Rather than posting content on all kinds of social media, business owners should treat their websites as a marketing hub. The SEO Ninja Phil Singleton believes that a holistic digital marketing plan is key for more visibility in search results. By looking at your website as a marketing platform, customers will comeback for the content that they only had a taste of from on your social media.

Our guest wrote the book literally on search engine optimization. He joined forces with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing as coauthors. In fact, some people call him the SEO Ninja. His journey is what makes him who he is today.

55: Smart. Modern. Aligned. The Holistic Digital Marketing Plan with Phil Singleton

Welcome, Phil Singleton, to the show.

Thank you so much, Mitch. I’m so happy to be here.

I love you telling me a little bit about some of the cool stuff you’re doing. I want to get to that because I think every entrepreneur needs to have interests that not only keep him going but allow him to escape from the constant battle of small business and work that tethered to your phone. If it’s okay with you, Phil, why don’t we go back to the beginning and start really as how you became an entrepreneur and how you got into business?

I guess you consider myself an internet marketer and a web designer but I’m a complete outsider. I took a really winding path to where I am today. I went to school and got a degree in finance and that’s where my initial exposure to business. Right out of school, I got a job with an insurance company of all places. It wasn’t because I wanted to be in the insurance industry and like that. It just happened at the time it was one of the companies that I interviewed with right out of school on campus. It was a nice, decent paying job. I felt really fortunate at that time just to be able to step into a corporate position with benefits and all that stuff right out of school. What I quickly realized going into this thing three years I was there is it was just like, “This is just not for me.” The days got really long. I noticed I was walking into a beige building with beige carpet into a beige cubicle every day. I looked around at guys that didn’t look like they love what they were doing, almost like corporate zombies type of thing. It was into that third year, I was like, “This is just not what I want to be doing the rest of my life.”

On the other hand, you start doing okay early on and start making more money. I think what I felt was my life started to get pulled down this path. I was only coming out of school in my twenties but it felt like where I was almost learning a skill set or an industry and making enough money where if I didn’t make a change or I kept on the path, I was going to end up being one of these guys who were doing this their entire lives who didn’t really seem to have a lot of passion. What I ended up doing is really at the end of that third year, I quit, packed my bags up and ended up moving to Taipei, Taiwan to study Mandarin Chinese; huge, huge change. I think my parents and friends literally thought I’ve lost my mind. I just figured if I didn’t make some giant leap or change that I was going to start living somebody else’s life or going down somebody else’s destiny type of thing.

Phil, this is not uncommon. What’s cool about your story is the distance that you moved. As an entrepreneur, I was raised and born in Brooklyn, New York and I had all kinds of little businesses including a rock band growing up. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I said, “I need to put some distance between me and everybody who knows me. I need to recreate myself in a new light. I don’t want the reminders of who I was around,” not that I was a bad person or anything. I just figured it was time to do it. I picked up and I drove to Boston and took a job in a computer company, which was a complete transplant for me. I completely relate to you. How long did you stay in China?

YFTC 055 | Holistic Digital Marketing Plan

Holistic Digital Marketing Plan: If I didn’t make some giant leap or change, I was going to start living somebody else’s life or going down somebody else’s destiny.

I was there for a little over two years. I ended up actually meeting my eventual wife, and I got into grad school, moved back to the States for a little while. Then immediately out of grad school, I got a job that took me back to Taipei, Taiwan. I was there totally probably over ten years. Here’s what I’ll tell you where I think was one of the groundbreaking things for me. When I got out of school even though I had a job, for some reason when I got jumped into that corporate world, I became all sorts of problems with anxiety. It was probably lack of confidence, low self-esteem. I had a lot of problems; actually even just talking to people in a professional sense. I got nervous, worried about how people were thinking of me how I was talking, “Was I able to pull it off? Was I learning enough?” I didn’t have a lot of confidence. It was one of those things also, I think that probably prompted me to move.

What ended up happening over the course of my time in Asia is I went to a new place where people didn’t speak English. I learned to speak the language semi-fluently, ended up having a good career there that led into an entrepreneurial opportunity. At that time, going from a scared basically young man that could barely put two sentences together, making that change and I think being able to prove to myself that I could pretty much do anything that I put my mind to, gave me an unbelievable amount of confidence that I think has really helped me to this day. After doing that and going through that process, I just all of a sudden had confidence that I never had or never thought I would have type of a deal. That was one of those things that makes you want to make one of these changes that you think the people you might know might be second-guessing what you’re doing. I think for me, it ended up being one of the things I can look back on and saying that change really helped set the tone and gave me the confidence I need to really succeed at anything. It gives me confidence in being a parent. It gives me confidence in being a relative or a son or a friend and also a business owner and an entrepreneur.

First of all, I want to acknowledge and thank you for bringing this up. This is a problem with many of us as entrepreneurs. Anxiety is a real problem. My daughter is struck with severe anxiety. She’s been working on taking care of herself to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with her life. We’re usually young when we start out as entrepreneurs so self-esteem is a big issue. The fact that you brought it up really means a lot to me. I want to thank you, Phil, for doing that because I think we can relate. That’s what makes it so easy to see you really as you are. You’re a guy who, like the rest of us, didn’t start out with a lot of confidence and didn’t quite know where they were going to go and just followed your heart. That took you to a faraway place and there it was that you uncovered the true power and strength in yourself. That’s a great story. Phil, thanks for bringing that up.

What ended up happening is a software company fell on my lap, ended up learning a lot about how the internet and Google worked. We ended up selling that. It ended up being a nice little entrepreneurial venture for me that had a nice payday. In my 30’s, it wasn’t one of these things where I couldn’t live in another 70 years and not be able to quit and buy islands type of thing. What ended up happening is I want to start a family. I moved back to the States, moved back to Kansas City because I have some extended roots here. What ended up happening there is I was tumbling around and trying to figure out, “We want to start a family, what should I be doing?” I had started this one website. Again, I’m an outsider. I got a D in Computer Science. I did have some pretty good entrepreneurial experience through Asia and that gave me a lot of confidence. I learned a lot about Google at the software company I was running and ended up selling in Taiwan. Even though I was more of an admin person than not like a coder or a web designer or a software person, I did know quite a bit about business.

What ended up happening is I bought a car for fun in Kansas City, ended up working with this auto detailer. He’s one of these guys that sold auto details for $25 to auto dealership around Kansas City for basically nothing. I said, “Why don’t you get your own website up? You could maybe start selling to the end-user, the consumer, and sell your services for several times at $100, $200 of sale.” I wouldn’t have done this when I was young but at that point I felt like I had a lot of confidence. I learned, picked up Microsoft FrontPage which you may have heard of, a lot of people haven’t that are new to them. It’s gone now. Literally, self-studied my way over a couple of days, created a very simple primitive website, got this guy online and ranked it very quickly. This was 2005.

I just remembered this very day where he called me up and almost sounded like he had tears in his voice. He was like, “Phil, you’ve changed my business. You’ve changed my life. I’ve never just thought we’d be able to get this much business.” At that moment in time I was like, “Wow.” I’m in my 30’s already but I felt like I finally know what I want to do when I grew up. I’ve got my purpose. I’m able to actually make this guy probably the most rewarding business experience that I’ve ever had, one. Two, also the realization of, “I can make money off this and I can make some pretty good money.” That was the turning point. To think that a guy that was almost paralyzed by anxiety with a D in Computer Science, half-way around the world to Asia back to the Midwest. One Frontpage website basically launches what I have today, which is a thriving digital business. It’s branched out into lots of different little entrepreneurial adventures as well.

To me, there is an element of divine intervention here. I always see the world through the eyes of the external. To me, life is symbolic. We live life from the perspective of what would happen if the world just completely realigned itself to support us. From that perspective, a lot of cool things can happen. That’s what it sounds like happened to you. Don’t get me wrong, I know you worked hard. I know you had to learn an antiquated piece of software and it wasn’t even your forte. I know what you went through but the coolest part here is that this is one of those setups where your determination set up the universe to align for you. It sounds like that’s what happened with this first client of yours back in 2005. It’s a great story.

It just comes down to having some confidence. Also to some degree, I think opportunities are all over the place. It just comes down to taking actions sometimes. Sometimes it feels like, “I’m going to do this and try it and make it happen.” Sometimes that works. It was literally a whim to do that. All that happened was, “I’m going to take this. I don’t care if it’s going to burn up a couple of days or a week. I don’t have to even spend money on it. I’m going to determine to do it.” I just took action on it.

You knew it had more of a meaning than just getting a guy a couple of extra jobs. You knew in your gut that this had some meaning to you because you were enjoying it and because you felt like this was going to take some effort and you wanted to spend the time and effort to learn it. I think it’s all a matter of alignment. You got aligned, you saw something you felt comfortable doing and you just attacked it until you got it done. Let’s talk a little bit about SEO, Phil. After all, you are the SEO Ninja. I want to know what does it take to take a site that’s doing okay and get it fully SEOed, if that’s a term.

It’s really been an interesting ride because the first fifteen years of Google’s existence and the rise of search engine optimization, which to most people really is to show up on the first page or at the top of the list for Google. It has been all about almost trying to do these under the hood-type things on the website, work on content, tweak things. Basically, try and game it a little bit to increase your chances. For a long, long time actually, it was about trying to get third party websites to link back to yours based on volume without regard the quality or relevance or trust or anything like that. Many, many years, it was like that. What ended up happening about five years ago is Google basically dropped the nuclear bomb with their algorithms and started to make these punitive changes. It used to be almost this mentality where, “Do all this. You can throw it against the wall and we’ll count what sticks,” type of thing. About five years ago, they took a different attack on that and said, “Go ahead and throw whatever you do but the stuff that falls to the floor, we’re going to actually penalize you for that.”

They started to really reverse the things. If you were doing things to game the system or try to take shortcuts on your website or do volume-based link building for example, you could really penalize yourself and your clients. That really made huge changes over four, five, six years ago when they started to implement these, we call them punitive algorithm changes. Really good in some ways because it changed the behavior of the way people did digital marketing in general, but it brought a lot of stuff where these SEO things were happening. People were just basically writing checks to third parties and hoping for the best. It actually brought a lot of this gaming back on shore and made SEO more of a consulting-base service, which is how it should be. I think it still has a black eye from all of the stuff because people still cold call and hammer people and make promises.

The thing that actually really has changed behavior and really made SEO more exciting now is Google’s approach to how they actually start ranking websites and that is, they’re not just looking at stuff on the website or coding or shortcuts and that kind of stuff. They’re not just trying to calculate how many backlinks you have. They’re actually looking at things that start to look like a holistic digital marketing plan and that is your content on your website. Are you blogging? Are you extending? Are you providing good information? Are you doing things that make yourself an authority in the niche that you’re in? Are you working on reputation via testimonials and online reviews and review sites? Are you participating in social media and building an audience and being active in general? All the things that they’re doing had become really good at reaching out into the rest of the internet and calculating, generating scores based on things that start to look like digital marketing in general. It starts to look a lot less like SEO and a lot more like smart modern digital marketing. That’s really what’s become exciting and reinvigorated me in this process and really got me linked up with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing and that was, “Let’s take off our technical SEO blinders and just on these few technical things that used to move the needle in terms of getting visibility on Google and now we can start looking at the grander scheme marketing.”

The great thing is that if you focus on your website in a holistic marketing strategy and align these things up and start developing like a Google mindset, instead of what a lot of companies end up doing which is they’ll do just these tactical hip shots. They’re like, “I need more business. I’m going to try SEO or I’m going to try AdWords. I’m going to try social media.” They try these things without tying it all together. What’s really happened with SEO and I think Google in general is that it’s been a great way, if you understand how Google works, to tie all of your digital marketing together in a way where you can get 5X or 10X instead of these 1X or 0X hip shots that you can do just to swing at the fence.

I lived through some of those earthquakes of Google algorithm changes. I was in masterminds and I heard people complaining how their whole business has gone down the drain. To me, I understood them to believe that Google was simply trying to make the internet better, to be making search more valuable to the people who are using it. When people finally caught on to that, I think most people agreed and said, “Yeah. Now, I understand why they did that even though I didn’t like it when it first happened.” Let’s get a little tactical here, Phil. What I want to know is if I have a website and I have a couple of social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., how do I tie these things together other than simply posting? What do you do that’s different?

The example, again, some businesses are going to resonate with and others won’t. A big thing that we see across the board week in and week out is people treat their websites still as digital brochures so they become these static digital brochure sites. If they do anything, they tend to post their best content or any content they have to one social media channel perhaps like Facebook, “I’ve got something cool, I’ve got to get a picture. I’ve got to post.” They put it up on Facebook where it essentially dies. It’s got one chance to go through that social media stream and pick up an eye and then it goes and disappears down the stream. The right way to do that in an SEO Google sense would be to actually post that content up on your website, share the link back out to social media and all your channels especially Facebook, and have them force basically people to come back to get the rest of the content so that then you can have a call to action on your website, have an email subscription, Facebook pixel so that you can retarget them on Facebook again and the AdWords retarget them so you can stalk them on top media size and that kind of stuff. It’s things like that where you’re trying to treat your website as your marketing hub as the referral source for all your best content rather than randomly just trying to post these things directly to other places. That’s exactly what we’re trying to tell people, “You’ve got to look at your website as a marketing platform as a place to store your body of work through the content you create, then reach out to other places in a way that folks can come back to the website so you get all sorts of ways to track them, to remarket to them, to gauge the engagement that’s on your website and make it better.”

YFTC 055 | Holistic Digital Marketing Plan

Holistic Digital Marketing Plan: Social media is the one real time shot you have to launch a piece of content. Then it’s gone.

What ends up happening, social media, a lot of people spend a lot of time on that. To me, it’s the one real time shot you have to launch a piece of content then it’s gone. In general, it’s hard to find that content again if it’s only posted on social media through a search. Most people searched for solutions to problems on a search engine like Google. If that great content that you have is posted up on a social media channel just once or twice and you had that real time shot of it, if it’s not back on your website or has a chance to get indexed in the search engine so it becomes the solution to a problem that somebody hasn’t even thought about yet, then you lose that opportunity. I’ll look at your website and Google is the way to reach stuff that’s already been put out there. Social media is a way to reach people right now but you have to tie it all together to make it work. That’s one tactical piece that really makes a lot of sense with people. I do get that.

First of all, by some crazy miracle of synergy I think I got this right. If you go to YourFirstThousandClients.com, it’s really a page on MitchRusso.com. Every web, every podcast is posted to Libsyn and then back to a page on my site. Then every social media posts is about and links to that same show page. Did I lose you?

No. That’s the exact way that you do it. You’d be surprised, because I’ve been doing some podcasts about how many podcasters still only post the content up on the distribution channels and don’t make their website or at least a website where they’re creating another digital asset, a place to gain some more search engine value.

When I started a podcast, I got advised to create a separate website for my podcast and I said, “No.” Instinctively, I want all that SEO juice coming back to my authority site, MitchRusso.com, so I built the site literally like a website but as a page on my core site. Then from there, there’s my blog, there’s my testimonial page, there’s my live appearances page and all that other stuff. It’s from the website so I know that a lot of people have pretty much followed my path. I bet a lot of people could probably take this interview and make some very simple changes and they have a lot of power to their Google search. How do we go to the next step? What is the next step, Phil?

Lots of different ways you can take it. Obviously, the first thing to do is if you have a website, you want to make sure that you’ve got at least the basics on-page optimization setup. I think anybody can do that. People can read up on that. A lot of times people, just by not having the latest, greatest, basic on-page optimization method installed on their website, they can actually uncork some values. An example would be Google’s made a big push to put schema, a structured data on websites, which is basically just an extended way to tag data on your website. The better your content is tagged with Google, the more chance that it has to display the content in search results. An example of schema would be somebody has a review on their website, if they tag it correctly, you’ll see the star ratings actually show up in the search results or you’ll see an event time or a search box or you’ll see a lot more information or information that gets pulled up actually maybe as an answer box or a knowledge panel up in there because it’s been tagged in a way that Google gives the site more trust. There are things like that you can do that just to provide better communication to Google that can give you more visibility and even higher rankings if you just take the on-page optimization to make sure that you keep up with Google.

Let me give you an example that we use all the time that just gets us a lot more bang for the buck. To me, it’s thinking with an SEO mindset or thinking like Google and that’s this. I still think blogging is really super important. It’s a core part of all inbound marketing. One of the things we do with our clients that gets them many more times of value out of just doing a weekly blog post is that we create a blog series for them that’s maybe ten or fifteen posts. We do it so in a way that it would be maybe fifteen posts but structured as a table of contents so that they get the weekly posts, they get posted on the website, they get distributed to social media. At the end of that ten or fifteen weeks, we then stitch those together into an eBook. The eBook is then use for a call to action because we choreographed it in a way that makes sense that’s going to be an attractive piece of the content. Then further, we take that eBook and then we turn it into a Kindle. The Kindle is then published up on Amazon. We create and make our clients authors in their space and get an author page, so then we’ve got this eBook that we created again because we had some intention behind it and some planning. We did the same amount of work, it’s not a whole lot of extra work to do this.

What we ended up doing is we created a piece of content that can help leverage our clients and give them the appearance and actually make them an authority in their niche. If you’ve got a landscaper, all of a sudden this landscaper becomes an author. It raises their authority in their local niche. Then we also get a nice piece of high-production value of content that we can use to make a press release or perhaps even get them leveraged on to channels like podcasts and things like that because now they’ve got something that’s a launch-able piece of content that actually has some production value into it. Again, not a whole lot of extra work. We’ve thought about this the way I think Google thinks about it which is having some intention behind it. Instead of just doing a blog post a week or ten blog posts, it would never be able to stitch together or have this follow on cascade of win-wins, you just get that one time hit and you lose a lot of the follow-on potential. It’s things like that where you think, “How can we do things once or twice but then get multiple, true and be able to repurpose in some ways that actually have a return on investment?” It’s stuff like that where you can really get many times the return versus just that one time hit.

It’s such a great tip. This is terrific tactical activities that people can take. Let’s say that now we’re going to create this blog series and it’s going to be ten posts. Do you want those ten posts coming out weekly or do you want them coming out faster than weekly?

I think that’s okay. Generally for the clients that we serve, we try and get people to post weekly. Sometimes if you’re posting a series, it’s so specific that you still might want to pepper in something that’s off of that topic so you’re not just being so siloed into one content piece. In our case, we’re really trying to publish a book out once a year for most of our clients because it does take some time and effort to get them together. It can be more. It just depends on your plan. We’ve got a couple of clients that want to get them out faster, so we’re putting them out once or twice a week or even more. It just depends. To me, if you’re doing SEO and you buy in to growing your website organically, it’s more important to drip feed the content in your website on an ongoing basis. Google sees that you’re adding content and they’re going to crawl it because they know you’ve got a predictable flow of new content come into the site versus saying, “I’m going to load up ten blog posts this week and then not do one for ten months.”

Do you indicate in each of those blog posts that this is six of ten, seven of ten, and do you link back to the earlier five that you already covered? Or do you let it stand alone and later link it together?

Websites, we’re always trying to crosslink and interlink because that’s an on-page optimization strategy, to link to third party websites but also link to other pages on your site that are a reference for those posts. I downplay the series on the website. It’s basically an invisible series. I do that because the eBook is going to be a call to action on the website and the blog posts are already published. The extent that you don’t already draw attention like, “These are these ten blog posts,” that type of thing, enables you to get some value out of there which are still packaging it together in a nice, attractive way. Those posts still might be living in the archive and find directly if you search, but we don’t try and draw attention to be like, “It’s actually the series right here that we’re highlighting.” I guess it could be done that way but that’s just not the way we do it.

I remember at the Traffic & Conversion, I think Ryan Deiss covered this a little bit and talked a little bit about having blog posts never be standalone but always be part one of six or part two of six. I think he was advocating linking them. It’s great to hear two perspectives on this. I love the idea that you didn’t do something with single intention, you did it with multiple intentions. You have a plan that goes beyond just a blog post. That’s really, really cool. This is great information. If you hear Phil talking about the stuff, take it for granted that this is very quality information and just do it. I know I am, I’m going to implement what Phil is talking about. Phil, I love what you’re saying here. It makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk a little bit about your company. Tell me what the name of your company is and how people can find you.

The agency that we started here just to do web design stuff, and my passion is internet marketing and SEO and helping small businesses. Web design to me is a little bit of a grind but it’s the car. The car has to be fast. You have to get that piece right. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it at all. It’s just one of those things where it has to be done. It started with KCWebDesigner.com. That’s where it all started. That’s where most of our local traffic comes from. Ironically enough, I used to be able to rank number one for Kansas City SEO and Kansas City Web Design on one site. Competition has gotten harder and more competitive over the years, so I actually split them up. I’ve got KCSEOPro.com, which is again siloed for search engine and internet marketing. The more services that you start adding on to your website, you dilute the SEO potential on it. When things get really competitive, sometimes it makes sense to separate them out. Plus, if somebody searches for “Kansas City SEO or SEO services in my area,” they land on a site that’s basically exclusive to internet marketing. It just makes us look more specific in that one. Same with web design. Those are two things you can take a look at just to see how I’ve done it here.

YFTC 055 | Holistic Digital Marketing Plan

Holistic Digital Marketing Plan: The more services that you start adding on to your website, you dilute the SEO potential on it.

The interesting thing on this is it’s been a great very successful, high growth operation that we’ve had here in Kansas City. We’re a boutique agency but we get a lot of traffic anywhere from five to fifteen inbound leads a day for people who are looking for all sorts of services. It’s done I think really well bigger than I thought we could get it. That being said, I knew there was no way to actually scale what I’m having and say open up a branch of Kansas City web design in Atlanta in this kind of stuff because this is just not the way the business works. What we did is I ended up writing this book with John Jantsch called SEO for Growth. I used this blog strategy where I was like, “I’m going to write a book,” it’s never really even today about writing the book. It’s about how you leverage it into other things, creating authority, giving access to other people.

Out of the ten things that we created the book for, the number one reason that I did it was to try and create an authority website that we could then use to build a network of child sites around the country that were specific to SEO services. I’m going to give you an example. We set a site originally called Denver SEO For Growth. It’s a child site that’s got a bunch of localized specific information for Denver SEO services. We did one for St. Louis, Atlanta and a couple of other cities. If you type up for example, St. Louis SEO, that child site ranks number one for St. Louis SEO in St. Louis. We got these little child site domains that we set up with the purpose of using the book to leverage the authority, to get the backlinks, all that traffic to it and then create these child sites around it where we could create a network where I could actually license them out to other digital agencies who aren’t so strong in getting SEO leads from the website. Then found a way to work with John to then almost scale my business in a way that made more sense through licensing arrangement.

We set up one in St. Louis and Atlanta and we did a webinar, got fifteen more cities. We’re bathing that up and hopefully at the end of the year, we’re going to launch it out to the rest of the world and have a hundred cities. That’s been an exciting thing. A guy get a D in Computer Science, could barely talk, did one FrontPage website about twelve years ago and now I’m the ninja, trying to be anyway. I’m having the time of my life. I tell people when I was in my insurance job, I wake up, I look at the clock, it’s 9:00 so I have to go to work. Now, I wake up at 5:00 every morning. It feels like I’m super motivated because I really love what I’m doing. I’ve got a lot of passion for it and it’s just fun. It’s not even all about the money. It is good money but I’m just having the time of my life doing it.

When I sold my company and I moved in to work with the people who bought it, I ended up accepting the position as Chief Operating Officer after my earn out was over. It was so miserable for me that I had to actually take aspirin every day before going to work to ward off the headache I knew was coming. It was miserable. I would relish the time that I got to close my office door and just block out all of the bullshit going on in that place. For me, I totally hear you. To not be in sync with your true self and to be fully on purpose is more painful in my opinion than sometimes struggling for a while until you get there. Phil, it sounds like you finally found that place.

It’s a weird place to be where you actually have a good salary, a good thing and you’re miserable. At the end of the day, we do whatever we have to do to take care of our families. If I have to go back in insurance, I would do it tomorrow because that’s what it takes type of thing. At the end of the day, when things aren’t like that and it’s just tough to be in a spot where you just don’t want to be there and you’re unhappy. If you can figure out a way to find out what your passion is and make that a career, it really does make a big difference.

Here’s the difference. Entrepreneurs can work half-days. If you’re going to spend eight hours at work, there’s four more hours you could spend after you put the kids to bed on your business, even if you had to go work.

This the thing that really excites me about today and about people in general. When I got out of school, I literally had to jump in to Asia with no safety net not knowing what I’m doing. Now, there are so many things out there that you can experiment for almost no money or very little money in terms of the gig economy and trying to hire people on to do these little side projects. You can side hustle all day long. If you’ve got an itch or a good idea, there’s not a whole lot of money you’ve got to throw at something to test something out, which we didn’t have fifteen years ago.

My daughter is a millennial. She’s 22 years old. She just graduated college with a fancy degree. She works three jobs and she does a moonlight editing that she picks up on both Fiverr and Upwork. She’s the typical millennial. The fact is she says, “This is hard work but I’m really getting in with the right people now and I’m doing some great work for just a little bit of money but ultimately this is where I’m building my portfolio.” She’s already published one book. She has two more books that she’s coming out with. I’m really proud of her. It illustrates the point. It’s like you said, you went to Asia with nothing. I came to Boston with $150 but I did at least know that I was going to have a job that following Monday morning. As young people, we all get the chance to work after we work, to come home and write for others and moonlight. Like you said, the gig economy is alive and well. Thank goodness for that. I have a question for you. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

That’s a tough one because the business one would be just too boring. I’ve got twin boys. They’ve got their own set of personalities. They’re fraternal twins. I’ve got one that’s more of the normal path and he’s socially and academically pretty much on the same scale. I’ve got the other one who’s basically behind socially quite a bit but academically just off the charts. He taught himself to read at three. Of course, there are a lot of baggage that comes with that when your brain is really good on the left side and not so good on the right side. I’m always thinking, “I love to learn some of these really super brain-fully guys that went super intelligent guys, like the Albert Einsteins. When they were young, what do they actually sound and talk like?” All we get is for these guys that have been really super beneficial to mankind and inventive is you hear the things that they invented but you don’t get a whole lot about how they were with people on family and socially and how they got through things. That’s really how I would spend it. It has nothing to do with work. That would probably be one of those guys, maybe Albert Einstein. It would be awesome to pick his brain for an hour off-topic and just figure out how he lived and dealt with people.

I’ve got to tell you a funny story, a little bit parallel to that. When I was five or six, maybe seven years old, I became fascinated with Thomas Edison. My mom took me to the local Sheepshead Bay Library. I started borrowing a book every week and a half, two weeks on Thomas Edison. I learned besides of course that he was a great inventor and all, but I learned a lot about who he was as a person. It inspired me as a little boy to want to be like him. I think it’s great to look down that path at the lives of the people that later in life have many, many contributions after their name. I think that’s a great insight you had. Here’s the grand finale question. This is the change the world question. What is it that you’re doing, by the way you don’t have to be doing it, maybe you just like to do, that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

This question when I see it, I just think that what change mean to being a better and more productive person was to find a way or have this realization where you stop worrying what other people think about you. You’ve got to listen to what other people say and take good advice and even listen to it. When you worry about what other people think about you, you give them power over you and that gives you a sense of anxiety. They’re probably not even thinking about that way but you are. I know people even to this day who gets so caught into the negative piece of it or worrying about the way the rest of the society or somebody else thinks about them or what they said. I think that can really just drag us down and make us not be the potential we are as people instead of moving forward and not thinking about it or using it as motivation. Just doing on things the way because we worry about somebody’s perception of us or something like that. I truly got to a point in my life where I do not worry at all. I think it’s really changed my life and made me a better person all the way around. I think that would change the world if you got to a point where people didn’t worry so much about other people’s perception on how they look and stuff and just worried about their own friends and family, and use that as motivation rather than something to stew on. It would probably make things better in many different areas of society and on the planet probably.

I think that’s the formula for happiness, let alone success. When you finally let go of other people’s considerations because ultimately it doesn’t matter anyway, what you get is your pure potential. Phil Singleton, you have been an amazing guest and a delight to spend time with. Thank you so much. We will talk again soon.

Thanks, Mitch. This was awesome.

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