Are you ready to learn how to turn failure into a powerful stepping stone towards success? I recently had the privilege of joining renowned podcaster and entrepreneur, Omar Zenhom, to discuss his remarkable journey, how he transformed setbacks into opportunities and built one of the top podcasts and personal brands on the internet. This episode isn’t just your average success story – it’s a masterclass in resilience, innovation, and the art of embracing failure as a catalyst for massive success. Get ready to learn from the best and discover the extraordinary power of failing your way to success with the remarkable Omar Zenhom. Let’s dive in!

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How to Fail Your Way to Success with Omar Zenhom

Are you ready to learn how to turn failure into a powerful stepping stone towards success? I recently had the privilege of being joined by a renowned podcaster and entrepreneur, my new friend, Omar Zenhom, and we discussed his just absolutely amazing journey, how he transformed setbacks into opportunities, built one of the top podcasts and personal brands on the Internet.

Listen, this episode isn’t your average success story. This is a masterclass in resilience, innovation, and the art of embracing failure as a catalyst for massive success. So get ready to learn from the best and discover the extraordinary power of failing your way to success with the remarkable Omar Zenhom. Let’s dive right in.

So I have a new friend, somebody that I’ve actually followed for quite some time. Omar’s show is one that I listened to, started listening to 8,9,10 years ago. We actually looked up the exact date when I was talking to him.

And yeah, it’s a long time ago. The $100 NBA show, one of the top podcasts on all the podcast players, and one that has had an impact on me. And I’m excited about this episode because we went in a direction I really wasn’t planning on.

Just talking about failure and failure and failure and how and the resilience and how to really transform those setbacks and those failures into opportunities. And I think it’s just a very powerful episode that I’m so excited about. So it’s a little bit of a long one.

So we’re going to just jump right in, guys. Really excited about this interview with Omar Zenhom. Let’s jump in.

Matt: Well, Omar, welcome.

Omar: It’s good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.

Matt: Yeah, I’m so glad to have you on. I mean, gosh, I mentioned this before we went live. Your podcast is one of the very first I listened to on business. I thought earlier it was 2013. You corrected me, said 2014. Potato, potato. It’s a long freaking time ago. You got to be over. What now?

You’re at close to 2500 episodes.

Omar: Yeah. Yeah, we just crossed 2300 a few weeks ago.

Matt: Yeah, 260 episodes a year for nine years. That’s where you get so one of the top podcasts in the world. Super successful, amazing guests.

I mean, by all accounts, I would say it’s kind of easy now because you have that ten years. Like, you could pretty much get any guest you want. But I want to go back to those early days to start here.

You had a top podcast within a year or so of going live, and that’s how I found out about you. So I’m just like how’d you do it. Take us back to 2014.

What were those early days? Everybody listening who doesn’t have a podcast, or maybe they’ve had one for a while and they’re kind of struggling. Take us back to how you did it in those early days.

Omar: A lot of things that I have done that a lot of people see as successful started out with a failure. I have a ton of failures in my rear view that people don’t know about because people don’t talk about the failures as much as the successes. But prior to launching the $100 MBA Show podcast, we had another podcast that totally tanked.

It started because in January of 2014, Nicole and I, my partner life in business, she and I went to Las Vegas to a conference called New Media Expo. And this conference was, like, game changing for us because we met some of our heroes. We got to see all the people that are living the lives that we want to live.

We barely could afford to buy a conference ticket, get a flight to Vegas. We’re living in New York at the time and get, like, a fleabag motel on Fremont Street. But somehow we made it there.

And podcast started to get momentum back in 2014 in the kind of blogger space. And everybody was kind of saying, you should start a podcast. Start a podcast.

And I asked, how do I do this? And somebody in the audience knew that I did video interviews as a part of my community. I used to share these video interviews I did with entrepreneurs, and I would put it into community.

And then they said, Just rip the audio from these videos and you got a podcast. And I thought, that’s a brilliant idea. That’s one of the worst ways to do a podcast, by the way, because when you’re shooting for video, there’s a lot of things that you express visually that you don’t express in the audio.

So it doesn’t really translate well. And really, you’re not producing a podcast. They’re kind of like, half assing it.

But we launched this podcast. The podcast was called People Who Know Their S***. We thought it was a cool name.

Unfortunately, the broadcast was crap. We ran it for 46 episodes. We had some really good guests.

Somehow I was able to get Gary Vaynerchuk on the show, and that was back when he was say yes to everything. And we really were struggling because we’re like, man, on a great day, we would have, like, maybe 400 downloads on an episode. That was, like, the best episode we had.

And we’re like, this is not really what we were expecting, and we were just wondering, what’s going on? Why is this podcast not doing well? And we had a chance to go from San Diego to New York and back because Nicole at the time was still side hustling.

She’s a New York filmmaker who graduated. She used to do a lot of film work. So she’s like, okay, I’m going to go do this gig.

Let’s go do a road trip. And on the road trip with all our gear in the car and everything like that. When you’re on the open road, there’s not really much to do other than to reflect and talk because you got to keep your eyes on the road.

And we were kind of trying to figure out, why is this podcast not successful? And we had to get brutally honest with ourselves. Like, okay, we looked at the top ten business podcasts in the business category, and Apple podcasts or itunes back then, and we realized, okay, you got people like Jordan Harbinger who’s been podcasting before the iPhone, and you got Pat Flyn, who everybody and their mom loves him, and he’s got such a huge following.

Got, like, John Lee Dumas entrepreneurs on fire who invented the daily podcast and whatever. It was just like, how am I going to compete with these people? Tim Ferriss, who’s got, like, five New York Times bestselling books. Like, all this guy does is win. How do I compete with these people?

Let’s get real here, right? And I realized that I was not really leveraging my strengths for those who know me. I was a high school and university teacher for 13 years before I went full-time as an entrepreneur.

So I taught classroom students every single day, five times a day, five days a week. This is my jam. I know how to teach.

I have a Master’s in education. I thought to myself, like, why am I interviewing people on a podcast? I should be teaching?

And the other takeaway Nicole had was like, one of her favorite podcasts were Coffee Break French and Coffee Break Spanish. And those podcasts are basically language-learning podcasts. And we thought to know, that’s an interesting concept.

No one’s really doing that in business. You either see people having banter discussions and they’re like, but no one’s actually jumping in and saying, here is a lesson you can learn and implement and come back tomorrow and get some more. And we thought to ourselves, maybe we are not using what we have.

We’re making it hard on ourselves by trying to be something we’re not and denying our past. So we thought, okay, we should be teaching on this podcast, because that’s the one thing I think I could do better than everybody else that I mentioned. With all due respect, they’re great people, but I have just more experience, more credentials.

I could teach better. So we then decided, okay, let’s just focus on the next two months on creating the best podcast we possibly can. And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, but we got to give it our all.

We had to say no to a lot of client work. We’re financially struggling as it is, but we just said, we got to try this or we’re going to have regrets. So we launched the $100 BA Show with a whole bunch of episodes kind of already produced before, so we have some lead time before we launched.

And one of the things I did is just focus on a really good show. I wanted to make sure that I would talk to these people that are listening as if they were my former selves. What did I want to hear when I was getting started?

What are some of the struggles I was having? I wanted to talk about things that you don’t read in a book or you don’t see on a show or online course. Like how do you fire employee or how do you have a difficult discussion when somebody’s not performing well on your team or things like, you’re made a profit, what are you going to do with that money?

These are things that people talk about that you face every day as a business owner. And I thought, okay, let’s create some lessons around that on our marketing side, in terms of you said the first year kind of we blew up. What I really wanted to do is I wanted to launch this podcast and make people feel in the space that we were everywhere that week we launched.

So what I did is I reached out to so many podcasts, other podcasts, to see if I can become a guest. And I got a lot of no’s, a ton of no’s, right? But we reached out to like 200 podcasts, and then 30 of them said yes.

But I had one stipulation. I said, hey, can I record this interview? Can you launch it on August 14, 2014, or around that time that week?

Because I wanted us to be everywhere in one week. So people are like, who is this guy that just blew up all of a sudden? It’s not blew up all of a sudden.

It’s just that I timed it that way so that everybody can hear it. And my whole call to action was, hey, we just launched a new podcast called the $100 MBA Show, which is Daily Business Lessons helping you grow your business.

Matt: So that was kind of the genesis of the idea and the marketing of it. So that was like a master class in how to launch a podcast right there. I mean, you mentioned having a bunch of episodes in the can. When people come that first day, you need at least five episodes for them to listen to.

Because if nothing else inflates the numbers, that was our thing with our podcast launch team. We had about 200 people. All we said, all we want you to do is listen to all five episodes that day.

Make sure you download them. They were shorter episodes. You make sure the first five are like ten minutes.

So people could do that and then leave a rating review. But that interview one. I mean, that’s what we did with my book, and that’s what everybody does with books, right? You’re everywhere for, like, one week.

So people are talking about you. Most people subscribe to multiple podcasts in whatever it is. I’m a history buff, so I have like 20 history podcasts.

If you’re in an entrepreneurial kick, you have 10-12 entrepreneurial podcasts that you’re listening to. Inevitably you are going to be on two of them. And two is enough to make people go, this guy is literally everywhere, and find you, and then they find your podcast.

That was genius, man. I wish I thought about that whenever I launched my first podcast ten years ago.

Omar: Yeah, so I come from the blogging world. Like, I started blogging very early on, and that’s kind of what bloggers do is they understand the power of leveraging somebody else’s audience in terms of whether it’s backlinks or guest posting.

And that’s just how you grow. Your blog is like, hey, how do I get on other posts so I can be able to refer them back to my blog? So I just use the same kind of thought process but in podcasting.

Matt: And there’s something and this is random thought here, but your call to action was, go listen to my podcast. Because podcast listeners listen to podcasts.

Most people don’t listen to one podcast. That’s the audiobook listeners listen to audiobooks. Ebook readers read ebooks.

These are obvious, but that’s one of the things I’ve been thinking of over the years as I do more. I mean, I’ve done 300 interviews now, probably over the past seven years, and some of them I just don’t see any traction. I did the interview and I don’t see any downloads of the thing I recommended, but it hit me as you were talking.

I’m like, well, duh, because I’m telling a podcast listener to go download a PDF. Why don’t I tell the podcast listener to go listen to my podcast or go get my audio course, my free audio course, like make that the opt in, right? Yeah, that makes sense.

Omar: And it’s a whole lot easier for them to just stay on the platform they’re on. So if they’re listening to a podcast, they probably have that app open on their phone or in their car. It’s just easy for them to switch over and search.

They’re already in the kind of Spotify, Apple, whatever ecosystem rather than having to remember a URL, go to the website, go through all those steps. Yeah, it’s just the nature of just being on the platform.

Matt: Yeah, makes total sense.

Just two of the things from your story there that I got when you looked at others and you saw what Pat and Know and these others were know Tim Ferriss, your first reaction was like, I can never do that. Look at mean these guys are like and I think they’re that inferiority complex. I think so many of us do.

And the cool thing about it is, first of all, you didn’t let that hold you back. But secondly, you didn’t say, okay, how can I compete with them? How can I be just like them?

The reality is you couldn’t at that time. You couldn’t be John Lee Dumas, right? Because John and Pat have been doing it for three years.

You can’t be that. Nobody is going to on day one, nobody’s going to be where somebody else is on year three. But you didn’t let that stop you.

And the second thing is, I love that you said, took that coffee break Spanish and coffee break French, and then you took that, which have nothing to do with entrepreneurship, and said, okay, let’s do this over here. And I think that’s the importance. I talk a lot about this getting out of your niche, whether it be for me, it’s studying history, like, what lessons can I learn from political campaigns to apply to business?

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Most of the stuff I learn, I can’t, but every now and again I get a nugget and I really love that. And that’s a really cool takeaway. Hopefully people got that as well.

I’m curious and just you’ve been doing this for nine years and I mean this from two ways. What sort of sort of lessons you’ve learned from doing the show. And like I said, I mean it from two ways.

Number one, like lessons you’ve learned from guests and just lessons you learned doing the show. And maybe while you think about that, I’ll just share one of mine, one of my lessons. Get an editor as quickly as possible.

Don’t edit your own podcast. It’s hard. What about yours, Omar?

Omar: I would share that kind of sentiment. Nicole and I for the first 300 episodes, so probably like a little under a year, we did everything. We did show notes, we recorded, we edited, we put it up on WordPress, we did all the promotions, all the socials, everything.

We didn’t have a choice. We just couldn’t afford it at the time. We didn’t really take sponsorship until like, I think six months in or something like that.

But the point was that the first hire we made was a VA, and then we got an editor quickly after that. But it’s great to know how to do it. So you can hand it over easily and kind of record the SOPs or the operating procedures of this process and you can actually get that editor to really know how to do it the way you like it.

We’re very kind of perfectionist in the way we wanted know that music dragged on for too long or there’s too much gap between the break and all that. Kind of know Carl, who is our editor, who we hired back in the day, still with us. Amazing guy.

He probably hated us the first few months, how a*** we were, but he actually became better than we were doing. His editing skills were so much better and what he’s produced is so much better and we’ve experimented in different ways. So I definitely agree with that.

One of the things I learned, the lessons I’ve learned is that early on I realized I have to get better as a communicator, as a performer on the mic, as a member of the media. You can’t just see yourself as, okay, I’m this business person with an internet connection and a website, and I try to make money with my products and the podcast is a way for me to market. No, now you are on the mic, you’re in people’s ears.

The standard is quite high. I was very conscious of the fact know, all these celebrities were launching podcasts when I launched, like Shaq was launched a podcast, and Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien, and these guys have decades of experience on the mic in broadcasting, what am I going to do about it? So I thought to myself, I got to get better, I got to learn how to really perform on the mic.

So I got voice lessons, I got public speaking lessons, I got coached on how to use my breath and breathing techniques so I don’t sound like Darth Vader on the microphone, all kinds of stuff. And also just cutting out the UMS and the Oz and all that to understand, hey, if I want to communicate effectively with my audience, I have to work on this craft, I got to work on my instrument, which is my voice. I can’t just expect people just to take it like it is and just live with all the flaws.

And I always say that it’s a blessing in disguise in the beginning that you might have not that many followers or listeners. Absolutely, because you’re probably not that great yet. You need some reps as you get better and better.

I can’t listen to the first 100 episodes of my own podcast. It’s so cringeworthy. But they say if you don’t put out cringeworthy work, it means you started too late.

So that was one of the biggest takeaways, is like, I have to work on my craft, on my instrument, I got to be better as a podcaster, as a member of the media, all that kind of stuff. The other takeaway I would say is you have to learn to fall in love with podcasting because if you don’t love this, you’re not going to make it. You need a lot of reps, you need a lot of episodes.

It takes a long time for you to get traction and for you to improve and for you to also get a following. Podcasting is a very long term kind of play. You’re not really going to see any results even if you had a great launch and all that kind of stuff for maybe twelve to 18 to 24 months.

There are people that have been working on their podcast for three, four, five years, 6th year now they start to get some traction. It just takes time. And if you don’t love it, if you don’t enjoy stepping up to the mic and doing these episodes, then you’re really going to struggle.

You’re going to have a hard time, and your listeners will feel it. They’ll hear it in your voice that you’re not enjoying yourself. So every time I step up to the mic to do an episode, I always think to myself, how can I make the last episode look not as great as this episode?

I want this episode to be the best episode ever. Almost like a martial artist. Every time they go on the Mad, they were like, how can I master my craft as much as possible and give my best performance?

So I really think of how I can get in the right state of mind every time I record.

Matt: That’s a powerful lesson right there. I did an episode probably 300 episodes ago where I just talk about, if you want to be good at marketing, you got to fall in love with marketing.

You cannot think that marketing is this dark art that has evil in it. I got to market. I got to said, no, you got to fall in love with that or get out of the business or find somebody to market you like.

You either need to hire somebody or fall in love with it. Those are your two options. That is one and two.

And I think the other thing, like, you talk about the beginning, similar story. I had a podcast that was absolutely cringeworthy, did 99 episodes. I actually, a couple of years ago, found the files of episode 100.

It was my team had surprised me, and they got all these people. They got, like, past guests in my family to be like, congratulations on 100 episodes. We never aired it. And I felt horrible. I found them in Dropbox one day, and I was like I started crying. I was like, listening.

Because at that time, my daughter was like, three. So she’s like, good job, Daddy. Anyway, but I did those 99, and I remember the first 20 were horrible.

It took me 20 episodes to figure out how to end an episode. I didn’t even know, like, if you listen. The first 20 10 of them were interviews.

I didn’t know how to end it. So it was just kind of like, oh, it’s been good to talk to you today. Bye, weird. And I figured it out one day on the fly, and I went.

That’s how I’m ending every episode. If you listen to 20 through 99, they end the exact same way. Wow. You don’t do that without sucking at the first 20. So, yeah, you’re definitely early on, you almost want nobody listening, but you get your reps in.

Omar: Sorry to dump it. One of my favorite quotes is by Felix Dennis. Phyllis Denis is the founder of Denis Publishing. He created all all these amazing magazines like Maxim, and he’s passed away now, but he died.

His net worth was like, half a billion dollars. He wrote a book called how to Get Rich, which is a very entertaining book, but he has a line of the book that says, in his experience, you have to be willing to fail publicly to succeed in life and in business. Really?

And he gives all these examples, whether it’s like Elon Musk blowing 200 or $300 million because a rocket blew up that didn’t work out. How many times that happened? We saw that on the news.

Total failure across the whole or, you know, somebody like what’s his name, richard Branson, who like, a third of all his brands that he launches fails, like Virgin Cola and all these things that don’t work. And are we willing as entrepreneurs to fail publicly to succeed? And that’s basically what you shared the first 20 episodes.

You’re not really happy with the outcome, but you got to put out something. You got to get started somewhere. Yeah, I’m like you.

Matt: I would never go back and listen to those. Yeah. And on that, the good thing about that. You said one third failed. People actually think that that’s actually kind of a low failure rate, in my opinion, because the cool thing about failure is those companies failed for a couple of years. His successes are successful for decades.

So just from a pure monetary standpoint, what’s a half billion dollar failure when you have multiple billion dollar successes? If that’s what it takes, like, you’re a successful baseball player if you hit the ball three out of ten times, if you think about that, it’s a totally different mindset, because you only need one thing to work. You only need in your case, you needed to get those first couple of hundred episodes out of the way.

And then I feel like it was a little bit sooner than that. It blew up, but still. So let’s go back to that episode 300, you said. And I know that’s an arbitrary number. I don’t think that episode 301 was suddenly magic, but roughly around then. I’m curious, when did you feel like you’d actually kind of figured this out?

Like, okay, we’ve got a format and a system. I’m good at this. I see myself as kind of what other people see me as, an expert, a leader in my field. Have you felt that yet? When did you get there, if at all?

Omar: I can’t honestly say that I 100% feel like I figured it out. Even now, with 2300 episodes and nine years in, just because podcasting keeps evolving, keeps changing, the audience changes, the mediums change, the technology changes. So you got to change with it. So it’s not like, okay, now I’m good.

I just keep doing what I’m doing right now forever. But from a confidence point of view, I always knew I was a good teacher because of my academic career. When I was a teacher for 13 years, I moved over very quickly.

Those successes in that career gave me the confidence to know that, okay, I’m good at this. So I knew I had that skill. I just didn’t know if it was going to translate well in podcasting, in the entrepreneurial space, that kind of thing.

But once we launched the podcast, I would say maybe even earlier on, maybe after 150 to 200 episodes, we had a good number of reviews, 500, 600 reviews by then. And I started reading reviews of people say, I built my whole business off this podcast. Like, this podcast, grow my business, this business podcast, I can’t believe it’s free.

All these people are just kind of giving reviews about how actually impacted their life and their business and their mindset and how they kind of switched from their job to their business now. And this podcast gives them that support. And I realized, okay, that really is the proof that, okay, I should keep going because it’s actually impacting people regardless of the rankings or the numbers or whatever.

There’s something here. So, yeah, I think that’s kind of what kind of hit. So we launched in August of 2014. In December of that year, to our surprise, we won Best of itunes, which is awarded to about a dozen podcasts. And I was so shocked by that because I just had my head down trying to build a great podcast. I was getting tweets from everybody.

I got a tweet from Alex Bloomberg who won it as well, for startup, and he was congratulating me. I was like, Why is Alex Bloomberg tweeting at me like he’s a big shot? I don’t know.

I’m a nobody. What are you talking about? And I realized, oh, we want best of itunes. That’s crazy. And the funny thing is that we were friends with John Lee Dumas and Kate. We’re still friends.

We just went on vacation together recently. But back in the day, one of the things that we used to admire about John is we’d go see his speeches at conferences or meetups, and one of the things he would say or it’s in his intro, like, he won Best of itunes. And it just sounds great, and it’s a great accolade.

It’s like winning an Oscar. And Nicole, my partner, she know, kind of nudged me and say, we’re going to win it one day. And I was like, yeah, whatever. You have no control over that, but whatever. Okay. But then when we did win it.

She was like, See, I told you so. I was like, that’s amazing. But that was kind of confirmation that I guess the industry saw value in what we produced and it kind of made me feel, okay, we got to keep going and improving and try to provide a great show.

Matt: Plus, I mean, you got the front of iTunes for like a week.

Omar: Yeah, that huge help.

Matt:  I remember because I feel like that’s when I first heard about you, possibly. I mean, it was like, you opened itunes and it was in that phase. That’s why I thought it was 2013. But of course, you know better, you know, when you launched your podcast.

But I just remember that was in that phase where I was thinking of starting mine. What was my second one? I had one back in 2009 and 2010.

That was a very small niche one that I did like 30 episodes on. But I was thinking about starting up a new podcast. So I just listened to everybody’s podcast.

I mean, I probably listened to three episodes of 70 podcasts just to see did intro music resume? How did they the format that I use today, even now, is like teaser music and then I get into it. I learned that from somebody, I don’t remember who, but I learned that I heard somebody do it and I went, I like, that a little 1520 2nd teaser.

And then I copied that and same thing with how I close it. Well, yours was one and I remember it was like, yeah, you go to the business section of itunes. This was back before I even had itunes on my phone.

I had to go to my computer and tell it what podcasts to do and then I put them on my phone. Okay. And yeah, anyway, so I went there and it was like front and center. It was like $100 NBA and I was like, click. And then 400 episodes or so later. That’s awesome.

I love the way that you’ve done this, and I love turning this sense of kind of almost desperation, it feels like, into a successful business. I’m curious, though, because now you have so much else other than initially it was just like podcast and you may or may not have had even like I don’t think you knew you were going to be doing what you’re doing today, business-wise, I would imagine. I will talk about some of the new stuff you’re doing here in a second.

How have you used the podcast? Obviously, advertising that provides revenue, everybody gets that. Somebody listens to one episode of your podcast, they go, Omar makes money from advertising.

Okay, easy peasy there, right? What are some of the other ways that you’ve used the podcast to grow your business specifically, though?

Omar: Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t know if the word used is the right word. I think it’s more like when I moved to New York in 2012. I used to go to any free speech or any kind of free conference I can go to.

One talk I went to was Seth godin. Seth Godin was asked the question like how do I grow my following and my audience in business? And he kind of said something kind of tongue in cheek, but he said, easy way to be successful in business is to become famous.

And everybody kind of laughed. He’s like, no, I’m serious. If you become famous, it’s actually quite easy.

You talked about the Kardashians and all that kind of stuff. So my thought was, like, how do I build an audience? How do I grow my audience?

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And the podcast is really the way I get to be known to the world. It’s the way for me to have a chance to build a relationship with people that may or may not be thinking about starting a business, growing their business, maybe quitting their business, whatever it might be, whatever they’re struggling with. And I get the opportunity to step in here and say, hey, maybe I have something to say on that.

Maybe I can help you out with that. Maybe not. But it’s just my chance to build a relationship with these people.

So I feel like every business needs an audience. So you’re talking to somebody. And then if you can add value, if you can be able to show them that, hey, I have their best interest in mind and that I’m here to help, then they’ll find me.

They’ll look me up, they’ll Google me, they’ll check out my products or things like that. So I’m not really worried about that. Really what I was focused on is, like, how do I grow that audience so that I could build that trust and that relationship with people?

Because that’s where it starts. And I learned that from teaching. One of the old sayings from teaching is students don’t care about how much you know until you show them how much you care.

I don’t want to use the podcast in a way that says, hey, as in exchange for this knowledge, you’re going to go to my website and buy this product. Or here’s a little bit of information, and if you want to know the whole formula, then go download this thing or buy my course. I just want to give them what they need. And at the end of the day, I always see products that people sell off the back of any kind of medium, whether it’s YouTube or podcasting, whatever.

They’re really just a way for people to have a fast track or accountability or a chance to get to know you on a deeper level, to interact with you. And that’s really what they’re buying. They’re not really buying the information. The information is out there. The information I’m sharing, I didn’t make it up.

I got it from somewhere else. I read books, I’ve taken my own courses, and I’ve learned through experiences. All these things are available to people. I’m just kind of condensing it and giving it to you on a silver plate. And I always say that. I learned this from this book, and I learned this from this person, just like I mentioned Seth Godin right now.

So I feel like that’s what it’s given me. It’s giving me a chance to have an audience, give me a chance to speak to somebody and to help people, and to be a credible person in this space. I always wanted to be somebody that did it the right way.

I didn’t want people to say like, oh, this person’s kind of like, made their money off the fact that they’re helping people build a business, but their whole business is just like helping people build a business. So it’s like, no, I actually want to build a business, share my experiences, and help people out. And I’m very honest with people.

Some people come in and say, hey, I would love to learn how to build this X kind of business. Could it help me out? I’ll hire you.

I don’t have any experience of that. I’m not the best person for that. I don’t want to give you advice that may not work.

So that’s kind of how I see it. And for me, the podcast is just a joy to do because it has opened so many doors for me. It’s incredible how many doors have opened for me in terms of opportunities to speak on stage, opportunities to be interviewed, know you, Matt, and be on shows like this.

Opportunities to just get an know. Like, for example, because I’m a podcaster, I met other fellow podcasters in the industry. One of my close friends is like Jordan Harbinger. Now, who’s from the Jordan Harbinger Show? We’ve hung out so many times. We went on vacations together.

They’re like family to us. But because of our close relationship, I’ve learned so much about how to advertise and how to grow my podcast. But also he’s introduced me to so many amazing people along the way. You can’t buy this stuff for me. That’s really what has been the experience of being a podcaster.

Matt: I love that. In a sense, it’s legitimized you. Is that the right word? Legitimate? I can’t know if that’s the word. It doesn’t sound right in my head.

Omar: We’ll go with it.

Matt: Yeah, we’re going to go with it. Yeah. And it’s kind of funny, you know this. If you walked into a target in the US. And asked 100 people if they knew who you were, you’d be lucky if one of them did. But in your niche, you are famous, and that’s what it’s done.

In your niche in the affiliate marketing world, like, I’m famous. It is a subset of a subset of a subset of the population of the world. The reality is, most people don’t give a flying crap what you do or what I do.

But to the people who do, you’ve spent. And I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours in their ears when they’re driving, when they’re working out, when they’re doing yard work when they’re doing the whatever, and you’ve been there with them. It’s kind of a weird thing, because it does and it’s very not to be weird, but it’s like an intimate relationship, because totally, you’re, what, three inches from their brain, literally.

It’s kind of a cool thing, and then that’s what it does. And I think you’ve done that the right way. And you mentioned, like, the courses are kind of the fast track.

And I tell people all the time, I’ll be brutally honest, there is nothing in my courses that if you can’t find on my videos, on my podcast, or somewhere else on the Internet, it’s all right there in period instead of 30 hours. You don’t have to listen to me talk about something else or this or that. And it’s like, no, here’s one, two.

I go one through ten in the course versus in the podcast. I go from like A to Q, and all of it is a little bit circuitous. So that’s a great lesson there. So speaking of that.

Omar: Yeah, I was going to jump in and say I’m still really humbled by the fact people come up to me after conferences or meetings, and they just want to talk to me, ask me questions, and thank me. And I’m like, it’s a little bit strange still for me, but I’m so grateful I got to give a shout out to Chris Brogan. I’m so grateful to Chris Brogan.

He doesn’t know this, probably, but when I was starting out, before I had the podcast, this is to go to any meeting, any conference, anything. And I remember going to a lot of conferences where Chris Brogan spoke, and he’d be on stage as soon as he came off stage. So many people would go up to him, ask questions and want to take a picture with him and selfies and all that kind of stuff.

And he was so kind and so gracious and never kind of gave any attitude. And he basically hung around for the meetups and spoke to every single person that approached him. And I realized in that moment, like, man, this guy gets it.

Most people, once they get to something, the guy’s a super popular, successful, Wall Street Journal bestseller, amazing guy. But what I understood in that moment is that he gets the fact that these people that might be annoying or coming up and bothering him when he just came off stage and he’s probably tired, he just came off of really intense speech and all that kind of stuff, he realizes that these people are the people that made him who he is.

These are the people that listen to his podcast, that buy his courses, that buy his books. These are the people he serves. And he recognizes that. And most people that make it to some level forget that. And I never forgot that lesson. And I thought to myself, if anybody has a question at a conference or wants to talk to me or wants to take a picture or whatever, it doesn’t matter how I feel.

These are the people that matter. These are the people that actually help you have a successful podcast and be where you are and have that opportunity to be on stage.

Matt: Yeah. Everybody that I’ve ever interacted with that I still respect was exactly like that. They were as excited to see me, which, again, they’re the celebrity, so to speak, as I was to see them, and they’re getting to meet a fan, and they think that’s as cool as anything. And I agree.

So as we wrap up here, we talked about how you’ve used this to know. I know you said you haven’t used it to build your business, but it has been a tool to do that. And I think it’s really cool because you’ve done some stuff that on the surface, like if you said Omar, the founder of Webinar Ninja or Omar the founder, of course Ninja, it’s like, how did those connect to the podcast?

I don’t think you set out to do, you know, SaaS products eight, nine years ago now, or like you probably even imagine you’d ever do that. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you did, and you can correct me on that.

My guess is you didn’t project that you were going to do that years ago. How did that come about? I’m curious what’s the why behind these products and then maybe talk about the how behind them as well.

Omar: You’re right. I mean, if I knew how hard it was going to be, I probably would have never done know. It’s funny, my budy, Matthew Kimberly, he asked me, like, why did you choose such a hard thing to even specifically your software?

It’s like live video and landing pages and email. There’s so much chat, and there’s all this stuff going on in GDPR, and why would you pick such a difficult thing? And it goes back to the why.

A common thread in my life is teaching. I love to be able to have that light bulb moment for that student. The chance to be like, oh, I get it now, and unlock something, whether it’s a mindset shift or whether it’s a strategy or a simplification of an idea that’s kind of been bothering them for some time.

So it’s all about teaching. And when I started out with the $100 MBA, which is an online course, $100 MBA education, helping you build your business or give you the fundamentals so you can build your business. I was selling that with webinars back in 2012, 13, and it was back then it was like the main player was go to meeting and you had to kind of really put together five or six tools to make it happen.

A landing page, software, and you have to throw in all that stuff. You have to like five pieces of software to make it happen. The replay was a whole different story. You got to record it and then you got to make sure you have a page where you send it to the people that have registered. How do you make it secure? Kind of is not secure.

You don’t know who’s got access. So I just did that. It took me 2 hours every week to build this webinar, every single week to sell access to my course. But I did it because it worked because I loved to be able to teach a lesson, give a workshop, and then say, hey guys, if you want more of this kind of stuff, we have a whole course called the $100 MBA. This is how much? And it got me enrolled.

It was just a great system, but after doing it for about, I say six months, I thought to myself, this got to be a better way to do this and waste 2 hours a day, 2 hours every single week I did it. So at the time, I was proficient in WordPress, a little bit of PHP, and HTML. I’m a very amateur kind of programmer. You would speak, but just enough to kind of break things.

So I built something for myself using WordPress back then to kind of just be able to save myself some time. And I started running webinars with it and my audience was like, hey, what are you using for this webinar? It’s like, oh, it’s just something I slapped together to make my life easier. And they’re like, oh, can we buy it? At that point I was like, oh, I never really think about it.

Software company? Yeah, I never even thought about like, oh, I’m going to start a software company now. I just thought like, oh, maybe I showed them how to do it.

And that’s actually what I did. I sold a book and a course called the DIY Webinar Guide. I worked on it for four months.

I put it out to the audience and realized that’s not what they want. I got two sales. One sale was from the John Lee duo.

This was like a sympathy sale. The other sale was a chargeback. It was like fraud, right?

I was like, that’s a gut. But I told you, everything I do starts with failure. Oh, my huge failure.

And I realized, okay, the lesson here is that people don’t want to learn how to put this all together. They want a tool to do it for them.

Matt: Exactly.

Omar: So then I decided, okay, let me first find out so I don’t have another two-sale kind of situation if people actually want to buy this. So I actually put a landing page together.

With my proposed solution. This is one I want to create. It’s called webinar ninja. I had some mockups of my Photoshop files and this is what it’s going to do. And I presold it. I said, hey, if you want to get access, you could put down $250 and you’ll get access to it as soon as it’s released in four or five months.

And I just basically emailed every single person I knew and said, hey, if you or you know anybody else that likes to run webinars or I think this is cool solution, can you share it? I didn’t really want them to buy it. I wanted them to share because sharing is more powerful because their audience is probably more than one person which is himself.

So we did that and we sold out our 1st 150 beta users in 48 hours. Then we opened it up for another 100 users and that sold out in 24 hours. So then we’re like, okay, now I have some seed capital to build this thing.

I know it’s validated. Now people actually have so much pain in this situation that they’re willing to put down money on the promise that something is better. And then from there I hired a real developer and built it for commercial use off WordPress and into the cloud and all that kind of stuff.

And then we launched it and of course we got feedback from our users. It got better and better over the years. And the whole point of creating Webinar engine in the first place, our webinar software was to make it easy for people to present and to sell their products and services, but create a software that’s more about teaching and learning and less about meetings.

Zoom and Goto and all these guys, they’re really built for enterprise and meetings. They’re not really meant for interaction and teaching and learning and all that kind of stuff. So I really wanted to focus on that.

So that’s why we’re really primarily for people that are coaches or trainers or creators. This is really who we serve. So over the years we kind of learned a lot from our users.

And one of the things we learned is that they would run webinars to sell their coaching program, to sell their challenges, to sell their cohort of live courses, and they would complain to us. We do a lot of customer interviews, but Nicole and I, we like to talk to the users to find out what they like, what they don’t like. Yeah, and it’s a good way to one, we ask if we can record it so that we can transcribe it.

Mainly because we want to know the language they use to describe their problems. Because that’s what we use in our sales pages. Because I don’t want to use the language that I use because I’m too in the weeds.

Like I’m talking to engineers and developers and I’m not a customer, right? I want to talk to somebody who says, I want it to work or use the language that they say.

Matt: Yeah, real quick, I want to interrupt you there. Everybody click rewind on my podcast player. It’s 15 seconds. I would hit it twice, listen to that again, and do it back to where.

Omar: Yeah, it’s great because that language is really powerful. So then what we’ve heard from a lot of our coaches and creators using webinar ninja to sell their products and their coaching is know, I run this coaching program.

I have to have this landing page to sell this coaching program. I then have to send them Zoom links. I then have to send them to Zoom.

I then have to make sure that it’s recorded. One of the pain points they had is like, when Zoom is over, the chat disappears, is gone, so all the discussion is gone, and all the links we shared was gone. I then have to take that recording.

I got to pop it in some membership area that then I have to give access to them there too. And then I got to send them, hey, these are where the recordings are and the materials. But when we do Live, we got to go over here.

Calendar invites. It’s a little bit of a headache. And then one of the things is that it’s not very secure because, for example, if they have a coaching program and then somebody’s credit card declines or they stop paying, they still have links to the Zoom.

They still have links on their calendar, and then they can remove access to their membership area, but they can’t from Zoom, and they got to have to block them. And it’s kind of awkward. It’s weird, right?

So we thought to, hmm, this is interesting. No one’s really created any kind of course platform for live teaching. Everybody kind know, teachable and thinkific and Pody, all these guys, they’ve done great job with recorded courses and that part of thing, but there’s a lot of people out there that believe in live.

Whether they’re doing like a three day live challenge or they’re doing a live cohorted course or a combination of live and recorded, there’s not really anything comprehensive out there. So we thought maybe we can try to build this and see what happens. And we kind of came up with a little beta.

We got some users that use webinar ninja to say, hey, would you run a course using this, a live course? And they kind of gave us feedback. We tweaked some things, and then we just recently launched this course Ninja, which is it’s a sister product to Webinar ninja.

And if you have webinar ninja, you can add it to it, so you can use the same kind of media library and all that kind of stuff. But what is really great about what I love about it is that you and the students just go to one place when it’s time for your courses. So they have a landing page, they buy there, they sign up there, they go to the live sessions there, and after the sessions are over, all the recordings are there, right where it was.

The chats get saved, the handouts get saved, all that stuff. So we really wanted to kind of create something for those who love to teach live and run live cohorted courses, but also if they want to throw in some recorded videos as well, they can do that too.

Matt: That is so cool. As we’re recording this, like the day we’re recording this, you just launched it today, is that right, you said?

Omar: Yeah, we just launched it on Product Hunt and yeah, we’re really excited about it.

Matt: Maybe like the first podcast outside of yours where anybody.

Omar: Yeah, it is.

Matt: So real quick, before we move on or finish up here or where can people find out about Course Ninja and Webinar Ninja? What’s the best place to check this out? We’ll put those links in the show notes.

Omar: So they can go to Webinarninja. com and all the information is there. You’ll find course, ninja there as well. And if you join our newsletter or our mailing list, you’ll get invited to a webinar.

And I’ll be on that webinar where I still like to do all the demos and all the workshops because I like to stay close to the customers and understand what their needs are and how things change so you can say hi and ask questions if you have. And we’re always here to help. And if you’re on our newsletter, we’re going to continue to give you value, give you information, help you out.

I’m a big believer that you can’t make anybody buy anything. So my job is, if you join my mailing list, is that I want to build a relationship with you, see if I can help you out, see if I can serve you, and then when you are ready to buy, hopefully you can choose us.

Matt: Yeah. Are you doing that webinar on GoToWebinar? Is that right?

Omar: No.. hehe

Matt: I’m curious. Did JLD ever actually read DIY Webinar? Did he ever actually even.

Omar: Yeah, we actually had a chat. We went to yeah, we were in Japan together on a holiday. And he was like, yeah, I liked it was great. And he read it and everything and I was just like, dude, do you know that your only real estate alone was a chargeback? And was like, no, really?

Kidding me. And he’s just like, you’re going to believe it. I was like, yeah, no one knows because they see all the glitz and the glamour of the launch and the pages and everything in the emails, but yeah, you got to fall in your face sometimes. And I love it that I did because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have created a webinar engine.

Matt: Yeah, they told you exactly what people wanted. We’ve learned the same things over the years. There’s sometimes people don’t want to learn how to do something.

There are two types of people in the world. People have more money than time, and people have more time than money. And the people who have more time than money will spend 80 hours on YouTube to learn something they could have spent $17 to learn.

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And the people who have more money than time will spend $1,000 to not have to do something. It’s that simple. You want the latter, just to be clear.

Well, Omar, thank you so much. This has been awesome. It’s been a masterclass in so many things. I know that my recommendation. I know I’m going to be doing it. I don’t usually do this, admittedly, with interviews. I think the last couple I’ve done. I’m going to do this, though. I don’t go back and listen to them.

First of all, I don’t like to hear myself talk. I don’t listen to anything that I do. That’s all. Another reason why I got an editor was I don’t ever have to listen to myself. I don’t have to listen to dumbs and stuff. He just makes them go away.

But that said, I will be going back to listen to this because I want to hear a couple of things that you said that I didn’t get to listen to as well as I wanted to because I was kind of thinking also, like, how to follow up to that question. Don’t do that in real life. Only when you host a podcast, by the way.

So. Omar. Thank you. This has been awesome, guys. Go check out Omar’s links in the show notes. Sign up.

Go see what he has, either if you think, you know what, I need this, get it. If you think I don’t know if I need this or not, just sign up for this newsletter, get some emails, and eventually you’ll probably come to that conclusion. So that’s my hypothesis at least. So thank you so much, Omar.

Omar: Thanks, Matt. I really appreciate it, man. I had a great time, and you’re full of kindness. I really appreciate your warmth.

Matt: Appreciate it.

So I hope you enjoyed that talk with Omar there. Oh, my gosh. It’s one of the few that I’ve gone back and listened to, like I had to.

There’s just so much good stuff in there, some specifics on starting a podcast, but obviously the theme about failure after failure after failure and how it led to success for Omar is really the big takeaway for me there. I would love to hear from you, and I know Omar would, the couple of ways. Number one, you can text me at 260-217-4619, as always, about this episode.

Anything, questions, whatever you want to talk about, you can text me there. Also, you can reach out to us on social media. Tag me. Tag Omar. Let him know what you got out of this episode. I know he would love to hear from you, and I would love for him to hear from a bunch of people in our audience about what you got out of this episode.

So make sure you do one of those two things. I got all the links to everything that he talked about. You can connect with Omar.

I’ve got his website, the $100 MBA show course Ninja, which you guys are like the first people to hear about it, which is really cool. So got all those in the show notes as well. Lastly, hey, make sure you hit subscribe if you haven’t yet, because if nothing else, you don’t want to miss the next episode where we’re talking about how to build trust and credibility with your affiliates.

We’re going to talk about just developing trust, the backbone of every successful affiliate program. This is what keeps affiliates promoting you not only the first time trust, but for the long term. So I’m going to share some of those strategies and techniques that can make you a trustworthy affiliate manager or program owner to hopefully take your program to some new heights.

So make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss that episode. It’s going to be a good one. I’ll see you then.


Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

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