Episode 17: Jeff Bullas – How to Build a Tribe of 850,000 Followers

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Gold Nuggets

  1. Jeff’s experience around the world includes social media, marketing conferences (including digital), and influencer conferences.
  2. How organic growth is going to be at the whims of an algorithm and the algorithms could be a Google SEO algorithm.
  3. The trend that organic reach of social media is becoming very low.
  4. The need to build landing pages where you give away something for free, like an e-book or a webinar.
  5. Why we are facing the battle of the algorithm and what we can do about it.
  6. How many people may benefit playing the long game.

Meet Jeff Bullas

Jeff is the owner of jeffbullas.com. Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world’s #1 business blogger.

Smart Man, Smarter Woman References

We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.

Website Recommendations:

Book Recommendation:
The Untethered Soul – Michael Singer
Four-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss

Stay Connected:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeffbullas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffbullas/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffreybullas/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffbullas/
Podcast – The Jeff Bullas Show

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Steve Loates (00:00):

Hello everyone and welcome to our podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. And thank you very much for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.

Juliet Aurora (00:14):

And I am Juliet Aurora.

Steve Loates (00:16):

And we are your co-hosts. But before I introduce our very special guests for today’s show, let’s hear a few words from my wonderful cohost, the Smarter Woman herself. How are you doing today, Juliet? How did the swim go earlier? I saw you there in the pool. I don’t know. You look very relaxed. I’m not sure whether it was a swim for exercise or a swim for relaxation. What was going on there?

Juliet Aurora (00:42):

It’s a combination. I start out as the swim for exercise, and then the last couple of lengths, it’s pretty much just float and just get my breathing back to normal, but it was good. Certainly glad that we’re still in the throes of summer and the weather is agreeing with me. Because our guest today will not be in the throes of summer. I’m looking forward to today’s conversation. I think it’s going to be great.

Steve Loates (01:05):

Yep, absolutely. Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, it is all about entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Our goal with every episode is to try to provide you hopefully with a little bit of entertainment, but most importantly, some value, some insights. Some golden nuggets, as we call them, that you can take away and that will help you on your own journey. I’m really excited about today’s show. We have a very special guest, as Juliet mentioned, from down under on the East coast of Australia. His name is Jeff Bullas. Many of you may have heard of Jeff. He is the owner of jeffbullas.com.

Steve Loates (01:47):

He is often referred to as a digital entrepreneur. In fact, Forbes calls him a top influencer of chief marketing officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among the top 50 online marketing influencers. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter, and Biz Hum ranks him as the world’s number one business blogger. His website, listen to these numbers folks. And I know I’m a little envious. His website receives over 5 million visitors each year, and he has a tribe of over 850,000 social media followers. So, if you’re not connected to Jeff and you’re not part of the tribe, you absolutely need to be. So let’s bring in our guest into the show, Jeff, and welcome. Thank you very much for joining us today, all the way from Australia.

Jeff Bullas (02:54):

It’s a pleasure Steve and Juliet. Great to catch up with you both virtually. It’s good see to that we’re all social distancing.

Steve Loates (03:03):


Jeff Bullas (03:05):

It’s the new etiquette really, isn’t it?

Steve Loates (03:08):

Absolutely. Yeah. I think we’re carrying it to the extreme right at the moment, but it all good.

Jeff Bullas (03:13):


Steve Loates (03:13):

I do love your story, Jeff. Unemployed 12 years ago, so the last 12 years must’ve been a bit of a ride for you, a bit of a journey. Perhaps we can start out, if you could take a few minutes and maybe share your entrepreneurial journey.

Jeff Bullas (03:29):

It’s been a few entrepreneurial journeys, I suppose, different chapters. I started my career as a teacher. I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I decided to become a teacher. I decided after about four or five years of persisting with that, that it wasn’t for me. It was like just basically running a riot squad, really. You know what teenagers are like and teaching people that don’t want to learn. They’re also called teenagers, generally. So, I was too cool for school. I decided to pick up my bags and leave.

Jeff Bullas (04:04):

I had done a bit of part time-selling and I realized, actually I quite enjoyed it. It was also, how hard you worked also was commensurate with how much money you made rather than just getting a set salary every week. So I left for the tech industry and got right in the middle of the PC revolution in the eighties, when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were jousting and competing. It was a fantastic time. I had a ball in the tech industry, selling computers. When that finished up, I actually started a communications company and we grew that to over $2 million turnover in less than two years. We had 30 contractors and we were putting together what we call structured cabling systems. So that was my first real business.

Jeff Bullas (04:54):

Grew that rapidly. We then finished that chapter about three or four years in. Then, I moved into a consulting role with the whole internet service provider market as the internet exploded in the mid-1990s. So, basically been pretty well self-employed, mostly ever since. And we’ve done some interesting things, but the real one that maybe spend a bit more time on today was I had a business, had a retail business and that did not work out very well. That was a tough gig. And it wasn’t me. I did it because of family lifestyle reasons, but I had to close it. Marriage broke up lost the family home and I did whatever I could to survive. So I put some money on the table, but what happened was I wanted to get back into the digital industry. So I was between jobs that’s code for unemployed.

Jeff Bullas (05:55):

I went back and did a little bit of casual teaching while I was bootstrapping. And I got another full time job was a digital agency. But in the meantime, what happened was a real game changer for me. And that was, I was going out with a lady at the time. She said, “Why don’t you get on to Facebook? It’s pretty cool.” And this was in 2008, Facebook only had about 50 million visitors or users at that stage. I got into Twitter as well, and I noticed peoples really obsessive behavior. And I went, wow, there’s something going on here. And I’d actually had observed my children’s behavior on Myspace. I don’t if somebody who can remember Myspace, but basically Facebook took over that space of Myspace and created a much more coherent and more user friendly experience for the users.

Jeff Bullas (06:41):

And Myspace, as we know, I don’t if it exists today, but Murdoch bought it for $550 million at its peak. And then it slowly, ebbed as Facebook ate it’s lunch. I think it got sold for a few million, a year or two ago. So I observed this behavior like, “Wow, I can reach the world without actually having to pay the gatekeepers.” And they were the media moguls. So that was an observation. And also the observing of people’s activity on it and obsession with it. It was this ability to connect with the world and get your voice heard without the gatekeepers, the journalists, the media moguls. So I read a book by Tim Ferriss called The 4-Hour Workweek. I was surprised almost everyone I know has read that book. Which opened up the idea of a digital business. And then the next part of the journey was I read a book by David Meerman Scott called The New Rules of Marketing & PR. He talked about the ability of content to attract an audience. In other words, inbound marketing is a term that was used.

Jeff Bullas (07:42):

And today we use much more the term content marketing. And then the last little thing that pushed me out of the line to start the blog in 2009 was a piece by HubSpot, a blog post. And it said if you have a [inaudible 00:07:55] to start a business on, start a blog. So that was the genesis for an inspiration for starting the very creatively named jeffbullas.com site. Did a workshop on that for a week actually to come up with that name. I didn’t know it but I was doing personal branding, and that I was doing it at scale. So the blog started, I was writing really badly and I had by this time, got a full time job working for digital agency that built online stores. And so what happened was I worked on my blog as a side hustle while I actually worked full time. And I started creating content. I started sharing it.

Jeff Bullas (08:43):

I started building my Twitter followings, I realized that the more Twitter followers I had the better the distribution that I had. And this was a time when social media was the wild West. There was no Facebook pages. There was no Facebook advertising, it was just pure organic reach. And so what I did is I really just doubled down. So for four years, while I had my day job, I got up at 4:30 AM and created content and publish a blog post by 9:00 AM every morning. I was passionate, I was on a mission. I think what’s important for entrepreneurs to understand is that if you’re just going to do it for the money, that’s going to be a really hard to stay in. You need to have that passionate purpose. And that sometimes doesn’t show up as it shouts at you, it’s actually can be a whisper.

Jeff Bullas (09:31):

I think Steven Spielberg said that sometimes what you’re meant to be doing in life will show up as a whisper. It will not shout at you. It will actually just be that quiet voice. And the blog was that. And I had some inspiration pieces along the way. So yeah, that’s how the journey started.

Steve Loates (09:48):

That’s awesome. One question I have to ask is there are lots of people. Lots of people that I actually know personally, who started out doing exactly what you described. They start out writing a blog post, and they go on to Twitter and they go onto Facebook. But 99.9% of them never achieve what you have achieved. What do you think the difference was? What made you stick with it? Where so many people stopped doing it after attempting it just for a short while?

Jeff Bullas (10:29):

I think number one, I got the timing right. There’s a lot of people that try and get into blogs today. And it’s a very, very crowded space. There’s over 1 billion blogs on the planet. I lept in when the intersection of the smartphone and Steve Jobs launching the iPhone, shortly after the social media revolution exploded as well. So I ended up in the middle of a perfect storm. And I think some research shows that in business the most important thing is timing. There’s a TED Talk. I can’t remember who the guy was, but they’ve done research on 200 different companies and 45% of success comes down just to timing. Despite some of these companies raising hundreds of millions of dollars, and they disappear or crash and burn. So timing is everything. I ended up getting my timing right. Basically, blogs are at their peak. Social media was on incredible rise back then.

Jeff Bullas (11:24):

And also the iPhone ended up being part of that as well. So you end up with a perfect storm of the intersection of the rise of blogs, the rise of social media and the rise of the smartphone. And the other thing that was important, the rise of social media was back then. You could actually, didn’t have to pay for attention. You could earn it. And that’s one of the things that really drove me. And the other thing I realized too, was I didn’t throw a lot of money at it. It costs me $10 to start that was the cost of the domain name, and I did as a side hustle. So entrepreneurs are often quite seen as very risky people. They actually go and waste money and throw money at things. But what I’ve found out over the years is that the smart entrepreneurs actually are risk averse.

Jeff Bullas (12:09):

They work out a way to do it with as little risk as possible. It doesn’t mean they don’t take risks, but it means that you just try to work out a way. So I was basically took very little risk in the sense that I did this in conjunction, well as a side hustle while I had a full time job. Sure, I had to do some hard yards, but I also played the long game. And I think a lot of people, as humans were quite often tend towards wanting quick results and when we don’t get them we give up. So there’s an important quality that just about every entrepreneur that I know about is persistence and playing the long game. And knowing when to pivot as well.

Steve Loates (12:43):


Juliet Aurora (12:44):

And I think that as much as you attribute, a big part of your success to timing, I think that we have to go back and listen to a couple of the things that you said, which was that you got up at 4:30 every morning to write a blog post and post it before you went to work. So that certainly, would have been a huge contributor to your success. The dedication that you had. Yes, you had a passion for it, but you had the discipline to do something on a daily basis. And you said you did it for four years. So you can’t attribute all of that success just-

Steve Loates (13:23):

I think we’ll give you timing as part of it and perfect storm, and it all sounds great, but I absolutely agree with Juliet. The getting up at 4:30 AM and doing that for a period of time to do what you want to do because you believe it’s going to do something. That takes a certain mindset and a certain type of energy and belief and passion that you can have all the timing in the world, but without the belief, the passion and the energy, I’m not sure.

Steve Loates (13:59):

So we’ll give you part of that Jeff, but we’re not giving timing all of the credit for that. I do have to ask as well. I’ve been a fan of what you do for a number of years. I think you have a great blog, great website share lots of great stuff on social, but you have to tell me where the avatar came from. Like that little cartoon character. That was honestly what drew me to you the first time when I saw that, where did that come from?

Jeff Bullas (14:31):

Well, it’s quite a good story behind that. My partner, Tony, she was really my rock when I started and she didn’t come up with expression or ideas, but she gave me a safe place to grow and thrive and flourish. She had a caricature done because she had her own business doing event producing production, and creation for corporates and she’d run big events. And one of events she got someone she brought in to do was a cartoonist. And he was doing caricatures of people at the event. And she had one daughter of his self and she it mounted. And she had big frizzy hair, very curly hair. And so it was just this big mop of hair and it was a cartoon. And so as we know with caricatures, everyone’s got a big head. So when I started the blog, I went, “Ah, I need to get a really nice photo taken, make me look as beautiful as possible.” Show off my handsome features and my beautiful hair and get wrinkles smoothed up.

Steve Loates (15:33):

And sorry and for those of you listening to the podcast, we can vouch for the beautiful features. Sorry, Jeff, go ahead.

Jeff Bullas (15:41):

Yeah. So I went, “Ah, I need to get a really nice photo shoot done.” Anyway she said to me, “Why don’t you get a caricature?” And I went, “Okay, right.” So I had a neighbor, John Haycraft, and John is actually an artist, a really, really good artist. And she said, “Why don’t you speak to John about getting a caricature and give him some money.” He wouldn’t take money. He just wanted wine because we’re all alcoholics here in Australia.

Jeff Bullas (16:08):

And we inherited that because we came from England, and they’re just at another level of alcoholism really. And that just made it worse. I basically paid him in wine. That’s what you do when you’re in convict, you pay, you barter and you use wine and any other gifts that are at hand. So he did the caricature. And what was really fascinating was I think he did the most brilliant job because he captured the essence of me. And when I went, started being invited to speak around the world at social media marketing conferences, and digital marketing conferences, and influencer conferences. I had people come up to me and go, “You look just like your caricature.” And I went, “Yeah. Okay, great.” But it did. I thought he really captured the essence.

Jeff Bullas (16:58):

So that’s the story behind the caricature. And I’ve just launched, well, three or four months ago, a podcast called The Jeff Bullas Show. Again, that was another workshop for a week to actually come up with that name. So The Jeff Bullas Show was launched. And of course I have a variation of my caricature with headphones on and a big ass mic, it’s a Blue Yeti by the way. So here it is. People said it looks like something else and I’m not going to go there. But it’s a very attractive mic.

Steve Loates (17:36):


Jeff Bullas (17:37):

So he did another one for me and I said, “John, why do I owe you?” And he said, “Bottle of wine.”

Steve Loates (17:44):

Yeah. Could we get John’s contact information? He really does sound like our kind of guy. We do like to do things for wine here as well. So it’s all good.

Juliet Aurora (17:59):

So can I toss in a question here Steve?

Steve Loates (18:01):

You could toss in as many as you want Juliet, as I’ve told you before, it’s ladies first, you just jumped right in there with any questions you want.

Juliet Aurora (18:11):

So obviously, the purpose of our podcast is to help entrepreneurs. And people are going to listen to your story and they’re going to go, “Okay, well, it’s a great story. I can’t do anything like that. So I’m just going to listen to it for the entertainment value.” And we want to make sure that we’re giving some kind of tangible action item for people that are actually listening to the podcast. So we often talk about, “Okay, well, if you don’t have any kind of social… Where would you start?” And there’s lots of people out there that they can get that information from. I think the harder or the bigger challenge for a lot of entrepreneurs is they’ve tried, they’ve tried Twitter, they’ve tried Facebook. They’ve tried writing a blog and yes, there’s a lot more noise out there. But is there something that you can do to… What their launching pad should be or one thing that they can do to maximize the use of whatever following they have, or whatever social channels they have or are on for their businesses.

Jeff Bullas (19:17):

Yeah. I think there’s quite a few things that are really important. Number one, yes. The organic reach of social media is becoming very low. It’s almost close to nonexistent. And whether it’s Instagram, whether it’s TikTok, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, whatever Snapchat, the reality is that we’re moving from what we call a free organic world, where to a pay to play world. That’s what I think you need to understand. And certainly I was talking to one of my team marketing manager and I’m saying, “Look, the organic side is going to be at the whims of the algorithms.” And the algorithms could be a Google SEO algorithm. It could be the algorithm of Facebook that’s going to… It’s going to be the rules they come up with. So they use Facebook Messenger for a year or two as a great place to actually get rich without paying for attention.

Jeff Bullas (20:10):

Of course, Facebook turned that off dialed it down. The rules of it became tighter. I think number one, you need to choose a niche that you’re passionate about, that you can really get stuck in. Number two, start creating great content. I think the other part then is you need to build landing pages where you give away something for free, like an ebook, a webinar. You need to give something away for free, and you need even though it’s old school, building an email list is still one of the most important things you can do. And you don’t have to have a big list. You do not need to have millions. You don’t need to have hundreds of thousands. There’s a lot people who run very successful start businesses whether it’s a gym instructor, virtual guitar teaching artist. And then the other thing you’ll need to become good at is actually using digital advertising, paid that converts, and then you need to test it and test it and test it.

Jeff Bullas (21:10):

I don’t mean spending big dollars. You can just test with $20 a day and build your distribution into a niche that you’re passionate about. And then just work out a way. Sometimes I’ve heard it from Mike Stella’s over social media marketing world, and said that give away something for free for even six to 12 months. And then once you’ve done that, continue to give away information for free, add value to your community, and then you’ve earned the right and credibility to actually ask for money. By adding value back premium content. And that can be online training. It can be, you’ve got a list. You can even basically sell products on behalf of other people because you’ve got a list or an audience you want to reach that’s called affiliate. But number one, you need to build a digital platform. Like create an online store, for example, but then you need to create content that adds value.

Jeff Bullas (22:02):

You need to build your list and then you need to get really good at the new paradigm. It’s not so new. It’s been around for a few years, but we’re moving from… It’s a battle of the algorithms. The algorithms are, you got to learn how to do digital advertising, that converts at a good enough rate for you to actually make money that is over and above the costs of doing that. And that requires a lot of testing. So we’re moving to a very much a world where you’ve got to get your digital paid advertising nailed. And that means a lot of testing. And we do a lot of Facebook video advertising testing to drive leads and sales. Anyway, that’s some tips that I would recommend.

Juliet Aurora (22:41):

No, those are great. You make it sound really easy and I know that from experience that it’s not that easy, there’s a lot of knowledge behind each of those steps. Would you recommend that an entrepreneur or a business owners find someone to walk them through this process? Or should they try and do it on their own first or do pieces of it on their own? Do you have any recommendations?

Jeff Bullas (23:07):

Okay. There’s two things here. Number one, some of us have plenty of time, but no money. Some have plenty of money, but no time. And you know where that answer is going to go, don’t you? So when I started, I had a lot of time, but no money because I was between jobs. And I spent my time wrestling with WordPress. I’m not a programmer. WordPress is relatively easy to use, but still what requires a lot of arm wrestling. And it ends up often in tears, as you try and work out what is going on, as you put plugins into WordPress and going that didn’t work. And that continues. So the reality is at the end of the day, I didn’t have the money, but at that time, but I had plenty of time. And the tools these days is actually pretty good.

Jeff Bullas (23:55):

But when we got more money and less time, then certainly get someone to build a WordPress. Don’t make it complicated. You can get someone to design a WordPress site for you for a few hundred dollars. You don’t have to do a landing page. Someone would do that for you. You can do that on Freelancer or Upwork again for very little money. You’re going to have to build a team around you. And sometimes you might need to do that later, but sometimes you might do it sooner rather than later. So yes, you’re exactly right. It’s not easy. I’ve throw a few tantrums over my time, just trying to build the tech. Of course, no children or babies were hurt in the process, but it’s okay. And the dogs are safe as well. I didn’t hurt any one of those either. But the puppies are all good.

Steve Loates (24:41):

Good, good. That’s great. Along the same vein in your experience, when you watch other entrepreneurs and you speak to other entrepreneurs, what would you say are some of the biggest mistakes you see being made over and over? Whether it be in the world of digital marketing or just in the world of entrepreneurship in general, whatever you like.

Jeff Bullas (25:13):

I think a lot of people don’t play the long game and that’s really, really important. The other thing I suppose is they work in the business rather than on the business. They don’t build a team around them, allows them to do, allows them to scale. So for example, when I started the podcast, I was going to give it, outsource it to totally to one company, but I realized I wanted to build IP and the expertise within the business. So now we have a really robust process that allows us to publish our podcast every Friday morning, Australian time. And I show up record and then the team takes over. And creating processes I think it’s really, really important as part of that, that scales you. And for me, it’s much more being the conductor, the strategist than anything else. And I think it’ll work out what you’re good at and what you aren’t, don’t ask me to program a computer.

Jeff Bullas (26:06):

Otherwise, you’ll end up without one, or it could be turned into an anchor. So the reality is I’ve got to realize what I’m not good at. Well, I was quite good at social media years ago, but now it’s turned into a very, very complex, big beast. I leave it up my team to actually work out how to do a Facebook video ad, for example. So I think it’s realize what you’re good at. And also you’ve got to keep that passionate purpose clear in your own mind and stick to what you’re good at.

Steve Loates (26:39):

Yeah, no, it is great advice. One of our businesses is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. And we still wrestle with deciding whether we are going to do this particular thing, or we’re going to have someone else do it, or we’re going to outsource it. So for all you entrepreneurs out there. It is an ongoing journey, or at least certainly I should speak for myself. You don’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden the light bulb goes off and, “Oh yeah, I’ll just work on the business and I’ll just have all these other great people do all this other stuff.”

Steve Loates (27:23):

I wish I could do that. And I’m better. I’m better today than I was years ago, but I still wrestle with it that I want to do it myself when I really, in reality, I shouldn’t be. No. That’s correct.

Juliet Aurora (27:37):

Well, I think a part of that is that when you start out as an entrepreneur, usually by necessity, you have to do everything. You have to wear all these different hats. But in order to take your business to the next level, you actually have to start removing hats, which tends to be more difficult.

Jeff Bullas (27:54):

Yeah, it is very tough. And it’s like I said, it’s an ongoing battle.

Steve Loates (27:58):

Yeah, no, absolutely, I would agree with that. I’m going to ask you to look into your crystal ball now, Jeff, because I know you have one. We’ve come a long way since as you mentioned Myspace. And I think we’re both dating ourselves by even knowing what Myspace is. If you look in your crystal ball, where do you think this social media stuff is going? You mentioned the paid advertising. Is that the next wave? Is there something you think after that? Or what do you feel as to where it’s going in social in terms of business I think?

Jeff Bullas (28:44):

I think there’s been an acceleration of virtual businesses. I think the pandemic is actually just accelerated the drive into what was already happening. We’re being pushed to actually buy online a lot more. We even pushed faster into creating virtual events. We being pushed faster into creating things like contact or customer service centers that actually are now distributed. The other thing that is… I think there’s three things, but the other thing that’s going to have a big impact is artificial intelligence. So that comes down to even things like content creation. So how far we go along that route automation should take away the drudgery of what we as humans don’t like doing and leaves us free to actually do the things we love doing, such as being the creators and makers.

Jeff Bullas (29:37):

I think the craftsman of the world, and I’m talking about whether you’re a video producer, whether you’re a writer, whether you’re a musician or even a tradesman that is a carpenter. I think we’re going to start to value humans even more in terms of their humanity. And so being able to talk to someone, not a computer is going to be important part of the marketing process. So the pandemic situation is driving us faster into the future. And we’re going to try and work out what that looks like, and you need to stand back a bit and going, “Okay, is what I’m doing going to be done by a computer and worthless, or is it something that is going to be valued by people and they want to pay for it?” And that’s a big question.

Steve Loates (30:29):

Great comments there. What advice would you give someone who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur other than forget about it?

Jeff Bullas (30:43):

Well, I would say one thing don’t do it for the money. Doesn’t mean you don’t make money, but do it because it’s something that you can get up each day going, “This is what I want to do.” And I think then that will help you play the long game to actually stay the course. Look, some of us are going to be solopreneurs, some are going to build big businesses. I think you’ve got to work out. What does business mean for you? I think business should work for you. You shouldn’t work for the business and it doesn’t mean you don’t do hard work, but what’s really important for me is designing a life and a business that works for me. And I love the saying when I grow up, I want to be me. And that means that everyone says, “Oh, I want to be just like Steve jobs. I want to be like Bill Gates. I want to be like Elon Musk.”

Jeff Bullas (31:32):

Well, hang on you are you, they’re on their journey. And don’t be dismayed that you’re not a billionaire by the age of 23. And the other question I think you got to ask as an entrepreneur too, is how much is enough. And I think we’ve got to be very careful in that we can burn relationships and ourselves, and wear ourselves out because being madly busy and manic is almost worn like a badge of honor. So I think, and this gets to the heart of capitalism and democracy and freedom. And the reality is that I think you got to be true to yourself, and listen for that quiet whisper of what you should be doing. And that is sometimes the hardest thing to find.

Steve Loates (32:18):

Great, great advice. I think that brings us to the part of the show that we call the Smart Man, Smarter Woman version of James Lipton’s Q&A from the Actors Studio. And we have some questions we ask all of our guests. And if you’re ready, Jeff, we would like to put you on the hot seat or the warm seat and give you a run through on the questions. Are you okay with that?

Jeff Bullas (32:47):

Let’s rock and roll.

Steve Loates (32:48):

Absolutely. What one word best defines an entrepreneur.

Jeff Bullas (32:55):


Steve Loates (32:56):

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

Jeff Bullas (33:03):

Full time writer.

Steve Loates (33:05):

What profession would you like never to attempt?

Jeff Bullas (33:11):

Run a retail store seven days a week.

Steve Loates (33:16):

Okay. What sound or noise do you love?

Jeff Bullas (33:21):

I like Queen, especially Live Aid. If you ever haven’t seen Queen performing at Live Aid in the ’80s go to YouTube. It’s just amazing.

Steve Loates (33:35):

Sorry. I was just going to say that was Freddie Mercury in his heyday.

Jeff Bullas (33:43):

Wow. It brings tears to my eyes in a very nice way. It’s inspirational to see how much passion, and also to see him essentially surfing the emotions of Wembley Stadium with a hundred thousand people just making him soar. It’s amazing.

Steve Loates (34:00):

Absolutely. What book would you recommend? Every entrepreneur should read?

Jeff Bullas (34:07):

Oh, there’s so many. I suppose. Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-hour Workweek I think it’s quite dated now in terms of what it did. But I think it opened up my mind to the possibilities. And I think as humans to be awakened to a possibility that opens up a future that is possibly infinite. The other book I would read is a book by Michael Singer called Untethered Soul. It’s a very spiritual book, but in a sense it gets to the heart of being fully human. And I think that’s what we all need to be as entrepreneurs fully human.

Steve Loates (34:49):

Okay. That’s great. I haven’t heard that book and I will have to look that one up. When your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?

Jeff Bullas (35:02):

That I made a difference. That I inspired people to live lives that help them move towards their potential. I think if I could have done that, and I feel like I’ve done a fair bit of that in my 63 years. I’ve turned up to events around the world and they said, “You changed my life. You inspired me. And now I’m running a 35 business digital agency, a 35 person digital agency.” Look, when I hear that, you said that, “You made a difference, you changed my life.” And I mean that in the most positive way that if I can provide that little bit of inspiration for you to live a life that is beyond the ordinary. And for you to actually be the best version that you possibly can be of you. And that would hopefully be the legacy I’d love to leave.

Juliet Aurora (35:54):

Awesome. And I have to say, so Steve has been a huge fan of yours for many years and was beyond excited when you agreed to be a guest on our podcast. And I’ll be honest. I didn’t know who you were. And I haven’t said a lot over the last 40 minutes that we’ve been online here, but if the last 40 minutes is any indication of what kind of content you’re putting out there on your platform, and I’m certainly now going to listen to it. I think you’re well on your way, if you haven’t already achieved that legacy that you’re looking for.

Steve Loates (36:31):

And at 63, Jeff, you’re still a kid. Okay. So it’s okay.

Jeff Bullas (36:37):

Yeah. That’s what I tell all the girls.

Steve Loates (36:40):

Absolutely. And if people in our audience want to reach you, what is the best way for someone to contact you?

Jeff Bullas (36:49):

Just go to my website blog, jeffbullous.com. There’s a contact form there, and you can send an email. And if I don’t respond for a few days, it means that I’ve actually gone surfing, but yes, you can contact me there.

Steve Loates (37:04):

Absolutely. And I can second that he does respond to his emails. And before I start the conclusion of the show, do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to share with our audience of entrepreneurs

Jeff Bullas (37:23):

Dare to dream. I think that’s really, really important. My dad called me the dream of the absent minded professor. I think we as humans are born to dream and it’s widened our DNA. And I think it’s important that we give ourselves a space, and the opportunity and the silence to actually allow the infinite to show up. Because a lot of us are willing to live lives that other people have defined for us. And I think we need to be brave enough to live a life full of possibility.

Steve Loates (37:56):

And you did mention your podcast. I’m assuming people can find your podcast in all the normal places, Apple, Spotify. And since you have that really original title for your podcast, it should be very easy for people to find it. If they can spell your name correctly. Maybe I’ll do that. It’s Jeff with a J, J-E-F-F and Bullas, B-U-L-L-A-S. So go looking for it, I’m sure it’s a great podcast. I haven’t actually listened to an episode yet, but I certainly am looking forward to doing that. And that leads me, you’d made a great segue for me there too Jeff, with my words of wisdom to end our show. I’m a bit of a quote nerd for those that know me. So we always like to end our show with a quote.

Steve Loates (38:48):

And so the one I selected for this episode was, “If people aren’t laughing at your dreams. Your dreams aren’t big enough.” Grayson Marshall. And so thank you once again Jeff, really had a great time here. I appreciate all the value you shared with our audience. Thank you, Juliet. My awesome cohost. Couldn’t do this without you. But most importantly, thank you to you. The listener for tuning in giving us a listen. We sincerely hope you found some value here today for your time. If you did, please subscribe to the podcast. You can find us in all the normal places, iTunes, Spotify, Google, or you can go to the website, smartmnsmarterwoman.com and subscribe. And you’ll get notified every time we release a new episode. So thank you very much until next time. Take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.

Song by Adam Vitovsky / CC BY 3.0

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Episode 17