Is the “Four Hour Workweek” Really a Thing?
Coal Face Stories
December 16, 2020
“I was absolutely insane, out of my mind, rebellious, and so stupid. That’s what gave me the edge.” On this episode of Coal Face Stories, Ian Wilson asks me how I find balance in a “laptop lifestyle.” What if ten hours of work come up while I’m vacationing in Rome? The secret is to stop thinking of travel and life experience as a scarce resource. So I have a ten-hour workday in Rome. That’s still pretty cool!
We also talk about some of the excuses that stop people from traveling once they have liberated themselves from the office. They can work from anywhere, but they don’t. They cite their kids, or their fear of disaster, as reasons for not seeing the world. I outline steps for overcoming these limiting beliefs. Basically, if quadruple amputees see the world and even climb mountains, you can too!
We also discuss:
- The dumpster-fire shitshow of US politics.
- My morning routine.
- Which superpower I would pick.
- My three dream dinner guests.
- Also, I solve the US healthcare crisis.
About the Show: Ian Wilson is the host of Coal Face Stories.
Intro: Hello, and welcome. It’s time for your next installment of the Coal Face Stories podcast. Inspirational, uplifting, and motivational stories from real people.
Ian Wilson: Hello, and welcome to today’s Coal Face Stories. Today’s special guest dropped out of high school and started his first business at 14. Then four years ago, he scrapped over ten business projects, and decided to focus on just one thing. Since then, Dylan has grown his digital marketing agency to over seven figures in annual revenue. He is also a firm believer that anybody can start and not only build their own digital agency, but create their ideal lifestyle and life their life with a purpose. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dylan Ogline to the Coal Face Stories podcast. Did I get it right there, Dylan?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, you got the last name there right. I appreciate it, and thank you so much for having me. I got to say, I’m a little nervous, you set the expectations prior in the pre-show talking about we got to talk about great stories. I’m like, “Oh man, I got to like make my stories sound great.” Expectations are high, man, I’m nervous here.
Ian Wilson: Well, welcome Dylan, and thank you for taking the time today to join us and share some of your journey.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Ian Wilson: And [inaudible 01: 43] with us and if some of the stories are a bit boring, well, that’s life isn’t it?
Dylan Ogline: Yes. I guess so.
Ian Wilson: Dylan, whereabouts in the world are you joining us from today?
Dylan Ogline: Right now, I’m in Orlando, Florida.
Ian Wilson: Cool. Nice and sunny?
Dylan Ogline: Actually, today is cloudy, and it hasn’t rained yet, but it’s supposed to rain this afternoon. We get like ten of these a year. Most of the time it’s sunny and hot, but every now and then it’s just cloudy.
Ian Wilson: Right.
Dylan Ogline: That UK weather once a month.
Ian Wilson: All right. Okay, yeah. Is it hurricane season yet or is that coming?
Dylan Ogline: I’m terrible with this. I should know. I just moved to Florida. I’ve lived here for six years prior. I never even know when hurricane season is. I don’t watch the news. If one of my neighbors aren’t like, “Hey, it’s coming,” I’m like I don’t even notice that it’s going on.
Ian Wilson: That’s probably the best way.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, I figure, as much I ever to not watch the news, then I figure like if something bad is coming, like somebody’s going to tell me, right? Right?
Ian Wilson: Definitely, yeah. Definitely. Even though you don’t watch the news, have things finally settled down since the presidential election? Just tell the listeners here in the UK, have context, we’re recording this about six weeks after the election. And what’s your take on the events that followed?
Dylan Ogline: It has been a dumpster fire shit show. To say the least. An absolute threat to our democracy and the world as a whole. I feel like have you ever seen the show House of Cards on Netflix? They made an older one a UK version, I think, in the ‘90s.
Ian Wilson: I think earlier about ‘70s or something like that, yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, it had to do with the UK Prime Minister. They made a new one probably about ten years ago they started a new one with Kevin Spacey. I absolutely love House of Cards. Me and my girlfriend often talk like we are living in the House of Cards timeline right now. It is an absolute shit show. It’s an embarrassment, to be honest with you. It is absolutely beyond politics anymore. You’re talking about people just throwing out baseless election fraud claims, and being like, “Well, I saw this video on Facebook.” And it’s like it’s a very sad time. That’s going to be my summary right there. It’s a dumpster fire shit show and it’s very sad. What’s the UK version of this? How’s the UK seeing this?
Ian Wilson: I think how did that person ever get elected in the first place? Obviously there’s some people that support him and things, and there was that against him, but I think the majority of the opinion is what? It’s like an episode of the The Simpsons.
Dylan Ogline: It is. If you look at history, I’ve often wondered like the Roman Empire, how the hell did they collapse? They were so powerful. How did they collapse? That’s never going to happen to the United States. And now, four years later, I’m like, “How the hell did we fall so hard so fast? How the hell did this happen?” It’s very dark times, man, very dark.
Ian Wilson: I think it’s even though we take the mickey out of our prime minister and his acting [inaudible 05: 56] sometimes, I think we’re just thankful.
Dylan Ogline: It’s not as bad over there as it is here?
Ian Wilson: Well, I don’t whether you know. A few years ago we voted to leave Europe, and we’ve got a prime minister seems hell-bent on leaving without a deal with our nearest state neighbors. Some of the press are talking about the Royal Navy patrolling the sort of line between England and France on top of the French fishing boats coming over and things like that.
Dylan Ogline: Did people not learn from history? Like I love my country, by all means. I would bleed red to keep the stripes on that flag red. But “America first,” like Trump’s always saying “America,” like are you kidding me? Like no, like we’re all in this together. It’s bad. It’s so bad. Yeah. That’s how things have been since the election.
But I believe in the end progress is not a straight line. At the end of the day, ten years from now, things will probably be better than what they are now. It has always been a bad bet to bet against progress. In the moment you always feel like things are really bad, but if you look long term, we all come out in the end. I believe in the best in people. I believe most people are good. And I believe a year from now we’ll look back and be like, “That was some crazy shit, but we go through it.” That’s my take on it.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. As long as we get through, Dylan, that’s the main thing.
Dylan Ogline: Yes. We will. We always do.
Ian Wilson: What does your ideal morning routine look like?
Dylan Ogline: Ideal morning routine. I was not expecting this question from you. This is a big shift. Talking about the global society collapsing. We need to discuss morning routine. No, I like it, I like it. Morning routine for me. First thing, I get up, drink a bunch of water, and then I have the best part of my day, which is coffee with her in the morning. And so I drink and make her coffee, drink that coffee with her, it’s all about the coffee. Listen, got to put that out there, it’s all about the coffee.
I do that, and then stretch, I do like a ten-minute stretching routine, some like yoga and whatnot. It warms up the body, keeps you flexible. Then I meditate for about ten to 15 minutes. Then I have my protein shake. Get a shower, start working, that’s pretty much it.
Ian Wilson: That’s great. Thank you. In a world of superheroes, what would your super powers be?
Dylan Ogline: Wow. What would my super powers be? I can choose a bunch?
Ian Wilson: Go for it.
Dylan Ogline: Intelligence. Like hyper intelligence. Lots of intelligence. That would be it. I’ll go with really high end intelligence and indestructible. Can’t be hurt. Whatever that would be. There you go. Those are my two.
Ian Wilson: Sounds great. Sounds great. If you could invite three amazing dinner guests, anyone throughout history, who would they be?
Dylan Ogline: Three dinner guests. Barack Obama, FDR, and Abraham Lincoln. I went all Presidents route there. Damn, I did not expect that.
Ian Wilson: What would you hope the conversation would be about?
Dylan Ogline: These are really good questions, man, I like this. First thing would be how did those people not lose hope? That is how did they not become cynical and negative? Especially FDR and Lincoln, because obviously they saw much worse times than what we’ve seen. Yeah, how did they remain positive, how did they not become so negative? And then how do we inspire people to the best of their nature would be my main focus. How do we inspire people to the best of their nature?
Ian Wilson: I think that would be a great conversation to be sat around the dinner table with. You definitely wouldn’t want to get a word in there and just let them go.
Dylan Ogline: Let them go. Yup.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. If it’s all right, I’ve got a few questions about you now.
Dylan Ogline: Sure.
Ian Wilson: You might talk about it a bit, so it’s not really to be about how did you start out and then go step by step all the way croning all the way through your story. It’s just I want to just see where the conversation leads, Dylan.
Dylan Ogline: That works for me.
Ian Wilson: All right. Let’s start with a question that many might actually see as being the elephant in the room. Is it actually possible to design your own laptop lifestyle and become a digital nomad while still running a successful seven-figure business? Or is the four-hour work week a complete myth?
Dylan Ogline: I like how you ended that with the four-hour work week. For listeners out there, he’s referencing The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Buy the book, read it, it’s incredible. To me, the four-hour work week is not about working four hours a week. Because I certainly work more than four hours a week. It’s about being able to do what you want, when you want, where you want.
It’s beyond most people when they’re thinking of freedom, like most people most of their life they spent just aiming for financial freedom, but they don’t realize all the things that they give up in place to get that. They give up their health, they give up time with their family, they give up going to the same boring job that they hate, not 40 hours a week commuting two hours a day. It’s really just trying to do the opposite of that.
Is it possible? 100% yeah. And I believe it’s becoming more and more people are going to be transitioning to that. It becomes easier and easier because of we’re making more of a transition to a digital world. The definition of work is changing. More people are going to be working at home. More people are going to be having flexible work life. They’re not going to have to go to an office from 9: 00 to 5: 00 every single day getting two weeks off a year. They’re going to have a lot more flexibility. The short answer to that is, yes, it is possible
Ian Wilson: That’s very good. And I think this year has definitely illustrated that the world of work has changed because everyone, especially in this country, if you can work at home you are working at home. A lot of companies with big offices, everyone’s still working at home, even five, six months after they could have gone back. I think some part of the reason people have been enjoying the actual freedom of being at home. And part of the reason is they’re actually sometimes more productive being at home.
Dylan Ogline: There was certainly prior to COVID there was still a large amount of people who had a stigma that people who work at home were less efficient, they were lazy, they’re sitting there in their boxers playing video games all day. And then COVID kind of forced everybody to work at home. Or the mass majority of people. And out of bad times you always have to look for what was good. What are the good things that came out the bad times? And I believe that one of the good things that is going to come out of this is there was a lot of time and resources that people are wasting doing what they “thought” they had to do on a day to day basis for work.
And people realized that like, “I can work from home, it’s much better,” and believe it or not, you might actually end up being better at what you do. And it’s not just the individuals too, companies are seeing this as well. Companies are realizing that, “Hm, this is actually good for employee productivity. Oh, and on top of that, we’re not wasting all this money on office space and whatnot. We can reduce our expenses drastically and get better employees, get better team members, and they’re going to deliver better results.” It’s a win-win-win for everybody. Except for commercial real estate. If you’re in like office buildings, that’s a bad place to be right now. The next 50 years that’s not a good business to be in.
Ian Wilson: Yes, I’m sure they will think of something to reinvent it. Because I think even though we do work at home, or a lot of people are working at home, they still manage to get out and actually meet people when they can.
Dylan Ogline: I think I see co-working spaces a lot more of those. Obviously, that industry has been exploding. Further more, go back five years ago, I was in like mastermind training program type things where it’s like a group of like-minded people who are trying to get better at a specific industry and whatnot. That was like a rare breed even three years ago. Now like I talk to people all the time and they’re like, “Oh, I’m in this mastermind group.” And sometimes they’re free, but a lot of people are paying to be around other folks, and we are social creatures. And if you can easily interact with people all over the world, and get better and better at whatever your job is, whatever you’re working on, I think that’s a positive. I think there’s definitely going to be more of that going forward.
Ian Wilson: I’m curious, with your experience living the laptop lifestyle, has it been mainly a solo experience for you, or do you share your adventures when you finally get to travel with friends, or a partner, or a significant other?
Dylan Ogline: I have my girlfriend, and we’ve done a lot of traveling together. I think I’ve only taken maybe a handful of solo trips. At first she really had a problem with flying across the ocean. She was terrified of that. But I eventually got her to Europe. I think we’ve been there two or three times so far once we’re able to actually travel and then I got her over that fear. I do like the solo travel. I do like solo travel for sure. She prefers obviously to come with me. I see a blend of that going forward for sure.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. Think about having a nice balance where you can just nick off to the other side of the world for a few weeks while you attend a conference or go to somewhere and do something that you actually want to do off that big bucket list. I think it’s really important that you can still work at the same time.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, and for me, I have found that the solo trips I’ve done allow me to get better at work. And this is just like the Boomer generation and Gen X, most people when they’re thinking of like, “Oh, he’s going off to some exotic place,” like I’m going there and I’m not working for like two weeks. And it’s like, no, I’d still go there, and I work the entire time as I normally would, but I’m around a culture, I’m doing things in that culture, experiencing that culture, and it’s kind of like refreshing the mind. Once you’re able to get to that level it makes you better at what you’re doing. 100%.
Ian Wilson: Is it something you have to practice to get better at working well in different places?
Dylan Ogline: I think if you are already like working at home, and you have that commitment level, that dedication, I don’t believe that when you travel you’ll struggle with that. I think the first challenge is getting over the whole are you dedicated to do your work? And if you’re already working at home, you probably took care of that. The second challenge is getting over the limiting belief that there’s a limited amount of travel.
Back in the pre-COVID years, if I were to go somewhere, and maybe I’m there for two weeks. I’m not like, “I have to see everything in this two weeks because I’m never going to come back to this city.” Like I know I will be back to the places that I like. I’m not concerned about missing something.
And once you get over that hump, and you’re not always worried about missing something. Then, “Oh, a project came up.” And maybe I have to work today for ten hours. No big deal. I’m working in Rome for ten hours. Oh wow. That’s still cool, right?
Ian Wilson: Oh, awesome. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, so I think you very quickly adapt to it.
Ian Wilson: [inaudible 21: 21] the food.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. You know what? I like UK breakfast. I got to say, you guys got good breakfast. I’ve only been like passing through airports. I haven’t actually spent any time in the UK. Every time I think about going is winter, and I’m like, “I’m not going in the middle of winter, that’s for sure.”
Ian Wilson: You’ll have to pop over some time. We do have sun occasionally.
Dylan Ogline: It was my goal for 2020, pre-COVID, before that was even a word, it was my goal to spend 90 days nonstop outside of the United States. I definitely wanted to do at least 30 days nonstop in Japan, but I also discussed with my girlfriend like hitting up Ireland, the UK. I really want to like rent a car and drive around Ireland for like a week. And I’ll drive around the UK too. Man, I don’t know the difference. Is Ireland considered part of the UK?
Ian Wilson: No.
Dylan Ogline: Because you got Britain, you got the UK, and then you got England.
Ian Wilson: Right. Okay.
Dylan Ogline: It’s so complicated.
Ian Wilson: Great Britain is England, Scotland, and Wales.
Dylan Ogline: Okay.
Ian Wilson: And then we’ve got the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Then we’ve got the British Isles, which includes the England, Scotland, Wales, and the whole of the island of Isle of Man and the Northern Islands as well.
Dylan Ogline: From now I just need to say, “I want to visit the British Isles.” Is that what I would say?
Ian Wilson: Well, you can say Great Britain and Ireland. That covers both as well.
Dylan Ogline: Okay. All right. Greater Britain and Ireland. Boom.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. There’s loads of fantastic places. Obviously, I think the whole lot will fit inside Texas easily.
Dylan Ogline: And you guys got a good public transportation too, don’t you, the train?
Ian Wilson: Yes. We moan about it, but yes, we’ve got like trains and things.
Dylan Ogline: Hey, listen, in the United States we don’t do that.
Ian Wilson: No. We’ve got trains.
Dylan Ogline: We don’t do trains. Like that’s one of my favorite parts of Europe is the public transportation system in most countries tends to be incredible so you can bounce around easily. We just don’t have that here. You got to rent a car to do anything in the United States. It’s a big place.
Ian Wilson: Yeah, I think it’s no more than a thousand miles end to end.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, that’s not bad.
Ian Wilson: But the scenery changes a lot. And it’s lots of different types of scenery rather than just the same thing for a big area like you tend to have.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I was talking to a friend of mine last week. He lives in Texas and he’s driving to California. I think he lives down near the Houston area. Just to leave Texas it’s like ten hours of driving just to get out of the state because it’s so big. Texas is just massive. And it’s dry.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. I think Edinburgh to London is about 400 miles.
Dylan Ogline: Oh yeah, that’s just a quick jaunt around here.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. Probably it’s all about six to eight hours’ drive or something like that. Including stops. We’re talking totally different scales and things.
Dylan Ogline: It’s a little bit different over there.
Ian Wilson: You touched on something a couple moments ago that has the current worldwide COVID pandemic affected your plans this year and next year to leave your digital nomad lifestyle.
Dylan Ogline: I like to add the context, it’s the definition of first world problems. Like I can’t travel. Wow. There are people who lost their jobs, their lost their life savings, they lost their lives, they lost the lives of loved ones. This year’s been slightly boring. I haven’t been able to travel. It could be much worse. I’m very blessed, very thankful. My business went up this year. Nobody in my immediate family got COVID, was impacted by it.
There’s a vaccine that’s out now, so it seems three months from now, maybe four months from now I’ll be able to travel, and it will just be like, “Oh, I stayed at home for a year.” That’s a very lucky position to be in during a pandemic, and I’m very thankful to have only been impacted with my amount of travel.
Once things pick back up, I plan on traveling a lot certainly. And I feel like it’s almost kind of like a responsibility, I guess I should say. A lot of people, if you’ve done any amount of travel, and you go to countries that aren’t as well off as the United States, or the UK, or Australia, you go to like Southeast Asia. When you stay at a hostel, when you visit these restaurants, when you’re using services and whatnot these people like they rely on that stuff. It’s the difference between eating and not eating for them. I have the ability to travel. A lot of people rely on it. And so as soon as I possibly can, I want to get back out there, and get on the road, and see our planet.
Ian Wilson: Yeah, I think having to sort of put this into perspective. Yes, it’s a first world problem, we can’t travel, we’ve got houses to live in, we’ve got somewhere to work.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Ian Wilson: We’ve got food, we’ve got clean water, we’ve got heating, or aircon, or whatever, electricity. And some of these people like you say are just in other parts of the world they’re just left because there’s no one there to support them, and the people are coming that rely on. You definitely could put it into perspective then.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man.
Ian Wilson: What would you say are the main steps to anyone wanting to build a digital lifestyle for themselves?
Dylan Ogline: Well, it kind of depends on where your current position is. If you have a job, you’re working full-time for some business, you’re going to have to certainly take different steps than somebody who already has their own business. If you have your own business that is certainly a better way to go, and it’s much easier. First steps. Repeat the question for me because I want to make sure I answer it really good.
Ian Wilson: What would you say are the main steps for anyone wanting to build a digital lifestyle for themselves?
Dylan Ogline: Main steps. I’m going to go with this. That the main roadblock for most people is they got caught up thinking that they’re not going to be as good at what they do if they work at home, especially if they’re traveling the world while they’re doing what they’re doing. The reason I’m going with this as the roadblock as the main step that people need to focus on is that we’ve become more and more digital. Everybody works off of a laptop or has a desk at home, and they’re working at home. Like most people are already doing that.
But there’s still this fear of if I’m in Europe for three months, or if you’re from the UK and you come to the United States for three months, am I going to be able to make an income? Am I going to still be able to do my work? And what I always suggest to people is just reverse the question and just think that is it possible that I could be better at this? Is that possible? And again, this kind of all depends on where exactly you want your lifestyle to be. If it’s just working from home it’s a little bit more simple than, say, traveling around the world. A practice and exercise that I do is simply just asking like what’s the worst that could happen?
Let’s say it’s I’m going to pack all my bags, and I’m going to go to Europe, and I’m going to backpack around the country. I’m a web designer, I’m going to do my work backpacking all around Europe for three months. Just say that’s the example here. But you’re sitting there, you’re worried like, “What if my clients find out? What if I lose my laptop? What if this happens? What if that happens?” Just make a list of like what is the absolute worst that could happen? And then think, “Can I recover from that?” Like you lose your laptop, like is there anything that you can do to have steps in place to mitigate your risk?
My clients find out. Well, if I’m delivering good results to my clients, they probably won’t care. Okay, the clients leave. The clients fire me. Say I’m a web designer, my clients fire me, they don’t want to work with me anymore because I’m backpacking around Europe. For whatever reason, they decide to fire me. Can I recover from that? And what you’ll find is that most of the time with these mental roadblocks, it’s not as bad as you think it is. And 99.9% of the things you can recover from. Probably not the answer you expected, but I think in my experience working with students, that is probably the biggest issue. It’s all just mindset. Does that answer your question?
Ian Wilson: Yeah. I was going to say in a different way, and I didn’t expect you going so profound, but it’s cool. Yeah, and it’s important to realize that I think, like you say, that half the time we are the block.
Dylan Ogline: It’s 99% of the time. I recognize that with myself, and I thought there was just something wrong with me. And then I started teaching other people, I started mentoring other people, and I realize like half, shit, it’s 99% of the shit that you’re talking about, 99% of the problems you’re talking about it all just mental roadblock. The buzzword these days in online education is mindset, mindset, mindset. And people are like, “Oh, that’s like scammy talk.” Dude, it’s so true. I can’t begin to tell you. Because people just focus on the financial stuff. The financial rewards that have come to me by just simply focusing on mindset. To me, it’s mission critical.
Ian Wilson: That was great. Once we’ve over the mindset issue, what would you say are your top three tips for creating a successful seven-figure business, and living your best adventurous life, and fulfilling all your dreams.
Dylan Ogline: Wow, that was a loaded question. I have to write that one down. Top three tips. The first tip would be focus. I’m going to separate these two questions. I’m going to separate into two things: building a seven-figure business and living the lifestyle of your dreams. That was the other question, right?
Ian Wilson: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Tip one for building a seven-figure business would be focus. The more niched down, the more narrow that your business is, the better for a multitude of reasons. I think probably most important is that you get better at what you’re doing. In my particular case, as an example, I have a digital agency. In this industry a lot of people talk about being full service. You want to do everything for everybody. You need a website, boom, done. You need a logo, I got you. You need PR? I can do that for you. You need content-writing? I could do that for you. You need digital marketing management? Boom. Done. You need video production? We got you.
That’s where most people tend to go. And the big problem there is that you never get really good at anything. You’re kind of just mediocre at everything. With Ogline Digital, with my business, we just do one thing, we do digital advertising management, direct response digital advertising management. Or in English: we manage Facebook and Google ads. That’s it. That’s what we do.
You need a logo? I got people I could refer you to, but no, we don’t do that. That allows us to be really, really good at what we do. But then we take it further. We don’t just do direct response digital advertising for everybody. We only work in a very slim amounts of verticals. We’re not doing restaurants one day and then a doctor’s office the next, and then a dentist, and then a lawyer, and then a plumber, and then a gym. We just work in very few industries.
We’re not doing everything for everybody. We’re doing very few things for just some people. I think focus would be number one. Number two would be--and I’m just flying from the hip here on these answers. Number two would be your number one focus with group. The main thing you should be really working on is your marketing. Is this self-serving because I’m a digital marketing agency? Absolutely.
But with digital marketing,--Facebook/Google ads essentially--once you get it working, you literally have the ability to purchase growth. You’re no longer just like, “Man, I hope we have a good year.” You could be like, “That’s double sales this year.” You just double your ad spend. And then you can solve the other problems in your business such as the amount of work that you can handle or the amount of product that you can deliver, but no longer have the question mark of growth. This tip would be don’t forget number one.
Three tips on lifestyle. First would be probably define the lifestyle that you want and try to remove any kind of limiting beliefs that you might have. Let’s say you have a family. I don’t have any kids myself, but say you have three kids, and a wife, and you guys want to travel around the world. Well, you might be sitting there thinking like, “No, that’s not possible, you can’t travel around the world with three kids. What about school? What about this? What about that?” Well, just Google that shit, and just see like are there other people who are doing what I think can’t be done? Odds are there probably is.
Think about what your absolute optimal lifestyle is and then try to narrow down any kind of limiting beliefs that you might have about it being possible. And if they stick, if you still have that limiting belief, just find somebody who can prove you wrong. And like 100% of the time you’re going to find somebody. There’s people out there who are complete amputees, they don’t have any arms and legs, and they travel around the world. There are people who climb mountains like that. Don’t tell me that you can’t do this shit. I don’t want to hear it. Yeah, completely forget your limiting beliefs.
And then number two would probably just be ruthlessly dedicated to it. And recognize that the most precious resource that you have is time. Not having the lifestyle that you want is a terrible way to life. Does that mean that everyday that you’re going to get to a situation where everyday is glorious, and perfect, and you have the absolute perfect lifestyle? No, that’s not what it means. Because there will be days that sucked, and aren’t optimal, and are not going to be perfect. But to not live the majority of your days living the optimal lifestyle is a terrible way to live. That’s all I got. That’s the only two tips I got right now.
Ian Wilson: They’re two really powerful tips. You’ve gone over and beyond, so that’s fine. Four really powerful, five really powerful things that I’ve noticed with these interviews talking to people like yourself in various different things, these come up again, again, and again. Focus, neat, niche about the mindset, and just trying to do your best to get out of your own way.
Dylan Ogline: I would go back to building a seven-figure business. When I answered those I was presuming that you already have a business. If you don’t, I would add one other additional tip, and that’s to fail fast. In the tech space, people talk a lot about MVP, your minimal viable product, or MVS, your minimal viable service providing product market fit. Yeah, these are buzzwords, but it is mission critical. This is most commonly if you’re starting your business, you’re nervous, you’re scared about putting something out there into the marketplace. It’s nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before, especially.
But you don’t want to spend six months, a year, two years building something only then to go and try to sell it or put it out into the marketplace and find out that nobody wants it. That there is no need, there is no desire for your product or service in the marketplace. As quickly as possible, try to sell whatever it is that you’re building. It could be a training program, it could be a service.
I’m trying to think of an example. I did a podcast recently where the guys are building like a podcast management service. They’ll edit your audio, edit your video, make all the short clips, stuff like that. They haven’t sold it out. They’re like, “We need all this money, and we’re spending all this time building it out.” And I’m like, “No. Like stop what you’re doing. Do you have your ideal client?” And they’re like, “Yeah. Like a podcast between this and this size, blah, blah, blah.” And I’m like, “Two nights go sell those people. Go to them and be like, ‘I have this product or service. I have this service, are you interested in it?’
And don’t just ask people if they’re interested in it and bank on the yes, because people will lie to you. People are very nice and they will be like, ‘Oh yeah. That’s a good idea. Yeah, sure, I could use that service.’ Actually get somebody to give you money. Like get a credit card or get a check. Like you want that is proof of product market fit when somebody actually hands you money.”
And the natural reaction is always like, “Well, what happens if I don’t end up building it or I can’t build it?” You give them the money back and you profusely apologize. We’re not scamming people here. And be upfront. If you have like a training program, you’re building some education program online like I have. Just be like, “I’m selling people into the program now. We don’t start until January tenth. That’s when we start the program.” If you don’t build it before January tenth, refund them. Just be like, “Da da da happened, here’s your money back, I’m really sorry. I will give you free access in the future or something.” That alone is okay. At least you’ve proven product market fit. This advice is very much so for people who are just starting out.
Ian Wilson: Oh yeah. That is so key. One of the biggest lies that people believe about being an entrepreneur is build it and they will come. It’s sell it then build it, like you just said, yes.
Dylan Ogline: 100%. And it’s counterintuitive, but you don’t want to waste time. And most people know what pivoting is. You’re switching, changing your angle, switching who you’re selling to or your product or service. If you spent two years building out your product, and then you go to sell it and you realize, “Oh, the market doesn’t want it, it actually wants this,” it’s going to be extremely painful for you to chain and go in a different direction.
But if on day one you want to sell it ,or week one you want to sell it, and you found out that the market wanted a different version, you just quickly change your landing page, you change our direction, and boom, you’re good to go. A very good example of this is I was working with a writer recently, and she as creating a training program, a course, I think it was something to do with copywriting for fiction writers. She’s an incredible writer. She knows about marketing. I don’t remember the specific direction, but basically it was something like copywriting for fiction writers, and she spent a year building out the program.
Never tried to sell it. And then she went to go and tried to sell it to fiction writers, she knew her ideal client. She goes to them, she tries to sell it, and like none of them were willing to invest in it. And what she found out is that fiction writers, it’s mostly a hobby, it’s a hobby type of business or hobby type of writing, I guess. They’re not investing in it. Like they just don’t do that. They’re doing it because they’re passionate about writing, so nobody bought her course.
And what she found is that like non-fiction writers were the type that would buy her course so she had to rebuild it from scratch. And that was difficult for her mentally and time-wise because she had spent a year building out this copywriting course for fiction writers. Don’t do that.
Ian Wilson: Definitely. Having the pre-sales and sales conversations upfront before you even create something is really important. Because that’s where you find out what people actually want, and then you can sell it to them, and if you can’t get the 16 digits, it’s not viable.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Ian Wilson: Thanks for listening. Hope you’re enjoying the conversation with Dylan. After a few words from our sponsor we’ll be rejoining the conversation where Dylan will be sharing how he uses the power of stories.
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Ian Wilson: Do you actually use stories in your work when you’re teaching people?
Dylan Ogline: Do I use stories like the writer?
Ian Wilson: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: 100% yeah.
Ian Wilson: Do you put stories in examples into your course and content when you’re mentoring and helping people? Do you unleash the power of the story?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that is probably the best if you have a story element to it. For me, I find the most powerful is when it’s a personal story. When I’m teaching somebody and I’m like, “Don’t do that shit because I was an idiot and I did it.” I think that’s probably the most powerful version. But sometimes I have to go in the direction of like, “I was lucky not to make that mistake because my personality didn’t set me up for it. Here’s a story of somebody else.” But if you can use a story when teaching somebody, that’s the most powerful thing you can do.
Ian Wilson: Yeah, I think we come to realize that stories are so powerful, and it’s one of the ways we actually remember things, and it’s built into us.
Dylan Ogline: And you can relate to it. That’s why. You will subconsciously find when hearing the story you will find certain things to relate to. It’s empathy, you can envision yourself in that person’s shoes, and that feeling of being in that person’s shoes, that’s how you remember the lesson. Extremely powerful tool.
Ian Wilson: Back when you were considering dropping out of high school, what was your vision? What did you plan to do with your life?
Dylan Ogline: It’s a good question. I have to give a little bit of back story so you can understand the context. I come from a really small rural low income town. And the goal was to get out. I didn’t want to be poor. And prior to getting into business, my way out was hockey. I was not very good. I never could have gone pro, but I wanted to go to college, and my parents paying for college was just out of the question. For me, it was like if I focused on hockey, and I get a good as I can, maybe I can get a scholarship. I’m not going to get a scholarship to Harvard, but maybe I can get a scholarship to like such and such Division III small no-name terrible school, but at least I can get an education, and I can get somewhere with my life.
And long story short, I started to realize that I was starting to think about business. Like all of these things happen at the same time. It was like a perfect storm almost. I started to think about business and I was like, “Maybe I want to go and get like my MBA or something like that.” For UK folks it’s a Masters in Business Administration.
It was thinking about that and I was starting to realize that the people who had an edge in hockey, the common theme, the similarity was that they all started early. I started playing when I was like ten or 11. They started playing when they were like three, or four, or five. That five year difference at that age is a colossal difference, and that’s whey they were so much better than me.
And I realized like, okay, so I’m not going to Harvard, I’m not getting my MBA from Harvard. My best bet is a scholarship, which is a long shot, getting into a average school, going to school for a long time, and then maybe I’ll be able to get a good job after that. But what if I could somehow get that early start on business like all these players who are so much better than m? That the connection I made was if I start now in business, in ten years when everybody’s getting out of college, and they’re starting their first business, or they’re starting to get into the business world, I’ll be ten years ahead of them.
It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be painful, but I will be way ahead of everybody. That’s why I decided to go in that direction. And it’s paid off, like I’m 31, I’ve been self-employed, I’ve had my own business, I have 17 years of business experience. I’m 31. Like that’s weird, but that’s only because I took that leap of faith and decided that that was the advantage I could have is an experience advantage. Did that answer your question?
Ian Wilson: Yes, it did, and very powerful realization at that age that to be world class you needed to get mind also, or whatever, actually be out there and doing things.
Dylan Ogline: In the sports world they said to become incredible at something and become a master you need to spend 10,000 hours on it. You need to shoot the basketball 10,000 hours. You need to play hockey for 10,000 hours, whatever your sport is. And I realized at that age that I could start my 10,000 hours ten years earlier than everybody else, and like I said, now I’m 31 and I have 17 years of experience. That’s all because I was absolutely insane, out of my mind, rebellious and so stupid. That’s what gave me the edge.
Ian Wilson: I think it’s very important that you realized that you were driven to actually get ahead and make a difference in your life rather than just settling for what everyone else sees in your community seemed to settle for. Hats off to you, Dylan.
Dylan Ogline: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.
Ian Wilson: At that stage when you were wanting to get ahead, did you have any idea that your journey would lead to where you are now?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely not. Not in the slightest. The only element was even when I started in business, the education and the teaching people, that element at that age I thought about my three ideas for kind of where I wanted to go in my life was business or coaching or teaching. The problem was, as I mentioned that whole I didn’t want to be poor factor, teachers typically don’t make a lot of money. And coaches, for me, where I kind of thought I would go if I went down that route is like coaching amateur hockey. They don’t make any money either.
And for me, I had a desire for that because I had incredible teachers, incredible mentors, incredible coaches. And it was like I want to do that too. I want to help other people in that way too. But owning a digital agency and teaching people how to start their own agency? Go back five years ago and I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be where I am. Absolutely not. No way. That’s the way it works.
Ian Wilson: I think it’s great how you actually come full circle from that initial idea of teaching and coaching people to actually doing it now, but in a new way that helps empowers them. I think that’s really good. I love how you shared that people’s journeys seldom in a straight line they experience twists, turns, ups and downs. As you said earlier, people often fail on the way, and on the way to finding their success. I thank you for actually [inaudible 57: 46] that and sharing that.
Dylan Ogline: You will fail far more than you will succeed. But that’s just the process. A good analogy that I have used with students to teach them is because it’s just something that people can relate to, and they have knowledge of it, is golf as silly as that might sound. Where with golf like say you shoot 18 holes, only 18 of your shots are going to end up going in the hole, right? It might take you a hundred strokes to get those 18 in the hole, but you’re constantly correcting. You’re taking a shot straight at the hole but it might go over here. Then you need to course correct over here, and you need to just keep adjusting your course.
And like 75%, 80% of your shots aren’t going to go in the hole, but eventually a few will. Again, silly analogy, but that course correction element I found a lot of people can relate to. But the main takeaways needs to be is that you’re going to fail way more than when you’re going to succeed. There’s no doubt about it. It’s not just certain business ideas, it’s everything.
We talked about marketing. The first ad you ever write is probably going to be bad. If you want to start a YouTube channel, the first video you put up is probably going to bad. You want to start a podcast, your first episode’s probably going to suck. And that’s okay, that’s part of the process, you need to realize that, and realize that when you’re comparing yourself to other people—
Look at that podcast example. You want to start a podcast and you’re looking at Joe Rogan and his episodes, and the number of viewers that he gets, and all that stuff, and the quality. Realize that he’s like on iteration 1,600. You’re not watching his first episode. You’re watching the 1,600th episode. When you’re seeing an ad on Facebook, you are looking at like the 30th version of that ad. When you’re watching somebody’s YouTube video, you’re watching the 50th video that they put out. And the only way that you can get to that 50th iteration or that thousandth iteration, is to put out the first, and realize that it’s going to suck, it’s going to be terrible, but that’s part of the climb is that first step. I don’t even know where I was going with that.
Ian Wilson: Perfect answer. Yes, that was a perfect answer, and yes, I think the bit about failing more than you succeed is important. I think the real trick is to fail small, fail fast, and then so you can build bigger successes.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Absolutely. And most everybody I know that has any kind of success, most people just think of financial success. Whether it’s relationship success, or financial success, let’s go with that. Most of the time if you were to ask that person prior like is this what’s going to be successful? The answer was probably no. Like that’s not what I would end up doing. You randomly meet the girl, you randomly meet the guy, that’s how you get the good relationship. You don’t plan that shit. It’s the same thing with business. If you would have talked to me six years ago and been like, “You’re going to own a digital marketing agency and an education company,” I’d be like, “Oh shit.” That’s where it is.
And a lot of it is just taking a shot and sometimes you get something that works, and you just run with it, and you realize I’m onto something, and you just take it, and you run with it. And everybody I know that has had business success, that’s how it happened. They were trying a few different things, they failed a bunch, and then they got something, and they’re like, “Ooh, I got a hit,” and they just ran with it. It’s part of the process.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. Thank you very much for that, Dylan. That was very insightful. I’m conscious of time because I know you’ve got something else, so I’ll start to wrap up the questions. What is a question you would love to answer that no one’s ever asked you?
Dylan Ogline: Oh man! Let me tell you, going into this show, these are some really good questions. Some thought-provoking questions. I got nothing, unfortunately. I’m going to bomb on this question. I don’t have an answer for you right now. You know what? I’m going to go with this. How do we solve the healthcare crisis in the United States? How do we solve the healthcare crisis? Nobody has ever asked me that.
Ian Wilson: Right. Okay. What would the answer be then, Dylan?
Dylan Ogline: Oh man, you’re really putting me on the spot. Man. Compassion. Look at the UK, if you’re sick there, what do you do? You go to the doctor. Why is that such a like an earth-shattering idea in the United States? For some inconceivable reason, we are just convinced that compassion makes us weak or something. Yeah, I think just generally most people just focus on the policy. I focus more on the general idea of the lack of compassion that we have. Which I know you’re from the UK, you can’t even relate to this. Go ahead, what were you going to say?
Ian Wilson: I would say a close friend of mine, her parents live in Florida, so a few months ago her mom had a stroke and had to be rushed into intensive care. And she shared the enormity of some of like what the ambulance charged, like $10,000 for half a mile, or something like that. $10,000, sorry, for half a mile or the cost of the treatment as to you for so many days. And it was gobsmacking, jaw-dropping the amount. And it made me definitely realize how lucky we are. Because if we have an accident, the ambulance comes up there, the ambulance comes and carts us off to hospital, and they put us back together, and it’s all part of the service.
Dylan Ogline: Like you mentioned I think you said your friend’s mother had a stroke, right, is that who it was?
Ian Wilson: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Friend’s mother.
Ian Wilson: Yeah, friend’s mother, yes.
Dylan Ogline: I feel their pain, man. I don’t want that person to be thinking about, “Oh, am I going to be able to afford my medication? Or how am I going to get to the doctor?” [inaudible 01: 06: 17] It’s cheaper to have universal healthcare. I bet you didn’t expect us talking about this on your show.
Ian Wilson: Oh, no, no. It’s a really important topic.
Dylan Ogline: It’s the cost is lower, the quality of care is better, doctors tend to get paid more, nurses tend to get paid more. It’s all the waste. What is it? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There’s so many cases, which I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know all the situations, but there’s so many diseases. I think breast cancer is one of them where if it’s caught early, the cost of treatment early is like one-one hundredth of catching it late. But so many people in our country, or my country I guess, they don’t go to the doctor when they think that they might have a problem because of the expense, because of the deductible. Then it ends up being way, way more.
I read this story once, man. I’m going to butcher this story, but there’s thousands of stories like this. The guy lost his job, and most people in the United States they get their healthcare through their employer, and he lost his job, had worked there for like 20, 30 years, something like that. It was a manufacturing style job, and his son needed a liver transplant or something, something along those lines.
And he’s talking about he’s like, “I can’t afford. I mean I would liquidate everything. I’d sell the house, I’d sell my shirt, I’d sell my clothes, I’d sell my car. I would liquidate everything I had and borrow as much as I can and work until I die to get my son this liver transplant, but that’s still not going to be enough.”
I remember reading that story, man, and I teared up. And I’m like, “Why the fuck are we doing this to people in this country?” When it’s cheaper, it’s better quality care. That’s a question that nobody’s ever asked me. The solution is just universal healthcare coverage.
Another one, I’m going off here, I apologize. My father has lung cancer, and he lives in Florida, most of my family lives in Pennsylvania. I think this was maybe two, three months ago or something like that. He’s up in Pennsylvania, now let me add a back story here. He has incredible healthcare coverage. Like he has a high end, very good, very expensive healthcare plan.
And he’s in Pennsylvania, and the doctor in Florida ran some tests, he’s visiting family, and they’re like, “You need to go in for a biopsy.” They contact whoever to do the biopsy and they’re like, “Well, it’s not covered because you’re in Pennsylvania. Your healthcare plan only covers emergencies. This is not an emergency. If you get the biopsy, it’s going to be like $12,000. Or, you can drive to Florida, and it’s free.” Why? Why? Why? There’s a million stories just like that. For some reason that’s the solution we have. That’s a good idea.
Ian Wilson: Sorry, Dylan, but that’s absolutely heartbreaking that. That they can be so petty, for want of a better word, rather than just deliver the service because people need it.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man. I will pay my taxes so that some eight-year-old kid can get a liver transplant for free and his parents don’t have to be stressed. Being a parent is stressful enough. Life is stressful enough. I’m blessed, I’m 31, knock on wood, I’ve never had more than the flu. I’m blessed because of that. I’m not better because I’ve never been sick. And F you if you think that some eight-year-old should not get a liver transplant because his parents can’t afford it. Like go to hell is my opinion. When people are sick, go to the doctor, how is that not the solution that we have in the richest, greatest country in the world? Like why? Why?
I talked to my brother recently about this, and I have interest long term in my life of getting into public service. I have no idea what that’s going to look like. I hate politics. Even though we’ve talked a lot on this show about politics, I didn’t expect that. I absolutely hate politics. It’s messy, it’s dirty. But if I had one goal in my life it would somehow be to get healthcare to be better in this country. I feel it is like you said, heartbreaking when people get sick, and have to worry about doctor bills. Why?
Ian Wilson: Well, if you could pull that off, Dylan, that would be a fantastic legacy.
Dylan Ogline: I’m not one to think about legacy. I think more about I believe 200 years from now we’re all going to be dust. Nobody’s going to remember us. To me, it’s I believe the purpose of life is to take the luck that you’ve been handed, run with it as far as you can, and then try to sprinkle that around and try to make the lives of others better. If the purpose of my life is to move the needle a little bit forward and make it a little bit better--and I have no idea what that’s going to look like or how I’m going to do that. But if I could move forward and have one last parent not crying at the kitchen counter table with their wife trying to think about how they can liquidate everything to pay for their kid’s liver transplant, I think that’s a good goal in life to have.
Ian Wilson: Definitely. Definitely. On a lighter note, what would your favorite dream holiday vacation destination be?
Dylan Ogline: Yes, this is a much lighter note. And I apologize for making the show so heavy.
Ian Wilson: No, no, that’s perfectly fine. Things need to be said.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, things do need to be said. Perfect holiday. I don’t have any specific destination. I don’t like to think of travel this way because to me that’s putting too much pressure on it because if I go somewhere and I don’t like it, it’s like, eh, no big deal. This isn’t the only travel I’m going to do this year. Or I try not to think of travel in a limited direction. In a limited availability I should say. But to give you an answer, because I know you want one, I really want to spend a lot of time in Japan. That would be my answer. Right now I want to go and I want to spend a good amount of time in Japan, really immerse myself in that culture, and see it’s a beautiful country and see more of it. That’s my answer.
Ian Wilson: Yes. Japan’s definitely on my list. Both sides of Japan: the absolute craziness of it and the traditional side as well. I think you’ve got to experience both if you can.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Ian Wilson: Right. Just starting to wrap up. As you know, Dylan, this podcast is called Coal Face Stories. What does the term working at the coal face mean to you?
Dylan Ogline: I have absolutely no idea. To be honest with you, when we booked this, I was like, “Why is it called Coal Face Stories?” I don’t know. Please give me the backstory so I can answer that. What does it mean to you?
Ian Wilson: Right. Okay. The name sort of came out of well, it is the heart of the Yorkshire coal field, and it was where 30-odd years ago they had a year-long miner strike, and it actually started just down the road about half a mile away. And so that was one thing. And then the other thing was the realization of the power of stories. And then this term sort of working at the coal face, which means to me, is like as we said in the preamble is like getting out of there and getting shit done. Whether you are actually doing the basic manual work yourself or you are doing things in the role that you’ve probably have moved into now as a CEO or a trainer in getting people is making everything work, doing your own special thing. That’s what it sort of means to me. Does that make sense?
Dylan Ogline: In a way. Yeah. Yeah. I think I caught on there. Give me the question again?
Ian Wilson: Right. Okay. What does the term working at the coal face mean to you?
Dylan Ogline: To translate that: what does getting shit done mean to me?
Ian Wilson: Yeah. That’s a well do, yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Getting shit done mean to me. I’m going to give a really clichéd answer. I’m going to go with helping people. That’s so clichéd. Yeah, I’m going to go with that. I think for me, it’s gotten to the point where, to me, getting shit done is doing the best I can to help people.
Ian Wilson: That’s brilliant. Thank you.
Dylan Ogline: My terrible answer, but that’s my answer.
Ian Wilson: No. No. Profound answer. Very profound. How can people find you, Dylan, and connect with you if you like? Online and on the various social media platforms?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. On the Instagrams, and the Facebooks, and the LinkedIns et cetera it’s simply @DylanOgline. If you’re interested in the training program it’s sold through my personal website, which is dylanogline.com.
Ian Wilson: That’s great. Thank you, Dylan. I shall put them in the show notes for people to find and do the necessary clicky on. Thank you, Dylan, for being such a fabulous guest. I’m sure that you’ve provided listeners with some great insights, and you definitely provided tremendous value. Was there anything else you wanted to say or add for the listeners?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I would like to switch this around and ask you, Ian. You said at the beginning that the goal of the show is to tell incredible stories. And my expectations I was nervous. Did I tell incredible stories?
Ian Wilson: I think you came up with some great stories, and some great insights on life, and how you see life. I’ve been crossing questions out because you’ve been answering them.
Dylan Ogline: Good. Good.
Ian Wilson: At one stage I wondered whether you actually had my notes.
Dylan Ogline: No. But hey, I’m glad I was able to have the insight and answer your questions before you even asked them.
Ian Wilson: Yeah. It’s been a really great conversation. Thank you very much for your time, Dylan. I hope the listeners have enjoyed listening to our conversation, so thanks again.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.