in. So I have like different folders in my Gmail, different rules. So like I only keep one folder open throughout the day, and if an email comes into that I’ll see it, but the other stuff that just goes into the inbox I don’t see it. That’s enough for me.
But maybe you just need to block Gmail. Maybe you need to put your phone in the freezer. Like maybe you need to delete, block Facebook 100% of the time. You need to figure out and be honest with yourself like what are the things just constantly you notice yourself going back to and just do whatever the step is to get rid of them. It’s mission critical to doing any kind of positive, good work. You need to take these steps.
Nelson Jordan: One thing I would say, Dylan, is that putting your phone in the freezer is going to kill the battery, so.
Dylan Ogline: Will it really?
Nelson Jordan: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Okay, put it in the fridge.
Nelson Jordan: An equally cold place. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: The reason the freezer analogy comes from a friend of mine had an issue. This has to do with money management. She had an issue with spending money on her credit cards. And I was like cutting up your credit cards isn’t necessarily a good idea because what if there’s a medical emergency or something and you need them? Well, if you don’t have the card, you literally shredded it that’s a problem. So the advice, which I heard this from somebody else, never had to do it myself was like put it in a thing of Tupperware, fill it with water, and freeze your credit card. If you need it in like an hour you could sit it out, run warm water over it, and you can get your credit card. But that extra step is going to be enough to stop you. Like that’s it.
Nelson Jordan: Sure.
Dylan Ogline: Same thing applies for Gmail, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat, all that stuff. If you create that just that little extra step, it’ll go make a huge, huge amount of impact.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, and it’s about finding what works for you, as you rightly said. Like for me, it’s enough if I’m downstairs and I’m done for the day to what I will do is just put my phone like on the table away form the sofa so at least if I want to check it I won’t find myself just habitually checking it without realizing it.
Dylan Ogline: Just reaching over for it.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, exactly. Like I actually have to get up and make a concerted effort to go and have it. But everyone’s different. I mean, cool, so we’ve talked about like a few things that made a lot of difference for us in terms of like productivity and in terms of doing work that we’re actually proud of at the end of the day. The people that come to you in terms of like wanting to grow their digital marketing agency, what kind of leads them to you? Like what has gone on in their lives that makes them think, “okay, this is something that’s of interest to me.”
Dylan Ogline: I’m going to kind of back this up and go in a different direction. How I got into kind of mentoring, and teaching, and coaching was I met people at industry events, at the gym, family friends. And everybody always asks the classic question, “What do you do?” And I would say, “I have my own business.” That typically just inspires people because they’re like they have a job and they want to quit.
Once I got my agency going and was able to like travel and still run my business, that was almost like a mythical legend to some people. So when I would talk about that, they would see my Instagram or something, and see that I traveled, and then they’re like, “How do you do that?” And I’m like, “Well, I have my own business.” “Well, did you still--“ “Yeah, like I can go somewhere for a couple weeks and bring my laptop and I can still work.” That kind of became this thing that really motivated people the most. I don’t know if that’s the right word, motivated. I’m going to roll with it. Inspired, I don’t like that word either.
Nelson Jordan: Got them interested and wanted to hear more.
Dylan Ogline: Got them interested. Yes. Was kind of that lifestyle of being able to travel the world and build a business. And then of course they’ll be like, “Well, what business do you have?” And I’d say, “I have my own digital agency.” So that is why I ended up focusing just on teaching people how to build a digital agency. And a lot of people, a lot of students come on and they have a dead end job, or maybe they do work at home, maybe they do have some freedom, but they’re just not making anything because they’re like an independent contractor.
The idea of traveling while still having a business is still kind of not possible because they’re getting paid hourly so they need to still work 40 to 50 hours a week. That’s not going to be fun to be traveling and still working 40 to 50 hours a week. So it tends to be those things that get people interested in starting their own agency.
Nelson Jordan: Okay, so it’s this kind of, I suppose aspirational lifestyle. Based on where they are they see like a gap between what they have at the moment and what they would like to achieve or what they see other people kind of achieve and want to find a way to get that.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I would say 95% of it is the lifestyle. There is certainly some that is the monetary goal. I tell people the goal, the program is to teach you how to build a six-figure digital agency. And to some people, like that is what interests them, but I would say 95% of them it’s the lifestyle of being able to have your own successful business and not be tied to a desk.
Nelson Jordan: Sure. And I think for a lot of people that haven’t been involved in the industry, they kind of might see like a six-figure agency as something being like, “Oh, that’s actually like really unattainable.” But I think actually like a six-figure when you’re talking about revenue in terms of what that breaks down to like on a monthly basis, that’s probably like between eight and--
Dylan Ogline: It’s $1,923 a week.
Nelson Jordan: Okay, somebody knows his maths.
Dylan Ogline: I used to have a spreadsheet where I would track my weekly revenue and I was just obsessed with hitting six figures. So that’s how I know. It’s like $1,923 and change. I was obsessed with hitting $1,923. So that’s all I know.
Nelson Jordan: What is the etiquette on calling your guest nerds? Like is there a podcast etiquette manual book?
Dylan Ogline: I’m very nerdy if you’re going to imply that I’m nerdy. Do you want me to throw the glasses on?
Nelson Jordan: You put yours on and I’ll put mine on.
Dylan Ogline: Let’s see. I got so much glare.
Nelson Jordan: That’s the thing. I’ve got to take them off now.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, like I can’t even. I end up looking at myself because I’m like I can see my screen in my glasses.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah. Okay, cool, well I’ll just call you a nerd and move on.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, I’ll nerd out all day, man. I can talk about Harry Potter.
Nelson Jordan: Sorry.
Dylan Ogline: I said do you want to talk about Harry Potter? We can nerd out on that. I’ve got a wand and everything.
Nelson Jordan: Well, like I don’t want to get too diverted, but yeah like my wife and I were having a discussion with our friends like last night about whether Harry Potter is actually a Christmas series or not. Like we’re recording this guys a month before Christmas. By the time this comes out, Christmas will have been gone and past. Basically, I’ve decided that I’m right, and the Harry Potter series are Christmas films.
Dylan Ogline: Christmas films.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah. Anyway, cool.
Dylan Ogline: I don’t see the-- We'll need to talk about that in episode two.
Nelson Jordan: Yeah, well like we’ll have you back just to discuss that.
Dylan Ogline: Just to talk about. Yeah, Dylan Ogline, Working From Home, talking about Harry Potter and Christmas movies.
Nelson Jordan: Exactly. So this kind of thing and when you think it breaks down into this figure, actually like running a six-figure agency it’s easy to kind of put this on a pedestal, and I don’t want to kind of belittle anybody’s goal. But once you break something down into like really manageable chunks and you actually--
Dylan Ogline: It’s not much.
Nelson Jordan: Not for an agency, no, when you’re thinking that like the revenue that you charge a large proportion of that is going to the people that actually make it happen in terms of the employees. It’s actually not that hard and hopefully nobody like takes offense at that if they’re trying to get on that journey and not quite making it yet. But it’s like I know loads of freelancers that are making that on their own not as part of an agency and they’re not heading up, and they’re not kind of leveraging capital, and leveraging labor in that way. They’re just doing the work themselves and they’re still making like six figures.
So if you do have the skillset, if you have the knowledge, if you have the understanding of the processes, if you have the discipline and the willpower. Because knowledge is one thing, but like unless you can actually sit down and make that happen and going to work…
Dylan Ogline: Take action.
Nelson Jordan: And take action, yeah, that is just not going to happen. But those sort of things, for a lot of people, are actual goals. Obviously like in a very, very privileged position I don’t want to say that those goals are possible for everyone because it’s just unrealistic. But I work and have worked as well with people in India who like these specific people are going to struggle to make six figures because of just the challenges that have been put in the path even though they’re operating in a global economy are still going to struggle because of a lot of people’s understanding that they’re working with Indians. And like the different kind of salary expectations and things that are there, but in terms of what six figures looks like for people in different countries, it’s like an arbitrary number, right? It’s a target, but what you’re actually shooting for is some level of financial wealth, or income, or freedom. And what that looks like in different countries is very, very different.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, in India, the $20,000 would probably go very far. I have team members in Southeast Asia who make ten dollars an hour and they’re like very wealthy just off of the 20 to 30 hours a week that they work for me making ten bucks an hour. Ten bucks an hour is like nothing in the United States, but there that’s all the money in the world.
Nelson Jordan: And if you go to like the Bay Area for example in the U.S., and like you’re making six figures, like you might--
Dylan Ogline: You’re in poverty.
Nelson Jordan: Well, like in some areas, you’re definitely not feeling well off.
Dylan Ogline: No. No, that’s absolutely true. And I think it’s an interesting aspect of work going forward, especially after COVID. A lot of that is almost forced on people, and what I mean by that is like people will move to the Bay Area as an example, which is extremely expensive. But they’ll move there because it’s very common for people to get tech positions and make $200,000, $300,000 a year. Which sounds like a pretty decent chunk of money, but there it’s like you have a decent house, and decent apartment. Like you might not even have enough money to buy your own apartment or buy your own house.
You go to London, for you, London’s just ridiculously expensive. But people did that because you had to move where the jobs were. It’s very interesting to see what’s going to happen with that because as we become more remote, COVID kind of forced people to go remote, and kind of forced that stereotype of people working at home are lazy or something like that. And because that stereotype is now broken, people aren’t going to want to move to the Bay Area to get that job. They’re going to be like, “Well, why can’t I just live in Atlanta where it’s a lot cheaper and still have the same job? I can still do it just as good as the person who’s in the Bay Area and they’re working remote because of COVID.” I don’t even know where I was going with this, but it’s interesting to see what is going to happen with that.
Nelson Jordan: So I wrote a guest blog recently for Live It, and it was on the subject of like essentially, okay, I probably went with a bit of a Buzzfeedy title.
Dylan Ogline: You have to sometimes.
Nelson Jordan: I went with “Location-Based Businesses Are Dead. Here Are Their Replacement.” And it was all about kind of remote work and kind of the trends that I was seeing emerging and kind of the future of work. And I didn’t touch on this in the article just because it didn’t make sense from kind of a conceptual point of view. And I have to kind of caveat this by saying that I’m still figuring out how in my head, so it’s kind of like a half-baked thought at this time. But it’s kind of moving from this location dependency where so many industries have had to be located in a particular area in terms of a certain resource.
So that resource could be something like manufacturing needs requires a lot of water. So previously you’d always situate plants near like rivers, for example. Or, again, you need some sort of transport hub quite locally to you, therefore businesses wouldn’t be built too far away from motorways if logistics was a really important-- highways for you lot.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Nelson Jordan: If that was an important part of your business and that’s starting to fall away. But what I’m wondering, so I think there’s going to be some more like equality there between places that should be nice to live but aren’t because they have like this brain drain effect. They have the younger generation leaving because they feel like there’s no future there because there’s no jobs there. I feel like more people will be able to stick in their hometowns, the areas that they’ve grown up with, if they want to because of this kind of move to remote working.
However, I think on the other side of the coin, we’re going to move from this idea of location being the thing that’s kind of like most important for somebody getting a job. And I think we’re instead going to move to this concept of like digital haves and digital have-nots. So instead of location being the determining factor of whether you get a job in your chosen industry and your salary and the sort of lifestyle you’re able to afford. Your digital skills and your digital education and your access to fast internet might be the factor that actually like swings it in terms of the sort of lifestyles that you end up living, the sort of career that you end up having.
I’m still blown away by even like in places like the U.S. how many towns and rural areas still don’t have like high-speed internet, still don’t have broadband, or anything like that. It’s like for somebody who lives on like such a little island like I do-- the U.K. is not a big place. You see that in how we talk about like travel versus you talk about travel in terms of like I’ve got an American client who said, “Oh, we’re popping down the road to see our son.” I’m like, “Okay,” it’s like a six-hour journey, and that’s them popping down the road because they live in Texas. Whereas like if I was gone for six hours, like my wife would like probably phone the police if I said I was just going down the road.
But anyway, I get off point. So I’m thinking that this is something that we need to be cognizant of as business leaders, as people that could perhaps, listeners could influence like government policy, and like an awareness of how this is going. I think we’re going to move from like location, having such a big role to digital education and digital access being more important. And I’ve seen certain countries have been more, I suppose, forward thinking and understanding about what that means. And certain cultures are more set up for it. So I see places like Estonia from a government point of view in terms of like the digital visas that they offer, the kind of infrastructure investments they’ve made. And then certain cultures that you touched on before have been more likely to fit into certain digital roles.
Like if you say like Asian country that focuses on like customer service, like it’s Philippines, right? It’s more customer service agents-- that I’ve come across, at least, and I’d be interested to see if there’s any stats around this-- seems to be located in like Southeast Asia, like Indonesia, that sort of area.
Dylan Ogline: Labor costs are so cheap.
Nelson Jordan: Yes, exactly. So there’s certain things that are just kind of emerging at the moment that I’m, as I say, it’s a half-baked idea. I’m still very much figuring it out what that actually means on a concrete level, but it’s something that I can’t help thinking is likely to happen. This kind of creation of almost a digital underclass.
Dylan Ogline: Digital underclass. That kind of took me by surprise.
Nelson Jordan: Oh, did you like that one?
Dylan Ogline: I did. I’ll have to get the name of that article. Digital underclass. I think that it’s been happening for years and it’s only going to accelerate. I was having a conversation with my neighbor the other day about real estate and how I feel like commercial real estate, like office buildings, things like that, it’s done. Yes, there’s going to be people who go back to the office, but I think it’s reached its peak, and it’s going to be on a decline. It’s like do you have strip malls in the U.K.?
Nelson Jordan: Like we’ve got shopping centers, but I mean they’ve been dying for a long time.
Dylan Ogline: A long time.
Nelson Jordan: I can’t remember a year that like a major chain hasn’t shut down. I mean, like even yesterday in the U.K., like I can’t remember what the group is called, but the people that run Topshop, and Topman, and all those businesses that perhaps didn’t make it over the pond but are very big here, all of them have closed. They were quite reticent. Although you could buy their stuff online, they didn’t make the investments that they should have and they paid the price. And everybody else that used to have shops in every time, used to have multiple shops in cities. Like clothing brands, department stores, banks as well.
Dylan Ogline: That stuff’s all done.
Nelson Jordan: They’ve all kind of migrated.
Dylan Ogline: What’s going to happen with banks. There’s so many industries that have already felt the impact. COVID just ramps it up to 100. I think a lot of people, we were talking about location, I think a lot of people are going to be the idea of finishing school, going to college, and then working for one company for 30 years, that’s done.
Nelson Jordan: I think that’s been done for a while.
Dylan Ogline: So I’m like at the cusp of the Millennial generation, I think. My brother is ten years older than me, I think his generation is like the last one that I would say probably had a little bit of that. But there’s still people who expect that. They’re afraid of change, they expect to get a job, and work that job for the rest of their lives. I think it’s also going to go further, and I believe that people are going to be working for multiple companies.
Because now the way to kind of differentiate yourself is to get very specific and very niched down with your skillset. Well, it used to be that a company could hire you for multiple different skills, and you would do multiple different things for them. Now they’re going to be hiring people to do something extremely specific. Well, they don’t have enough to have you be full-time, so you might be working with ten different companies. So I believe a lot of people are going to be switching to more of like the independent contractor type of working method. The United States is certainly not set up to handle that properly, especially with healthcare. Probably didn’t expect to talk about healthcare on this show.
Nelson Jordan: No, I mean, like it’s a conversation that I think needs to be more at the forefront. Again, just research for articles that I’ve created, in terms of like the rise in freelancers and independent contractors, depending on what you call them. Obviously, there are different legal connotations there.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Nelson Jordan: And the fact that healthcare in the U.S. is so linked to your employment means that, like I won’t go into it, I’m not an expert in this area. But it seems like from the outside world it looks like a mess.
Dylan Ogline: Oh, it is. 100% is. I think it’s like 50%-60% of people in this country get their healthcare through their employer. Well, you’re not going to be doing that anymore. You’re not going to be going to work for a manufacturing company and working at that same manufacturing company for 30 to 40 years. A lot of people used to get their retirement benefits through that. And I’m not necessarily saying that the government should be the solution to all these things, because the government isn’t the solution to everything.
But we, especially in the United States, we’ve kind of just been like holding onto the past. I’m from a rural community in Pennsylvania. Internet was terrible there. I know people who couldn’t get internet access. It’s 2020 and their best hope for internet was like the satellite stuff where you get like one megabit per second upload and download and it’s available like 12 hours a day. Like it’s 2020 and that’s the best internet that these people have. That what’s going to be driving people to urban areas is access to internet. Whereas if we would have just made investments when it comes to broadband internet access and changing our healthcare system and whatnot, we would have been more prepared for this.
Nelson Jordan: Can I tell you one thing that does excite me about this change? Because it’s like it’s not all doom and gloom.
Dylan Ogline: Doom and gloom.
Nelson Jordan: It’s going to be good for some people and bad for others. And I think there’s going to be a lot of heartache along the way. But at the moment, there are certain like segments of our society that are completely overlooked and completely undervalued. And this is something I’ve just been thinking about, I’ve got a lot friends who have just had children and things like that, and perhaps are looking to get back into the workforce but struggling.
And I think there are certain subsections of society, and this example, mums who have had children and are ready to go back to work in some capacity. And by back to work, I don’t necessarily mean to a physical location, but they’re ready to be part of the workforce again. They want to earn money. They’ll struggle to commit to 9: 00 to 5: 00 working five days a work, nor do they particularly want that a lot of the case. They want to spend time with their children where they can, but also that they’re worried about falling out of the workforce, and having things changing if they’re out for too long, not having the place in their company, for example, and they just want to earn money as well.
So that is like a massively underserved community, it’s a massively underserved economic force. So I think I am excited and this is definitely not the case yet. I’m excited to see what companies and what kind of government initiatives emerge that make it easier to set up in those sort of situations as a business or as kind of like a limited company, or just a partnership, or a sole whatever it’s called. I can’t remember the actual tax terms.
Dylan Ogline: Sole proprietorship.
Nelson Jordan: Sole proprietorship, thank you very much.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Nelson Jordan: That make it easy to do that and simple to do that for somebody to maybe just work as a hybrid freelancer, hybrid like worker within a company still, but with like more flexibility. I can’t help but think this shouldn’t be the best that we can do. Like so many people are just prevented by going into the workforce at the moment after they’ve had children because the lack of flexibility. So I don’t know, that’s one of the areas that I’m optimistic about because we do it poorly now. So I think it can only get better.
Dylan Ogline: I don’t think it is doom and gloom. I believe it is scary. For me, personally, I’m younger, I’m a Millennial, like I’m used to change, like these changes don’t scare me. I believe it’s scary to some people, but overall, it’s naturally happening this change of work, it’s not going to stop, so there’s no reason even to discuss that, and the benefits are massive. You mentioned a mother who wants a more flexible schedule where used to be companies would require 40 hours a week. Well, if a company only needs you for ten hours a week, well maybe you work for two different companies, and that’s good. That’s totally fine.
I had a conversation the other day, I did a podcast, and we were talking about like minorities and those with disabilities. Like race is still an issue in the United States. But if you never see somebody and all you care about is the result, race becomes less of an issue. If somebody’s in a wheelchair they don’t need to have to go to work. They can work at home. Those people are going to be able to experience huge benefits. I could go on and on. I really believe that, again, overall the benefits far outweigh the negatives of the change. But the world is constantly changing.
We used to be more of a-- at least in the United States-- we used to be more of an industrial manufacturing-based economy. When I was born, like the ‘80s and ‘70s, there was a lot of manufacturing going on, and a lot of people lost their jobs. They’ll blame it and be like, “Oh, all the jobs went to China.” No, like 80% of it was automation and factories becoming more efficient. Work is currently changing and it will change in the future and it will continue to change and change and change. You just have to keep up with it. And most of the time progress is not a straight line, but most of the time we’re in an upward angle, and things do tend to get better and better. Again, it’s not a straight line, but overall I think ten, 15 years from now we’ll look back and be like, “There’s so many positive things that happened.” That’s my bet.
Nelson Jordan: I think we should wrap up on that note of optimism.
Dylan Ogline: Positivity.
Nelson Jordan: And positivity. Because I will just kind of go back and then I’ll make the mistake of saying something incredibly negative and have to wrap up there. So I think that’s a lovely place to leave it. Dylan, thank you so, so much for coming on. I’ll have to have you on again at some point to set the world to rights on something as well, another topic.
Dylan Ogline: Yes. We’ll solve world peace next time.
Nelson Jordan: Well, I think it will already be solved, completely solved by the next time we get on.
Dylan Ogline: You think so?
Nelson Jordan: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: By the next, okay, all right, yeah. Then we’ll aim for climate change or something like that. We got it. We got it, man, no big deal. To answer your question, where can people find more, my website: dylanogline.com. And then on the Instagrams, and the LinkedIns, and the Facebooks @dylanogline, so.
Nelson Jordan: Fantastic. Thank you so much. And we will have all of those links in the show notes and the transcript as well to boot. Dylan, thank you so much, again. I really appreciate you joining me.
Dylan Ogline: Thanks for having me.
Nelson Jordan: And we’ll speak to you soon.
Dylan Ogline: Sure. Thank you.
Nelson Jordan: And that’s it for today. You’ve been listening to the Working From Home podcast, with me, Nelson Jordan. We’ve been talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of remote work. Thanks so much for listening and I really hope you’ve enjoyed the time you spent with us today. If you’d like to discuss the podcast, you want to make a new friend, or you’re interested in working with me on a copyrighting or digital marketing project, then visit nelson-jordan.com. That’s nelson-jordan.com where you can also sign up to my newsletter to hear about this podcast and other exciting projects. Until next week, goodbye!