This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to BIB Podcasts’ Jonathan Taylor interview Antonio Centeno.
Are you ready to start an online business that’s fun and profitable? Welcome to the Beginner Internet Business Podcast, the weekly online show that gives you the inside scoop to making real income online. And now, here are your hosts, Jonathan Taylor and Russell Portland.
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Well thank you for joining us. It has been one crazy week. Without going into all the details, it has been one of those weeks. I’m actually recording this on a Friday. It’s just me today. I actually am going to be playing an interview that I did yesterday so I’m not going to be talking very long today.
I do want to mention — I’ll give you a little background. We recorded an episode earlier this week, had a great interview with a guest, Shane Bailey, who spoke last weekend at PodCamp Nashville on the topic of Google Hangouts and Google+, also about his podcast.
He’s got a podcast, and he was talking about how he incorporates Google Hangouts into his podcast which was really cool, great content. The only problem is we had some real audio problems. He was getting a lot of audio feedback on his end during the interview, or about midway through.
I tried to salvage as much as we could. We picked up from there. I had to do a little cut and splicing here and there. All in all, I decided. You know what? We can redo it. We can have another interview here down the road.
We can redo this interview. I’d rather do that and have a quality interview than to have something that just didn’t sound great. So I decided — I made that call — I decided we’d hold off on posting that earlier this week.
Then I did an interview yesterday with Antonio Centeno who many of your probably remember came on our show about a year ago, actually looking back at the day, it was back June of 2012, had a great interview with him. In fact, we still get a lot of feedback on that interview.
He is the author or the publisher of Real Men Real Style. He talked about — if you recall back last June, he came on — we talked about his YouTube, his own experience building traffic through YouTube. At that time, he had just hit about a million views on his YouTube channel.
Well here we are almost a year later, and he’s got well over 4 million views. The interesting thing about this interview, what’s fascinating — I actually checked his channel because I couldn’t believe it. I thought — at that time, he had about 250 videos up on YouTube.
During the interview yesterday, I was curious. How many more — because I really hadn’t even checked his YouTube channel just to see how many more videos that he has done since. At this time, he says he’s not even done 300 videos total.
I checked his channel and, literally, 288 videos. That’s it. Between June of last year and yesterday, there are a total of 288 videos. He’s only done 38 videos in the last year, yet his videos continue to climb. He’s got well over 4 million.
That tells you something right there, is it’s all about all of the initial work that you put into it, that initial surge that you put into it. You often hear about the whole analogy of when the space shuttle is launching into orbit. Most of the fuels burn up just to get off the ground. Just to get into orbit, most of that’s done.
In the same sense, most of the work that you put into your online business initially, you have to work really hard that first year. But once you put in the effort, once you’ve put in the content, once you’ve launched or put up 288 episodes of your YouTube channel, or 250, people start finding you.
What’s interesting is, is he’s added 3 million views from YouTube in the last year, and he’s only added 38 additional videos. So that’s the power of that initial work investment that you put in getting that content out there, getting a video out every day for the first year. After that, you can let your foot off the gas. You can let your foot off the pedal a little bit.
It’s not like your having to continue that amount the whole — day in and day out for ten years. If you can do that, if you can set that goal of getting that content out there in the first year, you’re going to see some results, and you’ll be able to pull back.
We’ve seen that happen in a number of ways even in our podcasts. We’re on 231 episodes now, but we could scale back to every other week. We don’t intend to, but we could scale back to every other week. Just put out an episode twice a month and we’d still be doing quite well as far as the amount of downloads that we get.
Because people find you, once you get your content out there and a lot of it, first year, people are going to find you. So that’s a great example. I sat down yesterday and just did a one-on-one interview, just myself and Antonio.
I was actually away from my office. I was actually traveling so the interview, I’ve had to clean it up a little. Not the best quality but the content is really good. We did have a little glitch there. I was using my Logitech headset mike with Skype call recorder recording it.
Of course it’s not going to be the sound quality that you have when you’re listening to it when we’ve got all the equipment set up. But still, the content’s really good. I think you’re going to enjoy it. So with that, I am going to go ahead and play our interview. God bless. Thank you for listening, and have a great weekend.
Okay. Well we’ve got a fantastic guest returning to us. He was on our show almost a year ago. Looking back, it was back in June of last year. It’s hard to believe it’s been that far back. We’re real pleased to have or I’m pleased to have Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style — he’s the founder of Real Men Real Style — joining me today.
We’re going to do some follow-up. I tell you, this guy, Antonio, has really been crushing it, been emailing back and forth over the last few weeks. I was looking back at some of the numbers back when we talked about a year ago, and you had just hit a million views on YouTube. Well those numbers have grown quite a bit since.
So I’m happy to have Antonio on the show. Thanks for joining me today and coming on, on this Thursday.
Antonio: Jonathan, a pleasure to be here. I appreciate you having me on.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Well let’s talk about — because listen. I was looking back today just to remind myself where we were a year ago when you came on. You had launched, at that time, about 250 videos. You had 11,000 subscribers and over a million views which was quite good.
We got a lot of feedback and a lot of great feedback from that interview that you did. As it stands now, those numbers have grown significantly. We were just actually having a little conversation before the show talking about just, yeah, that’s all great and everything, but with that comes —
You’ve got this windfall of new subscribers, new views. You’re up to about 4 million views on YouTube now. It’s great and everything but then you’re like, “Man, I’ve got to get some other things in place.” We’ll talk about that, but congratulations on all the success.
Antonio: Well, thank you. I think it’s interesting you have to go back and look at the numbers because our number of videos — I think what drew a lot of people’s attention was we did 200 videos in 200 days. Most people, when they hear that, they’re like, “That’s a bit much. I’m not going to be able to commit to that.”
Initially, I didn’t think it was going to be that many. We started out with a much smaller goal. They you can go back and listen to the old interview, but through creating videos in batches, I was able to make that happen. What it came down to it though, we created a snowball, and the snowball has been rolling downhill.
In the last year, I have not done nearly as many videos. We’ve pulled back on average about one a week. So now we’re just under 300 videos which is not a huge jump because we did 250 within the first year. But if you look at the numbers, we’re well over 4 million views. It’s a snowball.
The great part about this and why this is worth any business owner, any entrepreneur, anybody who’s in a company and wants to see the potential for YouTube, if you create evergreen content then this is something that’s going to continue to gain traction. Literally, it’s the perfect business because you sit back and it grows and it grows without you having to do anything.
Jonathan: Now explain what you mean because there are some people who are going to ask, “What do you mean by evergreen content?” Explain what you mean by that.
Antonio: What I mean by evergreen content is that it’s content that — same with the evergreen. You think of evergreen trees. They’re green throughout the year. They’re green through most of their lives. The same thing with the content I create. I look at if it’s going to be useful for a year from now, ten years from now.
An example of one would be if you’re really into the news, the news is all about what’s happening right now. Currently we had this story in Cleveland with three women found in a house. They’ve been kidnapped. Great story but in a year, all of us are going to forget about it because there are going to be some other great stories out there.
So that’s the anti, I would say. Somebody go check out our videos. We don’t have any big hits. Well my biggest hit perhaps is “How to Roll Your Sleeves” which is pretty funny. It’s a very simple video on how to roll your sleeves.
Most of our information is very simple, very specific, and it has to do with men’s style. It’s not super exciting. I think that’s great news for most businesses out there. Because what they do, they get excited about what they do but they realize, well, not everyone is going to be into t-shirts. Not everyone is going to be into —
“I work at a company. We make markers and crayons.” Well who gets excited about that? Well, not everybody, but there are groups that do. You can put together some great content that would be evergreen because people are always going to be curious.
Well what is a crayon? What goes into making a crayon? Besides Crayola, what other companies are out there? What is the difference? Why does Crayola — why can they charge a premium? These are all kind of evergreen questions which moms — probably more than the kid — moms are going to be asking, “Yeah, why do I have to pay double for Crayola when there are all these generic brands out there?”
So questions like that are evergreen. They’ll be asked ten years from now. That’s what I want to stress on is create that kind of content and you’re good to go.
Jonathan: And style, styles change but what you tend to focus on is the fundamentals of — a lot of your content, from what I notice, has a lot of fundamentals of style which don’t change significantly from year to year, especially with men.
Antonio: You’re exactly right. What I notice with men’s style is it doesn’t change much at all. In fact, we can get in there — and I go down to the basic, down to the core — so I focus on very simple things.
A great example would be looking at one of my latest articles over at The Art of Manliness. We talked about the style pyramid. I talked about three simple things: fit, fabric and style. These have applied to men’s style and men’s clothing for over a hundred years. A lot of the lines that I talked about, those have been around for about 50 to 70 years.
So for me, non-evergreen content would be talking about trends, would be talking about fashion. I stay away from that. The great part is when you know what you stand for and because I know I want to be evergreen, I know I want to focus on classic style that will be here ten years from now, 20 years from now, I’m able to say no to many opportunities which to me really aren’t opportunities because it’s just not where I want to hit.
This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to BIB Podcasts’ Jonathan Taylor interview Antonio Centeno.
Jonathan: Yeah, I think about that book, that classic book, Elements of Style. It was probably written 20 or 30 years ago. It is quite dated but still, a lot of the content in there still applies because, as you said, for men, those fundamentals don’t change a whole lot in style. That’s really great.
The evergreen content is the key because you see a lot of videos with technology, related around technology and I think to myself, that’s something that truly is like the news piece that you mentioned. A lot of it is as fast as technology is moving. A lot of the gadgets that are new today that are being reviewed today, within a year or two are just, they’re irrelevant.
Antonio: I completely agree. You don’t want to be irrelevant a year or two from now although if it is your business to be with the news, to be with technology, then you can’t avoid this. You’re going to have to play that. But you need to go for bigger numbers much quicker because you’re going to get that big boost and then interest is going to die off.
Jonathan: Absolutely. So you say you’ve backed off. That’s really interesting to me that at the time we interviewed you, 250 and you’re over — did you say you’re just over 300 right now?
Antonio: No, I think we’re just under 300. I’ll have to go check the channel. I don’t really follow the numbers much anymore. I’ve set up systems. We can go back to the old interview, but I’m a huge proponent of systemizing. In fact, I’ve got this big sign on my wall in front of me. It says, “To prioritize, focus, systemize and love.”
So once you have determined what your priority is, and you focus in on it, and you systemize it, then the cool part is, well, you can love it because you can step away from it. That’s what I love about business being able to create something that runs itself with very little maintenance, and I can step back and focus on other parts of my business.
So we’re getting over 10,000 visitors, 10,000 people at least are watching our videos, sometimes more, sometimes quite a bit more. I was able to step back and say, “Okay, we’re getting this traffic. That’s doing great, and it keeps growing. Let me look at other areas of my business which I need to focus on and give my energy.” Right now that’s product creation.
So we’re going through and we’re creating a number of products. In fact, one we’re about to launch is called Style for the Black Man. So very specific and, Jonathan, as you may see from my photo, I am not black. I partnered with my good friend, Grant Harris, and it’s something that we’re now going on this part of our business where we are creating very specific products.
There was a book published about ten years ago by a guy named Lloyd Boston, and it was Men of Color. Very good book but it didn’t sell well. They never came out with anything after it. It’s still one of the only books out there for style for black men here in the United States. It always made me sad because it was a great book. Lloyd ended up going into women’s fashion because it’s a much bigger market.
Well, the Internet allows us now to partition and break down and get exactly to those guys. In fact it’s going to be an entire eCourse. Not just an eBook, this is going to be — it actually has its own membership website that you go into. But you get to pay when you get one-time membership to it and have lifetime access to it.
Yeah, we were able to address very specific questions because 80% of style is universal. Whether its men, women, whether you’re purple, whether you’re green, it doesn’t matter. It goes across the board. But it’s that 20% that people have so many questions on.
Style for the Black Man, we’re talking about — one thing is shaving. There are a lot of problems that black men have with shaving. They get a lot of bumps and there are certain irritations. We talk about the methods. We talk about hairstyle because, again, the hair on the head, it’s shaped differently. It forms differently. So there are a number of issues, right there.
Color and complexion is a whole another animal when it comes to men who are of very dark complexion with very dark hair.
So instead of just glossing over this, we’re able to create a product which is very, very niche-specific that 95% of probably the world — the world, I don’t know what the exact numbers are but probably 90% of America is not even going to be interested in this book.
That’s fine. I’m more interested in the — and even of the 10%, maybe only 1% will be really interested. I’m only interested in that 1% because in a country of, what, 310 million people, that’s well over 3 million now of potential fanatical customers.
Jonathan: Right. Yeah, you don’t need to have — you’re looking for that small segment right there that — and it doesn’t need to be huge, but it’s going to be big enough to definitely make sense in doing something like this.
I’m curious. Are you getting much feedback from any of your audience, your YouTube audience that says, “Would you do more videos or could you have someone that could — can you offer more advice on style for the black men?” Or is it just something that you decided, “You know what?” Just looking at the numbers, you decided, “This is something we need to put together.”?
Antonio: Well I do go through, when I read the comments, to an extent. But I’m very careful about where I take advice from. I listen and I focus on my paying customers because at the end of the day, they pay the bills. They also put a bit of skin in the game. They are the ones that take action.
That’s one thing I really push with anyone that takes any of my courses is that I give away tons of information for free. If you have an unlimited amount of time, you can piece together what in many ways I charge for. However, the reason I charge for it is that most of my clients are very busy professional men.
They want simple, quick access to a professional who can deliver what they need in the order that they need it within a set period of time. I give them a date that we start, a graduation date. It’s like going to college. None of us need to university. We can all go to a library. The information is there.
But we go there because we’re paying for access to the professional who’s teaching, to a little bit of the classroom environment, and that we’re being held accountable with a grading system or other types of — so that right there is what guys find value.
But to hit back on that question, I would say that you’ve got to be — David Siteman Garland just talked about this I think a few weeks back, about getting off the treadmill of constant content. I would say the Internet is an insatiable beast and that people will always want more.
You have to look at your life, look at what you want to get out of it, take a step back and say — you have to set boundaries — “This is what I’m willing to give.” Another sign I have in front of me is, “Is this project worth time I could be spending with my family?” You have to constantly ask that.
A lot of people say their family is important, but look at your checkbook and look at your scheduler. You can really see what’s important there. If you’re not scheduling and setting up barriers to protect what’s important in your life whatever it may be, then you probably want to sit back and reconsider how you’ve got things set up.
Jonathan: I think one of the keys to success is determining not just what you’re going to do, but what you’re not going to do. That’s almost as important because it’s so easy to get trapped or get caught thinking, “I can do this or I can do that.” It’s almost just as important to that whole process of cutting things out.
Antonio: I completely agree. I have a do-not-do list. I don’t know who suggested that to me about a year ago, but it was very good because — and the great part is with that do-not-do list, you all of a sudden have on that list things that you shouldn’t be doing. Once you get enough of them, you can go off and hire an assistant, and you systemize everything that you’re doing.
So I was spending too much time on Facebook. I have an assistant now who manages that. I of course go in, but I go into Facebook now because I enjoy once a week checking out what everyone’s saying and interacting, throwing in some fun comments.
YouTube, the same thing, I can’t answer everyone’s comments. There are actually some hurtful comments on YouTube. I would say people like to express their mind on YouTube so you’ve got to have a little bit of thick skin.
I was getting up at 5:00 in the morning when I was in Arizona to record some audio that would go into this product that we’re creating. It was just great having somebody else who doesn’t take excuses, holds me to the same standard I try to hold myself to. We accomplished more in a very short period than, again, I was able to accomplish in two years.
So bring in a motivated partner who will help you take your game to the next level. When you guys combine it’s not one plus one equals two. It’s actually one times — well that doesn’t work out, but one times one equals one.
Basically whenever you come together, you get a larger multiple of like four or five. It doesn’t make sense from the outside but when you’re together, you push each other and work harder.
Jonathan: Yeah. And when they’ve got skin in the game, they see the end results. They’re invested in it so they want — I mean you’re multiplying your efforts in a sense. I’m just curious. It sounds like this product is designed to help those that are —
Because I’m, like yourself, I’m former Military back years and years ago. I can understand that transition back to the civilian life. It can be quite a hurdle to overcome for some people especially if they’ve been in the service for quite some time. Is this dedicated to help them get started on business?
Antonio: Yes. I don’t want to spend too much time on it because I’m almost —
Antonio: But go check out the website. It’s at highspeedlowdrag.org. What they’ll find is we’ve already got a number of articles written. These are not skimpy articles. These are 2,000 to 5,000-word articles. In fact our Roadmap to Transitions to Success is right now over 8,000 words.
We’re putting in illustrations because — I’m using my artist to go in there and create illustrations. The idea is very similar actually to what Andrew Warner does over at Mixergy, give away tons of free content. Because I realize that our goal with High Speed Low Drag is to help the war fighter transition out.
I say war fighter because that’s what we guys in the Military, what we call ourselves. We are in a different mindset than anyone in business ever is. It’s not about making money. We just don’t think about those things. So for guys getting out of the Military, it’s a huge mind shift. They’ve got to change gears. They’ve got to learn to think of things differently.
At the same time, we come out very prideful. We think we are amazing because we have gone in and done these amazing things. We have flown F/A-18s. We have jumped out of helicopters. We have done all these amazing things that other people are in awe of. But what it comes down to, we don’t know Jack about business.
That’s what our goal is, is to say, “Okay, guys. We understand that you’re amazing. Yeah, yeah, we’re amazing too. Now let’s get down with the game here which is you’ve got to start from ground zero, and you’ve got to move up. The gray part is that you can run faster than most other people out there you’re competing against. Use that to your advantage.”
So we talk to the Military guy. It’s not going to be politically correct. We’re going to talk to them the way we talk to each other. By doing that, I think we’re really going to fill a huge niche.
We’re going to have courses which if you want our individual time, if you want to go and be held accountable, if you want an eight weeks step-by-step course that you will get through this and you will be hitting the ground running, charging hard, we’re going to have that. Again, last thing I will say about it is we’re going to be really excited to be hiring disabled vets. This is something that I look at as going to be a really feel-good part.
Jonathan: That’s cool.
Antonio: Yeah, but being able to bring in guys — because we understand that this may be difficult. I’m a 40% disabled vet. I’ve got friends who they don’t have their legs or they’ve got PTSD. All these things that many people don’t understand, we understand it. We also can talk to each other and give each other a little bit of flack because we’ve done the same mission.
Jonathan: Right. Plus, you —
Antonio: But I wouldn’t be able to do that if I didn’t have a partner that was pushing me.
Jonathan: That’s right. You guys both come in from you being in the Marines and his perspective coming from the Army. Although service is very similar, you both can relate to both types of servicemen; you having the Marine background and him having the Army. So that’s awesome. I love that.
I think that’s not only a great service but I think that’s going to be a super product. The fact that you’re having servicemen, former servicemen involved, I think that’s a really cool project.
Antonio: Yeah. I’m sure we’ll be talking about it here in another follow-up interview.
Jonathan: Yes. I tell you, we were talking earlier before this show, I want you to maybe hit briefly on just how you handle your time because we kind of touched on this during the interview, but you were mentioning specifically how you find talented people. You don’t have to go in specific detail.
You’re good at surrounding yourself with good people, people that are very talented. You don’t do everything yourself. I think that’s a huge mistake a lot of people do when they get started is trying to do everything themselves or trying to do too much and not putting the right people in place around them, if you could just share a little bit about that.
Antonio: I will give you how exactly I manage my time. One is I am ruthless. I think it comes down to you have to realize your time is your most valuable asset. I talked about it earlier in the interview, but I’m constantly — I’m a father of three young children. I’ve got a beautiful wife. I have now three businesses.
If you are going to waste my time, I identify that very clearly, and I very graciously but quickly will excuse myself. I usually, whenever we set up calls, I have very set timeframes because I go in from one call to the next. I only do interviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are crazy, packed from 7 a.m. until almost 6 p.m. I’ll have sometimes 12 conversations, 12 meetings in a single day.
The great part is my five other days a week, three days during the workday I don’t have to worry about interviews or getting on the phone. Those are days I can have six hours of straight creative time working on filming video, working on my products. That is very, very valuable, something that took me a long time to figure out.
I use an automatic scheduler. I use ScheduleOnce. There are a number of other ones out there. I love it because I take the bull by the horns. Whenever someone wants to talk with me, I send them my scheduler. They find the time that works for them, and it automatically puts it into my calendars — I use Google Calendar, so that works great with it — and in my devices. If you use Outlook, you can tag in the — it can work with Outlook fine as well. So just those things right there —
Jonathan: Can you mention what that product is again? What the scheduler is?
Jonathan: ScheduleOnce, okay.
Antonio: Here’s something where we could do an entire session on. I also realized — I created that do-not-do list, and I found ways to systemize what was wasting my time and hand it off.
An example is email. I know email kills tons of people out there. I was spending six hours a day in my email. You can’t do that and run a successful business. So a year ago, I made the transition from Outlook to Gmail. That was step one. Step two was breaking out the types of emails. Again, you’re able to do this in a couple of hours.
Then I found a virtual assistant. I use Chris Ducker’s service over at Virtual Staff Finder. Now — and this took a while — I had to create a number of checklists for her to follow. But, now, when I wake up in the morning, my personal assistant Jamie has gone through all of my emails.
I was getting about 100 personal emails a day, people around the world, human beings asking me style questions. Well, now, when I wake up, my draft folder has 50 messages or so. She has gone through and created 50 drafts for me and has answered their questions better than I ever could because I took the time to train her.
This is something that we constantly evolved but what we did is develop a system so that she knew — she knows all of my articles. I’ve got about a thousand articles out there across the web, 300 videos. She will send them links to everything which is pertinent to their question. People are just blown away because we get back to —
You think you can do this better yourself, but when everything — automation will always triumph, this belief that we have unlimited willpower because you do not. You’re going to burn out. Now I spend 30 minutes to an hour on my email. That’s much more manageable —
Antonio: — five days a week. We’re answering many more emails. I think I’m really sending out a lot more good karma. And my bottom line is looking better too.
Jonathan: Yeah, I’m a big fan of — I don’t know if you’re a big fan of Dan Kennedy, but I love his — some of his marketing books are great, but one of the best books I’ve ever read by him is his No BS Time Management. If you’ve read much by him, you know that he doesn’t even own a cell phone. It’s just amazing, but it’s a great book.
Like you said, it’s all about unplugging from all things that aren’t — going back to the 80-20 rule — unplugging from those things that aren’t part of the 20% that adds to your business, just like looking at emails and things like that.
Antonio: I completely agree. Technology is not — this is a lesson I learned in the Marines is it’s about the individual and being able to manage yourself. We were always about being able to control your — just to focus on yourself and being able to control your body, being able to do things. We get so wrapped up in the technology, we forget that.
Jonathan: Ain’t that the truth. Well, Antonio, I really have enjoyed talking with you. We had a few glitches but overall, I’m glad you were able to come on and join me for the interview today. I look forward to having you on again, as always. It’s always just a lot of fun to hear what you’re doing and hear about some of the success. I wish you the best and look forward to talking to you again soon.
Antonio: Sounds great, Jonathan. Thank you very much.
Jonathan: Hey, take care. Thank you.
This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to BIB Podcasts’ Jonathan Taylor interview Antonio Centeno.