Real Entrepreneur or Wannabe?

This past weekend I attended an incredible conference called 10x Publishing
by Brendon Burchard.

By far, the best training/conference I have ever attended.

If you aren’t familiar with Brendon’s work, start here

The event was designed specifically for action takers and real entrepreneurs. When I say “real” I mean people who are 100% committed to making a full time income in their own business….

How do I know? It was $10,000 a pop to get in the door.

Many people were already doing very well in their businesses. They were at this event to get to an even higher level.

I pay close attention to everything going on around me when I attend events like this. In particular, I noticed some common character traits of pretty much every person I met/networked with at the event.

There were 3 very obvious underlying characteristics that all of these people displayed. I’d like you to consider how you compare in each of these 3 areas. Use it as a guage to see where you are in the “entrepreneur success” ladder.

1. Total Commitment vs. Dabbling

Every single person at the event had a single/narrow focus. They were 100% committed to building a successful business or taking their already successful business to a much higher level.

As I networked around the room I started comparing the mindset of these folks to other people I have met along my journey. I have seen many people attempt to start an online business only to get sidetracked and ultimately fail.

Why? They were dabbling.

Having a successful business was a “nice to have” but it certainly wasn’t something they were solely committed to.  In fact, a significant part of their mindset carried the belief that there was a good chance that their business would fail.

Do you see the difference? When you dabble in something you quickly jump to the next idea or are easily swayed as soon as things start getting tough.

People who are totally committed to building their business will do anything (so long as they remain ethical). They will spend money, bust comfort zones, confront people in their way, make themselves vulnerable and open to criticism… you get the idea.

Which camp do you fall into?

2. Passion vs. Money

I know what you’re thinking.. “Uh-oh, Justin is about to go “granola” on us...”

Oh ye’ of little faith… hear me out.

The people who really reach ultimate levels of success are absolutely 100% passionate about their business. They believe in it. They know it delivers value and makes a difference to their clients. And despite any level of success, they ask questions like, “how do I do this even better? how do I deliver even more value?”

Yes money is a motivator, I’d sound pretty lame if I didn’t acknowledge that.

But money is never ever the sole driving force for a successful online business owner. There is always an underlying passion. There is a measurement of happiness and personal fulfillment that comes with building something that makes them proud. After all, it is their name and their reputation.

No amount of money can replace the feeling of building something that your clients thank you for and gladly send you money because you have earned it!

3. Changing Lives vs. Throw Something Against The Wall

I had at least a dozen conversations with people at this event who wanted nothing more than to spread an important message to as many people as possible.

Their goal was to change lives based on experiences and lessons they’ve faced in their own lives.

For example, one woman has dedicated her entire business to helping mothers connect with their teenage daughters. She had observed and experienced a disturbing trend in the number of women/daughters who had become enemies and ultimately fell out of touch with one another.

She had books, courses, live coaching programs (and other items in the works) that helped people deal with this exact issue. Her role within her company was to simply figure out how to reach even more people and make them aware of her brand/offers.

Compare this to many online marketers who enter their own business with questions like, “how do I make the most amount of money with the least amount of work?” or “what niche should I get into to make money as fast as possible?

You can definitely make money running businesses this way, but my question is, what will be the long term probability of success? When things get tough, how easy will it be to look at the negatives and abandon a business where the only questions being asked are “how can i make a lot of money” and “how can i make this as easy as possible”?

Do you see the difference?

So how do you compare? Which side of the equation do you fall into?

How committed are you to building a successful business?

How much passion do you have for what you do? Is there a sense of pride and meaning or are you just trying to pay the bills?

How well are you serving your customers? Are you making an impact that will make them forever grateful? Or will they quickly forget you and wonder who this invoice came from last month?




  1. Ted December 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Glad to see some feedback from the event. By all accounts it was certainly worth it.

    You also asked some potentially eye opening questions that I think anyone who wants to make money online should be asking themselves.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      Bam… thanks man. Yeah killer event and a great model for success. I’m already taking new action and thinking new ways which proves his training works!

  2. Rob Maeder December 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Hey Justin,

    Interesting insight. I’ve never been to a conference like that, but I think it would be really beneficial (if I could afford it). $10k is a lot of money for a weekend, but I guess that’s what attracts the best of the best and those that are truly serious about what they do.

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      Hey Rob,

      Yeah definitely. I think its the kind of event you can work towards. If you get your business to a level where you can make the financial committment, then you are ready for what he presents in the training. And honestly, the 10k investment should mean 100s of 1000s in new sales from the info so its a wise move. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Sarah December 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Justin… couldn’t agree more with your point that those who are most successful long-term have a passion and a message that they want to share (as opposed to the quick buck with no work mentality).

    When you attend events such as Brendan’s you definitely are in the company of inspiring group of people.

    Great post.
    Sarah recently posted..New post! OW

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks Sarah. You’re right about his events. He does a good job of

      a) knowing exactly WHO his ideal customer is and
      b) Creating events and price points that attract people who are most likely to succeed with is content.

      We can all learn a lot just by observing him and people like him

      Great comment thanks!

  4. anthony December 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    It was a very good event and I would strongly encourage anyone who has passion on a subject to study Burchard closely.

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      For sure Anthony. Especially Millionaire Messenger. If you can;t afford the live events, that book alone can take you VERY far.

      Congrats to you Anthony, of all the students in the room, I saw you taking more action and making more moves than most. Which is not easy to do with that calibre of crowd. Can’t wait to see your new product(s)

  5. Michael Gunn December 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Great post, Justin. SO many truths you shared.

    Live events are HUGE for growing your business. I’m sure that 10k is out of reach for a lot of folks but there are many events that go on at much smaller price points. The Warrior Forum meet up ( if I remember) was only like $250 to those on the early bird list. Of course there are travel expenses, etc.

    The point is to start putting together a plan now so that you can make it happen when the opportunity comes.

    Michael Gunn recently posted..Cold Traffic Black Book Review

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      Hey Michael,

      Great point. There is nothing quite like attending a live event. ESPECIALLY for online biz owners who spend so much time alone, behind a screen LOL.

      Personal connection and even just learning from a LIVE trainer have a huge impact. You definitely don’t need to go to advanced high ticket events to make it worthwhile. Starting with meetups and building from there is a perfect plan of attack

      Great comments, thanks for stopping by!


  6. Charles Terrence Harper December 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Interesting how they are all connected. I think to have that total commitment, you have to have a vision that’s larger than yourself. You are right about all you have posted here. Good thoughts.
    Charles Terrence Harper recently posted..How To Use Twitter to Extend Your Reach In Central Pennsylvania (and How My Wife Got a Great Cup of Tea)

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Hey Charles

      You nailed it. Larger than yourself. That is… a vision that helps other people in some way and where the reward for your work is FAR more than just monetary.

      As an example, getting comments on this blog post alone is as rewarding (if not more) than making PLR sales!!


  7. mike huffman December 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Crap. Clearly, I’ve been dabbling. While I certainly haven’t been to an event of quite THAT level, I have been lucky enough to check out the warrior event. While I SUPER smartly dabbled when I got back, I saw lots of people I met make huge gains in their businesses. If you have an opportunity to attend an event you absolutely should. Awesome you took advantage of that Justin.

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      Hey Man,

      That’s good though. You at least know where you are and what you need to do to get to a new level. You learned a ton at those events I’m sure. So, now its time to stop dabbling and commit to that vision. You know you have it in you, you just gotta seize it now!

  8. Brad Gosse December 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Dude this is a greta post and it magnifies an issue so many people deal with. Bravo!

    So many people think they can pick a niche and make money (dabble).

    But the woman helping mothers and daughters connect had her niche dropped into her lap. Making her a first hand expert with love for the results. She gets invested in her clients because she was one…

    I’m not only the hair club president ;)
    Brad Gosse recently posted..Dealing with MBN “Must Be Nice” Syndrome

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

      Thanks man. And yeah sometimes the niche won’t always be so obvious for people but you can ALWAYS find a way to get more than money-level interested in your work. As an example, I do well with PLR not because I LOOOOVE making rebrandable content but because I see so many people using the content to leave jobs and create lifestyles businesses for themselves. I take pride in that and it makes the business run well.

  9. Debbie Benstein December 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm #


    What a breathe of fresh air. You’re right, of course – the people who really make their businesses work care about much more than just the money.

    Of course money is important, but so is change, and change for the better. The successful businesses I watch grow care about their customers far more than they care about another few shekels on their balance sheet.

    You’re in that category too, and it shows.

    Watching your progress with interest.

    Thanks for another excellent post.
    Debbie Benstein recently posted..Black Friday Deal Disaster – A Sad, Sorry Tale

    • jpopovic December 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

      Hey Debbie

      Thanks so much for the great comment. I truly appreciate your comments about my business specifically. Means a lot.

      Regarding the “more than the money” comment. Isn’t funny that it seems kind of obvious but when I go through different training programs, courses, webinars, etc… there is often VERY little focus on what’s in it for the customer. Most courses say… if you do this, you can make X.XX… Well why not both?

      IF your customers win, you win. I am reworking all of my product creation coaching to be much more client-result focused and I’m soo positive it is going to explode the growth of the program because of this new customer centric focus.

      Thanks again :)

      • Debbie Benstein December 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm #


        You’re absolutely correct about the lack of focus about what’s in it from the customers’ perspectives. And it’s an elementary and critical error.

        In real life I’m a marketing consultant. My whole focus had better be about what my clients want and need and how best to serve them.

        Without that, I haven’t got a business.

        With that focus in mind, I can help them help themselves to grow, and I can build my own business at the same time. Win win.

        Debbie Benstein recently posted..Marketing in the Real World: Keep Your Eyes Open

        • jpopovic December 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

          Love it Debbie! So true.

          I’ve been guilty of forgetting this many times in the past. Obviously I always care about my customers but it is that committment to actually making a REAL difference in the lives of our customers.

          You could be selling ANYTHING and you can pull this off successfully if you care enough.

          Everyone should look at “anthony” who left a comment above. He is taking this thinking to the next level with his offline consulting business. He;s doing things I’ve never seen done before and his clients LOVE him

          • anthony December 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

            Stay tuned for some great updates. Last night , BOTH my HD cameras crapped the bed… I have a big interview to do today at noon. Know what… don’t care. It’s not a matter of your resources, its a matter of your resourcefulness. Now get out of my way! ;)
            anthony recently posted..Hello world!

  10. Andrew December 5, 2012 at 2:18 am #


    Interesting discussion – thinking there needs to be some criteria or intersection between passion and niche before you focus though. One guide might be ‘existing products in a niche’ – because if there’s no market there’s potentially no money and one cannot live on passion alone.



    • jpopovic December 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      If your passion is painting pictures of parrots, you will probably find the 7 people who want your work, make sales and then be out of business LOL.

      So definitely you’ve nailed a key point here. You MUST align your business goals and passions into a market that is willing to spend money. The good news is there are literally 1000s of ways to monetize your passions so if you just look around, you can find people who are already doing it… and model them

      Thanks for the comment. Great question :)

  11. Vivian December 5, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Hey Justin, thanks for sharing your experience at Brendan’s event. Your post is succinct, profound and thought provoking. I have been dabbling with many of those questions recently, especially with your 6’7″ buddy Brad, who has been helping me address those issues in my own business…’s easy to get caught up reaching for the next shiny object, but until you tap into your spirit and your passion, you will go months and even years spinning your wheels….I say whip out a bowl, grab a spoon, some milk and go FULL ON GRANOLA, tap into your spirit and rock on!

    • jpopovic December 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      LOL… the raw foodist diet. Granola every meal!

      I get what you are saying though. If your business feels purely transactional and there is no way for you to link passion/meaning to what you do… or more specifically to really feel a sense that you are HELPING your clients, there is a good chance your business will not survive the hardships and challenges your are guaranteed to go through.

  12. Micah Medina December 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    The laws of success are pretty impossible to shake, Justin.

    Getting to that level of success means helping a LOT of people – and if you go into business with a customers mindset (that is, pulling up to a business model like a fast food drive thru and hemming and hawwing and wondering what you’re going to get), it means that you’re not investing every moment of your time in providing helpful material and spreading that help to people who need it.

    Like most really good things it life, the process of getting there is counter-intuitive.

    • jpopovic December 6, 2012 at 12:55 am #

      Hey Man

      Thanks for the comment and I agree. This Burchard event really reinforced my focus on my customer. It’s always been there but now I have a pronounced focus on it… and everything is different now. I’m more excited to mail my list, more excited to create products that I know are going to help people, etc…

      Great comment cheers :)

  13. Diane Chesson December 6, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Great comments, Justin. To be kind, I think that some of the dabbling might be due to confusion and overwhelm, but a lot of it is just what you say…people hoping for a quick way to an easy buck. I could be wrong, but I think I see less of that now than a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with your comments. If you don’t have a passion for IM, you’re wasting the time you could be spending finding that passion. That passion absolutely is where happiness lies, and the experts all seem to agree, that passion will eventually bring you financial success.

    Thanks, Justin. Good job!


    • jpopovic December 6, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks for your comment Diane. I agree there is definitely confusion/overwhelm at the beginning of any venture but in my experience that rarely stops people who are genuinely passionate about becoming entrepreneurs.

      The issue is usually what you mention which is the “quick buck” mentality which actually not only harms the person trying to run a business that way, but hurts the industry as well.

      The passion is key :)

  14. Bruce Walker December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Hey Justin,

    Great post as always. I agree with all three of your points.

    This issue of passion is perhaps the most perplexing. I do note that you said:

    “There is always an underlying passion. There is a measurement of happiness and personal fulfillment that comes with building something that makes them proud.”

    And that really is the key. The passion can come from the niche itself, but it can also come from other desires or areas of one’s life.

    P.S. Now, about the last three Fridays…

  15. jpopovic December 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Hey Bruce,

    Thanks for the comment and I love what you said about the niche. As an example, I didn’t get into PLR because it was a life’s burning passion to make content for people. But when I realized I had a talent for content creation and I could help other people in their life and business through this skill, I developed the passion. But the main passion is how I can help people through this niche!!

    As for the Friday Ignite I’m SO glad you asked. It is actually going to be 4 weeks without an update… but it is for good reason. The Friday ignite efforts were lacking a lot of what I talk about in this post and so I’m crafting a new approach to narrow my focus and speak to a much more targeted audience. That way I can actually feel like the Ignite videos are serving a higher purpose… up until this point I felt a pretty large gap.. or disconnect. I really appreciate you holding me accountable. stay tuned ;)

  16. Marie December 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Very good post Justin. One of those posts that really make you sit down and think – and with a new year coming up, maybe a good time to evaluate what I want to do with all my efforts from this point on.

    Your post inspired me to write about my own thoughts – and I have linked here to send my readers over to read it.

    I guess because of the enormous amount of debt my husband and I accumulated over the past year, I have been really holding back putting any more money out on my business. But, I do know that I need to be willing to step out of my comfort zone a bit – this will be my challenge over the next few months.

    Thanks for the post – I love your writing!

    Marie recently posted..What Are You Afraid Of?

    • jpopovic December 8, 2012 at 3:06 am #

      Hey Marie

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad it had an impact on you, and specifically helping you think about your plans for the year ahead.

      I know you have had a lot to deal with and I know 2013 will be a year of growth and progression for you. I’m excited to watch your success unfold. Best of luck and stay in touch

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