In this episode, I talk to Andrei Polgar; an online entrepreneur who is passionate about economics and investing on “exotic” assets such as domain names.
Andrei is also an author of Wealth Management 2.0; a book which is dedicated to those who are earning a living and making money online. As well as that, he also uses his niche and knowledge to create his own YouTube channel to teach his audience about economics in a 1-minute video format.
This is a brilliant episode, not just to talk about managing finance, but also about using your niche to create content online and offline, as well as raising your own personal brand along the way.
Here are just a few things we talk about:
- The purpose of his Wealth Management 2.0 book and why he created it
- How he overcomes his personal barriers to go out there and create videos on YouTube
- The impact creating content online has had on his profile
- Why you are wasting your time, money and resources if you are looking for a custom CMS
- The importance of being out there in the online world.
“You don’t even have to be successful 50% of the time. You just have to be out there. You have to be doing stuff. You have to be learning…If you’re not out there, you’re missing.” – Andrei Polgar
- Wealth Management 2.0 – http://wealthmanagement2.com/
- YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/oneminuteeconomics
- Wealth Management 2.0 book on Amazon US and Amazon UK
Ahmed: And here we go. This is The IgniteRock Podcast this is your host Ahmed Khalifa. I’m so excited that you’re here because this is going to be a place where I talk to awesome individuals who do awesome stuff using WordPress. Welcome to this show everyone.
I’m so excited that you’re here and it’s going to be a really good one today, I promise you, because I’m going to be talking to Andrei Polgar, who is an online entrepreneur with a passion for economics. He’s also an author of a book, about helping others who’re making money online to manage their investment and financial security.
It’s so much more than that. We’re talking a lot about being out there, being found and using content to help you do that and of course using WordPress. So much fun talking to him. Show notes are available on igniterock.com/episode 17. In the meantime just sit back, relax as I talk to Andrei.Click Here to Show Transcript
And here we go everyone. This is going to be a really really cool, really exciting episode today with Andrei and it’s going to be interesting because he’s kind of a unique way of talking about online investment and of course about book publishing as well on top of of course we’re going to talk about WordPress. Let’s get started. Andrei, thank you so much for coming on to the show. Definitely appreciate your time and everything. I guess we should start off with a little bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from, and how did you get to where you are today?
Andrei: First of all, thanks for having me. It’s always difficult when people ask me what I do. I label myself as a doer of stuff on the internet. I think that’s accurate enough because I basically started, when I was really young, I taught myself HTML when I was 12. Then I ended up having customers moving on to other types of development as well and then this led me to exploring all sorts of corners of the internet from publishing blog posts on my blog that I’ve been running for multiple years to running hosting businesses to investing in domain names to exploring crypto currencies as well.
Aside from all of that, I’ve always been passionate about economics. One of those days I thought okay it makes sense, right, to take the kind of experience I have as an internet guy, as someone who ran all sorts of internet-related projects, and write the best book in the world because it’s the only book in the world about it. It’s basically the only book out there that teaches people who make money on the internet how to manage that money properly.
For example, you have I think it’s easily in the millions the number of people that make money online in one way or another. You have your freelancers, you have your entrepreneurs, you have your online businesses, whatever you have, bitcoin investors. You have tonnes of people who do this and you know one of these days it struck me that you have these people who are quite intelligent. They’re smart enough to make money online in the first place. They’re brilliant at what they do but they’re frequently not exactly good at keeping the money they make.
Time and time again, you sometimes read it online an article about some dude who ran a successful internet business and then lost all of his money and strangely enough it’s pretty common, maybe not to lose all of your money, but I’ve noticed that being pretty bad with your finances tends to be a common denominator among people who make money online. I said you know it’s a good idea to try to fill this void by leveraging my knowledge as an economist and my, if you will, street smarts as somebody who does stuff on the internet and kind of package it all together in a book that hopefully is going to help people like me get better with their finances.
Ahmed: It’s really cool how you get to that. 12 years old, learning about HTML I mean at 12 years old I was just riding a bike in the streets. It’s amazing that you got into that and then gradually it’s a journey of many, many different things into writing a book about wealth management. I mean, it doesn’t sound like it was deliberate, was it? I mean you were trying to explore, you were trying to test different things and eventually you found something that you were passionate about really.
Andrei: I just try to chase the stuff that makes me hungry. For example, when I was finishing wealth management 2.0, there were some people that said hey look you should come do an interview with me, promote your book, and it’s going to be great. You’re going to have some traffic. I’m going to have some. Okay I was terrified. I was terrified of the fact that me being from Romania my written English is perfect but I always have these insecurities about my accent, about my spoken English. This was maybe two, two and a half years ago. I was terrified by the idea. I wanted to do it but I was terrified. I thought people who are used to my good English in writing are going to be disappointed. It’s just not going to be good enough and so on.
Fast forward to today I am filming myself three times a week and putting it on the internet. It’s definitely not been deliberate but it’s just me basically chasing the stuff I like to do. Not so much money any more. I mean, it’s not like I’m a multi-trillionaire but as of a certain point, and I have written about this in wealth management 2.0 as well, the returns are just no longer worth it. After you reach that certain phase at which you can say okay, my family and I are financially secure enough then chasing additional more and more and more monies stops making that much sense. I think it’s smarter to just focus on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It makes sense to move one step closer to the top of that.
Ahmed: It’s kind of cool that you said you were talking about English is not your first language. Just so the listeners can understand, where are you from originally?
Andrei: I am from Romania. I still live in Romania. I am in fact not even much of a traveller you can pretty much always find me here but I do kind of live on the internet as well. I’ve been doing this for so long, even if I’m pretty young, but I’ve been doing this for so long that your english inevitably ends up becoming better, better, better, so I guess it comes with the profession.
Ahmed: It’s impressive because of all people, even if they learn another language, they would never think about writing a book in that second, third, whatever language as well. It’s pretty impressive that you wrote a whole book about economics and wealth management in English. I think it’s amazing. It’s something that I can’t do myself. Really really cool about that. Wealth management 2.0, if anybody wants to see even the preview of it, you can go to Amazon, I’ll put the link in the show note, and you can look at the preview inside it.
It’s quite interesting that you know you have covered quite a lot of things in general. Just to give a brief idea of what it’s about, could you explain who is it for, what is in that book, and how can it help you?
Andrei: I like to think of it basically as something that gives people a good dose of economic common sense. Right from the beginning I try to make it clear to people that I’m not one of the economists you see on TV who says okay the next financial crisis is going to start next Tuesday at 2:00. I don’t know when it’s going to start and I think that’s what separates me. I don’t try to play a role. I don’t try to give people what they want because nobody can do that.
Economists, I believe, are not supposed to predict the future. We’re not supposed to brand ourselves as gurus who know everything and stuff like that. Instead, something that I do and something that I believe works compared to other economists, is that I tend to embrace my incompetence. Not only do I embrace my incompetence, I make it a part of my strategy. Instead of telling people I had a dream last night and I think we’re going to have deflation in six months, I am honest with them, unlike many of my peers unfortunately. I tell them, no, I have no idea. Maybe we’re going to have deflation. Maybe we’re going to have inflation. Maybe we’re going to have a deflationary episode followed by inflation. I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine.
Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to write this book and I’m going to basically guide you through what I think you need to know so you can make your own plan. In my book, in my work, I stay away from one size fits all stuff. If you ask me should you invest in real estate, I cannot give a one size fits all answer to anyone because if you live in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in a country with a good track record of preserving and protecting property rights, I’m going to say sure go for it.
But what if you live in Egypt, for example, or in a country that’s politically unstable. Then you’re only maybe a regime change away from losing the property you thought you had. I think it’s important for people. It’s hard and it’s counterintuitive in a lot of ways because we’re herd animals. We have this natural tendency to seek out a leader, to seek out the providential figure who knows everything, who has all the answers, and it’s pretty depressing when you have to tell people you’re on your own.There’s no such thing. The best you can do and the best I can do for you is give you the tools you need and then put you in the best possible position to do your own thing.
There’s no such thing. The best you can do and the best I can do for you is give you the tools you need and then put you in the best possible position to do your own thing.
That’s what I do in the book. I start by teaching people what the top mistakes are, the top financial mistakes that those who make money online and in some cases people in general tend to make. Then I move on to telling them what kind of an investment mindset they need to have, the basic, the values you should have as investors, the way of thinking I’d recommend in scenario one, two, three, and so on.
Then I move on to explaining to people how they should interpret information, something few economists do, like for example how to find the right balance between mainstream media sources and alternative media. Only finally in chapter number seven do I take assets one at a time and say okay let’s talk about stocks. Let’s talk about real estate. Let’s talk about art. I do take advantage of my background compared to other economists to also talk about domain names, peer to peer lending, websites, crypto currencies. I think that’s something that helps me stand out as well. That’s only in the final chapter.
I keep telling people that there are no shortcuts. This is not an infomercial, lose weight quickly, just buy my product. You don’t even have to use it. Just buy it and you’re going to lose weight. It doesn’t work like that. I don’t embrace kind of like a business model of telling people what they want to hear. I accept the fact that I’m going to make less money by telling people what I think they should know, even if it’s sometimes the exact opposite of what they want to hear.
Ahmed: It does make sense. At the end of the day, you said it yourself, you have to invest time and effort into growing something. An investment is not a quick win. It’s not a quick success kind of thing. You put your time and effort into growing something over time. That is, I guess that’s a general idea of investment, whether it’s investing in money or investing in your health and your body. The idea is all the same really.
Andrei: Exactly. At the same time though, I have a YouTube channel. It’s called one minute economics. It’s a channel that revolves 100% around the one minute concept, so it’s definitely not my intention to tell people okay as of this point I want you to spend 20 hours a week learning economics because that’s what you have to do. I don’t want to be that guy. At the same time, things are going to happen to you. You make financial decisions even when you don’t realise that you’re making them. It’s not like you can stick your head in the sand and somehow be immune to the effects of your financial decisions.
I try to kind of find the balance with my book, with my channel, of on the one hand convincing people to think about this stuff because the average individual doesn’t spend any time thinking about his finances but at the same time packaging everything and helping people do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them, in a way that enables them to keep doing what they do. I definitely don’t want economics to be the focal point of people’s existence. Not at all. I just want to convince them one minute at a time if possible to just think about this stuff, to just dedicate a bit of energy do it. Just by doing that they’re going to be in a much, much better position than most people.
Ahmed: That’s interesting that you talked about your YouTube channel because there is something that I was going to bring up as well. For those who don’t know, you’ve got a channel on youtube.com/oneminuteeconomics and this is where you teach people about economics in one minute, as much as you can. It’s really, really interesting that I like to talk about people that are creating content. You’re creating content in your books and your blogging and on your YouTube as well.
I’m curious to know, what is your system when you create content? Whether it’s YouTube or a book; they all have their own way of doing things, but do you have a system when you’re creating content and how do you come up with ideas and how do you create your videos? Could you share your system with us as well?
Andrei: I try my best to give people the best bang for their money with my book and the best time for their money and their time with my videos and that I’m a content creator. As a content creator, the first thing that I try to understand is that people are bombarded with content nowadays. You have people who set their hair on fire. You have a gazillion cat videos. You have all of this stuff and in what I do, I kind of try to separate myself from this way of providing content and instead help my viewers get accustomed to the idea that their time is valuable.
A lot of people initially on my channel say why don’t you make your videos longer? I like them. I want to see longer videos. It’s going to be great. Then that was at the beginning. Now when I have I think 90 animations and one year from now I’m going to have a lot more, people understand that it was a good idea to focus on the one minute concept because I really don’t need more than a minute to explain a lot of these things.
I’ve had people who have an economic background. I had people with MBAs, people who have been through formal, kind of sort of economic preparation and they told me that they frequently learn more from my videos than they ended up remembering after a two, three hour lecture, partly because maybe they fell asleep as well. What I do works. It works and I think it’s something that other people should consider embracing as well because the problem with today’s world, the problem with the internet today, is the fact that okay it’s awesome that people have this much information, but we’re dealing with such an information overload, that it’s just ridiculous. It’s ridiculous and it’s not sustainable.
Content creators are in a bit of a predicament because we need a revolution in all of this. Just look at the media consumption behaviour of the average person and it’s depressing. How much time do people spend on the internet, on YouTube in particular? How much time do people spend just watching funny stuff and basically procrastinating compared to how much time people spend doing something useful. How much time people spend watching TED talks or learning something on the internet and stuff like that. It’s depressing when you think about it or if you just follow a few people and stealth modely take a look at what they’re doing, you’re going to come to the conclusion that the overwhelming amount of time we spend online is wasted time.
Through my channel and I think people from the education space need to do this stuff as well. We shouldn’t just say oh … I think it’s hypocritical to blame the person. The person doesn’t want to learn. The person wants to waste time. No, I think we should start by blaming ourselves because if you’re able to share information in the way that’s also entertaining and in a way that ultimately works, if you find this kind of a right balance, people are going to watch your content.
I started this channel as a hobby. I never expected it to come here. It was definitely not planned at all. I thought okay, I wasn’t even a YouTube user. My wife loves YouTube, she follows a lot of people on YouTube. I still don’t even know how a lot of this stuff works. I’m still completely incompetent at YouTube and I’m a YouTuber, but I thought okay maybe there can be demand for someone who makes economics easy to understand.
I started publishing a video a month. I said okay let’s see what happens. People like it. Then this led to me publishing a video every two weeks. Fast forward to today, there’s been so much demand and also support for what I do that I currently publish four videos weekly. It’s just crazy. This stuff has happened and if you do things that work, you’re going to gradually move away from … You know how it is when you start a project, when it seems that you’re talking to yourself because you don’t have an audience. You gradually move on to the point where I am right now.
I am in no way an internet celebrity or whatever, but I exist. I have a voice. If I say something, people are going to know. The work I do influences people. It’s out there. It works. I’ve had it propagates. For example, I know in at least one university in the United Kingdom, one of the professors who contacted me started using my stuff with her students. Just today, I got an email from someone from the Bank of England who are, it seems they’re working on a new project kind of like an educational thing and they said okay if you are in London, let’s get in touch. I like your work. Stuff like that.
Basically the things I am doing from Romania, from the middle of nowhere, just staying at home with my cats, these things are propagating all over the internet and all of a sudden you exist. That’s basically what I try to do with the channel. I try to educate people in a way that’s both entertaining but also works. I guess people are enjoying it. I guess it seems to be working because there’s just one more thing I want to address. The stuff I love about YouTube is that there’s also the community element of it all. Initially, I only published animations. That’s how I started. Again I was always kind insecure about my accent, about my ability to be entertaining and provide value in spoken English as well. I said okay I’m just going to publish animations. I work with a voiceover guy from them. It’s going to be great.
But then as of a certain point, I started filming myself as well. I started answering people’s questions. I started basically publishing content in formats which involve me filming myself. Initially it was terrifying because it’s the internet. It’s the place that people tell you that you suck so I was prepared for people to tell me that but do you know what’s strange? That time passed and I eventually took a look at my previous ten animations, and then at my previous ten film videos.
This was at the beginning of me doing this. I realised that the animations and film videos have about the same number of likes, but the film videos have pretty much no dislikes. The videos at which I was the most incompetent person in the world, and I’m going to tell you a secret, I am, those ended up having fewer dislikes than the animations that I was a lot more confidence in. This is because of the community element of YouTube.
It’s the tendency, especially with smaller communities like mine, that people have to support you. I am convinced 100% that the people who like my videos and who choose not to hit the dislike button, which is hard I’m sure, they do it because they want to support what I do. They realise … I am honest with people. I tell them I know the production value of my videos isn’t perfect. I know my accent isn’t yet perfect. I’m working on it but people don’t care. People support you. That’s why I keep doing this, I guess.A big part of why I keep doing this, even if it’s not the project that gives me personally the most money for my time invested, I keep doing it because I feel it makes a difference and I feel that people are accepting of what I do.
A big part of why I keep doing this, even if it’s not the project that gives me personally the most money for my time invested, I keep doing it because I feel it makes a difference and I feel that people are accepting of what I do.
Ahmed: That’s pretty cool though because you were talking about you said you’re incompetent. I don’t think so, but it’s funny how that you label yourself as somebody who is not good at xyz. I’m not good at speaking. I’ve got this accent. I’m not as knowledgeable as other people and so on and so forth. But the thing is, it’s really really interesting that you said you got yourself out there. You put content out there and if it wasn’t for that, if it wasn’t for you getting you there with your content, whether it’s YouTube or your books, but we’ll focus on YouTube for now, these people are reaching out to you and using your videos, whether it’s a professor in the university or Bank of England, and so on and so forth. If you hadn’t created that YouTube video, that would have never happened.
Something that you hear all the time that if you’re not creating content, then nobody can find you online. Nobody can see you. Nobody knows your expertise. The fact that you know I think listeners appreciate that you don’t have to be perfect. Nobody is perfect in the beginning. You look at all internet celebrities, quotation mark, at the beginning they were all so kind of average. Then they get better and better and I think in time, even at the very beginning, they really appreciate the content they’re given. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s actionable, it’s genuine.
All these things sometimes matters much more than having a polished, perfect video, HD quality and you have a background image and so on and so forth. That’s not what people necessarily aim for. It’s just about having that actionable tips and advice and education that you can consume the way you like it. It’s a really good point that you said that.
Andrei: I think you hit the nail on the head with one of the words you used, with authenticity. I think people are thirsty for that. The average viewer is kind of sick and tired of watching people on the mainstream networks who are, as you mentioned, completely polished with perfect accents, with perfectly organised set and all that stuff, but essentially they’re just delivering noise to you. They’re not delivering meaningful information in an authentic way.
Kind of I think it’s kind of awesome that YouTube enables people like myself, like other economists or other people who are knowledgeable in certain areas to just come online and give viewers an alternative to mainstream stuff. I think if you’re able to get your message across in an authentic manner, people are going to accept it and they’re going to be more than generous when it comes to ignoring your shortcoming because you fill a void that exists. It definitely exists. There’s so much noise.
You have, from Hollywood movies to financial networks on TV, you have all of this neatly packaged noise that people are starting to wake up to and I am fortunate to be able to do this. I am just fortunate to be here. I’m sure one year from now, two years from now I’m going to watch my videos and I’m going to cringe at how bad they were but it doesn’t matter. You’re out there, you’re doing this stuff … No matter what you think about the production value, I tend to be a perfectionist.To me, it’s excruciating when I know that the production value of my stuff, of my film
To me, it’s excruciating when I know that the production value of my stuff, of my film videos is not perfect but at the same time though when I get emails and messages from people who say oh my god I love your content. I sometimes search my channel on Google just to see what people say and there are even people who list me as their favourite channels on YouTube and this is just crazy. This is what keeps me going. Thank you internet.
Ahmed: Thank you internet. I can kind of relate to that as well. Me doing the podcast, whether it’s yourself or whoever, I’m sure after one or two years, just like you said, I am going to cringe about how I am doing this right now as I am speaking today but I know that it will get better. I don’t know if I keep going the value will increase and the quality will increase and so on and so forth. You should never give up.Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a podcast or blogging or videos, whatever you’re doing you should never give up at the beginning just because you think it’s not good quality. You will get better. That’s definitely the main story.
Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a podcast or blogging or videos, whatever you’re doing you should never give up at the beginning just because you think it’s not good quality. You will get better. That’s definitely the main story.
Andrei: Oh yeah.
Ahmed: I guess then if you want to wind up that part about creating content, what advice would you have for those who want to … The way that you create content where it’s book publishing, blogging, YouTube, what advice would you have for those who want to start to do that and be consistent with it and high quality, actionable content like the way that you do?
Andrei: First and foremost, you have to clearly define who you are I think. If you’re interested in publishing content, but you cannot articulate to people just what exactly is special about your content, and why your content deserves to be out there, then you risk just being yet another drop of water in an ocean of noise. I don’t think people want that. Right from the beginning, I think it’s impossible to meaningfully put content out there if you don’t know yourself properly. People are awesome. People have all of these hidden talents that maybe they, a lot of those who are listening to us right now, maybe they haven’t discovered them yet, who knows, but people have them. It’s all a matter of finding out what you’re capable of doing.
For example, something I’m good at is not picking sides. I can pretty articulately and most importantly kind of objectively talk about the Republican party now, then the Democrat party, and I can do these things. I can talk about controversial topics in a not inflammatory way. That’s one thing that I think I can provide value with. The other thing is I am pretty good at making complicated stuff seem simple to understand, like okay a lot of my animations are not about amazingly complicated things, but then again, through one minute animation, I’ve explained fractional reserve banking, which is how our banking system works.
I’ve explained the derivatives which is to a significant degree caused the Great Recession. I do this stuff pretty well in that people, again, even economic students, even people with economic backgrounds, they come to me and they say oh my god why didn’t my economics professor tell me this? I know this when researching for my own videos if I see how others are explaining derivatives.
Economists, perhaps even more so than other professions, they love sounding smart. They absolutely love it so when you see how they explain and when you come across these definitions you understand why there’s so much thirst for content that simplifies it because essentially even something as complex as derivatives is simple to understand if you start from the basics, if you start by explaining to someone okay.What if you’re a farmer and you want to protect yourself against a bad crop? Maybe I am willing to sell you next year’s crop at a price both of us agree at and that way I don’t care if I have a good
What if you’re a farmer and you want to protect yourself against a bad crop? Maybe I am willing to sell you next year’s crop at a price both of us agree at and that way I don’t care if I have a good year, if I have a bad year. I know for a fact that even if my crop is going to be amazing, if I sell it to you now, I’m going to make profits. You’re willing to speculate on the fact that maybe I’m going to have a good year or whatever and it’s going to work out for both of us.
If people start from these simple examples, from this simple real-life examples, or from fractional reserve banking, I don’t want to shove equations down people’s throats. Let’s just start by assuming that Mike goes to the bank and deposit $1000. The bank keeps, let’s say 10%, lends the other 900 to someone who then deposits it at another bank. The bank keeps 10%, lends some money to someone else and these things are not complicated.These things, if you understand them properly, they’re simple. Again, this is one of what I think is another selling point for me in that I focus more on explaining than on defining. There we have it. In my case, I believe these are perhaps the two main selling points that I have. One, the ability to talk about controversial stuff in a
These things, if you understand them properly, they’re simple. Again, this is one of what I think is another selling point for me in that I focus more on explaining than on defining. There we have it. In my case, I believe these are perhaps the two main selling points that I have. One, the ability to talk about controversial stuff in a non inflammatory and non judgmental way and two, the ability to make complicated stuff seem simple.
What the talents of our listeners are, it’s all up to them. Some people are good at drawing. Some people … Who knows? The bottom line is figuring out what you’re good at and then just basically doing your thing. Doing you. You have to … You’re going to fail. I honestly believe you’re going to fail if you don’t make it clear right from the very beginning why it is that your content deserves to be there because most of the content online, I don’t think it deserves to be there.
Ahmed: I agree. You said it earlier, there’s so much noise out there. In order to stand out it’s much more difficult. You don’t want to be that drop in the ocean and it’s spot on. I agree with you right there. I think you kind of really got it right when it comes to find out who you are. Know exactly who you are and what you want to say and who you want to target. These kinds of things. If you don’t have these ironed out then you’re going to make it much, much more difficult for you to stand out. It depends on what you want to do with the content. If you want to stand out, fine. You’re going to have to follow a few things. If you’re doing it just for fun or privately, then you can do whatever the hell you want. It totally makes sense. Really, really good points there and I think a lot of our listeners can take value in that as well. I think it’s really really cool.
Then if we’re going to divert and eventually talk about WordPress and everything, it’s something that you’ve been in the online industry quite a lot. You have experimented with a lot of things and you use WordPress. I’m curious to know how did you come across it in the first place and what was it like? What was your experience like with it as well?
Andrei: Well since I was kind of sort of doing development stuff for quite a while I was obviously familiar with WordPress. I played around with it. One of my favourite projects was a blog that I recently sold but that I had been running for many many many years, a WordPress powered blog. I do kind of have a pretty awesome relationship with WordPress and it’s kind of … WordPress is good at doing the things that I am good at doing. Making complicated stuff simple.A lot of people, especially from the offline world, they know me as the internet guy so they come to me, yeah I’m thinking about starting a website for my business and I’m going to hire a programmer to create a custom content management system for my business. I’m like why on earth would you do that?
A lot of people, especially from the offline world, they know me as the internet guy so they come to me, yeah I’m thinking about starting a website for my business and I’m going to hire a programmer to create a custom content management system for my business. I’m like why on earth would you do that? Well he said for 2000 bucks he can do this. He can do what? WordPress is so so awesome at levelling the playing field and just enabling me to tell that guy, okay okay okay. You don’t need that. For your specific business you can create an awesome website that everybody is going to like with paying zero dollars for the CMS, with paying a good designer a bit of money to tweak your header and so on and so forth.
Let’s forget about $2000 and for what you need you’re better off spend more money on marketing, spend more money on whatever you want but the good thing is that WordPress is a huge, huge equaliser in the online world. It’s perfect for most people’s needs and it’s free. Yay for that.
Ahmed: Yay for that. Totally give you that. If someone says to me, I want to have a custom CMS. I’m thinking what is the point? You don’t even bother. Even sometimes on a rare occasion if you’re a multimillion dollar company, big corporate company, and you want to custom CMS, even then I would question it for them because there are so many good powerful ones out there. You’re right. If it was one person or a small team, or a solopreneur or whatever, and they say I want a custom website, a custom CMS, custom this this and that, more often than not you’re going to overspend on a thing that you do not need at all. You’re right. Get that foundation. Use WordPress and spend a bit of budget on design. Spend a bit of budget on technical tricks here and there and invest the rest on pushing yourself out there as well.
I agree with you. I don’t understand why people want custom CMS. They may have a specific reason which is fair enough but more often than not, I advise against that. Even if it’s not WordPress. I advise them to use another CMS out there online. It’s definitely a good point. Definitely a good point with that as well.
I mean you can say it yourself, like people come to you for advice. You’re the internet guy or whatever. How do I start this website or whatever. I’m sure you heard a few times, I think you said WordPress has this problem and this problem. Of course. What advice would you give to those who have any trouble with using WordPress or even starting it? What advice would you give to those guys?
Andrei: Yeah. Well first and foremost, a lot of people complain about WordPress. People say why are people complaining about WordPress? To which I just tell them to use basic logic because of course everyone complains about WordPress because everyone is using WordPress. With it being so huge, with it having such a humongous user base, it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous how many problems you can solve with a simple google search. I’m going to tell you a secret from back when I owned two shared hosting businesses. I had a few hundred customers. Nothing major but decent enough. I ended up selling them.
Anyway, I worked with a company that handled level one and level two stuff. The simple, the basic things, like oh I lost my password or oh can you please move this or do that basic stuff but when it came to complicated issues, I handled it myself. I’m sometimes kind of like grandpa with technology. This old dude who puts on his glasses and tries to carefully read the label and doesn’t really know what he’s doing. I am frequently like that and I owned two hosting services. It’s remarkable how often this specific thing happens.
All of a sudden I notice that there’s a problem with my server, something not working, so on, whatever, I step one panic. I panic. Oh my god the world is going to end. Number two, let me just Google it for a minute. Number three, oh I fixed it. Yay. That’s the advantage of WordPress for example. When so many people use WordPress and when there’s so much good information about it, it’s very very very likely that no matter what problem you have with WordPress, you’re the 1,500,000th person who had that problem and among the 1,500,000 people who had it, at least a handful shared what they did with the internet and you can just find that information online.
You can solve your problem with a quick google search without paying for anything. It’s one of the most awesome things that can happen to the internet, having huge platforms like this, open source stuff that everyone uses that can be the framework for all sorts of complicated stuff including of course maybe paid plugins or whatever. Fair enough. You have this powerful, powerful framework that is free to use that is used by everyone and this makes your life so, so easy.
Even take it from somebody who actually ran two hosting services. It’s remarkable how when you’re dealing with widely used applications, you reach the point when a few simple searches can turn you from grandpa into an expert. It’s remarkable, I think.
Ahmed: It’s a good point because that is a big advantage of having such a massive user base. At the time of recording this, July 2017, and almost 30% of the world wide web is powered by WordPress. Think about that. Talking tens of millions potentially anyway. You’re right. If you have a problem, thousands, millions of other people had that problem and found a solution to it and a simple search will help you to solve it.
Sometimes you might need some special expertise to help you with the more technical side of things. That’s normal for any website, not just WordPress. Any website you have to have somebody. Definitely it’s a really good point that you have a lot of people there who can help you. The community is so so wide but it’s so supportive as well. People share information with each other. You know, you can do it. There’s no fear about having your own WordPress site as well. It definitely good point. Good point in that.
Let’s talk a bit more in terms of yourself, what is your biggest strength?
Andrei: You can tell just from looking at how much stuff I’ve been involved in that as mentioned in the beginning, I am a doer of things. I think this is important. It’s important to do stuff because most of the things I have done have not been successful and I can interact and talk with lots of people who are also entrepreneurs who did their own thing and again you don’t even have to be successful 50% of the time. You just have to be out there. You have to be doing stuff. You have to be learning.For example, I started an auction platform for domain names which was called Auctionpus. It was an octopus with eight tentacles and each tentacle was pointing to an auction. I have done the craziest stuff on the internet but you do these things. You get better. You learn. You interact with people. This is what you have to do.
For example, I started an auction platform for domain names which was called Auctionpus. It was an octopus with eight tentacles and each tentacle was pointing to an auction. I have done the craziest stuff on the internet but you do these things. You get better. You learn. You interact with people. This is what you have to do.
You have to be a doer of things and it’s hard for me because I am a bit of a perfectionist. You can tell in the fact that I am not happy with my work with the quality of my videos production wise and so on but I have developed the habit which I think helped me tremendously of moving beyond that and just doing it. Knowing that it’s not going to be perfect, knowing that there is a long way ahead until I can say okay I consider myself 99% satisfied with what I’m doing, but you have to be out there.
If you’re not out there, you’re missing. I talk with a lot of people who email me or interact with me on Skype or whatever and they tell me okay I have this idea. I have that idea. Oh my god two years ago I had this amazing amazing amazing idea but I didn’t do anything. I think those examples are representative for most people because we all have good ideas. A lot of us have the drive to kind of sort of do our own thing to try this to try that, but most of us don’t.
It’s strange how the simplest things when it comes to your business, when it comes to your wealth, those are the things that matter. To draw a parallel with wealth management, for example. If you have John and Steve, two people with identical jobs, with identical families in terms of size, income of the spouse and so on, two identical families but you can notice if you follow them throughout their entire lives that one of these families when the parents are 60 years old is financially secure with the people having enough money to send their kids to college, to ensure a smooth retirement and so on, whereas the other family is still living paycheck to paycheck. You wonder, what exactly happened? These are identical families.
The key is that more likely than not, the family that is now financially secure, it’s not that they’re smarter. It’s not that they got lucky or whatever. It’s just that they took the time to do. They took the time to think about money. In a few situations, our lives are frequently dictated by just a handful of right reactions when the time comes to make a decision. Deciding not to buy a fancy car and impress your friends but rather to reinvest in your business.
The decision not get a huge mortgage that’s going to cripple your family but maybe downsize and again use that extra money somewhere else. The same principle is valid when doing your own thing. It’s not rocket science. You have to be out there. You have to be doing. You have to be trying. You just have to be in the game. I think that’s the number one advice I would have for people. This time it is pretty much universally valid advice. Just be a doer of things.
Ahmed: Be a doer of things. I like that. I think you have to do it instead of talk about it all the time and just thinking about it, just do it. Give it a shot. Try different things. You just never know what will come of it in the short term and long term as well. Definitely agree with you in that. Let’s twist it around then. What do you say is your biggest weakness and how do you overcome it?
Andrei: I’d say my biggest weakness is perhaps the tendency I have to spread myself too thin. I mean I’m honest with people. I write books. I publish videos on YouTube. I do these things because they keep me hungry and because I love doing it but at the same time I have other projects that can make me a lot more money than this so essentially I still find it hard sometimes to reconcile my desire to make a difference, to help people, to make an impact, with my desire to put food on the table. I’d say my biggest weakness is the fact that I still have this tendency to do just too much stuff and okay on the one hand it’s good to have this diversified experience and so on, but at the same time, you’re not a robot. You have a finite amount of energy. You have a finite amount of time. It’s not the best idea in the world to spread yourself too thin, which is why as time passed I sold a lot of stuff and I’ve made decisions that I am prepared to live with.
I have said okay, I think it’s maybe time to refuse some projects which are good money makers but take so much out of my own time. I am doing this knowing that they money is not going to be awesome at the beginning with what I do with books, with YouTube, and so on, but it’s something that I think it leaves a meaningful impact and it’s something that later on might very well pay dividends as well but you have to make that decision. This is something I have struggled with but eventually I’ve gotten a bit better.
Ahmed: Really really cool actually. Really honest of you to share that as well as the fact that you said that you have [inaudible 00:45:30] I think a lot of people are guilty of that. If you are like a magpie and you see a shiny thing and you go toward it and want to experiment with it, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think a lot of people are interested and get curious. Being curious is not a bad thing at all but yes you are right at the same time you have to look at the overall picture and think about what can you do and what can’t you do? What are your priorities? What are not your priorities? And balance it all up at the end of the day. It’s kind of really cool that you’ve kind of shared with us. Really like that. Really like that.
Then if we’re going to wind it all up just to kind of sure things off, what are you most proud about in your business and career?
Andrei: The thing I’m most proud about is the fact that I’ve become better and better and better at making money by being myself. It’s something that I think a lot of individuals struggle with because what I’m doing is a bit counterintuitive compared to what society wants you to do. Just take a look at your school systems, even people in the UK or the US or so on. Let’s not even talk about Romania, my country, a former communist country. Essentially, it’s kind of like closing your eyes and jumping off a cliff in terms of how risky it is to do your own thing because society wants us to play a certain role, society wants us to be good consumers who get a job that they want us to get, who get the mortgage that they want us to apply for, and then just consume, maybe buy a TV, come on. You have the iPhone. You only have the iPhone X minus one, you need the iPhone X. This is what society wants from us.
The thing is, what society wants from us and what makes us happy are frequently completely different things. What I would say I’m most proud of is the fact that I had basically the courage to do the stuff I love. For example, initially, when my family was struggling financially, I got into college but I didn’t go. I didn’t go. I spent some time focusing on my businesses and only when I was a lot more financially secure did I say okay I love economics.
I want to go the academic route as well and there we have it. I then started college again from bachelors degree to PhD, but I did this … It’s a pretty peculiar story because I did it afterwards. I did it because I wanted to. I did it because I was happy. With most of the stuff I have done in my life, I haven’t followed what we can consider the path that society draws for us. I have always kind of tried to be guided by my inner compass and do my thing, which is really really risky. Glad that worked.
Ahmed: It’s a good point though, isn’t it, people who are doing what we’re doing in terms of putting yourself out there and doing something different is kind of going against the norm of the society. It’s a brave thing to do. It’s not something that anyone should take away from you if that’s what you do as well. Some people go to college, university to get a job. Perfectly fine. If you’re happy with that and you want to do that, of course. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that whatsoever. If you don’t want to do that, that’s also okay as well.
Andrei: Like for example a lot of people who see me do my own stuff, they go oh my god it’s so amazingly awesome I want to do it myself. To which I tell them, you have to make sure that this is the thing that would make you happy. For example, I’m kind of like in the limbo zone between being an extrovert and an introvert. I’m not an introvert, so I do have this desire to reach out to people, to communicate with people, but at the same time again I’m kind of in the middle there. Somebody who is a strong extrovert, however, would probably not be very happy doing what I do, working from home. Some people love working in an office environment. They love the socialisation that comes with it and stuff like that.
I do tell people that they shouldn’t drink the Kool Aid because there are so many scams on the internet. Just buy my book and you’re going to make so much money and it’s going to be so great. People have to know that what we’re doing right now, it’s not for everyone. It’s not that you’re not good enough or whatever. Maybe you don’t even have the right personality for it and you’re going to do it and you’re going to invest so much time and you’ll end up miserable. It’s a decision you have to make. It’s certainly not all sunshine and rainbows on the other end for sure.
Ahmed: Definitely not. I think at the end of the day, only you know what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. Investigate and find out what that is and you never know what you’re going to find at the end of that rainbow if you’re at the end of the road. It’s all very, very good points.
I have to thank you again because everything that we have talked about, everything that you have shared so many interesting things, so many interesting insights, really good valuable stuff to learn from yourself as well, so really really appreciate you giving your time and sharing that wisdom with us. If people want to find you and connect with you online, where is the best place to do that?
Andrei: Well first of all thanks again for having me and those who want to reach out can find me on YouTube.com/oneminuteeconomics. You can go to the about section which contains my email address. I try to reply to each email I receive. They can also find me on wealthmanagement2.com which is the website of my book. It also has a contact section with a form where you can send me a message and I try to reply to all of those as well so I’m looking forward to having them on my channel, perhaps as readers, and I really hope they manage to extract value out of the stuff I have been sharing today.
Ahmed: I’m sure they have because I have anyway so I’m sure the listeners will have taken a lot of information from you as well. Yeah. Again, Andrei thank you veery much for your time.
Andrei: Thanks have an awesome day.
Ahmed: That is it. Wasn’t that a great show everyone? Thank you to Andrei to coming on to this show. That was really good. Really enjoyed chatting to you. So many things to take away from this episode and I’m sure you listeners will agree as well. One of the main things that Andrei pointed out is you have to be a do-er. You have to be out there. You have to do something your online business if you want to be out there. You can’t just sit around expecting people to come to you.
If you’re not creating something online, if you’re not creating content online, you’re not really visible. You’re missing. You can’t get anyone to find you if you’re not out there. It’s just really really good to hear from Andrei himself. He’s overcome a lot of barriers, languages and thinks he’s terrible at at it xyz, but he still is getting out there and he’s going to get better at it and you know what? He’s making a difference already. Make sure you do the same listeners. Just do it.
The show notes on igniterock.come/episode17 and if I could just ask one favour is if you could subscribe to my podcast. I’d really appreciate it on iTunes. So, let’s rock with WordPress.