Move fast, break things
Money on My Mind
October 29, 2020
Describing myself as an “unemployable entrepreneur” I share with Aditya Bhardwaj how I picked up a book my brother left lying around, and it changed my life. Soon I was standing up in high school business classes and correcting my teachers, quitting high school to run a successful importation business at the age of 15.
Today, I run a 7-figure digital marketing agency and teach entrepreneurs with no experience—from high school students to soccer moms—to do the same. I describe how “broke” and “wealthy” are temporary states of being, but “rich” and “poor” are mindsets that don’t necessarily relate to how much money you have in the bank.
We also touch on:
- The exact headline I use to get clients to come to me.
- What the opposite of “happiness” is (hint: it’s not “sadness”).
- How marketing is like a faucet—if you want to grow, just turn it on.
- Why you should get your product or service to market as fast as possible, even if it isn’t perfect.
- How you can make six figures without being the best in your industry.
- Why the digital marketing industry still has massive, untapped growth potential.
About the Show: Aditya Bhardwaj is the host of Money on My Mind.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of the “Money on My Mind” podcast episode five. Here we come. Today’s guest is a digital entrepreneur and educator with over 15 years of experience in the space. He’s built a digital marketing agency, which generates over a million dollars in sales annually called Ogline Digital. He’s had a very interesting life story getting to the position he’s currently in, which I’m sure we’ll get into. However, he’s on this podcast today to give us the tools to helps us build and start our own digital agency, and give us the tricks of the trade.
Lastly, he says he lives a four-hour workweek lifestyle, which is probably the most interesting thing I’ve ever heard as a podcast on this show. Now welcoming Dylan Ogline.
Dylan Ogline: Hey, thanks for having me, man, glad to be here.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So, Dylan, I just want to get into the four-hour workweek. Because I think I’ll forget after otherwise, so what is that about?
Dylan Ogline: So, have you read the book, “4-Hour Work Week”?
Aditya Bhardwaj: No.
Dylan Ogline: I mean, come on, you have to know about Tim. Have you heard of the book?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yes. Yes. 100%.
Dylan Ogline: Okay. All right. So that’s like my bible, okay? When it comes to lifestyle, design, and everything. And actually, you know what? I love talking about that. For me, that has set me on such a different path. I was a high school dropout, started my first business when I was 14. Was terrible, it was a lot of misery, a lot of bad stuff to finally get like some success. But when I was in the beginning, my goal was you have an office, you have a fancy office, have a bunch of employees, and all that stuff. And I really wish I can never remember where I picked up the “4-Hour Work Week,” which is by Tim Ferriss, for those of you who don’t know. Tim.blog is his website.
But so I picked that up, and it just, it’s really not about a four-hour work week. It’s if you actually read the book, it’s more about 80/20, doing the 80% of your actions that produce 20% of your results, and kind of scrapping that stuff and focusing on the 20% of your actions that produce 80% of your results, and I’m really condensing it there. But it’s about realizing like there’s a different way to do things. Like, for me, it was just got to have an office, got to work 80 hours a week. Work as hard as I can until I’m 40-50, and then retire and do what I want.
And that completely changed everything for me. And I remember telling my friends at the time. I was like, “I’m reading this book,” and they were like, “Oh, that’s so stupid.” But I was like, “I’m going to do this. I am going to structure my life, my business, everything.” It took five or six years of grinding, pain, and everything until it finally. I still work more than four hours a week.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: I mean, by all means. But for my business, to run it, if it requires four hours a week is an overstatement. Like I could probably get away with an hour or two a week. I have a great remote team, I work from home, whenever the world’s not ending because of the pandemic I’m allowed to travel wherever I want, whenever I want, work whenever I want on whatever I want. I’m really passionate about the “4-Hour Work Week” book if you could tell, so.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So, as a student, and like my age group we are kings of procrastination. And probably even like setting up for this podcast I think I procrastinated like ten hours. Like I’ve just been like, “Okay, I will eventually research you. I will eventually set up my mic and do all these things.” How did you like get over that bump?
Dylan Ogline: Of particularly procrastination?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. Or do you still do it?
Dylan Ogline: I still.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Oh.
Dylan Ogline: I’ve gotten a lot better with it. I’ve gotten over the years I’ve studied stoicism, which is obviously completely different than four-hour work week. And it just kind of reminds me that I’m going to die, so… which, I know, we’re going to get really morbid with this interview. But, no, it reminds me of that. So I just constantly think, hey, you only got so much time, stop wasting it. And any time I feel lazy and I start to procrastinate on something.
But I would also argue that if you’re procrastinating it’s probably a sign that what you’re doing might be busy work or what you’re doing you need to change how it’s done. Obviously, you like having a podcast and everything, but maybe the research part you don’t like. So that might be something where you could get a VA and the VA handles it; virtual assistant for those of you who don’t know. But I just think that’s for me, I’m very passionate about everything I’m doing everyday. Except for when I have to file taxes. Other than that, I mean I absolutely love everything I do. So I think that’s probably the number one thing when it comes to procrastinating.
So I’m just trying to clear this up. The four-hour work week you’re saying is basically kind of like efficient lifestyle. Because you’re saying 20% to get that 80%.
Dylan Ogline: So, when I say that, when I read a book or anything, I mean it could be a thousand-page book. I try to condense it down into like two sentences. I don’t remember a single quote in that book even though it’s had a huge impact on my life. Couldn’t remember a single quote. I try to remember the core lessons. So the book is really about lifestyle design. So working efficiently, working whenever you want, wherever you want, on whatever you want. At its core that’s what the book’s about. The big thing that was like a huge impact for me was that 80/20. I, at the time, I realized like, dude, there’s so much stuff that you’re doing just to keep yourself busy. There’s so much stuff that you’re wasting your time on that is not making you any money, it’s not helping your customers, it’s not like why are you wasting your time on that?
So I took that lesson away and now I apply 80/20 to absolutely everything in my life. From the clothes I have, to the food I eat, to working out and going to the gym. All of that, everything I apply 80/20 to.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So you just reminded me of something. The research part of the podcast I would say you probably made it the easiest out of everyone. Guys, he gave me like a sheet with like everything like about him and like everyone else you had to like search, research. With you I probably took about an hour doing research so thank you for that.
Dylan Ogline: You’re welcome, man.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Thank you for the sheet. So we could get back to the four-hour work week. But another thing I want to discuss is the high school dropout at 14. So you dropped out of high school, how was that experience like for you?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. So the long version of the story, I’ll try to keep it short, but you have to understand like at the time, so I dropped out in tenth grade. At the time for me, I come from not a wealthy family, but it was still like an education wasn’t a priority, but it was still like hey, I want to go to college. But like there was no way my parents are going to pay several hundred thousand dollars for me to go to college. So, for me, I was a hockey player, I wasn’t that good, but my goal was to not go pro or something cause I knew I wasn’t that good, but was to get a scholarship.
And I remember at the time of my life there were just all these things going on. It was, 14 years old, I started dating this girl, and her dad was like one of the biggest business owners in the area. Great guy, one of my first mentors, and he had a huge impact on my life. And that kind of gave me the interest of business. And, at the same time, I picked up my brother left, like was still living at home, and he left the “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” which was the first business book. Have you read “Rich Dad Poor Dad”?
Aditya Bhardwaj: No.
Dylan Ogline: Oh, dude, like that’s like the you got to read “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” So that was the very first business book I ever picked up. So I pick that up, started dating this girl, her dad was a huge influence on me, great guy. And I remember I’m at this game, I mean I was playing junior varsity hockey or whatever, and there was this local team. I’m from the Pittsburgh area. Do you know where Pittsburgh is?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So I’m from the Pittsburgh area so it’s just like prep schools playing. And I remember seeing like these high school like varsity team. And I’m like, “Dude, these guys are so much better than me.” Like they blow me away. Like I’m like I don’t even know what I’m doing out there and these guys are so much better. And it kind of like, like all this stuff was hitting me, and I realize like the reason they’re so good is I started playing when I was like 11. These guys have been playing since they were like five.
So, sure that they’re playing for these prep teams and whatnot, but they’ve also been playing way longer. And I’m like, “I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to get a scholarship of any kind to go to college. I’m kind of interested in this business thing, how can I get ahead of the game with business?” How can I be when I’m 25 whenever people are getting out of college, and they’re like, “Yeah, I’m starting my first business.” I can be like, “Dude, I got ten years of experience. Like I’m 31 and I’ve owned my own business since 17 years or whatever.
At the time, I kind of saw that vision. Like, man, I could get started now. I didn’t think I could drop out of high school. But I was like, “If I start now I’ll be ahead of the game.” So quit hockey, started my first business selling cellphones on eBay, and I was like, “I’m going down the business route.” So then I signed up for like all these business classes at my high school, and this is tenth grade, and I start taking these classes. And at the time, I had maybe read like three or four business books. I got any book I could get my hands on, I didn’t have any money, but any business book I was reading.
And I remember going through these classes and I’m like, “I’m going to learn business now.” And the teachers were teaching stuff that I’m like, “Dude, I already know this.” And they were teaching things the wrong way. I wish I could remember an example, but I remember once I raise my hand and I’m like, “You’re wrong. I’m right.” And like, I got up and gave an actual lesson to the class. I’m like 14, and I was the youngest one in the class, everybody else was like a senior. And I’m like, “She’s wrong because she’s going off of information that’s like ten years old. Like this is how you start an LLC, or whatever it was.” Limited liability company for those of you who don’t know.
So, yeah, so I like it hits me, I’m like, “Dude, like you’re already ahead of the game. Going down the education route’s not going to work for you.” I also was a terrible student because I wasn’t passionate about it, so I procrastinated on everything. So I convinced my parents to let me do homeschool, and I had to pay for it, and everything. It was like $1,500 to buy the books, and to buy the courses, and everything.
So I get the books and everything, I didn’t drop out, I was just doing homeschool, and I never even opened any of the books, never took a single class. I just like lied to my parents. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” And eventually got to the point where I was making like $2,000 or $3,000 a month. Which when you’re like 15.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah, that’s a lot.
Dylan Ogline: That’s all the money in the world. So that’s the long end of the story. I convince my parents to let me drop out and started the journey from there so.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So a couple questions from that explanation is first would be so you just read these three business books and you’re like, “Okay, I’m fully into business.” Like a lot of people find it hard to make like such a big decision. How did you do that?
Dylan Ogline: For me, it was I think it was just all the influences hitting me at the right time. It was he mentor I had, my girlfriend’s dad at the time. I think I also had an interest before that in business. Like when I was thinking about college. Like I never wanted to be a doctor, I never wanted to be a lawyer, didn’t want to be an accountant. So I was like, “Eh, I’m probably going to end up going down some kind of business career.” I didn’t know what it would look like. But, yeah, so I already like that slight interest and then it was reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” which just blew my world away. Cannot recommend that book enough. I mean it absolutely shook my world. I still read it like once a year I try to read that book. And, yeah, it was just all that stuff hit me at the right time, and just made the leap, man, and just went for it.
Not smart. Don’t do that. Don’t drop out. You’re 16, right?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Don’t drop out. Tell me you’re still in school, right?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah, I’m still in school.
Dylan Ogline: You stay. Don’t do that. Go to college, that’s probably the smart thing to do, especially for like the social experiences, but it was really stupid. Worked out in the end, but yeah man, I just made the leap. Just decided this is what I’m going to do and just did it.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So I would say part of that succeed would be the cellphone business, right? Like if that didn’t take off would you still go back to school? Like still work on that?
Dylan Ogline: Well, what happened was I think it was shortly after I dropped out my credit card processor. I don’t even remember the company’s name, I mean this was a long time ago. They shut me down because somehow, some way they found out my age. They were like, “You’re not 18, you can’t be processing credit cards, what are you doing?” So they shut me down. So I went from making $2,000 or $3,000 a month to just square at zero. And, yeah man, that sucked. But I’d already quit, so I was like, “I’ve already jumped. My parachute just failed. I got to build another one on the way down.”
So, which I think that’s a good lesson. Because a lot of people when it comes to not dropping out of high school, but when it comes to starting their own business or whatnot, we are conditioned as a culture to be employees. So safety nets, and a salary or whatnot, which this is where the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” comes in and teaches you like you might work, and it might cost you money.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yes. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: And that’s just the process of building a business. And it might take years and it’s going to be painful. Most people are, “Oh, I worked 40 hours this week. Where’s my paycheck?” And as a business owner, it is just not that way. And so I think I had that kind of the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” was the first book I read, so it was like that was my bible, that was my baseline knowledge. So when those things happened, it hurt, but I was like, “Oh, this is just the way it is when you have a business. You just got to adapt and keep going.”
Aditya Bhardwaj: So do you like working for yourself? Like did you find that out very early? Like I will work for myself, I will do everything myself.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I consider myself an unemployable employee or an unemployable entrepreneur. I don’t think I could. The only job I’ve ever had working for somebody else was the girlfriend I had back when I was like 14, her dad owned like the local racetrack. And I worked at concession stand. I worked cotton candy, I think it was, yeah, the cotton candy stand. And very quickly I was like, “Your operations they suck.” But he was really cool with it because I would just do things, like organizing the stock of soda or supplies, or whatever. I’d be like, “Why do they have it done this way?” So I would just, like off the clock, just fix things and make them more efficient or whatever.
So it got to the point when I was actually probably 16 at the time, he offered me the job to come and run, like be the racetrack manager. I was like, “No, I’m good on that.” But, no, I realized very early there was no way I could. And it’s not like an anti-leadership thing. It’s just if something’s wrong I’m just going to fix it. I’m just going to try to do it better.
Aditya Bhardwaj: In that way me and you are very similar because I also I just have this urge to like just try to fix it. Especially doing like basic jobs I’m like, “Okay, this is wrong, but I have to fix it.” Like it’s just as like a mental thing. So now you’re like, what, 15, you’re making $2,000 a month.
Dylan Ogline: Something like that, yeah.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Where did you go from there? I heard that you had a span till 2016 where you had like ten different start-ups, all failed, and then you finally went on to Ogline.
Dylan Ogline: So yeah, so now I have Ogline Digital. Start-ups is a very sexy term that is very incorrect. What it was is so that same mentor, that’s actually a good segue there. So from the time I was 16 till 26 I bounced around from so many different ideas. They weren’t start-ups. It was always chasing the shiny object, not really making any money. The part with like the cellphone business, the thing I took an interest in, was marketing and then I learned how to do websites. So throughout that time I was building websites every now and then, I was managing ad campaigns. So I had experience in that world.
So the mentor comes up again when I’m 26. He randomly calls me out of the blue and he’s like we catch up, we exchange pleasantries. He’s like, “Oh, how are things going?” I’m like, “Oh, things are great.” And I’m like up to my eyeballs in debt. Like, actually, I mean the debt’s through the roof. I’m making maybe like $50,000 a year. I am stressed to the max. Vacation? What is that. I have no idea what a vacation is. Trying to get that four-hour workweek lifestyle, going nowhere.
And so at the time, I had like I remember I was trying to build a job board. I don’t know why, but like a job website for like each individual city. That was like some genius idea I had. A lyrics website. Like these things never got off the ground. When I’m saying like they just never even launched. It was just like, “Oh, I’m working on all these things.” One thing I did was I was selling Kindle books. I took this program where basically you hired ghost writers to just like write quick e-books, like short 20-page books. You target certain keywords in Kindle and sell the book for like $2. I mean I was making like $300, $400 a month off of that. It was just bad, right?
So anyway, so I get this call from my long term mentor, and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, things are going great.” And he’s like basically calls me out on it. He’s like, “I know you’re lying to me and things aren’t going good, so tell me the truth.” And I’m like, I explain to him, I’m like, “I’m doing all these things and I’m bouncing around. I feel like I’m getting nowhere. Like what am I doing?” And I constantly ask myself, like what am I doing wrong?
And I wish I remember the exact quote, but he says something like, “The problem is you need to stop trying to build an airline and instead drill for oil.” Which made no sense to me at the time. But he goes on to explain. He’s like, “The airline industry, okay? The smartest people in the world go into that industry and like none of them make any money. Like you have to be the absolute best of the best of the best to make money in that industry. It’s just extremely difficult. Whereas it’s not necessarily easy to get into the oil industry and drill for oil or whatever, but it’s just you can be decent in that industry, just like okay, and still make a lot of money.”
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So we’re talking about the things I’m working on. Yeah, I think one of them that we talked about was the Kindle books. And I told him, I was like, “If I could make like six figures in a year, if I could just make an extra $5,000 a month, $3,000 to $5,000 a month, that would change everything for me.” So I tell him like this program that I’m taking, like the guy who teaches it, he’s making like six figures a year. And he’s like, “But he’s the best. Whereas if you’re just okay, you end up just being mediocre at it, which you probably will end up being just average at it, I mean you’re probably going to make a tenth of that.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s about what I am making. I’m making at the time like $500 to $800 a month.” And he’s like, “That’s the problem. You need to focus on a business or an idea where even if you end up being okay at it, you end up hitting your goal.”
So we talked about the various things I was doing and that’s where he ended up focusing on digital marketing management and focusing on the digital agency. And then he’s also like, “Stop doing ten different things. The man who chases many rabbits catches none. So chase just one rabbit.”
Aditya Bhardwaj: I like that.
Dylan Ogline: “Just one just constantly be asking yourself like what is the one thing I could focus here?” So that night, he calls me at like 10:00 on like a November night or something. So it’s freezing in Pennsylvania. And I go down to my freezing basement office and I just deleted everything, man. I was just delete, delete, and getting rid of this domain, just scrapping everything, and just focused on the digital agency. Which wasn’t Ogline Digital, I was just doing work under my own name. It actually didn’t become Ogline Digital until this year.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Oh wow.
Dylan Ogline: But just scrapped everything and then went even further. I said, “Okay, so I’m just going to do the digital agency. I’m not going to offer ten different services. I’m going to offer just one service: digital marketing management. Because that’s the one where if I end up just being okay at it, I can still make six figures. And then just scrap everything. I don’t need a logo, I don’t need a website, stop wasting your time on all that unnecessary stuff and just focus on making the cash register ring. Just get clients in the door and then deliver an incredible service to them. That’s it.”
So I think it was within three months I hit where I was on pace for my trailing 23-week average, which is just how I do my bookkeeping because I’m a nerd. I finally hit, what is it, I think it’s $1,923 in a week. If you hit $1,923 in a week, you’re on pace for $100,000 in a year.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: So within three months I hit that. And then I did not hit seven figures that year; 2017. By 2018 seven figures.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So just going back a bit, what is a digital agency and like what’s the company?
Dylan Ogline: So what is my digital agency or what is a digital agency?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Like, yeah, what was yours in 2016 like before you decided to take it to that step.
Dylan Ogline: So before I took it to that step, I was just doing web design, logo design. If you needed me to manage your ads, I was your guy. You needed somebody to build a PowerPoint. I’m your dude. It was anything kind of digitally creative work kind of was kind of what I was doing. And that’s where I was probably making most of my money at the time. But again, it wasn’t Ogline Digital or anything, I was just like a contractor who was like an independent contractor who billed hourly, would build a website, or build some banner ads for somebody and send them a bill for a couple hundred bucks, like that’s what I was doing.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So it’s kind of like Fiverr, if you ever like…
Dylan Ogline: I’ve never used Fiverr, but yeah, I’m aware. Kind of like that. At the time right now it’s Upwork. Is it Elance? You’re probably too young. Yeah, so like maybe two or three years again Upwork was oDesk, I think it was called, and Elance. There were two big players in the industry and they merged and they created Upwork. So at the time, I think it was Elance is what I was using, was where I got 99% of my work.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So then, moving on, what is Ogline Digital now?
Dylan Ogline: So now, yeah, so a digital agency in general, if you start your own digital agency, I mean it could be that you do video production and that’s a digital agency. It’s basically just any kind of like creative digital work. Ogline Digital we only do ad management. So we specifically help businesses implement growth strategies, but basically just we’re managing their Facebook and Google Ads for them. We’ll create the landing page, we’ll write the ads, and that’s what we do. And we charge a 10% fee. So if the client is spending, say, $20,000 a month on Facebook and Google, $10,000 each say, we charge 10% of that. So if they spend $20,000, we send them an invoice for $2,000. That’s dumbing it down, but yeah.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. So I understand it. I think very good explanation. But so when you’re getting into that seven figure, you mention that you have to be lean, mean, and scrappy when starting a business. And that will like eventually bring success. Can you like just elaborate on that?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. So are you familiar with the term minimal viable product—MVP?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Minimum vi—no.
Dylan Ogline: Okay.
Aditya Bhardwaj: No idea.
Dylan Ogline: No worries. So in the tech space, if you’re creating the next Uber or whatever, you want to launch your minimal viable product, which is like the leanest, scrappiest version of it just to get something out there into the marketplace. So when I talk about being lean, mean, and scrappy, I had a seven-figure agency. No logo, no website, people were just sending me emails to dylanogline. Like there was no business email or anything like that, which I don’t recommend, okay. Like having a logo, having a website does make you seem more professional, does make everything easier, makes you more confident by all means.
But so you don’t have to take it that extreme. But I see people who they’re starting their own agency, or they’re building a course, or a program like a training program or whatever, and they will spend… Let’s choose that training program as an example. They’ll spend a year building out the program and they never even had a client or a customer. So then they actually launch it and they probably don’t get any customers. Like you want to, as quickly as possible, prove product market fit, and that’s what the MVP is for, your minimal viable product or service or whatever.
So as quickly as possible, prove product market fit. And the simple answer to product market fit is, is somebody willing to give me money for this? Period. You don’t want to do focus groups and like asking people or cold-calling and be like, “Hey, would you buy this service?” Cause people will lie to you or they’re just not serious. Don’t do cold-calling, but you want to call them up metaphorically speaking and be like, “Yo, I got this service, will you give me your money for it?” And if they’re willing to give you money you have product market fit.
So I just used the example of a training program. I was actually talking to a writer recently and she was building a program on basically how to do copywriting for content creation or something like that. And she’s like, “Oh, you have your own training program.” We’re talking about it or whatnot. She’s like, “Yeah, I’ve been building out the program for like the last six months or whatnot.” And I’m like, “Tonight stop doing that. Don’t build the program anymore. Actually go sell it. Get somebody to give you their money for access to the program. And be honest, you’re not lying to people, be honest with them and be like, ‘I’m building this program on how to do copywriting or whatever, and I’m looking to get students, I’m looking to get my first couple students to prove product market fit and to get feedback from the marketplace. Will you join and will you give me your money?’” And if they do, then you probably have product market fit. And then it also motivates you to actually build the program faster. You have to deliver now.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. So I really like the philosophy. So you’re basically saying if someone is wanting to buy the basic, basic version of your product, they obviously want to buy the better version. Is that right?
Dylan Ogline: That is certainly true, yeah. People think that you need to build the perfect version of your product first, but you got to realize, like no matter what you do. Like we were talking about this before we were recording before the show, your first episode of your podcast, the first course that you build, the first product that you put out. I’d hate to tell you the dirty secret, but it’s going to suck, it’s going to be terrible. But that’s okay, you want to as quickly as possible get your content out there, or et your product out there, or get your service out there into the marketplace to prove product market fit.
And you’ll also it forces you, that minimal viable product, minimal viable service, it forces you to cut all the unnecessary stuff. Like that writer I was talking about, like if she gets somebody to pay her, which I think she actually did, like she has one week to create the first week of her content or whatever. Like so she’s only going to do the bare minimum because she didn’t have time to do anything else. And that’s okay because your first version’s going to suck and you’re also going to learn. You’re going to get your perception of what the ultimate perfect product, or service, or content is, your perception of that is probably wrong. Like it’s going to be really difficult to get it perfect your first time. So just get it out there and then get feedback from the marketplace.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So the philosophy I feel like is very, very good. But at the same time, what if let’s say like I put something to market and nobody buys it? Then do I have to work on it more?
Dylan Ogline: You don’t have a market fit.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Okay. Like what creates product market fit? Like is it one person? Is it many people?
Dylan Ogline: I think it’s like intuition. Like if you’re selling your mom and your mom gives you her money, she’s probably a little bias, you know? So you certainly want to get several people is probably a good idea. But it’s not even about it’s not, “Oh, okay, I got some people. Now I can build the perfect version of my product or my service or whatever.” It’s simply just getting going. Like it’s progress is what matters more than anything. Like speed, like you want to move fast and break things. It is much better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
And I think people will also if you’re honest with people, like using that program example. My first training program to teach people how to build a digital agency, I went to a few people that had talked to me about like kind of mentorship or whatnot. And I went to them and I was like, “Hey, I’m starting this new program, like there’s no client portal or anything. It’s just I’m going to put together a couple videos, throw them in Google Drive, and we’ll do group calls on—at the time it was Gotowebinar, now everybody uses Zoom. And I’m just going to see what happens. And if you don’t like it I’ll give you your money back.” And people were willing to give me money for that. So that proved product market fit.
And then of course the first version was terrible, it absolutely sucked, it was hideous. But I learned product market fit and then I also was able to get people in there and learn what is the ultimate version of the product to them—not to me—to the actual customer. And my version of it like in my mind when I envision the ultimate version of my program was totally wrong. It ended up being there was all these other things that the students actually needed. So you’re going to get it wrong, you might as well let the marketplace tell you.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So I personally really resonate with that because I did that with my podcast. So first guy nothing. Like I just found him on like the website that we use. And I was like, “Okay, let’s just do this.” I didn’t really like the episode. You said it was like fine, but I don’t know. Then slowly I was like, “Okay, logo, get the logo, get the mic.” The first episode didn’t even have like a mic. To put some more money into the thing that you’re working hard on. And so, yeah, so you’re saying start off with the episode—like at least for me. And then I like that one week thingy because for me it was the same thing. I’m planning on doing an episode once every week. So if I record my first one I was like, “Okay, I have to record my second one and my third one and my fourth one. And I have to keep going with this. And if I miss a week, that would just drive me crazy.” So yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Exactly. And realize that you don’t want to spend six months getting your mic right, and your video right. And we were talking before we were recording. You were like, “Oh man, your video’s so nice.” Like that took me trial and error. If I was starting my own podcast, and like obviously now I have equipment, but if I didn’t have equipment, dude, like if you’re just using like your AirPods, like your audio is going to suck. But get it out there, you don’t want to spend six months trying to figure out the audio, and getting all the… Because no matter what, your first episode is going to be terrible. Your first episode is going to have problems or whatever and what matters is making progress is actually doing things and getting the ball rolling.
So when it comes to content creation, when it comes to starting your own business, you have a product or service you’re putting out content like you are. Just do it. And I love the fact that you have this I’m going to put out an episode every week, because now you’re obligated to.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: And you’re going to feel in the back of your mind like, “Oh, man I don’t want to make these people angry.” So it obligates you to it and you’ll slowly make progress and just keep going, man, absolutely.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So another thing about this product market fit is that it’s very against the norm, I would say. Like with big companies they do so much research. And not even big companies, I guess everybody things that, “Okay, I need to have a perfect product first and then I can launch it.” So when did you realize that this, no, I don’t need this. Or was it that mentor?
Dylan Ogline: It was that mentor and then I just that night I went down into my basement office, which was so brutal, it was freezing. I had to have like three layers on. I didn’t have a chair. I sat on a bucket. That was my chair, man. But, no, so I went and I’m like, “I’m just going to do this. Like absolutely be ruthless about this.” Because my initial thought process was, “Okay, I’m going to focus on the digital agency. Well, I got to get a logo, and then I got to build a website.” And I’m like, “No, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to get so ruthless with this and just absolutely cut everything.”
And then it worked, and I’m like, “Oh, damn, like that actually works.” And then I started to teach other people to do it, and I’m like, “No, stop wasting your time on all the meaningless stuff that’s actually not.” Your focus as a business owner should, obviously, the first priority is delivering an incredible service or product or whatever your customer. But that’s like telling you to breathe, so I don’t need to tell you to do that. But your first priority should be making the cash register ring.
And a logo is probably not going to help with that. All this unnecessary stuff, setting up your Snapchat, or your Instagram, and all this crap is not going to help. Like just make the cash register ring. Just focus on that. And just ruthlessly cut everything.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So you mentioned a very important thing: cold basement. And like ten years of struggle. How did you eventually train your mindset to be like, “Okay, I have to wake up and do this every single day until I’m successful.”
Dylan Ogline: So for me, luckily, which I think it’s where I’m from. I’m from a rural country town. Everybody’s like a farmer or a coal miner. So work ethic is not something I’ve ever struggled with, luckily. Unfortunately, I’d be like I’d love to give you a better answer. For me, it was just failure just wasn’t an option. And I also think there’s something to be said for that. When I dropped out of high school and everything like that, there is no back-up plan. Now I have some savings, and I have assets and things like that, but just failure wasn’t an option. Like if I failed I would starve. And that is extremely motivating.
And I think there’s a lot to say with just being uncomfortable and I think that’s a good thing for people. Especially if you’re struggling with motivation and things like that just being uncomfortable is actually good for you. It’s not fun, it absolutely is terrible, but it pushes you when you need it.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So basically you’re kind of doing this to like survive. Because you dropped out of school and you were in debt. Is that what you’re saying? Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Well, yeah, I mean I was freezing in my basement. I’ve had people ask me like, “How did you not give up?” Because if I gave up I would starve. I didn’t have parents to fall back on. I didn’t have a trust fund or something like that. Like it was if I failed, there’s no food. It’s as simple as that. And, yeah, I mean that was the attitude I had. I think it’s a good thing and I think you definitely want to be uncomfortable.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So when was that turning point for you? Like when did you realize that I’m slowly making more money, I’m slowly becoming more successful. Like when did that happen like that clock?
Dylan Ogline: So I still don’t feel successful.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: I still don’t feel that. This is actually a great question because a great friend of mine from high school, he actually went through college and everything like that, but he has his own successful business. And we’ve talked about this like when did you kind of realize like, “Oh, I’m not broke anymore.” And I don’t remember where it was, but because of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” when I would go grocery shopping by myself or with my girlfriend now, if I was going to buy ketchup—as stupid as this is—I would look at it and I would take that split second to be like, “Well, this ketchup is like ten cents cheaper.” And it wasn’t because I was cheap. I would go with the ten cents cheap.
Aditya Bhardwaj: No, everyone does that. Like I do that.
Dylan Ogline: Because of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” for me, it was, “Hell, if I don’t spend that ten cents, that’s ten cents more that can go into the ad bank to buy more ads.” And even though the ads suck right now and I’m not getting clients off of them, and eventually they’ll work, and eventually I’ll be able to buy growth with advertising. So that was like always. When I was driving I would put the car into neutral because I read somewhere that like it saves 10% on your gas mileage. So I would drift by going down a hill. I would put the car in neutral just to save that little bit. And like in my head it’s not like, “Oh, I’m so cheap.” It was like, “That’s saving me a little bit of money, which gives me a little bit more money to put towards ads or investing in the business.” Like if you read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” you will be obsessed with just investing in your life and constantly like you won’t want to buy a Lamborghini or anything like that.
So when it kind of clicked to me was I was grocery shopping with my girlfriend this one time. And I don’t remember what it was, it was ketchup or something, and I was like, “You know what, go ahead and spend that extra dollar or whatever.” And I said to her, I said, “Baby, we have reached the appropriate level of wealth to spend that extra dollar.” And, yeah, that’s kind of when it clicked to me like, “Oh, okay, you’re not broke anymore. Like you can spend a little bit of money.”
But now I was talking about my good friend, and he struggles with that too where like we don’t feel necessarily successful, but like there gets a point where it’s like, “Okay, I need to step out of that poor mindset,” which if you read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Poor is a mindset, rich is a mindset. I kind of need to, okay, I can splurge a little bit and I can buy that extra, that good ketchup. I can spend the money on that. I don’t know when it clicked though.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So basically you went from like one extreme to now like kind of normal. Is that what you’re saying? Like now you’re like okay, but then do you want to go to that other extreme? Like that rich mindset?
Dylan Ogline: Like of just being like blindly…
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah, I guess.
Dylan Ogline: So the rich mindset is, again if you read the book, people get emotional when they hear the words “rich” and “poor”. Poor is a mindset. Broke is a temporary status. So you can have a rich mindset and be broke. Broke is just the amount of money that you have. Wealth is the amount of money you have. So if you have wealth you have a lot of money. If you’re broke you have none. So a poor mindset is like, okay, I made $5,000 this month, I’m going to go spend $5,000 on buying a fancy car, getting an expensive car payment, getting a nicer apartment or a nicer house and stuff like that. Yeah, so that’s kind the difference.
I mean, I had a seven-figure agency, I still rode around in the cheapest leased Volkswagen Jetta that you could buy. Like it was the cheapest. It didn’t even have cruise control. It was bad. I mean first world problems, by all means. But, no, I give people talking about that kind of rich mindset and everything. I really think that’s probably you need to build that where I’m always investing in myself.
I wear $20 t-shirts or whatever and I’m not wearing like a Gucci belt or anything like that. But I will spend $20,000 on my business without even blinking an eye. Like just if I’m talking to somebody and we’re going to do a service or they’re going to be adding value to my business, I’m like, “Here’s the American Express. Just charge it. Just do it.” I’m constantly wanting to spend money on my business to grow it and to make things better and to make things more efficient. And it’s funny because that’s kind of the opposite of what an employee mindset is. I mean what employee invests in a workspace? You don’t do that, right?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So I talk to sometimes people who want to start their own business or whatever and they’re like, “Oh, I just don’t have any money.” Which is okay if you don’t actually have any money, like that’s okay. But then you look at things and it’s like, “Dude, you’re driving around like a brand new Mercedes with like a $1,000 a month lease payment.” You don’t see the connection here? You don’t see the gap in what you’re saying? You’re not taking it serious. You need to be more serious about it and realize like you need to make that shift with your mindset. I honestly don’t even remember what your question was.
Aditya Bhardwaj: No it’s perfect.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, you have to have that rich mindset, absolutely.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So you’re basically, like even now, are you still like whatever I earn going back to the company, going back to the company. And like you don’t really care, just like I need to make this bigger. Like is that your aspiration?
Dylan Ogline: Once I hit seven figures, cause seven figures was like…
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah, in sales, right?
Dylan Ogline: I’ll get there when I’m 50, right? Like it was just such an audacious goal. There’s no way I’m ever going to get there. When I hit it I kind of like took a step back. Initially it was six figures. Like, “Man, if I could just get to six figures, whoo! I’ll know I’ve made it.” And then I get to six figures and I was like, “200, I should go to 200.” And then when I got to 200, I was like, “500. We’ll stop there.” Got to 500 and I was like, “You could do it. You could do seven figures.”
And when I got to seven I was like you’re just going to keep going and you’re not happier. Like that was a key for me. So that would have been like 2018 or something like that. That’s when I took a step back and I’m like, “Okay.” And now I can buy what I want generally. I can travel when I want, I can do what I want. Now it’s kind of like what’s the next thing? I still want to have the agency, but like what am I going to be passionate about? And I’ve had the mentor, I’ve several mentors that had a huge impact on my life. Hockey coaches that just massive impact on me as a person. And I’ve always kind of had an interest in coaching or something like that.
So I kind of took a step back and I was like, “I think I’m going to keep the agency but I’m going to kind of change my focus to building something, doing something with coaching, and training, and helping people.” Multiple variations of that. I put out the product, the minimal viable product, and still learning from the marketplace. So with that, I just blindly spend money on any kind of investment that can help that I think can get my students better results, that can make me more efficient. Stupid things like this microphone, just I mean like I didn’t even think about the cost. It was like I want the best audio so that the people can hear me so that they can get the lesson better. Just all of those things I’m just blindly. So with the agency, if the agency needs any investments, just absolutely. But for me, the passion in what I’m working on now is the training, consulting, coaching business.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So you actually answered my next question, which is that about like your helping people and coaching. Do you feel like coaching is going to take you further than your business?
Dylan Ogline: Financially?
Aditya Bhardwaj: No, just mentally. Cause it’s a new project.
Dylan Ogline: Yes.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yes, okay.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. I think when you’re training or you’re coaching people to kind of do what you’re already doing, it makes you better. There’s no doubt about that. Because you kind of are just constantly thinking about the processes, and like what am I actually doing? And like, oh, I could make that more efficient. It’s kind of viewing it from a different angle. It’s kind of viewing it from that 30,000 foot level. And because you’re thinking outside the box, you’re thinking about it from a different angle, it does make you better. There’s no doubt about that.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So would you say that if your business wasn’t at this level you wouldn’t really think of doing much with your life other than your business? Like was that the first, like so let’s say business is here, number one thing, and then everything else is here. But now your business is here you can go like travel, you can go like live your lifestyle, and then coach. But then what if the business falls? Is this going to fall or is this going to… like you know what I mean?
Dylan Ogline: Well, so I would say for me, they kind of fed off of each other. At least it felt that way. So once I like hit six figures or whatever, I was like, “Hey baby, we’re going on a vacation.” I don’t even remember the first we’re actually going to travel, we’re actually going to do something. I hate cruises. Absolutely hate cruises. But if you’re looking for a quick getaway or something like that they’re not bad. I don’t remember. I think we went to Costa Rica or something like that.
But I found that it made the business better. It was all sorts of things. I was more motivated. I could think clearer. Because I was going to be away it forced me, which this is actually I think Tim Ferriss talks about this in the “4-Hour Work Week,” where like if you’re struggling with like the operations of your business, take like a three-week vacation. Where like you’re not going to have your laptop or something. Because it’ll force you to put system, and processes, and the right team members in place where the world doesn’t collapse while you’re away. If you go away for, say, a week you can come back and even if everybody blew everything up and everything fell apart, you could still fix everything.
Aditya Bhardwaj: There’s a back-up.
Dylan Ogline: You go away for two weeks, there’s going to be some damage, but you could still fix things. You go away for three weeks, and everybody did everything wrong, you’re going to come back and everything is going to be in shambles and the world’s going to be a rubble. So being away and it made me more efficient, it made the team more efficient, it made my operations more efficient. It made me think about things from a different angle, which made me better, and better, and better.
So, yeah, those things definitely fed off of themselves more and more. Like I could even feel now like with COVID going on, like business is up, but I feel like I’m slacking when it comes to like the operations or I’m doing busy work because I’m like, “I don’t really have anything to do. I can’t travel right now.” So there’s that.
Now as far as like the finances, because my influence is “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” I’m not blowing my money on a Gucci belt and things like that. So, knock on wood, I feel like I’m in a good financial situation where the business could fall and I could still maintain my lifestyle. But if the business fell, I would be putting a lot of effort into getting it going. But I do think that they do feed off each other. I think that’s the more important thing to look at is if you’re just grinding away everyday, you’re going to get burnt out.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: It certainly happened to me. And then I just kept burning. I was burnt out for like five years. Just dealt with it.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So feeding off that. You’re a big believe in marketing. Like you chose marketing instead of like other businesses. Why do you think marketing is so important in the real world?
Dylan Ogline: So, for me, I think I’ll start with like why. I don’t know where I picked it up, I don’t know where I read it, but I was fascinated with the idea, especially with digital marketing. I think, again, I picked it up like with Google Ads or something. Where like you could now literally buy growth. So if you’re an ecommerce business or whatever, you could pay for ads where you literally spend a dollar and you get two dollars back or whatever. And, yes, there’s a lot of trial and error, it doesn’t magically happen. But once you get it going, it is literally a printing press, okay? You want to grow your business? Just turn up the speed of the printing press, and boom, more money comes out. Like that is what it is.
And it just absolutely fascinated me, and yeah, so that’s why it became my focus. Why I think it’s important is kind of two things. One is every business wants to grow, right? I mean you’re an ecommerce business, you want more sales. We work with a lot of like blue collar, not business that aren’t online, but like if you’re a plumbing and heating company, everybody wants more sales, right?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So once you get digital marketing going, like I said, it’s a printing press. You want more growth, you just add another zero to that ad campaign, and boom, you got more growth. On top of that is a lot of issues that businesses have is that they lack a consistent stream of new clients coming in; consistent sales flowing into their business. And I like to think, metaphorically it’s kind of silly, I consider marketing to almost be like a faucet. You want more growth, turn the faucet on, and boom, more sales come out. And a lot of business owners they’ll be like, “Oh, well, I can’t grow because I need to hire a new employee,” right, or whatever. Or, “I need to add a new location.” Say you’re a restaurant and, “I need to add another location.”
Aditya Bhardwaj: Branch out.
Dylan Ogline: Branch out. I need to grow. But I don’t have the money for it. The truth is, is that you’re just scared that you’re not going to be able to generate more sales. But if you have your marketing figured out. Like with Ogline Digital, if I need to add more clients tomorrow, if all of my clients quit tomorrow, boom, they’re done. Okay, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, as sure as I am that the sun will rise right over there tomorrow, I know that I could go onto Google Ads, start my Google Ads, and it takes a couple days, but within a couple days I’m going to have leads coming in, I’m going to have strategy calls scheduled, and I’m going to be able to get new clients.
That confidence allows you to solve so many problems. Oh, I need to add a new employee. I need to get more sales. No problem. I got that solved. So it allows you to solve so many problems with your business. I think that’s why it’s so critical.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Personally, when I saw like that you’re a digital marketer, like maybe you don’t want to be call that, but I was like…
Dylan Ogline: Call me whatever you want, man.
Aditya Bhardwaj: That’s probably the smartest option I’ve seen. Because it’s going to grow so much. Like even I was thinking to promote my Instagram, I need to market, right? I must give buying the Instagram ad to like promote myself. So I feel like digital market is going to be like so big, but what do you think you do to like kind of push yourself from the other companies that digital market? Is it like the same thing?
Dylan Ogline: It’s a fantastic question. So this is a good lesson in general, not just with an agency, but in business in general is niching down. Everybody’s heard the term niching down. You want to get very specific. You don’t want to have a podcast that covers everything. You want to have a podcast that’s very specific, right? You want to have a service that’s very specific.
I teach this in my program, if you’re just focusing on we’re a digital agency, we do everything for everybody, right? It is going to be damn near impossible to be the best in the world. You’re not going to be the best digital agency in the world. But if you specifically help plastic surgeons grow and get more clients in Florida, you could probably be the best company in the world at that. And furthermore, it’s not just like your marketing or your message—which I could dive into that in a little bit—but you also get better.
So like if you’re only helping—as a digital agency to use this example—if you’re only helping plastic surgeons in Florida grow and get more clients, you’re going to get better at understanding what plastic surgeons actually want. You’re going to get better at understanding what do their customers want. Like what are their needs, what are they looking for? You’re going to get better at writing the ads. You’re going to get better at targeting. You’re going to get better at all of these things. Which then it just feeds off each other, it’s a snow ball, you get better, and you get better, and you get better until the point where you are the best in the world at that specific thing.
And like with my agency, seven figures off like less than seven clients, seven or eight clients. You don’t need a lot of clients to have a successful agency. So that kind of scarcity mindset of thinking that there’s going to be so much competition is just absolutely ridiculous. So the answer is to just niche down. Get better and better, just as much you can get niche down, the better. So I don’t even remember what the question was, I’ll be honest, so I’ll apologize.
Aditya Bhardwaj: That was perfect. So you’re saying that your product is so specific to like this kind of market very thing that you will eventually find enough people to like be very good at selling that. But also what else does a digital marketer need to become more successful? Is it like the ad reading? Is it the video? Like what do you guys do that kind of sets yourself from the other people?
Dylan Ogline: I think what sets us apart is our area of expertise is typically home services businesses.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Oh, okay.
Dylan Ogline: So it’s everything, man. Like if I have a landing page up. You know what? I’m actually going to read an actual headline for you.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: Hold on, let me pull it up here. All right, it’s loading here. So this is literally a ad headline. So this would be a landing page headline. So imagine if you’re in this particular landing page example, it’s for HVAC companies; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning companies. So companies that install furnaces, or air conditioning, or like that mini split behind you. Which this goes to show you something: why do I know that that’s a mini split behind you? Because I know about that industry.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. Okay.
Dylan Ogline: So imagine you are an HVAC company you’re looking to grow. And you type in to Google “how to get more HVAC customers” or something like that. And then you see this ad on Google that’s we specifically help HVAC companies grow and get more install projects. So, okay, all right so this isn’t just we help companies with digital advertising or we’re an agency, we can help you grow. I mean like that’s a headline that’s targeting an HVAC company, right? So you’re the HVAC owner, you click on that and then you go to my landing page, and this is one of the specific headlines: we specifically help HVAC companies just like yours scale and grow with proven, direct response marketing strategies tailored to get you the kind of projects you want, like clockwork, with predictability, down to the dollar and day.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Wow.
Dylan Ogline: So imagine if you’re an HVAC company and you read that. And the pictures, like there’s people installing a ventilation system in this attic, like that’s the background pictures. That’s pretty targeted, right? And then whenever you jump on a call with me, I know because I’ve worked in this industry, like I’ve worked with people in this industry, I know that HVAC companies they just aren’t looking for more leads. They hate repair projects because they don’t make a lot of money, they’re typically small, it’s like they’re difficult, the people are just like, “Oh, my AC is not working, like you need to get out here now.” Like it’s a pain. So they’ll do them, but they don’t really want repair projects. They want install projects.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So like further down on that landing page like I talk about, it’s something like, “I know you’re looking for install projects.” So then whenever they jump on a call with me, I’m like, “Yeah, we work with people in your industry all the time. I know that you guys don’t really want repairs. You want more install projects.” So that’s what our ads and everything will target. I mean, the guy’s already sold.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Like that’s so easy. And yeah, so I think that whole process is what makes us better. It’s not hard to duplicate. I’ve had students in my program where like they targeted car dealerships or accountants. One of our most successful students targeted accountants. Why? Because his parents, I think it was, were accountants. So he just knew a little bit about the industry and was able to talk a little bit different on the call to just ad copy and just had a little bit about the accounting industry. That’s what made him good at it. And then he’s able to write ads that are targeted for the right kind of customers that accountants are looking for.
It’s all those little things that you just get better, and better, and better at the more niche down you are. Like I would be terrible if I was trying to target homebuilders. Actually, that’d probably be..
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: That was a terrible example. Gyms, okay? I mean I probably would be terrible because I don’t actually know like how do they make money? What’s their profit margin or something like that. Like I know an HVAC company, their profit margin’s like 60% to 70% on an install project. I mean the average person off the street doesn’t know that stuff. So when I’m on the sales call, when I’m writing the ads, all those different things I get better and better and better just because I’m focusing on a specific niche. Does that make sense?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. So I’m a bit amazed because why did you pick HVAC companies? Like how did that arise?
Dylan Ogline: That’s a great question. So all that was I needed to get a new boiler. Do you know what a boiler is?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So I needed to get a boiler installed in my house. And there was this guy, he was I think kind of like a family friend’s friend, like it was just like some guy. And came to my house, puts in the boiler, and I just started talking to him, became friends with him, like that was it. And then like one time like we went out for beers or something, like beers and burgers, and we started talking about work and he wasn’t like in his own company, like he did kind of like independent work, random projects that people needed done or whatever. He had another full-time like sales job in the industry, but he didn’t have a full-time plumbing and heating company.
And just talking to him it was like he just came out and said, he was like, “I just hate doing those repair projects. Like the ones where we make our money is on the installs. It’s just easier to sell the person, you can come out whenever you can schedule with them, it’s not like ‘I need you to come out now.’” It was all these different things that I just picked up from having a conversation with him. That was it.
So then I was like, “Okay, I think I know a little bit about this industry,” and just targeted, built a landing page, built an ad, targeted that industry, and then got a client in that industry. Was terrible at it at first but continued to get better. And now I’m probably the best company in the world. If an HVAC company’s looking to grow, I am the best company in the world at that. Like there’s no doubt in my mind about that. And how did I do that? Cause I’m amazing, and special, and great? No, it’s just I just focused on that niche and just became the best at it, like that’s it, that’s all it was.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So like I guess my next question I think you already answered like advice for someone who wants to be a digital marketer. Would you say get that niche and then also get an MVP?
Dylan Ogline: Yes. Well, in this case, it would be MVS—minimal viable service—but same difference. But, no, yeah, you want to pick a niche and everything and then try to get clients in that particular niche. And the best way to do it is to actually get somebody to hand you money. Now in this particular case you’re not going to get somebody to give you like an upfront fee or anything, but it’s actually get somebody to become a client. Like when you actually get somebody to become a client, and you’re actually creating ads for them, that’s how you know you’re heading in the right direction.
And that’s actually that’s a great question because you have to be flexible as well. You don’t want to be set in stone. Because you haven’t committed so many resources, and so much time, you are flexible. So as an example, I had a student come into the program, and his particular niche that he was going to target was auto body repair shops. Yeah, that sounds about right, auto body repair shops. I don’t know why, I don’t remember why, but that was the niche he was going to target. Well, it turns out that auto body repair shops don’t need like Facebook ads. Like he was trying to target them for Facebook ads. And it was like it ended up being that that wasn’t going to work because of just the nature of that industry you’re not going to be able to get… Somebody who’s not on Facebook and is like, “Oh yeah, I do need to get my car fixed. I do have some damage to my vehicle.” They’re typically Googling it.
So he transitioned to Google Ads and SEO. Still has the digital agency, still providing marketing services with the SEO, but he also does Google Ads. But he wasn’t set in stone, didn’t build out all these systems, and processes, and hire team members, and build out this advanced website that talks about how he does Facebook ads for auto body repair shops. This is what I teach people, like spend five minutes to build a landing page. Like you don’t need a lot. It doesn’t need to be complicated like just build it and like set a timer on your phone. I have 20 minutes to build this. Just do it. This way you don’t have so many resources and time and all that mental baggage committed to that. And it’s just get it out there, see if you get product market fit.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So this so far has been an amazing conversation.
Dylan Ogline: Thank you.
Aditya Bhardwaj: And I have a couple more questions.
Dylan Ogline: All right, man.
Aditya Bhardwaj: But I’m going to try to do this a bit quicker cause I know like you said like an hour and a half.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, this has been a while. I apologize, I just ramble, so we can do rapid fire. We can do rapid fire. I’ll keep it short.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So would you say that like now is probably the best time to be a digital marketer, and if it’s a yes—which I’m pretty sure you’re going to say.
Dylan Ogline: Yes.
Aditya Bhardwaj: What kind of resources does a person need to just get to the basics?
Dylan Ogline: This is going to be self-serving. So I have a program, Agency 2.0, you can join the waiting list and that teaches anybody. Even if you know nothing, you could be a 16-year-old kid to start your own digital agency from scratch and get to six figures. Whether you sign up for my program or not, I don’t care, do what you think is best.
Aditya Bhardwaj: It was like an alley-oop kind of thing.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. But, no, I do think it’s only going to grow, man. There’s what, 35 million businesses just in the United States alone. Most of them don’t know how to do Facebook ads, or Google Ads, or whatever. The growth potential is just ridiculous and you don’t need a lot to have a successful agency. So, yeah, I do think it’s only just beginning. And it’s also got to the point where now the technology is so good, it’s so much easier now to get Facebook and Google Ads to work for a business that now it’s just a no-brainer. I’m trying to keep this really short since this is rapid fire.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So next question: what is a laptop lifestyle?
Dylan Ogline: For me, that is I define that as it being you can work wherever you want, whenever you want, on what you want, on what you’re passionate about. Obviously that’s slightly different now with COVID, a little bit more difficult. But once the world returns, it’s being able to work wherever you want whenever you want.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Okay, next question, why are you so fascinated with stoicism? Like I know we can’t get too deep into this. I want it to, but like why? Why?
Dylan Ogline: So for those of you who don’t know, for me to briefly summarize what stoicism is about is getting control of your emotions. Like I’m constantly thinking to myself it is illogical, it is not logical to be emotional about this right now. So like death, I told you we’re going to get morbid on this show. It’s not logical to get scared. Recognize that it’s going to happen and accepting it. It’s not logical to waste your time being scared about it. When it comes to business decisions, being very logical, not letting your emotions get the best of you, and really having control of your emotions and fear. Of like going broke, like you’ll figure it out. To me the stoicism is always about just really having a really strong grasp on your emotions and also recognizing that you only got so much time so don’t waste time, dude. Like always be trying to make the world a better place.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So just following up on the stoicism, when did you realize like that I am not meant to be thinking about anxious things kind of thing?
Dylan Ogline: So it’s going to talk about death. I struggled just with that. I just started reading, got a couple stoic books, and you can’t see it on camera, but I have like a bookshelf of stoic stuff on there. Really was just there’s no reason to be emotional. Just think about it logically. You’re not going to get anywhere by being emotional, and panicking, and being worried, and being stressed. At the time I picked it up when I was at my peak in debts and everything, and it was like you’re not going to solve the problem by panicking. The best way to solve the problem and to get better is to be very logical, make the best decisions off of the information that you have available in front of you, and just don’t let the emotions get the best of you. Does that answer that?
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. I mean that was such a good answer. And I’m thinking of putting it as an Instagram post.
Dylan Ogline: No pressure. No pressure. I would be glad, I think I’m going to be episode five or six, you said. Invite me back for episode ten or something.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. Maybe.
Dylan Ogline: I had a great chat with you and have no problem jumping on another episode with you, so.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So last question, I always ask my guests: what is success for you now? Like now what you think success is for you and how do you think you will eventually achieve that?
Dylan Ogline: This is going to contradict what I said earlier where I don’t feel successful. I believe that the opposite of happiness is boredom. Not sadness but boredom. And you want to have an exciting life, be passionate about what you’re doing. Not just work, but just everything in your life. You want to be a passionate person who’s excited to get up in the morning, right? To me that’s success. That’s happiness. In that case, I’m the happiest person in the world. I’m the most successful person in the world. It’s not about money, it’s not about material things or like that, it’s for me are you passionate about what you’re doing, which hell yeah, is the answer for me. And am I helping people? Am I doing something to move the word just a little bit better? Just sprinkle a little bit of that luck dust around or whatever you want to call it. Just moving the things a little bit better. So, yeah, that’s the kind of definition of success for me and I’ve already hit that by all means.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So but just like devil’s advocate over here. If you were a six-figure company, would you still feel the same way? Like you’re still doing the same thing you love. You’re still doing everything you say you’re doing. Maybe not the teaching but is that really successful? Like would you feel the same way as a seven-figure company?
Dylan Ogline: If I had never hit seven figures, I don’t think so. Because, for me, that was just like I thought that was the audacious goal. It was like I had to hit it. I was obsessed with it. No idea why. I think it was just because I wanted to say I had this million dollar a year business. I want to do a million dollars in a year. Once you hit like $100,000 a year in income, like you net $100,000 a year, you have diminishing rates of return. Like the lifestyle between making $100,000 and making $200,000 really isn’t all that different. The lifestyle between making $50,000 and $100,000 is massive. The lifestyle between making $20,000 and $100,000 is colossal. I mean it is just huge.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So once you reach a certain level of income, you get diminishing rates of return. It stops having this massive improvement. So income, I’m not going to lie, I mean money certainly is a factor by all means. You definitely want to be financially free, but for me, there’s no reason to be financially free if I don’t have time freedom.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. So you’re saying once you’ve reached the seven figure level, now you’re like… Cause that kind of the ultimate goal. So once you broke that goal, now you’re like, “Okay, success for me would be what I’m doing now.”
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, I mean I still need to make money, by all means. And I do see there’s a lot of people in the industry who make great money with education, and consulting, and whatnot. So I think that that could certainly, not necessarily think replace the agency, but we’ll see what happens there. If I’m still allowed to do the same work that I’m doing now, I’d still be equally as successful, using your term.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. I really like that. So it’s been great having you on.
Dylan Ogline: Thanks, man. A little bit longer than anticipated, and I apologize, I just run with it, man.
Aditya Bhardwaj: So I feel like the more I’ve been doing this, the longer my episodes are. So the first one was 40, then it was 50, 56, then one hour nine minutes, and now like the biggest, longest episode. That’s exactly what I want. I don’t really care about the downloads, the viewership. As long as I have like a good conversation with you. And, to be honest, you actually motivated me to think about digital marketing now. Before I was like fully economics based business, but now I’m like digital market, might have to tell my parents about that.
Dylan Ogline: No, man, I think as far as the podcast, we talked about before the show I love what you’re doing. As I told you, the first episodes are going to suck, you’re going to be terrible. But that’s okay, you want to keep going, you want to keep getting better. And as far as for me like as a guest, I prefer the conversation-based. We talked about this before the show, I hate jumping on, and I don’t really have any agenda when I go to jump on a show. I want to provide value to the listeners. And, for me, whenever you’re allowed to have a conversation and actually get into the personal stuff, I think people will then relate to it. And if I got on here and I’m just like, “Hey do this, do this,” and I talk for 20 minutes and then that’s the end of the show, the listener’s really not going to relate to that, and it’s going to feel almost like a pitch.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So I love having an hour, an hour and 40 minutes is probably long. I’m out of water here.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Same.
Dylan Ogline: It’s a little long, but yeah, the conversation-based is definitely a lot better as a guest and it’s probably the same thing for the listener and host, so. Keep doing what you’re doing, man.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah. I hope your business goes eight figures then nine, and you can still teach, and you can still travel. I hope that for you. Thank you for coming on. Dylan Ogline, guys, he has a website. Just I’ll put that down. I just want to do something for you because you gave me such a good conversation.
Dylan Ogline: No, man, first thank you so much for having me. My websites dylanogline.com. Just Google it or it’s probably going to be in the show notes, so.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Yeah, it will.
Dylan Ogline: But, man, I appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me on, man, it was a great chat.
Aditya Bhardwaj: Thank you, guys. This has been Aditya. That was Dylan. Episode five. We’re done.