IBM 182 | The Confessional Episode Where We Reveal Our Biggest Mistake Ever

We made a mistake — our biggest one yet. It’s cost us money, influence and happiness.

Thankfully we realized it (after two long years) and are in the process of fixing it.

In this episode, we share all the juicy details in our most exposing episode ever.

Right-click here to download the MP3

In This Episode

  • Our biggest mistake ever and how you can avoid it
  • The three most important things you can focus on to continually grow your business

Items of Interest

Action Guide

How to Build a Profitable Business that You Love (PDF)

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What Do You Think?

When you look back, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your business? How did you correct it?

Sound off in the comments below!


  1. Loved this episode, guys. Your honesty is refreshing and I appreciate you taking the leap and making yourselves vulnerable. It’s not easy to admit mistakes, but I think you nailed it with your analysis.

  2. Jeremy, funny to hear that someone else also has a ‘boardroom in my mind’. I thought I was just a goof. I don’t know how useful it is in getting me to make right decisions, but I enjoy the process.

    I haven’t had the issue of not being able to discount what various ‘board members’ say, in part due to the fact that my board consists of people I admire, regardless of their field. In my case, that means Miles Davis (with all his genius AND faults) chimes in now & then – usually in the form of short, profanity-laced advice. Sometimes he has a good point, other times not so much. His opinion counts more for presentation-related issues than whether to use paid traffic, for example.

    If I had only internet marketing gurus on my board, I think I’d have a harder time with the pressure of not staying true to myself.

    • Oh sweet, I’m not alone! Yeah, I enjoyed it, most of the time, for many years!

      • Jeremy, you are surely not alone. I love your show, and was impressed that you have such insight into your own mental decision making structure.
        The board room metaphor/experience comes in a number of versions – it can be the round table, the coffee shop table, the work shed, and all the other types of situations where people gather to make decisions.
        Personally I have a round table that always fits the number of people that I invite to take part in the discussion. ;)
        Thank you for the inspiration ;)

        • Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

          I actually had more people at the table, but I just talked about the marketer type people for time. I had philosophers and other great thinkers. I’m glad to know I’m not alone and you have a group too!

    • Miles Davis?! The master of cool? How do I get him to drop by my board room. Dang. That’s awesome.

  3. Thanks J and Jeremy, there is a LOT of wisdom and pearls in this episode and I wanted to say that I really resonated with a lot of what you guys shared here, thanks.

    My goal as an Artist first, Entrepreneur second-has always been to build a lifestyle business that allows me to “experience endless freedom and fulfillment doing what i love, for those that love what i do.”

    Its a very interesting journey we are all on, and it’s nice to hear your honesty and sharing the “behind the scenes” stuff. I’m glad you guys took the path you did. I think many Guru’s miss out on an element of genuine connection in pursuit of “other objectives.”

    Glad to see you guys make it through the “IM ratrace for WSO riches between bizOpp cyclists.”

    Comparison is such a fruitless exercise, yet it’s hard to completely eliminate from our unconscious, it seems…

    I look forward to seeing and hearing more from you guys.

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, comparison is really a crazy action, but also hard not to do. I wrestle with it all the time.

    • Thanks, Jamie. I didn’t know you listend to the show. Glad you find it enjoyable.

      “… for those that love what i do.”

      That is so key. I fall in the trap at times of thinking I need to get certain types of people, or even specific individuals, to love what I know. But I need to not lose focus of who it is I’ve chosen to deliver value to and not worry about everyone else.

  4. Wow. Holy crap that was deep.

    I loved your comparison with these IM guys making millions a month selling garbage products they know nothing about. The exact reason why I unsubscribed from all of their lists. It was 6 sales pitches a day.

    • It felt good doing, I hope you found it useful! Yeah, I’m not on any of those lists anymore either!

    • If your following feels like money is the only goal, they will go elsewhere.

      Not only that, but chasing the money has never been a good long-term strategy (or short-term for that matter). In fact, that is when I make some of the biggest mistakes.

      There has to be something else besides the money. Having a solid Definite Major Purpose certainly helps with this.

      The other thing I need to remember is to share that DMP with our audience all the time so they can resonate with and feel it.

      I know Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank always says, “It’s just about the money.” But at some point, that just doesn’t cut it, at least not for me.

  5. It’s an interesting process to get to a point in your business where you realize you took a wrong turn or simply have gotten comfortable to the point that you are losing ground to your competition. I’ve had an online travel business for almost 20 years, and we’ve been through several major changes in the marketing and distribution model for the industry. We’re still bouncing back from the Panda updates, and are again having to reinvent things.

    • Wow, I feel for you man! We didn’t lose income, thankfully, but would did lose out on helping MORE people and keeping our original message going stronger! It’s funny, we are having to reinvent back to what we were already doing in the beginning! Not sure if that is re-invention or getting back to our roots or what…? hehe.

    • Wow, yeah. I can imagine in the travel business, innovation is paramount.

  6. Eric Foster says:

    Hey guys… I haven’t been to the website in a long, long time… Probably since that “one guy” changed his name back to what it used to be. (Hummm. Interesting observation) LOL

    So… I thought I would just stop by and chime in. I like to call this, “getting back to basics”…

    Why is it, us humans, when things are going just fine, and we are already happy, we look for the next “thing” to “change” or “do” differently. I have also noticed from experience, the “new” thing you start doing, tends to start destroying what you already had, that was working so well, and already making you happy.

    I do this all the time… I just need to remember, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    – Eric

  7. Hi guys. I’m one of those listeners who has been following your show since about 2006. It’s played a important role in my decision to develop an online content site and a podcast (it’s a philosophy-related site Jeremy, you might be interested :)). I’ve also followed the changing winds of your business model that you described in the podcast, and I found myself nodding as you described your own feelings about those changes. I really appreciate the openness and lessons you shared this episode, there’s great value here for all of us.

    – Kevin

    • I just checked out your site and added it to my reader! I love seeing someone taking on philosophy and critical thinking! Have you figured out how to monetize and has it worked yet?

      • I ran the site for about two years as a membership site, with about one in every five videos available for free, and the others requiring paid access.

        That model made me some money (maybe 20 thousand over two years?), but with my day job it’s been hard to keep putting up new content on a regular basis. And I was always somewhat conflicted about putting this stuff behind a paywall. It’s not like teaching people how to flip houses, I’m advertising this as valuable for everyone. I got a lot of student and educator interest, but they’re not a rich niche audience. So in the long run I decided it would be better to make the basic content free and look to monetize with ads and products on the back end.

        I think my first paid product will be a targeted ebook, a guidebook for parents interested in teaching or nurturing critical thinking skills in their children and teens. This is a question I get asked a lot, and as a homeschooling parent of two kids, age 11 and 17, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. So I’m looking at the ebook market right now.

        I appreciate all you guys do. I started the podcast back in 2010 after listening to your mini-Oprah videos, and that really helped the site find an audience.

    • I dig your niche, Kevin. Cool site.

  8. Hey Guys,

    Awesome episode as usual. Super informative and insightful. I just tried to download your “Action Plan” pdf and it looks like the link is broken….

  9. Alexandrina says:

    I joined your work because of the flavour of authenticity and a linear path in what appeared to fulfilled you.
    Comparison is the foundation of the competition and the greater blocker of creativity and progress. My vision the cooperation is the path will help us in the fulfilment and you had this was very clear in the beginning of your work.
    I resonating with your dream of helping.
    I noticed your “diversification” and in that moment I started to doubt myself and I get lost ….. Focus was out of windows, the confidence in my own jugement diminished and I did huge mistakes.
    I think that one of the big problems with masterminds is that they provok to abandon your own dreams and methods in fulfilling them, grafting in your mind a weed which do not produce the fruit you desire, but…
    And this is happening because the genuinely teaching motivation and skills are corrupted today as many computers softwares.
    Your openness into this telephone like conversation helped me very much; it is what I feel too from half a year. I know now I did not lost my marbles.
    The concept of couching instead of teaching is something very in fashion today and results are showing more confusion than ever.
    Focus, authenticity, adapt and filter new things to your own frame and strength are the pearls I lifted up from you today. Thank you

  10. Awesome!! Reminded me of when I first discovered your podcast – so great! :D

    • Thanks so much! I love doing it!

      • BTW – whenever I run into stuff from those squillionaire IM gurus, the first thing that comes to mind is a quote I read somewhere, “A bunch of incestuous cannibals” (I think of you guys as “real people”) take care and please, more like this ~megan

    • Megan,

      I think that is one of the coolest compliments that we could have gotten about this episode. You can bet that we will have more episodes like this.

  11. I’ve missed hearing you guys talk like this. And you’re right…I try to remind myself to just be a better version of myself and not try to be a poor version of someone else.

    • Yeah, that is a big insight, and I have to keep reminding myself of it every time I try to compare myself against others.

    • Hi Lara,

      Very well put. Even if you had all the external logistics in place from someone else’s business, you would still only be able to be a lesser version of them at best. You just won’t get the same results.

      The best way to be (for fulfillment AND getting results) is yourself 110%).

  12. Welcome back guys. It’s nice to have you back in my morning commute playlist. (You’re back for good, right?)

    I shall definitely be adding “progress over perfection” as a habit for this year.

    Nice one.

  13. I know I am kind of late, but this is the second time I listened to this episode. The first time I heard it I didn’t get it, until I went around the some of the gurus out there and I was like, “Ooohhhh! I got it!” So this podcast much more sense when I saw the lists swapping and promos of the same gurus on other lists that I was one. Luckily you guys didn’t fall into this trap, because all those gurus I ended up unsubscribing from all their lists. It just seemed too money motivated. I didn’t “Feel the looove!” lol! Great job for not switching over to the dark side!