The Journey to Self-Mastery and How to Start Creating Your Own Products
Self-reflection can be a great way to ensure you are on a path to a fulfilling and happy life. Dallen Reber has turned to journaling to help him find that path of fulfillment. On this episode we talk about how he has been able to use journaling to find his own path. We discuss how you can use journaling in your life and exactly how was able to create his own product, the Self-Mastery Journal.
Nick (00:00): Having an idea of where you're wanting to go in business and actually understanding how to get there are two totally different things. And really that applies not only to business, but your personal life as well. How often do you take time to reflect on where you're at and really think about it? Are you actually where you wanting to be, and if not, are you on the right path to get there? Oftentimes we get caught in this fast paced world and we get to think about the ultimate goal and reason why we started in the first place. Now I want you to stop and think about this for a minute. You have to pause the episode for a moment and think about these next three questions as it relates to your career and personal life. Have you lost sight of your original plan? What has distracted you?
Nick (00:46): How are you going to get back on track? So let's take a second and think about those questions. Now today's guest has created a product called the Self-Mastery Journal and it aims to get you back on a path of fulfillment and happiness that you will originally set out on. Today's guest is Dallen Reber, and he's here to talk to us about the power of journaling and how it has helped him get on the path of fulfillment and how you can start implementing simple journaling to do the same. Not only that, but we also talk about the process he took to actually create the Self-Mastery Journal from how he came up with the idea all the way to how he managed to get it manufactured. Now, Dallen was kind enough to offer a special gift for all of the Nine-Five Podcast listeners. So make sure you stick around till the end of the episode, to find out what it is and where you can get this. All right, let's get right into this episode.
Nick (01:40): This is the Nine-Five Podcast and I'm your host Nick Nalbach, where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build, and grow your own online business.
Nick (01:58): Welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast. I'm your host, Nick Nalbach, and on the show we interview entrepreneurs so that you can help grow your own business. And today I have Dallen Reber here with me. So Dallen, welcome to the podcast.
Dallen (02:13): Thank you. Thanks for having me, Nick.
Nick (02:15): So we got to talking back on Twitter, which a lot of my guests that I've been having on the show as a lot of the listeners would know, happened to be coming from Twitter. Twitter is a freaking awesome place to meet new people, especially awesome people like yourself, but to kick off the episode, why don't you give everybody a little bit of an idea of who you are and what it is you do.
Dallen (02:33): So I guess my, my background is in exercise physiology. I studied at a university of Kentucky and BYU and then ended up getting my master's degree at back at Kentucky, um, in exercise physiology with an emphasis in sports science. So what we did, there was a lot of athlete monitoring, monitoring what we call internal and external loads to maximize athletic performance, right? So working with collegiate and professional teams. So
Dallen (03:00): From there, uh, finished my master's and ended up getting a job down in Tampa as a sports scientist, more so on the, the research side of things. And, you know, I was, I guess I interned there during my masters. So it was a great job, great opportunity. And I was faced with taking the job or pursuing my PhD and I took the job and my family and I, we went down to Tampa and worked there for a few years and quickly kind of realized that it was, I liked it. It was a hobby of mine, I guess, not so, not so much a hobby, but it something I enjoyed, but it's not something that provided me with the purpose and passion and fulfillment that I was seeking. So about two years after working there, I decided to step away and pursue now what is known as Realizations and the Self-Mastery Journal. So that's what I'm currently focused on a full time, is getting this up and running and get my journal launched
Nick (03:54): That's awesome man. And the Self-Mastery Journal. So this is a rebranding of a journal that you've already produced. And you kind of, you've built this up into something completely new at this point, I believe, right?
Dallen (04:04): Yeah, correct. So I actually, when I was in this process of creating a journal, um, as you can imagine, having never created a physical product and with a background in science, I had no idea what I was doing and I knew, I knew it's something that I wanted to do, but I wasn't ready to dump a lot of money into it yet. So I decided to make a minimum viable product, right. So I went through a print on demand company and did all the design and everything myself with hopes that I could make some sales get out to family and friends get as many hands on the product as possible. So I can get some feedback before, you know, jumping in a hundred percent. So that's what I did. And it was titled the Personal Growth Journal. It's a journal, you know, it's, it's basically all around personal growth, right?
Dallen (04:49): So I ended up rebranding it when I went to more mass production, uh, to Self-Mastery Journal. It's essentially the same thing. I did make some tweaks based on the feedback that I got, but looking back, it was, it was really helpful to go through the process of basically, uh, taking the product from an idea to a physical product, myself and investing a little bit of money just to get some quality feedback and then taking that leap and deciding to invest a little bit more money into the company and rebrand and kind of get a lot of that end of the things figured out before I, I guess, went full board into it.
Nick (05:27): Awesome. There was a lot of things you touched on right there that I really want to get into on this episode before we even do that, you said you've listened to some of the podcast episodes, all the listeners know I like to bring, when I bring the guests on to like to answer, ask them right out of the gate, what is your super power? And for anybody who's new to the podcast that doesn't know what I mean by superpower. I mean, what is the thing that you do where you are the man, like people either go to you for this thing or you just kick ass? Like, what do you think your superpower would be?
Dallen (05:56): If that's the criteria, I don't know if I have one, but, uh, my wife would actually say making her roll her eyes. So, but if I can't choose that, then honestly I'd probably say creating relationships and thinking about it, you know, I've having a background in athletics, but I played college baseball and, and just being in a locker room. But up until the time I was 25, really exposed me to a lot of different personality types. And I think, and I didn't realize this at the time, but one of the things that I think, uh, looking back there's extremely beneficial, that is you've learned how to, how to communicate with different people, how to lead a bunch of different people and how to just interact and not only create a relationship, but make sure it's long-lasting right. So I actually joke with my wife now, cause we've, we've moved cross country multiple times and every time we drive long distances, I always have a place to stay. So it's something that I, you know, I'm personally, I guess, proud of that I've been able to create all these relationships and not only create them, but maintain them.
Nick (07:01): You know, the creating relationships thing that a lot of people have come on and they've said that. And I think that is awesome. Like you said, creating the relationships, it helps you on every aspect of your life, not even just business, but being able to travel and a place to stay, something like that. Like it sounds kind of goofy, but really that should be the core of anybody's business. Trying to build up that core. The relationships with your customers, with clients, potential colleagues, maybe people you want to work with. I mean, that's, it's been a common theme on the show so far, so I think that's just really important to touch on. And I think that is an awesome superpower.
Dallen (07:36): Thanks. Yeah. And, and now that you mentioned it, it's been cool to kind of see it come to fruition now where I'm releasing a product. I've had a lot of old friends who I honestly, some of them I haven't talked to in a few years, but the, you know, I've had them reach out and ask if there's anything that they can do to support. And so it's been fun going back and, and I guess re-engaging with a lot of old friends and seeing their willingness to, to help out along this journey. Right. So, yeah. I couldn't agree more. I think it's, um, I think if you're good at something that should be it.
Nick (08:09): Hell yeah. I have a challenge for everyone listening to this podcast, go scroll through either your Facebook friends, your contacts on your phone, go try to find somebody that you haven't reached out to in awhile that you might've been really good friends with in the past and go just simple. Hey, what's up like reconnect kind of see how everything's going. I mean, just a simple, Hey, how's it going? Can really go a long way. So I challenge everybody listening to the episode. Go try to make a connection with someone within the next week before the next podcast airs. I think that'd be an awesome challenge for everybody.
Dallen (08:39): Yeah, I agree.
Nick (08:40): So all right, man. Let's talk about the Self-Mastery Journal. We kind of got into a little bit about what it is, why don't you this'll be the, uh, product pitch, like let us know what exactly it is and why we need buy this thing.
Dallen (08:54): Awesome. Yeah. So I think,
Speaker 4 (08:56): Uh, I think that begs to question
Dallen (08:58): Well, what is self-mastery? And I think a lot of people would define self-mastery as self-discipline, self-control personally, I think it needs to take, it needs to be taken a step further into personal happiness and purpose itself. Right. So I think it's, you can have a lot of self-control but no purpose or no happiness. And as we all know that that's not the goal, right. The goal is to, to be able to mesh to intertwine the two. So the Self-Mastery Journal as a whole it's it's to cultivate these attributes that equate to self-mastery like mastering your mind, your emotions, your actions, and understanding that, you know, in order to do this efficiently, you need to understand your past, not only learn from it, but understand it in order to prepare for the future and all while thriving in the present. Right. So I think, um, one of the things I get lost in the mix, especially with, you know, hustle culture and just entrepreneurship as a whole is, is grinding for years, locking yourself up in a room and losing that present moment in order to create what you envision being your dream life.
Dallen (10:06): Well, I think we now in the 21st century, we have the blessing of being able to build our dream life while thriving in the present. So the Self-Mastery Journal kind of brings all this together, um, with daily journaling, or daily goal setting, daily affirmations, daily reflection, as well as a journal prompt that I like to refer to as a purpose prompt. Um, because the whole idea of that prompt is to apply a different perspective on the life that you're building. So, or the life that you desire to build. Right? So with the combination of all these components of the journal, we're really able to maximize each day and learn from the past and prepare for the future that we are in the process of building. And I kinda, I kind of look at it as, uh, I guess at life as if it was a spectrum zero to a hundred and on a hundred, we have people who take massive action, which is great, but we have a lot of incredible examples of people who are massively successful externally, but internally they were anything but success, right.
Dallen (11:12): And you know, it's unfortunate, but we have these examples that we can learn from, whereas zero might be, you know, taking no action at all, but I think there's a sweet spot where we can take massive action as well as thrive in the moment and chase our purpose and feel that purpose throughout the act with throughout taking this action. So, um, I think if we can identify where on the spectrum, we lie in order to take adequate action and enjoy the moment, then we're really going to be able to not only create our best life, but live our best life now.
Nick (11:47): That's really cool about the time that you were releasing the journal at the first edition of it. I had started getting that a little bit
Nick (11:54): And then I stumbled upon a lot of your content and you were preaching the journaling like every day, even if it's a few sentences, something like that, just to get your mind kind of thinking kind of reflecting on where you're at and where you want to be. And I think that's a really powerful thing that, like you said, a lot of people just take for granted. They kind of get caught up in everything that's going on right now and they don't reflect on everything that's going on. So I do think that is extremely important. I think that's a really cool thing that you're doing. Where, where did the idea of this all kind of come from? Was it just, you just had a random thought or like, Oh, let's do this. Or was there a story behind that or what what's the deal there?
Dallen (12:30): Yeah, no, that's a great question. And actually, you know, it's, it's my story, which I'll get into, but I think that's what makes it for me so awesome ride because I didn't, it wasn't, it wasn't like I spent a lot of time product searching and finding the right product and, and trying to understand how to pitch it. But, you know, I lived this, I went through it and I was able to see the impact that journaling had on me. So what happened was when I was at my job working as a sports scientist, like I said, I liked my job, but I didn't feel like it fulfilled me. And I knew that there was a sense of purpose that I needed to discover. So I spent a lot of time participating in groups with people who I would classify as mentors, you know, anything from meditation to journaling, goal setting, um, financial planning, just all these different things that I thought could help me with the stage of life I was in.
Dallen (13:21): And I took one course that was given by his name's Rob Dial. He's got a huge podcast called Mindset Mentor, and I've listened to his podcast for years. And he actually, so he preaches, he teaches people how to journal correctly, because what happens is when people hear journal, they, what comes to our mind is just a blank sheet of paper and a pen. You just sit down and, you know, write what happened today and talk about your feelings. Well, the journaling that we're talking about has nothing to do with that. So when I took this course, it was all, it was a month long group course, and it was all the only thing it was about was learning how to journal correctly. So every day he came on and we had a different journal prompt every day. And then we dissected it. We applied it to past experiences, do present moments and how we can apply moving forward.
Dallen (14:07): And so at this time in my life being not completely satisfied with my job, the question that was dominating my mind was what am I going to do for the rest of my life? Right? Because I felt like I needed a change, but I didn't know what that change looked like. I didn't know if I step away from this job, I didn't know what to do, but I knew something needed to happen. So as you can imagine, you know, and I, and as a lot of people can relate asking yourself the question, what am I going to do with my life is an extremely daunting question, especially because there's just no way that we can answer that today. Right? If you don't know the answer to that now, then it doesn't make sense. Just thinking that, you know, stressing about it every day. All of a sudden it's going to, the answer is just going to fall upon your shoulders.
Dallen (14:51): And even if you do know the answer to that question, that can likely change, right? So what happened was I was stressing about this every day. And in the span of 30 days of participating in this group, I, I experienced what I, I call a paradigm shift where instead of asking that question, I started asking, who do I want to become? What kind of person do I want to become? Right. Because I think there's power in that because I can answer that question. I can tell you exactly who I want to become and the kind of attributes that I want to instill. And I'll tell anybody that if you start implementing those attributes, there's no way that whatever it is that you want to build, isn't going to happen. Right? So this to me was like a big aha moment where I had this stress that had been weighing down on me, just lifted off because I felt like my perspective, my paradigm was shifted to something that was more meaningful.
Dallen (15:45): And when I did that, my action that I took every day had more purpose behind it. So that's, you might've seen me tweet about this too. I tweet frequently about purpose driven action. And that's when we talk about taking action, that's the action we want to take, right? We want to take action. That is fueled with purpose. That's driven by purpose so that when you act, you can feel that sense of purpose. And I think with that simple paradigm shift that I had, I went from thinking that my, my purpose was 20 years down the road. Whenever it was that I, when I built this, this life that I was trying to build to feeling that purpose today, right. Because I knew who I was, who I want to become. And I know, and I knew that I could apply those attributes today and I can be that person today. And, you know, with that, the combination of that is going to do nothing but propel me to discover the life that I want to build and how to get there.
Nick (16:42): That's really cool. I mean, the, the, who do you want to become? I, I really like that question. That's a little bit different than we all think about it. And I think not to get too into the weeds on this topic just yet, but I mean, it is something that we have to think about in our businesses as well. Like, where do we want this business to go? Where do we expect it to go? And having that purpose driven direction, or trying to think about it, like basically going into it with an exact purpose that can be applied to any aspect of your business. A lot of times we just get into business and we just start doing things because we think we're supposed to be doing it. And there's no real goal or purpose behind it.
Dallen (17:20): Or there's just, uh, uh, there's just a financial goal behind it, right? There's there might be a goal that's driven more so by pride, but with, as with any business in order, if you, if you have a successful business in some way or another, you are helping somebody out, right? So it's a process of having these goals that we want to hit, but understanding, maybe understanding when applied to business, how many people do we need to help, or how can we develop our products or our coaching or whatever, to help as many people as we can. And in hopes that this can propel us to another external goal that we have.
Nick (17:55): Yeah. I really liked that. I think the money is usually the, the main focus. That's the driving factor for a lot of reasons why people get into business and why they want to venture out on their own is they want the money that comes with it. But until you find another motive behind why you're doing what you're doing in this case, helping people that should be probably priority number one, for anybody who wants to get an online business, until you can actually commit to that as being your driving factor, you're always going to be chasing something that you're never going to get as similar, you can kind of touched on already. So before we get into the actual like business part of this, I want to get into the development of the Self-Mastery Journal and all that. What would be some things people could do to kind of start getting going on journaling? Like maybe this is something, obviously go get the Self-Mastery Journal that's number one. But if they can't get the journal yet, what would be a few tips that you would give somebody to try to kind of do that self-reflection and kind of figure out where they want to be going?
Dallen (18:54): Yeah. So I think a great way to start is just through gratitude journaling. So have you can, anybody can journal anybody who has a piece of paper and a pen can journal, right? So even if you, if you start with gratitude, journaling, you have three things that you want to write down that you're grateful for each day. One thing that I always recommend is try to write things that you didn't write yesterday, right? So now you are, you're basically forced to recognize more things that you're grateful for. And you're expanding your mind to see things in the present moment that you happen to be grateful for. So that's a really easy way to get started. Another way would be just if you just Google journal prompts and every day, go through an answer, a one journal prompt a day with just one sentence. It doesn't have to be, you know, you don't have to sit down and write a book every time you can just sit down and write one sentence, because in order to answer that question with one sentence, you still have to visualize, you still have to manifest it every day.
Dallen (19:51): And so now when you do this, when you make it a habit, you're visualizing that vision that you're creating every single day. You're manifesting that every single day and there's power in that right? Because now when you visualize that today and you have your goals for today, it's much easier to see, okay, this is what needs to be done today so that I can get there. So that would be my recommendations. Um, I actually, I do have a free download that I'd be happy to send over that has, um, I think it has 50 journal prompts that you can use to get started. Just things that are all centered around, not only discovering your purpose, but what kind of life are you trying to build? How does your life look 30 years from now? Right. So, um, I think that's, those are some easy ways to get started with journaling that I think have a profound impact.
Nick (20:39): Awesome. I will put a link to the freebie that you got there, and then obviously the Self-Mastery Journal will be on the show notes as well. So if you want to get a hold of these journal prompts, make sure you go check out the show notes for this episode. Yeah. That's, that's what I got for that. But I think, I think that is really good. One, one thing I would definitely suggest like what Dallen was saying, like really visualize the answer. I know when I started doing it, I was just kind of cheating it a little bit for the first like week or two. I wasn't really thoughtfully thinking about the answers that I was putting down. I was just basically filling it out. After you really have to sit down and think about the answer to your question and visualize what you're trying to achieve, visualize the answer, really reflect hard on what you are writing down in this journal prompt. I think that's very important.
Dallen (21:27): Great advice.
Nick (21:29): Now I want to kind of segue a little bit into the creation of the Self-Mastery Journal. I think we're going to have a lot of listeners that want to get into creating their own products and it's, I think this will be a good learning experience for everybody. So before you release this thing, what kind of experience did you have in creating a product, if any
Dallen (21:48): Negative a hundred. Yeah, honestly, I can vividly remember sitting at a, across the table from my wife at dinner and kind of explaining to her just kind of, it's just stressing because I knew I had a picture, a vision in my mind, but I had no idea how to take that to paper. Right. Even if I could create a design, which I had no experience with Photoshop or even Canva at the time, but just, it, it just, it was really daunting to me. I, I, it was quite the process just to figure out who could help me and who wasn't going to charge an arm and a leg for it. So what happened was I, I started reaching out to a bunch of graphic designers, but the, the style of the journal in of itself, it doesn't incorporate like a lot of images or any images for that matter.
Dallen (22:39): And it's, it's a very simplistic design. And so for what a lot of graphic designers wanted to charge for it, I just, I wasn't ready to, to pay that yet. Cause I figured, you know, given the time I could do it myself. So, um, what happened was I started tinkering with the design on Canva, which was, you know, Canva is a pretty simple tool to use if you're not familiar with any Photoshop design or anything like that. So I do recommend Canva to anybody looking to get into a design space or, um, developing your own planner journal or anything of that sort of thing. But, uh, so I started creating the design and then once I had a, a reasonable design, I didn't know how to publish it. Right. And I didn't want to, like I said, I didn't want to go overseas. I didn't want to put up a lot of capital upfront for manufacturing purposes yet.
Dallen (23:33): So I decided to go through Print On Demand and I actually joined a bunch of local Facebook groups, networking groups. And I just started asking if anybody could help publish, if they could help me publish my journal. I was put in contact with somebody and I started having a weekly meetings with her and she, she helped me go through a print on demand company called Ingram Spark, and which was perfect because they didn't, you know, there was a production fee up front of like 50 bucks if I remember. And then from there, my margins, weren't great, but I could still, I could order as many as I wanted and I could, you know, I could sell them. I could get them to friends and family. And, and although Print On Demand has its limitations, especially for journaling, right? Because the majority of the Print On Demand space is for books.
Dallen (24:19): So as it was the first edition was basically a book being used as a journal where it didn't have high-quality paper. It didn't have the type of, um, cover that I wanted, the type of material and the margins. Weren't great for journaling. Um, so those were all just minor details that I knew just weren't extremely important at the time, but yeah, so this Print On Demand or this publishing company helped me self-publish through Print On Demand and basically get it to where I could at least have a copy to, to send out to people and to promote in hopes to get some feedback. So that, that would have been right at the end of last year when that was growing. And I didn't go into a lot of advertising for that partially just, you know, I was still working my job and I didn't, I just, with my margins through Print On Demand, it didn't make a whole lot of sense. So I just wanted to sell as many as I could organically and to friends and family. And then everybody that purchased a copy, I would reach out to personally and kind of get personal feedback from them. And which was extremely helpful for, you know, this last year and the steps that I've been taken.
Nick (25:32): You touched on a couple of different things that I thought were extremely important and helpful. For everyone listening, I mean, we, we talked about at the beginning of the episode with your superpower building relationships, because you are a relationship builder, you were kind of able to lean on that, going into it and not be afraid to ask the questions that needed to be asked to get it done. I mean, you knew what you wanted to do getting into it. So at that point it was just a matter of reaching out to the resources and the connections you've built. And I'm sure you've built a lot more connections as you've released the product. And as you've been going through this testing phases. So I think that's huge part of it. So everybody, like if you're interested at all in getting to anything online business, whether you want to create a product or maybe you want to start a podcast or whatever it is, don't be afraid to ask. People want to help you, but they're not going to help you if you don't ask the question. So for sure, definitely lean on others. They'll be there to help you. I mean, Twitter was a great place for this. How many, when you started doing this, how many people do you think you were, you build up quite a community at this point before you started releasing this? Or how did that kind of work out?
Dallen (26:33): No, so I didn't start on Twitter until, uh, mid-February. And it's actually funny because in that the whole process, uh, uh, January I was working, I guess, a mentor on building a funnel for the journal. So I was building this click funnel. And if you know anything about ClickFunnels it's, I think about $97 a month. So at the time this was something that I wanted to try, but I wasn't extremely excited about it just cause I wasn't sure if that's a route I wanted to take with it. And then I did get on Twitter and I saw things popping around with Gumroad. So I, one morning I couldn't sleep and I got up at 3:00 AM and I was like, you know, I'm just going to create a Gumroad account and toss this up here and send out a bunch of discount codes. So it was crazy because I, that morning between like three and five, I created my Gumroad account and I listed my product and I created a bunch of discount codes and sent them to a bunch of friends posted on Twitter and, you know, send it to some family. And by like 11, that morning I had nine sales. So I was like, well, this is, you know, Gumroad is much more affordable than click funnels and Twitter at the time, it was a great way to, to generate organic traffic. So at the time it just made a lot more sense to go that route. So that's what I did for the next few months, while I was still finalizing a lot of detail with how I was going to go through manufacturer and kind of try to scale it up from there.
Nick (28:05): Something I thought when you were talking about developing the whole, like getting ready to release Self-Mastery Journal, you talked about testing the product, you put it on Gumroad you got it out there ahead of time. I think that is a huge touching point for this whole episode here. If you're interested at all in getting into creating product, whether it is physical, digital, whatever it is, being able to create a mock-up or a rough draft of this product. And you can put in front of people is definitely a huge thing to do because you're able to create this. I dunno, what's the word I'm looking for? Like basically to create one hype on the product and two, you're able to test product to make sure it's something that people actually want. And then third feedback from people, what they like. And didn't like, so now you can go back and fine tune it before you drop the final product.
Dallen (28:49): For sure. And I think there's I think there's power to in like in showing your community that you listened, you know what I mean? One day when, when they get feedback and you can show them like, Hey, we took your feedback and this is what we did with it. I think they feel a sense of just commitment to the brand itself. And they, they feel like they were able to play a part in it. And I think that's a great thing from, um, from a company standpoint too, to help build that community and that relationship with your customers.
Nick (29:19): Yeah. It's like, uh, we, we built this together. Like this is a collective deal. No, I think that's, I think that's a really important something. I was going to touch on why releasing this product, even if it's not perfect is actually what you should be doing. I know I, I catch myself trying to, even with like lead magnets, I'll put something out there, but I hold myself back from putting it out there. Cause I'm like, well, it doesn't have this. I should probably include this. Like I need to have this in there. And until you get the thing out for one, you're not going to have any kind of feedback. It can be something that everyone hates and you won't know, but all this time into it, really, if you're spending all this time trying to perfect it from your own eyes and not letting anybody else look at it, you're not creating a product for your customer or your audience.
Nick (30:01): You're creating a product for yourself. And that's not the whole purpose of this. The purpose is to help people. So build something like build enough to where you can show it to people, get it out there. And the way you did it, like you were actually able to start selling some of these units. So you actually will see some profit coming in ahead of time, which is also great because you have proof of concept there. You know, people are willing to pay you for this product, but then like we said, you get the feedback. Some people might say, well, I really liked this, but this part just kind of didn't resonate with me. And if you get a couple of those people coming back like that, it's like, okay, well I need to scratch this and I need more of this. So that feedback is invaluable for anybody that's trying to start their own product at all.
Dallen (30:41): Yeah. And let me, let me touch on this too. Um, I think you might've mentioned it on one of your podcasts as well. That one another thing that I was able to do that was really powerful in the whole development of the journal was read, you know, spent, uh, spent hours, reading reviews, positive reviews, negative reviews, and that in conjunction with what the feedback I was getting really helped pave away with some of the edits that I, that I needed to make. So with journaling and planning planners specifically, you know, people don't like flipping back and forth, if even if you have monthly, weekly, and daily planning or goal setting or whatever, some of these weekly plan, um, plans that you're making, or the monthly plans, they get lost in the mix. Cause people don't like flipping back and forth at all. And that, and honestly, or, you know, that causes a sense of like, where do I begin?
Dallen (31:32): How do I go about doing this? You know, and throughout reading these reviews, you'll start to find patterns, right? So you started to see a common theme or multiple themes of things that people don't like. And when in, in talking about journalism and a planner, I think, uh, simplicity wins, right? So simplicity in the sense of it does what it says it does. And when you get the product, it makes complete sense. So because ultimately, if you want to create a product that has an impact on somebody, they need to know without a doubt, how to use it so that they can make a habit out of it, especially with journaling, with goal setting, with anything in regards to this. So, uh, reading reviews and along with getting feedback from my prior customers really showed me how I can simplify my journal to create a better user experience.
Nick (32:31): Yeah. Actually, during the, this recording right now, by the time this goes live last week's episode, we were talking with Hitesh and we talked about exactly that Amazon reviews Udemy course reviews. So it's like perfect timing for this. It's like a real case scenario, but you're creating a physical product out of these reviews that you're reading, you're solving the problems that people are having and are telling other people that they're having these problems. You're just being the problem solver, which is what business is all about. That is awesome. And something else you mentioned, like the simplicity of things. I think that is really important. Um, it kind of gets into that debate, the benefits versus features type deal. Everybody likes to explain what the features are, what are like, we have this, this, this, this, and this, but really, we just, we want to know how it is going to help us as a consumer.
Nick (33:20): And we're saying, okay, I'm going to buy your product and has to help me with whatever it is. In your case is helping people like journaling, self journaling, and self-reflection kind of paving away and seeing where they want to go. If you're saying, well, we have pages that do this, and we got pages as the do that. And like, you can log this stuff here and log it there. Nobody's gonna care because I want to, how it's going to help me become either a better, better journaler or be able to self-reflect better. And I mean, I think that's awesome that you are listening. You're actively listening to what people are telling you and you are like modifying your book for that reason. I think that is just awesome. Good lesson and key takeaway for everybody listening.
Dallen (33:58): Yeah. People want to go from A to B as quick as possible, right? So you just got to make sure that your product spells that out for them. So if you do so they'll be happy.
Nick (34:06): Exactly. Okay. Now, so we've talked about why we got into it, how we started coming up with the idea of the product reviews. We started testing it, uploading it on the Gumroad. Now we actually have to produce the physical product. I mean, this is going to be a full-blown physical thing that you're selling on Amazon and everything. Right? So manufacturing is definitely a, a big part of that. You have to get these things made somehow. So how, how are you going about doing that? I know I have absolutely zero experience with manufacturing and building a physical product. So what, walk me through some of that. I'm really curious.
Dallen (34:39): Yeah, it's a, it's a beast man. And I have a few friends who are in the, um, you know, they're not in the journaling space, but in the product development space who I chat with frequently. And, and we always joke about just the biggest lesson that we've learned throughout this as patience, right? Because you, you might have a, an imaginary deadline, but it's, it's rarely, rarely are you going to meet that deadline. But I think it's also been a good experience too, because with, with delays, because when you're working with manufacturers, especially, um, overseas are manufacturers based out of China. So when you're working with them, you not only do you have the, you know, the language barrier, but you have the time barrier to where they're up when you're asleep. So there's a lot of late nights are necessary because, uh, I would, if I, I pulled a few, all-nighters just to communicate with them.
Dallen (35:36): And I found when I did that, I made more progress than I had the previous two weeks. Just because when you get one answer question or one question answered, then you got to wait until the next day to be able to ask the next one. What's a lot easier. If you're able to, you know, simplify all your questions, maybe on a Google doc or a PDF or something, shoot that over to them, or, you know, be willing to spend, uh, spend some, some late nights. But, but really it's just a process of finding the right manufacturer and then being patient along the journey, right? Because you want to, if you're creating a product, you want to be as specific as you can. And so when you're ordering samples, there's a lot of times where it's the images that they'll send you before they send you the sample.
Dallen (36:18): They don't look anything like the actual product when you receive it. So it's just understanding that, you know, things aren't always going to end up perfectly, but you can always, you know, you can adjust and move from there. And so when you have a setback working with the manufacturer, it's not a, it's not a day setback, right? It's a minimum of two weeks, but there's, there's a whole process for finding the right manufacturer, asking them the correct questions, making sure that they are, uh, that there isn't too much of a language barrier if you're working overseas. Because if there is when developing a product, you don't want to have to have to deal with that, right. That is a big deal, is being able to adequately communicate with each other and make sure that they are understanding the points you're trying to get across. So I work a lot with Andy Isom.
Dallen (37:05): He's kind of, he's been a, a mentor to me. And so he has, you know, he has, uh, a really great structure on how to identify your manufacturers and, and order sat. And, you know, you're ordering samples from maybe multiple manufacturers to see who, who is going to produce a product that I guess best suits your vision. So with that right now, uh, for example, if we place, if I placed an order today for, let's say 500 journals, it's going to take anywhere for, from three to four weeks to produce the journals. And then another, depending on how I ship one to six weeks to ship here. So, so it's quite the process. It's been that process, uh, itself has been a great learning experience for me because I'll tell you right now, I thought that they would be launched on Amazon about two months ago.
Dallen (37:59): And initially, initially when I had some delays, it was, it was upsetting, right. But it actually caused me to sit down and think, okay, if I'm going to launch these two months from now, what can I do in this time to make sure that the launch goes even better than a would have at the happened today? So I got into other skills such as writing, uh, emailing newsletter. And, and honestly, it's why we're on a podcast now, right. Is because podcasting something I'm very interested in, um, in spreading awareness around the journal, moving forward. So all these skills that I feel like I'm working on daily are, have been a result of the, the initial launch date being postponed. So it's just a, you know, it's a, it's a game of patience and if you're committed to it, then you gotta be willing to play. The game of patience takes a minute, but it's been a, it's also a fulfilling process.
Nick (38:59): Oh yeah, man. I mean, it sounds like, yeah. With the delay, you're, you're filling your time and making it useful here and having to sit in back, waiting for the stuff. So that's, that's good. I think we all, all right, man. Now, where, how did you actually find the manufacturer? Was it just from talking with other people or where would someone go if they were looking to try to get something created or they start looking around,
Dallen (39:22): Um, alibaba.com. So it's a great, uh, website, I guess, where, and you can filter it. You can look for manufacturers, um, in any part of the world. So, and they actually, they do a really good job at responding. So initially I was just searching through product images and finding some that I felt like matched the product that I wanted to create. And I would reach out with an organized template of questions that were clearly laid out and then I'd pay attention to how they responded. So if they responded with something like, yes, I can help you then that, that to me, wasn't, you know, I ha I might've had seven questions on the document where a lot of, a lot of manufacturers would respond, um, and have specific answers for each question that I asked, which is a great sign from, from my standpoint, right?
Dallen (40:15): Because when you're working on different time zones, that's something that you need to be cognizant of. You're going to be sending multiple questions at a time and they need to be able to answer her show that they're willing to answer these questions if you're going to progress like you desire. So that's, that's part of the processes going through alibaba.com, looking for trying to find products that match, uh, at least a similar fashion of what you're trying to create, looking for at their cost per piece and their minimum order quantity, and then reaching out with, and I would recommend at least a few questions and just to pay attention to how they answer and how well, um, they and how well they answer the question.
Nick (41:00): Oh, that's a really good tip. I feel like I've definitely heard people talk about that in manufacturing to really take the time to pay attention to who you're actually trying to get the stuff manufactured from. Because the last thing you want to do is pump a lot of time and money into this, and then come out with a product that you did not want to have created comes out completely different than you envisioned it.
Dallen (41:22): And having gone through the process, the last thing you want to do is start back at square one, right? So you got it. It takes a lot of time. And especially, you know, with the physical product, it's, that's one of the most important piece and it's also the most time consuming piece. So it's, you know, you gotta be willing to dedicate the time and discovering which manufacturer best suits your needs.
Nick (41:50): Now, was capital the money that you have to put into this. Has that been a concern going into it or what I feel like that would be someone's biggest hurdle to accomplish or get over and kind of come to terms with, is it knowing that you're gonna have to put money in upfront? Did you kind of just take that leap or did you, I mean, obviously you've tested the products, you know, people want it, that's a big part of it, but what was your approach with that?
Dallen (42:13): Definitely a lot more confident in the product now than I was a year ago, which is, is great, but it kind of goes back to the, your manufacturer, right? Because a lot of companies, their minimum order quantity might be 50 pieces or a hundred pieces, whereas some might be a thousand. So it might be the cost per piece might be lower when you order a thousand, but it's going to be a lot more money up front. So, um, and a lot of it is product dependent as well, because when you're looking at, like in my situation with a physical product is journaling and the way that they use their printers to cover the, their manufacturer costs, uh, from this specific manufacturer, they can't sell less than 500. Right. So I, I, and that's something I tried to do. I tried to get Le I tried to lower their minimum order quantity just to kind of get a, a, a sample order upfront of maybe a hundred pieces.
Dallen (43:07): Um, but it wasn't feasible. Right? Because then they're just to cover their manufacturing costs on their equipment to run the printing. It would be like 30 bucks per piece where I'm, you know, I'm already in the hole and it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a business standpoint. So, yeah, it definitely has been, that has been a hurdle, but at this point, you know, with the information I've gathered over the last year, it's something that I've been able to justify a lot easier, right. Is, is putting, uh, this upfront capital and being willing to order 500 pieces to get my cost per piece down and be able to start distributing, you know, through Amazon
Nick (43:50): How, what are you doing right now to get the word out? Like now that we've got the product is in the process of being made. Now you got to market the thing, get it out in front of the world. What does that process look like for you?
Dallen (44:00): Podcasting?
Nick (44:01): Hell, yeah, that's what I like to hear.
Dallen (44:03): Yeah, no, yeah, that's, that's kind of a focus of mine now is to get on as many podcasts as I can. I think it's a great way to drive organic growth and leads, but I'm also doing, like I said, doing a lot of writing and just trying to spread awareness through social media, um, more organic means. And then I'm really having a launch on Amazon. My focus there is more running Amazon ads. So I do have plans to have a Shopify business or Shopify account in the future and run things like Facebook ads, but, uh, where I'm at now, it's kind of a stepwise process. And my full focus will be through running pay-per-click ads on Amazon. And then aside from that, just continuing to spread awareness through social media, Twitter, writing weekly newsletters to grow my email list and things of that nature. So, and then when the time comes, when you know, there's been some momentum gained there, then I'll start focusing more on building a Shopify business and running Facebook ads and spreading awareness that way.
Nick (45:13): No, I think that's perfect. It sounds like you're doing all the, all the things, right. You're doing all the things. Um, one thing I did want to touch on the podcasts and stuff, I think is huge right now, podcasting, just this past year, they broke a million podcasts worldwide, which doesn't seem like a lot. But when you look at all the other platforms, it's, it's very young, but it's picking up a lot of steam. And I looked at some of the stats between like YouTube and blogging and podcasting and I, these aren't exact numbers. They're just numbers I'm pulling out of my head, but it was something like for blogging, people will stay on a page for about three to five minutes when it comes to YouTube. It's pretty similar. There's a lot, the hook is very important in a video. So if you don't grasp that within the first like 15, 20 seconds of the video, they're going on to the next one.
Nick (46:04): And even then they're staying five, maybe 10 minutes tops. But then when you get into podcasting, typically listeners are sticking around through the full episode, 30 minutes, 20 minutes, average for a listener on a podcast. So I think if you're trying to get the word out about something that you're doing, guest podcasting is an excellent way to do it because you know, people are going to be listening to the podcast. I mean the videos, but you don't know if everyone's going to listen to the point where you say, Hey, I got an awesome product, whereas a podcast that can be an excellent place to get the word out about it.
Dallen (46:37): Yeah. That's a great point. I I've never looked at it that way. Um, you know, compared to YouTube as far as a user engagement, um, I think that's a good point. And I just using myself as an, as an example, I, I always go podcast over YouTube, right. Because I mainly listen to them when I'm doing things I'm working outside or mowing the lawn or driving my car. And like you said, it's very rarely do I, do I cut out of that and join another podcast? Usually the podcast ends and rolls right into the next one.
Nick (47:08): Exactly. And that's another thing with like YouTube. I mean, you finish a video, like, let's say you do make it to the other all the way to the end of the video. A lot of times they're not recommending you and other video from that person, they're sending you to another related video from someone else completely. So if there is that same kind of mentality where you just kind of hit the playlist and go, you might get your one video in, and then they're onto someone else, then that person's got their attention. Whereas you have a podcast and you've got them, you have their full attention for the 20, 30, 60 minutes, whatever it is. So with how popular podcasting is getting, they just broke a million subscribers. (active podcasts). But a lot of people have seen that big deal with Joe Rogan and Spotify. I mean, that was huge for podcasting as a whole, but more and more people are picking it up and more listeners are coming on. So I feel like right now is the best time to start getting worried about your product on podcasts in general.
Dallen (47:56): Yeah. You're convincing me to start my own.
Nick (48:00): I will be in the near future, I'm releasing some videos about podcasting. So
Dallen (48:05): I actually, so the reason I got interested in guest podcasting was, I don't know if you've heard of Richie Norton he's, um, you know, he's an entrepreneur, he's written some books and one of the, the book he's written is called the Power Starting Something Stupid. And honestly like this whole book resonates with my vision and just kind of the way that I feel like I'm going about creating my future. And he's very much a, a 21st century business entrepreneur mindset where don't, you know, you're not trading time for money and just really maximizing your time for your business. And his, he actually says that he'll, he'll only take on a task if you can do it from his phone, because then that means you can do it anywhere. Right. So I think that's pretty cool, but he, he has his own podcast now, which is excellent, but he also, he has a free download for guest podcasting.
Dallen (49:01): And because that's why he attributes to the success of his podcast launch was his goal. And, and, and also to the success of his books, right. He says, as hard as writing a book is the hardest part is actually selling it. So he, you know, he was a guest on thousands of podcasts before ever starting his own. And that's kind of how he was able to build his audience, um, was through guest podcasting. So that his book, the one that I referenced it, I've read it three or four times now. And it's something that, uh, when, whenever I, I feel, you know, like things might be a little out of whack, I always refer back to it and it helps me to get back on track. But yeah, he's, he's kind of who I guess, exposed me to the power of guest podcasting and audio as a whole.
Nick (49:50): You said the book was Power of Starting Something Stupid?
Dallen (49:53): Yeah. Okay. All right. Cool. You'll love it man. Sweet.
Nick (49:58): I want to link to that in the show notes as well. So if you want to stay a copy of that, it will be there. And I'm definitely going to check that one out. Okay. So we're getting pretty close to the end of the episode here with manufacturing, all that stuff underway. When can we expect to see this thing? I know we got a version of it is currently available on Gumroad, but if you want to get a hard copy of this thing, when, and where can people buy it?
Dallen (50:23): So it's actually great timing because the, my shipment is supposed to be arriving today. And if not today, tomorrow, and then yeah, from there, I'll be shipping them to Amazon, to their fulfillment centers. And that should be anywhere between one and two weeks. Uh, right now it being, uh, Q4 the end of the year, they might be a little busier than, than normal. So it could end up taking two to three weeks just to get my product, you know, in their center and across the country and to others fulfillment centers. So with that said, the latest it should be available is three weeks. And from then it will be available, uh, prime shipping, two-day shipping all across the country. So that's a, you know, it's, yeah, this has been a pretty exciting time. I'm, I'm hoping that when we're done with the podcast, I'll go upstairs and there'll be sitting on my front door. So we'll see if that's the case. Yeah. So, you know, it's, it's, it's really exciting. It's been, it's just been, uh, a long process and a fulfilling one. So, um, I'm just, again, getting pretty excited to actually be able to get, get it out and get into people's hands.
Nick (51:36): No, that's super exciting. And so by the time you're listening to this recording, it is either on Amazon right now, ready to order, or like a week or two out. So make sure, so look for it on Amazon. All right. Now let's kind of get this thing wrapped up here. Why don't you give everybody just a last tip of advice or something if they're trying to get into building a physical product, um, what advice would you give the listeners?
Dallen (52:02): Uh, ask around, ask questions, talk to people, you know, you might not have any idea what to do or what steps to take, but there's a lot of people around, especially with social media, join Facebook groups, there's networking groups in any city, any town, and that you can join at any time and ask questions. So reach out to people, ask questions and, and follow up with them, you know, build these relationships with them. But I think that one of the most, um, you know, one of the greatest things that we have access to is basically infinite connections, right? So we can use these platforms to learn and to connect with people who have skills that we can benefit from. And who knows, maybe you have a skill that they need, right. So I think that's a great way to not only help meet people who can help with your product creation, but also build the relationships and potential business partner. So, yeah, the, I guess that would be my advice is I know not a lot of people, maybe most people listening to this podcast who don't have any experience with product creation, but that doesn't mean you can't do it. Right. So start asking questions, start going to the drawing board and meeting people. And, you know, I think over time, you'll start, you'll be able to look back and see how each question you asked. Now, each person you met led you to the next step.
Nick (53:23): That's awesome. I completely agree you. And I like how it came full circle back into the building relationships. Can't ask for a better end of the episode than that. So where, where can people find you online? Obviously the Self-Mastery Journal is going to be on Amazon. By the time this goes live. If it is available, there will be a link in the show notes. If you're listening to this at a later date, whenever that does go live on Amazon, I will update this page to that, but cool. Where do you want people to find you on social media website? What do you want people to go?
Dallen (53:53): So I'm most active on Twitter right now. The website still work in progress. Um, but you can find me on Twitter. If you send me a DM, I'll respond, you know, the same day, uh, you can find me on Instagram. Both is you can find me @DallenReber. I think Instagram is @Dallen.Reber. Those are two platforms that I guess, um, I'm most active on Twitter being the most dominant, but I'm also send you a link for a free download for, uh, basically how to journal correct correctly guide. It's going to take you through a step-by-step process. It'll show you the layout of the journal and with some, some free, I guess, just prints that you can do to get started. Um, but also for your audience, anybody who's interested in not only journaling, but goal setting and discovering more clarity and purpose, I would love to, you know, hop on a free just 15 minute discovery call. Uh, that'll all, that'll be in the link that I'll send you over as well. So, you know, any of those platforms, I do some writing on Medium or my newsletter on sub stack, or if you just search down wherever, you'll be able to find it. But yeah, that's basically
Nick (55:01): Well awesome, man. I really appreciate that. That's that's really cool of you. So make sure you guys go check out the show notes. You get all the links as Dallen's got some awesome stuff. I've actually purchased the Self-Mastery Journal before it was a Self-Mastery Journal and it is it's awesome, man. Like it's really well done. Um, I actually fallen off journaling, so I think I need to go purchase myself a copy of the thing and get back to it.
Dallen (55:27): Get you on a discovery, call. Sweet. Thanks. Thanks for the purchase. And for those, for your kind words, man, appreciate it.
Nick (55:36): Thanks for coming on the show, man, we covered a lot of stuff. I mean, we went through journaling self-reflection that, which is what your product is all about, which I think is awesome. And then actually getting into creating the product itself. I think The listeners are really going, going to enjoy this episode. So I just want to thank you for coming on the show, man.
Dallen (55:56): Yeah, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me, been. Awesome. Yeah, take care, bro.
Nick (56:00): Okay. That is it for this week's interview. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it and interviewing Dallen. I've had many conversations and brainstorm sessions with Dallen. And like I mentioned earlier in the episode, I actually purchased and provide a feedback on his journal before it became the Self-Mastery Journal. So I'm really excited to see this new product. It was really good before. So I'm really excited to see how he implemented suggestions and created this new product that he's got. If you're listening to this episode on the data went live Dallen's Self-Mastery Journal is officially live on Amazon as of yesterday. So definitely I highly recommend you go check it out. Snag copy on Amazon. And for anyone listening, if you did get a copy of it already, make sure you go leave a review of the Self-Mastery Journal over on Amazon, much like iTunes reviews for this podcast.
Nick (56:48): The reviews on Amazon are extremely important to help build more hype on the product and ultimately increase sales. Now you may have caught at the end of the interview, Dallen said he'd be offering a special discount for the journal is how to journal correctly, freebie and a free 15 minute call with Dallen. He's offering a special four, Nine-Five Podcast listeners. So if you want access to these freebies and discounts, I set up a special link to make it really easy to get there. All you have to do is go to ninefivepodcast.com/dallen and Dallen is D A L L E N. If you go to that link, you'll be directed right to Dallen's page, where you can find all those freebies and discounts. Otherwise the links to Dallen's book, social media channels, his special gift in all other links mentioned in this episode can also be found over at ninefivepodcasts.com/episode18. One eight. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a comment on the show notes page and I'm especially interested in whether or not you completed your challenge of reconnecting with old friends. You can let me know right there in the comments. All right, guys, thanks for sticking with me until the end.
Nick (57:58): I love you all and I will catch you guys next week.
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When was the last time you looked at your goals?
I don’t mean daily or weekly goals.
I’m talking BIG PICTURE goals!
When you set out to chase the life you always hoped to achieve, you most likely had big dreams. You put steps in place to set you on that path. For many, this might mean going to college, landing a corporate job out of school, and setting yourself up for a successful career.
This may be the path in which you are most happy, but have you given it any thought lately?
Think back to when you originally set out on this journey. Are you achieiving what you hoped to achieve? Are you where you wanted to be?
If you haven’t achieved it yet, are you on the right path to achieve it?
In this interview with Dallen Reber, we talk about this, and we get into a multitude of other topics as well:
- Finding fulfillment and happiness
- Understanding who you want to become
The topics we discuss in the first half of this episode shows the journey Dallen has taken to realize his own path to fulfillment. This includes creating the Self-Mastery Journal to help others come to this same realization. We even get into some things you can start doing in your daily life to get you back on the right path.
In the second half of the episode, we get into the specifics on how he was able to go from zero product creation experience to the ideation, manfuacturing, and now selling his own journal on Amazon.
Are You on a Path to Fulfillment?
Happiness and fulfillment are two very different things.
You might be happy when you finally purchase your dream home. That happiness will fade though. Once it does, you’ll be looking for something else to fill that void.
If your ultimate goal is to acquire more “stuff” you will forver be chasing to fill that void.
Buy more stuff –> Temporary happiness –> Encounter a void –> Buy more stuff…
It’s a repetative cycle that many fall into.
The reason that void can never be filled is because you never reach a level of fulfillment.
Fulfillment is something that can be difficult to understand: “what will make my career, life, etc more fulfilling?”
We’ll get there by focusing on a surprisingly simple question…
Who Do You Want to Become?
This is a question that really stuck with me during this interview.
When you’re trying to find happiness and fulfillment in your life and career it can be a hard to pinpoint exactly how to do it. In the episode Dallen recommends asking yourself this simple question,
Who do you want to become?
Answer this, and you have your ultimate milestone to reach. In my free workbook, Increase Productivity and Get More Done, I refer to this “ultimate milestone” as your GameChanger.
You can get the free workbook here.
Now that you know where you are going, it is up to you to take purpose-driven action. This means taking action, fueled with purpose.
This was just a taste of the amazing information we covered in this episode. To hear more of the conversation and figure out how YOU can start creating your own physical product, make sure you listen to the full episode!
Links & Resources
Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.
- Get the special offer from Dallen
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- Check out Rob Dial’s podcast, Mindset Mentor
- Start creating beautiful graphics with Canva (no experience necessary!)
- Start finding manufacturers for your own physical product on Alibaba
- Read The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton
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