TCC Podcast #304: Making a Big Pivot with Rick Mulready - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #304: Making a Big Pivot with Rick Mulready

On the 304th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, Rick Mulready jumps back on the show to talk about the changes and pivots he’s made over the last few years. Rick is a 7-figure business coach, online ads expert, and podcast host who has shifted to providing just one offer to his audience. This episode will walk through how he’s able to sustain his business with one offer while working just 25 hours a week.

Here’s how the episode goes:

  • Why he decided to pivot from FB ads to online business coaching.
  • How he combined two offers into one signature offer for his business.
  • What struggles he had along the way and how he overcame them (hint: mindset).
  • Lost in identity and finding the direction you want your business to go.
  • How to create profitable and optimized offers for your business – what’s needed to make them successful?
  • How to effectively listen to the needs of your audience and finding out what they need and want.
  • What does growth and success really look like?
  • Are you subconsciously sabotaging your business and revenue?
  • The effects of burnout and how to redefine how you approach your business vision.
  • Getting stuck in the dark and coping with anxiety and depression.
  • What does it take to work 25 hours a week?
  • Building a sustainable team that aligns with your values and personality.
  • What is the most valuable aspect of a business?
  • How to scale a business with just one high-ticket offer?
  • Do you need to launch forever?
  • Niche vs broad – where should you start?

Tune into the episode or read the transcript below.

The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

The Accelerator Waitlist
Join the Flip the Switch Workshop
The Copywriter Think Tank
Kira’s website
Rob’s website
Rick’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Free month of Brain.FM
Episode 88 

Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh:  You ever get tired of what you’re doing? Maybe you’ve been working in a particular niche so long that it’s not just easy, but almost boring, or maybe you’ve been working with a particular client and it has become so familiar that every time you sit down to write for them, you’re seated solidly in the middle of your comfort zone and you’re not really growing. Maybe you’re feeling stuck. Our guest on The Copywriter Club podcast today is business coach and online ads expert, Rick Mulready. Rick has made a massive shift in his business since we last spoke to him and we wanted to find out why. And as we talked with Rick, we also got his advice on creating offers, mindset and how someone’s starting out today could create a business a lot like Rick’s. I think you’re going to like this one.

Kira Hug:  But before we jump into Rick’s interview, we want to share a little bit about The Copywriter Accelerator program, which we are really excited to kick off this fall. So, Rob, I’m curious what you like the most about this program.

Rob Marsh:  So I like a lot of things, especially the community. And that’s one thing that we hear over and over, is people talk about the two or three copywriters that they connect with, that they stay connected with for years afterwards. But two things that we’ve done recently, we reconfigured all of the content, rewrote everything the last time we ran the Accelerator and this time we are adding the training program, the workshop series that we just did, the P-7 training. I know that’s kind of a secret. It’s going to be a bonus as part of it, but if you’re a podcast listener, maybe we just let that out of the bag. There is so, so much good stuff here to help somebody build a business. If you’re struggling at all, if you’re trying to figure out a new niche, if you’re trying to just figure out how to make this all work, this is a killer program to help you do it.

Kira Hug:  Yes. And this is a program that we refer back to all the time. So when we’re talking to some of our think tank members who are at a different level and have been in their business for three to five years, oftentimes we say, “Okay, go back and focus on this part, your processes and go back into the Accelerator content.” So I feel like it really is everything you need on the business end to put together a copywriting business.

And it’s so foundational that I revisit it frequently. And I remind other copywriters at multiple, different levels in their business to also go back and revisit those business builders, because it’s critical to what we’re doing, especially as we pivot. And we know that running a business in 2022 requires a lot of pivots, which we’ll talk about with Rick today. So every time you pivot, you need to revisit parts of your business to make sure that it’s working for you. Even if it was working a couple of years ago, it might not be working for you today. So I like it, I guess clearly I’m biased, but I feel really good about this program.

Rob Marsh:  It’s a great program. If you want to get on the waitlist or if you’re listening to this maybe a week or so after this episode has come out, the Accelerator is actually open. Go check out or if you’re on our list, look for those emails promoting some of the workshops and the things that we’re offering around it, but make sure you check it out. Okay. Let’s hear from Rick about how he’s completely changed his business over the last three years since we last spoke to him on this podcast.

Kira Hug:  All right. So Rick, usually we ask you your entire story, but we were able to capture your story in episode 88.

Rick Mulready:  Cool. Long time ago.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. So I would love to hear, to kick this off. You’ve had some pivots, some transitions in your business?

Rick Mulready:  Yup.

Kira Hug:  Last time we spoke to you, we were talking about Facebook ads and you shifted in your business. So I would love to know what was the catalyst for those shifts as a starting point.

Rick Mulready:  Yeah, I think it was… Well, number one, to be completely honest, I was kind of tired of talking about Facebook ads all the time, honestly. And…

Rob Marsh:  How could you be tired of that fascinating, scintillating topic?

Rick Mulready:  Okay. Talking about this again. And I mean, I can teach ads even today. I can teach ads to anybody and I truly do love it, but at the same time, I was like, “Ooh, I want to talk about something else.” And so it just became this thing where I was starting to get questions more and more from… So right now, my only offer as of recording this, is my Accelerator coaching program. I’ve had it around for years, but years ago was the shell, a very small shell of what it is today. And so I remember sort of the aha moment for me was, I was sitting in a conference room where I had sort of a live event for the members and it at back then, this was four years ago, I think it was, it was just ads related. And they kept coming to me and saying, “My ads aren’t working, my ads aren’t working.” And when we would dive into it, because they thought there was something wrong with their ads set up or, “I’m doing something wrong there.”

Rick Mulready:  And so they’re like, “Well I’m not getting leads or I’m getting leads but the costs are way too high.” And so when we dove into it, nine, well almost 10 times out of 10, it was basic marketing stuff. They didn’t understand their target audience. They didn’t understand how to solve the problem that the target audience had. And it was just basic foundational marketing stuff that they didn’t understand. And on top of that, there was a whole bunch of mindset stuff going on, meaning like, “Oh, this doesn’t work.” Facebook ads stink. It’s like, “Well, no. They work and you have to keep testing.” And so long story short is that was sort of the catalyst of me starting to take a step back. And on the flip side of that, when people started getting success with their ads, they would be like, “Holy cow, my business is growing so fast, I’m working 14 hours a day. What do I do? How do I grow a team or what have you?”

Rick Mulready:  And then at that point I’m rubbing my hands together like I’m doing on video right now. Like, “All right, let’s get into that. I love talking about that.” And so what I decided to do is like, “You know what? I’m going to start to expand beyond just talking about ads.” And sort of my focus group, if you will, was my podcast. And so I was like, “I’m not going to make a name change or anything like that, I’m just going to start to sprinkle in these other topics, mindset or whatever and just kind of gauge the interest of listeners and listen to their feedback.” And it was all positive. It was all really, really good. And so that was sort of the catalyst, if you will, of me beginning to expand, and I’m more than happy to talk about how that translated into different offers and so forth. But that was sort of how it started to come about.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. This is actually a really interesting topic for me, because Kira and I talked to a lot of copywriters who want to grow beyond the basic thing that we do, copywriting for clients. That one-on-one relationship, but a lot of people have the questions like, “How do I take those first steps? Can you only grow out of experience or you start trying things and experiment and see what works and maybe you’re not always right, sometimes you’re wrong.” So how did that work for you, Rick? And there’s a lot of mindset stuff going on just even with making that shift.

Rick Mulready:  Yeah, for sure. Because up until that point, I was known as, “The Facebook ads guy.” And so, number one, I had this whole identity thing where I was like, “Who am I if I’m not just the Facebook ads person?” And then it was like, “Well, people still want to learn from me when I’m still talking about ads, but I’m also talking about these other things too.” And so Rob, that was really that first thing that I did was I started to sprinkle in other topics on the podcast. And back then, it’s the same show I have now, except I changed the name a couple of years ago and it used to be called ‘The Art of Paid Traffic.’ And so people are coming for paid traffic, but then I start sprinkling mindset or team, or what have you, or systems or what have you.

And it was fine, I did lose people for sure, but I made up for that in new listeners. It was so much more fun for me. And that really came across in how I was talking about things, in my energy and talking about things. Again, I’ve been talking about Facebook ads for… I started ads in 2010 and so it’s been a long time. So then from what I did there, I was like, “Okay, people are starting to… This is okay.” But now the real test was I want to put an offer out there that goes beyond just this. And that’s really where I got… I was very, I wouldn’t say intimidated, but I was very nervous about it, because I was like, “Oh, how is this going to be received?”

And at the time I had my Accelerator coaching program. Again, it was a fraction of what it is now, but then I also had a Facebook ads course. And I think it was 497 or something like that. And then at the time my Accelerator coaching program was 10 grand for six months. And it didn’t jive for me, the price point and it was just this ads course over here, but then there’s a coaching program that’s all the stuff. And so that’s really where I made the first leap into, “Okay, let’s go all in on this and see what happens.” And so what I did was I created a brand new offer and I took my Facebook ads course, a standalone course off the market, if you will, and put it into this new program.

And at the time it was called ‘Offer to Optimized.’ And so it was all of these things. It was team. It was your foundational marketing stuff. Yes, it was ads, but it was lead generation. It was all the things that I really wanted for the business to be about. And it was super well received. I don’t have the offer anymore, but it’s not because it didn’t work. It actually worked really, really well. And so it is just kind of taking small steps to see what the response is from your audience.

Kira Hug:  So for anyone listening, who may want to pivot or transition or feel like they’ve outgrown their title, their services, could you share maybe what you struggled with along the way, any specific struggles and anything that surprised you along the way?

Rick Mulready:  Well, the surprise there was that it was so well received. I really had no idea what to expect from people. And so that was a super, super pleasant surprise. The biggest struggle was right here as I point to my head, it was mindset. And because again, it goes back to, for so many years I had been, quote, “The Facebook ads guy.” I was known as that. So then it’s my identity. I feel like, “Wait a minute, people are going to think I’m not doing that anymore, so I lose that.”

I lose all the stuff that I built, if you will, from a reputation standpoint up to that point, which isn’t truly the case at all and we can have a whole other discussion about identity and that we are not our business and all that stuff, but that’s what I was going through and that was the biggest struggle for me was, “Who am I now? And how does the business do? Can I still scale this business by moving away from what got me here?” And I had to really align with, “You know what? Where do I want this going? And what do I want to be doing in the business for the next several years?” And I knew that it wasn’t just Facebook ads and I will also mention, and it’s very relevant to this day, it was several years ago, it was a case of Facebook went through…they go through this roller coaster of shutting accounts down with zero… You try to log in one day and it’s like you’ve been locked. You’ve been shut down, with no reason whatsoever. And over the past several years there’s been… It tends to happen in big chunks of time where it happens over a few months and whatever. So I always had this fear of my account getting shut down and just being that my business was solely focused on one platform. And then it became, obviously, Instagram. That really freaked me out that the whole business was tied on one platform. And that was another catalyst like, “Mm, you know what? Maybe I want to start thinking about expanding beyond it.” But that was the biggest struggle along the way, was wrapping my mindset around it.

Rob Marsh:  We definitely want to come back to mindset, but you were talking about creating those initial offers and offer creation is such a huge part of what we do as copywriters, helping our clients actually create offers people want to buy. I think oftentimes the biggest problem with ads not working is just, it’s an offer nobody wants. So maybe we can take a few minutes and just talk about your approach to creating offers, maybe some of those first offers that you created as you started to change your business, but also what does an offer absolutely have to have so the people will say yes to it.

Rick Mulready:  That’s a great question. So with that original offer, I call it OTO, Offer to Optimized. Again, I don’t offer it anymore, but what went into that was, I basically just took all the questions I’d been asked over the years. Not that I had it documented, that would’ve been too smart, but I had them… Just, I know what people were asking about and I was very clear, number one on who this was for. So once I was clear on who it was for, then I worked backwards from there and then created, “Okay, what is the promise of this course? So what do I want them to get out of this program?” And once I figured that out, then it was, “How do I want this to be different from every other program out there?” And so that’s really where the differentiating factor came in.

And I think there’s, from an offer creation standpoint, I think that there’s… So many people teach how to create courses. And I think that’s both good and not so good, because people think like, “Anybody can create a course.” And that’s true, but if they’re not really doing it correctly, I feel it brings the whole online course market down, because the quality is just not very good. And so anyway, I was looking at, “Okay, what’s offered in the online space when it comes to what I’m teaching? Because I wasn’t teaching anything necessarily brand new, but I was teaching a process from, “All right, you already have an offer. You’ve sold a few, but it’s really not doing what you want it to. So I wanted to take you from that point up to about $5,000 a month in revenue.”

And so I looked at that and said, “Okay, there’s plenty of courses out there that teach this.” But I wanted to differentiate. And so this became a group coaching program for 12 months where you were actually… So they got calls with me and they were assigned a coach from my team to help them go through the program and answer questions. And there wasn’t anything like that at the time. Because it was either a group coaching program as, I hit my microphone, or a course–not really the two. And so that’s what we created. And so from there I’m always talking about, sell it first, then create it. And so that’s exactly what I did. And in that process, essentially what I’m doing is going through that exact process I just shared. Being really super clear on what is somebody going to get out of this program?

What is the promise? And then from there, then you can get into sort of the, “Okay, this is what we’re going to be teaching in there, this is what you’re going to be learning, coaching calls, etcetera, etcetera.” And you’re selling that. And then once you start to sell it, then you can create it. But that’s how I have always gone about offer creation. Going back to the other part of your question, Rob, excuse me. I think one of the best things, and again, this is… It sounds so cliche and it’s like, “Oh, really rick? This is your earth-shattering groundbreaking advice here?” But so few people actually do it. And I want to share a very timely example, is, listen to your audience. What are they going through? Do your research. And I know everybody is listening right now because they listen to both of you doing those things.

Thank you for doing that. But most people when they’re either creating an offer or writing copy or trying to figure out why an offer isn’t working, they don’t normally think about, “What’s my audience needing right now? What are they going through?” And the example I want to share is, I have a member of Accelerator in the teaching space. So, a teacher-entrepreneur and they serve specific grades and so forth. And let’s face it, teachers have gone through hell over the past couple of years. So for a lot of different reasons and for serving teachers, it’s a new thing for them, what seems like every few weeks. And so if you have tried to go to the same message, use the same message, solving the exact same problem that you’ve always done for years. You very likely, if you’ve not been paying attention to what their needs are and what’s going on in their world, your offer’s not going to convert anymore.

And this is exactly what one of my members saw and they have a very successful business. And so we started talking about, “Well, what are they going through right now? Let’s survey them, let’s get on Zoom or whatever to talk to a few people, let’s listen in the Facebook group on what the conversations around.” Because again, in the teaching space, what was affecting them 30 days ago, something completely different has come up and that’s unfortunate, but if we want to serve them and have the biggest impact that we possibly can, it’s about learning what our audience is going through at this time. And most people don’t do that because that is exactly what informs your messaging, your copy, your offer, etcetera.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. That’s a great example. I worked with a client who serves teachers in COVID times, 2020. And I wrote weekly emails, but every week the space changed and the message changed and what the teachers were dealing with change. And so I had to change it up and definitely pull all the messaging from the Facebook group, because that space was changing so rapidly and their pain points were different from week to week. So as you were making this transition, we’ve talked about the seven-figure business and you’ve built a seven-figure business and was that a concern of yours as you transitioned? How will I maintain this business and the team and how did that go? How did you maintain it during that pivot?

Rick Mulready:  I was really fortunate when I made that kind of shift after already attaining the, I’ll use air quotes, “Elusive seven figures.” I have a whole different viewpoint on that now.

Kira Hug:  You’re part of the club. You’re part of the club. So we can talk about that.

Rick Mulready:  I know, but it means nothing honestly, but yes, I mean, and I don’t say that… I’m not trying to make light of it, but I also am. I was really worried about that. It’s like, “What does this do? Oh, I have to keep growing. I have to keep growing.” That was my thought. And so I was fortunate in a sense of, I made that pivot if you will. And I don’t really look at it as a pivot, but yeah, it is a pivot. I got away from just teaching Facebook ads and selling ads courses, but I had already established a brand and reputation and been known for quality work and all this other stuff. So it was easier for me at the time. It wasn’t early on and I didn’t really have much of an audience or what have you. So I did have that going for me, which is not lost on me at all. But I think that for sure, I was worried about, “Okay, what happens here?”

But I didn’t let that really kind of stop me if you will. That’s one of the greatest things that we can do, where it’s really what we do when we’re faced with those types of fears. Do we take action or do we freeze and stop? And so I was like, “All right, I’m going to keep going with this.” And I knew that I could always go back to ads. I still get people reaching out to me. They’re like, “Hey, do you sell just a standalone ads course?” And I don’t. It’s wrapped up into… Well, now into Accelerator, but I was able to start to communicate and message through my messaging on the podcast, through copy, etcetera, of the importance of the fact that ads are just one piece of the puzzle. Outside of that, there are all these other things and that’s what we’re now talking about.

Rob Marsh:  I’m curious, Rick. It’s one thing to decide to change your business like you did and go through that yourself. What about your team? Were they on board from the very beginning? Did you have to change anybody or change roles? How did that shift happen for them?

Rick Mulready:  Yeah. I didn’t have to change any roles. It was more of, “This is the new direction and this is the new vision of the business.” And then really enrolling them in that. I’ve had turnover since then, but it wasn’t because of the change in direction of what we were talking about and teaching. In fact, if anything, it became easier and better for the people on my team and the people that were on my team are not here now, but again, not because of what I was teaching. People that I brought on since then, this is much easier to get them on board and get them behind, rather than I teach Facebook ads. And going back to, I just want to circle back on something that we’ve been talking about here, is if I could have pivoted back if I wanted to.

And the other thing too, that I knew that I could do, but it didn’t really excite me, because I see this happening a lot right now, is when I was saying like, “Oh, I was all in on one platform.” Being Facebook and Instagram. Two platforms, yes, but the same company. And like, “What happens if something happens to them?” I see several people right now. I think we can all guess that we’re Facebook ads people. This is what they taught. What do you think they’re teaching now? They’re teaching TikTok ads. So they just kind of moved from platform to platform to platform and that’s what they do. And I knew that I could do that, but it just didn’t excite me. I was just like, “Eh, okay.”

And I get it. I understand the platforms because I pick up on them easily, but that just didn’t excite me. And so I just wanted to mention that and it really more of, if we want to talk about team again, I’m more than… Especially right now, it’d be a timely conversation. But the changes back then, as far as pivoting the business didn’t affect the team. In fact, it made it… I think they were more excited about it, because of, “Oh, cool. We get to have this much bigger type of impact for online businesses.” Rather than, “Just teaching them Facebook ads.”

Kira Hug:  Because you mentioned we could talk about the seven-figure business and we can poke fun. I just wonder how… Because you’ve achieved it and how do you look at growth now? Because you mentioned you were looking at how can I continue to grow? What does growth mean to you today and how has it changed?

Rick Mulready:  Yeah. So I think before I answer that it’s really important to… So after I hit seven figures in 2017, my revenue did dip. It dipped in 2018, dipped in 2019. And it was right around the same… I mean, it dipped when I say it dipped, I’m not afraid to share, but I think 2018, it dipped down to around 900,000 and the next year it dipped down like 860. So I’m like, “Wait a minute, what’s going on here?” We’re declining and that’s been two years now and so I’ll make this long story short.

What I realized and through the help of a coach at the time was that I was subconsciously sabotaging my revenue. The reason for that is because on my path to, and I think we’ve talked about this before, but on my path to seven figures, burn out a couple of times, one being a very, very dark period. So it came at the expense of my emotional health, my physical health, my relationships, etcetera. And so my subconscious was saying, “That’s what you have to go through in order to hit seven figures.” And so my subconscious was saying, “Well, I’m not doing that again.” And so it wasn’t until I realized that and started to work on that, that revenue started to come back up again.

And so what does success mean to me today? So we’re recording this August 2nd, 2022 is very different from what it used to be. Yes, very much revenue for sure. But now it’s how few hours am I working? We were talking before we hit record. My daughter, Maya is three and a half, a little over three and a half, she’ll be four in December. And I just want to spend as much time with her as I can. So how can I have a huge impact in my business, support our members, have a great team and obviously be making a lot of money, but working as few hours as possible? And so right now, I’m at about 25 hours a week. I take Fridays off, I’m looking at potentially taking another day off.

Kira Hug:  Sign me up.

Rick Mulready:  Well, that’s how I define success.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. I mean, I love that. So I’m guessing there are a lot of people who are listening, who are just like, “I can’t even see a pathway to that kind of a setup.” So walk us through how your team supports you then in order to create that because clearly, it’s not just you creating value. You’re doing something, you’re leading, obviously helping create content products, that kind of stuff. But how does it break down between you and your team? What are they doing in order to help you have that and are they also 25 hours a week? Are they putting in 80 hours a week so that Rick can take 10 Fridays off?

Rick Mulready:  So I will not let that happen. That type of thing where I’m like, “Okay, I’m working 15 hours a week and you’re over here doing 60 hours a week.” No, that just does not align with me. And as I mentioned, it’s a very timely conversation, because my team has gone through a massive shift in the past 30 days. Where I had my number two person, who was essentially my operations manager, been with me for three years, I decided to pursue other things. And so it was, “Okay, we got to figure things out now on the team side, to what do I do as far as backfilling, do I want to sort of move things around?” So what I’ve done now, and literally a lot of this is very, very new. Some of which started yesterday is I’ve hired a fractional CMO.

So she’s essentially part-time, but she’s my chief marketing officer. She and I drive strategy on the marketing side. So content planning, different channels, list growth, etcetera. I then moved, who was my executive assistant, who, when I hired her and she’s only been with me for about four, five months now, four months, where she was already very good with marketing, writing emails and connecting systems and all that stuff. So what I did was I moved her over into the marketing assistant role to support the new fractional CMO, which then meant, “Okay, I have an EA position open.” So I just hired a new EA. This is her, the beginning of her second week. And the plan with her is to… Because she’s coming in very hot, she’s got a lot of experience. She’s great so far. The plan with her is to get experience in the EA role and then move her into just running the day to day of business.

The plan for that right now is hopefully by the end of the year, but we’ll see. I’ve been very upfront with her too, about having that conversation around, “This is what I’d love to see happen.” And then finally, I’m also hiring another Filipino VA where we have an assistant in the Philippines right now. She runs all of the administrative side to my Accelerator program and she is amazing. She’s full-time. And I’m a very big believer in duplicate efforts. I want cross-training on knowledge essentially. So I’m hiring another virtual assistant to learn all the other things that Joelle and my Filipino assistant do. So I want them to also know all those things so that if, whatever, Joelle’s taking time off, or God forbid, something happens where she needs to be away, the business doesn’t skip a beat.

And so that’s where we’re at right now, as far as the transformation of the team. And I’m super excited. The other thing too is the new EA is part-time, the marketing assistant is part-time, the fractional CMO is part-time. And then the two Filipino VAs are going to be full-time, but I like that structure. I really like the simplicity of it. And so I just want things as… I’m all about simplicity. So I want things to be as streamlined as possible. And I just don’t want a big team. And that might sound like a big team to some people, but for what we do in the business, that’s a really… It is a pretty small team.

Kira Hug:  So many questions. I guess as a follow-up to that because so many of your team members are part-time. I mean, you haven’t struggled with this because they’re part-time, but how do you manage it so that they’re still focused on your business and not focused elsewhere because they’re part-time? Has that been a struggle for you or how have you dealt with that?

Rick Mulready:  It hasn’t been a struggle for me, I think because I’ve been really lucky, honestly, in who we’ve hired. So I think about it now and the person who was my EA, who I just moved into the marketing role. She’s part-time, about 15 to 20 hours a week. She has other clients from an administrative standpoint, but it doesn’t get in the way at all. And I’m very upfront with them too, like, “Hey, if this is looking like it’s getting in the way, let’s have an open communication about it.” Or my new EA, she’s only 10-ish hours a week. I think that’ll increase pretty quickly, but before I even had the conversation about potentially, the pathway into running the day-to-day, I needed to know her availability, is that even an option down the road?

And what she said is like, “I could go up to about 30 hours a week, but if we’re doing that, that’s full time, because that way I wouldn’t be taking on other clients.” I’m like, “Cool, got it.” I’m cool with that. So now I know what would need to happen. I think. And, and I think the reason for that again, is the hiring process. We’ve just done a really good job with that. The real problem that… Not a problem, but a challenge that can come up on the Filipino assistant side, is to do everything you can to hire somebody full-time. Because when they’re part-time, they’re splitting with 1, 2, 3 other clients and that’s where it can get, you really want their full focused attention on your business. And so that’s something that I learned the hard way.

Kira Hug:  I wanted to ask about how you’ve set the vision for your business because you’re so clear on… I mean, part of its experience and you’ve been building for a while, but you’re so clear on, this is where I’m going to go. I need the EA to fit in and get to full-time, run day-to-day. What’s helped you set the vision, especially for freelancers who are listening, who may not see themselves as a visionary?

Rick Mulready:  I just look at what I want. Why do I have the business in the first place? Because that’s so easy to get caught up in just the day-to-day, you’re just doing stuff. And it’s very easy to get lost in that. So we’ve got to take a step back and be like, “What do we want out of this business? Do we want to make a million dollars so that you can do X, Y, Z? Amazing. If that’s intentional, cool. If you want to make $5,000 a month while working this many hours, amazing.” I work backwards in everything that I do. And also that’s how I coach, what’s the end goal? And then what do I need to set up in terms of the business to be able to achieve that? So the vision for me is, I don’t have a number, I think is kind of cliche. And I apologize if anybody listening has this number, but for me, it’s not like I want to help a thousand people do this.

Kira Hug:  It’s a million, Rick. It’s a million. I want to help a million,

Rob Marsh:  No. I’ve seen people say a billion. I want to help a billion entrepreneurs.

Rick Mulready:  What does that mean? Does that mean, because we do a million downloads on the podcast in four months, does that mean I’ve helped a million people? I don’t know. So I don’t go by the arbitrary number. It’s more so, I just want to have as big an impact as possible, but I’m also very clear on why I’m doing what I’m doing and specifically how we’re helping people accomplish those things in their business. But I don’t have a number of like, “Oh, you know what? Cool. Did really well. I did help 10 people this month.” Or whatever it might be. That’s really, it’s like I want to have as big an impact as possible by helping people with specific things for their online business and the container with which I want to do it is, schedule based, how do I want to work? How much do I want to work? And then obviously that informs the team and that sort of thing. Does that answer your question, Kira?

Kira Hug:  Yeah. Thank you.

Rob Marsh:  So while we’re still talking about team, one more question about this. I’m curious what you look for when you are talking with, or considering somebody. There are hundreds of virtual or partial CMOs out there. There are probably thousands of marketing assistants, maybe tens of thousands of virtual assistants. How do you know which one is a good fit for your business? What are you looking for other than the, “I’m trying to get them as close to full time as possible?”

Rick Mulready:  So I will share that my new fractional CMO is from your audience. She has been my copywriter for a couple of years now and…

Kira Hug:  I was wondering.

Rob Marsh:  I think we know who that is.

Rick Mulready:  Yes. And it was just a conversation that I started to have with her. It wasn’t something that she came to me with. It was just more so I brought it up and we talked about it for several months. What could this look like? Why do I want to do this? That sort of thing. And so it just sort of came to fruition and it was a conversation of, “Okay, this is what I want to have done.” And then it’s obviously a two-way conversation. This is what I want done. And then they come back with, “All right, this is what that I think I can provide. And these are the parameters, this is the scope, that sort of thing.” And so I get along with them super… We talk multiple times a day. I’ve become really good friends with them, know my business really well.

They’re a coach inside my program. They’ve rewritten my entire copy for two… It’s just a natural fit for that. And it’s less of like, “Oh, number of hours and these are the results that we’re looking for.” And that’s a whole other conversation as far as hiring, you’re hiring for results, not check the box. So that’s how that worked. And then from there, I looked at and I spoke to that person and said, “Okay, what do you think in terms of having an assistant for what you’re strategizing?” And so now this person is to go implement. How many hours do you think? And so I had an idea, but obviously, I wanted to get their thoughts on it. And so we came up with a number and said, “Okay, it’s about what this person’s already working.”

And so that conversation happens way before anything gets specific. I started gauging interest. I also have, again, this is an experience thing. I also have a pretty good idea of what that person is really… What lights them up? Because we often try to hire somebody for a specific role. And they might really like the role. They might be really good at it, but they might be lit up by something completely different in the business. And that’s really the key, because we often get caught into keeping that person there. Now with my EA, I just moved into the marketing assistant role. I saw it pretty much within the first two weeks of that. They really took to the marketing side, suggesting topics for the podcast or giving me ideas or what have you. And I love that it’s part of our values of taking initiative and so forth.

And so I kept watching, I kept asking her, “Is this something of interest?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes, yes.” The whole time. So then when the opportunity came up, it was a natural fit. And so the biggest thing that I’m looking for when I’m hiring is the intent or the intangibles. Number one, values, hands down, do they align with our values, my values? So if we can check that box for the values, then it’s about the intangibles, like work ethic. Or are they like, “No, I’ll get around to it or what have you.” Personality, do I get along with them? Because I can teach somebody whatever, how to use their table, for example, but I can’t teach somebody integrity. So those are the things I’m looking for first and then the other things come after.

Rob Marsh:  We’re breaking in. As we like to do,  to talk a little bit more about a few of the things that Rick’s been sharing that maybe deserve just a little more attention or at least us calling them out. Kira, one of the things that just, I mean, really jumps out, obviously this whole episode is really about going bigger, not just making a pivot, but pivoting into something where you can have a bigger impact. And I mean, we’ve, we’ve talked about doing some of that stuff between us with The Copywriter Club, but Rick has done it in a way that I’m kind of jealous of.

Kira Hug:  We’re jealous of you, Rick. We’re jealous. I mean, for me, I think the part that stood out the most during his conversation was the identity shift and letting go. I think a big part of this was, Rick was very open, which I appreciate about what was happening behind the scenes and his mindset shifts during this time of transition in his business, where he was letting go of an identity, as the Facebook person, the Iron Man of Facebook ads and shifting into this new role and this new identity that he was sharing with the world and making those business changes that would support this new identity and it can be very scary. And so I appreciated that Rick was so open about that. It’s not easy when it’s your business and your livelihood to make changes in your own message and your own positioning.

I think oftentimes from the outside looking in, we get it, even looking at Rick and having worked with him previously and following him closely, it’s like, “Well, yeah. Of course, Rick is moving into a different space and talking about more than just Facebook ads because he’s brilliant when he talks about these other topics and talks holistically more about business growth.” And so it makes sense for people who have been watching or people who are fans, but it’s still hard to kind of make that shift when it’s your own identity. It was challenging at times for Rick.

Rob Marsh:  And I think one of the big things too when you’ve got money coming in with an existing business and then to pivot, you’re literally saying… In some ways, you’re saying, “Well, that money is going to go away, because I’m no longer running the things that are bringing it into my business.” And now the money’s got to come from something new. And Rick did say, he knew he could always go back to the old ads business. So there was a bit of a safety net, but that’s still scary.

And I think we do this, anytime that we say, “Hey, I’ve been writing content and now I want to shift to write sales copy, or maybe I’ve been a copywriter and I want to do more strategic thinking, or I want to move into more of a CMO role for my clients. When you stop doing the stuff that you have been doing, that’s bringing in the money, it’s a little bit scary and it’s an impediment to making that change or to leaping. I mean, it’s maybe why more of us don’t jump sooner, because we become dependent on the things that are happening in our lives, the way they are and change is scary. It’s risky.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And I think there’s a lot of just head trash and the imposter complex flares up for many of us, as we’re thinking about what else we could be beyond copywriting, even though as copywriters, we do so many different things, but I mean, we’ve talked to many copywriters who kind of struggle when they decide… When they know that they want to do something different and kind of evolve past being a copywriter only, it’s a real struggle to kind of take on that next title. And so I think that the time between is tricky, but it’s also great to know that this is normal and then many of us will go through this. Some will go through it maybe more frequently, but it’s okay to evolve in our businesses and the right people and the right people in the community will evolve with you. And then you might just meet new people in your community or have to say goodbye to some people. And that’s also okay because this is our career and we can control that pathway.

Rob Marsh:  Yup, exactly. Well said. The one other thing I’ll just really quickly mention, when Rick was talking about his offer, the whole idea, you create it and then you sell it. We see this mistake all the time where people create something and then thinking that there’s a need, haven’t even asked people, “Do you need this thing?” But because they haven’t actually sold it, they haven’t actually gotten money in the door proving that need, they struggle and they need to readjust the program or add bonuses or maybe rethink things altogether.

And it’s just a really good reminder that if you’re going to come up with a new product or a new service, it’s a really good idea to sell it first and then go back and create it. And that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a really good sense of what it includes. You’re not just saying, “Hey, I’ve got this idea, pay me a thousand dollars.” You bullet out all of the things that you think you’re going to include, but you don’t necessarily spend the time creating… If it’s a course creating modules or worksheets that kind of a thing, sell it first, then create it, figure out what your audience needs and that’s just a really good reminder when any of us are creating products.

Kira Hug:  Okay. Let’s jump back into our conversation with Rick. I am still stuck on working 25 hours and I want that. So we talked about the team and how the team will support you as you move in that direction. What else? I mean, what else for someone else who’s listening, who’s like, “That’s great, I can have the revenue I want and I can get there too because Rick has done it. Where do we start?”

Rick Mulready:  Yeah. I mean, it’s the whole cliche of Parkinson’s law, right? The task expands to the time that you give it. So I used to be that person all the time where I’m like, “Okay, cool. I have a Tuesday and I have nothing on my calendar so I’m going to work on my podcast.” Number one, what does that even mean? So I’m all about like, “Okay, again, results.” So what am I going to create today in terms of results? So just as an example, today, I need to record two podcast episodes. So I break that down step by step, what goes into 

And then I literally block that time on the calendar and so again, this sounds very basic, but that’s really what it’s about is being very intentional with my time, knowing that I don’t schedule things on Friday. Friday morning is kind of what I call my CEO time, where I’m taking a step back to think about the business and maybe ask myself some questions, or what have you to journal on, or maybe I’m dealing with team things which have been happening for the past several weeks now, but it’s filling in what is the number one priority of the business?

Once that’s identified and that’s hard for a lot of people to identify by the way. And I’ll share my example of myself here, just for a second. Everything else in the business is set up to protect that thing. It’s like Mike Michalowicz is in his book clockwork, it’s Mike’s concept of what he calls the queen bee role. It’s like, “What is the one thing in your business that the success of your business hinges on and what is that activity?” So for me, it is business strategy and insight. People want to work with me because they want my brain on their business essentially. So knowing that, how do we set up the business to protect my energy, my brain so I can show up for people on the podcast, for our members and coaching and so forth, everything is set up to protect that.

So it starts with me as like, “All right, what are the things that I’m doing in the business that are moving me away from that?” So those things are first, let’s get those things off of my plate. And then it’s like, “Okay, what needs to be in place on the team.” In order to, number one, protect Rick’s business strategy and insight, but then also, “Okay, what are they responsible for to support their specific role in the business?” Because one thing I’ve done over the years and it kind of works and it kind of doesn’t, is having sort of catch-all roles were, “Okay, this person’s going to be doing customer service, but they’re also going to be doing this and what have you. Now again, I’m all for and highly recommend it. That there’s a duplication of efforts.

Between people in the role, at least knowing how to do something, but I’ve been very intentional about, “Okay, this person is responsible for this and this person is responsible for this.” And so we just look at it and say, “Okay, I’ve got four days this week, Monday through Friday. And I usually work from about 10:00 AM to about 16:00, 16:30.” But within that time I have specific days. So Mondays and Thursdays are my call days. So I have coaching calls, I have calls with my team, et cetera. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my content days. So I’m either recording a podcast or being a guest on another show or presenting something or something like that. That’s how we set things up. And it took me a while to get there, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like, “Okay, snap your fingers, 25 hours a week.” But it really is set up to focus on the most important things in the business. And then everything else is a shiny object at that point.

Rob Marsh:  I think there’s this tendency in the online marketing space for people to say, “Hey, anybody can do this. Anybody can build a business like this, or anybody can have courses.” That kind of thing. I’m curious about your take on that. Could I, starting where I am now, build the business that you’ve built Rick? Or how much of your experience, how much path dependency is there, your audience, how much does all of that play into where you clearly it’s everything to get you where you are going, can somebody else replicate that very easily? Or what would they have to do, to do something similar? It’s a really weird way to ask that question, but…

Rick Mulready:  No, I love that question, Rob. I’m thinking I might steal that for a question to ask my guests on the podcast. So to answer your first question, Rob. Can anybody… Everybody throws out like, “Oh, anybody can do it. I don’t think that’s the case.” And that’s fine. That’s simply mindset. And I don’t say simply meaning like, “Oh, that’s all it is or that it’s easy.” But most people aren’t willing to put in the work of… It’s hard, it’s hard to get a business going. If any, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. That’s the whole cliched answer there, but that’s really true. So I’d say 80% of the success of your online businesses is mindset. And if the mindset isn’t there, it’s going to be very, very hard. Now can somebody replicate what I’ve done? Absolutely. It takes time though. I would say the biggest thing, the hands down, the what really added fuel to the fire, if you will, was people, meeting people, making connections again, that’s like, “Oh yeah, networking.” I hate the word networking because I come from the corporate world where…

But it’s making connections. It’s like, “How can you have or show value to somebody else?” And then that just starts from, it just starts from there. And don’t meet people just because they can help you. You want to make a genuine connection. And so that has been the biggest thing. So if somebody wants to replicate, start… Obviously, you need to like, “What’s your idea? Who’s your audience? What’s your offer? How do you help people?” Even if it’s a service provider, especially if it’s a service provider, but then it’s about just meeting people, as many people as you possibly can. And that really expands very quickly in terms of the growth of the business. And you could absolutely… You don’t need a team as I do, I’m having bigger thoughts right now that I’m not really ready to share about my business, but talk about simplicity and how I define it. I’m looking to take that even to the next… To another level.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. Now I’m intrigued and we need to book, part two or something to get those big thoughts.

Rick Mulready:  Yeah. Be happy to, but that’s just how I look at it. Obviously, you have to be really good at what you do and it’s the… I keep using the word cliche, but the riches are in the niches. But what topic hasn’t been covered by somebody, there are very few, if any. But can you find an angle that you are really good at within a specific topic and be really, really good at that one thing. And when you do and you become known for that, and again, you’re making connections with people, etcetera. That’s when things start to really pick up quickly. So to answer your question, Rob, it’s absolutely possible to replicate what I’ve done. I’m not special. It doesn’t seem like it, but I’m very introverted and I’m just a regular dude from New Hampshire. I live in San Diego now, but I didn’t come from an entrepreneurial family or anything like that.

Kira Hug:  You mentioned mindset is 80%?

Rick Mulready:  Yup.

Kira Hug:  But we haven’t really talked about what you’re doing as a mindset practice or what you’ve done. So I’m just curious, about what you’re currently doing, and what you might recommend because it can go so many different directions.

Rick Mulready:  Well, I am embarrassed to say that I’m not doing what I used to be doing before Maya was born because I used to be very regimented in the morning of get-up and I’m going to meditate and I’m going to journal. And it wasn’t quite the what is it? The five; five AM? Well, I forget. The morning miracle or whatever it is. It wasn’t quite that. But I was very regimented in the morning and I don’t have that, or I don’t do that anymore. Mainly because I have a three-and-a-half-year-old, but it’s really about, for me right now, it’s really about being aware of what my brain is doing. And I know that this sounds a little ‘woo’, but I struggle with anxiety and depression. And so my brain will go to the extreme on something really quickly.

And so my big thing that I work on is just being aware that my brain is doing that and that it’s not catastrophic, which is what my brain’s trying to do. And so I’m always looking at something where… And I’ve been doing this a lot because I’ve been having a lot of conversations with a buddy of mine and I watch how he looks at things and my brain goes, “Whoa, I wouldn’t have looked at it like that. That’s a really positive way to look at that.” And so it’s really the whole mindset thing is just knowing that everything’s going to be fine. I keep telling myself that all the time, that it always works out. It always works out. Regardless, it always works out. And the other thing too is just kind of setting some boundaries in your life about what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do.

And that starts with the mindset of having the self-awareness of like, “You know what?” This is for me and I’m working on this a lot, is I have a hard time, because I care so deeply about my students, is that if I’m on a coaching call, I do have a hard time stopping right at the time, because I just want to keep helping. But that right there is an example of a boundary that I’m setting, that I need to be better at. So that is a mindset thing. And so I look at like, “Well, why am I going late?” Because it’s very easy to be like, “Oh Rick, well, you just need to stop at the time.” I know that. But I think what’s most important about that is let’s take a step back and what is the mindset around why that’s happening in the first place. Then you can start to address it.

Rob Marsh:  Do you do this in the moment, Rick? Or do you set aside time for this kind of thing? Because it seems to me when I’m going dark with something or suddenly I’m like, “Oh my gosh, the end is here. Can I keep doing this?” It’s not really easy to take a step back and say, “Hold on a second, you’re panicking.” In the moment that’s really hard. So I’m curious, do you have a mantra? Do you have some kind of a practice where you can step back in the moment or do you sit at the end of the day and think, “Okay, wait a second. Why did I react that way?” How does that work practically?

Rick Mulready:  Yeah. It’s more at the end of the day for me and what I’ve really noticed and what I’ve really worked on. Again, I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was in seventh grade where it’s up and down, up and down for most of my life. I have found that when, if my brain is going to spiral, it’s going to be in the evening time because I’m tired from the day. I’m not working in that moment, but yet my brain is on overdrive thinking about something. So that’s really when it happens, I think it’s really hard to do in the moment. I mean, mindfulness, sure. It’s teaching you to like, “Okay, be mindful in the moment right there.” And I do pick up on stuff in the moment and I will think about it, but the more processing of what’s going on is more done in the evening time.

Kira Hug:  I’ve got a couple more questions, Rick. Are you game for a couple more?

Rick Mulready:  Yeah, sure.

Kira Hug:  Okay. You mentioned that you have one offer now. So again, my ears perked up. I was like, “One offer? How does that work in your business?” And can you just talk about your thinking around it and how it plays into your bigger vision?

Rick Mulready:  Totally. And this is what I didn’t mention earlier, not intentionally, but you’re asking about 25 hours a week, how does the team work within this? Having one offer really helps with this. We are completely focused on one offer. And what that does is that informs everything else that I do in the business, where all my messaging on the podcast, for example, speaks to the level of online course creator, coach, membership, I’m speaking to that level of a person, who’s right for the program. So it just becomes much easier. I’m speaking to one audience and talking about the types of things that affect that level of audience if you will. And so it just becomes a whole lot easier. The reason why I went in on one offer, talk about mindset.

This happened in February of last year of 2021. When I went all in on this. I was so tired of launching. I did not want to give me… I’ve been launching now for… Yeah. I’ve been launching for, at that time, I’ve been launching for seven years and I was like, “I will be super happy if I never have to launch again.” And so I’m not going to lie that played into it, because I don’t do launches for Accelerator. I had just finished up doing a launch for my Offer to Optimize program and it did really well, but I was like, “I just don’t enjoy this launch process.” And talk about what does success look like for me in the business is like, “I don’t want this to be part of the business.” And so I started to look at what is the ROI of the offers that I have? Yes, in terms of revenue, but also in terms of my time, my team’s time, all that type of stuff.

And you can look at people talk about your effective hourly rate or what have you. But I know that the highest I’m always looking for leverage in the business. And that’s a big piece of what I coach on, is finding those little leverage points in the business that can have a big impact. For me, that played into this decision, is that number one, I enjoyed the Accelerator program and the type of work that we were doing in that program, way more than what we were doing in Offer to Optimized. So that was a big thing. Number two, I looked at okay, 80/20 of revenue. Well, by far Accelerator was bringing in much more revenue and it was far more profitable. So I looked at those two things and I was like, “All right, I’m going to go all in on Accelerator based on those things.”

And also my happiness. And I’m going to, again, I’m going to try this out, but I said, “I’m going to try it for a year and see how it does.” I can always bring back, I mean, any of the programs that I’ve ever had of course updating them, but I could always bring that back. And so we talked about fear of pivoting and stuff like that. That was a scary time of like, “Uh-oh, my primary offer for is a high ticket program.” So it’s a 12 month program. It’s $2,500 a month or a one payment of 25,000. I was like, “Who does that?” I literally asked a whole bunch of people. I’m like, “Who only has a $25,000 offer?”

Kira Hug:  That’s pretty amazing.

Rick Mulready:  And that’s it. And they were like, “This person and this person…” They literally started listing out people and I’m like, “Oh, yeah. Okay. Got it.” I was still scared honestly, because I was like, “All right, I’m giving this…” And by the way, I had only launched, Offer to Optimize two times. And we did a few hundred thousand dollars. It did really, really well. So it was hard to, number one, shut off that revenue.

Rick Mulready:  But number two, I was like, “Ooh, I’m going all in on this offer over here that I firmly believe in, however…” Again, my brain was saying, “Who does that?” And that’s a perfect example of mindset. And so it was like, “Okay.” The boundary here that I created was, “All right, I’m going to try this for a year and see how it works. If it doesn’t, I can always make changes.” Second, the mindset is, “Okay, I’m going to get my team on board with this.” And I could feel it. And some of them also told me there was a collective exhale like, “Ugh, awesome. We only need to focus on one offer and then we put everything into the offer.” So that was huge.

Rob Marsh:  Definitely see some advantages to that. As I’m thinking about your business, Rick, there’s something that’s a little bit counterintuitive and even you mentioned, niching, the riches are in the niches. It feels to me. And maybe you see this differently, but it feels like you went from a super niche business focused entirely on Facebook ads to something that’s quite a bit broader when you talk about so much other stuff. It makes sense. Sometimes maybe you have to start tight and then you can go wider, but would you talk about that switch and just, I mean, I know there’s mindset around it, but help us walk through, is niching better? Is going broad better? What’s the trade-off there?

Rick Mulready:  So I think when you’re first starting out, niching is way, way better. If you want to grow more quickly niche. And that’s what I did. I niched very… My first ads course was for, ironically, we’ve come full circle, online experts. People are selling a course. And that’s what that was. And it did great. We did six figures in the first year. I mean, this is 2014, but it was like, “Oh, okay. This whole online business thing really works.” But at that point, that’s when I started to get in, I wouldn’t say get into trouble because everything happened for a reason, but that’s where we went from a niche to, “Okay, my focus is still Facebook ads.” But then I got into sub-niches of Facebook ads, because I had success with that first course.

And people were like, “Dude, you should serve local businesses and I’m chasing a million dollars here.” I’m like, “Cool, that’s a great idea.” So I created a local business ads course. And then somebody said, “Dude, you should serve ad managers.” “Oh, great idea. I’m going to have an ad manager course.” And before I knew it, I had literally five different offers. Three of them, Kira knows, three of them were speaking to different audiences and it was maddening because the messaging was very different and even within the ad manager program, there were three audiences within that program. And so again, talk about simplicity. I love having one offer.

Rob Marsh:  You went from total niche to a much broader offer, right?

Rick Mulready:  So yes, absolutely. I went broad. So I focus on online course creators, coaches and consultants, they’re… I’m sorry. And membership, people who have membership, most, all of them are doing 100K plus in their business. And my goal is to help them scale their business and impact in 25 hours a week or less. That’s the promise of Accelerator. So there, the type of work that I’m doing is general. It’s course creators, et cetera. How I’m doing it is very niched, and how I teach is very niched also. And I think that… And I’ll explain that decision here in a second, that is probably the biggest key is, and I hear this all the time. They’re like, “Rick, you’re not a bro marketer.” And when I first heard that term, I was like, “Wait, what does that mean?” And they’re like, “You’re not standing in front of Lambo’s or a private jet or renting a house and just being whatever.” I’m like, “Oh, okay. Yeah. I’m not doing that.”

That is not me. And so growing, I grew up with… I’m the middle child. I have two sisters and I’ve just grown up. Obviously, my mom and I grew up around women. And so I think that’s a superpower of mine, that I’m able to balance, the masculine side with the feminine side of how I show up and how I teach and stuff like that. And so that is a big piece of my business and that’s not intentional. I’m not intentionally doing that. That’s just me, but that shows up in everything that I do. And so that is a… I hope this makes sense. That’s part of my niche, but it’s not intentional. If that makes sense?

Kira Hug:  Yeah. I mean, that’s also a phenomenal promise too. Again, I’m going to get you here 25 hours a week. That’s a great promise. My last question is, you’ve been in online business for eight years. That’s what your website says, which is I think 56 years in internet years?

Rick Mulready:  It is, yeah.

Kira Hug:  So you’ve been around forever in the online business space. You’ve outlasted many who have come and gone. I’m just curious because you’ve seen so many changes in the space, where do you see the opportunity? In 2022 going into 2023, what stands out to you, excites you? I’m leaving it open-ended, but what do you see as you look forward?

Rick Mulready:  So I think that for so many years, the conversation is how do we go from one-on-one, to leverage time, to broader. I feel like people in the online space are becoming more… The people who are looking for help in a specific problem. Now, I don’t mean this in terms of a membership or what have you. I mean this more so from a course and don’t get me wrong. I love courses, but the shift I see happening a lot is people really want that personalized help. How can I get more of that person? How can I create a deeper relationship with that person to help them on whatever specific instance that they’re dealing with in their business? And this is not going to be a popular response, but I see this happening. And this is part of, I mentioned, kind of teased, I’m looking at this now.

And I feel like a lot of things are almost coming full circle, where it’s what I did. You know what I mean? Like, “All right. One to one.” I used to manage ads for people. Then I created a course and group coaching or what have you. I really think that people are craving that individualized attention on their business. Courses are great, again, I’m not poo-pooing those at all, but I just feel like they’re very transactional and people want to be heard. People want to feel like you get them. And that they’re not just a number. And so I don’t know where this is going. Meaning a couple of years down the road or this year, what have you. But people are craving connection, people are craving that authenticity and genuineness from the people that they want to learn from.

I think that’s the biggest shift. And of course, we can talk about AI and all the other stuff, but I’m talking the personal side of business. I think people are craving that. And the people that can leverage that and help in that way, of course you have to make it work, because then we’re talking like, “Oh, we’re trading time for money and all this other stuff has to work for you.” But there’re creative ways to do that. And the other thing, and again, this isn’t earth-shattering or whatever, but building your audience, having a platform where you deliver content, whether it’s a podcast, whether it’s YouTube, whatever it might be, showing up time and time again, every single week. And just like you all do and delivering content, growing a community, you guys have done an amazing job of growing a community. I think that those are the things that will continue. That’s where I really, where I’m seeing things. And that’s where I’m focusing a lot of my thoughts on right now.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. That leads to my next question, which is just going to be, what is next for you? What are we going to be asking you about 215 episodes into the future when we have back again, hopefully, it’ll be sooner than that, but yeah.

Rick Mulready:  You’re going to say, “Why did you do that in your business?” I’m at a point now where I’m just looking to like, “What is the simplest way to accomplish really deeply helping people and making a hell lot of money in the process.” And of course, I want to support my team and stuff like at that. And that’s really, really important to me. I’m looking at what… I’m trying to redefine what success looks like to me, honestly. Not in terms of hours, because that’s all the… Like, “What is this?” You’re going to ask me, “Why did you make that shift?”

Kira Hug:  Is it weird that I’m already excited for our next interview with you to hear about all the shifts that are about to happen?

Rick Mulready:  I mean where this is coming from and I’m fine to talk about this, but what we’ve created in Accelerator is, it is a lot. It is a lot of what when somebody joins and again, this is a whole other conversation, but we’re adding the price of Accelerator to our page, where most people, I’ve done for years too like, “Ooh, if it’s a quote, “High ticket.” You don’t put that on the page. People just want to know what that is and what happens most times is when they do hear how much the investment is for, they’re like, “Oh, is that all?” Because I’m getting all of this and I get you with that. And so part of that is I’m looking at all the deliverables that we do. I mean, I literally… I have a full-time Filipino VA doing all the admin for one course, that kind of gives you some insight into all the moving parts of the program. And so I’m looking at, “Is there a way to simplify that even more and what could that look like?” And provide more of me, that’s what I’m thinking about.

Rob Marsh:  I like it, yeah.

Kira Hug:  All right. Well, Rick, where can our listeners go to find out more about what you’re doing? Find out more potentially about the Accelerator, your podcast. What’s the easiest way to find you?

Rick Mulready:  I should have had the episode with you all lined up in front of me here on my podcast to go listen. New episode, Kira. I think the best way is the podcast, is ‘the art of online business podcast.’ I’m on all the podcasting platforms. We also record the show on video. You can watch full length episodes over on YouTube, just search for ‘the art of online business.’ We put clips up there of the show, highlights and so forth. And my website is I’m on Instagram. You can shoot me a DM over there at Rick Mulready. And let me know, if you heard me on the podcast here.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. It’s great to hang out with you again, Rick, we’re going to have to get back down to San Diego, another think tank retreat or something so we can hang out in person again.

Rick Mulready:  Absolutely.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. It’s been great to spend time with you and thank you for as always just letting us take you in many different directions. I always appreciate how open you are and we appreciate your time too. Thank you.

Rob Marsh:  Thanks Rick. That’s the end of our interview with Rick Mulready and before we go, there were just a couple of other things I think that are worth highlighting or talking a little bit about. I’ll just jump in, Kira with this, towards the end I asked Rick specifically about the niching thing, the move from, he had a very niche business and then goes a lot broader in helping business owners. And I think there’s a cycle here that Rick touched on, but maybe we can emphasize it a little bit more. When you’re just starting out, sometimes you want to play around in a lot of different areas, figure out what your thing is.

You maybe haven’t selected a specific deliverable or an industry that you want to work with, but after working with a few clients that have maybe for six months or so, it’s really important at that point to start to niche down, because that helps you attract the right people. It helps you focus the work that you’re doing, to become an expert in the things that you do, but then like Rick, after you’ve done it for a while, you can go large again, you can expand back out because you’ve established yourself as an expert, as a trusted source for the thing that you do for the industry that you serve and you can go wider again. And so there’s kind of a wave that, we can follow. And I love that Rick’s business is such a great example of how to do that.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And I mean, when Rick said that he typically works 25 hours a week, I mean, clearly that grabbed my attention, because I asked about it, followed up, that sounds amazing. And so I think it was inspiring to hear that and to know that someone like Rick who’s been in business for a while and has reached these big financial milestones is creating impact, is helping so many people and is also able to prioritize his life outside of business too. And I know that’s so important to him. And so it’s just cool to hear that he’s been able to figure it out. And even if we’re not all there yet, maybe that’s not even your goal, but for me, I mean it’s important as well.

So it’s just good to know that if we stick with it long enough and continue to simplify and ask hard questions and work through failures and just stick with it, we can get there too, to any goal, whether it’s the working 25 hours, maybe it’s working 10 hours, maybe it’s something entirely different, but just again, following Rick for a handful of years and seeing how he’s been able to do it is really inspiring. And I think the way he asks big questions and questions the model and questions a lot about the way we operate our businesses and especially in online marketing has helped him succeed. And so my takeaway from this whole conversation is to ask those big questions, sometimes ask scary questions where we may not like the answer right away, but to continue to not be afraid to ask those hard questions about what we’re doing and how we’re running our businesses.

Rob Marsh:  Yeah. The relationship between simplicity and fewer hours is a little eye-opening. We’re always thinking, “Oh, we need to add more so we can sell more so we can take more time off.” And the fact is that actually creates more work. No.

Kira Hug:  We can get there though. I think we…

Rob Marsh:  We are going to get there. One other thing I loved how brutally honest Rick was when we asked him if anybody can do this kind of thing. There are a lot of people out there selling the dream saying, “Anybody can be a copy writer, anybody can become an internet marketer, anybody can have an online business.” And the fact of the matter is, while you might be able to start that business, Rick was honest about it, it takes work. You have to put in a lot of hard work and not everybody is willing to do that. Some people aren’t able to do it. There are skill sets that you need to acquire in order to do it. And so it’s just good to be reminded of the truth. The thing that we’re doing is hard. Not everybody can do it. And that’s why it’s so important to get the right tools, get the right connections, get the right people supporting you and helping you to be able to grow and build what we want to build.

Kira Hug:  Yeah. And to shift as you… I mean, again, I said it before, but as you change as a person and your experience changes and levels up and maybe your interest and what you’re focused on and excited about changes to be able to take the business with you. I think that’s the key is how to be able to shift as you shift as a person, to be able to shift with the business so that it can match where you are, career wise, experience wise, lifestyle wise, as your life changes. And as you change as a person, it can move with you. But I think not everyone is able to adjust and keep the two together as things go back and forth and shift. And Rick has done that beautifully as he shared in this conversation.

Rob Marsh:  Finally, what Rick said at the very end about where marketing is going and what people want, this deeper connection with each other. Clearly, we lost some of that through the pandemic. A lot of people are working from home now and not having those office environments. I think he’s really onto something there. That programs that include community element programs, coaches that are able to connect people together, events that bring us together. I think there’s a real opportunity, even for freelancers working on their own, to be able to help create those connections, whether it’s between clients, you and your client, other copywriters that we all want more of that. Even us introverts.

Kira Hug:  Yeah, definitely. And I mean, that’s why in a lot of our programs we’ve talked about, “Should we keep the one-on-one element, the intimacy?” And I think when you start thinking about simplicity, sometimes you cut that out, you cut out that personalization, the intimacy and connection. And it’s interesting that Rick is somebody who believes in simplicity, but he’s also like, “Simplicity and connection and intimacy and the one-on-one support.” So I do think it’s so critical and there’s a hunger for it. We’ve felt it in our business too. So I’m glad that’s a trend and we’re moving towards that.

Rob Marsh:  Agreed. We want to thank Rick Mulready for joining us on the podcast today. If you want to connect with him and see how he serves his clients, you’ll find, where you could read about his one offer. And if you want another episode or two to listen to that touches on some of the topics we’ve talked about today, check out our interview with Jenny Blake, all about the tools that you need to make a pivot or a shift in your business. That’s episode 41, that was a long time ago. And not too long ago, we talked about creating an irresistible offer with salsa, that was episode number 291, it’s really good. And finally, we talked about something similar, creating an offer with Justin Goff. You’ll find that interview on episode 205.

Kira Hug:  And we don’t have any new reviews to share this week, which is such a bummer. So if you liked this episode and how could you not, I mean, Rick delivered, please give us a review. We really appreciate it. And we’ll share your review next week. As long as it’s not a two-star review or below, then we will share it.

Rob Marsh:  We’ll see.

Kira Hug:  All right. So this is the end of the episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter, Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter, David Muntner. Like I said, if you’ve enjoyed it even just a little bit, please visit Apple podcast to leave your review of the show.

Rob Marsh:  And if you’re ready to invest in yourself and your copywriting business, lay the foundation for a successful 2023. I can’t believe that…

Kira Hug:  Oh my gosh, that’s…

Rob Marsh:  Just around the corner.

Kira Hug:  The future.

Rob Marsh:  Visit It does open back up in just a few days. Thanks for listening. And we will see you next week.



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