Almost exactly a year ago, my partners and I launched Motion Invest as a new way to buy and sell content sites.
We’ve delivered on being a fast and easy way to buy or sell content sites. Our original plan was to buy sites ourselves, so we would only buy sites that we felt strongly enough about to put money behind.
We still buy sites directly if you are looking for a quick, all-cash deal.
However, over time more and more people wanted to see if they could get a higher price on other marketplaces than what we were offering. Rather than “lose” out on good sites, we recently turned Motion Invest into a true marketplace.
In other words, you can now list your site for sale on Motion Invest marketplace instead of selling the site directly to Motion Invest.
As a result, we have gotten an increase in listings…which is great news if you are looking to buy a site.
But today we want to shake up the website brokerage business for small content sites just a little bit more.
Announcing the Listing
If you look at most brokerages, you will see that they charge a listing fee. We’ve always thought that was a bad deal for sellers, and we’ve never had a listing fee.
However, for this week only, we are going one step further. We are going to PAY YOU $100 if you list your site with Motion Invest.
That’s right, once your site gets officially listed on Motion Invest, we will send you $100…whether or not your site ends up selling.
How’s that for risk elimination?! :).
If you look at Flippa, you will see that it costs $49 to list your site, then there are tons of “add-on” fees like email newsletter mention, marketing boosts, listing review fees and much more. You can easily spend several hundred dollars listing your site with Flippa.
Empire Flippers has a $297 listing fee for your first site. It goes down to $97 if you sell a second site.
Another newer brokerage started at no fees, but now has added a $99 “vetting fee”.
At Motion Invest, we are doing things differently.
Not only is there no listing fees ever, but for this week we will PAY you $100 to list your site with us.
Here’s how it works:
- Submit your site to go through our website valuation process right here before the end of this week. If you START this step by the end of the week, you qualify for the $100 bonus, no matter if your site is officially listed in future weeks!
- Submit all the required screenshots and other details for us to do our due diligence on your site. This usually takes 3 or 4 days for us to go through our verification and diligence process.
- We will offer to buy your site directly or give you an option to list on our Marketplace. If you say yes to either option, you qualify for the $100 listing bonus.
- When your site goes live on MotionInvest.com, we will send you the $100 bonus.
So, if you have a small content site (making less than $2,000) we are interested in paying your $100 to list your site! And no site is too small – even if it’s making $10/month, we are happy to take a look.
List Your Site on Motion Invest = $100 in Your Pocket this Week Only!
Get your site listed to sell on Motion Invest and get $100.
- Just say no to fees – get a $100 listing BONUS instead!
- Even if your site doesn’t sell, you still get $100
- Submit your site for review this week to qualify
- Site making between $1 to $2,000 a month? We are interested!
The Story of Motion Invest
Jon Gillham, Kelley Van Boxmeer, and I are the 3 founders of Motion Invest. Kelley is the operations manager and really runs all of Motion Invest (along with several other employees).
Jon and I provide the vision and branding reach with our audiences.
As mentioned, we launched Motion Invest almost exactly 1 year ago with a simple hypothesis – the market for small content sites has flaws.
We seek to improve those flaws through more transparent due diligence (so you know what you are buying) and the option for a quick sell by selling your site directly to us.
I wanted to share more depth of the reason we launched Motion Invest, the evolution, and some of the business strategies that have worked really well for Jon and I.
Watch the full video to hear Jon Gillham’s story of starting and managing several online businesses. We also discuss the founding of Motion Invest and how we are able to manage the business.
You can also read the full transcript below:
Introductions and Quitting Job
Spencer: Hey, everyone. It’s Spencer again. Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast and this YouTube video. If you’re watching, hello. Today, I have got Jon Gillham with me here on the call. Jon and I go way back. We’re going to dive into that and hear what he is involved with now. Jon, welcome.
Jon: Thanks, Spencer. Glad to be on. I know I’ve been on in the past, but that’s years ago. Glad to be back and chatting with you, with it being recorded which is different.
Spencer: Definitely. As I said, we go way back. I know your history quite well and probably most people in the audience here have heard of you, I would think, but there are certainly going to be some that haven’t. Why don’t you give them kind of your background, give us an evolution of how you got started online, and what you’re doing now?
Jon: Sounds great. I started online 10 years ago, a little longer than that. I found Upwork and was blown away by it (oDesk at the time). Since then, I have spent a lot of money there. It’s a really cool platform that I just geeked on when I discovered it, and from that built into building and selling primarily content sites.
I was doing that as a side hustle for a lot of years while I was working an engineering job and then was pretty open in sharing my progress towards leaving the day job, which I did at 2016 timing. Since then, have just been continuing to launch different projects and evolve in the space of what’s often related to buying and selling different online businesses, primarily content sites, but move around into different business models as well, ecommerce, FBA, et cetera.
Spencer: Let’s go back to 2016. You’re deciding to quit your job. Is that a tough decision?
Jon: It’s scary. It’s a great job, I enjoyed it. It was on a trajectory that would have had a pretty good life, but not the one that I was just trying to design for. I’m very metrics-driven, goals-driven and that was all we shared publicly. But I have my income target, my runaway target. In hindsight, I was stupid not to do it a little bit earlier, but still glad that I did it in a very structured and risk-mitigated way.
How Jon Runs a Diverse Portfolio of Businesses
Spencer: I’m glad you got there and as you mentioned or at least touched on, you had a really very diverse portfolio. You had your content sites—you still do—but you had started launching some services. I know you had Lightning Rank and Content Refined. Was that launched by that time as well?
Jon: No, the only product or service that was launched at that time was Lightning Rank, which was outlink building and still hasn’t sold it as a link building service.
Spencer: When was Content Refind launched?
Jon: Hired a team member shortly after I went. It was spring that I left the day job and then brought on two staff fairly quickly by the fall, and then one of the staff—Maddie—launched Content Refind. She still is the manager-CEO of that business.
Spencer: Got it, very cool. To bring people up to speed, why don’t you rattle off if you’re okay, whatever business you’re involved with and willing to share, let us know because I know there are a few.
Jon: There are a few. Authority Website Income is where I talk about everything that I do online. I have my portfolio of content sites, ecommerce sites, mostly Shopify sites, and then FBA business. Then I have my products services side, which is built to support my portfolio and I talk about that. We got Content Refind, Lightning Rank, BrandBuilders, Motion Invest. Each serves a different purpose and I pull on those from my own portfolio.
Then, I’ve got a couple of my unrelated but almost like angel investment type projects. Some in the […] SaaS space that I don’t talk about online because there’s no overlap, but trying to apply some of the same skills around organic traffic, growth, and outreach to some pretty boring SaaS businesses. That’s another kind of project that I don’t talk about much publicly.
Spencer: I don’t know much about that one and maybe I don’t need to dive into it too much, but is that related to your Crypto experience or totally different?
Jon: Crypto is there, Adbank is there, but it’s almost like it’s own world, like those worlds are related, but Adbank still takes about 25% of my day and is trying to push Adbank to where we want to go.
Spencer: How’s that going? We’re going to cover other things, but you’re putting 25% of your day into Adbank.
Jon: We got a lot of work to do. It’s neat. What Adbank is, is it’s a platform built on the blockchain that connects advertisers and publishers directly together. We got a bunch of users and it rewards users for seeing ads. We have a Chrome extension called BLADE which rewards users for seeing ads.
The users that we got were—as you could expect—low disposable income individuals that are excited about earning crypto from countries that are not tier one advertiser countries, so a lot of users from East Asia-type countries. What ended up happening was we just were not profitable to be able to advertise to them. We flipped that and now turned that into a task marketplace. It’s almost like Mechanical Turks where people now get rewarded for doing tasks that we can assign them to do.
It’s a neat project. We’re getting a thousand users a day, staying very relevant in the crypto world, but not making the impact yet that we want to make.
Spencer: Interesting. Get a lot of users, it’s out there, but still working on the profitability side of things.
Why Did We Create Motion Invest?
Spencer: That’s cool. A lot of things and I do want to dive into how you’re able to do so many things here in just a little bit, but first, let’s just mention Motion Invest. That’s going to be the core of what we talk about here. For those that don’t know, I am actually a partner in Motion Invest as well. It’s John, myself, and Kelly, a third partner, that’s really the operations manager there running the whole show.
Jon: Most does it all. We’re just here to look at the idea.
Spencer: We’re just the pretty face. I want to talk about Motion Invest a little bit and what we’re doing there. Why don’t you fill people in? What’s Motion Invest? Why did we create it?
Jon: That sounds great. Motion Invest almost became basically the brand around what we’ve been doing privately, which is buying and selling content sites. We felt like there was a gap in the marketplace and a problem when people came to us and said, I have $20,000 to buy a content site. Where do I go?
I didn’t feel good about sending inexperienced people to Flippa. The marketplace for the smaller content sites didn’t really exist. Those that did weren’t as efficient. The systems there were great, specifically like brokers, Empire Flippers. Great systems, but those systems are built to sell $500 million, multimillion-dollar businesses. It wasn’t a great experience as it could be because of the way they were designed for those smaller content sites.
We became, through conversations, thought that there was an opportunity here to become the most efficient place to buy and sell content sites in that $50,000 range, as low as $5000 and as high as $75,000 content sites.
Spencer: And just to add to that—you hit on it—it’s really hard because the brokers want to get bigger and bigger. We’ve seen that. People that are familiar with Empire Flipper’s history, back in 2009, started by selling their teeny little sites making $10 a month or $5 a month and they were selling those as fast as they could make them.
Then, they evolved to starting to sell other people’s sites. They became a true broker and as they’ve established themselves in the marketplace, they’re now selling as you said. They really want to sell million-dollar-plus sites if they can,
They’ll still sell you smaller sites, but it’s pretty rare for them to go after any sites worth less than $1000 now. Empire Flippers used to be a trustworthy place. They’re still a trustworthy place for what they’re doing, but they’re no longer focusing on the smaller sites.
You’re kind of left with Flippa or going private, trying to see if you can find a deal on your own. The problem with Flippa is the due diligence aspect of that. You’re connecting with the seller that can say the sites are making $100 a month but is it? Nobody’s verified that. No third party. Flippa hasn’t looked at the stats or anything like that.
That was a big pain point for Motion Invest, we really wanted to solve those two things. Where can you go to buy a small content site? One making less than a couple of thousand dollars a month, and you get verified earnings, verified due diligence by a team. That’s what we do at Motion Invest, right?
Jon: Yeah. It’s been interesting to hear your thoughts, too, Spencer, but it’s been great to hear that feedback from individuals around, like this is the solution that I need. I can sell my site quickly. I can sell directly to you guys, which is another unique component about us. It’s really been interesting over the last eight months or so since we launched, and hearing that feedback so far. It’s been great.
Moving to a Dutch Auction and the Marketplace
Spencer: It definitely has gotten good feedback from my audience as well. Let’s talk about that aspect just a little bit because certainly when we launched we were not a traditional broker. The only thing that we did is we bought sites from people so we’d find off-market deals through our own connections or people that eventually found out about Motion Invest would come to us and we would buy their sites outright. And we still do that to this day.
If you have a small content site, if you’re listening or watching this, we’re happy to take a look and give you a cash price that closes quickly. We do our due diligence as fast as we can, and then we send you the money. We come up with the deal and say here’s the price. If you agree, we get you your money, wire transfer 48 hours later.
We still do that and that’s how we started. But we found some people wanted to see if they could sell their price for a little bit higher on their own on the Motion Invest marketplace. We decided to allow people to instead of selling to us, they can now sell through the marketplace and see if they can get a little bit higher price. We gained a little bit of traction. That has become a very viable option for people as well.
Jon: One innovation that we launched with that was we have a Dutch auction system. If you’re looking to sell a content site that’s been like a $40,000 valuation, the way that Kelly structures the listings is that they’re Dutch auctions, which means they start at a high multiple and then over time, it keeps dropping down until somebody purchases it.
What this meant to address is that a lot of both sellers and buyers of these sites, the business model, are doing this at a certain volume and they don’t necessarily want to get on calls. A lot of our deals are done with almost no calls between the seller and the buyer or even between us (the buyer).
The Dutch auction is the way that we can systematically get sites sold for the optimal price for the marketplace without involving the time-intensive process of getting phone calls and everyone’s working together to get the deal done, versus just systematically having the price come down until somebody sees that they’re happy with it. If somebody does have an offer, Kelly does communicate that to the buyer and that might be accepted.
Spencer: Exactly. I agree that’s a great feature that if the seller really feels like their site’s worth a 40X or whatever, 40 monthly multiples, they can list that. If it’s a great deal, if it’s a hot website, it goes. We’ve seen some of those. They go for really high prices. But if it’s a website that maybe has a few issues, not necessarily a bad site (no website is perfect), the price will come down automatically with that Dutch auction until it hits what the market believes it’s worth and somebody will buy it at that point.
Jon: Yeah. That’s been helpful for that segment of people that just want to keep buying and selling sites at volume. They’ve definitely been liking that feature.
Announcing the Listing Bonus for Motion Invest
Spencer: Before we get too much further, I did want to mention the special offer that we’re planning on doing here with Motion Invest, and it is for this week only. At least that is the initial plan. So, get in this week. If it goes really well, we may open it in the future.
There’s a lot of different models that brokers have and some of them, including Flippa and other places, require you to actually pay a fee to list on their website. If you want to sell your site, not only do you have to pay them a brokerage fee when it sells, but you have to pay just to list it. We decided to flip that (at least for this week only) and we, Motion Invest are going to pay you $100 if you list your site on Motion Invest.
Whether or not the site sells we don’t know. But if you’re willing to come to us with a small content site and we go through the process to actually get it listed, we’re going to send you a $100 no matter what happens. Did I pretty much get that right, John?
Jon: I think you nailed it. That was a great great idea. I think it plays to our strength of being able to list a lot of sites quickly and efficiently get through that process super, super fast in terms of the systematized due diligence that we have. We’re happy to sell sites that are making $100 a month to thousands of dollars a month.
If you’ve got a site that’s been neglected, not your primary focus, but it’s kicking off a couple hundred dollars a month and you never got to pull all your stuff together to list the site, and it might not even sell, now we’re saying come list it. We’ll do that 30 minutes of work to pull together due diligence information and you’re going to get a $100 from us regardless of whether or not it sells. All of our content sites have sold. So we’re confident also that it will sell, but just that extra incentive to get the stuff together to get it listed.
Spencer: Yeah. So, if you are looking to sell your site, like I said this week, head over to motioninvest.com and you can get the details. I’ll probably even have a special link in the notes here on the YouTube video.
Let’s go ahead and on the fly here. If you’re listening to the podcast, go to nichepursuits.com/motioninvest. I’ll make sure that redirects to a special page that explains everything that’s going on and you can check that out.
Like I said, if you’re looking to sell a site, you get the $100. If you’re looking to buy a site, we’re probably going to have a ton of listings this week. So go over and check what’s available for sale. I imagine there’s going to be some good deals. We don’t know, but I imagine we’re going to get quite a few sites listed here in the next week or two.
Jon: It’s free to sign up to see the listings as they come up. You need to register and the good sites can go extremely fast. As soon as they’re available, they come out and we have websites selling in minutes. So, keep an eye.
The Due Diligence Process at Motion Invest
Spencer: Perfect. Let’s talk a little bit about the due diligence process. Two parts of that question. What’s the due diligence that we do at Motion Invest? Maybe you can explain the whole system behind that and then after that, I just want to talk about the due diligence we provide on our listing pages to make it really easy for people to buy.
Jon: We don’t want there to be the secret sauce to this process. We want everyone to understand what we have done. We really tried to open-source our procedures around doing due diligence so that everyone is coming in with the same level of information.
The way the process starts is a site gets submitted and then it goes into our process that things get followed through. A few of the checks happen. Best just go to Motion Invest and look at the Motion Invest website buying guide. That talks throughout the whole process of due diligence.
Income verification is by far the biggest one, and that requires us—especially with Amazon affiliate sites—to use a tool called SiteBuddy (which is a tool of mine) to check the affiliate tags across all the sites, to make sure that we know what the tags are. That’s been helpful in identifying a bunch of opportunities for both immediate lift in terms of the earnings.
Then, what happens is we get recordings from Amazon using Loom or similar tool so that we have video proof of the earnings for each site, and then using a couple of other tactics to make sure that that doesn’t come from anywhere else. Then, check out the quality of the content and the originality of the content to make sure it’s not scraped content, do what we can to verify that the images have the right to be used, and then check on owner domain ownership and a few other things.
The content sites are pretty great because they’re relatively simple. Prove the earnings, confirm the quality of the content, and then check the backlink profile. Kelly’s background is in building links and link networks, so she’s extremely capable of building the procedures that can accurately communicate the risk level of those linked profiles were content sites.
Spencer: Right, and then (of course) we get access to Google Analytics to verify traffic, that they actually own it, and that the traffic levels’ where they’re supposed to be at. It is a pretty involved process, but Jon, you, and Kelly have built a pretty amazing system for how all of that goes through all the checks and procedures to make sure we don’t miss anything.
Jon: Yeah, it’s been good. I’ve been harping on Kelly, but it’s all Kelly that’s built this thing. We’re generally getting sites through. If it’s flagged to move through quickly and we can get through a little bit faster, but we’re usually getting a site through and we’re still trying to get it faster and faster, but from sites submitted to offers made and money sent in the case of we’re buying it is usually five days or less, five days being your average. Some go longer, some we can get through it within a day if we flagged it as somebody that really wants it to move today.
Some of the Tools Used to Automate
Spencer: Maybe talk about just briefly some of the tools that are used to both make this process efficient and automate the process because there are a few things. Somebody submits their site on our website and quite a few things happen immediately.
Jon: We probably will get some of it wrong, so Kelly is the right person for this, but it comes in via a couple of steps to the form to make the form intelligent. I think we’re one of the unique site valuation tools where we provide some expectation of selling time and selling price at a few different options.
We’re not the only place to go to sell your site. Of course, we make that clear and provide expected profit from your other sources and expect that your time and duration to get it sold. Then, using some tools like Zapier, Active Campaign for email management, goes into a Trello board. Then, there’s a team that’s assigned to each step through that process. As the card moves through the due diligence step, additional Zapier steps are triggered to alert people.
Then, some of the tools for each of the steps. Google Analytics for verification, Loom for screen recording, Ahrefs and Majestic SEO for backlink checking. SEMrush for cross-referencing Google Analytics to what SEMrush is showing for organic traffic, and Copyscape for auditing the content originality.
There’s a tool around the images. I forget what the name is for that. I think that’s a good chunk of it. Then, SiteBuddy helps with the Amazon affiliate link audit. I’m probably guessing a few, but Kelly will get on my case about it after she sees this.
Spencer: I think you got most of it as far as I’m aware, but we go through quite a lot. Maybe talk about the listing page. Essentially everything that you just mentioned there, we then put on the listing page so that a potential buyer can, here are the screenshots we used from SEMrush and Google Analytics and everything else.
Jon: When a deal happens there’s information asymmetry and we’re the middleman in this transaction. Our job is to try and reduce that information asymmetry as much as possible. The buyer knows something, the seller knows something, we know something, how do we try and make sure that everyone knows the same information and that everything can be priced as effectively as possible.
That’s why we fully open-sourced our due diligence process so that we’re not trying to hide anything under the […] or ‘gotcha’ tactics. People come to the listing page and they can get a really good sense of, these content sites sell. People want content sites. We’re not trying to put the wording on this to make it a sales page for the business.
What we’re trying to do is communicate the information as accurately as possible because we know these assets have value and that they will sell for a fair price. So we really take screenshots of the tools that we use and share all of that on the listing page so that people coming in have all of the same information as we did when we had bought the site or listed the site and as much of the same information as the seller has.
Processes for Running Your Online Business
Spencer: Yep, absolutely. Is there anything else that we want to touch on or insights you want to provide in terms of either processes, structure, or just how the business operates that you think might be useful for people that are running their own business?
Jon: What’s been fun with Motion Invest is the speed of evolution that we’ve had of the business of what we really started out with despite both of us being in this space with an audience that the people coming to us with these problems of the time, you would think we’d get the solution right from the start.
What’s been fun is it’s some of these ideas along the way of marketplace Dutch auction and now, we’ll pay you $100 to list your site with us are sort of speed of being able to test that and with our structure around kind of Kelly running the business, us throwing out sometimes good ideas, sometimes bad ideas, that she’s going to do runs with her and the team.
That’s been fun and something that has been doing well, uniquely in Motion Invest relative to some of my other projects, where we get on one track and stay there for too long. Whereas here, we’re clearly set the goal of being an efficient place to buy and sell content sites and now we’re just continually testing to get to that optimal solution and evolving quickly.
Spencer: Cost and innovation, speed to implementation, being willing to listen to feedback from customers. Those are all critical things for people building their own businesses. I think, as you said initially, we hit the right market and the right problem. We clearly have found a problem with buying and selling small content sites. Exactly how to execute that has evolved slightly over (like you said) only less than a year since we launched, and we’ve been able to find some success there. We’re certainly not the biggest player in the market. Flippa has been around for, I don’t know, 10 years or something like that, but hopefully, we’re coming their way.
Jon: From your end, what’s been your biggest surprise with Motion Invest in terms of whether it be the problem with the processor?
Spencer: The biggest surprise, I didn’t think that we would move to a marketplace model. I was kind of surprised and I think I may have actually suggested the idea that we move to that model. That’s why it’s even more surprising to me. I thought the idea of we’re going to do all the buying, people can buy from us. They trust us and we’re going to sell. Some people are going to buy from us as well.
I thought that model was perfect. But customers provided some feedback that sometimes they want to self-try (at least) and sell for a little bit higher price, so let’s let them do that. That kind of surprised me.
Jon: I agree, and I think everything is always easier in hindsight, but I’m surprised as well. I thought that was a great model for the smaller sites, but the end result is and were the ones that are defining the price on every single business, and I think that regardless of how smart you are, Spencer. That’s one grain that’s not the market grain setting the price. So I think that’s been an interesting note to add to why marketplace made sense in hindsight, even though we didn’t think it would.
How Well is Motion Invest Doing?
Spencer: Right. To clarify, we still are buying sites directly or selling directly. That’s still a piece of that and it just meets a slightly different need of customers. Some customers are more interested in the speed of cashing out and will buy it quickly, and will pay you cash so that it still meets the needs of certain sellers. Other people are willing to wait a little bit longer to try and get potentially a premium price. They can do that in the marketplace. It just meets both ends there.
I didn’t prep you on this, but are we willing to share some success numbers? I like to dig into how successful the business is. It doesn’t have to be revenue numbers per se, but what are you willing to share, Jon?
Jon: Yeah, I guess I should check with the other shareholders as well.
Spencer: We’re two to three here, come on.
Jon: But assuming you’re asking me a question and then I’ll say that’s a vote to share, but yeah.
Spencer: There could be a number of sites or whatever we want to share.
Jon: Yes. So, the number of deals, I think we’ve crossed over 100 since launch; I have to confirm that. In terms of quickly finding fit, our first month was extremely successful in terms of hitting that, like closing in on a six-figure gross revenue range. Then, similar in this last month, in the month of August, similar and an up from where we’ve launched, so that’s great.
In terms of team size, I started out with Kelly and now we have two local people underneath there with a significant remote team underneath that, so the team structure is probably another data point to share. But we’ve got Spencer, myself and Kelly, and then we’ve got Kelly as the CEO-manager of the business, and then underneath her, we have a buy-side person, a sell-side person, and then underneath them, there are teams that are executing the systematic process that exists. We got lots of great people, lots of room to scale, and adding on additional staff when needed. Does that answer the numbers sufficiently or do I have to share more?
Spencer: We can say, sure. Whatever the audience wants to hear is what I’m trying to get at, I guess, but we’ve started to sell a little bit bigger sites more recently. We started listing more and more sites that are making more than $1000 a month, which was certainly not always the case early on. Some of those can have a big bump like the site that we just sold. Was it yesterday or the day before? We sold the site. I think it was $44,000.
Jon: There’s $40,000 and $55,000. In the last few days, we both had one sale of around $40,000 site.
Spencer: Right, that can give people an idea. We’ve done two sites that are roughly $50,000 in the last couple of days. We’re starting to get some of those a little bit larger sites. Those big sites can make the revenue number look quite large, which is exciting, but of course, our model just depends on other things, whether we bought it directly or whether it’s a marketplace or other things like that.
Jon: I think one thing that’s unique to the business that’s relevant to note is for both of us, this is not your single business. This is not my single business. I think it’s not the business, although we’re trying to try and push it, grow it, and solve this problem, the end goal here is that this isn’t our single business that is going to grow into the industry-eating monster. Cool if it does, but if this stays as a great solution to this problem set that we’re addressing, where I know I’m happy if it does a really great job, it stays the best in the world at dealing with this problem, that’s okay as well, which is different for me than other businesses of mine.
How Does Jon Manage So Many Online Businesses?
Spencer: I agree. It’s similar both there and that this is something that I’m involved with because I believe in this space. I believe in the problem that we’re trying to solve, so I want it to do well. But like you said, I’m not putting all of my time into this one particular business.
Let’s maybe actually talk about—maybe this will be our last subject to talk about—is how do you juggle so many different businesses? Motion Invest, Lightning Rank, Content Refind, Authority Website Income, crypto stuff. I think there was a SaaS for municipalities there somewhere. I don’t know how many that is. Are there like more than 24 hours in Canada or […] on that?
Jon: No, it’s inside all winter so we’ve got lots of time to work. I don’t recommend it. I don’t think it’s the right strategy. I’m convinced that I should have probably picked one and focused on it a long time ago, but then it’s just fun.
There are problems that I see that I really want to solve. I had fought it for years of this serial entrepreneurship, fought it like it was an addiction, like John, stop launching crap. But the reality is it’s fun, so I’ve shifted my mindset now to building organizational capacity.
What’s my job? My job is to build the organization and build the organizational capacity to go and execute on these fun projects. I like spending my time on growth, identifying problems in the initial growth, then trying to kick it to see if it has legs, and then kick it over to my team of entrepreneurs is how I like to think about it. Kelly as an entrepreneur at Motion Invest. She’s a partner, but she is a staff member and a similar structure on most of my projects. There’s usually a single point of responsibility.
I have a bunch of projects that have failed, that didn’t get to a certain scale quick enough that would have allowed for a manager to stay in place and others that have. That’s kind of how I think about it. My job is to build organizational capacity with a team of entrepreneurs, kick ideas out the door, and put a manager in charge to see if it can fly or not.
Spencer: Right, exactly. Like you said, take Content Refined, you’ve been able to build a business there, a team that really does everything. But what do you do there exactly?
Jon: The toughest customer is kind of my role there. I use Content Refind for my own sites. Maddie has done a fantastic job with that business. I use that, try and continue to help identify opportunities for us to get better and better as what is hopefully our toughest customer.
I like to identify there in that case through like, hey, if we could integrate all of these pieces into a solution, and then Maddie go try and then we can just continue to push until it’s like, I’m pretty cheap and I’m willing to pay for the service, then it’s a pretty good idea that the services are valuable. I’ll do weekly meetings, some monthly meetings, quarterly OKR setting, and then a weekly meeting.
We also have a daily stand up for the entire team, but we’re dedicated to […] weekly, similar to what we have for Motion Invest. That’s the structure and then I act as a pain-in-the-ass customer.
Spencer: Right, to make sure everything’s running smoothly. Very good. I think we’ve kind of touched on everything that I wanted to touch on. We got an idea of everything that you’re involved in and how you run so many things but mostly dove into Motion Invest here. Any final parting words? Just any success tips or just advice for new entrepreneurs that you want to share?
Jon: Yes. I had a chat earlier today with Brady at BrandBuilders, actually, around this and it kept coming back to every one of the cases where there’s been a project that has achieved some success. It’s not been because of any kind of clever hack or shortcut found. It’s just been picking the right problem and solving it.
Any time that I have strayed from the core focus of always trying to add value, it’s resulted in failure. If I could go back and tell myself something when I was just starting out, anytime that I look for any kind of a quick hack, or all this a bunch of money and be easy, that never works. That embracing the suck, finding problems to solve, solving them, and adding value is so simple. But it has continued to be the root cause of most other successes or failures in my career trajectory at least.
Spencer: Awesome. Thank you. I think that’s great advice. Do you want to remind people one more time, what’s the special deal that we’re offering on Motion Invest?
Jon: If you have a site that you’re looking to sell and haven’t quite wanted to spend the time to pull the information together to sell it, this is the week to do so. You’ll get paid $100 if your site gets listed at Motion Invest and to set that up, go to nichepursuits.com/motioninvest.
Spencer: Perfect. Excellent. John, thanks for coming on the podcast and the YouTube channel. It’s good to see you again. Good to chat with you. I think you shared a lot of great tips, hopefully, for people listening and not to just understand what Motion Invest is all about, but how maybe they can go and set up some structures and procedures for their own business as well.
Jon: Yeah, likewise. Great. Always a great chat with you, Spencer.
Spencer: Yup, thank you.
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