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  • Scott Gerber Interview – Serial Entrepreneur & Author of ‘Never Get A Real Job’

    18 January 2011

    Hate the Thought of Working a 9 to 5? Looking for Inspiration to Become your Own Boss by Setting Up Your Own Sustainable and Profitable Business?

    Well You’re in Luck Because I’ve Found Just The Guy to Help You!

    This next guy goes by the name of Scott Gerber – Scott is founder to multiple online companies and in December 2010 he became an official author, releasing his successful first book ‘Never Get A “Real” Job’.

    As you will discover in this fantastic, inspiring interview, the reason Scott actually decided to write the book in the first place was because he wanted to create a solid solution to youth un-employment in America, and indeed throughout the rest of the world.

    When I first heard about the book I just had to interview Scott because I think his intentions are just so heart-warming and inspirational that I just knew the Blogtrepreneur readers would love to hear what Scott has to say and his ideas on escaping the rat race and ultimately becoming your own boss (as he did!)

    After interviewing Scott it was very clear to me that he has some solid, results proven ideas behind solving unemployment and helping others to become entrepreneurs, and that both Scott, and his book are the real article.

    Scott delivers some great answers of very high value – there are no re-hashed or out-dated ideas here, but some great tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur by making a comfortable living working for yourself

    I hope you enjoy the interview guys – Let us know what you think of the interview and if you buy his book or you have already read it, please let us know what you thought. I look forward to receiving your feedback in the ‘comments’ section below.

    You can purchase Scott’s book by clicking on the image to the right »

    I wish you all great success with the tips in this interview and of course following in Scott’s footsteps by starting your very own business!

    Luke Etheridge
    “The Interview Guy” at Blogtrepreneur.com

    ______________________________________________

    Scott Gerber Interview (Audio Transcription)

    Luke Etheridge: Hi, guys, this is Luke Etheridge here from Blogtrepreneur.com, and today we have a very special guest who goes by the name of Scott Gerber. Before I go any further, Scott, thank you for joining us today.

    Scott Gerber: Thanks for having.

    Luke: For those of us, for those of our readers who may not have ever heard of you, yeah, could you please explain what you do?

    Scott: Sure, I guess that the best thing is, I’m the author of “Never Get a Real Job,” which just came out a couple of weeks ago; also, an internationally syndicated small business and entrepreneurship columnist for Entrepreneur, Inc., and the Wall Street Journal; and own several different businesses.

    Luke: Cool. I mean, obviously, the entrepreneur niche is what you’re into. Is that fair to say, yeah?

    Scott: Yeah, one thing I should have mentioned is, as of late, our most insane project and world takeover project, if you will, has been the creation of something called the Young Entrepreneur Council, which has been featured, now, in the New York Times and a bunch of other things, as, hopefully, what will become the leading advocacy group for Generation Y, looking to become entrepreneurial.

    So, it’s very exciting, especially in the face of youth unemployment being so awful and underemployment even worse, that a body of this caliber, of this group, can really get together and make some positive change worldwide, it’s going to be quite spectacular to watch over the next couple of years.

    Luke: Yeah, yeah, that sounds interesting. I mean, so does that sort of go along the same lines as “Never Get a Real Job,” or are you trying to get people into, you know, online business or is it just business in general?

    Scott: I think that I’m trying to get them into realistic businesses, and more importantly, away from the, you know, hand out resume driven society of old that I feel no longer truly applies to many of the young folks in Gen Y.

    Frankly, I think the paradigm shift of moving away from the “work hard, get good grades, go to school and get a job” mantra of old, into one that is more about a philosophy of creating a job to keep a job, is now more than ever apparent.

    And I think that, in order for us to be able to become self sufficiency experts, we really need to be able to create businesses that are capable of generating real revenue and real income that can be grown over a period of time, and not try to go for that whole Facebook philosophy of, ‘the one in a billion, by hell or high water.’

    Luke: Yeah, yeah. I completely agree with you, there. So, the sort of stance you have with it is that the economy is sort of going down, and you don’t really want to be going down with it, so you want to be actually creating your job, so that you actually have a secure job, for the rest of your days.

    Scott: Indeed, and I think that now more than ever, there are no gold watches, or brilliant retired folks that are in the system for many years, here. That just simply doesn’t apply to the new reality of our economy and our global economic climate.

    Luke: Yeah, I mean, at the very beginning, when you actually first got into business, well, actually, so before you’d even started your first business. I know that you’re a founder of many businesses. So, before you even started, what actually got you into it? What sort of ignited the spark to make you get into business?

    Scott: Well, it’s interesting, I knew from a very young age, I was not a real job kind of guy. And I always say Gen Y, and obviously, I’m inclusive of that, we’re a generation that doesn’t take well to authority. And more so than that, we’re a generation that, in most cases, is a bunch of entitled, spoiled, coddled brats that think we have the world by the balls and that we can do whatever we want, because it’s going to go our way, because we’re us.

    And I was no different. And as a young kid, I had a mother who was a real job loyalist. Someone who was 25 years in the education system of New York City, which is known as one of the strongest teacher unions in the world. And all the time she would say, “Scott, when are you going to get a real job?”

    And that thought just destroyed me. Here I was in college, pounding down Fortune 500 doors, getting freelance work as a producer in the entertainment business, yet I still couldn’t get past that mindset of the real job.

    But, getting back to the cocky self starter that I was, I launched a business, thinking that I could become some level of new media guru. I lost my core focus as a freelancer in the entertainment business, as a producer, and thought I could do it all. Thought I could do web, and photos, and all other kinds of stuff.

    And in the early 2000s, everyone was talking new media, new media. So, I wanted to be new media guru. And that company ended up, basically, going under, going bankrupt in less than a year, and took me down to only $700 left. And that was the quintessential moment in my life, to bring it to a close. Where I could have made a decision, I could have in some ways, prove my mother right, if you will, which I guess a lot of people would not want to do that, if you’ve been [inaudible 0:05:03] opposed viewpoint of that.

    But, instead, rather than go the traditional route, I learned from my mistakes. I said, I knew I wanted to be focused. I knew I wanted to do one thing well, not 10 things OK. I knew I had to kill my ego, and that whole arrogant pompous ass attitude that [inaudible 0:05:19] wanted.

    And today, that company is called Sizzle It, the one that I launched for less than $700, and we have clients like Procter and Gamble, OBI, the Gap, and a lot of other massive global brands that trust us because I had made a conscious decision to change the way that I created businesses, and the way that I would become an entrepreneur.

    So, in that long story, and I apologize to our listeners, for going out on a limb there.

    Luke: It was fine, it was fine.

    Scott: But, I feel like the real way I became an entrepreneur is because it was just in me, and I had to just figure it out for myself on how to do it.

    Luke: I mean, don’t apologize at all, it’s great for people to hear that, basically, they can learn from your mind, as well. They can sort of adapt on what you’ve just said there, that that’s the kind of mindset that you’ve got to create within yourself in order to push things forward.

    And I think, what’s quite interesting is that you’ve got to a quite a low, probably quite a low when you actually went bankrupt. I mean, that must have been horrible.

    Scott: Yeah, I mean, the fact that the company went down after such high expectations, of course, even though, looking back, it was built on nothing but hopes and dreams and a bunch of crap.

    The fact is, is having, in college, here I was, freelancing, and I was quite good at it, producing music videos and commercials and other such things. I was making, probably close to $60,000 when I was a junior in university. And then, to take that, to try to diversify, thinking I was going to be some bigger deal, without really growing organically or thinking very smart about it, or partnering correctly, or so on and so forth.

    It was a very hard learning experience, and that’s exactly why I wrote the book, “Never Get a Real Job. Because I felt like there was no young person’s manual. There was no book out there that told it like it really was, not the hyperbole, not that “Rah, rah, you can do it” nonsense, which will get you nowhere but bankruptcy fast.

    But really, what it was like to be in the trenches as a Gen Yer, by a Gen Yer. And that’s why I wanted to write this resource, because for too long, I’ve seen too many people make too many stupid mistakes that I made, that I thought, “Wow, if I could only sit down with that person for 10 minutes, and tell them why what they’re doing is going to take them down. Oh, man, what could I do?” And that’s why I wrote the book.

    Luke: So, you think you really must have, did you have to reevaluate everything as soon as you went bankrupt, did that, was that quite a learning curve for you that sort of set you up for the future?

    Scott: Absolutely. I mean, I believe failure is, by far, the greatest learning experience anyone can have. And the reason that it’s such a problem today to experience failure is because Gen Y has come from the coddling culture, where we can do no wrong, where we were never allowed, in most cases, to feel the sting of failure, because our parents shielded us from it, and because we were told about this glorified lifestyle.

    So, all of a sudden, when the real world hits, it’s like “Oh damn. What am I supposed to do?” And that’s the wrong failure.

    Whereas a failure that is a right failure is one where you were being proactive, took risk based on life lessons, based on hard data, based on being in the market and changing your tactics based on that failure to really learn from it versus just, “I failed because I lacked the education.”

    Luke: So, you think it’s probably actually quite important to just check yourself in the deep end, be brave and try it. If you’re got an idea, if basically the idea is, go ahead with your idea. If it doesn’t work then adapt it and change it and even turn it upside down and then try again. So, keep trying. Is that the idea?

    Scott: Partially, yes. I would say a big part of that though is also to be reasonable and practical. Again, too many people today, they think that they’re going to set out and be the next Groupon because they’ve got a great domain name.

    Luke: Yeah.

    Scott: And that is definitely not the right way to start a business. And, again, the biggest lesson I ever learned in that failure and what I refer to as the company that shall not be named [laughs] is that you have to kill you ego. You have to be realistic. You have to be a pragmatist. You can’t be someone who thinks you’re the exception to any rule. You can’t think that you don’t apply to the worst case scenario or Murphy’s Law, or Darwin’s Theory, or any of those kinds of things.

    So, you need to base your business concept on something that is practical and unoriginal, especially in this marketplace. I think that being able to have something that is clearly able to at least garner immediate revenues is going to put us in a better way forward, than simply opening up some general website and hoping to get some massive traction overnight.

    So, as long as you put both feet on the ground, I think that you are in the right direction to fail appropriately. But, again, sometimes people don’t realize that they’re actually not on the ground.

    Luke: Yeah. Yeah. You said something that’s quite interesting. It has always fascinated me is the typical Internet marketer now a days does a lot to touch on the fact that you can get traffic overnight. You can get thousands and thousands of dollars per month overnight. I mean how did you feel about that?

    Is that a strong point? Did you feel that – when I say this I mean the public speaker type Internet marketer that just travels the world public speaking and teaching rehashed teachings? How did you feel about that?

    Scott: I think that it all comes down to… I will never judge someone or how they make their living. All I can hope is that their ethical in what they like to do, and that they practice what they preach. With that being said, to me, I think in this new economy, any way that someone can build something that is a scalable of a business is the best way forward.

    Because if you are a team of one in many cases, what you end up doing is, basically, being your own employee. And the problem with that is that the whole point of being an entrepreneur is to one day have the ability to become someone who can work on their business instead of in their business, right?

    Because you can’t really scale a company or create real wealth – and I don’t mean millions, but I just mean the ability to work less, enjoy more of your time, and so on and so forth – if you’re a team of one.

    So, for all the folks that travel the world and rehash stuff and what not, I can’t comment as long as the information is valuable and they’re providing real value and they’re not a snake oil salesman which I know a lot of them are, I have no problem with it. But, I think that their products will speak for themselves in the market and determine whether they make a future or not.

    Luke: Yeah. So, do you think there’s a way to actually run your business so that you have more free time? How have you managed to do it with… I think, browsing the Internet I think you’re involved in quite a few. I think it’s probably three or four businesses, isn’t it? It’s probably more than that.

    Scott: Yeah. I mean it depends on I have different levels of investment or personal time into each company. But, the main business that really I’m growing right now, I should say the main two businesses that I’m really focusing on, one of them is Sizzle It, and that’s the company that I mentioned earlier that produces Sizzle reels which are promotional videos that are usually three to five minutes in length for PR and marketing professionals.

    And the other one is a new company that we’re starting with a bunch of the Young Entrepreneur Council members which is called the Gen Y Fund, which will aim basically to create financing opportunities for on the ground, practical nuts and bolts businesses of Gen Yers.

    So, not like a Silicon Valley start up incubator or accelerator or funding arm, but rather one that takes the normal mom and pop businesses that are now Gen Y businesses, like tutoring services or dry cleaners and offers them financial opportunity.

    Luke: OK. Cool. You briefly touched on your book earlier on. Is this your first book that you’ve ever written?

    Scott: Yes. I’ve written my columns for a number of years now. I just actually heard from the editor, which I found pretty cool, is that I’m considered to be the most syndicated young entrepreneur columnist in the world.

    Luke: Very nice.

    Scott: So, a lot of it comes from that experience. But, the whole the book still stems from what I write about in the columns which is I am who I speak to you. I talk about things I’m going through, or things I’ve been through that I know my audience goes through as well. So, as long as I keep failing, which I’m sure I will, I’ve got lots to talk about.

    [laughter]

    Luke: Yeah. Yeah. And, hopefully, not too much failure.

    Scott: Yeah, well, let’s put it this way, with every failure, hopefully, there comes a lot of success.

    Scott: There’ll be another book with every single failure.

    [laughter]

    Scott: Indeed, well, I’ve got lots in me, hopefully, so, we shall see.

    Luke: Releasing a book, obviously, that makes you officially an author. I mean that must be quite a daunting task. How did you actually first set about creating a book? It must take quite a lot of planning and quite a lot of time.

    Scott: Yeah, but you have time.

    Luke: Could you speak to that?

    Scott: It’s actually been about a year and a half in the making of this book which is quite crazy. What I love about this is, there’s been a lot of buzz around the book, obviously because of youth unemployment. I’m positioning this as the solution to that.

    Luke: I mean it’s the perfect time, isn’t it, to release it?

    Scott: Yeah. And, of course, in certain ways I unfortunately knew that the timing was going to work out. I wish I was wrong, of course. But, the thing is that when you set out to write a book and I really… And I sat down with a bunch of friends. I actually put together a panel when I was about to start writing the book.

    And part of the group was real job loyalist and part of the group was hardliner entrepreneurs. And then I brought together a couple of folks that were indifferent. And, basically, I had a panel discussion about all the topics in my book, because the last thing I wanted – I knew I was never going to be right, let’s say, in the eyes of the real jobbers, but I wanted to be able to say to them, “Listen, this is a practical viable alternative.”

    And second to that, I didn’t want it to just be a bunch of crap that’s like you said before, re-fed from a hundred different sources that I’m just combining for the author of blog credit because it’s everything I stand against, right? The last thing I want to do is add to the pile of crap that’s out there educating our young people.

    Luke: Absolutely. Yeah.

    Scott: So, it was a great experience to have those arguments and to really play out at the end of the day what would make sense to a Gen Yer who has no money, instead of that whole BS version that we hear about all the time that says, “Get a bank loan,” or “Ask your friends and family for money.” You know all that stuff.

    I wanted this to be from the position of exactly who I was when I started which was, I had nothing, I knew nothing. What do I need to know, but not the www.Google.com version of what I needed to know. The actual practical education, the behind the scenes insider information. And that’s how I went to write the book.

    And then launching it has been quite a journey. You know, I have been very fortune in that, you know, I have a lot of medial relationships, and the book has received a lot of coverage. And that’s, frankly, because I do think it provides. And that’s not me patting myself on my back; I just believe that it is part of a generational shift that is teaching that creative job to keep a job of mentality. Something different in spite of the awful gloomy economic doomsday news. We hear about unemployment everyday.

    Luke: Yeah.

    Scott: So, it’s been interesting, and it just keeps snowballing. So, I’m excited to keep the journey moving and to help as many people as I can.

    Luke: So pretty much, the successful launch is probably down to the fact that you’ve got a unique product and you’re very passionate about it. So, you think that’s probably shown through.

    Scott: Oh absolutely, I mean I know a lot of people that – I wish you could see my air-quotes right now – but are “writing books”, a.k.a., having ghost writers do it or doing it as part of a brand platform they’re building. And you know, they’re just trying to keep pushing people through the sales funnel, that are going to help them get speaking engagements, or help them get a variety of other opportunities. And, listen, I’m not going to lie, have I had a personality brand upgrade since the book came out? Of course. But, was that the reason I wrote it? No.

    Luke: No, it wasn’t the intention.

    Scott: It wasn’t the intention, but there are certain people out there that it is their intention. And to those folks, I only say, at the end of the day, you’re going to find out really quick who your loyalists are, and who your new customers are. Because your new customers may have a very slow adoption process. Because after you get that core group, a lot of people may see you for a snake oil salesman.

    With me, I think that this is a mission. The book is a component of that mission. And that mission is to solve the global epidemic. So, if I can play even a small part in changing a couple of folks lives, in the same way that I wish the resource had existed when I first started, I think I’ve done a job that, whether I speak for X amount of dollars or not, doesn’t really matter, because the job was more important. The mission before the man, if you will.

    Luke: Yes, when you actually set out to make the book, you said it was a year and a half?

    Scott: Yes, a year and a half.

    Luke: Did you go through any sort of psychological obstacles? Did you ever doubt yourself that it would get of the ground? Did you think it would be received this well? Did you ever think it would be successful?

    Scott: Well, I went into it… I always joke around with my publisher, because he always reminds me of this.

    I actually sat down for my first meeting after I had signed my book deal, and I said I’m a marketer who happens to write. And I knew that, just because you have a great product, if it doesn’t get out there, then what kind of product do you really have?

    So, my whole philosophy was that I never wanted to write a book that wouldn’t go anywhere fast. I knew what I was capable of from a marketing perspective, and I knew who my media relationships were. But, I focused a lot of attention on making sure that the book was crafted as part of a larger movement, which it is. And also because I wanted to make sure that in the different various areas that I’m playing in now, whether that be in international locations where I’m trying to build out the entrepreneurship council globally, whether that be with the Unites States government that I’m trying to create some advocacy opportunities. I wanted to make sure that this platform really held its ground. So, I needed to make sure it got out there.

    So, I planned an entire campaign that I was planning and executing while writing the book. So, whether or not I knew whether it was going to be this well-received or not, impossible to tell, but I put a lot of groundwork in, because the last thing I wanted to do was hear another whining screaming author talking about, “Oh, my publisher screwed me, they didn’t do anything for me.” Well, you know what? Treat it like a business, and make it work for you, and you probably would have been better off.

    Luke: So, don’t rely on the publisher to do all the work, do it yourself?

    Scott: Absolutely not. I mean listen, the publisher, I have to say, I have had a great experience with Wiley for what they were good at. And they laid it out to me at what they were good at and what they were not so good at from the very beginning. And I knew what I was getting myself into. You know, they provide amazing distribution systems, and I provide the ideas. That is the key. And the ideas transcend the words on the page; they also include getting it to the masses.

    So, you know for me, I enjoyed it because I thought it was a challenge. You have so many books published, and the fact that I’m seeing the kinds of Amazon comments, and the fact that the book is doing really well in sales, is a testament to a real team effort, of what they’re good at and what I’m good at, and what we’re hopefully collectively moving forward.

    Luke: I saw the reviews, you’ve just said you’ve seen the comments on Amazon, I saw them as well when I was doing my research. It’s quite cool to read it, isn’t it? You must be very proud of that, to read it, all those five-stars and those nice comments.

    Scott: Yeah, and the funny thing is, I keep telling people, you know my friends, my closest friends who are not in the entrepreneurial world. We’re just a bunch of guys, so they’re busting my chops left and right, “Oh, who’s the published author?” They said, “Wow! You’ve got a lot of friends that wrote some great stuff.” And I said, I’m going to be honest with you, one or two maybe, but the rest of them really are real people. I really, honest to God, have no idea who some of these folks are. Who most of them are. And it’s really rewarding.

    That’s not to say I haven’t received a couple hundred emails, from people that also had personal comments and questions and such. So, it’s been really remarkable to see the interaction and the exchange.

    Luke: So, you spoke about promoting the book, and you said you started while you were actually writing it. Promoting an actual physical book, is it similar to promoting an e-book, or and e-course, or a website. Or is there more to it than that? Is there a lot more planning involved?

    Scott: Again, content is king. Whether you are selling an e-book or a printed product, I do believe you are still, at the end of the day, selling something that somebody has to want. And to me, in the digital age, you have so many opportunities. Case in point, just looking at my press page right now, 90 percent of that, while yes, of course, you have printed publications like the New York Times, 90 percent of that is bloggers who felt a real need to want to talk about all this. And that says something about how the social dynamics have changed dramatically.

    So, if you have something to sell, and something of value, I should say that is something people will see value in, you’re going to have a lot easier time getting it out there, regardless of medium. But, there is no question that in terms of preparation or anything else, the Internet has changed the playing field from even a couple of years ago.

    Luke: So, what has been the most successful marketing campaign in promoting this book?

    Scott: It’s been interesting. I have to say that my whole strategy always was, get the message to the press, and then let them run with it. And, you know, yes, I did book giveaways or contests and things like that. But, at the end of the day, I just had a feeling that given the times of all the doom and gloom that you hear about every day in the press, that an uplifting story about a proactive solution to what is ultimately a passive issue of sending resumes and not working, to one where you’re actually going out and making your own future happen for your own good and for yourself. I thought that it would play well, and I was right.

    And thankfully I feel, the content really is what pushed it. It wasn’t a gimmick, or some cheesy giveaway. Again, of course, I’m going to say I did some of that stuff, because you have to. But, really, I was about wanting to get this out there in such a way that the media would see that this needs to be a call to action, this needs to be the beginning of a change in understanding of what entrepreneurship in the youth needs to be. And I was very proud of the fact that while people might disagree with some of my viewpoints, that the conversation and the dialog has happened, which also of course spurs more interaction, spurs more conversation, especially online.

    Luke: I really respect that you actually, you know there’s not significant amount of campaign that really boosted the pricing of this book. You keep going back to the fact that your content is king. You were that confident in what you created, that you hoped that the press would enjoy it so much, that bloggers would enjoy it so much, they just felt compelled to write about it anyway.

    Scott: Right, and again, anyone who knows how I write stuff, knows that I’m not exactly… Well, I guess the best way to say it is, in the young entrepreneurial circle, I’ve been called the Simon Cowell of young entrepreneurship, which I find very funny. [laughs]

    But, you know my viewpoint is not I am very one-sided and listen, I learn from people, they love me or hate me. My viewpoint is that simply handing out resumes to jobs that aren’t getting back to you is a worthless proposition for most people in Gen Y, that they would be better off spending their time on activities that actually can make them real revenues.

    Some people argue that point till they die, how could you tell young people not to go to traditional jobs unless they have experience. Well, I can go back and say, I didn’t had experience, I didn’t have business education. I didn’t have money and I ended up here.

    “Oh, you are the exceptional rule,” but I don’t I am the exception of the rule. But, you get the idea.

    Luke: I mean that’s it that’s not an exception, the point is that you have done it you are a living proof, therefore, you are just teaching what you have already done and what you are doing now.

    Scott: Exactly, and that’s were I really do hope that we have got to listen what happens in the long run, sales are amazing sales are not good, again if I can just go and make a couple of significant changes all through the book and through the Young Entrepreneur Council, and the Gen Y Fund also I should say, to some kid’s lives who have been just decimated by this job market by actually showing that they can do what I have done and what others in my circle have done. I do believe that is a better service than you know any book-sale or accolade could [inaudible 0:25:47] .

    Luke: Yeah, yeah. Now, that’s one underlining message of “Never Get a Real Job,” it very much reminds me of the Robert Key, SR Key kind of view on the world, obviously don’t follow that corporate route because there are other options for you.

    I mean on that note what advise would you give to college students right now, say, there is a college student listening to this who his currently following the corporate route with the intention of getting this high flying nine to five job one day, you know who have got the sort of that thought in the back of their mind of becoming an entrepreneur and not sure how to go about it. What sort of advise would you give to them?

    Scott: Well, first thing I would say is that you have to kill your ego now. You have to realize that you are one in a million and not the million you are making your reality TV life out to be. And the reason I say that is because if you go into any business or any proposition thinking that you are not the exception that you are the exception in the world or thinking that the rules don’t apply on some levels to you, and of course I talk about how to get around the rules in certain ways, but in certain cases they still hold.

    Then you are going to be a rational decision maker. You are going to be somebody who has the fame, the fortune, and the ideals of the perfect scenario in your mind and try and build your business towards those unachievable and unrealistic expectations. Whereas if you are practical and you understand key concepts without what it takes to get from A to B to C and you are open minded that you are never going to get overnight success, you will have a lot more success as a result.

    Second thing I would say is that, right now, more than ever, we have got to start thinking of making money making income not making a million. And part of that means that we need to build simple, practical nuts and bolts businesses that are capable of generating immediate revenue.

    You know, I understand the need to want to change the world with another Facebook platform or something of the like, but realistically now your business can survive if you can survive. So, you really need to find ways to avoid things like building a business based on a hypothetical exit strategies or massive online traffic. Things that take a lot of time and energy to get off the ground if they do, and many don’t, most don’t.

    So, I think that you have to get back to the basics and build essential service based businesses that are going to enable you to move your business forward.

    And the third thing too – and I think that is applicable to most of your folks – is not to get bogged down in technology but to use that technology in a more efficient way. Not every business that one person starts should be tech focused.

    Tech is an amazing opportunity to level the playing field, almost instantaneously. From the way we do virtual offices and services, to the way that we communicate, and can have a global audience nearly instantaneously, through platforms.

    However, at the same time, it makes us delusional into thinking that, all of a sudden, just because we’ve got a great platform, that we open the doors and oh my god, here we come, look at my great idea.

    So, I would encourage people, especially the graduating classes now, and those recent college grads, use technology to increase an existing tried and true business model, to do something unique to an old school idea.

    Whether that means taking something like a simple cleaning service, or taking something along the lines of a tutoring business, and adding the level of technology that doesn’t exist in the other competitors in your market, so you can have a more, deeper entrenched relationship with your audience, with your core consumers. You’re going to find a lot more success than trying to build some platform that may or may not work. That would be, I think, the key elements right now.

    Luke: Thanks for that. I mean, that’s perfect. I think you hit the nail on the head, there.

    I mean, when starting out a business, how important do you think it is to apply your passion? So, I mean, a lot of people, they will start a business just because they’ve heard that it’s a money earner, or just because they’ve heard that it’s a good niche to get into. People go into the health and fitness niche that don’t even actually know about fitness. So, how important is it to be passionate, and how important is it to cash in on your passion?

    Scott: Well, I can tell you this. Passion can blind you. And I wrote an article about this for Inc. that almost had my head removed, from a bunch of folks at Hacker News.

    I believe that you can only be passionate after you’ve been pragmatic. The old story of, two guys get together in a bar, they write an idea on some napkin, and the story goes that they make a billion dollars, that’s wonderful, but that’s Hollywood. That’s so not even the norm, on any level.

    Yet, people today think it is. People think, anything that you talk about, anything that you put down, is going to have some storied success, because we live in our own [inaudible 0:30:28] Hollywood fantasy realities.

    And what I would say to the whole thing is, we just have to get back to the basics. We just have to make sure that we are as… we have to understand what we’re doing. We can’t just say, what a great idea, and go into it blindly. We can’t just not ask ourselves questions, and figure out the money equation later, because we think we’ve got a great idea.

    Because an idea without execution, an idea without a real way forward, frankly, is not going to work. And anybody who says otherwise, I would challenge them, that if they can find anybody that’s not a Facebook, not a Groupon, people that are the everyday average person worldwide that that applies to, I will step down as a pundit and expert and author and columnist and a business.

    Luke: I can see why people are calling you Simon Cowell, now.

    Scott: [laughs]

    Luke: Anyways, thanks for joining us today, I’m sure that everyone’s going to rush out now and get a copy of your book. I know that’s not your intention, and I know you’re not that kind of guy to just sort of come here and just push the book, blindly.

    But I genuinely think that from how you’ve explained the book and your intentions with the book, it’s so warming to know that you actually just want to make a difference, and as corny as that sounds, as well. I mean, that sounds a hell, it sounds ridiculously corny, but I’m pretty sure that is the idea. And I’m pretty sure that comes across as well.

    Scott: Yeah, I’ve definitely been called corny, but at the same time, like I said, if the results are in the bag, let them call me what they will, but somebody’s going to be making a living as a result.

    Luke: Yeah, exactly. As long as you’re making a difference, who cares about anyone else?

    Scott: Indeed.

    Luke: Anyway, thanks a lot, Scott. And I hope everyone else enjoyed the interview today. If you could just make your comments below about Scott, about the book, if you buy the book, let us know what you think about it. Scott, I’m sure, will check back on the interview to see how the comments are building, and just let us know what you think.

    Scott: [inaudible 0:32:29]

    Luke: Anyway, thanks, Scott, and have a good day.

    Scott: You too. Take care, everybody.

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    12 Responses to Scott Gerber Interview – Serial Entrepreneur & Author of ‘Never Get A Real Job’

    1. John J. Walters January 18, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Good read — and thanks for posting the transcript as well as the audio. Not sure if I’m a minority but I’d rather read something than listen to it, unless it’s music.

      • Luke Etheridge January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

        Hey John – great comment bud and it’s great to hear from a fellow ‘reader’.

        Part of the reason that I like to provide the transcripts is because I like to offer an alternative – some people hate listening to voices and tend to really learn better and absorb info better when they read.

        Thanks for your comment John and I am really glad you enjoyed my interview with Scott ;)

        Luke

    2. Morgan January 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      When I saw your email about interviewing Scott…I literally jumped for joy! I have yet to read his book, but I have it on my wishlist and I know it’ll be great when I read it.

      This was truly an inspiring interview! Scott really has it nailed and now I must go get his book. :)

      • Luke Etheridge January 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

        Haha, heard of Scott before then Morgan? :) He certainly is a great guy and a very knowledgable man who we can learn a lot from.

        Glad that you felt inspired by the interview, I did too! Was great to hear the facts and the truth from the horses mouth, right from the guy who has succeeded, if that makes sense!

        I have provided a few links to Scott’s book within this post actually so if you want to purchase go to the top of the post and click on the image of his book.

        Thanks for reading Morgan and thanks for your positive comments – always a pleasure!

        Luke

    3. Dave Grimes II January 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

      Luke – Nicely done with this interview!

      Scott – I love your book’s title! LOVE IT! I had a “real job” right out of college, and since losing it rebuilt my life around being self-employed through internet marketing projects, and I’ve never looked back! I’m so glad someone out there is shining a light on this option. Cheers!

      • Luke Etheridge January 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        Dave – great to hear from you again buddy and thanks for stopping by to read the interview ;)

        Glad Scott has inspired you…who wants to work a “real job” anyways – that’s what this site is all about and I think Scott sums up our message perfectly: think outside of the box, be innovative and make things happen for yourself, don’t rely on an employer or a BOSS!

        Thanks again Dave.

        Luke

    4. Leon January 19, 2011 at 2:44 am #

      Way to go Scott. Now it is just a matter of me getting hold of your book and reading it. I am so ready to leave the rat race for good.

      • Luke Etheridge January 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

        Leon – there is a link in the post which directs you to Amazon if you would like to buy his book bro! Just click the image of his book in the intro.

        Glad you enjoyed the interview and thanks for taking the time to read my post…means a lot when people comment so cheers for that!

        All the best Leon.

        Luke

    5. Ryan Critchett January 22, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      Good read – Never heard of this guy, but I’ll check em out now! I love the idea of a serial entrepreneur. Being so creative in nature (whether it was inherent, or cultivated, which in both cases, it’s cultivated), entrepreneurs need their TIME to continue to discover, explore and create!

      Good interview. Valuable tips, good mind elements and definitely things to take away.

      RC

      • Luke Etheridge January 31, 2011 at 11:42 am #

        Ryan,

        Thanks for your positive feedback bro! – words like this go a long way man.

        I agree, Scott is a great guy and in this interview, seemed to give away some real value and inspiration.

        I’m so glad you enjoyed my interview Ryan and it’s great to have you around!

        Luke

    6. ben adelmann February 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Great interview, lot of info. Glad a book is doing well and leading the way when it comes to entrepreneurship, lets make it a culture! Going to get that book!

      • Luke Etheridge February 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

        Ben,

        Yes the book is doing great which is awesome for Scott. Glad you liked the interview enough to check his book out also.

        All the best with your future buddy and let us know how you get on with the book…

        Thanks.

        Luke

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