Choosing the right market can literally be the difference between having a business that works or a business that fails. I got a chance to catch up with Ryan Levesque and we talked about the 5 things your market must have to give you the kind of business you’ve always wanted. You might want to grab a pen and paper for this one, it’s THAT good…
P.S. To get a free copy of the book we talked about in this video, go to: http://bit.ly/choose_book
Video Transcript and Relevant Links
Jeff: Hey, I'm here with Ryan Levesque, and Ryan, we've been long term friends for many years. So Ryan's got a new book, and I always like to tell people about my friends' books, and it's a really cool book. In fact, I got one of the top blurbs on the back…
Ryan Levesque: Yeah, you're right on the back of the book. There you are.
Jeff: There I am right there, saying really smart stuff. And so, obviously I want you to get the book, because it's an awesome book.
Jeff: But what the book is about is picking your business, either your next business or your first business. And this is something people struggle with, I know I struggled with. I sort of decided I was going to start a business, and then it took me like 18 months to figure out what market and what product. And so, this book is about helping people choose their business. And so, you have a lot of experience choosing businesses.
Ryan Levesque: Yep, yeah.
Jeff: You were in 23 markets. And so, what were some of the hard fought lessons? You said … Were they all successful?
Ryan Levesque: No. You know, so … First of all, thanks so much for being on here like this. Yeah, so if you … I wrote a book a couple years ago, it's called “Ask.” And in the book, I shared a methodology I used to enter 23 different niches, 23 different markets, and it involves using a series of questions. But what I didn't teach in the book is how I chose those markets in the first place.
The reason why I wrote this book is because I found that people were using the Ask Method. They were asking questions to understand their audience, and yet, some people were still failing. And I dug deep into the research, and tried to figure out why were these people failing? It all pointed back to the same reason. They were choosing bad markets. They were choosing markets that had no chance of succeeding in the first place.
And there's a metaphor I use in the book, and you'll appreciate this, it's like tossing a raft in a river, right? Starting a business is like tossing your raft in a river. You expect your river is gonna take you to where you want to go. Right? The freedom, the impact, the income that you're going to want to make. You can spend all your time picking the perfect raft. You can hire the best crew. You can buy the most expensive equipment. You can paddle 18 hours a day. But if that raft is facing the wrong direction, you're paddling upstream, you're never going to get to where you want to go.
Ryan Levesque: Or if you put your raft in a river that has no water in it. Or, a river that's too treacherous, that's too whitewater, and it's too, you know, you're gonna to be swallowed up, you're never going to get there. So, what I found was that people were making the mistake of choosing the wrong river. And that's what this book is all about.
So, what we did is we looked at 23 markets we went to. We looked at all the markets that my successful clients went into, and the clients that failed. And I was really inspired by the work of Jim Collins. You've read Jim Collins' stuff, right? So, “Built to Last,” “Good to Great,” and so, Jim Collins is known for studying the most iconic companies in the world, and looking at what separates those that were successful from those that failed along the way. And we did the same thing.
And what we found, was that there is something that we discovered called the five market must-haves. Five things that every single one of the successful markets that we went into, that our clients went into, checked these boxes, and every single failure was missing one of these five things.
Jeff: You gonna tell me what they are?
Ryan Levesque: Cliff hanger, right? It’s like, “Stay tuned for the next scene!” No, but we'll get it right now…
So five things, I'll give them to you right now. These are things that you, if you're listening to this right now, your position … Write these down, 'cause they're important.
So the first thing we discovered is you wanna be in an evergreen market. What that means, is a market that was relevant 10 years ago, it's gonna be relevant 10 years from now. A lot of people lost a lot of money in markets like Bitcoin, fidget spinners. I lost money in the Scrabble tile jewelry market. It was a fad that lasted about five minutes, and then it fell off a cliff. And so you wanna be in a market that's evergreen. Markets like dog training. Markets like playing guitar, which is something that you and Jon are super into. Markets like orchid care, one of our businesses. So that's the first thing.
Now, it's not enough to be in an evergreen market. You also wanna be in what's called an enthusiast market. Now an enthusiast market is in contrast to a problem/solution market. Problem/solution market is a market where every sale you generate, you have to get a new customer. So examples would be things like flood removal. If your home gets flooded, you solved that problem, you never wanna think about it ever again. Right? Versus an enthusiast market is like playing the guitar, caring for your orchid. Even the market that you serve, entrepreneurs. That's an enthusiast market. I've been in your market for a decade, and I'm still buying courses, and books, and training, and everything like that. So that's the second one.
Third one is, it's not enough to be in an evergreen and enthusiast. This one's important. You need to solve an urgent problem, in the context of that enthusiast market. Now what that means is this: If you're in the dog market, you can't just go selling doggy mugs, or doggy Christmas ornaments. You gotta find, what's the burning, ten-thousand-dollar problem that people need to solve in that market? And so, a typical example is, if you get a new puppy, the puppy starts peeing on the rug. Right? The dog pees on the rug, pees on the carpet, pees on the sofa, pees on ever … That's a problem that makes you say, “Honey, we gotta solve this now!” Right? You know? So that's an example of an urgent problem. So that's number three.
Number four is future problems. You wanna find a market where, when you solve that first problem, whether it's helping the dog, potty training the puppy, the success leads to a new problem that they don't yet have. We'll take this example right here, the market that you serve. First problem that business owners have is, “What business do I start?” Then it's, “How do I know what to sell?” And then it's, “I'm selling stuff, but I'm doing all the work myself. How do I hire a team?” So every level of success leads to a future problem that you can then solve, and become that trusted advisor for life. So that's number four.
The fifth one is PWMs. Players with money. I think a big mistake a lot of people make is they try to sell to markets with people that have no money. If you can't put a roof over your head, you can't put food on the table, how are people ever gonna buy your thing? So, PWMs. What does that mean? Players with money, it means not selling to billionaires or deca-millionaires. What you're looking for is a market where people spend a disproportionate amount of their income in that area of their life. So golf is the quintessential example, right? The amount of money people spend on golf clubs, and golf equipment, and golf lessons, and golf vacations, and trip, and everything like that.
So, you want an evergreen market, an enthusiast market, an urgent problem that you solve immediately, future problems that you can solve down the road, and a market that is filled with players with money. Those are the five market must-haves.
Ryan Levesque: Yeah.
Jeff: And so, there's gonna be a link down below. I'll talk about that in a minute, but first I've got a question for you.
Ryan Levesque: Okay.
Jeff: What are the big mistakes people make? In picking a business?
Ryan Levesque: Yeah. There're a couple, right? And so, the whole premise of the book is, the conventional wisdom out there is all about starting with what. So, what should I create? What should I build? What should I sell? The reality is, the first question that you wanna ask, is who. Who should you serve? Who is that market? That's where you start. So it starts with that. But there're two specific mistakes that I wanna talk about.
The first has to do with market size. People tend to go into markets that are either way too big, or too small. Big markets, like throwing your raft in the middle of the ocean, you're gonna get swallowed up whole. Small markets like tossing your boat in a dry riverbed, or a little stream that has no … You know, there's no momentum, there's no current propelling you forward.
So that's the first mistake. And so, what we did is, we analyzed every single one of the markets that we went into. What we looked at is, we used Google Trends. Google Trends is a free tool that anybody can use. It's trends.google.com. And we analyzed the keyword search volume, in every single market. We looked at our winners, we looked at our failures, and here's what we found. We found that every single one of our winning markets, the search volume all fit within this very narrow keyword band. So it told us exactly how big of a market to go into.
Now one of the things I share in the book, it was something that we debated, literally for months. We're like, “Do we reveal what the keywords are in our most successful businesses, or do we keep it secret?” Well, we decided to reveal what those keywords are, and I teach you how to compare your keyword against those benchmark keywords, so you can see if you're either too big, too small, or right in that sweet spot.
Jeff: Right. Because too big, and it's too broad a market, you're not gonna be able to speak to 'em in their language. Too small, and obviously you don't have the volume.
Ryan Levesque: Yeah, that's… yeah. So that's the first mistake. So there's what we call a market size sweet spot. You wanna be right in that sweet spot. But that's the first dimension.
The second dimension has to do with competition. Now, the bigger mistakes I hear people with competition is, is usually one of the following. Either someone has a great idea, and then they get all excited about it, they go online, they do some searching, and they say, “Crap. Somebody's already doing it.” And then they close the book on the idea, and then they turn it away. Or, they say, “Ah, I've got this great idea!” They go online, and nobody's doing it, and they're like-
Ryan Levesque: “We're gonna be rich! We're gonna be rich, this is great.”
The reality is, both of those are problematic situations. One of my mentors taught me, he said, “You know, Ryan. Pioneers get shot. Settlers get rich.” What that means is, you don't wanna be the first to market. You wanna find a market, specifically where other people are already succeeding, in spite of themselves. What that means is, they're demonstrating to make money, and yet they're making five or six mistakes, that if you just fixed one of those things, you're gonna be great.
So how do you know if people are making money? Well the most reliable way to do that, is to see who's spending money on advertising online. Because if someone's spending money consistently on advertising, chances are they're making money on return. So what we did is, again, we analyze all the markets. And we found that there's a competition sweet spot. Just the right amount of advertising. Not too little, so you don't want a market that has no advertisers, because that tells you that there's no market. But you also don't wanna be in a market that has too many advertisers.
So we found exactly what that sweet spot is, and in the book, I show you how to research your market, to see the amount of competition, and see if your market is in that sweet spot. And if it isn't, if you should niche down or niche up, to get inside that sweet spot.
Ryan Levesque: Yeah.
Jeff: So, the book is available. I've got a link down below.
Ryan Levesque: Awesome.
Jeff: And so that link will take you, just today only … This is late days here. But you can get the book for free, for …
Ryan Levesque: Free, hardcover copy of the book. Ship it to you anywhere in the world, just pay a few dollars shipping and handling.
Ryan Levesque: And-
Jeff: And you get some bonuses.
Ryan Levesque: We got $200 in bonuses. So first thing's this. I know a lot of people, especially who follow your stuff, love listening to audiobooks. They love listening, right? So, we decided we're gonna include a copy of the audiobook, for free. So that's … We're throwing that in, first thing.
Second thing, talking about niches. We have seven tests in this book, that I teach you how to go through. And I identified the 25 most lucrative niche markets for 2019, that passed all seven of those tests. You get access to that link, that resource, immediately. So you don't have to wait at all. So that's the second thing.
Third thing is this. I have a business mindset course. So one of the things I realized when starting a business … And you know this. There's some of the content you've been putting out recently is all about all the head trash. Right? Fear of failure, analysis paralysis, self-confidence, self-doubt, all of those things. And so I teach 17 mental hacks, that you can use to overcome that negative psychology that we all get stuck in when we're starting something new. So, that's that.
You also get all the digital bonuses inside the book. So the book will be shipped to you as soon as it's released, but you get instant access, like today, to all the checklists, all the resources, all the examples, all the worksheets in the book. Right here, right now, today. Over $200 in bonuses, through that special link that you just mentioned.
Jeff: Cool. So, down below, there's gonna be a link. Book is free. This is gonna be a game-changer, just like Ryan's first book was a game-changer. And it's literally today, is when you're gonna … You're still gonna be able to get the book, but it's just gonna cost money.
Ryan Levesque: Well, the book is $24.99 in the US, $33.99 in Canada. You can buy it at full price, not get the bonuses. But if you do it right here, right now, today, it's only a few buck shipping and handling, ship it to anywhere in the world, $200 in bonuses, and you get those bonuses now.
Jeff: Awesome. So, thanks Ryan.
Ryan Levesque: Thanks Jeff..
Jeff: That was cool. That was cool.
Ryan Levesque: Appreciate it, man.
Jeff: Get the book, and let's go get 'em this week!
Ryan Levesque: Awesome.