Bruce Schinkel on Creating a Freedom Lifestyle from a Laptop
Bruce Schinkel worked in the IT field when he quickly found out that he had no control over his life. He then discovered internet marketing. His story.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Bruce. You have a great story to share with our readers, so let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was childhood like, and what did you want to be when you ‘grew up?’
I grew up a country boy in a small town along Lake Erie about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, Canada. There was a group of us all around the same age who spent our days exploring the country-side by bike, or playing one of the many seasonal sports we all enjoyed … especially year-round hockey!
Growing up with 2 younger sisters and a big extended family there was never a shortage of activity. It seemed like there was always a big family gathering! My parents were high school sweethearts and had the 3 of us while in their early twenties so they were very actively engaged in our lives.
We didn’t travel much back then, in-fact all of our travel back then centered around road trips to visit family in Virginia, Connecticut, or Maine.
I always loved watching the world go by out the car window and the sites we’d visit along the way. Combining that with my natural love of history and far-off places, I think I was always destined to be a traveller … though back then all I wanted to do was play professional hockey.
What did your parents do for a living and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
My dad worked at GM from the time he turned 18 until he was eligible for early retirement at 55. In his spare time he was the go-to coach for whatever sport us kids were playing.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom, but she also started and ran a very successful kids day-care for all the families in our area.
There wasn’t a lot of entrepreneurial talk growing up, but there was always the encouragement to try new things and the idea that we could achieve whatever it was we set out to do.
What type of jobs or career did you have before network marketing and what were the pros and cons of working for someone else?
Straight out of university I started working in the IT field. I’ve worked for 3 large corporations ranging from website developer to programmer, to system analyst.
The best part about having these jobs was the camaraderie of meeting and working with some really great people, and not having to worry about putting together the infrastructure required to run a business. Things like health benefits, retirement savings, etc were all done for you.
I got used to project-specific roles that required cycles of high-energy, longer hours, intense deadlines offset with lows of day-to-day maintenance between projects. It often seemed like I had multiple “bosses” as my deliverables were skewed to meet project deliverables.
This is generally a good thing as everyone is working toward a common goal, but can be difficult when projects become moving targets as company/project/stakeholder priorities change.
I’d have to say that the biggest challenges of working for someone else are having to ask for breaks, lunches and vacation time. Then there’s having little to no control over salary, co-workers, and work assignments.
When did you discover internet marketing, what was your first two years like, and can you tell us what you would change if you started over today?
To be honest, I first heard about internet marketing in university. It sounded like a great concept, but we were left with no way to tap into it.
Fast-forward maybe 6 years and my wife was introduced to her first company. I remember feeling “finally! so this is where you find it!”.
It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I finally found an internet marketing company that fit me and I could really integrate with my own personal brand.
I had some really good success out of the gate, and have had some decent growth to-date. My biggest challenges are pre-judging people and remaining consistent with my basic activities.
If I were to start over today I’d make a better effort to generate and maintain our team culture and enthusiasm. Getting people off to their best start is so vital in the success of everyone’s business and goals.
What is the biggest mistake you see new internet marketers make, and how can they fix it?
I find a lot of new internet marketers tend to focus their content on themselves instead of their target market.
There’s so much of “here I am travelling”, “here’s me working out”, “look at me on this webinar” or “I got 10 leads today”, which leaves the audience thinking “so what”. Internet marketers need to take that content and spin it into something their audience cares about.
It’s actually not that difficult, and you can use much of the content you already have. Just switch your mindset to one that considers “what problem does my audience have that I can solve with this content”.
For example, “how to travel the world on a shoestring budget”, “get rid of those last 5 pounds from home”, “learn xyz by joining me this webinar”, or “how would generating 10 leads/day impact your business?” It’s essentially the same as before, but now the audience is thinking “I’d like to learn that!”
The job of your content is to create curiosity. If you do that, your audience will continue to grow and become hugely loyal to you; making them open to whatever offers or opportunities you have for them.
How do you create duplication successfully in network marketing, and how do you get your new distributors started the right way?
Successful duplication is centered around a simple, standard, fast-start game-plan. If you can get new distributors into activity immediately, they’re more likely to find early success, and we all know that early success helps maintain that excitement and vision they signed up with.
Combine early success with an event culture and you’ll find the duplication you’re looking for. Always be promoting the next big event in your company. When people come together at regular intervals they feel part of something bigger than themselves.
I love your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is your daily traffic like?
Thanks so much!
I did a complete brand overhaul with this new blog launching late last summer. I’ve got 73 posts, including the posts from my prior blog that made sense to bring over to the new one. The posts are categorized by the 3 main pillars of my online brand: travel, blogging, and lifestyle.
My traffic is still a complete reflection of the time I dedicate to blog promotion, and averages around 10 unique visitors each day.
What’s the hottest way to generate leads for you these days, and can you share a technique?
The biggest lead generator for me is to interact in Facebook groups related to my online brand. I think Facebook is an absolute must for any internet marketer because that’s where the biggest grouping of your target audience hangs out.
The biggest tip I can provide is to make the extra effort to be genuine. You may make slightly fewer connections overall, but each connection will have a higher probability of turning into a lead.
We all know people who send out a canned welcome message, or those dreadful “Hello Dear” emails. Just be real. Take an extra moment to find out a bit about the person you’re talking to – the info’s right there anyway!
I’m not talking about those generic “you look great” or “nice shoes” comments either. Dig a little deeper. Go beyond the likes and make connections.
Think about what you’d respond to if someone contacted you the way you’re reaching out to others.
What’s the best rags to riches story you’ve heard about inside network marketing, and why should we as network marketers never give up?
Wow, there are so many!
I was recently at a training conference where one of the speakers told us about how he was struggling in a big way before network marketing.
He was living in a room in his mom’s basement with his girlfriend, who was expecting their first child. He was trying to string together a couple odd jobs just to help his mom make ends meet … she was working 2 jobs herself!
He got a phone-call from a childhood friend that simply said “meet me here this weekend, or it’ll be the biggest mistake of your adult life”. The meet me here part had challenges in itself … “here” was a 3 hour drive away, and he didn’t have money, a car, or even a license.
Long story short, he figured it out, made the drive and signed up for something he didn’t even really understand.
He had complete faith in his friend, and together they blew up their businesses with sheer determination and consistency. Now, about 5 years later he’s reached the top level of his company and is an on-stage trainer at major events.
Anyone who is driven, focused, and has a clear vision can achieve their dreams. You just need to put in the work to reap the rewards. Nobody knows how much work is required or how long it’ll take, but the only thing that’s certain is that the people who achieve didn’t give up.
Who do you want to help and inspire and why?
I help driven adults to create a fun, fulfilling and profitable online brand that travels with you.
So many people are dreaming of escaping the 9-5 cubicle life, as I once was. Living a “laptop lifestyle” tends to be one of those things that’s spoken about, but rarely actioned because of the prevailing belief that it’s difficult or not profitable. I want to show people that their freedom lifestyle really is achievable; whatever that means for them.
What is your favorite book right now, and why?
I have to go with The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.
I recently finished it, and am about to go through it again. Not only is it that good, but there’s so much great content that I know there was no way I caught it all the first time.
The premise of the book is that we’ve been lied to for years with the thinking that being average is a good place to be.
Average is where most people are, and being successful is not what most people achieve.
You need to raise your vision, goals, expectation, and effort by 10 times to achieve a life you’ve never even dreamed of yet. Is it hard work? Sure …. but look at the alternative.
What are your goals for 2017?
For 2017 I’m focusing on expanding my reach. My goals for this year are to streamline my content promotion strategy, kick off my video marketing content, create a predictable stream of qualified leads, and launch my first Freedom Lifestyle webinar course.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“Do or do not. There is no try” – Yoda
This quote is simple yet profound … even though it’s a bit over-used.
I have removed the word “try” from my vocabulary. When you say you’ll try something, you’ve already given yourself an out in-case it doesn’t work.
That mindset will never get you to your goals because you’re focusing on what will happen if it doesn’t work out. You must be all in or all out. Commit and you’ll succeed; anything less and you’re destined to fail.
Never “try” … either do it or don’t.
Thank you so much for this powerful interview, Bruce!
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