If you have expertise you want to share and earn a living from it, you should listen to Rob Cubbon. He has been successful on Udemy, written multiple books and sold various courses while creating a new life for himself in Thailand. So are you better creating one main course or multiple smaller products on various platforms?
In this episode he explained to Mark Egan how he got started, and what he has learned from years of earning a living online.
For free training go to http://www.markeganvideo.com
To connect with Rob go to http://www.robcubbon.com
Coming up on the knowledge industry podcast,
Rob Cubbon 00:02
you are so much better off creating 10 products than you are creating one product, you got 10x the chance of it something good.
mark egan 00:13
So how do you earn a consistent living online? Today’s guest is Rob cup. And he spent years doing just that using online courses, books and much more. So how does he do it? Do you sell online courses
or run live workshops? Do you have expertise that can help people in life or business? Are you even running an online training Empire from your kitchen table? Then you’re part of the knowledge industry, a fast growing industry that means that you can learn almost anything, and anyone can create a business around what’s between their peers. Welcome to the knowledge industry podcast with your host, Mark Egan.
mark egan 00:50
Okay, so Rob, really great to speak to you. I know you’re in Thailand and in my mind whenever I speak to people who are like working out of Thailand I vision the MENA with this beach hut, you know, the the sea lapping against their toes and their laptop on there. But I’m guessing it’s not like that. So we’re about stealing, what kind of place do you live in?
Rob Cubbon 01:06
I live in Chiang Mai, which is a very unfortunately landlocked, it’s it’s it’s kind of 500 kilometers from the nearest bit of coastline, I have to say, I did go down to the Copenhagen coastal movie, I’ve just got back from an island. So if you if you’d interviewed me, like two months ago, I would have shown you the sea lapping against the bungalow. But at the moment, I’m in a city, which has 200 to 400,000 people in it, depending on where you draw the boundary. And it’s a very nice place. It’s, if you get outside, it’s very rural. And there’s a great entrepreneurial international community here. And the Thai people are also great, and entrepreneurial, as well. So all in all, it’s a good place to base myself at this at this time there.
mark egan 01:56
So we’ll come to later on, like, why you’ve ended up there and what you’re doing and all that kind of thing. But a lot of people I speak to who have created online courses or a business using their expertise, this story tends to begin with, I was in some kind of corporate job. And then I got fed up a bit. And I thought, right, I’m going and I’m now going to kind of use my expertise and create a business, online teaching something like that. But you actually came a slightly different route because you were a freelancer, weren’t you?
Rob Cubbon 02:26
Yes, I never had a very corporate jobs, I was just get bit I’d been employed temporarily and paid by the hour, in in London.
mark egan 02:39
So I came across you and I was trying to work this out. We’re talking probably like 15 years ago, something like that is like a long, long time ago. And I I’d left the BBC. And I was trying to learn everything I could about business and all that kind of thing. And I came across your Kindle books, your your ebooks, and you had books about very specific topics. And I think one of them I bought was actually about going freelance and how to make a living as a freelancer and all that kind of thing. So how did you make that step from? You’re there? You’re You’re freelancing you’re doing, you know, design services, all sorts of different things. How did you make that step between doing that and actually starting to create books and courses and that kind of thing?
Rob Cubbon 03:24
Yeah, well, the fact that it was 15 years ago, is quite personal, actually. Because in 2005, I set up a website that that’s the first step was set up a website, Rob cabin.com, which is still my website today. And I started blogging. And I got I’ve got to say it was a little bit easier in those days to get on the first page of Google for various long tail keyword phrases. And and that’s how I started to get work. Online. That’s that’s how I started get freelance work were a quite a good client would come, you know, I got work from Accenture, which was a great client, and they were just great to work with. And they paid me really well. And the work was great. And I never would have got that sort of job if I was just, you know, freelancing in London going through the agencies, but because this marvelous explosion of blogging, that happened in the early 2000s, really democratized it. I mean, entrepreneurship, basically, I was able to get these, these jobs, make more money and stay at home. And then I had a bit of time as well to go into other things. And then I just became more interested in making money online. And then the Kindle thing was just another one of those things that I tried in order to sort of create content, build a community and that sort of thing. So really, the first step was starting a website.
mark egan 04:57
So like I said, I read the books. Which were really good, very specific, very practical. And the other place where I’ve come across you was Udemy. So Udemy, if most people don’t know Udemy, but it’s a place where people put up courses, and it’s sort of a marketplace, you go in there, you can look through all sorts of different courses and those courses on literally anything. And you’ve created a number, of course, I mean, do you know, rough figure how many courses you’ve got on Udemy?
Rob Cubbon 05:26
What I sure I’ve done over 20. And some of the older ones, I mean, I’ve discontinued and published some of the older ones, not that they’re out. They just look old in Jasmine, because WordPress has moved on since then. So but I, I would have done between 20 and 25 courses.
mark egan 05:43
And once you’re thinking that, because you to me, when you speak to course creators, there are some people who say, look, there’s a huge audience there, you pretty much make the course you put it up, they sell it, it’s awesome. And there’s another school of thought, which is it tends to be heavily discounted, it’s very great. It’s great for people consumers, but as a course creator, it tends to end up discounting too much. What’s been your take on Udemy?
Rob Cubbon 06:06
Yeah, I agree with both of both of those things. Because there were there is a third, there’s a third way that’s do do both right. So I mean, and also you have to think about the time because when I started in Udemy, it was even again, I was lucky I got in there earlier, there’s less competition for WordPress courses. And also, it was harder to sell courses on your own site in those days teachable. Think if it can learn that these things came later after you to me? So I mean, in answer to that question, yes. Udemy great is great. Yes, it discounts terribly, you’ll get paid $1 every time you sell your, your your 24 hour course. However, you know, you could do it, you can do one course, a light version on Udemy, sell it for 10 bucks, and then sell your good courses in more in depth courses on your own site and sell them for 200 bucks. So you can’t have your cake and eat it in a way. Well, they didn’t they they don’t like you isn’t on the rules about how much you can promote stuff off you to me or do you just, you know, you put your course that there is a beginner’s guide to WordPress. Yeah. And then at the end of it, you’re like, Well, you know, you might want to come over to my website where there’s the advanced and that’s discounted.
Yeah, that yeah, that that’s absolutely true. I mean, but there are ways around that. So, you know, on Udemy, my name is Rob carbon. And if you just Google my name, you’ll find my site. And also, I use my own website, as an example to show people how to do certain things on WordPress. So they saw the site as a friend of mine, who, who says, oh, here’s a Facebook group, you can join. And we talk about this subject on the Facebook group. And once they’re on the Facebook group, of course, he’s free to sell them anything he wants. And I mean, also the other day, they might come to your website through another channel, they could come to your website through Google through YouTube. Or they just might have, you know, from any any social media or even a Kindle book. So So yeah, I mean, obviously, if you sell it on your own site, you have to do your own marketing. But you know that it is possible, it is possible to do both.
Now, when you look at most freelancers, it’s a typical year would look like this, it would be it’s a little bit quiet in the beginning of the year, and then suddenly everybody comes back, it picks up, the mate does really well. And then maybe it’s a bit of a lull. And then there’s periods where people are trying to get rid of their budgets, it gets busy. And then it gets towards Christmas, things start winding down. And it’s kind of like up and down waves. Presumably one of the reasons you’re interested in selling books and courses was to give a bit more predictability bit more kind of passive income. So how did that change? from being a freelancer? Who was maybe worried was the next job coming in to having all these books and courses did that completely change your, your lifestyle, your your ability to kind of live wherever you wanted?
Rob Cubbon 09:16
Was? Yeah, it did. It did eventually. I mean, it was also in my head as well, because I was I was married, I was in London, and or, you know, people around me were, were in London and commuting. And there was a kind of mindset about you kind of that that’s what you expected out of life. And I, I guess I worked very hard, you know, because I mean, I was enjoying the freelance work. But then the freelance work would give me ideas for content. And, you know, I used to say, I used to love doing this. You see, I always think, right, I’m working now I’m getting paid once. How can I get paid twice doing the same thing, see, and so I i Video myself doing work for a client, you know, and get paid for the, the client would pay me for doing the work. And I use the video in a course that I was getting paid for as well. So, you know, there was a way of combining these things so you could work effectively and therefore, you create create content that you can sell, whilst you’re swapping hours for dollars. So I had that Active Passive thing going at the same time having my cake and eating it again, that seems to be a theme this afternoon.
mark egan 10:36
So if what would be your message to a freelancer listening to this, maybe they do something like video production or photography or something like that. And they’re listening to this, and they’re thinking, Okay, I kind of am interested in this. I see what you did there. What should they do? What would be the starting point for them?
Rob Cubbon 10:56
Yeah, well, I, I think it’s a good starting point is creating content you’re putting putting stuff out there. And it doesn’t matter where it is where you want to make a blog, you want to do it on LinkedIn, you want to do it on YouTube, wherever you feel comfortable at first. And then the next question is, yeah, but what content do I make? Maybe they think, Oh, look, there’s everything’s out there anyway. So I don’t need to, well, the worst, I remember the worst, I said it was conversations at work. You know, somebody would say, oh, how do you do this? And somebody would show me something at work. And then if I ask clever, that’s a good way of doing it. And I’ll put it on YouTube or put it in my blog, or, yeah, yeah, so a client would ask me how to do something. And it was a little bit challenging as, okay. And I google it and find out the answer, and I go, Okay, that’s an interesting thing. And I’ll create content about that. And it just snowballed. And you can see from the free content you’re putting out, so the stuff you’re putting out on YouTube, or whatever, is free, maybe nobody sees it, you know, these things happen. It’s tough, I understand that it’s happened to me. But they will, if you do, if you if you have nothing fuzion ism, and you do it for a while, you will find that some things do better than other things. And that’s your clue as to what products you should, therefore, what avenues you should go down.
mark egan 12:32
And if you were somebody, again, like a photographer or videographer let one of the things that some people do is they’ll say that you know what, I’m going to bundle up all my knowledge and create one signature main course, which is a very high price. It’s, you know, maybe it takes a long time to go through it, you spend a lot of time putting it together. And that’s the one thing that one huge main course and everything points towards that. You seem to take a different approach. You seem to do more mini courses. So tell me about what’s your, your mindset, and how has that worked out for you? Yeah,
I mean, I’ve seen it so many times, I’ve seen it so many times, that people put everything into their first course. And it’s so I get why they doing it, I do understand that they want to do something special. It’s a different mindset. I there’s something about me, I just, I just like to get things done, I like to get things finished. I’m actually really lazy person, Mark. And I I actually think laziness is a good thing sometimes. Because lazy people discover amazing ways to do things easily. You know, we’re lazy people are quite useful. We don’t get enough. We don’t get the respect we deserve. I don’t think from the wider community. So I was very lazy. So I thought, well, if I just knock this thing out in five minutes, and no, they still get it done. It’s a free on YouTube. And if nobody watches it, that’s fine. I’ve only spent five minutes on it. It’s my it’s a you know, you are so much better off creating 10 products than you are creating one product. Because you’ve got 10 you got 10x the chance of it of something good happening. And you know, you want it you want to you want to leave your war and peace to the end of your career. You know, you want to start with baby steps and stuff. And it’s so much more. There’s so many good reasons why you should do that. I mean, you’re much more likely to get sales on a course that’s says how to use master pages in Adobe InDesign. Then you are doing a course on the whole of Adobe Creative Suite, because nobody’s gonna know what you know what, who are you as well, nobody’s heard of you. So you’re much better off honing down on those tight little niches and doing many calls. is like that. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the way I see it.
Because it seems to be a common theme with what you’re saying is put a lot of stuff out there. And by doing that, that’s how you get your market research, you get answers to your questions. So you know, one of the things that people maybe aren’t doing is they’re trying to kind of analyze and perfect, what’s the course I should put out, whereas your message would be, just get stuff out there both free and paid. And that will, the journey will reveal itself based on that. Now, another thing I wondered is, you mentioned that you trade under your own name. So your website, send your own name. And I’m the same thing as well, in the sense, I have a company. But my website is my name. Unfortunately, there is also a mark Egan who is a bass guitarist like a jazz player or something. He’s got like crazy kind of Michael Bolton style here. So unfortunately, you know, he takes away some of the mark Egan traffic. But do you think it’s a good thing to trade on your name, because then basically, people get to know you quickly, and you build that trust factor really quickly? Or the other school of thought is? Nope, you should have it like a generic business name. So therefore, you can outsource other things, and maybe bring in guest trainers and all that. What’s your view on that?
Yeah, this is a really interesting point. Actually, Mark? No, because I would have given a different answer a few years ago. Yeah, I mean, okay, it worked for me, and my name is carbon C, double b. o n, and there are a, there’s not too many famous covens around, and certainly not any musicians. And, you know, yeah, it worked for me for that reason. However, it, there’s advantages and disadvantages for it for everything. The advantage of using your own name, as I just said, people will hopefully remember it, and then they’ll find you easy on whatever social media, they’ll find you on YouTube, they’ll find you on Google whatever. And, you know, and also, it’s an easier bread, it’s easier branding, you know, you people identify with faces and names, there’s, we this is the way we’re brought up, you know, so if the branding almost takes care of itself, you don’t have to worry about the logo, you don’t, you know, just just do a logo, it’s gonna be okay. So, and also, there’s another good thing about is you might want to pivot your career. So maybe you call your company, a mark Egan web design, and then you get bored with web design, and you want to move on to mobile app design. And then your company’s called the wrong name. So you’ve got to change the company name. So that those are the advantages. The disadvantage is, your your, your name, your face is your business, and you can’t freelance your face off. And you can’t eat that. And this is become apparent to me now, as I’ve realized I took too much on and I had a bit too much work on. And for a lot of reasons. I found it a little bit too much. And but then again, I don’t regret it.
So I, I know there’s that idea that when you go freelancing, there’s all the jokes about, you know, you get to choose which 18 hours of the day to work. And, you know, you’ve given yourself a job with the worst boss in the world, all this kind of thing. I mean, I’m very interested in the whole kind of freelancing thing. Because when I speak to someone, some people I know, who are struggling, and my backgrounds in the media, so a lot of people with storytelling skills, you know, video skills, photography skills, and they’re freelancing, and often they’ve come out of big corporate jobs, and they struggle a little bit sometimes with how to get clients and the marketing all of these things. And when I do say, you know, have you ever thought about creating an online course, or doing some coaching or writing a book or something like that? It’s always kind of like, well, I don’t really have, I’m really busy, busy in one sense, because if I’m not working, I should be marketing. And it’s seen as something that’s too time consuming. So take something like a Kindle book. If somebody were a freelancer, maybe their web designer, photographer, whatever it is, would you recommend them writing a book? And if so, would it be a Kindle book or one that you physically published? What would be your advice to them?
Yeah, and I’ve got a lot of sympathy for these people. You see, because I’ve probably, you know, made that mistake in the past and said, Look, just just write a book. You know, what I found easy. I you know, there are reasons why I found it easy. And there were reasons why I did the right thing at the right time. Maybe I was in the right place at the right time. And so I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t advise anyone to do anything. And what I advise people is to do whatever feels right for them, you know, because it might not be that might not be the right person to write a Kindle, but it might take them a long time, it happens to take me a month, and I could write a Kindle book in a month, I could make a course in a month. And I do that whilst whilst working for clients or was doing other things. I don’t know why I just found it easy. I think other people would find that difficult. Maybe they want to their character type likes to be a bit more perfectionist, I wouldn’t have the answer for everybody. All I can tell you is, is what I did. And and and see if that helps. You know, I all I’d say is just take take one step at a time, start with free content again, see how you feel? Do you like writing? Or do you? Are you better at video? You know that it really would be down to the individual.
When it comes to the right. I mean, you said you could do things in a month. So I’m guessing, you know, again, if every month you’re producing a book, or a course that’s an asset, and that adds a little bit more income. And that’s obviously why you can live in Thailand and, you know, be wherever you want to be. What’s actually your process writing a book. So if I just say, you know, I listened to Robin inspired me almost always, always meant to write that book. What is your process? Would you do you do a bunch of research about things first, still? Do you do SEO searches to figure out what the best topic would be? Or do you literally sit there and just think, like you said, I had a conversation with somebody, that would be a great book, then we start sketching it out. What’s been your process?
Yeah, I mean, you know, Mark, I really loved the book thing it was there was something about it, you know, that it’s just like, I’ve written a book. And then when I did it, I found it’s so ridiculously easy. This is, this is crazy. I mean, how, you know, I’m there I am on Amazon soar next to Tolstoy and Dickens. And yeah, this is this is cool. Okay, so what I could talk all day about how to write a book. Basically, again, it starts with free content. So whatever I was writing on the blog that became successful, I then sort of thought about the book. I started with a mind a mind map, basically, it just a simple sketch of the, how you go through the subject linearly. And then you’d get the chapter headings and subheadings. All down there. And then you just start writing. And you don’t edit as you write, although actually that’s a rule I didn’t always follow. And, and you write maybe four, I think it’s you know, 500 words a day. 500 words a day is that it will take you an hour is not much. And then by the end of the, you know, Kindles, you could you can get away with doing 15,000 20,000 words on a Kindle. So correct me if I’m wrong, I think you can do that in a month. And yeah, definitely. And so just going through the mental arithmetic, made by the former self, yeah, so and they’ve got the book, okay. There are other stages to it, you’ve got to, you got to you got to get it edited. And you got to get it the form formatted correctly for kindle and paperback. And then you put them on Amazon, by the way, this is during this process, you haven’t paid any money unless you want to pay someone’s Well, it’s it, it’s absolutely free to put your own book on Amazon and get it sold. I mean, that in itself, is is a cool factor. Now, you did mention SEO because that is very important. So I wrote I can’t remember remember, I’ve had I’ve wrote seven or eight books. And but only two of them sell every day. And the two that sell every day are called running a web design business and selling video courses online. Okay, so I’m free and the other book you mentioned from Freelancer to entrepreneur that never sells just once in a blue moon. Right. So the reason he likes it my ad sale. Yeah, and the reason is SEO and that was just down to luck. You know, just if you think about those, those two titles, they do sound good for SEO right running your own web design business, and selling video courses online. You can see how that did well. Better than I’ll give you some of my other titles from Freelancer to entrepreneur, the new freedom, mind freedom. I know. It’s like That was my ego doing that I fall mind freedom, that’s going to be the next big thing. Yeah, that’s gonna be the next four hour workweek. And of course, it tanked. I couldn’t, I should have caught if I called it. location independent entrepreneurship might have done a bit better. So this is the way SEO works, you’ve got to get into the heads of the people who are making searches on Amazon and Google and, and that takes a bit of practice. But again, it goes back to the free content, because if you’re free contents, doing well with certain keywords, don’t stop there, use the keywords again and again and again. And they’ll do well again, and then use them in a Kindle. And they’ll do it well again. And
we’re putting together your, the Kindle stuff, the courses, and I know you’ve got your core, you know, your design stuff, your website, all that kind of thing. Bring the kind of up to date. Now, you’ve done the location independent thing where you’re now living in Thailand. And you were ahead of the game when you think about it, because after the COVID lockdowns, a lot of people suddenly realize, you know what, I don’t actually need to cram onto the central line and traveling to London or the metro in New York or wherever it is. You do have options nowadays, because of this digital world. So for anybody who’s thinking, you know what, this has been a big eye opener to me, maybe I would like to pivot. And instead of being a freelancer, or going into a corporate job, I actually I want to do like, what Rob stone, I want to be location independent and embrace this digital world. Can it be done? And if so, how do you do it?
Yeah, I mean, it’s not for everybody. I mean, remote, I don’t have I don’t have any children. And I’m, I’m not married anymore. And so I’ve only got myself to look after. And that is very easy. I mean, you know, it’s actually I mean, it’s cheaper. I’m, I’m very hungry at the moment, and I’m just about to go and get something and or cost me $1. And, you know, rather than having to make it myself, which is something that I don’t particularly enjoy it. Yeah. So I mean, you do have to sort of take that into account. I mean, having said that, there are families here that do it. And, you know, there are ways of doing it. It suits me down to the ground. I can’t, in London is very, when I used to live, not too far from where you are at the moment, I think. You know, it was very interesting. At the age I was in, I would have been in my mid, mid for early for early 40s, early 40s, mid 40s. And I had a lot of friends in London, as you might imagine, during my 20s and 30s. They just all left, because they couldn’t afford it. And I’m from the south east, I’m actually from Kent, and everyone from everyone there is left as well because they can’t afford it. So I went to Thailand. And of course, when you’re a foreigner, you meet other foreigners. And you just there’s something about dropping yourself in a foreign country. out of necessity, you just meet people and it just you just go into a coffee shop and start talking and you’ve met someone and they’re a friend. And I remember coming back after the first free months in Thailand 2014. I came back to see my family for Christmas. And of course my poor mom wanted me to come back to England. And I said, I remember saying to my dad, I said I’ve got more friends in Thailand and I do have in the whole of England and only been there for for three months. It’s it worked out for me. And I you know, it’s a subject that I find very interesting. of obviously, everything’s in the air now it’s we got COVID you know, you don’t come to Thailand. Now. It’s just not a good time. And, you know, I will revisit this that this subject again it you know, feel free to ask me any questions. But there’s a lot of technicalities, as there’s phases, there’s bank accounts and all these things that you’ve got sought out. However, it can’t be done. Well. I mean, I’ve got this is my laptop here. I’m talking to you. I do everything on my laptop, write books, make videos, get course it’s technically it can be done. Yes, absolutely.
Well, I think I might need to get you back on just to talk about that specific topic because it’s such a big one. Now, coming to the end, because obviously you need to go and get your $1 food, which I’m sure it probably tastes much nicer than it sounds is $1 here. Get you that much to be honest. Yeah, maybe if Greg’s pies have a special on or something. But bringing things up to date. Now. I saw you You posted a video on YouTube. And you talked about how, you know, you’ve done lots of different things. And actually, one of the problems of being more entrepreneurial, is that you’re attracted to that. It’s like, Oh, you know, books or courses? Oh, let’s sell some stuff on Amazon, you know, and, again, all of these things add up to a passive income. But you’re obviously at this point now, where there’s that question of, you know, jack of all trades, master of none thing? Or do you spread yourself too thin, even by trying to master too many topics and too many different things. So tell us a little bit about the the point you’re at now. And the some of the kind of decisions you’re having to make about, you know, what to pursue, and what not to pursue?
Yeah, this, this is all going on. And this is why I say so much the you know, what sort of person you are, and how old you are, your gender, your, your, your marital situation, if it’s all going to come into it, when we’re not all the same. And also, I find now that I think everything, there’s no such thing as good and bad, you know, I think you’re good points in in one year, something that’s a character flaw that you have, can become an advantage in another time, you know, like, I was really bad at school, because I didn’t like to be told what to do. And I like to do things on my own. You know, that’s not good. If you want to, if you went to my school, however, it was good for my entrepreneurial career. So to answer your question, yeah, I mean, so what happened was, in the last three or four years ago, also, things have been great, the money’s coming in. And I took on too many things. I mean, I was doing, you know, as I say, we could talk on and on and on about the different products I had. And then I went on, even on to things that didn’t involve my brand, which I wanted to do, because what we were talking about earlier, and you know, this is not rob cabin, this is separate. And I can maybe sell this business as well, I can flip this business. So I was selling t shirts and other types of books that didn’t have my name on it. Other types of merchandise. And so I did, I definitely did overload myself. And I, you know, as I say, I kept on spinning a lots of plates, and then one of them fell off. And then they all did and it you know, over a period of time, and then all of a sudden, I thought oh my god, what I actually don’t want to do anything now. What am I gonna do you know, what, what’s life all about? So, you know, that, again, this is another huge other topic of conversation. We’re all different mark, and we all got to be and everything has changed. You know, just because you’ve been successful at something at one time. It doesn’t mean you’re, you’re not going to carry on that way, especially not in this in this world with technology moving so fast. And, and all these things happening. So I don’t think, oh, I’ll tell you one thing, I mean, education, educating yourself, that never stops, never, never, you know, don’t believe if somebody says you, you’re great, you’re doing well, you know that you’ve done this, don’t believe it, because, you know, yet it can all come crashing down the next day. And that’s not a bad thing. You know, it’s probably a good for us to take stock and appreciate the change and learn to accept it. And, you know, try and work things out again, at every stage of our lives and reinvent ourselves and see what comes up. So
on the I mean, obviously, I think we’ve a lot of people can identify with that idea almost kind of taking on too much. You know, almost it kind of overwhelming you and then it stops being fun at certain points, and you then have to figure out okay, what am I actually trying to achieve here and stepping back looking big picture. There’ll be maybe somebody listening to this and thinking, Okay, yeah, one thing that Rob’s really good at is he can kind of spot trends. He sees you know, the the Kindle books, he gets in there, he sees the online courses the he gets in there, and even the SEO on the website, but you know, I’ve missed a boat. It’s you know, the glory days have gone and, you know, it would have would have been great thing to do 510 years ago, but actually now producing a book or a course it’s just, it’s all oversaturated This is just not a great idea. What’s your take on where we are now with this whole kind of using your knowledge and expertise to make a living like where do you think we are now? And where do you see this going? Because obviously again, the lockdowns have forced a lot of people To learn things online and maybe read and have to reinvent themselves or learn new skills. So do you. I mean, first of all, you know, is it too late for somebody starting now? And secondly, where do you think this is going over the next five years?
Yeah, I mean, the first thing to say is it’s definitely not too late. Because what you said, you said very kindly, he said, I’m good at spotting new trends. And I’ve said, I’ll tell you, every time I’ve Kindles, I copied a guy called Steve Scott, the Udemy, I copied a lady called Tara Roscoe. And every everything I copied someone else to do. So I mean, it wasn’t as if I was, you know, I didn’t spot the trend I just had maybe just just kept my eye on on certain people, you know, influences, I guess you they wouldn’t even call it versus those days. But, you know, I followed certain bloggers who, who were very good at finding the next thing. And then I went on to and yes, I mean, what I did, writing Kindles, I suppose, I guess I started Kindles in 2012. And I started the website in 2005. But yeah, I mean, there’s more to it, there’s more to writing a book than just, you know, being bestseller and like making loads of money. I mean, you write a book, you can take it to conferences, and give it to people and say, Oh, look, this is my book, it’s free. I mean, that doesn’t say, you can buy it, but you can buy your own book from Amazon, you put your put the price down, right, to the lowest it can go and then buy it and then put the price back up. So it doesn’t it’s only going to be $6. I don’t know what the minimum is something like that. And, and so you’ve got that book, and you can show it. That’s great for your career, you know, I mean, they don’t know that nobody’s bought it. You know, it looks great. It’s it’s a paperback book. I mean, people couldn’t do that. Not even well, definitely 20 years ago, they can do, you know, they’d have to find a publisher and all that rubbish. And you can do it for free. So, you know, it’s not just about being successful. It’s, and this is pertinent to what we were just talking about, it’s about being happy, isn’t it? life’s about being happy. It’s not about making money, because we all think we all think if we get money, oh, well, we’ll be happy when you make money. But actually, that’s not the that’s not the truth. And so, you know, that that would be Do it, do it if you want to, if you want to write a book, if you think that will make you happy that then do it, you know, don’t do it to make money. So that would be a good way of, because I understand the the what you’re talking about, you know, think feeling that you missed the boat, because I think that all the time. So maybe an answer would be is there. Is there some other thing other reason that it makes you happy to create this content? Does it make you happy to create this content? I think that’s that’s, that’s a good avenue to go down.
So actually enjoy the process of doing it and not be too tied to is it successful is not, I don’t think that’s the lesson from, you know, like you said about producing the books, you know, some of them worked, some of them didn’t work. But it’s getting stuff out there. And, you know, seeing what sticks. And I think, you know, to sum up, what I like about your approach is that you sort of demystify things in the sense of you know, it’s not that hard to make a book, you know, you write 500 words, and we’ll check the maths later on that. You write a book, and you can do this with the course it doesn’t need to be something that takes years. If there’s something specific, you know, you can do it, there’s a platform that will put it out for you keep it really simple. And I think that’s a really great message in the sense that if even if you do go on to more complicated things later, that there are a lot of people not producing courses, not writing books, even though it would benefit them and they might enjoy it, because they see it as this huge hurdle, huge obstacle. And I think one of the things that you’ve shown is that if you try and keep things simple and focused, you can actually produce quite a lot of stuff. And it can help you achieve the kind of lifestyle that you’re leading there in Thailand. So before I let you go for your $1 food, which I’m intrigued now to see what that looks like. If somebody wants to find out more about you, I know that you’re all over the place, different books, different things. What’s the best place to go to find out more about you?
Right, well, yeah, so probably just as I said earlier, if you Google my name, so that’s Rob, and the surname is cu double b o n Rob coven. And then you can get into my site, Rob coven.com. And you could sign up to my free newsletter because I am going to do a newsletter every month from now on. I wish I could do it more often. But the it’s cheaper if I just do it once a month. And I’m going to talk about you know what the future holds for me how I’m going to get my mojo back and I’m what I’m doing, in order to stay to stay sane in this pandemic we find ourselves in. I mean, it’s not it’s not really about, but that but, you know, it will be about online business as well.
Yeah, well, obviously, you know, that’s one of the points of this podcast is sharing people’s journey. Because when you sometimes just see somebody course or something, see a little clip of them, you’ve sometimes get a sense that either This is easy, or this is really difficult, or it’s people living in Thailand never have any problems and they just sit on the beach with their toes lapping against the water, as I said earlier. And I think that’s one of the great things about being able to have these kind of conversations is you get to understand why people did certain things, how it made them feel, and actually what how that affects your life and your happiness. Because at the end of the day, everything that we do in our work should be related to what we’re trying to achieve generally. So it’s I really appreciate your time I feel bad keeping you from that food now especially it’s so cheap, maybe you spend an extra 50 cents and get a dessert you know, live it up. But yeah, it’s been great talking to you and maybe some time we’ll get get you back on and go really deep or maybe just that one topic which is living remotely, you know, doing the kind of laptop Nomad lifestyle lindam how you do that. So, thanks again for your time. If you want to get started showing up on video and sharing your expertise, head over to Mark Egan video comm to access some of my free training. Don’t forget to join the knowledge industry group on Facebook. And if you want to connect head to http://www.markeganvideo.com